Encouraging One Another

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25

 

 

When going out and doing God’s work, it’s just that, God’s work. He is using us as a tool to bring glory to him that we may love him deeper and see his glory. Yes churches are places where we come together and serve him, but the church is to disciple us into Christians, when we leave those doors we are in the world and we are the only example that many people may ever see of who Christ is and what we’re called to do. I don’t know about you but that is extremely convicting. Am I encouraging to others? Am I patient? Do I appear joyful? Do I say everything is fine when I’m going through extreme suffering? We are not perfect people. In James 4:12 at the end of the verse in the ESV translation it says, “But who are you to judge your neighbor?” Yeah, who am I? That is not my job, only God can judge. Also instead of showing that person love and kindness, then they may know I call myself a Christian but all they feel is judged by me, they may want to run from things that is said to be Christian. If you have ever read Crazy Love by Francis Chan you may have skipped over the preface, I encourage you to go back and read it. On page 22 at the top he writes, “I don’t think people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live. The expression would change to ‘I can’t deny what the church does, but I don’t believe in their God.’ At least then they’d address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scapegoat.” Doesn’t the same go for us. The things that we see wrong in our own faith or people at the church we blame the church for? How does that help. If a brother is going off then why not reach out to him, if there is something that you don’t agree with, address it. But first look to yourself and your own walk and heart before going after others and the church. Remember we are the church, we are it’s body. We cannot work as a whole without all of our parts.

Continuing in James for the rest of chapter 4 God calls us “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” in verse 14. Now, can you distinguish a mist from another mist? We are here for such a short amount of time. I pray that I encourage others around me. I pray that I am present for those God puts in front of me. I pray I do not grow anxious about the future but can be still here in his loving presence and be in awe of him. I pray that you can be present with him to day and walk wherever he may guide you to.

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God Will Give Us More Than We Can Handle

God doesn’t tell us that he won’t give us more than we can handle. If that was the case then why would we believe and trust in God? Don’t we call to him when the world gives us too much and we are overwhelmed? Through God we can go all things. When we trust in him, that is where we find peace and he gives us strength.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Read:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/yes-god-will-give-you-more-you-can-handle

This notion that believing in God makes our lives suddenly perfect is a lie. I am not saying he is not a perfect God, just that this world we live in is not perfect. That is the lie. It is filled with sin which we need to know because it is filled with temptation and suffering. God gives us a way out and he protects us and always has a plan for us. When we are put in a position for temptation, he give us a way out. As the article said, that does not go the same for suffering. As Christians we will and are called to suffer. That may make a non-believer question why on earth you would want to be apart of something you know you will suffer. For me, I see it as a blessing. I have a God who I can trust to get me through these things and by trusting and calling out to him, he knows that I do trust him and how much I need him. He already knows this, but acknowledging him, he feels us with peace, strength, and he guides us.

Just look up John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus gives us peace! He came to this earth, relieved us of the penalty of sin and then gifts us with peace. Then going to Isaiah 30:15 says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'” When you see someone seeking a quiet place or even being quiet, that is a strong person. Holding your tongue and listening, that is strength. God calls us to be quiet and seek a quiet place so we can spend time with him seek him and hear him. “Quietness and trust is you strength” I pray that throughout your day you do not forget that.

When we do reach those moments of spiritual battle, we have an amazing and awesome God who knows that in this world we are in a constant battle. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, God makes sure that we can fight away evil and that we are constantly protected and guarding our hearts and mind. Knowing God’s Word and spending time with him is how we can stay strong through these battles. Remember to stand firm!

I now shall leave you with this, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:10-20

 

Where’s the Personal Connection?

This is a sad truth to the world we live in. Don’t we want to be present for the person/people we are there for? By just being there, doesn’t mean we are actually there for our friends or a person in need. We are not fulfilling what God ask of us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. . . Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” – Galatians 6:2, 9, 10

Watch this video:

http://myscienceacademy.org/2013/08/25/i-forgot-my-phone/

We all have experienced moments like this, you are with your friends and they all seem to be one their phones. The most annoying moments come when you are one on one with a friend you haven’t seen or you’re catching up with them and they constantly check their phone. Have you ever called them out for it? Doesn’t it make you feel like you’re not valuable or enough for them? Well you are valued. Technology is great for connecting us to one another and letting us know about events, peoples lives, or latest thing, but that’s just what they want you to know.

Social media doesn’t let us see what is really happening in their lives. Being so caught up in ourself and all these outlets we miss the beauty and world around us. We live in a beautiful world. Each day is a blessing and a gift, treat it like one. See the person next to you and smile or ask them how they are. The smallest thing can mean so much. Doesn’t it make you smile when someone says hi, even if you don’t know them?!

The way this world is going we will all meet one another from the internet setting us up because we are all so busy in our own lives that making a personal connection is almost lost. Don’t lose it! Even as you’re reading me on the computer, smart phone or tablet, look up! What a beautiful place you’re in. Go for a walk and be in awe of where God has you.