Tag Archives: loving others

Responding to the Call

While the morning was quiet and my green tea was steeping in the french press, God began to speak:

“The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’.” Jeremiah 1:4-5

I have a call to be His voice to the nations. This call is one I’ve known ever since I was a young girl. In my life, I’d journey to other continents in a quest to fulfill this mission that is deeply embedded in my heart.

The truth is that we all have a call. Because God is extremely purposeful and wise, He intends for each of us to live a life of purpose with Him at the center of our gaze. Regardless of your particular occupation, we should always work with the following three commands in mind:

1. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

2. “But first be concerned about God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well.” Matthew 6:33 ISV

3. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

This is about you and Jesus. And living the most incredible, purposeful life while here on earth.

A couple of nights ago, Keith and I were browsing the TV guide and saw that a movie about Jeremiah was on. Out of curiosity, we turned to the channel, and within minutes my heart was captivated. You see, the Lord has consistently brought me to both Isaiah and Jeremiah as tools of training for my call and to emphasize that I was hearing Him correctly. And He will do the same for you, beloved. 

God will always use His word (because it doesn’t fade like emotions) when preparing and confirming your purpose in life.

After the movie, I opened His Word and began reading the first few chapters of Jeremiah and was struck by three important lessons. The story begins with an everyday man responding to a high call and obeying His Lord.

1. “The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’.” Jeremiah 1:4-5

This passage confirms God’s sovereignty over our lives. Each of us (every person from every nation) is created in God’s image and has a call to fulfill once we enter this world. We are created on purpose for a purpose. Yet, we must seek God (with our free will) to find what He is calling us to, and then we must allow Him to faithfully direct us along the way.

 2. “Ah Sovereign Lord’, I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am only a child’.” Jeremiah 1:6

Pay attention to this response of Jeremiah. First he refers to God as “Sovereign” (all-knowing, all-powerful, owning all things). Then he adds, “I do not know how…” This contradicts his initial description of God as sovereign, because he is attempting to limit God’s call with Jeremiah’s own inabilities. Finally, Jeremiah (a grown man at this point) closes his statement by saying he is “only a child.”

Is this not what we do as humans? We say “That’s nice Lord and thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not qualified to do that (I’m in too much debt, I don’t have that particular skill set, or I have a set agenda and that really isn’t apart of it). While we’re prone to focus on our own inadequacies, we forget that the very One who is calling us is more than adequate.

We as humans will never accomplish the will of God through mortal strength. If we could, we wouldn’t need God. A supernatural challenge requires a supernatural response. That is why we can do all things, but only through Christ who strengthens us. We must depend on God. We must take our eyes off of us and puts them on Jesus. This is where intimacy is built.

 3. “But the Lord said to me. ‘Do not say , ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you’, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 1:7-8

Look at how God responds to Jeremiah here. He wants us to focus on Him instead of our inadequacies and environment. This is where many of us (including myself) often stumble. We pray for God’s will in our lives, but when the time comes, we’re more focused on the will of man. Allow me to elaborate. Jeremiah was afraid of what people would say or think of him once he actually went through with what God’s calling on him. He didn’t just feel inadequate; he also desired the approval of man. If we are to obey God in this life and walk closely to Him, we must forsake the desire to please man. And the fear of God must reign over the fear of man. May your heart be encouraged with His truth today.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Are you currently  subscriber? If not, we would love to have you! Just click HERE to subscribe and begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

 Photo provided by movabletype.org


		
Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reconciling the Differences

American psychiatrist Morgan Scott Peck, author of the popular book A Road Less Traveled, states that, “The overall purpose of human communication is – or should be – reconciliation. It should ultimately serve to lower or remove the walls of misunderstanding which unduly separate us human beings, one from another.”

Jesus is the perfect example in demonstrating the heart behind reconciliation. Humility provoked Jesus to leave His heavenly domain to reconcile mankind with God the Father. As ambassadors for Christ, reconciliation must become an integral part of our daily living.

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Reconciliation is the solution to division or strife, which can include racism, class-division, religious warfare, and relational rejection. However, only by first being reconciled with Jesus Christ can we reconcile with others. The grace of God is present and sufficient for us, and we’ve each received an honorable call that will impact us for eternity.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

But what about reconciling with non-believers? Is it permissible to allow strife and rejection to exist with these fellow colleagues, family members, or acquaintances? Hear me out on this: If someone we care about rejects Jesus Christ, we must not reject loving them in return. Because the choice for someone to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord is their choice; it’s not ours.

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” John3:16-17

As ambassadors for Christ, our formula is quite simple. We must love others as Jesus loves others (believers and non-believers), and we must allow God to work out everything else. Because He is the Creator of all, He knows every detail in the hearts of believers and non-believers alike (which we cannot see). In His great love, He will guide us in what to do and how to act. Keep in mind that repentance and salvation are the byproduct of Christ’s love and kindness, and love  covers a multitude of sins. Gentleness is what people respond to in Christ, not rejection and fear.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?” Romans 2:4

Pay attention to this, beloved. I have come across many hurt people who have been rejected by the very ones who should have been consoling them, loving them, and leading them to the truth of Jesus Christ. Jesus set boundaries in establishing who He would personally invest significant time into (the 12 disciples) and those He would share deep intimacy with (James, John, and Peter). However, He was still in community with those who didn’t revere Him as the Son of God.

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’Then Jesus told them this parable: Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent’.” Luke 15:1-7

Without Christ, we ourselves could have been in the same place as the family members that we find disagreeable, or the colleagues who are “so worldly” that we cringe when hearing about their weekend. We must focus on truly hating only the sin (just as God does as a Holy Creator) and loving the sinner (just as Jesus did when He hung on the cross). If we hate both the sin and and the sinner, we do not represent Christ. Because all mankind bears the image of the Creator, we are all valuable to God.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited.Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:14-18

In order to fulfill the Great Commission, we must be willing to reach out to everyone and anyone in real need. Therefore, making disciples out of all nations means that we must forsake discrimination and rejection of those who are different than us.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-20

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

Here’s some food for thought:

What if we grabbed lunch with our atheist family members and treated them with dignity and respect, instead of pushing ideas on them (trying to be the Holy Spirit)? Or what if we grabbed a cup of coffee with our homosexual neighbor, trying to get to know them and and truly valuing them as a person? Or conversed in the break room with our Muslim colleague, first understanding where they are coming from, and then asking God what He wants you to do or say?

Instead of criticizing these people or avoiding them like the plague, we should take a real interest in loving those Jesus deeply loves. In the past, the Lord has specifically asked me NOT to say the name of Jesus while building certain relationships. Often times, in the very beginning we do not even need to say a single thing because our behavior will say more than enough.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.” Galatians 5:14

Who can you be reconciled to today through the grace of Jesus Christ? Know someone who would be encouraged by this message? Please pass this along through our various social outlets below. And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose!

Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would love to have you! Just click HERE to being receiving your daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

 

Photo provided by waverleycare.wp.com
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Practical Steps to Be an Effective Rich Person

If you’re just joining us, you can learn more about the background of today’s topic by reading our post from this past weekend directly on our website.

Because the Holy Spirit has been challenging me in this area lately, I want discuss how to effectively manage wealth for the glory of God as “rich” people. And I am praying that you are already believing the truth that you are, in fact, rich.

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” 1 Chronicles 29:14 ESV

Below are ten ideas of practical steps that you can take to grow in effective financial management. Each one represents a call to generosity that corresponds to a point from the last Friday’s blog post titled “You’re Richer than You Think”.  Prayerfully consider how you can eternally invest into God’s kingdom by being a wise and faithful steward with the little or small that He has given you in your own life.

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9 ESV

“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19 ESV

1. Do you have a car? You are rich. 

Effectively Rich Action: Give rides to others that don’t have a car. If you have more than one car, consider donating one to someone in need.

2. Do you have a bed to sleep in and a roof covering your head? You are rich. 

Effectively Rich Action: Thank God that you have these luxuries. Jesus Christ Himself often went without them during the years preceding His death. Be generous with your home: open it up for Bible studies, family gatherings, or even hosting missionaries. And consider donating whatever you no longer want or use (e.g. unused bed wear, clothing, shoes, canned goods, or even luggage) to a local shelter, local missionary, or even people on the streets. The need is always present, beloved.

3. Do you have a job? You are rich. 

Effectively Rich Action: Be generous with your skills and talents by giving God your absolute best, even if you believe the company that you work for doesn’t deserve it. Many would love to have your job. Secondly, intentionally set aside a portion of your income to give to those in need, whether through tithes or in addition to them. Again, there are needs all around us, and they may include elderly parents, domestic or international missionaries, or  local organizations combating homelessness, etc.

4. Do you have the ability to save a portion of your income each month? You are rich. 

Effectively Rich Action: Give God praise that you even have the ability to save. And since you have been saving, consider being generous with the knowledge that you have acquired by teaching a Biblical Finance course. Crown Financial Ministries and Dave Ramsey are always looking for instructors. Also remember to prayerfully keep your savings open to whatever God may want to apply them to in the future.

5. Do you have the freedom to read God’s word without being persecuted? You are rich.

Effectively Rich Action: Share God’s word with those that do not know Him, or encourage those who do know Him but need to be reminded of truth. Be generous with the life-giving Word. Investing in ministries that share God’s word, translate God’s word, and distribute God’s word through prayer or financial giving  is also a generous way to further the Gospel.

6. Do you have a community of God-fearing people that love and support you? You are rich.

Effectively Rich Action: Give God praise because you are VERY fortunate to have this support. If you have the opportunity, remember to share this community with others that may be in need of one. Be generous by inviting others to partake in community events, or merely take them to coffee and share the same love and support that you already receive from your spiritual family.

7. Do you have a spouse that loves you? You are rich.

Effectively Rich Action: Be generous by loving and respecting your spouse in the same way that Christ does in relation to His church. Give them your time, your attention, your prayers, your affection, and your servitude so that God may be glorified through the covenant. Be generous to share your knowledge of how to effectively prepare for marriage and live as a married couple with other couples (whether dating, engaged, or married). This biblical wisdom and knowledge is a valuable treasure in itself.

8. Do you have child? You are rich.

Effectively Rich Action: If you are fortunate enough to have children, you can be extravagantly generous by praying for them and raising them to be world-changers. Support them by allowing them to be generous through serving at a shelter, donating some of their Christmas gifts, an/or tithing a portion of every allowance they receive.

9. Can you go to the grocery store and buy something? You are rich.

Effectively Rich Action: Why not pick up a few more items (such as canned goods) and drop them off at the local food bank? If you know of someone specific who is struggling, think about spending slightly less on your own meals one week and grab them a grocery gift card with the difference you save.

10. Can you get Christian counseling? You are rich.

Effectively Rich Action: Invest in a loved one who cannot afford counseling (but is struggling emotionally and/or mentally) by covering their expenses for therapy. If you’re a counselor yourself, consider donating some of your services to a local ministry that may work with battered women, drug-addiction patients, or even sexually abused children. The employees serving these populations always have a need.

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21 ESV

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV

“Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” Luke12:33 ESV

We must remember that generosity is a heart attitude, and God has in fact made us rich. Therefore, let’s decide to be rich people who effectively manage their wealth for the glory of our One True Lord and King, Jesus Christ.

Interested in learning more about generosity? Or need a few ideas about where to give? Here are a few links to great books, some of which influenced our last few posts, as well as two organizations that His Daily Dose supports by tithing all unrestricted donations made to our ministry (except for Phoenix  Coffee which tithes 10% back to HDD – praise God!).

Books: 

More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger

How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley

HDD Partner Organizations: 

Hope International

The Atlanta Dream Center

Phoenix Community Coffee

Organizations with Missionaries in Need (International and Domestic): 

Youth With A Mission

Adventures in Missions

Rahabs Rope

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose today! We are honored to have you as a reader. Please share this with others who are in need of encouragement through our various social outlets below.

If you are not currently a subscriber, we would love to have you! Just click HERE and begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you! To God be the glory!

Photo provided by vita.it.com.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: