Make Today Count


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Today I have extended a challenge to my friends on the EFED Facebook page. I would like to extend the same challenge to you. This is not a difficult challenge. It does not require you to go out and buy any special equipment. God has given you every thing that you will need. If you have a voice and a few moments then you are ready to begin this challenge.

Today, I want us to make a difference in someone’s life. We can do this by encouraging those around us.

In the day in which we live it seems we are so tied up in our own lives that we fail to see those around us. Technology has made it so that we have access to others every minute of our day, yet we seem to be the most disconnected of any time in history.

I want us to do something about that. Make it a point to reach others today. If you see someone who needs a word of encouragement, take a moment and offer that word. If you know someone who is struggling today, take a moment and pray for them. You can even let them know that you did so. If you see someone who could use a helping hand, stop and offer that hand to them.

There are so many little ways that we can encourage each other daily, yet we seem to overlook those moments. It is not always the big things that make a difference. A simple smile can brighten someone’s day. A note to let someone know that you are thinking of them can make a difference.

Take a moment this morning to ask God to show you how you can make a difference. Ask Him to show you someone who may need a word of encouragement. There are people all around us who are looking for hope. If we will allow God to shine through us, we can share that hope with them.

Will you accept this challenge to make today count? Will you commit to encourage someone today? I would love to hear your story about how God used you to make a difference in someone’s life today.

 

We are all Beautifully Imperfect


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“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:13-14

 

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you just did not hit the mark?

You might have missed a deadline at work, or lost your temper with one of your children. Maybe you spoke harshly to your husband or wife. You may have planned on finishing a project over the weekend and you woke up this morning to yet another thing left undone.

We all have those times when no matter how hard we try we do not meet the requirements we set for ourselves. In that moment we feel like failures. We feel as if we may never get it right. We realize that we are imperfect people.

We must stop focusing on our flaws and all the times we fail to hit the mark. We must begin to focus on God and the work He is doing in us. We must realize that we are all works in progress. Every time we fail, every time we fall down, we need to see it as another opportunity to learn something new. God is teaching us new things every day. It is up to us to look past our own flaws and even those of others and focus on the lesson at hand.

Today I want to encourage your heart.

I want to remind you that God loves you, and He thinks you are wonderful and beautiful in spite of all your imperfections. God created you. He knows every part of you from the inside out.  No matter how many flaws you can find in yourself, God loves you just as you are. He sees every time you fall down. But you know what? He loves you anyway.

We are beautifully imperfect people. This is a fact we must understand. But, just as a potter looks at a piece of clay and sees what it can be, God looks as us and sees what He created us to be. Just as a gardener looks at a seed and sees the potential in it, God looks at us and sees the potential that lies within each of us.

We are God’s handiwork. That is what makes each one of us beautiful.

Let us focus today, not on our flaws and our imperfections, but on the potential that God sees in each of us.

Let us pray today that God will reveal to us the people He wants us to be.

Let us ask God to help us see each other through His eyes. And let us encourage each other to be what God has called us to be.

I pray today we will realize that we are all beautifully imperfect, but with God’s help we can all become exactly what He has planned for us to be.

 

 

 

Motivational Monday: When you are in Need


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” Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Have you ever found yourself in need but were unsure of just what you needed?

Where do we go when we are in need? Where do we go when we need advice or a shoulder to cry on?

Many times we go to a friend, or someone who we trust will be there for us. Sometimes we go to a parent, a grandparent, or maybe our pastor.

Sometimes the need is so great that there is only One who can meet that need. His name is Jesus

Last week I found myself in that place. I found myself in need of something, but could not voice exactly what it was. My heart was crying out for something, but I could not put my finger on exactly what it was. I needed a touch from God.

I found myself wanting to write. I wanted to pour out encouragement for each of you, yet as I sat to write every day my mind was blank. I searched for Scripture to share that would help you through your week, but nothing would come. I was empty.

As I prayed and read my Bible every day, I felt my heart crying out to God. Each Scripture I came across was one that I needed to hear. My heart would soak each one up like a sponge. My soul would drink them in like the dry ground after a summer rain.

I quickly realized that I was not going to be able to pass along words of encouragement or wisdom as long as my heart was in need of the very same thing. I knew that the best thing to do was to spend my time alone with God every day and soak up what He had for me. Each day as I sat alone and read my Bible and prayed, I felt God ministering to my heart. As each day passed I felt more encouraged, more alive in my Spirit. I began to feel full rather than empty in my heart.

As hard as it was to take that time for myself, I quickly realized that it was necessary for me. My mind needed the break, my heart needed the encouragement, and my soul needed the wisdom that I found in God’s Word.

I was a little hesitant to share this with you today because for me it is very personal, but I realized as I began to write that someone may need to hear this. Maybe you have found yourself in this place. Maybe you are in this very place right now. I pray that this ministers to your heart. I pray this encourages you today.

There is no shame in needing a break. There is no shame in needing some time alone. Many times in the Bible we read where Jesus went out alone to pray. He realized the importance of time alone with God. He knew that His strength came from God. He was setting an example for each of us.

Let me offer you some words of encouragement today: If you ever find yourself empty, or in need of something that you can not put your finger on, go to Jesus. Take time to pray and read your Bible. Seek out God and you will find Him.

We are called to be ministers for Christ, but we will not be able to do that if we are not taking the time that we need for ourselves.

The Scripture we looked at today told us to, “Come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” If you are in need today I pray that you will do just that. I promise you, you will find what you need at the feet of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Motivational Monday: Keeping it Simple


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“Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”           I Samuel 12:24

Have you ever wondered why living for God has been made so complicated? Is it really as hard as people have been made to believe? Let us look at some Scriptures that will help us better understand what serving God and living for Him is all about. Let us keep it simple.

Our verse today says to “consider how great things He has done for you.” So what has been done for you? John 3:16 tell us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die for your sins and my sins. If you had been the only one on earth, however, I believe that He would have died just to save you. What great love.

So, what does serving God require? Let us look at some other Scriptures that I believe will help us paint a better picture of what it means to serve God:

First, we must understand that we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 tell us:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Does this mean that we are all hopeless? No, because God has made a way for us. Romans 6:23 reads: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  The wages of sin is death, but God has made a way for us, through His Son, to have eternal life.

The next thing you must do is be saved. A lot of people want to know what they have to do to receive this gift of salvation. The gift of salvation is free to whomever will accept it. We are told in  Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  All you have to do is to simply believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and confess your sins to Him and you will be saved. This is the gift of salvation.

After you have been saved God will begin to work in your life and He will help you to live for Him. Mark 12:30-31 tells us the first things we must do as Christians: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Living as a Christian is simply loving God and loving each other. As we do these two things God will work in us and begin to make us the men and women He wants us to be. Living for God is not complicated at all if you will allow Him to come into your heart and do a work in you. God loves you and wants what is best for you. He wants to save you from your sins and help you to grow into the person He has planned for you to be.

I pray today that this will encourage your heart. If you have not been saved, if you have never asked Jesus to live in your heart, I pray that you will stop and simply ask Him to forgive your sins. Ask Him to live in your heart. It will be the best decision you have ever made. If you have been saved but seem to be having trouble figuring out what to do next, simply do as God has commanded us to do. Love Him and love each other. Allow God to work in your life. If He shows you something in your life that needs to be changed, ask Him to help you and then begin to work on that area of your life. As you grow as a Christian, God will continue to do a work in your life. Paul said in Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” We need to understand that salvation is an instant thing. When you ask God to forgive your sins He does it immediately. Living and growing as a Christian is a process. It takes time. We simply have to allow God to do that work in our lives.

Being a Christian is not complicated. I pray today that this has helped you to better understand what it means to live for Christ. I pray that I have kept it simple.

Your Failures Do Not Define You


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Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Do you ever feel like a failure? I think it is safe to say that every one of us has felt this way at one time or another. I am sure there are many of us who would say that we feel this way more often than we would like to admit.

We all fail from time to time. Part of trying is knowing that there is a chance that we will fail. How many times throughout history have people accomplished great things after failing time and time again? One of my favorite examples of this is Thomas Edison. I once heard this quote: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”(Thomas A. Edison) We all know this popular quote was spoken about the discovery of the light bulb. What would have happened had he given up?

Many times in life we are going to fail. We are going to set out toward a goal only to trip and fall, or come up short. What really matters is that we get back up and try again. Philippians 4:13 tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

 I just wanted to take a moment to encourage you today. Yes, in this life we are going to fail and yes, we are going to come up short from time to time. Our failures are not what is important. What is really important is that we learn a lesson from our mistakes and that we keep on trying. Remember that with God all things are possible. Let us remember to do as Paul did and keep reaching toward the mark that God has set before us.

I pray today that we will remember that no matter what our goals are, we are not failing unless we quit trying. No matter how slow the progress, or how many times we must rest and try again, let us just keep going.