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
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.
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
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.
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.”
In 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,
In a National Geographic story it stated that somewhere in the universe a star explodes into a supernova every second. It also mentioned that if a star exploded anywhere near us (<15 light years away) we would be wiped out by the blast. That made me ponder just how big the universe is, and how small our planet is in comparison. Personally I would not be able to locate my own solar system within our galaxy (one star among 100-150 billion), or even pick out the Milky Way from among all the millions of galaxies that are out there (over 125 billion from observation by Hubble space telescope). With this vastness of the universe how is God, who is over all, even concerned about me? I exist for such a short time, one of over 7.5 billion people who populate this insignificant planet coursing around an insignificant star tucked away in one of billions of galaxies. How do I know that the creator of all this even cares? It comes down to one word, Jesus. I do not fathom His love for me, or how He even knows me, but because Jesus the creator of the universe came and died for me, this says God loves me and will not lose me in the vastness of all His stars. Even the hairs on my head are numbered. What an amazing statement of God’s concern (Matthew 10:30). Oh how wide and deep and beyond my imagination is the love of God for me in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:18).