Looking for Donkeys

photo by milivoj-kuhar

photo by milivoj-kuhar

I was reading in my quiet time the other day in 1 Samuel 9 about Saul being sent to find some donkeys for his father.  He had a servant with him.  After they had looked in many areas or regions Saul wanted to return home as his father may now be worried about them.  The servant suggested that they ask the prophet which way they should go so as to find the donkeys on the return home. Saul agreed to that.

But God (my favorite phrase) had already told Samuel to be expecting the man he was to anoint as the first King.  As Saul was coming toward Samuel, God spoke to Samuel and said: "There is the man."

The study I am reading pointed out that Saul was living life, being obedient when He found himself smack dab in the middle of God's divine plan. Are we any different?  We so often want to see the end - some big dramatic outcome - when God is directing us to be obedient now and just do the next thing.  "That" is often part of His divine plan, we just can't see it.

You know, the more I study scripture, the more I realize that many of the heroes of our faith did great things for our Lord in the midst of a difficult life. Some of those mentioned in Scripture did things that we wouldn't even call great, but they are pointed out and remembered in the Bible.  Like the servant girl of Naman.  She was a slave in his house and served them well.  She had respect and compassion for Naman and told his wife about God's prophet.  Well, you know the story - Naman was healed.  We don't even know the girl's name, but God does!

Sometimes I think I should see some grandiose ministry or outcome in my life for God, but we are taught in His word to be faithful in the little things.  And just as Naman's slave, we may make a huge difference in the world because of the impact we had on one individual.

Being part of God's divine plan comes from living in daily obedience to Him.  May we always remember that! Where are you in this journey of obedience to our Lord?  Are you serving Him daily doing the next "obedient" thing?  Or are you stalled out oblivious to His plan or 'wishing' for something more when in reality you may be about to walk smack dab into His divine calling?

That's food for thought, isn't it?  Saul had no clue what God was about to do with him and, yet, as he lived life being obedient one step at a time, God called him to become Israel's first king. Now, I don't suppose God is about to move me into a role such as that, but I am seeing Him at work in my life!  I hope you are, too. 

Blessings to you, my friends!

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.
— 1 Samuel 15:22

4 Things Christians Should Start Doing

Photo by Ben White

Photo by Ben White

There are many things we, Christians, should be doing.  But I have four things to challenge you to start doing if you are not already doing them.

  • Have a daily quiet time
  • Practice gratefulness
  • Practice kindness
  • Share the gospel

First, have a daily quiet time with our Lord.  Get alone with Him and pray, read the Bible and take notes on what you learn, and listen to His still small voice and write down what He says to you.  Do this every day, preferably in the morning so you can think about it all day.  You'll be amazed at how your relationship with Him will grow AND how better your day will be, even when things go wrong.

Second, write down at least three reasons you have to be grateful every day; don't repeat the last month's worth. You'll be amazed at what really matters and you may even find your mood lifted as you realize how grateful you truly are.

Third, practice kindness.  This means you have to pay attention to what's going on around you.  Take notice of the ones you're with and find ways you can be kind.  "Please" and "Thank you" are great starting points.

And last, share the gospel.  That's good news about Jesus!  Man, do people ever need to hear that these days!  This doesn't necessarily mean you have to ask someone if they want to be saved right this second, but it does mean to always be ready to give an account of your faith.  You never know what a difference you may make in someone's life by telling them about Jesus and what He means to you.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
— Lamentations 3:22

Wow!  The verse above is a great reason to be grateful.  Wouldn't you say?

Four Things Christians Should Stop Doing

Photo by Sam Xu

Photo by Sam Xu

Have you ever thought about things we, Christians, should NOT be doing?  Most likely, you have. Especially, before becoming a Christian, most of us only thought of things that Christians "can't" do.  

May I remind you that Christians are not perfect people.  We are broken sinners just like everyone else.  The thing that sets us apart is not us, but Christ.  We have accepted His forgiveness and new life in Him.

With that being said, sometimes we fall into the same old traps as before our salvation: 

  • Blame game
  • Fence sitting
  • Focus error
  • Comparison

The Blame Game - it's not my fault.  We know that line all too well, don't we?  We start that thinking when we are just kids and many of us take that same train of thought right into adulthood and right into our Christianity.

The Bible says there is none good, no not one.  That tells me, I am to blame for my sin.  Praise the Lord, Jesus paid the way for my forgiveness and yours, too.  So, fellow believer, stop the blame game.  If there is sin in your life, own up to it, repent of it and move forward in restored fellowship with our Saviour.

Fence Sitting - I won't choose sides because I'll get hurt or hurt someone else either way.    There is no fence sitting in the Kingdom.  The Bible spells out right and wrong.  We are to stand behind Jesus Christ in everything. He fights for us.  Our job is to obediently follow Him.

So believer, remember Who you belong to and align yourself with Him.

Focus Error - staring at our problem makes it bigger.  Often times we forget just how big our Great God is because we've stopped looking at Him and are focused on whatever problem we have going on.

He spoke the world into existence. He breathed life into man.  He is the KING of kings and the LORD of lords.  There is NOthing too difficult for Him.  Believer, focus on Jesus.

Comparison - he/she has a perfect life.  Funny how we compare someone else's best snapshot to our worst thing. We beat ourselves up sometimes by our perceptions of others or vice versa.  Sometimes we "feel" better about ourselves because we compare ourselves to someone we "think" is worse than us.

There is only ONE Standard.  His name is Jesus.  We will never compare to Him.  But He gave us His righteousness when we got saved!  Be thankful for that. Serve Him as best you can in the way He calls you to do so.  He created you to be unique - one of a kind.  So be who God created you to be!  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
— 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christian, stop playing the blame game.  Stop sitting on the fence - choose a side.  Stop focusing on things other than Jesus.  And, finally, stop comparing yourself to others.

Jesus saved YOU to have a personal relationship with HIM.  Let's get on with that!

So You Will Know

PrayerJournal.ben-white.jpg

Photo by Ben White

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
— 1 John 5:13

When my children were young I learned to scrap book.  I learned this on our first family vacation.  We went to Homer, Alaska to visit some friends.

Every time I pick up that scrapbook, I find things about our vacation that I had forgotten.  Seeing the pages of the very memorable vacation reminds me of the wonderful time we had together!

On our very first day there, a bear came up the porch steps and… well, I digress!

All throughout scripture we are told to write this on your heart so that… you may tell your children, you may remember or so you will know!

In first John, John wrote things to you and I, so we would know we have eternal life.  Read it to be reminded how you’ve been bought with a price.  Jesus loves you and cares for you.  He is active daily in all areas of our lives.

One way we can remind ourselves of what great things Christ has done for us is to keep a prayer journal.

Simply put a date and your prayer request.  Then a date and the answer, even if the answer is no.  Over time, you will be reminded of God’s great faithfulness!

Blessings,

 

Feel free to use my printable.