I’m taking some time off for a few days to gather my thoughts and spend time with family. Enjoy the archives and pass the blog link to your friends. I’ll see you guys Feb 11th. (Video Link)
Everyone needs affirmation. Whom will you affirm today? I’m not talking about just giving someone a passing acknowledgement. I’m speaking of giving a compliment, an affirmation that is life giving.
As Christ followers, we have been placed in the harvest field of life surrounded by humanity and their felt needs. We are called to build others up, where the world and possibly their own idea of themselves have torn them down.
Take time today to notice someone whom you know has not been noticed in awhile. Make a comment that places value in their life. For example, if you work with them share how effective they are to the workplace. Deposit confidence into their life. When you do that, you uplift their worth.
You just never know who might be close to giving up. Your words of hope could be the precise thing that keeps them going. As Christ followers, we should be looking for ways to take away the feelings of insignificance that others might be secretly carrying deep inside.
As you face the world around you daily, walk in the power and passion of Acts 20:35, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” We are called to do more for the world than it does for us. We can accomplish that by thinking of others before ourselves.
Every person wants to be remembered. We want to be remembered, not only in this present time, but we also want to be remembered after we are gone. Today, I encourage you to take an inventory of your life in light of leaving a legacy behind.
You will be remembered. You will leave some kind of Legacy. Legacies are not born; legacies are cultivated one day at a time. The legacy you leave behind is both a choice on your part, and a voice to those that follow behind you. What you do in the here and now will be remembered by someone forever and what you do in the here and now will follow you into eternity.
Here are a few ways to leave a legacy print on the world around you.
1. Acknowledge Christ
Your walk with Christ is the most valuable part of your life. Words are powerful, but your walk speaks much louder. In order to have a strong walk, you must have an intimate relationship with Christ daily, and moment-by-moment. Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” In other words, allow God into every part of your walk.
2. Encourage at all times
Think ahead of the next person you run into by asking yourself, “After I encounter this person, what will they say about me 20 years from now?” You can make a choice about how you want people to talk about you in the future, by making the right choice in the now. You have the power to lift people up or to tear people down. Don’t choose the latter. Matthew 5:16 tells us, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
3. Live beyond yourself
Yes, you must take care of yourself. Yes, you are valuable, but the greatest life you can live is a life that is lived beyond yourself, for the sake of others and for the glory of God. You need to make your life about something much grander than yourself. John 15:13 tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
4. Don’t be inconsistent
The voice of action deep inside of you is the Holy Spirit speaking to act. Listen to that voice and obey. God will get the glory, and you will create a lasting legacy. When you hear God speak to do an act of kindness…obey, obey, obey! God is trying to use you, and that is a great way to develop a lasting legacy. I’ve often said to the church I pastor, “Demons obey God; nature obeys God, but people struggle with it.” Make the choice to obey God without struggling, and you will be amazed at how grand and full your life will become. Divine moments are all around you if you will only see them.
To go deeper with leaving a legacy and living a life of compassion, get a copy of my book, The Descent to Compassion.
You are not alone in your walk with Christ if you have difficulty sharing your faith because of shyness. There are many other Christians that get nervous when they even think about witnessing. Do you struggle with sharing your faith because you have no clue as to how to witness in spite of your shyness? If so, I’ve got a few things that will help you.
1. Understand that witnessing isn’t always about words.
St. Francis of Assizi once said, “Witness at all times; if necessary use words.” The first thing that will reduce the pressure of shyness in your life is to know that you don’t have to use words to witness. You can use actions, and many times they speak louder than words. You can send letters to nonbelievers in Christ and let them know you are thinking about them. You can get them a gift and take it by their house to let them know how valuable they are. Doing these kind of things will be sure to open up a conversation, and they will end up, most likely, asking you about your faith. When they do, just tell them what Christ has done in your life. No need at all to give them a bible study. Just share your life, and how Christ has changed it for the better.
2. Witness at home
Witnessing at home is easy because you already feel safe. Live before your family a changed life. Living for Christi in front of your family is the loudest witness you will ever do. Each family member is watching, and learning from you. They, in turn, will hopefully live the same way. That is making disciples without words.
3. Witness on vacation
Next time you are on vacation, witness to those who clean your room. Leave a great tip each day, and a hand written note of encouragement to them. Then sign it with a bible verse. Pray over the note, and let the Spirit of God do the rest.
4. Take advantage of birthdays
Collect as many birthday dates as you can and send them a card or an email. In the same way, you would write a note while on vacation, do something similar with a birthday card or email. To make this step automatic, do a Google search of free sites that remind you by email when a birthday is near.
I could give you many more, but I think you get the idea. What are some ways you have found that work? Leave a comment and share with others.
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I love getting the mail from the mailbox. In fact, it’s an obsession of mine. I have to be the one that gets the mail and looks at it first. I’m not entirely certain as to why I have such a fixation over the mail, but it goes all the way back to when I was a little boy.
I would get letters from my grandparents or a friend, and I loved it. I would be so excited and would open them and read them again and again. There is just something unique about a letter. Letters arrive and spend time with you. They took thought to write and send. Facebook, text, and skype just don’t hold the same special place as a letter. I become sad when I think how today in our day and age; letters are considered obsolete and antiquated.
So, why all the talk about letters? Well, because the Bible declares that we are letters of God to a broken world. We are letters of the right way. We are letters of the Good news of the Gospel. We are letters of eternal life.We are letters from the future, read in the now, of how it will one day be.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a letter? Have you ever thought of yourself as a living communication? We live in a fast world of sound bites, emails and text. Written letter are rare today. I’m not anti sound bites; I’m not anti emails or text. But God never called us to be that small. He called us to be big beautiful letters to the world. You and I declare to the world the greatest news of all times. If your life is a declaration, what are you declaring? You need to give it some serious thought.
Your life is God’s letter of hope and mercy, to a world that is broken and fallen. He writes a letter through your life as you submit to the blessing of being used to witness daily to the world around you. We are His epistles written for all men to see, and read.
2 Cor 3:2-3
You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
You are a letter that is to be known. Your faith was never intended to be isolated. Your faith is a letter to be read by all, not tucked away in a private place. I want you to picture yourself as a blank letter just before every conversation, or interaction with a person, or a group of people. Then, just allow God to work through you. Let God do the writing of the letter to the other person.
How is your letter reading to the world around you? How is your letter reading to your friends? How is your letter reading to strangers and even your enemies? Only you can truly answer those questions, and only you can make changes were the changes need to be. You are a letter of God and having a consistent walk with Christ is the best letter the world will ever read.
If you have ever had a friend, or a family member doubt the faith, you know how disheartening that can be. It cuts your very soul. In some cases, your friend or family member simply doubts something in the bible, but in other cases, they may even depart from the faith altogether. It hurts to see this happen, and it give rise to many emotions inside of you. In fact, many of those emotions, if not submitted to the Lord, can damage the one doubting, if unleashed on them improperly by you.
Here, are some things to do when doubt has captured your friend or family member.
1. Keep your emotions on the altar
Take all your angry feelings, and leave them on the altar of God. He can handle your pain better than you can. Worship Him until the feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal slip away.
2. Trust that God is still asking questions through them
Even John the Baptist doubted at one point in his life, and sent word asking if Jesus was really the one. Once He heard the right answer, he was unchained from doubt, and moved on in His faith. All great men and women of God have doubted at some point in their walk with Christ.
3. When they become unfaithful, God doesn’t
2 Timothy 2:13 tells us, “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” God is faithful and will continue to work in their lives, even when they have stopped moving forward with God. You must remember, God loves your friend or family member more than you ever can.
4. God can move mountains
What is impossible for man is never impossible for God. He can move doubt over the cliff in their life in a moment of time. Mighty to Save by Hillsong says this,
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Author of Salvation
He rose & conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
5. Finally, my favorite verse that many forget about.
MERCY! Jude 1:22 tells us, “22 And have mercy on those who doubt;” You must never forget that mercy wins over judgment. When you want to give judgement to the one you love…GIVE MERCY
God bless you
The most unsightly stage to live life on is Jealousy. Jealousy is even more menacing than anger or fury. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Proverbs 27:4, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?”(NIV)
Jealousy divides people, which is the opposite of what Christ followers should be doing. We are reconcilers in Christ. We have been called to walk in the ministry of reconciliation. Jealousy is an enemy and will destroy your testimony of Christ likeness.
Jealousy is not something new to the human experience. In fact, it’s been around since the very beginning. Satan used it to inspire Adam and Eve to disobey God. Cain and Abel is another excellent example. I could go on and on, but you get the point. Jealousy is nothing new and neither is its danger.
What’s in the soil of jealousy?
1. Unsuccessful outlook on your life
We want what we want now. That seems to be the default thinking of the fallen heart within us. Life has a way many times of not delivering things we want fast enough. Therefore, when someone else gets what you wanted before you get it, it gives rise to jealousy.
2. Privilege is a right
Our fallen DNA speaks an untruth constantly. In the echoes of our fallen human heart, we hear the whisper, “You have the right to anything you want.” We truly do have a predisposition toward entitlement that is extraordinarily damaging to our witness for Christ, if we let it gain control of our lives.
3. The more monster
Many live life always wanting more because they are convinced that more of this, or more of that, will make them happy. More will never complete you. Only God can complete you. It easy to look at other people and wish you had all they had. What is difficult, yet healing is to look at God and know assuredly that He is all you will ever need.
How to get a handle on jealousy
1. First, you must submit your thoughts to God.
The mind is a powerful gift, but when allowed to grow negative thoughts, and thoughts of jealousy, it can create chaos into your life. The moment this begins to take place, you can win against it, by stopping, and praying for someone to be blessed other than yourself. In fact, try praying for the person you are jealous of. (Oh Yeah!)
2. Believe God’s plan for your life again
God has a plan for you life. He is building your life. He takes away what needs to be taken away, and he allows into your life those things that you actually need. His timing is correct in your life. There is no need to compare yourself to others.
3. Blessing others will keep you free
This one is a no-brainer. Blessing others will take the focus off of you. When you bless others, you are blessing God. When you bless God, marvelous things happen inside of you soul. Test it and you will see.
4. Take an inventory
Count up all the good things in your life. You just might be surprised at all the good you actually have. The garage of your life is not that empty. You simply have more blessings than you know you do. We often lose sight of them all because we are always looking for more.
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