Understanding the End Game

In Hosea 4:6, God says that His people are severely harmed, and indeed many destroyed, because they lack knowledge. The Old Testament is filled with examples of individuals who thought they knew best, but ultimately landed themselves and others in serious trouble. This happened because either they didn’t consult with God or listen to His wisdom. He always knows best and wants the best for us, but we struggle with believing this. We refuse to understand that life is a corkscrew that in many respects can never be straightened.

The one fact that remains constant in life is that the more we think we know, the more we realize that we haven’t even scratched the surface. Solomon, the son of King David, cracked this riddle wide open long before any of us came on the scene. God allowed him this grace to spare us the time and waste of energy. Solomon was the wisest man that has ever lived. In Ecclesiastes 1, he tells us that he assigned himself with the task of carefully looking into everything with scrutiny. His final synopsis; it was a meaningless pursuit, like chasing wind. In Ecclesiastes 1:18, he said, “The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.”

Some people have interpreted the words of Solomon to mean that it’s useless to gain knowledge, but this isn’t accurate. Solomon was very young when he was called to be King of Jerusalem, and as any of us can imagine, it was a daunting task. He felt overwhelmed by the responsibility and knew that he needed guidance from God. He loved the Lord, and as was the custom of his father, King David, Solomon offered sacrifices and burned incense in what was known as the great high place in Gibeon. 1Kings 3:5 tells us that it was there, at night, that the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked, “What shall I give you?” Solomon, considering his task, his desire to do it well, and the overall welfare of the people he would oversee, asked for wisdom.

God was pleased with Solomon’s request, because it wasn’t saturated in the selfishness of riches or revenge on his enemies. God’s nature and desire is to always go beyond what we can ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He loves to deal in the exceedingly abundant, so he made Solomon’s wisdom unmatched by any human being before or after him.

Knowledge can be a never-ending pursuit. It seeks to uncover, expose, and resolve continually, but wisdom is the crown that few seek to wear. Wisdom will help us apply knowledge well. With Solomon’s request for wisdom came also a ravenous appetite for knowledge and understanding. He wanted to know what was down the rabbit hole of every subject and found it to be an exhausting and unproductive exercise. Solomon’s wise counsel and advice to us is to save ourselves from pursuing knowledge about things that are not aligned with our purpose. If we can’t use it to please God, it is not worth having.

We all carve out a niche in life. Satisfying and fulfilling or not, we move forward. We do so assuming we know who we are and what we should be doing. Sometimes the opposite is true, and there must be room in our beings to question this. The end game of this earth experience is to know who we are, whose we are, and why we’re here. Not knowing is the gap in our knowledge that causes wisdom to escape our choices and allows destruction a foot hole into our existences.

We spend way too much time obsessing about things that take us away from our destiny, and away from our true identity in Christ. We worry about the things that seem crooked, and we try to straighten them out. Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes 7:13(NLT), “Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?” Our time and energy are much better served in exploring all the glorious ways in which God has crafted us to share His love. Doing this will guarantee that we win the end game, and receive God’s eternal reward.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Understanding the End Game” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!


God Loves A Cheerful Giver

The parable in Luke 16 of Lazarus corresponds to the person who begs in our modern society, and there are far more of them today than in biblical times. If we’re honest, we have to admit that sometimes we’re uncomfortable looking them in the eyes. We avoid the exchange, because it forces us to grapple with how the person who begs will use the money we give them. Will they use it for its intended purpose, which is to help nourish their bodies with food, or are they lying for the benefit of whatever addiction or habit they might have? As followers of Christ, of course, we want to be compassionate individuals, but there’s a way to do it that is best for the person in need and for us as well.

Jesus tells us in Luke 16 that there was a certain rich man who fabulously adorned himself in the best of the best.  Lazarus was a poor man who was covered with sores, and laid at the rich man’s gate begging for scraps from his table. In Luke 6:20, Jesus said that the poor are indeed blessed, because theirs is the Kingdom of God. No doubt God’s heart is moved by the humility of the poor, and His Word tells us that only those that are humble will enter His Kingdom. Lazarus must have been a person that pleased God, because when he died, he was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man died too. Luke 16:23 tells us that his soul went to the place of the dead, and there, his soul was in torment.

Luke 16:24-26(NLT) states, “24 The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ 25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’” We would do well to remember that many people have material wealth, but are wicked in their hearts because they refuse to be generous. Jesus Christ reminds us of their peril in Luke 16, by telling us that the rich man had much, but shared little; greed dominated his heart, and that’s why he called hell his eternal home.

2Corinthians 9:7 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver, because this is a person whose love of sharing and giving is genuine from the heart. I considered myself such a person, someone who loves to give, but there came a time when I had to reexamine both my motives and attitudes about giving.

Frequently, I’m in an environment where I’m in regular contact with those in need, and sometimes their need is overwhelming. Over the years, I learned the hard way that the desire to be a good Christian and citizen can sometimes place us in harm’s way. This was not so much the case back in the day. It was not nearly as dangerous as it can be in modern times to lend a helping hand. I speak from personal experience as a not-so schooled giver, someone that gave money regularly to anyone that asked. I was sometimes targeted, and caught off guard when I was alone.

The times are very different than long ago, but we can’t use this as an excuse for not giving to those in need. That would be a humongous and detrimental error. As with just about every other facet of life, we have to be smarter about how we give of our resources. 1Samuel 16:7(KJV) tells us, “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  God is concerned with our heart’s motivation for giving, and this is a piece of wisdom we should bear in mind continually. He knows that we desire to please Him, and pleasing Him means that we try to be wise stewards of our resources. In other words, we need to be both wise and cheerful givers.

A good giving strategy is to pray first, hear secondly, and lastly, think it through. God knows those in need better than we do, and He also knows those individuals that will benefit most from our help. We must never forget that we’re in partnership with Him, but we are to follow His lead. Praying about opportunities to give and be a blessing, and then hearing from God, will prepare us best to be doers of His Will. As we think it through, the Holy Spirit will whisper messages of inspiration that will help us. The area of giving and sharing with those in need is no different than any other assignment of God; it must be done, and leaning on His divine guidance will help us do it with love and wisdom.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“God Loves A Cheerful Giver” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

A Sealed Deal

The word of the day is, and will forever be, ‘TRANSFORMATION!’ It’s one of my favorite words, and I absolutely love that it’s one of the Father’s favs as well. In Romans 12:2(NKJV), He tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In this verse, we learn what NOT to do, and we also learn exactly what we should be doing. The Lord tells us not to be conformed to this world. What does it mean to be conformed? To be conformed to something is to behave, comply, and/or follow the standards that most everyone else in society is following. It’s to adopt society’s culture as your own. Heavenly Father said ‘don’t do it!’

When we talk about culture, we’re not talking about aspects of unique and rich heritages that are passed down through generations and add flavor to our lives. We’re talking about the culture of unbelief and denial when it comes to the truth of God’s Word. The world has turned its back on the righteousness of God and adopted its own standard. We can see all around us that this isn’t working out well at all. God is our Creator, and His Word sets the standard for humanity. It’s a beautiful standard, and it incorporates the best of the best.

In John 8:32(NLT), Jesus Christ said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Only the truth will make us free; we cannot be free by believing a lie. Most of us are taught to conform to everyone else’s thinking, but the Christian is called by Christ to break the chains of conformity and walk in the truth. This is how to be free. Jesus Christ IS the truth! He said in John 14:6(NLT), “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” A lot of us have got some serious negativity going on. We’re down on ourselves, and down on others. That’s not a Christ mindset. We’ve got to let the truth into those negative places in our minds, then we can walk in the extraordinary liberty that Christ extends.

In Romans 12:2, Heavenly Father not only told us what to do, but how to get it done. He said be transformed by the renewing of our minds. To renew is to make new again. This is what we have to do in terms of the way we think. Jesus Christ is Lord because he encompasses every wonderful thing God desires for humanity; it’s all summed up in Christ. And guess what? He gave his life on Calvary so that you and I can be replicas of his love. Talk about a transformation, this is it!

Jesus was not a head-hanging low, pitiful sounding and looking individual. When he walked the face of this earth, he was the BUSINESS!!! So dynamic, so loving and charismatic, that people flocked to him wherever he went. This is the effect love has. It’s magnetic. It’s contagious. Every person that is of love will quite naturally gravitate towards it. You and I are destined to walk in a Christ-kind of confidence; the kind that is full of God’s love.

Confidence and faith begin in the mind, and it’s important to think like Christ to keep our motives pure, with no hint of arrogance or pride. The mind of Christ is pure excellence. His thoughts are those of making life better for everyone. This is the mindset that God expects us to emulate. 2Corinthains 10:5 tells us to capture every rebellious thought and teach them to obey Christ. We can do this because God has equipped every thinking individual with the capacity to examine their thoughts. We can look at them from every angle, and then decide whether to keep them, straighten them out, or throw them away.

We have it on God’s authority that transformation begins in the mind. It’s where the spiritual war is waged, and we must be relentless to stand our ground on the truth of who and what we are. 1Thessalonians 5:5(NLT) tells us, “For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” We’re not defeated, powerless creatures who are meant to be sad all our lives. Christ declared that through him we’re more than conquerors, and God has given us a spirit of love, power, and self-control to seal the deal. Be about the business of renewing your mind to your Christ identity. Study the truth, so that his love can continue the transformation in you that he has begun.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

“A Sealed Deal” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

When ‘Not Enough’ Is Too Much

An acquaintance broke up with a man she had been seeing for five years. She thought the relationship would end with a proposal. Even though he told her many times that he wasn’t the marrying type and didn’t see a family in his future, she kept hoping. Sometimes, we trip this way. We stroll on the sidelines of arrogance without realizing it. Somewhere in the back of our minds is the notion that our love is so awesome and we’ve got it going on to such a degree, that not only will we make a person totally change their minds, we’re going to make them change their hearts. It’s a noble cause, but one that can easily undermine our faith and do a serious number on our self-esteem.

Love is a spiritual thing. You can’t hold it in your hands. You can’t touch it or mold it like clay into anything you want it to be. Yet, it is the most dynamic and powerful reality that any of else will ever be blessed to experience. 1John 4:8(NLT) very simply tells us, “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Our Heavenly Father is the embodiment of love. Everything about Him oozes it and slathers us in His warm and powerful yumminess. He loves us with an everlasting love, the kind that only He can give; and through His unyielding love, He attaches Himself to us through Christ.

Jesus Christ said in John 3:16(NLT), “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Heavenly Father has demonstrated the depth of His love by giving His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us on the cross of Calvary. He gave the gift of His Son’s life so that we would have the opportunity to live an eternity with Him. It will take an eternity for God to show us how much He loves us. Yet, it cannot be lost on us that with this enormous love that He bestows on each of us, He will never make us love Him back.

Our Heavenly Father shows us by example how love behaves. It doesn’t force, coerce, manipulate, shove, or push. Love is a magnet that ultimately attracts its match. This is one of the reasons that God wants us to be patient as we grow in a fully mature, Christ-kind of love. He knows that when we put this high-quality goodness out there, it’s coming back to us in greater quantity and quality. Jesus Christ cosigned this in Luke 6:38 when he said that what we put out there determines what we get back.

The woman who remained in a relationship for five years, snatching crumbs, knew deep down that this man was incapable of providing a feast. He was not able at that time in his life to love her the way God desires her to be loved. It’s sad to say, but there are some people that have made a commitment to selfishness, and they’ve mastered emotional unavailability. They know how to manipulate ‘not enough’ in such a way that you cast all your hope on it. This is when ‘not enough’ is too much.

All of us are on a journey, searching for something. Sometimes we meet individuals that give us a hint of what we’re searching for, and we convince ourselves that the good part will come later. Spiritual maturity will lead you to discover that what you’re searching for is the love of God. It needs to go deep within you so that you’re never starving from or feasting on emptiness. Only the love of Christ can give you the wisdom to discern well, so that you don’t expend energy and make emotional investments that subtract from your destiny.

2 Peter 1:5-9 The Message (MSG) says, “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.”

Grow in the love of Christ. That’s the goal! That’s where you’ll find the rich treasure of love that fills your cup. Let God have His way with your heart. Spend time allowing Him to develop His love in you. Study His Word, and talk with Him often. In due season, He will reward you with the person who matches your capacity to love, and you’ll feast from the Father’s table together. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

“When ‘Not Enough’ Is Too Much” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

When Bitterness Gets A Rub

Hebrews 12:15(NLT) tells us, “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”  During the time in which God inspired the Apostle Paul to write this epistle to the Hebrews, Christians were being horribly treated, and many were executed for the sake of the gospel. It was a very tense time and as one might imagine, people were stressed. We’re living in stressful times today, but I don’t think it compares to what those before us endured. Still, the pressure of dealing with various challenges can cause a person to behave differently than they might otherwise. This was true thousands of years ago, and it’s true today. Pressure can cause us to harbor the wrong emotions. So, God’s warning in Hebrews 12:15 is a very important one, because it informs us that what grows in our hearts can take root in our lives.

God’s desire is that we look after one another and be concerned about our brothers’ and sisters’ welfare. This is one of our Christian duties. It’s a way that God can work through us to comfort one another, especially during hard times. Our emotions and feelings can get out of hand when we’re under duress. This can cause bitterness to fester within, and we’re not always aware it’s happening.

Years ago, I was betrayed by someone that I loved very much, and it hurt me terribly. I agonized over the loss for many weeks. Unwilling to confront the situation with maturity and grace, or to accept any responsibility for how things turned sour, I became very angry. At the same time, I was dealing with an issue at work, and felt I was being treated unfairly by my boss. Both things did a whammy on my head and heart. It was as if I was looking at someone else live my life. I was unhappy, and snappy all the time. I treated people I cared about poorly, and I don’t think I had ever raised my voice in anger the way I did back then. It was an ugly time. I internalized the anger and disappointment I felt, and blamed others for it. I had become very bitter.

God tells us in Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT), “31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” God would not tell us to do something that we’re incapable of getting done. He’s not giving us a suggestion here, but a directive to put away the bitterness, along with all its compadres. He’s made us totally responsible and accountable for the evil behavior that comes with bitterness, and He’s also made it very clear that it’s a choice to do so.

Hurt, heartache, and disappointment are heavies. They weigh us down, but they are also part of the human condition. Not only do they cause us to experience an avalanche of other emotions, but they can make us feel as though things are not going to get better. The special person that’s chosen to move on, the friend that betrays us, the family member who abandons or that isn’t there when we need them most; these circumstances are painful, but they are burdens we don’t have to carry alone. God tells us in 2Corinthians 12:9 (NLT) “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” He will carry the load of our hurt and devastation. He will pick up the pieces and make our lives all we dreamed they would be.

We can miss the grace of God if we allow bitterness to take root in our hearts. A negative outlook spoils the growth of newness, and allows corrupt attitudes to poison our hopes. Through Jesus Christ, we can be so much better than this, but we have to want to be. God has warned us severely about letting bitterness take root because it is a contagion that is pervasive if allowed to go unchecked. It spills over into every aspect of our existence, and many of us have grown incredibly comfortable with it in our hearts. I know folks that have lived with bitterness so long that they won’t allow God’s love to go near it, not even to give it a rub.

The greatest thing that we can do for ourselves is to surrender our pain, anger, and disappointment to Heavenly Father. When we allow His love to takeover, bitterness is rubbed out, and our faith in Him is polished in the process! We need to ask Him to do a work in our hearts—to perform surgery on us through His love and give us a new heart. This should be our prayer—our open invitation to Him. He’ll do this for us, because He loves us, and He wants the joy of His glory to light up our hearts.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“When Bitterness Gets A Rub” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!


“Jesus, Take the Wheel”

The revelation that Jesus Christ spoke in John 8:32(NLT) is more than revolutionary.  It is the foundation upon which our healing and restoration rests. In this verse, Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” As truth speakers and truth seekers, we cannot let the splendiferous opportunity to dissect and digest this yumminess slip by us. It is my personal belief that throughout humanity’s history, God has been very patient with us as our minds and hearts expand, for they must do so to accommodate the heft of His truth, as well as the infinite treasure of His provision and goodness. He doesn’t force us to accept or assume it all in one fell swoop. We can only handle the truth in small doses.

There can be no question that the knowledge of Jesus Christ expands our minds monumentally, and walking in his example swells the expanse of our hearts exponentially. This increase in our spiritual and internal landscape is what creates a landing strip for blessings. As Ephesians 3:20(NLT) tells us, it allows God’s mighty power to be “at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”  It is therefore logical to deduce that if we have a little biddy piece of truth, we cannot live above that which we know.

Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing—perceiving—trusting the Word of God. In order to build our faith—the faith that is necessary to become all that we are meant to be—it is essential that we know more than we know right now. Faith helps us make leaps in our minds and hearts that we would not otherwise make. God demands that through faith we trust in what we cannot see. And not only this, we must accept the truth that those things that are unseen are more real than those that can be seen. This is most definitely a release-the-wheel way of living.

To live out our destinies, Jesus Christ must be in the driver’s seat. Why? Because in John 14:6(NLT) he declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

There’s pressure all around us. It feels as if it’s coming from every direction, and some of us are losing it big time. We can’t make sense of things, and we have to ask ourselves if it is because something is missing? Is there some piece of truth that’s not in your arsenal? Is this truth the piece of the puzzle that will bring clarity, purpose, and peace to your life?

Jesus knows the answers to these questions, and they are found in him. In Matthew 7:7(NKJV), he tells us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  James 4:2 also tells us that we have not because we ask not. Sometimes we don’t ask Jesus for answers because we know on some level that they will take us to places we’ve never been before. They will cause us to have to function on a higher spiritual level, and this scares us. We shouldn’t have fear. We were created for this.

In John 16:12(NLT), Jesus told the disciples, “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.” Jesus Christ IS the TRUTH! He could have given the disciples knowledge that would have blown their socks off, but he didn’t, because they had not cultivated the head-and-heart space to deal with it. Let it not be said of us.

We hold so tightly to the familiar and comfortable, because we believe them to anchor the journey we call life. Hebrews 6:19 tells us that our hope in Christ is the strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. When we loosen our grasp, and let Jesus take the wheel of our lives, he will lead us to the place that God has destined us to be. In the Lord Jesus Christ, we can know, handle, and walk in the truth!■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Jesus, Take the Wheel” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!


The Biggest Break Imaginable

We all have distinct and different avenues that we took to establish a relationship with God. Some of us came to the Lord Jesus Christ because a person witnessed the Gospel to us, and we were overcome with his love in that instance. Others were brought up in the church, and it was more of an organic progression. Then, there are those who felt compelled in their souls to embrace the call. No matter how we became reacquainted with Heavenly Father, we should know beyond any uncertainty that it was not by chance or luck. We were destined to be His sons and daughters, even before we were born.

Ephesians 1:7 The Message (MSG) tells us, “Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!” In most instances, it isn’t until you’re out of the frenzy that you can really grasp the freedom that it talks about in this verse. An abusive environment is chaotic; sometimes managed chaos, but chaotic nonetheless. An atmosphere that lacks the peace of God is one where there’s a heighten level of alert all the time. Any minute the script could flip from reasonable to unreasonable, from quiet to crazy, and from calm to fear. Anyone that deals with this for an extended period will have a mindset that is very different from the peaceful mind of Christ that God desires for us.

We were destined to be free from the oppression of fear, and we are called to live through God’s love. There are certain truths that we simply must trust in order to do this, because we cannot build our relationship with God on fear. He sets the terms, and His terms are such that He wants us free in our hearts and minds, because that’s how love moves—it moves freely.

One of the truths we must trust is that God accomplished through Jesus Christ what we could not accomplish for ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, God’s Word declares that He thinks we’re pretty awesome. In Ephesians 2:10, He calls us His masterpieces, and He has great things in store for all of us, but we tend to let sin and fear rule at times, so we don’t always cooperate with His plan. Another important piece of truth that you and I have to know and trust is that God indeed has a plan, and we’re a big part of it.  Ephesians 1:8 The Message (MSG) says, “He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.”

Cooperating with God’s plan is how we cut ourselves the biggest break imaginable. That brings me to another juicy hulk of truth that we must trust to build our relationship with God; He knows best. This is huge, because most of us either think we got it all figured out or that we have to carry the load ourselves. Jesus Christ invites us in Matthew 11:28 to give him our burdens. He knows how to handle them. He wants to help us, and we need to cut ourselves a break and let him.

A whole lot of us struggle with this. We really do think we got it going on, and that we can somehow make all the pieces of our lives come together. I found out the hard way that it ain’t so. I was one of those people that felt the pulling in my soul. It came at a time when I was pretty low, and emotionally numb from dealing with situations that I lacked the maturity, wisdom, and strength to handle. It was during this time that my soul cried the loudest. I heard it, and knew that nothing in the earth would satisfy what I needed. It was of the utmost imperative that I experience something real. It had to be something that would scoop me up from the muck and mire of a gloom that was thicker than molasses. God’s supernatural power is larger than life, but at that time I could only provide the tiniest opening for it to come through. It’s amazing to me even today that this was all it took, because with that smaller-than-a-pin-head opening, God’s love wedged through and transformed my life.

Heavenly Father tells us in Romans 8:28 (NKJV) that “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This is His promise and we can trust it with every fiber of our beings. Jesus Christ invited us to this life of freedom—free to love him, free to love others, and free to love ourselves. It’s not a ‘hot one minute cold the next’ kind of love. It’s got glue! God’s love in Christ holds things together. If you’ll surrender to it and let the Spirit have his way, God’s love will nurture your soul and work with you until you’re all grown up in Christ, walking tall and strong in faith. Cut yourself a break and let the love of Christ do this for you.■

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 “The Biggest Break Imaginable” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!