Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's OK To Say It!

"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." (1 Corinthians 4:2)

If you had an open yard, and you put up a fence, would you feel guilty?

If your hairstylist put foil on the parts of your hair you don't want colored, would you feel the need to make excuses for those unchanged hairs?

Of course you wouldn't!

Why not? Fences and hair foil are about protection, that's why not.

Why the guilt, then, when you use one of God's greatest protection tools- the word "no"?

It's not a dirty word, it's actually a gift.

When you say no, you are freeing yourself up for God's agenda instead of your own or someone else's.

 Someone makes a request of your time (Would you like to volunteer for the Monster Ministry project?) or your money (Will you support the American Hangnail Society today?) or whatever. To avoid appearing selfish or stingy, you say yes when you should say no.

What's wrong with that?

You create stress for yourself, and worst of all, you embezzle time and resources God earmarked for something else.

Everyday, He entrusts you with whatever you have. You are His steward.

Everyday, someone or something will ask you to expend those whatevers.  I encourage you not to be too quick to say yes without considering what Your Father planned for what's being requested.

At times, yes will be the right answer.

When you must say no, guilt is not appropriate.  Like hair foil and fences, saying no protects what should not be touched. It's part of being a faithful steward.

"No"---it's ok to say it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Everything Is Different Now!

"Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Before, you had no hope.

You had no choice but to give in.

You were a slave with a merciless master.

Your future was bleak, and the best you could do was limp along and muddle through.

Then came The Resurrection, and EVERYTHING changed!

Power replaced weakness.

Dreams that had been out of reach became possible.

Hopelessness would have to find a new address because our Savior's resurrection posted an eviction sign!

Good Friday is a reminder of the high price Jesus paid to purchase your freedom. Now, what are you going to do with it?

A taste of the resurrection should make you never want to go back to mediocrity. Because He lives you can do more than face tomorrow, you can soar and roar today! Fear can come along if it wants to, but it can't have the final say anymore.

Victory is your birthright because Jesus got up. Are you taking hold of it?

What better way to thank Him for what He did than to put what He gave you to good use?

Give Him an incredible return on His investment.

Serve wholeheartedly.

 Love sincerely.

Let the dreams He's put in your heart morph into doing.

Worship with abandon. Believe boldly.

All of these will make Him smile.

Happy Jesus, happy you, right?

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bring It!

2 Cor. 8:12 "For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have."

You have something the world needs, but you think it's not good enough.

Do not waste anymore time downplaying your gift, bring it!

Please stop comparing it to what others have. You won't realize how special it is until you use it.

You may think what you have to offer does not amount to much. In the eyes of those who have nothing or less, what you bring is priceless. Besides, a little given over time adds up, and if you can encourage others to do the same, you create an entire field from each person's blade of grass.

There will always be more need than you can possibly meet. You may never get over the longing to bring more than you have in inventory. Keep in mind that God will not fault you for not giving what you don't have. He does have an issue when you do nothing with what He has granted you. Choose to  delight Him by giving what you can.

  I am becoming convinced that a key strategy of the enemy is to cause us to do nothing just because we can't bring what we dream of offering.
Where does that mindset leave the people who would be perfectly happy with what you bring to the table?

Back to that unique gift of yours.

 Don't belittle it.

Do not hide it.

Don't delay in sharing it until you feel it's perfect.

Bring it! Do it today!

Talk About It: What is one small way you can make a difference in your own unique way today?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fall, Don't Jump

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?" Romans 6:1

 Dressed in dazzling costumes, a man and a woman are flying high on a trapeze. They do frightening feats with amazing precision as show lights follow their every move. With craned necks attached to heads angled upwards, the crowds suck in a collective gasp whenever the athletes' hands leave the swinging bars. Everyone understands that gravity never takes a vacation and a tiny slip will send the artists plummeting.

The performers seem fearless. Is it because they know the net below will catch them if they fall? Why don't they just jump to the net since it's there?

They don't jump for the same reason a growing Christian doesn't sin on purpose just because she knows the net of God's grace will catch her.

Jesus came so that you may have abundant life. I am sure that does not involve jumping to the grace net with the excuse that nobody is perfect and God will get over it when we ask for forgiveness. 

What about you? Have you slowly become a jumper? Perhaps a grudge has lingered too long in your heart and has started to sprout roots. Have lies become easier to tell? Maybe you've let your standards slip about gossip or foul language. Have God's commandments become only  suggestions? Have you slowly begun compromising where you once were committed to remain pure? 

If so, your Father says it's time to come back home. It's time to leave the crowded net of jumpers who have quit trying. It is time to allow His Spirit to empower you to once again soar toward Christ-likeness.  

Yes, you will fail sometimes. But let His net of grace catch you because you fell while trying to fly, not because you bypassed the Spirit's gravity (i.e. sin)- defying power and jumped straight to the net. 

Fall, don't jump.

Talk About It: What advantage do you think there is in falling through trying as opposed to being sloppy about your walk with God because His forgiveness is there? Or do you even believe forgiveness is granted if you are not really trying?