Choosing Him

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Today we have a choice. And I hope that we choose adoration over anxiety, worship over worry.

I hope we choose to remember that He is always stronger, always bigger, always the God who overcomes.

This is how His joy becomes our strength, how His grace sustains us. This is where He gives peace. This is where we live by faith and not by emotion or what we can see.

Today, we choose trust. We choose joy. We choose gratitude. We choose truth.

We choose praise.

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Take Courage

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Keep hoping. Keep trusting.

He who has promised is faithful.
His goodness is sure.
Step by step, He gives us exactly what we need.

So we take these words of Jesus and we hold them close- “Do not be afraid; just believe.”

We wait on Him and He gives us the strength and courage we need for this minute, this hour, this day.

Help us to know how near You are, Lord. Help us to understand again how deep and wide and great Your love is for us.

Help us to see, all over again, how Your love never, ever fails.

the One Who Holds Us

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Even when uncertainty runs through our days, we can rest. We still have peace. We still have hope.

Even we don’t know what happens next or the whys of it all, we DO know the One whose heart is always for us…the One who is steadfast. Unchanging. Unshakeable.

His word endures. His purpose endures. His love endures.

And so we rest, secure on this foundation that does not move and in His love for us that does not falter. We have peace in His plans, even when we don’t yet know them, because His compassion for us is unending. His ways are unerring. He sees behind us and He goes before, working all things for our good.

Our hope is in Him, in who He is — our faithful Father, holy and true and powerful.

So lay down your burdens, heavy-hearted ones, and let Him take care of your tomorrow.

He doesn’t let us down. He doesn’t forsake us. He doesn’t fail.

In His Presence

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I’ve been filling out calendar pages and making lists today to prepare for the second half of 2016. I tend to get overwhelmed with so many things to do, buy, plan, and attend. My mind begins to wonder about the what-ifs and unknowns of the coming days.

So it is especially good to know that here, at the close of day, He goes before me and makes my path straight…so I can surrender all these things to His keeping and just BE for a while. I can lean into the heart of the Father and just rest…and all the while, He is bringing the pieces of this life together for my good. My future is in His hands and so I don’t need to worry…my part is to trust in Him while He guides my feet one step at a time.

Yes, it is good to be near Him, my refuge, my portion, and the strength of my heart..for it’s here that I am welcomed and my spirit is restored. It’s here that I can breathe easy, secure in His faithful love.

Whatever your circumstances are tonight, I hope that you can take time to unwind your worries in prayer, letting Him calm your heart like the good Father He is…there is no need for striving in His presence, no need to stay strong…come into His presence (right where you are!) and you will find that there is rest and there is love waiting for you.

 

I Have Decided

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This morning, let’s go ahead and make it clear. Let’s make the choice. We will not give ear to the enemy. We will not allow doubt or fear, accusation or the threat of insufficiency dwell in our minds. We will not allow deception to divide our hearts. We will not passively listen as the enemy tries to divert us from our purpose and God’s promises for us.

We are not helpless, for the Helper has come and lives within us. We are not defeated, because Christ has overcome sin, death, and darkness. We live-move-breathe in FREEDOM because of the cross. We are not barely making it, sure to fail, or only slightly acceptable in the eyes of God. We are REDEEMED. We are wearing HIS righteousness. We are LOVED. Not only can we come boldly into the throne-room of God…He has made His home within us!

We have the strength of God Almighty upholding us today. We aren’t going to be perfect, but HE is and His grace is sufficient in our weakness. We are not defenseless, because He has given us His word and His Spirit. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have the power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

So we know who we are – sons and daughters of God. We know who He is – good, perfect in all His ways, mighty. We know His promises – all things new, all things working together for our good, all things complete in Him. We know what we have been given – His own power, His authority, His presence…

Knowing all of that, it is up to us to make the decision.

We can open our ears to the enemy and let him tell us everything we don’t have, what we are not, and how we don’t have enough to offer….OR we will use the weapons we have been given – faith, truth, the very Words of God – to cut his lies off from our hearts.

Let’s stand up and walk forward today in our rightful inheritance of peace and joy, secure with our Father going before us, knowing that offering ourselves to Him is enough. Let’s put aside the things that trip is up and put our confidence in Him. Let’s love and live to bring Him glory.

Decide here and now with me– we will NOT allow the lies of the deceiver to take up residence in our minds today.

God ALONE reigns in this home, this life, this heart.

the One who sustains

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This is a lesson God has been teaching me for a long time now, one I need to re-learn from time to time: the expectations or approval of people, the labels of ‘success’, the fluctuating waves of my own emotion and opinion…none of these things are where I can find true motivation or real purpose.

Trying to meet the standards of others (for me, that ‘other’ is usually my own self) is draining and leaves me weary. It fills me up with doubt and fear, leaving me vulnerable to defining my value by other people and their lives.

But comparison, inferiority, and insecurity lose their grip on my heart when my sights are set on honoring Him alone. When life becomes about living as the person He created me to be, His words (not mine, not the enemy’s, not anyone else’s) define my worth. His promises inspire and comfort me. His delight in my response to Him becomes more than enough to satisfy my heart.

It is life-infusing and heart-restoring to surrender to Him. He expects no more and no less than my everything…and the pleasure of His Father’s heart when I offer back to Him all He has given to me is the source of strength and perseverance, confidence and peace.

This is what has the power to sustain my soul: His joy in my obedience, His always-abiding presence. This is the grace that upholds my heart, the truth that brings contentment: I am known, fully, and wholly loved.

 

How We Overcome

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I am so thankful that when it comes to our battles — battles in which we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but with the spiritual enemies at work in this world — we do not stand alone. It isn’t our strength we have to rely upon, but God’s. It isn’t our abilities or the material things that we have that bring our victory — it is the power of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God within us that enables us to stand our ground.

So don’t give an inch. If you are in the middle of a battle, put on the armor God has provided — armor infused with His might — and put your eyes on Him. Open your mouth and do the last thing the enemy might expect in the heat of a hard moment — speak praise.

Because we have already been made more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

Do not give up on what you know God has called you to do. Don’t be intimidated, don’t be silenced, and don’t be afraid. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Keep going, friends. Sometimes the fight is loud and earth-shaking, sometimes the night is long, sometimes it is plain hard to stand firm. But with His love around us, with His Spirit empowering us…we can be confident that He is our defender and victory. He is our help and our shield.

When the battle is fierce, Lord, help our faith to grow fervent.

When we are fighting the darkness, let us see by the light of Your face.

“Through You we push back our enemies; through Your name we trample our foes. I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but You give us victory over our enemies, You put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise Your name forever.”-Psalm 44:5-8