YOU TRIED IT.

Matthew 4:7 (NRSV) [7] Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

How many times have I tried it with God? Too many to count. I know the right direction to go in, but I go left. I know the right thing to do, but I procrastinate. I know the right thing to say, but I miss the moment, or I let my emotions get the best of me.

There are so many times when I put God to the test, and then ask Him to solve the very mess I have gotten myself into.

God is loving, forgiving, kind, gracious, merciful, and more, but why do we insist on testing Him time and time again? Part of this instinct is our humanity, flawed and imperfect, but imagine how much more grace we would experience if we didn't test God quite so much.

Well Pleased.

Matthew 3: 17 (NRSV) [17] And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."

What is keeping you from feeling how pleased God is with you?

He sees you everyday. He sees how hard you work, the challenges you face, and the strength of your faith.

He sees your heart, and He is well pleased with the person that you are, and the person you try to be. Take time to celebrate today to celebrate His love for you. Just as you are.

Let's Be Brave

Matthew 2:14-15 (NRSV)

[14] Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, [15] and remained there until the death of Her'od. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, "Out of Egypt I have called my son."

What has been prophesied over your life? 

What dreams do you have that have been buried deep, but are the true calling and purpose that God has for you? 

And what small action would it take to fulfill that prophesy?

Would it take movement? Would it take prayer? Would it take obedience?

By leaving for Egypt, Joseph took a small and brave action that fulfilled a prophesy. What would it take for you to do the same? 

Won't He Do It.

Exodus 1:12 (NRSV)

[12] But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread...

I love this passage of scripture. It really should just say #WontHEDoIt

The back story is that the "they" in this passage of scripture were the Israelites who were living in Egypt at the time. They were the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of Jacob, who were growing strong, just as God had promised Jacob that they would. The Egyptians saw how strong the Israelites were, and how quickly they were growing in number, and they became afraid. Their fear lead them to oppress and enslave the Israelites. Yet, despite their best efforts to suppress and oppress, they could not keep God's favor from Israel.

You have God's favor over your life. You may not feel it, you may not see it, but God is working to grow your influence. You may feel like the more empowered you become, the more negativity, burdens, and stress you face. But that just means that you have blessings on you and over you. Instead of feeding your faith with doubt when obstacles arise, fill your spirit with the affirmation that what God has for you is for you, and no one can take that away.

Stay uplifted. Remember that the more the Israelites were oppressed the more they multiplied. Let that carry you. Let that lift you. Let that bless you. Till next week #WontHEDoIt

Forgiveness.

Genesis 47:11 (NRSV)

[11] Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had instructed.

To err is human; to forgive, divine. Isn't that the phrase?

Sure, people make mistakes, it is a pretty easy thing to do. You make a bad joke, you forget a birthday, you don't return a phone call. We have all made them, and if you have never made a mistake, don't worry, your time is coming, a mistake is just around the corner.

But what about forgiveness. When someone forgets your birthday, tells a bad joke at your expense, or doesn't return your call, is it as easy to forgive as it is to make the mistake in the first place?

And what about Joseph? His brothers didn't just accidentally mess up and sell him and then tell their father that he had been killed. Their actions were thought out, planned, and pretty downright awful. And yet Joseph forgave his family. And he not only forgave them, but he settled them in some of the best land in Egypt.

Now, if Joseph were my friend, and called me on the phone and asked for advice, I don't know if I would be as quick to forgive. But that is why the Bible is great, because we can lean not on our own understanding. Despite the actions of Joseph's brothers, he still manifested his destiny. So why carry the weight of anger and resentment towards his family? He chose to forgive them, bless them, and walk in his purpose.

Now if Joseph can forgive for all of that, surely we can forgive too. Let it go. Walk in your purpose. Forgive.