Saturday, May 13, 2017

Which kind of transformation are you looking for?

Image result for transformation

One of my favorite new devotionals is New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. He speaks truth in such a way that I can take it in and live it out (hopefully and only with God's grace.) Here is an excerpt from February 1 that spoke to my heart.

1 Peter 1:6-7  Now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that perished though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

In grace, He leads you where you didn't plan to go in order to produce in you what you couldn't achieve on your own. In these moments, He works to alter the values of your heart so that you let go of your little kingdom of one and give yourself to His Kingdom of glory and grace. God is working right now, but not so much to give us predictable, comfortable, and pleasurable lives. He isn't so much working to transform our circumstances as He is working through hard circumstances to transform you and me. We are being blessed with the heart transforming grace of difficulty because the God who loves us knows this is exactly the grace we need. 

Friday, May 05, 2017

Would you recognize Jesus?

Image result for jesus breakfast on the beach

Jim Branch is a man I highly respect and enjoy his blog immensely. I had the honor of attending one of his retreats several years ago and he impressed me as a man who has humbly walked with Jesus and is willing to be vulnerable with others that they too may walk more deeply with God. His words ignite something deep within that draws me closer to Jesus. I am sharing his thoughts here today:

Posted: 04 May 2017 09:44 AM PDT

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not recognize that it was Jesus. (John 21:4)

It seems that one of the disciplines most necessary during the Easter season is the discipline of recognizing.  After all, the risen Christ could appear at any moment and we must pay careful attention, lest we miss him--just ask the disciples.  They were so busy not catching fish that they were oblivious to the fact that Jesus had been standing on the shore, at least long enough to build a fire and get some coals hot.  Why had they missed him?  The simple answer is that they were preoccupied.  They were so busy with the task at hand that they were paying no attention to anything else.  I get that.  I can get caught up in the comings and goings of my day just as easily.  Busyness, preoccupation, and hurry can blind me to the fact that Jesus is standing right there on the shoreline of my life and I have not recognized him.  I must learn how to slow down, to pay attention.  I must learn how to go through the course of my days with an eye out for the Risen One.  I must not let the chaos and activity of everyday life sweep me away and distract me from the real reason I am here in the first place--Jesus. 

Lord Jesus, give me the grace and the ability to recognize you today, however you may come to me.  Amen.  

If you enjoyed this,  just click on the word "recognizing" and it will take you to his blog where you can sign up to receive more in your inbox.