8 07 2015

Have you had your first cup of coffee yet? Coffee is a necessity for many. Some people don’t function until at least one good, strong, hot cup of coffee is moving through their systems. There is something about that tantalizing rich aroma and flavor that transforms groggy, grumpy lumps into people ready to take on the day.

What if I craved God in the morning as much as I crave that first cup of coffee? What if I depended on Him to get me going, wake me up, and transform the way I look at my day in the same way that I rely on my coffee? Many of us wouldn’t dream of starting our day without a cup of coffee. And yet, how many times do I sip my coffee and forget to drink deeply from the well of God’s grace?

I once knew a man who committed to feeding his soul with spiritual food before he fed his body with physical food. The rumbling in his tummy while he waited for breakfast reminded his heart to crave God first every morning. His example challenges me, inspires me, and, honestly, scares me a little bit. Can my heart learn to thirst for God in the same way I depend on that first cup of coffee? Can I learn to take my first steps every morning toward Him in the same way that I stumble toward the coffee pot?

My Jesus Resolution today is to tape Psalm 42:2 to my coffee cup. I want to remind my heart that being thirsty for God is the best way to start my day. I can’t be like Jesus with my family, friends, at work, or at church unless I have a good measure of His grace and power moving through me. His presence has the power to transform my thoughts, attitudes, perspective, and motives into something that will allow me to shine with His light, respond with His love, and move in His steps as I walk through my day.


6 07 2015

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8

Grace is a great mystery. We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it. We will never be worthy of it. It is a deep, rich, extravagant gift. It comes straight from the heart of God. His love shapes it. His holiness empowers it. His faithfulness extends it. Grace has the power to overwhelm us, cleanse us, refresh us, and transform us. There is not another force like it.

Through grace, God reaches through our sin and touches our hearts in order to change them for His glory. His grace draws us close when our sin has built a barrier. His grace makes us family even when we were strangers. His grace fills us with light in the midst of our darkness. Grace allows us to breathe, encourages us to grow, and helps us imagine what is possible because of His love.

My Jesus Resolution today is to immerse myself in His grace. Down on my knees, I know I don’t deserve it, but He gently washes away my guilt and covers me with grace. He moves in to fix what is broken, heal what is wounded, and comfort what aches. At the heart of grace is transformation. Encountering His grace will never leave me the same. The mystery of grace is God’s willingness to meet me in my sin and envelop me with His love.


3 07 2015

“We are what we believe we are.” – CS Lewis

If you had to make a list of ten words that would best describe you, what would they be? When you are talking to yourself, how do you speak to the person in the mirror? Most of us have a list of things we wish we could be. Too many times, however, we treat ourselves critically, allowing guilt, shame, and unrealistic expectations to shape what we believe about our hearts, our abilities, and our potential.

A big part of the transformation God is working within us is a change in the way we see ourselves. Sin warps our self-perception. The cross has the power to redefine the substance of who we are.

Here are ten things God says you can believe about who you are in Christ:

  1. Treasured
  2. Courageous
  3. Loved
  4. Able
  5. His Child
  6. Beautiful
  7. Forgiven
  8. Holy
  9. Chosen
  10. Free

My Jesus Resolution today is to believe that I am all God tells me I am. The world is an expert at pointing out all the ways I fall short, don’t measure up, or don’t have what it takes. I really don’t need anybody to tell me where I fail. I’m good at zeroing in on those things all by myself. God wants me to change my focus. He wants my potential to speak louder than my problems. When I choose to believe God’s truth about who I am, Jesus begins to take fuller shape in my life.


1 07 2015

“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” – CS Lewis

We worry about the world. We stand in a moment in which it seems that morals, common sense, and integrity have given way to violence, prejudice, and sin. The tide of selfishness and evil leaves us breathless as it crashes into our lives, attempting to uproot our homes and values. It is overwhelming. It is so tempting to draw a protective circle around our families and position ourselves far away from the battle. But, silence means Satan wins. Christians are never called to hide. Today, more than at any other time, we have the privilege and responsibility to speak healing truth into an increasingly fractured society.

Here are four truths that Christians need to speak with one voice into our neighborhoods, offices, towns, and families.

With respect, gentleness, and love:

  1. God is God. You can deny him. You can revile Him. You can ignore him, but God is God. He is sovereign. He is holy. He is loving, and He is good. He is for us. He is pursuing each one of us. He sacrificed everything so we might be His.
  2. Sin is sin. There is such a thing as right and wrong, good and evil, darkness and light. No matter what others might tell you about finding your own “truth”, there is an absolute standard that, like the North Star, helps us find our way through the darkness of this world.
  3. The Gospel is grace. God’s goodness runs deeper than the world’s evil. No matter how bad it is, God is ready and willing to extend mercy and grace.
  4. Jesus is the answer. We have a myriad of problems, but there is only one answer that will bring soul-deep healing to our hurts, anxieties, questions, divisions, and heartaches – Jesus. The cross is proof of not only His love, but His willingness to enter into the depth of our experience and open a way into joy.

My Jesus Resolution today is to speak truth and embrace progress. By necessity, I have to start with myself. No one needs to do an about-turn more than me. I need to humble myself before God. I need to acknowledge my sin. I desperately need grace. More than anything, I need Jesus. As God works on me, I am going to stand up and speak His truth into the frantic, hurting, even belligerent places of this world with words, actions, and presence. Here is the truth I want to proclaim with my life – Progress = Looking more like Jesus.