What is Your ‘Next Step’
Monday, December 3
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Over the centuries, the Church has made it increasingly difficult to be a Christian. People are forced to jump through one hoop after another in order to feel like they’ve earned a spot in the Kingdom. Sadly, this has created a huge divide between many local churches and their communities. Rather than loving people where they’re at and allowing them experience God’s goodness, the church has put conditions and stipulations in place that they must fall in line with in order to participate. This, however, is not how Jesus operated. When He approached the fisherman, He simply invited them to follow Him…that’s it. There was no, “Go put on nice clothes, watch your mouth, and will you please do something about that fishy smell?” Nope, He just said, “Follow Me.” Jesus new that if they belonged, the behavior could be fixed along the way. He didn’t attempt to clean the before He caught them. As you follow Him, do your best to make other want to as well. Welcome them like He would, love them like He does, and extend the same grace to them that Holy Spirit does to you. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Tuesday, December 4
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
If you’re frustrated and discouraged in your walk with Christ you may be trying do too much. When Jesus called the disciples, those who would eventually become His Apostles and bring the Gospel all over the known world, He only asked them to, “Follow Me”. That’s all He expected of them. Frustration and discouragement will come when you start doing instead of following. Nothing could be more simple. When He moves, you move. When He stops, you stop. When He goes right or left, you follow suit. Christianity is nothing more than a life long round of ‘Follow the Leader’. The only way you can lose is by not doing what the Leader does, and you’re not the Leader. Take a look at the areas of your life that you’re struggling in. It’s very likely that you’re not following the Leader in those areas. With a simple positional correction, meaning you put Him back in the leader’s spot, those areas will become peaceful again. It’s not always easy to follow, but He will not take you somewhere that you’re not ready to go. When the struggles of life come, as they always do, you simply follow Him through them. He knows where He’s going and He will bring you to your destination safely and on time. - Love Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Wednesday, December 5
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
How appreciative are you of the person that He created you to be? Do you spend time thanking Him for making you unique and wonderful or do you put too much effort into trying to be like everyone else? Too many people, spend too much time, money and energy trying make themselves into someone or something that they were never meant to be in the first place. Before even creation, God had a unique plan and blueprint for your life. At your conception, He began forming every physical, mental and spiritual characteristic of your life. He doesn’t compare you to anyone else, He intentionally made you different because your purpose and mission is different than anyone else’s. Whether or not you like how you look. Whether or not you like your personality. Whether or not you appreciate your uniqueness. None of these change the fact that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. When you shift your focus from the things you don’t like to the One who holds your life in His hand you will experience His deep and undying love for you. You will see who you are through His eyes and just how wonderful of a work you really are. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Thursday, December 6
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
You don’t have to be overly observant nowadays to see that society is all about conformity. You can drive through neighborhoods and see homes that are virtually identical. Clothing trends, vehicles, hairstyles, even workouts fads, all of these things scream, “If you want to belong, you must look like me, dress like me and do what I do!” Just like a brick in a wall, society expects you to not stick out but to blend in and be like everyone else. If you don’t fit the mold, unfortunately, you don’t belong. This lifestyle of comparison and conformity are a form of captivity. When you were created, God didn’t pour you into a mold, He created you after an image…His image! You were never meant to be like anyone else, you were meant to stick out, to be noticed as unique, to show others who He is by who He made you to be. You might ask, “If we are all made in the same image, then wouldn’t we all look the same anyway?” The answer to that is simple. God is so multi-faceted and all encompassing that He creates every person to show a different aspect of who He is. If you’re not being who He created you to be, then the rest of the world is not seeing the fullest picture of God that they should. Every time that you operate in who He made you to be, those around you get a better and fuller picture of who He is. The enemy will try to keep you captive by making you feel like you need to fit into a mold. He doesn’t want the world seeing who your Father created you to be because that would draw them closer to Him. The next time you’re tempted to try and fit in so you can feel a sense of belonging, remind yourself that you already belong to Him! - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Friday, December 7
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.
Many believers, even though they have been born again and know the love of God, are still prisoners to the behaviors and actions that were waking in before they knew Christ. Following Him means that you’ve fully accepted His sacrifice and have received Him as Savior. But, it can still haven’t be a challenge to kick your old the ways and habits. Prisoners are just that, imprisoned because of poor choices they’ve made in their past. There is hope. Even though you may be imprisoned because of your own doing, the Anointing is still able to set you free. Not just from the consequences of your sin but from the very sin itself. When Jesus took the punishment for sin He also broke it’s hold over you. You don’t have to be controlled by the same issues and weaknesses that you have been in the past. That you is dead and the new you is alive and well because of His resurrection power. That’s what the anointing is there for. He knew you couldn’t overcome sin without some extra power in your corner. If you’re being held as a prisoner by the things that the old you dealt with, then it’s time to put the anointing to work. Sin doesn’t stand a chance. You may still mess up from time to time but you never have to be held in sin’s prison ever again. Keep following Him and He’ll lead you step by step into freedom. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Saturday, December 8
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Until you establish who He is in your life you will never know who you are. In several instances through out scripture, upon having an encounter with the Him, the Lord would change people’s names. This was the case with Simon, who Jesus began calling Peter, or rock. This only came after Peter received divine revelation in his life showing Him who Jesus truly was. Jesus was not trying to hide His identity. He knew that if they would choose to follow Him, the disciples would know Him by experience. Simon’s openness to receive from Heaven established who he was going to be on the earth. The sam can be true for you. When you come to the place of total dependency on and commitment to Him, He will begin showing you who He is in you. Who you are from Heaven’s perspective and how you will make that same Heaven come to Earth. There is no mold that society can force you into when you hear who you are from the mouth of God. If you’re in a place of captivity brought on by conformity then today is your day to break the mold. Invite Him to be more real in you than He has ever been. Seek the voice of your Creator above all else and He will show you the real you…and that’s where true fulfillment comes from. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
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