What God really wants


0501 (Photo credit: kindagetmego)

… and find out what pleases the Lord. – Ephesians 5:10

A friend was planning her son’s birthday, and she wanted it to be fun for her son. She planned going to the mall, visiting the arcade, getting ice cream and anything else she thought her son would enjoy. At the end of the day, she asked her son if he enjoyed his birthday.

“It was fun. But we could have done anything and I would have liked it, because I just wanted to spend time with you. It seems we’re so busy that we don’t do that anymore.”

My friend could have asked her son what he would like to do for his birthday instead of assuming what he would like. We also could ask the Lord what would please him instead of assuming. We think that God would like us to do good works for him, which he does, but which ones? We can’t do them all, and he hasn’t called us to do them all.

It takes spending time with the person we love to know their heart and discover what it is that pleases them. We can’t assume it, or think if we enjoy it, then they certainly would, too. God desires that time with us … that pleases him.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you do desire time with me. That’s hard to believe when you have the whole universe to consider … you want to spend time with me? Wow! Amen

Faith Tip: Find out what pleases the Lord by spending time with him.

Protection against rejection

"Scripts from Crypt" writers group

“Scripts from Crypt” writers group (Photo credit: St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral – Memphis)

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place… – Ephesians 6:14

Last night at my writer’s group, we talked about getting rejected in writing. There were various expressions of emotions shared with the fear of getting rejected. Rejection of a writing piece can be for many reasons ranging from the submission needs more work to the editor was having a bad day. To think all of our submissions are going to be loved by all who read them is just not reality. Knowing and living the truth of who we are as writers is most important in the submission process, not the acceptance or rejection. This protects our hearts and minds in continuing to fight the spiritual battles that surround us.

We must choose to put on God’s armor to be protected from the attacks of the enemy. If we go out in battle unprotected (no time to read God’s word or pray), then we run the risk of being injured. However, if we are fully prepared then we will experience the victory of Christ.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the time spent with you this morning that readies me for any battle I may face today. I pray that I don’t lose sight of who you are and what you can do. Amen

Faith Tip: Take time now to become ready to face the day fearlessly. The armor of God is ready for you to put on.

Beautiful handiwork

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

I received an invitation to attend the retirement celebration of Dr. Virgil Gulker, who created the Kids Hope USA ministry. It’s amazing to think about all that has happened with Kids Hope since it began. The passion that God has for the children is evident as the ministry grew by leaps and bounds throughout the country and even in parts of the world. Thousands of mentors became the hands and feet of Jesus to a child through Kids Hope were created for such a time as this.

God created us for good works each day. We may have a schedule put together for our day, but God’s schedule for us has added opportunities of kingdom worth. Through our journey of today, could we bring encouragement to someone, help a person with a task, share Jesus with someone not familiar with him, bring a cool cup of refreshment to another … the possibilities are endless. Our schedules need to be flexible to have God’s woven into it, and experience his beautiful handiwork.

Prayer: Lord, each day I thank you for the opportunities you give me to share your light. I pray that I don’t focus too much on my own schedule and be open to yours. Amen

Faith Tip: Look for the ways God wants to use you today.

Can do!

1954 construction

1954 construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. 

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! – Ephesians 3:20-21

I’m reading a book written by a friend who went through the building of a new house. The journey was all there’s as the family pitched in to help it come to be. There were times they thought the job was too big, but God brought them through by sending the right people to help, providing for them as they purchased supplies, and gave them a “can do with God” attitude that helped them reach the goal.

Not only did they reach their goal in building the house, but many life lessons were learned through the experience. They learned the importance of family with blessings and tragedies, the faithfulness of God, and how they were not only building on their house, but on their faith.

Are you thinking that a task you have before you is too much for you to do? You’re right, it is. It can be done, but the necessary element is God. He is inside of you and wants you to succeed. He can do it.

Prayer: Thank you for working inside of me, God, so that I can accomplish the tasks you have set before me. I pray that I follow and obey you for that is what I am responsible for … you do all the rest. Amen

Faith Tip: Allow God to work within you to accomplish those tasks that seem overwhelming to you.

What’s your gift?

The purpose of spiritual gifts

The purpose of spiritual gifts (Photo credit: bdentzy)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

I took a spiritual gift’s assessment the other day and faith was my top gift. I began to wonder what that meant and how it could be used for the kingdom. I know I have faith, but don’t all believers have it? What would make it numero uno on my list? So as I do often, I research on the Internet for more information. I came across a blog that had this definition: The gift of faith is the ability to envision what needs to be done and to trust God to accomplish it even though it seems impossible to most people.

Okay, I can see myself in that, but I also know that it is God who gave me the gift, along with the vision, and the experiences where I learned to trust him completely. It’s all God. 

What about your gifts? God created them in you for a purpose. Take a spiritual gift survey and find out how you might best serve God. Perhaps you already know and you’re waiting for the call and opportunity. Pray into that. God wants to use you. You will be blessed by it.

Prayer: All praise to you, Jesus, for the gifts you have given me. I pray that I continue to point to you in my manner whenever the gift is acknowledged for it is truly all yours. Amen

Faith Tip: Find a spiritual gift assessment to take on-line, or ask your pastor for one.

God’s Extravagant Work in You

Smile 2

Image via Wikipedia

I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! – Ephesians 1:17-19 The Message

In interviewing a client yesterday, it was such a joy to listen and watch them express the work God has done in them. They feel so confident that they are going in the right direction of God’s calling even though they don’t know exactly how it will all turn out. To know the challenges they have experienced over the last couple of years and to see them now smiling, laughing and just feeling positive about their future is such a blessing. They are trusting God with their all.

God has a perfect plan for all of us. Some of that plan will be played out today. As we come closer to God seeking him, he is faithful in revealing our next step in the plan. As we obediently follow him, we will experience his lavish work in our lives and know it is from him. This will give us more reason to praise and worship him and the endless energy to do it.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise you for the wonderful works you do in my life and the lives around me. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that enables me to see with open eyes your work more clearly and give you the praise you so deserve. Amen

Faith Tip: Seek God today in prayer and in his Word. There’s a message for you today. Pray for enlightenment and be ready to receive.

Glory in God’s Workmanship

Cabinets by Waring Woodworking

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

I have a couple of brother-in-laws who are very gifted in woodworking. They have made beautiful furniture, household accessories, and more. They love working with the wood and have the patience to make each piece special. Each item they create has a purpose and as they work on the project, they keep the end purpose in mind to its completion.

The Great Artist God did the same thing as he made us. Each of us is specially made by his patient hands with the goal of belonging to Jesus Christ and using our gifts and talents for his purposes. It was planned out before we were born and is being lived out in our lives to its completion.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for the workmanship you have done in my life giving me purpose in Jesus Christ. I pray that I allow you to work in and through me today as we journey together. Amen

Faith Tip: When you come across something today that took a lot of work and patience, consider how you are specially made by God for a great purpose.