Change your spots

leopardAre you a leopard who desperately needs to change your spots? Is your life in the toilet? Do you need a miracle?

In this day and age, you’d be hard pressed to find any believer who doesn’t need a miracle in one way or another.

How do you get what you need from God? ASK HIM. He is ready to help but most times we are so goofed up in our heads that we don’t even know we need it. Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. Hebrews 4:14-16 MSG

Take the mercy, accept the help!

Leopards CAN change their spots with the help of the Word of God. Renewing your mind daily with His Word changes your spots. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT

Get out of the toilet. Go to God and ask for help. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 NLT If we ever needed wisdom from God, it’s now.

Celebrate life

Celebrate lifeSo, I found a new show to watch on Netflix and it has rocked my world. No, it’s not Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy; nothing that gritty, nothing that would get tweeted about or invent new words. This show is about something more precious and less celebrated… life.

Call the Midwife is a BBC production based in London’s poor East End in the 1950s. It chronicles the lives of young nurse midwives and the women and families they tirelessly served. Never have I seen a show more full of love and committed to life. These young women were so passionate about helping babies into the world, and they had such high regard for life. Sad to say, I don’t imagine a show like that taking off in this country where we are obsessed with making things as convenient and hassle-free as possible.

But these midwives cared deeply. They cared about the new babies and the frightened mamas and the freaked-out husbands and the overbearing mothers-in-law. They held the hands and wiped the brow of all involved. And they did it in love and in expectant honor of the life that was coming into the world, no matter the circumstances.

I imagine that’s how God looks at us… each one precious, each one worth saving, each one loved, no matter what. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Oh, to demonstrate just a fraction of that love. He died for us and we didn’t deserve it. He honors us with His love, even when we are jerks. He lifts us out of our troubles, even when the mess is entirely of our own making. God loves each and every one of us… for no other reason than we are His children, created by Him, and worth loving.

My heart song

Unto youUnto you, oh Lord, do I bring my life. (Psalm 25:1 AMP)

I don’t even want to think of the mess I would have made of my life if not for the Lord. Can you imagine what situations He must have saved us from? The tragedies we have avoided? I have had struggles aplenty, but they have not destroyed me and my hope remains intact because I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. His mercies are new every morning. His faithfulness endures to a thousand generations.

Unto you, oh Lord, do I bring my life. (Psalm 25:1 AMP)

My future is bright because I have given it to Him. My heart is fulfilled because my future is in His hands. God is good and He’s never failed me. I’ve seen Him turn my mourning into dancing. I’ve seen Him turn my mistakes into wisdom and knowledge and understanding.

Unto you, oh Lord, do I bring my life. (Psalm 25:1 AMP)

I’ve seen Him. I’ve seen the Father. I’ve seen His awesome power. I’ve seen His tender loving kindness. All these things are there for the asking. All for the children of God. All for humanity… the heart of God. We are His beloved. You are His beloved. Your very life and future sent Jesus to the cross. Don’t let it be in vain.

Unto you, oh Lord, do I bring my life. (Psalm 25:1 AMP)

Your mess isn’t too big

chemical-spillYes, you may be in trouble, or in some kind of mess, but God specializes in getting us out of messes and making things even better than they were before. Honestly, just look at the life of Jesus. Try to see it from the disciples’ eyes. They had been going around with their teacher, they had been hearing the Word of the Living God that burned like fire in their souls, seeing incredible miracles, having the time of their lives when one night they sit down to dinner and Jesus tells them He’s going to die. These men had laid down their lives to follow him… left their homes and jobs and devoted their lives to Jesus’ ministry. Can you imagine what they must have been thinking when they watched Jesus’ words come to pass? When they saw Him on that cross?

We think about the disciples being these great men of faith and wisdom, but these guys were just regular people. They must have been horrified! Can you imagine the hopelessness they would have felt when Jesus died? They did not have the benefit of the bigger picture that we have. We know that Jesus had to die to redeem us from sin, but they didn’t know that. They didn’t know squat. But just look at how God took that seemingly unfixable mess and changed the course of mankind.

Talk about making things better than they were before… what would it be like if we still had to sacrifice animals to cleanse us from sin? PETA would not like that at all.

Your mess isn’t too big for God to clean up. You’re not too deep in your sea of troubles that He can’t fish you out. As long as your heart still has room for Him, He has answers for you.

He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.(Psalm 91:15 NIV)

A redeemer redeems

RedeemerGod is a redeemer. That means He redeems.

He redeems us from sin, cleans us up, and sets us back on our feet.

He is also the redeemer of situations. That doesn’t mean just fix our situation, but make it even better than it was before.

How does He do it?

It’s different every time.

He’s God.

He’s smarter than us.

Ask Him into your situation. Ask Him to redeem it. Repent of your sin and receive His forgiveness.

Let the guilt go.

Don’t focus on the mess; focus on the Redeemer.

Thank God.

Move on.

Don’t handcuff God

HandcuffsIt drives me nuts when people say, “God is in control.” News flash… He’s not in control unless we put Him in control. If God were really in control, He’s not doing a very good job. Sacrilege! Crucify her!

No, seriously, we are the ones that are not doing a good job. We are the ones that don’t have our crap together. We are the ones who miss it and screw things up and get ourselves in trouble.

God can only do what we let Him do; He can only take over where we invite Him in. The Bible says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Do you see that there’s a qualifier in that scripture? He directs our paths if we acknowledge Him in all our ways. It doesn’t mean we only communicate with God on Sundays. It doesn’t mean we only seek God when we’re in trouble. It means ALL OUR WAYS. It means we must make God a part of our everyday life. It means we must seek Him in good times and bad. It means we must allow Him into all our situations. It means we must listen to His voice. And sometimes that means close our own mouth and ask Him to do the talking. That’s called having a teachable heart. And that’s the best kind of heart you can have.

An unteachable heart handcuffs God. The God of the universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth can be handcuffed by His people. Don’t handcuff God. Invite Him in. Call on His Name. Stand on His Word. Relinquish control. Unlock the handcuffs and let God come in and transform your life. You are His beloved child. Let Him be your Father.

A question of mercy

I have a question: We want God to have mercy on us when we screw up, right? Why don’t we want Him to have mercy on others, especially those who hurt us? Why do we want bad things to come to them? Why do we refuse to see the fact that God loves those people the same as He loves us, and He’s not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9)?

Revenge is human nature, it’s very difficult to break free from the desire to see it land on our enemies’ heads. And somehow we think we must be God’s favorite and He will spare us and gather us into His loving forgiveness, but we are sure that He’s closed His arms to others, others that we deem unforgivable.

This is just not so.

If I try to count up all the times that I have messed up, I’d be here all week. And do you know how many of those times God has forgiven me? All of them; all that I’ve repented of and asked forgiveness for, that is. And even when I don’t realize what I’ve done, I know that God’s goodness and mercy have followed me around, cleaning up my messes. Psalm 23:6 promises me that. So why do we find it hard to imagine that God does that for others too? God loves His children, all of them. He is rich in mercy and loving-kindness. We should be too.

I stumbled upon an online forum where people were talking about a shared experience from years ago. The forum could have been a place where they reminisce about funny things and easier times, but sadly it gave many the opportunity to simply prove themselves bitter and stuck in the past.

God isn’t in the business of going backwards, He is always in forward motion. He has plans for us, He has a future and a hope for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He doesn’t live in the past. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). How can we fulfill God’s plans for our lives if we can’t get out of the past? We must accept God’s mercy for ourselves, we must show God’s mercy to others, and we must get on with life!