We are born with a sinful, selfish mindset… Me first. It takes a relationship with God, through Jesus, to be more generous and giving in life. When you encounter the living God, you grow in faith and in awareness of others, so much so, that you want to give to others, more than receive from them. What kind of mindset do you have? Are you stingy and selfish, or thoughtful and generous with your giving? We want to grow in God and become generous like his Son, Jesus Christ. This happens when we let the Spirit of God lead our lives and lean more into Godly living.
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All of us talk boldly about what we believe strongly, already. But many followers of Jesus don’t share their personal faith with others. For some reason we feel inadequate, or incapable, or not compassionate enough. Whatever your reason, it’s easier to share your faith than you realize. All we need to do is “meet a need” for someone today. Maybe they sense distance from God and don’t need a lecture, rather, they need love from someone who cares for them. My prayer is that you would learn to share your faith more boldly, by meeting someone’s need today.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says to lay aside the things that distract us from God, and run the race marked out for us in faith, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author of our faith, so that we don’t grow weary and lose hope. How do we fix our eyes on Jesus? What sort of things take away our sense of hope? The boys in the story of the fiery furnace in Daniel 3 found themselves up against a rock and a fireplace. They chose to follow God, no matter the cost … “even if”. Can you say that in your life? Even if God doesn’t save me from this situation, I will still trust him.
We are in a series on the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11, and the author of Hebrews names the prophets as heroes of faith. We wanted to cover what the prophetic books were about in relation to today’s culture. If you were asked to speak for God as a prophet to your culture, what would you say? Would you have a message of love for today’s generation of people? How can you help people grow in their faith with God, today? What message would you give?
King David had reigned over Israel for some 20 years now, and in his complacency, became a little bored. He neglected his kingly duties, didn’t go out to war, roamed his palace at night, and took advantage of his power. Greek Military General, Pittacus, said, “The measure of a person is what they do with their power.” How do you use your power and influence over others? Are you abusive, #metoo, or are you empowering? Do you walk blindly in your sin, or when others hold you accountable, do you repent of your sin and confess your wrong to God? God is waiting to give you another chance, so we need to walk toward God, repent of our sin, and come freely to victory over darkness.
Barak was serving as General for Israel’s Army, under the Judge Deborah. He was given a command, through Deborah, by the Lord, and he refused to obey orders unless his conditions were met. When we rebuff against the Lord’s commands, we are not honoring the Lord. How does your life reflect obedience to God? Are you one to question God’s authority in your life, and therefore not live a life of obedience? How can you learn to serve God better by making your life available to God’s service?
When we think of New Year’s Resolutions, we often let fear assist us with failing. We don’t want to set goals, or accomplish success because we let fear capture our hearts. Moses knew a little something about this too. When God gave him a goal to accomplish, Moses tried talking his way out of it, many times. Have you ever been there? God reminds us to start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can in order to walk by faith in 2018. Join us this week in discovering God’s bigger purposes for our lives, and you’ll accomplish more as you walk by faith.