As another week has made it over the hump and the changes haven’t finished that are required to get from survival to thrive, it makes me wonder. What will it look like as 2022 moves towards the year to thrive? What will it feel like with all the changes as 2022 moves towards the year to thrive? What will it sound like with the adjustments and moves that are being setup and aligned to make it a year to thrive?
I am happy to hear about my oldest daughter thriving. I am happy to see my younger daughter also thriving. I am happy to get the reports that my son is thriving. And so I cling to God, lean on Him rather than my own understanding, trusting in Him to make my path straight so that 2022 will be a year to thrive. I am so excited that each week we have the opportunity to hold onto the theme of thrive through reading from the book of Exodus.
What will today bring? Let’s work to make sure we are prepared! Let’s be positioned to thrive!
Today’s Verse of the Day comes to us from 1 John 2:15-16 and says: (including v17 to close the point)
‘Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. ‘
So where are you today? Are you preparing? Are you anticipating? Are you getting excited? Are you looking and seeking? Are you reaching and feeling? Are you listening and hearing? Let’s invite Jesus into the center and let’s cling to Him today. Let’s invite Him in to help us navigate through our lives and live them to the full potential.
As I start today the idea of getting prepared for a conversation that is coming seems to make sense. As I start today I consider how God tells us to be ready in and out of season to give a reason for the hope that is within us. In 1 Peter 3:15-16, we read: ‘But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. ‘ In 2 Timothy 4:2, we read: ‘Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. ‘ Throughout scripture, God tells us to be prepared and to get prepared. So today I will spend my non-meeting times getting ready to speak not only of my faith but my team and our future. How about you? Are you ready to thrive? Are you prepared to move forward and thrive? Are you prepared to flip the switch and stop surviving day by day and start to thrive day by day? Are you ready to grab hold of God’s plan to give you hope and a future? Are you ready to grab hold of why Jesus came to this earth so that we can have life and live it to the full?
Today’s Verse of the Day:
‘Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. ‘
So are you ready today? Are you getting ready? Are you wondering how to get ready? Let’s get started by inviting Jesus into our lives and our very situation in order to have a firm foundation on which to stand.
It is nice to have confidence in my eternal future thanks to Jesus and Him having made a way for me. Today as the day starts and I reflect on yesterday’s events, activities, and conversations, it causes me to wonder. It triggers questions about what might be next. It triggered concerns about what others are thinking, saying, or doing and the impact it could have. It triggered intrigue into when more news will become available to help bring clarity for this year. There are many things I internalize because they shouldn’t be externalized. There are many things people share believing they can trust and hence they become internalized in order to ensure the trust isn’t broken. There are others who gossip without having the details in hopes of getting more details or even fake news that can get incorporated into the future distribution of the gossip. Gossip is something I prefer to avoid as I prefer to find the truth, for the truth will set us free. So today let’s decide to seek the truth, seek God’s plans and purpose for this year, seek God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength in love so that we will find it. Let’s ask so that we may receive answers. Let’s seek so that we may find answers. Let’s knock so that we may find the right opening.
‘ “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. ‘
So what are you facing today? Are you trying to go it alone? Are you looking for answers? Are you seeking the plan? Are you knocking on doors in hopes of finding the one you are supposed to go through? Today, let’s turn to God and invite Him into our situation. Let’s not go it alone but instead invite Jesus into our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through it.
God has a viewpoint that is able to see the beginning and the end. God has a plan that is for good and not for evil. God has a plan to give us hope and a future. So we need to trust Him. Starting a relationship with God doesn’t mean we won’t have any troubles, trials, or pain, but it does mean we won’t have to go through them alone. Jesus told us that in this world we will have troubles but that we can take heart because He has overcome the world. God’s Word in James calls us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because it will build our faith and perseverance and when perseverance has completed its work we will be complete and lacking nothing.
In Exodus 5, we see how even when God calls us to something it may not be or go exactly as I think or hope, and yet we need to cling to Him, trust Him, and move forward through it. Moses did what God told Him to do, God knew Pharaoh’s heart, and God knew it was going to take some work for His will to be done. Unfortunately for Moses who knows God, had an encounter with God, Pharaoh’s arrogance and idea that he was a god was going to be a barrier. We see how after Pharoh rejected Moses’ ask that Moses went back to God with doubt, worry, and fear.
In Exodus 6, God responds to Moses. He affirms that He knows Pharoah’s heart and that He was going to do to Pharaoh what would be necessary for him to let the Hebrews go. God speaks to Moses how He has made Himself known to him in a deeper way that He had ever done with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They knew God as God Almighty but it was Moses who got to know Him as the Lord. God encouraged Moses by telling him how He was going to fulfill the promise to give them the land of Canaan. God encouraged Moses by telling him He was going to bring the Israelites out from under the yoke of the Egyptians, giving them freedom from slavery, and redeeming them through His mighty acts of judgment. God encouraged Him by letting Him know that He would be their God and they would be His people.
So in the midst of 2 weeks of major change that will transform the future. In the midst of a 3rd week with an encounter but no real revelation. I choose to hold on tighter to God. I choose to hold onto the reality that God knows what He is doing. I got to hear my oldest’s voice and that You are doing mighty things in and through her. You have raised her up to be the leader you created her to be. I got to read a letter from her too and be encouraged to know she is in Your hands Lord and that You are taking care of her in and through it all. I got to prepare for my younger by getting her a durable, reliable, and safe mode of transportation to get her where You are taking her. So Lord, as this next week is ahead of me, I lean in on You. I turn to Your Word and Your calling and ask for Your help in being the dad that You created and called me to be. As my youngest is about the have his birthday and yet another transition comes to the family. I give this week to You and ask that You would be with me, that You would allow Your Spirit to lead and guide and comfort me, that You would help me to navigate what is yet to come so that in 2022 I will thrive according to Your purposes and for Your glory!
Today’s verse of the day comes from 1 Peter 3 and says:
‘For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. ‘
How about you? Where are you at? Are you trying to go through life alone or are you leaning in and leaning on God? Are you trusting Him rather than leaning on your own understanding? Are you acknowledging Him so that He can make your path straight? Are you casting your cares upon Him because He cares for you? Are you wondering? Are you trying to figure out what to do?
Well, the work week closed without much news about what’s next. There were some meetings to help in the learning about the teams but I haven’t any updates or news about what change is going to take place to help with the move from survival to thriving. This morning came with a great surprise phone call that blessed us greatly and produced great joy. Today will start with sports and include changes throughout the day to setup up the family or church to thrive moving into the year. So today I put it all in God’s hands as I spend family time with the family this week and don’t worry about what will be since I know God is in control. God’s Word tells us about worrying:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:6-7
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? — Matthew 6:25
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. — Matthew 6:34
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. — Psalm 94:19
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. — John 14:1
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. — John 14:27
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. — Proverbs 12:25
So today don’t let your heart be troubled. Today choose to be someone who refreshes others. Today invite Jesus into your heart and allow the spring of living water that never runs dry to be in you and allows you to be refreshed. Let’s pray:
Another busy week. Another week of pressure. Another week of preparation. Another week of representing. Another week to lead. Another week to encourage. Another week of uncertainty. Another week of change. In the midst of it all, the word I cling to is still THRIVE. I knew to get from survive mentality to thrive mentality would require change, just didn’t know what that would mean or look like. I realized after 2 major changes in the first 2 weeks that the changes aren’t finished yet. I know today there will be many conversations that will impact the next level of change. I know that today there is supposed to be an update on what has been learned and the impact. I know that the one thing I can trust in and lean on is God and His Word. His Word never returns void! His Word is never changing! He is never changing, being the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! So rather than trying to figure it all out on my own and leaning on my own understanding, today I will lean on and trust in God!
Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Matthew 5 and the Beatitudes that says:
‘ Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. ‘
So are you ready to live today in a relationship with God? Are you ready to live today mercifully? Are you ready to live today in a way that will leave a godly legacy? Are you looking to get started? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and start the journey and start to step into the promises of getting to live life more abundantly?
The third week in and just past the halfway point of the week, got many of the todo items into the to the done column before some new action items appear. Got the learning session doc buttoned up and ready for if or when the time comes to share it. Got the review feedback done in prep for the next phase of the year-end review. Knowing that depending on how things shake down there might be even more change or adjustment to the structure I have been used to seeing. And yet it’s today! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s choose to let today be Happy Today because it is the day that the Lord has made! It’s always today, no matter what day you are reading this and so grabbing hold of making it a Happy Today always fits. God has called 2022 to be a year to move on from just surviving and starting to thrive. Let’s not get stuck in the past but press forward into God’s plans and purposes to achieve greater things for His glory. Will you join me in making 2022 a year to thrive?
Today’s verse of the day comes to us from 1 Corinthians 13 and says:
‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ‘
Whenever I read this one I remember how not only will God allow us to endure the temptation but He also provides us with a way out! Many times we get stuck because we are enjoying or thinking that we are finding the temptation pleasurable when we should be looking for the door God has for us to use to get out of there. We need to look away! The temptation that comes our way comes at everyone, it is a matter of what we do about it. Let’s grab on to what God’s Word tells us about temptation so that we can step into today aware and prepared:
‘When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. ‘ James 1:13-18
‘On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” ‘ Luke 22:40
‘ And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’ ‘ Matthew 6:13
‘What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us ? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ‘ James 4:1-10
‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. ‘ 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Let’s choose to thrive living for God rather than surviving by going through the temptations of the devil.
So is today the day you will receive Jesus into your life? Is today the day you will invite Him into your heart to help you live out a life that can resist or turn or escape the troubles of falling into temptation? Are you ready to be transformed and live a new life today? Let’s pray:
This year started with a lot of change. With my oldest to kick off the year, my hiring manager in week 1, my next manager in week 2, and we are midway through week 3 and am not sure what change is around the corner, just that it is coming. To go from surviving to thriving will require change. Who knew what changes would be coming. Who knows what changes are coming? I just know that my hope and trust are in God. He knows the plans He has for me and they are to give me hope and a future. He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but through Him the world would be saved. And unlike the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, Jesus came that we could have life and life more abundantly, that’s right Jesus wants us to thrive! Are you ready to make the exchange with God today?
Today’s verse of the day comes to us from:
‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’
There are so many things that try to hold us back and hold us down. Let’s seek and find Jesus. Let’s seek God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Let’s invite Him into our lives so that we can overcome evil with good, darkness with light, and hate with love. Let’s invite Jesus into our life today and walk out each step with Him rather than trying to go it alone. Let’s pray:
As you begin today, who are you? Where does your identity come from? Who do you say you are? Who does God say you are? Are you ready to live according to who God says you are rather than being defined by what you do, how you do it, or what others think? Are you ready to grab hold of your identity and live out the purpose for which you were created?
Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Matthew 28:19 and says:
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, ‘
Are you ready to go today? Are you ready to share the good news today and make disciples? Are you ready to remove the limits and the barriers of who you can share the good news with? Are you ready to help them enter into the baptism? Are you ready to bring them into and under the covering of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Are you ready to help them find their true identity in Christ Jesus? Are you ready to help them be redeemed? Are you ready to answer the call?
There are so many things in this world that try to tear us down. There are so many things in this world that try to define us or write out our identity. Let’s not allow the world to rob us of our true identity. Let’s grab hold of who God says we are. Let’s decide today to accept and receive the gift of God through Jesus Christ and become children of God. Let’s pray:
As I start this day, the last day of a long weekend, the day to remember MLK Jr, it is amazing what his hope and desire were for and how much they align with God’s view of things. Ever heard the quote: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world all took hold of that sentiment and decided to live out their lives leading with love. Ever heard the quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world came out of the dark and stepped into the light. Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world lead with love in order to drive out hate. Ever heard the quote: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world chose to have character traits like integrity, honesty, loyalty, respectfulness, and responsibility. Ever heard the quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Take a look around and imagine in the midst of the challenges and controversy taking place what is being said by the stand people are taking and the words and actions that are being taken. Ever heard the quote: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” So take a look around and ask God what it is He would have you to in order to thrive in accordance with His purpose for you. In 2021, God put the purpose of Being The Dad my kids, my wife, and my world needs me to be. To kick off 2022, I have picked up that mantle and started blogging in hopes of both helping men step up as well as helping kids heal when it comes to dads. To kick off 2022, I am looking to make what I do and how I live my life speak to the importance of Being The Dad for this world. In the midst of everything going on and with the word for 2022 being THRIVE, I believe that it will be related to the ball moving forward as part of the Be The Dads movement. I remember when God spoke it to me and wondered what that could mean or look like. Over time, God has spoken incredible things to me like being the dad for my wife and kids, how the camp I get to be the director for that provides camps for teenage foster kids who in many cases are missing their dad in their life picture, how the future may include small groups for men to come together and encourage one another to be the dads God created us to be, how the future may include speaking to incarcerated men in prisons who shouldn’t and can’t shrug off their responsibilities of being the dads God created them to be, how the future may include speaking to high school boys about their roles and responsibilities as young men to consider before they act if they are ready to be the dads before they act, how the future may even include speaking opportunities at dads’ or men’s events to speak the reality and the importance of being the dads God created, purposed and desires for us to be and become, and how in and through it all pointing everyone to the perfect model, our Heavenly Father.
A different dream from MLK Jr but an important dream God has put on my heart and it relates to being a dad and helping others be the dads God wants them to be.
To close out my message and meditate on what this day is all about, I want to grab hold of the importance of a dream, a dream that goes on as a legacy. Martin Luther King Jr quotes about his dreams:
So today, let’s hold tight to God who will restore us, make us strong, firm, and steadfast! Let’s have an encounter with God that will change us. Let’s be like Abram who became Abraham, Jacob who became Israel, and Saul who became Paul and accomplished mighty things for God. We even see how Martin Luther King Jr. dad had an encounter with God that caused him to rename his son Michael to Martin Luther Jr. at the same time as changing his own name from Michael to Martin Luther. Are you ready for an encounter with God that will transform you? Are you ready for an encounter with God that will make you into someone new?
So are you ready for the transforming power of Jesus to enter into your life? Are you needing to allow Jesus into your heart and bring healing and restoration? Are you going to allow today to be the most incredible day of your life through an encounter with Jesus? Are you ready to receive a dream from God? Are you ready to capture God’s purpose in, through, and for your life? Let’s pray:
Do you realize that God has been preparing you since you were born? Do you realize that God is preparing you now for what is yet to come? Do you realize that as long as you are breathing, God’s not done with you?
Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Psalms 139 and says:
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ‘
That’s right, God created us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose. I remember an encounter many years ago when God was calling me to step up and step into a leadership role as president of a homeowners association of over ten thousand people. I remember thinking I was too young, underqualified, and unsure of myself but He didn’t stop or give up on me. I remember my burning bush moment in the hot tub when God’s booming voice (rather than the still quiet voice He had been using to that point) where He gave me the ultimatum of being president or being nothing, the choice was mine. Nothing sounded really bad and so said let’s do it His way.
Ever considered on the topic of THRIVE and the reading from Exodus what Moses was going through? Ever considered how God had prepared him through having him raised up in Pharoh’s courts? Ever considered how the incident of standing up for the Hebrew slaves and killing the Egyptian was a crossroad that because of fear had him move into the second stage of his life, leading to starting a family and tending flocks on the far side of the desert? Ever considered the impact of the burning bush, how it got his attention and what it might take to get your attention and hear from God? Ever considered that final section of Moses’ life when he walked out what God had called him to at the burning bush and became the deliver of his people for and from God?
Where are you at? What is it that God is saying to you? What is it that God has been doing to prepare you? When He speaks will you be ready to answer and pursue it? When He speaks will you be hesitant and need some convincing? When He speaks will you be sensitive to the still quiet voice rather than needing to hear from the bigger booming voice? Do you realize that God doesn’t waste anything? Do you realize those experiences that you have been through have a purpose? God can use every aspect of our lives to get our attention, are you ready? When God says He will go with you like He did with me as I became president, He was with me and I had everything I needed to do the job. When God is for us who can be against us? God is able to give you more than you can ask or imagine. So let’s not resist or stop reading God’s Word as it is His revelation to us. Let’s remember that God is Yahweh! Let’s remember that means God is the one who is self-sufficient, I am not a created God, I am almighty God, no beginning and no end, that rules over all creation. God is ‘I am, I was and I will be.’ That is, it encompasses all time and hence, by implication eternity for the One being addressed always lives. God wants you to know who He is. He isn’t out there somewhere, He is Emmanuel, God with us! Yahweh is in the Bible more than 6,500 times and is used more than any other name of God in the Bible.
What will it take to get your attention? How about the birth of a baby? How about a confrontation? How about pain like physical pain, sickness, disease, someone passes away, loss of a job, or something else that would stop you and cause a time of reflection and time to listen to what He has to say. I remember another encounter that required change in my life and came when my diabetic doctor told me something had to change because it was causing my diabetes to be off. In this case it caused me to reevaluate my priorities and if what I said were my priorities aligned to how I was living my life. I wasn’t and the adjustment began. God was first. My wife was second. My kids were third. That meant everything else couldn’t have a higher priority than forth and so I needed to live that way. I had to put first things first and let the other things take care of themselves!
We also learn how Jesus shares through scripture that He too is God. Like in John 8:58 where He says “before Abraham was born, I am!”.
Yes, it can feel a bit unsettling when God calls us and we may even consider taking the side door or looking for a way out, but we would be robbing ourselves of what God has planned and prepared in advance for us to accomplish if we did that. Be it the stepping up God called me to. Be it the priority check God called me to do. Be it the need to forgive. Whatever it is God is calling you to do, are you ready and willing to receive it and move forward in it? Don’t try to find an excuse that will make God’s heart burn. Receive the calling and press into what He has for you today.
THRIVE will require change. THRIVE will require an encounter. THRIVE will require faith.
So where are you at today? Are you moving forward and ready for an encounter? Have you had an encounter and are unsure how to move forward? Have you tried to find a way out? Have you tried to delay? Why not make today be the first day of the rest of your life and invite Jesus into your heart? Why not make today be the day of transformation and be able to move forward according to Jesus’s plan to live life more abundantly and to the full? Let’s pray:
Workweek 2 is in the books and yet the busyness and balance continue to happen. The direction towards THRIVE is still top of mind. The reality that it is going to take change is at hand. Each week has closed with the reality of quite significant changes to the organization. Each week has included surprises that I couldn’t have predicted and don’t think I would have asked for. In the midst of it all, my hope is not in those changes but in the reality that God is in control of it all. Just like how in the first week of prayer and fasting God brought peace and hope in the midst of it all, God was still present as we navigated through week 2. We get a long weekend here and yet I know the 4-day workweek next week will contain more changes and possibly even some insight and visibility into what is going to be. Even as I contemplate and consider all of this I started my day with God’s Word and it spoke the following truth into my very situation:
‘For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ‘
So where are you at today? What are you going through? Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready for the change that will required for you to thrive? Are you trying to see where to go or what to do? Let’s decide today that 2022 is the year to thrive and invite Jesus into our very situation. Let’s invite Jesus into our hearts to lead and guide us. Let’s choose to make the rest of our lives count for God by living with purpose, on purpose and for His purpose. Let’s pray:
As my workday was coming to a close yesterday I got a message for a late meeting/call. It was to discuss that there would be more change. It wasn’t a surprise to me based on where things were at but it is still a change and a feeling of loss. One more layer is being peeled off. One more layer is being taken away. One more step towards the impact or the outcome of change. So what is or will be next?
Today’s verse of the day comes to us from 2 Corinthians 5:17 and says:
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ‘
It points to the importance of Jesus! It points to the importance of inviting Him into our hearts, our lives, and our every situation. It points beyond knowing Jesus or knowing about Jesus and moves to having a living relationship with Him. Its not about rituals and routines but rather about an intimate relationship with Jesus. When we start this relationship a transformation takes place. God creates a new heart in us. God creates a new mind in us. God creates a new us, a new creation where the old ways of thinking, seeing, acting, and being are gone and a new way o life has begun.
Are you living this new life yet? Do you have a relationship with Jesus yet? Are you looking for a change? Are you looking for a new way? Are you looking for a better way? Invite Jesus in today! Let’s pray:
Did you catch that? Everything is God’s! That means with every good and perfect gift He has given us, we are to be good stewards of them. So how will that change the way you live out your today? How will that change the way you act or behave? How will that change how you use the things you have? How will that change the way you treat things you have? How will that impact your relationships with others? How will that impact your time management? How will that impact your finances? How will that impact your home? How will that impact your family? How will that impact your work? How will that impact your team? How will that impact the way you use your talents?
Let’s pause and reflect on the parable of the talents for a moment:
‘ “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ‘
So let’s not be blind to our calling to be good stewards of what God has given us. Let’s not be living out our lives in fear but rather in faith so that we can make the most of what God has given us. Are you young and in school? Make the most of your education. Are you married? Make the most of your marriage and treat your spouse with love, invest in your marriage. Are you a parent? Make the most of your family and treat them with the love of God, invest in your family and decide to be the parent God created you and positioned you to be. For me, that means being a husband, a good husband to my wife. For me, that means being the dad God created me to be for the good of my family and my community. So let’s be good stewards of each and every good and perfect gift from God!
So where are you at today? Are you looking for a role model or instructions on how to live out your life? Turn to God! Turn to God’s Word! Invite Jesus into your situation so that He can lead and guide you through the Holy Spirit to be the steward you need to be. Invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to make things clean and clear when it comes to how to live your life. Let’s pray:
2022 is still focused on THRIVE. In the midst of how 2022 is filling up with change, it requires finding a way to manage and navigate the stresses and strains that come with it. Be it something as simple as managing a new puppy. Be it something a challenging as sending your oldest daughter off to boot camp. Be it mentally preparing for your younger daughter to go off to college in the fall. Be it wrapping up the review process to close out 2021. Be it putting together a multitude of documentation to help communicate the roles and responsibilities for your team to a new management chain so that they can be informed and able to best decide what the organizational change that is required to happen to help the business thrive can be done in the most effective and efficient way. Be it prepping for another year of camps that will bless teenage foster kids. And in the midst of all of this, how do we make it so that we can find peace. In the midst of all of this, how do we make forward progress towards thriving rather than just being stuck and going nowhere like running on a treadmill? It comes down to who has the pen! We can’t give the pen over to fear, worry, and doubt! We need to give the pen to God with faith, hope, and love! We need to cling to God who is able to bring about peace in one of three ways: He causes a peace that surpasses any understanding within us (calm the storm in me), He can create peace by calming the storm outside of me, or He can provide peace by walking through the storm with us. The key is not trying to go it alone! We need to walk it out with Him! We need to be sensitive to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit so that we can be good stewards of our time and energy. So today, let’s choose to trust God with helping us write the story of our life and walk out this day in a way that will bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not allow stress and worries to pile up on our shoulders but grab hold of God’s instruction to cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us! Let’s decide to hand the situation over to God because trying to worry or be anxious about it won’t help anything, it won’t make things better, and it won’t help us get through today. So today’s through prayer and supplication, let’s make our needs known to God! He cares for us!
Today’s verse of the Day comes to us from Amos 5:24 which says:
‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! ‘
So where are you at today? As we hit the second hump day of the year, are you needing God to step in and help? Are you needing His peace that surpasses all understanding to come into your life? Are you needing His strength to help you make it through? Are you needing His wisdom and discernment to help you manage and navigate through? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and into your situation rather than trying to go it alone? Let’s pray:
So are this change is coming, are you ready to thrive by serving through it all? Who will you serve? Who needs do you need to serve? Who is in need of your service? How will that impact their lives and their ability for them to also thrive in 2022?
Let’s grab a bit more context for this verse before we move forward.
‘Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. ‘
Don’t walk around, strutting like a rooster in a hen house for we read how if you exalt yourself you will be humbled. God directs us to humble ourselves and allow Him to exalt us when the timing is right! If we take a look at James 4:10 in the Amplified version, we get:
‘Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose]. ‘
So today in our desire to thrive in 2022, let’s humble ourselves and pray! Let’s humble ourselves and serve! Let’s lean in on God for His wisdom and discernment! Let’s seek direction and instruction from the Holy Spirit throughout our days! Let’s allow Jesus to be seen in and through the way we choose to live our lives today! Let’s trust God enough that in the midst of all the changes, as we humbly serve, He will take care of the rest! Remember what it says in Matthew 6:25-34 about not worrying?
‘ “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’
So where are you at today? Are you ready to take hold of God’s plans and purposes for your life? Are you ready to be a servant leader? Are you ready to lead through change by serving others? Are you needing help? Are you needing an example? Then today invite Jesus into your life and to your very situation so that He can help transform you and empower you to be everything He created you to be. Let’s pray:
With a new year there is always a lot of things to wrap up from the previous year but this year on top of the normal year-end review type things I am faced with some major changes coming down the pipe. As part of these changes, I need to prepare to explain and present our group to executives who will want to learn more about who we are as a team and what we do for the company. With the normal heavy lifting of reviews, this extra layer of work at first made me wonder and even stress a little bit. Thankfully our first week of the year was one of prayer and fasting which meant I was leaning into God more and so it allowed His truth and His promises to cause me to cast the cares, the anxieties, the worries onto Him because He cares for me. I grabbed hold of the 1 Peter 5:7 that says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I was able to grab hold of the truth that for me to thrive required change, I couldn’t just keep living life the way I had been if I wanted to make 2022 a year to thrive. I didn’t realize it meant in both my personal and professional lives though. Be it with my girls leaving home in 2022. Be it org changes to kick-off 2022. Be it prepping for camps in 2022. So today as I prep for what this week will include, anticipating my wife and daughter coming home from their trip to a soccer showcase, getting my son to and from school, taking care of the home including a puppy, the animals, putting out the trash, and what not, writing up the review docs, writing up the org docs, writing up a report for a board meeting, scheduling the kick-off meeting for the camp core team, and whatever else comes my way.
Today’s verse of the Day comes to us from Ephesians 4:2 and says:
‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ‘
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ‘
So where are you at today? Are you facing a lot of change? Don’t allow yourself to try and carry it alone and get overwhelmed, instead cast it on God who cares for you! Don’t be overwhelmed by it instead overwhelm it with love! If you are feeling the pressures of evil, Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it. Let’s invite Jesus into our very situation. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through our busy today. Let’s be transformed by the renewing of our heart, minds, and souls. Let’s pray:
What an incredible week. Today’s verse of the day along with the special guests that are speaking at church this weekend point to the importance of doing our part to serve those in need around us.
Today’s verse of the day comes to use from Luke:
‘Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. ‘
So are you ready to live a life of service? Are you ready to live a life of sacrifice? Are you ready to live a life of giving? The words found in Luke after today’s verse add to these questions when it says:
‘What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? ‘
Thriving isn’t about having lots of stuff but how you choose to live your life. God has provided, so what will you choose to do with that provision? Will you be a giver or a hoarder? Will you choose to reap something greater for the kingdom of God rather than keep the seeds He has given you in your pocket? Remember how God promised to give us seed to sow and bread to eat? Don’t eat the seed, let’s choose to sow so that we can reap greatly for the kingdom of God! Let’s pause a moment to capture what God’s Word says and helps us to understand:
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:7-9
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. – Proverbs 22:8
As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. – Job 4:8
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! – Psalm 126:5
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors, – Hosea 10:12-13
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:12
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. – Mark 4:24
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! – Luke 12:24
So today to thrive, we know that we need to trust God rather than our own understanding. We need to take the gifts and talents, and the provision to glorify Him, sowing it to His purpose.
When we are in need we will turn to God because we know that God answers prayer. We need to live by faith and not by sight and to do that requires stepping out and taking risks. We need to make sure our vertical relationship with God is strong so that it will overflow and produce good horizontal relationships with people around us. We need to share what God is and has done in and through our lives, testifying of His goodness and faithfulness, through the highs and the lows. We need to remember and share that Jeremiah 29:11 is for everyone! We need to step into and live in the reality that nothing is impossible with God as it says in Matthew 19:26 and Luke 1:37. God knows your need and can provide just enough, not too much and not too little to meet your needs. So today lets decide to be Jesus’s hands and feet into the world around us! Let’s decide to be God’s ambassadors, God’s helpers, and God’s people!
So where are you at today? Are you ready to thrive? Are you ready to thrive for the glory of God? Are you ready to make a difference? Are you ready to be the difference? Are you ready to go beyond just making a scratch or a dent and making a real difference? Then let’s decide we will thrive by inviting Jesus into the situation and walking out our lives in a relationship with Him. Let’s pray:
What an incredible week this has been. It has been incredible the lessons God has spoken between last Sunday and yesterday. On Sunday it was the incredible message of THRIVE starting a series in the book of Exodus. On Monday REVIVE week began with 5 days of prayer and fasting on the topic of Repentance. Starting the week learning to humbly admit or confess the mistakes and turning back to God was so powerful. Incredible scripture references like JOEL 2:12-13, PSALM 51:17, and JAMES 4:8-10. On Tuesday REVIVE week continued in progression bringing us to Renewal. Going from repentance to renewing of our minds, our souls, and our strength was another powerful message. Incredible scripture references like ISAIAH 40:29-31, ROMANS 12:2, and MATTHEW 11:28-29. On Wednesday REVIVE week continued and allowed me to share the power of forgiveness and Reconciliation at the 6am in-person session. Incredible scripture references like PSALM 51:12, GALATIANS 6:1, PSALM 41:3, and PSALM 147:3. Friday of REVIVE week closed out on the theme of Revival and the importance of both a revival in ourselves but one that extends to our church, our community, our nation, and the world. Incredible scripture references like 2 CHRONICLES 7:14, ACTS 2:17, 21, PSALM 85:6, and EPHESIANS 3:30-21.
For us to thrive requires change. We can’t continue to do what we’ve been doing and expect something different. We can’t expect to go from surviving 2020 and 2021 and start thriving in 2022 without there being change. With many of the changes that showed up this week, I thought it might be bad but then with the REVIVE week speaking to me daily it helped me to see it wasn’t a problem or challenge, it was an opportunity for the changes in 2022 to help me thrive. God’s Word is so powerful. God is so faithful, meeting me daily to encourage me no matter what the world was trying to peddle. This is a decision just like the Happy Today mentality. We can’t choose what will happen to us but we can choose how we will respond. So no matter what happens let’s grab a hold of the reality that this is the day that the Lord has made and rejoice in it and have a Happy Today! Let’s use the changes taking place in our personal and professional lives to help us thrive in 2022. Will you join me in the adventure through Exodus on the theme of Thrive?
So where are you at today? Are you ready for 2022 to be a year to thrive? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and begin the journey? Are you ready to invite Jesus into you life and start the relationship? Let’s pray: