Archives For Affirmation

Whisper

“Anything that God has ever done, He can do now. Anything that God has done anywhere else, He can do here. Anything that God has done for anyone else, He can do for you.” A. W. Tozer

“Anything that God has ever done, He can do now.”

That’s correct. You serve a ‘now’ God.  God can move in your life at this present time or moment. Take a breath and then Whisper to your soul, “God is closer than the air I just breathed.” I challenge you today to be mindful of Gods presence in your life. He doesn’t just drop in for a visit. God lives inside of you if you are a Christ follower. You are submerged in the unconditional perfect love of the God of the ‘now.’ The future can’t be experienced, and the past is consumed in the annuals of time.  You only have this moment and God has you in this moment. Whisper to your soul, The ‘now’ God is completely loving me right now!

“Anything that God has done anywhere else, He can do here.”

The scriptures declare that God is the great “I Am.” You don’t have to  look back at a past event God has performed for His glory and wonder if He can do a great miracle where you are in the present. If God can do a miracle anywhere, He can do it where you are.  He is not the “I was” or the “I might be.”  He is the “I Am.” Whisper to your soul, “God is here.”

“Anything that God has done for anyone else, He can do for you.”

You are His child. He loves and cares for you. Be awake to what he wants to do for you in order to bring Him glory. Be awake to the fact that it’s not about you in the first place. Life is about bringing God glory. You have been chosen to bring Him glory, and therefore, He will do for you in order to make much of Him. You are a branch attached to Jesus, the source of life. He is the vine, and we are just branches that produce fruit for His glory. Whisper to your soul, “He will do for me and through me what best brings Him glory.”

May this day be the great day you have hoped for! Whisper to your soul, “Let it be.”

carrying-sheep

1 Samuel 16:11
11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”

While David was caring for sheep, God was caring for him. God didn’t overlook David, and neither does God overlook you.

Experiencing the pain of being overlooked touches each of us from time to time and can be extremely difficult to carry. Being overlooked transcends age, gender, culture, rich and poor. The loneliest place to serve God is in the land of the overlooked.

I’ve often thought about David and what it must have been like to be around 15 years of age watching sheep day in and day out. I find myself asking questions of wonder. Did David ever feel loneliness living in the shadow of his older brothers? Did David drift away in his thinking while watching the sheep, thinking to himself, “Will I always be overlooked and stuck out here in the field smelling like sheep?” When David played games with his older brothers and the neighborhood kids, was he picked last? If Dave was anything like you and me, then the answer to those questions are an unqualified, “Yes.”

I remind you again; while David was caring for sheep, God was caring for him. God didn’t overlook David, and neither does God overlook you.

Everyone wants to feel significant, that their life matters, that they have a place in this world. However, you must never forget that God looks not to you in order to give you significance; He looks toward you in order that your life will make great significance of Him to a lost and dying world.

Allow me to make a few statements of clarification at this point before we continue on. God never overlooks you, but God doesn’t look your way in order to make much of you; God looks your way in order to make much of Him. In other words, life is not about you and me ultimately.

Life is about God’s glory. When you come to realize that one simple point, then and only then can you truly be free to live as God has purposed. Otherwise you are trapped serving yourself first and God second.

I opened this devotion with the scripture of David being called from the field, where he stood before God and his brothers to receive the anointing as the future king. The older brothers were all passed over for this particular purpose. It was David God wanted to be king and not any one of them. That’s not to say they were overlooked because God never overlooks any of His children. It’s simply to say that God’s plan for their lives had a very different direction.

In 1 Samuel 16:12-13 we read, “12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

David went from being overlooked by the world around him to learn in a moment that God had not overlooked him at all. While David was caring for sheep, God was caring for him. God didn’t overlook David, and neither does God overlook you.

As I close this devotion, I leave you with one last meditation. David received his call and found out he wasn’t overlooked; however he returned to taking care of the sheep until God directed him otherwise. Never forget, it was about 15 years between David’s anointing as king until he took the throne.

While David was caring for sheep, God was caring for him. God didn’t overlook David, and neither does God overlook you.

handbeach

The future speaks to me when I hear the sound of the ocean. I’m taking a few days to myself at the beach to collect my thoughts, soothe my soul and restore my focus. Life has a way of placing weights upon your soul that only a voice from the future can unburden. Somehow, the wind and the waves unite as one. If you listen with an eternal attention and awareness, you can hear the promise of God to one-day make all things new again.

Yesterday, as I was sitting on the beach, I closed my eyes and just listened. I could hear the sound of the wind and the waves. They danced as one, yet you could hear their uniqueness. The waves seem to be much heavier and solid sounding than the wind with its whirling and flowing pace.  Yet, together, the wind and the waves sing a song of a future that is sure.

The water moves in harmony toward the shoreline in constant complexity. A complexity that speaks to me that God is always involved in His creation and also my life. He never stops changing the shore of my life or your life. Each time the water retreats back into the ocean, it leaves a new layer of mystery to explore behind.

The vastness of the ocean overwhelms us, but it doesn’t overwhelm God. Each drop of water is accounted for as much as He knows the exact number of hairs on your head. Each drop of water counts and each drop matters to the whole of things. I matter! You matter! Mother Teresa once said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

The future speaks to me when I hear the sound of the ocean. To my soul it whispers, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)

1-im-nobody-gregory-letts

Nobodies seem to always want to be somebodies. It’s ingrained into us from the time we are small to make something out of our life that makes us stand out. The world even points us in the direction of being somebodies.

What if instead of over worrying and over seeking to become somebodies, we thrived in the honored call of God to serve as nobodies? God’s words have plenty of nobodies through out scripture that contributed much and even though they didn’t acquire prominence in the here, and now, they will earn notoriety in the then and there.

Often when we think of the Bible, our minds race to the giants of scripture. We think of the Apostle Paul, the disciples, John the Baptist, Moses…the list goes on and on, but I think you get the point.

Giants of scripture are everywhere. However, woven throughout the Bible and its redemptive story are names that are not as familiar to us; however, they are still people of faith and immense worth. These men and women stand in the background and have “cameo” roles, but without them the story would have no movement, substance or depth.

The key players get all the attention, but from God’s viewpoint the supporting characters are not forgotten  but rather an essential part to the story. They get no attention now, but one day they will get the attention God has always intended. In the then and there, we will hear the rest of the story.

Every person, irrespective of how insignificant humanity may think they are God considers a prominent player on the field of faith. If you are feeling like a nobody today, I ask you to smile and play your role faithfully because one day the first will be last and the last shall be first.

“I Know”

March 5, 2013 — 2 Comments

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Yesterday I spent some time walking and praying on the land I lease for hunting. I love hunting for various reasons, but mostly I love it because it gives me time alone with God in the woods.

I love how the sun comes up in the morning, and the animals begin to move. It truly is breathtaking to watch nature dance the dance of God right in front of you. The same is true in the evenings when the sun is going down. God’s creation goes to bed in an order, and it’s astounding.

I’ve heard God speak many times and in many different ways in the woods. There are many I could share, but today I’ll just share this one moment. I was having a exceedingly awful week. I was feeling isolated and like no one knew what was going on in my life. I was at the end of my hope for things to work out.

I’m sure you have been there before also. Maybe you are there now? Maybe you feel like no one knows what you are going through? It’s a dark and lonely place to be.

I was sitting in my hunting stand, and the sun began to rise. It was cold in the woods. As the sun was coming up steam lifted from the forest floor under the warmth of the suns rays. Everything was still, and the silence was deafening. I was enjoying the moment, but I was sad inside my heart.

I felt unknown and alone. Then it happened! A bird perched on a limb right in front of my face. It was only inches away. My camouflage was hiding me well. The bird was tilting its head from side to side looking me in the eyes. I was amazed at the whole thing. God is so good!

It was then I heard the Lord speak to my soul, “I know.” That’s all it took! All would be okay. If God knows about every bird, then He surely knows about me and He most assuredly knows about you also.

Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.

God’s Mercies

March 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

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Lamentations 3:22-23

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

“New every morning” I love those three words. There is something remarkable about starting over each day. There is something extraordinary about how God faithfully wakes us up with His mercies.

If I were left alone to greet only myself in the morning, it would be mostly with guilt and shame. I would surely over analyze my obedience and faithfulness toward God. However, God doesn’t work with guilt and shame. He works with His mercies.

The moment I open my eyes and hear my heart beating, and hear the sound of my breathing, I can feel God kiss me with His morning mercies.  He doesn’t do it because of my works of righteousness, but instead, He wakes me with His mercies because it is who He is.

His love is steadfast and never ceases; His mercies have no end. His mercies are new each morning because of His faithfulness and not our own. As beautiful as a sunrise is more beautiful are the mercies of God, for they are the merciful sunrise that God allows to rise in our souls each and every day.

imitating

Do you have a life worth imitating? I once heard a speaker ask that question and it stopped my world for a while. I asked myself over and over that whole day, “Do I have a life worth imitating?”

My first reaction was, “no!” I could hear a voice coming from somewhere saying, “You’re not horrible but you are way to messed up for anybody to imitate.” I could feel myself giving credence to the voice of distraction. The voice was somewhat correct. I am kind of messed up.  I imagine you feel the same way at times.

Then it hit me. It was the Apostle Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “ Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” The great and messed up Apostle himself giving a command to allow others to imitate him as he also imitated Christ.

Imitating Christ is the key and not me being perfect. In Christ, I’m righteous and forgiving. In Christ, I’m a mess in the working. In Christ, is the only answer I have because He is the only answer.

N.T. Wright speaking about the resurrection of Christ says this, “The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.” You are invited to belong even as messed up as you are and you’re heading toward eternal life. When you understand that, you then can easily understand the necessity to invite other to imitate you as you imitate Christ.

Paul knew a perfect and freeing fact! Listen with your heart to what he wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15-16, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”

Now get out there and find someone to disciple by calling him or her to imitate you. That’s how disciples are made, and yes, sometimes it’s messed up and muddy. That is what happens when you get up closer with each other.

shadow_by_tihku

Be it my Heavy Metal Band of the 80’s, (click here to enjoy or laugh) or being a pastor for more than 24 years, I’ve always been on stage under the lights. It’s my role in life. I’m always in front of people. I’m usually the one that gets the recognition and applauds of the crowd. I’ve never felt like I’m the one that picked myself to be upfront.  I feel like being upfront  selected me. I know for sure God called me to preach, and that by default, has put in front of people for many years.

At times,  I don’t mind being up front. I know it’s my call and responsibility. At other times,  it feels like a curse. I’m always being evaluated, sometimes in a good way and then at other times in a bad way. At any given time,  it’s a mixed bag of opinions sitting right in front of me. To top it all off God watches it all go down.

There are some among us, (maybe you) which have a desire to be in the spotlight. Don’t misunderstand me; it’s not wrong to have that desire, just don’t miss the beauty of serving in the shadows. You are among truly esteemed company when you do. Many down through the history of following Christ have served in the shadows. Timothy served in the shadows. Gaius served in the shadows. Tertius served in the shadows.

Something tells me that one-day, those in the shadows will be brought into the light, and the last shall be first. It seems to me that serving in the shadows is underrated in the here and now, but will one day be elevated beyond anything you can imagine. If you are serving in the shadows, don’t get discouraged with your call. God is watching even when no one see’s what you are doing. Hagar gave God a name, “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13a)

Keep serving in the shadows. God will reward you soon enough, and I will be watching from the back of the line with a smile as you get your rewards to lay at His feet.

keep-on-dreaming

That day in the future, you know the one I’m talking about. That dream of becoming a (Insert dream) will only be accomplished when you do the work today that needs to be done in order to get there. Dreams rarely just fall into your lap. Therefore, hard consistent effort must be you daily exercise.

When you apply faith to daily hard work, your dream will take one step closer to you. If you believe in your dream, and have the passion to see it come to pass, your dream will happen in God’s timing. Dreams are not accomplished through haste. Dreams require time to develop and grow.

All great dreams take time to be accomplished. Don’t let impatience steal your dream by causing you to give up before you cross the finish line.  You have the dedication it takes! There is no mountain you can’t climb with God help.

Nature often teaches us about patience if we will only notice. I spend a lot of time in the woods hunting and observing nature up close. For instance, I’ve seen birds building a nests as I’ve set for hours in a tree stand. I’ve watched them over hours and hours fly back, and fourth finding sticks and straw to build their nest.

At times, while the bird was away finding more material, the wind would blow away the previous work, but it didn’t deter the bird once it returned. The bird would simply replace what the wind blew away and continue building. The dream of a nest must move forward.

Pursuing your dream will not always be easy. You will have times that you feel like giving up and walking away. Hang in there! Don’t throw in the towel! God is with you and will give you the grace to take daily steps if you will just trust Him and keep moving and working.

Don’t let anything or anyone discourage you from dreaming your dream and pursuing it. Don’t allow stumbling blocks and bad days to be the strongest voice in your life telling you to stop. Don’t settle for average, but instead, set your sights high and land among the stars.

John Maxwell describes a dream as “an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.”

Allow me to give you a few tips on achieving the dream God has put inside of you.

1. Know what the dream is. (Write a book, Become a painter, Become…)

2. Plan the path and pray the path. (You need action steps empowered by prayer)

3. Bring others into your dream. (Find people who will keep you accountable)

4. Overcome fear. (Never allow fear to master you) 5. Stop waiting. (Today is the day you start and not tomorrow)

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your dreams be built in a day. Now get going.

 

mqdefaultIt’s funny how a smile on the outside doesn’t always take away the insecurity on the inside. Faking confidence is a hard life to live. Sadly, there are many among us that have lived with a silent agony that eats them from the inside out. Maybe you know someone that lives this way. Maybe that someone is you.

You have learned to fake your way to the front of the crowd, but inside you feel like you are the last in line. It’s more common than you might think to fake confidence.

There are many people who have mastered faking confidence. They hide their shyness behind a smile. They have learned a smile creates an impression that all is well on the inside. Many people make a fast decision like when picking out clothing to buy or what meal to order, thus painting the false impression they are not indecisive. Often, strong eye contact is a learned and practiced skill that portrays inner confidence.

Now don’t get me wrong, all of the above-mentioned things are not wrong. In fact,  they can be true signs of true confidence and can help build confidence as well. However, you know the truth. You are the one that actually knows what is going on deep inside of you. After many years of reflection on this issue I’m convinced that the greatest enemy of true confidence on the inside is fear, the fear that you are not good enough, the fear that you are not truly unconditional loved by anyone.

Until you come to believe that God loves you unconditionally and entirely, you will never have the proper foundation of pure confidence that is God’s gift of grace to those who find their value in His love for them alone. 1 John 4:18, teaches us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” Accepting the perfect love of God into your life drives out fear! Period! Once fear of, not being unconditionally loved is gone, you are free to live in the gift of confidence that has always been there.

By design, God has placed in your life- worth and extreme value. He created you and He didn’t make a mistake. You are not a mistake. You are His and that is enough. You will never feel confident at all times. However, the fastest way to recapture confidence on the inside is to pause for just a few moments and say within your heart, “God created me out of His love, therefore I’m priceless in His eyes, and that is all I need.”

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”