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February 2021

28 Feb – Get Out Of Your Bubble

Let’s face it, we can live in a little microcosm or bubble of our own making most of the time, and unless we lift our heads and eyes up will miss what is going around us and start to believe things are more significant and stressful than they are.

One of the best things we can do when we find ourselves in a mental fog or fixating on our problems is to step back, breath, and take action to gain some perspective. God who holds all things together is far bigger and more powerful than any problem, issue, or even our individual goals and dreams.

There is an incredible, fantastic universe God made that He wants us to enjoy and impact for good. But to do that effectively will require us to keep looking up and staying connected with Him and the bigger picture.

Today I recommend getting out of your bubble. Put any concerns or issues firmly into God’s hands and determine to speak what He promises over your life. Cast all your cares upon Him – He cares about them and you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Go Exploring 

1. Be Inspired – Regularly connect with people and atmospheres that inspire and encourage you to step out of your immediate circumstances and to see the bigger picture. Nothing is so difficult God can’t handle it, and His grace is sufficient for all you face and every need you have today.  

2. Change up your habits; get out if you can, research or explore a new place, listen to different music, eat new food, breathe.

3. God is faithful Remind yourself you still have a heartbeat and, therefore, a purpose. God is faithful to finish what He has started in you.

4. Be Grateful. It’s a great way to gain perspective, enjoy the day more and value what’s important in your life.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)

He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 Berean Bible)

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17 NIV)

Prayer: Lord, please help me today to get outside my little bubble and point of view so that I can see all that you have created and where you are at work. Please give me some perspective today as I lift my eyes to you and all that you have done. In Jesus name Amen.

27 Feb – What’s So Amazing About Grace

I love doing word studies, going back to the original language, and studying more deeply what things mean.
One particular passage I have learnt alot from doing this says,“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”. (2 Cor 12:9)

Grace is the free unmerited favour of God. It is favour shown to the unworthy and is an undeserved blessing and gift.

It also means privilege, pardon, and where God raises us from debasement to dignity and dishonour to honour; placing His likeness within us.

The word grace comes from the same root word as joy, or to rejoice. Grace causes rejoicing and describe God’s supernatural ability to work miracles, answer prayer, heal the sick, and bring deliverance.

I think grace is like a buried treasure; you experience more as you dig deeper and deeper into it. No matter how we have or continue to mess up, fail, disappoint ourselves or feel unworthy, God’s grace is sufficient. Sufficient means to be possessed of unfailing strength; to defend, ward off and be satisfied and contented. Grace enables us to exchange our feelings of unworthiness for God’s acceptance, our failures for His supernatural ability to work miracles and answer prayer, and our weakness for His strength

Whatever God asks of us, He promises His grace is sufficient and more than enough for the task. His grace is always available to sustain us.

What’s so amazing grace is that you can’t and don’t have to earn it. Grace is extended towards us, because Jesus bought and paid for it. As we find and experience more and more of God’s grace, it enables us to live free as we take hold of this gift and let it work in us.

.If you are feeling tired, worried, weak, unworthy or unaccepted, then you are a perfect candidate to experience God’s grace in your life today.

God’s Grace Is Enough for you!

Prayer: Lord, I need to experience your grace today. Thank you that your grace gives me supernatural strength and ability and that when I am weak, you are strong in me. I receive your grace right now. In Jesus name amen.

26 Feb – Make Time To Listen

There is a story of a man who lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched carefully for hours, raking through the sawdust on the floor, but failed to find it. Others helped him search, but they also were unable to find the watch.

A few days later, a small boy quietly went into the ice house during his lunch break. After a few minutes, he came out with the watch in his hand. Amazed, everyone asked how he found it. “It was simple,” the boy replied. “I just closed the door, lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”

Being still and listening is something most of us either don’t give much time for or find challenging. Instead, we live in a constant state of motion and activity, and even when we do stop it’s difficult to still our hearts and minds. Like the men searching for the watch, we fail to hear much of what is going on inside and around us because we aren’t taking a moment to be quiet and listen? Or we only listen for the things we want to hear and choose to ignore anything we don’t want to accept or deal with. If we are trying to listen, the noise of everything and everyone else can be so loud that we can’t hear our hearts or the voice of God even if we want to.

But to remain healthy and consistently make wise decisions, it’s vital to schedule in a disciplined time of quietness, reflection and rest. When we can sit and listen to our hearts, assess our progress and care for our inner world. To have opportunity to bring our concerns to Him. so that together with we can formulate a plan and strategy to move forward.

Today, I encourage you to prioritise in your schedule, space to rest, dream and refocus. Time to sit and seek God’s guidance and receive from His strength. To read His Word and have some downtime where you can enjoy being, rather than doing. Just as the young boy in the story closed his eyes and lay on the floor quietly and, as a result, discovered the whereabouts of the lost watch, you too will be amazed by the clarity, peace and priceless treasures you will find.

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15).

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Prayer: Lord, help me stop, rest and listen in your presence so that you can direct and guide my steps today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

25 Feb – Light For The Way Ahead

Walking or driving in the dark has its challenges in that torches or headlights are limited in how far ahead they can illuminate the way forward.  Even when your car headlights are on high beam, you can only see a short distance and the only way to proceed is to move forward a little at a time, trusting the light to guide you.

God describes His Word as a lamp that lights the way, leading us in the way to go.  However, a lamp casts it’s light only for that part of the path we are on and immediately approaching. It’s only as we come to the next stage of our journey that the light will reveal where and how to go next.

It’s why God refers to his Word as a lamp. He lights the way, but in following Him, it will take trust as the plan and direction is only fully visible as we need it. There will always be an element of trust and faith in God when we choose to follow Him.

When we stray away from the light or choose to race ahead into the darkness, we can risk running into trouble and miss dealing with and learning what we require for the journey ahead.

God promises to guide us as we spend time with Him and become familiar with His Words. He reveals His plan and strategy step by step, guides us through our day, directs us away from harm and gives us wisdom on how to relate to others and fulfil our purpose.

Today take some time to allow God to shed light on your path and the way forward. Ask Him to reveal the plan and strategy He has for your success, as you spend time with Him and reading His Words for, “The entrance of His words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Word and presence today, which lights the way forward for me step by step. I trust you to lead and guide me. In Jesus name Amen.

24 Feb – How To Be Great At Something

Every gift and ability we have can become a skill if we choose to develop the specific knowledge and techniques to become proficient. As we repeatedly practice and apply these new skills we will achieve success.

However, when we don’t take the time to harness these abilities and choose instead to take short cuts, not make the effort or give up, we’ll end up not learning the lessons needed to achieve success and will be forced to settle for less in life.

Watch old footage of an athlete earlier on in their career compared to their performance at the height of their game and you can see what applying the right techniques, training, and work can do. Consistency of purpose and honing your skills helps you go from strength to strength and enables you to achieve your goals.

God will do far more in and through you if you determine to become accomplished and proficient with what’s in your hand. His plans exceed what you can imagine, but they also still depend on whether you will partner with Him and choose to use what you have been given and increase it. (Ephesians 3:20)

Many people’s success stories stem from the fact that they took what they had and chose to be diligent, consistent and keep the vision before them. With God’s help, you, too, can become someone who walks in your destiny and inspires others to do the same. 

Today, I want to encourage you to take what you have and determine to be great at it. 

It doesn’t matter what it is; but in you deciding to move forward as you ask God to empower and strengthen you to develop your gifts and abilities until they become a sought after skill and source of blessing to both you and those around you.

Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” (Prov 22:29)

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

“Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.” (Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gifts you have given me. I may not be great at anything yet, but I ask that you help me take what I have and continue to grow and develop my skills to make the greatest impact and be all you created me to be. In Jesus name Amen

23 Feb – The Best Road

On some of my runs, I’m very tempted to quit early and take a short cut home. However, what stops me is that I know that if I take a short cut today, then I’ll be even more tempted to do so again tomorrow, which will mess up my exercise routine and ultimately affect my overall health and well-being.

Shortcuts may make us feel relieved initially, but the results will be far less than they should be if we stayed the course. Our unchecked emotions and undisciplined thoughts will frequently begin to dictate to us, rather than God’s Word and overall purpose for our lives being what leads us.

Shortcuts don’t only relate to exercise but also encompass the shortcuts we can take in our work, studies and relationships. They can also include ethical, financial, moral and spiritual cutting of corners, affecting every area of our lives.

When we seek to take shortcuts, it’s a reflection of our character. We can, if not careful, begin to think our way is better than God’s wisdom and begin to question why we need to put in all that extra effort when we can take the quick and easy route to get to where we want to go.

There are specific ways to make tasks easier to complete and to achieve success. However, suppose our attitude is “show me the shortest way rather than the best way” all the time? In that case, we will short change ourselves eventually and fail to get the best out of our experiences, education and relationships.

When tempted with these thoughts, we would be wise first to ask ourselves, “Am I looking ahead and keeping pace with God’s greater plan for my life, or am I being short-sighted and looking for the easy road rather than the best way for my life.”

God’s words in the bible have some wisdom regarding shortcuts. He says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5 NLT)

Jesus said, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with sure-fire, easy-going formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people doThe way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention. (Matthew 7:13 The Message)

Next time you are tempted to take a shortcut, first assess the wisdom in that decision; Is it the best road rather the easiest route and if it will lead you entirely in the way God’s word instructs you to go? Because hasty shortcuts, where we rush into things, can cause us to miss the mark and the abundant life God has planned for us. Better to do things God’s way, run our race well and receive the prize.

Don’t you realise that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step? I am not shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26)

Prayer: I’m choosing to run my race well today and not to take shortcuts. Lord, please help me have wisdom as I walk through my day and recognise where I might be tempted to make hasty decisions or cut corners in my life. Instead, I want to choose the best way, and I ask for your strength to do that today. In Jesus name Amen.

22 Feb – The Right Order

Isaac has started a new unit in his Maths today called Order of Operations. When combining the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, a particular order needs to be followed. Multiplication and division sit higher in the order than addition and subtraction,  affecting how you make sense of simple mathematical problems put into words.

The order of operation as to how you do a maths problem is essential to solving it correctly. If you use the incorrect order, it will inevitably be wrong because the process and order we use to solve it are crucial.

Whether we like it or not, life is full of the order of operations. When we try to skip a step, endeavour to avoid putting the work in or choose not to deal with challenges and issues adequately, we won’t see the results or experience the fulfilment in life that we could. There is purpose in having order and how we face situations, solve problems, develop as individuals and seek to achieve our goals.

There is a saying, “don’t put the cart before the horse”. It’s an analogy for doing things in the wrong order because a cart is a vehicle that a horse ordinarily pulls and not the other way around.

Much as Isaac won’t be able to successfully answer his maths problems unless he takes the time to learn the order and formula, God also has a way to do things successfully and with the best outcomes. It pays to assess what’s in front of us, seek wisdom, and find the correct strategy for what we aim to undertake.

Isaac didn’t understand the formula, so he stopped, asked for guidance and sought my counsel, which is precisely what God says to do when we faced with new things or a problem that needs solving

A helpful Order of Operations is:

  1. Stop and assess – don’t run ahead before you know what you are undertaking.  “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)

2. Seek wisdom and guidance as to the process – Pray and seek God and His Word for the best way forward

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Prov 2:6)

“If you ask for wisdomGod will give it generously without finding fault: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

3.Ask for counsel when necessary for there is wisdom in counsel  “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” (Proverbs 15:22)

4. Step out and do it once we know the process and order of operation, it’s time to trust and step out.  When you seek after and follow God’s leading, He will be there to help and to guide you every step of the way.

There is a purpose in the process and a specific way and order of operations in life. Proceed in the right order, follow the way of wisdom, acknowledge God in all your ways and trust that He will cause you to succeed in all you do.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight.(Prov 3:5-6 NIV)

Prayer: Lord, help me follow your way of doing things and not run ahead of the process and order of what will bring the best results in my life. I trust you to lead me and choose to listen to wise counsel regarding how to move forward today. In Jesus name Amen.

21 Feb – Be As Cunning As A Snake

I wouldn’t say I like snakes. They represent to me danger, biting, venom and something or someone not to be trusted. I live in Australia which has some of the most venomous and life-threatening, if bitten by one, snakes on the planet.

However, Jesus used an interesting description when teaching his followers how to navigate through life. He warned that he was sending us out as “sheep amid wolves” and that we were to be as “wise as serpents and harmless (gentle) as doves.” (Matt:10: 16)

Jesus was warning that the world is often opposed to His ways and that if we desire to follow Him, it will make us a target, much like sheep amongst hostile, hungry wolves. However, Jesus doesn’t want us to be sheepish or fearful but to have a snake’s attributes in being prudent, careful, and intelligent; to have street-smarts and be capable of dealing with potential dangers. Plus snakes don’t go looking for trouble but will seek a means of escape where possible to avoid needless capture or traps when confronted.

Jesus also said for us to be as harmless as doves and to be gentle and peaceful. The Greek term also relates to purity, innocence, and simplicity.

As we live in what can be a hostile world, Jesus is saying we are to be wise (avoiding trouble and any traps set for us) and innocent (living pure, blameless lives). He is not suggesting that we are dishonest or slippery, but that we should take note of the snakes cunning and avoid danger in a positive way. Unless defending itself, the snake will not bite or seek to attack.

Jesus set an example in that he was always gentle and moved away from conflict if it had no purpose. He often avoided His many opponents by ministering in desert places, private homes and passed through crowds to escape them harming Him supernaturally. However, when He needed to stand His ground, he did, such as when He chased the money changers out of the temple. (John 2:15).

Jesus discerned His listeners’ hearts and motives and refused to be caught in the many traps that His enemies laid for Him. He was as harmless as a dove in every circumstance, living a pure and holy life. He acted in compassion, and no one could legitimately find fault in Him (John 8:4618:23).

Today and especially in the times and season we’re living seek to be wise in the way you live, knowing what you are called to do and be, so that you won’t be snared or damaged by anything or anyone.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to be both wise and gentle in the way I live so that I will walk in blessing and purpose, and can avoid any snares of the enemy. In Jesus name Amen

20 Feb – Armed With Strength

Yesterday I went for my first outside run since a horse-riding fall several months ago. One of the things I’ve discovered running is when you have strong arm action your legs will follow your arms’ movement and create momentum, not the other way around.

The stronger my arms are, the further and better I run.

The bible talks a lot about running and to run in such a way as to win the prize. God wants us to run and thrive in life and knows that we will need some equipment to last the distance and be protected. He has given us a spiritual armour in which we are to clothe ourselves against enemy attack, enabling us to get to where we want to go. (See Ephesians 6)

Interestingly, it’s the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, which is the one piece of armour used to defend and offensively push back the enemy. The sword of the spirit is sharper than any double-edged sword; it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Eph 6:17; Hebrews 4:12)

Just as we benefit from strong arms to run, God has equipped us with His Word that will arm us with strength if we take hold of it.

Just as strong arms help in running to keep momentum and rhythm, God’s Word arms us with strength and provides a weapon to resist enemy attack. His Word held firmly lights a path and sets a direction for our feet to travel.  

In the Bible, David said, It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.” (Psalm 18:39)

If you want to thrive rather than survive in life, then I encourage you to take hold of God’s Word and run with it firmly and securely in your hand. Arm yourself with strength and what God says about you. Run, knowing your dream and purpose and what His Word (your sword) says about the circumstances you face every day.

Arm yourself with strength in His Word today and “Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Cor 9:24)

Prayer; Lord, I want to run my race well and live my best life. Please help me remember that the best possible way to succeed is by taking hold and using your Word to guide and defend me today. In Jesus name Amen.

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