Flowing Faith

October 20, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

Goodbye for Gray Living

Goodbye for Gray Living
As you probably have noticed, I like to end my posts with a prayer. I do that because I believe that all change begins in prayer. I believe that all the good things start with God. My calling is to bring others to Jesus. And in prayer people can meet Jesus firsthand.

Today I wrote the prayer before writing the post itself. And I pray God will answer that prayer in this post. (Maybe this is too random but we will see.)

Gracious God,
You know me
and you still love me.
Don’t leave me as you found me,
make me new,
restore me
according to you best plans for me.
Be praised for your loving kindness.
Make me every day more like you.
Empower me to think like you
and then act like you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

After this I read today’s Bible verse provided by Biblegateway Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you (Psalm 51:12, NLT). This seemed somewhat to echo the prayer.

We need forgiveness.
We need cleansing.
We need a new start.

The only way to get that is by grace through faith in Jesus.

It’s that simple.
But it works.
Time after time.

Here’s the same psalm in context in the Message version:

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)

From time to time we all need to have a Genesis week from the chaos of our lives. Instead of throwing us out with the trash, God restores us. Instead of failing to breath holiness in us, God brings us back from gray living.

Gray living is our enemy. If we are muddy and dirty, we know we need Christ. But when we are gray, we think we are passable and do nothing. We pretend everything is okay when we are spending our precious time here on earth for gray living (instead of shining like we are meant to).

Gray living is fearful living. Not daring to do what God calls us to do because we don’t think we can do what we are asked to do. We settle for gray living. We are not white nor black. We settle for gray and every day blah-blah. No wonder we are unhappy.

Even when our life is totally screwed up we have hope. Because God loves us and wants what’s best for us. God does not want gray living for us. He wants us to enjoy really God-colorful life. God wants us to be bold and beautiful according to his plans for each of us.

Then we’d become more like him.
Then we’d think more like him.
And maybe then we could even act more like him.

I don’t know about you. But I think it is time to say goodbye for gray living.

Come, Lord Jesus! Make it so! Amen

Q4U: Are you stuck with gray living? Ask God to show you the way into God-colorful life!

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you by God’s grace fight your way out of gray living into God-colorful life!

Photo courtesy of Robert Hafley,design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God.

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October 17, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Nothing Better than the Love of God

the love of God
Do you know how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is? I hope you, at least, have had a glimpse of it. Even a glimpse of God’s love will knock your socks off. There’s nothing like it. And there’s nothing better. Don’t take my word for it. Read what David wrote in one of his psalms:

Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
(Psalm 63: 3-4, NLT,*)

When we have experienced God’s love, we are his forever. And an appropriate response to the love of God is to praise him as long as we live. And as we do so, we slowly get to know how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love for us really is.

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.(Eph.3:16-19, NLT,*)

I pray you will always long to know more of God’s love for you. Because when you search for God, he will respond. When you want to get to know him better, he will not disappoint you. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and you become strong in your faith. And you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Nothing better than that. Nothing.

 
Gracious God,
Thank you for loving us beyond measure.
Teach us how wide, long, high and deep your love is.
We long for you, we search for you, we seek you.
Pour our love upon love,
let us experience you in new ways.
Make us yours every way.
We praise you forever and ever
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How have you experienced God’s love?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you long to experience more of God’s love!

* [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 Lori Macmath, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

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October 15, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Spiritual Power Outage

Spiritual Power Outage
Have you recently experienced a power outage? It sure changes perspective on things. We are too dependent on always having electrical power in our modern culture.

But how would it feel to live without God’s power? If you have never experienced God’s power you don’t know what you are missing. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18, NIV)

But when you are used to have it and then there is a spiritual power outage, you hopefully realize how important part of your life God really is.

We can never be too dependent on God. The more we need God, the more power we get. This is one of the paradoxes of Christian faith. I have come to love paradoxes. We can experience the mystery and holiness of God in them.

Power of God is much more and much better than electrical power in our life can ever be. Electricity gets our electronics going. God’s love is power for living. This source of power is renewable, never-ending resource. We can base our life on it. We can count on and depend on the promises of God. He will deliver.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5, NIV)

There are many causes of spiritual power failures in our end of the network. If or when you are experiencing a spiritual power outage you need to know how to restore power. God is faithful even when we fall away or experience short or longer power outages. God is faithful but He is not forceful with his power. We need to ask for His power in order to receive it. But He is ready to restore us and pick us up whenever we cry out for help.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And put a new and right spirit within me,
Do not cast me away from your presence,
And do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
And sustain in me a willing spirit.
(Psalm 51:10-12, NRSV)

Once we are used to have God’s power in our lives we don’t want to live without it. Hence, we need to protect our power system from outages. Jesus is encouraging us to build the house of our lives on the rock so it will endure any storms:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27, NIV)

There will be storms in our lives, there’s no doubt about it. But one thing is sure: God is faithful. He is always there. God is never the source of your spiritual power outage. He is the source of life and love.

It is up to you to ask God in your life.
He will grant you peace and joy because He loves you.
It is up to you to build your life on the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ.
He will grant you grace and mercy because He loves you.
It is up to you to ask the Holy Spirit to keep you from power outages.
He will sustain you with His power and might because He loves you.

It is up to you: Power or Blackout?

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for being forever faithful.
Show us how to protect against spiritual power outages.
Help us to experience your energizing power in our lives.
Enable us to share your power with people around us.
Thank you for providing everything we need.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Have you experienced spiritual power outages? What did you learn? Are you now protected from spiritual power outages?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you are empowered by God for daily living!

Photo courtesy of Danielle Hartland, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

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

Do Not Detain Grace

Do not detain grace
I experienced grace this morning. I go to a group gym every Monday and Friday. This time I had forgotten to reserve my place. There I was ready to exercise and my name was not on the list. Somehow I had not even realized I had forgotten it. Needless to say I felt frustrated and stupid. But the trainer extended me grace and allowed me in without reservation. It felt very, very good. It was undeserved grace, pure and simple.

That’s how God’s grace feels too.
That’s how it feels to be accepted as you are.
That’s how it feels to receive grace when you don’t deserve it.

Why then do we so often detain grace? We push it away and are determined to succeed on our own. We think of it as our last resource and are certain we will have time to make reservations for eternity. But what if life gets in the way and we simply forget? What if we don’t have as much time as we think we do?

God is gracious and he has done everything for us. Yet it’s still up to us to want his grace. We need grace to get our name on the Book of Life. Don’t detain grace. Don’t delay it. Don’t forget to ask for it. You need it to enter God’s kingdom.

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.*)

Don’t detain grace. Receive it today. Let it permeate every inch of your core being. Because it will feel marvelous to be at the pearly gate and find your name on the Book of Life. (And I’d like to meet you at Jesus’ feet.)

 

Gracious God,
Thanks for calling me unto you.
Forgive me for delaying grace.
I love you, I love grace.
Don’t let me ever deny or delay grace.
I want my name to be on the Book of Life.
I want to spend eternity with you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you have your name on the Book of Life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace grace daily!

Photo courtesy of Joel Joseph,design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God.

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October 10, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

How to Live Carefree

How to live carefree
Do you know how to live carefree? Would you like to live carefree? I think we all do. Stress-free living would be lovely, don’t you think? But most often we think carefree living is meant for children only. That’s not true. At least, if we think of childhood as a stage of life. But it is true for God’s children who learn to trust God’s care.

Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. (1 Peter 5:7, MSG,*)

Trusting God is the only way to live carefree. We can only live carefree before God. Because it is God who makes the difference here, not our life-skills. The only way we can deal with all our anxieties, our our worries, and all our concerns is to dumb them at the foot of the cross. The only way we can live carefree is to surrender ourselves -  all that we are and are not – and everything that worries us to God. When we do this, we learn that it really works. Too often we try every other solution before we humble ourselves. But that’s just waste of time and energy. God is waiting to help us. We just need to turn to him.

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,*)

God cares for us affectionately and cares about us watchfully. Nothing will ever change that. We don’t need to be anxious and worry about everything. We just need to live before God and let him take care of us. Because he will. The more we trust, the more trustworthy we find God. I’ve learned that God is the only solid thing in this world that does never fail you. That’s why I can live carefree before God even when things are changing and uncertain. I know God is most careful with me. Even when it does not look like it.

So I praise God while I wait for his guidance. Because I know God has my best interest at heart. Every time I detect any anxiety, worry or concerns creeping into my thoughts, I dump them at Jesus’ feet. And receive peace and joy in return. That’s my secret for carefree living.

 

Gracious God,
You are so good to us.
We want to live carefree before you.
Show us how.
Teach us to trust you 100%.
Thanks for being careful with us.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen
Q4U: Is it difficult for you to live carefree before God? How have you learned to trust God’s care for you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you bask in God’s loving care!

* [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 Matt Gruber, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

 

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

Let the Bible Wow You

Let the Bible Wow You
Last week I read an online article about how we should not do things we love every day. Like if you love ice cream, you should not eat it every day if you don’t want it to become just an emotionless habit. But there’s one exception to this rule, I think. The rule does not apply to Bible-reading. Because ….the more we read the Bible, the more we desire to read it. The more we digest the Word of God, the more fulfilled we become.

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. (1 Peter 2:2-3, NLT)

All this because it is the Living Word of God. The Bible is not just any book. Because God speaks through it. The Bible transforms its readers. You wouldn’t want to miss it, would you? Ask the Holy Spirit guide you and direct your reading. Allow God to read you as you read it and let God change what needs to be changed.

The transforming power of the Bible is amazing. Just reading a verse or two can empower us to endure whatever we are going through. We just need to make room for the Word of God in our lives and open the Bible regularly. The more we read it, the more we want to read it. Not just because we have formed a habit but because it wows us each and every time when we prayerfully read it.

The word of God does not lose its touch.
The word of God never gets old or boring.
The word of God never loses its power.

I hope you’re now wondering how you could add a bit more Bible-reading into your schedule. Here’s one idea for you. I ran across the Biblegateway’s list of the 1oo most read Bible verses. It is quite a powerful list. Keep the list handy, it can serve as an appetizer for more Bible-reading. You might want to read one of the verses as early as possible in the morning. It will energize your day in a very special day. When you are reminded that you are God’s beloved and nothing will ever separate you from God’s love, you can conquer anything on your to-do list. Trust me. Or don’t. Just try it yourself!

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for the Bible.
Thank you for being alive and active in the world.
Help us to carve more time and space for you in our lives.
Draw us into your word.
Saturate us with your love and grace.
Fill us with your Spirit.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you agree that the more Bible you read, the more you want to read it? How do you add more Bible-reading into your schedule? My latest is to read a psalm before I get out of bed in the morning. It works beautifully and does set the tone for the day.

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you dive into God’s word daily!

Photo courtesy of Sharolyn Newington, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke . Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

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October 6, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

Healing from the Inside Out

Healing from the Inside OurI know many of us are in great need of physical healing (Right now I have several people on my prayer list). But let’s not forget the even greater need for spiritual healing. Because through spiritual healing we are not given just life in this world but also life after death. If we don’t have spiritual cleansing from inside out, it does not matter how healthy we otherwise are. Because then we are walking in the land of death.

We are all broken. We are all in constant need of healing, restoring, and renewal. There is no single person in this world that would be good enough for God on his/her own. We need Jesus. But because of the wounds of Jesus we have healing. Because of Christ we have hope.

Through the tough times in my life I’ve experienced that God truly is faithful. Everything else can fail but God does not fail us. No matter what has happened in our lives we are not beyond repair. There is not a sinner God can not love. There is no situation that is hopeless for God. With God anything is possible.

He [Jesus] used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls. (1 Peter 2: 24-25, MSG)

Are you in dire need of inner cleansing of your soul? You’re blessed because God is calling your name. God is opening his arms wide open and welcoming you home. There’s nothing that brings the Father more joy than welcoming his children back home.

Jesus made it possible for us to be made right with God. The Holy Spirit wants to heal you from the inside out. John the Baptist proclaimed it this way: “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.” (Matthew 3:11-12, MSG)

There is no other way to be whole than Jesus. There is no other way to be healed. The world doesn’t believe this but the radical forgiveness of God –by grace through faith in Christ – cleanses us so powerfully that when we have experienced that we don’t want to go back into the pretense of this world. God’s loving presence in our life brings peace upon peace and we can’t have too much of that. The refining fire of the Holy Spirit ignites the kingdom life within us, builds us up and we can experience the power of resurrection in our everyday lives.

Yes, faith is not just for afterlife. It is for now. But we need to seek God and invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and guide us. The Christian life is not that different from anybody else’s. We wake up in the morning, go to work, take care of our kids, pay the bills, cook, and clean the house. Just like the rest of the world.

The difference is that we know we are a part of something holy. We know where our help comes from. We know that we are spiritual beings on our journey through life. We know that we have a Great Physician to take care of us. We know that God is there every step of our way and we wait for good because our God is good!

 

Gracious God,
Come and change us!
Come and cleanse us!
Come and heal us!
There’s nothing we want or need more.
We want to be set right with you.
We want to be fired up for you.
We want to be yours.
Give us your grace, your peace, your healing touch.
Because we don’t have anywhere else to go.
Thank you for your grace, your peace, your healing touch.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: When have you experienced God’s healing touch?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim! God of Hope is with you!

Image courtesy of Justin Brownlee. This post is refurbished from 2010. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God.

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October 3, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

Pursuing God

pursuing God

When I was a child, there was a TV ad for oat meal declaring “truth is found in oatmeal”. Since then I have been on the quest for truth. I’ve  learned that truth is not found in oatmeal after all. No matter how much more nutritious it is compared to corn flakes. But I’ve learned pursuing truth is in itself valuable.

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor. (Proverbs 21:21, NRSV,*)

In the process of pursuing truth I’ve also learned that truth is found in the Lord instead of oatmeal (or anything man-made like philosophy). Pursuing truth lead me to pursue God with everything I’ve got.

But the most important thing that I have learned over the years on my faith journey is this: it’s always God first. Always. We love God because he first loved us. We love Him, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, AMP,*)

We also pursue God because he first pursued us.
Pursuing God means loving God.
And loving God means forever pursuing God.

But no matter how passionate we are about our pursuit of God, it is God who pursued us first. It’s always God first. Everything begins and ends in grace. And everything in between is all grace.

We love and pursue God because God has first loved and pursued us. It makes loving and pursuing God even more special: it is God-initiated and God-ordained.

It’s all grace.
It’s all God.
It’s all good.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for loving and pursuing us first
so we could learn to love and pursue you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you pursue God?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you pursue and love God with wild abandonment!

Image courtesy of Matt Gruber, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with The High Calling, Faith-filled Fridays and Faith Jam.

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October 1, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

All You Need is God

http://www.flowingfaith.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/1291.jpg
Few years ago I read an interview with a retiring bishop. He was asked what he would like to be remembered by. He said that it’s not important that he would be remembered. But he hopes people would remember that God is good. Amen to that! It’s not really about us, it’s about God! Because God is good – all the time!

God is all mercy and grace—
not quick to anger, is rich in love.
God is good to one and all;
everything he does is suffused with grace.  
God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
      gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.  
Generous to a fault,
you lavish your favor on all creatures.
Everything God does is right—
the trademark on all his works is love.
(Psalm 145:8-9,14,16-17, MSG)

Sometimes I am asked why I believe in a loving God when the world is so bad and broken. But they’ve got it all wrong. They are focusing on the evil in the world. I want to focus on the good in the world. What would I do in this shattered world if I could not be embraced by God’s grace? How could I go on living without becoming cold, bitter, hard or a combination of all three? With the words of Henri Nouwen “Our life is full of brokenness – broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.”

We need God so badly. We need God to be alive. We need God to breath life and more life into us. We need God to be able to love. God really is our everything. But with God we can do anything. Because God’s loving care is more than enough for us. Because we blossom under God’s tender loving care.

All you need is love is one of the famous Beatles songs. I find the sentiment true if we see God as the ultimate love. God is love. God is all we need. Soren Kierkegaard has said it so well: “To the Christian, love is the works of love. To say that love is a feeling or anything of the kind is really an un-Christian conception of love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and everything of that nature. But to the Christian, love is the works of love. Christ’s love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what-not: it was the work of love which was his life.”

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you cäan’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.(1 John 4:7-10, MSG)

Gracious God,
You are our everything.
Thank you for being beyond good and wonderful.
Thank you for pouring out love upon love
and grace upon grace on us.
Show us how to respond to your love.
Guide us to live in your love and grace.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U:How have you experienced God’s love and grace in your life? How do you respond to people who have trouble to believe in God because of the evil in the world?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim. No matter how hard your life is right now wait for good because our God is good!

Photo courtesy of Colton Kvapil. This post is refurbished from 2010. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

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September 29, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

Traveling Light

traveling light
Traveling light is one of the tricks to endure on any journey. This is especially important to Christian pilgrims wanting to make it all the way home one day. The journey itself is hard enough, no extra baggage needed to drag us down. Especially when the help is near and readily available for anyone.

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1, AMP, emphasis added,*)

Jesus is ready to take our extra baggage and that sin that burdens us.
Jesus is ready to enable us to enjoy the joys of traveling light.
Jesus is ready to empower us to steadily advance on our way home.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2, AMP, emphasis added,*)

Traveling light is possible if we steadily look away from troubles, fears and distractions to Jesus. Because Jesus is the only one who can help us along the way. Worrying does not do the trick. Collecting material things does not bring peace. Taking safety measures into our own hands does not bring security.

Only Jesus can lift our burdens.
Only Jesus can bring life through death.
Only Jesus can direct us to the joy of salvation.

But it’s real. And readily available. We just need to ask for help. We are not meant to carry our own burdens. We are meant for traveling light. Why would we then insist on doing it the hard way? Pride has never brought on anything good. Carrying our burdens does not only get us overtly exhausted but also prevent us from helping others along the way.

It’s time to put aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely.
It is time to strip down and start running and never quit.
It’s time to start traveling light.

 

Gracious God,
Forgive us for collecting extra baggage
and for the sin that is so easily clinging to us.
Forgive us for getting so distracted
that we forget Jesus.
Especially because Jesus is all we ever need.
Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus only.
Take our extra baggage and sin away.
Show us what traveling light really means.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you have extra baggage? Do you let Jesus to carry them for you? Do you know how to enjoy traveling light?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you strip down and start traveling light!

Photo courtesy of Forrest Cavale, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God.

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