Jesus Lives

Worry

As you give yourself more and more to a life of constant communication with Me, you will find that you simply have no time for worry. You may be skeptical about this statement. It seems you always find time for worrying; it’s a beast you’ve been battling in your own strength for years! This has been counterproductive: The more you’ve tried not to worry, the more anxious you’ve become. So now you’re worrying about worrying!

You definitely need My help in this battle. Your best strategy is to stop focusing on the problem and put more energy into communicating more with Me. This approach will help you achieve freedom from all sorts of negative tendencies, including worry. The idea is to replace hurtful, self-defeating behavior with something wondrously positive—communicating with your Creator and Savior. 

Because I designed you, I know how you function best: in rich communion with Me. As your Savior, I also know how you function worst. But remember: I died for every one of your sins. Don’t just talk to Me; listen to Me as well. I speak to you through My Word, My Spirit, My creation. As you discipline yourself to communicate more with Me—praying perseveringly—you will find your worry-time vanishing.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” 
~ Luke 12:25–26 

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. 
~ Proverbs 12:25 

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 
~ Psalm 25:4–5 

Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]. 
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Jesus Lives

ASSURANCE

Bring your attention gently back to Me whenever it starts to wander. Find relief in the truth that I look for persistence—rather than perfection—in your walk with Me.

Are you amazed at how quickly and how far your mind can wander from Me? When you recognize this has happened, don’t be shattered by disappointment or distracted by discouragement. Instead, simply return your attention to Me and to the truth that I accept you in all your imperfection.

Not only do I accept you as you are, I love you as you are. I died a criminal’s death so I could adorn you with My own perfection. That’s why bringing your thoughts to Me is so important: It is My perfect righteousness that saves you, and it will never be taken away from you! 

You can easily fall prey to self-rejection if you have unrealistic expectations for yourself. When you fail, I want you to bring your focus back to Me gently, without judging yourself. Instead of doing further harm by putting yourself down, persist in setting your sights on Me. I always welcome you back with unfailing Love.

But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
~ Hebrews 10:12–14 

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” 
~ Luke 10:41–42

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 
~ Psalm 36:7

Jesus Lives

His Presence

I am always before you, beckoning you on—one step at a time. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can separate you from My loving Presence.

I want you to live your life focused on My Presence in the present. Since you know I am always with you—leading and encouraging you—you can live in that reality moment by moment. Your mind tends to leap over the present moment to the next task, ignoring the one that is before you and the One who is before you. During rare times when you are able to stay focused on Me, your work is infused with My Presence. It is no longer laborious but delightful: more like play than work.

Living in collaboration with Me can be a foretaste of heaven. It is wonderful, though not easy: It requires a level of spiritual and mental concentration that is extremely challenging. In the Psalms, David wrote about this collaborative way of living, declaring that he had set Me always before him. As a shepherd, he had plenty of time to seek My Face and enjoy My Presence. He discovered the beauty of days lived with Me always before him—and beside him. I am training you to live this way too. This endeavor requires more persistent effort than anything else you have attempted. Yet, rather than detracting from your other activities, it fills them with vibrant Life.

Whatever you do, do it for Me—with Me, through Me, in Me. Even menial tasks glow with the Joy of My Presence when you do them for Me. Ultimately, nothing will be able to separate you from Me, so this you-and-I-together venture can continue throughout eternity.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
~ Romans 8:38–39 

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 
~ Psalm 16:8 

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men . . .; for you serve the Lord Christ. 
~ Colossians 3:23–24

Jesus Lives

Transformation

I am your Lamp; I turn your darkness into Light. Transforming you is delightful to Me. Only I know the full measure of your capabilities, and I work ceaselessly to help you become all I created you to be. My brilliant Light—in which there is no darkness at all—enables you to see areas where you need to change. When My Spirit spotlights an area of sin, you face a choice: You can withdraw from Me into the darkness of denial, or you can come more fully into the radiance of My Presence. If you face your sin head-on, it diminishes in power. You gain strength to walk in My ways—on fresh paths illuminated by My Light.

I help you deal with all your darkness—not only within you but also around you. Because you live in a broken world, you encounter darkness every day of your life. You inhabit a rebellious planet that screams obscene lies about who I am. This is why living close to Me—aware of My Presence—is so vital to your well-being. An excellent way to draw near Me is to change your thinking from a monologue to a dialogue: Make more and more of your thoughts a conversation with Me. When you encounter darkness in your world, talk with Me about it. I will help you see matters from My perspective, thus turning your darkness into Light. Remember that nothing is impossible with Me. In fact, with My help you can scale a wall!

You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
~ 2 Samuel 22:29–30

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
~ 1 John 1:5

For nothing is impossible with God.
~ Luke 1:37

Jesus Lives

Desiring Him

I am pleased that you are zealous to know Me. Seeking to understand Me is like standing at the edge of a glorious ocean, trying to absorb its vast beauty—yet knowing you can see only a tiny portion of the waters stretching out before you. It’s good that you realize what a small portion of My infinite greatness you can actually comprehend. This awareness is an invitation to worship Me—humbly rejoicing in My boundless Glory. Though your understanding of Me is so limited, there are no bounds to your enjoyment of Me!

I reveal Myself to you in countless ways, because of My deep desire for you to know Me. The Bible graphically describes My unrestrained eagerness to connect with My children. The prophet Isaiah pictures Me saying “Here am I, here am I”—spreading out My hands all day long to a rebellious people. In the parable of the lost son, the father (God) didn’t wait for his wayward child to return home repentantly. Instead, he sacrificed his dignity and ran to his son while he was still a long way off, fell on his neck, and kissed him. Your zeal to know Me pales in light of My ardor to reveal Myself—My Love—to you. Receive this unearned, endless Love with trembling Joy.

Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us.
~ Hosea 6:3 amp 

“I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ to a nation which did not call on My name. I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts.” 
~ Isaiah 65:1–2 nasb

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” 
~ Luke 15:20 nkjv

Jesus Always

Find your security in Me. As the world you inhabit seems increasingly unsafe, turn your attention to Me more and more often. Remember that I am with you at all times, and I have already won the ultimate victory. Because I am in you and you are in Me, you have an eternity of perfect, stress-free life awaiting you. There will be no trace of fear or worry in heaven. Reverential worship of the King of Glory will flood you with unimaginable Joy!

Let this future hope strengthen and encourage you while you’re living in this deeply fallen world. When you start to feel anxious about something you have seen, heard, or thought, bring that concern to Me. Remind yourself that I am the One who makes you secure—in all circumstances! If you find your mind gravitating toward an idolatrous way of feeling safe, tell yourself: “That’s not what makes me safe.” Then look trustingly to Me, and think about who I am: the victorious Savior-God who is your Friend forever. In Me you are absolutely secure!

“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
~ John 14:20 

Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.
~Psalm 24:7

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
~ Proverbs 23:18

Jesus Lives

I am the God of divine reversals. I can glean good out of evil: My Master Plan brings victory out of apparent defeat. Come to Me just as you are—wounded from battle—and expose your wounds to My healing Light. You need to spend ample time with Me, opening yourself fully to My living Presence. Many people who are seriously ill have been successfully treated by being placed outdoors in sunlight and fresh air for hours at a time. Similarly, you need substantial amounts of time soaking in the Light of My Presence so I can heal your deep wounds.

When you experience a divine reversal in your life, you are thrilled to observe how masterfully I operate in the world. Your suffering gains meaning because you know I can—and do—bring good out of evil. Ultimately, My plans will not be thwarted. I have the last word! As you see how utterly beyond you are My wisdom and ways, you get a glimpse of My Glory. This inspires you to worship Me—bowing before My infinite intelligence and limitless Power. As you open your soul to Me in worship, you gain assurance of My unfailing Love. I know the plans I have for you: plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
~ Genesis 50:20 

“For 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

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. 
~ Psalm 33:22 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 
~ Jeremiah 29:11