Flowing Faith

August 22, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

How to Cope with Change

How to cope with change
Change is inevitable. Change happens all the time, sometimes we are able to notice it, sometimes not. Yet it happens all the time, it’s part of life whether we like it or not. Change can be overwhelming and frightful because we can’t control it. And that seems to be the root of all fear. We don’t want to lose control. What to do then?

Paradoxically, the way to cope with change is to surrender all control to Jesus. When we release control to him (knowing that we are in good hands), we are free to enjoy life without fears. When we trust God to take care of us no matter what changes, we thrive even in the midst of chaos.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7, AMP,*)

How can we be certain that change does not harm us? We have not been promised problem-free existence. But God will always be with us and he cares deeply for us. We sure have difficulties in our lives but nothing can harm our souls. Even if the world tumbles down, we are safe in God. We can build our lives on the permanence of His word. We can cope with any change when we abide in the risen Christ.

For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself. (Hebrews 13:8, MSG,*)

When we are anchored in Jesus, we are always safe, no matter how turbulent our life is. The more we abide in Jesus, the more peace we experience. That’s why…when you need to endure change, remember to spend lots of time with Jesus. When we live in Christ Jesus, his peace will always guard our hearts and minds. That’s how we cope with change. With Jesus.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG.*)

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for Jesus.
Thank you for showing us
how to cope with change.
Thank you for being never-changing.
Thank you that we can build our lives
on your promises.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you cope with change?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace Jesus in the midst of changes!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Quality Church Media, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

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August 20, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Until Jesus Comes Back

Until Jesus comes back
Do you know what we are supposed to do until Jesus comes back? Are we just going to hang around? Or does it matter how we spend our time here on earth? Yes, it does matter. We are called to follow Christ, introduce our friends and family to Jesus and do as much good as possible. We are called to be Christ to the world.

Aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart. (1 Timothy 6:11, AMP,*)

We are not to slack off. But how often we do just that? How often do we act so self-centered that there is no room for Christ nor other people in our lives? But we are called to be ready to meet our Maker at any moment. Hence don’t do anything you would not do in your last hour.

Because no one knows when s/he is going to die. Because no one knows when Jesus is coming back. Either way, we need to be ready. Because  as sure as every human being is going to die one day, Jesus is coming back. He is on his way. He will show up right on time.

I’m charging you before the life-giving God and before Christ, who took his stand before Pontius Pilate and didn’t give an inch: Keep this command to the letter, and don’t slack off. Our Master, Jesus Christ, is on his way. He’ll show up right on time, his arrival guaranteed by the Blessed and Undisputed Ruler, High King, High God. He’s the only one death can’t touch, his light so bright no one can get close. He’s never been seen by human eyes—human eyes can’t take him in! Honor to him, and eternal rule! Oh, yes. (1 Timothy 6:13-16, MSG,*)

The very same way God’s plan for you will happen right on time. God knows what he is doing. God knows when the ultimate time is for everything. That’s why we can rest in him and rejoice while waiting.

Let’s seek God with everything we’ve got. Because still today we can find him. Let’s pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy as the Message version of 1 Timothy 6:11 suggests. Let’s prepare our hearts and minds until Jesus comes back.


Gracious God,
How wonderful to know Jesus is coming back
right on time.
Give us patience to wait and
eagerness to pursue rightousness
and godliness.
Show us how to use our time
until Jesus comes back.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U:  What are your plans until Jesus comes back?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you pursue a righteous life until Jesus comes back!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Michael Hickman, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere, Three Word Wednesday and #tellhisstory.

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August 18, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Grace 101

Grace 101
How knowledgeable are you about grace? Grace is not complicated. Grace is simple yet powerful. There are four essential things you need to know about grace. Here’s grace 101 for you.

First of all, we are saved by grace through faith. God’s grace is a free gift to us. All we need to do is to turn to God in repentance and ask to receive grace upon grace. Everything is ready for us. There’s nothing for us to do but open our hearts and minds to receive God’s goodness.

 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] (Eph. 2:8-9, AMP,*)

The second thing to know about grace is that there’s nothing we can add to it. We are saved only by grace. There’s nothing we can do to make it better or last longer. Grace is more than enough. And we don’t need anything but grace.

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2. Cor. 12:9, AMP,*) 

The third thing we need to know that there’s always plenty of grace, also today. They are new every morning. Because of this amazing grace, we can live boldly. Because of this amazing grace, we can live abundant lives even in deserts. Because of this amazing grace we praise God all the days of our lives.

It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23, AMP,*)

The fourth thing we need to know about grace is that grace is pardon AND power. When we live in grace, we also learn to live to the max. Grace not only saves us but equips us and empowers us for victorious living. Nothing better than grace.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for your grace,
today and always.
Pour out grace upon grace,
we so need it.
We receive it with open arms.
Teach us to live and love in grace.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you put Grace 101 in practice?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace grace day by day!

Photo courtesy of John Langer, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. This post is refurbished from 2011. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God. Counting blessings: #1137 Grace is enough. #1138 There’s grace today. #1139 There’s always enough grace.

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August 15, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

How to Maintain Your Saltiness

How to maintain your saltiness

‘Go tell it to the mountains’ was the first thing that went through my mind when I learned this week’s Five minute Friday prompt was ‘tell’. We are indeed commanded to go and tell everyone that Jesus has come for each of us. But are we really living out this command? How does is show in our everyday life? Ouch.

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. (Matthew 5:13, MSG,*)

Are you bringing out the God-flavors of this earth? Or have you lost your saltiness? Do you live for yourself, lead by your own whims and wants? Or do you live for Christ, lead by God’s will and guidance?

It is so tempting to blend in. It is so easy to be satisfied with Sunday Christianity and living on our own the rest of the week. But we forget life does not revolve around us. Life revolves around Christ. It always has and it always will.

We need to decide whether we want to be part of what God is doing in this world through Christ. If yes, we need to keep being salt in the world. And if we want to be put in use as salt, we need to keep ourselves from contaminating with other minerals and getting diluted in water. Because that way we keep losing some of our strength, quality, and purity. And little by little we end up losing our saltiness. And if that happens we are not good for anything any longer.

You see, there really are different grades of quality and purity in salt. Only the highest quality of salt reaches our dining tables. The more we are blended with other minerals or diluted in water, the less useful we become. How then can we maintain our saltiness? How can we do our duty as the salt of the earth?

By staying pure.
By staying true to the gospel.
By staying connected to Jesus.

Gracious God,
Forgive my selfishness.
Forgive for forgetting your plan for me and the world.
Make me pure and holy like you.
Enable me to stay salty and ready to be used.
Use me to bring out the God-flavors!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How are you telling the good news of Jesus Christ? Is it difficult for you to stay salty? How do you maintain your saltiness?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the Holy Spirit use you as salt!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Timothy Lester, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

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August 13, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Spiritual Questions

Spiritual Questions
It’s time for new beginnings but it’s also time to evaluate the old ways. Am I living the way God wants me to live? That’s the question of the day for me. I am praying that God would show me what needs to go in order to serve him better. We are to give our lives as living sacrifices to God. We are to place all areas of our lives before God.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1, AMP,*, emphasis added)

Is my life truly devoted, dedicated and consecrated to God? Or do I hold something back? Do I want to keep something for myself? Even if it’s good in general but bad for me?

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2, AMP,*)

Are there some influences in my life that prevent me to grow closer to God? Is there some things in my life – family, friends, work place, neighbors, hobbies, job – that make it difficult to stay faithful to God? Ask God how to arrange your life differently to make more room for God.

These are necessary but difficult spiritual questions. Discipleship is not always easy. But if we want to become holy like God, we need to find a way of life that isn’t pulling us away from God. Because the only way to grow in faith is to spend time with God. Spiritual disciplines can help in that.

But we need to remember that all our pursuits of spiritual growth need to begin and end in grace. The author of our faith and the growth of our faith is the Holy Spirit. All spiritual growth happens by grace. But that does not mean that we get off the hook. Our task is to create space for the Holy Spirit to work within us. And that’s why we need to make room for God. We need to eliminate temptations to stay away from God. The Holy Spirit is right along side us empowering us to stay away from worldly influences. It’s all grace from start to finish.

 

Gracious God,
I have all these spiritual questions,
help me to find right answers.
Help me to find a way of life
that does not hinder my spiritual growth.
Empower me to live boldly for you,
devoted, dedicated and consecrated for you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Which spiritual questions are most difficult for you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the Holy Spirit ask spiritual questions and lead you to the right answers. And may you be bold to pursue God’s leading!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Eric Wing, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere, Three Word Wednesday and #tellhisstory.

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August 11, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

The Soap of Salvation

The Soap of Salvation
Lately God has been waking me up (literally) to see my sinfulness. God has reminded me of some choices I have made in my life and led me to repent for them. Even though during that time of my life I did not even think they had been questionable. I did not know any better then. Selfishness does not produce good fruit. Selfishness paves the way to destruction whether we realize it or not.

Go home and wash up.
   Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
   so I don’t have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
   Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
   Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
   Go to bat for the defenseless.
(Isaiah 1: 16-17, MSG)

The good news is that God has already cleared the path to forgiveness in Jesus. No matter how dirty our hands are, the soap of salvation is mighty and powerful. Everything will come clean and holy. We just need to repent and offer our hands to be cleansed thoroughly.

“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
   This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
   they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
   they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
   you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
   you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so.
Isaiah 1: 16-20, MSG)

God specializes in giving fresh starts for people. God wants to clean every nook and cranny of our inner beings. We are called to become holy as our God is holy. This only happens by God’s radical and wild grace. But we don’t need to worry. God’s grace is also gentle. The Holy Spirit will breath holiness in us and lead us into a way of life shaped by God.

Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
      scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
   Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
      set these once-broken bones to dancing.
   Don’t look too close for blemishes,
      give me a clean bill of health.
   God, make a fresh start in me,
      shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
   Don’t throw me out with the trash,
      or fail to breathe holiness in me.
   Bring me back from gray exile,
      put a fresh wind in my sails!
   Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
      so the lost can find their way home.
   Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
      and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
   Unbutton my lips, dear God;
      I’ll let loose with your praise.
(Psalm 51: 7-15, MSG)

How then can we live a holy life? By God’s grace. We can’t store up grace for the future. But we can be certain that God will provide us grace every day to live holy. We are utterly dependent on God. We can’t make it on our own. But we don’t have to. God will sustain us. God will be there every step of the way. All we need to do is to lean on grace. Because grace is more than enough. Grace energizes, uplifts, restores, redefines, heals, cleans, comforts according to our needs. When we live in grace, we can be certain that the Holy Spirit is at work in us. It’s not us living a snow-white lives, it’s Christ living in us!

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for wanting to thoroughly cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Burn what needs to be burned, cleanse what needs to be cleansed.
Give us a fresh start, prepare us for your service.
Show us how to truly live in your grace.
Give us grace upon grace upon grace!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How has God led you to repent? How is God making you holy?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as God is working in you! Rest in his grace!

Photo courtesy of Esther Gibbons, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. This post is refurbished from 2011. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God. Counting blessings: #1136 The Soap of Salvation is powerful.

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August 8, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Live and Die Satisfied

Live and Die Satisfied
This summer has been so wonderful that as the start of a new school year approaches we are ready to move on. We have been swimming in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. We have had road trips, back yard parties, and beach getaways. We are totally satisfied, filled with joyful memories and ready to move on.

This made me think of a few Bible passages that states how Abraham, Isac, David, Joash and Job who all died old and satisfied’ (Job 42:17, CEB,*). They must have lived their lives to the fullest. No wonder they were ready to move on. That’s how we all want to live and die, I think. We want to live and die satisfied. How can we do that?

There are only these five people in the Bible that have been recorded to die old and satisfied. Could we learn something from them? What are the common aspects of their lives? Guess what? They lived very different lives;some were poor, some were rich. Suffering was not out of the picture; they did not have easy lives. How could they then live a full life filled with joy and purpose?

They had one thing in common but that made all the difference: they learned to know God deeply and intimately. They lived their whole lives to the Lord. They were not perfect by all means but they loved and served the Lord with all their might. They did not seek their own will but God’s. And by doing so they lived a full and satisfied life.

How can we do the same? How can we live and die satisfied? By seeking God with all we’ve got. By spending time with Jesus daily. By serving others without seeking our own good. And God will bless us with a life filled with grace, peace, and joy. And we will be ready to move on when the time comes.

 

Gracious God,
Forgive me for seeking satisfaction in wrong places.
Thank you for drawing me back to you.
Thank you for blessing me with your presence.
Show me how I can live and die satisfied in you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What are your ways to live and die satisfied?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you love and serve the Lord with everything you’ve got!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Charl Christiani, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

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August 6, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Christianity Is Futuristic

Christianity is futuristic
Some people tell me Christianity is old-fashioned. Do you know what? I think they got it all wrong. Christianity is not old-fashioned. Christianity is futuristic. Christianity is just ahead of the times.

My plans aren’t your plans,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways,
    and my plans than your plans.
(Isaiah 55:8-9, CEB,*)

You see, if we try to be up to date here, we will be eternally out of date. Christian faith is all about the future with God. That’s why it is eternally up to date.

God’s plans are much bigger and better than our plans or our understanding. We are limited to our abilities. We can only see the visible light, not infrared radiation for example. God is real and his promises are trustworthy. Every single  promise in the Bible will come true in God’s time. With the words of Jesus:

 “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.” (John 14:1-4, MSG,*)

Christian faith is about waiting for Jesus to come back and take all who believe in Jesus to live with God forever. If you are God’s very own child, there is a room waiting for you that has your name on it. How special. How delightful. How futuristic. God and his plans are amazing. Astonishing. Awesome. Christianity is futuristic indeed. Come, Lord Jesus!

 

Gracious God,
Thank you that you sent Jesus to claim us for you.
Thank you that Jesus is coming back to get us.
Prepare our hearts and minds for you.
Help us to use our time right.
Enable us to be eternally up to date.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you ready for the future?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace the future with Christ!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Sandara Lee, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere, Three Word Wednesday and #tellhisstory.

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August 4, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
8 Comments

Spiritual Energy Drink

Spiritual Energy Drink

Are you tired, weary, exhausted? Are you asking what’s the point of all this? Are you feeling just terrible? The psalmist is right with you. Here’s a scripture prayer – a mighty energy drink – for all the weary pilgrims:

   I’m feeling terrible—I couldn’t feel worse!
      Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
   When I told my story, you responded;
      train me well in your deep wisdom.
   Help me understand these things inside and out
      so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.
   My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn;
      build me up again by your Word.
   Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
      grace me with your clear revelation.
   I choose the true road to Somewhere,
      I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
   I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
      God, don’t let me down!
   I’ll run the course you lay out for me
      if you’ll just show me how.
God, teach me lessons for living
      so I can stay the course.
   Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
      my whole life one long, obedient response.
   Guide me down the road of your commandments;
      I love traveling this freeway!
   Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
      and not for piling up loot.
   Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
      invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
   Affirm your promises to me
      promises made to all who fear you.
   Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
      but what you say is always so good.
   See how hungry I am for your counsel;
      preserve my life through your righteous ways!
Let your love, God, shape my life

      with salvation, exactly as you promised;
(Psalm 119: 25-40;MSG)

The very same braking point that we hate and think of as the end of the story, is the starting point for something new and better. Sometimes we need to come to the end of our strength to be open for God’s propositions. Until we are ready to let our way go we are not ready for God’s way fully come. This is such a hard lesson to learn. And somehow I end to this point over and over again. No matter how fully I think I have already surrendered to Jesus. But this is the way to let God dwell in every aspect of our lives, also the new once that are coming along. So the pain is not always bad, it is a sign of growth. And as long as there is growth there is life!

When we feel weary on our pilgrimage we need to get closer to God. We need to cry in earnest to God. We need to pour out our soul and the help will be there. It is refreshing to experience that the end of our capabilities is the entrance of God’s abilities.

We can’t create anything out of chaos but God can!
We can’t find the right path to follow but God can!
We can’t build us up but God can!
We can’t tame our wild thirst but God can!

When we wander around in desert we need invigorating. God’s energy drink for weary pilgrims jolts us back into exuberant life. Nothing but pure grace will do. But that’s what God’s energy drink is all about. Nothing but grace. That’s the point of everything. Grace upon grace.

 

Gracious God,
Pour out pure grace!
Revive us!
Nothing but grace will do!
Let your love shape us!
Strengthen us for your service!
Give us grace upon grace!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How has God revived you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you say ‘yes’ to God’s invitations!

[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Russell Martin, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. This post is refurbished from 2011. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God. Counting blessings: #1135 God’s living water is the best spiritual energy drink ever.

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August 1, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
10 Comments

Begin with Jesus

Begin with Jesus
Did you know that some schools start already on Monday? Our kids won’t start until the 11th but it’s still almost here. Are you ready to get back to the grid? How are you approaching this new beginning? How could we being in such a way that would be life-giving and not just the same old, same old all over again?

Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. (Matthew 6:6, MSG,*)

The best way to start any new season in our life is to begin with Jesus. When we spend time with God we begin to sense his grace. And that is what carries us into the future. That is what faith is all about. And as the focus shifts from our problems to God, we realize all is well. When we ask for guidance and direction for the new beginning, we know God is with us. Then we are ready to tackle whatever comes into our way.

‘I’m sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.’ (Acts 26:17-18, MSG,*)

God is sending us to represent his love and grace in our neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. God wants everyone to know his love, receive the grace of Christ and live in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Because that’s what real living is all about. And real living begins by believing in Jesus. And real living continues by beginning new things with Jesus.

 

Gracious God,
I give to you this new beginning
and ask for guidance and direction.
Let me always sense your grace.
I want to do your will,
show me the way.
Let Jesus be the way .
Gimme Jesus.
Nothing but Jesus.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you begin a new season in your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you begin with Jesus!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Colette Varanouskas, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

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