It’s not about the gifts. Not about the nostalgia of the season. It’s about how God loved us enough to give us favor we didn’t deserve and “delivered from judgment and given eternal life” (AMP) through Jesus.
Celebrate His grace. Celebrate His gift. Celebrate His Son. #RememberingGrace
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” -Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)
It’s easy to treat people how they treat us. What makes us different is when we show God’s love even when we’re met with hate, contempt, and disgust. Even when we know we’re being used and taken advantage of, we are to “unselfishly seek the best or higher good for” (AMP) those against us.
The Message Bible breaks it down by saying, “…love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer”.
God loves us. With all we’ve done, all our mistakes, and all we put Him through – the lies we told and the actions that disrespected Him – God could easily turn His back on us. He has every right to leave us and let us try to make it on our own. Instead, He continues to watch over us and love us. All He asks is for our worship and our trust. #HonorHim #ForgivenFriday
“But the eyes of the Lord are watching over those who fear him, who rely upon his steady love.” -Psalm 33:18 (TLB)
Life sometimes sucks, people and situations get on our nerves, and we find ourselves asking God “why?!”
I have posters hanging in my classroom that read: I am capable of doing difficult things and my brain is like a muscle; when I exercise it, it gets stronger. I tell my students that learning isn’t always easy. Sometimes they’ll be faced with a challenge that will make them want to quit. The ones that push through come out on the other side with a different mindset. They realize that they underestimated themselves.
The same applies to us as Believers. Romans 5:3-4 reassures us that enduring teaches us patience, strengthens us, and increases our trust in God. When it gets touch, endure. Grow. Rejoice. Know that our relationship with God is all about becoming who He intends for us to be. #GrowThruIt #ThankHimThursday
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.” -Romans 5: 3-4 (TLB)
I was at a job once and a co-worker loved talking about how blessed they were and all God had done for them …when an audience availed itself. However, when I’d be around her, I didn’t get that same loving, positive vibe that exuded from her when there were others around. I’d be ignored and talked down to. I remember thinking, “I’m glad I already know God because I wouldn’t want to know Him based on her.”
In Colossians, we’re told to use wisdom – good sense and judgement – when we’re around people who aren’t of the faith. Our job is to draw the world by showing them something different and by allowing them to see Christ instead of us. #LetThemSeeChrist #WitnessingWednesday
“Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious].” -Colossians 4:5 (MSG)
I chuckled because this Scripture talks about the same thing we learned Sunday. Service.
The Message version of Romans 15: 1-2 reads: Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” #ServiceOverStatus
Do you consult God before opening your mouth? Or do you allow your flesh and emotions to take charge? #ThinkBeforeYouSpeak
“The one who guards his mouth [thinking before he speaks] protects his life; the one who opens his lips wide [and chatters without thinking] comes to ruin.” -Proverbs 13:3 (AMP)
In honoring Jesus our Savior, we must put aside our flesh and what we want. Our lives are no longer about us. In Galatians 2:20 (MSG), Paul said, “Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not ‘mine’, but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
People around us shouldn’t have to wonder what Christ would say or how He would act or respond in times like today. Our lives must be living symbols of Christ in our current time. Have you fully, whole-heartedly, William McDowell “I Can’t Go Back” decided to let Jesus live in you? I’m not me. I’m Him. #RepresentChrist #ForgivenFriday
William McDowell: I Won’t Go Back
You ever have a bad day and it feel like things were falling apart? You wonder how in the world it all would ever repair? I have. Just last week, as a matter of fact. It was a rough 24 hours. One thing stood to ruin something I’d worked hard at, invested in. I honestly felt like a failure. Those words that used to haunt me crept back into my mind. “Look, you’ve messed things up again. I told you. That’s what you’ll always do. Fail. It’s not meant for you to succeed. It’s you. Something’s wrong. You’re broken and can’t be fixed.”
I don’t know why I struggled. Why I doubted. Why I thought for a moment those words were true. I prayed that night before bed … and woke up feeling renewed. Psalm 63:3 (TLB) says, “For your love and kindness are better to me than life itself. How I praise you!”
I realized like David that though my current situation didn’t look the best, I serve a God whose sheer love for me tops all else. His love consoles my heart and spirit. His love continues to make a way for me. His love takes someone broken and makes her valuable. Because of His love, I will praise Him for who He is! I will give Him the glory for all He’s done instead of sulking in a moment not as bright as others He’s given. #HesBetterThanLife #ThankHimThursday
I ❤ my God