Do You Believe God Delights in You?

Our Growth in Christ is very much affected by our understanding and acceptance that God delights in each of His children. Let me say it again, He delights in you and me!

Jesus work on the cross brought a perfect marriage of grace and truth making a way for us to accept and embrace; we are dearly loved by God our Father.

Now our faith can begin to grow from the right starting place. This right starting place is simply; faith in Jesus Christ, not our works or performance, brings salvation and justification. As we accept this gift of grace freely given, our hearts and minds can begin to understand His great love for us; opening up a way for us to  see Him delighting in us, and singing over us, as blameless and rightous children in His sight, regardless of our struggle with sinful habits.

Prayer: Lord Jesus help us to run freely toward you today as dearly loved children, trusting our loving Father’s great delight in us. Help us to trust you with our old sin habits as we surrender them to you and embrace your power to overcome. Thank you for your gift of grace. May we spend forever living out of the gratitude and rest this freedom brings.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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What will Heaven be Like?

What Will Heaven Be Like
By Rick Warren — Mar 25,2015

“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NLT, second edition)

Grace is the gift that keeps on giving, because one of the benefits of grace is eternal life. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (NLT, second edition).

Have you ever wondered what Heaven is going to be like? The Bible tells us that Heaven is going to be these four things:

A place of reunion, where we are reunited with other loved ones who have accepted the grace of God.
A place where we are rewarded for the character that we developed and the way we served other people here on Earth.
A place where we are reassigned to do new work based on our SHAPE. We will be given new assignments that we love to do and that use the gifts God has given us.
A place of release, where we’re free from all pain, suffering, sadness, sorrow, grief, depression, and loneliness.
It’s going to be a wonderful place! And it is God’s gift to you.

There’s one catch: You have to accept it. If you get a gift and you don’t unwrap it, it’s a worthless gift. You need to realize that Jesus Christ makes this grace gift available to everybody, but it is also customized specifically for your life, because God knows exactly what you need.

One of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met is Peter Drucker, the father of American management. Everything he writes is printed in the Wall Street Journal. He’s a brilliant man who has written dozens of books that are textbooks. He’s been a mentor to me for a number of years. I asked Peter one day, “How did you become a Christian?” He said, “When somebody first explained grace to me, I realized I was never going to get a better deal.”

You’re never going to get a better deal than the grace God offers to you today. Open your life to the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

It’s your only hope!

How does the eternal benefit of God’s grace change your perspective on life?

Why do you think God requires us to accept his gift of grace?
Who can you tell about the best deal they will ever be offered?

Prayer: Lord Jesus we are so greatful for Your gift of grace and eternal life, to spend forever with you and those who have gone before us. Help us this day to live the life you’ve called us to live; to be people of character, evident to the world around us, because of Your love, joy, and peace that fills our hearts and surrounds our lives. Help us to rest today among the midst of our busy lives to remember,  that this is all that really matters.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Friendship and Healing Community

What does it mean to be a true friend in Christ?
To be safe community for others?
Being a friend in Christ is to think about ourselves as a spiritual companion for another.
Not from a posture of authority or unworthiness, but from the freedom grace gives to come alongside another.
Always to listen, encourage and pray, but also to look for moments to reshape the lens of problem and pain, into possibility and hope.
Companion in Latin is cum panis which means;
“with bread.”
How can we be the bread of life to those around us? To be part of the manna that pours into others and feeds the soul.
To create a comfortable space where there is the safety to freely share with honesty the thoughts and issues in our hearts and minds. Helping others not be afraid to lean into the darkness that they’re feeling whether it has to do with ones own failures, or feelings of abandonment by God or others. Friendship in Christ was meant to create a safe place to embrace our experiences without people trying to fix us because their uncomfortable with our transparency and its triggering the need to rescue.
When we meet others in the rawness of their pain, and let the Holy Spirit work, we partner together with God to see what He wants to be for all involved in the situation.
As we grow to a place of greater hunger and dependency upon Him, we learn to love others better, and were changed in the process.
This is how safe community grows.

Need a Lens Changer?

Problem or possibility?
We get to believe God for the upgraded perspective.
He is the ultimate lens changer.
It doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge the pain, the loss, or the trial before us.
It means the joy that’s part of His promise to us, is ours to receive in our circumstances as His promise that our faith is being developed, perseverance is learning greater endurance, and we are becoming mature and complete lacking in nothing.
Don’t waste your trial! Seek the Lord for the upgraded view and partner with Him until joy and promises overwhelm you!!!

What Do You Do While You Wait On The Lord?

What Do You Do While You Wait on the Lord.

“I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer.” (Habakkuk 2:2 NLT)

After you withdraw to a quiet place to hear from God, you need to wait and calm your thoughts and emotions. You have to settle down!

Habakkuk 2:2 says, “I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer” (NLT). This means stay put and be still until you hear from God.

Why is that important? Because hurry is the death of prayer. The reason why you don’t hear God is because you’re in too much of a hurry. “God, I want to hear from you. But hurry up! I’ve got to make it to my next appointment.”

God speaks to people who take the time to listen. You must want to hear from God, withdraw to a quiet place away from distractions, and then calm yourself and wait.

There are four things you can do while you wait to hear from God.

Relax your body. When your body relaxes, it relaxes your mind. Then you’re more open and able to hear God better. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (NIV).
Wait quietly. Psalm 62:5 says, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him” (NLT). Busyness ramps up the RPMs in your mind. It gets it going. Have you ever gotten your mind going so fast you can’t slow it down? Waiting quietly allows your engine to cool down.
Wait patiently. “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act” (Psalm 37:7). Inner calm creates the intercom to God. In other words, it makes the connection. When you get quiet, you can focus your mind on God and what he wants to say to you.
Wait expectantly. The Bible says in Psalm 130:5, “I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised” (TLB). God speaks to people who expect him to speak to them.
God is watching you to see if you’re ready to receive his word. You need to wait quietly and patiently and in expectation of his voice and lead.

Talk It Over

What are the distractions that work against you as you try to relax your body and wait patiently?
Is there a specific question that you are waiting on God to answer? How are you waiting expectantly?
What are some physical and mental exercises you can practice to help relax your body?

devo by Rick Warren

Prayer: Lord Jesus thank you for Rick Warrens Godly teaching on waiting. Help me to wait upon You and surrender every situation in my life as an opportunity to trust that You know what is best for me.

Help me see my need to control my life; people, places, and things, and to trust all the wonderful things Your bringing into my life as the direction I need.

I am learning to bring my heart to You Holy Spirit as You; Wonderful Counselor, direct every step I take.

I want to learn the joy of waiting on You and move toward Your peace that surpasses all worry, fear, and human understanding, and guards my heart and my mind from taking action before I know I’ve heard the wisdom that comes from you.

in Jesus Name,

Amen

What to do when God is silent.

Sometimes God Speaks By Saying Nothing
By Rick Warren

“If God is silent, what’s that to you? If he turns his face away, what can you do about it? But whether silent or hidden, he’s there, ruling.” (Job 34:29 MSG)

Sometimes God speaks by saying nothing. This is extremely frustrating to us! But God has his reasons when he’s silent. You have to just wait and trust him. If you run ahead of God saying, “I haven’t heard anything from God, so I’m just going to go ahead and do this” and you don’t trust him, you’re going to have all kinds of problems and be filled with regret.

There are many examples of this in the Bible. One of them was King Saul, the first king of Israel. He was getting ready to go to battle, and he went to God and said, “God, what do you want me to do in this battle?”

But Saul hadn’t been right with God for a long time. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 28:6, “Saul prayed to GOD, but GOD didn’t answer — neither by dream nor by sign nor by prophet” (MSG).

Saul tried to find an answer three different ways, and he still didn’t get it. So he got impatient. He got desperate, and he turned to the occult — something he had outlawed in the country. He said, “Go find a spiritual advisor. Find me a medium, a psychic, a witch, somebody who can conjure up spirits or do a séance.” He knew it was wrong, and he did it anyway because he got desperate. And you know what happened? He lost everything. He lost the battle. He lost his reputation. He lost his life. He didn’t wait to hear from God, and he suffered great consequences.

So what do you do when God is silent?

First, you remember that God is in control. Job 34:29 says, “If God is silent, what’s that to you? If he turns his face away, what can you do about it? But whether silent or hidden, he’s there, ruling.” God may not share his plan with you, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one. He has a plan and purpose for your life. He loves you. He’s a good God. And he’ll take care of you if you’ll just wait on him.

Second, you trust God. The Bible says in Psalm 50:14, “I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you and you can give me glory” (TLB). God is asking you today, “Will you trust me? Will you trust me with that financial problem? Will you trust me with that dream? Will you trust me with that ache in your heart? Will you trust me with that stress? Will you trust me with that loneliness? Will you trust me with that desire to get married? Will you trust me with that health issue? Will you trust me with your dreams and ambitions? Will you trust me?”

Pray this prayer aloud or in your heart:

“Dear God, I don’t want to go through life without hearing from you. I want to learn to listen. Thank you for the Bible. Help me to read it. Thank you for gifted teachers. Help me to act on what they teach. Help me to make some godly friends that I can trust and listen to. I want to be open to the ideas that you place in my mind. When I’m in pain, help me to learn from it, not run from it. Most of all, help me to trust you and your plan when you’re silent. Jesus Christ, I want to get to know you and love you like you love me. In your name I pray. Amen.