I would have hit a pedestrian if I hadn’t noticed their condition. Someone on the sidewalk was wearing only tennis shoes with short or no socks, short pants and a hooded sweatshirt. I thought, “They’ve got to be freezing. It’s in the 30’s!” (I know. For some this is warm!) Without looking, this person left the sidewalk and stepped into the street. I had the right away, but this person would have lost if I hadn’t been paying attention.
The Lord spoke to me at that moment. Thinking less about you and more about others can be both spiritually and physically healthy. This person was more than likely entirely focused on themselves at that point, which put them in harm’s way. Isn’t this reality? When we get so focused on our challenges, our character flaws, our routines, our to-do lists, our whatever, we put ourselves at risk for further challenges!
If you charted your thought and prayer life, what percentage would be about you? Praying for, thinking about, and doing something for others is not only good for your spiritual health, but for theirs as well (James 5:16).
When you face a challenge – hurried shoppers, pray for others with the same challenge. When you start feeling insecure over some character flaw – getting impatient with long lines, encourage someone else with the same defect. As we begin to pray for others, their lives will be changed/healed. And so will ours!
Set Free Noww“W”
You can love Jesus right now. This sounds so cliché, but it’s true. What makes it hard is looking to tomorrow with worry or the past with regret. Both get in the way of listening to Jesus right now and then loving Him through obeying what you know He’s already told you.
My friends, this is what grace is all about. Jesus gives us something we don’t deserve…Him. Don’t let tomorrow’s cares or yesterday’s failures keep you from enjoying Jesus today. Stay in the now and feel the undeserved peace of God.
Set Fre“E” Nowww
I recently took some vacation time, if you can call it that. I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish on the very first day! This is but a small sample of what the Spirit’s changing in me – the ability to rest.
Did you know that there are 21 Hebrews alone for rest? You read that right, 21 different words to convey the idea of not working or taking a load off. You think God is trying to tell us all something here?
Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and I will give you rest.” He makes this statement in the context of two oxen working together. How do work and rest go together? It comes down to why you do what you do. Is it to get something done to feel good about yourself or doing something because Jesus asked you to do it with Him?
You take a load off your shoulders by doing what you do with Him in His power. (He doesn’t need you to do anything for Him – He’s God!) Jesus also said, “My sheep hear My voice and follow Me because they love Me.” A labor of love is a whole lighter than a labor of endless got-to-dos.
Take all the stuff you’re stressing about and tell Jesus He can have them all. Then ask Him, “What’s the one thing You want me to do, right now, with You?” Then focus on exercising that one thing by faith Spirit empowered with each moment.
This brings rest. So, take a load off and simply enjoy your Jesus right now!
Set Fre“E” Nowww
One of my favorite movies to watch at Christmas time is It’s a Wonderful Life. There’s a scene where the main character finally breaks under all of life’s pressures, disappointments and broken dreams – all unrelated to his actions. He begins to have an attiTUDE with a capital “A”. He complains about everything, which causes him to contemplate suicide. Then after seeing what the world would be like if he never existed, he starts to be grateful for the very same things he was complaining about only hours earlier. His life circumstances hadn’t change one bit, but being grateful defeated that bad attitude.
This is why Scripture tells us to give thanks in all circumstances. Scripture never promises us a rose garden life by following Jesus. It does promise that as we focus on all the wonderful things Jesus has brought into our lives, we can defeat those bad days, even those caused by others.
There is a song we used to sing in service growing up called Count Your Blessings. It goes, Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done! Count your blessings, name them one by one; And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will keep singing as the days go by.
You and I are not God, nor the Savior. So, let your God lift your soul through remembering all the things going right in your life. Let your God be God. He’ll help get rid of the attiTUDE through gratitude.
S“E”t Free Nowww
One of the lowest moments, I believe, Jesus ever experienced was in the garden of Gethsemane. Would He go to the cross for which He was destined? He struggled alone as His friends lay asleep. He was so alone. His entire life had been lived in constant communication with His Dad. They literally talked over everything; and yet, now the lines were down. He was completely alone. So alone in fact that He sweat blood. I can only imagine the high He felt after the cross and through the grave when those lines were up and running again with the Father.
It’s been said that you can’t have the highs without first experiencing the lows. You don’t really know what feeling full is without having felt being hungry. There was no resurrection without death. There’s no testimony without a test.
We must first see our need for Jesus and then transfer our trust to Him, which for almost all of us occurs during challenges, often severe ones. (Hebrews 12:7-11) It is as we see Jesus work in our life that we can now be a witness, one who has experienced Jesus firsthand.
Choose to trust Jesus, even during the low moments. The highs are coming and oh what a story you’ll be able to tell when they come!
“S”et Free Nowww