What do we do with our hopes dreams and desires? We can ignore them, stay busy, or bring them to someone else. Peter, a disciple of Jesus, invites us to CAST our cares on God. When we choose to pray honest prayers, not polite or formal prayers, we position ourselves to be under God’s mighty hand. David prayed an honest prayer. We discover that the best thing to do with our dreams is to bring them to God.
The thought of submitting to another person is terrifying. If we ease up, we fear that they won’t meet our expectations. Jesus gave a new command to love as He loves. Paul taught that in marriage this means mutual submission. Husbands and wives submit to one another our of reverence to God. If your relationship has become a tug-of-war, you need to decide to drop the rope first.
We all come in to a relationship with a box of hopes, dreams, and desires. Eventually we hand that box over to someone else, and we call it expectations. When what we expect doesn’t happen, we respond. Expectations create a debt/debtor relationship. “Owe you” eliminates “love you.” How do we keep our hopes, dreams, and desires from becoming expectations? We realize that they owe us nothing. We owe them everything, and are owed nothing in return. This is how God loves us.
Culture says “Follow your dreams.” But what happens when what we do isn’t what we dreamed of? We can end up numbing our reality with a “treat yo self” lifestyle. The pillows, shiny things, and towel moments beg us to live selfishly. Paul said, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” This is only possible because of the grace of God. We can be grateful in the grind when we remember who we are is a result of God’s grace.
Could you imagine living a radically generous life? Using your money to help others! There are three ways to look at our money. We can have a bag mindset that says, "There is never enough." The basket mindset says, "There is enough." And the barn mindset that says, "There is way more than enough." Living out the principle of the tithe means we trust God to bring back 10% of our money to Him.
Self-promotion is a normal way to live. Being the GOAT is a goal for many. Following Jesus means we are servants. Serving is not just what we do, it is who we are! What are you known for? What would someone say you are “always” doing? It would be amazing to be known for always serving! We can serve by brining a lunch, offering a ride, or carrying a towel. The road to promotion in God’s Kingdom is to put others first. Servants of the Most High God will hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Have you ever been afraid to share your faith? You are not alone! After following Jesus for three years, the disciples were terrified to speak about Jesus after they saw Him crucified. But when He resurrected, He gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit, and suddenly men who were frightened were bold to share their faith! We speak boldly about what we believe deeply! We grow in boldness by spending more time with Jesus and by asking God to make us bold.
“Here Comes Heaven” Why was Jesus born? Hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth, a prophet declared that He would be given the title “Immanuel: God With Us.” What does that mean today? Jesus is God; there is nothing He cannot do. Jesus is with; the glory of God is close to humanity. Us; all are invited, “us” have responded. In order to experience the glory of God, Moses had to hide in a rock. Today, we believe in Jesus who is our rock, and we experience the full glory of God!
“The little Lord Jesus.” Jesus is referred to as Lord more than 700 times in the New Testament. That word means supreme in authority and controller. It’s not easy to fully surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus. But Jesus is clear: He is not a part-time Lord, and He doesn’t want part-time followers. He gave up His life so that we could belong to Him. We hold back areas of our life from Jesus, because we don’t know Him in those areas. A fully satisfied life is a fully surrendered life.
“O come all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant.” Do those words describe you? For most of us, we wouldn’t say we are any of those things. So does that mean we cannot come to Jesus? By looking at the genealogy of Jesus, Matthew shows us who it is that Jesus calls to come. It is the sinners. Jesus came so that ALL people could come to Him. When we come, we become all those things and more, because that is who Jesus is!