God,

I often get caught up in all the wrong things. I look at the world through harsh eyes.

I see things happen; I view cause and effect in others actions. Sometimes I see people do things which I disapprove of and it irritates me on the inside.

But then I look at myself and I am blind. I cannot see that I do the same things which irritate me when I see them in others.

Help me to learn what this means: “You desire mercy and not sacrifice.”

Let me live with a heart full of mercy. May I not get caught up in my religious acts, but may I worship you each day from a pure heart. May I overflow with grace and truth just as Jesus perfectly embodied the balance of grace and truth.

Give me the grace I need to live a life overflowing with mercy, love, and compassion.

Amen.

Once you leave the body of Christ and you try to influence people who are not Christians, you have to lead by respect…

Don’t try to share your faith first. Help people first; add value to them until they respect you; and the moment they respect you, they’ll open up and start asking the real questions.

John Maxwell
Preaching Magazine

Do You Give Everything You Have to Follow Jesus?

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.

Do You Give Everything You Have To Follow Jesus

Proverbs 4:7-9

Understanding how things work gives us the ability to be wise. Understanding provides us with the opportunity to make right choices because we see cause and effect in situations. Understanding helps us to live skillfully.

If we gain understanding, we will be honored. When we understand who Jesus is, then we see and gain the wisdom of God. The grand display of wisdom was Jesus coming to take the punishment for our sin and to give us the right to a relationship with God once again. This act of salvation is the ultimate display of God’s grace and favor. It is God honoring us above Himself.

When I Became a Man I Gave Up Childish Ways

I look forward to the day when we all have glorified bodies and minds through the new life God gives through Jesus Christ. In that day, we will no longer have learning disorders, growth impediments, or mental slowness. These things we notice because they are unnatural; a process of growth did not complete itself.

At birth, we are simple and instinctive. As we grow, we start to develop language skills, critical thinking, and reasoning abilities. These continue to mature throughout the remainder of our lives. Usually, our largest amount of growth occurs between infancy and young adulthood.

Just as we see growth happen naturally, so does it spiritually happen when we are given new life through Christ. We start to learn and grow in God’s life. At the start, we need certain things to grow. Supernatural experiences and various gifts from God typically characterize the beginning of our growth process.

But one day, we will no longer need these elementary things from the Lord. One day, we will completely know everything there is about God; we will be with Him, intimately connected to Him, and inseparable from Him. All that we will have is Love Himself. After all, God is love.

While on this earth, we are growing. We are learning up to the point when we meet Jesus face to face. So, we are children learning and growing to put childish things behind us and looking forward to the time of completeness.

Thank you God for giving me new life through Jesus. Help me to continue learning and growing in the ways I can interact with your Spirit. Give me more of you so I may constantly be connected to your desires.

At the moment I am a spiritual child, learning and growing from you. One day, the reality of having all that I need in you will be made clear to all. When this day comes, I will no longer remain a child, but will become perfected in you.

Continue to use me in the ways you see best. Give me more of your Spirit. Let me see more of your gifts become evident in my life. May I be a tool that you use to give the gifts of your Spirit to others.

I am dedicated to you. I know that I don’t know all there is to know. But, I know you. So I will follow you, trust you, and obey your teachings. Give me more grace. Give me more love. Amen.

God is Better than Wealth

Around this time, people starting setting goals for the new year. Sometimes these goals contain financial goals. After all, if we aren’t looking ahead to where we want to be, then there’s no possible way we can get there.

The need for goals is apparent. So setting goals make sense, and everything with that is good.

But, the financial goals shouldn’t be the end goal. It can be part of a plan, but it shouldn’t be our focus.

The presence of God should continually be our primary goal. 

So, fitting finances into God’s plan is good. Heck, one of my goals is to be able to give $1,000,000 to Convoy of Hope. In order to hit that goal, somehow, I need to have at least $1,000,001 at my discretion.

But, the pursuit of this goal isn’t my focus. The Spirit of God and living in His presence is my focus. If I am walking with God, letting His Spirit lead me, then I will reach the goals He desires for me to reach in my life.

God, help me realize that little with the fear of the Lord is better than great treasure without your presence. Make this proverb from your word become a part of who I am, not just a phrase I can recite.

Keep me focused on you. May I remain dedicated to walking in step with you. I will pursuit your presence, going with you when you move, and staying where you rest.

It does not matter how much I have, or how little I posess. What matters is that I know you, I respect you, I follow you – daily. Keep me. Do not allow me to become distracted by monetray things. I can use them as tools, but, you are my treasure.

Nothing on earth can purchase your presence, your gifts, or your love. No gem or gold or dollar can buy any attention from you. I know this, but let me live with you in front of me.

I trust  you will give me what I need when I need it. You care for me and my family. Therefore, no matter what I have, little or lots, I will give you my life. I will live by your word. I will live with the fear of the Lord in mind, not with the search for treasure in focus.

Amen. May it be so.