Jesus Lives

I long for you to trust Me enough to be fully yourself with Me. When you are real with Me, I am able to bring out the best in you: the very gifts I planted in your soul. 

Granted, being real with Me can be quite painful, because first you have to be real with yourself. When you’re feeling bad about yourself, you would rather numb or ignore your feelings than bring them to Me. But do not be afraid: I will give you the courage to face yourself honestly.

The best way to face yourself is to remember you are constantly clothed in My robe of righteousness. I have no illusions about what lies beneath that pristine garment of salvation. Nonetheless, I take great delight in you; I even rejoice over you with singing. 

Open yourself up to My unfailing Love. Talk with Me about whatever is bothering you; experience your pain in the Light of My loving Presence. In this brilliant Light you can consider your woeful condition without despair, for the assurance of My Love provides hope. You’ll also find that what you most feared to expose is no match for the Power of My radiant Presence. Entrust yourself into My capable care, asking Me to transform you according to My plans for you. Collaborate with Me as I work on growing the gifts I seeded within your soul.

“Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband ~ the Lord Almighty is his name.”
~ Isaiah 54:4–5

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
~ Isaiah 61:10

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
~ Zephaniah 3:17

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.
~ Psalm 13:5–6

Jesus Lives

Your steps are directed by Me, even though your journey often feels haphazard. The path that lies before you now is veiled in uncertainty: You have choices to make but too little information to see the way you should go. Taking the next step feels risky—like leaping into the unknown. The best thing you can do at such times is cling to Me. Imagine a young girl walking along busy city streets with a trustworthy adult. She may feel overwhelmed by all the sensory stimulation, all the possible ways to get lost. However, if she keeps holding on to the adult’s hand, she will get safely to her destination. Similarly, as you cling to My hand for help and guidance, you are ultimately safe.


Though you may not know the way you should go, you do know the One who is the Way. Stay near Me, and you will not go astray. Because I am sovereign over your life, I actually direct your steps and make them sure even when they feel random to you. Talk with Me about your uncertainty, your fear of making wrong choices. Remember that the most important choice you make moment by moment is to stay in communication with Me. This is how you cling to My hand. This is how you trust My guiding Presence as you go—step by step—along the path you cannot see.

A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?
~ Proverbs 20:24

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
~ John 14:6 [NKJV]

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.
~ Proverbs 16:9 [AMP]

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 [NKJV]

Jesus Lives

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances. The only way to be joyful consistently is to take pleasure in your invincible relationship with Me—the One who rules the universe. This relationship is full of hope, so it is possible to be joyful in hope even in the midst of ongoing affliction. 

The simplest way to find Joy in Me is to give thanks in all circumstances. There is immense Power in praying simply, “Thank You, Jesus.” This brief prayer is appropriate for all times and all situations because of My great sacrifice for you. I encourage you to thank Me for every good thing as soon as you become aware of it. This practice adds sparkle to your blessings, increasing your Joy; it also helps you pray continually—persistently, perseveringly. 

When you are feeling dull or downhearted, it is still a good time to thank Me. This tiny act of gratitude can brighten your perspective immediately. To deepen your thankfulness, ponder specific things about Me that delight you—for instance: My lavish grace, My unfailing Love, My continual Presence. Giving thanks in all circumstances is a joyous discipline; it empowers you to lift up your soul and live close to Me.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
~ Romans 12:12

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. ~ Ephesians 1:7–8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

~ Psalm 143:8

Jesus Lives

A life lived close to Me will never be dull or predictable. Expect each day to contain some surprises! I know you greet that prospect with mixed emotions because of your love-hate relationship with surprises. You enjoy the adrenaline rush that accompanies new, unexpected experiences; this wakes you up and takes you beyond your ordinary routine. Yet there is also a part of you that longs for your life to be predictable. In fact, you usually try to arrange things so as to minimize the possibility of being taken by surprise. 

I will never limit Myself to doing only what you can anticipate and understand. My ways and thoughts are too high above yours for that to be possible. To do so would be to cease being God! So, expect your life to become increasingly surprising as you grow closer to Me. Still, I want to help you become more joyful about your unpredictable journey with Me.

There is actually much merit in expecting surprises. This helps you view an unforeseen event not as something wrong but as something from Me. With this mind-set you are more likely to turn to Me immediately rather than getting upset. You can ask Me to help you find all the good I have infused into the event so you can respond appropriately. If you feel unsteady, simply draw nearer to Me. 

As you learn to expect surprises each day, your life will become more exciting. You will discover traces of My vibrant Presence in unusual places. Increasingly, you will find your days bright with Joy – the pleasure of knowing Me more intimately.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 
~ Isaiah 55:9 

With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. 
~ Psalm 18:29 

And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. 
~ 1 Peter 1:8 [NASB]

Jesus Lives

Renewing Your Mind

I redeem you from hell—crowning you with Love and mercy; I wrap you in goodness and renew your youth. I delight in giving you these marvelous gifts because I take pleasure in you. Let My delight in you sink into the depths of your being. This satisfies your soul as nothing else can. Although I see your sins and flaws, my perfect Love for you never wavers. I see you first and foremost as My redeemed one—wearing a paradise crown and wrapped in beauty eternal.

I want your identity as My beloved to be front and center in your mind. However, your thoughts often get stuck on trivial matters, especially when your mind is in neutral. This is why I urge you to be alert and always keep on praying. In fact, praying is one of the most effective ways to keep your mind well-focused. As you face your circumstances here and now, invite Me to enter into them. Bring Me whatever you are doing, thinking, feeling; stay in conversation with Me. This will help you focus not on trivial matters but on glorious realities. While you commune with Me, I will renew your strength. No matter how old you are in years, you’re always young in My Presence!

He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence. 
~ Psalm 103:4–5 [MSG]

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. 
~ Psalm 149:4 [NKJV]

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 
~ Ephesians 6:18 

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. 
~ Isaiah 40:31 [NKJV]

Jesus Lives

I am faithful: I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Find comfort and hope in this powerful promise. I know you sometimes feel as if you’re at the outer limits of your endurance. Nonetheless, I am present in the midst of your struggles—available to help you. 

Every trial that comes into your life can either strengthen you (if you keep on trusting in My care) or become a temptation to sin (if you choose instead to doubt Me and go your own way). Thus, any difficulty you face becomes a test of your faith. This faith of yours is much more precious than gold, and it grows deeper through the testing process. So your trials contain meaning and purpose.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 

That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

~ 1 Peter 1:7 [NKJV]

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!

~ Psalm 27:14 [NKJV]

Jesus Lives

Listen to Me! Thus you can live in peace and safety, unafraid. Listening to Me is the way of wisdom. I make wisdom available to everyone who is willing to hear Me. Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares—proclaiming the truth openly. Those who ignore her message will cry out for mercy on the day of judgment, but it will be too late. Now is the time to listen!

It is vital for you to hear Me accurately and consistently. If you hear Me inaccurately, you may find yourself worshiping a false god: practicing idolatry. The best safeguard against this deadly deception is studying My Word and meditating on it. As you do so, Scripture takes root and flourishes within you—changing the way you think. My Word is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword—able to accomplish great things in you.

Listening to Me consistently is both a discipline and a matter of the heart. The more convinced you are of My Love for you, the more motivated you are to listen. I have deep, unfailing Love for all who know Me as Savior-God. Look up to Me through eyes of faith, and see My Face shining on you with loving approval. Listen to Me, for this is the way of Peace.

All who listen to me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid.
~ Proverbs 1:33 [TLB]

Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; . . . in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: . . . “How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?”
~ Proverbs 1:20–22

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
~ Hebrews 4:12 [NKJV]

Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
~ Psalm 31:16

Jesus Always

I want you to be all Mine. Your security rests in Me alone: not in other people, not in circumstances. However, you are not yet weaned from other dependencies: You want to depend on helpful people and favorable circumstances, as well as Me.

I am not asking you to become a hermit or otherwise isolate yourself from other people. On the contrary, I want My children to help and love one another. One of the main ways I bless people is through the loving acts of others. However, you need to remember that every good and perfect gift is ultimately from Me, even if it comes to you through human hands.

The main danger of misplaced dependence is that it can border on idolatry. If you let your basic well-being depend on another person’s behavior, you elevate that person to a position that only I should occupy. This is not only displeasing to Me, it is destructive. Because people are imperfect and unpredictable, your life may come to resemble a roller-coaster ride: subject to the whims and moods of another. Even worse, your intimacy with Me will be hindered by your preoccupation with someone else. I deserve first place in your heart!

I want you to rejoice in Me always, in all kinds of circumstances. You may ask freely for whatever you desire, bringing Me your petitions with thanksgiving. Regardless of how I answer your requests, this prayer-transaction comes with a promise: My Peace will guard your heart and your mind, keeping you close to Me.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.

~ James 1:17

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.”

~ Revelation 2:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. . . . Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 


~ Philippians 4:4, 6–7

Jesus Lives

Transformation

There is no veil between your face and Mine. As you gaze upon My radiant perfection, you are being transformed into My likeness. Focusing on Me sounds like an easy assignment, but—as you know—it is not. The world, the flesh (fallen nature), and the devil all conspire to distract you from Me: Godless people seek to delete any reminders of Me from public places, from schools—even from Christmas! Your mind, already in a fallen condition, is relentlessly exposed to unbiblical media messages. At the root of all this opposition is your enemy, the devil. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.

I understand your weakness and the fierceness of the battles you face. I rejoice in your desire to contemplate Me and reflect My Glory. Having planted that longing in your heart, I want to see it flourish. Take time, take time with Me. Refuse to be discouraged by distractions and the fickleness of your mind. Simply return your focus to Me whenever you realize it has wandered. As you wait persistently in My Presence, ask the Spirit to help you. Little by little, He will conform you to My likeness. You may be unaware of these changes, because self-forgetfulness grows through focusing on Me. Increasingly, though, My Glory will reflect from you—pointing others toward Me.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

Resist him [your adversary the devil], steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
~ 1 Peter 5:9 [NKJV]

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
~ Lamentations 3:25–26

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
~ Romans 8:29

Jesus Lives

VICTORIOUS LIVING 

 Receive My Glory-strength. When ongoing problems require you to stick it out over the long haul, your faith sometimes falters. That’s when you resort to grimly gritting your teeth—simply passing time in a negative frame of mind. This is not the way I want you to deal with difficulties. I am sovereign over the circumstances of your life, so there are always opportunities to be found in them. Sometimes those opportunities are so obvious you can’t miss seeing them. At other times—especially when the journey is hard and seems endless—you have to search for hidden treasure. Do not be like the man who hid his master’s talent in the ground because he was disgruntled with his circumstances. He gave up and took the easy way out: blaming his hard situation rather than making the most of his opportunity. The truth is, the more difficult your situation, the more treasure there is for you to discover in it.

I gladly give you Glory-strength; it is limitless and freely available to each of My followers. It is exceedingly potent, because the Spirit Himself empowers you—strengthening you with Power in your inner being. Moreover, Glory-strength enables you to keep on enduring the unendurable. Since this strength has no limits, there is more than enough of it to spill over into Joy!

We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy. 
~ Colossians 1:11 [MSG]

See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power . . . and his recompense accompanies him. 
~ Isaiah 40:10

And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.” 
~ Matthew 25:25 [NKJV]

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
~ Ephesians 3:16