Archives For selfish

how-to-live-life
Are you living years or life?

It’s amazing how 6 words can stop you in your tracks and make you think. It has been said, “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” What are you becoming? Are you living years or life?

There is an extreme difference between living years and living life. You can live years without following God, but you can’t live life without following God.

It doesn’t take extreme obedience to live years. You can just get up and go with the flow of the world and self-interest. However, to live life, -radical obedience is called for. You will be called to go against the flow of the world. You will be called to where it’s not comfortable. You will be called to risk much for Christ, but in the end, treasures of heaven awaits you.

As Christ followers, we are called to do more than wait for the future of- no more sin, no more tears, no more injustices, no more pain, or heartaches. We are called to live that future now. Living that kind of life is living life. Anything less than living God’s future in the now is just living years.

You will not grow closer to God’s heart by just living years. To grow closer to God, you must pursue His heart with deliberate steps of obedience. You must remain attentive to His voice in such a way that you walk with the awareness of His presence. The Bible is clear when it teaches in Proverbs 3:6, “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”

God doesn’t leave you alone to stumble ahead along the path of life. He is not impersonal or distant. A.W. Tozer once said, “We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts” I love the fact that God is that close and wants to walk with me through life instead of just years.

As a pastor, I’ve stood beside many beds as people were drawing their last breath and I’ve never met one that regretted living life by following God. However, those I’ve stood beside that lived years have a different story. It is a story of regrets and remorse.

I challenge you today; make sure you are living life, and not just living years.

no-swearing
First, I’ll start with a confession. There are times I use words that I shouldn’t use. There are also times that I say things about people that I shouldn’t say. I must admit, when I’m wronged or feel like I’ve been wronged, it just flat out feels good to GO OFF!

But here is the problem with going off. Ephesians 4:29a tells us, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths…” That’s right my Christian friend, we just can’t go there with our mouths. When it comes to a full house cleaning, it’s hard work; but once it has been cleansed, it just feels and looks right.

Cleaning up your language is like a full house cleaning. It simply must be done. We are even told in the book of James (James 1:26) to keep a tight rein on our tongues. So, if you are like me, and have problems from time to time with your mouth throwing gossip, or unwholesome words out, (which is actually a heart issue) then here are a few things you can do.

1. Many verses in the bible give you the answer in the second part

For instance, Ephesians 4:29 (motioned earlier) says, Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but in the second part, it says, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. The answer is build right into the verse. Now that leads to the next step.

2. When someone has slammed a door on your feelings, don’t cuss them

Instead, bless them. When you do, you will then see the open door God has for you. God always gives an open door to bless others. Even when they have wronged you, God has a better way.

3. Picture Jesus on the cross

It’s impossible to look at the cross and at the same time, cuss and talk careless about others. You simply can’t look up at the cross and look down on others at the same time.

4. Picture the future and then behave like it in the now

Picture when heaven and earth will come together (Rev 21). In that day, God will dwell with us, and there will be no more tears or death, or mourning, or pain. In other words, sin is forever gone and the world is as it was intended to be. With that picture in mind…live like that in the now. Don’t cause any of that kind of pain to another person. Show them the future inside of you. When you do, they will see Jesus, and that is way better than cussing and gossip.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.

Improve-Your-Self-Confidence-and-Become-a-Better-Student-300x242
Having self-confidence is a hugely important part of your Christian walk. If you don’t have enough self-confidence your life is more easily tossed to and fro by the waves of this unstable world. I want you to know today, that God is with you, and wants to help you with stronger self-confidence-the kind self-confidence that is found only in Him.

Without God’s gift of self-confidence in your life, you will soon find many unhealthy choices become commonplace in your life. I want you to remember that Jesus was confident in what the Father called Him to accomplish, and you can be confident in what He has called you to do.

God has made you remarkable for His purpose. If you walk daily in that purpose, self-confidence will occur because you are allowing Jesus to arise within you. You will then begin to see that you are not called to impress the world, but you are called to follow Christ through the world.

Here are a few tips to help you along the way.

1. Crush the desire to compare yourself to others

You must get rid of the desire to compare your life to others around you. It’s okay to learn from the strong points of someone’s life, but be careful not to compare the worst things about your life to the best things in someone else’s life. When you do that, it brings feelings that are not good to the table.

2. God made you to be you

Don’t live a fake life. In other words, don’t live the life of another person hoping people will like you more. God made you different on purpose. You are unique because God created you that way. You would be amazed at what God can do through your uniqueness when you give it to Him, and stop trying to get rid of it.

3. Throw negative self-talking out the door

This is a straightforward one. Throw it away! You need to start talking supportive to yourself again. God is on your side. If you had to build a bridge to walk across a pit of alligators, you wouldn’t build it out of weak planks. Therefore, don’t build the course of your daily life with poor planks.

4. Accept your weakness

That’s right! Accept your weakness. God can even use them. Read this scripture.

2 Cor 12:9-10 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Leave a Comment and share with others. What are your thoughts?

JealousyThe 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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grassgreener
Is Sex Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence?

The fastest way to destroy your marriage is to allow yourself to fall into an emotional attachment to someone other than your spouse. Nothing can steal intimacy faster than this first step away from the covenant God has placed you in when you took your vows before God and the world. Now, let me say at this point; if you want to comment adultery, it’s your choice…but know this-it’s going to cost you. It will destroy your home and the lives of many around you. There is simply no way around the fact that it will cause pain forever.

Adultery promises fulfillment and excitement that you feel you are not getting at home. The problem is, it always fails to live up to that promise sooner or later. You must remember, love is not a feeling; love is an action that you continually do and feelings are secondary. The green grass on the other side of the fence has the same sun shining on it as the grass you are thinking about leaving.

Please remember, that the decision to cross the fence comes with consequences that are enormous and last for a lifetime. It has been said before, and I agree, “No sex outside of marriage is that good.” That new adventure also has it’s own disappoints of life waiting to show itself soon enough. Those feelings of loneliness, emptiness and boredom that is diving you to pursue someone else…they will soon surface in the next relationship also. The reason why is that those feelings are inside you. In other words, everywhere you go, there you are.

It’s a fact that most people don’t set out to commit adultery. They let down their guard, and they generally drift out to sea until land seems to far to return to. It’s like the frog place in warm water: you turn up the temperature little by little until the frog is cooked. The frog just thinks it’s having a warm bath but the truth is he is being killed.

Allow me to give you three things that will help you to remain faithful and keep you from wreaking you life and others.

1. Keep the marriage bed on fire and purse each other

Take the time to talk with your spouse about your needs, wants and desires. Share with each other what you are looking for in the bedroom. Come to an agreement for the sake of the marriage, your kids and God. Submit to each other the bible teaches us. Cultivate romance in your relationship again. I would encourage you to pursue your spouse the way you did when you first started dating. If you are not still dating your spouse, you need to restart that as fast as you can. Get a baby sitter and leave the kids at home. Go to a movie and a meal. Hold hands and look into each other’s eyes. Talk about the beauty of the past and dream with each other about the beauty of the future.

2. Close the door on your heart to any other except your spouse

Make yourself accountable to a friend that will ask you about your flirting with others. Be open and honest with them and ask them to pray and ask you regularly about it. The bible teaches us that faithful are the wounds of a friend. Trust me, you need someone in your life that will speak truth without watering it down. You eyes are the gateway to the heart. Give your eyes back to your spouse and that feeling of him or her no longer having your heart will return like a flood.

3. Don’t deny you are being tempted

You and your spouse need to make a decision that you can freely and opening talk about your temptations. Temptation is not wrong. Temptation is not a sin. However, once you act on temptation sin is birthed. If you were at the office and someone was flirting with you or you were flirting with them…when you get home sit down and talk about it. You and your spouse need to decide in advance that these kinds of talk can and should take place without judgment. Confession can be risky, but the truth is, they can also save your marriage before it is too late.

Finally, if you are on the other side of adultery and have divorced and maybe even married again, and then grace and mercy from God is there when you repent of your sin. My advice would be this…go to the top of the post and read it again. Don’t commit the same SIN again.

I love the word Piehole. I picked it up many years ago back in the 1980’s when my cousin graduated from Marine Boot Camp. He said that the drill instructor used it on them all the time…however, I deter. Allow me to get back on subject.

Let’s face it…complaining feels good. It feels good because it’s a short term fix to our frustration. Most of us complain all the time. We complain in big ways and in small ways. In fact, statistics show that most people complain at least 15 to 30 times per day. Complaining just simply seems to be born into us but that doesn’t mean we have to be held hostage by it.

Complaining falls into two categories.
1. Things we can’t change
2. Things we can change

So, how can you navigate these two categories?

First, you need to deal with things you can’t change.

1. What you can’t change get it off your brain. (e.g. take it to God in prayer and LEAVE it there)

2. If it can’t be changed then don’t let it become a drain on you. (e.g. Look at open doors in your life and not the closed doors)

Second, you need to work on the things you can change

1. Don’t complain about what you have the power to change. (e.g. Change it with actions…you must act on it or it will act on you)

2. Don’t allow complaining to be the solution for your frustration. (e.g. If there is an answer…step through that door)

LEAVE A COMMENT
What are some things you find yourself complaining about most often? How have you dealt with complaining successfully?

Not so long ago… or depending on when you’re reading this, I posted the following statement on twitter.

    Don’t become so self-focused you miss the opportunity to help others grab their opportunity.

It came to me about 3:45am while on vacation. I must admit it really made me think. In fact, I couldn’t go back to sleep. In a world were each of us are just trying to get ahead, it often pays to slow down and help others. In fact, it’s a God trait.

Helping others is part of being a disciple of Christ. It was Christ who first showed us this gift. The gift of helping others. Even when Jesus was on mission to die for us, He still took the time at the last supper to wash the feet of the disciples. In other words, He didn’t step over the water basin and miss the opportunity to show great love. He served them, so they would one day have the nature to serve others.

I once saw a t-shirt that read, “Yeah I’m selfish helping others feels great.” It does fell great and the reason why is it brings glory to God when we help others.

What about you? Are you stepping over the water basin to often? Has life gotten so busy you walk by Jesus moments without even noticing?

Now get out there today and be selfish.

    Philippians 2:4 ESV
    Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.