Does Your Love Have Strings Attached?

November 28th, 2022 Monday Motivator

Have you ever been told “I love you” after doing something for somebody?

I realized that it was not necessarily me that they loved but what I could do for them.

That love they had for me at that moment was transactional. 

I’m not saying that person didn’t have a genuine love for me. But, at that moment, the motive behind their “I love you” was based on my actions for them.

God’s love is the opposite. It is never transactional and always unconditional. 

God’s love has zero strings attached.

Unconditional love is difficult to receive and hard to show to others, especially when they give you reasons not to love them.

It’s easy to lose sight that God loves us before we can ever do anything for Him. 

We naturally base our love for others on who the person is, whether we know them or not, or their positions. 

It’s easier to love a family member than a stranger or co-worker.

But God loves us all the same; it’s not based on who we are. 

His love is supernatural. 

Luke 6:32,35-36 tells us, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

God has called us to a deep love that is beyond the natural.

To love like Christ, we must be kind, patient, merciful, and giving, even when it is not deserved. Remember, there are no strings attached when you love like Christ. 

Today, first recognized the unconditional love God has for you. 

Secondly, begin to show it to everyone you encounter. 

Is God The Center of Your Thankfulness?

November 21st Monday Motivator

Thanksgiving is now only three days away; can you believe it?

I want to start by asking you a question. What is the root of your thankfulness – is it your family, financial security, a good job, or the small good things that happen in a day? 

I love the journey from Thanksgiving to Christmas; it’s a great time to evaluate what’s on my heart – and why. Although that journey seems to be going quickly this year, it’s already snowing here in Oklahoma!

About 54 years ago, I gave my life to Christ and surrendered to the call of God on my life. As I take the time to reflect on those years, I can’t help but be thankful to God.

He’s the reason I am where I am! 

So, the thankfulness that fills my heart this season, especially, comes from that day. All good things come from God, which began at that moment for me.

God is the center of my thankfulness.

When you make God the center of your thankfulness, no matter your current circumstances, you can’t help but give thanks!

Paul faced persecution, loss, and imprisonment but somehow let thankfulness and praise rise out of his heart.

Has this year been challenging? 
Are you not looking forward to the holidays this year? 
Or are you feeling blessed and excited? 

No matter how you are feeling, I want to challenge you. 

From now until Thanksgiving, write down why you are thankful. 

You might have to dig deep and remember the anchor moments when God came through. 

If it comes easily, I still want you to dig deep and remember why your success is possible. 

This challenge is to help you look past the fog that might be blocking your vision from seeing the goodness of God. 

I find that hard times are the moments to reflect on the goodness of God and give thanks. And happy times are an opportunity to anchor yourself when it’s easy to listen to the flesh.

I want to help you start that list with three things that are the root of my thankfulness. 

1.   Belonging – You and I belong to the Father and His family. You are never alone. When the circumstance might yell that you are, the Father is right there with you.
2. Belief – All things are possible to those who believe. The day I surrendered my life was a forever anchor moment for me. 
3.   Becoming – Every day, you and I are becoming more and more like Christ. 

I pray that as you take the time to reflect, you’ll begin to see God’s goodness still following you. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Colossians 1:11-12 “Always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light.”

When You Waver, God’s Love Does Not.

November 14th Monday Motivator

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” -Psalm 13

Over the next few weeks, we will look at different attributes of the Father’s love. 

Today, I want to remind you of His steadfast love.

Steadfast means to be “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.” You can say devoted, committed, dependable, loyal, or faithful. 

When scripture uses “steadfast” in front of love, it declares that God’s love for you is unwavering. His love won’t change – it is decided and committed.

But what does this mean for us in everyday life?

Steadfast love means we RELY on it. The Lord will never leave you nor forsake you. 

Most of us have felt the sting of heartache or betrayal with someone we loved, whether romantic or a friendship. 

The love we experience on earth cannot compare to the love of God. He will never lie, cheat, or let you down. God’s love is steadfast and unlike anything on earth.

The Father promises never to leave or forsake us and He means it with every ounce of his steadfast love.

When fear, doubt, or despair creep in with the hard things of life, know that supernatural steadfast love will provide, deliver, and stand with you. 

Knowing and relying on this attribute of the Father’s love keeps you steadfast in your walk with Him.

David always declared God’s steadfast love. When enemies attacked David, he proclaimed deliverance according to the Lord’s steadfast love and faithfulness. When David made a mistake, he called out to God, according to the Lord’s steadfast love and forgiveness.

Knowing this attribute of the Father’s love is rooted in your trust in God.

1 John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

You Are Victor Even In A Valley

November 7th Monday Motivator

A pessimist believes that only bad things happen.

A good indicator that you might fall into a pessimistic mindset is that you find yourself repeating, “Why does this always happen to me.” or “Man, I just cannot catch a break.” 

Don’t worry; you are not the only one who feels this way… I’m guilty of it too! 

But the reality is we are not victims. On the contrary, God has made us victors! 

I love Psalms 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” 

Right before this verse, David says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” 

Although David felt like he was going through a valley, he proclaimed God’s goodness. And so should you!

I heard this question once, “Can you proclaim God’s goodness while going through tough times?”

David knew that situations do not change God’s character. God’s goodness is unchanging.

Situations come and go, but God remains the same. 

David didn’t feel like a victim when things went wrong. Instead, he knew he was a victor because he knew God was faithful. 

When times of difficulty come, and it’s hard to see past, remind yourself of God’s goodness and character.

If you feel like you’ve always been the victim and never see good in your life, it’s time to hold onto God’s promises. Leave the old behind and walk in the light of your victory. When you release the label of victim and lean into God’s character, you can find peace and hope in any situation.

God wants to show you the life you can now live because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

It’s time to dive into God’s word and read about His faithfulness. The Bible is not just history to read and marvel at; it’s a reminder of what God can do for you in this present time and wants to do for you.

Earl Glisson said, “Being a citizen of the kingdom of God does not mean we will be able to avoid battles with the enemy; it just means that we always win.” 

You’re not a victim but a victor! 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10

Can You See The Light During A Storm?

October 31st Monday Motivator

In Oklahoma, we know stormy weather. Our storms go way beyond reading by the fire weather. We see trees fall, power outages, flooding, and loss.

And many of us are facing a storm right now – it might be literal, spiritual, or both. But, unfortunately, facing storms over and over can dim out light.

In storm season, it is tough to see or be the light. As a result, our hope can slowly slip away. And when that happens, we start to expect or accept disappointment. 

Have you started to expect the worst? 

This reminds me of a quote from Spider-Man’s girlfriend, AJ, in one of the most recent Spider-Man movies. She says, “If you expect disappointment, then you can never really get disappointed.” 

Side note, Spider-Man is one of my favorite Marvel movies. I’ve seen all of them, and the first movie of a series is always the best, although spider-man movies never seem to fail me.

Consciously or unconsciously, many of us have taken up Aj’s saying in our lives. We have lost hope that anything good can come from our lives, situations, family, or this world. 

We have lost the confident expectation we once had in God or are now starting to doubt His promises.

Today I want to tell you:
DON’T LOSE HOPE! 
DON’T BELIEVE THE WORST!

Yes, it storms, but there is always light. Even on a cloudy day, we can see a rainbow. And Genesis 9:12-17 says the rainbow signifies God’s promise to man. 

God created rain. When we focus on HIS promises, we start to see God’s wonder, power, glory, and greatness, even on dark days. 

We even begin to feel like something good comes out of a storm. 

When we cannot see the sun amongst the clouds, we know that is right on the other side.

Even in the natural, the rain waters the ground and helps create new life in our soil.

Hold onto hope! 

Be confident in the expectation of God’s goodness and faithfulness, even when it looks covered up by the clouds. 

Have confidence in God’s promises, steadfast love, ability to do the impossible, and that He is faithful to those who love Him.

Know that God is with you in the rain, and good will come.

We all face suffering, disappointment, and grief, but our hope in God is what remains. So lift your eyes to the light! 

Romans 5:3-5 tells us to rejoice when we encounter problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. 

For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 

Our hope, our promise, our future, is Jesus. 

Are You Fighting with the FULL Armor of God?

October 24th Monday Motivator

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

I want to focus on resisting. I don’t know about you, but when I read this verse, I read it like this. “Flee from the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Yes, I know, the “fleeing” is not “resisting!” My brain skipped right over the most important word!

To resist is a military word that means “take a firm stand against.” or “To strongly resist an opponent.”

If the devil pushes you, push back.

If the devil tries to steal your ground, stand firm.

If the devil tries to move you, refuse to be moved.

Don’t let him steal your territory!

The question is, are you prepared?

The military is constantly preparing, training, and watching their ground. They are ready for war, so they are not caught off guard when it comes. They are continually learning and creating strategies to win.

In the bible, you see the word “Watchman” a lot in the Old Testament.

A watchman was someone who stood outside the campgrounds constantly on the lookout for enemies. They were to warn the people to get ready if they saw anything.

Are you keeping watch?

Are you prepared?

Are you ready for the fight?

Ephesians 6: 11 says, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” You must wear the whole armor of God to be prepared at all times!

Put on ALL the armor of God. If you are missing a piece, you put yourself at risk and lack protection from your opponent. It’s like running outside fully clothed but barefoot. You are risking the chance of stepping on something and hurting your foot!

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you can resist the enemy in times of evil.

Ephesians 6:14-17 says, “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

This verse makes it clear to fight back with the Word of God. How do you do that? By confessing what the Word says, the truth over that situation.

“In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” -Ephesians 6:18

Don’t neglact prayer. Prayer is nesscary for fighting this war. Your prayer causes things to change.

It’s time to fight back.

It’s time to quit allowing things to push you over.

It’s time to stand our ground!