Monday, May 12, 2014


Jesus said, “You cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own” (Luke 14:33 NLT).  Jesus wants you to surrender to His ownership everything.  Why is the decision to surrender to Jesus so incredibly important?   Here’s why:  The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT).  God will “strengthen your heart.”

Giving up ownership leads us to live lives of integrity.  Integrity means you’re the same person in your private life as you are in your public life.  You’re the same person when you’re alone as you are when you’re at church.  What you have committed to the Lord in your heart you commit to with your actions and words.

Why would you or I not be a person of integrity?  Because of fear.  When fear is in your heart it influences your motives and actions.  You say one thing and then do another.  And you’re not true to those around you, or to yourself, or to God until you deal with the fear in your heart.  Fear is the root cause of many things:  anger, depression, control issues, worry.  We’re afraid of rejection, abandonment, not being loved, what others think about us, tomorrow, financial loss, not having enough for retirement, of not being accepted, and the list goes on.

When we don’t deal with the fear in our hearts we will do two things:  1) First we hide.  We wear masks.  We put on a front.  We don’t let others know who we really are.  And who you are when you’re alone doesn’t match who you are when you’re around other people.  2) Second we look for ways to get love.  We have trouble loving ourselves and loving others and loving God. 

Without knowing it you’re trying to compensate for an emotional wound deep down in the core of your being.  The answer  is to not only place your trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, but to grow to believe more and more in God’s love for you and in who you really are in Christ and all that is yours in that relationship with Him.  It takes the Heavenly Father’s love to heal your heart.  God tells us in His Word that His love “expels all fear” from our hearts, and There is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God, (Romans 8:39 GNT).  Therefore, Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children (1 John 3:1 HCSB).

He is present with us so that we don’t have to be fearful.  For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's children, and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” (Romans 8:15 GNT). 

Specifically what can you do in light of God’s truth?

1.      Cry out to God as your Father Who loves you perfectly, more so than your earthly father.
2.      Choose to continually thank God that nothing will ever be able to separate you from His love.
3.      Think long and deep about God’s great love for you.
4.      Practice “resting” in God’s love for you.  Just say, “Father I choose to rest in your great love for me.”
5.      Accept His forgiveness of you and choose to forgive those who’ve wronged you.

Let God love you and transform your life such that you’re the same person inside and out.

We’ve got to give up trying to fix ourselves, control our own lives, and medicate our pain.  We must give up the ownership of our lives to God.  He wants your honest total surrender, and then He’ll produce the right things in your life.  That’s when your heart will grow in His love for you, in His strength, with courage, and with inner security.

Monday, May 5, 2014


God wants to take ordinary lives and make them extraordinary.  We weren’t made to live boring lives where it’s the “same old same old.”  There’s more to life than living and dying.  We were made to live an exciting adventure.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”  Many people live dull and mundane stressful lives, and they have no sense of lasting motivation or joy or enthusiasm.  God never intended for us to live depressed, worried, fearful, powerless, and mundane lives.  That’s not the kind of life God wants us to live.  But for many that’s their “normal” way of life.  God wants to take your ordinary way of living life and transform it into a life that is extraordinary.  You were made for more than you think.  The Bible says in Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

How is your life changed from ordinary living to extraordinary living?

1. Value your future resurrection to be better than your life now.
They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Hebrews 11:35 (NLT)

2. Submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Make it a daily practice.  Make it an on-going practice throughout each day.  Take action based on what you learn from God’s Word.  It’s called obedience.

3. Live loved and forgiven.
Do not let the grace that you received from God be for nothing.  2 Corinthians 6:1 (NCV)

4. Keep company with Jesus.
They realized then that they had been companions of Jesus. Acts 4:13 (GNT)
  • Read and study God’s Word, the Bible
  • Pray persistently
  • Fellowship regularly with other believers
  • Tell others about Jesus, because they notice something extraordinary about you
  • Serve people for the sake of Christ
  • Worship God privately alone and publically with the church
As we learn to follow Jesus, our lives begin to change because He changes us.  God wants to take your ordinary way of living life and transform it into a life that is extraordinary.