…whatever “It” is!!
There was a time when I had no idea who I was. When I was with “them” – I acted like them. When I was with “y’all” – I acted like y’all. It was a miserable time from the age of 6 years old until 50 years old, I struggled with my true self.
What about you? Do you know who you are? Do you know why you were created? Do you know your purpose in life?
Share your journey with me and then hear all about mine – how God dealt with me running from HIM.
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Embrace who you were created to be! Beautiful!
CHANGED IN GOD’S PRESENCE
Yesterday we read in Rom 12:2 “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
So many of us try changing things from the outside first. I guess these are the obvious changes we need to make. The bible gives us great advice for this Christian journey – fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”
It didn’t take me long to work out that God changes us from the inside first. I know it doesn’t always happen as quick on the inside but it seems to last longer. Maybe it’s because of the prayerful conversations we have with God over the areas that need changing?
We don’t have to wait until Sunday to be in God’s presence. We can enter His presence at any moment of any day. I love finding a place where I can spend time with God. A place where I know I won’t be distracted. Some place people won’t ask me questions. I call this my secret place. It’s probably not a secret place to everyone else – could be the front steps – but God and I know it’s a place we meet and spend time together.
TIME TO THINK:
Do you have a secret place?
How often do you spend time in God’s presence?
Father, I steady my heart and I quiet my soul because I want to say I love You and I need You. Help me find places where we can meet together. Help me enter Your presence even if I can’t get to that place. Thank you that You dwell in me and will never leave me.
WHAT’S UP WITH CHaNGe?
Discipleship is the process of becoming like Jesus. Some would say (and I agree) that this is a life long journey. Becoming like Jesus obviously involves change and, well.. change can be uncomfortable. But sometimes change is amazing.
Getting married was an awesome change for me. Becoming a father was another awesome change. Becoming a Christian has been the greatest change of all.
What’s Up With CHaNGe is designed to help you walk this out for a month and realise that we are all changing all the time. There is far more to be said for how good change can be. We either change and become like Jesus or keep letting society change us. The bible says, don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
You will look back, with many others, who all agree there have been significant changes. These changes are usually in your conversations, your thoughts, the way you treat people and the way you go about daily life in the world around you.
TIME TO THINK:
How have I changed?
Do people around me suggest I have changed?
Father, you made me and you love me and you know the best way for me to live my life. I don’t want to become so well-adjusted to my culture that I fit into it without even thinking. Lord, please help me to embrace
Don’t waste your life by being negative. . Things may not always go the way you want them to, but you must focus on the good rather than the bad. See life as a gift from God and live each day like it’s your last.
Don’t waste the gifts God has given you. The person that buried their talent were afraid, but it wasn’t the right kind of fear. True reverence and fear for God will cause you to speak up even if your voice shakes, it will cause you to take the leap even if you see no way it will work.
Don’t waste the relationships God has placed in your life. What you respect and honor will move toward you. What you disrespect and dishonor will move away from you. Every single relationship God has given you has a divine purpose. While you have them in your life, learn what they can teach you and enjoy them for who they are.
Don’t waste the grace God has given you. When God reveals to you a tiny glimpse of His purpose for your life, there’s grace to do what He has showed you. Do what you can with what’s in your hands, and God will cause all grace to abound toward you. You have everything you need to fulfill God’s divine purpose for your life.
Grace Leads You To Repentance
God loves His children by leading them into repentance. A Father who loves His children will not let them remain sick. He will make sure that they get well.
The first step in being made well is realizing that you are sick, and the first thing God’s grace does is to teach you to realize your need for Him.
Luke 15:11-32 tells the story of a prodigal son who was led to repentance by the love of his father. The prodigal son turned his back on his father and used his inheritance to indulge in a life of sin that ultimately robbed him of his money, home, and friends. Finally, when he had nothing left, the prodigal son decided that he would return to his father’s house and beg to be given a job as one of his father’s servants.
But Luke 15:20 says that “when [the son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” The father did not owe his son anything. He had every right to reject his son for the way he had shamed his family. But instead, the father lavished grace on his son. He ran to him and kissed him! Obviously, the father had been waiting for his son to come home for a long time.
How did the son respond to his father’s grace? In Luke 15:21 the boy replied, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.” The boy responded to his father’s grace by repenting of his sins.
This is a picture of our relationship with our heavenly Father. He is always ready to embrace you with open arms. The only thing we need to do is to repent and acknowledge our need for His love and acceptance.
Prayer for the day:
Thank God for loving you enough to see you made well. Pray that you will respond to His love by having a repentant heart.
Sin is incredibly deceptive. Sin always offers something pretty, but it ultimately gives you something ugly.
What are you really after when you engage in sinful activity? Essentially, you are searching for satisfaction. Whatever the sin, you secretly believe that it will satisfy all your longings.
The prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 was looking for satisfaction, and he thought satisfaction could be found by leaving home and living the life of a playboy. With his inheritance in his pocket, the boy was ready to go. The lights of the city were calling him, promising him everything that he thought he ever wanted!
Unfortunately, the prodigal son was deceived by sin. What he thought would satisfy him actually reduced him to nothing. The boy spent all of his money on “prodigal living,” which is literally, wasted living. And then, after he had lost everything, a famine sent the entire region into a depression and the boy become destitute.
The prodigal son didn’t believe that he was wasting his life when he was spending all his money on prostitutes and parties. He thought he was being satisfied, but he was actually being robbed! God did create you to be satisfied, but this satisfaction comes only from having a relationship with Him. Fortunately, when the deceptively attractive veneer of sin wears off and a person is left broken and destitute, God will always be waiting to pick His children up into His embrace and show them true satisfaction.
Prayer for the day:
Thank God for showing you grace when you sought satisfaction in things other than Him. Pray that you will delight in the only true satisfaction that comes from belonging to your Creator.
The Grace Of Being Let Go
Sometimes people think of God’s grace as Him taking them back into His arms. But God also shows grace to people by letting them go. The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 is an example of this type of grace.
In this story, the youngest of two sons approaches his father and demands to be given his inheritance. The father had servants, cattle, and land, and by the standards of that culture, the father was a wealthy and important man. Imagine how disrespectful it was for the youngest son to rudely demand his inheritance! What is worse, by demanding his inheritance while his father was still living, the youngest son was essentially telling the father that he did not care if he was alive or dead! Obviously, the youngest son did not want anything to do with his father.
How did the father respond to his son’s hurtful request? The father graciously gave his son everything that he asked for.
The truth is, no one is perfect, and even when we truly love God, we often still foolishly wrestle to be released from His embrace. At times like these, God does not get angry with us or kick us out of His family. Instead, He allows what we want and graciously lets us go, so that we might one day return and more fully experience His love. Even when a person squanders his inheritance of God’s love and blessing like the prodigal son, our heavenly Father is always waiting to welcome him back into His home and into His loving arms.
Prayer for the day:
Thank God for showing you grace when you are ungrateful and hurtful toward Him. Ask Him to help you abide with Him, and not to grow restless in His arms.
Our Relationships With God Is NOT A Business Deal
People often treat their relationship with God like a business transaction. We say, “Okay God, I’ll give you this and you’ll owe me that. Deal?” But our relationship with God is not a professional contract. It’s a personal relationship. Jesus addressed this issue in the parable of the prodigal son.
Take some time to read the story in Luke 15:11-32. One of the most important characters in this story is the older brother. Some people have an easier time identifying with the older brother than with the prodigal son. Like the older brother, maybe you feel like you have served your heavenly Father your entire life. You attend church every week, you tithe ten percent of your income, and you volunteer to help the poor and needy. Unfortunately, sometimes people who feel this way often make the mistake of believing that their actions earn God’s favor; as though they have God on the hook!
This is exactly how the older brother felt. He believed that his father owed him for not turning his back on the family and living a life of sin like his younger brother had done. He thought he had his father on the hook. What was the older brother’s mistake? He did not have a loving relationship with his father. He neither truly loved his father, nor did he truly enjoy the love that his father had for him.
When you are in a loving relationship with your heavenly Father, you realize that you cannot earn the love and grace that He freely gives to you. God does not love you because of your actions, but because you are His child!
Prayer for the day:
Thank God for loving you freely, and not because of your actions. Ask Him to help you live in a loving relationship with Him.
Jesus said that our one handful should be focused on heavenly treasures instead of earthly ones. There is no need to store up earthly treasures. The better choice is to not worry because God will always meet our needs as long as we seek Him.
19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 25“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.