A Longing Fulfilled

iStock_000025918156SmallWe can long for things in life that do not get fulfilled. We can feel disappointed and discouraged but the truth is somethings in life take longer but are worth the wait.

We were made in the image of the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent King of the universe. We were made by greatness for greatness. God gave us our unique preferences, strengths, gifts and talents for the mission He’s called us to. He loves us just the way we are.

God loves us so much that even when we went our own way far from Him, He sent His beloved son Jesus to earth for us. Jesus lived a perfect life for us, died a criminal’s death as us for our sin and was then raised from the dead for our justification forever.

As we seek our beautiful savior each day in prayer, we can give Him our disappointments, worries and fears and receive His peace, joy and hope for the future. As we fix our attention on Him and delight in His presence, before long we will find ourselves with all our heart’s desires met.

Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

John 3:16 – This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

Ephesians 1:6 – to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

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Soar through Life

Horizontal view of famous Grand Canyon at sunriseLife is full of ups and downs. We can be running through one season and barely able to crawl the next. No matter the season of life we face we don’t have to do it in our own strength. We are always only one prayer away from help, renewal and refreshing.

We are designed to flourish. God made us in His image for intimate fellowship. He placed us in our time and location for mission. As long as we are connected to Him we can have constant life flowing through us.

Even when we were far from God, He loved us so much that He gave up His precious son for us. What would God keep from us if He gave us His best?

Now as we receive Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross for our salvation, we become children of God. We gain more in Christ than we ever had before. We can come daily in prayer to the throne room of grace and ask our Heavenly Father for whatever we need.

As we rest in our Lord Jesus, we will sense a renewal of our strength. We will start moving forward and be able to pick up our pace in life. God will work everything out together for good for us, and before long we will find ourselves soaring in life.

Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Hebrews 4:16 – Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Romans 8;28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

FULL

Vintage photo of poppy field in sunsetWe can try to fill ourselves up with the temporal things of this world to alleviate pain and fear deep down inside of us. Sadly, the things we often choose do not last: junk food, mindless entertainment, people’s drama, others’ approval, spending money and mood altering substances. There is one solution for the pain and fear at the core of our being and that is unconditional love.

We were made on purpose for a purpose. No matter what lie we believed, God destined us to be on planet earth and blessed us to grow, develop, flourish and thrive. God created us in His image and placed us in our time and location to reign.

Even though we became separated from God, His love for us never ended. He sent Jesus, love incarnate, to earth for us to restore us back to Him. When Jesus walked the earth, He healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead, embraced the outcast, touched the leper and set the oppressed free. He revealed life connected to the Father for us.

Jesus went to the cross for you and me. He chose to die a criminal’s death even though He was innocent, so that we could exchange our identity as “separated” to His identity as “the beloved child of God.”

God raised Jesus from the dead and raised us with Him to ‘new life.’ Now we walk exonerated of our sins, failures and mistakes because of Jesus’ finished work at the cross. We can come to Jesus in prayer and exchange our imperfections, trauma, fear, worries and pain for His perfection, wholeness, peace and joy.

Everyday we can fill ourselves up in God’s unfailing, unending, unconditional love in prayer. The more we grasp that we are accepted in the “beloved” the more we will see peace settle into our core. We will walk free and light on the path to life, finding ourselves full of Jesus’ righteousness and abundantly supplied by grace.

Genesis 1:27-28 – So God created mankind in his own image,  in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Romans 5:17 – For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 – We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

LIFE!

Lots of spring orange and yellow wildflowers on a meadowIn an upside down world it can be difficult to navigate life’s seasons. We can try our best to get by but then we face obstacles and challenges that can set us back. Without a guide we can become tired and weary.

God loved us so much that He made a way for us to be reconnected to Him forever. He sent His best, Jesus, to earth for us. Jesus is love in the flesh. He came to earth to live a sinless life for us, die on the cross as us; and then He was raised from the dead for our justification.

Starting now in this upside down world and lasting forever we can be connected to our Heavenly Father. We can have the life we were created for: God’s life. As we cultivate our relationship with our Father God in prayer, we will be transformed from the inside out into our true selves..

As we remain united in prayer with our God, we will sense His leading. He will lead us on safe paths where we lack nothing. As we face troubles, we can cling to Him and He will lead us and comfort us through the dark seasons.

God will lead us into lush pastures and still waters where our soul is restored. We will find ourselves on the path to life where a table is prepared before us, our cup will run over with good things and mercy and goodness will pursue us all the days of our lives as we dwell with the family of God forever.

John 15:5 – I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.

Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

Psalm 23: 4 He guides me along the right path  for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23: 5-6 You prepare a table before me. in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;  my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Kingdom Dreams

Beautiful winter sunrise in the mountains. Retro style.In life we can become very disappointed when things go differently than we had hoped for. However, if we are willing to dream again we will realize that our dreams haven’t died, they just are taking longer than we expected.

There is no expiration date on our dreams. God created us to grow, develop, flourish and thrive. We are made to overcome every obstacle and challenge in life and step into our purpose and destiny.

The more we spend time in prayer with God, the more He transforms our heart. We begin to dream bigger and better. Now our dreams aren’t just about us but they are ‘Kingdom Dreams’ that impact others for generations.

Anything really worth having is worth waiting for. Our dreams may take longer than we expect, but over time we will see God bring us the right people to help and more than enough resources to fund the dreams in our heart. Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all than we can hope, think or ask.

Proverbs 13:12 (The Voice) – Hope postponed grieves the heart; but when a dream comes true, life is full and sweet.

Genesis 1:28 MSG – God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your work to the Lord,  and your plans will be established.

Matt 5:14 MSG – …Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Ephesians 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…

Pack Light

clouds on sunset over field with barleyWe can become bogged down with fear and worry. If we are not careful we can live with a constant low-level of anxiety which can cause all sorts of health issues. We were designed to be light and free.

God created us for flight. He made us in HIs image and blessed us to grow, develop, flourish and thrive. As we chase the great God-dream in our heart, we will find that our speed is determined by the weights we carry.

Each day in prayer we can come to Jesus and place all of our weights: fears, worry, pain and sorrow at the foot of the cross; and in exchange we receive peace that transcends understanding, fullness of joy, hope for the future and a constant expectation of good.

Because of the finished work on the cross we can walk with Jesus daily and gain His ‘easy’ and ‘light’ yoke. The more time we spend with the ‘All Together Lovely One,’ the more we will be transformed into His likeness; the more we will soar over life’s obstacles and challenges and reign in life.

Genesis 1;26-68 MSG – God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

2 Corinthians (The Voice) – Now all of us, with our faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors; and so we are being transformed, metamorphosed, into His same image from one radiance of glory to another, just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it.

Romans 5:17 – For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Loved People Love!

iStock_000027576873LargeIn life we can pretend to be someone else to gain acceptance from people. However, if we do, we will find ourselves trapped in a hollow facade. As we allow ourselves to really know who we are and let that person shine, we will care less what others think.

God had us in mind since the beginning. He made us on purpose for a purpose. He created our individual fingerprints and unique DNA, placed us in our time and location for fellowship, relationships and mission.

As we cultivate our relationship with our Heavenly Father in prayer, we will begin to grasp how much we are loved. We can never fully understand the height, depth, width or length of the love of God but we can experience it.

The more we grasp how much we are loved, the more we will feel comfortable in our skin. The more we step into who God created us to be, the more we will encourage others to discover who they are in Christ. We will become lovers of people who accept others with open arms, because loved people love.

Psalm 139:13-14 – For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Ephesians 3:17-19 – that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Philippians 1:10 – MSG – …Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

Unpacking the Soul

iStock_000006014401SmallWe can give up our dreams when our hopes are dashed. We can be so disillusioned that we decide to take the path of least resistance, but our true destined path is full of obstacles and challenges; we were just made to overcome them.

God designed us to grow, develop, flourish and thrive. Even when we became disconnected from Him, He sent His only begotten son full of truth and grace to earth for us. God did not send an army, but love incarnate.

Jesus lived a sinless life for us, died on the cross as us and was raised from the dead for our justification. Now through the great exchange we can give Jesus our sin, fear, disease and despair and receive His righteousness, health, wholeness and peace.

No matter what difficulties we go through, Jesus is there to carry us. As we unpack all of our worries, cares and fears and give them to Jesus, we can walk light and free on the path we are meant for. As we begin to walk into the ease and grace of God, we will begin to soar over the obstacles and learn to enjoy the journey.

Genesis 1:28 – God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…”

2 Corinthians 5:21 – He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Matthew 11:28 – Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

 

LOVED & ACCEPTED!

Blossom of crocuses at spring in the mountainsIn life we can believe the lie that we are not enough, so we try harder. We try to fit the part by changing our outside. We lose weight, change our style, compete for a better job and title. We do all these things just to try to be something we already are: accepted.

God so loved each and everyone of us that He sent His beloved son to earth for us. God is so relational that He did not send a fleet of angels to rescue us, but instead He sent us His son Jesus in the flesh who is the exact representation of the glory of God. If we desire to know the Father more we can look to the son.

Jesus came to earth to save, not condemn. He was not in a hurry or too busy for us. He embraced the sinner, touched the leper, crossed racial, gender and socio-economic divides. He fed the hungry, healed the sick; and everyone wanted to be near Him – except for the self-righteous elite religious folks.

As we receive Jesus into our hearts, we come into relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are accepted in the ‘Beloved’ son of God. We do not have to try to become accepted by changing who we are, we are accepted in Jesus; and as this truth settles in at the core of our being, we will be transformed from the inside out into our true selves.

John 3:16 – For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Hebrews 1:3 – And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature…

Ephesians 1:6 – To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Intrinsic Value

Gold solar field of sunflowers in Tuscany, ItalyWe can find that we don’t measure up in life to society’s standards, our peer’s opinions or even our close family’s and friends’ expectations. It’s easy to feel like a failure in life but the truth is our worth is not determined by our ability to fit in to some person’s mold; our value is intrinsic and placed in us by our maker.

We are made in the image of the infinite God of the Universe. We were made on purpose for a purpose. We have been plucked from eternity into our time, location and mission on earth.

Through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross we can receive His gift of righteousness by faith and His abundant supply of grace that causes us to reign in life.

As we cultivate our relationship with Jesus, we will begin to grasp the height, width, length and depth of the love of God. We may never fully understand it but we can experience it.

As we meditate on His love, we will grow, develop, flourish and thrive in life. Our desire for others’ approval will wane and we will begin to step into all that we were made for.

Genesis 1;27 – God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…”

Romans 5:17 – …those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Proverbs 29:25 MSG – The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.

Ephesians 3:18 – may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…

Romans 12:2 MSG – …fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.