Pound, pound, p-p-pound, pou-p-pound pound – the stomping of 6 little feet throughout my house for 30 minutes after my kids got home from school yesterday got my adrenaline going! Why now? They’ve been sitting, storing up energy for 2+ weeks over the break and now they have this HUGE, ALL-ENCOMPASSING DAY – with school and piano lessons afterward and now it’s time to GO NUTS! They should have been less rested because of that day, but they were more energized instead.
Here’s the point . . . a break from your normal routine doesn’t always mean rest AND a huge season of activity doesn’t mean you have to feel overwhelmed. What’s the difference between tons of activity meaning exhaustion, and tons of activity being energizing – one word – JOY!!! Joy represents the difference between a whirlwind that drains and a whirlwind that feeds! My kids were having a blast! They were so pumped up! And that joy did NOT lead to a crash. What if there’s joy that doesn’t lead to a crash?
Hebrews describes this scene in heaven . . . You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, (Heb. 12:22 NIV) That is particularly the kind of joy that God is calling you to. Joyful activity. There will be seasons of rest, but your reset in 2020 means that activity can be joyful! Lean into God’s joy today!
Is that snowy scene frightful? Is seems rather soothing to me? Don’t get me wrong – the cold chill in the bones is well . . . chilling. But what if the cold is a reminder . . . not of the beach parties you missed or the palm trees that aren’t swaying, but of the cleansing power of God in your life. Snow was just that reminder for Isaiah . . .
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow(Isaiah 1:18 NIV)
Sin is frightful. God hates it. He hated it so much He sent Jesus to the cross to cover and wash it in His blood for you and me. Your choice to surrender completely to Jesus washes your sin, and all that’s left is thanks and praise! So see the snow, remember exactly how clean your clean is, and take a moment to be thankful and praise God right now! He’s so good!
Sittin’ on the couch, it is often a matter of time before one of my kids (3 to 11 yr olds) plop down next to me and cuddle in. BUT if I’m laying on the floor, it’s typically a matter of seconds before one or more of kids start to pile on. As a daddy, if my little ones don’t naturally come over to hang out with me or crawl on me, there is one tried and true strategy – get a little lower. When daddy gets lower, the kids come around.
This is why Jesus came at Christmas. He longed to embrace His kids, and He was willing to go lower to do it! How amazing He is!?! “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor” (Heb. 2:9 NIV).
Here’s the truth – Jesus is still going lower for you today! Paul says it this way, “Christ Jesus … is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us”. (Rom. 8:34 NIV)
See Jesus on the floor, ready for you pile on and play. Take a moment with the God who is lower still for you right now.
After a few days of “man retreat” with my dad and brothers, I was fueled up. I had greaterperspective on my issues, less stress for them, and more joy in them. Some of the greatest people in the Scripture failed on one major count – passing on spiritual heritage. Moses and Elijah passed on spiritual heritage, Jesus multiplied spiritual heritage, as did His followers, but most of the others in Scripture lost the battle at this point.
Formerly, as a kids pastor I would have parents show up at church for the first time with their 6 year old, shocked that they had no clue who Noahand the Ark was! If you haven’t had them in church their whole life, this should not be surprising to you. It should also not be surprising when they have no moral compass, and make spiritually damning decisions, because they have never been led into a real encounter with the living God.
3 Essentials to Passing on Spiritual Heritage
Be in church (every time the doors are open). There is no substitute for this consistent ENCOUNTERwith other believers and with God Himself!
Model a growing relationship with God – your kids don’t need to know you’re perfect, but they do need to see you’re growing. They need to see you hungry for God, walk in on you praying sometimes, watch you worshipping.
This is the kind of effort it is worth a lifetime of getting back up, and getting after it again. No matter how many times you restart. Restart again! Even if your kids are grown!
2 Timothy 2:2 and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.(2 Tim. 2:2 NRS)
Just read the Psalm, let it wash over you. Then read it over and again, until your mind wanders to specifically what God has done for you, and who God is to you right now . . .
Psalm 100:1 A psalm. For giving grateful praise. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am sooooo grateful for each of you, and give God thanks and praise for who He is to you, and what He’s done in you!
What if Holy Spirit isn’t dependent on your energy level? What if He’s not limited by your abilities? What if your soundness of mind or spirals of thought can’t ruin His day? What if your level of momentum at this present moment cannot stall out His unstoppable forward movement? What if He’s not as impressedwith your shortcomings as you are? What if you became more impressed with His ability than your inability? And . . .
What if Holy Spirit is RAMPING UP His work in your life and your world? I could answer all those questions for you, but you know the answer. I want to challenge you to KNOW the answer (so deep in your soul that’s it’s unshakeable in your heart, words and actions). How do you get there? Meditate on God’s ability in you and your world. You may feel like you’re stuck, or drowning, or moving backwards, but know this – Jesus completely understands AND He is, in NO way, stuck or drowning, or moving backwards! Every real transformation, real breakthrough, every miracle – Holy Spirit did it AND He remembers how to do it. He doesn’t have amnesia and He’s ramping up His work in your life and in your world. That’s God’s word for you.
One challenge – read back through the above questions and statements as many times as it takes to get them deep in your spirit! “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.”(Phil. 1:6 NIV)
I rarely ever remember my dreams, but 2 nights ago I did. God spoke through it even! Here’s the secret as to why . . .
All of you aredreamers. You spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping, and have an average of 200 dreams per night – whether you like it or not, whether you remember them or not. You may not remember your dreams, but someone in your life does. And you have a voice in their life when you invite God to interpret.
Some dreams are from YOU – free falling, teeth dropping out, no pants at a speech, etc. Some dreams are from the ENEMY – nightmares, dead things, etc. But some dreams are definitively from GOD. God can redeem 1/3 of your time, when you allow Him to speak in and through your dreams.
So here’s the secret – 2 nights ago as I was falling asleep, I asked God to speak to me in my dreams. And sure enough, He did. It was the middle of the night, I didn’t even get up to write it down, but I asked God to help me remember in the morning – and He did! So I wrote it down and asked Him what it meant, and IT WAS AWESOME! So here’s the challenge – ask God to speak to you in your dreams tonight.
First off – watch the above video ^^^^^^^ of what happened during the 11 AM Gathering this Sunday! . . . . Are you back? Did you watch it? Don’t cheat, don’t skip it, you’ll want to see this I promise!
I assume you’re reading this now after you’ve watched it. Here’s some juicy back story . . . I started walking on the stage with no spiritual thoughts in my head. None. Zero. Zilch. In the 4.5 seconds it took me to walk to the middle of the platform I felt like I heard in my spirit, “Nodules, polyps.” RISK TIME – I know nodules have to do with the throat, but I wasn’t sure what a polyp is, so I called it out anyway, assuming it was a throat thing too – haha.
Then God . . . blew all of our minds by healing 2 of the 3 people completely and instantaneously! Praise God! He’s so good!
Here’s the bottom line – Because you witnessed these miracles you have responsibility to witness TO these miracles! For real, you get to, but you also have to. It’s your solemn responsibility to tell someone what you saw, or share this video with someone. Why? Jesus expects it. Remember what He said, “you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.” (Matt 11:23)
There is a responsibility to steward well with our words what we have seen with our eyes. Jesus healed at Journey Life Church this Sunday – it was undeniable, it was remarkable – let’s be the kind of people who steward His works well!
At least 40% of your daily decisions are made by your habits. That means that nearly half the time you are on autopilot. In fact, for some people that percentage is much higher. How about you? . . .
Habits are powerful. Theologian/philosopher Dallas Willard said, “Habits eat willpower for breakfast.” He couldn’t be more right. What habits are you forming right now during this brand new season? Habits of hitting the snooze more, helping your spouse less, watching a new streaming service, missing your devos, OR are you ready to start better habits?
Beintentional about your habits right now, this is the season, now is the THE time. Take a moment – write down some life-giving habitsthat God will celebrate in you. EXAMPLES: I will … read the Bible (with my family maybe) each night no matter how late it is (that’s the key). I will … start each morning with an apple (instead of a donut). I will … give everyone who comes through my door a hug every time. If your habits are God-honoring, your life will be more and more God honoring – it’s a mathematical certainty – or a psychological certainty, ahhhh, you know what I mean – it has to happen!
New school year, it’s time to motivate, schedule, kick-butt & take names! It’s time to DO SOMETHING! The problem is you and I’s body rhythm is in summer mode (ie. sleep later, sit more, do less). So how do you jump-start your body rhythm and start doing consistently and productively. Joshua can help us here . . .
Move – don’t worry about productivity at this point. This is just getting off your seat, moving your feet and getting after it. Joshua was actively leading the people when the story started, and there were points in the story where he gives leadership directives without specifically hearing from God about that thing, because he knew they needed to move.
Listen to God while you move. Snow White’s dwarves say, “whistle while you work,” and I say, “Listen while you move.” Listening does not stop the movement in any part of the book of Joshua. Instead, listening to God’s voice is constantly in the rhythm of life for Joshua.
Lead those you influence to move. Had Joshua not pressured, 2.5 tribes (Reuben, Gad, .5 Manasseh) would have stayed behind and not fought (Joshua 1). Without Joshua’s pressure, “Sun, stop! … you, don’t stop!” the Southern conquest would have taken years and not months (Joshua 10). Had he not pushed, 7 tribes would have devoured the land without inheriting the promise (“How long will you wait?” Joshua 18 – Josh’s adulting speech, haha). Without your pressure, your kids will not passionately engage with God in prayer, Bible reading, giving, serving, etc. Without your pressure, your extended family and friends won’t see that church is your priority. Here’s the payoff, with others moving around you (that you’ve influenced) you will get locked deeper into healthy habits with God!
Take a moment with God right now and ask for motivation … God, help me to be productive in this season. What can I do right now to reset my rhythm so that I and the people around me are able to move with You?