Fully Known

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3

Do you ever feel completely misunderstood? Not just with something you said or specific actions, but entirely mis-taken as a person? As if people around you don’t truly know your intentions, your desires, or even your likes and dislikes; like they don’t really know your heart? If your answer is yes… you’re not alone.

I think more often than we like to admit, we feel so utterly out of touch with the people around us. It’s like ‘they know me, but they don’t fully KNOW me.’ What would people say if they could see my daily thoughts, the inner workings of my mind? What would they think if they fully knew my heart?  Maybe, just maybe, they’d love me anyways. But our human tendencies, amid Satan creeping in, tell us we should probably just keep it (whatever it may be) to ourselves.

That’s where the ridiculous awesomeness of our God comes in. And yes, it is ridiculous. He not only sees you, but He truly knows the deepest parts of who you are. He knows what you’ve thought, said and done (insert shocked face here). YET, He loves you just the same. God’s love for you is unwavering, unconditional and never ceasing. He knows each and every day you’ve had and all the days that are still to come. He knows, like with Peter, that you will in some way deny him again. Still, He loves you. Not only does He love you, but He calls you his child — His beloved. How encouraging is that?!

What if we aimed to show that sort of love to those around us (and to ourself)? I think we, as Believers, could cause a chain reaction in our communities by seeking that type of deep connection. Jesus called us to be like him, like God, and to love each other so the world will know we are His. If we start to live from a place that we are fully known and loved by our God, how much more will that trickle into our everyday lives with the people around us? And how might that intensely impact someone near you who doesn’t fully grasp the concept of God’s love? Seeking to truly know and love those around us despite their wrongdoings and flaws (much like our own) can be life changing to them, and you — and me.

I challenge you (as well as myself) to dive deeper into connection with people — especially those we call sisters and brothers in Christ. Connect on a heart level. Take on each day with the life-giving thought that God fully knows and so deeply loves you, every part of you, that He gave His only child that He might one day spend eternity with you.

Go read Romans 8 if you want an extra dose of “wow, Jesus loves me!” And imagine how revitalizing it would be if we tried to meet each other with even an ounce of that type of love.

What Matters Most

Friday, April 12

But the greatest of these is …

The most important is …

All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but …

What matters most to you? In this moment, this day, what really matters?

Take a minute to consider what matters to you, today.

Leave a comment below if you are willing to share.

The Direction of Repentence

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…”

Going with the flow and giving into the demands of our flesh may seem easy and may even feel refreshing at times. It takes very little effort for a dead fish to float downstream. But it is not refreshing and certainly not life giving.

The call to repent and turn is a call to refreshing life in Christ. The enemy and the world assert that turning to Christ is dissatisfaction and denial. But God’s invitation is to swim upstream and enjoy His presence and love. True joy and refreshment is found when we risk swimming deeper in Christ’s love and trusting His loving commands and call to holiness are truly where our security and joy are found.

Be intentional today about the direction you go and the source of joy you pursue. Be intentional.

Relational Transformation and Healing

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Jesus’ incarnation and earthly ministry show us that transformation is relational. The brokenness or wounds we’ve experienced, and sin, are relational. And relational wounds are healed in relationship. Jesus chose to come to forgive and heal and reconcile a relationship, through a relationship, with you and me.

We, too, have a choice: hang onto the wound or seek reconciliation. Let it fester and become toxic and destructive or seek to embrace the healing journey. Healing is often a  journey entailing a lot of emotion – pain, denial, anger, sadness, grief. But we hope ultimately for forgiveness that leads to wholeness, reconciliation and joy.

I’m experiencing the choice now. I received a phone call earlier this week that opened up a 45 year-old wound that has had painful repercussions all my life. I am dealing with grief and deep sadness. It is calling me to healing and forgiveness on many levels. Two verses are hitting me:

Now Jesus began to go all over Galilee…healing every disease and sickness among the people.                                                                                                     Matthew 4:23

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.      Luke 11:4

Today I chose to welcome Jesus, His love and forgiveness. I trust His loving power to meet me deeply and relationally in my wounded-ness and bring healing – though I know it is a process, a journey.

Is there a wound, a sin, a brokenness that you need to invite Jesus into today? If so, would you take a minute now and just breathe deeply. Welcome the breath of life – the healing love of the Spirit of the Living God – and welcome His healing and transformation.

 

Transforming Presence

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Lord’s Presence is the most transformative power in the world. In His presence is the fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). When he taught us to pray, he said in essence, ask for My Presence – daily.  Today we’ll look at another of the four theme’s Bob Hudson draws from a deeper dive into the Lord’s Prayer.

“Give us this day our daily bread…”                                                                             Matthew 6:11

“Trusting God as our Source: The simple request for God to give us our “daily bread” goes far beyond our need for physical nourishment.  Our “daily bread” is representative of everything that God intends to give us through His presence – all that He provided in the Garden.  Love. Safety, Strength. Worth. Value. Purpose.  This prayer can anchor us in the deep reality that He is our Source.  This is important because our human tendency is to look outside of ourselves – to others and to circumstances – to give us what we need.  Turning our focus to our heavenly Father and acknowledging that He is the Provider of our deepest longings will liberate us from the frustrations and disappointments of expecting situations and other people in our lives to meet our core needs.”

Today, will you welcome transformation? Will you ask for His Presence to fill you – to overflowing with everything you deeply desire – and trust Him to do it?

Was That Intentional?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Did you do that intentionally? Did the guy in the brown SUV just intentionally cut me off?  Did she intentionally snub me? Do you wonder if the challenging and hurtful things happening around you are intentional? Maybe you attribute intentionality to those who offend you. But maybe it’s not intentional, maybe they are just unaware.

I’m convinced there are a lot of folks who are radically unaware, including myself at times. In my unawareness I have offended, cut-off, overlooked and inadvertently wounded. It was not intentional.

Jesus said to pray like this:

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”      Matthew 6:10

This is a prayer of radical intentionality. It’s calling you and me to kingdom awareness, willful awareness and intentionality. The intention is to place the kingdom of God, the will of God and the ways of God first.

Jesus prayed a similar prayer of radical intentionality when His life was on the line in the garden of Gethsemane:

“Not as I will, but as You will.”                                                                            Matthew 26:39

His love, life, struggles and sufferings were intentional.

Sometimes I stagger through my day unaware, without intentionality, and it is not rewarding. The model prayer of Jesus, and the focus of His life, was that of intentionality. Intentionally putting his Father’s will first, intentionally giving His life for ours, intentionally humbling himself for the wellbeing of others, intentionally taking narrow roads, making sacrifices, and pursuing hard people in love. It was Jesus’ intention to impact others with his life and love.

I will live with intentionality today. What are you going to be intentional about today?

Hope Springs

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Another Wednesday, the middle of another week. But today is different, it’s the first day of Spring. Spring brings greening grass, buds and bulbs, and the promise of warmer days. Spring brings the hope of beauty and new life around us.

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new. … It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.”  (Revelation 21:5-6)

The beauty of the new Spring season is an encouraging reminder of an even greater hope. Our Savior has finished, by His life, death and resurrection, all that is necessary to secure the new life. IT IS DONE! We have yet to realize the full blooming of new life, but as sure as the buds will blossom in the months ahead, new life is ours in Christ. He has purchased your life on the cross, and secured new life for you through the power of His resurrection. You and I have the privilege of drinking from The Spring of life today and every day – without payment.

So, today is not just Wednesday, it is another day to enjoy and give thanks for our new life in Christ and the hope of glory to come as He makes all things new.