Do you live according to the Word? What do those around you see?
~ Lisa Blair
I am sharing a video from Grace for Purpose. It is a great reminder about the path we must travel. As we travel the path, do we exhibit a Christ-like character in all that we do? Will the witnesses report that we faced challenges but throughout it all reflected a Christ-like character?
The witnesses are those in heaven who observe us during our life on earth.
You never lose your God given spiritual gifts, talents and skills, herein referred to as your power. You may lock it away, deny it, or place it into hibernation, but you never lose your power. It is embedded in your destiny, your power is composed of the skills talents, and abilities needed for you to mature to be the person God designed you to be to advance His work.
Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
1 Peter 44:10-11 reinforces that, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts”, other scriptures identify the many gifts that we use during the course of our lives. [See How does God distribute spiritual gifts on gotquestionss.org]
Romans 12:2, encourages us to see and live life differently. ”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
There are times in our lives when difficulties arise and we question whether we are capable of correcting the path. It seems pretty clear, but this wrought with free will. The answer is yes and no. Yes because the Holy Spirit directs us in how to best utilize the characteristics of Christ we acquired when we received salvation through our belief that Jesus (part of the Trinity) is our Lord and Savior. Meaning we relinquish selfish motives in favor of being led by the Holy Spirit, who can direct our path. No, because we attempt to put ourselves first, do it on our own, ignoring the voice or nudging of the Spirit.
In an earlier post, I stated that we are not supposed to be paralyzed by life’s challenges. I now want to share that we possess the power/skills/talents to move forward. If we take time to inventory our skills and talents and pray to the Lord for guidance. He will lead us forward. His path may not lead down the expected path, but the arrival to the destination will certainty be more satisfying and more purposefully. When struggling we must always remember that we were created to perform God’s work. We were created with the innate skill sets needed. Skill sets that mature as we mature in the Word and dedicate our lives to God’s purpose for us.
1 Corinthians 2:12 reinforces that the (Holy) Spirit indwells within us: “Now, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
Wow, are you saying that we have power?‘s that it’s not simply a carnal quest to make it to the top? Yes, like with all things, we possess free will. We can develop God’s gifts, skills, and talents to move in our own direction and climb up the ladder of success, climbing over others and working to separate ourselves from co-workers, or we can use those skills to become stronger in our careers placing the focus on God embodying by the characteristics of Christ in all that we do.
Hebrews 13:20-22, Weymouth New Testament: “Now may God who gives peace, and brought Jesus, our Lord, up again from among the dead—even Him who, by virtue of the blood of the eternal Covenant, is the great Shepherd of the sheep— fully equip you with every grace that you may need for the doing of His will, producing in us that which will truly please Him through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory to the Ages of the Ages! Amen.”
When we become Christians, we have been set apart from others. We no longer strive for absolute power as our pre-Christian selves did. Carnal power no longer motivates us to push through, destroy others, and fail families. We have been called according to His power.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His power.”
When we existed in our carnal state, we struggled for absolute power and in the process we often found that it destroys absolutely, it alters who you are is a fax year every thought it focuses on greed intolerance, hate, impatience, jealousy, and envy. In our carnal state we lived in alien territory by ourselves.
Once we put on our Christlike self all of the above our self righteousness begins to fade away. While our goals may be to become a CEO or an administrator or doctor or lawyer or an astronaut, the way in which we attain them changes. How we use our careers impacts us and consequently others differently.
Colossians 3:9-10 instructs – ”Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
In closing, we were born with different levels of skills, and talents, we possess a trove of them. It is up to us how we use that power. We can choose to use them as they were designed – for the benefit of others, or for the benefits of self. We never lose the power, we may have to dig deep within and bring it back to the surface but it is there for the taking it is our gift from God. It is part of the DNA our Lord has placed in us long long before we were considered by our parents. He knew us long before we chose Him as our Lord and Savior. He knew us before we knew ourselves, and according to His wisdom and plans gave us all the talents and skills needed in this life. He gave us the power to choose how we use them.
We are all peacemakers. It is a natural practice and as Christians, we benefit by implementing the characteristics of Christ and therefore are described by God as His children.
We are all peacemakers. It is a natural practice, and as Christians, we benefit by implementing the characteristics of Christ and therefore are described by God as His children.
Mathew 5:9 says peacemakers are blessed because they will be called children of God. So, who are peacemakers? Barnes Notes on the Bible-biblehub.com informs us that they are the people who work to prevent contention, strife, and war. They are the people who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, and who prevent hostilities in families and neighborhoods.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of competing or fighting. That’s when you discover who you really are and your place in God’s family.” ~ Matthew 5:9 MSG
We can influence others in our homes, between friends, at work, and in social settings. We are the peacemakers. We can promote peace.
As Christians, our call is to share the gospel. The gospel can be shared in several ways: we can share the Word of God, i.e., scripture, ensure our behavior reflects the character of Christ, and mediate verbally.
I believe if any of us retrace our past experiences, we have already established ourselves as peacemakers from a very young age. Given our pasts, some of those experiences were done before and others after being saved.
Our goal should always be to live as a peacemaker whenever the opportunity arises and not to shy away It may call you to share a scripture or scriptures with others, offer to listen to others in distress, and offer options if it is the right time, or volunteer to serve as a mediator.
In doing these things, God says He will call us His children. As peacemakers, we abide by the characteristics of Christ. We are acting under our primary goal in life to share the scripture and reflect on how the scriptures frame who we are and how we live. We should not only share what the Word of God describes a peacemaker to be, but we should act as peacemakers. You never know who is observing you. Some people will reflect during trying times about how you present yourself as a peacemaker; others may ask why you feel comfortable being a peacemaker.
Reference: Matthew 5:9, biblehub.com; biblegateway.com
This morning I flipping through my copy of the June edition of Our Daily Bread and stopped on the June 4, 2022 Devotional, God Focus by Adam Holz. The scripture reference is 1 Timothy 6:6-11.
I am sharing this because the title immediately captured my attention. Some 26 days later it was speaking to me and as you read this, most likely many of you. You see, I fall in the category of being a maximizer. My husband is a satisfacer. It worked well when I was younger or so I thought. Actually it kept me up nights. I was never really content. The truth is, I was always envious of my husband who was as a satisfacer and was content with life as it was, not to overlook the fact that he slept well. There is a saying that I guess satisfacers understand and live, ‘let go, and let God’. Others of us hear it, but are not ensconced in it.
In delving into my past, I now realize you can be a satisfacer, content with what you have and where you are in life and still pursue the path of your God given destiny. Wanting more is not wrong if you do not allow it to govern your life, as the money pleasers in the Bible learned being driven by greed and the need for attention is nothing more than an albatross around your neck.
It is time for me to transition from being a maximizer, always seeking more, perfecting more, and needing more and begin to open my life to being a satisfacer. How many of us are loosing time being maximizers? In looking back being a maximizer caused me to loose time, and the enjoyment of life. When you are a maximizer you are in the maximizer prison, striving for more and missing out on life. As you read this, think about my last post, do you need to view life through a new lens, a new perspective? Is it time to look through our makers eyes as Paul was instructing Timothy to consider. Is contentment all you really need?
EXCERPT, Adam Holz
When I was shopping for engagement rings, I spent many hours looking for exactly the right diamond. I was plagued by the thought, What if I miss the best one?
According to economic psychologist Barry Schwartz, my chronic indecision indicates that I am what he calls a “maximizer,” in contrast to a “satisficer.” A satisficer makes choices based on whether something is adequate for their needs. Maximizers? We have a need to always make the best choice (guilty!). The potential outcome of our indecision in the face of many choices? Anxiety, depression, and discontent. In fact, sociologists have coined another phrase for this phenomenon: fear of missing out.
We won’t find the words maximizer or satisficer in Scripture, of course. But we do find a similar idea. In 1 Timothy, Paul challenged Timothy to find value in God rather than the things of this world. The world’s promises of fulfillment can never fully deliver. Paul wanted Timothy to instead root his identity in God: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (6:6). Paul sounds like a satisficer when he adds, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (v. 8).
When I fixate on the myriad ways the world promises fulfillment, I usually end up restless and unsatisfied. But when I focus on God and relinquish my compulsive urge to maximize, my soul moves toward genuine contentment and rest.
Reflect – Would you say you tend to be a content person? Why or why not? How do you think your relationship with God affects your overall contentment in life?
Pray – Father, help me to remember that only You can fill my soul.
Insight – One of the most misquoted statements in Scripture is 1 Timothy 6:10: “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Notice that money itself isn’t the root of evil, but when it becomes the object of our love, that’s when the problems begin. Because money is so seductive, Jesus addressed this issue at the launch of His public ministry. In the Sermon on the Mount, He spoke of the value of pursuing treasure in heaven rather than money. Why? Matthew 6:21 explains that “where [our] treasure is, there [our] heart will be also.” Jesus also addressed a primary reason we seek security in money—worry. He reminded us that the God who cares for “the birds of the air” values us and can be trusted to provide for our needs (vv. 25–27).
I highly recommend downloading the Our Daily Bread App from your App Store or visiting their Website – https://odb.org/. It is a great tool to begin your day.