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faith

releasing more of me to receive more of God

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I need a daily intervention for this reality: choosing Jesus means you live entirely for Someone else.

Choosing Jesus changes the game from “you’re the best, you can do this!” to “God is the best. You can’t, but He can.”

Choosing Jesus replaces self-promoting tendencies with God-exalting habits.

Choosing Jesus fills you with durable hope, compassion, and generosity that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Choosing Jesus gives a posture of upward and outward affections, in contrast to the life-imploding desires we have without His rescuing.

Choosing Jesus challenges you not to settle for immediate gratification and worldly successes, but aim for the smile of Heaven.

Choosing Jesus means that your passion, beauty, confidence, and purpose in this life is grounded in Someone else.

Have you experienced these fruits of choosing Jesus?

I certainly have, but they didn’t start blooming until I honestly found, and decided, that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are better than every single joy, ability, decision, achievement, relationship, skill, and activity.

Having an active relationship with God deepens everything, but what it has done for me most is shift my heart, soul, and mind’s energy from myself to an open-handed, joyful, adventurous journey towards Him.

And something incredible, He knew I would be terminally imperfect at living this way, but He loved so dearly He sent Jesus to die in my place, bearing all of my sin, my lack, my imperfection. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, because of Almighty God’s perfect plan, nothing separates us. Not my weak ways of loving Him, not the sinful choices I willfully and unintentionally make, not my inescapable humanness.

Choosing this Jesus in our daily life — this Creator, Sustainer, and King — is what gives eternal color to everything we do.

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delighting in quiet and solitude

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Most of the time, I struggle with silence.

If I’m home by myself on a Saturday morning cleaning or folding laundry, I like to have music, or a movie, or podcast going. If I’m driving around town, it’s music, or an audiobook, or a podcast. My natural bent is not to welcome silence and stillness. After a long, stressful day, I want to watch a funny or adventurous movie with my husband. I don’t naturally enjoy the quiet.

But alas, He is changing me.

It started as a slightly desperate desire for stillness after a long, intense workday.

Then I read a book about prayer that calls me deeper into God’s Presence.

Then I began to pray for fresh desire for His words and thoughts, changing what I enjoy listening to.

And I discovered great delight in the quiet of solitude.

 

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In the quiet, we are more likely to hear His words, from past study or something new.

In the unhurried, we create space to center our hearts on His nature, the fruit of His Spirit.

In moments of solitude, we can be our honest selves, laying out the day or details before Him.

We see this in the way Jesus chose to live, don’t we?

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the person I’m most grateful for this Thanksgiving

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If you could hear the inside of my mind, you’d hear me daily thanking the Lord for my husband, our community, and His constant provision of food, home, and flat out help.

This Thanksgiving week, I find myself thanking God even more often for something else – His Spirit inside me.

Do you know this person of God? Who is He to you?

There are many perspectives, different and alike, about Holy Spirit out there:

“The Holy Spirit is neither a passive presence nor emotional excitement.  The Holy Spirit comes from God’s presence, but he is not God’s pervading divine fog floating over the world.  The Holy Spirit is a person, separate and distinct from whom Christians identify as God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ.” Tim Burns

“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit set apart, belonging to God. He is God’s power and presence among his people.” Kevin DeYoung

“The Spirit’s all-consuming passion is to exalt Christ to the end of the earth.” John Piper

“The Holy Spirit is God living inside of us.” Chase Culbertson

“Jesus promised a Helper of the same kind rather than of a different kind. The Spirit is the parakletos, the one who comes alongside. Jesus said He would “be with you forever … he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). In other words, His ministry is both permanent and personal.” Alistair Begg

Graciously, I have always believed in the Holy Spirit of the Bible. What I found in recent years, even recent months, is how much I was NOT depending on and interacting with Him as a real person.

Let me say loudly: there is a vast difference.

There is a difference between knowing things about this person of the Trinity, and engaging with Him personally.

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