The Change Required

And rend your heart and not your garments.”
            Now return to the LORD your God,
            For He is gracious and compassionate,
            Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness,
            And relenting of evil. -Joel 2:13 NASB77

In our hearts as children of the most high God, we know what is required! ❤

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.-Psalm‬ ‭123:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Throughout the Bible we are given examples of how remaining focused and persistent will always be rewarded. Whether it is our Lord telling the story of the woman pleading with the corrupt judge or Paul (in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) reminding us to “pray without ceasing,” examples are everywhere.

Eternally Secure!

And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.
John 6:39 NLT

It is a wonderful blessing to know that we are secure in Christ. The Bible makes this abundantly clear and the presence of the Holy Spirit affirms this each and every day.

Our Kind & Loving Savior

It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this. I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone. Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere. Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. It’s obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God. By persisting in divisiveness he cuts himself off. -Titus 3:3‭-‬8 MSG

A good reminder to live a life of people redeened and washed by the blood of Christ.

What matters…

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Philippians 3:8‭-‬9 NIV

I believe we all reach a point in our walk with Christ where we see the meaningless value of things we once held dear: the pursuit of wealth & material gain, (self-perceived) position & power, sex, etc. As we transition from a carnal to a spiritual value set, we can know the peace of Christ that passes all understanding.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15‭-‬17 NIV

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NIV

Smart enough to endure!

My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. -James 1:2‭-‬5 NET

We all eventually fall on hard times or difficulties. There’s no immunity for followers of Christ. Being His slave means suffering along with Him. Of course, our difficulties don’t compare with what He endured for us. Be smart. Keep your eyes on Jesus!

Not Immune

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. –James 1:2-3 NIV

James 1:2 NIV

We must always remember that we are not immune to trials. They come in many forms, and they can always be used to glorify God.

Anxiety

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? -Matthew 6:25‭-‬27 HCSB

I used to worry, worry, worry all the time! What a sense of freedom and peace I have today from Jesus! When my mind goes there now, I am quickly reminded that worry is a sin and completely self-destructive mentally, emotionally and [most importantly] is an impediment to my walk with the LORD.