The Moment of Truth

See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; - Dt 30:15
Picture this scene. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, God finally allows Moses to prepare the Israelites to cross over into the Promised Land. It is here where they must make a decision to move forward or resign to stay in the status quo of the wilderness.
We are no different than the Israelites in that we are all on a journey towards significance or happiness whether or not we consciously realize it. The interesting thing to me is the place we find ourselves when we intentionally decide to search for purpose or significance, to make changes in our lives and begin to glimpse our "promised land".
To clarify this point, I recently finished teaching a class on Life Purpose called Blueprint for Life. Throughout the class, each participant was tasked to draft their life purpose statement and set measurable and achievable goals for each main area of their life (spiritual, relational, physical, financial, career) to support their life purpose statement. In essence, each member defined their personal "Promised Land" as they currently saw it to be. This was an emotional and live-changing experience for many of the group members.
Something happens inside us when we finally uncover the purpose God has for our lives. Suddenly, we realize how much we need to redeem the time ahead of us. Looking at or defining our "promised land" also puts us in an interesting position because we put ourselves between the "here" and the "there". We know where we are and yet we see how things could be.
It is at the boundary between current reality and our "promised land" that we find our moment of truth.
It is at this boundary where we must ask ourselves:
  • What will I do with what I now see?
  • What will I do with what could be?
  • What keeps me from entering in to the promised land?
Where are you in the journey? No matter where you are in the process of discovering your purpose, you have a choice between life and prosperity, death and adversity. The choice is yours. You CAN have your "promised land" with a little hard work (physically and spiritually) and trust in God.  What are you waiting for?
For more resources on life purpose, click here.

Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her other blog at

Love is Kind

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. – Eph 4:32 NKJV


“Love you guys!”, I heard someone exclaim as they left our small group meeting several years ago.  I remember thinking at the time how loosely the word “love” is thrown around in our culture today.  Most of the time, it is not referring to the type of agape, unconditional love Jesus modeled to us and expects us to give to our fellow Christians.  I am very careful to not to throw out the words “I love you” to someone unless I’m willing to put actions to my words.


Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Loving another Christian is more than just hanging out and sharing good times, although that is part of the fun. How clever it was of God to tell us that love was patient before he got into the rest of His definition for love!  He knew we would need to master patience first and foremost because the rest of love’s requirements imply an investment of time and energy on our part.  


So what does it mean to be kind? According to Strong’s Concordance, being kind means to be useful and to furnish what is needed to those around us.  I love involves kindness, true biblical love is definitely difficult in today’s fast-paced society.  All of our lives are complicated and to complicate things even further, all of us are wired with different personalities. 


These complications and differences combine to make kindness quite a challenge.  It takes a long time to figure out how to be kind to another person because what they see as kind or useful may not be what we think of at all.  Being kind takes a concentrated effort to see things from another person’s perspective rather than our own…to walk in their shoes. 


In a nutshell, to be kind means a sacrifice of self to help someone else.  It is more than just not being cruel.  Kindness is usefulness and providing for someone else’s needs.  What can you do today to be kind to someone in your life?


For further thought:

1)      What keeps you from being kind?

2)      What is your deepest need?



Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

Love Them Like Jesus

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. – John 15:12 NASB


Love one another.  Jesus is very clear about how we are to treat other Christians.  On the surface, loving those with whom we choose to serve God with seems pretty easy.  However, there is much more to Jesus’ meaning of love.  Jesus tells us to love our fellow Christians in the way that He loved us—and he died for us. 


Dying for a child or spouse might not seem like that big of a stretch to some of us, but dying for a Christian is another story.  How much should we give of ourselves to a fellow Christian?  What does this agape love look like in practice?  How do we love others as Jesus did?  All of this provided some great discussion in my Sunday school class this morning.  I’m still thinking about it.


The apostle Paul gives us some good examples of what love looks like in life in 1 Corinthians 13.  This is quite a checklist and is more than a pretty poem to be read at weddings.  As you read the following, consider how well you love those around you.




  • is patient
  • is kind
  • is not jealous
  • does not brag
  • is not arrogant
  • does not act unbecomingly
  • does not seek its own
  • is not provoked
  • does not take into account a wrong suffered
  • does not rejoice in unrighteousness
  • rejoices with the truth




  • bears all things
  • believes all things
  • hopes all things
  • endures all things


Love never fails.


When I compare how I love others to how God says we should, I realize that I fail miserably much of the time because my selfishness gets in the way.  Plain and simple, love is hard. Fortunately, love never fails either.  God’s love for us as well as His Holy Spirit inside of us enables us to love others.   Our love for others can eventually right any wrong.  Commit to love better today.  Ask God to empower you.  God never fails.


For further thought:


1)      How well do you love the fellow believers God has placed in your life? 

2)      From the “checklist” in 1 Corinthians 13, what is your biggest challenge?

3)      What baby step will you take today to love others as Jesus commands?


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15 NASB)


Any of us who have been alive very long at all have heard or even said the phrase “Actions speak louder than words.”  Actions have a louder voice than words because putting actions to our well-intentioned thoughts takes more time and effort than talking.  Living out what we say is important to us displays authenticity rather than hypocrisy.


Jesus often challenges the love of His disciples.  By His statement in John 14:15 above, Jesus tested the disciples’ love for Him.  Later in the book of John we see Jesus specifically addressing Peter:


He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (John 21:17)


As Jesus challenges His disciples, He challenges us as well.  Keeping God’s commandments takes sacrifice on our part.  To keep His commandments, we need to know them and understand them.  This kind of understanding comes through direct communication with God by prayerfully reading God’s Word.  Many times, we may need to talk to God in prayer, getting clarification on what He desires from us.  Sometimes, as it was with Peter, it takes more than one reading or prayer to comprehend exactly what is expected of us.  But when we finally do “get it”, we will be richly rewarded by God’s words “Well done.”   It will be worth the effort.


Actions do speak louder than words.  Sometimes they are the only way we can truly communicate what we say we believe.  How can you demonstrate your love for God and others today?


For deeper understanding:

1)      How well do you really understand what God wants from you?

2)      What will it take on your part to gain that understanding?

3)  On a scale of 1 to 10, how willing are you to learn what God requires?


Commit Doesn't Mean Do

Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. - Proverbs 16:3  NKJV

This verse has haunted me for years.  I've both received it as instruction from wise counsel and given it as "wise" counsel to others, instructing them (and myself) to "just do the right thing and your emotions/feelings/thoughts will eventually catch up".   But is that what the verse is really saying?  Could this interpretation be contrary to the premise of Ephesians 2:8-9?  Ephesians 2:8-9 says

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Our doing...

... takes God's provision out of the "miracle" equation.
... gives us reason to accept credit for the changed life.
... enslaves us when done out of obligation.

Commit doesn't mean "do".  The English "commit" is from a Hebrew root word meaning "to roll".  I like the way my study bible explains this:

The idea is to "roll your cares onto the Lord."  Trusting the Lord with our decisions frees us from preoccupation with our problems."

A parallel verse is this one:

Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5)

I am changing the way I "counsel" with respect to this verse.  All we need to be doing is praying for our attitudes and our direction.  God will do the rest.   He will establish our thoughts or plans.  If we try, all we'll do is get ourselves into more "trouble".   That's what we should be taking credit for, not the miracle.

Dear Lord, thank you for the treasures in your word and how when unearthed, it interprets itself.  Help me and other "doers" like me to rest in your provision and promises to do right by us in your sovereign plan.  Bend our will to yours.  Break us if you must.  Most of all, bring us close to you so we can clearly see your will.  Amen.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

Receptivity to God's Word

Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands.  And they  bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. - Neh 8:6 NKJV

Have you ever listened to someone,either in a group setting or one-on-one, while thinking to yourself "I wish I could be anywhere but here"?  How much information do you think you gleaned from the person speaking?  On the contrary, when you were interested in the subject matter or the speaker, it is likely that you took home some practical information to use or share with others.  Our attitudes affect our intake.

In the book of Nehemiah, we see a group of people yearning to hear the words of God.  In the open square before the Water Gate in Jerusalem, the people gathered to hear Ezra read the Book of the Law to them.  I wonder if they were ecstatic because their city wall was now complete.  Maybe they had renewed zeal for their calling as God's chosen people.  Ezra read from morning until midday, and "the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law." (Ne 8:3)  After hearing the reading, a collective "Amen" was heard (v6) and they bowed and worshiped the Lord in a humble pose.

I bet this was a sight to behold.  There are three principles from Nehemiah 8:1-6 we can all use to reap the full impact of God's Word in our lives.

1.  Attitude - Seek God's truth for our lives.  When we look forward to how God can change us, we will be more receptive to what he has to say.

2.  Attentiveness - When God speaks to us, we need to give Him our full attention, expecting to hear life-changing principles or promises to apply to our situations.

3.  Application - Everything God says can be directly applied in our lives.  We need to be willing to press our ways into God's mold, not His into ours.

When will you next have the opportunity to hear from God?  It could happen any time, especially if we pick up our bibles daily to hear from him directly.  How will you approach that time differently this next time?


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

Being Holy

I am the LORD who brought you out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. - Lev 11:45 NIV

A tall order was given to the Israelites this day.  God himself ordered them to be holy as he was holy, because he saved them out of Egypt for the purpose of being their God.  He wanted the best for them while also wanting them to set a good example for others because they were God's chosen people.

As Christians, we have the same tall orders.  When we believe on Christ for salvation, God saves us out of our own "Egypt" and gives us new life on earth as well as eternal life in heaven instead of the hell we deserve.  In return, he wants us to live for him so others will be drawn to our God.   He wants us to be holy out of love for him.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says the following:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (NASB)

What does this look like in a believer's life?  We need to look no farther then the next verse:

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  (Eph 5:3)

Not to have even a hint of immorality, impurity or greed attached to our behavior is a tall order indeed.  It is impossible without God's help and God's word to change our hearts and minds so that our actions follow.  How are you doing at following God's commands?  What one baby step can you take today to imitate God?  Ask him to reveal the answer to you today.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

The Completed Tabernacle

According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did all the work. Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it, as the LORD had commanded, just so they had done it.  And Moses blessed them. (Exodus 39:42-43 NKJV)

Looking back on Exodus 35-39, we see an example of God's people carrying out God's instructions to the letter.   Not only did they construct the tabernacle, but they carefully made all of the furnishings, altar items, and priestly garments.  It is amazing to me how much work it takes to do things exactly as God wants.  God is very particular and desires quality rather than quantity.  The good news is that God provides us with the resources to do the job!  God gave Moses all that he needed to get the work done, including materials and skilled personnel.  Incredible!

As I think about the completed tabernacle, I think about the following principles we can apply to our lives:

  1. God provided skilled workers - God stirred up the hearts of the specific people He needed to get the job done.
  2. God provided materials - more than they needed.
  3. Moses followed God's instructions to the letter - He gave God the quality God expected.
  4. Moses inspected the work - A leader is responsible for the work of subordinates.

What task does God have planned for you?  What character does He want to produce in you? He will provide the resources you need in many ways.  No job is too big for God.  Keep seeking Him and watching for His plan to be revealed.  When it is time to move on the task, God will make the way.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at

Blessing, Cursing and Compassion

"Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. - Deut 28:1 NASB

"But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God ... that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:" - Deut 28:15 NASB

It seems so simple, doesn't it?  So cut and dried.  Obey and be blessed by God.  Disobey and be cursed by God.  These were the instructions given by Moses to the people of Israel, straight from the mouth of God.  Despite the clear instructions, however, throughout recorded history Israel cycled in and out of obedience, blessing and cursing.  I shake my head at them until I realize that I am oftentimes no less stubborn in wanting to pursue my own way rather than God's way.

Granted, my stubbornness doesn't get me into the same kind of trouble.  I've yet to receive a literal plague upon my home or person, and I have literally gone hungry or thirsty from a famine or drought because I failed to wholeheartedly pursue God's path.  But objectively as I look upon my life, I know I've received some "plagues" in a figurative sense and missed out of God's blessings as well.  No matter who we are, God's timeless principles apply.

The good news is that while God promises not to spare us from calamity if we disobey (note that he also might cause some distress to bring us back to him), he is also quick to forgive and return us to favor in his eyes.   

"So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you ... and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul ... then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity and have compassion on you ... " - Deut 30:1-3a NASB

Our compassionate God will restore us and bless us again, no matter how far we've strayed from him if we sincerely come back to him.  His anger towards disobedience only exists because of his great love for us.  Is there something you need to run from so that you can run back to God today?  Are you being disobedient as a result of not doing what God has called you to do?  Don't wait.  A blessing awaits.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at


Strength for Surrender

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Phi 4:13 NKJV

Achieving success becomes paradoxical when we try to live our lives for Christ's cause.  In many ways we can't handle the truth.  Knowing all that God expects from us sometimes becomes more than we can bear because it is then that we recognize that all of our "self help" gets us nowhere with God.

Its no wonder that God's expectations can weigh us down.  He does, after all, expect us to completely surrender to His plan.  If we sincerely seek God's face through His Word, He encourages and convicts us, builds us up and breaks us down.  We must become soft clay in God's hands as He molds our character and our lives.  But it takes effort and strength to surrender, doesn't it?   Therein lies the paradox.  We have to be strong to become weak and so much strength is required that the strength for surrender must also come from God.

Why is surrendering so difficult?  It would appear that surrendering is best suited for the weak people of the earth.  Isn't that what happens in physical warfare?  The weaker army simply stops fighting and surrenders to the stronger one.  That sounds reasonable enough, but our reasoning is not wise in God's eyes.  God's Word says:

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise?  where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world?  hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Cor 1:19-20)

As the apostle Paul says numerous times throughout scripture, we must die to ourselves - to our own needs, ambitions, and desire for outcome control - in order to live for Him.   This "dying" cannot be achieved by the weak in faith.  Strength and discipline are required to achieve the moment-by-moment surrender God desires for His cause and no one of us is strong enough to do that in their own power.  The good news is, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  He can even give us the strength to surrender.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at