God Is Worthy To Be Praised

God is worthy to be praised for Who He is, what He has already done for us, and what we are trusting Him to do for us in Christ.  Every good thing that we have in our lives past, present and future is a gift of His grace.  Even the things we think we worked hard to gain for ourselves are made possible by Him, for every ability and opportunity are given to us from Him. Therefore, let us celebrate Him before others and commend Him to others for all that He does for us, and that He delights to do so.  Today… Honor Him for His blessings.  Honor Him by enjoying His blessings as He intends.  Honor Him for being a Blesser.

Will This Matter 100 Years From Now?

Here’s a simple, but significant, lens through which life looks radically different than we often see it… will this matter 100 years from now? How we think, feel, speak, act, and react would be wonderfully different if we saw things in light of eternity, and remember that this short life is not all that there is.  Our lives would create an everlasting ripple if we could look a century into our future to see the impact of our today.  As we live by grace, in dependence upon the presence and power of Jesus, let us give less priority to the things that really don’t matter and more priority to the things that do.

A Joy That Can Never Be Taken

Our joy will always be at risk if it is dependent upon things that we look to instead of Jesus because we are always at risk of losing them.  The thrill fades away.  The moment is over.  The thing breaks.  The experience disappoints. The person leaves. But Jesus has promised to give us a joy that doesn’t burn out, fade out, check out or sell out so we don’t have to miss out on real and lasting happiness that is only found in Him.  Though every other form of happiness will inevitably leave or forsake us, He never will.  In Jesus, we are offered a joy that can never be taken from us no matter what else is.

He Is Preparing Us For A Place

Bad circumstances, bad people and bad news make me want it. The more I survey the landscape of the sinfulness and brokenness we are all a part of, I look forward to our eternal heavenly home that Jesus is preparing for us so we can be with Him forever.  A place where there will be no more sorrow, suffering or sin.  A place where bad things will be eliminated, good things will be perfected and the best things will be unveiled.  Our citizenship is in heaven, and God has put a longing in us for our homeland.  When it’s hard here, let’s take heart and remember:  He is preparing a place for us, and preparing us for a place.

Sights Set On Eternity

One of the enemy’s biggest lies is convincing us to live as if this life is all there is.  He wants us to prioritize and pursue things that won’t matter for long over things that will matter forever. But everything looks different when you look past the temporary to eternity.   This place isn’t our home; we’re heading home.  This life won’t last forever; the next life will.  This treasure trove will fade away; the ones laid up in heaven have an everlasting shine.  Yes, let us enjoy our time on earth and the things of earth as God means for us to do.  But, even more, let us think, feel, speak and act as people who have set their sights on eternity.

To Gain All That Jesus Has To Offer

We go to great measures to gain treasures in this world.  But trophies, trips, triumphs, titles, toys, things and time spent on earthly pursuits and pleasures with no regard for eternity will undo us in the end.  It’s not that these things are inherently wrong, evil or unprofitable; it’s that we often ignore God to pursue them and value them more than we do Him. God has given us all things richly to enjoy, but the point of that enjoyment is to point us to Jesus. To gain all that the world has to offer yet not have Jesus is to have nothing at all.  To gain all that Jesus has to offer yet not have the world is to have everything.

Nothing Is Wasted

Satan wants to convince us that our doing good isn’t actually doing much good.  He will skew the facts, point to the wrong metric, and mislabel our actions as failures.  But God doesn’t measure our success by social media likes, comments and shares.  God sees us quietly toiling behind the scenes loving Him by loving others and measures our success not by our fruitfulness or fanfare, but our faithfulness.   What’s even more encouraging is this:  God is working through us in ways that are unknown to us.  So… keep on faithfully serving King Jesus because it all counts. Nothing you do for His kingdom will ever be wasted.

The Steadfast Love Of God

Health will thrive and decline.  Leaders will come and go.  Portfolios will gain and lose.  Relationships will flourish and break.  Careers will advance and falter.  Pleasures will intensify and fade.  Only the steadfast love of God for us in Christ will remain forever.  It stays with us through the good and bad, the highs and lows, and the gains and losses of this world.   Let us anchor our lives to the unchanging, unending faithfulness of God’s love for us, knowing this:  It will never decline, go, lose, break, falter or fade, but will endure to the end of this life and extend into the life to come where it will thrill us forevermore.

Death Is Not The End

Dying ready is not about trying hard to do more and be better so God will accept you into heaven when this life is over.  Instead, it’s about trusting in Jesus and the work He has finished on your behalf and, in response, finishing the work that Jesus has entrusted to you.  We don’t work for our salvation; we work out our salvation.  We don’t pay Him back.  We love Him back.  With our hope in Him, we journey homeward in loving obedience (though imperfectly executed) knowing that the death we once feared is actually the doorway to full and lasting joy with Him.  Death is not the end; it is just the beginning.

Live This Life In Light Of The One To Come

Living fully is not about having the most fun, experiencing the greatest pleasure, and doing the biggest good in this world as if this place is all there is.  Instead, it’s about the eternal ripple your life can make when you use it for Jesus. That doesn’t mean you leave happiness and helpfulness behind; it means you find it in a more meaningful way. We are to be faithful witnesses for God in the everyday things of life that we’re doing on earth (from cookouts to workouts to hangouts) in such a way that we’ll be glad we did when we get to heaven.  Enjoy blessings.  Do good.  Glorify God.  Live this life in light of the one to come.

Live Fully. Die Ready.

We don’t like to think about it.  We don’t like to talk about it.  But death is coming for us all.  We may not be certain of the time of its arrival, but the certainty of its arrival is never in doubt.  Instead of ignoring, downplaying, or fearing it, we should let its reality accomplish two essential and monumental things in our lives:  be purposeful to experience life before death, and be prepared to experience life after death.  Jesus makes both of these possible as we trust Him.  He gives us grace so we can give ourselves to the things that matter most.  In every step of faith, let us rely on Him to help us… Live fully.  Die ready.

His Grace Is Sufficient For You

No matter who you are.  No matter what you’ve done.  No matter how big your need.  There is grace for you!  God’s grace is sufficient for every situation, every location, every imperfection, and every opposition.   It. Will. Never. Run. Out. Even though there are moments when your sin, your struggles and your situation may get the best of you, if you are trusting in Jesus, it is simply impossible for you to out-sin, out-run, out-last, out-need, or out-hope God’s grace.  It is always there and always enough! You will never find yourself in a place where God has not already plastered, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

Time Is Precious

Time. Is. Precious.  It’s precious because it’s short, we don’t know how much more of it remains, it is gone forever once we use it, and there are staggering implications for how we use it.    There is only One Who knows how to best use the time that remains for you and me, so let’s not leave Jesus out of our plans today or any day.  Remember this:  we can spend our time any way we choose, but we can only spend it once. As we live by grace, in dependence upon the presence and power and purposes of Jesus, He will help us give less priority to the things that really don’t matter and more priority to the things that do.

It’s Not Without Jesus

At His first coming, Jesus took our place so we can be with God.  At His second coming, Jesus will take us to a place where we can be with God.  We live in the present between His two appearances:  when He came to live, die and rise for us, and when He will return for us.  It’s hard now.  It’s sad now. It’s messy now.  Yet it’s not without peace, hope and joy … because it’s not without Jesus.   Jesus came to make us right with God, He is with us so we can make it through this world, and He is returning to make all things as they should be.  Take heart! For though things aren’t yet perfect, the day is coming when they will be.

You Can Have Grace

You will either receive the grace of God or the wrath of God for your sin.  There is no third option.  By nature and choice, we sin against God by preferring things over Him and refusing to obey Him, which condemns us to hell.  The only remedy is personally receiving the free forgiveness available by faith in Jesus, which ushers us into heaven.  You get to choose between continuing in sin and continuing with Jesus. Whether you embrace this as the best news ever or dismiss it as foolishness, this is true:  You need grace, and you can have grace. To reject it is to perish forever; to receive it is to have pleasure forever.

The Best Is Always Yet To Come

For all who trust in Jesus, there is a glorious eternity ahead in which bad things will be eliminated, good things will be perfected, and the best things will be unveiled.  We have an eternity with Him that… Never gets stale.  Never gets boring.  Never gets routine.  Never gets unappealing.  Never gets finished.  There will always be more to discover and enjoy from the immeasurable riches of God’s grace towards us in Christ Jesus.  Don’t live for this day; live for that day.  Don’t be discouraged by this day; be encouraged by that day.  Take hope in this every day:  For those who are trusting in Jesus, the best is always yet to come.

Persevere By Grace

There’s only one reason we persevere through trials, troubles and tragedies in this broken world:  grace.  God gives us the strength, encouragement and provision we need to keep going when the going gets tough. He is always graciously working in us, working behind the scenes for us, and working all things out for the good of us.  When He does not give us grace to escape problems, He will give us grace to endure them. We will keep going.  We will get to the other side.  We will make it through.  This is our hope in Jesus… When the time is right, God will bring our hurting to an end and give us happiness without end.

His Perfect Life For Our Imperfect Ones

If you think you can simply be a “good person” to get into heaven when you die, then you have grossly underestimated what God requires for entrance. Something we need to understand is this: our standards may be low enough that we can meet them, but God’s are high enough that we never will.  As sinners, the best we can do does not measure up.  The good news is this:  We don’t have to because Jesus already did on behalf of all who put their trust in Him.  Jesus lived for us.  Jesus died for us.  Someday we will be accepted into heaven by grace through faith in this: He exchanged His perfect life for our imperfect ones.

It’s A Buffet, Not A Bite

By grace, God serves up an endless feast of soul-nourishing, soul-delighting blessings for those who trust in Jesus. This includes:  forgiveness, friendship, freedom, wisdom, power, peace, purpose, joy, hope, security, rest, justice, thankfulness, assurance, deliverance, guidance, significance, endurance, comfort, companionship, care, courage, transformation, satisfaction, love and life. And this is not a complete list!  The countless implications and applications of the benefits that are ours by grace are staggering and extend from now until eternity.  It’s a buffet, not a bite. In Jesus, we have the life we’ve always wanted.

The Most Rewarding Thing We Can Ever Do

The most rewarding thing we can ever do is admit our lostness, helplessness and unworthiness to enter God’s kingdom, and depend completely on His mercy and grace.  When we acknowledge our need for God and turn to Him in faith, we are given access to His kingdom and all of its benefits for us in Christ. The kingdom of heaven has a King … and it’s not you or me.  It’s an infinitely wiser, stronger, kinder King who rules over the lives of His people for their good and unleashes so many blessings on them that it will take an eternity to experience them all.  We get a foretaste for now and a feast forever. All hail King Jesus!