Enough to share

Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP) Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.

As I was reading these verses yesterday, three things jumped out at me: (1) I need to reflect His character, when I do this I can lead others to Him; (2) Being deeply rooted in Him helps me accomplish number one; and (3) This will result in me becoming increasingly more established in my faith.

John 15:1-8 (TPT) I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. “I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerfully within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!

I have to be attached to the vine (Jesus). His roots run deep! Rooted there I am going to grow. When I grow I will begin to produce fruit. The amazing thing about this fruit is that the nourishment that comes from it is meant to be shared. When I share my fruit from this vine, others will want to see where it is planted and will eventually become rooted as well. This is what increases my faith. My expectation and passion will grow. I start making more Kingdom impacts. I am beginning to reflect His character.

The amazing thing about this fruit is that the nourishment that comes from it is meant to be shared.

Whenever I think of reflecting God’s character it makes me think of His glory. We are to glorify His name when we pray, when we worship and when we talk about Him in the streets. It also makes me think of Moses and how his face glowed after being in the presence of the Lord. I came across this verse, 2 Corinthians 3:13 (AMP) and we are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not gaze at the end of the glory which was fading away. The glow from Moses face would eventually fade. Then we go a few verse down, verses 17-18 (AMP) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit. I am no longer bound to my mistakes and my short comings. I like how it says that we are “progressively being transformed.” This year my goal is progress. Part of that progress is coming out of my comfort zone. I am an introvert by nature. I feel awkward when I have to start a conversation ( I feel like our teenagers today who do not know how to answer a phone). When I see the fruit of what my God encounters do bring, it increases my faith.

I want to lead others to a fulfilling relationship with the Father like I have. In order to do that, I need to reflect His character. I need to be attached to the vine (Jesus). Growing in God is so very rewarding. Giving nourishment to others will increase your faith. The Holy Spirit will draw those to you, but He cannot do that if we refuse to leave the comfort of our homes. This is me too. I need to get out more and I need to step into more serving opportunities (outside of my church). Fruit is meant to be shared. People need to see that it is not perfection He is after, it is progress. They need to see me mess up and depend on Him in my recovery. His glory does not fade anymore, like it did from the face of Moses, it radiates through me because I am in Christ (whose glory never fades).

I pray this encouraged you today. Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, know that we should never feel pressured to be at any faith level, just keep making progress. Keep growing. Stay rooted in Jesus, He is the vine. Take a step to give nourishment to others, it will increase your faith when you see fruit growing in their lives.

Please feel free to message me at amanda@desiringformore.org if you need prayer.

Pressing On

Philippians 3:10-14 (AMP) And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did]; so that I may attain to the resurrection [that will raise me] from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

These are some of my favorite verses to use in continuing with progress. If we are going to be truly like Jesus then we are going to have to bear some of His sufferings.  I have to press on and be the person that Jesus died for me to become.  We have been anointed for the hard stuff, we are not like the world (always wanting it easy).

John 10:10 (AMP) The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

Know who our real enemy is.  Yes our battles belong to God, but that does not mean that He does everything for us.  Remember faith without works is dead!  There is something that God is going to tell you to do. New wine cannot be put into old wine skins.  New power cannot be put into old ways.  God does give us grace, but grace does not mean that we are to sit back and let God do everything.  God wants us to partner with Him to see everything come to pass.  If you do the work, you will remember where things are. This is why it is important for you to read and study the Bible for yourselves.

1 Peter 1:3-7 (AMP) Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant and boundless mercy has caused us to be born again [that is, to be reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose] to an ever-living hope and confident assurance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  [born anew] into an inheritance which is imperishable [beyond the reach of change] and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who are being protected and shielded by the power of God through your faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time. In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

There is a difference between knowing about God and really knowing Him.  You have to make an EFFORT.  Start now doing the things that you struggle with, because you know you should be doing them (to have the life you really want).  We need to start loving people the way Jesus loved them. 

There is a difference between knowing about God and really knowing Him. 

Luke 6:30-36 (AMP) Give to everyone who asks of you. Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.  If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  If you lend[money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount.  But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked.  Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.

We do not do things for people with the expectation that they are going to do something for you.  If we keep a good attitude and stop holding people hostage (really your are only hurting yourself) there is no way the devil will keep you from being blessed.  We are anointed for hard!  Just because it is hard does not mean it is of the devil.  Remember Jesus sent us a helper.  If you do what God tells you to do, your reward will be exceedingly great!  Let’s start with working on our part time obedience and get into full time. 

Look back at the second part of John 10:10 . “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” Jesus said that you may have and enjoy your life.  When I lost my job a few years ago I immediately went out to look for another. I felt better about myself when I worked. When I made a contribution. Or that is what I thought.  It takes a lot for me not to have a “job.”  I am where God needs me to be right now.  I am in a season of rest, but that does not mean I am not putting my hands to anything.  I get to spend hours in the Word now. 

I know have the freedom to schedule trips to go on conferences to hear more of the Word. I can now meet people in the middle of the day to meet their needs in a practical way, How much do you think it pleases the Father that He sees his children desire to set aside their time, finances and other resources willingly.

God wants us to enjoy the life He has given us.  There is power in confessing the Word.  As long as I have human flesh I am not going to do everything right all of the time.  God looks at our hearts. I am loved by God.  I am anointed.  I am talented.  I am growing Spiritually every day.  I am walking in God’s will.  I am going to do something great with my life.

Everyone of us has an equal opportunity in God.  If you believe, Him he will do these things…He did not say how long we had to believe. Keep pressing on! Remember it is not on your own strength, He sent us a Helper!!

Goal of Progress

It is New Year’s Eve, tomorrow starts a new decade. I just learned this year from my thirteen year old that decades do not start with the zero at the end of the year, it starts with the one. Fun fact, look it up, it is true. We will enter a new decade tomorrow. Many people will make new year’s resolutions and feel shame when they do not follow through.

Today I was scheduled to be at the Cincinnati Zoo, although it was forecast to rain. This was my Christmas present from my husband. I follow the animals at the zoo on Instagram, especially Fiona the baby hippopotamus. The zoo allowed us to change our zoo reservation, but I did not get to see Fiona. It was okay because I did not feel like being very joyous that day. My grandfather passed away suddenly that morning and I felt guilty for not leaving right then to drive the seven hours back home. I had to remind myself that guilt and shame were not places that I am suppose to reside. I have made lots of progress these past few years out of those areas and had to remind myself not to stay there.

Last week I was in Isaiah because it was Christmas week and I ran across these verses. First what stood out to me was a warning, Isaiah 6:9-10 (MSG) He said, “Go and tell this people: Listen hard, but you aren’t going to get it; look hard, but you won’t catch on. Make these people blockheads, with fingers in their ears and blindfolds on their eyes, so they won’t see a thing, won’t hear a word, so they won’t have a clue about what’s going on and, yes, so they won’t turn around and be made whole.

Then there was the promise, Isaiah 9: 2-7 (MSG) The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows – light! sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, They’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants – all their whips and cudgels and curses – is gone, done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian. The boots of those invading troops, along with their skirts soaked with innocent blood, will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days! For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

I never want to get to a place in my walk with God that I am satisfied and can live in such a way that I do not desire growth for myself. Jesus came so that I can be made whole, not to just survive. Survival is good for a moment. There are things that have happened that I am amazed that I am still standing. However, I do not want to get stagnant.

Jesus came so that I can be made whole, not to just survive.

John Bevere, in his new book X:Multiply Your God-Given Potential writes, “Unless we push ourselves beyond our level of comfort and skill, we’ll never grow. If we aren’t “purposeful,” the danger is that once we reach a level of “good enough,” we can easily become complacent. Then it’s only a matter of time before we become sloppy in our practice, which will ultimately have a negative effect on our performance and hinder further multiplication.”

I am not a fiction reader. I read nonfiction books (books that are inspired by the Word of God), devotionals, and my Bible. I have nearly completed reading through my Message Translation Bible this year. Next I plan on reading through the Chronological Bible. The first book I have picked out for the new year is Bob Goff’s Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want it, and What You’re Going to Do About It. My goal is not to make a resolution that I will quit within the first few months, but to continue in my growth towards wholeness. I want to surrender more of myself this year, and to worry less. Lord, I want to be made whole. I know it will be a process. I have already allowed Him to do so much in me these past few years that people would not even recognize me.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP) And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image (one degree of) glory to (even more) glory, which comes form the Lord, (who is) the Spirit.

Let 2021 be a year of progress!