Satan wants to convince us that our doing good isn’t actually doing much good. He will skew the facts, point to the wrong metric, and mislabel our actions as failures. But God doesn’t measure our success by social media likes, comments and shares. God sees us quietly toiling behind the scenes loving Him by loving others and measures our success not by our fruitfulness or fanfare, but our faithfulness. What’s even more encouraging is this: God is working through us in ways that are unknown to us. So… keep on faithfully serving King Jesus because it all counts. Nothing you do for His kingdom will ever be wasted.
You were made to influence the world for good in such a way that God gets the credit. God calls you. God prepares you. God sends you. God empowers you. God uses you. God rewards you. He gives you a platform to shine light into the surrounding darkness. He gives you a platform to salt the surrounding flavorlessness. Why? So others come into the light. So others taste the flavor. Christians are salty and shiny when they make God and His kingdom taste and look good through what we say and do, so that others find their way to happiness in Him and He is honored in them. Be salty. Be shiny. Be like Jesus.
God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him as if He could ever be deficient in some area that we could supply for Him. But our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, and strangers do need us to do for them. Not because God is failing to meet their needs, and we should make up for His oversight or indifference, but rather because in His loving providence, He has sent us to bring His aid to them. God puts us in places where needy people are right in front of us so we can be like Jesus to them by offering a helping hand, a guiding word, and a loving embrace. He is working all the time and often it is through us.
Christian love has two parts: affection and action. Love feels something on the inside. Love does something on the outside. These two parts work together in the lives of those who follow Jesus to help us relate to each other like Jesus relates to us. When we look at how His love for us is, we see how our love for others should be. To the degree that we anticipate and appreciate His care for us in seeking our good, we will reflect that same lovingkindness towards the people in our lives as we seek their good. Spurred on by His love, let us love today like Jesus … caring about others and caring for others.
God certainly works in supernatural ways at times, but He also works at making supernatural changes inside of His people so we who have been touched by His grace and generosity will pay it forward to others. You can’t do everything, but you can do something to make a difference … one need at a time, one moment at a time, one person at a time. Therefore, show the world His heart for them by being His hands and feet to them. The church of God, His people, you and me, are His Plan A for blanketing the world with good works and spreading the good news of Jesus everywhere we go. There is no Plan B.
Living fully is not about having the most fun, experiencing the greatest pleasure, and doing the biggest good in this world as if this place is all there is. Instead, it’s about the eternal ripple your life can make when you use it for Jesus. That doesn’t mean you leave happiness and helpfulness behind; it means you find it in a more meaningful way. We are to be faithful witnesses for God in the everyday things of life that we’re doing on earth (from cookouts to workouts to hangouts) in such a way that we’ll be glad we did when we get to heaven. Enjoy blessings. Do good. Glorify God. Live this life in light of the one to come.
We don’t like to think about it. We don’t like to talk about it. But death is coming for us all. We may not be certain of the time of its arrival, but the certainty of its arrival is never in doubt. Instead of ignoring, downplaying, or fearing it, we should let its reality accomplish two essential and monumental things in our lives: be purposeful to experience life before death, and be prepared to experience life after death. Jesus makes both of these possible as we trust Him. He gives us grace so we can give ourselves to the things that matter most. In every step of faith, let us rely on Him to help us… Live fully. Die ready.
God has divinely positioned you so that your life intersects with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and teammates so you can help them take the next step in their spiritual journey. These people that He will bring into your path today desperately need to know what you know about Jesus. God has sent you to tell them about the riches of His grace, and the only message about Jesus that He can’t use is the one you don’t share. One of the greatest aims of your life should be that the people in your life grow in their relationship with Jesus because of their relationship with you.
Time. Is. Precious. It’s precious because it’s short, we don’t know how much more of it remains, it is gone forever once we use it, and there are staggering implications for how we use it. There is only One Who knows how to best use the time that remains for you and me, so let’s not leave Jesus out of our plans today or any day. Remember this: we can spend our time any way we choose, but we can only spend it once. As we live by grace, in dependence upon the presence and power and purposes of Jesus, He will help us give less priority to the things that really don’t matter and more priority to the things that do.
Even as Christians, one of the human weaknesses that we must continue to seek divine strength to overcome is our bent to be selfish. We need the mind and heart of Christ: a mind that regularly thinks of others rather than just ourselves, and a heart that is compassionate enough to serve and support others even at our own expense. It should be the golden rule, not the exception, to give up what we want so others can get what they need. That is when we are like Jesus. Today, go out of your way to do for others, joyfully remembering this: Jesus went out of His way from heaven to earth to the cross to do for you.
Grace is not cruise control. Ours is not a set it and forget it relationship in which God does all the work, and we do none of it. He does all of the things that only He can do and enables us to do all of the things that He purposes for us to do. How do we respond to grace? We. Work. Hard. We work hard to be who God called us to be and do what God has called us to do in Christ, relying on His power and provision every step of the way. Grace isn’t opposed to effort; it’s opposed to trying to earn what we’ve been freely given. We don’t work hard to receive God’s grace; we work hard because we have already received it.