Thessalonians

Week 7: 2 Thessalonians 1:11

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith (2 Thess. 1:11, NIV).

It always stops me in my tracks, when I read “By His power, He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” Many of us have unmet desires we are waiting on. God can give us these desires, but it is up to God if they are fulfilled and when that fulfillment happens.

Let’s focus on the Lord, and give Him our heart’s desires!

Truth be told, it is about surrendering our desires to God and keeping our focus on Him. Our focus needs to be on drawing nearer to our King Jesus, not the dreams.

In the waiting and wondering period, we are learning to trust that God is working on our behalf. As we draw nearer, God is changing us from the inside – out. Look at what Philippians 2:13 teaches us – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him (NLT).

The right kind of desires are given to us by God, and fulfilled by God in His timing!

Keep coming back to Jesus – our Redeemer. When we keep coming back to Jesus as our Redeemer, we will not be disappointed. We will be reminded of the abundant hope we have been given. Jesus Christ came for you and me.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim. 1:15).

Called by God

While the God of the Universe gives us other desires, He gave us the ultimate desire for Him. God is the One who calls; what we are called to is God’s own kingdom and glory (Reformation Study Bible). We have been moved from a place of condemnation because of our sins (see John 3:16-17) and ushered into the presence of God (see Hebrews 4:14-16). It is a complete change in our destination.

Not only has He chosen to save us, we can enjoy His sweet presence – today!

Cleansed by Jesus

Through Jesus Christ, we have been saved and made new. His love for us is what made the difference in our lives. Jesus Christ is what matters in our lives, which is why we celebrate our Redeemer. He came for us, and is away. He is worthy of our praise and the One who makes us worthy.

Because of Jesus Christ, we can stand in His presence and enjoy our heavenly Father. We have been reconciled to God and He will make us worthy and cause us to grow in all areas of our lives. Now, that’s worthy celebrating!

Both past election and present growth are crucial. They are already children of God; they are to live lives governed by this reality. Thereby, Jesus’ name will be glorified and they in turn will be glorified in him. All of this is accomplished through grace (Asbury Commentary).

Single Living, Uncategorized

Remain Where You Are

“Just remain where you are.”

I am convinced that is a truth God wants to etch in our hearts, today. See, we become so convinced that we are not enough.

We are unmarried.

We are childless.

We are not dating anyone. 

By definition, we are as single as possible!

Culture can tear us down, in the midst of our singleness – which should be a gift. Yes, that is right. Singleness should be seen as a beautiful gift. But, often, it doesn’t. It can feel like a dreaded task to endure.

Singleness.

It is more than a season of life. It is a place, where God is stirring our hearts and preparing us for what’s next. That “next” might include a bae, in your future. It might mean… a new last name. A change of address. A new, life-long, roommate. But, it is much more than that. We hold up marriage as this sacred gift – which, it is.

Just Remain –

Yet when we put marriage on a pedestal, we view our singleness as the rejected gift. We deem it as, less than God’s best. We begin to allow culture to inflitrate our perspective. As a result, for some, singleness becomes our mark of shame. With this, enters in a myriad of thoughts to the single’s brain. Most of which – can lead us away from God and serve as billboard size distractions in our lives.

Oh, friends, if we could just remain where we are. If we could allow ourselves to be taken by Jesus’ hand and led through the gifts He is lovingly giving us, life would be far better.

There is a much better way, when we choose to center ourselves on the Lord our God and His divine will. We don’t know what God has planned for us, but He does have a plan!

In the world we live in, with social media, we are constantly trying to hold up to the standards of others.

… But, your life is not intended to look like theirs!

But, God!

God has uniquely made you – and for a divine purpose. That may include a spouse. Marriage is a ministry, just like any other. It is an important ministry. But, singleness is a ministry as well. God is going to use our time unattached from another soul, to draw us near to Him.

How are we allowing God to use our singleness, to draw us nearer to Him?

The first step of any good life – is Jesus Christ! Whatever season we find ourselves in, we can experience out-of-this-world intimacy – starting right now. Jesus Christ is the Creator of intimacy and companionship. Let Him soothe your soul, as He soothes my own.

Read Psalm 139; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20; James 4:8

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Walking Into The Light: A Six Week Scripture Writing Experience (Please note: The blog receives a special earning when you use this link for any Amazon purchase)

Purpose Driven Life, Uncategorized

My Calling is a Gift From God!

“I marvel that you so soon are being moved
away from Him who called you into the
grace of Christ, to another gospel… (Gal. 1:6)” 

“who has saved us and called us with a holy
calling, not according to our works, but
according to His own purpose and grace
which was given us in Christ Jesus before
the eternal times (2 Tim. 1:9).”

We have been lovingly called by God. Being called by God is an absolute gift. It is not something we could ever earn. Grace is “undeserved kindness”. Even when we were at our absolute worse, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the price we could never pay. He sent His Son Jesus to take on our sins and burdens, nail them to the cross, crucifying our Savior, and on the third day – He rose again!

Since the very beginning, we have been drawn to Christ by His call of love. See, God loves us. We may not deserve it, but He loves us. That reveals how good our gracious Savior is. That He loved us to such an extent that He would do anything to grant us the gift of standing in His Presence.

The truth is – we have offended a holy God. Sin separates us from God – our Savior. Though God is full of love, He is also a God who desires justice. God wants to set everything right in the world, at its proper time. But, He made a way where we can have a close relationship with Him and to fulfill His standard for justice.

In our own strength, we make mistakes. We sin, offending a holy God. Yet even with our most horrible mistakes and sinful nature, God still loves us. He still calls us up. He still intentionally seeks us out. He continues to love us. God has a wonderful plan and purpose for our lives. And, it is an absolute gift.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares
the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
(Jer. 29:11).”

The plans God has laid up for us, are not the kind we could ever be deserving of. It is an absolute gift. While we know we may be undeserving of such a gift, that’s what makes Jesus such a treasure. Our relationship with Jesus is the best treasure we could ever have. Just as we might have a safety box to place our treasures in, we need to recognize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ – and guard our relationship with Him. We need to guard our relationship with Jesus, because sin paid a devastating cost.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift
of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord
(Rom. 6:23).”

While in our deepest sin, God still calls us up. He knows what we have thought, said, and done, yet He still calls us up. He still loves us. He still pursues us like no other ever would.

“… because he loved us first (1 Jn. 4:19b).”

“Greater love has no one than this: to
lay down one’s life for one’s friends (Jn. 15:13).”

He still invites us to become a part of His spiritual family.

He still invites us to be loved on, by the Author of love.

Lovingly, He draws us out.

He shares His plans for our lives, if we will just hear Him out.

‘Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country
and your kindred and your father’s house to the land
that I will show you (Gen. 12:1).”‘

Hearing God calls us up, is the greatest blessing we could ever have in this life. In our lives, things can get so messy. We can become overwhelmed with what we are not, yet God still calls us up.

He still calls us up to say “I love you. You are worth a lot to me. And, I love you. I just want to be with you. I just want to be your strength. I just want to be your help. I just want to see you live out the endless possibilities when you allow Me to lead in your life.”

God, through His Son Jesus Christ, loudly invites us to step in His Presence blamelessly. He loudly invites us. It is an irresistible offer. Jesus is inviting us to bear His name, and see how He can change our lives – for the better. He is pouring out His life, so we can live a far better life than we could ever think up or imagine.

“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through
the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has
brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and
blameless as you stand before him without a single fault
(Col. 1:22).”

This is what God’s call is.

It is God knowing we are sinners, yet providing a way out – so we can be invited to dine at His table! We may not have the money or any of the right apparel, but God is calling us up, inviting us to dine with Him, and paying for everything.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David (Is. 55:1-3).”

Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price, so we did not have to. He paved the way, so we can be connected to God – forever. It is not for a day or two, but for all eternity.

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you… (Jn. 15:4a)”

We have been called into the grace of God.

For me, I know I need to begin relying on the grace of God all the more. I need to remember just how big God’s grace is. I need to learn what it means to live a grace-filled life. I need to remember again what it is, I have been called to. And, it’s an absolute gift.

The gift of God’s grace is what we are called to. We are being invited to live a life with Him. We are invited to the best life possible. But, it requires us to do something. Come to Jesus. Recognize the gift we are given through Jesus Christ. God is calling us up right now, inviting us to join Him in this new life He has paved out for us. All we have to do is being willing to go.

How are you choosing to answer God’s invitation to sit at His luxurious table? He is calling you.

I am reminded of this parable that speaks volumes. Please visit Luke 14:15-24 to study this passage.

A Month in My Shoes ('15 Challenge)

MMS – Calling

MMSFor the month of October, I am joining many bloggers in a challenge to write every single day for 31 days. I learned about this challenge through another challenge I participate in most weeks. The “Five Minute Friday” challenge is going to expand to last the whole month! Each entry, will be five minutes  (or a bit longer) unedited of writing on a particular theme – found on Kate’s blog.Today’s theme is “calling.”

Calling is our God-given soul thing. What were you made to do? What have I been made to do?

A Calling Gives Us Purpose!

Calling…
a profession, or as we usually say, a vocation ( 1 Corinthians 7:20 ). The “hope of your calling” in Ephesians 4:4 is the hope resulting from your being called into the kingdom of God (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

Our calling, or soul thing, is the driving force behind what we do. And, it impacts! It impacts not just the rest of the world, but it impacts us too. Let’s not focus on what our calling means to e-v-e-r-y one else. Just you and Jesus. Just me and Jesus. The love relationship we have entered.

Here’s the thing: This is what our calling represents.

“A Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)”

“A hope…future…plan…and purpose (Jer. 29:11).”

Trials Cannot Void Our Calling! (Take that, Satan!)

The important component about our calling, is trials cannot cause it to become void.

“Sorry, this calling is no longer applicable to you… because your body is flustered today…” #EpicFail

Okay, seriously.

It doesn’t work like that.

I realize it might work quite well, in the moment, but our calling just doesn’t work that way. #ThankYouJesus

Today’s Calling

Today’s calling is the same as yesterday’s, and the day before that. The calling doesn’t change.

Our calling doesn’t change, because God doesn’t change. God may have enter different seasons of our lives, because it is part of life itself… but, God and His invitation to join Him in life and fellowship and eternal life – that has not changed!

It’s just my days begin to do some changing. The days are random, and look differently from the first of the month to the end of the month. But my calling, as well as your calling, is still in place.

This is the significance of our calling.

It doesn’t depend on circumstances.

It doesn’t depend on how well our health may be.

It doesn’t even depend upon our emotions.

“God opens doors no one can shut. Likewise, He closes doors no one can open (see Rev. 3:8).”

We need to celebrate the calling God has placed upon our lives! We may have bad days. We may have good days. We may have stressful or joyous days. But, our calling… is the same.

The invite God has given to each of us, remains.

And, it begins by stepping into a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus.

And the specific call He is giving is, well… that’s just the beginning of the journey – now, isn’t it?

Have a blessed day!

In Him,

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BookLook

What Keeps You Up At Night? (A BookLook Review)

What Keeps You Up At NightWhat Keeps You Up At Night is the newest book by Pete Wilson. In his book, he aims to use these twelve chapters to help us overcome things that are interfering with our God-given destiny. God has specific places He wants us to go, but we need to rearrange and let go of some things first.

In his book, Wilson writes:

“Sometimes, trusting God means accepting that our
paths must diverge from the people, places, and things
that have become familiar to us. As we are willing to let go
and continue trusting, we are enabled to continue our journey
toward all that God wants us to be.”

These things, that keep us awake at night, need to be let go. I understand it is a gradual process. Likely for you, as it is for me. While God can use them, we need to move onto where He is leading us. Like the Israelites, we have moments in the wilderness where we long for the journey that has placed… instead of moving onto where God is leading us.

My Thoughts on “What Keeps You Up At Night?”

This isn’t a book I rush into reading and completing. Honestly I had a rough time remaining engaged in it, but I don’t think it is supposed to be that kind of book. This book addresses something real – very real. Fear and other obstacles that keep us from doing what we were created to do. Lysa Terkeurst refers to that, as the “soul-thing” in The Best Yes.

When it comes to dealing with fear, we can expect to feel uncomfortable. It is not about the uncomfortability, but the process God wants to take us through. That process requires us to step into the hard places, and remove the blockages from the road.

What I appreciate most is the book’s focus. It is about our relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s about our journey with Him. He is greater than the obstacles we face, and these things don’t have to keep us up at night. We can take Him at His Word, and trust Him wholly. When we do, we have a beautiful journey waiting for us.

Recommend!

I would recommend this book to others. God can use this book, and its lessons, to teach many important truths that may even go beyond the dreams we have been given. God can use this book greatly in our lives, to deepen our relationship with Him. We all have obstacles in our lives, that prevent us from hearing His voice or walking in His path. Wilson teaches us key concepts, but He also includes reflection questions and a specific way to put into practice what we are learning in each chapter. These extras help us to get the most out of the lessons taught.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.