Just like Jesus

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

 

There’s nothing like bringing the community together to practice the attributes of Jesus. Actually, it gives us opportunity to be Jesus to each other. My church had a community festival that went on for two days. There were representations from many cultures (love salsa music) and sharing of talents. Tae Kwon Do, dance, break dancing, cotton candy, hot dogs, large inflatable slides to play on, farm critters were on display and more. I think everyone had a great time and enjoyed the celebratory spirit of the event.

 

Any time that we are in contact with others is another opportunity to show the difference Jesus makes in our life. We could say it in words, but it wouldn’t make the impact as someone experiencing it when they connect with us. Jesus brings us to a whole new level of the spiritual gifts than we could do for ourselves. We are empowered to be like Christ … if we choose to be.

 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the great plans you have for me today … more than likely it will include relating to someone. I pray for your eyes to see that I can be like your son, Jesus, in all I say and do. Amen

 

Faith Tip: Choose now before you go out how you will relate with others … like Christ or not.

 

The refining of fire

 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire… – 1 Peter 1:6–7

Tonight I will be sharing with a group of people about my cancer journey. As I think back on what I went through, I can see how the experience has sharpened my faith. My dependence and trust in God have increased, my priorities realigned, and thankfulness enlarged. Each day I am given the opportunity to share what God can do and has done in hopes that it may encourage another.

We dread going through hard times in our life, but if we can keep in mind that God has a purpose in all things. It isn’t that he causes challenges in life, but may allow them to help us grow more like Jesus. When his face shines through our tragedies, hope is given to a hurting world.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the challenges you have brought me through in life. I pray that others will see you in my faith walk and be given new hope. Amen

Faith Tip: Struggling today? Seek God for understand and how he is making you stronger and better.

Gifts that Last

Christmas gifts.

Image via Wikipedia

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5

Thinking back on Christmases I have experienced in the past and all the wonderful gifts I have been given, most of those gifts I no longer have because of time that has passed and how the item has faded, broken, or perished some other way. The gifts were great when I received them, but they aren’t made for forever.

Jesus is forever. The gift we receive in Jesus will never fade, break or perish. It is always like brand new. With Jesus, you are encouraged to regift his grace and mercy for it will never go stale.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful gift of Jesus. I pray that I can share my gift with others and share the inheritance and the hope. Amen

Faith Tip: Share the gift of Jesus today with those you meet today.

Me … a Priest?

An old house.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9

Knocking on the door of the run down building, Kim took a step back when it was opened by a woman who looked as worn as the structure. A hard life was written all over her face.

“Yes?” she said.

Kim stammered for words. “Hi, my name is Kim and I come from the church down the street. We are having some great activities coming up that we thought the community would be interested in, so I’m here to give you some information.”

The woman took the paper and said thanks. She began to turn away from the door when she stopped and turned back to Kim.

“I see you have a quilting group. I remember my mother making beautiful quilts. I always wanted to learn, but never got around to it.”

“Well, I’m part of the quilting group and it really is a great group of ladies. I would love to have you come and join us. We will show you how to quilt.”

The woman smiled. “I may just do that. Thank you!”

********

Kim was Jesus with skin on. She showed care to the woman who obviously needed a kind word of encouragement. We sometimes think we have to have a special “ministry job” to do the work of Christ, but we already have the role as a priest. That may seem daunting, but God called us as his special possession to go out and shine his love to those we come in contact with on a daily basis. As we have been called out of darkness, we are to help others receive that same blessing.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that you gave me hope in times of darkness. I pray that I shine your light on the darkness I see and help others find their way to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider your role as a priest and what that means in your daily walk.

 

Beware of Easy Answers

Lion - Louisville Zoo

Image via Wikipedia

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. – 1 Peter 5:8-9

 

When life is hard and full of challenge, we want a quick fix … even thinking that today would be a good day for the Lord to return. However, that’s usually not the answer and most challenges can’t be overcome by a quick fix. It is during these times when we are most vulnerable to temptation. There’s an offer to get you out of your challenge, if you do this or that. We need to discern if the offer is of God or of the enemy. What is the big picture?

There are many lessons that God wants to teach us and sometimes it is through the struggles in life that the lessons come. If we choose to accept an offer that perceives to end our challenge, are we refusing the lesson from God?

Pray about what God would have you do in the midst of trouble. He hasn’t left you alone to figure it out for yourself. He is journeying with you and has the answer that is perfect.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for continually helping me grow in my spiritual walk. I pray that I only look to you for answers of my struggles and not a quick fix. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you struggling in an area of your life and want to get rid of the stress and worry? Beware that you do not fall prey to Satan and his temptations and reach out to Jesus for help.

Yea! It’s a New Day!

sunrise

Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. – 1 Peter 1:3 MSG

Gathering together as God’s people to worship is an encouragement to all believers. We are not only encouraged to live in obedience to God, but also reminded of his victory over death.

Somehow after we walk out the door of the church, the excitement seems to wane. Let’s keep the excitement going by intentionally worshiping God each day. By the time we gather again to worship, we will be pumped up to give God our all. God loves a cheerful giver.

Prayer: Lord, you are amazing. Thank you for the great love you have poured on me. I pray that I can keep the excitement going this week for who you are in worshiping you each day. Amen

Faith Tip: Praise God today for all he is to you. Each morning, give God more glory.

What’s Your Buzz?

Bee resting on a flower (Eucera cf. longicornis)

Image via Wikipedia

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

I remember at a Women of Faith conference I went to some years ago, that one of the speakers, Thelma Wells, used a symbol of a bee. However, her symbol was meant to be an action verb rather than a noun. That dear lady promotes that we BEE the best we can be in our BEEing devoted to God.

We have a choice to BEE like-minded, sympathetic, loving, compassionate and humble. It seems like it would be an easy choice, but when situations and circumstances arise, mixed in with our prior life experiences, sometimes it is very difficult to make the right choice.

Like Joshua said in Joshua 24:15, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” is showing that making the choice before a situation arises is the way to victory. Will we BEE a servant of the Lord or of the world?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the reminder of having the choice of serving you. Forgive me when I choose to serve myself. I pray that my answer will always be “Yes, Lord” when you call on me. Amen

Faith Tip: Make the choice now. Who will you serve? Then live it out.