Amazing Things

15 03 2010

Wandering in the desert for forty years has brought them to this moment. On the other side is the unknown. Big enemies, big fortifications, and big battles. Standing on the banks of a swollen river, God says, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” – Joshua 3:5.

What am I doing today to get ready for the amazing things God wants to do in my life tomorrow? So often we want big, God-sized things to happen, but haven’t prepared our hearts to see them. We want to experience the amazing work of God in our lives, but are unwilling to consecrate ourselves.

God wants to do amazing things in you and for you. He longs to show you His power, fill you with His presence, and enmesh you in His promises. Through Joshua, He tells us to get ready. Here are a few things we can do today to be fully prepared for the amazing ways God wants to work in us.

Spend time in worship – worship prepares our eyes. Magnifying Him changes our perspective.

Open His Word – His Word consecrates our ears to better His voice, and our hearts to more fully experience His presence.

Pray big prayers – nothing prepares us better for the amazing things God has in store for us than pouring ourselves out before the One who has promised to do more than we can ask or imagine.

Expect the extraordinary – We serve a God who is willing to part waters, knock down cities, defeat giants, and send a Son to the cross. Don’t underestimate what He is willing to do for you.

Open your heart to the possibility that God wants to do amazing things for you. God’s amazing things often come in small packages, and through unexpected avenues. Prepare your eyes. Consecrate your heart. Let anticipation and expectation define your steps.

My Jesus Resolution today is to prepare for amazing things. I am going to get my eyes ready, my heart prepared, and my life consecrated so I don’t miss a single amazing moment.

Laughter from the Family Room

12 03 2010

Laughter is coming from my family room. Kids are giggling, sharing secrets, and being silly. The dog is barking at the commotion that fills the room. It is the sound of our family being together. I love it.

Our daughter heads back to school in a couple of days. I am going to miss the laughter in the family room. We will still have fun, but the melody of voices will be different without her here. She brings her own unique note to the symphony that is our family.

I wonder if God smiles when He hears laughter coming from His family. I imagine that He delights in the sounds of lives being shared, tears being cried, joys being celebrated, hugs being given, and encouragement being embraced. Each one of His children brings a different note to the chorus of praise that rises into His throne room. He knows each one of our voices. He recognizes each face. Each heart is precious to Him. There is an empty space in the family room when one of us isn’t there.

You may feel lost in the crowd. You might assume that no one notices whether you are there or not. Perhaps you think that you don’t make a difference. You do. God sees. He looks for your heart. He longs for you to come into the living room with His family. Without you, we are a note short.

My Jesus Resolution today is laugh in the family room. I am not going to sit on the sidelines and just listen. I am going to link arms with God’s family and sing, pray, listen, celebrate, cry, and giggle. I am going to trust that God’s hears my note, and cherishes the times when we all laugh together. He loves it when His family is all together. Want to laugh with me?

Ten Reasons to Rejoice

10 03 2010

The world is full of gloomy news. The headlines are full of doom, disaster, and discouragement. In Philippians 4:4, Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”  Here are ten reasons to rejoice today.

1. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24. Today is covered with God’s fingerprints. He molded and shaped this day just for you.

2. Today is a fresh start and a new beginning. You have a clean slate. It is like New Year’s Day, only better. Make the most of it.

3. God loves you – passionately, intensely, personally, and immeasurably.

4. Your sins have been forgiven. They have been washed clean, wiped away, and thrown into the depths of the sea.

5. The grave and the enemy have been defeated. Shout the victory!

6. God is in control. You do not have to be.

7. Every one of God’s promises are “YES!” in Jesus. 

8. God plans to work in you, on you, and through you today.

9. God is very close to you right now. Take a moment, quiet your mind, and  listen to Him whisper to your heart.

10. You can hear God’s voice, see God’s face, and feel His hand any time you want today. Just open your Bible.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be deliberate about rejoicing. I am going to count my blessings, keep my eyes open for God’s movement, and set my heart on things above. What are you rejoicing about today?

Coming Home

8 03 2010

Our daughter is home for Spring Break. It is always a joy to see her smile. She brings beauty and laughter with her every time she enters a room. Her presence around the dinner table makes us feel complete.

It is in her attitude about coming home that I most clearly see Jesus. She is thriving in college – making friends, stretching her heart, and soaking in the education she has dedicated herself to achieving. But she is very aware that school is not home. It is a temporary place. There is much to be embraced, absorbed, and enjoyed about college. She loves it, but lives with the reality that it is not a permanent home for her heart. It is a training place, a learning place, a growing place, and a blessing place. She commits herself to living in the moment, but always has her eye on when it will be time to come home.

I want to be like her. I want to see my surroundings for the temporary dwelling that it really is. I want to long for home the way she does. Living with a “coming home” perspective changes my priorities. I don’t need to invest myself so heavily in the temporary things of this world. I can look at my circumstances, struggles, and to-do lists with eyes that long for home. This life is a training place, a learning place, and a growing place. Here I learn to look like Jesus. Here I am shaped to walk with Him, grow in Him, and imitate Him. Here I learn to long for home.

My Jesus Resolution today is to point my heart toward home. I am going to spend time today thinking, reading, and praying about home. I am going to connect with my Father who is getting things ready for me. I am going to look at the events of my day with eyes focused on home. I am going to let my desire to see Jesus color every part of who I am. I can’t wait until it is time to come home.

Hide and Seek

5 03 2010

“4…3…2…1… Ready or not, here I come!” Did you ever play hide and seek? There are so many childhood memories tied up in playing this game. Seeking was okay, but I really liked hiding. It was so much fun to search for the perfect spot – one that hid you from the probing eyes of the seeker, but close enough to listen to what was happening during the search. I found the perfect spot back in the corner of the basement. It was behind the water heater, hidden by a curtain. It was a little dark and scary, but definitely a game winner!

Jesus wants to be our hiding place. Colossians 3:3 says, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” I love this picture. We are hidden in Jesus. He surrounds us, protects us, and enfolds us in His care. The deeper we burrow into His heart, the more of Jesus is seen in my life. My goal is to be so hidden in Christ that others see Him rather than me.

My Jesus Resolution today is to hide myself deeper in the shadow of the cross. I want the people who look my way today to see Jesus first. I want them to hear His words in my voice. I want them to feel His love radiating from my heart. I want them to experience His grace through every one of my actions. His arms are a big enough for both of us. Will you hide with me?

Little Hands

3 03 2010

His little hand reached up to grab mine. It was a simple move, a natural move. He saw me across the playground. His teacher held him back until I could reach the gate, but as soon as I was close enough, he ran to me and took my hand.

There is something extraordinary about holding hands with a child. It is a profound expression of trust, commitment, and belonging. When a child holds your hand, they literally put themselves in your shadow. They try to match your footsteps. They touch your heart while reaching for your fingers. They announce to the world where they belong.

It was an ordinary day, a part of our regular routine, but his little hand painted a picture for my soul today. With every squeeze of his fingers, I felt the hand of God. With every tug on my arm, I learned another lesson about holding on to Jesus.

Trust. When a child holds your hand, they are making a declaration of deep trust. They don’t know where they are going, but they follow. They don’t see the road hazards or traffic dangers, but they stay close to your side, trusting you will keep them safe. They don’t set the pace, but they enjoy the time together.

Belonging. Holding hands announces to the world that you belong together. You don’t hold hands with strangers. Reaching for my hand is a practiced move for this little one. We fit together because our hearts are connected.

Safety. Clasping your hands together creates a place of safety. You no longer stand alone. You move with someone by your side. There is a peace that flows from knowing that you are enfolded, not only in the grasp, but in the love of someone committed to watching out for you.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be aware of my hands. I want to be like my little friend. I want to hold hands with Jesus. Who will you reach out for today?

God’s GPS

1 03 2010

Flying at 32,000 feet, we were all settling in for the trip to Houston. I pulled out my IPod and my book, and tried to get comfortable (or as comfortable as you can get squished together in a plane). I had just turned the page when the pilot’s voice boomed over the speakers. “Ladies and Gentlemen, our navigation system has failed. We must return to the airport immediately.”

The buzz in the plane started before the pilot clicked off the communication system. People all over this very full flight began wondering and worrying about what would happen next. In the end, everything was fine. We flew back to the airport (with several people anxiously watching out the window to make sure we hit the runway), the mechanics fixed the plane, and finally, several hours late, we landed in Houston.

Navigation systems are important. No one on the plane doubted the necessity of fixing the broken system. Without a navigational system, we would fly off course and crash.

Buckled into my seat, I thought about how many people try to live life without a spiritual navigation system. Despite understanding the importance of it in the physical world, how many times do I try to go my own direction, plan my own path, and plot my own course?

God gives us a GPS – Jesus. He is the Way. Walking with Him will get us exactly where we need to go. He will always lead us in the proper direction. He will choose the right path, take the right road, and open the right doors. He will get us home.

My Jesus Resolution today is to pay attention to my GPS – Jesus. I am going to focus on the directions He is giving me. I am going to check my route against the path He calls me to follow. I am going to match my footsteps with His, trying to walk as He did. I am going to let my desire to go home pull me closer to His side.