Be Continually Thankful

What do you think of this scripture? What space do we stay in so that we don’t stumble? Confirming and validating your salvation, that you are His.

Have you thanked God for your salvation lately? Truly I tell you, it’s a good thing. No pun intended. Go ahead, say it…”Thank you God for saving me. Thank you that I am yours!” Does that free up your mind a bit? Take a breath and check your spirit. 

I stumbled upon this scripture as I was searching scripture for the first chapter of my book. Yes, the I’m Made New Devotional is being penned as I speak. Just taking a break for my daily post.

In light of the rules, our confessed salvation keeps us from stumbling. It’s hard to fall away from God when you are grateful for what He has done for you. Salvation is a foundation. Be thankful your are saved and belong to Him.


The Law is Love

​I know, I know… Some of you might be saying this is taken out of context. We have to follow the law, it’s in God’s word. If you are one of those people, I bet your face will turn red as you read my post. 

As I have said in previous posts, I am not a rule follower. I am the kind of person that needs a lot of grace. People clean up my messes, turn in my time card, and remind me of the rules all of the time. I am a free spirit and free spirits tend to be all over the place. We have lots of things to see and do!

Let’s face it, sometimes, doing the right thing means you have to break the rules. Like, would you jaywalk to save a kid from on-coming traffic? Hmm… Which violates your conscience more? Breaking the law or not saving the kid? Yes, I really said that. 

If you take a look at the 10 commandments most of them have to do with our interactions with others. As a Jesus follower, do you have a burning desire to treat people badly? Most people don’t. I thought Christianity asks us to think the best of people. If we assume everyone is out to break God’s law and we stick it to them, are we in sin just like the one we are pointing a finger at? You tell me. 

Todd White is one of my favorite Evangelists. He says if we choose to follow the law, we can’t miss one. I guess there is over 300 laws in the Old Testament. Holy cow! Honestly, I am so uncurious about Jewish law that I don’t even know the right number. My head couldn’t even wrap itself around keeping that many laws. Seriously! I love the Grace of God. I’d choose that over the law anyday. 

Love God

How do you feel about rules? They make me feel overwhelmed. Often times, rules seem unnecessary to me. If we are all good people, going after God, rules should be few and far between. 

I think we like rules because it gives us boundaries. When we know our limits, it is easier to stay in a place of safety. Few or no rules leave us guessing. It is almost too free. 

To me, rules were constraints that caused inconvenience. They tied up my free spirit and ruined all the fun. They required me to sit down, be quiet, and be nice. Ugh. Boring! 

It kinda makes me think of the old adage, “little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice.” The rules for girls so to speak. Trying to follow the rules made me try to be something I wasn’t. I felt like something was wrong with me. 

When asked by the disciples what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replies with 2. Today’s verse is our number one rule for life. Love God. Do you wonder how you could love something you can’t see? It is possible. Just like someone you can see, you’d have to get to know Him first. Love for God comes by seeking him and knowing him through His Word. It takes some digging and praying, it is worth your time if you want to be changed. 

The Guard Over Your Heart

So, have you thought of a plan to guard your heart? If you have or you haven’t, it’s okay. Sometime we have to mull things over a bit before we decide we need to act. Today’s scripture might give you some forward motion. 
Guarding your heart might not be your job completely. When Paul wrote this, he used a word with military meaning. That sounds a bit awkward, I am not always poetic or grammatically correct. 😊The word guard means someone is standing guard, watching over it, protecting from invasion. 

The end of the scripture says, in Christ Jesus. Could Jesus be charged with guarding our heart. I didn’t study it all the way through. It is worth consideration! If we have a helper and a protector in Jesus, then I think this is plausible. 

We aren’t left alone to figure life out. We have an example in Jesus. His name has a lot of meaning. By the Holy Spirit living in us, we have help in guarding our heart. We are being watched over and protected. 

Stewarding the Heart

You know that old saying “don’t take it to heart”? I bet it came from Proverbs. In our hearts, we store life. In there you can find all kinds of stuff. The good, the bad, and the in between. Because life lives there, we have to protect it. 

Do you have a plan for protecting your heart? I saw Havilah Cunnington speak at a conference a couple weeks ago. She didn’t use this particular scripture but I think her idea of a plan is applicable in this case. How do you handle it when you get hurt or offended? Taking things to heart can put us in a tough place. 

With so many things trying to get our attention, stewarding our hearts is so important. For me, I have had to determine and prioritize the things that hold my attention, that have access to my heart. My kids, my husband, my neighbors, my small group. Of course God. Does the weather matter, does politics matter? If I allow the things that don’t really have an importance in my immediate circumstances to take precedence over what I consider a priority, my heart can get hard to those things that I care for most. The news becomes louder than my family! My attention turns from relationship and love to offense and hatred. 

The heart is the well spring of life. Instead of allowing death to come in through things you can’t control, let love come through it into the things that matter, the people around you.

Running to God

In your deepest darkest spaces, would you be brave enough to say, “hey God, I did this and would you change me so I don’t do it again?” Would you be bold enough to declare God’s goodness to you in spite of yourself? David was, over and over in the Psalms. He is our example of vulnerability with abandon. 

I have been learning a lot about intimacy lately. I think King David is an amazing example of intimacy with God. He poured out his whole self before the Lord. His whole life was dedicated to God. This is why he is called the man after God’s own heart. 

Two weeks ago I saw a documentary called Heart of a Man. It was amazing. I learned a lot. I came out of it wanting to hold nothing back anymore. The consequences of withholding are too great. The consequences of shame hurt so many people. Intimacy is a requirement for a free life. When we fail to be fully known, shame moves in and takes takes it’s toll. 

I love Psalm 51 because this is David RUNNING to God. Confessing and receiving forgiveness. He knew God’s goodness, he didn’t want to hide, he wanted redemption. He was desperate to be changed. Don’t be afraid of this place, this is where God can truly do His handiwork. 

The Promise

Have you ever thought you needed a heart transplant? Like you can’t believe you just thought or said that… Someone else would say it but never you? Our hearts carry who we really are deep down inside. Our hearts store up our negative thoughts and our positive thoughts. We aren’t conscious of this until we see, from God’s perspective, the true condition of what is in us. Without a new heart, we can’t hear God and we can’t see ourselves clearly. 

So if we are born again, why would we need a new heart? Wouldn’t that be a given? Yes and no. God can’t have access to us without a new heart. We can’t truly change without seeing ourselves from His point of view. A new heart, a spiritual heart, is necessary for a new life. 

What happens when we have a new heart? We can receive the Word of God for our lives. We can be taught self – discipline by the Holy Spirit. It gives us Godly compassion for others. A sensitive heart creates change in us to produce change outside of us. Vulnerability comes more naturally. 

Ezekiel 11:19 is God’s promise to give us a new heart and the Holy Spirit. This is long before Jesus arrives on scene but it is an important promise. It is the promise of a restored relationship with God and a promise of the restored original design of humanity. We are supposed to be sensitive! God’s true heart is supposed to live in us. 

All Things

Do you love this kid or what? I had to use this photo. He is living with abandon. Trusting he is going to land safely. 

You don’t see The Message version of this scripture very often but I love how it says “in the One who makes me who I am.” I hope I have done a good job of showing you who makes us who we are, why and how. That is the goal of I’m Made New. 

I think I have said this before, maybe more than once, we have a life to enjoy. We have humanity to serve. It is important to know who we are and trust that it cannot be changed, no matter our circumstances. We need to believe that we have a God who accepts us, makes us secure, and believes we are significant. 

Our identity in Christ is our confidence to carry out the enjoyment and purpose of life on earth. What God says about us is truth, it is what we rely on when the world around us tells us otherwise.

Forever Changed

Do you struggle with the same negative issues in your life? Does it seem like change for good is elusive? Even after great blessing, there can be a time where it seems like things stay the same. But God promises, we will be perfected. 

Christianity has a different perspective on life change. We have been forever changed and are constantly being changed. As we pursue relationship with Jesus, we are shown a new way to live. It happens over time and with the prodding of the Holy Spirit. Completion of the changing power of God is promised to us. When are we perfected? When we meet the Lord face to face. 

It is God who works in us to will and to work toward change, not us. We can’t do anything on our own. It is the opposite of the way we are taught to live in the world. Self reliance is our enemy. Dependence on God is our joy, the promise of change for good.

God is perfecting you. You are growing and changing as you live out your days. When it seems like it is all the same, remember God is perfecting you, you need only to be open for it to happen. Remember the things that have changed in your life. Ask God to continue His work in you. Thank Him that He is doing it. Regardless if you feel or see it. Change is coming, keep moving forward.

For the Good

Have you ever been afraid to step out in faith? Are you concerned you will fail? I know those feelings all to well. Romans 8:28 is our assurance that even if things don’t go as planned, He will work it out for our good. 

We can have confidence in our God with regard to this promise. Why? Because God is deeply concerned about us, about our well being. Our God is a good Dad, He really does care about our lives! 

We are called to live our life by faith. Our faith pleases God. He wants us to be assured that when He gives us something to do, we do it with the confidence that if it didn’t go well, He will love us the same and use it for His glory. 

Romans 8:28 falls under the security portion of who we are in Christ. Knowing God works all things together for our good gives us the confidence to step out in faith to fulfill our purpose and His plan for our lives.

Be faithful and bold knowing God is on your side.