Not bound

Sometimes life feels small—our view restricted to four walls. It buries us under the weight of crammed schedules and piled-up expectations. Instead of being where we want to be, waist-deep waters resist the force of forward movement.

For the Apostle Paul, incarceration for the cause of Christ changed his approach to mission, but not the mission itself. Instead of going out into the world to share the Gospel, his letters traveled for him. He sent others in his place, while he sat in chains.

In his last letter, Paul encourages Timothy, his son in the faith, to focus, endure and remember the power of Jesus Christ.

Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and descended from David. This is according to my gospel. I suffer for it to the point of being bound like a criminal, but God’s message is not bound.

– 2 Timothy 2:8-9

God’s message is not bound.

Even though Paul was suffering in prison, tied up for the sake of the Gospel, bound, He knew God’s message wasn’t.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop God’s message of hope, forgiveness, redemption and love. It cannot be contained—no matter how the world tries. Soldiers may have killed Jesus, but there was nothing that could stop Him from coming up out of that grave!!

Today, no matter how small you feel or how constraining your circumstances, keep your attention on Jesus. Find your freedom in the unbound Gospel. Jesus is alive, and His grace is enough for you and for me!

Fear doesn’t fit


This verse is consuming me today. I hope its spark catches you on fire, too.

Love,
Jill

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

– 2 Timothy 1:6-7

God has given me gifts of His Spirit, opportunities to show His love and share His message of peace, and blessings that I am unable to quantify. More precious than all of these is the gift of salvation, the gift of Himself. He bought my life back from the pit of destruction and rescued me from a life without Him. He gave me a new heart and a new name. And my new life is meant to be on fire. I am to fan into flame the gift God has graciously given me! I want to be like the burning bush of Moses—that people are drawn to God’s presence, see His amazing power, hear His voice and then follow His call.

God’s fire is inside of me. I want it to roar.

You know what quenches that fire? Fear.

Fear that I’m not good enough. That what God has given me is too much. That I won’t be able to do it. That God made a mistake in choosing me. That people don’t like me and leave me out. That I’m failing my family. That someone else is better. That I’m not strong enough. That I’m not enough.

Fear causes me to look inward rather than upward. Fear prompts me to depend on what I can do, rather than what God will do.

God gave me His Holy Spirit. Fear does not fit in the mind or heart of His child.

God did NOT give me a spirit of fear. He gave me a spirit of power and love and self-control. His power overcomes my fear, His perfect love casts it out, and His self-control working in my life keeps it out.

I am meant to live on fire, in God’s power, love and self-control. What He has given me, I must share. What God has called me to, no force of hell can stop.

It’s time to fan into flame.