The Great I AM

31 03 2010

Standing in the glow of the burning bush, Moses asks God to reveal His name. The Lord replies, “I AM WHO I AM.” I AM is the name that Moses is to take back to the Israelites. It is a name meant to inspire hope, instill confidence, and open their eyes to God’s presence.

The name I AM still speaks to the hearts of His people. Listen for all the ways that God declares Himself to be I AM in your life today.

1. I AM the Bright and Morning Star. Look for me early in the morning. I will light your way all day.

2. I AM your Provider. I will meet every need you have today.

3. I AM very close. You will never be alone today.

4. I AM the Creator. Every splash of color, every stroke of beauty, every sunbeam was made to remind you of Me.

5. I AM Love. You can trust me with your heart.

6. I AM the Promise-Keeper. Move with confidence, smile with surety, and know that every promise I have made is “Yes!” in Jesus.

7. I AM the Joy-Giver. Walk with Me today and experience all the richness and fullness I have planned for you.

8. I AM your Savior. I will set you free, heal what is broken, and wash away every sin.

9. I AM Sufficient. I am enough for today. I will give you enough grace, mercy, peace, and hope to cover every part of your day. Be content in Me.

10. I AM passionate about you. You are the desire of my heart.

My Jesus Resolution today is to take off my shoes and recognize that I stand on holy ground. I AM proclaims His name all around me. His love fills my day. His peace covers my heart. He is everything I need to meet the moment.





The Best Compliment Ever

29 03 2010

We were gathered in the room waiting for a time of study and praise to begin. The woman sat down next to me. It was clear that she had something she wanted to share. She leaned in close, partly to be heard and partly for privacy. “I think I have discovered something about your books. There is a common theme running through them.” She paused. “You always talk about Jesus, and being transformed to be like Him.” She looked at me expectantly. I smiled. She hit the nail on the head. I always talk about Jesus.

My conversation with this woman has stayed on my mind. I appreciate her encouragement, and letting me get a glimpse of how God is working in her heart. More importantly, her words have humbled me and caused me to look deep within. Does Jesus define every part of who I am? Can someone see Him as the common thread that runs through every part of my life? Is His transformation evident as I walk though my days?

I can’t think of a better compliment than for someone to notice that Jesus is the theme of our lives. This is what The Jesus Resolution is all about – living lives so defined by Him that the world sees Jesus living fully in us, no matter who we are, what we are doing, or where we are walking.

My Jesus Resolution today is to surrender again to being more like Him. I want Him to penetrate every piece of my heart. I want others to see His reflection in the mirror of my life. I want to look like Jesus every day.





Chosen

26 03 2010

It is never fun to be the last one picked. We all have those memories – kicking our feet in the dirt, heads hanging heavy and low, as one by one the kids around us are chosen. We hope against hope that our name isn’t the last one called. Finally, the moment comes. It is down to you and the other kid. The team leaders conference with the kids standing on the chosen side of the line. There are whispers, a moment of weighing the pros and cons, and then the one kid in the back who reminds everybody of how you dropped the ball, misspelled the word, forgot to carry the two, or froze in the goal losing the game for everybody. A moment of silence. And then the other kids’ name is called. It is no fun to be the one nobody wants on their side.

The good news is that today is different. God picks you. He has chosen you to be His very own. He wants you on His team, by His side, and in His arms. He doesn’t hesitate for a minute – He calls your name. You get to stand next to God on the chosen side of the line.

“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” – Ephesians 1:4

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1b

My Jesus Resolution today is to live chosen. No matter how often the world tells me that I am not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or together enough to be on the “team”, God tells me that I have a permanent place by His side and in His heart. Let’s hold our heads up today, and walk with the confidence of one who belongs to the Lord. Smile – you are loved, treasured, and chosen.





The Right Answer

24 03 2010

We all want to know the right answer. In school, it was multiplication tables, geography projects, and how long we could put off studying before a test and still pass. The working world, marriage, and being a parent each bring their own unique set of questions to the table. We struggle with finding the right answers. Sometimes we wrestle with knowing the right question.

In the age of information overload, global saturation, and technology enhancement, God’s wisdom clarifies our vision. His love provides the solution. His power opens the door for our understanding. The right answer is always Jesus.

Jesus is the answer to whatever we are facing in life. Questions about school, friendships, new romances, and making choices about the future are best answered in Jesus. Problems in the workplace, questions about integrity, how to treat your boss, and balancing career and family find their most complete answer in Jesus. Bringing our best to our marriages, our children, and the relationships we share with others is discovered in Jesus.

Jesus is always the right answer. Walking in His footsteps, imitating His conversation, following His lead, and reflecting His heart will always bring us to the answer we most need for our lives. It may not be the easy answer, or the popular choice, but finding our answer in Jesus will always bring us to God’s best desire for us.

My Jesus Resolution today is to remember that I already know the right answer. Whatever question comes up today – how to treat someone when I have been hurt, what choice to make with the change in my hand, whether or not to go the extra mile for a friend – the right answer is Jesus. Instead of turning to the internet, my friends, a television personality, the mall, the refrigerator, or any of the other ‘answers’ the world offers up, I am going to take my questions to God. Every time, He will point me to Jesus.





God’s Timing

22 03 2010

It was a three-state weekend. I still marvel that I can get on an airplane, and be in an entirely different part of the country in only a few hours. This weekend was full of blessings, but the weather stood out as one of the big signposts that pointed me to the heart of God.

In south Texas, where I live, spring is in full bloom. Grass is growing, trees are budding out, flowers are beginning to show their beauty, temperatures have warmed up, and yellow pine pollen blankets everything.

I flew to eastern Tennessee where spring is just beginning to show its promise. The ground was not yet green, but yellow daffodils poked their heads out of the earth. The sky was a freshly washed blue, bringing with it the hint that spring was on its way. The trees had no leaves, but the warming temperatures offered an incentive for them to pop out of their winter rest.

From Tennessee, I made a stop in Chicago. This weekend, Chicago was blanketed in a sparkling garment of snow. The freezing temperatures ensured that the newly fallen snow would stick around for a while. Coats are still the order of the day.

In the midst of these different scenes, I see a lesson about God’s timing. He works in each of us within the timing that is best for where we are in life. God doesn’t bring spring to the entire country all in one day. It blossoms in our land, just like it moves in our lives. We may look at the way God is moving in someone else, wishing that His timing worked the same way in our lives. But His timing is just like the coming of spring – perfect for where we are, and what He wants to bring to life in our hearts.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be satisfied in God’s timing. I am going to trust that He is going to move in me at just the right moment. I am going to look for the signs of His coming. I am going to rejoice in the evidence of His movement. I am going to find peace in the fact that God is never too slow or too fast – He is perfect in everything He does.  I am going to let His springtime bloom inside of me, and pray that it is a signpost that points others to Him.





Pulling Teeth

18 03 2010

My son had two teeth pulled today. Novocain, gauze packs, drooling, the whole nine yards. He was a good sport about the whole thing. Not his favorite way to spend part of Spring Break, but the dentist told him that it was necessary to get those teeth out. A little pain today might save years of problems later.

God used the time in the dentist’s office to remind me of an important lesson. Sometimes, the healthiest thing for us is to endure an extraction. It is necessary for things that are not good for us to be removed from our hearts. Pride, selfishness, bad habits, wrong motives, and misdirected thinking all need to be pried from our souls at the earliest possible moment. It may not seem like much, but pulling them today prevents them from grower stronger and deeper in us. A little discomfort today might save years of struggle with sin down the road.

Colossians 3:5-10 has a whole list of items that need to be extracted from our lives. God wants us to put to death (which is really what pulling teeth is all about) things like immorality, evil desires, greed, anger, filthy language, and lying. God wants to pull those things out of our lives, creating room for His image to take shape in our hearts.

My Jesus Resolution today is to settle into the Great Physician’s chair, and let Him extract whatever is getting in the way of my growth. I want to be spiritually healthy. I want to grow in just the way He wants me to grow. I want to make room for the image of Jesus to take full form in my life. Even if it means pulling a couple of teeth.





Soap

17 03 2010

Our lives are filled with so many simple blessings. So many things that I take for granted, walk past, and overlook every day. Today I am thankful for soap. How much soap do you have in your house? I have soap in five different rooms in my house. I refill the bottles, open up new bars, and pour it into the washing machine. Such a simple blessing and one that I take for granted too often. Soap is magical. It is wonderful. It makes bubbles. It glistens in the light. It smells good. It comes in different colors and there are bottles to fit everyone’s fancy. Soap makes us clean. This is the real beauty of soap. How many times a day do you stop and wash your hands? We don’t often think about the soap that we use multiple times a day to wash the messes off our hands. It is only when there is no soap that we stop and notice. Without soap, our lives would be sticky, oily, grimy, and stinky. I am thankful for soap.

There is a cleansing agent in my life more powerful than soap. The blood of Jesus takes the deepest, darkest stains of sin and washes them away until I am whiter than snow. His blood removes my sticky selfishness, the oily presence of pride, the grimy gunk of guilt, and the stinky stench of shame. Because of the everlasting love of God, this “soap” runs freely though my life. God is never stingy with his grace. His mercies are new every morning. His forgiveness is better than those scrubbing bubbles you see in the commercials. It reaches deep, providing peace, renewal, freedom, and joy.

My Jesus Resolution today is to spend today being amazed by grace. I am going to let soap be my reminder of God’s presence and mercy. Every time I wash my hands, put clothes in the washing machine, load the dishwasher, and rinse the dishes, I am going to let my mind dwell on the power of God’s forgiveness. I am going to notice the bubbles and stand in awe of the beauty of grace. I will look at the bar code on the bottle and be humbled by the cost that was paid to make me clean.