I am a reader. Reading is one of the joys and pleasures of my life; has been since I learned my ABC’s and will be until the day I die. Sometimes I read things that stop me in my tracks and rock my world. That happened to me today. Most days, I read an article […]
Pr. 27:2: “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips”
We sometimes want to brag on ourselves for a number of reasons, but man, isn’t it so much better when some random person brags on us? It really is. (Although I do occasionally tell people when I complete I’ve been putting off and tell them, point-blank, to be proud of me. 😛 )
I’d also rather brag on someone than to hear them go on and on about their own accomplishments. ha! It may surprise some of those people to hear that, but when you are doing a good job of something it usually doesn’t go unnoticed.
I was helping in a 6th-8th grade cooking class this year and there was a student that was constantly looking for ways to be helpful. Honestly, you couldn’t have stopped her if you tried. She went out of her way to be helpful; even staying longer than the other students to make sure everything was cleaned up. She also had a smile on her face and was just a delight to be around.
I praised her several weeks in a row. Then, one week, as I was drying the dishes she was washing, I asked her about her helpfulness. She told me that her New Years Resolution for 2018 was to be more helpful. Well, she was definitely nailing that one! What a lovely resolution.
I was reading Eph. 5 this morning that said that we should be imitators of God. Jesus said that He came to serve and that we should do the same. This young lady had resolved to imitate the greatest Servant I know, and I know that I’m not the only one who noticed. Her obedience to His Word will earn her a reward from the Father.
Jesus said, “So the last will be first, and the first last,” and “He who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt. 20:16, Mt. 23:11) Not only has she learned and chosen to humble herself, but she wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops for everyone to know. It was only after I praised her and asked her why she was choosing to act so differently that she confided in me that she had made that resolution.
I was more than happy to praise this helpful young lady! She had no need to brag. I guess that’s the thing with being obedient to God’s Word. When we are truly doing what it says, it works out just as it says it will. Amazing, huh!?
This 8th grader can teach us a lot today. Let’s learn from her example and start humbling ourselves the way Jesus told us to. God will reward us, whether on this side of eternity or on the next. You can count on it!
On the flip side, when we see someone doing just that, let’s make sure we say thanks!
Pr. 31:18: “She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.”
I’m alright at perceiving that my merchandise is good, but I am Not a night person, so the second part of this verse has never been one of my favorites to read. I love my sleep! And not 4 hours… I’ll take 8 hours, thank you very much.
I just realized I’ve been overthinking it. I’ve envisioned myself having to staying up, bonnet on head, sewing clothes, doing bills, and cooking a week’s worth of meals while everyone else was sleeping soundly.
At about 9:20 last night, my daughter was throwing up. No matter how old she is, I’m not going to just go to bed and leave her alone while she’s suffering. I stayed up with her, and even slept on the couch with her, checking on her and helping her through the night. I didn’t even think twice about it.
Phew! I no longer have to be intimidated by that verse, thinking that one day I’ll get to it. I’ve had babies, and lost lots of sleep caring for them.
Although it’s thankfully not the norm in our house anymore, sometimes care needs to happen at night. If you have ever had to respond to a need at night that you didn’t think twice about, then you’ve done the same. Well done, you!
When a loved one needs us, whether they live in our house or not, we have to be available. They need to know that like Motel 6, “we’ll leave the light on for you.”
“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.'” John 4:34
I was reading about courage this morning: Courage being the act of doing what you are afraid to do.
It occurred to me that I most often hear people (including myself) express fear about doing God’s work. People aren’t as hesitant to go back to school, move to a new state for work, go skydiving, or start a new business as they are to begin a new ministry, teach Sunday school, sing on the praise team, or speak from the pulpit. Forget moving to another country to minister in missions…that is almost incomprehensible.
Why in the world are we more afraid to do the work of the One who is our Provider than to do ordinary things? Why are we more willing to commit to the PTA than to helping in the nursery at church just once a quarter?
Is it possible that we are feeding on the wrong things? Jesus’ food was to do the will of the One who sent Him, and we have been sent by that same God.
When the Lord lays some new work on our heart, here are some helpful things we will need to have been feeding on:
- God has commissioned all of his followers to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt. 28:19) This is our job.
- God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Ph. 4:19)
- God has already sent pastors and teachers to equip us for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11-12) We are ready.
- We’re invited to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16) We are not alone.
- And finally, if we our obedient and choose to give in to God’s leading, trusting that He will take care of our needs, we can be certain He will meet them as He said because Heb. 5:18 reminds us that, “It is impossible for God to lie.”
Karl Bath said, “Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers.” I can’t think of a better way for us to take on our fears.
If the Lord lays a work on our hearts, it’s ok to be afraid. Moses was afraid. Joshua was afraid. Gideon was afraid, too. However, we need to take our fears to God’s throne of grace and receive the help He has waiting there for us.
Don’t we know that the One who created the heavens and the earth, owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and holds this world in His hand…that same One can certainly help us teach a class, preach a sermon, sing a song, minister to the sick, or any other thing He has asked us to do?
He has given us His Word so that we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:17) If we are feeding on the right things, then we have all we need.
Let’s get to work!
When John the Baptist was beheaded, Jesus was sad and wanted to go away with his disciples to a quiet a place for rest. However, the multitudes followed them. The Word says that Jesus was moved with compassion for them.
When we are hurt, grieving, disappointed, sad, or in pain, our natural reaction is usually to retreat for a little quiet time or rest. The truth is; however, that there is not a time when we can feel more compassion for others who are hurting.
Sometimes we don’t understand the pain or hurt in our lives, but God does. He has a plan for our lives. He has a plan for others around us. Although none of us want to be in pain, if that pain is what gives us compassion, then it can be used for good.
We can use our pain to feel for the pain others carry. We can then minister to them, as God’s hands and feet. We can lift their needs, that we understand, up to the One who heals, comforts, and delivers.
Let’s let Him use our pain for something good! Watching someone else’s pain subside sure helps ease mine just a bit.
Ps. 33:16: “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength.”
This morning I read the story of the army of the Midianites being defeated in the sight of Gideon and 300 Israelites.
It was not their large #’s that defeated the Midianites. It was not their education, their strength, or their skill. It was the Lord. While the Israelites watched, the Lord set every Midianites’ sword against his own companion throughout their whole camp and they fled. The Lord saved them and delivered them.
We all face battles. In the face of the battle, we can become afraid. We can worry that we don’t have the resources we need, that we’re not strong enough, or that we’re not skilled or special enough to win.
This morning; however, let me remind us all. It is the Lord who saves us. It is the Lord who delivers us. We don’t have to have the multitude of an army. The Lord is our help and our shield.
As you face this day, remember that the Lord who delivered the Israelites, and who spoke our world into existence, is walking before you. His angels encamp all around you, and His ears are open to your cries.
Walk confidently in Him today,
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Ps. 43:5