Raising the Bar – Dare to Dream


Are you satisfied with mediocrity and middle of the road or do you long to rise up with wings like an eagle?  As the years go by are you too longing to see restoration and the days of your lives crowned with the loving kindness of God?

Then it is time to raise the bar!  What we believe determines the height of the bar. For a hurdler and a high jumper, their key to victory lies in aiming at that which is unseen to others.  They are looking above the hurdles’s height and the bar’s barricade and in their mind’s eye they have made a successful jump.

We can use this application in every aspect of life.  For instance in our marriages, so often we focus on the flaws of our spouse and harp on those little irritations until they become all that we can see.  They blind us to the beauty and wonder of the love we share.

Peace in our relationships creates intimacy

Love causes us to bless the gifts and talents  in our spouse, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, and love compels us to live what the Word of God says and call those things that are not as though they were.  We cease looking at the flaw and begin instead to consider the handiwork of God as we speak to and call forth the gifts and talents God has placed in that person.  We continue to bless those gifts because the flaws that are grown out of today will leave room for new ones to sprout and flourish tomorrow!  In other words it is easier sometimes to pick out the worst in someone else than it is to learn to speak the Word of God.  When we do speak the Word, we are truly speaking the language of love.

It is time to shift our focus and become steeped in blessing – the blessing of the Father heart of God, His kind intentions towards us, His amazing, matchless love for us and His glory revealed in us.  Blessing brings healing as the words of life affirm and create in us the Image of Christ in us the hope of glory.  Blessing brings forth worth, unity and a sense of belonging.

When we seek the face of God to receive knowledge of His way of loving, when we seek first the Kingdom of God and understand in our spirits His righteousness, this is raising the bar in our lives for then our actions will be governed  and controlled by His righteous, holy love.

Raising the bar in our lives will look different for each one of us because the “bar” is also the dream in our hearts as well as discovering the dream in God’s heart for us that He wants us to live out so we experience abundance and satisfaction in our life.

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The Rest of God Cont…


In the book of Philippians Paul says to ‘delight yourselves in the Lord and to continue to rejoice in Him”. He tells us that making this a repetitive statement is not irksome for him because our choice to rejoice in the Lord on a continual basis, as a lifestyle is a “precaution for our safety.”

Joy then, truly is a guardian over the content of our soul.  In other words, our mind, our thought life is ruled by Joy.  Our will and our determinations are guided by Joy and our emotions, those unruly attributes that rise up and catch us off guard are held captive by Joy.

The joy of the Lord becomes our strength to stand fast, to hold fast to our confidence in Him.

Paul in repeating his words was adamant that we should hear his words.  Really hear his words and believe them.  Believe them to the point of putting them into action.

Its very likely that every single one of us could say we’d like to feel happier, free from the burdensome things of life that upset our moods.  I know I sure do.  I wish that I could maintain my peace, my joy and my love in the midst of unsettling situations.  So many times when I cook or bake I do not use or follow a recipe exactly – just as many times no matter how it turns out – I cannot – have not been able to repeat the same flavors and texture…  I know I should follow the recipe, after all it has been tried and tested and found to be true!  My way is definitely not better!

In order for us to maintain and keep our joy, Paul is giving  us the recipe for a sure thing.  It is our responsibility to follow it if we desire the end result of Joy, joy unceasing, joy unspeakable and being full with the glory of God.  Joy enables us to carry the glory of God!

The recipe is simple, he is so simplifying life for us by instructing us to rejoice that “we are in Christ”.    Jesus will never look at us on our bad days and tell us He doesn’t want us “in Him” anymore, just the opposite is true.  He is continually drawing us closer to Himself with His everlasting love.

To make that blessed state of rest yours, will you just let Jesus love you today? Would you just cry out to Him and allow Him to carry your burdens and give you rest?

He loves you more, far more than you can comprehend. It is only by experience that we enter in to an intimate love relationship with the King.  It is experiencing the joy of a devotional life on a regular basis that builds and strengthens our intimacy with God.