Don’t Be Trapped

Don’t Be Trapped

“An evil man is ensnared in his transgression, but a righteous man sings and rejoices.” Proverbs 29:6

Sin traps us at every turn. The scary thing is that sometimes we don’t even recognize sin in our lives anymore. In our sin saturated generation sinful choices seem natural, acceptable and comfortable by society’s standards. If we aren’t careful our sins will ensnare us daily.

So, how do we cross over from being the evil man to the righteous man? How do we escape the throes of sins’ trap?

We are broken people living in a broken world. At some point we are all going to face sin, but Christ provides a way of escape in those moments and forgiveness in times of weakness. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, our sin no longer separates us from the Lord. In Christ we find forgiveness, love, and true freedom.

He has given us everything we need to live our story. We don’t become complete when we find the perfect spouse, get our dream job, have children, or meet some made up expectation. Colossians 2:10 tells us with Christ we are made complete.  

For these days, we have been entrusted with a specific purpose. There’s no time to get bogged down with sin. Surround yourself with wise counsel. Spend time in the Word. Pray. Don’t let sin ensnare you and pull you from what God has for you. Throw off everything that hinders you from The Lord and sin that so easily entangles you, and then run with perseverance the race marked out for you (Hebrews 12:1).

As you prepare for today’s purpose, consider these questions:

1. What pieces of your life are pulling you away from God and allowing sin to captivate you?

2. What’s stopping you from throwing off those sins?

3. What change can you make today to draw nearer to God and cut the ties of sin in your life?

Shake off the bounds of sin and live freely in the purpose God has for you. May you celebrate life with the peace that only God brings, awakened to the hope in His promises, and made full in His presence.


Activating Your Dreams

Activating Your Dreams

Activating Your Dreams | One Verse

Proverbs 26:16 (MSG) Dreamers fantasize their self-importance; they think they are smarter than a whole college faculty.

Sometimes in our dreaming, we pull the focus towards our own abilities. We end up squashing our dreams before we ever attempt them as a result of self-doubt. We get hung up in insecurity or tangled in the fear of risk and decide it is safer to not pursue our dreams. Rooted in self-centered pride, we’ve forgotten that our dreams are not about what we can do, but about what God can do through us.

God has gifted each of us to make a unique impact in His Kingdom. In 1 Peter 4:10 the Bible instructs us to “use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”. Each of our giftings look different and all of them are designed to lend a different piece to the Kingdom.

Don’t believe the lie that you have nothing to offer. God has not called us all to the same action, but he has called us each to take unique action. God has designed you with a purpose. With whatever you have, in whatever way you can –  just show up and show the love of Christ.

Dreamers dream and doers do.

What’s the difference between the two?

Take a look and you will see, doers do, while dreamers dream.

Dreamers seek riches and gold and soon find they are very old.

With nothing gained or intact, except for a dream they never attacked.

Doers know when they stay on task; their dreams are always within their grasp.

Like a wheel gaining traction, doers know it starts with action.

God doesn’t just tell us to dream of reaching people; he instructs us to take responsibility and action in service. We are God’s vessels to which he has called to go and love. Let today be the day you put His love on display. Serve when you don’t feel like it and allow others to see Christ beyond your words through your actions.

As you think about where your gifts and dreams collide consider these questions:

1. Are your dreams self-centered or God-centered?

2. What is hindering you from taking the next step towards your God-centered dreams?

3. How can you use your gifts to bring people closer to God?

Today discover confidence in what God has purposed your for. Find the courage to pursue the dreams He has placed in your heart. May God’s grace fill your days.

Relational Wisdom

Relational Wisdom

Proverbs 25:20 – “Singing light songs to the heavyhearted is like pouring salt in their wounds.” (MSG)

The God who created the Universe is a relational God who invites us to deepen our understanding of ourselves, one another and Him through His word. He cares about the health of our relationships. The Message version of Proverbs 25:20 says, “Singing light songs to the heavyhearted is like pouring salt in their wounds.”

Recall a time in your life when you have felt sad, discouraged or disappointed. Possibly someone tried to make light of what you were feeling at that moment in time. How did that experience feel? Or, maybe you have tried to make light of an issue or feeling that someone in your life was experiencing.

As human beings, God knew we would benefit from relational direction. He designed us to be in relationship with him and with each other. In His kindness, He provided us with grace-filled instruction on how to interact in community. His Word models kindness, gentleness and love towards one another.

Acting with understanding and compassion, we can offer healing to those around us. Healthy relationships house words that are a reflection of God and His promises. As Christ-followers our words should offer healing, not division.

Next time you encounter someone feeling down, remember the invitation to slow down and listen. Everyone benefits when a safe place is offered in an authentic relationship. As Brené Brown says, “If we are going to find our way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path”. In transparency and God-inspired compassion, find the path towards the authentic community.

Consider these questions today:

1. Have you discounted someone else’s circumstance or feelings lately? How can you encourage them?

2. Do you know someone that needs to be encouraged today? What words of grace and truth can you speak to them in their need?

3. Is there a relationship that you don’t extend grace in? How may God be inviting you to approach that situation differently?

May God illuminate your path with relational wisdom as you journey through your week. May His invitation to relate to Him and others overflow with more than you could ever hope for and imagine.

Relational Wisdom | One Verse

Step by Step

Step by Step

The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Proverbs 20:24

Around a year old, most children learn to walk. It’s a simple task: put one foot in front of another. From wobbly baby steps to toddling two year olds, we quickly work our way towards a run. Before we know it all we are headed through life in a dead sprint.

Running from checkpoint to checkpoint, we treat life like a race. Graduation, job, married, kids, promotion. We plan out our future and count down the days until the next checkpoint. But at some point, sprinting gets exhausting.

As we strive towards the finish line, Frustration flows when everything doesn’t go as planned. When things don’t move the pace we desire we succumb to stress, encountering anxiety and enduring exhaustion. The issue is that our plan isn’t the same pace as God’s plan.

God doesn’t operate in our perfectly crafted timeline. In our impatience and hastiness, we miss our purpose in the present. We were ready to do big things yesterday, but God desires to mold our character for tomorrow. With time He shapes us, trains us and prepares us.

We don’t fully understand everything that God has along the way, but His promises remain. He is faithful – we just have to slow down and find our footing by following him. Through the dark unknown he will be the light that leads. With each step in His presence, he guides us towards experiencing the fullness of His purpose for us.

As you find your timeline, consider these questions:

1. Are you sprinting through life instead of trusting in the Lord to guide your footsteps?

2. What is distracting me from running the race with God?

3. What is one thing you can do to help refocus your plans towards God?

Today return to the simplicity of walking with the Lord. For this exact moment you were created. May you walk in assurance that the God of the Universe has you right where you need to be.

Step-by-step | One Verse

Pride Before The Fall

Pride Before The Fall

Pride Before The Fall | One verse

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” -Proverbs 15:22 

The most successful people in the world are the ones who seek counsel and know that they can’t do it all on their own.

We have to have trusted people in our life that will be transparently honest, correct us when we need it, and help steer us in the right direction. The longer we take to learn this lesson, the more pain we’ll have to go through to get where we want to go.

Verse 32 says, “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”

Naturally we think we know best, assuming our opinion is the right one and that our path is without error. Walking with this train of thought is like walking with blinders on; we can’t see the whole picture. Trying to accomplish everything on our own WE WILL FAIL. We need a broader perspective to to keep ourselves in check.

The key to gaining perspective is humility. Proverbs 15:33 says “humility comes before honor.” Those who humble themselves and ask for council will be rewarded. Their plans will come to pass. God will honor them. If we want to grow, we have to be willing to seek help and accept criticism.

Finally, proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Following our pride, listening only to ourselves, will lead us down the wrong path. Ask God for instruction. Invite wise counsel to weigh in and you will find an abundant life.

As you consider inviting counsel in, ask yourself:

1. Do you need to take the blinders off of anything in your life right now?
2. Have you been unwilling to seek counsel for something in your life and you know you need it?
3. Maybe you’re willing to ask for help, but are you willing to accept criticism?
4. Do you have someone in your life you can trust to help you?

Don’t let pride be the reason you fall; stop trying to figure it all out by yourself. Invite someone in and make a step in the right direction. May we walk in humility with every decision, every word and every action.


Make Time for Him

Make Time for Him

Make Time for Him | One Verse

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 

Bright sticky notes cover our mirrors with never ending to-do lists. Our planners are busting at the seams with appointments, coffee dates, and assignments. Reminders, alarms, and lists are constantly fighting for our attention and drawing our focus farther and farther away from our Father.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps”. Proverbs 16:9

There is nothing wrong with making big plans, with buying plane tickets to see friends and making bold moves to reach out to those you know need it. But destruction and folly lie in desperately planning every waking minute of our days.

A friend once challenged me, “If you leave no time in your day, where will Jesus have time to use you?”

We live in a world that tells us that busy is good. Our society tell us the most impressive answer to “How are you?” is “Man, I am so worn out”. We equate busyness with effectiveness. When our self-worth begins to be found in self-efficacy, anxiety and worry are bred. Our days become about how much we can do and we end up in a nasty cycle of exhaustion headed towards burnout.

Only when we allow God to order our steps, do our steps make their designed impact. When we give God space in our schedules, he can use our time better than we could ever imagine. Through His guidance, our calendar can become less about filling space and more about lasting impact. With Him we can trade stress, anxiety and exhaustion for peace, rest, and assurance in the future.

As you reflect on your time today, consider these questions:

1. Do you find yourself too busy to spend time with Jesus? What in your schedule makes taking this time out of your day hard?

2. Is there something that you have been drawn to lately that you haven’t had time for? How can you make time for that one thing?

3. Is your schedule full of junk? Are you saying yes or no to the right things?

Declutter your schedule, find the freedom to say no, and set boundaries where you won’t over extend. Today leave room for the Creator of the Universe to work in and through you. Find rest in abiding in what He has for you.


Make Time for Him | One Verse