Wisdom 12.25

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.” – Proverbs 12:25 HCSB

Just as an encouraging comment from a friend or a random compliment from a stranger can positively change your day; so can your words be to others. Consider speaking a “good word” today.

Commended

Medals, ribbons, and certificates, are all methods of being recognized for service, devotion and “going beyond the call of duty”. In the Christian life, there is also recognition, but not from peer acknowledgment. It’s based on Christ’s approval, and concerning the subject, the scripture gives this guidance:

“But he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.” – 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 NKJV

The competition is fierce, but it’s not against others, it’s against ourselves and the battle is waged within our hearts. The subtle whispers related to acceptance, rejection, and popularity can greatly influence our perception of what’s “commendable”. However, the Lord says He’s the One who holds the power to declare what is-and-isn’t worthwhile. What about today’s competition? As the struggle begins remember:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NKJV

Will you answer the call of duty? Let’s commit to fight for the things He considers worthwhile…today.

Harvest

A spiritual seed contains life. Whether it’s a word of scripture, a brief testimony, or the sharing of resources and encouragement, tiny grains of life can produce a sizeable harvest because Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest (Matt. 9:38). And regarding the harvest, our main concern is obedience. He knows the proper time for planting, the ideal amount of watering, and the peak time for reaping; but the harvest is still proportionate to the sowing:

“…He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6 NKJV

If we’re willing to sow, there will be produce based on the sowing and the motive. Something shared reluctantly may produce some return, but something shared joyfully can produce abundance:

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7 NKJV

The heart following the Lord’s lead is like the farmer who happily gets “seed in the ground”, then tenderly nurtures the baby crop to maturity. The Corinthian believers had committed earlier to give an offering to the other churches. It had come time to follow through and Paul was urging them to joyfully complete the task and give proof of their sincerity (8:8).

What’s the Lord of the Harvest leading you to give or do today, tomorrow, or next year? He’s the One that matters.

Perfected

Good days, bad days, highs and lows; they’re all part of the Christian life…but you’re perfect.

Even though it may not feel like it, if you’re in Christ, you’re perfect. As a matter of fact, the Bible explains it this way:

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

God’s righteousness is constant, total, and unyielding. According to the scriptures, His righteousness is graciously accounted to us through no merit of our own. However, we still live here in this world with all of its troubles, so what does “perfect” mean for the believer? It means our position before God is based on Christ’s perfection, even though our life on earth is a work in progress. Each day we should walk from a position of victory; not trying to achieve it, but having already been awarded it through faith in Christ. And the way it’s lived out is a process of realization through confidence in His promises:

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV

There is victory today based on His perfection. May we walk in it…

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your day be filled with great memories new and old; and may the peace of Christ enrich your heart as you gather to celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wisdom 11.14

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14 NKJV

Consultation is a great resource; and the quality of the counselor determines the value of the input. All opinions are not equal and the Holy Spirit can guide us to the right ones if we’re willing to listen.

Compelled

In your walk of faith, what motivates you? To be faithful? Read your Bible? Attend church? Pray? Share a testimony? According to scripture it should be this:

“For the love of Christ compels us…” – 2 Corinthians 5:14 NKJV

The compelling should be love based; Christ’s love for us, and our response of love back to Him. The next verse also adds that those who are in Christ should “…live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them.” (2 Cor. 5:15 NKJV) because through Jesus we are “re-made”. Consider:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold; all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

We are re-made for service and a few verses later (v.20) the job is described as “ambassador”. We are to represent, engage, and plead when necessary as royal representatives. We are sent, empowered and charged with a divine mission to represent the King; a loving King who desires reconciliation with all who will respond.

So what compels you today? Is it the favor, acceptance or recognition of other believers, or is it love for the King? We are ambassadors for Christ…

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