David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death (1 Chronicles 22:5).
This verse has to be one of my favorites in the entire Bible. I love the fact that David makes no apologies about the kind of house that must be built for the Lord. It was to “be of great magnificence and fame and splendor,” one that exceeded every expectation.
I believe that is exactly how we should see the church of Jesus Christ today. Our lives should make people stop and wonder, “How is this possible?”
If the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you and me, how could we live lives that are any less? Our God lives in us!
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we should not shrink back from all that God has called us to do. We all carry the Spirit of God Himself within us, and there is nothing ordinary about that. It is magnificent.
The world would love to keep the church small, but God has called His bride to be great. Let’s not be afraid of loving God’s house, serving there and building exceedingly magnificent lives that bring glory to the One who lives within us. The more we allow the fruit of the Spirit to be developed in our lives, the more like Him we become and the more splendid our lives become.
Believe for big things, dream extravagantly, expect God to do great things, and let’s make His name famous across the earth.
When it comes to relationships, the first thing we must remember is that they must be life-giving rather than life-depleting. Some of us struggle because we have allowed relationships to flourish that are full of toxic emotions such as negativity, criticism, comparison, jealousy, insecurity and fear. We can’t pursue God’s purpose for our lives if we are constantly weighed down by negative relationships.
Let’s evaluate the relationships in our lives and build those that help us work toward our purpose and destiny. Determine which ones have the biggest influence on us, which ones help and which ones hinder, and which ones encourage us to know God more every day.
Choose friendships that are full of life!The righteous choose their friends carefully … (Proverbs 12:26)
Busy, busy, busy … we are always so busy. Many of us are driven by the urgency of our schedules because we have wasted so much time on relatively purposeless activity. We need to evaluate:
What things in my life can I replace with time for me, in order to recharge and just breathe?
I have found that the greatest gift I can give Nick and the girls is a healthy me, and the only way I am able to be the best me is if I have taken the time to recharge my soul and spirit.
An essential by-product of stopping to breathe and still our spirits and minds is that it gives God time to get a word in edgewise and speak to us. So much of our mental confusion, emotional upheaval and physical exhaustion would greatly dissipate if we would simply take the time to stop, breathe and lean into the presence of God.
Today, take some time to stop and breathe.He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
If we’re to fulfill our God-given purpose, we need to master the art of simplifying our lives. When Jesus began His ministry here on earth, He brought a message of life, liberty and simplification to people who were bound by the complexity of over-demanding laws and regulations.
The Jewish law, which originally consisted of the ten simple commandments given to Moses, had evolved into a list of 613 commandments by the time Jesus walked the earth. Can you imagine going through each day trying to remember (let alone obey) 613 laws about every detail of life? There were strict rules about how to clean certain dishes, how to wash your hands, how to eat your food, how to deal in business, how to tithe to God, how to interact in society – the list goes on. I wouldn’t have been able to make it out my door every morning without breaking at least eighteen of them.
Jesus felt compassion for people who were bound by these unnecessary yokes and burdens of religion, because God never intended such complexity for our lives. In fact, in a single exchange with the Pharisees, He whittled down the 613 Mosaic laws to just two.
Luke 10:27 says, He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
It was my mother’s seventieth birthday party. Within a span of hours, I was characterized by different people in a variety of ways. To one, I was my mom’s only daughter; to another I was Nick’s wife; to another, I was Catherine and Sophia’s mom; to another, I was George’s sister. Some old friends considered me the “weird one” who had “got religion,” and friends from church know me as a Bible teacher and author.
While it’s true that the way each of the partygoers identified me is a legitimate aspect of the various roles I fulfill in life, none of these roles is who I really am.
If we allow ourselves to be defined by our roles instead of allowing who we truly are in Christ to define our roles, we’re going to get all messed up.
No one role completely defines us. In other words, who you are is not determined by what you do; that is, your do is not your who!
If we try to get our identity, significance and security from the roles we play, ultimately our lives become focused upon mere functionality and doing more, rather than something deeper.
So the question we need to ask ourselves is this: When no one is calling us parent, spouse, sibling, mentor, boss or friend, who is left?“... I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)