“When the job’s done, you’ll see it’s been well done.” ~Jeremiah

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Well Done

Well Done

God doesn’t do things half way or half hearted. God is all in. God is all in all the time.

God sent Jesus, the Messiah, to finish what had been started. Jesus completed God’s assignment. Nothing has been left undone.

God’s goal for me is to do the job and do it well. God wants me to be all in.

Look out! God’s hurricane is let loose,
    his hurricane blast,
Spinning the heads of the wicked like dust devils!
    God’s raging anger won’t let up
Until he’s made a clean sweep
    completing the job he began.
When the job’s done
    you’ll see it’s been well done.

Source: Jeremiah 30 MSG – Don’t Despair, Israel – This is the – Bible Gateway

“I am God, your God.” ~God

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I am God

I am God

God is God.

More importantly, God is my God.

I serve the one and only, true living God. There is no other.

It is one thing to know that God is God. It is everything to know that he is my God. That is the main thing.

Jesus came to show us God and to give us a relationship with God. Through Jesus, I get to know God and understand what he wants me to do.

This is to be your regular, daily Whole-Burnt-Offering before God, generation after generation, sacrificed at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. That’s where I’ll meet you; that’s where I’ll speak with you; that’s where I’ll meet the Israelites, at the place made holy by my Glory. I’ll make the Tent of Meeting and the Altar holy. I’ll make Aaron and his sons holy in order to serve me as priests. I’ll move in and live with the Israelites. I’ll be their God. They’ll realize that I am their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am God, your God.

Source: Exodus 29 MSG – Consecration of Priests – “This is – Bible Gateway

"The time has arrived when dead men will hear the voice of the Son of God and will come alive." ~~Jesus

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Jesus offers me life. And He offers it now.

I receive it by listening to His voice. Once I hear His voice I must not delay in responding. He expects me to obey.

Jesus can offer life because God has put him in charge of everything. God has given him the authority to act and to give life.

May we hear his voice and come alive. 

“The time has arrived—I mean right now!—when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive.”
~~Jesus (John 5:25-27 The Message)

“Those who curse you will be cursed, those who bless you will be blessed.” ~Isaac

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Bless Others

Bless Others

Jesus gives us power. I have power to bless and I have power to curse.

I must be careful. I must choose to bless. That is God’s goal for me.

There is a reward in blessing. There are not so great consequences in cursing.

There is a subtlety to it all. I am annoyed with a family member. I say something very negative about them. It is clear I am not wishing them well. It is a curse on them. I must be careful.

Today God has a goal for me. My job is to bless everyone I come in contact with.

Jacob came close and kissed him and Isaac smelled the smell of his clothes. Finally, he blessed him,

Ahhh. The smell of my son
    is like the smell of the open country
    blessed by God.
May God give you
    of Heaven’s dew
    and Earth’s bounty of grain and wine.
May peoples serve you
    and nations honor you.
You will master your brothers,
    and your mother’s sons will honor you.
Those who curse you will be cursed,
    those who bless you will be blessed.

Source: Genesis 27 MSG – When Isaac had become an old man and – Bible Gateway

Am I sulking spiritually? Am I having a spiritual temper tantrum?

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Am I sulking spiritually and feeling sorry for myself, just because I can’t see one inch in front of myself?

Am I detached enough from my own spiritual fits of emotion to “wait patiently for Him”? 

Waiting is not sitting with folded hands doing nothing, but it is learning to do what I am told.

Have I heard Him?

God is speaking. My goal is to hear him and act.

Jesus is challenging me to grow up. My goal is become mature like he is mature.

Then what am I waiting for?

Seriously?

“And why? Because God says so. He’s issued the orders.” ~Isaiah

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Why? Because God says so.

There is always the question of why looming in front us.

Why?

Why did God allow that to happen?

The arrogance I have some days to question God is stunning. I am embarrassed by it.

God says so. God is God. God doesn’t answer to us.

That is all I need to know. God has issued the orders.

And why? Because God says so.
    He’s issued the orders.

Source: Isaiah 24 MSG – The Landscape Will Be a Moonscape – Bible Gateway

“May the God of green hope fill you up with joy.” ~Apostle Paul

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Hope

Hope

Jesus calls on me to be a person of hope.

God gives me the Holy Spirit so I can brim over with hope.

God is the God of hope. I am eager to receive the gifts of God. God will be faithful and they will all be mine.

With God’s hope in me, I am at peace. There is a calm that I have that energizes me.

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Source: Romans 15:7 MSG – So reach out and welcome one another to – Bible Gateway

“Anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” ~Author of Hebrews

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Bold Faith

Bold Faith

There are some things that just aren’t possible with us. We can’t please God without faith.

With faith, nothing is impossible.

One aspect of faith that can be overlooked is that God cares enough to respond if we seek Him. If I believe that He cares, I know that God will respond.

It is interesting that it is not just believing God exists. God exists AND he cares. God is in a good mood. A critical part of faith is believing that fact.

May I know how much our heavenly Father cares for me.

May I focus on believing that in my heart and soul.

It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 MSG (The Message)

Be Grateful that God blessed you with life! If you aren’t happy with what you GOT, you’ll never be happy with what you get.

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I must be Grateful that God blessed me with life!

If I’m not happy with what I’ve GOT, I’ll never be happy with what I get.

Life is about my relationship with Jesus.

What does Jesus want me to do today?

Whatever it is, I will be more than happy. I will be blessed with His life.

“The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.” ~King David

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Love of Jesus

Love of Jesus

I can count on God. God sees the whole picture and pulls it all together for me.

I rely on the direction that Jesus points me to. There is nothing complicated about it at all. Jesus is reliable. We all know it to be true.

Following Jesus gives me joy and pleasure. God’s way is like that.

The revelation of God is whole
    and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
    and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
    showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
    and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
    with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
    down to the nth degree.

King David – Source: Psalm 19 MSG – A David Psalm God’s glory is on tour – Bible Gateway

"You have your heads in your Bibles constantly. But you miss the forest for the trees." ~~Jesus

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Forest for the trees

Forest for the trees

Jesus demands that I get the point. I need to see Jesus. I need to have a passionate relationship with His Father.

Reading the Bible and missing Him is pointless. Being religious and not in a loving relationship with God is vast waste of time and energy.

I want to get it. I want to be in love with Him.

May I see the forest. The Bible doesn’t give me eternal life. Jesus does.

“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me!” ~~Jesus (John 5:39-40 The Message)

 

“And what does the LORD require of you?” ~Micah

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Like a good parent, Our God knows how to keep it simple. Only 3 things on God’s list of “to dos” for me today.

I can remember that. 

  1. Do justice.
  2. Love mercy.
  3. Walk humbly with God.

I can focus on that.

… And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

–Micah 6:8

“Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” ~King Solomon

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Understanding

How amazing is it that God wants discretion to protect us and understanding to guard us? It is stunning. God is in a very good mood and is looking out for me.

Jesus is so good to show us what we need to know and how we need to act.

Jesus cares for us like no other. He is good and looking out for our best interest.

May wisdom enter my heart. May knowledge be pleasant to my soul.

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease,
without fear of harm.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

~King Solomon – Source: Proverbs 1:32-33; 2:9-11

“Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.” ~Apostle Paul

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On Your Side

On Your Side

If I asked my family, friends and colleagues if it is clear that I am on their side, what would the answer be.

I am not sure and I am uncomfortable with that.

Jesus challenges me to love and be on the side of all I meet. That should be clear. Is it?

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

~Apostle Paul

Source: Philippians 4:4 MSG – Celebrate God all day, every day. I – Bible Gateway

"Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do-then do it with all your strength." ~George Washington

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What does God want me to do today?

God has a goal in mind for me. Jesus challenges me to understand it and do it.

That is the focus. Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing. That was it.

May I focus on what God wants me to do and do it with all my strength.

Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do – then do it with all your strength.” ~George Washington

“Creating a culture of the testimony has unlocked many dimensions of the power of the testimony that we believe are keys to transformation in our city.” ~Bill Johnson

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The kind of stories we listen to and repeat to our self is vitally important. Check this out from Bill Johnson.

Creating a culture of the testimony has unlocked many dimensions of the power of the testimony that we believe are keys to transformation in our city.

For example, we regularly see the prophetic power of the testimony released as people encounter individuals who need miracles and minister to them by sharing how God has solved the same problem in the lives of others. Often no other kind of ministry is needed–the person simply hears the testimony and finds that God has just “done it again” for them in that very moment. But we are also learning how to do this same thing on a larger level.

When we hear statistics about the high divorce rate or poverty in our community, for example, we are intentionally starting to collect testimonies of healed marriages and financial breakthrough. In doing so, we arm ourselves so that when we inevitably encounter the “statistics” around us, we are ready with stories tailor-made for their situations.

But we also take time to declare these testimonies over our city. By releasing the prophetic anointing in this way, we sow into a shift in the atmosphere. We make the places of our greatest weakness and brokenness targets for the invasion of heaven, knowing that heaven’s way is to perfect strength in weakness.

~~Bill Johnson

“My strength comes from God.” ~King David

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Image result for my strength comes from godThere is a lot to know in life. Most of them aren’t critical.

Where does my strength come from? Now that is an important question. When I ignore the answer and pretend I can work it out myself, disaster is right around the corner.

My strength comes from God. Jesus is the source of all power and Jesus will provide me strength.

God is God and God is great. Nothing is ever, ever, ever impossible for God.

I look up to the mountains;
    does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
    who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

Source: Psalm 121:1-2 MSG – A Pilgrim Song I look up to the – Bible Gateway

I will never forget September 11, 2001

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I will never forget that day. I was in Syracuse, NY.

Originally I was scheduled to fly on a flight out of Boston that morning. I had changed my plans to fly from Syracuse. We had a large meeting going on in our office. There was a TV in the meeting room. A colleague alerted me that I needed come in and see what was happening. We all gathered around the TV to see what was going on.

We saw the second plane hit. We saw both towers go down. We saw the devastation to the Pentagon. We heard of the flight going down in Pennsylvania. All in real time as it happened.

Each event was a blow to our gut.

Who could do this to us?

Why were we being attacked and Americans dying?

What was happening and what would be next?

It was horrible. We couldn’t make it stop. This was real and not a nightmare.

We had staff gathered from all over New York state. Some were from the NYC metro area. We sent everyone home to be with their families.

I just wanted to be close to my son and he came home from school early. I hugged him. We sat and watched TV for days until I just couldn’t stand it any more.

I will NEVER forget that day. It was September 11, 2001.

So … here we are on September 11, 2016 still fighting against the radical Islamist Jihad. Who would have thought.

Is there any mistake about it? Nothing is impossible with God!

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When God brings about what is otherwise impossible, there can be no mistake that God did it. It is easy to say the words, “Nothing is impossible with God”, but to act on them and live by them is another.

May I take the limits off my thinking and have courage to speak and act like I really believe God can do anything.

Truly, nothing is impossible with God. Therefore, nothing Jesus the Messiah plans for me is impossible if I can believe it.

My prayer is “Do whatever You need to do in me, through me, for me, by me, and with me.”

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“The Messiah is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.” ~Apostle Paul

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Jesus Messiah

Jesus Messiah

The message is actually pretty simple. The message is Jesus, the anointed Messiah, King of God’s world.

It is only about Jesus. I can’t add to that and I can’t take away from that.

That focus will lead to maturity.

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: the Messiah is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach the Messiah, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. the Messiah! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.~Apostle Paul

Source: Colossians 1:28 MSG – This mystery has been kept in the dark – Bible Gateway

What matters? There are a lot of things that don’t really matter at the end of the day.

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What matters?

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There are a lot of things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. Who won the baseball game is interesting but not essential.

There are three things I know. Those haven’t changed and are more important now more than ever.

  1. God is God. He is in control, not our government or anyone in our government. We are citizens of His Kingdom. Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one of God. Jesus is in charge.
  2. God is great. Nothing is impossible with Him. God has it all planned out. God will make it happen.
  3. God is good. He has some really great stuff in store for us.
May I focus on what is important.

“I’m thanking God, who makes things right. I’m singing the fame of heaven-high God.” ~King David

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God is God.

God makes things right. God is the only one who can.

I clearly can’t. Justice isn’t within my grasp.

God is a God of justice. Jesus, the Messiah, has been given all authority and is committed to God like no other.

God will make things right. I can count on that.

I thank God for that. I am eternally grateful.

I’m thanking God, who makes things right.
I’m singing the fame of heaven-high God.

~~King David

Source: Psalm 7 MSG – A David Psalm GOD! God! I am running to – Bible Gateway

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“Follow your father’s good advice; don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.” ~King Solomon

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I am a very fortunate man. My father gave me excellent advice. I don’t know that he saw that was doing that but he was.

Or maybe he knew what he was doing. Maybe it wasn’t haphazard.

Regardless, his wisdom serves me well. When I heed it, I am successful.

Then, this is the very cool thing. I have a heavenly Father who is amazingly wise. He sent his son Jesus to show me wisdom and does so every day. My earthly father led me to my heavenly Father.

Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
    don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
    wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
    whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
    when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
    good teaching is a light,
    moral discipline is a life path.

~~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 6 MSG – Like a Deer from the Hunter – Dear – Bible Gateway

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“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” ~Colin Powell

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As King Solomon knew, “The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.”  (Proverbs 12:24)

There is freedom in work. Success doesn’t happen by magic. That is clear.

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

Colin Powell

"Unless you do far better than religious leaders in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom." ~~Jesus

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Jesus is tough on religious leaders. He doesn’t cut them any slack.

He challenges me that I can do better than how religious leaders approach God’s world (Kingdom). He wants me to start from the knowledge that this is God’s world. He is in charge. It is not a democracy.

Jesus wants me to love God more than anyone or anything. He wants me to love everyone I come in contact in a very real and concrete way.

Jesus knows I can do better and it doesn’t start by emulating religious leaders.Tough but true.

 Unless you do far better than religious leaders in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering God’s world.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

The details are important. May all the gifts and benefits that come from God be ours. God is good all the time.

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God's Gift

God’s Gift

We are all on a mission given to us by the Messiah Jesus Himself. I am not exempt. God has a goal for me. I must focus on what it is today.

It has all been planned by God. The details are His and not mine.

Jesus has our steps lined out. We must be faithful to His way.

It is good news. No detail has been left out.

May all the gifts and benefits that come from God be ours. God is good all the time. 

“In the Messiah’s family there can be no division. We are all in a common relationship with Jesus the Messiah.” ~Apostle Paul

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It is only through Jesus the Messiah that we have true equality. It isn’t achieved by any other means. It is not a political issue at its core.

Jesus, through his life, death and resurrection, guarantees we are all on equal footing. As children of God, we will receive our inheritance.

Imagine that. We are all equal heirs.

In the Messiah’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus the Messiah. Also, since you are the Messiah’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises.

Source: Galatians 3:28-29 MSG – In Christ’s Family – In Christ’s – Bible Gateway

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"Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward." ~~Nelson Mandela

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Jesus challenges to keep moving ahead. Don’t stop. Don’t give up.

We are a people of hope. We know how the story ends.

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” ~~Nelson Mandela

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.” ~King Solomon

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I have been thinking about this lately. I should prepare. That is a very good thing. But I have no victory without the LORD.

Do I see this as much as I should? No I don’t. I trust in my preparations and plans. I’ve got is all planned out. Or so I think.

It is so simple but so hard some days.

I want to run in and “fix” things. Holding back for the LORD’s will and wisdom is needed so very much. In His new plan, the victory is His always.

May the victory always rest with the LORD and not my preparation.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD.

Proverbs 21:31 NIV

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"All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired." ~~Martin Luther

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I can count on God. God is reliable. God’s goal for me is that I believe in his son Jesus.

God is God. God will be faithful to me.

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.”  ~~Martin Luther

God knows exactly how much you can handle. Trust your struggle. God is in a good mood.

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I am God

I am God

God knows exactly how much I can handle. God is God and God is Great. God will see me through to the end. There is no doubt about it. It is all about God and has nothing to do with me.

I need to trust my struggle. Jesus struggled. Jesus cried out to God. Jesus trusted God and trusted God would see him through to the end. Jesus promised us that in the world we would have trouble.

God is in a good mood. God is my heavenly Father and loves us. God has nothing but good in mind for me.

"The one who rejects you, rejects me." ~Jesus

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Authority of God

Authority of God

Jesus has given me His authority. I am His ambassador to His world (Kingdom) here on earth.

I fully represent Jesus. If this world rejects Jesus they reject God who sent Him.

Jesus calls on me, in fact demands of me, to get this deep in my soul. When I command things to happen, in the name of Jesus, they happen.

I represent Him. Lock, stock and barrel. No doubts about it. Jesus said so. 

The one who listens to you, listens to me. The one who rejects you, rejects me. And rejecting me is the same as rejecting God, who sent me. ~Jesus

Luke 10:16

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him.” ~Apostle Peter

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God's new plan

God’s new plan

Jesus was totally focused on the new plan and doing what God wanted all the time. Nothing we are going through is even close to what He went through.

Yet, I need to think like Him. I need to learn. God has me in the “right place”, no matter what I think.

And how did Jesus think? Jesus only did what he saw his father doing. Jesus focused on what God wanted. All the time.

May I learn to think like Jesus.

Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him.” ~~Apostle Peter (1 Peter 4:1-2 The Message)

“Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.” ~Isaiah

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Persistence

Persistence

Jesus challenges us to keep at it. The key to victory is to depend on God and keep at it.

Don’t give up. Don’t quit.

God is God. Jesus will sustain us. Our job is to not give up. God’s job is to sustain us. God is faithful. God will do his part. Will I do mine?

At that time, this song
    will be sung in the country of Judah:
We have a strong city, Salvation City,
    built and fortified with salvation.
Throw wide the gates
    so good and true people can enter.
People with their minds set on you,
    you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
    because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
    because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Those who lived high and mighty
    he knocked off their high horse.
He used the city built on the hill
    as fill for the marshes.
All the exploited and outcast peoples
    build their lives on the reclaimed land.

Source: Isaiah 26:3 MSG – Stretch the Borders of Life – At that – Bible Gateway

“I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy.” ~King David

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Grace

Grace

God is gracious. It is all God, through his son Jesus, and not anything I do.

God is in a good mood and compassionate. That is the way God is.

When I call out to God, he listens to me. Jesus is my advocate, sitting next to God, having defeated death. I have the Holy Spirit in me, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.

God makes things right. That is just the way it is.

It is all about God and his graciousness. I has nothing to do with me.

I love God because he listened to me,
    listened as I begged for mercy.
He listened so intently
    as I laid out my case before him.
Death stared me in the face,
    hell was hard on my heels.
Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn;
    then I called out to God for help:
“Please, God!” I cried out.
    “Save my life!”
God is gracious—it is he who makes things right,
    our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
    when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.

Source: Psalm 116:1-2 MSG – I love GOD because he listened to me, – Bible Gateway

“If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it.” ~King David

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I get scared. I am upset. I get beside myself and loose it.

It happens. It is not pleasant.

I feel like I won’t make it. What has happened to me?

But wait. Hold it a minute.

God is on my side. God’s love takes hold of me. That is all I need.

In times of trouble, Jesus shows up and cheers me up. He has been through it all and shows me the way to victory. The peace of Jesus overwhelms me.

Now that is some good news.

Who stood up for me against the wicked?
    Who took my side against evil workers?
If God hadn’t been there for me,
    I never would have made it.
The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,”
    your love, God, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
    you calmed me down and cheered me up.

Source: Psalm 94:18-19 MSG – Who stood up for me against the wicked? – Bible Gateway

More than extravagant: A Poem

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I know that our heavenly Father
can be extravagant.
I know that He can be
VERY extravagant.
But more than extravagant? Yes, He is.
That is His nature. Who He is at His core.

I want to know more about that.
I want to experience that in our relationship.
I want to see what that looks like.
I want to taste that.
Smell that.
Bask in that.
Experience that over and over.

Our heavenly Father IS.

Is MORE.

Is more than EXTRAVAGANT!!

“Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and the Messiah’s love for us?” ~Apostle Paul

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Love of Jesus

Love of Jesus

God’s love for us is astounding. That is all there is to it.

He sent his son Jesus to redeem us and redeem us he did. I didn’t deserve it but he loves me none the less. Nothing can stop his love. His love is 24/7 and forever. It will never stop.

Jesus sits next to God in the place of power and authority sticking up for me. And he is sticking up for you as well.

God’s love for us is over the top.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and the Messiah’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: 

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.

We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Source: Romans 8:32 MSG – So, what do you think? With God on our – Bible Gateway

"The prophet does not replace my hearing from God. My hearing from God does not replace the prophet." ~~Bill Johnson

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Someone speaks a word into my heart from God. That is an amazing thing.

It doesn’t replace what God says to me directly.

They are two different experiences though.

“The prophet does not replace my hearing from God. My hearing from God does not replace the prophet.” ~~Bill Johnson

“Yes, I am God. I’ve always been God and I always will be God.”

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God is God

God is God

God is God. There is no other. 

Jesus is the way to God. There is no other way.

Anyone who claims otherwise is lying.

It has always been this way and it always will be.

“In the beginning, God …”

Get the blind and deaf out here and ready—
    the blind (though there’s nothing wrong with their eyes)
    and the deaf (though there’s nothing wrong with their ears).
Then get the other nations out here and ready.
    Let’s see what they have to say about this,
    how they account for what’s happened.
Let them present their expert witnesses
    and make their case;
    let them try to convince us what they say is true.
“But you are my witnesses.” God’s Decree.
    “You’re my handpicked servant
So that you’ll come to know and trust me,
    understand both that I am and who I am.
Previous to me there was no such thing as a god,
    nor will there be after me.
I, yes I, am God.
    I’m the only Savior there is.
I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed
    long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene.
And you know it, you’re my witnesses,
    you’re the evidence.” God’s Decree.
“Yes, I am God.
    I’ve always been God
    and I always will be God.
No one can take anything from me.
    I make; who can unmake it?”

Source: Isaiah 43:11-12 MSG – Get the blind and deaf out here and – Bible Gateway

Is God our friend?

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Mature

Mature

We start out as slaves. Our path to maturity starts with servitude and obedience. I saw this in my relationship with my father. I had to learn obedience first. When I matured, we became the closest of friends. He treated me that way and I responded. That was so cool.


The same is true with our heavenly Father. We are his friends. He tells us His most innermost feelings and secrets. God wants us to have a heart after Him and wants us to live in intimacy with Him. He wants this far and away above obedience.

God wants us to mature. He wants us to move beyond servitude. He wants us to be His friend. He wants us to co-reign with the Messiah Jesus.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power." ~Abraham Lincoln

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Humility isn’t easy. Jesus challenges us to love and think of others first.

Jesus knows it is about who we are inside that counts. That inside character is what will come out in the long run.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. 

~Abraham Lincoln

 

“When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of God.” ~King David

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There are times I am in the dumps. It happens. It isn’t always pretty but it is true.

God gives me a way out. Jesus challenges me to go through everything God has done. In fact, I should rehearse your promises and the love you show to me.

God’s way isn’t my way. God loves me in ways I can’t imagine.

God has made promises. God will not break them.

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
    everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
    including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,
    to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
    crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
    sing songs all through the night!
    My life is God’s prayer.

Source: Psalm 42:8 MSG – When my soul is in the dumps, I – Bible Gateway

“I love God far more than the most affectionate lover among men loves his earthly attachment.” ~Madame Guyon

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Do I have a burning passion for Jesus?

Is He my all in All?

Do I love Him more than life?

I slept not all night, because Thy love, O my God, flowed in me like delicious oil, and burned as a fire . . . I love God far more than the most affectionate lover among men loves his earthly attachment.”

—–Madame Guyon, a French mystic (1648-1717)

“Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” ~King Solomon

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God's new plan

God’s new plan

God has a goal in mind for me.

Am I ready?

Have I prepared?

Will I be up to the task?

Jesus challenges me to get ready and to be up to the task. I am God’s plan A. There is no plan B.

Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
    hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 21 MSG – God Examines Our Motives – Good – Bible Gateway

“Day and night I’ll stick with God; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.” ~King David

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God's Word

God’s Word

God’s good word to us is constant. There are no ups and downs with his love. The message of Jesus is clear and on target.

If I hear conflicting messages, it isn’t God. On that I can be sure.

I will stick with God’s good word. I can’t let go. I won’t let go.

The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
    is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
    I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.

Source: Psalm 16:8 MSG – The wise counsel GOD gives when I’m – Bible Gateway

“Whoever has Jesus, has life” ~Apostle John

New Life

New Life

I have Jesus in my life. I have life.

This is the essence of the “big thing”.

God wants me to live forever with him. To make that happen God sent his son Jesus to live, die and be raised to eternal life for me.

I have life!

This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has Jesus, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.

Source: 1 John 5:12 MSG – This is the testimony in essence: God – Bible Gateway

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” ~~Nelson Mandela

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Jesus challenges us to have no other in charge of our life than himself.

Jesus is in control of God’s world.

Jesus challenges us to choose whom we serve.

When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.

~~Nelson Mandela

“I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out.” ~Apostle Paul

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Eternal Life

Eternal Life

I know the end of the story. I know that Jesus is the anointed one of God and is in charge. Victory is his and will be mine as well.

Life vs. Death?

It doesn’t matter. It is not even the question.

It is life vs. more life!

So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, the Messiah is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!

And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus the Messiah, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make the Messiah more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m the Messiah’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.

Source: Philippians 1:21 MSG – So how am I to respond? I’ve decided – Bible Gateway

“If you want to claim credit, claim it for God.” ~Apostle Paul

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This is subtle but significant.

Who gets the credit? Who made it happen?

There is only one answer. God gets the credit. I should always claim it for God.

God made it happen. That is clear but I need to be clear. God is God. God is in control.

 

God did it!

 

We’re not barging in on the rightful work of others, interfering with their ministries, demanding a place in the sun with them. What we’re hoping for is that as your lives grow in faith, you’ll play a part within our expanding work. And we’ll all still be within the limits God sets as we proclaim the Message in countries beyond Corinth. But we have no intention of moving in on what others have done and taking credit for it. “If you want to claim credit, claim it for God.” What you say about yourself means nothing in God’s work. It’s what God says about you that makes the difference.

Source: 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 MSG – We’re not barging in on the rightful – Bible Gateway

“Let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without.” ~Apostle Paul

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Distraction

Distraction

I get distracted. It seems to happen way too easily. It must be the “shiny new object” syndrome.

Jesus challenges me to focus on what God wants. God’s goal for me is to love. That is a “right now” kind of thing.

Love is the true worship of God.

I have to break with the distractions. I must live for Jesus today.

With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.

Source: 2 Corinthians 7:1 MSG – With promises like this to pull us on, – Bible Gateway

“It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other.” ~Apostle Paul

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Accountable

Accountable

Who do I answer to? Is it the minister, my wife, my boss or my children?

It is a simple answer. I will be held accountable to my Master Jesus. That is it. I am not accountable to others. I am accountable to Jesus.

And, his standard is all about love.

Will he find me faithful?

What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

Source: Romans 14:8 MSG – What’s important in all this is that – Bible Gateway

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking.” ~Jesus

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Jesus challenges us

Jesus challenges us

Uh oh!

Dear Jesus, help me not to be lukewarm. Help me to be on fire for you.

I will be held to account for what I do knowing that Jesus is in control.

This isn’t some game. Jesus challenges me to be serious, to get on fire, to be passionate.

God knows me inside and out.

Dear Jesus, help me not to be lukewarm!

Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says:

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

“Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see,really see.

“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

“Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!

“Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”

Source: Revelation 3 MSG – To Sardis – Write this to Sardis, to – Bible Gateway

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” ~God

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Past

How often do I dwell in the past? Remember the time …. Ah, the good old days!!

God is doing a new thing. He has a new plan. It is springing up like a fountain just turned on.

Where nothing existed in us, God is creating a new being in Jesus the Messiah. Where no love existed, God’s generosity creates life. Where no understanding was available, God’s wisdom pours forth.

May I forget the past. May I dwell in the way of Jesus today.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Isaiah 43:18-21 TNIV Bible

“So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk.” ~Jesus

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Bully

The religious bullies want to intimidate us into silence. Nothing would please them more.

Jesus challenges us to speak up about who is in charge and what our mission is as a result of that.

God will take care of us. We don’t need to worry. I am very valuable to God. Jesus wants me to succeed.

Luke 12:6-7 The Message (MSG)

I’m speaking to you as dear friends. Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies. True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

Source: Luke 12:6-7 MSG – “What’s the price of two or three – Bible Gateway

 

"You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there." ~Yogi Berra

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Freedom

Freedom

Israel wandered around in the desert, not entering the promised land, for 40 years.

Is it they didn’t know where they were going?

Israel had spent 400 years as slaves. They didn’t know what it was like to be free.

If freedom is where we are headed, do we know that Jesus is the way to get there?

You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.

~Yogi Berra

“God delights in his people!” ~King David

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Good news of God

Good news of God

We have amazing news. This is not trivial. This is beyond good. This is great.

God is in a good mood. God delights in us.

God is not embarrassed by who we are. God doesn’t want to hide when he sees us coming.

God wants to dress us up and parade us around.

God delights in us.

Psalm 149:1-4 The Message (MSG)

Hallelujah!
Sing to God a brand-new song,
    praise him in the company of all who love him.
Let all Israel celebrate their Sovereign Creator,
    Zion’s children exult in their King.
Let them praise his name in dance;
    strike up the band and make great music!
And why? Because God delights in his people,
    festoons plain folk with salvation garlands!

Source: Psalm 149:4 MSG – Hallelujah! Sing to GOD a brand-new – Bible Gateway

No problem ahead of you is more powerful than the God behind you.

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No problem ahead of you is more powerful than the God behind you. God is great. God is mighty. God created everything with a word. God is committed to us.

Jesus, the Messiah, has given us the Holy Spirit. This is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. This is the same Spirit that carried Jesus into heaven. God is God.

Be grateful so you won’t walk around being hateful.

Word Up!

“For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king. God runs this place and he’ll keep us safe.” ~Isaiah

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The peace of Jesus

The peace of Jesus

What happens when God is charge?

We have peace and safety. God keeps us safe. We have nothing to fear.

How often does God remind us to fear not? How do we get to the place of no fear?

I must let God make all the decisions. God has put Jesus in charge. He is my Master.

Isaiah 33:20-22 The Message (MSG)

Just take a look at Zion, will you?
    Centering our worship in festival feasts!
Feast your eyes on Jerusalem,
    a quiet and permanent place to live.
No more pulling up stakes and moving on,
    no more patched-together lean-tos.
Instead, God! God majestic, God himself the place
    in a country of broad rivers and streams,
But rivers blocked to invading ships,
    off-limits to predatory pirates.
For God makes all the decisions here. God is our king.
    God runs this place and he’ll keep us safe.

Source: Isaiah 33:22 MSG – Just take a look at Zion, will you? – Bible Gateway

“I’m sticking with God” ~Jeremiah

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Love Tag CloudI am sticking with God!!

I could trust myself, my friends, my family. Nothing wrong with that. That is what we should do.

Beyond that though, I am sticking with God. That is the way of His world. And so, I say it over and over. Great is His faithfulness.

How wonderful is God’s love. He shows it over and over. He has promised to bring an answer. To show me the way. God sent Jesus. Jesus is the way to God. There is no other.

God’s love is new every morning.

But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. —Lamentations 3

"The opportunity is to actually create something that people choose to talk about, regardless of what the competition is doing." ~Seth Godin

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It is always interesting that we focus on others so much. What are they doing?

It doesn’t have to be that way. I can listen to God and do what he wants me to.

Now that might get people talking!

The opportunity is to actually create something that people choose to talk about, regardless of what the competition is doing.

~Seth Godin

“How can a Person named "The Word of God" not want to talk to people?” ~Kris Vallotton

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God's Word

God’s Word

God wants to speak to us more than we want to listen. He wants to talk with us. Jesus is the Word of God. 

This is just the nature of God. Knowing this about Him creates an expectation in our hearts to hear Him at any moment.

Our job is to listen. If we are constantly talking, we can’t hear Him.

And that would be a tragedy.

After all, how can a Person named “The Word of God” not want to talk to people?

–Kris Vallotton, “Developing a Supernatural Lifestyle

“Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.” ~God

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God is God

God is God

God is God. God made everything, the whole universe. The universe of universes. God is a mighty God.

God cares deeply for us. When we call him, he listens and answers us. We are his children and he is in a good mood. He wants us to know amazing things.

Yes, God is God, great and good. All the time.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 The Message (MSG)

This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’

Source: Jeremiah 33:2-3 MSG – “This is GOD’s Message, the God who – Bible Gateway

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but.” ~James

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Am I fooling myself? Possibly. Probably. This is a tough question.

I have heard a lot. God’s word has been with me since I was very young. I have heard it most every day.

Listening without acting on what I have heard is useless. I must act on what I hear.

Jesus challenges me. I must do what God wants me to today.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

Source: James 1:22 MSG – Don’t fool yourself into thinking – Bible Gateway

“There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.” ~~Robert Milikan, Nobel Prize in physics, 1923

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Ask God

Ask God

We say lots of things.

Many times we don’t know what we are talking about even if it sounds good.

When it comes to what is going to happen in the future, it is best to leave that up to God. Jesus challenges us to focus today on what God wants. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

God knows. We don’t.

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.

~~Robert Milikan, Nobel Prize in physics, 1923

“I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.” ~Apostle Paul

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Trust

Trust

God has a goal for me. It is God’s plan not mine. He has set me apart to make sure it gets done.

It is not always easy. Doing what God wants can (may) get us in trouble. God is clear about what we should do.

Like Paul, can I say I have no regrets? I know some days I live in the land of regrets. It is the story I tell myself about why things are so bad. If only I had done something different. What I do doesn’t change God’s goal for me.

I can trust.

I can be sure of what I am doing.

God will take care of the details.

God will do it right up to the end.

This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.

Source: 2 Timothy 1:11-12 (The Message Bible)

What happens when we live God’s way and not ours?

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Courage

Courage

How often do we try to force our way in the processes that the world normally uses. Sheer determination. We’ll get it done.

Persistence is valued but where does it really get us? Planning can be useless if leads to a lack of supernatural courageousness.

God’s plans ROCK. That is all that matters.

What happens when we live God’s way? We stick with Jesus, not our own plans. We develop an incredible sense of compassion in our heart. We are convinced there is a basic holiness that is permeating everything and everyone.

We don’t judge. We love no matter what.

In Jesus, we can be involved in loyal commitments. We are able, in Jesus the Messiah, to marshal and direct God’s energy.

"This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy." ~~Jesus

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Jesus challenges us

Jesus challenges us

Jesus is clear and, for lack of a better word, radical. We are in a war. We must take sides.

I am on Jesus side. I don’t want to be His enemy.

If I am not on Jesus side, I am his enemy.

Clarity from Jesus the Messiah.

No neutral ground. Period. End of story.

This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 12:30 The Message)

What is happening with my friends who follow Jesus?

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I think of certain friends very often. Every time I think of them, I am so thankful to God for that they live freely in Jesus. What a blessing that is.

The chains that bound them are off. Amazing.

To see their open access to God is inspiring. What Jesus has given them freely blesses me just thinking of it. I will be glad with what is happening. It is good stuff for sure. I am not one to judge. I am one who has received great gifts. I am one who owes a lot. I can only answer for myself. That is what love means. I am called to love.

There is clearly no end to what is happening to my friends. It is hard to express in words. It is hard to know what it is all about some days. If anyone needs evidence of how good God is, you just have to know them. It is all the verification that is needed.

They are a blessing. That is that and that is all there is to it.

May I continue to blessed knowing such amazing people.

John 15:14-15 The Message (MSG)

I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.

I must move with Jesus. He ROCKS and is my rock. Are you with me?

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Jesus is my rock

I want more supernatural courage. That kind of faith is growing and I thirst for it. Do you?

I want more of His courage. That kind of commitment is moving in me. Is it in you?

Jesus can do it. Jesus will do it. He is LOVE and He is faithful.

I must move with Jesus. He ROCKS and is my rock.

I know you join with me. I know you have His courage. I know you believe.

I know.

Thanks for standing with me. I stand with you.

The problem with putting it all on the line for Jesus is …..

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The problem with putting it all on the line for Jesus…

is that it might not work out.

The problem with not putting it all on the line is that it will never (ever) change things for the better.

Not much of a choice, I think.

No risk, no change.

No change, no reward.

Jesus expects us to step out in faith. Jesus expects us to have courage.

May we put it all on the line for Jesus.

"When you enter a town, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’" ~Jesus

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Kingdom of God

Kingdom of God

Jesus doesn’t make it complicated for us. He wants us to replicate what He is doing.

Jesus sends us out. We do the same things He is doing.

What is the the message to share? God’s government and complete rule is here.

Our prayer? Our Father’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

It’s all about God. He is in charge. Completely.

God is God, good and great!!

When you enter a town and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’~~Jesus (Luke 10:8-9)

I am eager: A Poem

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So I have to suffer a little.
Suffering comes and goes.
Suffering is a part of life.

I have lots of concerns
and yet do I hold on to them?
Way beyond their usefulness?
Does it stay with me?
Do I ask for more?

It is no big deal.
Some days are hard.
Some days are tough.
Some days I worry …
worry way to much.

Some days I don’t live
for the love of the moment.
Some days I miss the moment.
Some days aren’t what I want them to be.

But there is no comparison
between today’s challenges
and the good times that are coming.

Our Lord always look after us.
He gives me my daily bread.
He loves me each and every moment.
His love extends far beyond where I can see.

He is here.
He cares.
In fact, I should be anxious
for what is coming next.
I can hardly wait.

I am eager for what
is going to be revealed
in us who are His children.

He is revealing it.
What is He revealing?
Jesus is love.
That is who He is.
That is what He wants
me to experience now.

“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God.” ~Apostle John

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Continue to love

Interesting that John challenges us to continue to love.

Not start but continue.

Real love that comes from our Father requires a lot of “continuing”. It is easy to start but that is not the point.

The point is to continue.

Our relationship with God teaches how to continue to love each other. God is love. That is what it is all about; love.

And it always starts with Jesus. He leads the way.

May my love continue on as His love for me continues.

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! 1 John 4:7-12

"Son, I forgive your missing God’s goal for your life." ~~Jesus to the paraplegic he was about to heal

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Bold Faith

Bold Faith

Jesus is impressed by bold belief. Boldness, while it may seem outrageous to us, helps us stand out to Jesus.

Jesus is bold Himself. Rather than say “Be healed”, he says I forgive you.

That didn’t go over too well with the religious types of the day. Too bad, so sad.

Jesus said it and it was true. And with that, the man was healed.

Will I be bold? If so, that impresses Jesus.

And that is a very good thing.

After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said,  “Son, I forgive your missing God’s goal for your life (sins).” (Mark 2:1-5 The Message)

“Be cheerful, no matter what.” ~Apostle Paul

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I have been focusing more and more on simplicity. I have been trying to reduce many complex issues down to no more than three ideas. Simple, however, does not mean easy or easy to do. I am discovering in fact, many times even three things can be tough to execute.

So Paul had three things he suggested to do. Simple? Yes, but not easy. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -18 he suggested them. This is the version from The Message translation.

  1. Be cheerful no matter what
  2. pray all the time
  3. thank God no matter what happens

 

This is the way God wants you who belong to the Messiah Jesus to live.

Starting in reverse makes a difference I have discovered. So how does God want me to live? To thank God no matter what happens.

Really? No matter what happens; thank God. Well, if I am doing that (not easy), I will be praying all the time. Non stop because in the course of the day a lot happens and thanking God for all that happens will have me praying tons.

So if I thank God no matter what happens which has me praying all the time, I will be cheerful no matter what.

When I do it, wow it is so very powerful. When I don’t I have come to discover I am not the same person.

So … the challenge is focus more and more.

“I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.” ~King David

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A man after God's heart

A man after God’s heart

Now here is a good word.

What should I do? I should seek Jesus with my whole heart.

David knew this at his core. He was a man after God’s own heart. He knew about the connection emotionally.

Interesting thing it is about the heart. My connection to God is not primarily about thinking. I am a thinker so this is a challenge for me. God is doing great things.

May I long for a connection with God that brings me supernatural courage.

May my emotional connection to Him bring obedience.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.

~~King David — Psalm 119:10

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~~ Mother Teresa

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Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

I have a choice. We live in a culture where we are all critics. It is an easy trap to fall into to judge people. My choice is to judge or to love. Jesus challenges me to love. God’s goal for me is to love. It all comes down to that.

We don’t like to use the word “judge” but that is what it is all about. Jesus is clear that we shouldn’t live that way.

The choice to make is to love. I must love and not judge. I have a lot to learn here.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

~~ Mother Teresa

“You’re more than happy when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.” ~~Jesus

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Jesus knows that following Him may not be a “bed of roses”.

Jesus tells us about it in advance.

We may get persecuted. We may even be martyred. It happens every day. Will you “sign up” to follow Jesus if you know that tomorrow someone may kill you for believing Him?

Of course, living in America makes if feel like being a martyr isn’t an issue; that it can’t happen to us. Because of that we are lulled into thinking it doesn’t happen to anyone any longer.

It’s not just about being a martyr though. 100 million Christians around the globe are currently suffering. They are real, and they are our brothers and sisters in the Messiah.

As followers of the Messiah, we are called to take a stand for our persecuted brothers and sisters.  Hebrews 13:3 says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Learn more at Open Doors on how you can help persecuted Christians.

Now here is the rub. Jesus also knows the benefit of being persecuted. Persecution drives (the deeply committed) deeper into His Father’s world.

You’re blessed (more than happy) when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

~Jesus (Matthew 5:10 The Message)

“Be God’s fool — that’s the path to true wisdom.” ~Apostle Paul

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Social Media

Social Media

I really enjoy my “news reader” on the internet. I keep up with 100′s of stuff (feeds) a day. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, LinkedIn, email, etc.

I am hyper-connected. Others follow the news on TV or radio all the time. We all have our versions of how we keep up.

We can be up to date in real time. “Breaking news”!!

We can know so much. If we think that makes us wise, we are in for a rude awakening. Such thinking is actually foolish. God’s ways are different.

How much time do we spend connected to Him and what He is thinking?

Really, compared to our connections to this world, how much time do we spend connected to His world?

Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture, He exposes the chicanery of the chic.  The Master sees through the smoke screens of the know-it-alls.

Source: 1 Corinthians 3:18-20

May I connect with God and know what He is thinking.

"You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works." ~~Jesus

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Jesus is King

Jesus is King

God has a kingdom where he rules. It doesn’t work like any government we know in this world.

Jesus is in complete control. Jesus is the eternal King. Jesus is light. Jesus is love.

God cares about us so much that He has given us insight into how His government works. Our mission is to bring to bring to earth His kingdom.

May I have insight into how God’s kingdom works.

You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. 

~~Jesus (Luke 8:10)

“He could show up any minute!” ~~Apostle Paul

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Jesus Messiah

Jesus Messiah

Paul lived as if Jesus could show up any minute. He believed it in his core. His passion, every minute, was about Jesus.

Paul challenges us to live the same way. Do I believe Jesus, the Messiah, could show up any minute now? Will it make a difference in what I do today?

God is God. God knows the time when that will happen. We do not. In the meantime, I must love God today. I must love everyone else I encounter today.

May I have the passion for my Jesus that I live like today is the day He will physically come back to reign on earth.

He could show up any minute!

~Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:5 The Message)

“Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” ~~Apostle John

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Love of Jesus

Love of Jesus

The Apostle John is consumed with the purity of Jesus life. It came down to one thing in John’s mind.

It is all about love. Jesus is all about love. That is the essence of the commandments. That is how Jesus lived.

Do I live like Jesus? Do I love like Jesus?

May I live like Jesus. May I mature my love.

Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” ~~Apostle John  (1 John 2:6 The Message)

“Because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world more than those who know no other.” ~~C. S. Lewis

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C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

Jesus challenges us to love everyone, all the time.

Jesus challenges us to love God, with a passion that can’t be replicated.

Jesus challenges us to love God more than the world or our family.

Jesus is clear about all of this.

Am I clear? Do I get it? Is that the path I am on today?

Because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world more than those who know no other.” ~~C. S. Lewis

"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant." ~~Jesus

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Get on your knees and pray

Get on your knees and pray

Jesus challenges me to change my mind about how to pray. We are steeped in the religious way to do it. That is not the God way.

Here’s what He wants me to do:

  • Find a quiet, secluded place so I won’t be tempted to role-play before God.
  • Just be there as simply and honestly as I can manage.
  • The focus will shift from myself to God, and I will begin to sense his grace.

May I accept the Jesus prayer challenge.

The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6 The Message) 

What goal does God have in mind for us?

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Goals

Goals

God is getting us into shape for the goal He has for us. I need to desire reaching that goal like nothing else. I need to be obsessed with what God wants me to do. I cannot waiver. I have to be focused.

I need the discipline to stay the course. I know He has a goal for me. I know it is a grand and glorious plan.

That goal is simple to understand but not easy to do.

May I be ready.

“But you’ve seen and heard God’s wisdom because God, by his Spirit, has brought it all out into the open before you.” ~Apostle Paul

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God's Wisdom

God’s Wisdom

We have God’s wisdom in our life. The amazing Spirit of God leads us.

That is amazing. While we don’t always understand everything, we have a leg up on the average Joe in gaining insight into how God works. It isn’t because of anything we have done but it is a gift from God. It is for our benefit and for the benefit of God’s people.

It is interesting that the world we live in doesn’t see this.

But you’ve seen and heard God’s wisdom because God, by his Spirit, has brought it all out into the open before you.” ~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message)

“We don’t expect eloquence from fools, nor do we expect lies from our leaders.” ~King Solomon

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Truth - Can you handle it?

Truth – Can you handle it?

It is sad that we have probably come to expect lies from our leaders. It clearly shouldn’t be that way but it seems to happen time and time again now. While it is a political problem, it is also a religious, business and community problem.

God is the truth. God sent his son Jesus to us to represent his truth. God’s goal for us is to be truthful.

We need a moral revolution.

We need Jesus.

We don’t expect eloquence from fools, nor do we expect lies from our leaders. ~King Solomon Proverbs 17:7

"What you’re called does not matter and where you go to worship does not matter." ~~Jesus

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Religious Fraud

Religious Fraud

It is not about what religious group you are born into. It doesn’t matter what church you go to.

Jesus is challenging us. He is clear. There are a lot of things that don’t matter. At least, they don’t matter to him. And what matters to Jesus should matter to me. That should be my focus.

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Our worship must engage our spirit in the pursuit of truth.That’s the kind of people that Jesus is out looking for. Those who are simply and honestly themselves before God in their worship. 
Jesus challenges us to know that God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. It is not what religious group you were born into. It is not what church you go to.

But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.” ~~Jesus (John 4:23 The Message)

“We keep getting reports on your steady faith in the Messiah Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians.” ~Apostle Paul

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What is worth reporting on, in Paul’s opinion? It is all about the love we show to others. That is it. There is nothing else.

It isn’t the new church building. It is not how moving the Worship Team sang the new song. It isn’t new car we just bought. It isn’t the college our oldest just go into.

There are only two ways to get God’s attention. Love Him and love everyone we know and meet.

That is how our faith in Jesus is demonstrated. It is only about love. That is all that counts.

We keep getting reports on your steady faith in the Messiah Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians.

~Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:4 The Message)

“I can’t believe your fickleness.” ~Apostle Paul

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We don’t like to think about it but there are a number of messages delivered by men of God that aren’t good news. There are many that are at odds with the gift of grace that the Messiah Jesus has bestowed on us.

It happens easily.

It only shows our fickleness when we believe them.

We need to know what the message of good news is. We need to stick with it. We must reject anything else.

May we stand firm today.

I can’t believe your fickleness—how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of the Messiah by embracing a variant message!”

~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:6 The Message)