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An invitation…

When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go. So don’t let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

                            Ephesians 3:12-21 (MSG)
You will never be able to trust unless your feet are firmly planed on love. Unfortunately, its because we have experienced the very opposite of love that we often have a hard time trusting. At our best we might feel capable of intellectually telling someone that we love them but the connection between our head and our heart is missing. When we spend too much time feebly attempting to figure out love, figure out why it went wrong, figure out how we can get others to give us more of it, we miss the opportunity to just be present in what has existed since the beginning of time.
His
never stopping,
never giving up,
unending,
always and forever love!
                    ~Sally Lloyd-Jones
Having our feet firmly planted on this kind of love- the way we were always meant to- allows us to make a connection between what we think and what we experience. It surrounds us. There are no limits to its dimensions, power, or fullness. It needs no figuring out because if you could, it’s limits could be described. The response to this love is not to figure it out or even to think about it. It’s an invitation to enter something meant for you, meant for your heart. An invitation with no strings attached.
You are invited to
just
be.
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Creating A Spiritual Legacy

Nobody wants to think about leaving a legacy, but we do it every day with every single decision we make. Here is a sermon in which I share a story of Jesus and what we can see about intentionally creating a spiritual legacy for everyone we influence.

~JK

God Made You Good!

“This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.”  Written by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 7:29

God

made

you

good.

Man holding arms up in praise against golden sunsetIf we do not begin at a place where, from the very start, all God saw in us was perfection we are doomed to always see ourselves as not good enough. Because “God created mankind upright,” He sees in us something that we rarely see in ourselves. That in our core we were made to be in perfect fellowship with Him.

Sadly, we go looking for ways to make life “better” for ourselves without realizing all our efforts are in vain.

Life is never better than when we see ourselves as God made us and take joy in being nothing more.

The many schemes we devise to become enough in the eyes of the world simply lead to our destruction. Its only when we surrender our search for more that we find the one truth Solomon was able realize –

God made you good.

~JK

White Flag Parenting

“You mean we get to take her home?” I remember my wife, Krista, putting into words the very thoughts I had been having since the nurse told us that we would be discharged from the hospital. Our daughter had been born not even 72 hours before we got into our Ford Focus and headed home. Were we ready? We thought we were…

Until we realized that “getting ready” meant much more than baby showers, putting cribs together and stocking up on diapers. In reality, our efforts to make our home a place that was absolutely perfect for our baby girl were vain attempts to control a situation that was out of our hands to begin with. What we only realized in part, was that God was yearning for us to fully surrender our newborn baby over to him. He was still certainly going to use us to raise her, but He had something very important for us to learn that we could not find in the pages of a self-help book. We would learn it by raising the white flag.

In the single act of surrender, we were doing more for our child than years spent striving to be a better parent or know enough about child-rearing. Our surrender meant that we believe God holds the victory in our daughter’s life and that we can choose to join him in it or be his adversaries. Whether or not we were enough as parents didn’t matter if we had gone “palms up” and handed her over. This surrender meant that we would have to become better listeners. We wait for God to speak. He does and we hear, then choose to continue on with the white flag raised. This surrender means that we may not have clear answers. We do not negotiate the terms, we simply trust.

When we raise the white flag and surrender our parenting over to God, he takes us where we are and begins the victory dance. In fact, he invites us to join in with him. When you dance with the Victor, the parenting battles become boogies, the tantrums become tangos, the wrestling turns to a waltz. We dance with God in the joy of surrender and let him take the lead.

~JK

Become What You Believe

 My devotional this morning took me to Job 3:25

“What I feared has come upon me. What I dreaded has happened to me.” 

This verse comes in the context of Job cursing the day of his birth.  His misery is so great that he is regretting even being born.  I can gratefully say I have never been there but I think Job relates something that all of us have felt or experienced to a degree.  Fear feeds on itself.  It is so easy to let our fears and worries get the best of us.  It really has a way of validating itself. 

If fear were a person in your life, it would often make comments like, “See, I told you you would never be able to do that.” “Didn’t I tell you that you shouldn’t have tried that.”  Fear’s number one attack is “I told you so.”  I think the best response in situations like these is to just have a conversation with it. Fear would love nothing more than for you to let it have the last word. Instead of simply saying, “Yeah, Fear, you are probably right,” respond with, “I see things differently because ________.” It is easy to talk yourself into a better reality when you consider the alternatives.  Often the better reality after a conversation with fear turns out to have more potential than if fear hadn’t reared its ugly head.  Such was the case with Job.  Job 42:12 says that God blessed the latter part of his life more than the former part.

How do we stifle God’s desire to bless things even more because of our fears?  We hold back on pursuing God sized visions because we fear we cannot accomplish it on our own.  Isn’t this the whole idea behind a God-sized vision – that we CANT accomplish it on our own?  Why would we even want that?  If we were to decide that we were not going to attempt anything unless we knew it could NOT be accomplished without God’s divine intervention, what would change about our ministries?  When we limit ourselves to doing only what we can accomplish, and we fail, we will find ourselves saying, “See. I knew this would happen. What I feared has come upon me. What I dreaded has happened to me.” But when we attempt to join God in a journey where only he can provide success, failure becomes a better teacher. It strengthens our trust rather than crippling our self-confidence. This seems to be a much better alternative than allowing fear to feed on itself. 

Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “Become what you believe” (The Message).  Allow what God can do through you to dictate what is possible. His power is greater than all your fears.
~JK

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