Air1 Radio Feature – June 2011

Seeing With God’s Eyes

Are you embracing the season you are in? If not, you’re missing God’s best for you.

I’ve squandered too many wonderful days, in magnificent places, with fascinating people, because I was unable to get my heart around what was happening, and instead longed for what was not. I’ll never get those days back, but I’m committed to not repeat that mistake.

It’s dangerous to have a favorite season. People hate winter when everything they’re attached to lies dead or frozen. Frankly, our best season should be the one we’re presently in. It’s a matter of perspective! Believing yesterday wasn’t a great day, only means I missed what God was trying to do in me.

Today, see with God’s eyes! Let today be the best day of your life!

 

When God Uses Bulldozers

Do you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you?

When God’s at work in our lives, He prunes away what is dead and dying! When it’s a vast, eternal work, He uses bulldozers. At times, the experience can be so overwhelming we think we’ll never recover! but don’t fear; in time, old fruit orchards are pulled up and new ones are planted. All for our good!

For a few short years you may not see the fruit you once did, but get ready, up around the bend, in God’s perfect time, your harvest will be abundant. You will be a different person, transformed by responding well to the dealings of God.

The Bible promises, “Let nothing move you…because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

 

Mountain Moving Faith

Are you facing mountains of pain and discouragement? Does a mass of misery threaten to bankrupt your entire investment in God? Don’t let it!

It’s been powerfully said, “Stop telling God how big your mountains are, and start telling your mountains how big your God is.”

Life always comes down to a show down. A standoff! Who’s going to BLINK first! If God is God then trust Him! If God is able, then believe Him! The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)

So what are you going to believe? How big your mountains are? Or how big your GOD is? Be encouraged, even with faith as little as a mustard seed your mountains can be moved. We serve a powerful God!

 

Being Successful

Are you convinced God wants you to be successful? He absolutely does! But only He knows what success looks like.

Like any good father, God wants us to experience fulfilled lives; but unlike our earthly fathers, He’s completely capable of making our fulfillment a reality. The primary problem we have is that we often fail to see our lives from God’s point of view.

Ask God to reveal what He is doing in and around you today. As you wade through life’s circumstances, resist the temptation to rejoice in only the opportunities that please you. The truly successful followers of God have learned to eat the meals placed before them with grateful hearts. The Bible says, “In everything give thanks.” (1Thessalonians 5:18)

Rejoicing forever…starts now!

 

The Invisible World

You and I have never seen anything eternal with our natural eyes. This world is the matrix. The real world is invisible, and can Only be seen with eyes of faith.

So, in order to change the visible realm, we must learn to see into the invisible. This world is not our final destiny. Our goal in life is to discover God’s eternal blessings, and not be seduced by earth’s temporary distractions.

Frankly, our time here is a dress rehearsal. every aspect of life on Earth is a test. As Jesus prayed to His Father, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Luke 11:2, NKJV)

His prayer was heard, and it will be answered.

Only Heaven can reveal the best in us. Allow Heaven to come to Earth in your life today.

 

Remember Who He Is

Are you asking God to reveal Himself to you? It’s a great prayer!

But we shouldn’t be surprised if God doesn’t give us new revelations of Himself until we are obedient to the old ones He’s already given us. If we mistakenly take our eyes off of all He’s revealed to us and in us, eventually our nature will lead us to focus primarily on our problems.

We must remember who God is, and who we are in Him.

How we feel is the greatest indication of what we’re looking at. Are we filled with faith or fear? Delight or dread? Hope or hopelessness?

Oh, that we would see Jesus! (John 12:21) Seeing and believing who He is, will help us remember who we are created to be. And this will make all the difference!

 

Measuring Up To God

Are you trying to measure up to God? You must be exhausted! Because you’ll never do it! Remember, He’s perfect, and as you’ve noticed, we’re not.

But, as we grow more attached to His perfection, we’ll be less stumbled by our own imperfection. The goal in life is not to measure up to God. That would be futile! Instead, His marvelous plan is that we would learn to rest so completely in His perfection that we are not overwhelmed by our own lack.

“Jesus saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” (Titus 3:5a, NIV)

When we receive God’s perfect love for us, we begin to understand that He covers us with such love and compassion and we can then more easily focus on what’s right in Him, more than what’s wrong in us.

 

Smiling Back At God

Do you think God answering your prayers will make your day? It won’t! You’ll just ask Him for something else. And the merry-go round will continue!

The satisfaction you’re looking for doesn’t come from God answering your prayers, it comes from learning to love and trust Him regardless of His answer.

When you really know God, you have to trust Him. Because everything about Him is completely trust-worthy. At that point, you’ll refuse to depend on what you seem to understand. You’ll be trusting God with all of your heart, and not leaning upon your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

Once we believe God is smiling at us, the best response we can ever give Him is to smile back. Trust God today, and smile back!

 

Unthinkables

Are you experiencing an unthinkable situation? Life is filled with them!

We don’t mind the “good unthinkables”: we get an inheritance, we’re healed, we fall in love, or we even accept God’s forgiveness. But it’s the seemingly “bad unthinkables”: the left hooks: the sudden death of a loved one, divorce, bankruptcy, chronic pain, or a terminal illness.

These are the challenges of life that rock our world. BUT the Bible says, “Have no fear of sudden disaster…” (Proverbs 3:25, NIV)

If we respond properly to the unthinkable tests of life, they’ll bring us to a whole new level of faith in our relationship with God. It’s true: many things catch us off guard, but nothing is a surprise to God.

Believe that He is with you in the middle of your unthinkables.

Why? Because He really is!

 

The End is the Process

All of us think we know what’s best for us, but we rarely do.

We pray, “God, if you would just do this or that, then my life will be blessed!” As if we actually know better than God does. I don’t have enough information to know what’s best for me. So, I need to trust that God always does.

Oswald Chambers writes, “We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.”

The end goal for God is the process He’s guiding us through. (My Utmost For His Highest)

 

Never Be Disappointed

Have you come to terms with what God wants for your life? It’s important that you do!

All good parents want their children to succeed. Though God’s definition of success and failure are often different than ours, a continual, conscious dependence upon Him will always lead us toward healthy growth and becoming more like Jesus.

God the Father is most glorified in us when we are most fruitful in Him. That’s why Jesus came: not to give us the life of our dreams, but the life of His dreams for us. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b, NKJV)

If you and I let God determine what his abundant life looks like we’ll never be disappointed.

 

God of All Seasons

All of us want to hear the voice of God. The inner voice that leads and guides our life. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27, NKJV)

So, when will we hear God clearest? We hear God best in Winter seasons of life. During the more fragrant and obviously blessed seasons of our lives we are frankly, too busy, too distracted.

In winter, all we have is time. We’ve been rained-out, snowed under, or frozen solid. At last God has our attention. If we spend our time wishing winter was over, we’ll miss the best time to rest, listen, and be restored.

Adam and Eve were seduced in Summer. David fell in the springtime. Embrace your winters. They really are the best time for us to get to know God.

 

Keep Digging

Are you frustrated about something?

Frustrations are actually doorways to our destiny. Until we see our lives from God’s point of view, we’ll never understand the good that’s possible because of these frustrations. If we obsess over the pain and displeasure associated with the struggles of life, we’ll miss their entire point.

In 2Corinthains 12:10, the Bible even tells us to take pleasure in our pain!

Each of our lives are intentionally shrouded in secrecy; our true purpose is often disguised in a maze of problems. Complaining about our setbacks only distracts us from receiving the truth behind the mystery.

The key to life is to not stop at the surface of a problem, but to dig deep enough to uncover the reason and value behind each trouble.

 

Communicating With God

Every day God is trying to communicate with us—deep down in our spirit.  Are we listening? An unbelieving planet resists loudly, while the Kingdom of faith persists quietly. Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in a communist prison for his faith. He once wrote, “The one thing you Americans are most afraid of is silence.”

There’s so much noise in this world. So many voices! So many options! We must make a concerted effort to learn to listen. As God spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1:1–3), He can speak life to every dimension in our lives.

We need to let God speak to us through His Word… in worship… and in prayer. Even as we go through our day, God is speaking! May we hear Him today.

 

Loving the Light

Men love darkness; yet the God who is light still loves men.

Perhaps the greatest miracle that can take place in a person’s heart, is going from loving darkness to loving light. If there’s a greater miracle than that, I’ve never seen it.

The Bible says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8, NIV)

It is the gnawing repetition of darkness that makes us crave the light. No one ever ended their life wishing they had given themselves over to greater darkness. The opposite is true.

Are you sick of darkness? If so, crave the light! Let Jesus shine His life in and through you today! Remember, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.”(Matthew 5:14, NKJV) Be that light!

 

What Season Are You In?

Do you know the spiritual season you are in? It will help if you do.

Looking for fruit in the middle of Winter, will leave you disappointed. Trying to hold on to parts of your life in Fall, when emotional leaves fall away, will make you frustrated. Look to Jesus in each season!

When God wants Spring and Summer to come in your life, it will happen. But we do ourselves a distinct disservice by refusing to embrace the season right in front of us. Spring flowers will come soon enough. Summer fruit is on the menu. In the meantime, don’t miss what God is trying to show you today.

From God’s point of view, there is no best season. Let the season you’re in be the best season of your life.

 

You Complete Me

What’s it going to take to make you and I the complete person we want to be?

There was a famous line at the end of a movie where a man finally admits he loves a woman and says, “You complete me!”

Wow! That’s romantic! Sensational! It’ll make you cry! But it’s just not true!

Now, I love my wife dearly, and she loves me. But I don’t complete her, and she doesn’t complete me. Unless you and I find our completeness in the God who created us, we’ll never be complete. In the Book of Colossians, the Bible is crystal clear, “We are complete in Him (in Jesus).” (Colossians 2:10)

I’ve seen people try and find the completeness they long for in everything imaginable, but there’s only one thing that works: a daily relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Using God

What are you most attached to? God? Or what He can do for you?

Your answer will determine how much blessing you’ll see in your life.

Life’s all about being more committed to knowing God and less concerned with what we think we need from Him. No one wants to be used! Not even God.

Focus on abiding in Jesus–not using Him. Paul said, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.”(Philippians 3:10, NLT)

God knows our needs even before we ask. It merely demonstrates a lack of relationship to keep parroting the obvious. He’s already done more than enough for each of us to fully trust Him.

May our eyes be opened to see Jesus, the lover of our soul, and not just what He’s done for us.

 

Trimming the Dead

Have you noticed anything dead in your heart? Let Jesus prune it away.

Let Him trim off what is dead and useless. Let Him remove what has no lasting value and will only weigh you down. Soon you will rebound from your winter, basking among the beautiful flowers and sweet fruit of a fully surrendered life, reflecting on how wonderful your winter was.

God is committed to establishing our internal, long-term health. Therefore, He cuts away what we’re attached to on Earth, even what appears to be somewhat healthy, in order to produce what’s eternal: His destiny for our life.

Be only attached to Jesus. The Bible says, “As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children.” (Hebrews 12:7a, NLT)

 

A Life Worth Loving

Are you living the life you want to live? If not, what’s missing? Maybe it’s faith!

Everything God has for us must be received by faith. In other words, we must receive God’s gifts on His terms: by faith.

I need the same amount of faith to embrace the life God gives me, as I needed to embrace the God who saved me. It takes no faith to say, “God has not given me a life worth living.”

On the other hand, it takes great faith to believe the truth: “God can ONLY give me a life worth loving.” I love my life because it’s a gift from God. But I still need to see my life through His eyes of faith to really understand why it is worth living.

Faith makes all the difference!

 

Air1 Radio Features – May 2011

Setbacks

Are you experiencing setbacks? Why do our hearts melt when tested? Is it because we fear what we don’t know, or because we fail to trust the God who knows all things?

Research has proven that no one drowns gracefully. We all struggle to stay afloat. At times, accepting what we cannot undo, with true humility, is the only good option. Being humbled by life is always awkward, even embarrassing, but if we trust God in the struggle, it eventually yields the eternal fruit of a fully blessed life.

Long ago, I settled in my heart to live as an optimist. I want to enthusiastically wade through disappointments. Paul the apostle understood this when he wrote, “now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” (2Corinthians 2:14a) Trust God! He’ll never fail you!

Emotional Roller Coaster

Are you riding an emotional roller coaster? One moment you’re overcoming, and the next you’re being overcome. The psalmist wrote, “I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.” (Psalms 31:7, NLT)

It seems that we have a choice to be overcome by joy or by despair. If there were nothing to overcome, then we’d have no reason to fight for joy. Like ripened fruit, it would just fall from the trees of life. But that’s not the case.

We’ll have to fight in order to receive the joy God has prepared for us. At times, we’re fighting fears and doubts, on other occasions it’s lies and circumstances.

Whatever it is, fight for joy…it’s absolutely worth fighting for!

Out of Control

Are your circumstances out of control? What happens to us may seem completely out of our control, but how we view life is always our choice. I can choose to see my life from God’s life-giving point of view, or be limited by the narrowness of fear, unbelief and ignorance which only leads to anger, panic, and despair.

We each have the choice to look up, past the distracting struggles that keep us stuck in the past, bound in the present, and lacking hope for our future. We must be committed to go forward, whatever comes our way, choosing to remain “…steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the lord.” (1Corinthians 15:58)

Look up! God sees you! He will help!

Bringing Out The Best In You

Are you facing major trials? Feel like giving up? Please don’t!

Trials are meant to bring out the best in us, not the worst. They throw the pass beyond our reach, but not beyond God’s intent and grace. It isn’t an accident when we feel completely inadequate to meet our own needs. God’s the only one who can make up the difference in every dimension of our lives.

When you’re struggling, continually reach out to Jesus to receive the grace you need. Oswald Chambers writes, “God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome.” The discouragements of yesterday don’t disqualify you, the setbacks of today can’t sabotage you, and the failures of tomorrow won’t finish you. You were created to be victorious…to overcome. Live your purpose!

 

Humility Leads To Success

Everyone wants to be successful! But most people miss one of the great paradoxes of life. They mistakenly believe the doorway to success is through their strengths. It’s not! Our strengths are far more dangerous than our weaknesses, providing the easiest way for us to fail. In our weakness we learn to lean upon Jesus, in order to receive the strength we need.

Humility comes from embracing our weakness, and delighting in God’s strength. It’s only when we embrace this captivating quality, the humility of Jesus, that the irresistible grace of God is released in us. ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ (1Peter 5:5b) if pride is resistible, then humility must be, irresistible.

Humble yourself! It will activate the irresistible grace of God in your life.

 

How God Uses Celebrities

Most people’s desires are not God’s desires. We’ll do anything to change the way we look—to change only the shell—when God wants to transform the pearl within us. Outward transformation will never make us whole. And since the kingdom of God can only be accessed from inside your spirit, it follows that the wholeness we’re looking for will come from within, when we surrender our lives to Jesus.

Don’t waste your time wishing for a new life; ask God to give you a new perspective on the life he’s given you.

One of the key ways God uses celebrities: is to show us that you can have everything in the physical world and still be unfulfilled. Embrace the life God has freely given you, not the life you wish you had.

 

Reminiscing Our Pain

Have you been severely wounded? At one time or another, all of us will be.

But, at some point, we’ll have to decide: are we on a journey to be healed and help others, or attached to remaining a patient? We may be hurt, but are we more committed to being healed, or reminiscing our pain?

When we hold on to a bitter perspective, we become unwilling to understand, forgive, and be healed. A far better way is to exchange your pain for his peace—to allow God to have his way.

We were created to meet Jesus in the middle of our storms. Frankly, few of us have time for him outside of the storms of life. If you let him, God will give you the “…peace that goes far beyond your understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)

 

Forgetting What You Have

Do you appreciate all you have?

I once read about an elderly American woman who died of starvation, alone in her apartment, because she didn’t have any money. Yet when the police examined her belongings, they found over $100,000 in cash buried inside the mattress she died on. She forgot what she had!

Amazing gifts have been buried deep inside each of us. Remember them! Extraordinary opportunities are all around us! What have you overlooked, that’s right in front of you? Ask God to show you!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his spirit…” (1Corinthians 2:9–10, NLT)

Let God show you what you’ve overlooked!

 

Respond Well Department

I once heard some jolting news that could have been received as sad and disappointing. But God in his mercy quickly reminded me of my only responsibility. I am only in charge of the respond well department; because he is in charge of everything else. Wow! What a relief! For a moment, I thought I might be in trouble. Then I got my eyes back on Jesus!

The world says, “Be in control!” the word says “Give God control!” (Ephesians 5:18, NLT)”

Every challenge in life is designed to reveal our weakness and God’s strength—to make us realize not just how desperately we need Him, but how absolutely sufficient His grace is in each of our lives.

God’s given us everything we need to love the life He’s given us. (2Peter 1:3)

 

Living Optimistic

Are you optimistic about your life, or pessimistic?

Long ago, I settled in my heart to live as an optimist. I want to live life enthusiastically wading through every disappointment.

Paul the apostle was also an eternal optimist. He once wrote, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” (2Corinthians 2:14a)

There’s no aspect of our lives that’s ever been an oversight to God. The psalmist wrote, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…” (Psalms 139:15) God has never made even one mistake concerning our lives. “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalms 139:14) We have each been given an infinite potential by a gracious God. Let’s purpose to live our potential!

 

No Shortcuts

In life there are no shortcuts, only detours.

Even if we’re momentarily pleased by one of life’s circumstances, it’ll be short-lived. May we each accept the obvious: God desires to change us, not change the world around us. In life, if we can’t appreciate what we have, we’ll never be pleased with what’s ahead.

There’s actually no faster way to get to where your heart wants to be than by accepting and embracing the will of God for your life. It’s the express train to fulfillment!

The primary reason we don’t love the life God’s given us is because we don’t know God. We don’t trust Him, and inevitably we begin to play God ourselves. It always ends badly. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5a) Let God be God! He’s really good at it!

 

Lousy God

I would be a lousy God! I know this is true based on how I treat my friends when they’re in trouble. I tend to want to bail them out of every crisis they encounter. So, if I were God, I’d spoil the whole planet. Not only do I not know what’s best for me, I rarely know what’s best for others.

God’s infinitely more interested in fixing us than in fixing our problems. As a matter of fact, and this may surprise you — at times, he’s the author of our problems. While we’re saying, “God, stop the problem!” he’s saying, “stop the whining, and begin to understand what I am allowing.”

Rest in God! Trust him completely! Stand your ground! Fight to receive all he has for you, and believe that he will never, ever, desert you!

 

Pain Reveals Purpose

When Jesus faced the greatest trials of His life, He didn’t try and manipulate His Father in Heaven to lighten His load. Instead, Jesus realized that His pain further revealed His true purpose in life. Jesus once prayed, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour.’ But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27) He’s saying, “My pain reveals My purpose!”

Being created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) was the beginning of our purpose. Finishing that work is now our destiny. Anything that keeps us from fulfilling God’s ultimate purpose—being conformed to His image—must be disregarded and treated as a distraction. Tragically, most people live and die distracted. Don’t let it happen to you! Be committed to live only His purpose for your life.

 

Created For A Fight

We were born for trouble; created for a fight! Through trouble our soul is formed, shaped, and molded into the image of an untroubled God. I get a kick out of two overstated expressions, “Don’t give me any good news, it only weakens me” and “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.”

If your troubles were completely removed, you’d merely eliminate your purpose in life: which is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. “For whom God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Romans 8:29) defining your purpose in life reduces frustration, increases your focus, and keeps you on track to fulfill God’s will for your life.

It’s a fight God Himself will help you win!

 

The Easy Life

Would you like your life to be easier? All of us would!

Yet, as I look back over my life, my consistent appeals for God to make my life easier have not fallen on deaf ears due to indifference; the all-knowing, all-caring God has merely dismissed my fleeting appeals as narrow-minded, showing lack of foresight. He knows the easy life would destroy my potential; therefore, He makes my life purposefully challenging.

Only by pressing the olive is the oil poured out; only by crushing the flower is the true fragrance released. Only as Paul and his companions were “pressed out of measure… insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2Corinthians 1:8, KJV) did they experience the “sweet-smelling aroma (and become) an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.” (Philippians 4:18)

 

Train Your Soul

You may never train a lion, but there’s one thing you need to train: and that’s your soul!

Each day I try and train my soul to embrace every second of my God-intended life. From God’s point of view, all days are created equal. There is no best day in heaven. A perfect God has flawlessly crafted every molecule and every moment of my life. If I’m attached to my dream for my life, it will slip through my fingers. But, if I embrace God’s plan, I can begin to live the pleasures of eternal life right now.

Train your soul: your mind, will and emotions to embrace the long-term value of every circumstance in your life. A soul without self-control will blind us from seeing life as God intended.

There are no accidents, only divinely crafted opportunities!

 

Pleasures That Satisfy

If pleasure’s the goal in life, then everyone wins something…a measure of pleasure! The devil’s happy to give us the pleasures of Connecticut and Vermont Avenues, as long as he gets to keep boardwalk and park place. But, if you’ve ever played Monopoly, you know that Connecticut and Vermont Avenues are basically worthless, while boardwalk and park place are priceless.

The devil offers counterfeit intimacy—through some shallow, momentary pleasure. It’s pleasure, but without eternity—a forgery of what we’re created for: which is a personal relationship with God.

Only God’s way leads to life: “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.” (Psalm 16:11, NLT)

The only pleasure that truly satisfies is the pleasure that comes from God.

 

Blaming God

Are you blaming God for the challenges in your life? It’s really a dead end!

When we stop blaming Him for our lives and begin to thank Him for the magnificent, daily opportunities He gives each of us, then Jesus truly becomes our Lord, and life becomes a joy, not a joke. This happens when we reign in every thought and humble ourselves before our Creator. (Philippians 4:8) when we do this, our lives are seen as a grand adventure, and not a burden.

Surrender your heart to Jesus as lord! Let him remove every excuse for not loving the life he’s given you! The kingdom of God is within you. Ask God to reveal it! Either I have the kingdom of God living in me or I don’t have it at all. I will search again!

 

No Bad News In God

How would you like everything in your life to work for your good? It can happen! It’s actually God’s will!

God promises that all things will work together for our good, if we love Him more than anyone or anything else—if we’re committed to do His will and purpose more than our own. (Romans 8:28)

When we completely love and submit to Jesus as Lord, we can stand on the promise that there’s no bad news in God. But this can only happen if we have faith beyond our lifetime here on earth.

If eternity is in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), then all of life’s challenges will work for our good. We will be stretched, at times beyond what we think we can handle, but all that happens to us will be for our benefit.

 

Purpose Of Prayer

Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers? It’s a waste of time! Wait on God, not what He can do for you! The purpose of prayer is not to get answers, but to get to know God! That’s our greatest need! It’s not even that God would heal our mind or body. Even miracles are not our greatest need, if we refuse to turn our attention back to God.

Every temporary desire will be followed by other requests. At some point in life, I must learn to find my contentment in God alone!

Don’t obsess over what you don’t have. Many people battle depression because of what’s not happening in their lives.

God doesn’t want to coddle you, He wants to comfort you.

Don’t live waiting for tomorrow to begin. Learn to live hoping today will never end.

 

Air1 Radio Features – April 2011

Orphans Sleeping

Do you have trouble enjoying the present? Is it because you’re afraid of the future?

After World War II, millions of orphans throughout Europe were gathered into camps to be housed and fed. Though their physical needs were met, the orphans still couldn’t sleep.

Finally, the solution came. Every night, when the children went to bed, a small piece of bread was placed in their hands. So, whenever they woke in the night, they’d know they’d have food the next day. Soon the children were sleeping great. Their past experience had taught them there was no hope for tomorrow. But that was far from the truth.

What worry keeps you from resting? God’s promised us a future and a hope if we will trust Him (Jeremiah 29:11). Throughout your day, hold on to the bread of life, God’s Word. You’ll find the rest you’re looking for.

 

Impossible Helicopters

Are you facing the impossible? When Igor Sikorsky was 12 years old, his parents told him experts had proven human flight was impossible.

Years later, after Igor had invented the helicopter, he put this sign in his assembly plant: “According to recognized aero technical tests, the bumblebee cannot fly because of the shape and weight of his body in relation to the total wing area. The bumblebee, however, doesn’t know this; so he goes ahead and flies anyway.”

Faith LAUGHS at the IMPOSSIBLE! If we look at the storms of life, it’s hard to visualize our dreams taking flight.  But if we look to Jesus, we’ll be able to rise above any obstacle. GOD’S LIMITLESS WORD, The Bible; is FILLED with ENDLESS PROMISES AND POSSIBILITIES! Trust Jesus, for your “TODAY” AND for your FUTURE and GET READY TO FLY…

 

Flying By Instruments

Are you facing a big decision. Don’t be afraid! God will help you!

In my 18 years of globetrotting around the world, I flew in many small private planes, and was able to talk with the pilots about their training. One of the first things pilots are taught is to read their gauges and TRUST THEIR INSTRUMENTS, MORE THAN THEIR FEELINGS OR SENSES. I’ve been flying in thick clouds and dense fog…where we couldn’t see a thing. At those moments of flying blind, I’m glad the pilots trusted their instruments.

Unless you and I TRUST the FLAWLESS INSTRUMENT of God’s Word, we’ll MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON OUR SENSES. Don’t come to eternal conclusions based on WHAT YOU CAN SEE… TRUST WHAT GOD SEES. It’s the only way you will ever be COMPLETELY SAFE.

 

The Value of Enemies

Do you know your enemy? He knows you! I’m not talking about humans…they’re not our enemies! I’m talking in the spirit realm.

Your enemy doesn’t have to beat you…he only has to bluff you. He’s not looking for a fight…he’s looking for a flaw. Don’t feel bad because you have an enemy! Without enemies, we don’t have a future, because we’re only rewarded for the enemy we conquer.

Without Goliath we would never have heard of David. Every time we delay a battle, we POSTPONE A PROMOTION. An enemy can do for us in one day, what our friends could not do for us in a lifetime. So…how do we impress a God who’s seen everything? Show him something that He doesn’t see that often. Trust Him alone, and don’t give in to fear.

Your existence proves God saw a battle ONLY YOU COULD FIGHT.

(Principles extracted from the teachings of Mike Murdock.)

 


Focusing On Mistakes

Are you still focusing on your mistakes? What a waste of time!

Sure, it’s good to learn from them, but DWELLING ON THEM IS POINTLESS. Learn to LOOK PAST YOUR SETBACKS and you’ll discover the PURPOSE IN YOUR PAIN. If you’re FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU’VE DONE WRONG, YOU’RE STILL LIVING IN THE PAST. No good can come from WATERING LAST YEAR’S CROP. An ancient philosopher once wrote, ‘Waste not FRESH TEARS over OLD GRIEFS.’

Water your future with faith! Believe that God can redeem every mistake… every disappointment…every hurt. Don’t let your PAST PAIN DEFINE YOU! Let God’s eternal purpose for your pain INSPIRE YOU! Ask Him to reveal the TRUE VALUE OF ALL YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH. Even Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)

Allow God to form you into the person He created you to be.

 


Gift of Pain

Are you RESISTING the GIFT OF PAIN? That’s right…the GIFT of PAIN! Why do we second-guess the PERFECT PLANS of an ALL-WISE CREATOR? Many times, it’s our shallow understanding that causes us to miss the POINT and PURPOSE of our challenges. All that happens then is we NEEDLESSLY REPEAT the LEARNING PROCESS that was TAILOR-MADE JUST FOR US. Why experience the SAME PAIN TWICE? EMBRACE the VALUE of your pain the first time!

Sometimes I NAIVELY PRAY, “Lord, if I just didn’t have so much pain, my life would be great.” But looking back over my life, it’s been MY PAIN that’s KEPT ME HUMBLE. It’s MY PAIN that’s INCREASED MY DEPENDENCY on God. I THANK GOD for the PAIN THAT KEPT ME from DESTROYING my life. Pain protects us when we choose to embrace it as a gift!

 


Malcolm Muggeridge and Suffering

What teaches us the most in life?

Malcolm Muggeridge, the famous British journalist and author, wrote near the end of his life, “Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my experience, has been through affliction and not through happiness.” (Malcolm Muggeridge, in Homemade, July, 1990)”

What a revealing statement! Our difficulties not only work for my good, if I love God and am committed to do His will, they’ll help shape me into the person I was meant to be. As painful as your suffering might be at this very moment the Master Surgeon Himself can heal those wounds no matter how deep…

 


Looking For Love

Are you looking for love? Wonderful! He’s looking for you too!

God is love! And He knows only His love will satisfy you. Accept no substitutes when it comes to love. There are a lot of frauds out there!

No one has ever loved you more than God. And He knows you the best. Every day, challenge your inner man, moment by moment, to return to the One who loves you the most.

The psalmist captured the essence of soul therapy. “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” (Psalms 116:7, NIV) Have you seen how good God’s been to you? Most people don’t see it…because it takes eyes of faith. Are you committed to seeing God’s love today?

Look for it! It’s right in front of you!

 


Happiness is a Decision

Everyone wants to be happy. But happiness is more about a state of mind than having things work out.

A man in his 90’s lost his wife of 60 years. Checking into a nursing home, an attendant described his new room to him. The old man replied, “I love it.” The attendant laughed and said, “But you haven’t even seen it yet.” Without missing a beat the old man shot back, “That doesn’t have anything to do with it. Happiness is something you decide ahead of time.”

What an extraordinary response! The Bible challenged us “…BE EXCEEDINGLY JOYFUL in ALL…TRIBULATION…” (2Corinthians 7:4)

I’ve found that happiness is NOT HAVING WHAT YOU WANT, it’s WANTING WHAT YOU HAVE. That’s why HAPPINESS IS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.  It’s JUST A NEW perspective AWAY. Today, be grateful for what you have.

 


Things Getting Better

Would it surprise you if I said: the part of each of us THAT WISHES things would get better is NOT our friend.

Actually, it could be our ENEMY! I have NO IDEA what “BETTER” looks like, and God has NO INTENTION of fulfilling MY EXPECTATIONS. But, if I’ll let Him, He DOES INTEND to FULFILL HIS EXPECTATIONS through me.

The only way that can happen is: I MUST DECREASE, and HE MUST INCREASE. The WORST thing I can do is be IMPRESSED by what I think, or even what happens to me!

How we RESPOND to life is far more important than WHAT HAPPENS TO US. Oswald Sanders described it in a slightly different way, “Maturity is moving from a thin skin and a hard heart to a thick skin and a soft heart.”

Sounds like a GREAT GOAL to me!

 

 


Peace With Holiness

Are you at peace with your life? True peace only comes from one Person: God Himself…the Prince of Peace.

Scripture says, “While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them…” (1Thessalonians 5:3, ESV)

In fact, PEACE, WITHOUT the HOLINESS of Christ, will lead to APPEASEMENT WITHOUT PRINCIPLE. The Bible tells us to, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14) We won’t see God move, or understand His intent, unless we follow His road to peace through Jesus Christ. If we COMPROMISE on GENUINE HOLINESS, all we’ll get is counterfeit peace. TRUE PEACE will NEVER conflict with the truth of God’s Word, and ALWAYS brings us to a place of INNER REST and safety, NO MATTER WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND US.

 


Wishing Things Work Out

I don’t know what’s best for me—never have and never will. I don’t even know enough to have a STRONG PERSONAL PREFERENCE. So, spending my life WISHING things would work out is an ENORMOUS waste of my time.

The SMARTEST THING I can do… is to remain neutral: no bias, fully flexible, and yielding ONLY to the will of God. Have PASSIONATE FAITH, and let GOD’S WILL BE DONE IN YOUR LIFE, but DON’T BE ATTACHED to how HIS WILL PLAYS OUT.

I need the SAME AMOUNT OF FAITH to welcome the LIFE GOD GIVES ME, as I needed when I first embraced the God who saved me. We KNOW we’re trusting God when we STOP WISHING our lives would change. LOVE the life you have and joyfully receive everything placed before you. GOD HASN’T LOST TRACK OF YOU!

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Heavy Winters Bring Bountiful Summers

One of the most knowledgeable men I know once told me, “Heavy winters bring more bountiful summers.” Hmm? The harder the winter–the more fruitful the summer!

We all appreciate Spring flowers and Summer fruit, but it’s the dying of Fall and the storms of Winter that create the most abundant harvests. Our inability to fully APPRECIATE the storms of life merely demonstrates how SHORTSIGHTED we really are. An over-dependence upon temporary satisfaction usually leads to FUTURE DISAPPOINTMENT. God has NO DESIRE to give you peace FROM the storms of life. His plan is to give you peace IN the storm. Peace that comes when the storm STOPS is temporary. Learning to have peace DURING the storms of life, that’s the goal.

So, the next time you encounter a storm, RESPOND WELL…a wonderful harvest is just around the bend.

 


The Value of Storms

Are you in the middle of a storm? Do you feel overwhelmed?

Meteorologists say that, on the ground, every storm feels the same coming in—whether it brings two inches of snow or two feet. So, we never really know which storm will bring the most CHALLENGE or the MOST BENEFIT to our lives.

EMBRACE your storms as they come; there are NO ACCIDENTAL STORMS. An ALL-KNOWING God, who always has OUR BEST INTEREST in mind, HANDCRAFTS EVERY ONE. We were created to MEET JESUS in the middle of our storms. Frankly, few of us have time for Him outside of them. It often takes HURRICANES and TORNADOES to GET OUR ATTENTION. We should bless God for the storms in our lives, because they help us to become FULLY conscious, and more INTIMATELY CONNECTED with our EVER-CARING CREATOR.

 


Accept God-Allowed Pain

When does our suffering produce a positive change in us?

We only change when our willingness to ACCEPT GOD-ALLOWED PAIN exceeds our fear of pain. At times in our lives, we will ALL SUFFER a SHARP PAINFUL DISILLUSIONMENT before we FULLY SURRENDER to reality. Even Jesus had to endure a PAINFUL CRUCIFIXION before He could say, “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30) As we keep our eyes on the prize, we’ll eventually see that ALL of the PRESSURE and PAIN in life PALES IN COMPARISON to the GLORY that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

My prayer is that the Lord will HELP EACH OF US to see Him WORKING in every moment of our lives: That He will LEAD US TO TRUST that THE PLAN WE CANNOT SEE IS GREATER THAN the CIRCUMSTANCES WE CAN.

 


Pleasure In Your Pain

Are you overwhelmed? Can you even imagine finding PLEASURE IN YOUR PAIN? Paul the Apostle did! He ENDORSED THIS SEEMINGLY CRAZY way OF THINKING when he wrote; “I am EXCEEDINGLY JOYFUL in all our tribulation [our pressures, afflictions, burdens and troubles].” (2Corinthians 7:4)

Hmm? If the joy that Paul expresses is an example of how GOD RESPONDS TO LIFE, and if GOD IS TRULY LIVING IN US, then JOY SHOULD BE HOW WE RESPOND TO LIFE AS WELL.

Is it possible to be grieved and joyful simultaneously? Absolutely! You might be brokenhearted someone’s died yet joyful they’re in Heaven. You may be saddened your job’s ending, but joyfully confident God has something better. Here’s a GREAT RECIPE for living: ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU HIS JOY, in the middle of your pain.

 


Joy is a Choice

Want to ADD MORE JOY to your life? Sprinkle in…a LITTLE FAITH!

Faith is the MIRACULOUS INGREDIENT that activates TRUE JOY in each of our lives. Whereas HAPPINESS waits to see what’s going to happen, JOY blissfully opens its arms to every moment, CHOOSING IN ADVANCE to see life from God’s point of view.

Joy comes in the MORNING, before anything has happened to make us happy! We can opt to let FEAR or WORRY come in the morning, or perhaps even DEPRESSION and DISAPPOINTMENT. It’s ALWAYS our choice! If we so desire, we can invite DISCOURAGEMENT for breakfast, take HOPELESSNESS out to lunch, and join DESPAIR for a candlelight dinner.

It’s always our call. Will you CHOOSE joy today?

 


Accepting Your Past

Are you struggling accepting some part of your past?

When we spend our lives DWELLING ON YESTERDAY, we shouldn’t be surprised if TOMORROW seems to never come. If we EMBRACE what IS happening in our lives, our feelings from the past won’t seem as important as they once were. Because TOMORROW’S promised to NONE OF US, I’m committed to EMBRACING my life today!

Frankly, FIRM EXPECTATIONS often lead to BITTER DISAPPOINTMENTS. At some point we must accept that ON MANY LEVELS God’s given each of us the life HE KNOWS WE NEED, not the one WE WISHED WE HAD. Embrace it! At the end of the day, RESISTING what God is doing in your life will ONLY bring confusion. ACCEPTING God’s will, and TRUSTING Him to LEAD you, will give you the PEACE OF MIND you’ve ALWAYS WANTED.

 


Shattered

Do you feel like your life has been shattered?

If so, there’s only one cure. It’s a three-letter word: JOY! You could describe joy as “a deep sense of INNER SATISFACTION that comes from SEEING OUR LIVES FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE, and RESPONDING PROPERLY to the CHALLENGES and SUFFERING of life.”

The Bible says our lives can be “perfect, complete, and lack nothing” if we COUNT IT ALL JOY when we fall into various trials, knowing that the TESTING OF OUR FAITH PRODUCES PATIENCE. (James 1:2–4)

Things COMING UP ROSES WON’T make us perfect, complete, and lacking nothing; we must allow situations to, at times, COME UP THORNS. If we then RESPOND PROPERLY to life’s trials, it will produce the FAITH and PATIENCE that pleases God and ultimately—an eternal JOY.

Trust God in the middle of your trials. He WON’T FAIL YOU!

 

Abundant Life

Are you LIVING the ABUNDANT LIFE Jesus promised? (John 10:10)

We as Christians are called to live VICTORIOUS, RESURRECTED lives, but how will we know this is taking place?

You know you’re walking in RESURRECTION LIFE when you’re MORE CONCERNED about HEAVEN’S IMPRESSION of you than EARTH’S. When you’re MORE INTERESTED in TRUSTING GOD than UNDERSTANDING WHY things are happening.

Dead men have NO preferences. They bask in TOTAL ACCEPTANCE and COMPLETE RESIGNATION. It IS God’s will for each of us to have NO PREFERENCE other than to obey and be at peace with what He provides.

If we DIE DAILY to our own desires, we will experience the ABUNDANT LIFE Jesus promised. For it is IN DYING we live. And it is IN LIVING A FULLY SURRENDERED LIFE we experience ALL God intended.

 

Air1 Radio Features – March 2011

Jesus Is The Only Way

In 1972, I was an artist selling my wares in Lahaina, Maui, and a young “Jesus Freak” said something that infuriated me. He said, “Jesus was the ONLY way!” At the time I believed there were many paths to God. Jesus was “ONE” way, but certainly not “THE” way. He finally read these words of Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” THAT WAS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE TO ME THEN! But now I see these words as they really are: ABSOLUTE TRUTH! Jesus wasn’t just another option: a bright spot in this dark world. He WAS God come to Earth . . . the SAVIOR of the world. And, if you can believe it . . . He can save you too.

Short-changed or Over-paid

Do you feel like you’ve been short-changed by God, or over-paid? The answer to this question will not just affect HOW YOU PROCESS YOUR PAST, but HOW YOU VIEW YOUR FUTURE. Has God given any of us a RAW DEAL? Or have we merely MISINTERPRETED the OPPORTUNITIES He’s SENT OUR WAY. God’s Word says He’s given each of us, “…everything we need to live a godly, fulfilled life.” (2Peter 1:3) None of us have been SHORT-CHANGED. At times, we’re just SHORT-SIGHTED! We’ve missed seeing what God was really doing. Ask God to open your eyes to His plan. Ask Him to reveal the thoughts and intents of His heart. The God who sent His only Son to die in our place has ALWAYS given us His best.

Are We There Yet?

When I was growing up my family went on long car trips. I’d ask my parents, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” It’s a valid question, though when repeated every other minute, it’s a little annoying. But, I never asked my parents “Do you know where we are going?” I ASSUMED they knew . . . I TRUSTED they knew . . . I RESTED in their knowing. Trust is BELIEVING God has ALL the CLARITY I NEED. I DON’T NEED TO KNOW what’s going on, as long as I know HE KNOWS. A lot of my ASSUMPTIONS about life have REALLY BEEN PRESUMPTIONS. I’m not WALLOWING IN IGNORANCE, I’m RESTING IN A CONFIDENT TRUST that God’s guiding my life. At times, God let’s us know where we’re going. MOST OF THE TIME, we need to TRUST: HE KNOWS.

Shoeless And Homeless

A friend was driving on a cold, rainy day, when he saw a barefoot man walking a puppy. He said to himself, “He’s crazy!” The he thought: “Maybe he’s not barefoot by choice?” God encouraged my friend to go back. He responded, “OK Lord, if this is really You, his shoe size will be MY SIZE … 11.” Finding him rummaging through garbage cans, the homeless man shared how his pup chewed his sandals, and he was looking for bottles to buy more. My friend asked, “What size do you wear?” You guessed it, “11.” When my friend gave him his socks and shoes, the barefoot man’s eyes welled with tears. He then reached through the window and gave him a big hug. That moment made both their days. Hmm? I wonder what God has in store for YOU today?

Flying High In A Lawn Chair

On a hot July day, a 33-year-old truck driver decided a change was needed in his life. He’d been sitting around for months doing nothing. So, he attached 42 helium balloons to a lawn chair and lifted off. Just in case he flew too high, he took along a pellet gun to shoot out some of the balloons. Reaching high altitude very quickly, a shocked airplane pilot reported seeing “some guy in a lawn chair floating in the sky at 16,000 feet!” Finally, he began to shoot out a few balloons and was able to land safely 45 minutes later. Ha! Life can get pretty boring. That’s why the Bible says “without a vision, people live careless lives.” (Proverbs 29:18) We don’t need just a change of scenery, we just need God’s perspective for our lives.

Living In A Shed Or A Mansion

Incredible as it sounds, a man lived in a wooden shed with a metal roof, 3 feet wide, by 4 feet long, and 5 feet high for decades. He lived in this shed until he died at age 80. Though he could afford to move, he chose to spend his life in that little space. Are you limiting your growth in God? How big do you want your relationship to be? A shed? A shack? Or a mansion? Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) Sure, this relates to our eternal future, but it also applies to the Kingdom of God within us. May your relationship with God be as BIG as His heart for you.

Getting New Vision

Do you need vision for your life? We all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning. A purpose to work hard! A reason to step out in faith! A fresh start, in order to experience what we’ve never experienced before. Initiative is the ability to take the lead; to introduce change and act first. But you can’t just try harder and expect different results. To do what you’ve never done . . . you’ll have to think what you’ve never thought. When you’re born again, GOD gives you new thoughts; a new reason to live; NEW HOPES, and NEW DREAMS. But you have to keep asking Him for them. It’s an “ask and it will be given to you” relationship. Don’t be afraid to ask God. He’s got all the vision you need.

Hide And Seek With God

At the entrance of a manufacturing plant, a sign read: “If you’re like a wheelbarrow, going no further than you’re pushed, you need not apply for work here!” God has hidden the precious things on Earth in such a way that finding them is a REWARD to the DILIGENT . . . a PRIZE to the INDUSTRIOUS . . . but a DISAPPOINTMENT to the LAZY. The nut is hidden in its shell. The pearl is buried at the bottom of the ocean. Gold is imprisoned in the mountain. Gems are only found when you crush rock, and oil and gas are deep within the earth. Even the ground only gives its harvest to the hard-working farmer. God says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) Seek God, and you’ll find what’s priceless!

Love Compels Us

A missionary in Africa was asked if he really liked what he was doing. His response was shocking. “Do I like this work? No. My wife and I don’t like dirt. We don’t like crawling into vile huts through goat refuse. We don’t like the heat, and the disease. And we don’t like being away from our loved ones, and all of the conveniences of home. But . . . are WE TO DO only those things for Jesus that we like to do? Liking

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or disliking has nothing to do with it. We’re called to ‘Go’ . . . and we go. Love compels us.” God is love. That’s who He is. And whatever He asks us to do will be motivated by His nature . . . His love. What’s God asking you to do today?

The Devoted Terrier

In Edinburgh, Scotland there’s a statue of a small Scottish Terrier. The master of the dog had died when it was two-years-old. But the dog followed the funeral procession to the gravesite. After everyone had gone and the grave was covered, the little dog crawled to the foot of the grave, as if to wait for his master’s return. The dog waited and waited through all kinds of weather and unbelievable ordeals. People would capture the dog and take him home, but he always escaped and returned to the foot of the grave of his master to continue the vigil. The dog waited until death—for 14 years. (SLOW) I wonder . . . how much more you and I should be devoted to Jesus?

Fearless Fighters

The Gurkhas of Nepal are renowned as fearless fighters. One day, during a war, they were asked if they would be willing to jump from airplanes into combat. The Gurkhas didn’t understand what was involved, but they bravely said they would do it, asking only that the planes fly slowly over a swampy area and no higher than 100 feet. When they were told that their parachutes wouldn’t have time to open at that height, the Gurkhas replied, “Oh, you didn’t mention that we’d have parachutes!” That’s commitment! It makes us brave, and willing to give everything, even our lives. Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He was committed. The QUESTION IS . . . are we?

I Hate Imperfection

I hate imperfection! Don’t you? Especially in others. But when it’s my imperfection, I ask everyone around me for grace, patience and understanding. The funny thing is, in life, we generally don’t receive any more grace than we’ve given. That’s why Jesus challenged us, “…whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…” (Matthew 7:12) It’s a boomerang! Paul writes, “What a person plants, he will harvest.” (Galatians 6:7, The Message) And…“A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7, NIV) Proverbs says it this way, “…a man who has friends must himself be friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24a, NKJV) And finally Jesus added an even greater warning, “If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37b, NLT) Sounds, like, if I want to be loved, then I better start loving others.

Attached To God’s Preference

Being attached to MY preference can be REALLY dangerous. Why? Because I’ve NEVER KNOWN what’s best for me. Only God does. SURE, I’ve been ATTACHED TO LOTS OF THINGS, and EVEN PEOPLE I thought I DESPERATELY NEEDED, but they weren’t what I was really looking for. What I REALLY WANTED was God! Now . . . my OVERWHELMING PREFERENCE in life is to FULLY EMBRACE God’s preference. Every day, I choose to wake up excited to see what MY HEAVENLY FATHER has picked out for me. And God doesn’t make junk! His best for me is the script He’s already written. His perfect will. The Bible says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1Corinthians 2:9–10, NLT)

I’m Perfect

I’m perfect…have NO problems…and am ALWAYS like Jesus. Do these comments give you confidence in me? OF COURSE NOT! I need a Savior! Unless people SEE MY STRUGGLES . . . NOT JUST MY VICTORIES, they’ll never UNDERSTAND what it means to be a GENUINE CHRIST FOLLOWER…in an INCREDIBLY DISINGENUOUS AGE. Everything good in my life is not because of me. It’s because of God’s grace. Jesus loves me…warts and all! And He was the most authentic, genuine person who ever walked the face of the earth. If we have ANY HOPE of REPRESENTING GOD WELL on this Earth, our lives must IN SOME WAY model that SAME LEVEL of HUMBLE INTEGRITY Jesus modeled. CHRIST IN YOU…it’s YOUR ONLY HOPE of glorifying God. (Colossians 1:27)

Hot Meals Or Whole-hearted

Are you more attached to knowing God…or receiving His blessing? When Jesus walked the Earth, many people loved to be around him for the HOT MEALS…for the loaves and the fishes. But when it came down to being WHOLE-HEARTED FOLLOWERS…DISCIPLES…they were gone. Our MOTIVE will always determine the outcome of whatever we’re hoping for. We rarely call someone a “friend” who only sticks around to see what we’ll give them. If our motive is to glorify God, and not merely to benefit ourselves, then God’s blessing and favor can rest upon us. Ask God to give you His heart to do HIS WILL, and NOT your own. God has good things to give you but the best thing is a friendship with Him.

Perfectly Positioned

The reason we DON’T TRUST GOD is because we don’t know Him . . . the reverse is also true; you can’t KNOW SOMEONE unless you first trust him. If we knew God, we’d certainly love and trust Him; and that means trusting Him to reveal His understanding to us, in His timing, not ours. The trusting person is the one who’s no more attached to GOD GIVING HIM CLARITY than GOD STAYING SILENT. It MAKES NO DIFFERENCE! He KNOWS the main event is not ‘ME knowing what’s going on.’ But, “GOD KNOWING what’s going on. The more I know God the more I trust Him. The more I depend upon MY OWN UNDERSTANDING, the LESS PEACE I HAVE. (Proverbs 3:5–6) Trust God and enjoy your life! It’s the only life you have.

God’s Withholding Nothing

Does the God of the Universe fit inside your brain? If you think you’ve got God figured out, your God isn’t big enough. So why do we think we can fully understand what He’s doing or even what’s best for us? Until we esteem God’s Word more than OUR OWN THOUGHTS, we’ll squirm every time something goes contrary to OUR EXPECTATIONS. I don’t need to figure out WHAT’S GOING ON as long as I TRUST the God who already knows. If I lack wisdom I can ask God for His help…but I must ask without doubting Him. The next time you think GOD’S WITHHOLDING INSIGHT FROM YOU, believe that it would be WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. God will withhold nothing from us, if it’s truly for our good. But, never forget, only He knows what’s best.

Have You Lost Heart?

Have you lost heart? God knows where it is. He will help you find it. Earth is brief! Heaven is long! Though our time here is the shortest chapter of our endless lives, it will set the tone for eternity. While it’s appropriate to rejoice in its brevity, it’s wise to be concerned with its finality. Let the Apostle Paul’s words lift your spirits, “Therefore WE DO NOT lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the INWARD MAN is being renewed day by day. For our LIGHT AFFLICTION which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” (2Corinthians 4:16–17) Don’t lose heart! The eternal glory will be worth every pressure and trouble we’ll ever go through.

The Purpose Of Pressure

Have the pressures of life gotten to you? The challenge comes, not in that we have pressures, but in how we view them. If they are anchors around our necks weighing us down in despair, then we are MISSING THEIR POINT ENTIRELY. Instead of sinking us, the pressures in our lives ACTUALLY ANCHOR US to the One who loves us most. In eternity, we’ll thank God for each trial He so wisely designed with us in mind. There are no accidental struggles in life; just MARVELOUSLY CRAFTED STRETCHING’S that not only bring out the best in us, but, once ours eyes are opened, reveal the BEST OF GOD’S ALL-WISE INTENTIONS FOR US. Let life’s pressures MAKE YOU into the person God intended. It’s gonna be worth it! It’s gonna be worth it all!

Miraculous Opportunities

Just as BEAUTY is in the eyes of the beholder, so is BONDAGE. I always have a choice in how I SEE MY LIFE. NO ONE, and NO SITUATION can force me to be DEPRESSED or DISCOURAGED . . . angry or bitter. These DEFORMED responses to life are ALL in my court. I can welcome them as FRIENDS, or dismiss them as the DISTRACTING ENEMIES they really are. EVERY situation in my life is an OPPORTUNITY to see the MIRACULOUS, saving hand of God. I can live with EXCITED anticipation of how God is going to DELIVER ME out of my SEEMING predicaments, or I can wait FRETTING for the other shoe to fall. This is ONE SITUATION where I CHOOSE to see my life from God’s point of view.

Air1 Radio Features – February 2011

Enjoying Life with Jesus

Jesus doesn’t want to shut down your party. He wants to invite you to His. When was the last time you had a drink with Jesus? He’s promised each of us, “Let the one who believes in Me drink. Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:38, NET) Even in the final verses of the Bible, God calls us to drink in His abundant life, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let each one who hears them say, ‘Come.’ Let the thirsty ones come—anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge.” (Revelation 22:17) We all need to be filled with God’s Spirit. Ask Him to fill you. Only Jesus can quench the thirst He created in you.

Doctor On a Cruise Ship

A doctor was on a cruise with his family. Early one morning, while walking the deck of the ship, he saw a crowd gathered. He was told a passenger had been rescued after falling overboard and was being resuscitated. The doctor thought about lending a hand, but decided to stay in vacation mode. But as he passed by, he glanced over and saw that it was his own son who was fighting for his life. Frantically, he pushed his way through the crowd. A father’s interest had risen to match the need. I am so grateful for those, with father hearts, who came to my aid. Having once been a suicidal atheist, the love and prayers of others aided in my rescue. Someone is praying for you today. You will not drown.

Disappointments and Destiny

When a young married couple failed a medical exam, their dream of going to a foreign nation as missionaries was crushed. Heartbroken, they returned home and asked God for understanding. After much prayer, they resolved that if they couldn’t go overseas themselves, they would make as much money as possible in America to help spread the gospel around the world. With missionary hearts, the couple took over a small side business from the husband’s father, making unfermented wine for communion services, turning it into a tremendous success.During their lifetime they gave vast sums of money to mission fields around the world. Their last name . . . was Welch, of Welch’s Grape Juice. What response to a great disappointment will set you on the path of God’s choosing? Expect the unexpected!

Paralyzed By Fear

Many Christians, leaders included, are paralyzed by fear of failure. They’d rather debate and analyze than begin to do something—anything. It can be overwhelming to look at all of the failures in our lives. But as Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, once said, “I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God. First it is impossible. Then it is difficult. Then it is done. ”In my own life, I’ve been amazed over the years, as I’ve seen how faithful God has been to bring calm to chaos, and understanding to the devastations of my past. Our Heavenly Father wants our lives to be fulfilled more than we do, but only He knows what true fulfillment looks like. Trust Him!

Lost at Sea

Do you see God at work in your life? A fishing fleet was caught in a terrible storm. When night came, none of the ships returned home. All families of those missing prayed God would bring them back safely. Things seemed to get worse when, that night, one of the homes in the village caught fire and burned to the ground. But in the morning all of the ships sailed back into the harbor. Everyone rejoiced when they saw their men safely home—except the woman whose home had burned down. Seeing her husband she cried out, “We’re ruined! Our home and everything we had was destroyed by the fire.” Her husband responded. “Thank God for the fire! It was the light of our burning home that guided us. ”Perhaps the tragedy you’re feeling right now is the fire God will use to guide you to Himself.

Chippewa Indian Saying

Have you been feeling sorry for yourself lately? I’m reminded of an old Chippewa Indian saying that my twin brother Joseph once told me that greatly inspired him: “Sometimes I go about feeling sorry for myself, and all the time I’m being carried by great winds across the sky.” Many times, our perspective is skewed. We fail to remember that it’s been the grace of God carrying us through each of life’s tragedies. We fail to see the hand of a gracious God. Our fixation on self, limits our awareness of all God is doing behind the scenes in each of our lives. None of us have been short-changed. We are each blessed beyondmeasure. “Jesus, open my eyes to see how You are carrying me . . . even now!”

Looking Back Through Healing Eyes

Whether we like it or not, we each need to look back long enough and deep enough into our past to allow God to heal us. If we refuse, then the abused will become the abuser, and the neglected will become the neglecter. I work with people every day whose childhoods were so painful from abuse and neglect they’ve spent years blocking it out. But we still must look back through the healing eyes of a Creator who was with us during every horrific moment. Only He can heal the years of turmoil and brokenness. He will transform our tortured memories into bridges of healing and hope; not just for ourselves, but also for those He will send our way. And the best news is: this is His will for you.

Past Hurts Hide Hidden Worth

Past hurts often keep us from seeing our hidden worth. Our true value isn’t found in the high points of our life, but rather hidden under the rubble of our greatest pain. Only time, heat, and pressure can produce the most beautiful diamond. So too, the Master Surgeon promises to make all things new, while letting old things pass away. “…if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Though our struggles will at times seem pointless, the fruit of seeing life from God’s perspective will last forever. Heaven will not miss even an ounce of our true value. If we allow God to heal our hearts, the character produced in us will far outweigh the pain suffered.

Character Comes From Receiving God’s Love

If you hear nothing else today, hear this: character only comes fromreceiving the love of God. All attempts to change without first knowing how much God loves you will consign you to a life based on performance—what you can do—and not accepting what He’s already done on your behalf. Without knowing God’s love, our lives eventually become a lie, devoid of the fulfillment found only in knowing our Creator. If we reject God’s infinite love, we will try in vain to remake ourselves into the image of this fallen world; realizing only too late it was all for nothing. “This is real love…not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent HisSon as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1John 4:10)

Swapping Soldiers For Diamonds

A young boy in South Africa once swapped a costly diamond for a few toy soldiers because he was ignorant of what he had. Satan, the enemy of our soul, trifled away his own value, and now attempts to devalue as many other eternal beings as possible. Once known as Lucifer, the anointed worship leader of Heaven traded the priceless for the meaningless, when the love of God was all he would ever need. In the beginning, charisma might get you going, but it’ll take character to keep you going. The real limitations in our lives are only in us and in ourcharacter, never in the heart of a loving God. He will gladly fulfill our heart’s desire once we fully embrace what’s on His heart for us.

Georgia Tech’s Football Team

Years ago, Georgia Tech’s football team was leading, seven points to six, near the end of a game. Though his coach told him NOT to pass the ball, when Georgia Tech was within ten yards of scoring, their quarterback threw a pass that was intercepted by the fastest runner on the opposing team. It seemed nothing could stop him from scoring a touchdown. But, from out of nowhere the quarterback who had thrown the interception tackled him. After the game, the losing coach said, “I’ll never understand how your boy over took my fastest back.” The winning coach responded, “Well, I’ll tell you. Your back was running fora touchdown. My boy was running for his life. ”Never forget, when it comes to eternity, it’s not a game. You and I are running for our lives.

Eternal Hope

Three things are eternal: faith, hope and love. An empty heart leads to hopelessness. But only God, and those who trusting Him, have an eternal hope. The rest of the planet will scavenge for hope until at last they realize God owns the rights to all of the hope that’s ever existed. It is however being freely offered, but on God’s terms. I was empty-hearted, completely hopeless, and even suicidal, without God. For a season I was half-hearted due to a lapse of relationship with God, and thankfully, now for many years, whole-hearted. Only now do I have an eternal hope bubbling up from the well of God’s living water. Draw close to this well and open your heart. There’s plenty of hope for everyone.

Increasing Your Value

Avoiding pressure will only decrease your value. It’s the difference between coal and diamonds. Did you know that every diamond starts out as coal? And the world’s loaded with coal! But diamonds are rare. We can become God’s priceless diamonds when we respond properly to the pressures of life. But if we refuse, and give in to discouragement and fear, we’ll remain “just coal”. Yesterday’s tests prepare us for the greater trials of tomorrow. They help make us the person we’ve always wanted to be. When it seems nothing’s working out; when it appears your hopes and dreams are going up in flames, will you still trust the God who promises togive you a future and a hope? Will you allow Him to make you His treasure?

One Final Surge

Do you feel like you’re losing the battle for life? Civil War General Stonewall Jackson once said that in battle both sides,at one point, feel defeated. But the one who rises for a final surge wins theday. Such is true in war and even the Christian life. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego prepared their hearts for one final surgeof trusting God. They fearlessly told King Nebuchadnezzar that even if God didn’t deliver them, they weren’t going to worship him. “Put that in your fiery furnace!”Don’t ever say, “But God would never deliver me like that.” If it’s in the Book, one way or another, if it’s in the script, it’s on the schedule. King David trusted God and wrote, “This I know God is for me.”

Francis Testimony

Dead religion drove me to atheism! By the time I was 15 years old I hated God. It wasn’t His fault, but I blamedhim for the hypocrisy I saw in those who claimed to know Him. I was so angry, I spent the next 7 years as an adamant, in your face, atheist. In the years to come, I was responsible for two abortions, got lost in drugs,Eastern Religions, and wound up being suicidal for six months. One day, when I was invited to church, I prayed, ‘Jesus, I don’t know if You are Who that man says You are, but if You are–do for me what You did for Him.’ From that magnificent day, He set me free and made me alive. He heals my heart, and renews my mind. Let Him do the

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”To Be Changed,” signed Jesus

How do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? God the Father, Creator of the Universe, wants to spend eternity with you! When I was in my early 20’s I prayed and invited Jesus to become #1 in my life. He came in and put a tag on each area of my life saying, ‘To be changed!’ signed ‘Jesus’. As I’ve surrendered to His Spirit, He’s done a transforming work in every part of my life. Today, you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus. In your own words, pray and invite Him to come and live inside of your spirit. Pick up a Bible and begin reading the Gospel of Mark. If you’re sincere, and allow Jesus to be the Lord of your life, He’ll set you free.

“Amazing Grace” Author

The captain of a slave ship, responsible for 20,000 deaths, asked God to forgive him. He then wrote these words to Amazing Grace: ‘I once was lost, but now I’m found.’ All of us have messed up. We’ve all come far short of God’s best. Though a perfect God always knew my sins would separate me from Him, He had a plan: Jesus, God’s Son came to Earth to live a sinless life, and then died taking the punishment for each of my sins. I owed a debt I couldn’t pay. Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe. I’m eternally grateful. Since allowing Him to be the Lord and God of my life, He’s continued to heal and transform every part of me. If you let Him, He’ll do the same for you.

Faith Beyond Feelings

What do you do when God feels far away? When I first received Jesus, I was so elated I thought I’d never come down.But within a month, the feelings began to fade. God knew I needed to sense His presence in a significant way. But that wasn’t His end goal. When the feelings subsided, He wanted me todevelop spiritual muscles . . . to learn to walk by faith and trust Him. If we put our FAITH in the TRUTH of God’s Word, then FEELINGS will come… and they will go. But we can never let FEELINGS lead us. As I’ve grown in my relationship with Jesus, I’ve learned to trust Him, evenwhen I feel nothing. God’s never failed me. Learn to trust Him no matterhow you feel.

Strengthening Your Spiritual Life

How do you strengthen your relationship with Jesus? God is a Spirit. In order for us to get to know Him, our “eternal” SPIRITUAL life has to become stronger than our “temporary” NATURAL life. The real question is, ‘How do I strengthen my spiritual life?’ Here five ways:

  • Study God’s Word, the Bible.
  • Open up your heart to God in worship and prayer.
  • Develop friendships with people who have a strong relationship with Jesus.
  • Find a good local church where Jesus is worshipped and the Bible’s preached.
  • Tell others about what Jesus has done in your life.

If you cultivate your relationship with Jesus, it will grow. Don’t get distracted by what you see . . . the TEMPORARY. Be transformed by what you believe . . . the ETERNAL.

Changing My Desires Into God’s Desires

How do you know your relationship with Jesus is real? I know I’m a fully surrendered Christian when my desires have changed into God’s desires. If I haven’t had a DRAMATIC change of heart, I must accept the obvious: I need to be born again. Jesus said, “…a tree is known by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:33) If I’ve been born again in the past, but my life demonstrates little fruit, then the ball is still in my court. Apparently, I need to be born again . . . again. More and more people are claiming to be born again but fewer are living differently. When I’m in charge, all I’m able to become is religious—going through the motions of performing for God, but not knowing Him. Only when Jesus isLord of my life, can I yield good fruit.

Air1 Radio Features – January 2011

Life Is An Adventure

Instead of praying for things to work out, what if you prayed to be content? None of us know what “things working out” looks like. Only God does.

Pray to be satisfied with whatever Jesus provides for you. That satisfaction will demonstrate more than anything else that you trust God. It’s called FAITH!

Faith alone pleases God and activates His best for your life.

I’ve NEVER known what’s best for me, but I’m learning to trust that God ALWAYS does. Nothing outside of God’s promises and desires for me will bring about the satisfaction I long for.

Don’t think of your life as a DISASTER, when God wants to make it an ADVENTURE.  Once you see your life in this way, you’ll look forward to it, each and every day.

 

You Make God Smile

God’s madly in love with you! No matter who you are. No matter what you’ve done! He loves you with an everlasting love.

Because He already knows everything you’ll ever do, either God’s always loved you, or He’s never loved you. He doesn’t just see a few random moments of your life. He sees its entirety!

God doesn’t love us more when we’re good, nor does He love us any less when we’re bad. Why? Because even in our lowest moments God still likes us and fully differentiates between who we are and what we’ve done.

He not only loves us unconditionally and forgives us eternally, but God likes us so completely His heart smiles every time He thinks of us—and He thinks of us constantly.

 

Heart Enhancement

If you were really sick, no doctor would prescribe cosmetic surgery. That would merely change the SURFACE, but wouldn’t touch the ROOT of your problem.

Religion has little to offer, other than a system of conscience-soothing routines, leading to boredom and spiritual numbness.

We don’t need a facelift, we need a heart transplant; and only the power of Jesus can perform that operation.

A relationship with God changes our heart, from the inside out. Only the Creator of all things can establish our purpose in life, and that’s all about getting to know Him.

Religion drove me to atheism, but a personal relationship with Jesus transformed my life. Why don’t you pray and invite Jesus into your heart today? Allow Him to be the Lord of your life. You’ll never be the same.

 

Time Doesn’t Heal, Jesus Does

How much of our lives are spent avoiding pain and things we’re afraid of?

In every situation God can help you mature and grow.

If we face our fears, they’ll dissolve. If we bow down to them, they’ll become bondages, strongholds, and even generational curses.

Are you in any way hiding, either from God or His people? If you want to be healed, you’ll need to walk in the light of God’s love, forgiveness, comfort, and power.

God’s love covers. His grace forgives; and His Spirit comforts and empowers us to be fully healed: spirit, soul and body.

Time doesn’t heal. Jesus does. Look to Him first in the challenges of life. He’ll never disappoint you.

 

Are You At A Low Point?

Are you at a low point in your life?

Paul the Apostle was in so much pain he begged God to take it away. But God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

What was Paul’s response? He got it! He said, “Then I’ll just boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

The word “weakness” refers to a feebleness of mind or body, even a physical or psychological disorder, disease or sickness.

Paul understood that God’s all-sufficient grace was being poured out upon him, even at his lowest point. God’s grace was all he needed to fight discouragement. Frankly, it’s all we need today.

 

Being Completely Thankful

When will you and I be completely thankful for what God has done in our lives? We don’t need God to do one more thing for us. What He’s already done, and is presently doing, is more than sufficient. He doesn’t have to demonstrate even one more time His love and care for my life. I just need to ask Him to open my eyes.

If we can just remember—if we can keep spiritual amnesia from overtaking our thoughts, we’ll be SET for life. In our right minds, we’ll overflow with gratitude: praising God for Who He is, and thanking Him for what He’s done.

With a clear view of what has really gone on in our lives, the only appropriate response to a loving God is “thank you”—a million times over.

 

Life Has Not Cheated Us

Life has not cheated us! And none of our regrets are worth dwelling on!

The greatest lessons in life come from learning to respond properly to what we think is a “FAILURE OR LOSS”. God alone is able to use our seeming setbacks for good—as we trust Him.

Instead of sinking me, the pressures in my life actually anchor me to the One who loves me most.

EVERY IRRITATION is a DIVINE INVITATION to go to the next level.

Whether my life’s an adventure or a disaster is in my court. I choose “adventure,” not because it’s easy or because I know what’s ahead, but because I’ve seen the faithfulness of the One who holds my future in His safe and loving hands.

 

Contentment Means Trusting

Blaming God is one of the greatest misconceptions in life.

Contentment means trusting Him no matter what’s happening. It’s more of a decision than a consequence. It’s the opposite of the victim mindset and  makes me responsible for my responses to life.

Paul wrote, “I’ve learned in whatever state I am, there I’ll be content.” (Philippians 4:11) He had the breakthrough of a lifetime because he was willing to accept God’s will.

When a thought comes into my mind that disagrees with God’s assessment of Himself, others, or myself I reject it, and replace it with His Word.

This requires two choices: me knowing the Word of God, and me trusting God’s Word more than my own feelings, & circumstances.

The good news is: we get a lifetime to learn this.

 

The Purpose of Prayer

Don’t wait for God to answer your prayers. The purpose of prayer is not to get answers, but to get to know God!

Every answer to prayer will be followed by other requests.

We think: “If this or that would just happen, then I’d be fulfilled.”

Yet, even miracles will leave you dissatisfied if you don’t turn your attention back to God. It’s a great seduction! I fell into it for years.

Only one out of the ten lepers Jesus healed came back to thank Him. (Luke 17:17–18) Nine out of ten never looked back.

Don’t obsess over what you don’t have; rejoice in every morsel God provides, and more will come. He’s a loving Father who promises to give us everything we need.

Jesus saves the best wine for last.

 

Seeing Needs Not Offenses

When people hurt us, we always have a choice. Either we seek the healing God alone can give, or we find ourselves wallowing in the pain of past offenses.

No one escapes the planet unhurt. It’s the price of admission to the human race: a marathon not for the faint-hearted or faultfinding, but for the faithful few who are more humbled by their own shortcomings than the faults of others.

Ask God to show you people’s needs, not their offenses.

Be a pathfinder, not a faultfinder!

Learn to forgive, not just be forgiven.

God’s perfect plan is designed to heal my past, establish my present, and inspire me to run toward a future beyond my wildest dreams.

Do you see it? It’s right in front of you.

 

Dying To Live

How often should we die to our ambitions, our self-will, and even ourselves?

Resurrection life is only available to dead people.

If Jesus had to die to get it, so do we.

So, how can you tell if you’re dead to yourself? When you’re asleep in a boat in the middle of a violent storm. When someone slaps you on one cheek and you turn the other. When all Hell’s breaking loose outside of you and yet you keep allowing the peace of God to rise up inside you.

Resurrection life is only available through Jesus Christ—for He alone conquered sin and death for each of us.

Trust in Jesus and you’ll never taste of death . . . only everlasting life.

Not just in Heaven, but right here on Earth.

 

What’s On God’s Heart?

A friend of mine went into the wilderness to spend time with God and, frankly, get away from people. One night in the middle of nowhere looking up at the stars, he prayed a tender, humble prayer, “God, I’m always sharing what’s on my heart. What’s on Yours?”

Breaking the complete silence, the sound of a small plane flying high overhead caught his attention.

Immediately, God’s Spirit shot back, “The world—the world’s on My heart!”

Jesus described the Father’s heart so clearly when He said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The question is: do we love what God loves—the people in this broken world?

 

Losing Something to Gain Everything

A missionary I once met had spent years ministering to a remote tribe without seeing any converts.

One day, a member of the tribe accidentally electrocuted the missionary’s nine-year-old son. The tribe had a custom that when someone was killed, the victim’s relatives had the right to take revenge. They expected the missionary to take the life of the one who took his son’s life. But instead of exacting retribution, the missionary forgave him. This response sent a shockwave through the tribe. They’d never heard of anyone forgiving such a deed.

Eventually, because of he and his wife’s selfless attitude, the entire tribe came to know Jesus. His family had experienced an incomprehensible loss, but their willingness to forgive changed everything.

Forgive those who have hurt you. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

 

Being A Doctor Or A Patient

How do you recover when someone hurts you? If your goal is to understand—with a humble heart, eventually you’ll be healed.

But, if you refuse to budge, and merely nurse the hurt caused by others, then your pain will only grow deeper.

At times, our attitude is the clearest indication of what we’re most committed to: stewing or healing, remembering or reconciling.

Am I on a journey to become a doctor, or destined to remain a patient?

The only person who can make that decision is me. I may be hurt, but I must be more committed to being healed, than rehashing my pain.

Jesus suffered and died so we could become completely whole inside.

Receiving that healing is a life-long process, but worth every minute.

 

Forgetting God

Have you forgotten Who God is?

He doesn’t just act loving—God is love! And if we seek Him with all our heart, we’ll become like Him: a loving person.

Jesus commanded us to love ALL people at ALL times, no matter what they may say or do to harm us. Only this response accurately models the heart of a God who’s called us to live as He lived, and even be willing to die as He died.

If we’re leaning on Jesus, no one can ever do anything to make us not love them.

I must never lose sight of this reality: all of the grace I’ll ever need to obey God is continually available to me.

All God asks us to do is reach out and receive it.

 

We Are As Loved As Jesus

Learning to trust God accesses the peace of mind that seems impossible to attain. Yet, it’s always within reach—with arms of faith.

Believe God for the impossible. Not with presumption, based on the desires of your own heart, but with real faith. Faith that’s grounded upon the sublime plan of the God who knows all things, loves us infinitely, and always uses His wisdom for our good.

Jesus said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)

It may be hard to believe, but we are as loved by the Father as Jesus was. And He longs for us to remain in a constant connection with His unconditional love for us.

Only then can we process life as God intended.

 

Freedom’s Ahead When Self’s Behind

The self-centeredness of others may have hurt you, but it will be your own self-obsession that will keep the pain alive. The greatest enemy to your being as free as God intended is not sin, but self!

Jesus already took care of your sins when He died on the Cross. Now you must learn to die to yourself, in order to be truly free.

Freedom’s ahead, when self’s behind!

Learn to rest so completely in God’s perfection that you’re not overwhelmed by your own lack.

If we refuse to accept God’s plan for our lives, we consign ourselves to a brave new world of perpetual un-fulfillment.

Waiting for a better life is like staring at your dinner, hoping to improve its taste.

The magnificent life God created for you…it’s what’s for dinner.

 

God Takes Pleasure In You

If we believe Jesus died and rose again, and have allowed Him to be our Lord and Savior, then the Bible says we are now God’s sons and daughters.

Though we may firmly believe this, we can still at times feel God’s ashamed of us. We wonder if He is glad or sad; grateful or disappointed in whom we have become?

How we answer this question will shape our thinking in every dimension of our lives and could not possibly be over-estimated. Jesus said to His Heavenly Father, “You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23b)

Ever see doting parents smile at their child? That’s how God feels about you. God takes pleasure in the very thought of you. You make God smile! Believe it. It’s a truth that will set you free.

 

God Likes You

For the first 30 years of my Christian life I didn’t think God liked me.

Now, if God was an imperfect human, that would make sense. But He’s not! Each of us make decisions to like or dislike people based upon their past or present actions.

But imagine being completely aware of everything a person will ever do. No longer would your estimation be based upon individual events. Your picture of them would be complete. At that moment, if you like them, it would be because you see the entirety of their lives. That’s exactly how God sees us.

If you’ve ever believed God loved you, or liked you, He still does. Why? Because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)God enjoys you! “How precious…are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17)

 

The Right Question

Whenever you find yourself wondering why something’s happening, realize it’s never a coincidence. It’s invariably God working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.

Actually, WHY is typically the wrong question; WHAT is the word we should be asking. “God, WHAT are you trying to show me?” The situation, no matter how bleak, is not a mere accident; it’s God at work, even using what Satan meant for evil.

If we love God and are committed to doing His will, He promises us in Romans 8: 28, that all things, no matter how much they hurt, that happen to us will work for our good, either on Earth or in Heaven.

That’s a PROMISE God will keep.