1 Corinthians 1:4-6 MSG - Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus.
In life we can grow weary when things don’t change. It is easy to feel hopeless when we seem to deal with the same thing over and over again. It is as if no matter how hard we try to do things differently, we end up exactly where we started.
The truth is if we try to handle things all on our own, we will exhaust our resources. Thankfully, God knows we need Him. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to earth for us so we could know Him, receive His salvation and be forever reconciled to Him.
Now we can enter the ‘great exchange’ and exchange our old patterns in life for new ones. We can give God our imperfections, flaws and failures and receive His righteousness, perfection and success. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome every thing that hinders us.
There is nothing too big for God, so we can believe for a change: a change in us, in our attitudes, in our circumstances, in our relationships and in our current life course. Our God is infinite, limitless, and able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can hope, ask or think.
He orchestrated this: the Anointed One, who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God.- 2 Corinthians :21 (The Voice)
The God of the Universe loved us so much that He sent His only begotten son into the world to rescue us. God did not send an angel nor any heavenly being, not a celestial ladder nor a whirlwind to rescue us. With the entire universe at His disposal, God sent the darling of Heaven, Jesus, as a human being to rescue you and me so we might know Him.
Through the person of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross at Calvary, we have life and life more abundantly, both now and forever. This finished work saves us in the here and now, and for eternity, absolutely forever.
Jesus is our help for every need in our lives. When we come to our Father God in prayer we have the most amazing mediator, intercessor, advocate and guide in Jesus. He prays for us, fights for us, provides for us and leads us into our purpose, future and destiny.
Jesus is our personal peace, our personal joy, our personal defender, our personal protector and our personal provider. He has been made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
When God gave us His only Son, He provided us the intimate human relationship we needed to be whole and reconnected to Him once again. He provided the love of God in the flesh for us, so would never be alone or hopeless again. Our ultimate relational human needs are now met fully and perfectly in the person of Jesus Christ, who is both man and God.
John 3:16 (The Voice)
For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.
We can go through life and be bogged down by life’s hardships and miseries. We can wonder why the world is against us. The truth is, if we really knew who was for us, we would never have to worry again.
The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, infinite King of the Universe is for us. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son to us so that we may have everlasting, eternal, endless, abundant life that starts now.
As we receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross, we reign in life. This does not mean we will not have troubles or difficult seasons but it does mean that God will work out everything in our life together for good.
As we follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd, He will lead us to green pastures, still waters; He will restore our soul. When times are tough, He is right there comforting us and leading us past our enemies to a table prepared before us where our cup runs over. We will find that goodness and grace pursue us as we dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
In life we can believe that we are here to make it through. We try to be safe, be happy, and have a nice life but that is not why we are here on the planet. We are here for a unique purpose and destiny.
God made us in His image for friendship, healthy relationship with others and a purpose to steward. We are all unique and different, not one person on the planet with the same fingerprints, the same exact unique calling. As we grow to know our designer, we will begin to discern what we are designed for. As we draw close to our maker we will know that for which we are made.
God loves us so much that He sent love incarnate to earth for us. Jesus did not preserve His life but gave it up so that all who receive Him may have His endless, eternal abundant life.
Now we can step into the adventurous life of following Christ. This is not a safe, boring life, but an exciting adventurous one of overcoming obstacles and making the world a better place. As we come together for the cause of Christ we will see the Kingdom of Heaven come to Earth, we will see the goodness of God poured out on people and we will leave a legacy on the planet.
We can long in life to have more than we do at the present. We can want more status, recognition, fame and money. If we are not careful we can compromise what we believe for short-lived feelings that don’t produce long-term fulfillment.
We are magnificently made by the King of the Universe. He created us unique and special, and placed us in our time, location and circumstances. We were made to shine because everything He makes is beautiful. We just need to see who we really are and that what we have is enough. God will bring more of whatever we need in the right time.
God sees us an overcomer, someone who has everything needed to succeed. Even when we can’t see it, He does; and He never gives up on us. We can come boldly to His throne room of grace in time of need. We can seek His love and affection which fills every void and empty space.
The more time we spend in prayer with God, fellowshipping with Him and receiving His love and righteousness, the less we feel discontented. We will actually begin to be aware of how much we do have and how great we really are. As we look to Jesus, we will begin to relax into who we were made to be and step into our destiny: the “exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think.”
Ephesians 3:20 - Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us...
In life we can find ourselves fighting for self. We throw tantrums, intimidate others, control people and do everything in power to try to get our way. We can do this with our family, friends and co-workers, even with people we do not know who we disagree with by condemning their behavior. The reality is the more we fight for self, the more our lives became small, limited and lifeless.
The way to expansive life is the way of surrender. God did not create us to be small and petty. He made us to flourish and thrive, overcome and expand. As we release control, we find freedom, peace, joy, contentment and fulfillment that begins on the inside and finds its way to the outside.
God so loved the world when He surrendered His son Jesus by sending Him to earth, not to condemn us but to save us. Jesus came to earth and embraced us, healed us and set us free. He died on the cross at Calvary so we could be the righteousness of God in Christ by faith.
Now through Jesus and His finished work on the cross, we can rest in the unforced rhythms of grace. We can release our works, our striving, our worry, our need for control and domination, and trust in the infinite God of the Universe who is with us, for us and on our side. He will never leave us nor forsake us and nothing can separate us from His love.
The beautiful part of surrender is that when we release self, we find ourselves. We find ourselves at rest in the arms of the one who loves us radically, relentlessly, passionately and unconditionally. We emerge confident from our prayer times with His light and easy yoke, knowing who we truly are, a beloved child of God. We will find in time that we desire less and less for the world to serve us, and more and more we will desire to serve others, so that they too might experience this great love of God.
Matthew 7:13-14 - (The Voice) - “There are two paths before you; you may take only one path. One doorway is narrow and one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad; the wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it; but the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it.”
When we find that we have no excitement in life but we are doing a million things, it might be because we have exchanged our passion for duty. Duty can carry us through to do the things that we are supposed to do, but passion takes us into the unknown where angels fear to tread.
We bear the image of the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite, King of the universe, and are made for an exciting adventure of overcoming adversity, helping others and leaving a legacy on the planet.
When we became separated from God we may have believed that we were an accident or useless here on earth, but nothing is farther than the truth. God made us and loved us so much that He sent Jesus Christ to rescue, redeem and die for us, so we could be reunited and have endless abundant life.
As we meditate on our Jesus and His sacrificial love for us, we will see our passion increase. As we study the Word of God to see Jesus revealed in the scriptures, we will fall more in love with the Altogether Lovely One. As we are fueled by passion we will effortlessly step into our adventurous calling, by being led by His beautiful Spirit into our destiny and purpose.
Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago."
In life we experience good times and bad times. Depending upon the season we are in, we can be happy or sad, satisfied or sorrowful. The truth is that if we attach our emotions to our outward circumstances, then our emotional life will be like a rollercoaster. We will be up when things go our way and crash down when things don’t work out like we expect.
When we come into relationship with the God of the universe, through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the Cross we are granted access to His joy. The Bible says that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). This joy is not dependent on outward circumstances, it is a supernatural fruit that is born by God’s own Spirit.
When we spend time with God, in prayer, worship, reading and meditating on the Word of God, the Spirit of God will bear the fruit of joy in our lives. This joy can sustain us through any rough patch or even difficult season of life. This joy is not an emotion but a supernatural fruit of spending time with the Holy Spirit.
Depression, anger, self-condemnation, shame, guilt, anxiety and fear will try to rob us of our joy. Instead of trying to work ourselves out of these emotional states, we can come boldly to the throne room of Grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). We can receive grace and relax into God’s beautiful loving presence and through times of communion with Him, we will bear the fruit of joy.
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
We can become very worried about our future. We can fear succeeding even more than failing because of the responsibility to maintain the success. The truth is, when we allow change to occur on the inside, we can handle anything that happens on the outside.
We were created to flourish. God made us unique in His image to steward His purposes. He also loves us so much that when we lost our way, He set in place a rescue plan. Love incarnate came to earth and moved into the neighborhood. Jesus walked amongst us. He embraced us, healed us, fed us and set us free. He suffered dearly for us at the cross on Calvary, so we could receive His identity as God’s beloved children.
As we abide in Jesus in prayer, meditation on the Word, worship and communion, we can know the peace of God that transcends understanding, experience fullness of joy in His presence, and find inner contentment that does not depend on outside circumstances.
As we grow in the revelation of how loved we are, we will begin to settle into who we are designed to be. We will find as we are promoted into the “abundantly above all we can hope, think or ask” sphere of influence, we will be the same people we always were - ordinary people who just simply rely on the grace of God.
Ephesians 3:20 (Voice) - Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us