What more could be said?

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Serve God with Spiritual Gifts

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Behave Like a Christian

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Well said. Help us to do this, Lord.

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The Proof of Your Love

I wasn’t planning on doing another post today, but this song just came on the radio and in light of the series I did this week, stood out a little more than usual.  It seemed fitting for me to post it.

Here are the lyrics and the song is below for you to listen to:

If I sing but don’t have love
I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise
If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don’t have love
I leave a bitter taste with every word I say
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
If I give
To a needy soul but don’t have love then who is poor?
It seems all the poverty is found in me
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
Oh, let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
When it’s all said and done
When we sing our final song
Only love remains
Only love remains
Let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Songwriters: Luke Smallbone / Joel Smallbone / Ben Glover / Frederick Williams / Jonathan Lee / Mia Fieldes
The Proof of Your Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Fun Attic Music, LLC

Love,
jamie

A lesson from the ants

Pr. 30:25:  “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer”

I was drawn to 2 somewhat different verses together today, but in the end found them very akin. 

2 Cor. 9:10, “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”

Giving (sowing seed) is just like storing up/preparing for later.  When you give, well… 2 Cor. 9:6 says, “when you sow bountifully you will also reap bountifully.”

Paul knew that the One who supplies the seed can and will also multiply whatever seed you, in turn, sow around you.

So, just like the ant, when you bountifully sow in your ‘summer’ months, you are wisely storing up and preparing for your ‘winter’ months.

God’s law is universal, which means it is applicable in all cases.  You can count on it.

And none of our gifts are too little.  Just ask the ant.

Happy sowing!

jamie

 

Prudently receiving instruction

Pr. 15:5:  “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.”

Peter once had a remarkable vision of instruction from the Lord.

Meet another man:  a Gentile named Cornelius, a devout man who feared God with all his household, giving generously and praying to God always.  In a vision, he was told that His prayers and alms had come up for a memorial before God, and that a man named Peter would come and tell him what to do.

In His vision, the Lord revealed to Peter that no man is common or unclean, and that God shows no partiality.  This was a life-changing revelation!  When Peter preached to Cornelius’ household, the Holy Spirit fell upon the household.  The Gentiles not only spoke in tongues and magnified God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but they were baptized with water, as well.

Because Peter received the correction of his Father, this was a major shift in the church and in the meaning of the Great Commission.

Peter certainly had a choice.  He could have ignored the correction and refused to go to Cornelius.  Upon arriving at Cornelius’ house, he even reminded Cornelius that it was unlawful for him to be there.  He went on; however, explaining that God had given him new instructions.  Peter prudently followed the instructions of the Lord and our lives have never been the same.

Also worth noting…Cornelius was following the instructions of the Lord long before this happened, this fact went up as a memorial before the Lord, and his life was forever changed.  God’s instructions are always for good.  Perhaps they are for our own good, as in the case of Cornelius.  Perhaps they are for the good of others, as we see with Peter’s instructions.  Regardless, He knows best.

The Lord humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth.  (Ps. 113:6)  It is prudent for us to follow His lead.

Listening,

jamie

Give a precious stone

 

Pr. 17:8:  “A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; wherever he turns, he prospers.”

Last night I met with some missionaries who give out stockings every Christmas to lonely, elderly people in our area.  They were recalling a stocking they’d delivered about 3 years ago to a precious elderly woman from our church.  They presented the 95-year-old with a Christmas stocking and tears came to her eyes.

As she gazed at her stocking, she told them that she had never had a stocking before.  In 95 years, she had never had 1 Christmas stocking.  Imagine all the emotions she must have experienced with this simple gift that had her name across the front in glitter.

Certainly her spirits and emotions were strengthened (prospered) that day as she held her precious gift.  Who can we help prosper?  Find someone who needs a precious stone, and then bless them.

Appreciatively,

jamie

Give!

Pr. 28:27:  “He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.”

I have always loved the positive side of this verse.  The not so positive side; however, is a little scary.  If we hide our eyes and pretend we don’t see needs we will have many curses.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want many curses.

We cannot hide our eyes from the needs around us.  God doesn’t play the “I didn’t realize the need was so bad” lying game.  God knows what’s in our hearts.  The Lord can see into the depths of our souls and He knows the truth.

What is beautiful is that if we give to the poor we truly will not lack.  I have never gone a day without my needs being met.  I have had hard times.  I have had times when I almost didn’t have food.  The Lord; however, always provided for my every need.  Always.  He is faithful.  He does not allow us to give and not receive in return.

Try Him.  Trust His word enough to give it a shot.  He will come through for you.  He will always be the Provider He promised to be.  He will supply your needs just as He said He would.  He will provide you with a box of food.  He will pay that bill.  He will even give bonuses sometimes:

This morning, we had a wonderful family adventure, walking to the new McDonald’s in town.  We laughed, yelled, looked at the creek, picked wildflowers, took pictures, enjoyed each other’s company, and smiled the entire time.  On our way back home, a couple stopped us and asked about our flowers and what we’d been doing.  They had the biggest smiles on their faces, and before they drove off they gave us $20 to take the kids for donuts.  How sweet was that?  We praised God for the bonus!                I think He liked our family day.  🙂

Not only did that couple give, but we were blessed by a bonus.  Thank you, Lord.

Put Him first.  Tithe your first fruits.  Give to those in need around you.  By putting your faith and trust in the Lord, you CAN do this.  You can trust in the fact that He truly is who He says He is and He will meet your needs.

If we hide our eyes, we will also find that He is who He says He is, but it won’t be so lovely.  He cannot lie.  Don’t even let the curses come your way.  Just give!  You can never out give the Creator of all things.  He’s the One that made everything in the first place.  I think He can handle the rest.

Never lacking,

jamie

Have pity

Pr. 19:17:  “He who has pity on the poor lends to The Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.”

Notice He says we are “lending” to the Lord.  We can never out give God!  He will always pay us back.  If we have true faith, we can determine in our minds that we will give, trusting that God has not lied and will truly supply our needs.  (whether we are giving time, furniture, forgiveness, mercy, money, clothing, food…anything)

The Lord said if we seek first His kingdom our needs would be added to us.  God has glorious riches.  God is our Creator, our Sustainer, and our Provider.  If we only ‘believe,’ as Jesus commanded in Mark 11:24, He will prove His word true and provide all we need and more.  We can walk in our calling as children of God.  We can believe our Father’s words are 100% true!  We can never out give our God.

There is a world all around us that is hurting, searching, and in need of a God that will also meet their needs.  We have to introduce them to Jesus!  We can’t keep Him to ourselves.  Test it out today.  Have pity on someone and show them the love of Jesus through your gift.  I can say with certainty that God will pay you back.

Trusting,

jamie