THRIVE: As the week begins and things are heading back towards normal…


Happy Monday! The weekend of celebration is wrapping up and another early morning trip to the airport to send loved ones home. The work week begins with excitement about getting to present. And nearly back to normal. Although, what is normal? Is it how things were 3 weeks ago? Is it how things were pre-covid? Is it how things will be later this week? Is it how things will be when we get into the end of summer? Change is constant and so defining normal may seem to change too.

The dictionary tells us this about normal:

nor·mal
[ˈnôrməl]
ADJECTIVE
normal (adjective)
conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected:
"it's quite normal for puppies to bolt their food" · "normal working hours"
synonyms:
usual · standard · typical · stock · common · ordinary · customary · conventional · habitual · accustomed · expected · wonted · everyday · regular · routine · day-to-day · daily · established · settled · set · fixed · traditional · quotidian · prevailing · average · run-of-the-mill · middle-of-the-road · mainstream · unremarkable · unexceptional · plain · simple · homely · homespun · workaday · garden-variety
antonyms:
unusual · abnormal
(of a person) physically and mentally healthy:
"until her accident Louise had been a perfectly normal little girl" · "many previously normal people exhibit psychotic symptoms after a few nights without sleep"
synonyms:
sane · in one's right mind · right in the head · of sound mind · in possession of all one's faculties · able to think/reason clearly · lucid · rational · coherent · balanced · well balanced · compos mentis
antonyms:
insane · irrational
technical
(of a line, ray, or other linear feature) intersecting a given line or surface at right angles:
"a single plane of symmetry with a diad axis normal to it"
medicine
(of a salt solution) containing the same salt concentration as the blood:
"dilute the stock solution with sterile water or normal saline"
chemistry
dated
(of a solution) containing one gram-equivalent of solute per liter.
geology
denoting a fault or faulting in which a relative downward movement occurred in the strata situated on the upper side of the fault plane.
NOUN
normal (noun) · normals (plural noun)
the usual, average, or typical state or condition:
"her temperature was above normal" · "the service will be back to normal next week"
synonyms:
standard · usual · typical · average · the rule · predictable · unexceptional · par for the course · what one would expect · expected · (only) to be expected
antonyms:
the exception
informal
a person who is conventional or healthy.
technical
a line at right angles to a given line or surface:
"the view is along the normal to the surface"
ORIGIN
mid 17th century (in the sense ‘right-angled’): from Latin normalis, from norma ‘carpenter's square’ (see norm). Current senses date from the early 19th century.
Nor·mal
[ˈnôrməl]
DEFINITION
a town in central Illinois, home to Illinois State University (originally a normal, or teachers, school); population 52,056 (est. 2008).

https://www.bing.com/search?q=define%20normal&qs=n&form=QBRE&=%25eManage%20Your%20Search%20History%25E&sp=-1&pq=define%20normal&sc=8-13&sk=&cvid=2A36ECDCAB0A44BBB2BF03199E27C49F

I’ve joked over the years that the only time people have called me normal is if they put ab in front of it! But are we supposed to be average? Nope, Jesus calls us to a higher standard and to raise the bar! The Holy Spirit is with us to lead us and guide us, instruct us and correct us! God is with us and in us when we have received the Holy Spirit through inviting Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior! So rather than choosing to be normal, choose to raise the bar, to be unusual, to be above average, to be unpredictable, to be exceptional, to be above par! Let’s allow Jesus to set the standard rather than living according to the standards of this world! Let’s choose to thrive rather than just survive by living for the glory of God!

THRIVE - LIVING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

Today’s Verse of the Day:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! ‘

Philippians 2:5-8

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Just For Dads: Be A Positive Christian Role Model – Day 12


So where are you at? Are you ready to be more than normal? Are you ready to be more than average? Invite Jesus into your heart today! Invite Jesus into your life today! Allow the Holy Spirit to enter in and guide you through life today!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."

Is average good enough? Is it really what you want to be?


What if the average keeps going down, do you still think that average is good enough? What if the average keeps going down, is it really what you want to be? When you are asked “how are you doing?” how do you respond? Is it with a positive response, a negative response, or a neutral aka average response? Are you doing well? Are you doing good? Are you having problems? Are you struggling? Are you ok? Are you in or are you out or are you just sitting on the fence? Are you going to be helping the average go up based on how you are choosing to live out your life? Are you going to help the average go down based on how you are choosing to live out your life? Are you just going to coast and ride the average line? Do you realize that when you aren’t moving forward that you are falling behind? Do you realize that by standing still you are actually falling back? Ever watched water waves? The waves that are pushing to get to shore vs the waves that are pulling out to sea vs the floaters who are just bobbing there and over time get pulled out to sea or get stuck on the beach?

Is average good enough or are you willing to choose to be positive or negative, good or bad, getting better or getting worse? Are you willing to run the risk of allowing what’s going on around you to drive where you will be by staying average? On a good day it may mean you move up. On a bad day it may mean you go down. But what will you decide and choose when it comes to your life?

Ever considered that God created today on purpose and created you on purpose and both have a purpose? Ever considered the idea of taking hold of the scripture “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.“? Ever consider God’s plan for your life is “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“? Ever taken hold of the reason and purpose Jesus came to this world? We know from scripture that He came that we would have an abundant life, a full life, and an overflowing life!

So are you really going to settle for average? Are you going to be good with just being average? Or are you ready to take hold of God’s Word and God’s promises and God’s plans to avoid being lukewarm?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for March 18th


The curse of mediocrity


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Revelation 3:16

‘So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you living with purpose or just going through the motions?
  • Are you living with passion or just going through the motions?
  • At home, are you living with passion or just going through the motions?
  • At work, are you living with passion or just going through the motions?
  • With God, are you living with passion or just going through the motions?
  • With your family, are you living with passion or just going through the motions?
  • With your volunteering or ministry, are you living with passion or just going through the motions?
  • Are you wanting and ready and willing to be a change agent in this world?
  • Are you drained and have lost your passion and have decided to just go with the flow and go through the motions?
  • Have you motivations and passions been lost?
  • Have you become lukewarm?
  • What can you do to refill your take? What can you do to get rejuvenated? What can you do to become energized again?
  • Stress can wear us down!
  • Life can cause our energy to dissipate!
  • Where is the excitement?
  • Where is the caring?
  • Is it impacting others around you?
  • If you are in a position of being average, lukewarm, or going with the motions then step back and consider the negative habits that you have developed in your life.
  • If you are in a position of being average, lukewarm, or going with the motions then take stock of your stresses and your stress level.
  • If you are in a position of being average, lukewarm, or going with the motions then decide to make a change.
  • If you are in a position of being average, lukewarm, or going with the motions then decide that you are done settling for mediocre.
  • If you are in a position of being average, lukewarm, or going with the motions then take an inventory of things on your list and prune the ones that need to be prune, cut off the ones that need to be removed, and then once you have eliminated them add things that will bring life and help you to become fully alive again.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What activities, purposes, or people bring passion and purpose to your life?
  • My wife and kids
  • My church and the worship and arts department
  • At risk and in need children – be it through sponsorship or directing a camp for foster kids and teens
  • Connecting with people to make sure they are doing well (if if not how to support and pray for them)
  • Helping problem solve and bring connections
To what extent has your life become mediocre? What do you need to do about it?
  • 2020 was a year that drained
  • 2020 was a year that stressed
  • 2020 was a year that frustrated
  • 2020 was the beginning of isolation
  • New beginnings closed out 2020 and kicked off 2021 – new team, new projects, new energy
  • Removed much of the old and opened up space for the new
  • COVID and the isolation that comes with it can cause mediocre to seem ok
  • So need to ensure connections and to do things that energize and motivate me and others.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“As I read my Scriptures today, the words ring loud and clear that the most miserable creature on earth is the fence-straddler trying to please God and man. He fails to do either and ends up not even pleasing himself, much less his fellow man or his God.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Deuteronomy 17
    • Keep God’s Word handy so that you always have it available in a moment of need and be able to determine the right response.
  • Deuteronomy 18
    • Let’s do all we can to keep a pure heart and mind in how we choose to live
    • Test any words spoken to or over you against God’s Word to know if it is true.
  • Deuteronomy 19

Are you settling to be a straddler? Are you settling to be mediocre? Are you settling to be lukewarm? Are you settling to be average? Will you decide today to change that plan?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


A time for restoration!


Take a look around at all that has been torn up, broken down, neglected, abolished and destroyed! You know what we need? We need a time to restore! Restore relationships! Restore community! Restore hope! Restore marriages! Restore families! Restore health! Restore behaviors that produce good! Restore values! Restore truth! Restore order! Restore the land! Restore equality! Restore justice! Restore righteousness! Restore peace! Restore security! Restore safety! Restore the knowledge of right and wrong! Restore discipline! Restore the fortunes to be able to remove the debt! Restore the cities! Restore the rejoicing! Restore the increase! Restore the joy! Restore the trust! Restore good and faithful leaders! Restore us so that we will be God’s people and He will be our God! Restore the love! Restore the kindness! Restore how people are valued by their character, the content of their character! Restore unity! Restore alignment to God’s ways! Restore the land! Restore the singing! Restore the direction and instruction! Restore the value and values! Restore the goodness and greatness! Restore the jobs so that people will be able to get back to working and producing! Restore justice so that the rule of law will be followed and applied equally! Restore hope that will last, hope that goes beyond one generation! Restore accountability for what we say and do! Restore the production of the fruit of the Spirit: Restore love! Restore joy! Restore peace! Restore forbearance! Restore patience! Restore kindness! Restore goodness! Restore faithfulness! Restore self-control!

Restore forgiveness! Restore truth! Restore hope! Restore justice! Restore The Way!

We need a revival! With people turning back to God and allowing Him to lead us and guide us in all of His ways! With people following after Jesus and making a difference by sharing the fruit of the Spirit! With people demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit. So let’s repent and turn back to God! Let’s allow the fruits of the Spiritlove, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to flow thru us and out of us! Let’s get a revival moving forward for the glory of God! Let’s revive this country and this world! Let’s restore this country and this world! Let’s allow the Word of God and the promises of God to be poured out over this world! 

Let’s put up guideposts to help people find their way! Let’s provide road signs to point them in the right direction! Help them to find the road they should take! Give them eyes to see and ears to hear so that they will stop wandering! Let’s greet others with words like: The Lord bless you, you prosperous city, you sacred mountain. Let’s come together and live together again in unity! Let’s come together and live together again in alignment to God’s Word and God’s will! Let’s be accountable for the way we live! Not how our parents lived or how our kids live, but be accountable for the way we live! Let’s allow God’s Word to be in our minds and guide and direct our steps! Let’s allow God’s Word to be etched into our hearts so that we know the difference between right and wrong and live it out! 

Let’s choose to live life above average! The law is set to be average, but Jesus calls us to be above average! If we just live at the status quo, then the average will keep going down! If we choose to live lives above average, then we will keep raising the average and help restore this land! Be it the law of the land or God’s law from the 10 commandments, we need to step up and stand up for what is right! We need to raie the average so that people can live out each day in confidence and trusting in God! Today’s reading in Romans speaks to us of being freed from sin and bound to Jesus!

On the mound, Jesus teach us the way! His Way! Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it!

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is Godʼs throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Eye for Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–from Matthew 5


Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 3031, Romans 7

Going through some tough times at work?


Did you know that just because you choose to follow God doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy street? Consider it pure joy throughout the journey! The new testament even tells us in two different verses that we will have challenges and trials:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” –from John 16:33

2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. –from James 1

The road may seem rough or the path may seem tough, but God can work in and through that! He can work not only in your life but also through generations! We aren’t called to be average or ordinary, God’s desire is for us to live special, above average, and extraordinary lives!

Today’s Reading speaks to just such a person who was called to a higher calling:

 1Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. 2Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.

–from Genesis 28

God can use your parents to speak life and wisdom into your life! God can use them to speak direction because you are special and God’s purpose for you is unique! Greater than we may ever know in our own lifetime!

As we learned yesterday, we need to Trust God! As He works in and through our lives, we need to walk with Him and trust that He will work it all out for good as His Word promises when it says as part of His plan!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

— from Jeremiah 29:11

And when He speaks of how he will reward those who seek Him

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

–from Hebrews 11:6

So will you trust Him? Will you seek Him? Will you follow Him?

Today’s Devotional comes from day 2 of God at Work and speaks to this subject as follows:

 

God at Work

God is at work even when the path is tough. The first point to make when we look at the story of any person in the Bible is: God is at work. The Bible is His Word and it’s a record of His work! Oh yeah, God is always at work. That’s what Jacob was learning when we catch up with him in Genesis 28. Notice verse 1.Well, you remember Isaac, right? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob—the father, son, and grandson God used to start a new nation. Isaac told his son, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women.”

God sovereignly appointed Jacob, though born second, to get the birthright and the firstborn’s blessing, through whom all the descendants of the nation of Israel would be built. Jacob eventually had twelve sons who fathered the twelve tribes of Israel.

It’s not surprising then that God didn’t want him to have any ordinary random wife. God wanted him to have a treasure, a wife to value and love. So, Isaac sent his son on a road trip. In Genesis 28:2 he must have thought, “Hey, that place was good enough for your grandfather to find a wife, that place was good enough for me, it’s good enough for you. Get over there and get yourself a wife.”

God is working in your life. Deal with it. Trust Him. Always leave room for Him to direct. And when the road gets rough, thank Him for being with you!

Prayer: Father, I realize that You have often steered my life through the counsel and even the commands of others. I appreciate that behind my parents and others in authority in my life, you have often demonstrated control so that afterwards I saw that their directions to me were actually Your directions! I look forward to eternity partly to be able to see all the ways You were working that I never even noticed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

–from God at Work from James MacDonald (day 2)

What if they try to set you up?


Ever been in a situation where people are asking you something in hopes that they can trap you by hearing you speak the truth? Ever been in a situation where speaking the truth is confrontational? Ever been put in the place where if you speak the truth that you will be put in a more difficult situation?

WHAT DID YOU DO?

Do you seek wisdom to answer it properly? Did you seek strength and courage to answer it truthfully?

Let’s see what our role model does…

15The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. 16Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod’s party. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God’s will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone’s status. 17Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?” 18Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me the coin for paying the tax!”They brought him the coin, 20and he asked them, “Whose face and name are these?” 21“The Emperor’s,” they answered.So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” 22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away. — from Matthew 22 (GNT)

So let’s seek wisdom to understand the intent of the question being asked! Let’s make sure that we can answer it truthfully so that in and through it our Father in Heaven can be glorified! Let’s speak bold and courageously trusting in the Holy Spirit to give us the words we need to speak. We have the promise that we aren’t supposed to worry, He will provide us with the words and the wisdom to answer the charges.We don’t need to be afraid! And even if we suffer for doing good, God will bless us!

Ever been in a situation where the story or the facts are so convoluted and drawn out that it almost seemed like they missed the point? Ever found yourself where they tell you a story and then ask you so what do you think? Ever noticed that the assumptions that are being proposed or made seem a bit out of sync with reality? Check out how Jesus responds when faced with such a situation…

23That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus and claimed that people will not rise from death. 24“Teacher,” they said, “Moses said that if a man who has no children dies, his brother must marry the widow so that they can have children who will be considered the dead man’s children. 25Now, there were seven brothers who used to live here. The oldest got married and died without having children, so he left his widow to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second brother, to the third, and finally to all seven. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28Now, on the day when the dead rise to life, whose wife will she be? All of them had married her.” 29Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! It is because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power. 30For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry. 31Now, as for the dead rising to life: haven’t you ever read what God has told you? He said, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead.” 33When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching. — from Matthew 22 (GNT)

We need to be able to focus on the truth! We need to be able to see beyond the distractions! We need to be able to hear the intent! We need to be able to realize what the real question is that is being asked! We need to be able to give an answer for real question, not necessarily the question that seems to be on the surface!

Don’t allow the misrepresentation keep you from the truth! Don’t allow the wrong assumptions answer the wrong question! Listen to what the Holy Spirit is prompting you and allow His wisdom to guide your response, not your emotions, not your humor, not your sarcasm, but the truth! The truth will set us free!

We can trust in God! He is faithful! God will be true even though or when we aren’t. God’s ways are higher and better than our ways, so we may not understand the full picture of what we are going through, but there is a purpose and a plan to help develop something in our character so that we can become more like Christ through it! So when we have to give a reason for the hope that is within us, let’s make sure we are prepared so that we are able to win the case! Let’s not grow weary in doing what’s right and what’s good!

So no more excuses! No more lies! We’ve all missed the mark! None of us are perfect and without sin! By trying to be good enough, we won’t meet the bar! On the flip side that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to meet the bar provided by Jesus since He gave us a bar to meet that should help raise the average rather than everyone just trying to be average which will in turn lower the average even more! Be it in the area of anger, adultery, divorce, vows, revenge, enemies, He speaks a better option! We need a savior, which is why Jesus came! He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save that which is lost! God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but find everlasting life!

So how do we get put right with God? In Romans, we read the following…

21But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. 22God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. 24But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. 25-26God offered him, so that by his blood he should become the means by which people’s sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people’s sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus. 27What, then, can we boast about? Nothing! And what is the reason for this? Is it that we obey the Law? No, but that we believe. 28For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands. 29Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles also? Of course he is. 30God is one, and he will put the Jews right with himself on the basis of their faith, and will put the Gentiles right through their faith. 31Does this mean that by this faith we do away with the Law? No, not at all; instead, we uphold the Law. — from Romans 3 (GNT)

So as God forgives us, we need to be ambassadors of forgiveness! We need to forgive others for as we forgive others, God will forgive us! We need to be sharing forgiveness! We need to be modeling forgiveness! For it brings truth and freedom that people are seeking every day of their lives!

1Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins! 2Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin! 3I recognize my faults; I am always conscious of my sins. 4I have sinned against you—only against you—and done what you consider evil. So you are right in judging me; you are justified in condemning me. 5I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful. 6Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom. 7Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
and though you have crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again. 9Close your eyes to my sins and wipe out all my evil. 10Create a pure heart in me, O God,
and put a new and loyal spirit in me. 11Do not banish me from your presence; do not take your holy spirit away from me. 12Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13Then I will teach sinners your commands, and they will turn back to you. 14Spare my life, O God, and save me, and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness. 15Help me to speak, Lord, and I will praise you. 16You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you are not pleased with burnt offerings. 17My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart. 18O God, be kind to Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices and with our burnt offerings; and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
–from Psalm 51 (GNT)

So this is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!