PROMISE. Day 11 of Lent. Yes and Amen!

PROMISE. Day 11 of Lent. Yes and Amen!

PROMISES yes and amen

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ
with a resounding “Yes!”
And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”);
ascends to God for his glory.
2 Corinthians 1:20

What IT IS WRITTEN can you claim today as your promise?

ENCOURAGEMENT
God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (MSG)

FEAR
Fear not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

COMFORT
Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.- 2 Corinthians 1:2-4

CHILDREN
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.- Proverbs 22:6
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.- 1 samuel 1:27

STRENGTH
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.- Ephesians 3:16-19

PROVISIONS
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:19

FORGIVENESS
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

DIRECTION
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.- Jeremiah 33:3

HEALING
Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. – Jeremiah 17:14

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD…- Jeremiah 30:17

LONELINESS
God sets the solitary in families…- Psalms 68:6

SALVATION
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. – Romans 10:9-10

ASSURANCE
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 8:38-39

TRANSFORMATION
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.- Ezekiel 36:26-27

OBEDIENCE
I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.
– Philippians 4:13

PERSEVERANCE
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.- Isaiah 40:29

 

yesandamen

WITNESS. Day 10 of Lent. Go and Tell.

WITNESS. Day 10 of Lent. Go & Tell.

j.l. kelly

I went to an AA meeting once. I’m not an alcoholic, but as I sat there in that smoky room full of the transparently pure, I wanted to be as brave as the people in that group. I coveted that place. A place where I could go and be among people who got my problem and stand up when I needed to and share my current and ongoing struggle.  I want to listen to the witness of the over-comers. Hear the mysterious soul balm of encouragement as simple truths are told again, like old stories we’ve heard but perhaps today, have forgotten, and we remember. “Oh, yeah,” nodding our head, that is so true. I wanted to watch the courage of the one in the back, get up and take that long walk to the front, and grab the lectern with a white knuckle grip and recount the five days he’s gone without giving in and how every minute he wanted to and he’s still not sure how he didn’t. But God…  and we swallow and we tear up and inside something shifts and we find courage ourselves.  I want to lift my hand up in agreement and let that woman who is telling her story know I’ve been there too.  Yes. I’ve been there too.  And it’s going to be okay. We’re all working the program. Applying the Big Book. Making amends and watching out for resentments and curbing our expectations.  And I want to visit with that old man, he only said a few words but they were so wise. And I can catch him at the coffee pot, he likes it black and hot. Me, I drowned it in cream so I don’t burn my tongue. And as I stir I say, “Thanks for sharing.” And he answers, “Keep coming back.” AA was a witness of the love and power of God and His people. And each person’s opening introduction became a witness to me.

As the church we are a Witness to the evidence that Christ saves and we are also called to testify to the evidence we believe. The fruits of the Spirit are a witness of the evidence.  Our words, service and giving testify to what we believe.

It’s not an option, we are commanded to witness. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” And we are promised we don’t go alone. Christ is with us. To the very end. We forget that sometimes. We think we are going it alone. But His presence is our peace and power.

Last week I got that call to “go”.  It wasn’t to a geographical place but it was a call to witness. God had prepared my heart with a desire to participate in Lent.  Then God put in my path something that He knew would make me stop and see how he wanted me to participate.  I’m a visual learner, so when he wants me to have eyes to see, he often gives me something He knows will catch my attention.  Since I love words, the title captivated me. A WITNESS THROUGH THESE 40 WORDS.  On Ash Wednesday I began with the chosen word DUST.

The first few days were hard. It felt more like an assignment in obedience. And my secular job is in the height of busy season, so I was getting up earlier to make it happen.  I was keeping the blog on the down low too. Until I saw a scene from an AA meeting on a TV show.  Someone got up and said their name and those words, “I’m an alcoholic”.   And Spirit said, “you need to say it.” And I knew what He was talking about.

As a writer I battle the ebb and flow of insecurity in my calling.  As a teacher sometimes I can think what I have to share is just an opinion, my opinion and who wants another one of those.  Doubt was holding back what God wanted to go out as a witness. So it was time to say it-“I am Jessica and I am a writer.”

I have witnessed to this before, to my closest friends in crucial moments. It’s usually said softly, with a nervous energy keeping my eyes jumping and my body squirming and then a rush of words runs after the statement because please just get me out of the awkwardness of this.  See, I don’t really believe it. Yet. But at times I do. And God keeps me right here, totally reliant on Him just like an alcoholic. And then He sends His people to share a witness. Of what my words meant to them.  Like He did yesterday. And I know that my obedience mattered. That my witness had a purpose. Just as yours does. To someone else.

We are to go. Witness. Of the evidence that Christ saves and witness to the evidence we believe.

 

DEATH. Day 9 of Lent. Death runs in the family.

DEATH. Day 9 of Lent. Death runs in the family.

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.
” Eccl 7:2

death runs in the family

Death runs in the family.

It’s a fact of life.  Man is like grass, a vapor.  Our Days Determined. Every one of them numbered before we were born. Our life has a limited number of days we cannot “go one day beyond” them. God orchestrates life. He is sovereign over His creation. God’s “eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

Our length of time is established by God and that gives us the assurance to trust Him as we journey through our days. When the religious leaders tried to take Jesus by force to have Him arrested He said “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here” (John 7:6) so God knows what we will face. All the evil of this world and the affairs and schemes of men cannot change what God has sovereignly ordained ahead of time for your life.  God is for us. Nothing can take us from His hand.  He is with us, we should never fear.

Yes, Death runs in the family but our length of time is established by God and that gives us the assurance to trust Him as we journey through our days. Today.  We should ‘seize the day’- Carpi diem!  We should pray “teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).  And “show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is” (Psalm 39:4) so that we can live abundantly and intentionally on purpose.

Life is so short, “your time is here”, now.
Live today. Don’t wait until tomorrow.
“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.  But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut 30:15-19).

Choose life. Repent-think differently-return to the Lord. And Live out your purpose.

If we are blind to ourselves or deny the reality of a coming death, it is possible to live under a delusion. We think we are in control of our life, we are not.  We even think we are good people, doing good things, living well, for a purpose, but maybe not.

Meditating on this word, Death, gives us a needed reality check just like a funeral makes us pause and reconsider our own life.
What if you could read your obituary? See how your life finished up. How you were measured. Here is the story of a man who did just that~

One morning in 1888 Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, awoke to read his own obituary. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple journalistic error. It was Alfred’s brother that had died and the reporter carelessly stated the death of the wrong brother.  We would all be disturbed under the circumstances, but to Alfred the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him.

The “Dynamite King,” the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives. This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of Alfred’s life. None of his true intentions to break down the barriers that separated men and ideas for peace were recognized or given serious consideration. He was simply a merchant of death. And for that alone he would be remembered.

As he read the obituary with horror, he resolved to make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. This could be done through the final disposition of his fortune. His last will and testament–an endowment of five annual prizes for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace (the sixth category of economics was added later)–would be the expression of his life’s ideals and ultimately would be why we would remember him. The result was the most valuable of prizes given to those who had done the most for the cause of world peace.

It is called today, the “Nobel Peace Prize.”

Death runs in the family but our length of time is established by God and that gives us the assurance to trust Him as we journey through our days and fulfill our purpose.

It only takes 40 days to create a life of purpose.
Read Rick Warren’s book-
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? ( Expanded Edition)

LISTEN. Day 8 of Lent. We are starved for quiet.

LISTEN. Day 8 of Lent. We are starved for quiet.

We are starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God Himself.” Ruth Haley Barton

silenceandsolitude

What is it to become quiet? To just be, silent.

It seems we can always hear the ‘buzz’.
Our world glorifies busy.

And the intense rush of instant and now and going there and doing this is an incessant white noise of loud that only seems to surge.

There’s family, those friends you can’t do life without then the grind of secular work, that pulse of agendas in the background and the pursuit of those dreams.  We all juggle life the best we know how to do and fit God in, not always first and sometimes last and often in the midst of all the noise.

“Silence is the most challenging, the most needed and the least experienced spiritual discipline among evangelical Christians today.” Ruth Haley Barton explains in one of my all time favorite books, Invitation to Solitude and Silence-experiencing God’s transforming presence. Barton says, “We are starved for mystery, to know this God as One who is totally Other and to experience reverence in His presence. We are starved for intimacy, to see and feel and know God in the very cells of our being.  We are starved for rest, to know God beyond what we can do for Him. We are starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God himself.”

There are seasons when life roars with activity like a rock concert and when the mute button gets pushed we get incredibly nervous. We’re suddenly alone, with ourselves.  It feels odd, almost scary.

Silence only emerges for most of us in the middle of the night. We wake up and the clock says 3:15am. Again. We count sheep or bills, worry about the kids or work out a problem. Or maybe you pray. Interceding for others or just resting in worship. But are you ever just silent. For most of us our mind never rest.

Last night, at 3:15 am, I just went ‘shhh’.
Be still.
I left off the rest of the verse, and know that I am God or my mind would have started to engage and meditate.
I just practiced silence and I offered that sacred invitation.
Spirit, I give you permission to come in and do what you do in this soul of mine.

Silence. And there, they say, is the presence of God Himself.

click link below to learn more about Ruth Haley Barton’s book:

Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence

invitation-solitude-book_2

Kingdom. 7th day of Lent. The Kingdom of God is like…

Kingdom. 7th day of Lent. The Kingdom of God is like…

kingdom_of_god #lent #lentphotoaday

 

We often come from the perspective that life started with us-
our story is our frame of reference.
We know the family tree, maybe back three generations, and we’ve been schooled with world history to know antiquity but our existence is perceived through our own history.
Our story. Our story world. Once upon a time, I was born and lived like this. It’s what I know, it’s from where I see and hear and experience life.  It’s my perspective.

And the word KINGDOM today reminds me that too often my perspective is incomplete, faulty and at times wrong.
The KINGDOM is God’s perspective on life.

The Kingdom of God is the experience of blessedness, like that of the Garden of Eden, where evil is fully overcome & where those who live in the kingdom know the eternal ALIVENESS and undefinable FULLNESS of God that is exemplified in his vast attributes like love, power, peace, joy, and righteousness.

The KINGDOM is the message Christ proclaimed.
There were two bookends of his good news message.
He would start his teaching this way, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…”
And he would end it like this “If you have eyes to see then see and ears to hear then hear.”
He warns us at the end, don’t miss what I just said to you.
You might hear and not hear. See and not see.
Huh?  That’s right. All of our faces housed the big question mark.

For years that’s what ‘The Kingdom of God’ did to me too. I would listen. Hard. I would hear. But I couldn’t get it. What this kingdom was about. Had it come with Jesus? Was it coming back? Where was it? How did I reach out my hand and touch it?

In Matthew 3, John the Baptist proclaims, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Repent. Is that how we get the Kingdom ‘in hand’? John was calling out the religious and today some of the religious need to be called out to bring forward the fruit of repentance too. For the religious, self-effort people we hear in these words, “Straighten up, God is coming and when He gets here he is going to be really ticked.”  It’s like when mother used to say, “Straighten up and wait till your father gets home.” We totally understood ‘the hand’ that was about to reach out and touch us of discipline because of our crooked living that went on while he was away.

But wait. I remember this truth… “God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3:17

It’s like we see things up-side-down. 

So if Christ came to help, to put the world right again, I have to go back to my definition, the Kingdom of God is the experience of blessedness, like that of the Garden of Eden, where evil is fully overcome & where those who live in the kingdom know the eternal ALIVENESS and undefinable FULLNESS of God that is exemplified in his vast attributes like love, power, peace, joy, and righteousness.

Suddenly my definition of ‘repent’ isn’t working besides my definition of Kingdom. Again, I’ve made Repent about behavior that occurs when I change the CONTENT of my mind, and switch the direction of my behavior. Instead I need to redefine Repent to be about my spirit.  Renewing my mind I think differently about how I’m seeing things. Think differently afterwards because “the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

Keep reading on in Matthew and chapter 4 we read, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

John the Baptist grew up in a corrupt religious system and the forerunner was warning us to prepare ourselves. To get ourselves ready. The Kingdom of heaven is at hand, has come near.
Jesus has come near. Jesus the ever existing one didn’t grow up in a corrupt religious system. The King of this Kingdom is I AM.

I AM has a Kingdom perspective.
I AM is the eternal ALIVENESS and undefinable FULLNESS of God exemplified in his vast attributes like love, power, peace, joy and righteousness.
I AM has come near.  And in Him was LIFE.
“Aliveness” was near.
Aliveness, filling the atmosphere of the kingdom of God.

BEFORE creation- there was a Kingdom- filled with everything that makes things work. Imagine power and love and peace, joy and righteousness were the atmosphere soaking this place.

Jesus wants to tell us about this so he starts teaching this way-
The Kingdom of heaven is like…
Not telling us how to do earth- telling us about a reality that exist spiritually-  of aliveness- the atmosphere the fullness of God.

This Kingdom is upside-down. It’s contrary to what we think we know most of the time and totally contradictory to what the world would have us believe.  We have to have the Spirit to help us perceive it properly to know Christ is at hand. He is near to us. Not pointing a judging finger but offering his hand. And what does he want? Right behavior?

Oh, please get this.
He wants a relationship. With you.

Spirit speaking to spirit. Aliveness. Fullness. At hand. Near. Yes.
The Kingdom of God is the experience of blessedness, like that of the Garden of Eden, where evil is fully overcome & where those who live in the kingdom know the eternal ALIVENESS and undefinable FULLNESS of God that is exemplified in his vast attributes like love, power, peace, joy, and righteousness.

 

Transgression. Day 6 of Lent. Stay in your lane.

TRANSGRESSION. Day 6 of Lent. Stay in your lane.

Stay in your lane. #lent #lent2015

To transgress is the action of going beyond or overstepping some boundary or limit

Michael Massa explained, “Transgression is to move against. We move against others because we are more powerful than others, or at least we think we are. Power is needed for protection, but it also gives us an ability to transgress that we would otherwise not have. Out transgressions can be / are forgiven, but to prevent transgressing – intentionally or carelessly – we need to continually be on guard not only against the power of sin, but also against our own power over others.”

God made the boundaries in creation.  Jeremiah 5:22 “Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.”

God stated the moral boundaries in the ten commandments let’s call those the lanes on the highway.  He  gave man a  soul thermostat called conscious let’s call that the brakes and accelerator. Then Christ pronounced the summation of all the commands like this, “Love God. Love others.”  Love is the steering wheel.

Love for God and for others keeps you from transgressing-moving out against others and overpowering them to get your way.

Stay in your lane.

 

 

FORGIVENESS. Day 5 of lent. The Gospel of Grace.

#FORGIVENESS. Day 5 of #lent.

forgiveness

A definition for forgiveness could be — giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me. – Releasing your debt to me.

We forgive because we have been forgiven by God (Ephesians 4:32). We forgive in obedience to God (Matthew 6:14-15; Romans 12:18). We forgive so we won’t become bitter and defile those around us (Hebrews 12:14-15).
God is faithful to forgives us. 1 John 1:9
Robert Muller said, “To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love.” Today I connected God’s love to His forgiveness.  I rested in how much God loves me instead of how often I disappoint Him.
To lived loved we must be faithful to forgive our self as God has forgiven us.
This statement from Brennan Manning is one of my favorites

Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last “trick”, whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.

“But how?” we ask.

Then the voice says, “They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

There they are.

There we are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.

My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.” ~Brennan Manning from the Ragamuffin Gospel

SEED. Day 4 of Lent. Scatter Grow Gather.

#SEED. Day 4 of #Lent.  Scatter Grow Gather.

SEED The sower by Garrett Walker

There is a cycle in my life that follows this rhythm with each new season.
Scatter. Grow. Gather.

So when I think on a seed, just a tiny speck of matter.
A bit of hope. A potential beginning.
Symbolized by the Word of God, so a truth.
Spoken to us if we’re listening. Ready to be ‘planted’ or acted upon. With faith and obedience, perseverance and care.
God calls us to grow. But the process is strange.

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24

To grow we can’t hold on to life just as it is. Seasons change.
From the Father’s hands we are scattered.

Relocated. Rearranged.  Re-positioned.
Taken from one season and dispersed into another.
Called forward.
Reminded we can’t go back.

In faith alone, we trust.
We are a seed.  DUST. Fragile and frail.  A tiny speck of matter.
We PROCLAIM Christ as our priority and trusting Him as THE WAY we are to go we believe in His faithful process.

We die to self.  We let go.

Of homes. And children. And expectations.
Of old ways. The familiar. What was comfortable.
Of leadership. Positions. People. And places.
And it is dark and still and feels like death.

There is denial. Then doubt. Dismay and grief.

It is new. All so very new.
And we are so weak here.

Fragile. Frail. Afraid.
A seed. Just a tiny speck of matter. A bit of hope. A potential beginning.  Grows. Spirit urges us out. And up.
And as we surface something new begins.

We grow.
And the season cycles. In its highs and lows.
As we bear fruit here.

Gathered into a harvest for His glory.
gathered harvest

SIGN. Day 3 of Lent. The Way.

SIGN. Day 3 of Lent. THE WAY.

chi ro tattoo peace SIGN #lent

Directional signs are everywhere.

Directional Signs.
We watch for them. They get us where we are going.
But sometimes we can think, “If I just change my circumstances – get out of this church, job, school- or change my relationships- get out of this marriage, friendship, work situation- I’ll finally be happy, free, satisfied.” We let our feelings ‘direct’ our movement out, around or away from a dissatisfying environment. We exit here. Go our way.

Yet, wherever we go, there we are.

We find the new direction just took us back to the same old place.
Here we are again.
Finding freedom is never about our outward circumstances.
It is about becoming transformed within our circumstances.
We have to know ourselves and know our God to find the way.
And that journey takes some direction to learn what it means to be free from ourselves and transformed.
Jesus says I am The WAY.

#Lent day 3 SIGN mark with meaning 4jlkelly.wordpress.com

Jesus recognized the dead end problem of “here we are again”.
He came to make a way to replace our old self with a new self that is free. He says the way for you to be free from yourself is to think differently afterwards. Repent.
But we first have to see the contrast of what we repeatedly try to do and what Christ is really asking us to do.

Jesus calls us to think differently.

We continually try to think different – by changing the content of what we think. Our thoughts are this-stop gossiping, start praying, stop cursing, start encouraging. We’re still eating from the tree of good and evil where we exchange evil for good. When we just think different all we are doing is trying harder. We get stuck in a vicious cycle. Driven to find a way out, we pursue an escape and the direction “out” lead us into the very thing that has us trapped. Then the cycle begins again and the continuing dynamic leads many into deeper bondage and dissatisfaction. Been there?

Jesus says that self-effort is the dead end way.

To think differently refers to the way in which we think.

THE WAY in which we think is to renew our minds and be transformed in Christ.  But how do we think differently.
We just abide in Christ and His Word.
We seek first Christ.
Focus on Christ as our priority not the circumstances or self effort.
Then, mysteriously Spirit helps us change the focusing lenses over our eyes and the filters of our ears. When we see and hear things differently it becomes almost impossible to do things the same way-the dead end way- of before.

Jesus spoke about THE WAY like this, “Repent.”
Think differently afterwards because “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Here. With you. In you. Around you. Here is the love and power of Christ.  I AM THE WAY.

I AM with you. Always.

The SIGN of that is simple. Peace.
The Presence of Christ in me.
Chi Ro encircled.

Jesus Christ is THE WAY of Peace.

Chi Ro the sign of Christ

 “I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the LORD.
“Set up for yourself road marks, Place for yourself guideposts;
Direct your mind to the highway, The way by which you went.
Return, O virgin of Israel, Return to these your cities.
“How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter?
For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth–
A woman will encompass a man.” Jeremiah 31:20-22

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”        Isaiah 7: 14

PROCLAIM. Day 2 of Lent. What is your priority?

Proclaim. Day 2 of Lent. What is your priority?

crowns laid down

There’s that question linked to this religious season;
“What did you give up for Lent?”

give up list for lent

It makes many evaluate how they’re doing 7 weeks into the New Year. Did those resolutions stick? Are they habits? 
Ugh. But grace.
Lent gives us a chance to return.
Remember, we’re dust. Fragile, frail, flesh.
Grace is ready to give us a re-do, a re-start.
Just get the list out and re-prioritize.
Remember the goals. The action plan.
Those priorities-

 dos

The problem is there’s a list. The word priority is singular. One.

One thing that is regarded as more important than another.
One thing that is treated as most important.
Our prime concern.
Our most important consideration.
The primary issue that proceeds everything else before it, and takes precedence in our time, to our treasures and through our talents.

One priority. New answers. 

What are you giving up for Lent? Self.

What is your one priority. Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ.
The first before anything else.
The center of life.
Take a lesson from Martha and Mary (Luke 10:42)
Lay it all down and abide.
“Only One thing is needed-Christ”

Take the Lent list – the things you are fasting not to do and the duties you are committing to do- and restructure it.
Remember, as Bob Hamp says, “Freedom isn’t the absence of something- caffeine, sugar, sleep, alcohol, social media.
Freedom is the presence of Someone, Jesus Christ.”

Change the way your are focusing your energy off the priorities and onto the Priority. Lay your crowns down.

christ as priority

And crown Him the priority of your life.

Proclaim your priority today.

follow:
my Pinterest board on LENT

LENT2015 in daily pictures

40 days of lent
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