Put It Away

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator Colossians 3:1‭-‬10 ESV

If you have kids, then you have toys. Lots of toys. You have trains, you have blocks, you have dolls, art supplies, puzzles, games, and a variety of gadgets. And if you have all of the above, you’ve also probably tripped over and stepped on them multiple times because, well, not many kids naturally clean up their things on their own. They must be told to do so. This is why “Put it all away,” is a common direction in my household.  “Put the Legos back on the Lego table.” “Put the markers back in the marker drawer.” “Put those dirty clothes in the laundry basket.” “Put the toys back in the appropriate bins.” “Put it all away!”

And it is this daily reminder to put it all away that came to mind as I read the above passage from Colossians 3. In the passage Paul reminds us we must put away what we no longer need: we must put away the old self with all of its sinful desires.

If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come. Yet even though the new has come, we as believers often forget to or neglect to put the old away. We no longer want those sinful qualities, but we also don’t take the time to put them all away either. And what happens when the unused and unwanted things are left out?  We trip over them, others get hurt by them, or we become stressed at the sight of the clutter.

So like Paul, I exhort you today to put away the old you–put away the person you were before knowing Jesus. You are not the same person anymore. You are now hidden with Christ in God. You no longer need those worldly traits, for those behaviors and attitudes no longer fit who you are.

Who you are is a child of the King. So get rid of the rags you once wore. Let them go. Put them all away. Stop holding on to what you will never and should never wear again.

Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so you could be clean. He purchased you a whole new wardrobe–He clothed you with righteousness. Therefore, as Paul encourages us all, set your mind on what’s above, where Christ is, today. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:2-3). For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5). Therefore today and every day, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

Do It Afraid

as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
1 Peter 3:6 ESV

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 ESV

And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
Genesis 20:2

I couldn’t imagine being in Sarah’s position as she walked out the events we read about in Genesis 20.  I wonder if she was thinking back to the events in Egypt.  They had been traveling because of a famine.  As they had entered Egypt, Abraham, afraid of the people, had Sarah tell everyone she was his sister, not his wife. Talk about a backhanded compliment!  “Honey, you are the most beautiful woman on earth–so beautiful my life is in danger because of you!  Now lie for me so that they don’t kill me.”  Not sure we could find that one on a Hallmark card.

Yet regardless how that conversation may have sounded at the time, Abraham’s plan had eventually backfired.  And now in Genesis 20, Sarah is again faced with a similar situation.   As they enter Gerar, Abraham proclaims Sarah as his sister, and Sarah goes along with it.  She doesn’t contradict him in front of Abimelech.  She doesn’t cry out, “Oh no you don’t, Abe!  I’m not going through this again!  No way am I going to let everyone believe I’m not your wife!  I may be physically beautiful, but in no way am I going to submit to your foolish schemes!”  If she had been thinking it (which I doubt she was), she didn’t speak it. Genesis 20:5 states she specifically responded with “He is my brother.”

Yes, Sarah was willing to be subject to Abraham’s authority, even if the outcome was filled with uncertainty.

And it is this situation that came to mind as I read 1 Peter 3 the other day.  In the section regarding how wives must behave, Peter explains we are to be submissive like Sarah: we are to be submissive even when it is frightening. Yes, even when it is frightening.

Now I must insert here that I am in no way implying we are to submit to abuse.  God does not call us to abuse.  If you are in an abusive situation, please remove yourself from it and get help.

What I am talking about is fear of the unknown, fear of what may happen, and fear of what others may think.  We are not to be afraid of the possible outcomes of submitting to our husbands.  Instead we must trust God’s ability to guide and to protect us with every step.  I am sure Sarah was a bit fearful as King Abimelech brought her into his home as his wife.  The what ifs had to be overwhelming.  Nevertheless, amidst the memories of the past and the uncertainty of the future, Sarah trusted that God knew her heart and God would protect her.  And God did.  God spoke to Abimelech in a dream and prevented the unspeakable from happening.

I am sure you know God calls us to scary places sometimes.  When He does, it is not our responsibility to know how it will all turn out; it is our responsibility to obey His call while trusting in His sovereignty.  In the same way,  we as wives are called to submit to our husbands as to the Lord, even when doing so is frightening.   No, we don’t have to be door mats, but we must be willing to be subject to their authority.  We must be willing to honor our husband’s God-given authority.  We must be willing to follow our husband’s lead knowing God has our backs.  We must go forth each day knowing our protection doesn’t depend upon our ability to call the shots; it resides in our willingness to submit.  As Proverbs 3:25-26 encourages us, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”  In other words, we must trust in God’s sovereignty and protection as we follow God’s command to submit to our husbands as to Him.

I’m not sure what situation you may be faced with today.  Maybe your husband, in your opinion, isn’t making wise choices.  Maybe your husband wants to take a risk you believe unwise.  Maybe your husband feels called to something that requires you to walk way outside of your comfort zone.  Is a move in your future?  Are finances being stretched? Or is there something you desire to do that your husband does not want you to do? Whatever it is that may have you afraid or asking why this morning, I encourage you to go before God and surrender.  Surrender your fears.  Surrender your misgivings.  And then obey what God calls you to do.  Obey God’s voice.  And when God calls you to submit, then submit.  Submit to your husband as to God, even if doing so his scary.  For as you do, you can know that God sees your heart.  God sees your faithfulness.  And the God who sees in secret will one day reward you openly.

Keep on keeping on my friend.  Keep believing. Keep trusting.  Keep obeying.  Keep running the race that it set before you with diligence.  Keep serving our Savior in everything you say and do, even in submission, knowing that one day it will all be worth it as you hear your Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 5:23).

His Mind

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5‭-‬8 ESV

Yesterday was Mother’s Day–the day set aside to honor those who are the moms in our lives.  If you’re on Facebook, I’m sure you read post after post thanking moms for all they have done and continue to do for their children. Moms all over the world received texts, cards, phone calls and visits from those grateful for their presence in their lives.

But what about those moms who received nothing yesterday—no notes, no visit, no ounce of appreciation? How should they feel? Is the role of mom diminished when appreciation ceases?

Not in the least!

Our value doesn’t rest in the opinion of man. The praises, or lack thereof, of man do not indicate the level of our success. God does. God determines our worth. God determines our value. God is the one we must live to please.

Therefore, whether you wake up today still smiling from the joys of yesterday or you wake up to the same old busy, thankless routine–or even as the accolades of yesterday begin to fade–you must remember this: God not only calls you to but also provides you with the mind of Christ.  Really! Read the first verse in the above passage: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus… This means regardless what man says or doesn’t say, you can go through life with confidence and assurance that you are God’s child, chosen “for such a time as this.” You can have a mind like His.

What was the mind of Jesus like? We see it in the above passage. He was humble and obedient to the point of death, but even in death He knew who He was.

When Jesus went to the Cross, no one made a day of it to cheer Him on. No one encouraged Him,”Hey Jesus, You’ve got this. Keep your eyes on the prize. I appreciate you.” Nope. Jesus was despised, rejected, and abandoned. Yet even though man didn’t recognize nor encourage Him, Jesus knew who He was and what He was supposed to do.  The opinions of the men and women at the time of His death did not dissuade Jesus from doing what He was on earth to do. He humbled Himself to the point of death because He knew who He was. He knew the success of His mission was not related to the opinions of the people present to witness it.

What was the result? Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9‭-‬11 ESV).

By choosing God’s plan over the praises of man, Jesus allowed God to do the praising. In the same way, when we live our lives with the mind of Christ, we open the door for God to be glorified. When we walk in humility the way God leads, what man thinks will pale in comparison to knowing God sees everything and what God sees in secret, He will one day reward before all.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for days of celebration on this Earth. I thoroughly enjoyed the lunch and the ice cream cake and the time with the family yesterday. Nevertheless, even if that had not happened, and even if it never happens again, I can go forth each day in confidence and with joy knowing that I am where I am because God has called me to it. I can be at peace with where I am because I do it for the One who placed me there.

Therefore I encourage you today: take hold of the mind of Christ He’s given you. Walk through this day with the assurance that God sees it all. Know God has called you to walk this life in obedience to Him–even when obedience is mundane. Even when obedience comes without praise. Even when obedience comes with ridicule and rejection.

Christ may have lived on Earth but He lived for Heaven. Join me in having this same mind today. Let’s together commit to take hold of what is ours through Christ Jesus.  Let’s humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord so that He may lift us up. Let’s do all for the glory of God, not for the praises of man.  Let’s “have this mindwhich is yours in Christ Jesus.” Let’s have the mind of Christ.


Be the One

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17 ESV

Life’s not fair. This is a principle we learn early and often. Someone will always do more work and get less credit. Someone will always do a poor job and get away with it. Yet regardless of the fairness of this life, God calls each of us to do our part for His glory. For God is not partial. Both the one who on earth seemed to get away with everything and the one who faithfully served without recognition will one day face the God who sees and knows all.

The key to living well is not found in the accolades of man. The key to success comes from the heart–it is birthed in our motives and in our attitude.

The above verses do not say we are to do things for man; rather, we are to do all for God. Nevertheless, when we do all things for the glory of God, we must remember, the glory of God does not equate with the recognition of man. I’ve come across people who do very little when the potential for greatness is well within their reach. They are placed in a position of influence and yet squander the opportunity with mediocrity and indifference. Now I confess, this often bothers me immensely.  I often find myself frustrated and even angry that they, in my opinion, are wasting a great opportunity and responsibility to do unto God’s glory.  And although many times I want to scream at the top of my lungs, “Do the right thing!” or “Stop being lazy!”–although I want to put on a judge’s robe and judge away–I am often confined by God to silence–to keeping my mouth shut for God’s glory–to trusting that God sees all and will hold all accountable. NOT an easy thing to do! And honestly, in recent weeks I have failed at keeping my mouth shut many times.

Yet each time I have caught myself complaining about the choices of others, God has reminded me of the advice I gave my fifth graders the other day after I heard complaints about certain kids not contributing in group work: You do the work. You be the one. If in a group and only one out of four is willing to work, be the one who works. If in a situation where people aren’t following the rules, be the one who does. In a job, when others appear to not put in an honest day’s work, be the one who does. In a world where many consider a commitment something negotiable and where work ethic is almost non-existent, be the one who works well even when no one else is looking. Let each of us do all to the glory of God. Let each of us work as unto God, not unto men. Whether we eat, drink, speak, or keep silent, let each of us be the one who is working for God’s glory and not for man’s. Let each of us glorify God, even when it doesn’t seem fair to do so

As I look back over my life there have been definite times when the opportunity for greatness was within my reach–when the opportunity to be the one to do for God’s glory was within my grasp–but I chose a different way. I chose my way. I chose the easy way. I didn’t do my best but wish I had. And I know I’m not alone. It is not very often you hear people declare that they wish they had not put forth their best effort. Most regrets acompany those who wish they had. Who wish they had put forth the effort that they knew they  were capable of. Who wish they had chosen the way that glorified God.

Therefore, I encourage you today to be the one. Commit to being the one in all situations. Aspire to do all things for the glory of God. For whether you are the highly favored one or the unknown in this world, you are seen and known by God. So work like it today. Walk like it today. Live like it today.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 KJV



Let’s Live It

The best apology may not be one you speak but one you live.

God spoke this to my heart this morning as I again approached Him about something I said in a conversation the other day. I say again because in recent weeks I have found myself leaving conversation after conversation with that sinking feeling that I said too much. Sometimes I spoke too much because I was frustrated. Other times I spoke too much because my personality leans toward analyzing and problem solving–even if others do not ask me to analyze a problem solve.

No matter my motivation for saying too much, though, after each conversation I would wrestle with whether or not I should go apologize to the one who had to listen to my words. I would ask God for forgiveness first (because all sin is first and foremost sin against God) and then ask Him if I should go back and make it right. Seriously, it has been a vicious cycle. Speak. Sin. Apologize. Repeat.

Until this morning–when God spoke to me the above. Rather than go back again and again to apologize for saying too much, I should work on ceasing the behavior itself.  God’s Word declares, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19). Therefore, instead of continuing to sin, I need to pray for the grace to change. I need to pray as David did: Set a guard, O Lord , over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! (Psalms 141:3). For I must remember, “…out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).

Now why do I share this with you this morning? Well, you you may be like me and find yourself apologizing for a repeated behavior. It could be speaking too much. It could be doing too much. It could be not doing enough. Whatever sin keeps creeping back day after day leading you to seek forgiveness again and again, I encourage you, instead of just seeking forgiveness, seek change as well. Ask God for the grace, wisdom, and strength to change your heart.

Proverbs 4:23 reminds us all to, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”  So join me today in choosing change. Let’s allow God to change our hearts as we follow His. Let’s not fall victim to the cycle of sin. Rather, let’s renew our hearts, refresh our minds, and rebuild our lives. Let’s not just say we’re sorry; let’s live it.

Perspective Matters

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:4‭-‬5 ESV

Perspective–the way we see things–matters. Two people can be watching the same event, but if the perspective from which each of them views it is different, then the descriptions they give about the event will differ as well. Think about those who referee NFL football games. There are times two well-qualified referees view the same play yet make opposing calls. Does this make one referee better than the other? Not in the least. It just demonstrates that different perspectives change what we see. One ref could have been looking at the backside of the play and thus did not see the ball touch the ground, so he called a catch. The other ref may have been on the front side of the play, so he viewed the ball hit the ground and thus called incomplete. Both made accurate calls from their individual perspectives, but their individual perspectives were not the same.

Now look at the verse above. Christ is called the Living Stone. Yet not everyone esteemed Him precious. He was despised and rejected by man. Yet He was loved by God. Throughout Jesus’s life people questioned Him, ridiculed Him, and accused Him of being a liar and a blasphemer.  They did not understand Him and did not like Him. The religious leaders of the day did not want Jesus to be the one in charge, for they assumed Jesus was there to take away what they had. From their perspective, Jesus was a threat, so they killed Him.

But Jesus did not come to take away; Jesus came to give–to give them what they so desperately needed. From God’s perspective, Jesus was chosen. Jesus was precious.

Yet Jesus was rejected by man. Same person. Same actions. Yet viewed from different perspectives.

Now look at verse five. Who else does the Bible say is like a living stone?


Yes, you. As God’s child, you are a living stone–a living stone God is using to build His Kingdom. You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession…” (1 Peter 2:9). You are precious in the sight of God.

Does this mean everyone you come across will love you? Not in the least. Actually, it may be the very opposite. Because you are precious in the sight of God, because you are God’s child, and because He is using you, many people may not like you. They may view you in the same way they viewed Jesus: a threat they must despise, reject, and attempt to remove.

Yet the rejection of man does not change who you are. Regardless of what man may say and what man may do, you are God’s beloved, and you are God’s instrument of righteousness on this Earth. God has designed you to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Acceptable to God, not man.

So walk like who you really are today: God’s child. Walk in the light. Be a light. Remember the words of Jesus:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14‭-‬16 ESV)

Remember also these words: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:18‭-‬19 ESV)

Keep the right perspective today: God’s perspective. And sees yourself as God sees you: chosen, precious, beloved, and called. Called by God to love Him and to love people, even (and especially) when people don’t don’t understand and don’t love you back.

Just Keep Singing

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord ; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord , our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture…
Psalms 95:1‭-‬7 ESV

“Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. What do we do? We swim!.” Ah, those words from that forgetful blue fish Dory in Finding Nemo often come to mind when I am facing unforeseen or unpleasant circumstances. They are not scripture, but they do point me to the truth in scripture they encapsulate.

What’s the truth? Just keep singing. Yes, regardless the circumstances of our lives, we must keep singing–singing praise to our God. Especially when we don’t feel like it. Actually, the very times we don’t feel like praising are the times we should be praising the most.

Why? Because God never changes. Circumstances change. People change. Everything in this life changes. Except God. God never changes.  He is steadfast, immovable, and the same yesterday,  today, and forever. He is our Rock. This means no matter how bad life gets, God is still good. No matter how uncertain our future appears, God is still in control.  No matter how shaky the ground feels beneath our feet, God remains a Firm Foundation.

God is sovereign over all creation. And nothing and no one has the power to take that from Him. This is why we, as the psalmist above declares, are to enter His Presence with singing. We are to sing, not because of what is going on around us, but because of who God is.

And who is God?

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

God is great. He is King. And everything–yes, everything–is His. You are His. Creation is His. And even the circumstances plaguing your life this very moment are His.  No, they are not His in that He caused them, for God is not the author of evil. But they are His in that they’re under His authority. If God didn’t want them then God would not have allowed them.

Life’s not easy. I get that. Sickness. Death. Loss. These and so much more blow into our lives like tornadoes, leaving us wondering what just happened as we stare at the debris of what once was. Yet regardless the storms that may rage in our lives (and there will be storms!), God holds us and our lives in the palm of His hands. Nothing surprises him. Nothing is too big for him. And nothing will ever snatch us from His hands.

So remember today, there is no temptation and no struggle that you will face that God does not have the power and ability to walk you through. And there is no struggle or temptation that you may face that will ever change who God is. Therefore, keep walking, and keep singing as you walk. Keep singing knowing that not only is God a great God, but also He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture.



Sought and Found

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?
Luke 15:4 ESV

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
Luke 15:8 ESV

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 15:20 ESV

Have you ever lost something? I have. Lots of times. And oh the joy that always comes when I find what I have been looking for!  Jesus talks about this joy in the above parables. He explains the joy that comes when the lost item is found. Yet today the Holy Spirit brought me to the other side of these “lost and found” parables: the perspective of the one searching.

In the first parable, the shepherd does not give up until he finds that one sheep. He searches high and low until he finds it, and then he brings it home. In the second parable, the woman turns the light on, cleans, and searches diligently for that lost coin. Like the shepherd, she does not give up until she finds it.  With the Prodigal Son, that father was always keeping an eye out for his little boy. He was always watching for any signs that his son was coming home. We can tell because on that day that his son did start coming home, the father noticed him while he was “still a long way off.” The dad did not then wait until his son was close. Rather, at the first sign that his son was coming home, the father ran out to meet him.

So here are two things God showed me through these passages this morning. First of all, God never gives up on us. He never stops seeking His children. God does not want anyone to suffer eternity in Hell. He is “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 ESV). And since God longs for us to know Him intimately, He will continually provide opportunities for us to draw near to Him. He will send that friend, that stranger, that Pastor, pretty much anything He can think of (and He thinks up a lot!), to reach out and draw us into His presence. Like the shepherd, God searches actively for us. Like the woman with the lost coin, God never gives up. And like the father, He will immediately notice, even if we are still far off, when we take that first step.

Which brings me to the second point. God does not make us walk all the way to Him. As soon as we take that first step toward Him, He comes running. I must admit I got teary-eyed this morning as I pictured the following scene from The Prodigal Son: But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Oh, my heart! I could just imagine what that father was thinking as he looked out the window as he did so many times every day, hoping and waiting and praying that his son would come home. I could just picture how he caught his breath, rubbed his eyes, and thought to himself, “Is that really my son?!” And then when reality sunk in that it truly was his little boy coming home, the joy that must have overwhelmed him as he ran full force to greet his little boy!

And now you know this: that’s how God looks at you! God is not going to sit there looking out the window, see you coming, and then wait for you to get all the way back on your own. No, He’s going to run out to greet, to embrace, and to kiss you as He expresses such joy that you’re coming home. For the moment you draw near to God, He immediately draws near to you (James 4:8).  God will never deny the broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17).

Therefore today, let me encourage you to take that first step back home. Take that first step knowing that God has never stopped seeking you. God has never given up on you. And He never will. At the first sign of you coming home–as soon as you turn around to focus on the right path, He will meet you right where you are. He will run up to you, put His arm around you, and rejoice exceedingly as He continues with you to walk you the rest of the way home.

God loves you, my friend. He not only longs for you to come home, but He has also been and will continue to search for you diligently until you make your way home. So seek your Savior today.  Don’t wait for “the right time,” for the right time is now. And know this: when  you seek, you will find. You will find  a Shepherd, a Father, and a Friend with arms open wide declaring with a smile on His face and joy in His heart, “Welcome home!”


Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, favored by God] is he whose transgression is forgiven, And whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute wickedness, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent about my sin , my body wasted away Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand [of displeasure] was heavy upon me; My energy (vitality, strength) was drained away as with the burning heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And I did not hide my wickedness; I said, “I will confess [all] my transgressions to the Lord ”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You [for forgiveness] in a time when You [are near and] may be found; Surely when the great waters [of trial and distressing times] overflow they will not reach [the spirit in] him. You are my hiding place; You, Lord , protect me from trouble; You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you. Do not be like the horse or like the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bridle and rein to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in and relies on the Lord shall be surrounded with compassion and lovingkindness. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous [who actively seek right standing with Him]; Shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
PSALM 32:1‭-‬11 AMP

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours in the ER with my husband, who had been taken there by ambulance from his work. Gratefully, we are all back home again and he is on the mend. But even if he were not on the mend as well as he is today, and even in the ER yesterday when they were trying to determine what was wrong, I was blessed. My husband was blessed. My family was blessed. No, we were not blessed in the eyes of the world. An outsider looking in would not consider an ER visit being blessed. The world will never see such such things as being blessed. Because the world is short-sighted. The world looks at what it can see and feel and touch and hear. But true blessedness does not come from the world; it comes from God.

Look at Psalm 32. It doesn’t say, “Blessed is the man who doesn’t have to go to the ER.” It doesn’t say, “Blessed is the man who has money at his fingertips.” It doesn’t say, “Blessed is the man whose life is picture perfect.” It says, “Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven.” In other words, blessedness is a spiritual position, not a physical experience. No matter how we may feel or what we may see, if we are forgiven, then we are blessed.

Yet we also must remember that even forgiveness is not something we can obtain by earthly means. No one on earth has the power to take away our shame and our sinfulness. No one on earth has the power to save us. The only One with with the ability to forgive sins is God. This means God (and our relationship with Him) is the source our blessedness.

So today, if you have done what David declares and Psalm 32–if you have not hidden your wickedness but acknowledged and confessed your sin to the only One who can wipe it away–then you are blessed. If you have surrendered your heart to the only One with the power to heal it, then you are blessed. And therefore, “when the great waters [of trial and distressing times] overflow they will not reach [the spirit in]” you. Or as Jesus reminded his disciples and all of us, Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).

My friend, being blessed cannot be bought. It can not be earned. And it cannot be taken away. For it is given–given by God to all who call upon Him–to all of you who “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead...” (Romans 10:9)

Therefore today, don’t let the world and all that is in it determine whether or not you are blessed. Choose it yourself. Choose Jesus.

No, choosing Jesus won’t take away all of the heartache and the pain and the trials that come with life on this Earth, but choosing Jesus does take away your sins. It does wipe away the eternal punishment that awaits those who choose the world instead. And that, my friend, makes you blessed.

Let God write the words of Psalm 32 on your heart today, so that whatever may come your way–whatever trial, whatever temptation, whatever heartbreak–you may sing like David:

Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in and relies on the Lord shall be surrounded with compassion and lovingkindness.

And as you do, as you declare your spiritual state of blessedness, you will also sing out like David to all who cross your path:

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous [who actively seek right standing with Him]; Shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Shout for joy with me today. Give thanks to the Lord for all the great things He has done. Because if you are His child–if you have acknowledged Him as your Savior, then you are blessed. Truly blessed.


And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Luke 5:31‭-‬32 ESV

Below what I am writing now is something I wrote it in 2015–during one of the most difficult journeys of my life. God recently brought it back to mind as I was meditating the other day on what it means to be broken. Many Christians (me too!) tend to think that being broken negates Christ’s work. We don’t want to say we’re broken for fear others may realize we are. We put on our “I’m a good person with no issues” mask while inside we struggle. We assume that to show our need for a Savior somehow negates Christ’s saving work. But that’s a lie. It’s a lie from the pit of Hell aimed at keeping us from experiencing the true freedom Christ provided on the cross.

Our brokenness doesn’t negate salvation; it magnifies it! Who more than the broken one needs the Healer? Who more than the sick needs the Great Physician? Why do you think Jesus spent so much time with the sinners of the world? They knew and He knew they needed Him. Jesus didn’t call “perfect” people to be His disciples. He called those who knew they were sinners and wanted to change. The Sadducees and the Pharisees, the ones who thought they were the most righteous and most deserving of God’s favor, were in reality the most unrighteous and undeserving. Not because they didn’t need a Savior (for none are righteous, no not one) but because they didn’t want a Savior.

We must remember Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous. He didn’t come to save the ones who looked good in front of everyone, who always had the perfect Facebook profile, who never doubted, who never got scared, and who never made mistakes. He came to save sinners. Sinners like me. Sinners like you. Jesus came to save everyone who is willing to admit that they are not righteous, not perfect, and not holy. Jesus came to save those who realize being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re fixed. It just means you’ve accepted Jesus as the Fixer of your brokenness.

I believe the only truly broken people in this world are those who won’t admit they’re broken, for we’re all broken. We all struggle. We all need Jesus. But until we admit we are sick and go to the Great Physician, we will never get well.

Yesterday a piano tuner came to my house to tune my piano. I knew it wasn’t in tune, but I did not realize how bad it was until he fixed it. And the same goes for our walk with Jesus. If we do not realize or admit we are out of tune with His desires for us, and if we do not call on the Great Tuner, we will never realize the beautiful music He can play through us. We will never experience the beauty and joy of being “in tune.”

I believe it was my mentor who once shared with me that sometimes we do not realize how sick we are until we experience what healthy feels like. So I encourage you today to join me in two things. First of all, join me in admitting our brokenness. Let each of us confess before our Lord that we are not perfect, we never will be, and that we struggle. Let each of us realize that it is okay to be broken. And then let us seek our Savior. Let us go to the Great Physician. Let us reach out and accept the help of the One who reached down to pick us up before we ever realized we had fallen.

Admitting we are broken is not easy. It takes humility and trust. But from one broken believer to another, I encourage you to do it. For once you do, you will see that admitting you are broken is the very thing that makes you unbroken.

Below is the writing I mentioned at the beginning of this post. May God use it to show you it can be healthy to be broken and it is healthy to need healing.

A few months ago I began a journey. It was a journey to “health.” I wasn’t exactly sure what healthy looked like, but in my mind I envisioned a day I’d get up and realize I was healthy. I’d feel it; someone would declare it; life would move on. And yes, I know, that sounds silly–even typing it now sounds silly–but that was my mindset–horribly wrong, but my mindset just the same. 🙂

Yet this past weekend two questions came to mind: “Am I healthy?” and “What is healthy?” It was in answering these questions, I realized my overall mindset about the whole process has actually changed. First of all, I’ve realized no one determines my “health” except God. He is the only one who truly knows my heart. To wait for someone else to declare me healthy is to put that person in God’s place. Not only is this sin, but it is also unfair to the one I put in that elevated place. I am to do life with people, not for people. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, so the life I now live in the flesh I must live by faith in Him–in Him alone. Second, I will never be completely healthy on this earth. I am broken. We are all broken. This is why we need Jesus. Our full restoration will not come until Jesus returns to usher us into eternity. Until that time, I am to daily surrender my broken self to Him. Which brings me to my final point: healthy isn’t even a destination. Healthy is a moment by moment surrendering of my unhealthy self to the wholeness that comes through knowing Christ, through intimacy with God, through prayer, through knowing His Word, and through trusting every aspect of my life to the One who gave me life and who gave His life for me.

God loves me–all of me–even the broken pieces. God loves you—all of you—even the broken pieces. And as you and I present our broken selves to Him, He takes each of us in our brokenness, loves us, and uses us, “that the excellence of the power may be of God” and not of us. (2 Cor. 4:7)