Blending In or Called Out?

While there’s a cry in every heart to be uniquely valued–to be loved, there’s a competing photo of men standing near each othercry to blend in and not to draw attention to yourself (unless there’s something about yourself you think will give you attention you really want).  High school & college students are a great example…in any gathering of students, hair, make-up and clothes will share many similarities.  Individuality is within tight boundaries.  Where do you think the desire to blend in & not be noticed comes from?

Does it come from God who created each person in a unique way…with unique responsibilities?

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

Or does it come from the enemy of our souls…the one who hates the handiwork of God?

But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.                         2 Corinthians 11:14

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Let’s go back to Ephesians 2:10 and consider that word ‘masterpiece’ the translators chose.  The Oxford Dictionary gives us a couple insights.  The first is that a masterpiece is something made by an acknowledged master.  Consider the glories of sunrises, sunsets, meadows, oceans and mountains.  The same God who made those made you. The second definition for masterpiece is a  work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship.  Do you think of yourself that way often?

The Church–the Ekklesia –are the called out ones of the world.  We are not meant to blend in!  We are made to be different but we can only find our true identity when we get to know the Master Craftsman.  We can’t know what we are to be like until we know what our Designer is like. The craziness of a society that thinks it can self-select gender is individuality gone far astray.  Our design is only found in the character of the Designer.  Then our uniqueness is a glory to behold–just like a sunset or an ocean!

Blending in is a great danger that lurks in the world we live in.  It is purposeful danger planned by the enemy of our soul.  It is danger designed to keep us from those purposes God created us for.  It is danger that blends in with the world around us and bids us to do the IMG_3689[1]same.

As Christians we’re called to stand out…to not be like the world around us. Just like the Copperhead in the picture, danger is both present and hidden all around us.  What dangers do you welcome into your world?

Satan lays in wait, and we don’t know when he will strike.  We don’t how often God protects us from his poison. This snapshot my son took after God protected him spoke volumes to me.  The Copperhead on the right side of the log could have nailed him…he had just been standing straddle of it moments before this picture.  But God protected him.  This time.  We live in enemy territory.  Learning to watch for him and be alert is our responsibility.  Sometimes we won’t see the enemy even though we think we are being careful…even though we think we know what to look for.  Those times, we must trust in our Deliverer.

But what about the rest of the time?

  • Do your activities honor God?
  • Do your words help others know what God is like?
  • Does your spending point to the things God values?
  • Does your recreation point to the goodness of God or promote the temptations of the world?

Everything we do is a choice. Every choice we make takes us one step closer to who we are becoming.  It is a matter of life and death.

The cost of freedom is responsibility.

Choosing to honor God with every choice is the only wise use of our free will.  The only way to honor Him is to know what pleases Him. Honoring God brings good to us and the world we live in.  When God is in His rightful place in our lives, we find our place in this life. We come to understand His glory and how we are made in that same image of glory.

 

Which cry of the heart will rule your life?

  • The cry to blend in that comes from the enemy who masquerades as good?
  • The cry to be loved that comes from your Creator who made you to stand out?

Dove Notes – Life’s Messy

Welcome to this little dove mini-series!  There are two pieces prior to this, so if you would like to start at the beginning, these links will open in a new page.

Dove Notes – Intro

Dove Note – Do you hear me?

Today, the dove note focuses on ‘Cleaning Up!’ Doves are messy.  Mine live in an outdoor aviary but it still has to be cleaned.  If I was a scientist, I’d find out the chemical composition of dove poo because it has adhesive properties!  Cleaning the perches and the food dishes is a job!

It is an important job  because the health of my doves, myself and my family are at stake.  There are dangerous bacterium carried by birds.  I have to be vigilant in how I clean as well as faithful to clean.  There are great spiritual truths in this dove reality.

TRUTH: LIFE YUCK STICKS TO US & HAS DEADLY PROPERTIES

As Christians, we are in the world even though we are not of the world.  We have been born from above, but we live in a broken, sin-filled world.  Just as Jesus told Peter, we need to let Jesus clean our feet.  It’s not something we can do by trying harder.

Walking in filth gets us dirty.  I don’t clean up my dove cage daily but I do clean up this clay vessel of mine daily–often several times a day.  I simply agree with God that His way is right, and I’ve slipped off the path.  It may be a thought or an action but anything that is not HIS thought or HIS way needs to be released!  God is a righteous God who calls us to be holy as well!  His presence is beautiful and worthy of every effort to honor Him.

Sin is deadly.  Here’s an interesting truth: sin is the only thing we really can give to God that He didn’t give to us.  We are born with a sin nature; we live in a world with sin.  But sin was never God’s desire or gift for us.  Sin damages everyone and everything it touches.  Only God can deal with sin:  He wants us to give it to Him.  It is the work of the enemy; Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil.  When we give Him our sin, we embrace the victory Jesus won on the Cross.   The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin—if we will release it to Him.  Taking our yuck to God in prayer and asking Him to clean us up protects us and those around us.

My dove cage cleans up with some ‘elbow grease’ and soapy water.  But it’s not our effort or  soap and water that takes care of sin for us.  Nothing but the blood of Jesus washes away our sin!  We need the Word, the written and the Living Word, Jesus Christ–and we need each other.

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  I John 1:7

Dove Note – Do you hear me?

Welcome Back!  If you missed the intro to this little series of lessons from my doves, visit here.

The first Dove Note God sent through my doves was this:  “I enjoy conversation!”

TRUTH:  DOVES ARE SOCIAL!

Sometimes I will awaken in the middle of the night and hear my doves chattering to one another.  Their low, trilling voices are quiet and persistent.   In the afternoon when I go out to feed, they tend to be quiet until they hear my voice…and then conversation is on!  They return to quiet as I go into the cage and listen as I chatter to them.  But if I will stand quietly, the conversation resumes. Can you see the parallels in our relationship with God?

TRUTH:  LOVE DEMANDS EXPRESSION!

God chose to create humanity because of His great love.  He wasn’t lonely; He didn’t need people.  He loved and in that love, God created humanity.  Living in that love is His desire for every one of us.  Like the nearly constant chatter of my doves, God is speaking to us all the time…calling out, speaking sweet truths and inviting us to draw near to Him.Jeremiah-33-Pin-900x1633.jpg

Conversation with God is a joy that we can enter anytime.  His voice, like my doves, is quiet and persistent.  Have you spent time calling out to Him today?  Have you spent time listening to Him today?  God wants us to share our hearts–and share His.

Do you hear Him speaking to you? He is…and His language is love.

Dove Notes – Intro

A single mention of anything in Scripture ought to be paid attention to.  But when there are multiple mentions of any one thing, it seems to me God has something important in mind!  It piques my interest.

Scripture mentions doves over thirty times.  Often the context gives great honor to the dove.  The most well-known mention being in the baptism of Jesus, which links the Holy Spirit with the symbolism of the dove.

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Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

 

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.  Luke 3:22

In Song of Solomon, the great book on the love of God, both the lover and the beloved are said to have eyes like the dove.  Jesus sent His disciples out with the admonition to be as wise as serpents but gentle as doves.  Noah sent a dove out to learn if the ground was ready for dwelling.  Doves were a common sacrifice in Temple worship.  For more details on the Scriptural mentions of doves, Biblical Archaeology offers an in-depth look at the symbolism of doves.

Interactive learning helps me  The dove as symbolic of the Spirit of God intrigued me; so, I purchased some doves to learn from them.  It’s been a delight and I wanted to share some of their lessons.  Over the next few weeks, I will share a dove note to enjoy!  May it bless you and tune your ears to the Holy Spirit!

To not miss out on Dove Notes & learning from the animals, “Follow the Blog” or fill in the form below.

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Tagging God isn’t (always) Aligning with God

For all of recorded time, humanity has brazenly used God’s name to affirm its choices.  Much like “tagging” a friend on Facebook, we tack God’s name on our activities, thereby implying His presence and approval.  From wars to divorces to abortion, we humans audaciously attach His Name to plans and projects His heart never conceived…even to activities wholly contrary to His holiness.  It is a fearsome tendency, a deadly deception. Its occurrence is increasing and delving to deeper depths. 

We live in a culture that promotes choices and creates laws contrary to the Word of God…all while calling the wrongs,  right. The words of the Prophet Isaiah need to be heard as a clarion call today:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

Abortion does not honor women; it destroys lives.  Gender identity is not a choice; biology determines it.  Hard hearts, not irreconcilable differences destroy marriages.  Euthanasia and Suicide do not end suffering, they transfer it to another.  

Free choice is ours.  The choice is:

will we obey the Word of God or choose to be our own God.  

God’s Word is the only source of Truth for this world.  Leaders who lead away from the Word have been a reality throughout history.  The Bible offers myriad accounts to learn from. Isaiah recorded the very words of the Lord as he said, “For they who lead this people cause them to err and they who are led astray by them are destroyed.”  The wrath of God rests upon those who choose to follow ways outside the Word.

The wrath of God is actually a cry of mercy that begs us to make choices that align with Truth…choices that honor and glorify the Creator & Sustainer of all. 

Original Martyrs Cross by Jon Lewis

Amos, a contemporary of Isaiah, received visions of coming judgments and begged God to relent.  God did so and then appeared to Amos standing near a wall with a plumb line. He said, ‘I am setting a plumb line as a standard in the midst of my people—I will not pass by and spare them anymore.’  In our day, we have that plumb line in Jesus Christ. Recognizing that our culture does not align with the Plumb Line—with Jesus Christ–is vital.

Recognizing and dealing with sin is the only way to establish a solid foundation for life. 

As Christians, we must heed the call of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12: ‘Be not conformed to culture but be transformed with the WORD.’  Christ embodied the Word. We are to do the same, living out all that God desires. We are to be trained by the WORD to distinguish between what is morally good and what is contrary to the WORD.  We have lots of opportunity to practice.  

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It is a well-known inspirational idea that the Chinese symbol for crisis conveys the concept of danger at a point of juncture.  Every choice we make in life is a juncture—an opportunity to give glory to God or to be more conformed to the world we live in. To be trained by the WORD produces mature Christians.  It grows us up. We begin to have integrity to our core. Our head, heart and heels line up with the WORD.  

This lining up requires attentive observation and total trust in the goodness and power of God.  It often requires us to act on faith instead of sight. It is supernatural living that requires the Spirit of God dwelling within us.  Tagging God is a surface expression…trusting God is laying everything we have and are into His care. It can be terrifying but it is always best.  

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Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

Jesus taught His disciple to pray ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’  Isaiah records a glimpse of heaven that speaks to me of obedience. He saw seraphs—angelic beings called the ‘burning ones’—above God’s throne.  They dwelt in His presence calling out Holy, Holy, Holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.

We can miss the glory of God in the midst of our hard times but the Seraphs did not.  Perhaps that is because two of their wings covered their eyes. We must cover our eyes from that which draws us away from God.  Two wings covered their feet—they weren’t concerned with where they were called. We must not walk where God would not want us to.  The wings they employed moved with the heart of God.  We must learn to fix our eyes on God’s glory and let Him direct us, trusting our paths will always be in His glory.  

God is here.

God is at work.

God is calling you.

Draw near.  Don’t just tag God onto your choices.  Enter His heart. Receive His plans. Hebrews 12 tells us there is a cloud of witnesses—they are not critiquing us.  They are there for us to learn from. They are there for us to join that others can learn. The passage in Hebrews goes onto say watch out for each other.  Make sure no one slips back. Make sure no one misses out on receiving God’s unmerited favor. Our choices are observed by others. Choose His way that His goodness will flood your life and overflow into the lives of others.  

Are you busy & burdened? Come.

Working.  Carrying burdens.  Struggling to keep up, to carry on.  Does it sound like a description of your life?  Does it sound like a description of a blessed life?

We live in a busy world.  Our technology is a blessing and a curse.  The more we can get done, the more we feel we must get done.  It can put us on a vicious treadmill.  In the midst of the vortex, Jesus calls to us to come aside.  His call must be our priority.  Everything else will fall in place if only we will listen to His urging.  But how?

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30  

Early in the book of Matthew is an explosive passage known as the Beatitudes.  In it, Christ gives startling insights into the life of a believer.  His words take our views and set them on their head; it is almost an upside-down picture of blessing.  Blessed are the needy, grieving, meek and persecuted ones.  What?!  Yet, if we will pause, we will see the wisdom.  Today, let’s just look at the third blessing, Jesus proclaimed in that passage:

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  Matthew 5:5

Meek.  It isn’t even a word in our standard vocabulary today.  Many mistakenly substitute the idea of ‘weak’ in its place.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  Meek is a glorious, gentle strength that doesn’t quit.  We see it in the call of Jesus as a word He uses to describe Himself.  Jesus invites us to join Him—to be yoked to Him as we go through this life.  Our earthly lives matter to God—to Jesus.  In the Old Testament, God instructed His people to make an altar of earth.  In effect, our lives are an altar of earth.  We can live as sacrifices of praise to God! If we will heed the call of Jesus.

“Come to me.”

He wants to help us carry life’s burdens; to find rest in our lives on earth so that we can and do live to the praise of His glory.  We are created for purpose…eternal purpose that is beyond our ability and personal capacity.  We need the gentle strength of Jesus to accomplish the mission God has designed us for.

The natural world often instructs me in the heart of God, so I searched for videos on how farmers train oxen to the yoke.  Perhaps you’ll enjoy this look at how oxen learn—and how it ties to our faith walk.

It pierced me!  I have not been a very teachable oxen over the years.  I’ve stopped when my Jesus wanted me to move on.  I’ve charged ahead when my Jesus would have had me wait.  Yet He never tired of me or gave up on me.  His meekness…His gentle strength…held me in check.  As the video described, I’ve given myself some injuries yanking on the yoke instead of learning from Jesus…but His loving, patience is healing and transforming me.  He longs to do the same for you.

Are you tired?  Are you carrying burdens that are crushing you?  Yoke up!

Finding out who I am!

Labels are a part of our world.  They are, in their simplest form, a simple categorization…a tool to simplify the tremendous complexities of life.  They are, in their more sinister form a lens that distorts perspective.  Studies have confirmed that a ‘labeled’ individual is perceived more according to the label that the presenting facts.

Beyond the impact labels have on our perception of others, labels accepted as truth determine our own actions, restrict options and darken hope.  Labels are a poor substitute for seeking deep understanding.

Each person is a complex creation of God Himself.  Understanding identity is critical to the Christian life.  It is critical to life in general.  We cannot know ourselves until we find out who God designed us to be!

Following is a project to help disciples delve into the beauty of a life filled with Jesus! Begin with considering the ’empty wagon’ parable.  Pursing understanding of identity empty wagonoffers penetrating truth for ourselves and others.  Everyone searches to know who they are…and who others are. The quest for identity leads us onto some rough paths.  Praise be to God, there is no quietness until we find ourselves in Him.  We try activities and self-improvement project, but find that a vacuum remains between who we are and who we desire to be.  We keep trying until we realize that Jesus is the fullness we are looking for.

This truth becomes even more profound when we apply it to others.  This is a noisy world.  Everyone has an opinion and proclaims it with gusto.  Those who are the loudest are typically the ones seeking to find answers the hardest.  Choosing to be the ones who view such ‘loud wagons’ with grace and mercy may be the path that the Holy Spirits needs to give them what they are seeking!

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.  Colossians 2:9,10

The truth remains that we are empty until we live in Christ and are filled by Christ!  Everything else is just a label that sticks to the outside…but our hearts remain empty.  We do all sorts of things to feel full…but every action outside of Jesus just leaves us more empty.  The Word of God helps us understand how Jesus fills us.  When we begin to grasp all we really are and have, our world expands immensely!

Let’s look at how to FILL UP!  The list below offers verses that give us a glimpse of who joyful imagewe are when we live in Christ—and welcome Him to live in us.  It is not an exhaustive list!  There are many more verses that could be used.

Begin by drawing a simple body silhouette for yourself.   Then, look at the list below and begin to fill your silhouette with truths from God.  He is the only one able to ‘label’ us!  Please know this is not an exhaustive list of what God says about those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior.  It will help you begin to see yourself as God sees you!

2 Corinthians 5:17 – New creation; new

Ephesians 2:10 God’s work

1 Peter 2:9 chosen, royal, holy, God’s possession

Romans 8:1 NOT condemned, approved

John 1:12 child of God

2 Corinthians 5:21 righteousness of God

John 15:5 productive, fruitful, branch

1 Corinthians 6:19 temple

Ephesians 2:6 seated in heaven

John 15:15 friend of Jesus

Galatians 2:20 crucified, CHRIST in me!

2 Timothy 1:7 power, love, self-control

Romans 8:17 heirs of God, sibling of Jesus

Philippians 4:13 able, competent

1 John 4:4 overcomer, winner, victor

Philippians 3:20 citizen of heaven

Romans 12:2 transformed, renewed

1 Corinthians 12:27 part of the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 6:17 joined to Spirit of Jesus

1 John 5:18 protected

Romans 5:1 peace with God, connected to God, justified, cleared, not guilty

Philippians 4:19 equipped, fully supplied, NOT needy

Colossians 3:12 chosen, holy, beloved

Ephesians 1:3 blessed

John 15:16 appointed, fruitful

Ephesians 1:7 redeemed, forgiven

Psalm 139:14 wonderful, God-made, God-designed

Romans 8:37 conqueror

Matthew 5:14 light

Ephesians 1:4 holy, blameless

1 Corinthians 2:16 mind of Christ

Romans 8:28 called

2 Corinthians 5:20 ambassador, messenger

Matthew 5:13 salt, flavor, preservative

Romans 6:23 – Ephesians 2:5  alive!

1 Peter 1:23 eternal, lasting

Colossians 1:14 redeemed, saved, bought, forgiven

1 Thessalonians 1:4 loved, chosen

1 Peter 2:11 sojourner, exile, pilgrim, traveler

James 1:22 do-er, servant

1 John 1:9 cleansed, holy

1 Peter 2:5 living stone, spiritual home, holy priesthood

Acts 1:8 power-filled, powerful, witness

Romans 6:18 slave of righteousness

1 Corinthians 3:9 co-worker of God, field of God, work in progress,  masterpiece

Galatians 3:28 united, connected, part of the whole body

Colossians 1:22 holy, blameless, above reproach

2 Corinthians 2:15 sweet aroma, fragrance

When your silhouette is complete, post up a picture!  If you want to create a ‘cloak’ for your silhouette of labels you ‘wear’ – fun, silly, smart, mom, daughter, son, writer, secretary…have fun.  Decorate your silhouette in any way you wish.  We wear different ‘hats’ in life but we must remember they are changeable.  Our core identity does not change.  Any label that does not fit what God says about us must go!  Live in who God says you are!

Be the Message

Singing the song God placed within you is another way of saying, “Be the Message” God has given you.  As believers, our lives are to ring true…the words we say are to be expressed in the way we live.  The indwelling Spirit provides the power for this to take place.  As Oswald Chambers expresses it:

“Pentecost did not teach the disciples anything; it made them the incarnation of what they preached…”

Colossians 3:9 states it as “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self…”   We are new creations when we receive Christ as our life.  To live otherwise–to live like the world or live out of our personal preferences is a lie.

But we were shaped and designed before we came to know Christ.  Living the abundant life Jesus died to provide us requires that we learn our design and seek to understand how to apply the Truth of God to our unique life.  The Holy Spirit fills and heals our hurts as we dig into the Word and find the balm we need as an individual.

Understanding and wisdom are buried in the Word of God.  Spending time in it–and making effort to apply it to the past and the present is key to living the Christian life.  Transformation in Christ is a beautiful thing!

room makeovers

We all enjoy great make-overs!  When we come to Christ, the make-over begins.  Before Christ, we live life on our terms doing the best we can with what we have.  Coming to the Father through the Son is the only way to become all we are designed to be.  God knows our design and our purpose.  We must get to know Him in order to fully realize ourselves.

photo of child reading holy bible
Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

God loves diversity…it is His plan that not a one of us are the same.  Although everyone of us is made in the image of God, we have been uniquely crafted for purposes only God knows.  Every life in His sovereign care….even the things we do not like about our lives have been allowed for a purpose that can be great if it is infused with the Spirit of God. The answers each of us long to have are treasures buried in the Word of God.  Seek God in His book and He will bless you and use you to help others who are seeking as well.

Treasure the work God is doing in you.  Believe He is doing the same in others.  We are all imperfect representations of the Gospel Message.  God knows we are all made out ofhands clay dirt–we make things pretty muddy sometimes.  But He is capable of working with dirt…He loves to do it.  Simply live with integrity.  Be the Message God has placed within you and refuse to be sidetracked.   You need not be perfect…don’t ask others to be either.  His power is made complete in our weakness.

Don’t fret.  Where you have hurts, seek God.  Where you have joys, seek God.  The goal of every prayer should be to know God more…the goal of every moment of life is the same.  Let your life be a prayer that keeps you in constant communion with God.

In John 17, Jesus prayed for his disciples–then and now.  His passionate plea was for unity.  His plea echoes in the hearts of Christians even today but fear, self and ignorance conspire against us.  We don’t know how to find unity; it is an elusive concept that often seems impossible.  There are a couple foreign words that help us put in words the essence of His prayer–and the longing of our hearts.

Coram Deo is a Latin phrase that means living in the presence of God, under the authority of God, for the glory of God.  Living in unity with God flows out of choosing

first of all to live in His presence, under His authority and for His glory.  The other is a Greek word, perichoresis.  This beautiful word conveys unity in diversity–it speaks of the distinct personalities of the Trinity indwelling one another…none losing its distinction but all wholly united.

Coram Deo & Perichoresis are Jesus’ desire for us.   We don’t lose our identity as we grow spiritually–we find it in greater depth and breadth.  The transformation process that began at salvation continually grows as we live and breathe in Christ–with others doing the same.

Attentive and All-In

Building character is a lifetime endeavor with an endless variety of beautiful attributes to consider.  To start this new year, we will focus on two traits clearly evidenced in Jesus’ life:  attentiveness and an all-in commitment!  The verses we will use as a foundation of these traits are Hebrews 2:1 and Colossians 3:23.

Hebrews 2:1.  We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

Colossians 3:23.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Hebrews was penned for the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem facing persecution. The book lays out the superiority of Christ that inspires faithfulness even in the midst of suffering.

Colossians was a letter to the Christians in the city of Colosse, where false teachers were planting seeds of doubt about the deity of Christ.  Colossians expounds on the sovereignty of Christ and aids in clear focus.  Both passages, like all Scripture, benefit Christians of every age!  Let’s see how they relate to our lives today.

Being attentive–paying careful attention–to the Truths of Jesus Christ gives us strength to press on.  The Scripture speaks to being attentive to the Gospel Truths that fulfilled and built upon the Jewish teachings the believers knew so well.   The writer was calling readers to recognize that Jesus Christ offered all that they pursued in other ways before.  He is the fulfillment of all we seek as well…religion, education, careers…all pale in light of what Jesus delivers.  Being attentive to all Christ offers is key to finding and staying on course.

Attentiveness is protective as well since other Scriptures remind us that we have an enemy prowling about seeking the chance to devour us!  Learning to be attentive as a

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habit bears dividends in secular as well as spiritual matters.  Often-time we know what is right and take for granted that ‘knowing is enough.’  We know we need to study, to eat well, to exercise…but we don’t attentively tend to those things.

We forget that coasting only happens when one is going down-hill.  Failure to be attentive often takes us far from where we intended.  Being attentive keeps us from drifting away into areas we never planned to go.

What might God be nudging you to be more attentive to?

Being all-in is a rare thing in this age of multi-tasking!  The Book of Revelation quotes the prophet Daniel with words that speak volumes in this day:  “knowledge will increase and many will run to and fro.”  There is more to take in and more to do than any one person

Jesus hands
Freestone Willson Stephen B Whatley

can manage.  Jesus spoke to Martha with words we call need to hear:  “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” 

There are a number of ways to look at being “all-in” and as always, Jesus is the One to turn to.  Contrary to popular theology, Jesus wasn’t all in to loving on folks and healing all.  He loved and He healed because He was all-in to His father’s plan.  Jesus did everything He did because it was the will of the Father.  We need to be ‘all-in’ in the same way.  “Thy will be done” must be where our buy-in rests!  Another necessary aspect of ‘all-in’ is living fully present.  God defines Himself as the “Great I AM.”  God is present…in the moment, and we need to be as well.  

At this moment in time, are you all-in to the will of God for your life?

 

 

Journey to Abundant Living – Day 6

Our heavenly Father created this universe in six days.  We have arrived at the completion of one work week in the realm of your faith journey.  My prayer is that you have had new insights about the magnitude of the life Christ provides for those who put their faith in Him.  This journey to a life of peace, joy and purpose has been my experience for over twenty years…and every year it gets better.

Proverbs tells us that ‘all work bears profit,’ so I trust that as you have prayed and contemplated this week, God has nudged you to focus on specific areas.  He loves us exactly as we are…but He loves us too much to leave us where we are.  Use your notes, the ratings you prayerfully assigned to the four areas of life and the answers you gave to the questions to design a road-map for growth.

Press on in your journey and rejoice in what He works in and through you!  Remember you are a beloved Child of God!

Browse around this website.  In addition to several discipleship tools, there are numerous articles on the site focused on the beauties of our God and the privilege we have in being His children.  I would love to ‘chat’ with you personally.  Simply comment on an article or use the contact options scattered throughout the site.

Following are a few small booklets available as PDFs here on the site.  The books can be purchased in traditional format if you prefer.

Soul Training cover
Growing as His Disciple

Soul Training in the Barn is a great resource if you need to develop the disciplines that shore up a faith foundation.   

Joy in the Journey

Joy in the Journey offers an approach that helps readers recognize the presence of God–and find healing for hurts.

Fixing Our Eyes on God
Knowing God More

Perhaps my favorite book, though, Fixing Our Eyes on God.  This 26-week devotional examines Names of God; gazing on His beauty always transforms us.

Thank you for sharing this time with me.  I would love to hear how God has worked in your heart as you sought Him these last few days.
Continuing to join you in prayer for God to direct your faith future,

Billie Jo

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