The Next Chapter of You!

The Next Chapter of You!

Ephesians 3:17-20 The Passion Translation (TPT)

We could camp out on these verses for all of eternity! They are that rich! Get excited! God has something to speak to you through these verses!

17 Then, by constantly using (expending) your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life.

Activate your faith. Implement your faith!  Look at Jesus, the Author and Perfector of your faith.

His love becomes your identity and the very core of your life! You and I can live wholeheartedly in His love every day. But, you must exercise your faith believing He is with you, He is for you and is always loving you!

By walking out your faith in Jesus, He is unrestricted to work in you! Faith can change any of life’s challenges! 1 John 5:4 (TPT) says, “You see, every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world. 5 So who are the world conquerors, defeating its power? Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

 When we lift our heads and hearts to see Jesus as an act of faith, He will change our situation in a moment…with His love, a word of encouragement, a picture of who He truly is in your life!

A Faith acronym I like to remember when I try something new, or when Jesus asks me about my faith: F-Favored A-Assurance I-In  TThe  HHoly of holies! You and I already have His favored assurance that He loves us and He is for us.  He will never leave nor forsake us! His wide, long, and high love will be released deep within you as you believe Him; what He whispers to your heart and believe what He has done on the cross for you! Let your faith arise even now!

Oh, the resting place of His love! (vs. 17) Doesn’t this sentence just relax you as you read it?  Where is your resting place as you sit with Jesus, the lover of your soul? When do you feel most at ease with yourself and others? I bet Jesus is with you (as He always is) and yet at times you can have a profound sense that He is near, in the secret place where He shares His heart with you. Is it a spot in your home or when you’re out walking or running in nature? Once you’ve tasted His sweet love in your heart you will desire it more and more. He loves to share His astonishing love with us.

As we sit with Him, He shares how to deal with life’s situations. He whispers love, joy, peace and unconditional love into our hearts. He knows you intimately, so why not pour out all of your hurts, disappointments, sadness, love and joy? He will meet you at your deepest need and fill you to over flowing with the fullness, richness and completeness of God! He will make you complete and satisfied in Him!

His love changes EVERYTHING! Just one word, one thought, one impression from the heart of Jesus speaks volumes! His thoughts cause me pause and ponder all that He is teaching me. His voice of love removes our limitations! We need to align ourselves to Him when He speaks. Pursue Him passionately with a focus on the One who ardently loves and pursues you!

Eph. 3:18-19 (TPT) “Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is His love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understandingthis extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!”

20 “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest requestyour most unbelievable dreamand exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you.” Praise Him! His miraculous power constantly energizes you and helps you with another day! He has amazing plans and dreams in store for you! They are beyond your wildest imagination, verse 20 says! Since, I’m not one to argue with scripture, I’m going to believe Jesus in faith! How about you? Ask Jesus to do more than you could ask, think or imagine!

You probably recognize the NIV version of Eph. 3:17-20. “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

1 John 5:20 (TPT) “And we know that the Son of God has made our understanding come alive so that we can know by experience the One who is true. And we are in Him who is trueGod’s Son, Jesus Christ—the true God and eternal life!”  He makes our understanding about Jesus come alive, so we can know Him by experiencing Him, the One who is true, right and worthy! This is the next chapter of you! You are growing in faith in Jesus and what He is doing in your life! Believe Him! Get excited! He is expanding your faith!

Let’s Pray:

Oh, Lord! Thank you for making my understanding come alive so I can know and experience YOU, my One true God who builds our faith and helps me moment-by-moment! I want to walk and move in your reality; not mine! Lord, I receive your deep, astonishing, never ending extravagant love through the power and grace of Holy Spirit living within me. I take delivery of anything you want to bless me with, beyond my wildest imagination! You are a great God! I love you and praise you, Amen.

With love and thanks for reading!

HollyPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Inspirational Song: “Spirit Lead Me” by Influence Music

Be Still

sea landscape beach landmark

Photo by Zukiman Mohamad on Pexels.com

Be still dear one.
Be still…  I am your Lord.
Be still and hear my birds singing gently over you!
Be still and sense the rushing water of the Holy Spirit’s power living inside.
Be still. This is my Son whom I dearly love.
Be still, you are my daughter whom I love!
Be still. I AM the great I AM.
Be still. I am the leader of the nations. I am holding up the earth with my right hand.
I am coming soon!

Amen Lord!

 

Transforming Hope!

pink tulips

Awww… lovely spring is upon us! I love the warmer weather and the new hope of growth. I love seeing new, lush grass, fruit trees in full bloom, tulips and daffodils swaying in the gentle breeze. Are you thinking about spring cleaning your garage, drawers and closets yet? I know I sure am! What about spring cleaning your mind? Is it possible that the God of all possibilities has a new work to do in you? In this new season, the hope of growth is all around you and me.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom.12:2 (NIV)

How do you allow God to transform, renew and spring clean your mind? First of all, you place your life before God as an offering. Next, it’s time to surrender and submit with an all-in kind of attitude. Then, embrace and be grateful for what God does for you. Keep looking up to Him and His perfect love, not looking to the world for approval. Jesus, through His loving-kindnesses, mercy, grace and strength starts to change you from the inside out.

You will start to notice you pray more before making decisions. You ask for forgiveness a little quicker than usual. You start seeking His best instead of your good. Mature, well-formed growth begins and you start to notice you really do not want to miss out on your quiet time and the sweetness of abiding in Jesus’ presence. As your mind begins to transform, Jesus cuts away the extraneous from your life that hinders the luscious fruit from growing. As you continue to walk in the Spirit, He will help you through the resurrection power living inside of you and help you to be finished with habits, hang ups and addictions. You are cooperating with Him as He changes you inside with a new way of thinking.

Gal. 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” True transformation is possible in Jesus Christ alone as you offer your life to Him in complete surrender; embrace what He is doing, seeking His approval alone, asking to be cleansed of your wrongdoings and seeking His best while you meditate on His holy Word. Sounds like a lot to do…but it is God who will create the transformation as you walk in the Spirit daily and focus your hope on Him.

He is your Eternal HOPE! You can have H.O.P.E. (holy, optimism, with a positive expectancy!) in Jesus and what He will do in you during the new transforming spring season!

 

 

Victorious Action: Holding the Baby Jesus!

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts” (Luke 2: 25-27).

What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you today? Do you realize God is looking to and fro throughout the earth looking for sold out hearts and minds? He is searching for those folks who want to do His will whole-heartedly and are listening to the Holy Spirit. He is looking for someone to bless just as He did Simeon. Simeon was described as righteous and devout in the Bible for generations to read. He listened and noticed when the Holy Spirit was moving. Then, he OBEYED! He had the opportunity to hold the consolation of Israel, the comforter, as the baby Jesus in his arms.

During the Christmas season, will you continue to look to Jesus, your comforter? Or, will you keep yourself so busy in holiday wrapping and trappings, that you miss Him?

Will you allow yourself to feel the wonder of His miracle birth anew? Will you rejoice as the shepherds did as the angels announced the King of Kings birth? I sure pray so!

Will you hold the baby Jesus in your arms and then let Him hold you in return? If you’ll do so, you will have peace, joy and contentment knowing He is with you and He is for YOU!

Holly LaChappell - Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter Have a blessed Christmas, opening and receiving the BEST gift ever… Jesus Christ!

{excerpt from Holly’s new daily devotional book, “Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter”} Order online: http://www.amazon.com  or http://www.christianbooks.com

Victorious Action: Have a Happy Face!

 

“A warm, smiling face reveals a joy-filled heart, but heartache crushes the spirit and darkens the appearance”Best_Friends_Holding_Hands (Prov. 15:13 VOICE).

Let’s Talk: Have you ever noticed how someone’s smiling face is lit up with light and joy? Do you wonder if they have always been this way? I bet if you asked them, they can tell you about some pretty horrible things that have happened in their lives. But you secretly wonder, you are smiling still. They might not be able to describe what has happened to them, but I can. It’s called grace and transformation. Jesus upholds us with His righteous right arm. He gives us free grace; unearned and undeserved. He transforms the bruised and hurt parts of our hearts and gives us a new heart when we open ourselves up to Him.

Let’s Glorify: Lord, please make me new! I give you my heartaches, my challenges and the things that are causing me discouragement today. Brighten my heart Lord and give me your precious joy as I live and move in you. I desire a close and intimate relationship with you Jesus, the Lover of my soul. Let my face reveal the joy I feel in your home; my heart. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Let’s Go! Remember a time you felt great joy as a child and now as an adult. Why did you have such great joy? Describe in detail with your mom, daughter or friend.

{excerpt from Holly’s new book, Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter due out anytime!}

 

Joy or Junk-Filled Focus? {Part 2}

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  (photo credit) liljorochtulpaner.blogspot.com

Matthew 3:17 God and Jesus receive great joy in their relationship!

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” God and Jesus delight in each other and value their relationship so much!

Do we truly value our relationship with the Trinity?

Romans 15:13 “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Col. 1:11 “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy!”

Do any of you ever worry? Do you remember what you worried about last year at this time?! What about today? Think about your current worries. Did you know ONLY 8% of what we worry about comes true? That leaves 92% of what we worry about, thankfully NEVER comes to fruition!! Praise God! “What IF…we decided that we would wait to worry!” Fred Smith the mentor to the wonderful late Zig Ziglar said, “I decided that I’d wait until I actually had a reason to worry—something that was happening, not just something that might happen—before I worried.”

The great theologian, Charles Spurgeon said it best. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” Anxiety is a joy stealer!

That Friday (after the Boston Marathon and the Texas Fertilizer Plant explosions) I was having such a hard time, and my joy was gone because I was looking at the world and not my Savior! He gave me a dose of His JOY when I read about Zacchaeus  in my quiet time, reading through the bible in a Year program:

  Zacchaeus story in Luke 19:1-7:

19 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” What was it about Jesus that made Zacchaeus respond right away!  I think it was that Jesus noticed Zacchaeus and He knew His name! Do you realize God notices you, loves you, even adores and delights in you?! He calls you by your name!

 6 Scriptures says, Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 

Do we invite Jesus into our house ( which is our heart) with great excitement and joy, desiring to spend quiet time with Him, first thing in the morning or evening? Are you delighting in Him, eager to feast on His Word? Are you journaling what He shares with you as you study His life? Are you loving the Lord Your God, with all of your heart, mind and spirit? Have you fully devoted yourself to Him!

The joy stealers abounded in Zacchaeus day just like in our day!

In Vs. 7  we see, “the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

They were not happy for Zacchaeus! They did not see the benefit of Zacchaeus coming to Jesus and receiving Salvation! Maybe in your household, in your family, in your friends, people do not see the reason for your relationship in Jesus! That’s okay, because God is the God who sees YOU. He will help you in your love relationship in Him, and He will be the JOY of your strength!

He will Restore your Joy! Lamentations 5:21 “Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!”  Remember this J.O.Y. acronym: Joy happens because Jesus is Omnipresent in You!

I love Psalm 119:143! It says, “As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” Do you have any pressure or stress today?

Find hope and joy in His Word. Let the timeless treasures help you!

  Are you passionate and thankful for all Jesus is doing in your life? If not, ask Jesus to renew your hope and joy in Him! Ask Him for a fresh touch, a fresh revelation! Do you agree with me, that there is NOTHING like the fresh fire of the Holy Spirit falling freshly upon you! What I mean by this is, He gives you a special word, a thought, a promise in the Bible, that is divinely apportioned for you, TO YOU! And you know in your heart it is JUST FOR YOU! It’s like a divine HUG of joy and love!  Because at that moment, you are experiencing “fullness of Joy in His presence!”

I have found a sense of peace and blessedness is ours, when we realize God’s supernatural work is creating fruit in my life. Knowing I belong to my Maker and my identity is rooted in His love for me, gives me this deep peace and a deep sense of joy. That joy is the joy of Jesus Himself, residing deep within us, through the Holy Spirit. His joy, because Jesus, is the Man of Joy, within your spirit, is one of the most amazing results of being at peace with God!  Joy and peace are a result of spending time with Him and abiding deeply and regularly! In my Thursday morning bible study, we have been studying John and Jesus’ time with the disciples at the Last Supper. We have discovered, Intimacy with God is like the closeness a husband and wife experience in truly “knowing” each other. Being joyful is a state of our soul and spirit intermingled with Christ’s.

Joy comes from a secret intimacy with our Savior, through the Holy Spirit living within.

Joy or Junk-Filled Focus? {Part 1}

garden chair. (photo credit:  http://www.gardenbuddies.com)

 What gives you Joy? What takes away your joy? You might wake up joyful, thankful for a good’s night rest, (because I sure am, when I sleep the entire night! Because…it seems to happen less and less at my age!) We know don’t we, it doesn’t take much to steal our joy away! Just turn on the news, right?   Or, you receive a diagnosis from out of nowhere, or you receive a call from your child’s principle, or most likely, you or someone dear to you, receives a layoff notice. There are just a 1,000 different things that can happen daily, that can dampen our mood and take our good, positive God attitude down several notches! How do you draw a line in the proverbial garden soil, (I love to garden!) and allow God the reigns of our lives, so we can go back to our default position of Joy in ALL circumstances? You see, I can focus on the “junk” in my life instead of His joy. I can focus on what’s wrong versus looking at what is right in my life. I can focus on being grateful for my relationships and the love I have received and given to those around me.

I have to admit, I am not ALWAYS joyful! Imagine that! I tend to keep myself really busy, so I can have delayed grief when something goes wrong. Are any of you like this? We can “numb out” to the pain! So, after the Boston Marathon bombing, initially I think I was in shock. By Friday, I was a hot mess! I was so upset and in despair. I prayed and prayed to the Lord. I went for a walk with a friend and verbalized my feelings as best as I could. I am a lay Counselor at a non-profit counseling center. We tell our clients, “if you can name your feelings, then you can help tame them!” But, you need to verbalize them and get them outside of your head! At the end of my prayers, talking and walking, I had surrendered these circumstances up to God, realizing there was nothing I could do but pray, donate some money and run a race on Sunday, in remembrance of the victims. Whew! I really think it’s knowing and believing Jesus is still on His Throne, He is in control and I can go right back to Him, knowing He, through the Holy Spirit is in me. He’s my Center and I can stay grounded in Him! There is a huge tug-o-war going to steal your joy! The enemy’s biggest tool is fear, doubt and discouragement! If he can lead you down this path, then he can render you ineffective as a believer, with a tarnished witness, that is joyless, and jaded. God can DO anything! Certainly, He can get you out of a bad mood, out of despair and into His precious light where healing can begin!

Do not agree with the doubt, discouragement or fear! It is not of the Lord! It comes from the enemy of your soul.

Heb. 1:9 Jesus was anointed with the “oil of joy!” Jesus is a joyous Savior and He shares His joy with us through the Miracle within, the Holy Spirit! As a result, we have a claim to the consistent experience of  HIS undiluted joy!

There are some great Promises of Joy to focus on. These are what I have found out in my life as I journey in the Lord:

1.       Joy is a choice! It’s a decision of the will. It’s always the right choice! (If I am not experiencing His joy, I have to stop ask myself and God, what is going on in my heart?)

2. I pray Ps. 139:2 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” I ask myself, Do I have any unconfessed sin that is resulting in shame or guilt? Our sins can be gone in a moment, once we confess it and admit my need for Jesus to take it away. Then, I need to receive and accept His forgiveness and grace. His grace frees me from holding onto the shame and guilt of my sins.

3.       I may try to numb out the pain of my sins by: trying to create success, staying busy, materialism, addictions, hobbies, exercise… wouldn’t it just be easier to come clean before the Lord so He can restore our joy? Yes! I think so!

4.       Jesus’ true and constant joy is found deep within our Spirit. It does not ride the roller coaster of life even though we do!

5.       His joy is a superabundant supply, ready for our every need. (LOL! Supply & demand!)

6.       God’s consistent and solid joy flows strong and consistent in our good times as well as in our bad times.

7.       Peace is the ally (and friend) of joy!

Phil. 4: 7 “ And the peace of God, which transcends ( or surpasses) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I have found as I seek Him, Ps. 27: 4  “God will delight you with His presence.”

Sold Out!

sold-outRecently, I was sitting in a  coffee shop waiting for my two bible study sisters. Every week for our summer study we meet in a different coffee shop. It was unusual they were running late. I was just starting to wonder if I was in the wrong place when a man thrust his hand out me. “Hi, I’m Glen!” He beamed me a huge smile. His bright purple suspenders held up his blue jean shorts. But, what really caught my eye was the tattoo on his forehead, tucked ever so slightly under a few wispy gray bangs. In faded blue letters I read “Be Love.” It was subtle and yet it shouted out to me!

Now, I started to smile! Seated, I stood up so I could look into his light blue eyes, just about the same color as his tattoo. I shook his hand and said, “I’m Holly. It’s great to meet you, Glen! I like your tattoo.”

He replied jovially, “Thank you! I introduce myself to twenty-five people a day, just making friends.”

“Oh, that is great! I’m just waiting for a few of my friends.” He looked down at my tattered red leather-bound bible. Part of the cover was worn down and was starting to look a bit pink instead of red. Glen smiled and replied, “Oh that’s the good book with all of the truths in it. You can’t go wrong with this book.” I was going to say something in return, but Glen jumped in and whispered, “You know I learned the hard way. I thought BMW cars, fancy clothes and a mansion would bring me happiness. But they didn’t. Happiness and truth. It’s all in this book,” he said, tapping the cover with his finger.

My recent trip to Uganda flashed through my mind. None of those material possessions Glen mentioned meant anything to the Ugandan people. What meant the most to them were people and relationships. It was so evident in the way they would talk, laugh, hug and look you square in the eye when they spoke to you. The smell of my vanilla latte brought me back to reality.

I looked at his t-shirt with purple letters. I read: “To get love, be love.” Just then, my two bible study sisters walked up. I introduced Glen to them and then as quickly as he came he was gone.

In our study that day we were talking about surrendering to God. I had to really ponder the question: “Am I willing to pay the price of full surrender?”  Or, do I want the discounted price of not all in, maybe giving 75% to my Lord Jesus? Could it be the time is drawing short here on earth? I know one thing. God is looking for sold out and completely surrendered people to do His work and Be Love!

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” {1 Cor. 16:13-14}

{originally published June 16, 2013 on  The Tapestry Network blog site}