Had Enough? Here's a Cup of Sufficient Grace!

How many of you woke up today and thought enough already? Today is a new day and I am ready for a new beginning. You have been going through your life and day after day it seems to be the same rehashed story just a different day. 

Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray, the star of the show, wakes up and it is the same day over and over again. At first he is so down and out; he thinks I cannot live this day over again and refuses to get out of bed.  It is just an unbearable situation.

Have you been there? Waking up to start a new day with a grumble, with an, “I cannot take another day like I had yesterday.”

Recently, in my life, I had those days over and over again. I wasn't refusing to get out of bed but it was really taking a toll on me. It was really beginning to take a toll on my family and friends because they had to listen to my grumbles. My heart and attitude to say the least was sour. If that was you, I am sorry.

I felt like my grumbles were legitimate. I am still not sure that they were not legitimate, that is not the point. My grumbles were being poured out to the wrong sources.

I am the type of person to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I feel so deeply, that I quickly get hurt. This hurt was driving deep down into my soul. I kept thinking today is a new day. I can brush off my feelings from yesterday and start over today. These feelings, however, didn't want to give up so easily.

I would try to wrap my brain around this, sometimes all day.  It began to consume me until it was almost eating at every heart-string that I have.

Look back at the last few paragraphs, do you see yourself there? Do you hear yourself there? Now look carefully at how much I tried to figure this all out.

I would cry about this. I would talk about it to everyone that I thought could help me change it. I was putting all my greatest efforts at making my situation different.

As I looked back at all my efforts, they seemed to fade with each passing day. I would wake up the next day to do it all over again.

I was becoming so busy at laying it at others feet and well, they couldn't fix it. I certainly couldn't fix it. Now I realize God didn't want me to fix it.

Don’t get me wrong I was praying about this situation. I was asking God to fix it the way I wanted Him to and in my time. My prayers and thoughts were not entirely selfish, but I was praying that my will be done and not God’s.  I was praying as if He is some sort of fix it my way and we can all move on, happily ever after, kind of God.

Until the moment, listen to this carefully, until the moment I prayed for Him to change me, and for Him to align me with His will, did He answer my prayers. I surrendered it to Him. Please read Lay Down All Your Heavy Burdens to get more insight on surrendering.

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Do you have those prayers? Are you praying regularly for God to fix the situation that you are in? Are you treating Him like some sort of genie God on your knees day and night trying to get Him to do what you are asking Him?

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul, who became one of God’s greatest missionaries, tells us about a thorn that he has in his flesh. This was not an actual thorn. What he was saying was he had this affliction tormenting him so much and he pleaded three times for the Lord to take it away.

I felt like this was me. I was pleading with God. I was crying out to him. When He wasn't fixing it the way I wanted Him to. When He wasn't laying out the path I wanted Him to, I pleaded in torment.

My heart was breaking. I thought that since my heart was breaking for the things God wants our hearts to break for, like the injustice to his people, this was okay.

This is what Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that God said to him, this is what God tells me, and this is what He is telling you right now in the midst of your tormented days. Paul says, But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  

God does not promise us an easy life free of burden and affliction. He promises that He is enough for us in the midst of the burdens, if we lean on Him.

God can fix His own situations, I can’t.

I can surrender. I can ask for my thoughts and actions to be aligned with His will, and not my own.

Seems simple? That’s the tough part. It means surrendering myself, taking up my cross daily (Luke 9:23), and living in alignment with the will of God.    

Are you in what seems like an unbearable situation, in a state of personal torment?

God wants you to draw near to Him. He wants you to give it to Him. Look back at 2 Corinthians 12:9 He says, My grace is sufficient for you. It is enough for you. It is actually all you need. He also says His power is made perfect in your weakness.

Are you feeling weak? Are you feeling like you cannot do this again today? Give it up. Ask God to take your heavy burdens. Ask God to help you draw closer to Him and to live in alignment with His will. He will then show you His awesome power.

Please share this with a friend, you never know someone’s real heart or the personal struggles that they may be going through. And guess what, you can’t fix them anyway, but God can. May you extend to them that opportunity?

Please share in the comments below how God has made His power perfect in your weaknesses. You can also encourage us with comments about how He has lifted a heavy burden when you have surrendered.

Courage For Today

Lord Give Me Courage,

This blog post is going to be a little bit different than I usually write because today it is a prayer. I ask that you pray with me and for me as I continue on this journey. I also ask that if you are at a place in your life and you want to give more to the Lord or you want to begin in your journey with Him, this may be your prayer.

My Gracious Heavenly Father,

 I ask that you give me the courage to live boldly for you. Living out Your Word has so many blessings and I want to be obedient to you.
Lord, I am not always courageous, I am not always the one to stand up for you or for what is right but I want you to change my heart. I want to not only be a hearer of Your Word but I want to be a doer of what you ask of me, even when it is difficult.

I know that I struggle with always giving you my whole heart. Worshiping you with my whole heart and all my strength gets put aside to my selfishness and “me time”. Lord please help me to overcome myself and keep my eyes focused on Your truths.

Lord, I know that I can accomplish great things in your name and for your Glory, if I will not be the one to opt out when you want me to give it my all.

I know that living for your glory is my choice. Lord I ask you to give me the strength and the endurance to fight the good fight and keep the faith to the end and not just when it is convenient.

You have given me this freedom from the bondage of my past and yet I sometimes cling to the hurt that I have caused in my own decisions. You have given me everything, including my freedom to live and not be bound to the chains of sin. So Lord I ask that you help me to not only live but live freely.

Lord, I ask that you continue to walk beside me and give me strength and courage to be the person you have designed me to be.

Lord, I know that I mess up, even daily; I thank you and praise you for your forgiveness. I pray that you use my insecurities, doubts, fears, and my faults as a reminder that I can be more in you and with you.  

Lord, I pray that when I look in the mirror I will see you and I will not walk away and forget what that needs to look like and be like.

I pray that you use Your Word to correct my attitude quickly and swiftly and take those undesirable attitudes and actions and turn them into something that is pleasing to you. I pray that you turn me into something that I, too, desire. I thank you for constantly transforming me into the person that you need me to be.

Lord, I want to have a heart that gives my all. I want to face each day with the courage to face each day. 
Lord, my greatest desire is to love you. I praise you for loving me in spite of whom and what I have been.

Father, until the day when I can be with you, I want make a difference that will further your kingdom. My greatest desire is for the people that I meet and even the ones that may only be reading the words that you have been giving me is that they will have a heart for you and they will be with you in paradise.

Lord, I thank you for giving me the love for each and every one of these people and for their lives to be transformed through your Saving Grace. Lord, I ask as I continue to use this ministry to reach others with your word that they will not just notice my words but feel the love, grace and mercy that you have for them.

I thank you for sending your Only Son, Jesus, to die for my sins and raising Him up so that I, too, could be raised up to your Glory on the day I leave this world. Thank you for doing what it took to restore a broken relationship between us.

Lord, You are amazing. You alone, are awesome. Thank you for each step of this journey. Walking hand in hand with me each day. Thank you for all your promises and truths that you pour into my life. 

Lord, I give all the glory and honor to you and I praise Your Great Name for the blessings that you have abundantly poured upon my life. I love You.
John 10:10 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Joshua 1:7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.

Take a Walk on the Light Side

Do you hang out in dark alleys? Some of you may be thinking that is a crazy idea. Some of you may be thinking you would never be caught anywhere close to a dark alley or any alley at all. On the other end of the spectrum, some people may be saying, “I am in a dark alley all of the time, what is the big deal?”

Think about your answer carefully. Don’t answer too quickly. What is it that is going to make you come up with an answer? Is it your experience? Is it the idea of the darkness? Will your answer be formed from unknown or perhaps misinformation or prejudiced information? Does it stem straight from fears?

Now think through your answer and say it out loud to yourself.

Lets further explore the darkness according to God’s Word and maybe we can get a clear perspective on what it is that may evoke certain thoughts on the matter.

Genesis 1:1-2a, 3—4a In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. Then God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light and God saw that the light was good. The idea of God’s creation being good from His perspective is absolutely amazing; it means He created it the way it was supposed to be, the way that made it all work together.

1 John 1:1 says, “We proclaim to you the One who existed in the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw Him with our own eyes and touched Him with our own hands.” John goes on to say in verse 5-6, “This is the message that we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say that we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. ”

In the beginning when God created the light in the world it was to displace the darkness.  John attests to the light that he saw. He said he touched Him with his own hands and saw Him with his own eyes. John also attests to the fact that God is light and in Him there is no darkness.

In the darkness we cannot see.  That is why there is so much fear in the darkness.

Do we fear darkness itself or what may be revealed or exposed in the light?

At night when my kids are fearful, I turn on the light and ask them point out the things they are afraid of? Usually, there is nothing there. Then I tell them that the same things are there when we turn the lights outs. We often times pray for God to take those fears away in the night.

The commentary in NLT Life application Study Bible says of 1 John 1 5-6: Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil. The statement “God is light” means that God is perfectly holy and true and that He alone can guide us out of the darkness of sin.

Light is also related to truth in that light exposes whatever exists, whether it is good or bad. In the dark good and evil look alike; in the light they can be clearly distinguished. Just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of a holy God.  

So here is the connection that we can make and a couple of questions we can ask ourselves.

Because God is light, walking in the presence of a holy God can do two things, reveal our true selves and give us a peace beyond our understanding. 

Walking close to Christ and getting exposure to the SON can expose all of our fears, worries, troubles, faults, insecurities, and sins. All the things we want to keep “in the dark”.

Is this why you stay away from the light? Is this why you may have distanced yourself from a real or active relationship with Christ?

I love reading God’s Word but sometimes I am so convicted that I can’t wrap my head around what God is trying to teach me. I become agitated and frustrated because I know there is something that needs fixed and clearly I don’t want my faults pointed out to me.

 A couple of months ago as I was reading some passages, I just kept feeling agitated. I finally said God, you are obviously trying to fix something in me so can you do it swiftly; I am ready to change whatever you are trying to change in me.

I am not always so “adjustable” sometimes it has taken God years to set me straight. In the mean time He 
allowed me to live with my issues and let me just deal with the consequences of my hard heart or stiff necked self.

On the other hand, the light gives us a hope and peace that we cannot otherwise see. Walking close to God takes our whole heart, mind, and strength. This is exactly what He wants of us. He wants to make us more like Him. The benefits of having a close relationship with Christ are so real and immense.

I have had many many times in my life when, on my own, I was a complete mess. But the moment I turned it all over to Christ he made things more clear and gave me a peace that I could not have gained on my own.

What hope we can gain walking in the light. Psalm 119:105 tells us, Your word is the lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  Do you need your path lit up? Do you need help and guidance to know which way to go, which decisions to make?

In the beginning I asked if you would walk in a dark alley, what did you say? If your answer is never, then 
ask yourself why you would walk through life in the darkness. Why do you continue, daily, trying to navigate in the dark?

 Take a walk in the Word. Take a walk in the light.

Questions to ponder:

Do we fear the dark or what may be revealed or exposed in the light? Have you been exposed to The Great I Am?

Do you need your path lit up? Do you need help and guidance to know which way to go, which decisions to 

Please encourage others by posting comments below. SHARE from your experiences how walking close to the light or completely out of the light has affected your life or answer the 
questions above.  

The Power of a Living God

I love the story of the cross and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and I am honored to be sharing some of it with you today and we can reflect on Easter weekend.

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene, came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they put Him.”    John 20:1-2

Ever been to a grave yard? Can you picture this scene?

Mary going to the tomb and sees that the stone is rolled away and she thinks He is taken. Who would take the body? Why would she even think this?

It was thought at the time that Jesus body would be taken so they could disprove Christianity and all Jesus had said during His ministry.

It’s funny how 2000 years later those same thoughts and actions are trying to disprove a living God.
I found the caption under this picture of the garden tomb to be quite amusing. It said “It was empty. We went inside and checked.”

Why had Mary found the tomb to be empty? It was not that His body was taken. John continues on telling us that He and Peter went to the tomb and found His linens lying neatly wrapped and laying where His body was.

In a James MacDonald sermon I recently heard, He asked a funny question. He said, “If His body was taken, would the robbers have taken the time to neatly fold up the linens that were covering His body and lay them down and then escape with His body?”  Also, Jesus’ tomb was also guarded by Roman soldiers.

Jesus had not been taken; He was raised on the third day, just as He had told them on several occasions.

How do we know this is true and can His resurrection have anything to do with me?

First, Jesus stood with Mary in the garden and comforts her in her distress as she was standing outside the tomb crying.  He talks to her gently and says, “Mary, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” She cries on in her distress, and He simply calls her by name, and she recognizes Him.

Do you need comforted in your situation right now?

Next, He appears in the midst of the disciples, as they were hiding out in a locked room. They were afraid of the Jewish leaders who had Jesus crucified. Jesus’ first words to them were, “Peace be with you.” This was not just a generic overused saying. Jesus wanted them to have Peace in the midst of their fears.  He was standing among them so they would know that only He would be able to give it to them.

Do you need a little Peace in the midst of your fears?

Next, Jesus appeared to Thomas, who doubted Jesus was real. Jesus understood Thomas’s doubt. He didn't rebuke Thomas. He reached out to Thomas, showed him His wound, and allowed Thomas to touch His hands so his doubts could be answered. Then He said to Thomas, “Believe.” And he did.

Do you have doubts?

Jesus continued to walk and talk with people for 40 days after He was raised from the dead.
Witness after witness can attest to a living God.

Do you have doubts? Do you have fears? Do you need comforted in the midst of your situation?

God doesn't guarantee a life free of problems. With Him, He offers us hope and peace in the midst of our problems. Don’t wait until you are free of lives problems to come to Christ. Come as you are. There is awesome power in the Resurrection of Christ. He is waiting for you right now to answer His call and bring your life to Him.

Christ conquered death! Christ conquered the grave! Do you believe He can conquer whatever you are facing right now?  

I will be praying for you this week to turn your life over to Christ.  

He said it to Thomas 2000 years ago and He says it to you today, BELIEVE!

I have changed the comments section to hopefully make it easier to share. Please take a few moments to share how the power of Christ is working in your life today.

You can also share your doubts, your fears, or areas that you need comfort so we can pray with you.

May God Bless you and bring you to a new place this week.
If you want to know how to make a change in you life go to Who Loves A Good Rescue Story, Part 2?
To further read the details of this story read John 20 and 21 

Make Today Count

I saw a really funny post from a teacher today. He hung a note on his computer and told his students that it was the last day of the quarter and he no longer was taking late assignments. The responsibility was theirs and they should do the work when He gives them the opportunity. Basically, no excuses for your grade, you had the chance.  Now it is too late.

Often times in our society we want extra chances. We don’t want there to be consequences for what we do. We, as parents, are constantly make excuses for our children and their behavior and everyone is a superstar no matter how average they are.

We don’t leave room for failure. We only leave room for excuses.

I have learned the greatest things in my life while facing my own failures. You can read one way Christ revealed Himself to me through some of my most shameful moments in “Who Will Bear My Shame in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

I don’t want my kids to fail. I don’t want them to fall. But I know deep down in my heart it will lead them to growth both emotionally and spiritually.

At this time of year we are facing down Calvary’s road right at the cross. Overall, the cross looked like a well laid out plan that completely failed.

On Palm Sunday everyone was parading Christ in singing Hosanna! Praise God! Here is our Savior!  By late Thursday early Friday they had completely turned on Him. We want answers. We want a Superstar. They began making excuses for following the crowd and denying who He was. They wanted one more miracle, one more sign, just one more.

Apparently, all He had done to this point to prove who He was, was not enough.  Show us and show us now or you are a failure. Even His disciples temporarily questioned who He was. As if all they had seen was not enough. I would clearly think from them, there would be no excuses. They saw it. They witnessed it. Yet here they were denying Him, betraying Him, doubting Him.

Doubt, denial, betrayal.  Character flaws that are quick and easy for us to judge. But Jesus tells us we are to take up our crosses daily, which means He knows that we are going to fill our lives with excuses. It also means that it is a constant work.  We too, sometimes daily, deny, doubt, and betray our “King.”

We are surrounded by His goodness, grace, and mercy, yet we are always looking for one more sign, one more miracle.  Then we will believe, and then we will follow.

As Jesus stood before the high council they said to Him, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?” But He replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.” Luke 23:67-69

The leading priests, the teachers of religious law were staring God in the face and they couldn’t see Him and they were making excuses.  Jesus even said to them, it doesn’t matter what I tell you, it doesn’t matter what I do to prove myself to you, you won’t believe.

Are you tired of making excuses? Are you tired of trying to find ways for Christ to prove Himself to you?

As you stand on the road to the cross this Easter season, don’t wait one more minute. Don’t come to the cross with your excuses. Come to the cross with your open heart. Lay down all that you have at the feet of Jesus.

If you are already a believer in Christ, He is waiting to do His work in you. We are to serve him with passion and desire to further His purposes and to further His kingdom. Are you diligently seeking and serving your Lord or are you daily making excuses about how busy you are and filling your life with much more of you?

If you have not ever made the decision to call Jesus Lord of your life, don’t wait another minute.
Philippians 2:9-11 tells us, Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.

A well laid out plan that failed, NO WAY! He has been exalted to a place of highest honor. He has been given the name above all other names. To Him, Every knee will bow. A well laid out plan was perfectly executed for you and me.  

Friends, there will be a day when no more excuses will be able to be made. We will get to the final quarter, we will get to the day when all grades will need to be turned in. Paul tells us in Philippians that on that day EVERY knee will bow, EVERY tongue will confess, Jesus Christ as Lord.

On that day, No more excuses will be able to be made. As you stand at the crossroad facing the cross please don’t miss your opportunity to make the choice to follow Him. Make it today so that you can someday stand confidently before Jesus and call Him Lord.

Friends, I will pray that you will make a choice today to make no more excuses. That you will follow the Lord with passion and a burning desire to only live a life pleasing to Him.

Be Still

Be Still
Be Still My Friends! You can rest assure that God is in Control.

For Sharing...

Seeking God

Hope In Him Alone!

Hope In Him Alone!
Thank You, Lord, for deciding who I am!

Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
If you have questions about how to know more you can email me at youresewtrendy@gmail.com

2 Timothy 1:7