Breath of Heaven

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Breathe deep of the heavenly air.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5

The love of God is the air of heaven, and the joy of earth. You breathe it in then breathe it out.

Breathe in––God’s love is greater than all my failures.
Breathe out––I can rest easy for His love watches over me.

Breathe in––Jesus loves me, and died in my place.
Breathe out––His life for mine, such love overwhelms me with gratitude.

Breathe in––The Spirit of God has freed me from the dark powers of this world.
Breathe out––peace and blessed assurance the victory is won.

Breathe in––God’s love surrounds me, and will never leave me.
Breathe out––I am His, and He is mine.

Breathe in––God’s love makes me what I was meant to be.
Breathe out––A reflection of Him to those around me.

Breathe in––Jesus loves me, and sent His Spirit to live in my heart.
Breathe out––Jesus loves you, and invites you to breathe Him in.

It may take you a number of slow deep breaths to have His love sink in, but I can guarantee even after a thousand years you have not begun to breathe in the depths of God’s love in Jesus.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21

Stand on the Heights

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Reaching above the clouds

God does not give us tasks we can do by our own strength or ability. He gives us good works to do that require us to rely upon Him.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

We are not just called to do the ordinary with integrity, but also to do the extraordinary work of the Kingdom of Jesus. Not by our strength which is insufficient, but by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.

It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights. Psalm 18:32-33

Joy to the Full

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Hawaiian sunrise

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  John 15:11

Every once in a while I am struck with the joy of life. It is not because of the freshness of the mountain air or the brilliant morning sunrise. It is that these joyous moments are but a foretaste of eternal life in Jesus. When I sit down and contemplate why I have such joy, it always comes back to His love for me. The verses just before John 15:11 confirms it:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. John 15:9-10

“As the Father has loved Me,” Jesus says, “so I have loved you.” There it is––Jesus loves me deeply.

Part of that love for me is to tell me how I should be. Jesus uses the word command because what He says next about staying in His love is absolutely essential. It is the difference between looking through the window at the Christmas celebration, or going in to sit down to fully partake in it. Jesus is telling us that to have complete joy you have to join in His love:

Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

I urge you to let the Holy Spirit pour His love through every part of your existence and join the celebration of joy to the full.

The Power I Cannot See

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Wind power

Without the wind these machines can produce nothing, but with the wind there is power.

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD Almighty.  Zechariah 4:6

Without the Holy Spirit we can do nothing, but with the Holy Spirit all things are possible.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Acts 1:8

Hide and Seek

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Trees playing hide and seek in the clouds

When I play hide and seek with my grandkids the joy is in being found. “Come find me,” they yell from their hiding place, then squeal for joy when I find them. Unfortunately, as children grow up they become more like adults and want to stay hidden. Even more sad they don’t care to play at all.

Thankfully the Lord knows that our real joy is in being found. Don’t miss out on life by trying to stay hidden from God. Become like a little child by calling out–– “Come find me,” and Jesus will come running to embrace you with all the joy of heaven.

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7

Fog Along the Way

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Clouds rolling over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There were times that the fog became so thick you could barely see the road, let alone knowing which way to go.

We have all had times when we wished we had taken a different direction. Looking back we can see how a right choice would have been so much better, but we just could not see far enough ahead.

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways. Psalm 119:1-3

God is all about helping us choose the right direction. We just have to ask.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13

What we receive is not only help in making the right choices going forward, but forgiveness for all our past wrong choices.

A Full Day

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The start of a new day

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

This morning I come before God and ask for His help to live this day to the full.

“Lord, don’t let the thief steal it with anger, laziness, or in the pursuit of worthless things. Send Your Holy Spirit to overcome my weakness and transform this day to one that glorifies You––the fullness of life.”

Anger In the Night

SH_170921-0226In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

Anger robs me of enjoying the day.
It prevents me from loving those around me.
It leads to bitterness of spirit.
It keeps me in turmoil.
It puts me on edge ready to lash out.
It makes me ugly.
It shortens my life.
The bondage of anger is to strong I cannot walk away.

Forgiveness breaks the chains
Forgiveness leads to restoration
Forgiveness leads to peace.
Forgiveness allows me to love instead of hate
Forgiveness is what I need
Forgiveness makes me someone who can be loved
I need God’s forgiveness, so that I might forgive,
And live.