My life may not make sense to someone on the outside looking in. I pray, I go to church, but I also actively recognize my need for Jesus. I am broken. I need mending. I need grace and mercy. In order for me to have grace and mercy, I have to give that to others. That is where the problem lies!
My human flesh doesn’t always want to turn the other cheek. My first instinct is often to lash out and give that person a piece of my mind. Afterwards, something in my head says, “You did good. You told them the truth.” That might be true, but I didn’t do it love. I did it out of anger and frustration. I projected my feelings on to the other person. In other words, I vomited hate and anger all over the place!
I am continually needing God’s grace to let go. I can’t control other people, BUT I can control my reactions to situations. I am responsible for the words I say whether I like it or not. Have I been sowing seeds of love lately? Not always.
I was listening to Charles Capps the other day and he said something that struck me: “When you sow seeds of faith it produces faith, but if you sow seeds of strife it produces strife.” It sounds simple, right? It hit me that the negative words I had spoken produced strife. I had never thought about that! I don’t want to produce strife in my life OR someone else’s.
My mom’s actions early in life hurt her witness. She said whatever she felt like saying. When Mama wanted to talk to old friends about Jesus, they didn’t want to listen because of her attitude towards them before she found Jesus. When you do things God’s way, your light grows brighter.
A soft answer turns away wrath. That’s what the Bible says we are to do, even when we know a person is doing wrong AND they know.
As Christians, we are held to a higher standard. Jesus expects us NOT to respond to situations the way the world would. This week a friend said that God gives us grace to walk in patience and love with people that we don’t have patience for. With Him, all things are possible…even the hard things.
~ Madison Sanders
Image Credit: Seeds © Razief Adlie via freeimages.com
~Colossians 3:23 “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
I decided it was a good day for some serious housework. There would be no cutting corners. The hard-to-reach areas would not be skipped. When I was growing up, adults would say they were going to give something “a lick and a promise.” That meant they were going to hit a lick at it and promise to do better next time.
I started my cleaning mission with five different cleansers. I had rubber gloves and a step stool handy. There were old tooth brushes for small places. I used elbow grease and determination. The first rooms were shining! I admired my outcome with pride. A break was needed before continuing to the rest of the house. Finally, the other rooms were started. The job did not seem as important as it did earlier. The house did not look in need of such a vigorous cleaning anymore. The zeal was gone. Now, it was just a chore. I finished with “a lick and a promise.”
We can develop that same attitude with our work for the Lord. We become excited when we hear about a project at church. We readily volunteer. The first few times, most people show up early. Prayer and preparation have been a big part of getting started. This determination for excellence sometimes changes. Less people show up. Excuses are made. The mission suffers for lack of dicipline and zeal. At times, the project may end up being dropped all together. Surrounding yourself with mature, dedicated Christians is a must. Seeing their motivation and listening to them is an encouragement for you to do your best also.
This is working in my own life. I am involved in various things at Gateway Believers Fellowship. I am impressed and encouraged by the attitude of serving and working I see there. A church should always have outreaches. It is to be an example of Christ. Helping others and meeting needs is a huge part of that. A community should be better because of the churches in its area. We can make a difference. A productive lifestyle can not be accomplished with an attitude with of getting by on “a lick and a promise.”
Image Credit © Scrubbing brush and rag Ronny Satzke via free image.com
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An attitude of prayer is not prayer. Singing praises is not prayer. Prayer is prayer. A few months ago, Holy Ghost began to deal with me about this. As I examined myself, I realized that I was spending plenty of time singing and praising God, but I wasn’t actually spending quality time actually praying.
This seeking time I have devoted my ride to work, which is usually filled with the tunes of MercyMe or Casting Crowns, to spending this quiet time in prayer. The first day was exciting; however, by the end of the workday, I had decided that I needed the ride home to be devoted to prayer also. I am fully aware that the enemy comes to steal and destroy, but I was in total distress over the things the enemy had thrown at me, and it was only the first day! As seeking time has continued, so has my morning commute prayer time. Each day brings a new challenge, but I am taking it one battle at a time. I cannot win every battle with the enemy on my own, but I can give it my all and God will take care of the rest.