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.
Samuel the young boy, is beckoned by the LORD, to hear his voice. The priest, Eli, tells young Samuel to say to the LORD, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Can you say that in your own life? Do you listen when the LORD speaks to you? How do you show character and faith in God when God wants to say something to you? God is loving, gracious and kind. He wants to speak with you and wants you to listen. Are you listening?
Jephthah was given the power of the Holy Spirit by God, to win a battle against the Ammonites. After receiving the power of God, he turns and makes a deal with God, that whatever comes out the door when he returns from battle, he will give to God as a burnt offering. This is the worst kind of deal to make with God. Who should come out of his front door, but his daughter. God isn’t looking for you to make deals, God is looking for your faithful obedience. God wants you to remain faithful to Him, He doesn’t want to bargain for our stuff.
Samson was a wild man, who was given the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish various tasks for the Lord over the people of Israel, but he certainly wasn’t a man to emulate your life after. He struggled with issues many of us struggle with today; ego, lust, power, and difficulty with intimate relationships, among other things. We look at the life of Samson so that we can understand where our strength resides. I wonder if you are self aware enough to know what could bring you down? What are the issues in your life that draw you away from God, rather than draw you towards God? Can you determine the strength of God in your life, or do you succumb to weaknesses all the time? Find out with us, where your strength can reside, with God.