#memoryverse: John 3:27 ~ I have nothing unless it is given from Heaven

Bible BB John 3 27 Person cannot receive even one thing unless given him from Heaven#memoryverse

“John answered,
“A person cannot receive
even one thing
unless
it is given him
from heaven.

John 3:27 (ESV)


thoughts:

I have nothing unless it is given to me from Heaven.

First and foremost,
that means grace.

John 6:44 tells me: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”

I hate the hard truth of this, but I know that if left completely to myself, I would not choose God. If I drill down to the core of each and every sin, I recognize a desire to act independently of God. That desire to choose for myself what is right or wrong, rather than submitting to God’s authority, is sin.

And sin separates me from God.

It’s by grace that my intimate, living, dependent relationship with God is restored through Christ’s sacrifice. Grace that is given to me from heaven.

Secondly, it means everything else:

Of course there’s all the tangible “stuff” like a home, a car, the food in my pantry and fridge, the computer I’m typing on…

but so. much. more. is “given to me from heaven.”

– My husband. My children.
– My health, my strength, the fact that I don’t live with chronic pain and have never faced a life-threatening illness.
– Success in any endeavor, whether it be work, ministry or anything else.
– Financial security.
– My talents. Not only knowledge, but my ability to read and understand and learn.
– My imagination. Any idea I ever come up with.
– My awareness of God’s presence and movement in my life.
– The courage and motivation I find to be obedient when the Holy Spirit prompts me to act or speak.
– The indwelling of the Holy Spirit which equips me beyond my own abilities. Romans 8:9-11
– The confident that is grounded in fact that He is “with me wherever I go.” Joshua 1:9
– The peace that comes from a relentless awareness of his sovereign providence. Job 42:2
– And then there are the harder things that His Word promises He will work for “good” and are meant to “conform me” to the image of Christ.

    The trials I don’t understand.
    The disappointments.
    The seasons when He is silent.
    The fact that I struggle to submit to His authority. Daily. Sometimes hourly.

I have NOTHING unless it is given me from heaven.

The breath I just took.

I can’t take credit for any of it and I’m not in control of any of it.

Dependent upon the Holy Spirit to remind me, I need to be diligent about remembering all this and being grateful. When I’m mindful and grateful, I’m a better steward of all God blesses me with, and that includes the blessings in disguise.

#memoryverse Proverbs 16:9 ~ plan, prepare, trust, follow & wait.

Proverbs 16 9 cover#memoryverse

“The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

I can do everything I know to plan and prepare,
but in the end, the result is not up to me.

I need to pray and seek wisdom and be a diligent steward of the gifts and talents God has blessed me with,
but in the end, GOD is all powerful and nothing happens to me that He doesn’t will or allow.

Sometimes He allows stuff I don’t particularly like.

Sometimes He works a miracle in the middle of an impossible situation.

Remember. God is Sovereign.

When you live grounded in that truth, the pressure to force circumstances is lifted. When you are confident that God is in control, you can experience peace in the middle of trial.

Ask God to help you practice His presence in your moments and your days. Ask Him to help you make wise decisions as you strive to be a good steward of your relationships, your time, your body, your money and your stuff. Love God and Love others.

Don’t stay still, waiting for Him to say GO.
Take the first step and stop if He says “no.”

Be open to His course corrections and detours.

Remember. His ways are not our ways.

and His timing is perfect.

the hard is what makes it great.

“If it was easy, everyone would do it” is one of my mantras.

I say it to my kids when they struggle with ANYthing and I see discouragement or frustration start to set in. I say it to my husband, friends, clients and sometimes, even strangers.

I say it to myself.

A lot.

When I’m supposed to be writing and find myself staring at the screen, fingers atrophied over the keyboard.
When I spend two hours writing, proofread what I’ve written and immediately want to start over.
When I’m trying to curl a 15 pound dumbbell for the 12th time in my second set.
When I’m 2 minutes and 20 seconds into my 2 minute, 30 second forearm plank.
When I’m trying not to fly off the back of the treadmill during my HIIT walking program.
When I drag myself off the couch to pick up that stupid dumbbell or put on my walking shoes.
When I’m 3 seconds short of an 18 second note I’ve been trying to hold out. For the 100th time.
When my voice breaks on that high note I’m trying to hit in full voice. After two years of voice lessons.
When I’m vocalizing for the third time in a day in an attempt to get the “right” technique to become second nature.

Just a few weeks ago, during a break in a recording session, I mentioned something about needing to work on something with my voice teacher. The sound technician said, “YOU have a voice teacher!?” I responded with a big “Heck, YEAH!” He paused for a moment and then said, “It just seems more like you would teach voice lessons, not take them.” I quickly and firmly told him that I will never be too good for voice lessons.

But that exchange emphasized a very common misconception: The things people are good at just come naturally to them.

SO not true.

And the persistence of that mindset devalues the accomplishment, no matter what it is. The persistence of that mindset liberates other people from trying. It turns a potential mentor into someone to be resented and berated. Instead of being viewed as someone who met a goal as a result of hard work, they are instead viewed as “lucky.” Rather than inspiring someone else to take their own steps toward better and stronger, they become a discouragement to others. Because the perception is that whatever the goal, it’s not achievable by anyone but the lucky ones.

The book, Talent Is Overrated claimed, “One factor, and only one factor, predicted how musically accomplished the students were, and that was how much they practiced.”

practice.

The fact is that excellence isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen without work. Usually hard work. Developing a skill takes time. and repetition.

and repetition.

and repetition.

Experience is a teacher in and of itself.

What most people don’t realize is that mediocrity is only one short day of slackin away. Just because I do something well, doesn’t mean I’ve finished learning or practicing.

The fact that I was in a writing zone yesterday doesn’t insure against writer’s block tomorrow.
Being satisfied with today’s writing doesn’t mean I won’t be filled with doubt and repulsion about tomorrow’s.
The ability to lift a 15 pound dumbbell today doesn’t mean I won’t have to opt for 10 pounds tomorrow.
Making it through a 2 minute, 30 second plank today doesn’t mean I won’t collapse at 2 minutes the next day.
Finishing the 30 minute HIIT treadmill program today is no guarantee that I won’t wimp out the next time.
The fact that extracted myself from the couch today doesn’t mean won’t stay curled up on it tomorrow.
As I’ve discovered, holding a note for 18 seconds one time, does NOT mean I can now do it any time I want.
The same is true for that high note – once does not mean always.
Even after spending hundreds of hours practicing the “right” way to sing, I still drift into old habits . . .

For me, excellence isn’t a destination I’ll ever arrive at and rest comfortably. Because of my relentless determination to be a good steward of all that God has blessed me with, the striving for excellence is a lifetime journey.

To find out why I’m so obsessed with striving for excellence, check out this post: I. Want. More.