Freedom is not free—it cost God the death of His Son. This truth motivates us to protect and value our freedom for the precious gift that it is. As God’s children, servants, and friends, we are not free to do whatever we want; rather, we moderate our freedom to protect our connection with Him and with one another.
Popularity doesn't drive them. The political spirit can't buy them. These are the new faces with new voices and new sounds. They stand for justice and righteousness, and operate out of lovingkindness. They don't fit within the current system structures and human expectations. They live for an audience of One. These are modern day reformers.
In order to fulfill our purpose in life, we must remain committed to the daily practice of dealing with the toxic thoughts that can take root in our heart and sabotage our destiny. Things like bitterness, resentment, disappointment, jealousy, insecurity, fear, or offenses can easily undercut your God-given calling and your purpose. It is so important that we guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).
I choose my friends carefully. I think of my relationships like a target with a bullseye. The ones who occupy the center space—the bullseye—are the ones who go beyond giving me permission to love Jesus and actually spur me on and provoke me to love Jesus more. They initiate course corrections and times of repentance. They care about my destiny in Christ and fight for my good. They have the courage to speak honestly to me when I need it. I recognize that these kinds of friends are rare, but I know now that they are also worth waiting for.
We judge trees by their fruit, and so we judge Jesus, and then we can find out what kind of a heart He had. We find in Him love; therefore Jesus had a loving heart. He bore the luscious fruit of perfect love. There was no hatred with His love, no venom, no spite, no selfishness; He loved His enemies and prayed for His murderers. It was not a fickle love, turning about every new moon, but a changeless, eternal love. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3.)
The secret of my full identity is hidden in Him. He alone can make me who I am, or rather who I will be when at last I fully begin to be. But unless I desire this identity and work to find it with Him and in Him, the work will never be done.
Things Will Never Change. This toxic, dangerous thought process has the power to destroy your marriage, friendships, and career. These four words, Things Will Never Change, replace confidence with cynicism. These four words, Things Will Never Change, replace high hopes with depression and despair. These four words, Things Will Never Change, blind people to the possibility that God might have better days ahead. These four words, Things Will Never Change, are so powerful they can handcuff the hands of God. Jesus didn’t do any miracles in His hometown of Nazareth. Why? The Bible says, “because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58 NKJV).