As a Christian we all want a good reputation! We want people to think well of us. We like looking very put together on the outside. If were honest, it makes us feel good when people think we’re spiritual, prayerful, in the Word and doing all the right Christian things as we should be. Reputation is important and it does carries a lot of clout!
But more important than reputation is our character! God looks at our character - what’s in our heart. It’s so important to keep our heart’s pure. Trials and struggles of this world can stain us. Christianity can become robotic, we must be ever so careful to guard our hearts with all diligence Prov. 4:23.
Only God sees what’s in one’s heart. I want Him to see my heart desperate for Him alone. I think of King David and with all of his failures his reputation wasn’t about that, but it was about his character of a man after God’s own heart. Oh how I desire that to be my legacy!
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11
In college, I planned and planned my entire 4 years, from beginning to end. All my classes, seminars, workshops, and exams, and there were many changes and life events that happened in the middle, but I continued to plan. Then I got to the very last semester, and nothing; the year after that was a complete blank. I wanted to know what’s next; Master’s degree? Job? Kids? Life? And the scary part - there was nothing I could do about it.
We often think that we can plan our whole lives out, from start to finish, but that’s not our job. God has that plan, He has had it from the beginning of time. We may have free will on earth, but in the end God’s plan WILL come to pass. Another version of this verse says, “I know the plans I have for you…” He knows the plans, He knows the thoughts, He knows the beginning, and He knows the end. This should be a weight off of our shoulders, knowing that there is another more powerful than ourselves looking after the future. With God going “before me, behind me, always beside me,” as the song goes, we have nothing to fear of His plans.
Recently the Lord has been working on me to share Jesus more often. Now this has always been a super hard thing for me to do because I’m the type of person who would rather show them Jesus and who he is with my attitude and actions rather than telling them. Because like Pastor Dave says all the time, “they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care." I’ve always wanted to develop a relationship with people before I witness to them. I want to show them how I handle my battles when they come. I want to show them who I turn to. And I want them to see how there is something different about me. But then, once I get to know the person really well I find myself not wanting to scare them off and lose the great friendship we have developed. So I never end up sharing Jesus and I just chicken out.
I’ve been getting convicted on this lately and have realized that all along it was just the enemy in my ear giving me reasons and excuses to not share Jesus.
Jesus would of been telling me to never fear because he is with me. Not telling me not to because I’ll scare them off. And even if I do so what. I never want to be the Christian who is known to ‘shove the Bible down people’s throats,' because that’s not how Jesus is with us. I want to approach people the way Jesus would. Gently, kind, lovingly, and most definitely not forceful. I specifically love sharing Jesus with coworkers. The Lord is still working on me to be better with witnessing to complete strangers but he has shown me that taking baby steps is just fine and to remember that he knows our hearts.
Some verses that always encourage me to reach out more are :
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Ever since the Lord started to work on me about witnessing more and sharing his word to people, I’ve been hearing more evangelist teachings on the radio and people talking about other people getting saved from their witness to them. It’s been confirming to me that the Lord is so pleased with what I’m doing and how much harder I’m trying than I ever was before. He knows our hearts and sees how we’re pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone for him and he is blessed by it. It’s the most satisfying thing knowing you were the one who planted that seed in someone’s life or that someone got saved by you telling them what Jesus has done for you. But the coolest part about it is it’s not us, it’s Jesus working through us. It’s the best feeling when you know the Lord is using you to help build his kingdom. We are on this earth for one purpose and that’s to live our lives for Jesus and bring others into the kingdom. To share the good news . Like many pastors say all the time, if you had the cure to all the cancers in the world and all the sicknesses in the world wouldn’t you be telling eveyone you know? Why would you ever keep something like that in when you know it’s going to give them life? That’s how Jesus is. Jesus is the good news for people that there is a hope and future for them and there is eternal life for them. That they can die to their old self and have a new life in Jesus.
So sisters I encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. When that coworker is venting to you about their marriage problems, ask if they want to be prayed for. When your waitress comes over to your table acting super bubbly like their the happiest person in the world, know that’s probably not what’s going on in the inside and talk to them about Jesus. It’s okay to be scared at first, the more often we do it the more easier it will get each time. So get set, get ready, GO shine for Jesus!
Rejoice in the Lord always Phil 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. That’s a beautiful scripture, especially on a good day! But we’re told to rejoice in the Lord always, every day, in every situation. When things are going great it’s easy to rejoice in the Lord, to praise Him for His goodness. When things aren’t going so good it’s more difficult. We find ourselves crying out for His mercy or His help in times of trouble instead of rejoicing in Him.
It’s good practice to rejoice with a heart of thanksgiving no matter what life‘s condition we’re in.
The other day as I was sitting at a stop light very broken heart I looked over to the car next to me and it was filled with a lot of life and laughter. It’s perplexing how one day can be a day of pleasure for one, and for another a day of tragedy. For one a day of triumph, for another a day of mourning. For one a day of giving birth, while for another a day of death. For one a new job while another loses their job. The list goes on and on but we’re still told to Rejoice in the Lord. In all things Rejoice.
We can only Rejoice in the Lord because we serve a good God. We serve a God who loves us and who is there for us in the good times and in the bad. In times of difficulty and in times of joy. He’s with us on the mountaintop and he’s with us in the valleys. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Therefore we can rejoice always in the Lord.
We’re not told to rejoice in circumstances, we’re told to rejoice in the Lord. There’s a difference. My circumstances don’t always allow me to want to be overjoyed, but I could always find joy in the Lord. Scripture says the joy of the Lord is my strength. Jesus gives me joy knowing He is with me and the confidence that He works all things together for the good. His goodness strengthens me to press on! That’s where my rejoicing comes from during those difficult times, during my hardships, when things look so bleak I can’t see the light. So remember we serve a covenant-keeping God who is forever committed to you and you can Rejoice in Him Always!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
So often we look for advise from our friends or family, when everything we need to guide and direct us thru this life can be found in God’s word. I love that the Lord knew how badly we would need His leading and guidance, that He so perfectly spoke and equipped each author to pen His words. The scriptures are intended to be God’s breathe into your life. They are what give us life. In them we find comfort, strength, healing, discipline, and our daily bread to sustain us and help us grow while here on this earth.
One of the many gracious things about our Lord is that His word is used to correct our errored behavior. And when it comes to being corrected, I would choose to be corrected a hundred times over by the Lord than be corrected by someone else. He does it in a loving and gentle way yet speaks to us exactly what we need to hear. In correcting us, He is molding us to be more like Him. When He corrects our harsh behavior, our sour attitudes, and our bad habits, He is preparing us and shaping us for to His work and equipping us for good things.
His word gives us the instructions on how to live a life that is pleasing to Christ in which He clothes us with His righteousness! We often times complicate something that is so simple. Are you unsure of what you are hearing is truth, open God’s word. Are you seeking direction for some big decisions you have coming up? Open His word and let His will be revealed to your heart! Are you facing something that seems impossible? Or feel inadequate for a role that you have been placed in? Be encouraged by His word, He wants to perfectly equip you for every good work!
Let God’s word satisfy your daily needs. May He be the one you turn to in time of need.