daily devotional

Within you is a power at work. A power touching every area of your life. A power that can and will tear down any stronghold, break any chain, move any mountain. This power is at work today at this very moment, changing the unseen and guiding you into your destiny. Within you.

There are a whole lot of things I really love about our Creator. His creativity is unmatched. His attention was given to every detail. His handiwork is on display all around us on this Earth. But what really leaves me in awe is he chose to put his very best right inside of us.

He gave us Jesus.

And he not only gave us Jesus to save us for eternity, but he gave us Jesus to make us better for today.

Yes, this day. This one right here filled with uncertainty and chaos.

This day is the last day of “freedom” in my county. As of midnight tonight we go on lock-down to help stop the spread of the virus. If we leave our homes for anything non-essential, we could face a $1000 fine and 180 days in jail. This will be our new normal for at least the next 30 days.

This is unprecedented. No doubt something no one alive has ever experienced before.

And for this, I have Jesus.

Inside of us dwells the power to change, the power to grow, the power to improve, the power to overcome. God didn’t just create us and step away to leave us on our own to find our way. He did the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unbelievable … he sacrificed his son so his spirit would live within us.

I don’t face this alone. Neither do you. As followers of Christ, Jesus lives in us. And THAT, well that changes everything.

Jesus told us a story in Matthew 13: 33. He said “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

If you don’t understand bread making, that may not make a whole lot of sense. My mama is a bread maker. Every family gathering, we sit down to a feast and we take turns sharing what our favorite thing is on our plate. Regardless of the prime rib, the fresh caught fish, the homegrown corn or buttery mashed potatoes, without fail, the most treasured thing on our plate is always the bread. Mama’s homemade bread. I grew up watching mama knead that dough and she taught me her craft.

The secret is in the yeast. That tiny package of organisms that springs into action when mixed with warm milk or water, egg, sugar and flour. The things which are mostly inedible on their own become the most delicious thing on our plate when that yeast unleashes it’s power.

And Jesus says this is what the kingdom of heaven does.

He isn’t just referring to the eternity of awesomeness that awaits us after death, the kingdom of heaven is Jesus’ domain and power right here in our lives today. He’s telling us a story of what his spirit living within us can do. This is what’s happening inside of us.

Jesus changes us. And it starts small and increases.

Yeast is microscopic in size and only a tiny bit is kneaded into dough. Yet, with time, the yeast will spread all through the dough and begin to rise.

Change in your life begins the same way.

One of my first memories as a little girl was my big brother accepting Jesus. The preacher baptized him in the creek down the road from our house and he said he would come up out of the water a new person. I was convinced I would have a totally new brother. Funny, once his hair dried he looked the same. I remember we went home from the creek and he made his bed. I don’t think he had ever made his bed before. But then the next day, I saw signs of my old brother still there. He wasn’t a brand new person at all.

But what was happening here is what happens to all of us after accepting Christ, like a tiny bit of yeast, he was being changed from the inside. Jesus was rising up within him, raising his life to new levels.

Elevated living.

Raised up.

This is what Jesus does.

He works within what we have. He begins changing us from within and raises us up.

We don’t have be down in all of this. We have been raised up. We have been elevated by what is living in us. Jesus is at work in our lives. He is working in the unseen to do what we cannot do on our own.

The nature of yeast is to grow and change anything it comes in contact with.

Doesn’t it make sense that Jesus would help us understand his power at work in our lives by comparing it to yeast. Not many of us are making bread these days, but when Jesus walked this earth, every home had bread rising. Everyone knew and understood the effect of yeast on the mixture of flour. And everyone understood that yeast had to be kneaded into the dough. It had to be worked, then it had to be given time. Time to work from within. Time to grow in the unseen.

And a little bit of heat … well that’s what browns those rolls and makes them delicious! Ya’ll we have a little bit of heat right about now!

Jesus is here today working. He is growing something inside of you. Working in your life. Using every ingredient to create something so much more.

There’s nothing you’re struggling with that cannot be touched and changed by the power of Jesus.

Are you battling fear? Are you worried or overwhelmed? Have you fallen into a bad habit? Have you become someone living a life you don’t even like? Have you lost who you are? Have you been stuck?

Jesus changes everything he touches.

Invite him to work in your life. Invite him to grow within you to overcome your current fears and worries. He can do that.

Invite him to change you from within. This is the change that lasts. This is the change you seek. Not this superficial let me take a pill to lose some weight, or let me trade one bad habit for another one. No, permanent lasting change is what he offers. Jesus is your answer.

Jesus, come work within us. Rise up in our lives so we can rise. Change us from within with your power. Make us better. Better wives, better moms, better daughters, better sisters, better friends, better bosses and employees. We want to be better.

You are the changing agent in our lives. Break these chains which have held us back. Tear down these strongholds the enemy has had in our minds. Help us to move these mountains which stand in our way, or give us the strength to climb them.

Do your work. We won’t give up on it this time.

We trust you are working in and through today’s circumstances. This is no surprise to you and this will all be used as part of your plan for good.

We will praise you as you work. We will celebrate the growth within. We will see the changes and be changed. All of this for good.