Greater things are yet to come.


You know where you are now and you have hopes and dreams for the future. Don’t allow fear to keep you from the greater things that God has planned for you. Don’t allow the fears and the cares of this world paralyze you from realizing the incredible things that are yet to come.

Forgiveness is a powerful experience. I remember shortly after having been freed from a period of bitterness and frustration having a conversation with God and He asked me if I had asked for forgiveness around a situation many years earlier. I hadn’t because I didn’t think the other person would even be aware of what took place, but pick up the question and followed through. I setup a meeting to discuss it with this person and when I brought it up they couldn’t remember it but they were cute in their response, “I don’t remember this. So that we can move on, I forgive you”. God is so gracious and able to restore, renew, and build up relationships and friendships when we are willing to step out and do what He asks us to do.

Where are you at today? Are you taking accountability for what you have done? Life’s not supposed to be a he said she said thing. Life’s not supposed to be a tit for tat. Life’s not supposed to be about getting even. Consider the situation you are stewing over today. Is there any part of it where you are at fault? You can always stand up do and what is right. It doesn’t matter what the other person does – whether they take accountability for their part or not – that’s between them and God. All we can do is our part so that we are not only reconciled with them, but also reconciled with God. Similar to when prodigal son said to His day after having messed up thinking his ways were better than what his father had planned,

The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ – Luke 15:21

but we see the reconciliation take place as the father receives his lost son.

“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time. – Luke 15:22-24

So before you start pointing fingers or allowing bitterness to step in. Consider your part. Consider what God would have you do. And then with God’s wisdom and direction, go and do it and watch how things will change. I know in one my cases the biggest change took place inside of me. God is so good and so faithful in that way.

 

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and an incredible Word from You. I thank You Lord for the plans You have for today and so I pray for wisdom and humility in and through it all so that with every word and with every thought and with every word, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Have you had a life changing moment yet?


Get to a crossroad and having a life changing moment? [Leave country or leave company]

Get an ultimatum, you will be [_______] or you will be nothing, you pick? [President of a homeowners association]

To forgive or allow bitterness to control the situation? [Power of forgiveness to produce freedom]

Get a message and then changing the next step of your career? [Get out of the boat]

Or how about some examples from God’s Word that are called out in today’s devotional from TGIF:

  • Moses and the burning bush – Exodus 3:1-15
  • Joshua parting the Jordan as he was about to lead Israel into the promised land – Joshua 3
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego coming out of the fiery hot furnace unharmed – Daniel 3
  • Daniel untouched in the lions’ den – Daniel 6
  • Peter walking on water – Matthew 14:22-36
  • Paul being blinded on the road to Damascus – Acts 9

There are times in our lives when something big happens and based on our decision, based on our response, based on our faith a new destiny, a new testimony, a new hope raises up in our lives. When we respond in God’s way incredible things happen.

When I was faced with the decision, the crossroad of life of having to leave the company I was working at or leave the country I grew up in, I turned to my parents and my in-laws for wisdom. As I connected with God later in life, I realized that what I had done was an incredible testimony and truth that aligned with God’s Word where in the 10 Commandments, we read:

12Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you. – Exodus 20:12

When I was faced with the prompting of my spirit to step up but didn’t feel that I was ready, God made sure I knew what was at stake with the ultimatum of “you will be president or you will be nothing”. Not wanting to be nothing, I stepped up and allowed God’s will to happen. With all that took place from that point forward, the Lord not only guided me through the tough road ahead in rebuilding the team who were staffed to support the community, but also in setting up the right infrastructure to help the association grow and move forward.

When I faced a time when it was feeling like everything was going wrong, that people were cheating me, lying to me, setting me up, … I ended up allowing a bitter root to get in me. It took a lot of time but one day when I was concerned about something else, God opened my eyes and spoke me through the song 7×70 on the radio and then the journey to my off-ramp from the highway we walked through me forgiving everyone who had hurt me and then the message that came to me was “as you forgive others so I will forgive you” and so I asked God to forgive me for being stubborn and bitter rather than doing things His way which He kept reminding me of every night on my way home with every song that spoke right to my very day. As I pulled off the highway, I was a changed man. It was all gone. The weight on my shoulders. The bitterness that had been in my heart was uprooted. All of it was gone and I was transformed by God’s grace and mercy which reminds me somewhat of Paul’s story when he was Saul and what it took to get his attention and to transform his heart.

When after nearly 20 years, my morning devotional spoke of Peter getting out of the boat, I asked God (since my morning readings tend to speak about where I am at) if the company I was working for was the boat and if I was supposed to get out and if so, if God could let me know what side. He was clear when a text arrived almost immediately that spoke to my heart “Get out of the boat” so I started my journey to determine which side and on that day when I knew and was going to step out, God encouraged me through His Word again with the message of Job 42:12, that the second half of my life was going to be twice as good as the first.

 

Where are you at today? Have you had a life changing event in your life? Are you at point in the journey where it is a preparation stage? Where ever you are in your journey, the key to getting to experience and live it out is to trust God and walk in a relationship with Him. As you notice above each of mind pointed me to the next turn in my journey and I know from the Job 42:12 that my journey isn’t over yet. With each fork in the road I learned an important lesson and have been able to carry that with me to move forward with God. Honor your parents. Nothing is too big for God. Forgiveness is the key to true freedom. God’s ways are best and His timing is perfect.

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for the incredible life You have given me with the incredible blessing of a wife that loves you, with incredible children who are wanting to pursue after you, with friends who are there for me and allow me to be there for them. As I look forward today Lord grant me wisdom for every conversation and situation. Help me Lord to speak love in truth and hope for those around me. Help me to be a light that shines for Your glory I pray. And may every thought, word, and action, bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What motivates you?


Is it the past? Is it the future? Is it a need? Is it a desire? Is it a purpose? Is it a plan? Is it a crisis? Is it faith? Is it fear? Is it trust? Is it doubt?

Why do you do what you do? What makes you want to? What holds you back? What makes you stop when you feel you should start?

Do you have someone you turn to? Do you have someone you trust?

There is something inside us that prompts us to step up or to step out. There is a check inside of us that tries to get us to look up to the source of every good and perfect gift. It usually kicks off with a need of some sort and when you have a need, where do you turn? what do you do? I turn to God and ask for help. Help being wisdom. Help being courage. Help being favor. Help being strength. Help being vision. Help being what I need in that moment.

Have you met the one who is able to help in your times of need? Have you met this Jesus who loves you so much that He gave His life on the cross in advance for everyone in an attempt to reconcile us with God from our sinful nature? I learned over time that it wasn’t about rituals or routines, religious habits or speech, but it is about a relationship with Jesus. A deep and intimate relationship with Jesus who goes before us to prepare in advance the good work He has for us to do. He intercedes on our behalf to the Father in Heaven.

What will motivate you? Will it be your hope and trust in God? Will it be wanting to do the right thing so that He can receive the praise, the honor, and the glory? Will it be something bigger than yourself?

Don’t fear, but rather allow faith to build up and allow you to be glorifying to God!

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I lift up this day and the entire schedule and ask Lord to help me use the day to best glorify You and bring You the glory. Grant me wisdom I pray for every situation and conversation. Help me Lord to be a good ambassador for You. Help me Lord, I pray to walk in faith trusting and following after Your will and Your plans for my life. You are so awesome Lord and Your Word is alive and speaks life, truth, and hope into my every day. May today be a day where with every thought, word, and action, I may bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Can you imagine that you have a purpose and it will impact generations for God?


I’ve heard it put in many ways and God’s grace in our lives makes it all possible.

Our lives are a louder sermon than anything we can say.
Joyce Meyer

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wondering if you have purpose or what your purpose is? Don’t worry for you were create for a purpose. A good book that I found that talks through this is called The Purpose Driven Life.  

Weather you realize it or not, you are being watched. Everything you do is speaking volumes to those around you. They are watching to see how you respond. They are watching to see what you will and won’t do. They are watching to learn what leads you. They are watching to see who you really are when you think nobody is watching. It could be your kids or your kids’ friends. It could be your neighbors. It could be your family. It could be your friends or coworkers. What are they learning about you?

God’s watching too. His grace is enough for everything we will face. His mercies are new every morning. And just as Jesus wants peace over our lives, we should be a light of hope that brings peace into the lives of others. We are to be His ambassadors and with that we need to be shining and sharing love, unconditional love, unmerited favor, hope to those around us. People may fail or in reality at some point we all will. We need to be able to pick ourselves and them up with God’s grace and help learn from the experience and move forward for the glory of God. Grace transforms us. When we share grace with others be it through forgiveness or other means it has the power of transformation in our lives and in the lives of those who have hurt us.

So… Realize that you are a life changer. Realize you have a purpose in this life. Realize that with God on your side nothing is impossible. So, let’s move forward in faith trusting in Him and living lives that will glorify Him.

 

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for the incredible journey that you are bringing me through and have lead me through. Lord, I look to You and trust in Your promises. I Love You Lord and lift up my family and friends to You and ask Lord for Your peace that goes beyond all understanding to cover them so that they will not walk in worry or fear, but will walk in faith trusting and believing in You. Help me today I pray so that with every thought, word, and action that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

How would things be different if our plans weren’t God’s plans?


When I think back to what I thought I might be or might do I reflect on personality tests they did back in grade 7 or 8 where it pointed to working in a field where I would help and interact with people – suggestions came out as the medical field, the education field, and others. When I think back to things I thought I might do or I might be I reflect on hearing from my parents about being a garbage man, or when I was getting ready to graduate going into pharmacy, or when I was in university considering going into teaching depending on what I thought of my first work term as a programmer. Computers ended up being the way I went with several different roles at Microsoft from tech support (where I acquired a strong bond with the customer and the need to make sure that whatever is being produced shouldn’t cause them pain) and then as a developer where I kept the support knowledge as I wrote and developed software and service, and then I moved into the realm of “internationalization of software” where the goal was to make software relevant and useful around the world. The support learnings never left me, but another powerful learning came in about the fact that if it isn’t done right people can end up in jail. So as my role change and my scope changed, God continued to teach me and stretch me into things that somewhat aligned with my schooling, but a lot of new things that were going to be useful for me into the future. As He got me involved in my community. As He got me involved in my church. As He got me to step up into areas that seemed bigger than where I was, but that worked out because they weren’t bigger than He was.

Learning through some trials the power of forgiveness. Learning through some trials that by putting forgiveness first, God was able to prepare in advance the next phase of what I was going to do. I am still on my journey and I know that God’s got greater plans yet for what is to be. Earlier this year as I left Microsoft after just over 19 years, He spoke Job 42:12 over me and so I know that the second half of my life will be even greater than the first.

12-15God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance. – Job 42:12-15

As we look up and keep our focus on God, even the great trials and challenges that we will face are under His power and His control.

21We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails. – Proverbs 19:21

It may not make sense in the moment, but it is for our good.

5-12Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this. – Proverbs 3:5-12

God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future.

10-11This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. – Jeremiah 29:10-11

There are many stories of people’s lives ending up in something they never thought of or planned for. There are many stories of how God took people where where they were to where He wanted them to be. What would you do if such a change in direction came your way? What would you do if you got to a place of change? Where will you turn? Who would you call out to for wisdom and insight? How would you respond? When would you give it up to God and when would you decide to go with it?

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within it. I praise You Lord for the incredible day You have made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. I thank You Lord that You have prepared in advance the work You have for me today and so I lift it up to You and ask for wisdom to help me walk through it in a way that will glorify and magnify Your name. Lord, I thank You for my family and friends. I praise You Lord for everyone You bring into my life for each season of my journey. Help me today I pray so that every thought, every word, and every action will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.