Christian

Where Has God Asked You to Love?

My job (and ministry) is in a middle school. You know, where kids know how to push your buttons and are exercising their desire to rebel against authority.

Maybe God hasn’t put anyone “hard to love” in your life, but I bet He has. I only know that what God has asked me to to do isn’t easy and even though I am willing – I keep failing over and over.

What is our mission?

It is to love!

Sometimes I wonder why He has called me to love those “not easy to love”. I’m not good at it! I lose my temper. I get angry. I lecture. I utter those horrible teacher words, “I’m done!”

The kind of love God expects us to show to others is not a feeling. It is an action. It can be very hard to show agape love. Where is your mission field? Do you sometimes find it difficult to show love to people there?

Over 20 years ago, God showed me something that I will never forget. At the time, I was very involved in women’s ministry, but I became increasingly disturbed by some of the teaching in my church. I asked God to show me where my focus should be.

I asked Him to show me the main idea of the New Testament. I felt like my focus was on the wrong things. In desperation, I read the New Testament through three times in a row.

In a notebook, I kept track of how often various subjects were discussed, such as hope, faith, prosperity, love, spiritual warfare, etc.

I discovered that love was the most frequently taught subject by far! There was no doubt about it. God was showing me, through my crisis, that love, agape love, was very important to Him and my focus should be there.

I began an in depth study on agape love, looking for every Biblical reference. I studied Greek and Hebrew definitions. I wrote. I read. I studied.

love is patient2I Corinthians 13:4-8

I can’t do it in my own strength. God must do it through me. Every day, I must pray for God’s power to dwell in me. Once we realize that we can’t do it ourselves, we have passed Lesson 1.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (NIV)

Lesson 2: Let our day begin with prayer. “Father, Show the Savior’s love through me today. Teach me to love.” And pray for them. Ask God to help you see the good things about them, not just what they do wrong.

Lesson 3: Study God’s Word about love and be changed. Start with I Corinthians 13. Meditate on it. Study it. How does it apply to my life?

“Love is patient.”  I Corinthians 13:4a

(I don’t know about you, but I need to meditate on these 3 words for at least a week!)

The Greek word for patient is makrothumeo. It means “slow to anger”.

“Being slow to anger does not mean that one does not care, but rather that he has his emotions under control.” (Detzler)

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

According to Vine’s Bible Dictionary, “Patience is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate.”

Webster defines patience as “enduring … trouble with composure and without complaining; refusing to be provoked …”

Note: I wrote this post about a year ago, but I find myself once again needing His strength and His grace to do the very thing He has asked me to do – love those God has put in my path – and show them God’s unconditional love.

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Bible

Our Role As God’s Ambassador

Do you sometimes feel like you don’t fit in? You may need to remind yourself that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, this world is not your home. Your home is in heaven and you are an ambassador for Christ in a foreign land.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV

“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” 1 Peter 2:11-12 The Message

An ambassador is a “diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative”.¹

We must remind ourselves that this is our role. We are ambassadors sent by God. I think it helps us to live a life a worthy of our calling when we think of ourselves as an ambassador.

“But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him]” 2 Corinthians 5:18 AMP

An ambassador is sent to a foreign land to reflect the official message of his country. God has sent us into the world with the message of reconciliation.

“… we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ…” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 AMP

However, actions speak louder than words. Talking about Jesus is important, but how we live speaks louder than our words. Caring about others is vital.

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ…” Ephesians 5:2 NLT

 

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

¹ Dictionary.com

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Christian

You Know We’re Running a Race, Right?

As I walked along the cornfield, it was as if the corn was alive. I watched the acres of leaves moving back and forth in the breeze and I was mesmerized. The beauty of nature often takes my thoughts to the Lord and His Word.

This particular morning I was walking Henry and Bella. I noticed how different they are. Bella meanders. She takes forever to walk to the end of the sidewalk. I’m convinced that if she actually attempted to go somewhere, she would eventually end up right where she started! (Remember this later.)

Bella
Bella, the Meanderer

Henry is another story. He runs everywhere he goes! He is one  determined pup!

It made me think about my commitment to God. How am I “running the race”?

The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us …” Hebrews 12:1

Am I meandering along like Bella, or am I running like Henry?

IMG_0481
Henry, the Runner

Paul said, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

This verse inspires me to earnestly embrace the mission (ministry) God has given me. (To run harder than anyone else!)

Whatever God calls us to do, it will require perseverance. Let’s start running!

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

1st photo Naassom-Azevedo, Unsplash

Christian

Illegal Immigrants: What To Do

I used to be a “News Junkie”. I kept my TV on cable news for hours each day – Not any more!

Every news channel spins the news to fit their agenda. Information is “leaked” to make political opponents look bad. Neither side tells the whole story. So I quit watching.

I can’t fix politics, but this I know: There is a world of hurting people out there. They are our neighbors whether they are citizens or not. There is one thing I can do, something that will actually make a difference. I can love.

We have endless opportunities to show God’s love right where we live and work. Where there is opportunity, I have a responsibility to demonstrate the love of Christ.

Paul said, “Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].” Colossians 4:5-6 AMP

As I meditated on this verse today, I thought about salt and what it does. Salt makes things taste good. It also makes us thirsty.

How I interact with those around me makes a difference. Am I salty or bland? Do I make people thirst for more or do I make them wish I would shut up? (Ouch!) If I’m preachy or judgmental, well that’s not good. Somebody pass the salt! If I’m loving and kind, it might just make somebody thirst for more.

Scripture References:

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 (Read Luke 10:25-37 for the whole conversation.)

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog

Photo by Siddhant Soni on Unsplash

Christian

Dear Christian Writer

When I do all the talking, I can’t hear God! That’s right. You heard me right. Do you ever have that problem? Prayer isn’t just talking. It’s listening, too.

Sometimes, in my eagerness to write, I rush ahead of God. When I don’t wait on Him, I make mistakes – not horrible mistakes, but my writing lacks something.

In other words, I can’t wait. So I write in my own strength, depending on my own abilities. That is not what God wants from me.

How do I know that I rushed ahead of God? Because I realize later that I ignored the still small voice. That’s easy to do. We hear the whisper of God’s Spirit, but do not stop long enough to consider it. We cannot wait. We have to plow on.

This quote by John Piper made an impact on me, “To wait on God means to pause and soberly consider our own inadequacy and the Lord’s all-sufficiency, and to seek counsel and help from the Lord.”

I pray that God will teach me to wait and to listen; and to know the difference between working in my own strength or wholly depending on His.

Scriptures to Ponder

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin….” Zechariah 4:10

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.   Isaiah 40:31

 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Christian

How To Have a Powerful Ministry (No Matter Where It Is)

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” – Corrie Ten Boom

Imagine Jesus going with you out the door every morning. Wherever you’re off to, it’s a place God wants to spread His Love. We never know what opportunity may come our way. Where are you sharing God’s love? in a church? a school? an office? among the poor? the homeless? a foreign country? a prison? This is your ministry, your opportunity to show God’s love.

The most far-reaching component of our ministry, by far, is spending time in God’s Word. Not only will the Holy Spirit give understanding about what we are reading, He will bring it to our remembrance when we need it later.

Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it is a good thing for you that I should go away. For if I did not go away, the divine helper would not come to you. But if I go, then I will send him to you.” John 16:7 Phillips

That is a remarkable statement Jesus made! How could it be better if he went away? It is because when Jesus walked this Earth in bodily form he was only available when he was physically with them; but now the Holy Spirit is always with the believer and ready to guide us. Today, the believer can truly walk with Jesus and He is always present with us through the Holy Spirit.
This message is simple, but not effortless, and it is essential to effective ministry. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you today.
Scripture References

In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 AMP

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26 NASB

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

1st Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Christian

A Dream Planted By God

“When the dream in our heart is one that God has planted there, a strange happiness flowers into us. At that moment all of the spiritual resources of the universe are released to help us. Our praying is then at one with the will of God and becomes a channel for the Creator’s always joyous, triumphant purposes for us and our world.” Catherine Marshall

Did you ever stop to think about this? That you are working and praying for something that God Himself put in your heart!

This is my desire, that my prayers would be at one with the will of God, and to know that I am praying according to His will.

“Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 TLB

What is your dream?

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

1st Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash