Where’s Your Focus?

Ariel view of the Grand Canyon

Scriptures to read: Hebrews 10:11-14, Romans 5:20

What if I were to say sin isn’t a big deal, how would you respond? What if I were to tell you God isn’t as concerned with your sin as He is concerned about you, how would you respond to that?

These statements might sound dead wrong and foolish when your focus is on sin. But what happens when grace is introduced into the conversation? Let’s use an illustration. If I had a small rock, the size of my palm, in my hand and I examined it throughly it would be safe to say that the rock is the object of my attention. I look at it from every angle and even put it under a microscope to see the tiny individual grains that make up the rock, up close and personal. My vision is totally enamored by this small rock.

Now I take this same rock travel to the Grand Canyon, get to the edge of cliff, and throw the rock over the cliff. Two things just happened: 1) In the deepness of the Grand Canyon, I can no longer see the rock and 2) My focus turns to the absolute beauty, awe-inspiring wonder that is the Grand Canyon.

The small rock is our sin, and it’s small because Jesus solved the problem of sin when He died on the cross and rose three days later with all power in his hand. But when we examine and put our sin under a microscope all we see is our sin it becomes big and it gets more attention than God. We want to change but we are using our sin as the motivation instead of God’s grace as the motivation to change. That’s like me staring at a donut for motivation to eat healthy or lose weight. All I see is the donut so I want to eat the donut! Wrong motivation!

The Grand Canyon is grace. It’s massive, deep, beautiful, and literally swallows up that tiny rock called sin. When we switch our focus from the sin to the awesome wonder of grace we become grace-full!

Declaration: Jesus is grace and He died for my past sins, my present sins, and my future sins. Therefore my sin is already taken care of. From this day forward Jesus will be the focal point of my life!

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What Did I Say?

Previous post from February 10, 2013.

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Don not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.”

Jeremiah 1:6-9 (ESV)

This week I borrowed some thoughts from another devotional that I have read and still read, Igniting Faith In 40 Days by Steve and Wendy Backlund (ideas taken directly from this devotional will be in italics). Great read should you ever get a chance to read it, you’ll be deeply impacted.

We know that our words have power and it’s very necessary to use our words to help guide our lives. The person who says “I can” and the person who says “I can’t” are both right. However, it is pride masked as humility that says, “I cannot” or “I am unworthy” when God has said you can and you are worthy.

Now is the time for us to take another look at what we speak, especially when we declare what we think we cannot do. Our words are either a rudder to direct our lives unto God’s prophetic will or a curse that puts fences around our potential. We must believe before we see (not the other way around). One of the main truths we are to believe is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!”

Faith is spelled R-I-S-K! We won’t have something just because we say it, but having it demands that we declare it first. Nothing in the kingdom happens without it first being declared. Speak it, then take a risk and do it.

Weightlifters build muscles by pressing against resistance. Faith muscle is increased the same way by pressing against old thought patterns.

Declaration: I renounce every curse I have spoken over my life through declarations of what I thought I could not do. I will not limit God, but will release Him by joining the Apostle Paul’s positive declaration in saying “I CAN!”

God Is Pleased With Me

Previous post from February 3, 2013.

And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight!

Matthew 3:17 (AMP)

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

Galatians 3:26 (AMP)

It’s important to know that God’s delight (or pleasure) in the Son wasn’t based on his (Jesus’s) performance. At the point of this declaration by God the Father Jesus hadn’t yet performed any miracles or taught in the temple. Instead God was expressing His delight in the nature of His son’s existence. To delight in something is to take pleasure in its nature separate from any performing acts. Simply because Jesus is His son makes Jesus delightful to God.  Knowing this Jesus was able to show us what right relationship looked like with God the Father. Jesus never did the great things he did to earn love from the Father, rather he did them from love never trying to perform for God.
Now since we as believers have faith in Jesus and that he died one-time for all our sins past, present, and future we have become sons (and daughters) of God. Since we are believers we are hidden in Christ thus making our very nature pleasing to God.
God’s pleasure with our new born-again spirits is an eternal pleasure that doesn’t waver with every misstep we take. God delights in the righteous and a righteous man falls seven times but gets back up again…and again…and again! Our relationship with God becomes dysfunctional when we believe God is mad at us because we’re not “doing enough” so we try to please Him by “doing more for Him”. It doesn’t sound bad but the motives are wrong. Knowing God is pleased with you (your very nature) gives you supernatural ability (grace) to do what your heart instinctively wants to do, and that is, please God.
Declaration: God is not mad at me, He is happy and pleased with me. He delights in me and what He has made is good and very good. Finally, God is ALWAYS GOOD!

Our Greatest Weapon is Love

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. – 1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP)

Our greatest weapon in spiritual warfare is love. Love defeated death and the grave. Love made it possible to have a real relationship with God. Love holds the keys to life and is the sole reason why we have the opportunity to be saved from an eternal life in torment.

Declaration: I declare, in my life, a love explosion, greater than I’ve ever seen or experienced; and because of this love explosion, those who I come in contact with will know that I am a child of God, and God wants to add to His family!