Do You Want to Be Affirmed and Rewarded?
There is a lot to be gained by understanding who you are and investing your life wisely. There’s also a great deal at stake if you misunderstand, self-protect and do nothing.
The Good News:
You can have impact, be affirmed and rewarded in this life … and even the one to come. …
You’ve been Designed:
You’ve been created on Purpose with a Purpose. “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10).
David sang out to God in Psalm 139:13-16
“You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret...
Are you busy living your life, or are you aware of your storyline? Your life is an adventure – a novel to be read, a screenplay to be enacted. It is peppered with hopes, fears, destinies and barriers. It is an emotional and gripping tale.
This world is “fallen.” It is beautiful, and there is so much good within it. Yet, it is marred deeply by sin. The world is full of suffering, it touches every person and every corner of creation. We fall and we suffer ... it is part of every life, everyone’s story.
Psalm 107 is a great – “slow read.” We see again and again that when people were suffering, “They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress.” (Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28)
When we cry out to God - from that desperate place, He hears us - and we “know” it. Real prayers are desperate prayers. They are the prayers that...
Life is a matter of choices. Every day, we make a series of decisions. Some are trivial, such as what sox to wear, while others determine success or failure in our lives. Scripture clearly reveals that we are who we are, and we are where we are because of the various choices we have made. We make choices - and then our choices make us! What you consistently choose will mark your life.
I once read of “the Law of Focus.” It states that “What we focus on, we make room for.” If you focus on making an “A” in a class, you will make room for the necessary study. If you focus on dating a certain person, you will make room in your schedule to get near him/her. The focus of our lives starts to determine the kind of input we receive, and that input begins to create a kind of thought-atmosphere in our minds. Our repetitive thoughts then determine our choices, and those choices determine our destiny.
Do you ever find yourself worrying about your career future – your position at work, your title or responsibilities? Do you wonder how valuable you are – whether your skills should be “seen” more clearly by others, whether you should be promoted and/or paid more? These are common questions – and feelings. They are probably asked more silently and out loud in the United States than in any other country in the world. We are often caught up in positions, effectiveness, responsibilities and remunerations.
James, John and their mom came to Jesus one day with a request. Mom wanted her boys to have the highest positions in Jesus’ coming kingdom. Jesus gave an interesting response. He made it clear that Kingdom leadership – and Kingdom participation for that matter – involves great suffering. There is a cost to following Jesus. He also said that in terms of position, “These places...
Where do you want to go with your life?
What do you want to be?
What do you want to accomplish?
What do you want to do for others?
Have you asked yourself any of these kinds of questions lately? Possibly not. It’s hard to lift our heads from the weekly treadmill to think of the big questions of purpose and direction. It can also be scary.
Isn’t dreaming of a future for myself a selfish pursuit? Shouldn’t I content myself with my life rather than spend time considering the future? What if when I am very honest with myself, I find I don’t have any dreams, sense of purpose or aspirations? Maybe my lot is to be a “worker bee” – someone who goes through life without many highs, lows or accomplishments. Maybe dreaming isn’t for me. What if I allow myself to dream big, but can never realize my dreams? What if my dreams exceed my abilities? Wouldn’t it be...
Have you ever received a thought, image or a “word” from the Lord that was bigger than you could handle? Maybe it was an idea regarding what He wanted to do in your life, or what He might want to do through you, in your family, work or future. The impression may have been accompanied by excitement and a sense of faith, but soon it became too much to believe. Possibly it would require more on God’s part than you had faith to believe, or maybe it demanded more from you than you thought you could give.
Zechariah was doing “temple duty” as a priest when an angel appeared to him. This was not just any angel, this was Gabriel who appeared to Daniel in the Old Testament (Daniel 8:15) and who stood in the presence of God. He was sent from God to speak great things to Zechariah concerning a child that would be born to him and Elizabeth - though they were now “very old.” (Luke 1)
This promise was more than Zechariah could...
What is your common response when someone in your life is facing hardship? Do you get anxious, fearing you might be the cause of their difficulties? Do you get self-defensive, and blame others for their problems? Maybe, you drop whatever you are doing to see what you can do to help? Or, possibly you tend to go into problem-solving mode, trying to fix their problem?
These are some of the temptations we face that sometimes hinder God’s intended growth for others.
Jesus lived a life of care for others. He also experienced the expectations of all those around Him. Everybody was developing a personal opinion of Jesus.
In John 11 we read of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. All three were some of Jesus’ closest friends. When word came that Lazarus was sick His disciples assumed He would drop what He was doing and go help/heal His friend. Jesus, however, discerned that He should finish what He was doing -...
When someone comes to visit you one of the best things you can hear from them is that they feel at home at your place. That means they feel accepted and comfortable to be themselves without extra effort or pretense. Do you feel you make people at home when they are with you? It usually involves some consideration of who they are and what they like. It requires preparation and hospitality and it becomes a mutual comfort.
God is one – one God, yet somehow three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). There is a sense of community within the oneness of God. The three persons of the trinity relate to each other in love, humility and honor. They live with each other in alignment. They are “at home” with each other.
Jesus said, “Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them … Anyone...