“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgement. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful relationship with God – all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends with God. Romans 5:8-11, NLT
Do you know that God loves you? Seriously, do you really understand that there is nothing you can do about the fact that God loves you? His love for you will never change. For years I knew that God loved me, but I thought I had to “do” things in order to keep His love, but I have come to realize that no matter what, God loves me.
This revelation has brought much freedom and peace. You see, I am a doer by nature and in the past I was totally consumed with works of self and doing things in order to please God. Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to spend time in prayer, to read the Bible and to fast, but these things do not make God love you. His love for us is constant and is not dependent on us participating in various spiritual disciplines. Here is the question I have learned to ask myself, “Am I doing this spiritual discipline in order to get something from God or am I doing it out of my love for Him?” If we participate in works in order to receive something from God, we are missing the point! God loves us no matter what. Spiritual disciplines are only to be done out of our love for Him, and let’s remember that He first loved us. Selah (pause and think about that for a moment).
Let me remind you today that Jesus went to the cross and bore your sin, sickness and every curse of the devil. His precious blood has given us relationship with God without the works of the law. When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin, He sees us covered in the blood of Jesus. Our faith is never to be in our works, but in God’s grace. There is nothing we can “do” to be saved, but it is by the grace of God that we are saved.
It is because of God’s unconditional love for us, that we want to pray, read His Word and spend time in fellowship with Him (not out of obligation or to make Him love us), but out of thankfulness for Jesus and His blood. His grace is greater than your sin, sickness or anything you encounter on earth. He loves you my friend. I pray that you relish in this awesome truth today. Be free from works of the flesh and simply receive the greatest gift ever given – grace through Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Lord, thank you for your love and grace. I am amazed that you love me unconditionally. This means that even if I were to mess up today – you still love me. Help me to receive this truth. I declare Your grace over my life today. Cover me with Your blood. I am forgiven, redeemed, healed and restored through the cross. You did the last “work” ever needed. You went to the cross for me and all I need to do is enjoy my relationship with You. Your love is amazing! Amen.”
“My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me. The Father and I are one.” John 10:27-30, NLT
As most of you know, it is a great passion of mine to encourage others to fulfill their destiny in Christ. Yet recently I have battled feelings of inadequacy in that particular area. I began to wonder if I am truly impacting others for eternity and I even considered stopping Tuesday’s with Tracy.
But before I made any rash decisions, I decided to take my questions and concerns to God. I needed to hear His thoughts for my life. Within twenty-four hours of running to God, He showed me that I had been listening to the accuser of the brethren (the devil) rather than Him. God also pointed out that the discouragement I was battling was due to the fact that I had entertained a pack of lies from the enemy. The Bible clearly states in John 10:10 that, “The devil has come to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to bring life and life more abundantly.”
With this revelation from God, I immediately rebuked the devil and his pack of lies. I ran to the truth of God’s Word and my spirit lifted as I encouraged myself through scripture. God even provided encouragement for me through an email to stay the course with all that God has called me to do at this time.
Now you have a choice to make: whose voice will you honor today? It is a choice that no one else can make for you. If you listen to a pack of lies from the devil you will feel overwhelmed, defeated, depressed and discouraged, but if you listen to the Truth from your heavenly Father, you will rest in His peace, love and encouragement, as you trust in Him.
“Lord, I take authority over the voice of the enemy this day. I want to hear only Your thoughts concerning the direction of my life. I bind confusion and call forth clarity in its place. Thank you for leading me in Your peace that passes all understanding today and forevermore. Amen.”
When I was in third grade, my most important possession was my little pink bike with pom-poms. I remember riding it to school and feeling as if I didn’t have a care in the world! Then one day I began to notice that all the older kids were riding ten-speeds. Suddenly, my little pink bike went from cute and wonderful to old and outdated. It then became my goal to convince my mom that I was ready for my very own ten-speed for my ninth birthday, which happened to be just a few months away.
I remember waking up the morning of my birthday filled with excitement. I proceeded down the stairs and looked all over the house for my bike, but to my dismay no bicycle was in sight. My special day was filled with birthday festivities and just before I headed upstairs to bed, my mom called me into the living room. And there it was…my royal blue ten-speed bike with a huge bow on it!! My birthday (so I thought) had just been made complete!
The next morning, my mom began to show me the various differences between my little pink bike and my new ten-speed. She explained how I was now supposed to brake by using my hands instead of my feet and that I needed to change gears depending on the type of terrain I was riding on. I felt a bit overwhelmed, but I did not want my mom to know I was afraid – after all, I had begged her everyday for this bike. My first ride was going well until I began to fly down a hill and the vision of me flipping over the handlebars due to breaking too fast filled my mind. I barely stopped the bike before a traffic intersection. I remember looking over to my mom and crying, “Mom, I’m not ready for a ten-speed.” The truth was, I wasn’t ready to handle such a large bike at that time. And little did I know, but I was learning a very important spiritual lesson that has helped me tremendously throughout my adult life.
How many times have we begged God for something and when we didn’t receive it in our time frame, we began to either pout or doubt? I believe from the bottom of my heart that God never withholds anything good from us; He only sets us up to be blessed. God is the ultimate promise keeper. If He has promised us something, we will receive it in due time. Sometimes when our promises are delayed, it’s because God knows that we are not ready to handle them.
It is through the times of waiting that we are humbled and tested to see what is within our hearts (Deuteronomy 8:2). Will we grumble and complain or will we trust Him as we wait? When God brings forth His promises, He loves us enough to make sure that we are mature enough to handle them because He wants us to succeed.
Whatever promise from heaven you are waiting on, remember that God is faithful to fulfill His promise and He never withholds anything good from those who trust in Him.
“Lord, I am so grateful that every good and perfect gift comes from heaven above! Please forgive me for pouting or doubting when I don’t get what I want! I choose to trust You this day and ask that you prepare me to receive every promise that is mine. Amen.”
“I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.” Psalm 18:13, NLT
When the going gets tough, to whom or what do you run to for help? For so many of us, without even thinking, we run to a list of faulty sources, such as, food, television, unhealthy relationships, busyness, alcohol, vanity, performance, spending or making money or anything that helps us temporarily feel better about ourselves and our situation. However, these temporary solutions are just that – TEMPORARY! And these faulty solutions often become long-term problems if we are not careful.
I don’t know about you, but there have been many difficult days when all I could do was say the name “Jesus” out loud as an act of running to Him. When we reach the point that we are too tired to read the Word, search for a scripture concerning our situation or even call a friend for prayer, we can run to God just by speaking “Jesus” out loud. When we do this, we are proclaiming that HE is the solution and the One we need to run to. I have personally found that when I speak the name “Jesus” out loud throughout my day, His peace is able to fill my mind, as I trust in Him.
The truth is, there is nothing wrong with eating chocolate:), buying a new outfit or watching a fun movie, but when we turn to these sources as our solution, we will end up gravely disappointed! God is the only solution that will never disappoint. When we run to Him, we won’t gain any weight (hallelujah) or have buyer’s remorse:) God is the Solution that is always moving on our behalf. He is our Rock, our Shield, our Protection and the Lifter of our head.
“Lord, forgive me for running to everyone and everything but You. I choose to stop running to faulty sources and I run to You for everything I need today. I declare “Jesus,” over every situation I am dealing with at this time. I am forever grateful that You are always with me. Amen.”
“Have the roots (of your being) firmly and deeply planted in Him, fixed and founded (in Him), being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7, AMP
It is officially summer my friends – school is out, the weather is hot, pools are open and life as we knew it, is no more (I know all the mom’s are shaking their heads in agreement with me right now:)! But, I have an important message for you today: It is important that you seize the summer and not let the summer just pass you by.
Summer is often a time of activity, rest and relaxation, but it can also be a season where the days feel like they are never-ending! I made the decision several months ago to take the summer “off”, but hadn’t yet grabbed a hold of what my summer would entail. The problem was that I had no vision for what the days of summer would hold for me. I was quickly becoming bored and I began to dread each day as another day with nothing to do! You see, I was letting the summer seize me, instead of me seizing my summer!
Just this morning, I sought God about the next few months. I heard the Holy Spirit clearly state, “Tracy, how you spend your summer will determine how you spend your fall.” I felt within my spirit that the summer (for me), is a time of preparation and that I have three main goals: (1) Word (Spending time with Jesus and reading my Bible), (2) Workouts (walks and weights) and (3) Quality time (spending time with those that I love). Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision (no redemptive revelation of God), the people perish…” With these three goals in mind, I now have a vision for my summer. I can already see myself getting up early to spend time in God’s Word, I can see Alyssa and I taking walks and I can imagine enjoying precious time with family and friends! With this new vision I know that I am going to have an awesome summer!
What is your vision for your summer? If you are not sure, then ask God. He will give you some guidance on how you can enjoy your summer and be prepared for your fall, which is also known as harvest time! What you sow in the summer, you will reap in the fall. I pray that God speaks to you today. Remember to seize your summer and do not let summer seize you! Be encouraged because no matter what your summer holds, God will use these months to prepare and propel you into your promise land!
“Lord, please speak to me today. I want my summer to be filled with purpose and destiny. Show me the areas of my life you want to strengthen. As You give me a vision for this summer Lord, I can see goodness and mercy following me. I see days of laughter, revelation and enjoyment! In Christ I seize my summer. These next few months will prepare me for Harvest – get me ready Lord, for my greatest days in You are yet ahead! Amen.”