Don't Waste Today Anticipating Tomorrow!

OK everyone, it is Friday. Friday is the most popular day of the work week. For many it is the last day of the work week. Spirits are high. Attitudes are more positive. It's Friday!

Friday is the eve of the weekend. Some even consider Friday the beginning of the weekend, even though it is still a full work day. Friday means tomorrow we play!

But don't waste today (Friday) anticipating tomorrow. Remember this. Each day is a gift from God. A gift to live life to the fullest. Friday is no exception to this. Yes I know you are planning to get the most out of the up-coming weekend. I know you will squeeze this weekend for everything it has. Why? Because Monday it is back to work. Live for the weekend, for tomorrow we we go back to work! But don't waste this God-given day anticipating tomorrow.

God has something very special for you on this work day. Today is no accident. It is no obstacle to the weekend. Today is a gift. Live it! Live for Jesus. Live today to the fullest...even at work!

7072194MI: NASB Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, Black  Genuine Leather, Capri Grain, Thumb Indexed (Original NAS) - Imperfectly Imprinted Bibles NASB Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, Black Genuine Leather, Capri Grain, Thumb Indexed (Original NAS) - Imperfectly Imprinted Bibles
By B. B. Kirkbride

God's Grace Is Full of His Fullness

God’s grace is the manifestation of His love for the whole world. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God gave Jesus for us to believe in Him. When we truly do, we are saved. Could it really be that simple? Absolutely! 

To believe in Him is to trust in Him however, not just believe He exists. Many folks believe He exists, but live their lives as though they don't trust in Him. To believe in Him is to trust your soul to Him. The result is salvation, and you become His child. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name..." (John 1:12) This is God's grace. This is God's unmerited favor. Trust in the One whom God sent, and you will be saved. And when you do, you become His. He did this for you and me through the cross. No amount of work, no amount of sacrifice, and no amount of offering can earn this for us. He did it. Our part is to believe Him and receive Him. It's that simple!

God's grace is extended for the salvation of souls. However, His grace goes far beyond being saved from hell. His grace gave us Jesus, the Way to heaven. But it goes much higher than the way to heaven. God's grace is infinite. The grace of God will change your destination. And it is also intended to change your destiny.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) This Scripture says Jesus became one of us and lived among us. He came from God the Father. He was full of grace and truth. Jesus was not only the Way, the Life, and the Truth, but He was full of grace. That is amazing to me. He was sent by grace and He was full of grace. "For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." (John 1:16) How did we receive His fullness? Through His grace simply by believing (and believing continuously). When do we receive His fullness? When we trust our complete lives to Him. God made it all possible by sending Jesus to the cross for you and me. His work is done. Ours is simply to believe.

The above verse says through grace we have received Jesus' fullness. Have you ever thought about this? Everything Jesus is; His essence, His nature, His mind, His love, His heart, His power, His authority, His ministry, His healing, His miracles, His provision, His thoughts, His Word, (I could go on for awhile here) we have received. That's the fullness of Jesus. And that's what He has provided through grace!

Think about the ministry of Jesus. Study carefully how He lived and ministered on the earth. He never lacked. He brought healing. He brought love. He performed miracles. He proclaimed truth. To live less than Jesus lived is to lack full understanding of the grace of God. But we have received the fullness of Jesus Christ. My...this is great news! I'm not just saved (thank God for that), but I am an ambassador for Jesus Christ! I'm not only going to heaven, but I represent heaven on! None of this would be possible without the grace of my God! What an awesome God we serve!

My encouragement to followers of Christ: Understand the grace of God. Understand it goes beyond vacancies in hell and reservations in heaven. Understand that God so loved you that He gave His Son Jesus, the only One of His kind so you could partake of His fullness. He didn't do it on the basis of our good works or merits. He did it by His infinite grace. 

Let me close by urging you to consider the word "fullness". "And He (God) put all things in subjection under His (Jesus') feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." You are the body of Christ in the earth. You are the church, you who have received Jesus. Therefore you are the fullness of Him in the earth today. The world cries out for the manifestation of the fullness of Jesus Christ. You are it.

187641: Loving the Love of Your Life Loving the Love of Your Life
By Mark Gilroy / Thomas Nelson

How Do You Rate Yourself?

How do you rate yourself? What standard do you use? How effective is your rating system? Do you consider yourself good enough or worthy? In your eyes are you just not good enough? You may be surprised to learn that most folks just don't think they measure up. Many folks aren't pleased with the person they see in the mirror.

Why would a person simply not like themselves and feel they aren't good enough? One extremely big reason is because they compare themselves with others. When you compare yourself with others you are using a flawed standard...humanity. I remember as a young musician, with still a long way to go in the proficiency department, I was very intimidated by other like musicians that were better than me. I learned early on however, that no matter how good you are...there is always someone better. For years I would plunge myself into discouragement because of comparing myself to others who were definitely better than me. At times I would be paralyzed with intimidation. Intimidation that was manufactured by my own system of comparison.

Television, Hollywood, and the internet today pump out images of the perfect body, the perfect face, the perfect person, the perfect family, the perfect life. People actually believe this is real life. And when their bodies, faces, families, and lives don't measure up to the "image", they feel unworthy or second rate. The fact that Jesus came makes you worthy and definitely not second rate.

You shouldn't rate yourself by worldly standards. The truth is though, we all must rate ourselves. How do we do it? By the standard of God's Word. Understand that God's Word is eternal. It is forever settled in heaven. (See Psalm 119:89) God's Word is the standard by which we rate ourselves. If you search God's Word you will find He says some wonderful things about you and me. Things that are not dependent on a fleeting image, but hold up throughout eternity! According to God's are pretty special. And that will never change!

According to God's Word you are good enough. How is that so? By trusting in His Son, Jesus. Jesus came and died in your place and mine. When He came, He took away the shame you struggle with from comparing yourself with others. So....what He says about you transcends what the world says about you. It's that simple.

You must know what God says about you. Then you must believe it. Even if it is contrary to what you think. Even if it is contrary to what you've been told. You must believe what God says. Come on now. Who will you believe? Some goofball or the King and Creator of the universe!

One final thing about rating yourself against the images of what the world says you are to be. It can also make you prideful. How? Well...if a person becomes deluded into thinking he or she measures up to the images of the world pride is there. And a crash and burn is not too far away! The Bible says pride precedes a fall.

Stop rating yourself according to the wrong rating system. What has that gotten you? A lot of discouragement. Rate yourself according to the standard of God's Word. Sure it may challenge you to make some immediate changes, but it will also reveal who you really are....special! That's what He says about you!

Max Lucado's Wemmicks: You Are Special, Tenth Anniversary Limited Edition Picture Book
By Max Lucado & Sergio Martinez

Every day the small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones with smooth wood and fine paint, as well as the talented ones, always get stars. But the ones like Punchinello who aren't as talented, or have chipped paint, get ugly gray dots.
In this heartwarming children's tale from bestselling author Max Lucado, Eli the woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is--no matter what other Wemmicks may think. It's a vital message for children everywhere: Regardless of how the world evaluates them, God cherishes each of them, just as they are. This delightfully illustrated tale originally appeared in one of the chapters in the award-winning children's bestseller Tell Me the Secrets. To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of You Are Special, this limited edition includes a CD with Max Lucado reading the story, along with music played by Phil Keaggy. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

2014 - A Year To Pursue, Change, and Impact

Most of the fireworks are over (except for our neighbors who bought out the local stand). Most of the reflecting on 2013 is finished. Most of the celebrating is done...except for a few bowl games. 2014 is here!

What lies ahead is a year filled with opportunities to pursue, change, and impact. I love this time of the year...the first of the new year. It is like the dawning of a new day. Jeremiah says, "The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." - Jeremiah 3:22-23. If each new day brings new waves of God's lovingkindnesses and His compassions, how much more will a brand new year bring! It seems to be easier at this time of the year for folks to try new things and make new commitments. Please read on.

This fresh, new year of 2014 delivers to you and me opportunities to pursue. Pursue what? For starters (and with highest of priority) God. We all need to go deeper in our relationship with Him. The thing is, He stands ready to partner with you in your commitment to go deeper. Come on now...He doesn't have all of you...or me yet. He's done His part. He is God, and He made it possible through His Son Jesus to pursue Him and the dreams He has laid upon your heart. In fact, the greatest way to change yourself is to pursue Jesus first...above all! The greatest resolution we could ever make, and keep, is to pursue Jesus more than we have been. There's no better time than right the beginning of a brand new year to go deeper.

2014 brings many opportunities for you and me to change. Change what? How about ourselves. What things in your life do you KNOW you need to tweak, adjust, or just outright change? Think about it. Make the commitment to do it now! What situations can you change by perhaps changing yourself? I'm sure you know of at least 120...or so! Go for it. If you can change yourself, you can change circumstances. And remember...the only way to change yourself is to pursue Jesus more intensely and surrender everything to Him.

2014 brings with it loads of opportunities to impact. Impact who? Those you live and work around. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that one who commits to a deeper pursuit of God, and who is willing to change...will make an impact on those around him. In addition, God will open new doors of opportunity for you to impact others outside your normal realm as you pursue, change, and impact those within your realm. God uses those who are committed to serving Him in ways unimaginable!

I'm not talking about a few new year's resolutions. I talking about the stuff that when God is involved makes a difference now and eternally! Don't just give up something. Don't just start doing something. Make a commitment to Jesus. He is the ruler of the universe. Pursue Him with all your heart, mind, and strength. Change as He works in you. And make an eternal impact on lives and situations. Wow! Decide now to pursue, change, and impact. Watch the year 2014 become an exciting adventure!

The Pursuit of God
By A.W. Tozer / Wingspread Publishers

In the muddle of day-to-day life, have you somehow forgotten that Christianity is a living, vibrant relationship with a personal God? In this classic bestseller and recipient of both the ECPA Gold and Platinum Book Awards, The Pursuit of God reminds and challenges you to renew your relationship with your loving God. In each of the 10 chapters, Tozer explains one aspect of hungering for God and ends with a prayer.