The Habit of Reset

The Habit of Reset

If you have ever raised or helped raise children, there comes a point when you realize that much of their tension and frustration are self-inflicted. If you take it a step further, you realize we, having started out as children, often don’t change much over the years. Much of the time, we are the source of our own angst. 

The Bible is brutally honest with us. Scripture promises us that we will have trial and tribulation. Think about that. We will experience things that cause us detours from our purpose and destiny. But we have hope. Take a look at Samson (Judges 13-16). When it comes to detours in our life, Samson’s story provides a lot of examples. He was a miracle child, born to parents who had been barren many years. They knew from angelic visitation that he was destined to be the leader of their nation. He had a promising future. But, Samson was dysfunctional and distracted, rebellious and frustrated. Remarkably, in the midst of his dysfunction, God still used him. No matter your interference, God's purpose for you never changes and he faithfully works to bring it about. But know, obedience leads to blessing. Rebellion leads to burden. 

In Judges 14:10-20, we get a close up of Samson’s life choices. He took the rebellion/burden path. Choice after choice leads Samson from one bad reaction to another - from insisting on a relationship that was not God’s will for him, to killing bystanders to pay off a lost bet; from walking out on his wife who betrayed him to killing more Philistines after they murdered her, his life spiraled down quickly, all because of choices he made. Our bad attitudes create a circuitous pathway that has us making choices that backfire, leaving us rejected and frustrated which brings about a reaction which causes us to make choices that backfire, leaving rejected and frustrated which brings about a reaction… well, you get the idea. We want so much for it to be everyone else’s fault. But our reactions are completely in our control. How do we break out of the cycle of destruction?

As noted, discouragement in life is inevitable. We find this in John 16:33: “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” We must lean into Jesus, our peace giver, and choose not to focus on our trials and sorrows.

When we don’t deal with discouragement, it becomes an excuse for dysfunction. The catch here is that we often do not ask how we got to the condition of dysfunction. We're frustrated, but we want to blame everybody else for how we feel. Like Samson, we declare ourselves innocent and justified for any reaction we may allow ourselves. But, when we see discouragement and dysfunction, we should ask, “How did I create this?” Samson should never have been in Philistine territory at all. He was meant to be an agent of rescue, but he became an agent of destruction instead. We fall into the same traps - destruction being perpetuated through our reactions.

Compounded discouragement and disappointment foster anger. How many of us have killed things in our lives because of our reactions. Unless we recognize our own wrongdoing and hold ourselves accountable, we will fall into a pit and unmitigated discouragement will bring about delusion where our judgment is skewed and where we stop trusting people in our lives. Finally, we push ourselves away from people who actually care. Depression is dangerous. Isolation is often the apparent solution, however, it leads to sadness, grief, fear and worse. This kind of isolation is a counterfeit to what we really need. 

We do need space when we are discouraged and we can look to Jesus for how to do it. It needs to be healthy isolation. Jesus needed space but he fasted and prayed. He had the habit of reset. He gained energy and steadfastness in his purpose when he got alone because he got alone with Father God. If you are isolating, is it a place where you indulge in self pity or is it a place where you experience the life-giving revival that only comes from God? What happens when you close the doors?

Discouragement will come. But you can overcome it. Live in faith, not in fear. Get into the Word of God. Pray and fast. Ask yourself what you are living for. Are your responses moving you away from your purpose or do they accelerate you toward your purpose? Ask for God to breathe new life into your relationships and into your pursuit of purpose. Take time and reset. 

Read more: The Habit of Reset

The Habit of Faith

With Faith, All Things Are Possible

We’ve been talking about habits the past couple of weeks - putting God first and discovering your purpose. Today, I want to focus on the habit of faith. The Bible says that we are to live by faith. Living by faith in God takes the pressure off of us and allows us to enjoy life in a much greater way. 

Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, we cannot please God. Romans 14:23b says that anything we do that is not done in faith is sin. Romans 1:17 says that righteousness is revealed in God's word and that it leads us from faith to faith. These scriptures lead me to believe that faith should be a habit. 

Faith is trusting in what God says in his word even though you may not have any evidence of its reality yet. Faith connects us to an all-powerful God. Two things that I want to see in my life and in the life of my church are power and hope. These come by faith. “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]” (Hebrews 11:1 AMPC). 

AW Tozer says it this way, “True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectation. The man who believes the promises of God expects to see them fulfilled. Where there is no expectation there is no faith.” Ask for what you need or desire, expecting God‘s help. With God all things are possible (unlimited).

We all have all the faith we need, to do whatever God’s will is for our life. We all have faith but the key to success is where we place our faith. If you put your faith in yourself or in other people, you will be disappointed, but if you put your faith in God you will be amazed at what he can do through you.  

Faith requires that you step out. We must begin and if what we are doing is God‘s will, he will never fail to help us finish. You have been given a measure of faith, but it may need to grow. Little faith can become great faith as you step out on the promises of God. Peter was the only disciple who walked on the water, but then, he was also the only one who trusted God enough to get out of the boat. As we take steps of faith to be obedient to God, we experience his faithfulness and our faith becomes strong in him.

Are you committed to living by faith or are you just merely talking about faith? Faith is in us, but it must be released and that is done by praying, saying, and taking action. Prayer carries our faith-filled requests before the throne of God. Pray boldly, for he is able to do more than we can ask, think or imagine.

Taking action releases faith. When Peter got out of the boat, his action, when Jesus said “come”, proved that he had faith in God. In order to do or have greater things, we are usually required to let go of what we have and head into the unknown. More faith comes on the way than when we are starting. 

We need faith for daily living. It is vital if we are going to eliminate stress and really enjoy life. The faith habit will leave no room for the worry habit. It also drives out the fear habit. I encourage you to verbalize your faith. Say “I trust God” or “I believe that God is working all things together for my good”. We speak from a place of faith and then what we say also increases our faith. The best way to defeat worry and fear is to resist them right away when they first try to enter your mind. Faith is filled with hopeful expectation and it never gives up. 

We also need faith for the past. Regret over yesterday can ruin today. God‘s word teaches us to let go of the past by faith and press toward the things that are ahead. If you’re concerned about something from your past, meditate on scripture and let it encourage you to trust God. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19 NLT). God is doing a new thing. It’s already started. Release your faith and know that no matter what happened in the past, God is greater. He’ll forgive your sins, he'll turn your mistakes into miracles and your tests into testimonies and leave you amazed at the good things that he can do in your life.

We can also have faith for the future. God is the only one who knows the future. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I do believe that whatever it is, it will be God‘s good and perfect plan. It is God who holds the future.

The faith habit allows us to accept whatever our circumstances are with joy because we trust God that all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28 NLT). We can trust God no matter what things look or feel like.

Our impatience won’t make God hurry so we might as well decide to wait with joy. Acceptance with joy is proof of faith. Our attitude says loud and clear, “I believe God is perfect in all of his ways and I know I am in his hands”. 

If you want to develop the habit of faith, you’ve got to let go of being in control of your life and trust God with everything. Abandonment is forgetting the past entirely, leaving the future completely in his hands, and totally being at peace with the present, knowing that the moment you are in, contains God‘s perfect will for you for that moment. He is faithful. 

Read more: The Habit of Faith

Life By Design

“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG).

God wants to bring the best out of you and I want to make this statement…so do I. I want to take you on a journey of unlimited possibilities, to bring the best out of you. I believe this begins with you knowing God. Secondly, I believe the journey to bring the best out of you involves settling your yesterdays once and for all. I want you to find freedom and to discover your purpose so you can make a difference in this world. To do this, you need well-formed maturity. 

You don’t have to do the impossible. You just have to do the difficult and God will do the impossible!  If this is to be a year of unlimited possibilities, then you’re going to have to make a decision and create a habit of living a God-first life. Difficult yes, but then watch what God does!

Discover Your Purpose. Life will go better when you keep yourself in alignment with your purpose on this planet. Your life will never make sense and you’ll always have problems in other areas until you align your life around your purpose. Ps 139 says it beautifully, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

We try, don’t we? However, each one of us has added a chapter to our book. And, if you’re like me, probably a few chapters! These are not chapters God wrote for us. Don’t lose hope. When we look to God for alignment, he has this unique ability to make the last chapter fit …no matter how many chapters you may have added in. 

Live by design and not by default. Define it and design it. There is constant competition for our time and attention. Don’t allow other people or situations to decide your life for you. Today you are one day closer to the end of your life than you were yesterday. I’m your friend. I’m not an expert on the subject but I will tell you this, I personally believe we are living in the last days, maybe the last of the last days.There is no room for us to live a casual, no good, who cares kind of life. Today matters. This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice! Yesterday‘s over and tomorrow’s not here. Get today in alignment. You’ll really never change your life until you change the things that you do every day, the habits. 

  1.  Decide what is important.

A lot of our lives are being defined by what’s important, or urgent. There are a lot of things that we need to do, but they can’t dominate our lives. What are the most important things?Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8 NLT). The only way you’ll ever know if life is really better when you put God first is to go all in and make a decision that you're going to put him first. If you’ve never tried this life, you have missed out on the best.

  1. Give calendar time to important things.

It is amazing how many people have values, but they don’t show up on their calendar. If you value it, you give it time and resources. Take time to fill your calendar with those things that are important. Ask for God to teach you in the ways of wisdom.

  1.     Make time for renewal. You have got to refresh yourself. You’ve got to have a day where you slow yourself down. I promise you you will get more done in six days by giving one day to God and resting your spirit, soul, and body. 

  1.     Make time for relationships. The most important decisions of your life after your decision to serve God is going to be the people that you choose to spend your life with. More on this later! 

  1.   Make time for reward. Do something that will bring you heavenly rewards. Someday, you’re going to stand before God and part of my job is to make sure that you’re prepared for that final exam. He won’t have to ask if you belong to Christ. He will know the answer to that question. He will ask how much you leveraged the life that he gave you? It’s really important that you are living your life on purpose and making a difference.

  1.   Eliminate the nonessentials.

A lot of us have nonessentials in our life and the secret is to eliminate as many of those things in our life that honestly just don’t belong. Eliminate those things that do not make your life better. Like Hebrew 12 says, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NLT). Make a decision to eliminate these things if you want what you want at the end.  

  1.   Regularly take inventory.

Where is your life out of alignment? Pray this prayer from Psalm 39, ““Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath” (Psalms 39:4-5 NLT).

Take a moment and get your life back on track. Make sure your life is what it is supposed to be about. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out areas that need to line up. Ask him to show you if you are really ready to meet God. Acknowledge that you need God and that you want to serve him with your whole heart and your whole mind. Ask him to forgive you and to change you. 

If you decide to do what’s needed, prepare for unlimited possibilities. God is amazing and he will do what he has promised. 

Read more: Life By Design

Make God First

This will be a year of unlimited possibility. Declare it with me!

Right here at the beginning of this new year, let’s consider our habits.We are what we repeatedly do. If you haven’t read my book, Make That, Break That,  this would be a great time to get a copy!

I desire real change this year, a transformation. In any area of life, if you want to see something new, you’ve got to make a change. The way to live life the way God has for us is challenging; it’s doable but it’s challenging.

For 2023, let’s develop some habits that are intentional and worthwhile. What I want to share with you are God principles. If we apply these principles, they will change our lives. Get rid of excuses that keep you from achieving and seeing the changes you desire and jump in all the way. Let’s do this thing.

For our journey this year (check out my sermon, “Unlimited Possibilities”), you will need hope, hope your marriage can be restored or that your finances can be improved, hope for whatever it is you long for. I have a word for you… “But God.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) promises, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

In addition to hope, the second thing you need is repentance from the past, a course correction. 

Repentance is not a negative thing. It means to stop going in your current direction, change the way you think, and go the opposite direction, no looking back. Recovery programs sometimes use a tool, “My Life in Five Chapters”. The first four chapters involve no real change, going down the same road, falling into the same hole or nearly falling into it, and taking a long time to get out. But, chapter 5 is the key. Just go down a different street. This is transformation. My goal is to help take you down a whole different path this year. Like Philippians 3:13 says, let’s forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead.

The last thing is to form some new habits. Romans 12:21 says it this way, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” The things we put first not only show truths about us, but they have power. Let’s focus on what to do first. 

Put God first. I promise you, if you put God first in your life, it is going to be a completely different year for you. Let me make a strong statement. If God is in your life, but he’s not first in your life, then he’s not really in your life. He will not take another place on your list if he’s not at the top of it. The first of the 10 Commandments is all about him being first, “Then God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. “You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:1-3 NLT). That little “g” god is really just any love or passion we may hold dear. He does not mind you loving something, but he does mind you loving it more than him and he will not take another place other than first. Here at the beginning of 2023, I challenge you to develop a habit of putting God first.  

Give God the first of everything. Many preach this as a money principle. It is not just a money principle. Leviticus 27:30 NLT teaches that one tenth of all we have belongs to the Lord, 1/10th of everything. This includes your thoughts and your time. Set apart a tenth of your time and your thoughts and give them to God. The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God in first place in your life (Deuteronomy 14:23 LB). Thank God that our giving feeds the hungry and builds buildings. But that’s not the purpose. Give to God the first of everything you possess.

Consider the following. Give God the first of your year. We are in a time of prayer and fasting at my church during January. We set aside this time to put God first in our year. 

Give God the first of your month. Review your schedule and make sure he is in your schedule. Likewise, don't schedule things that will schedule God out. 

Give God the first of your week. A good example of this is to make sure Sundays are set aside for him. Spend time in God’s presence and skip that additional golf game on Sunday morning or sleeping in. We gather on Sunday to worship God not only because that was the day Jesus was resurrected, but because the early church decided they wanted to celebrate on the first day of the week, putting God first in their week. Take the day to worship and to rest. if you give God this time, you'll be surprised what you get done the remainder of the week. 

Give God the first of your day. Talk to him first thing in the morning before anything else. Give him your first thoughts. Pastor Chris Hodges challenges people to give the first fifteen minutes of the day to God - 5 minutes in the Word, 5 minutes in worship, and 5 minutes in prayer. Do this and then watch God work in your life in amazing ways. 

When I give God the first of my time he multiplies my time. When I give God the first of my finances, he multiplies my finances. I find that the 90% will go further than 100%. When I give God the first of my thoughts, he multiplies my thoughts. Keep a notepad handy. You will want to write them all down!

Give God your first and your best. “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine” (Proverbs 3:6, 9-10 NLT).

Read more: Make God First

Unlimited Possibilities


I want to declare this is a year of Unlimited Possibilities. When a woman is pregnant, for the first few months, she doesn't look any different. She's the same size, wears the same clothes, and has the same amount of energy. From the outside, there's no sign that she's going to have a baby, and if you just look at her naturally, you could think, "You're not pregnant, there's nothing different about you". 

But, what you can’t see is that conception has indeed occurred. In a few months, she'll start showing, gaining more weight and will soon feel something kicking. She will not have seen the baby in person and will not have held that baby. But, she's not worried; she knows the baby is on the way. At the right time, she'll give birth. 

In the same way, you may not realize it, but you are pregnant. God has placed potential in you - gifts, talents, ideas. He's placed dreams, business ideas, books, songs, healing, freedom within you. You are pregnant with possibility, pregnant with increase, pregnant with healing. Just because you don't see anything happening doesn't mean it's not going to come to pass. That seed God put in you has already taken root; conception has occurred.

Like this woman, you may not see any sign of it for some time, but don't worry, your time is coming. You could easily be discouraged, but you can feel something kicking on the inside. Perhaps your dream looks impossible. You tried and it didn't work out. But deep down, something keeps kicking, telling you that it's on the way, that there is still potential. Your attitude should be one of expectation. What God started, He will finish.

You may be struggling with an illness. Instead of accepting it, thinking that's the way it's always going to be, keep reminding yourself that you already have conceived. The healing is already in you. It's just a matter of time before you give birth. Nothing can snatch you out of God's hands.

No weapon formed against you will prosper. Deep down, you can feel something stirring in your spirit. Can I tell you I am looking at pregnant people today? Quit telling yourself that you could never get ahead, you don't have enough of this, enough of that. No, you are pregnant with success, pregnant with ideas, pregnant with your destiny. You are pregnant with freedom and wholeness. You're going to give birth to what God put in you. It's not too late, you haven't missed your chance. We serve a supernatural God. He can make a way when we don't see a way. You can still give birth. You can still meet the right person, still start your business, still go to college, still break the addiction. That seed is still alive in you. 

You may look around and think, "I don't know anyone that's gotten out of my neighborhood and done something significant. I don't know anyone that's overcome the illness I'm dealing with. Nobody in my family has been able to break these addictions." The good news is, you can be the first. You can set the new standard. You can be the barrier breaker. You have greatness in you. 

The prophet Joel said to wake up the mighty men, wake up the mighty women. I'm here to wake up your dreams, wake up your talents, wake up your potential, wake up what God put in you. You may have let some circumstances convince you that it's never going to happen, but I believe you're going to start feeling some kicking on the inside. That baby, that dream, that promise - it's still alive in you. You better get ready, you're going to give birth to something that's going to take you further than you could ever imagine. It's going to thrust you to a new level of your destiny. 

Too often, we're looking for something from the outside to help us overcome, but God has put it on the inside. If you give birth to that dream, your gift will make room for you. If you dare to believe that you have what it takes, go out each day with expectancy, knowing that you're pregnant with purpose and potential. Then, you will give birth to what God put on the inside of you. Paul said it this way in Ephesians, "God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think according to the power that works in you". It's not according to the power that works in your neighbor, your cousin, your pastor, or your friend. The power is working in you. 

Well, you say, "Dave, I believe I'm pregnant. I have big dreams, I'm standing on God's promises, but everything is coming against me. Seems like the more I pray, the worse it gets. I'm doing the right thing, but the wrong thing is happening". Here's the beauty. Pain is a sign that you're about to give birth. Trouble, difficulties, being uncomfortable, that's a sign that you're getting closer. In an actual pregnancy, the closer a woman gets to the birth, the more painful it is. 

When everything comes against you, don't get discouraged, you're about to give birth. You're about to see a promise come to pass. In the tough times, many people abort their dreams, thinking, "I knew it wouldn't work out”. No, recognize those are labor pains. You're getting closer. Stay in faith, keep doing the right thing. That difficulty you're facing, it's not the end, it's a part of the birthing process. You're about to step into a new level of your destiny. Don't be discouraged by the disappointment, the closed door, the bad break. That's a sign you're about to give birth.

Keep trying, keep believing, keep doing everything you can, and at the right time, the right connections will be made and the right opportunities will present themselves. You couldn't make it happen on your own. It is the hand of God, and what He's put in you is going to be bigger than you can imagine, better than you've ever dreamed, more rewarding than you thought possible. 

Now, do your part. Get your hopes up. Every morning, remind yourself you are pregnant, not with rejection, failure, disappointments, or defeat but with victory, success, and the favor of God. You may have had some bad breaks, but you are not going to live your life barren. God has the final say, and He says a birth is coming. What He's promised is on the way. Keep honoring Him, keep doing your best, and I believe and declare you will give birth to everything God put in you and become everything God created you to be in Jesus' name.

Read more: Unlimited Possibilities

Know Peace

Know Peace

It's been quite the build up: you’ve put out decorations, you’ve planned events, you’ve purchased gifts, and many of you have prepared meals. Let’s take the next few moments to ensure you can enjoy Christmas. 

One of the first decorations I think about during this season is the nativity set, a miniature manger filled with characters from the first Christmas story. Although they’re intended to paint the picturesque night of Christ’s birth, as a kid I saw them as nothing more than toys. 

  • When I was very young the nativity was the perfect site for Old McDonald’s farm
  • When I was a bit older it became a base for Army men
  • And then a few years later it became the ultimate toy… Jurassic Park - sheep are the perfect snack for a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

I was thinking about all those years and all the different ways I’d rearrange the nativity and it got me thinking: When Jesus isn’t the center of the nativity, the story changes quite a bit. 

The staple of every nativity is Jesus; He’s the center of attention. Every other character is fashioned to look upon Him. And rightfully so, I mean without Jesus this isn’t the greatest blessing; it’s a barn. Without Jesus there is no reason to celebrate, it's just a stable. Without Jesus this isn’t the story of a God who loved us so much that He stepped out of eternity into humanity so that He could become one of us and die for us all so that He could always be with us. 

Nativities, like life, are designed for Jesus to be the center. And when He isn’t the center the whole focus changes. For example:

  1. If the wise men were the center, the focus moves from a savior to the pursuit of our successes. Wise men were the most accomplished and wealthy of their day. They had everything yet they were still searching for something. 

That’s so many of us. We have so much yet we’re unsatisfied; still searching for significance in promotions, connections, and collections. The wise men are the picture of the man who focused his whole life on climbing to the top of the ladder only to realize, once he was at the top, that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.  

  1. If Joseph and Mary were at the center, then the focus moves from a redeemer to our relationships. Relationships are great; God created them for us to enjoy. But for some people that’s all life is about. They’re searching to fill a deep longing for intimacy that only God can give. You can see it in the rotation of relationships: friend after friend, boyfriend after boyfriend, spouse after spouse. Anytime we place an expectation meant for God on someone else we’re guaranteeing that relationship fails. 

  1. Finally, imagine if the shepherds were the center. The focus would move from Christ’s sufficiency to our insecurities. During the first century, shepherds were the bottom of the society. They were seen as less than, not good enough. They wore a label that constantly reminded them of their issues. There’s no doubt there are some who can only see their label of addict, divorced, unemployed, alone, abused, or broken. The focus of their life has become what’s wrong with their life. 

You see, like the nativity scene, life doesn’t work when Jesus isn’t at the center. 

  • Pursuit of success alone leaves us unsatisfied. 
  • Relationships are rewarding but also limited. 
  • And too many let life revolve around their regret; wasting all the good God still wants to do in their life. 

The message of the nativity is ONLY Jesus should be the center piece! 

Only Jesus can deliver true significance to your soul. Only in Jesus will you find a relationship that lasts forever. Only Jesus knows all your failures; loves you in spite of them and makes an incredible future from them. 

This is not just an opinion; it’s a spiritual truth wired into your very being. We were created by God and He designed us with a sort of indicator for when Jesus is not at the center of our life. When there is an area of your life where Jesus is off center a warning goes off. Do you know what it is? It’s a lack of peace. 

The short of 2 Peter‬ 1:2 is that the more you know Christ, the more He is the center, the more peace you have. 

In life, worry is a warning light. When you worry about finances, it's because Jesus isn't the center of your finances.  Some worry about family issues. There is no peace because Jesus isn’t the center of your family. For others, the place of anxiety is your marriage or school. For some it’s work. It doesn’t matter the place. Stress and fear are indicators of a place Jesus isn’t center. 

So, how do you make Jesus the center? Anytime you send prayer UP; God sends PEACE down.  There are over 790 verses about the peace of God in Scripture. Whatever problem you have, God has a corresponding peace. 

  • For those with a broken heart, He gives us comforting peace. 
  • For those with a confused heart, He gives us guiding peace. 
  • For those when we have a guilty heart, He gives us forgiving peace. 
  • God has a peace for every one of your problems.

All you have to do is ask! 

Where in your life are you lacking peace? Where do you need to be honest and say, ‘What I’m doing isn’t working’? Where do you need to make Jesus the center-peace of your life? Take a real look and then ask God for help. Send the prayer up, and He will send peace down.

Read more: Know Peace

The Rhythm of Christmas

The Rhythm of Christmas

Think about clapping a simple beat. Then imagine hearing a drummer performing a more complicated sequence. When we hear these different beats, we’re experiencing rhythm. In terms of life, think about the pace, the rhythm your life is following. The pattern. The sound. The tempo. You can tell a lot about where a person has been and where a person is going by their rhythm.

If you could experience the ultimate rhythm that God has for you, the pattern He has set for your life, you could avoid a lot of drama, trauma, anxiety, and anger. The problem is, a lot of us don’t realize we’re going through life in a certain rhythm. We sometimes see our lives as a series of unrelated, random beats. We don’t learn from the past like we should. We don’t get on track for the future like we wish we could.

We’re all playing to the beat of a certain rhythm, and that rhythm will determine the results of our lives. But here’s the amazing thing. Rhythm can change. You can have tempo changes, meter changes, pattern changes. And although you may feel powerless to change your reality, if you change your rhythm, the result of that adjustment can change your reality.

God is the source of rhythm. Everything God created has rhythm - our bodies, our world, our universe. He intended us to live by His beat and pattern but man chose to march to the beat of their own drum. We got out of rhythm. We took the drumsticks from God, and the result was chaotic. To change that reality of chaos, God changed His rhythm.

When a drummer plays the drums, they have to know when to strike the drum and when to rest. Between the old and new testaments of the Bible, there were 400 years of silence. God changed his rhythm from religion based in law to relationship based on the work Jesus did on our behalf. Relational rhythm is what the rhythm of Christmas is all about. God gave us a new rhythm, first found in the heartbeat of Jesus. The rhythm of Christmas is about Jesus and allowing Jesus to set the rhythm of our lives through our relationship with Him.

Rhythm is meaningless without context. It’s kind of like a word. If I say the word “ring” you don’t know what I mean. That could mean a lot of different things, depending on its context. The same is true with rhythm. If I give you a rhythm you have no idea where it starts and ends, or how it’s supposed to fit into a song. Jesus is the context to God’s rhythm. Without Jesus, God’s rhythm seems like nothing but patterns, a religious rhythm - “do this and don’t do that.” But with Jesus, you see God’s love and His plan, and you realize that God’s plan was, is, and will always be relational.

In Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” He says “Come here and I’ll show you a pattern for your life.” He wants to show you love, mercy, and forgiveness.

Take the command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” for instance. What if my neighbor is a terrible person? Without Jesus, that command can seem nearly impossible. But with Jesus, I’m reminded that I’m not perfect either, yet, Jesus died for me. I didn’t deserve it. So Jesus gives the command a certain context, where now it becomes achievable.

Jesus knows the patterns that propel us into power and purpose. Jesus is the foundation of our lives and existence. A drummer sets rhythm in a song and this rhythm keeps everything organized and held together. Take rhythm out, you’ve got chaos. Colossians 1:15-18 (MSG) says, “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.” That sounds like rhythm, does it not? Jesus sets the rhythm and through Him, we find our purpose. Our lives go from chaotic to organized and secure when we revolve our life around His rhythm.

Maybe as you look at your life you say, “There’s no real purpose, no organizing rhythm.” God says, “I’ll let you in on my rhythm. There is a place for my pace in your soul.” That’s the rhythm of Christmas. Jesus was born of a woman. He experienced the rhythm of man. He was born under the law. The law was a system of rules and regulations that no man could keep. Yet, Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly. He had perfect rhythm. Christ’s heartbeat changed the world. As we follow the beat of the babe from Bethlehem, we give Him the drumsticks of our lives and allow Him to set the pace for our soul.

In rhythm, timing is everything. If you’re a drummer in the band, you set the tempo and the band is in sync with what you play. People knew that God was going to send a new rhythm to reconcile and redeem the world. God told us this through the prophets. The word “rhythm” is derived from “rhythmos” which means “a measured motion.” God measured out all of his options before putting His plan into motion. He thought long and hard, because there was a divine dilemma. What would God do about the sin problem in the world? Would he wipe us out? Or would he bring us back into rhythm? Then, on that first Christmas, he put that measured plan into motion as God showed the greatest display of rhythm the world has ever seen. When Christ was born, His heartbeat signaled a new rhythm that would revolutionize the world.

Jesus lived for 33 years. But on the cross, after He perfectly followed the beat of the law during His life on earth, the heartbeat of heaven came to a halt. It appeared the beat had suffered the ultimate defeat. But on that third day, it began to beat again – so loud, so majestic, so full - that Jesus burst forth with resurrection power. There was a rhythm that changed the world. A rhythm found inside the heart of a newborn child that grew to become a man. This rhythm would stand up to religion. It would defeat the devil and sin. It lived a perfect life and died a sacrificial death. And then, it stopped. And then, it rose again. Je-sus. Je-sus.

When you can’t feel anything else, you can always feel the beat, His beat. Je-sus. Je-sus. Je-sus. No rhythm, no life. Know rhythm, know life. Do you hear God’s heartbeat?

Read more: The Rhythm of Christmas

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