Purposeful Faith

Tag - #grace

Letting Go to God

good father

I carry a big beach bag around that says, “Let Go and Let God.”

I love the saying. The more we let go, the more He carries. God is a gentleman, in many ways. He allows us to carry what we insist on carrying. Yet, if we are willing…He will hold for us what we will release.

The more we unload the more God carries our load. We feel lighter. We more easily go with God.

Jesus said, “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.” (Lu. 9:30)

One place I carry (almost) nothing is when I go into the ocean. The water is so soothing. My mom taught me to float on top of the water and to allow the big waves to carry me where they will. I have no strength or movement of my own. I let go. The waves lead me to where I am going. There isn’t much to worry when I let go.

What if we were really to let go to God in this way? To allow the winds of the Spirit to direct us as we follow Jesus?

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (Jo. 3:8)

The less we carry, the more easily we travel where God is taking us. Remember the rich man in the bible? He had too much stuff that He was clinging to…that he couldn’t depart from it. That was a tragedy. He insisted on baggage rather than  Jesus. Stuff. Mindsets. Old ways.

Where might God be calling you to lighten your load? Are you weighed down with worry or anxiety? Stressed, because there is much to do? Unsure about how things will turn out? Unwilling to let go of old mindsets? Consumed with the past or people?

What if you were to really let go, and let God?

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)

Prayer: Father, I love you. I thank you that you have good things for me. Forgive me for carrying what you want to help me with. Forgive me for doing things on my own. Forgive me for forging my own way. Today, I admit that I don’t always know my way. I often take things into my own hands. Will you forgive me for that too? I love you so much. I want to truly follow Jesus and to be led by the Holy Spirit. Please teach me and lead me in that way? Please give me all the grace I need today to connect with you and to lean on you, in trust. I really do trust you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Thank you for all you do for me. Your ways are my best ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Only by the Blood of Jesus

love

In the morning, I go outside. I love hearing the birds chirp when the sun rises. I love seeing green land and thinking of who created it. I love swaying trees. What I don’t love is getting attacked by bugs…

This morning, I woke up thinking about some mistakes I had already confessed to God. Grr… I didn’t mean to sin. I want to stop. I need God’s help. To add insult to injury, mid-thought, I looked down at my leg and —  a mosquito was biting me. Annoyed, I slapped it hard. And, when I lifted my hand, I saw —  blood on my hand.

Father, it’s true, I do have blood on my hands.

I make mistakes. I do what is wrong. I think wrong-thoughts. I hate the ick of what I see myself do sometimes.

But Jesus. But, Jesus removed the blood on my hands when he shed His blood on the cross.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…” (Eph. 1:7)

Here, I am no longer under back-breaking, burdening and self-beating sin any longer. By the blood of Christ I have been freed to new life. I am out from under all that. And, the same goes for you too…

The blood of Jesus washes the blood off our hands.
The blood of Jesus shames the powers of darkness trying to tell us we are bad. (Col. 2:15)
The blood of Jesus disarms evil so its schemes and methods do not have lasting-power. (Col. 2:15)

When I forget the power of the blood, I, in a way, negate the price Jesus paid on the cross. I devalue His blood. Yet, His blood is truly enough to forgive me when I repent. It is enough to save me for eternity. It is enough to lead me into new actions as I walk away from old sin.

Jesus’ blood is enough. It has freed me and it continues to free me! The Living Water washes me and it does again! The body-broken heals me and it always will.

I may see blood on my hands, but the blood of Jesus more than overpowers any mistake I could ever make. It is finished. I am free. Amen. Selah. Breath deep. Let go. He loves me.

Prayer: Father, I repent of anything I have done against you or others. I do choose to go a new way with you, God, as you lead me into all righteousness. I thank you for Jesus. Today, I fully accept His sacrifice. I accept the full price He paid is more than enough. There is nothing else that I — or Jesus — owe. It is finished. Thank you that the blood on my hands is washed off by His mercy and grace. Thank you that it is done. Because of Jesus, I walk in the newness of life. I am so blessed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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How Do you Deal with Pain?

I lifted a heavy weight. My arm struggled to reach it all the way to my shoulder. Although the weight training work was hard, I knew the result — down the road — would be significant, good even. There is gain, often, through pain.

After working out, I couldn’t help but think: Sometimes, God permits our pain for His greater gain.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:17)

“Hard” produces something. The grueling, horrible and it-feels-like-you-are-going-to-break pain is not a waste. It is not trash. It is not something we run from. Instead, we hold God’s hand and trust Him to carry us through.

I met with a friend not long ago who experienced major relational pain with a friend. The conversations were painful. The decisions she had to make were even harder. She didn’t know if she could set boundaries. Yet, looking back, I see that her life is now transformed because of what she endured and how she trusted God. There was a greater glory God was working (even when she couldn’t see it). Now, she is serving God and others like never before. God may not have caused her pain (we have an enemy), but He certainly used it for her (and others) good.

Be it on Earth or in Heaven, through pain, God produces something greater than we can explain.

Pain often causes us to:
– draw near God (and He draws nearer to us)
– need a greater rescue (and we gain a testimony)
– pray (and see Him move)
– look beyond what we see in the natural (and trust God by faith and not by sight)

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16)

What looks like it is going to kill us, God uses to renew us.  God is always producing something greater…

Need proof? Look back upon your life. What good did God teach you from your hard times of the past? How have you grown? How have you learned to endure and persevere? Give thanks. These are good lessons.

Pray: God, we love you. We know that you are not not evil. You are good, not evil. What you create is good, not evil. At the same time, there are times in life where you allow pain. God, we want to thank you, although it is difficult, for the pain we are going through. We trust you with it. We believe that you will work out a better end, then we can see. It is hard to say this. It is sometimes hard to even believe this. Will you give us faith and hope during these times? We need you more than ever. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

On another note, I need your opinion! Which online course would you be the most interested in?

  1. How to Set Boundaries: Strengthen Relationships & Gain Peace
  2. How to Say No: Let Go and Gain More of What Matters
  3. Receiving Rest: Move Beyond Worry and Fear

I am thinking of doing a multi-part recorded and live workshop on one of the above topics. Which number are you most interested in?

Also, would a weeknight (a), a weekday (b.) or a weekend (c.) work best for you?

Prayer to Move Mountains

good father

“Where are you, Kelly?”

Friends, I got your emails. You wanted to know where I was and if I was okay.

Can I tell you? I am more than okay.  Friends, despite the fact that masses of people were vying for one listed home…despite the fact that nothing new was listed…despite the fact that my future home was not even put online…

…WE GOT A HOME!

God showed up, like always. He did it, again. He always does that.

Sure, it may have been the 11th hour; it may have looked like there was no way; I may not have done things perfectly or acted perfectly, even so…God came though!

Your prayers moved mountains and, my dear ones, I cannot thank you enough. With this, I want to encourage you the same way…

God will come through for you too!

Can you remember a time when the Lord showed up in your life? A time when, against all odds, He made  something — a miracle of sorts — happen?

“It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
    when God returned Zion’s exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
    we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations—
    God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
    we are one happy people.” (Ps. 126: 1-3 MSG)

Can you remember the feelings, the joy, the praise, the wonder at how a Mighty God, showed up? How He changed everything? How He made something out of nothing? Give Him thanks for that time.

And then say, over your needs today, “Do it again, God! Do it again!”

And now, God, do it again
    bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
    will shout “Yes!” at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
    will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.” (Ps. 126:4-6 MSG)

Just like I experienced, when you all prayed for me, there is power in numbers. There is movement in masses of prayers.

“If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 18:19)

Let’s all pray for each other.

Can you even imagine if thousands of us agree for God to address our needs? Can you imagine how many mountains we can move through thousands of collective prayers? I want you to experience mountain-moving prayer too!

So, let’s all pray for our Purposeful Faith family’s needs now — and watch what happens! (Go God, go! We believe in you and we support each other!)

Prayer for all of us: “Father, we thank you that we are the body. Just as the arm needs the head and the legs need the torso — we need each other. With this, we come to you right now, Father God. We usher in front of you — all our needs. We bring to you health requests, family needs, relationship turmoil, hardship, suffering, tears, mourning, grief, mental health issues, job losses and requests, discouragement and doubt, financial issues and marital suffering and we ask to do the impossible. Because you are THE GOD of the impossible, we bring every request before you and we ask for a mass-answer to our massive needs. Why limit you? Why doubt you? Why not, believe? With this, we ask for massive prayer breakthrough and a mass deliverance, God. Like never before. God, you see every child here. You see every need. You know what is on every heart. We pray that you might move. We pray that you might change things. We pray that you might bring heavenly answers and movement to earthly issues. We bring all of it before you. We call on heaven to move for our brothers and sisters in Christ! We ask for your hand, the sovereign hand of God to move with power on everyone’s behalf. We not only agree with each other’s needs, but we believe that it shall be done. Be it on the last hour, or against all odds, or different than we thought — we declare, we trust you. We believe. We thank you for hearing our prayer. We thank you for seeing our need. We thank you that your ways are the best way. We surrender to a good, good Father. Give us peace in any gap of you showing up and showing your goodness, so that we may trust you more and more. We praise your name. You alone are worthy! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Where are You, God?

“Mom, can I wear this?”

My kids dug into my jewelry box. A watch that my husband gave me on a prior anniversary was now dangling in the air.

“Of course you can,” I said.

Frankly, there’s nothing in the box that I wouldn’t give to my kids. I plan to give it all to them one day. My son wanted to keep the watch, now. Yet, to give to him now, would take away the joy of a future moment for him (or his wife).

Still, the fact remains, everything I have — I want to give to my kids.

I can’t help but think that God feels the same way towards us…

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16)

If God gave His son, how much more won’t He give us?

“Jesus has the power of God. And his power has given us everything we need to live a life devoted to God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus chose us by his glory and goodness, through which he also gave us the very great and rich gifts that he promised us.” (2 Pet. 1:3-4)

If His power gives us everything, how much are we equipped with all we need?

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Lu. 12:32

If it pleases God to give, how much does He give that we don’t even recognize?

The enemy would love to blind our eyes with lies. He would love to convince us that God doesn’t give, doesn’t help, and that he won’t intervene. He would love to have us declare ourselves stuck in a pit, when we are actually in the arms of a Good Father. He would love to keep us in fear, when we are actually surrounded by a heavenly host and the King of Kings who cares for us. He would love to make us think we are failures, or wash-ups, when we are actually sons and daughters.

I was thinking this morning that —  leaving a room of fear is as easy as crossing over a new threshold to faith. You can enter a new room easily — through repentance. You just choose to leave. And, Jesus, as The Way, takes you in. He takes you through. It is as simple as leaving what was – behind.  You enter what will be, by faith.

Prayer: God, fear and worry sometimes make me feel like you won’t show up for me. I renounce this mistruth as a lie. You are faithful. You are true. You love me. You help me. It doesn’t mean that life will always be easy. But, you perfectly time your gifts and your treasure. You know just when to give to a child, a treasure. Your timing is perfect. You know what you are constructing, forming and fashioning within. I will not fear. I will not fret. I will not panic. You are good and you have good for me. I may not see it, in full today, but I can give thanks because your ways are higher than my ways, mightier than my ways and more effective than my ways. Today, I put my trust in you. Today, I declare that you are faithful. Today, I rely on your strength, not mine. I love you. You are the best Father ever. You have gifts and love and fruits of the Spirit for me. I am blessed. Thank you for all you do for me. Your plan is the best! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

You’re Amazing: Here’s Why

love

You are amazing. Seriously.

I know people don’t tell you that often and you probably are thinking, “How can Kelly even say this? She doesn’t even know me that well?”

Well, I know Jesus. And, I also know that, if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then Jesus is alive in you.

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)

This isn’t a tall-tale, but the truth. This isn’t a theory, but a reality. Christ lives in you.

The King of Glory…
The Hope of all Nations…
The One and Only…
The Embodiment of Love…

Wow. He is alive in you. Through Jesus, you are now dead to the overwhelming power of sin and alive to Christ Jesus.

The thought it profound. Can you even imagine how amazing it is that the Wonderful Counseling Holy Spirit has chosen to make His home within – us?  Of all people — you and me?

God wants to be with us. He wants to be near us.

Wow.

If you ever feel bad about you, remember who is in you, the one who chose to live in you. If you ever doubt yourself, remember that you are dead and alive to Christ Jesus. If you ever feel too bad for God’s love, remember the imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus has been won for you thanks to Jesus. When Jesus looks at you He sees goodness. When Jesus looks at you, He loves.

Where and how do you need to receive this as truth? How might God be calling you to receive Jesus’ work in a fresh way?

I tell myself things like this: I am now clean. I am loved. I am whole. I am chosen. I am wanted. I am called. I am infilled by the Spirit. I am busting at the seams with Christ’s love. I am dead to me and alive to Christ’s goodness.

When I remind myself of these truths, I truly feel Christ’s power working out, from the inside-out.

What about you?

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What A Friend We Have in Jesus

The fog was thick; I couldn’t see out the window. Dazed, because I woke at 3:45 this particular morning, I stared blankly into the grey abyss…and then I let my imagination go..

What if Jesus came to me through that fog right now, arms wide open? In that moment, it was as if I could see Him…approaching me. I imagined how it would feel to see — and be seen — by Jesus. Fully exposed, I wanted to run to Jesus, but then I thought…

Jesus, will you like me when you see me?  Am I enough, flaws and all?

Wow. Coming out of this daydream, I have to admit, my thoughts surprised me. I suppose, subliminally, I haven’t completely accepted that Christ completely accepts me. . . my fear in that moment was that He might reject me.

Yet, I know the truth. The truth is, I don’t have to shape-up, be better, or act perfect to be accepted. Jesus doesn’t want or choose me because of what I do — He wants, chooses, and accepts me because of what He did.  Jesus counted the cost, paid the price, and gave me His righteousness. Sure, I repent as I need to repent, but beyond this — the deal is done. The price is paid. My eternal standing is completed, because of Him.

His blood marks you and I — enough.

I pray this truth might sink in. I pray it may sink into every space and place of inadequacy and fear within us. I pray it might touch both our unconscious and conscious reality. I pray it may increase our ability to receive His love and grace. I pray that it exists as more than a mind-reality, but that it becomes a firm-reality. We stand on the solid-rock of Jesus, not shifty ground. May we know that we know this truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

On that day we meet Jesus, we will run into glorious grace. We will run into grace that loves us, grace that covers us, grace that accepts us and grace that wants us, forever and no matter what. Oh, what a Savior we have in Jesus. All Glory to you, Father.

Jesus said, “…I have called you friends…” (Jo. 15:15)

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When Dealing with Repeated Mistakes

love

“Mom, you have to come!”

The face on my 7 year-old, with her head jutting through my bedroom door, said it all… There was an issue.

Oh no…what happened?

Once I got to the living room, I knew: Bright red lipstick was striped all down the arm of my living room chair.

She looked up at me, “Mom, it is not just on that one chair, but it is on the other one too.”

At this point, she apologized profusely. But, my insides boiling and turning within me… I was angry! These weren’t just any chairs, but expensive chairs. If I hadn’t told her once, I’d told her 500 times not to sit on those chairs with food and not to put on my lipstick without asking.  But, there she was — caught red-handed…

Grr…

Yet, after a bit, I forgave her. Why?  Because if I’ve learned anything from ministry it is that to hold unforgiveness — is to hold yourself in bondage. But, to let go — is to let go of bitter pain targeted to hit your hearth in the future.

I forgive you, Madison.

“Mom,” she said. “I’ll pay for those chairs.”

“You can’t afford them, Madison. The price I paid for them is far too high.”

The second these words came out of my mouth, the second it felt like Jesus’ sacrifice was talking straight to my heart….

The price I paid for you, Kelly…
You could never afford it.
The price I paid was far too high for you to pay.
But, I paid it on your behalf and I still forgive you…for it all.

It was as if…just as I wiped Madison’s art-chair clean…Jesus was reminding me how He wiped my slate clean too. I deserved so much punishment… I still make  mistakes — yet, Jesus. Jesus paid the complete (and expensive) price to wipe me clean. To make me whole. To mark me holy. To see me as righteous.

I am off-the-hook because Jesus hung on the cross.

He “bought (me) with a price…” (1 Cor. 7:23)

A price I could never pay on my own.

And, the price He paid still covers me. When I make a mistake… When I talk in a way that I shouldn’t… When I think that thought… When I don’t do what I want to do… Still, His grace and His love cover…my many I’m sorrys.

I spent a good amount of time washing those lipstick chairs. When I look at them now, I keep noticing the way they are matted-down, imperfect. But, you know what? I’m like those chairs, imperfect. And, Jesus loves me anyway. He still wants me too.

Despite my flaws, Jesus marks me more than enough, more than helped, and more than equipped, even though… Those imperfect chairs stand as reminders that His perfect price was more than enough to make imperfect me  — white as snow!

Jesus’ love continually wipes the marks right off me. Now, I am clean, accepted and loved, always.

Glory to the King!

Prayer: Oh, how I thank you, Jesus, for the price you paid. Oh, how I praise you for how you wipe me clean again and again. You free me — not once, but all the time. You save me, not just for eternity, but for today. I cannot thank you enough Jesus. I cannot praise you enough. I receive all the grace and mercy I so desperately need. You are faithful. You love me and see me as righteous, holy and pure…all because of your blood, Jesus. Thank you. Amen.

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Things are Not What They Seem.

Things are not what they seem. It’s like walking at night. You think you see a person, but it is only a shadow. In the light, you can see how the darkness fooled you.

There is more than meets the eye.

I love the story in 2 Kings 6:15-17 that illustrates this point…

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.”

He was surrounded; it looked like there was no way out, no way to win and no hope. Maybe you’re in a place like that today…

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Just because it looks like defeat, does not mean you’re defeated. Just because you feel all alone, doesn’t mean that you are. Just because you can’t see all that God is doing for you, doesn’t mean He isn’t doing anything.

Things are not always what they seem.

Darkness can easily trick us into seeing things or believing things… But, in God’s light, there is always more of Him and His forces with us, than  against us.

Can you even imagine what you might see if God opened your eyes up the way He did Elisha’s? How might He be defending you, protecting you or fighting your battle?

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Peace, Be Still

peace

More than anything else I think, today, we need peace.

Many of us are beyond concerned. Everyone had an opinion online. The TV is telling us this or that. We wonder where things are headed?

More than anything else, today, we need: peace and prayer.

Tackling prayer is easy, we ask: Father, you will be done.

Peace can feel more elusive. This my reasoning for including 7 verses of peace for you today. I advise that you read them aloud and that you pray them over yourself.

7 Verses that Bring Peace

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10)

Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Ps. 100:3)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. (Is. 26:3)

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for to this you were called as members of one body. And be thankful. (Col. 3:15)

The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Nu. 6:26)

Prayer:  May the peace of God reign in your heart today, no matter what you face, no matter what you see. May you remember who you are in Christ and whose you are.  May you remember that God is in charge. May you rest in knowing that He has the whole world in His hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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