I DARE YOU.

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
Isaiah 9:3

 There is change in this world. Nothing will ever be the same. Every hour, … every minute … every second. You can change this world … it just takes one word, one action… and the world is changing. Imagine the influence you could have if you decided to live for Christ? to fulfill His plans for you … to walk in the call on your life… walk with purpose…with passion. This world will be a different place… forever…never ever the same. See Trump talk? He changes the world with a tweet .. so do you. The question is…do you like what you see? DO you like the changes you see…the reality you experience? Or are you just going with the flow… not caring what other people are going through, just watching the sunrise or sunset … who knows? What tomorrow will hold. But you have a role in that…be it in your bedroom, your family, your household…or the people you pass.

I used to love the concept that whatever we do impacts the people around us… even just walking down the street with say .. pink hair. Or maybe just your workout clothes…who did you inspire today when you went on your 1 mile run. We don’t know…. we don’t know who we impact or whose lives we are changing.

I love that.

That inspires me.

Just knowing that I can influence someone else’s life…maybe inspire a little joy. Maybe not. But hopefully, … yes. Hopefully I can make a difference in the lives around me. I want that.

Do
You?

Do you want this world…this life… all things to be different? Or are you happy just going through the motions and letting other people decide what your world will look like?

I”m not happy with that. .. I’m not happy with people … other people…even my best friends, deciding what my tomorrow will look like. That’s just depressing. I have vision for things that other people can’t comprehend…I’m sure you do too … or you if you don’t think so… maybe if you took a little time you might come up with some ways that you’d like this world to be better.

This world needs us,…this world needs changers. This world wants it. Wants us to do something to make this world a better place.

I DARE YOU.

What is Love?

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.
1 John 2:13

 

Our Purpose / Motives of the Heart

So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery. ! Thessalonians 2:3 (NLT)

Wow! The whole chapter is:
1You yourselves know, dear brothers and sisters, a that our visit to you was not a failure. 2You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition. 3So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery.

4For we speak as messengers approved by God to, be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. 5Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know. And God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money! 6As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else.

7As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like childrenb among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children. 8We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.

9Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. 10You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. 11And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. 12We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.

13Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

Grow That ENDURANCE!

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:3

Lol. Yay. What James has to say to the twelve tribes …and by extension, all of us, is 2 Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

When we can fully endure …  we will need nothing. We will be perfect. Hm. Perfection .. is found in the ability to endure.

Later he says:
12Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

When we endure the hardship, or pass the tests, that is when we are fulfilling our calling.

The hardships will never end until the new world comes into being.  (Revelations 21 : 1Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”a for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’b or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Then, with this new world in place, the chapter continues: 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

So! As verse 6-7 say, those of us who endure will receive water from the spring of the water of life. Those who are Victorious inherit this and will be God’s children. Eternal life!

He goes on to say that those who are not victorious, are actually cowardly, unbelieving and so on. These will die the second death.

Wow! May we all endure! And encourage each other as in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.


Side Note: Earlier in 1 Thessalonians 5 we read this: 4But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.5You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Light of Day!

3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.4God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Genesis 1:3-5

Last week, I was talking with my toddlers about how Jesus is the light of the world  before they colored and painted pictures of fireflies and lightbulbs. How the light takes over where there is darkness. (John 8:12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”)

This past weekend I had a vision of an arrow tipped with light… light representing truth … the truth of God. That wherever the arrow landed, the whole area would be splashed in light – no darkness, no shadow –  only bright light. isn’t it amazing how the light of is as truth?! That light and truth chase away the darkness! #exposed!

Sometimes I think we look for truth in things … but maybe God sees truth as a blanket… with the little lies, the dark shadows, as the small things. Where there has been fear or insecurities, rather than those dark things being overwhelming, rather they are insignificant in His eyes. He is the Conqueror, the Creator, Lord over all. The bad things we go through are so insignificant in terms of the truth that He sees. And yet He cares about every detail of our lives… Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)

Perspective is so important …
If a person’s perspective is that the mountain before them is the most powerful thing they have ever known ..be it cancer, or paying for college … then they will probably fail. It makes me think of that quote by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” This has to do with perspective … not only of yourself, but the issue at hand. In other words… if you believe in yourself …. or rather.. if you trust God, then there is the possibility of you succeeding against any situation. Even as the bible says : I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. (Mark 11:23) #faith

Light is good. The light of God…representing truth, is definitely the more encouraging space to have your perspective molded, or shaped.

Love

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;a but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

8Prophecy and speaking in unknown languagesb and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.c All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

For His Purposes .. Do You Know Yours?

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
Ephesians 3:1

For the benefit (NLT) of the Gentiles … for the sake of the Gentiles. Meaning. .. Paul laid down his life…and G-d said this is what I have called you to. I have called you to teach and lead the Gentiles to Myself.

God so loved the world …. (John 3:16) … all of us! Not just Israel .. but every person in the world! G-d sent His Son … His Only Son .. to us. Paul was also sent for all the world.

What is YOUR purpose. When you gave your life to Jesus, what did He say He wanted to use you for? What are you bound to Christ for… is it for your family, or a specific purpose…maybe He’s placed a heart for counseling the parents of stillborns, in you. Or for different people groups ..
He probably wants you (along with everyone else) to be listening to Him and being obedient in each and every task that is set before you … in your job, as a parent, as a daughter or a son … as a citizen of the world. Always putting Him first, and loving others as yourself. … As in Mark 12:29

29Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’g 31The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’h No other commandment is greater than these.”

Faith .. mmm. :)

Acts 3 (NIV)

1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers

11While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

17“Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer.19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’a

24“Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days.25And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’b 26When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”