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Exhausted? Tired of not being able to catch your breath? I know the feeling. But let me tell you, you were not meant to live like this. It’s time to get off that train. Hop off quick; it leads to stress and burnout. God made an escape for you in this harried, crazy mixed up world you live in. Come on, I’ll show you how to escape the madness and find the rest you need.

We will never begin to rest unless we believe it’s been given to us.

And that’s tough, because it works against our culture. It even works against the discipline and work ethic we’ve been trained to prize. I was raised to work hard, give it all I’ve got, and I did. Problem was, I gave so much in years past, I had nothing left. My physical and mental health suffered. So did my relationships with my husband and then, little boy.

How I got suckered into believing I had to wear myself out…

I was told that there’s no rest for the weary. You too? And how about this one: the early bird is the one who catches the worm. Because I swallowed that, my goals were to catch all the worms! And that I did! I became driven. Sometimes — too driven. Sleeping only 4 and 5 hours a night, working non-stop. No breaks. Even working on vacation. That my friends, is a set up for failure.

Busyness is a Badge of Stupidity

“Taking it easy” sounds so absurd in our culture. We’ve bought into the lie that busyness is a badge of honor. It’s not. Busyness is a badge of stupidity. If you don’t have time to get the rest you need to recharge your mind, soul, spirit, emotions, intellect, and relationships, you are going to break in one or more of those areas.

I’ve seen it over and over again. I’ve talked to top business executives, small business owners, doctors, pastors, stay-at-home-moms, even students. They wonder how they can keep up the pace. They’re running so fast they don’t have time to enjoy their life. And that’s not the way God designed us to live. He said he came to give us life more abundantly.

Abundance doesn’t come at the cost of running yourself ragged. You can’t enjoy an abundant life if you’re too tired to enjoy it.

Matthew 11:28-30

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me– watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Even on our day off, we don’t get a day off.

What do you do on your day off? Work more? I bet you do. It’s called housework, mowing the lawn, running back and forth to soccer games and little league practice, tackling that honey-do-list, and on and on.

What else do you add to the list? Babysitting your grandchildren? Making goodies for the bake sale? Oh that’s fun. Yes, but sometimes it can be exhausting. Nothing wrong with giving of yourself…as long as you have enough of yourself to give.

The key is balance. A little of this, a little of that, and you will be spared the dull grind of weariness.

So go ahead, give yourself permission to rest today. Tomorrow. The next day. And the next day after that.

  1. Schedule down time in each day. (God did, at the end of the day; he paused and reflected on what he had done.)
  2. Schedule down time in each week. (God took 1 day off out of 7 too, setting a precedent for us to follow.)
  3. Schedule down time in each year. (This is the icing on the cake, go ahead, and enjoy it. You’ll be better for it!)

Your health, physical AND spiritual, depends on it. God didn’t design your body to work non-stop. He designed you to require rest. He not only gives you permission to rest, he commands it.

Exodus 20:8-12

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work– not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.

So give yourself a break.

You don’t rest when the work is done. You rest so you can get the work done.

Rest, and he’ll help you get the rest done!

Sometimes Acting Like Christ Requires You to Be a Fake

You’ve received the assignment, you’re just not sure you can or ever will pull it off. What assignment? That one in the Bible that strongly encourages you to “act like Christ.” If you’re at all like me, that can scare the sweat out of your glands. How in the world will you pull that off? Christ is perfect. We are not. But take heart, I’m going to show you how faking it will help you make it.

You can act right? You can’t? Oh, come on now, I know you can act! You’ve been caught in the act before. And you gave a superb performance!

Let me jog your mind…

Have you ever been depressed, but because you were at work or with friends, you smiled, laughed, and carried on like all was well in your corner of the world? Yep, you were acting.

Or remember having a heated conversation with someone at home? You’re both going at it tooth and nail. Tempers flying. Voices rising. All of the sudden, the phone rings. You answer. Did you notice how your voice changed? You were cheerful, calm, and cordial? Good job! Yep, you were acting.

Or how about this: You are driving your kids to school. They are cutting up in the back seat. You’re about to blow a gasket because they won’t leave each other alone. They’re picking at each other and one starts to cry. It turns into a fistfight and before it gets bloody, you turn around with an ugly face and motion with your hands to stop their shenanigans or your going to stop the car.

Just then, a car slides into the lane beside you, you look over and it’s a familiar face. It’s someone who goes to your church. Quickly you gain you composure, slap both hands back on the wheel, and release the tension in your face. You give a polite smile and wave to your church buddy projecting all is well and you’ve got the kids under control. Yep, you were acting. Again.

We’ve all found ourselves in situations like these or close to it. Anytime we are feeling one-way but choose to reign in those feelings and act differently – we are acting. That’s not a bad thing. It’s actually good. Because you have an ability that will help you “ACT” LIKE GOD. Even if it’s just an act at first, that’s ok. Let me explain.

Acting Mode is Something Everyone Can Slip Into

  • Children know how to act. (Hopefully!) Have you ever said to a child, “That’s not how to act.” Yes? Guilty! You were teaching them how to act.
  • Teenagers know how to act. Have you ever secretly watched how a teenager behalves? You sized them up to get an idea if they were a good kid or a bad kid?
  • Employees know how to act. Have you ever watched a fellow employee, observing their work performance or interactions with people? Of course.

Every one can slip into acting mode and it’s quite appropriate.

So when I tell you that the way to become like Christ is to “act” like Christ, it may require some acting, and that’s ok. Cause guess what? Where not all there. Nope. And we have a long way to go before we are totally like Christ.

Ephesians 5:1, 2 NIV

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

The word, “followers” is the Greek word mimeses, which means to imitate someone or to mimic what you see someone else doing. It was used to describe actors who performed on a stage. It also describes a model. No, not the kind you see in a magazine, but someone who models behavior like a parent, teacher, coach, or mentor.

When someone has great attributes and high character traits, others are encouraged to “follow” that person’s lead and “act” like them. That’s why Paul used the word, mimeses, when he said, …be followers of me (1 Corinthians 4:16).

This verse is saying: “I’m strongly urging you to act like me! Observe what I do, and do the same things I do.”

The Process of Becoming is Sometimes Slow

It takes time learning how to act differently. Just like being in the cast of a play or movie, it takes time to learn your lines. It takes time to get into your character’s persona. You have to study your character and know him inside and out so you can move like him, talk like him, act like him. That takes time. And that’s to be expected.

Acting like Christ is going to take time too. And that too, is ok. If you are a new believer or one who just has some growing to do, your acting will get better with time. Don’t be disappointed when you don’t act right. Just recognize you could have done it differently and decide next time, you will!

Fakes are O.K.

Word to the wise: don’t beat other people up thinking they are such big fakes! Have you ever caught yourself saying, “They don’t fool me, they’re just putting on a good act.” Yes, maybe they are! Let me tell you, the more someone acts on a consistent basis, the more their acting behavior becomes real.

Sooner or later, they’ll become the real deal. So cut them some slack. And cut yourself some too.

Consider this passage from the Bible:

Ephesians 4:13-15 AMP (Bolded words are the author’s emphasis)

[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [ full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.

Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

So yes, it’s ok to act. And in order to “act” like Christ, it might at first be an act, but that’s ok. That’s where you start. At some point you’ll quit acting and it will really become who you are. So in short, “acting like Christ” may require some acting!

Now, go get your Bible, and study your lines.

You could do someone a favor by sharing this post. Tweet it or post it on Facebook. You’re friends will thank you!

 

I’ve got an amazingly thoughtful assistant. Every year, Tanya sends me flowers on Bosses Day. Last year, I hung onto those flowers after they died. They were still beautiful even after they began to whither and decay.

My best friend, Kathy, is married to a guy who loves taking professional photos of flowers. Bob has hundreds and hundreds of the most striking flowers I’ve ever seen captured on film. I have some of his photographs of the stunning flowers God created on the walls of my home and office. (See the picture in this post, that’s his!)

Flowers are breathtaking! More so, than the model on the runway or the clothes on the hottest gal in Hollywood.

The reason flowers mean so much to me is because they remind me of how God takes care of me. Every day. Without fail.

Matthew 6:28-34 says, And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.

Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Why This Scripture Can Be Frustrating Rather Than Reassuring

I love this scripture because it brings me peace – on most days. But on some days it makes me a little uneasy. Why? Notice that it says God promises to meet our DAILY needs? That means we may not have what we need for the end of the month until the end of the month. That can cause some anxiety, are you with me?! Yet, if we settle ourselves down and drink in His peace we can be confident of this…

God gives us our daily bread. That means each day’s needs will be met. They may not always be met in advance but, don’t fret. Don’t flip out. Try to relax. And remember the flowers.

Why Does God Have Us Experience the “Sweat Factor?”

If you’re like me, we want our needs met in advance so we don’t experience the “sweat factor”. We want to avoid discomfort and the unknown.

Sometimes God has us sweat it out, going without things in advance so we learn to rely on him rather than what’s in the bank, pocket, pantry, or gas tank.

My husband and I have been through difficult and draining seasons. When I say draining, I’m talking, draining all the money out of our bank account kind of seasons. Been there too? And yes, there’ve been times we didn’t have the money to buy our kids groceries.

There were times I had to ration my make up and only “put on my face” when I knew I was going out that day. Days I didn’t have a few measly bucks to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Times I couldn’t do lunch with a friend because I had no cash. Some of you can relate, I know.

Yet, I can honestly say, I have never gone without what I needed. Somehow, God made the food stretch or sent help from a friend, or hey, maybe when we went to bed, he multiplied the cereal in the box sitting under the counter! I wouldn’t put it past him. He’s done similar things for the prophet Elijah and the widow (I Kings 17:13).

God Doesn’t Promise Daily Needs Will Be Met in Advance

When my husband and I would get in a tough spot and it didn’t look like we’d even have gas for the week, I’d look at Ted and say , “Daily. God will meet our needs daily.” God didn’t say we’d always have it 2 or 3 days in advance, a week, or even sweeter – a month in advance. He said, he promised to meet our needs daily.

There were days when the cell phone bill was due. No money in the bank. Yet, God…

There were days when the electric bill was due. No money in the bank. Yet, God..

There were days a doctor visit was needed. No money in the bank. Yet, God…

What’s your story? I’m sure you can complete some of those sentences and add some of your own.

So if you’re in a spot like that, know this, it’s just a season and it will pass. Abundance is coming your way because God said it would. He said he came to give life and life abundantly. He said we would see his goodness in the land of the living. Right now though, he might just be providing for you daily. If so, hang in there. Daily provision is better than none. And you can know, it’s a sure thing; God will come through, even if it’s at midnight!

Next time you see a flower in the field, along the roadside, or in a bouquet on your desk, remember the flowers God dresses every morning. They look magnificent. They have everything they need and you do too. Even if it is just enough for today. It’s enough.

Remember the flowers!

And watch God remember you.

Here’s a free PRAYER ROCK-IT BOOSTER that will help you pray for you needs “From Day to Day”:

Picture This:

Your supplier is meeting your daily needs miraculously. God has resources you know nothing about, solutions outside your reality, and provisions outside your possibility. He hands you a worry-bazooka, you pull the trigger and walk away relieved.

Scripture This:

Psalm 31:19 NCV

…how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You.

Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Psalm 138:3 NCV

In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.

Pray This:

God, you are great. Help me not to lose sight of your goodness. You’ve laid it up for me because I fear you. You’ve prepared your goodness for me because I trust in you. I am refreshed every day when I think about your mercies, which have no end. Your faithfulness overwhelms me. You are better to me than I am to myself. When I cry out, you answer me. Make me bold with strength in my soul so I can trust you to provide for each day’s needs. I will not be concerned because you said you’d provide. So, God, thank you.

Say This:

Anxiety fades as the memory of God’s goodness takes center stage. My anxiety-filled days stand no chance when I cling to God. I am seeing God’s provision even if it is one day at a time. As I trust and believe, I will receive.

You probably have people in your life that you could help by sharing this post with them. Please share it and tweet it so they can be encouraged. Let’s see God provide for them!

Photo Credit: Robert Harkema Photography

Why Keeping the 10 Commandments Can Keep You Out of Heaven

As a kid, memorizing the 10 commandments was a big deal. Get em all down and in order and you got a ribbon. Maybe a sticker. Maybe even a prize.

And if you lived by them, wow! You were all that!

But that’s all.

If you’re into rule keeping, Christ didn’t die for you.

Well, actually he did, but he did so unnecessarily because you’re trying to make yourself “right” with God instead of relying on the “work” Jesus did on the cross to make you “right” with God.

Let me explain.

If you’re living by the 10 commandments expecting that to pay your way into heaven, you’ll only end up with a cute little ribbon on your chest. Cause even if you’ve memorized them perfectly, you sure can’t live them perfectly. No one can. And it won’t gain you any brownie points with God, so quit trying. If you use that man made system to get you into heaven…you won’t get in. Ouch!

Want to know what you can do to be saved and get into heaven?

Trade your man-made system for a God-made system. Here’s how the Apostle Paul describes it in Galatians.

Galatians 2:16:

We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule- keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it– and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self- improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. (MSG)

Galatians 3:13-14:

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same c blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. (Bold text by the author.)

How do you receive the blessing of Abraham, a.k.a. “salvation” and everything that comes with it?

Faith. Not works. Faith. Not keeping the commandments. Faith.

Faith In Christ’s work, not your own! (Because your works just won’t do the job!)

Most Christian believers haven’t been taking advantage of the gospel (The New Covenant). They’ve been living under the Old Covenant, abiding by rules and laws to make them right with God. That’s basically living as if Jesus hadn’t come to save them and set them free from all those rules and work-related righteousness. If that’s you — give it up!

Discover what you have in Jesus Christ. It’s not about what commandments or rules you keep. It’s not even about how much work you do for the kingdom. It’s about the work Jesus did on your behalf. Let him save you. Cause you’re not good enough to save yourself.

Whew! That’s a relief!

Isn’t it amazing when God stitches a theme into your day? You just know He’s trying to get a message to you when everywhere you turn, you bump into the same information. It blows my mind that he cares enough to keep trying over and over again to get it into our thick skulls!

Early this morning, a friend sent me a tiny audio snippet of a pastor from Pennsylvania sharing a devotional about the name of Jesus. Then when I went to read my Bible this morning, my eyes fell on scriptures talking about the name of Jesus. And when I opened up the book I was reading, guess what it was talking about on the very page I left off at? Yep – the name of Jesus. Then I turned on my iPod. Guess what the first song spoke about? You see where this is going, right? Yes, Jesus.

With this theme stitched into my day, I was thanking Jesus for what his name means to you and me. I began putting his name above everything I could think of. Take a moment and go with me here, I encourage you to read this out loud. We can do it together and it will stir your faith:

Jesus, the name above all names…

Jesus, the name above loneliness.

Jesus, the name above chest pain.

Jesus, the name above a bad habit.

Jesus, the name above a toxic relationship.

Jesus, the name above a horrible toothache.

Jesus, the name above stress.

Jesus, the name above childcare struggles.

Jesus, the name above thyroid issues.

Jesus, the name above no food in the fridge.

Jesus, the name above fears.

Jesus, the name above cancer.

Jesus, the name above relationship problems.

Jesus, the name above unpaid bills.

Jesus, the name above excess weight gain.

Jesus, the name above a broken air conditioning system.

Jesus, the name above disappointment.

Jesus, the name above horrible work environment.

Jesus, the name above a flat tire.

Jesus, the name above unpaid child support.

Jesus, the name above sin.

Jesus, the name above death.

Jesus, the name above PMS.

Jesus, the name above poor grades.

Jesus, the name above a tornado.

Jesus, the name above a stock market collapse.

Jesus, the name above a house fire.

Jesus, the name above failed tests.

Jesus, the name above betrayal of friends.

Jesus, the name above your dryer breaking down.

Jesus, the name above no gas in the car.

Jesus, the name above depression.

Jesus, the name above aggravation.

Jesus, the name above bitterness.

Jesus, the name above a cold or allergy.

Jesus, the name above divorce proceedings.

Jesus, the name above _________________(Your turn.)

Jesus, the name that everything on heaven and earth bows to.

Philippians 2:10 says, Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

“Jesus” – his name means savior. He saves you from all this above and more.

Lifeguards Have The Will to Save 

I heard about this guy who is a lifeguard. He was asked if he’d saved many lives this summer, and he reported how many lives he had “saved.”

His friend said, “Your job must be exciting!”

The lifeguard said, “Nothing’s more exhilarating or terrifying or fulfilling than plunging into cold water, knowing someone’s life depends on me,” he said. “Nothing makes my heart pound like that. It’s the best feeling in the world, to burst through the waves with all my strength to pull people to safety, sometimes even against their will if they’re panicking. I wish I could do it all the time.”

Jesus, Your Personal Lifeguard

Know what? There is nothing more exciting to Jesus than to “save” you from your day or “save” you from your circumstances, and especially “save” you from your sin. He’s standing by. He’s a life preserver and will “save” you from everything nipping at your heels today.

So, what will you do with the Name of Jesus?

Put it above everything else!

 

As I was getting ready this morning my mind floated back to a care-free childhood. Ahhh, those were the days. Rest came easy. Not a care in the world. I had complete and total trust in my parents. They took care of my every need. I had a roof over my head, a really nice one (with biggest yard on the block!), nice clothes, plenty of toys, and lots of love from mom, dad, and my little bro. That was the life.

But then it ended.

It ended when I grew older and started “seeing”.

Seeing. It can cause us problems we didn’t have before we could see.

See what? See that my parents really didn’t have it all together. And that yes, there were times they walked through financial hardship and were smothered with stress. It’s just that as a kid, I had no clue. No clue meant it didn’t rock my little world. I continued to believe blindly therefore I was at rest.

Something happens when we begin to “see”. We stop believing in what the the Word of God says because we begin to “see” what circumstances say.

IRS: You owe the government money.

Word of God: God shall supply your every need. (See Phillipians 4:9)

Boss: You’ve made a mess out of this.

Word of God: Anything is possible for those who believe. (See Mark 9:23)

Doctor: You have an incurable illness.

Word of God: You have been healed. (see Isaiah 53:5)

Spouse: I don’t love you. I want a divorce.

Word of God: With God, anything is possible. (see Matthew 19:26)

Now, let’s connect this to my story. Regardless of my circumstances, I believed in my parent’s ability to provide for me and this gave me great peace. I went to bed every night completely confident that all was well. And it was simply because I believed.

Belief will help you rest easy.

It didn’t matter that my parents didn’t always have everything we needed. I believed they did, therefore I was able to rest.

There’s the key to resting like a child. Believe that you are taken care of and you will be at rest. It didn’t matter that they couldn’t always make ends meet. I thought they could. Therefore my reality was trust. And trust led to rest.

Now, imagine this scenario…

You really do have a heavenly father that has it all together. He owns everything on the planet. Nothing is out of his reach. He could slap a million bucks on you right now if he wanted to. There’s no need to worry. He has an unlimited supply.

So, then – we have a lot more to believe in, don’t we? Knowing God won’t fail us gives us even greater belief. And if you believe, you will rest. Rest in him. He really does have it all in the palm of his hand. You included.

The Word of God says: “Anything is possible for those who believe”. Not: “Anything is possible for those who see“. In fact sometimes the more you see, the less you believe.

Close your eyes.

Believe & you’ll rest.

 

15 Ways to Achieve Bravery and Grab Your God-Given Victory

Ralph Waldo Emerson said this, and I LOVE IT:

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”

5 minutes.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to make or break your God-given victory.

Think about it:

  1. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Staying in peace rather than slipping into frustration.
  2. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Loving someone who just ripped you to shreds.
  3. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Holding your tongue and not having the last word.
  4. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Saving your tithe instead of spending it.
  5. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Staying a tad bit longer to finish the job.
  6. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Sticking around to have that awkward conversation you’ve been avoiding.
  7. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Not taking that second look at the babe who just waltzed by.
  8. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Keeping no record of a wrong.
  9. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Refusing to get angry.
  10. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Turning the other cheek.
  11. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Not giving in to the temptation.
  12. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Refusing to retaliate.
  13. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Passing up the liquor store on your way home.
  14. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Continuing to pray and press through till you feel a release.

Galatians 6:9 AMP:

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

15. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Reaping all that God has for you!

 Don’t miss out. Be braver – hang in there five minutes longer. You’re God-given victory is just around the corner!

If you enjoyed this post, 15 Ways to Achieve Bravery and Grab Your God-Given Victory, then you’d also like: How to Keep Fighting When You’re a Bloody Mess.


Find Out if God Thinks You’re Good Enough to Get into Heaven

Find Out if God Thinks You’re Good Enough to Get Into Heaven

A gal named Carry went to heaven. She was really smug and certain she’d get in because she had been a very good person on earth. Peter met her at the gate and asked, “Carry, what makes you worthy to enter into heaven?”

Carey answered, “I’m a really good person.”

“Hmm, O.K. You need 50 points to get into heaven. Tell me what you’ve done.”

“I memorized Bible verses growing up. In fact, I have a ribbon for memorizing the most scriptures out of anyone in my Sunday School Class.”

“Great, that’s worth a half a point.”

“Half a point?”

Peter said, “Yep, half a point.”

“O.K. Let’s see, I never missed church on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s. I was there every time the doors were open unless I was sick or out-of-town. I was so committed to church, I’d drag myself there even if I were half dead!”

“Wow, You were committed. Nice. That’s worth 1 point.”

Carry was beginning to feel hopeless. Would she make it in?

She searched her brain for memories of good deeds and faithfulness, figuring she needed to build a stronger case.

“I tithed on all of my income, and gave to the poor and oh, yeah, the church building program! I also washed cars to raise money for missions around the world.”

“Sweet! That’s good for another point.”

Carry listed five or six more items she had done, but had only racked up 7 points. She threw up her hands in desperation and yelled, “With this system, I can’t get in unless it’s by the grace of God!”

“Bingo!!!” That’s worth 50 points. Come on in.”

Grace. That’s all you need.

Yet, how often have you been duped into believing it’s all about you and what you do? Me too.

You think doing all kinds of good deeds and living out the ten commandments perfectly will get you into heaven? Not so fast. And what about the other commandments listed in the Bible. Have you been able to follow those perfectly? Me either. Truth is – we can’t.

The Law Was Given to Shut You Up!

The law was provided so that you would come to the conclusion that there is no way you’d be able to keep it. Then feeling hopeless, you’d cry out in desperation for God to save you and let you into heaven.

Romans 3:20 NLT:For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

You Can’t Save Yourself. That’s God’s Job.

Romans 3:23-25 NLT:For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s g glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Does God think your good enough to get into heaven?

Nope.

You’re not good enough to slide your way into heaven.

You can’t do enough to pay for your sins.

Enter Jesus. He paid the price because the cost was too much for you.

Aren’t you relieved?

 

 

Have you ever prayed for something that wasn’t God’s will?

Me too!

How do you know what’s appropriate to ask God for and what’s not?

Last Sunday morning I had the privilege of joining Latrica Willis, host of the Healing Touch Radio Broadcast for a live radio interview. I’ve got a little video vignette of it for you right here so you can see how conversation with God can help shape your prayers.

In this short video you learn how prayer shaping begins with thought shaping. We don’t always know what to pray for but God does.

Get this down and you’ll be fine-tuning your prayer requests & BOOM! You’re prayers will be answered![youtube id=”g9iSS5lUk3k?fs”]

This information came from the newly revised and expanded edition of my book, “Grabbing God’s Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro”. If you would like more information about the book or want to order it, click here. It’s now available in PAPERBACK as well as the newly revised Kindle edition on Amazon.com.

 


How to Keep Fighting When You’re a Bloody Mess
I heard a story of a boxer who was getting the tar beat out of him. At the end of the round, he stumbled back to his corner. Dazed, he plopped down on his stool pooped and weary. But then something amazing happened.

A bunch of guys surrounded him. One took a bucket of water and started sponging the blood off his face. Another guy leaned in and checked his eyes, which looked like they’d pop right out of his sockets with one more blow. And another guy squirted water in his mouth. As they were working on him they were all talking to him – pumping him full of encouragement.

Their comments went something like this: “Come on, you can do this, you can’t give up now.” “You’ve got this!” “You can take this guy, you’re better than he is.” They kept it up until something within the boxer shifted.

In an instant, the guy who looked half dead and about to quit, jumped up on his feet, and yelled, “YEAH! OH YEAH! I GOT THIS!” He ran back into the ring and everything changed.

Guess who won the fight? The guy who was about to give up in the sixth round. He won the fight and won the prize!

Yes, there was blood everywhere. Yes, he was in bad shape. Yes, it looked like he had no chance of winning.

But he did.

How?

Because in the sixth round he made a decision.

He decided NOT to quit.

That’s all it took to shift his situation.

When he made the decision to win – he won.

You can do the same.

You may be in the fight of your life right now. Life may be beating the tar out of you. You get up in the morning and you look like you’ve been in one too many rounds. But may I encourage you?

Can you allow me into your ring for a moment?

Picture me there with you. I’m wiping the blood off your face, squirting water in your mouth, and looking you in the eyes right now.

Listen to me: “You can do this!” You can’t give up now.” “You’ve got this.” “You can take this enemy because you are better than he is.”

How do I know? Because God’s Word says, Greater is He (Jesus) that is in you than he that’s in the world. You can do all things through Christ. And if His eye is on a tiny little sparrow, I know He see’s you too!

Now, you have to do your part.

Make the decision to win. Once you do that, you will have won your fight. There may be blood everywhere, but under that blood is a champion named Jesus. He’s already fought your fight. And he’s already won. Now you get out there and make it real.

Connect with me, email me your story. I want to hear how you’re doing. I want to hear about your fight. And yes, I want to hear about your win! Here’s my email, get there! drlinda@lindatravelute.com #IamFinishing