Burst Forth in Praise

Psalm 5:11 (TPT) But let them all be glad, those who turn aside to hide themselves in you. May they keep shouting for joy forever! Overshadow them in your presence as they sing and rejoice. Then every lover of your name will burst forth with endless joy.

Beloved, burst forth in praise! Like an excited child, refuse to restrain your exuberance for Me. As a good and loving father smiling over the zealous delight of their baby girl, so is My joy over you, My precious and cherished child. Stay hidden in Me.

Celebrate. Celebrate Me. Allow your joyful exuberance – your passionate praise – and your dedication to your faith to overflow in all you do. Your joy is contagious, drawing those around you closer. Stay unapologetically joyous, for it is pleasing to Me. I delight in you.

[Merriam-Webster’s Thesaurus defines “celebrate” as “to proclaim the glory of” and some of the synonyms and related words listed are “bless, praise, exalt, magnify, worship, adore.”]

Shine Unhindered

Matthew 5:43-48 (TPT) …do something wonderful for the one who hates you…

Beloved, refuse to let someone else’s actions mandate the person you are. You are My child, a reflection of Me. You operate in humility, love, truth, mercy, and integrity. None of those things are conditional on someone else’s actions. Refuse to reflect someone else’s poor behavior.

Refuse to indulge a fleshly desire to “be right” or “show them”. Reflect love in the face of hate, and humility in the face of pride, honor in the face of perversion and integrity in the face of deceit. Refuse to let anything steal your witness. Allow Me to shine through you unhindered. Continue reading “Shine Unhindered”

Love, the Primary Focus

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) Love…extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.

Beloved, resist the temptation to get so caught up in the gifts of My Spirit that you forget My primary focus: love. For I so loved the world that I sent My Son. Love wins the day. Love touches hearts in a way nothing else can. And in the end, love will remain when the gifts are no longer needed.

So focus on love. Be intentional to love. When in doubt, love. When you don’t want to, still love. When it’s undeserved, staunchly love. Whatever the situation, no matter how extreme, remain steadfastly in a stance of love. Be known for your love. Refuse to let it be shaken. Refuse to withhold it like a weapon or use it as a tool to manipulate, give it freely and without reserve – just as I have done for you. Continue reading “Love, the Primary Focus”

Life-Changing Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) …Love never stops loving…

Beloved, I never stop loving you. Regardless of your choices, actions, thoughts and all the moments you fall short, My love remains the same. My hope for you is steadfast, and I find you inherently worthy of love no matter the decisions you make or whether other people seem to find you so. My love for you is eternal and unconditional, and you are made in My image.

You were created not just to be loved, but to love – without reserve. You may hate choices or be disappointed in situations, but refuse to let your love – based on the inherent nature of each person and the way I created them – to change. Be steadfast. Hold to the truth of who I made them. Expect that, prophesy it. Be relentless in prayer, and lavish love – and do so without strings or contingencies. Love like that is life-changing. Continue reading “Life-Changing Love”

Exercise Your Self-Control

Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP) But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is…self-control…

Beloved, I have called you to be holy as I AM holy. Simply because you won’t be able to walk out personal righteousness perfectly is no excuse not to do your best. Not out of a sense of burden or trying to earn your salvation (which is a gift freely given by grace), but out of a place of love and honor – seeking to do that which pleases Me and aligns with My word.

I have given you self-control and empowered you by My Holy Spirit. You are more able than you believe and more able even than you’ve experienced. Like a muscle that builds strength with use, self-control becomes stronger as it is exercised. So choose not to respond when provoked. And choose not to indulge your flesh when it’s not beneficial. Choose to do that which is godly even when (and in fact especially when) it is in direct opposition with the flow of the world.

Exercise your self-control, beloved, and watch it grow and strengthen. It becomes easier to choose rightly and even the desire to choose that which is in opposition to Me (or even that which is fruitless) diminishes and loses its draw. Remain steadfast. Lean into the Holy Spirit for strength. Extend grace to yourself when you fall short, and simply start again. Be holy, beloved, as I AM holy.

As You Desire to Receive, Give

Matthew 7:12 (VOICE) This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.

Beloved, extend grace where you would desire to receive it. Extend forgiveness where you would hope to receive it. Extend love where you see it is needed. Refuse to withhold the blessing it is in your power to give. Generously expect the best, assume positive intent, and listen for the motivations of the heart.

Be known for your grace. Be known for your kindness. Be known as one who is fair and loving. Allow the fruit of My Spirit to pour forth from you without hindrance feeling no need to judge or criticize, but rather allowing My Spirit to be the One to convict and bring change – just as you desire to receive, give.

Choose Joy

Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Beloved, choose joy for it is not based on circumstance. It is found in My presence. It is always there for you and it strengthens you. Literally. It builds you up and heals your heart – and it is even healing to your body.

Refuse to be tempted to bitterness, resentment, anger, or hopelessness. Rather shift your heart to focus on that which is good – clinging to the truth of My promises in the face of opposition and being steadfast in joy when confronted with trials.

Joy is a choice. Cling to gratitude regardless of circumstance, and shift the atmosphere with your laughter for I AM good. That truth always remains. So beloved, be intentional to always choose joy. It is contagious. A blessing that spreads. Be a catalyst. Choose joy. Continue reading “Choose Joy”

Love as You Have Been Loved

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) …Love joyfully celebrates honesty…

Beloved, rejoice in what is good. Celebrate integrity. Encourage those around you to walk in what pleases Me and is righteous, not out of some legalistic sense of morality or a sense of superiority resulting from your view of your personal behavior, but birthed from a desire to honor and bless Me and for all people to be blessed by walking in a way that aligns with My word.

Lead by example. Rather than trying to drag someone who is intent on doing wrong kicking and screaming from the shadows, simply shine your light unapologetically and allow the beauty of its rays to draw others to its warmth. Shine, beloved. Love as you have been loved. Continue reading “Love as You Have Been Loved”

Character Building

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) Love is not… quick to take offense…

Beloved, I AM slow to anger and rich in mercy, my grace knows no bounds; and you were crafted in My image. Refuse to allow your flesh to mandate your responses. Refuse to indulge pride or self-righteousness. Instead be steadfast in humility, grace, and compassion, allowing the fruit of My Spirit to be manifest in your walk as you submit your character to the fiery trials of testing.

Remember, beloved, My Spirit is at work in each of you. It isn’t your job to ensure someone learns a particular lesson, that role is Mine. Leave it to Me, knowing if I desire your assistance, it will never be when you’re operating in the flesh, so persist in dying to it daily that the beauty of Me in you might shine brighter day after day. Continue reading “Character Building”

Joyful Expectations

Philippians 1:4 (NLT) Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,

Beloved, be not influenced by the ebb and flow of the circumstances around you, but rather stay firmly rooted in Me and the joy found in My presence. With hope-filled persistence, bring your petitions to Me, trusting Me to hear and respond in My great wisdom (which may or may not align with your request).

I AM always good. I always hear you. Refuse to be discouraged or to allow bitterness to take root. Remain in joyful expectation, trusting fully in Me. Allow your steadfast trust to set the spiritual climate surrounding you, shifting others into that space rather than allow people or circumstances to pull you from it. Stay faithful and persistent, and wait on Me.