Senin, 30 September 2013

Let Wisdom Bring Color to Your Life

Let Wisdom Bring Color to Your Life

My child, the understanding you have of my word is good. You have been drawing closer to me and you have been getting a picture of the pattern I have for you, says the Lord. However, right now your canvas has got a black and white picture on it and it is time to add some color. It is time to add some life to what you have received. It is time to add some color to this pattern so that it may come to life even now, says the Lord.

So tap into my Spirit, tap into the wisdom that you have inside for when you act in my wisdom and with my love, it is like adding color to a black and white picture. It doesn't necessarily transform the basic look of things but it adds much life and it adds joy. This is what you need right now my child.

You need to take the knowledge and understanding that I have given you and then tap into the power and the anointing of my spirit to allow it to become wisdom so that your picture can be seen and therefore bring much joy not only to you but to those around you as well, says the Lord.

So come to me now and tap into the resources that are found in my Spirit, says the Lord. As you do, you will rise up to a whole new level. AMEN.

When the Pressure is On

When the Pressure is On

Fly away like a dove to the mountains. This is what my servant David did when the pressures came on him and he could no longer face them. Instead of running away to hide in the things of the world, he came to run away and hide in my presence. In the same way, I invite you to come and run to my presence this day my child.

When the pressures increase and you feel overwhelmed, run to my presence. Fly like a dove does to the mountain of my glory. There you will find the peace that you are looking for. If you run instead to the things of the world or try to get that need met in others, you will only feel more weighed down than before. So run instead into my presence! Run instead into my glory. Then you will see that I have always been here to make your load light.

For when the load gets so heavy that you cannot bare it any more, know that I am here to help you carry it. When you run to me, I can exchange your load for mine. My load is so much easier to carry and you will discover that much of what you are carrying was not of me to begin with. You will only discover this truth in my presence though. So fly to me child! Do not fly to the world or escape into things that will steal your spiritual strength. Rather fly to me and I will be the wind under your wings.

I will lift you high above your circumstances and cause you to soar and feel free once again, says the Lord. Amen

Let Me Build Your Call

Let Me Build Your Call

Even as it takes a builder time and effort to build a solid foundation for a road, so does it take time for me to build that solid foundation for your call in your life my child. Do not grow weary and do not grow impatient for when I do a work, I do it well and I do it in my power and with my anointing, says the Lord. So even though your circumstances seem hard at times and you often feel like you are still at the beginning stages of building that road, do not despair. It is all in my time.

When a road gets built there are several processes that need to be done. There are several layers and different materials involved to ensure that the road that will be built upon it will be secure and will last for a long time. In the same way, I am working in your life, my child. I am making sure that all the tools you need are where they need to be. I am making sure that everything is lined up the way it is meant to be.

So as I am taking you through this process my child, be as a lump of clay and allow me to do what I desire to do. Allow me to shape and mold you. Allow me to form you. Allow me to direct you and allow me to make sure that my work is done in your life.

Just trust in me and submit to my hand so that I can complete the work I have started. All I ask of you is your total surrender and your love. I don't need you to understand the process, I don't need you to even do anything to make the process speed up. Just keep on walking and keep on trusting me and I will surely complete everything that I have begun, says the Lord.

Face Your Red Sea

Face Your Red Sea

Does it seem so impossible that I would part the seas for you my child? You often look in front of you and see the way that you must cross and it looks impossible. You look behind you at the way that you have come and it is filled with the enemy and the pressures that are baring on you. Just like the Children of israel you feel stuck – wondering why the way has not opened up. Sometimes in life when you hit a red sea, it is not because I want to drown you my child, but because I want to drown the enemy!

I have brought you to a place where I can show my glory to you. As you have cried out to me and asked me to help you, so have I answered. As you have reached out and asked me to lead you to a better place, so have I answered. However this journey will take a different route to what you expect. Instead of an open road, I will lead you to a Red Sea and just like the Children of Israel, you might feel trapped and overwhelmed. Now is not the time to wonder if you have heard my voice. It is not the time to wonder if you missed me.

Just because you hit a Red Sea does not mean you missed my voice child! It simply means that I desire to display my glory to you in a magnificent way. It means that I intend to do a greater miracle in your life than you have seen up until now. So rejoice when you see that Red Sea in front of you, because it means that the Egyptians at your heels are about to be drowned! Only then will you feel the peace and release that you are seeking me for. So rejoice then and look forward to the future with great anticipation, for the sea in front of you will soon part and the pressures behind you will soon be a thing of the past.

Come then and take my hand and let us face this Red Sea together, says the Lord. Amen

be Careful what you judge

Minggu, 29 September 2013





Give and You Will Start to Shine


Give and You Will Start to Shine

I have placed so many treasures inside of you my child. They are like little seeds that you can sow into the ground around you. However, they are of no use if you just keep them as a treasure for yourself.

You cry out to me to use you. You see the darkness in this world and in the Body of Christ and you ask me to make you shine as a light in the darkness.

I have already given you everything that you need my child. Therefore do not wait any longer but put your hand deep down into this bag of seeds, pull them out and throw them into the darkness. They will be like little lights, little fires that will ignite the ground they touch.

As you continue to pour out the light will indeed start to shine. As you continue to reach down into everything that I have placed into you and gladly share it with others this light will be spread around.

Give and it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over. As you start to give and reach out I will add more and more to what you have. Amen.

Selasa, 24 September 2013


All Things are Possible

My child, I have not given you a crown of righteousness because of all of your hard work and all that you have accomplished for me. I have given you a crown of righteousness simply because you believe in the Lord Jesus. You were saved by grace through faith.

It is the same with the remainder of your walk with me as well, my child. I am not looking for all of your abilities and all of your great plans. I am continually pleased and attracted to your faith in me.

When you come to me and ask me of something, I am not moved to do it because of your great actions or holiness, but I am moved to action by your faith. For without faith it is impossible to please me. However, with faith, ALL things are possible!

Therefore, my child, I want to encourage you afresh today and let you know that all that you have desired is available by faith. Do not lose hope. Do not be swayed by the winds that come. Faith has already granted you the desires of your heart, says the Lord


Turn on Your Windshield Wipers

It is time for you my child to switch on your windshield wipers. You have been traveling along this road for some time now and there has been a lot of dust, a lot of mud and then also a lot of rain.
However, instead of making use of all the tools I have given you, all the knowledge I have given you, you just keep on driving and pressing on forward. My child, the journey will become much easier when you turn on those windshield wipers and get a clear vision again.
They will sweep over your windshield and you will see the road ahead clearly again. Right now you are just driving, hoping that you are on the right track but yet feeling overwhelmed with everything that has been coming at you.
It takes but a moment for you to stop and come into my presence so that the water of my spirit can crush over you and that with the power I have already placed inside of you can wipe away all the grime, all the debris and everything that has accumulated over time.
So stop for a moment now my child and come to me. Let me strengthen and refresh you so that you may see the road ahead clearly again, says the Lord.

Stop fighting and see My salvation

Stop Fighting and see My Salvation

Reach out for my hand, my child, and let me pull you out of the mire. My arm is not too short that it cannot save you. But if you have struggled and felt frustrated, it is because you have tried to overcome your problems on your own, instead of trusting in Me.

Look at the drowning man as an example. While he is fighting and pushing, he cannot be saved. In order for the life guard to pull him in and drag him to safety, he must knock him out, so that there is no fight left in him. In his fighting, he only gets in the way of his rescue.

In the same way my child, if you feel as if you are drowning and gasping for air, then stop fighting and allow me to pick you up into my arms. You may think that if you paddle harder and kick faster, you will be able to fight the waves that are overtaking you, but you will not.

Instead let go and allow me to lift you out of the deep. Trust that when you stop fighting, you will not sink into the deep, but that my strong arms will surely lift you to safety.
So let go now and see my salvation, says the Lord. Amen.

Kamis, 19 September 2013

Your Function is Unique

Your Function is Unique

Have you ever looked at the gutters on a house and wondered what they are really for? They are clumsy-looking and to be honest, the house would look nicer without them. But my child, when the time comes and it rains or a storm hits, you wouldn't want to be inside a house that doesn't have a gutter. Without those, the water would just flood all over the place and the house would leak. They are there to make sure the water gets sent in the right direction.

Perhaps you have often felt like you are that spare piece, that gutter on a house, my child. Don’t you realize that without you, without you fulfilling that function, the rest of the house would suffer when the storm comes?

I have placed you in a unique position my child and even through you may be a part of my body that may seem so insignificant, realize that if you are not where you need to be when the season comes, then the whole house would suffer. Everyone would suffer if you do not fulfill the function and the place that I have given you.

So this day I am asking you to submit yourself afresh to what I have called you to do. Seek my face afresh and let me show you how beautifully and wonderfully made you are, says the Lord. I am there for you and I love you. I have given you something precious to carry out in my Body. I have called you because you have what it takes to be that part.

So take my hand and let me lead you down this way afresh, says the Lord. I love you and I am proud of you, no matter what you do for me! AMEN



What is worship?

Are you being prepared?

Be Conformed to My Image

Be Conformed to My Image

Have you ever noticed, in coloring books, that the best coloring jobs are the ones where someone has outlined the shapes or objects before actually coloring them in? They first take their crayon and highlight or bold the lines and then color inside them.

It looks very nicely structured and you can tell that this person knows what they are doing. Perhaps, you have faced issue after issue and you are wondering why things keep being highlighted and bolded in your life?

These things have been happening not to harm you, but to cause you to be the fullness of what I desire you to be. Once I have brought to light the lines that should not be crossed and shown you why each color goes where, I can then move in and color in the picture that I have for you and it will be flawless.

However, if you do not know the lines that should not be crossed or if you do not have me tell you which color fits each section of your life the best, you will jump ahead of me and color in the picture of your own life and make a mess.

So relax, my child. Come to me, trust me and allow me to color your life afresh. I will make you a beautiful drawing and all will see in you my glory. I have called you and I will indeed sanctify, justify and glorify you. I will anoint you to do what you cannot do yourself.

All things, good and bad, in your life will work together for your good to conform you into my image, says the Lord.

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

Even as the sun rises anew each morning to announce the beginning of a new day, so am I beginning something new in your life even now, says the Lord. My child, the trials have been many and you have climbed many mountain peaks in the season that is behind you now, says the Lord. However, I was with you every step of the way and I am raising you up even now to start a new journey.

So just look at what is behind and let it go into my hands for it was of me and what needed to be accomplished was accomplished indeed my child. Now look ahead and watch as the sun rises. It announces a new day and it brings with it a new season in your life and in your walk with me my child.

What lies ahead is new and the road that is ahead of you now is also freshly paved and hasn't been walked before. It is the road less travelled but I am by your side, says the Lord. So just trust in me afresh and come with an open but empty heart. Let me fill you afresh. Let me fill you with my love. Let me fill you with my direction and let me give you something new now, says the Lord.

For the old has passed away and the challenges and struggles you faced in the last journey they are fading away also, says the Lord. Now is the start of something new so hold onto me and let me take you where you need to go.


Rabu, 11 September 2013

Win the Battle With Love

  Win the Battle With Love
by Erwin Lutzer


Evangelism must be our priority, but our message must be authenticated by changed lives. We must learn to serve as Christ did. We must be models of love and humility in this day of egoism and crass selfishness.

We must be proactive and penetrate the world of television, law, journalism and government. We can expect that the distinction between the world and the church will become more clearly defined as spiritual darkness settles on the land. The days of nominal Christianity are fast coming to a close. Now is the time for firm convictions, a deepened faith and a praying heart.

Yes, we must choose to fight, but let us do it with love, integrity and a witness for the saving grace of Christ. We must never fight fire with fire, acting like the world, when in point of fact we are citizens of another country. Let us make sure that our fighting is done on our knees and with wet eyes. God will give us the wisdom to know how to respond to the challenges we face.

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O Father, things seem to be changing so rapidly. We need You desperately. You are the only means of transformation for our neighborhoods, cities, states and countries. Help us confidently tap into the strength and resources You have given us through Your Spirit to boldly stand for Jesus, and may we do it selflessly with a heart of love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

I Desire Your Heart

I Desire Your Heart

Have you ever watched a horse that has been trained to do certain tricks? At their master’s every tug, they perform the action they are trained to perform. My child, sometimes you are a bit like that horse with me. You think that I am a master who tells you what to do and what not to do. You try to fulfill all that I have asked you to do, by just performing the right action so that you would win the prize at the end, says the Lord.

My child, this is not what I am asking of you. I do not need you to dance to the right tune or perform the right action at the right time. All I ask of you is your heart and your submission to me and my will, says the Lord. I much rather would have you be like a wild horse that runs with abandon through the fields. The wild horses that run through the fields look so strong and they are so determined and passionate.

Those qualities my child are so much more important to me than your actions. As you find your passion and your strength in me, we can work on getting you to do the right thing. Because as you surrender to me out of love and out of passion, those things will come automatically. It will no longer be an act that you perform to get my approval, but you will become that different person because you love me and because you are passionate about me.

Selasa, 10 September 2013


Let my Blanket of Snow Restore You

Let my Blanket of Snow Restore You

When you walk through a forest in winter and look at all the snow that is covering the ground, you may feel cold at first. You look at the snow and how it is covering everything in a thick coat of white, and you begin to wonder where all the life has gone.

My child, perhaps you feel like you are walking through a forest covered in snow in your life right now. However, don't you realize that when the snow comes to cover everything, life is being restored underneath it? As my snow covers the ground, the trees and plants, they are busy resting and soaking up all the goodness there without having to be exposed to the harshness of life.

My child, the snow has not come to make you feel cold and to make you feel down, but to give you a chance to breathe. It has come to restore and to heal all those things that you have had to go through for so long now.

I have sent this season to come and give you a break and give you the chance to rest in my strong, loving and warm arms, says the Lord. So do not look at what is happening on the outside but enjoy what I am doing on the inside. For as the snow covers all the life in you right now, a restoration is taking place that only I can bring about, says the Lord.

So just rest in me as I complete my work. Rejoice in the beauty that winter brings and know that I am your father who will make all things work together for good. AMEN

Senin, 09 September 2013

The Foundation of our Relationship

The Foundation of our Relationship

Is it hard to imagine how passionate I am about you my child? See then how my love is a foundation in your life on which to build your faith and hope. For as you use my love as a foundation, my hope will build inside of you! Soon you will start to see a clearer picture of what lies ahead and the good things I have in store.

When you start to have hope for the future that is grounded in my love, you will put your hand to the plough in faith! So often you try to have faith and "work it up" however, both faith and hope is grounded in my love. Come first and experience my love afresh.

Each time you want to build up your faith, come and experience my love! My love for you is the foundation of our relationship! Without experiencing this love, your hope is blind and your faith will be fruitless.

So come to me and feel my love wash over you. Experience how much I accept and recognize you. When you experience this agape love of mine, hope is easy! Building in faith is easy! For when you experience my love, you experience me and my will for you!

When you experience that, then when you walk out your call and the life ahead of you, you do it in faith. You rest in faith because you will know that no matter what you do, my love will never change!

Whether you fail or succeed, I will still love you. Whether you are weak or strong, I will still love you. Whether you sin or walk in righteousness, I will still love you! My love does not depend on you, but on me and when you get this revelation, your faith will increase.

Plant your mustard seed of faith into the foundation of my love and watch how I will make you into a great tower my child. Come then and experience my love once again today and watch as I do something new in your life, says the Lord. Amen

Jesus has big plans for saving the world

Minggu, 08 September 2013

Jesus invites us into His community

Your Father

Your Father

My child you are so precious to me. Today I want to remind you that you are my beloved and that I am your father. So many in this world travel near and far to find a father who will love and protect them. However, in me, you will find the father that you are looking for. It is in me that you will find a father that appreciates you and sees the treasure in you.

For many in the world will look over you and not see the treasure and potential that you have. I am not such a father my child. Instead I am a father that sees your worth and that stands ready to invest more into you. I am a father that is ready to give you direction and to help you to your feet.

I have not thrust you into this world to face the storms alone, but I am right by your side to motivate you and also to give you the things that you need to succeed. So see in me the perfect father. See in me the one that understands your cares and always stands ready to show you the way.

My child, I will not overlook you. I do not favor another over you. I will not force you to do things that I am not prepared to anoint you to do! Rather I see the end from the beginning and I have paved the perfect road for you. I have custom made the journey you will travel to bring the best out of you and not the worst.

So run to me then and find the comfort that you need. Find the healing and the encouragement you need in my arms. For I stand at your heart and I knock so that you will let me in. I stand and knock so that you will allow me into the most secret places of your heart. When you let me in and embrace me more than ever before, I will reveal myself to you in new ways and then you will cling to me and I to you. So come then my child. Come to your father and know how much I delight in you, says the Lord. Amen

Understanding Love

Understanding Love

Love cannot be held in your hand and neither can it be correctly explained. Love instead is a force that created the very universe. Love is a force that brought me to the cross and love is the force that continues to keep you in the palm of my hand. My child when you realize that I keep you because of my unfailing love, you will find the solid ground you need to walk on.

For I do not keep you because of your righteousness or because of what you can give to me, but rather because I love you. Is there anything that you could give to me that I do not already have? Is there anything that you could do for me that I could not do on my own? My child your efforts do not win my heart, but rather your simple faith in me!

My love for you is unending. I loved you when you had turned your back on me and were in the world, how much more now that you are a precious child of mine? If I loved you enough to die for you when you were yet in sin, how much more do you think I will keep you now that you belong to me?

So rest in my love today and remember my affection for you. Remember that I hold you and keep you because I love you with a love that will never end.

Remember that I will bless you because I love you with a passion that will never die out. Remember that I will continue to open the way for you because I love you with a determination that will never go away.

Once you rest in my love, you will find having faith in me so easy. So come then my child. Come and lay in my arms as a newborn baby in the arms of its mother. Come and experience my unconditional love and then you will find the answers you need.

The veil will be lifted and you will experience a peace that passes all understanding. Your striving will stop and you will be charged once again with the faith you need to walk out the journey set before you, says the Lord. Amen

Jumat, 06 September 2013

The Miracle of the Wilderness

The Miracle of the Wilderness

Just like an underground spring can be found in the middle of the desert, so also will you discover my anointing the most in the times that you are most dry, says the Lord. When is it that you are most thirsty?

Is it not when you have run out of resources and have experienced the heat of the sun? In the same way as difficult situations come on you and you face the pressures of this world, it will cause a spiritual thirst to build up inside of you.

It is the times when you feel most dry and have the least that I am most ready to pour out my living waters into you. Just like a spring found in a desert is tapped into from underground, so also realize that the anointing that you are seeking is flowing deep into your spirit. It is in the moments when you are most dry that you need to tap into these waters and to feed yourself my child.

For I have not left you and my anointing has not left you. However, there are times that I will lead you into the wilderness just as I did with the Children of Israel. There are times that I will bring you to a place of being thirsty so that I can show you how I bring water out of a rock for you! So do not become discouraged if you feel spiritually thirsty, because you stand in a place that is primed for a miracle. Tap into your spirit, my child and let me water you today. Let me show you my wonders and let the thirst you have thrust you into my arms and make you seek me out more than ever before. Then the wilderness you feel will be flooded and the dry ground will spring to life once again, says the Lord. Amen.

Kamis, 05 September 2013


Matthew 28:19
So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit — Matthew 28:19–20 (NCV)

His Commanding Presence

That day up there on the mountain, Jesus assured them of His remarkable power when He said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" — Matthew 28:18
Then He commissioned them with the greatest of commissions: "Go and make disciples of all nations" — Matthew 28:19.
Assured, commissioned and now reassured. “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  The God of complete authority. The God of complete assurance. Jesus gives you, today’s disciple, the same Great Commission.
Destinations and details will vary, but the commission is the same for all of us: “Go and make disciples.” Mundane or magnificent, the assignment from God — the living of a life that is an act of worship to Him — can overwhelm us. But the promise of His presence is steadfast.
Fernando Ortega’s music often takes the lyrics and imagery of yesterday — including Scripture and traditional hymns — and gives them a fresh setting and instrumentation. In “Hear Me Calling, Great Redeemer,”  you can see yourself coming down from the mountain, afraid yet assured that God will go before you through the valley.
Hold on to His hand, hold on to the truth that the commission He has given you comes with the same reassurance He gave the disciples. God will be with you. Always.
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Your Turn

Do you feel overwhelmed by the Great Commission? Nervous? Afraid? Pause for a moment and thank the Lord that, as He is always, He is with you when you are sharing Jesus with others. Who pops into your mind when you consider sharing the Gospel? How can you reach that person today? Join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily 

Are You Under Attack? God is With You!

Ephesians 6:12
There are always doubts. We doubt because God, while He gets louder, is still invisible, because of the people questioning your sanity and the difficulty of just following a wild invisible God into uncomfortable spaces. We doubt because of the risk, the cost, the abandonment of rights and comforts, the disapproval of people you really love, and then on top of it all, because you have now officially picked a fight with the devil.
Yep. Fun.
The devil is real, and nothing ticks him off more than people waking up from the numb stupor he has crafted to keep us harmless.
My husband Zac and I were awake and running and single-mindedly chasing God, and that got the devil’s attention.
We’ve served God long enough to experience attack. In fact, we came to expect it in the early years of church planting. Zac and I eventually would stop whatever irrational fight we were having and laugh, blame it on the devil, and call a truce. But we were in new territory. The devil stepped up his game.
In a matter of months, on top of all the new change coming and the weight of it all, we experienced:
- the worst fights of our marriage
- friends betraying us;
- one of our other kids going through uncommon behavior issues at school;
- out-of-the-blue temptations that had never previously been issues;
- our church going through more conflict than we had ever seen;
- and other things that are not mine to share.
Every day Zac (when we weren’t fighting) would look at me and hug me and then he would say, “Are we right with God?” If the answer was yes then he would ask, “Then how do we obey Him in this new hard thing?”
And the answer was usually clear. Honestly, I could handle all of the hard stuff until we were at odds with each other. Zac had been my rock in all of this. I leaned on him to support me through the weighty callings on our lives. He and I were unified until this point. Losing that unity made me question everything.
I had just spent the hardest week of my life pouring my guts out on camera for the Stuck study. It was one of the scariest and most intense things I’d ever done. One night, it felt as if the attacks had come so hard for so many weeks that I locked myself in my bathroom not to cry . . . but to cuss. I was mad. I punched the air as though the devil was so real I might hit him. And I begged God for reprieve.
“Do you see us? We are getting our butts kicked! Can You get in here, please, and issue some backup? We are dying!”
We were pouring ourselves out and getting attacked from every side. I needed it to let up. I was losing perspective and I needed to breathe. I just had it out.
It should not surprise us if life is hard, especially if we love Jesus. We are at war — not in heaven. And yet it always does surprise us.
Braveheart Fantasies
Jesus prayed before He died, asking God to use us here. He sent us on God’s mission to redeem and love and pursue and protect and heal. Jesus said that He was going but He was leaving these men, and the ones who would believe in Him because of them, to continue His mission . . . but there would be attack. He said, I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. — John 17:15
When you are truly about the things of God, there is always attack.
So Jesus prayed for us, not that we would be kept from hardship or suffering but that we would be kept from the evil one who desires to take us out.
How many times have I kicked and pouted to God because life was not going how I wanted? How many times have I thought to myself, That is not fair!
While I may have read in my Bible that we are in a spiritual war, that truth had not fully adjusted my expectations of this life. To accept that life is supposed to be hard is the beginning of joy.
There is freedom in understanding that heaven is coming and we are not there yet. We’re called to live, instead, aware that we are at war with a ruthless enemy who is trying to destroy us if we are living surrendered to Jesus.
Continue to our blog to read the rest of today's devotional (it's a long one, but a good one!) by Jennie Allen from her book, Anything.
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Your Turn
Are you under attack? Maybe even the biggest one of your life? Take a moment to be reminded by Scripture that you are not fighting flesh and blood. Remember who you are fighting and that God is with you! Please share your comments on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~Devotionals Daily
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We Are Not Good, But Jesus Makes Us Beautiful

Jeremiah 18:6
Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand. - Jeremiah 18:6
"Jennie, do you think my dad is in heaven?”
My heart stopped and my brain raced to find the answer. I scanned through my memories of his mess of a life and found myself doubting.
Kathryn had recently lost her dad to a heart attack. Her dad, Mike, was one of the most joyful, screwed-up men I knew. He had broken his marriage and could be seen more in bars than church. His life did not at all resemble the steadfast Christian men I knew.
But something about Mike was alive and full of joy. Every time you were around him, you felt it. He befriended every person he ever met. The man loved well.
There are a lot of things about God and Christianity that are a worthwhile debate, but the fact that we all sin is typically not one of them. I have never met a person so brave as to say he was perfect, but I have met a lot of people who think they are good people. I get the impression when they say that about themselves, they are saying, “God thinks I am okay.
On a core level, are we really as “good” as we think we are?
I’ve always thought the epic war in our universe was pretty simple — good versus bad. But if you read about the war in the Bible, it was always more complicated than that, even from day one. Adam and Eve chose evil, but then they found themselves in a place without church or Bibles or pressure from their priest. On their own intuition, they ran from God and tried to cover themselves and their shame with fig leaves (Genesis 3). These were leaves of pretending, the same leaves we call religion or perhaps morality or maybe being good. They tried to cover up just how bad they were.
I’ve done this. I do this. I impress the world with passionate, visible morality while avoiding God altogether. There is something to humility that is costly... something resembling humiliation... an outright declaration of the wreck we are without God rather than composing a beautiful existence that barely needs a savior.
We’ve often run to pretending, to covering ourselves with religion or the fig leaf of appearing good. It was the biggest fight Christ picked, and yet it is still our biggest problem. We think we can appear okay... okay to God and to each other, and that if we construct really pretty coverings out of our leaves, no one will know.
God is clear. The state of our invisible hearts takes precedence over all the good behavior, over all the bad.
We judge children on their behavior or performance from the time they are born. People just flat-out like us better if we are... good.
Everything in this life seems to hinge on our external behavior. When Jesus came, He went to the most broken, the least good. In fact, it was always the most sinful He ministered to. He touched them and healed them and loved them, and they loved Him back. They needed Him.
I remember the first time it occurred to me that my life looked more like the lives of the people Jesus rebuked than the people Jesus drew near to. I was reading His words to the religious in Matthew, “So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).
Ugh. I felt that way. I knew deep down I was screwed up. I also knew nobody really knew it, and I liked it that way. I did not want to be facedown in the sand like all the sinners Jesus healed. I wanted to stay bright and shiny and good, and comfortably on my feet.
When I read the words of Christ, I felt this call. A call to fall on my face.
It physically hurts to see our pride, to see our sin, to quit playing good, to feel broken and to need God. And it hurts even more to let others see it. So we run from falling; we choose large fig leaves to cover up with and not God. We run from that vulnerable feeling that we may not measure up, all while aching to measure up.
I love the song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor. It says, “You make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things out of us.”
God’s people have always been good at running from Him. Jeremiah was one of the people God sent to remind them that God was real and that they needed Him, and that he wanted them back. So he sent Jeremiah to the home of a potter. When Jeremiah arrived, the piece of clay in the potter’s hands was misshapen and ruined. As Jeremiah watched, the potter reworked the same clay into something beautiful, an altogether different vessel.
As Jeremiah walked away, God asked him,
Can I not do with you as this potter has done?... Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand. — Jeremiah 18:6
Christ kept drawing close to broken people while He was here. For the woman caught in adultery, about to be stoned in John 8, her face in the sand, Jesus protected her from stones. And to protect her from eternal judgment, He whispered the same thing that He whispers to us: Repent, because you are not good; you are not okay. Come back to me. You need me. He says, Go and sin no more (John 8:11), which is impossible apart from the righteousness Christ offers to those who come to Him in faith. He is what makes us right.
There is something so beautiful about people aware of their sin and their need for God. That is beautiful to God. He can work with that, enter into that. Jesus’ first command after nearly every encounter with a needy person was for them to repent. He promised these broken people hope and healing. He promised to make a way for them. Often, after these encounters, He would turn to the religious people who seemed to have it all together and confront their sin of pride and pretending. Yet with every opportunity, for the most part, they never repented. They thought they were fine without Jesus. They did not need Him.
God is reaching out to us, wanting us to see we need him. But since He is God, we think He wants some song and dance from us — in other words, behavior modification. He actually just wants us. He longs to set us free. And yes, to accomplish all that, He wants us entirely. God is home to us. He is where we were made to be. He is what we were made for. We just forget all that while we are trying to be good and independent.
Pretending to be good halts God’s movement in our life. Legalism or religion helps us feel better about ourselves, puffs us up, gives us the posture to be critical and judgmental and prideful. Oh, and everything human about us loves that. It feels better to live that way.
We want to not need God.
I was visiting a halfway house filled with men who had all recently been released from prison. I hadn’t known what to expect, but my heart instantly began melting. I saw an older man with his worn shirt tucked in pouring lemonade — the grainy kind that you add water to and stir — and putting out cookies that looked store-bought but were arranged in a pattern on a plate. The other men greeted us with smiles as if they were welcoming the president. I had rushed to get there that night — I was dealing with sitters and car pools and honestly I felt a little cranky, but at the sight of these humble men my pulse slowed and I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
We went around the room, and each man shared a little about his life. With tears and true ownership, each man confessed his weaknesses and mistakes. Their hearts bled for the damage they had brought to those they love, and they gushed at how they lived forgiven because of Christ. There was no air about them, no pretense. Christ had moved into their wrecked lives and restored them. They spoke with peace, and I sensed they possessed hope.
I found myself longing to be like them, these men recovering from the consequences of sin. I wanted to need God as they did and feel broken as they did and be transparent as they were. It was as if they were already exposed... already caught. “Screwed up” was written on their foreheads — no need to act like it wasn’t. And something about that brought freedom. It made God the hero, not them.
My soul resonated with that. Even though I’m a blonde, mom-of- three pastor’s wife connecting with criminals fresh out of prison, I am a human, and we humans arrive with “screwed up” on our foreheads. We come that way, but somewhere between toddlerhood and being a grown-up we learn to wipe off our forehead signs. To sit up straight. To be good.
But before God I am no different from these men. My forehead is clean; my soul certainly is not. That day on an old, beat-up sofa with some old, beat-up guys, I rethought the things I valued in people and the types of people I valued, and I realized that God shone more through those accused and hurting men than through me.
We are all hiding from each other with big fig leaves, but God says, “You could stop because I am a way better covering. I have an actual payment for all the sin you are hiding. But it will take coming out from behind your leaves. It will take humility to see that you need me” (John 11:25, 1 John 1:8, paraphrased).
The irony is that Jesus' blood takes the least good and makes them the most good. It's beautiful.
We don’t want to fall. We like to see great testimonies of God’s grace, but we don’t want to be the testimony.
Even though I was bright and shiny—I was full of sin and pride. Eventually I fell, dramatically, face-first, crying because I had lived like a Pharisee in all my pride and arrogance. I actually have learned to fall a lot. I fall because I can’t keep pretending I am okay when I know deep down I’m not. But I also fall because I find God in the sand. I find God with my face in it. And then He gets to be the Lifter of my head, rather than my pride.
About the same time my more acceptable sin was bringing me to my face, my friend Kathryn called about her more blatantly sinning father. Everything I had thought God wanted from me was in question. When you only look at Jesus, what He did, what He said, who He loved . . . there is only one thing needed. One.
Anyone can get to heaven—no matter how messy his or her life. And by the same token, anyone can be kept out— regardless of all his or her fancy goodness.
I needed to answer Kathryn.
“I know this, Kathryn . . . It is the work of Christ that saves any of us. Our behavior here is really all the same — we all screw it up pretty bad without God. Some of us are just better at covering our sin up. When we get to heaven, a whole heck of a lot of people we never expected are going to be there, and a lot of good people we thought were going to be there won’t be. God deals with the heart, the unseen spaces in us, and while your dad never mastered church or his marriage, he had something inside of him that poured out on everyone who came in touch with him... Did he know Jesus?
Kathryn had never asked her dad where he stood with Jesus Christ, so that night she got on her face and begged God to somehow show her that Mike was in heaven... she was desperate and pleading for proof so obvious that it couldn’t be denied.
The day after pleading with God and with no knowledge of Kathryn’s prayer, her aunt, with whom she had never had a spiritual conversation, reluctantly called. She nervously told Kathryn that a voice that she knew to be God woke her up in the night and told her that Mike was with Him, and that Mike had given his heart to Jesus a few years earlier when Kathryn’s father-in-law passed. Her aunt hadn’t even been at the funeral, but they all agreed, as they thought back, that her dad had experienced a sudden shift toward spiritual things. She remembered that something was different in him following that time — not perfect or “good” or showy, but something deep and real had appeared.
Grace is scary insane.
Grace says you have nothing to give, nothing to earn, nothing to pay. You couldn’t if you tried!.. Salvation is a free gift. You simply lay hold of what Christ has provided. Period. And yet the heretical doctrine of works goes on all around the world and always will. It is effective because the pride of men and women is so strong. We simply have to do something in order to feel right about it. It just doesn’t make good humanistic sense to get something valuable for nothing.
In one act God did what no amount of effort on our part could do. He sacrificed His perfect Son, placing every sin on Him.
It’s not just those in prison who are far from God; often it’s those of us sitting in pews, deciding where to go to lunch after this guy finishes talking about a God we barely need.
“I will not boast in anything.” I’m getting more comfortable with imperfect forehead signs.
Here is mine:
I am crazy screwed up. And my only hope is my Jesus.
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Your Turn
What does your imperfect forehead sign say? Join the conversation on our blog. ~ Devotionals Daily
(Editor's Note: We heard such a great response to yesterday's devotional by Jennie Allen from her book Anything we decided to give you another excerpt - and extend our sale on the book. Jennie is the winner of the 2013 New Author of the Year Christian Book Award and her writing has been praised for its honesty, passion and authenticity in communicating God’s truths. We hope you are blessed by today's devotion! Please share it with your friends).
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Now is the Time

Now is the Time

For indeed says the Lord, I have opened the door before you and it is for you to walk through it. I have arranged the people and circumstances for your good and to make this season easier for you to pass through.
However, you must take action and take a leap of faith. For the circumstances cannot stand still. Life goes on and people will shift in where they stand right now. So do not hesitate and do not look and wonder if you are ready to move forward on this journey. The time to take action is now.
You have waited for the right time and have prepared yourself for such a time as this and now it has risen upon you. So do not be afraid to cease the moment and take this opportunity.
The door that is before you has been opened for you to take, so walk through it now and do not look back. You have what you need to pass through. You are ready and I will give you the grace that you need to walk through this door to opportunity and promotion, says the Lord.


The Seed of Love in Your Heart

The Seed of Love in Your Heart

I have indeed planted a seed within your heart, my child, and I am causing it to grow. Over the years and over time, so many things have covered over that seed that I planted there. The seed is trying to push through but there are all these things there that are covering it up.

My child, I have called you by your name before you were born. I held you in the palm of my hand while you were still in your mother's womb. There is nothing that could ever separate you from my love and from my care.

I have so much in store for you and I have so many things in mind for you to do. So just come this day and let go of everything that makes you feel comfortable. Let go of the things you have accumulated and take hold of the love I have planted in your heart. I love you, even if everyone around you rejects you or says otherwise, I love you and that love is sufficient.

My grace and my glory are sufficient for you. I have so much to give to you and I have so many things that I want to explain to you and show you. So just let go now, my child, and fall into my strong, loving and capable arms.

I have got it all figured out for you and I will show you the way, says the Lord. Let my seed grow into a strong tree and then let us stand in power together and change this world, says the Lord.