Purposeful Faith

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3 Ways to Stay Close to God (& 10 Faith-Squeezers)

Stay Close to God

I love God. I love him a lot. So, why do a whole bunch of common things, seem to draw me away so easily? Not all these things, in themselves, are bad. Many are not damaging. Almost all, are not sinful, and perhaps this is just the problem. They go undetected as their current moves me out.

Do you feel yourself slowly drifting?

What normally goes undetected as it floats you miles off?

10 Faith-Squeezers that are Likely Happening in your Day:

– Going gangbusters on family activities
– Getting caught up with life’s incidentals
– Becoming all wrapped up with another person
– Planting my face on TV, iPhone or iPad
– Driving like a routined robot on a schedule
– Expecting things to happen
– Getting frustrated when they don’t
– Allowing anxiety and worry to seep in as a result.
– Letting the monotony of life, make me monotonous

When we float by the tides of life’s demands,
we sink into a rip-current that seemingly sends us miles from God.

So, how do we stay, as we always were? How do we stay on fire?

3 Tips To Stay Wild About Your First Love:

1. Put God first – and keep him there!

Just the other day, I was outside. I was taking a second to bask in the wonder of Spring budding. I was observing. Until, someone called my attention away. They needed me. I couldn’t say no. I felt awkward saying, in a random moment, “Hey, I’ll get back to you in a bit, I am spending time with God.” Sometimes, our need to please gets in the way, of our need for God. It doesn’t mean, we shouldn’t value those we most value, but it means we must always value God first.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

Apply this:

– Set aside time with God, and reserve that as his.
– Devote your first portion to God in the morning. Wake up and be with him.
– Ponder God’s Word throughout your day.

2. Experience him.

When I am in my car, sometimes the most restorative thing I can do, is worship. It is my time to turn up the music, to focus my mind and to literally see Jesus as the music plays. Whether it is in a car, at your house or on a 5-minute walk, Jesus is always waiting. Experience the fullness of his life, death and resurrection. When you find yourself in the center of God’s amazing, it is hard not to more and more drawn to it.

Apply this:

– Turn on worship music.
– Observe nature on a walk and thank him for his creation.
– Close your eyes and see Jesus, hear his words and ponder his parables of old.

3. Ask.

I used to tell my brother (yes, I was the bossy oldest child of six), “You don’t receive, because you ask not.”

I don’t have any idea who says something like this, but apparently – I did! But, I can’t help but think how often this is the case with us. In our relationship with God, we often ask not and then we get not. It’s not that he doesn’t want to give, but just that it is hard to force a giant gift into someone’s hands that are closed. Are your hands closed?

When we ask, we sending God a message of acknowledgement
that he is provider, sustainer and giver; his reply often – confirms it.

Apply this:

– Say, “God, I want you first of all and above all.”
– Ask again, all day long as things go wrong – and right.
– Ask for wisdom on how to respond to those who bang into you.
– Ask for a mind set on all things Spirit.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mt. 7:7

God has not left you, most likely, you have left God. But, be not discouraged, you are raising your arms, pulling together your strength – and with these three tips – are well on your way to swimming back to him.

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Seizing Resurrection Power

Resurrection Power

What looks without light in your life?

What looks buried over so much that you are convinced is impossible to dig out? 

If you came up with nothing, think deeper. What is it you believe you can’t do?

Remember this thing. 

I am face-to-face with impossible these days. What I want to do, I have tried to do, yet no matter what, I just can’t seem to do it. To make matters worse, the problem sources within me. If it was others – their circumstances, problems or things – those wouldn’t be so offensive, you know, you can more easily brush those off, but what is internal it feels eternal sometimes.

Sure, I said I have forgiven, but truly forgiving is hard when someone keeps on offending.  It is hard when you feel abandoned and ignored. It is hard when those feelings rise to the surface and make you remember stuff.

So I go deep…

I cover my irritation in the darkness, but there it sits.
The pain was a time ago, but irritation sits heavy.
The relationship waits, and I lay immobile to feelings.
The rock lays over me, and I am closed up into myself.
I am tightly wrapped, in my own thoughts about how things should go.
I can’t breathe, I feel upset at myself for not being able to move on.

I feel like I am stuck in a hole. A deep, unscalable, deathly, waterless hole.

But, here is the kicker – so is Jesus.
And, here is the double kicker – he rose from it and will raise you up too! 

In the tomb, where you feel dead,
Christ is ready to rise up in you – to make you alive.

In the tomb where all things seem lost, 
Christ already won that battle.

It is called resurrection power!

“But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb…and did not find the body.” (Luke 24:2-3)
Resurrection power!

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:5) Resurrection power!

“He is not here, He is risen.” (Mark 16:6)
Resurrection power!

What looks dead, comes alive.
What seems impossible, becomes possible.
What seems unbearable, becomes bearable.
What seems hopeless, finds hopefulness.

What is it for you that looks dead, dank and dying before you?

Jesus is raising it up to new life. By his stripes you are healed and by his resurrection a new answer to your situation is being revealed.

Jesus both tells and asks you something. Something pointed, like he did to Martha not so long ago, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Do you believe this?

See your situation and believe this verse over it. Grab it like a lifeline. Call it yours.

As you do, he will lift you up out of the pit. You simply: 1.)hand it over to him 2.) let his resurrecting forgiveness wash over it and 3.) feel the promises clean your shame-soaked body.

Here’s what happens – He saturates it with so much light, it nearly blinds you to what was of old. Then, as he raises you to new heights, you move from trauma to transformation (and it doesn’t even feel that hard). Why? Because the power of resurrection sinks right into you…

…if only you believe.

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From Angry & Ruined to Renewed

to Renewed

“Those women seem against me,”I thought. Surely, they don’t want to be friends. Not when they leave me out this way. They couldn’t possibly like me, or be for me, for that matter. And, you all know how the old saying goes, “You are either for me – or against.” I think I knew where they stood.

They even seem to enjoy leaving me out. Worst of all, they don’t even realize how it hurt me.

Isn’t that the worst, when the offense is so blatant? I wanted to know why they got to walk right into their own little Promised Land of joy full of milk and honey, while I was left sucking tainted water? It hurt.

My heart yearned to know.

To seek and pray deeply, is the only way to give a victim mentality,
take a fresh does of Christ reality – that heals…

The taken advantaged one.
The hurt one.
The burnt one.
The one of the past.
The one that was counted out of sports, while the other girls made the team.
The girl who sat on the sidelines, as others jumped on the blacktop.
The one whose work was negated, as others was promoted.
The one who looked ugly, while everyone else looked pretty.

What kind of eye glasses have I been looking from?

What perspective have they been revealing?
Fuzzy ones? Hazy ones?
These glasses are making me look all wrong.

Here’s how you can tell what kind of glasses you see from…

1. Do you see earthly poverty or spiritual abundance?

2. Do you solely live by the pain of the cross or by the hope and freedom of the resurrection?

3. Do you live expecting failure or trusting in God’s victory?

I am seeing it is time for a perspective-shift. Are you?

The truth is, I am not stuck on an island. Jesus is my way, my hope, my rescue, my strong-hold. He shows and leads me to a new place. A place of peace.

The question is – will I go. Will I choose to leave what has defined me – trusting that the living water will help me live anew in him? Or will I remain parched and hungry for all I don’t and never will have (even though it has been entirely granted to me)?

I am ready to go somewhere new.

Are you?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17

Maybe it isn’t so much that I am not new, or that we are not new, but that we haven’t believed in “new.” Perhaps it is a matter of taking off these glasses of old to see a clear view of his new.

Perhaps then, we will see his land of milk and honey verses my land of depravity and negativity.  Perhaps then we will “see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Ps. 27:13)

I want to see what God sees everyday in my land of living.

Isn’t it time to move on? To see fresh?

Let’s go.

To a place of milk and honey, where we aren’t abandoned we are resurrected in Christ Jesus.

Walk by still waters and to lay on green pastures (Ps. 23:2) – resting in his ways.

Find shelter under the wing of an eagle (Ps. 91:4) – not trying to fly, but being content to abide.

To peace. To fullness. To life. No matter how people are living or hurting around us. It is ours for the taking; so let’s take it and go – with God!

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Kicking the Voice of What Ifs In the Teeth

the Voice of What Ifs

All was good and dandy, until my mind started it’s endless twirling. I know you all have experienced it. It’s when you come face-to-face with that mean, burly voice that deeply grunts out, “What if?”

What if things don’t work out?
What if you get taken advantage of?
What if God doesn’t take care of you?

When we listen to that voice of misreason,
He almost always convinces us we’re moving into a bad season.

But, when we shut down that voice at first grunt,
we start to believe God is in front of us.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you.

He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deut. 31:8

I am beginning to realize it comes down to a split-second decision. If you can quickly identify the voice that beckons you into the darkness, you can choose to stay in the light. If you don’t realize who he is, you are bound to get lured in like a kid following sweet candy.


Will we listen for the voice of God or continually debate the antagonizer’s?


I know friends, it is not easy. Making the decision to hear and only hear the right voice is a battle. It is one where we have to grab the mindset and the determined will power to believe rightly about God’s righteousness.

But, it is possible. It looks like getting pro-active. It looks like getting smart about who God is. It looks like pledging allegiance to a King.

It goes like this:

I declare God is with me. He is Immanuel (Mt. 1:23).
I know he is Wonderful Counselor. He is consoling me (Is. 9:6).
I envision Mighty God – the one able to do the impossible (Is. 9:6).
I have the Prince of Peace by my side. He will calm me as I turn into him (Is. 9:6).
I know God saved me. I will rest there (Lu. 2:11).
I trust the bread of life will feed me when I need to be fed (Jo. 6:35).
I pledge my heart to the one and only light of the world (Jo. 8:12).
I profess the good shepherd stands next to me and tends to my heart (Jo. 10:14)
I reassert my heart to the great deliverer – the one who delivers again and again (Ro. 11:26)
I know the way, the truth and the life, for I know Jesus (Jo. 14:6)

An amazing thing that happens when one’s mind carries these names on little notecards; they stand on them during the horrid and horrific moments. They stand on them as if they were tall walls moving them above the fray. And in a way they do.

On paper, they are just words, but when they are stood upon in a heart, they become fortresses of unbeatable power.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.
Prov. 18:10

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10 Most Common Misthoughts About God

Misthoughts About God

Things didn’t work out. They went south. They broke down.

Isn’t it funny how when things break,
what also breaks in our mind
is how God views us –
and how we view God?

We tend to think like this:

1. God is punishing me.
2. God is showing me how wrong I handled this.
3. God is taking this away because I don’t deserve it.
4. God is angry at me.
5. God doesn’t really want me to be happy.
6. God doesn’t hear me.
7. God doesn’t care about my feelings.
8. God isn’t tapped into what I need right now.
9. God’s plans don’t work well for people.
10. God forgot about me. He has many more to worry about.

*Bonus: I stink – and God knows it.

What we think about God, tends to define how we feel through life.

What do you tend to think about God?

A heart becomes unsettled when,
rather than seeing problems as windows, letting in the air of new faith,
we see them as things God uses to slam us.

I do it all the time. Somehow I figure God has gone moody again and is well-done-and-over with my shenanigans. With this mindset, the swirling winds of conflict, complications or conditions unfavorable are bound to erase feelings of peace and comfort.

Does this happen to you too?
Do you tend to lose the image of a good God?

God is good (Ps. 136:1). Whether I believe it or not, God still stays exactly the same.

6 Ways God is Good:

1. He works alongside those who wait for him.
No eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.”  Is. 64:4

2. Like a daddy caring for a sick child, he doesn’t sleep, but watches non-stop.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Ps. 121:3

3. He needs nothing, but can give everything.
God is not served by human hands as though he needed anything, but he himself gives life and breath and everything. Acts 17:25

4. He shows himself strong for those who persevere in trust.
The eyes of the LORD run through the earth, to show himself strong for those who trust him. 2 Chron. 16:9

5. He delivers us so we can glorify him.
If I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you. Call on me, I will deliver you. You will glorify me.  Ps. 50:15 

6. He meets our needs according to his stockpiles of overflowing treasure.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

What I am coming to terms with is – the alarm of sinking feelings sounds in order to awaken us to the reality of faith-stampeding lies.  Finding the lie means finding truth. Finding truth means we can look at it and decide if we’ll continue to hold it or decide to stomp it down.

Will we believe that God is for us, not against us?

Not in words, but via our heart and in action?

The difference is tangible.
The results are palpable.

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Tomorrow, we will venture through the little notecards of truths that you can pull out of your pocket when your mind goes haywire. Hope you can join me!

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Take Off from “Blah” to Blazing New Heights

Blazing New Heights

I know, I know, this is going to sound weird. I am infatuated with the whole idea of airplane take-offs. Always have been.

I feel the rumblings of something new, the speed towards adventure and the call towards something greater.

I love it.

New places.
New people.
New encounters.
New opportunities.
New feelings.

Usually, as the plane rises, I know I am about ready to head to somewhere better.  The stress is off; I have no control over the speed, the timing and the path – it is all in the captain’s hands. It is a trusting kind of thing; I know he will do his job.

I wonder though, why day-by-day I don’t rise with this same sort of
eager expectation towards life?

What really makes it any different?

I could wake excited.
Knowing God will send me.

I could look expectantly.
Believing God will lead me.

I could anticipate.
Seeing life from the heights new opportunities.

I could be willing.
Letting in feelings of purpose and passion, all the while – nodding yes.

All vision of my end destination belongs to him. All the controls are in his hands.

Why not let go?

We need no plans, except to be with him. He steers, we fly. He leads, we end up at the good works he has already designed for us.

If we have expectancy,
we won’t be prone to live complacency.

We see new journeys.
New heights.
New views.
New callings.
New pressures that he alone manages.

And right in the center of it all is our chosen seat. The one that allows us to enjoy the heights of his glory, the sprawling colors of his ownership and the gentle covering of his clouds.

So we go. We let go. We move. We explore. We adventure.

Tomorrow, let the morning alarm goes off. But, take a new look at your new day. Let expectations rise and – fly.

Will you join us?
Sure, there may be turbulence,
but rest assured there will be magnificence too.

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What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Can Hurt You

It was a dream, but it was also the truth: If I am not careful, some thing is going to ruin me. If I don’t keep my eyes open and my arms wrapped around Jesus, I will most certainly diverge – and the results won’t be pretty.

You see, I have these underlying things that pop out of me, things like: I want to be wanted, I need to be seen, I desire to be liked, I hope to be valued.  Intrinsically, they are not bad, but without God as the fueler – they’re horrible.

What is prone to lead you astray?

That “something”, if you’re not careful,
is bound to become your one thing.

Don’t think it can’t, won’t or will never happen to you…that in itself is called pride and pride every time goes before a fall, friend (Prov. 16:18).

What is it for you?

Imagine this for a moment. Christ, of all people, he chooses you! He singles you out as one of the 12 disciples. You preach, teach, heal and exorcise demons. You walk behind the miracle maker. You see his deeds. You know his words. You watch the lame walk, the mute speak and the blind look. He calls you by name. He likely touches you. He deems you special. Wouldn’t it be amazing?!

How would you feel? How might adoration bubble over? 

(Following would be so easy; you would never leave his side, right?! That would be impossible. Impossible to turn away from him, wouldn’t it?! Uhh...Hardly!)

So, there you are, this chosen little loved one. And there you stand, looking at the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. You see his value, but there’s another dang voice calling. It speaks things like riches, mightiness, love, value, adoration, power, earthly weight, beauty, and influence – and how you should acquire them. It calls you…to figure things out.

When you spend so much time listening to the wrong voice, you kind of negate its harm. 

It gets slippery here.

You have to be careful, for you may end up getting what you long for –
but Jesus may end up – long gone. 

There you stand and walk. You kiss Jesus with your lips – but betray him in your heart (Luke 22:48). 

Don’t think you are above the betraying act of Judas. If the the very people who walked behind Jesus, could walk away, so could you.

All the disciples, people who had a first-hand account of his majesty, abandoned Jesus: “This very night you will all fall away on account of me.” (Matthew 26:31)

Peter does it three times even after pledging allegiance to his King: “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” (Matthew 26:33)

If you walk oblivious to your leanings and lures, you’ll walk right into them. It happens all the time – feet are swept up and face implants down. Oww!

I think I could easily end up as a Judas. If I go about my business without giving a second thought to my mind, I’ll be kissing all sorts of things. I can’t allow this to happen, can you?

Jesus, though, he has this way or reaching out to his loved ones who are loving him. He reminds me that his touch is all I need. His forgiveness is always active. His presence is always tangible. His help is always 2-steps ahead and his gift of freedom is always waiting to work. He reminds me that I am his and he is mine and that he will help me endure this thing called faith.

He reminds me that: Perfect love casts out fear. Not once. Not twice, but every single time and that when I start stretching my neck to see other things, his love will gently massage it back to peace and calm – if I only come – to him.

The simple truth is…when you cuddle into Jesus’ deep seat of love, you can’t so easily get up and head other places.


Jesus, I love you. I want to never depart from you. May all my needs, always be met in you. Keep my devotion devoted no matter what. May your love and forgiveness never leave room for despair. May the things I want to kiss, never kill me.  Jesus, I love you. Amen.

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Learn How to Grow Effectively in Faith

Learn how to grow and be set free to bloom by Katie M. Reid for Kelly Balarie's Purposeful Faith

Post by: Katie M. Reid

Grow in Faith

Spring is just around the corner and I’m so glad. What a thrill it will be to see daffodils peeking their heads through the once barren ground.

As this new season emerges I want to be ready to enter it—ready for what’s coming next—not just Spring but for the plans my Savior has for new life.

But how do we effectively grow in our faith?

When we focus on these four areas, I think we will be in great shape for what’s coming.

G- Grace

R- Rest

O- Outside Help

W- Worship

Step 1: Grace

When we receive God’s grace and extend it to ourselves and others we position ourselves to live unhindered by the weeds of sin that threaten to choke us. The enemy likes to wrap his lies around our roots and stunt our growth with his schemes. Let’s says “no” to the sins that easily entangle and expose the culprit that tries to trip us.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. –Hebrews 12:1

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. –Ephesians 6:11

Maybe the weeds that overwhelm are stubborn things like discouragement, doubt or fear?

Maybe the schemes sent to stunt growth are sneaky things like pride, legalism or isolation?

As we sow in grace we lay the ground work for growth.

Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen. –2 Peter 3:18

Step 2: Rest

It might seem counterintuitive to rest, but it is necessary in order to facilitate optimal growth. My tween daughter is growing up and she requires more rest as her limbs are stretching and lengthening, and her emotions are swelling in greater ways than before.

Rest is important to prepare us for what’s coming. If we neglect it I believe we stunt our growth. As we rest we communicate trust in the One who makes each beautiful blossom, in His time.

Let’s bend to God’s ways of doing things.

Step 3: Outside help

Are we depending on the Lord to grow us or mustering up gumption to become something great?

Are we insistent on being a lone bloom or do we gather near to those who have gone before us, to help us blossom more beautifully?

As we allow the Master Gardener to cultivate and others to support, uplift and help us see blind spots, we become more fragrant and strong.

Don’t go it alone. Learn to depend on the One—and the ones He gives you—to help you stay the course and emerge in full bloom with the coming of Spring.

Step 4: Worship

We grow in important ways when we acknowledge where our beauty and strength originate. When we offer ourselves as living sacrifices and lift our limbs in worship to Jesus, we become properly aligned and rightly focused on the Son.

It’s tempting to let ourselves overshadow the true Light. Don’t be tricked into worshiping the creation instead of the Creator (see Romans 1:25). As we allow our roots to go deep—grounded in His Truth—and bend with the wind of His Spirit, we become firmly planted in soil that sustains.

As we worship, even through rainy times, we offer up a fragrant aroma to the One we made us from seed.

Through grace, rest, outside help and worship…we learn how to GROW and are set free to BLOOM.

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Katie M. Reid AuthorKatie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, four children (and one on the way) and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography she encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com.

5 Ways God Cares (More Than You Think)

God Cares

I stared out the window. The outside was about ready to teach my insides a deep lesson.

What caught my eyes were two birds frolicking, jumping and having fun. They didn’t care; they chased, played and enjoyed the beauty of the day. Before not too long, a few friends even joined in. Life seemed to be a blessing not a burden.

I think they had no idea of when the next storm was approaching, but all they same, it didn’t seem to matter.

They didn’t seem worried about what they didn’t have;
they just went about enjoying what they did.


What is it you don’t yet have?

What is it that distracts your eyes from beauty?

I know it’s crazy, but wonder if somehow birds have an understanding that we don’t, like:

1. God’s nature is to forever take care of me. It is impossible for him not too.

2. Every season eventually ends and God provides. I will trust that.

3. God is who he is. Just as he makes the sun come up every morning and the moon fall, he will be true to his word.

4. I don’t have to fear I’ll be hungry for my next best thing, God remains my best thing.

5. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

I want to be like these birds – free to fly high. Soaring. Enjoying. Living.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

I try to store away so much: 

I fill myself with action plans.

I load up on maneuvers to self-protect.

I let it divert my mind from what God wants to heal.

I let my storehouse get shaky because God hasn’t yet shown up.

What do you store in your barn?

When we fill our barns to the brink, we always feel about to sink.
But, when we trust that God will provide the next meal, we are ready to fly. 

We break out of molds. We rise up from our nest. We don’t think about the next storm. We approach the edge of our safety and we jump out to dance in the air of providence.

We remember his voice of faithfulness, the “I will take care of you” voice. We hear it rise to its heights.

It sounds like:

1. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Gen. 28:15

2. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb. 13:8

3. Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pet. 5:7

4. And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today… (Ex. 14:13)

5. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

God is calling us to delight in the gap between of uncertainty and his next big gift. Will we?

Will we choose to delight in his faithfulness or die in ungratefulness?

I don’t want to settle for second worst when I have second best. What I want to do is run, jump and fly with God to the places he has set to take me. Care to join me?

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Extending The Benefit of Grace

The Benefit of Grace

I’ve noticed, I am the type that reacts:
A person says something slightly offensive. I take it personally.
My friend makes a comment on how I can improve. I feel thrown off.
My husband gives a suggestion. I get sensitive.

I have noticed this internally too:
I mess up. I get angry at myself–even after I have confessed it.
I get far from God. I burden myself with things I must do to get closer.
I get distracted from people and life. I feel that coming back around to them will be hard.

It all comes down to doubt, doesn’t it? Doubt that God is good enough to handle my baseline fears. Doubt that God will come through when I can’t. Doubt that I really can be better than I am today, right?

Doubt is the undercurrent that drags us away from God.
Doubt is the driver of most dumb moves.
Doubt is the deliverer of the desperate to dealings with the devil.

I know this sounds extreme, but it is true. Push Jesus 5 steps away from your heart and that is a 5-step opportunity for the opponent to rush in to make you question everything.

We tend to believe in this thing called,
“the benefit of the doubt,”

but I think what we really need to believe in is
“the benefit of grace.”

That person cuts you off on the road. “She must be having a hard day. God bless her as she drives home.” 
Benefit of Grace!

That supposed friend ignores you at church. “Perhaps she has her own fears. Maybe I can send her an email and check in.”
Benefit of Grace!

That kid again doesn’t listen. “Hmm…it is not that they don’t respect me, but it’s that they want to have a little say. Let me remind them of God’s love and his never ending source of power in them a little later.”
Benefit of Grace!

That man wants to be a show off and be prideful again. “Maybe he so fears loss of control, he has to overcompensate by having all control. Affirm him.”
Benefit of Grace!

I did that thing I didn’t want to do. Now, I can’t ever let it go. “Jesus already let it go on the cross. He keeps no record of wrongs. He waits for you.”
Benefit of Grace!

I am far from God. It is all my fault. I have no idea what to do. “Jesus knows this too; he is not angry with me. He waits and hopes that I can draw near and find his love.”
Benefit of Grace!

Finding the benefit of grace, means we finding a wellspring of peace. Discouragement gets covered by the sacrifice of Living Water and we wade in the encouragement that this hope brings. 

Grace makes us see perspectives differently.

With grace, we notice:
God works far better than we ever could.
The small thing he’s doing, rather than what we’re ruining.
We build into relationships, rather than destroy them.
Our hope for the hopeless situation – and a will to continue on.

We notice that mistakes, errors and offenses aren’t beacons of our future,
but undercover blessings helping us to forge trust that lasts.

Stepping back means we get to see God’s restoration step in, both in our lives and in the life of another.

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