About Lisa Blair

Hi, I'm Lisa Blair, and I have been a blogger for more than half a decade. A bit of background, I was formally a Principal and an administrator in K-8 school, and Higher Ed. I served as a teen Bible Study leader for several years. I love sharing God’s Word. I am currently a group discussion leader at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), an international faith organization, bsfinternational.org. I love delving deep into the Word of God and helping others strengthen their faith. I am the Lord's servant. My mission is to assist believers and nonbelievers in acquiring a more Christ-like view of the world and applying Christ's character as their guiding virtues. Join me on this walk.

The Art of Application is Renewed in 2023

Welcome to 2023. May you continue to become more like Christ this year. My goal is to do just that. To continue to be transformed and more like Christ in my every thought and action. Over the last couple of days, l’ve listened to several sermons from a variety of pastors. The central theme conveys what I have termed application season. See previous Application Season posts on this site and youngchristianwarrior.com

Learning to become more like Christ and then applying what we learned results in becoming more Christlike. The goal is not to choose what traits fit your needs and desires as our own, but to morph into His character as much as humanly possible. When we invite Christ into our life, the Holy Spirit takes residence in our being and the characteristics of Christ replace our own selfish traits. “ the Spirit’s moment-by-moment infusion of power allows a believer to live a transformed life – to obey God, out of love and gratitude for his abounding grace…The Holy Spirit’s presence and power reveal God’s personal love, in incredibly tangible ways.” (Kingdom Divided. BSF. Page 210) This is the basis by which we are all given life. 

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT), declares that we should produce the same fruit as the Holy Spirit.  Before we can produce them, we must learn how to apply them in our walk. These fruit can be referred to as character traits. Christ represents love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. He is all of these things yesterday, today, and forever.

Application is difficult, our human nature often obstructs our growth. My pastor explained his experience this way. He was leaving the grocery store and there was a woman holding a sign which read I am hungry, any help is appreciated. He like so many, turned his head to look away. We often do the same telling ourselves, this person is a scammer, they are not hungry, why don’t they get a job. But that is not what God expects of us. In fact as in the case of my pastor the Lord admonished him saying, how dare you turn and and in a few hours preach on just this subject. Well, the Lord may not admonish us in the same way but the guilt speaks for itself.

We should not judge others anymore than we want to be judged by others. God placed that person in your line of sight, observing their condition tugged on your heart strings and you felt guilty. Why? As Christians we are taught to become more like Christ everyday. Christ did not turn from the poor or needy. He addressed their needs. 

Deuteronomy 15:11, clearly directs us to help the poor, “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor,” (whoever they may be). This is another example of being like Christ. What happens when a coworker or intern does not meet your expectation? Are you patient with them? This is another characteristic that often gets way from us. Christ is patient with all of us everyday, 24 hours a day, He knows we all fall short of the glory of God, but He is patient with us regardless of our behavior, see Romans 3:23, NIV proclaims, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This scripture refers to sin, and yes, sin is any act that does not align with the Word of God.

The Bible instructs us how we act and who we belong to. These two articles of faith should inform how we act. They stress that Christ’s nature is the only acceptable nature in the eye of God. So, let’s look at two situations that occur in most of our lives. How do we initiate interaction, and how do we respond to situations?

When you awake in the morning, do you get up and greet those in your home or wait until you are ready to leave for work, school or meeting friends? When you are on the way to work do you smile at passerby’s or say good morning? What do people see and near as you head into your office building? Are you genuinely pleasant? Do they see Christ in you, or a self centered curmudgeon? Being pleasant, treating people with the love of Christ quickens your continence as well as those around you, and it address three of the characteristics of Christ: love for others, kindness towards others, and gentleness to the world around you.

What small things can you think of that will change your life and those around you this year? Will others see Christ in you? Often your actions are the only thing they will see of our faith which may be foreign to them. Do they see Christ in you?

Important note, when we take on the characteristics of Christ it is not a salvation exercise. We cannot earn our salvation. Salvation cannot be achieved through works. Taking on the characteristics of Christ is our responsibility that we accepted when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior. Responsibility is defined as, the state of being answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management. (Dictionary.com) When we accept Christ, we become more like Him. When we become more like Him, we become accountable because acquiring His character traits, and acknowledging that He resides in us in the form of the Holy Spirit empowers us to control our actions, to harness our human frailties, to eliminate sinning before it occurs, and most importantly to love everyone as Christ loves us.

Supporting Scriptures, Bible.com

Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 14

Love is patient and kind; Love does not envy or boast; It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes in all things, hopes all things, endures in all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4: 8

In essence, all that we do should be ensconced in love. Love is at the heart of everything Christ did, does, and will do. He exudes love and so should we. This is my project for 2023. Will you join me this year is becoming more like Christ?

Bible Verses – Bible.com

STOP-HALT

In the story of Elijah, Book of 1 Kings 19, we learn that running on empty and making decisions does not bode well. When you are tried, frustrated, hungry, and angry thinking through your options is a distorted and confusing process. The outcome is often disastrous.
~ Lisa Blair

In lesson 5, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) course entitled, The People of the Promise, Divided Kingdom, God’s prophet, Elijah, had just experienced Gods work. He experienced God’s miracles over and over again in his life. However, when he heard that King Ahab wanted to kill him, instead of thinking back and relying on God to save him as he did earlier, he became crippled with fear and ran for his life. How often do we see God’s hand in our lives only to fall the next moment? One of Charles Stanley’s life lessons encourages us to halt, take a minute, rest, and pray for direction.

Whenever you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or, Tired, HALT, be very careful because you are especially vulnerable to sin and disheartenment. Before giving up or taking a rash course of action, stop and seek God. He will refresh you and give you the strength to continue (1 Kings 19:8).”

Resource – The Charles Stanley Life Principle Bible. Pp.551.

Image – open source, Google images

Let God Take the Lead

As humans, we always look to ourselves for the answers. But in our limited capacity, we only see what could be at the end of the trajectory within our limited scope. God created a plan and a way for us. Let him take the lead. ~ Lisa Blair

@aussiedave

I believe this scripture is saying we all commit sin and transgressions, but if we are to be like Christ, we must look at the situation(s) we are in and give it to God. We must show mercy to others and ourselves, as He who is sinless did for us. We are quick to blame, point our fingers, and choose our own method of attacking the transgression.

If we allow Him, God works out the consequences of our actions. I am not expressing there will be no consequences because we will have consequences until Christ returns. We live in a fallen world. However, because He loves us, He will always offer a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV). We must stay faithful as we process through the dark moments, knowing God is with us, taking the lead. We are not alone.

Referring back to the Old Testament, it is not God’s nature to retain His anger forever. Jeremiah 3:12 reads, “I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever,” and nor should we.

If we take it all into our own hands without His guidance, the outcome may be a temporary resolve; however, if we put it in His hands and repent for our portion of whatever is going on, He will work it out in His Will and His way.

None of us is blameless. And, once we understand this and repent, we are redeemed. God took our sins and laid them on Christ, who died and freed us of the burden of eternal damnation. We will feel God when we repent; we have warmth and light and know He is working on our behalf. He will not leave us in the shadows. This is one of life’s great lessons.

So again, go before God with all of your concerns and transgressions. Let God take the lead and guide you through the consequences, leading you to an outcome you would have never imagined.

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind (us all). And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (Bible.com)

Charles Stanley, Life Principles Bible

Are your Hands Different?

I attended church service today and the Pastor shared a story that speaks to God’s love and how we should share His love with others.

A friend of the pastor’s visited the countryside in Ghana where he was on assignment at a government hospital. He noticed from his office window that daily the sick passed the government hospital to travel on foot to the missionary hospital which was many miles away.

He watched people take the trek to the missionary hospital for a week and finally asked his friend why they chose the missionary hospital instead of the government hospital that was better equipped.

His friend replied that the medicine is the same. The people chose the missionary hospital because the hands were different.

In effect, they felt the hands of God upon them in every nook and cranny throughout the missionary hospital. They knew they were well cared for because God was present. The government hospital was medically far superior, but the atmosphere in the hospital was sterile and loveless.

My question is – are your hands different? How do people see you as a Christian? Do they feel the love of God emanating from you? Are you warm and welcoming, or cold and remote? Do you reflect God in your actions? Do you love as God loves you? Do you reflect Christ’s love, compassion, and strength in your convictions, or do you represent the emptiness of a sterile government hospital?

Scriptures and scripture images (Biblestudytools.com)

God At The Center

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.” James 5:13 NIV

Dissecting the Scripture

When we suffer hardships, we are afflicted by our circumstances. Affliction is broad and covers all trials, circumstances, and situations. The answer to affliction is prayer.

Biblically, happiness is the state of joy, the absence of anxiety and fear that tears at your soul. Singing praise is a form of thanking God. Praise is appropriate when you are happy, not fearful, anxious or depressed. Praise is a state of joy, not earthy joy, but joy in your soul. Praise is also appropriate when you are struggling. In those moments it is important to become laser focused on something that is working in your life no matter how small or transitory. When you praise God for that small thing, He offers a place of calmness and peace.

Prayer and praise are forms of connection to peace. We find peace when we are connected to our Lord. God’s ears are always inclined to our cries, our shouts of praise, and joy. Our relationship with Him can overcome the afflictions of this world if we pray. We must focus on Him and not our circumstances to allow His peace to enter our souls, where we can rest in the comfort of His arms.

“pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:17-18‬ ‭https://bible.com/bible/59/1th.5.17-18.ESV

Our Lord is all truth and the truth is, God loves us and is in the center of our prayers and our praise. He is at the center of our life. Once we accept His place in our lives and we accept being dependent upon Him, our life begins to change and we begin to pray and praise as part of who we are, children of God. Praise God for being our father.

To quote John McArthur (biblereasons.com): “The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties.”

The only way we can reach God is through prayer, praise and worship. And, when we do so, we find God in the center of our lives orchestrating our path according to His will and His way. The path will not be smooth, but more like a dirt road with crooks, crannies, pot holes and mounds. However, with GOD at the center we can continue to move forward. Prayer and praise are the resources we need to strengthen our relationship with the Lord and rely on His truth that will set us free.

Scripture: Bible.com

Image: KCIS 630 Radio, Google Images; Biblestudytools.com