Let Us Overcome Evil With Good

When we try to make others pay for their sin, we have forgotten that Jesus paid for our sin. As recipients of grace, we are to release our instinct for revenge when others wrong us to let God judge, punish and make all things right in His timing and in His way.  Our role is to model His grace, not His judgment. Even when we must seek appropriate justice, it should be motivated by love, not hatred. So, let us overcome evil with good and leave it to God to do the work He means to do.  We who have received grace should be quickest to extend it, praying that others will turn to Jesus as we ourselves have done.

More About Jesus

With what are we filling up our social media feeds, texts and emails, and in-person conversations?  Speaking about our confidence in a political leader should pale in comparison to speaking about our faith in Jesus.  More important than warning others with our conspiracy theories is warning them about the consequences of their sin.  We shouldn’t talk as if our hope is in the hands of our government, but in the hands of our sovereign and loving Father in heaven.   People desperately need to hear… Biblical truth.  Good news of salvation.  Grace-dripping words.  Unshakeable promises of God.  More. About. Jesus.

Our Identity Is Not Something We Wear On The Outsi …

It’s not Sunday church clothes.  It’s not a cross necklace.  It’s not a t-shirt.  Being a Christian is not something we put on and take off depending upon the place we are at, the position we are in, or the people we are around.  We should strive by grace to speak, act and live in the same manner at all times, not picking and choosing when we let our Christianity be seen.  People will know that we belong to Jesus not because of what we have on, but by how we love on those around us.  24/7 we are imperfect image-bearers of the One living in our hearts.  Our identity is not something we wear, it’s something we are.

Christian Is The Adjective

Christian is the adjective that should describe every category of our lives.  We are Christian family members, Christian friends, Christian workers, Christian movie-goers, Christian neighbors, Christian drivers, Christian shoppers, and across all categories, Christian mistake-makers.  Flawed, but forgiven. Imperfect, but improving.  Unworthy, but unfinished.  Knowing Jesus… Has changed, is changing and will change who we are and what we do as we grow to trust Him and be like Him more fully in more areas of our lives.  A question we need to ask ourselves is this:  Do I live as if Jesus is my life or just a part of it?

The Everyday Moments Of Life

Do you know how God works through your life to change someone else’s life?  The everyday moments of life.   Don’t think there is no value in the chaos of your life.  Don’t believe that your normal life isn’t anything special. Don’t accept the lie that what you do and how you do it doesn’t matter.  Don’t give up when your efforts seem fruitless and unappreciated.  Don’t be silent about communicating the love of God in both your words and actions.  Moment by moment you can bear the Father’s heart, bear witness to Jesus, and bear the fruit of the Spirit. Every moment counts when you live it to point people to God.

He Never Said It Would Be Easy

Following Jesus means leaving some places, people, and pursuits behind to go wherever Jesus leads us, to do whatever Jesus says to us when we get there. It also means being faithful in the season, situation and spot He has already led us, to do whatever He brought us here to do.  Sometimes this faith journey will require us to go to hard places, have hard conversations, do hard things, endure hard circumstances and deal with hard people.  But Jesus will be with us every step of the way to make a way for us to take every step.  Be encouraged!  He never said it would be easy; He only said it would be worth it.

God Wants You To Be Great

God wants you to be great.  But… It’s not about size.  It’s not about strength.  It’s not about superiority. It’s not about success.  At least, not in the ways that the world calculates those things.  In the world we live in, the more people who serve you, the greater you are.  In the kingdom of God, the greater you are, the more people you serve.  God intends for your greatness to be in ways that are radically different than the world’s standards, for He measures greatness in the cross of Jesus Christ and in every act of His children that expresses that same kind of servant love towards those in need of it.  By grace, be great today.

As He Does For Us, So We Do For Others

It’s so easy to give up on people who don’t seem to get it or don’t seem to care.  It’s so easy to distance yourself from people who are negative.  It’s so easy to walk away from people who don’t agree with us.  It’s so easy to check out of relationships when we give more than we receive.  But don’t stop showing people the love of Jesus, because it is the love of Jesus that can soften a heart, transform a life, rewrite a story, and impact an eternity.  Though it is sometimes hard to do good to others, let us never give up on people by remembering that Jesus never gives up on us.  As He does for us, may we do for others.

Nothing Is Wasted

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.

Point Them To Hope For Hardships

Others need us to point them to where they can go for help in hardships.  Others need to believe us because they see us going there ourselves. The people in our lives need to see us suffer well, handling hardships with hope because we have Jesus in our lives.  They need to see and hear our joy-filled, hope-filled, peace-filled confidence in this:  He will get us through every test, trial and tribulation until He gets us home. As we walk through seasons of suffering, let us testify to the faithfulness of Jesus in walking with us so others can know, that because grace is available, they never have to walk alone either.

Be Salty And Shiny

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.

Christian Love Has Two Parts

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.

Shine A Spotlight On Him

The attention of every single consciously awake and aware human being is captured by something at all times.  We are either focused on something that nurtures a deeper love for, stronger dependence on, greater obedience to and better enjoyment of Jesus or something that drains that from us.  Our aim as Christians should be to interrupt the fixation of others on the world and its ways and shine a spotlight on Him, so they can experience the blessings and benefits of knowing Him and the privilege and pleasure of worshipping Him. Today, let us get people to look at us so we can encourage them to look at Him.

Not To Us, But To God Be The Glory

Christians should talk more about what God does than about what we do.  Even when we speak of what we do, it should be as a platform to talk about the enabling power, provision and presence of God in our lives.  We don’t have it all together.  We won’t get it all together.  We can’t keep it all together.  None of us wear capes as if we are super Christians; we wear the righteousness of Jesus.  None of us have magical powers that enable us to do things; we have the power of the Holy Spirit.  None of us belong on the throne of worship; we belong to a Heavenly Father Who does.  Not to us, but to God be the glory!

Live This Life In Light Of The One To Come

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.

Live Fully. Die Ready.

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

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.

Experiencing Peace And Making Peace

To be a peace-maker, we must first be a peace-experiencer.  When we put our faith in Jesus, we immediately experience peace with God and increasingly experience the peace of God.  With our sin no longer separating us from Him, we are then able to be instruments of peace in the lives of other sinners around us.  We do this by proclaiming the gospel message and reminding those in conflict of the precious promises made to those who let His peace rule in their hearts instead of being ruled by their sin. Today, let us strive to bring people together with each other and people together with God.

Infused With His Mercy

When we are moved by the mercy of God shown to us in Christ, we will move to show it to others.    The merciful extend forgiveness for sin and kindness in suffering to the people around them because they have experienced it themselves.  They have soft hearts, not hard ones.  They have reaching hands, not folded ones.  They have loving mouths, not condemning ones.  This is only possible when the God of mercy takes our natural inclination to be intolerant or indifferent and supernaturally infuses us with His delight to do good to the needy.  Today, let us ask Him to help us deal with others like He deals with us.

Doing Good In His Name

Let’s be honest:  It’s tempting to quit doing good in this world when the good we do is not noticed by others, appreciated by others, reciprocated by others or supported by others. Yet, we must remember that none of this is the reason why we do good in the first place.  We do good because God has been good to us, is being good to us and will continue to be good to us forevermore.  It is His image that we show to the world when we let our lights shine, so that He might be glorified.  What a wonderful reminder for today:  God is good, and we get to make Him look good, when we do good in His Name.