Today let us START with taking an inventory of our own lives.
Are others able to 'see' Jesus in my life?
When people leave my presence do they go away knowing that they have been in the company of one who truly walks with God and reflects His image?
Do I walk in compassion with others?
Let's look at some Scriptures and see how we are doing.
Ephesians 5:21 - meditate on this one!
If we are at least striving to walk in these, then good for us. If any of these areas described in the above verses hit us 'below the belt' and we know we've failed in them, lets begin to pray and ask Holy Spirit to help us overcome them so that we can truly reflect Christ to others around us.
We are to stand out in this world . . . we ARE set apart, and we are to be holy as God is holy! God has already given us everything we need! (2 Peter 1:3) and our lives should BE fully producing the fruit of The Spirit which is:
LOVE - JOY - PEACE - PATIENCE - KINDNESS - GOODNESS - FAITHFULNESS - GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL (Galatians 5:22,23)
Fruit does not happen overnight, but as we constantly stay connected to Him (John 15) by reading and studying His Word, communicating with Him through prayer, praise and worship and having fellowship with other believers) God will (as the Master Gardner) prune, cultivate, water and the Fruit will be abundant. We need to do our part and trust Him for the results.
Are YOU walking the talk?
"I am living the life.", you say - but what does that mean? Answer the following truthfully:
1. Am I attending church consistently?
2. Why am I attending church?
3. Am I opening up my Bible on a regular basis? (outside of a church or Bible study group)
4. Do my family, friends and co-workers see me as a true follower of Christ (or do I blend in with the crowd)?
5. What is different about me - can others see a difference?
6. What areas do I need to allow Holy Spirit to change within myself to become the man or woman of God that He desires me to be?
7. Do I have anyone in my life to hold me accountable in my faith walk? Or, am I a lone ranger (with an attitude of "just Jesus and me"?
What does God's Word say about the way I am to live my life as one of His beloved children? Please read and write out your own interpretation of the following - and how it does apply, or how you need to apply it to your life.
Acts 2:42-47 Does this ring true in your life (in your Christian fellowship)?
"The whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." Ephesians 4:16 - is this a regular part of your Church 'family'?
What are some ways you feel you can help your place of worship reach this type of 'family' / 'fellowship' lifestyle?
The first time I really “took God at His Word”, you know, decided to STAND on it and apply it to my life was during one of the darkest periods of my life. I was at the end of my rope. I was depressed and feeling completely hopeless. Oh, I was going to church regularly and even reading my Bible on a daily basis, but I was only going through the motions. There was no victory and suddenly Holy Spirit lifted a verse from the Psalms and said, “This is for you!”
What was for me? Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”. See my focus was on everything except God and His word. What are the deep desires of your heart? A closer walk with God? Peace when you lie down to sleep and your bank account is nearing zero? Answered prayers for your family? Having victory over the same besetting sin (s)?
There are other promises from the Lord which could apply to you about these areas. Let us look at some of them and meditate for a moment to see what they could mean to you, shall we?
“But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel (your people). Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them. They cried out to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.” (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 16:13, 14
“Keep your eyes open for spiritual danger; stand true to the Lord; act like men; be strong; and whatever you do, do it with kindness and love.” (TLB)
“Watch this: God's eyes are on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together. We're depending on God, he's everything we need. What's more, our hearts brim with joy since we've taken for own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you've got – that's what we're depending on.” (from the Message)
How much have I taken God at His word in my life?
How much have I truly trusted and believed that He is on my side?
How patient have I been in waiting before Him to hear Him speak to me? (and, then, have I obeyed?)
What ever your battles, what ever your struggles I testify God's word and your faith together will prevail for you! Prayerfully, ask the Lord to meet with you when you read and meditate during your Bible study.
One day while I was doing just this the Lord said to me, Frank, if you will delight yourself in Me I promise to give to you the deep, deep desires for which you long. I said, “Oh, wow!” I'll tell you what those deep desires were for; they were for a devout Christian woman who would love me and be my wife. Ask my dear bride, Karin, she'll tell you about it! In less than 4 months we were married!
God's amazing orchestration in united Karin and I is detailed in “Our Journey”
4-Given Ministries Prays
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