It’s possible that you don’t have an answer to the question regarding where you need to show up. And quite frankly, you might even be thinking that you are just fine the way you are. And you know what, you are! You are just awesome and so deeply loved! But I’m going to ask if you are experiencing all that God has for you in the measure he intended.

I was really challenged as I was reading 2 Peter this week. Read the following verses and see what they say to you.

Reading: 2 Peter 1:2, 5-8

Too many times I find myself satisfied with just enough. Just enough joy or peace; just enough grace for others to get by; just enough knowledge, self-control, moral integrity, patience. Just enough. When what God offers us through Jesus is abundance. Pressed down, shaken together, full and overflowing. And we have settled for enough.

Is enough okay for you or do you want the abundance that Jesus offers? Your answer does not affect your eternal destiny in any way, only your life right here right now. You decide.

As for me, I want abundance – overflowing, lavish abundance.

According to His grace that he lavished on us! Ephesians 1:8

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

On Monday you had the opportunity to answer the question “where do you need to show up? Keep that answer in mind … now, where do you think the desire to show up originates? In your mind? Read the following scriptures and see what you think.

Reading: Philippians 2:13, Psalm 37:4, 2 Peter 1:3-4

God plants desires in our hearts. First, he initiates contact with us because he wants to be in relationship with us. Then, he continues to pursue us, giving us desires to grow and change to be more like him. He invites us to go into training so that we can enjoy everything he has in mind for us.

  • Have you responded to his invitation for relationship? Jesus said the sin of the world is that it refuses to believe Jesus is the son of God. (John 16:9) If you haven’t ever taken the step to put your faith in him, I encourage you to read these verses John 3:16-18
  • How is God’s refining process evident in your life through your answer to the question “where do you need to show up?”
  • Do you see areas in your life where he wants you to train wiser rather than try harder? See Just Show Up! for more on training vs. trying.

Two phrases run through my mind today. “You do you” and “Just show up.” Embracing the mantra “you do you” has not been easy for me because I tend toward absolutes. No excuses! Work harder! But I have grown to really appreciate it and whole-heartedly endorse individual approach to growth!

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Welcome to week two of Daily Reads. I made a change to the posts by linking the scripture readings to the You Version Bible. It’s easy to access when you’re on the go or at home – I hope you enjoy it. Remember to comment on what works well for you as well as what could be improved. Feedback is so helpful! Thanks!!

This week the phrase I want to focus on is JUST SHOW UP. If you were to show up in your life circumstances what would that mean? I am sure it is different for everyone so there is no right or wrong answer – just one that is relevant for you right now.

Pause now and ask yourself “Where do I need to show up?” Hint: the first thing that comes to your mind is probably the “right” thing.

Great! Now that you have that, consider the following scriptures:

In the scriptures above, each person is asked to do something, to SHOW UP in some way. One says yes and doesn’t, one says no and does; one eagerly says choose me, one says he doesn’t think he can do it because he’s too young; one says no way and walks – no, rather, runs – away.

In regard to SHOWING UP, which response best reflects you right now? Where would you like to be? What needs to happen to get there?

Have a blessed Monday! May God open our ears to hear, our eyes to see and our minds to understand what he has for us today!

Good morning! I’m just checking in to encourage you to find a place today to worship with a body of believers. Maybe making a commitment to a particular congregation has been difficult for some reason. I certainly appreciate the struggle. But as a part of pressing in – why not give it a try again? There is something really special about connecting with a larger body of believers.

Reading: Psalm 103

Take this opportunity to thank Father for his compassion, mercy and unfailing love for you today. He thinks you are amazing!

Read: Philippians 3:1-4

Today as you start turning your heart toward community worship tomorrow, I want you to be reminded that the work is already done. Isn’t that great news? I suppose you might have people in your life who want to give you a list of righteous requirements – you know things we must do. Good news! It’s all done. Paul calls these people dogs and mutilators. I don’t recommend calling people names, but I do encourage you to walk in a greater level of freedom knowing that you can rely on what Jesus did for you. There is nothing else to do. And if you do, it negates what he has done.

Let your step by light! Hold your head high! Jesus is alive!

Read: Philippians 3:13-14; Exodus 33:12-15

Life is compared to a race or athletic competition in many places in scripture. In this passage, Paul says that forgetting what is behind is a prerequisite to pressing in to finish the race so he might receive the heavenly prize Jesus Christ has prepared for him.

  • What is the biggest obstacle in your life that would prevent you from pressing in to reach the end of the race? Are you tempted to take a water break – like for a few years?
  • I ran in two half marathons with a good friend of mine. Thirteen plus miles is grueling and many times along the way I would have just clapped it out except for one thing: my companion. She kept me moving. She was an experienced runner and knew how easily it would be for me to give up.
    • Who is your running companion? Do you have someone you can share the highs and lows with? Someone who will keep you going when you just want to sit down for a little bit.
  • In the Exodus reading, Moses was also concerned about who his traveling companion would be on the journey into the Promised Land. Notice Moses’ boldness in verse 13.
    • Can you be that bold and open before Jesus?
  • Read again Moses’ declaration in verse 15.
    • Do you believe that it is the presence of God in our lives that sets us apart from the world around us?
    • Read Jesus’ words about being set apart in John 13:35. What will prove to the world that we are his disciples?

Truth is, we can’t do this journey alone. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our constant companion. Just as Moses said he wasn’t going one step without the presence of God going with him, we need the presence of God so we can press in and finish well.

Prayer:

Father, I want to know your ways and understand you more fully. I need you to walk this journey with me. There is nothing that sets me apart as your child except the Spirit of God in my life. Please go before me in everything. Because of Jesus, Amen.

Read: Philippians 3:12-13; Psalm 103:7-13; Jeremiah 31:33-34

  • Paul admits he isn’t where he wants to be in his experience with Jesus. But he says he FORGETS what is behind…
    • Do you have trouble forgetting? What in your life feels impossible to let go of and forget?
  • In your journal (or mark in your Bible) list the characteristics of God found in Psalm 103.
    • I am overwhelmed by God’s undeserved goodness to me. What characteristic do you regularly experience in your relationship with God? What would you like to experience more often?
    • I am keenly aware that the Father image of God is very difficult for some people. Your own father may have been absent, aloof or abusive. My prayer is that God will show himself to be your loving Father in heaven as you open your heart to him.
  • Read Psalm 103:12 and Jeremiah 31:34 again. What does God do with our sins?
    • If God forgets our wrongdoings, the ways we miss the mark – don’t you think it’s about time you did the same thing?

As you begin the new year, I encourage you to take inventory. What have you been holding on to relentlessly because it just doesn’t seem responsible to let it go? I believe it’s time. There might be some restitution or confession to make, but do it! And then forget what is behind so you can really start living!

Prayer:

Father, I am so tired of carrying this load of regret and shame. I want to lay it down at your feet. Show me what it means to forget what is behind so that I can really press into the life you want for me. Because of Jesus, Amen.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. In these daily devotionals I won’t include the text of the scripture passages but they are linked to the You Version Bible to make them easy to access if you are on the go. Get cozy, grab a cup of coffee -or tea – your Bible (print copy or electronic) and a journal if that’s your thing. Here we go!

Read: Philippians 3:5-9

Paul lists the accomplishments he believed made him right with God. In his final conclusion he said, “for his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage…” He knew that nothing he had done would ever make him right with God.

  • What do you count on to make you right with God? Have you ever felt like your achievements or your goodness forces God’s hand to provide for you? Bless you? Protect you?
  • How does working to be acceptable feel? Are you ready for something easier?
  • What does this passage teach us about how we are made righteous?

Read: Daniel 3:16-18

  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are going to be thrown into the fiery furnace because they wouldn’t bow down to the statue of Nebuchadnezzar. Even after the king rants and raves and fires up the furnace seven times hotter than usual, the men do not back down. They said, “He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you…we will never serve your gods! 
  • Have you ever been in a place where you believed God would surely act a certain way? Did he? How did you respond?
  • How would your life be different if you approached life in an open-handed way like these three men?

Prayer:

Thank you, Jesus, that I am made right with you through faith. I don’t have to do anything at all. I really want to know you more. Help me to hear your voice in the scripture I read and to listen because I really want to look more like you every day. Amen! 

Every day we reach for food and drink that provide nutrition for our physical bodies. A few days may pass by choice or by force when we don’t feed our bodies, but very few of us allow even hours, let alone days, to pass without eating.

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