Maintain your peace, and joy in Christ…A word of encouragement for you.

No matter how well you do in life, no matter how many successes you have, there will be people who say it isn’t good enough. There will people that focus on your failures. There will be people who focus on your mistakes. There will be people who focus on your bad circumstances. There will be people that say you failed in what they deemed the key indicator. There will be people that discredit you, disqualify you, and look down on you. I will say it like apostle Paul said it, this is a trustworthy saying and everyone should accept it.

However, there is another trustworthy saying….people can’t change, or discredit what God says about you. You are His masterpiece, He has created you to do good things, and you will do the good things He has planned for you. People don’t have the authority to disqualify what God has qualified through His son Jesus Christ.

When people try to disqualify you, they disqualify themselves. When they say you are not good enough, they are saying God’s finished work is not good enough. Keep doing what God has called you to do. Do the right things based on your convictions, and let people do what they do, they are going to do it regardless of how you think or feel about it anyway. Maintain your peace, and joy in Christ.

God is for you, and I am for you.

 

The fruit of your salvation

Paul makes a couple of simple statements in Philippians chapter 1 that are a great reminder for us as Christians.

We should strive to grow in knowledge and understanding so that we understand what really matters most in order to live pure, and blameless lives. The thing that matters most is that we let our love overflow more and more.

He also reminds the Philippians to remain filled with the fruit of their salvation which is the righteous character produced in your life by Christ. This is what brings glory, honor, and praise to God.

The fruit of your salvation is your righteous character, and the biggest evidence of that character is how you treat other people. Is love spilling out of you? The opposite of love is fear. As people we generally treat people inappropriately when we are afraid of them in some way. Perfect love casts out all fear.

Let your love flow without fear, and let your righteous character shine!

God is for you, and I am for you. Let there be no fear in you.

It’s not complicated…

As Christians, it seems that we tend to make living a fulfilling christian life a deep, and unobtainable theological mystery. This seems to cause people to act like someone they are not, try to modify their behavior, and measure up to the standard status quo.

I would like to make this argument….It’s not complicated.

I think it can be simplified down to the two commands of Christ…Love God with every aspect of your being, and love others as Christ has loved you.

Out of the first command we love God with all of our being. We follow Jesus, we are transformed by Jesus, empowered by Jesus, view the world through Jesus, interpret scripture through Jesus, etc, and understand as 1 John 3 says that love was the message from the beginning.

Out of the second command we love others as He loves us. I think this produces 6 primary things we should do to live the Christian life….

Love one another, Encourage one another, humbly serve one another, accept one another, greet one another with love/excitement/joy, and Do not be evil towards one another.

There are no less than 59 “one another” statements in the New Testament.

It’s not complicated……Love God, and love people.

 

God’s favor is on you

Favor doesn’t make you the wealthy.

Favor doesn’t make you smart.

Favor doesn’t make you the leader.

Favor doesn’t make you famous.

ETC.

Favor makes you effective! God has given you certain things to minister to people, and to glorify Him. He might make you one, or all of the above in order to be effective in what He has called you to do; however, His favor can make you effective without being any of the above.

God adores you, and His favor is on you! Sometimes it just looks different from what we were told!

 

 

Do you feel like you are suffering-a few scriptures to encourage you

Suffering is certainly not a current buzz word such as prosperity, authority, or abundance etc. However, it is something we will contend with while we live in the flesh on this earth. Be encouraged for God is working things to your good.

1 Peter 4- Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

1 Peter 4- 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

1 Peter 5- 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Again be encouraged in your suffering for God himself is perfecting, confirming, strengthening, and establishing you even as I type this!!

 

Time- a constant

James 4:14 “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Time can be defined as the progress of events. A constant of moving forward. Your life is one of those events. It started at some point in time and it is constantly progressing towards another point in time when it will end. Time never stops for a rest, it never slows down, it only proceeds forward seemingly faster and faster.

I challenge us to be less stressed about time in the sense of productivity, (we’ve all seen the multitudes of books on how to be more efficient/productive) and be more intentional about time in the sense of purpose and fulfillment. Take the time to find your purpose, so that you can work in something that will bring fulfillment. Working your life away doing something you don’t like doing to have a rich retirement will never fill the void of unfulfillment because money can’t buy it. Retiring early and rich without fulfillment just means you die before you stop breathing. We are meant to be imparting rich pieces of a fulfilled life into the next generations all the way up to our last day. Retirement should not be a day that working ceases, it should be a day that our work transitions. A day when instead of jogging out onto the field, you stay on the sidelines and coach.

James 4:15 “Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

I believe the Lord wills that we find the purpose He created us for, and to live out a life that fulfills that purpose as well as inspires, and imparts to the next generations.

Encouragement for inner turmoil

What causes inner turmoil? That internal struggle and pain? I think one of the things that causes our inner turmoil is our expectations. We dream and picture things, but what happens when it doesn’t go that way, or it costs you much more than you expected? If you do not respond correctly you will experience turmoil. However, belief that God truly will work things out for your good can save you from a lot of that turmoil and agony. We dislike the process and struggle now, but on the other side after you have been processED (changed) you can say to yourself it was good that I was afflicted.

God is blessing you, and who He is making you out to be. God isn’t blessing what you do as much as He is blessing who He created. You may not be able to look around right now and see how you will get out of your current circumstances, but God is blessing you in every circumstance. Sometimes the blessing doesn’t feel like blessing, you have to wait until you get through it to understand that He was using the circumstance to bless you. Don’t give up on who God says you are because of how things look right now. Keep building toward your future.

“Dream it, believe it, write it down, and with the Lord directing your steps walk until it’s real.”-Levi Lumm

Foundations

From Luke 6

A wise builder dug deep, and laid a foundation on the rock and his house was not shaken.

Foundations aren’t flashy. They don’t display the beautiful modern design, and concepts. Foundations are work. Foundations require blood, sweat, and tears. Your foundation work does not bring you recognition, nobody compliments you on your great foundation work. So why dig so deep, and spend so much time on the foundation? Because life is going to try to shake you, but because you took the time to dig deep you will still be standing when the storm passes.

Everybody wants to skip the hard work, preparation, and pain. Everybody wants to focus on the flash, flair and attention, but these things can not with stand the storm. If you will take the time to dig deep, sweat, fight through, cry, and bleed, when you get to where you are going you will be able to hold it down, withstand the test of time, and you won’t let anybody take it from you.

If you skip the hard work, preparation, and pain only to work on the flash you will get to a place you can’t handle. You may get there, but you won’t be able to bear the storms of where you are at over time. You will throw it down and quit, or let someone come in and take it.

When you have worked for it, bled for it, fought for it, cried for it, learned through it, when it has cost you a piece of you, no devil on another level is going to take it from you. Work, prepare, withstand the pain, and build your foundation now because when you get to the next level you won’t have time. The storm is already there waiting on you; however, a wise builder has no worry because the storm can not shake you.

 

 

Time-a glimpse of my thoughts on it…

Time is a subject that in my heart and mind I’m very passionate about. We only get one chance to live a kingdom first life, and fulfill the purposes of God in our lives. Furthermore, that one chance lies in a limited amount of time. One of the big struggles in my life is not wanting to regret, but at the same time not wanting to jump into something too early. This magnifies the importance of letting Holy Spirit lead you in this life.

Our time is very limited, and as soon as it is given to us it starts running out. You can’t recycle it, refurbish it, rebuild it, custom one-off build it, or create it. You can’t shortcut it, apologize to it, or create a marketing campaign that will convince it to wait on you or allow you a do-over. Even with these things being true, time is being wasted, misused, abused, and traded as if we have some type of control over it.

We have absolutely no control over it. The only control we have is in the way we choose to spend it. Choose now what you are going to do, who you are going to do it with, and where you are going to do it because your time to do so is running out.