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How Christians Dress for Success

Posted on July 19, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12

My friend, Kurt Kilpatrick, is a member of the National Speaker’s Association. He once told me of a group within his profession who were Dress for Success advocates. Obviously, they were easy to spot at any meeting. Perfectly coiffed and immaculately dressed. Suitable for display in any upscale department store window.

Now, when you dress for success, you’re not doing it solely for the benefit of others. You feel better about yourself, more confident. If you want to be a winner, dress like a winner.

Paul’s instruction in Colossians 3 follows that same logic, albeit figuratively. Get rid of the old sinful wardrobe and replace it with attire befitting a Christian.

In the verses leading up to our focus text, Paul lists the articles of clothing that should have already been discarded: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. (Colossians 3:5) In verse 8, he added sinful behavior that still needed to be addressed: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language and lying (v9).

What behavioral changes have you made since coming to Christ? And what needs to be corrected now? Take inventory of your spiritual closet and cast off everything that doesn’t belong, the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1). Sin hinders your walk with God, prevents you from the abundant life Christ has promised.

I have often heard people complain that Christians have too many rules. Too many “thou-shalt-nots.” As a veteran of many diets, I have learned that it is better to focus on what you can have as opposed to what you can’t. That’s what Paul encourages us to do as he opens our eyes to the big picture. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…” (Colossians 3:12)

You aren’t that old lost sinner anymore. You are no longer destined for the wrath of God (v6). God CHOSE you and through the work of Christ you have been made holy, and you are dearly loved.

When I was 11-years-old, I tried out for the Pure Peppers Little League team and made it. I was chosen by the best team in the league. And I couldn’t wait to wear my new uniform.

Better than that, we have been chosen for God’s eternal team. There’s no greater honor. We should wear the uniform proudly.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

This clothing is all that should be hanging in your closet. Throw out the old rags and devote your life to the qualities worthy of team Jesus.

Put on the uniform that brings success and places you in the best position for serving Christ.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Show Yourself to Be a Child of God

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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What It Means to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit

Posted on July 18, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

You’ve probably heard the old weight-gain joke, “My body is a temple. I’m adding a parking lot.” But the directive to treat our bodies as a temple is no laughing matter.

A temple is a place of worship. As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives within us and with these bodies we offer praise to God.

There’s an old expression that comes to mind. “Don’t drag me into it.” That’s said when somebody invites you to take part in a discussion, argument, or controversy. It also aptly describes what happens when we sin. Since the Holy Spirit dwells within, we drag God into it.

The context of our focus text has to do with sexual sin. I commend 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 to you for a better understanding of this important topic.

As Paul leads up to his declaration that the body is a temple, he argues, “The body… is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord.” (v13) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!” (v15)

When you go to work or on a business trip, you leave your family behind. There is a natural feeling of separation. Hopefully, your behavior doesn’t change when you are absent from them. But the separation is real. You are alone and may feel freedom you don’t experience when you are in their presence. But that freedom doesn’t give you license to betray their trust in you.

You may have similar feelings in your relationship to God when you are not in church, in prayer, or in bible study. Alone. Absent from the Lord. Free to engage in activity unbecoming a Christian. But guess what? Unlike your earthly relationships, you are NEVER absent from the Lord.

Remember God’s promise: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23) Then in verse 26, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, “… to help you and be with you forever.”

The godhead; Father, Son, and Spirit continually abides with every Christian. We are never alone.

To be sure, it’s a comforting thought to know God is always with us. But having the Lord “onboard” requires responsibility, respect, and reverence.

Worship in our bodily temple doesn’t end at 12:00 on Sunday or after our daily quiet time. It can and should continue throughout our daily routine. In Romans 12:1, Paul teaches, “… offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Offering our bodies as a living sacrifice means that we refrain from sinful sexual behavior and thus maintain holiness that is pleasing to God.

Sexual impropriety was prevalent in Paul’s day as in ours. However, there are now more ways than ever to pursue deviant behavior. Easily accessible sexual temptation is only a few keystrokes away. But the Biblical instruction hasn’t changed. We’re to “Flee from sexual immorality…” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

Paul concludes his argument, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Your body belongs to Christ, bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus. Treat your body so as to honor God.

Now, the context of Paul’s teaching focuses exclusively on sexual immorality. In a broader sense, when we consider the body as a temple where God resides, we can conclude that the way we care for our bodies is also important. Just as we’re to be good stewards of all that God provides, we should properly maintain and care for the temple.

Your body is a temple and intended for holy conduct that honors God. And like I said earlier, when you engage in sin, you drag Him with you. Is that really what you want or should do?

For more on this topic, check out this article: With Christian Freedom Comes Responsibility

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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You Can’t Fake Your Way Into Heaven

Posted on July 17, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Romans 12:9

Have you ever met a loving, caring, and morally decent person who later turned out to be a fraud?

In our focus text, the Apostle Paul calls attention to three important aspects of Christian behavior, the first of which has to do with how we are to love. “Love must be sincere.” Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. For you and me, love must be genuine.

There’s an old expression that’s often used in business. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Well, in the matter of love, that concept has no merit. In fact, you can’t fake a right relationship with Christ. You’re either the real deal or you’re not. You might fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool the Lord.

The real Christian hates evil and clings to good. The pretender lives as he wants, sets his own moral compass, clings to what suits his purposes, while claiming to be what he is not.

The genuine Christian sins, but not habitually. (1 John 5:18) The pretender sins with little or no remorse and wants the Christian label without responsibility.

True enough, we aren’t to judge. (Matthew 7:1) However, Jesus also said of false prophets, “… by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Mt 7:20) We’re not to cast judgement on others but we do have to make judgements about those who claim to be Christians or leaders within the Christian church. False doctrine leads to false belief and misaligned faith.

Again, we’re not to judge, but we must carefully scrutinize those we hang with and those we follow. Judgement of the pretenders is up to Christ.

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Amazing isn’t it? Pretenders can fake spirituality and perform in ways that appear to represent God.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should suddenly start scrutinizing every Christian for warning signs of fraudulent behavior. All of us do and say things that can call into question our right relationship to Christ. Only God knows the reality of one’s heart. The most important thing for you and me in this regard is to make certain we’re the real deal. The response we should long for is, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23)

There is something I do to my wife that is insincere and I’m working on changing it. To be fair, most men do it, but that doesn’t make it right. When she talks, I pretend to be listening. Guys, if you think we are fooling our wives, we’re not. They know our feeble attempts at conversation are insincere. They deserve better.

A more serious problem is when that insincerity carries over into our worship, prayer life, bible study, behavior, and faith.

God honors faith that is genuine and sincere. “… without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6) “… anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Do you believe that? Do you believe intellectually and from the heart He exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him?

Notice the operative word “earnestly.” Our faith must not only involve intellectual ascent but earnest pursuit of His divine involvement in our lives. Faith is not passive but active resulting in changed behavior and good works. “… faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26)

So when Paul instructs, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good…” (Ro 12:9), he is telling us to keep it real. You can’t fake your way into heaven. God honors real faith, saving faith; living, breathing, active, sincere, earnest, working faith that permeates our being and affects the way we live.

For more on this topic, check out this article: What is Required of Those Who Follow Christ

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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How God Works for Us Behind the Scenes

Posted on July 16, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Genesis 50:20

These are the words of Joseph in response to his brothers’ request for mercy. Their intent to harm him had failed and Joseph had become the second most powerful leader in Egypt. Out of jealousy, they sold him into slavery. But God had a different plan for Joseph’s life.

In Romans 8:31, Paul writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” God uses us for His good purposes and blesses us DESPITE the evil intentions of our enemies, and threatening circumstances of life. No person or situation can keep us from God’s unfailing love.

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

We know that faith is not what we see, but what we don’t see. (Hebrews 11:1) Although it may appear that nothing is happening to deliver you from your difficult situation, God is working behind the scenes, directing people and events to align with your need. He will help you in His time and in His way. While you wait, He grows you in the faith and teaches you to rely on Him and not yourself.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

When Joseph’s brothers sought to get rid of him, he was purchased as a slave to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. In time, Joseph became Potiphar’s personal assistant. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph and attempted to seduce him, but he refused. So she falsely accused him of rape, and he was thrown into prison. Again, Joseph was in what looked like a hopeless situation. But God wasn’t finished. Contacts in prison miraculously opened the door for Joseph to work for Pharaoh which ultimately led to his high government position.

Joseph was sold into slavery in his teens. The time of reunion with his brothers and their request for forgiveness didn’t come until he was in his thirties. But in all that time, God was moving the pieces of Joseph’s puzzle, putting everything in perfect alignment to vindicate him.

How desperate and hopeless Joseph must have felt when he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Even when it appeared his life had turned around, a lie sent him to prison. Falsely accused. Treated as a criminal. Held captive amidst thugs and murderers. He had to have felt lower than low. But God was still working.

God knows what you need, He loves you, cares for you, and wants the best for you.

Whenever I’m in a bad situation, I believe God will answer my prayer. I don’t know how, nor when. But I am confident He is working behind the scenes, preparing my blessing, and at just the right time He will come through for me. He always has. I have no reason to doubt that He always will.

Thinking about God at work, even when I can’t see evidence that anything has changed helps me get through hard times. Today’s disappointment just means that God has something better.

If on this day you need deliverance, I pray that God will lift your burden and grant His favor.

For more on this topic, check out this article: How God Works for Your Good

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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Spiritual Gifts for Dummies

Posted on July 15, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

Knowing or discovering your spiritual gifts shouldn’t be a mystery. Why would God give you a gift and then withhold the identity? Yet, many books, programs, and seminars have been developed to help Christians discover and then implement their spiritual gifts.

When Paul addressed spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, he was dealing with a problem in the early church. Jealousy and controversy had arisen over a perceived hierarchy of spiritual gifts. They were approaching the gifts of the Spirit like superpowers. “Flying is superior to x-ray vision,” or “supernatural strength trumps mental telepathy.”

Interestingly, Paul follows his corrective instruction on spiritual gifts with his famous teaching on love in Chapter 13. Love is, after all, the driving force behind faithfulness to God and Christian service.

The Holy Spirit endows us with gifts to benefit the Lord’s work through and in the body of Christ. All gifts are important and complement one another.

If you are serving the Lord, you are already using your gift. There isn’t some unknown spiritual gift awaiting your discovery. Spiritual gifts come naturally, and they become more effective as you grow in your walk with the Lord.

In a play or movie script, each character has a specific role. Each is integral to the story. So it is with God’s church. We are assigned roles in the divine design. Paul uses the analogy of a human body and how each body part benefits the whole. Unfortunately, the body suffers when some parts fail to function as they should.

I once played baseball and saw myself as a first baseman. How did I gravitate toward that one position as opposed to another? When I played football, I wanted to be a quarterback, but was better suited to play guard or tackle. As a musician, I tried several instruments before becoming passionate about becoming a trombonist.

All of us have unique and individual influences, passions, desires, talents, and aptitudes that push us toward one thing or another. You might say we are born with those tendencies.

When a person experiences the new birth, he or she is then blessed with new tendencies. That’s not to say the old talents and abilities no longer have value. God wants you to hold onto all that is good and decent. But He also gifts you spiritually to fulfill your role in the body of Christ, which is His church.

So how do you identify your gift? I’ll answer that with a question. To what ministry do you feel compelled to get involved? The Holy Spirit not only endows you with a spiritual gift(s), but also leads you into specific areas of service.

Spiritual gifts have multiple applications. For example, let’s examine the gift of encouragement. You can encourage and inspire through many areas of ministry. Sing in the choir. Visit shut-ins. Greet new visitors to the church. Carry a meal to a family who has recently lost a loved one. Write a note of encouragement to a hurting friend. Visit a hospital patient. Share uplifting words with a friend or co-worker who’s going through a tough time. All of that and so much more results from your God-given gift of encouragement.

Here are some helpful scriptures on spiritual gifts:

Spiritual gifts are not given for our glory, but the glory of God. They don’t make us more special than another or elevate our importance in the eyes of God. They are given out of God’s perfect wisdom and knowledge, according to His purpose. You are His instrument. Your role is to allow Him to use you as He sees fit.

Your gift(s) are available and accessible. Ask God what He wants you to do. The Holy Spirit will lead you toward fulfilling your role in God’s ministry. The only thing that will prevent you from learning and using your gift is inactivity. And if you have no leaning toward some role in ministry, then you should resort to the faith test, to see whether you are in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

All Christians have been given spiritual gifts. “… to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7) And all Christians are to use their gifts. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)

For more on this topic, check out this article: The Lord is the Supreme Gift Giver

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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Healing for a Broken Heart

Posted on July 14, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

Did you know there is a medical condition called broken heart syndrome? It’s called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress cardiomyopathy. The condition occurs when the heart muscle is weakened from emotional stress such as losing a loved one, a break-up, or continual anxiety.

If you have suffered from a broken heart, you know how stressful it can be. You can also identify with the term that so aptly captures the feeling. It’s like your life has been taken from you, as if your heart has been ripped from your chest.

Heartbreak is overwhelming distress that results from severe disappointment or an unexpected tragedy. Loss is often involved; death of a beloved family member or friend, health crisis, unanticipated unemployment, or destruction of home and property. Sometimes the root cause is betrayal by a close friend or a failed love relationship. In all situations, the heart is deeply involved and considerable time, resources, and effort has been invested.

However, it should be pointed out that a broken heart is not always bad. Such is the case when we agonize over sin that leads to sorrow for wrongdoing, and then confess, and repent before the Lord.

A broken heart also has positive consequences when we grieve over the wickedness and wrongs of society and are motivated to bring about change. So many of the causes you and I are asked to support were started by someone whose heart was broken by the plight of the poor, abused, downtrodden, sick, helpless, and those who have suffered tragedies.

In Psalm 69:20, the Psalmist writes, “Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.” He felt helpless and that no one cared, nobody offered comfort. His sentiments express the loneliness that accompanies heartbreak.

But we are not left without a remedy for a broken heart. Our focus text puts it this way, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Although a broken heart may seem irreparable, God heals the condition. It doesn’t happen instantly but in time you will be restored.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. One benefit of growing old is having experienced the faithfulness of God to His promises. I’ve been blessed to have lived long enough to “Taste and see that the LORD is good…” (Psalm 34:18) One day you awaken and realize that all your troubles are in the rearview mirror. “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all…” (v19) God is faithful. Take it from this veteran of spiritual wars.

God heals the brokenhearted. Nothing you are going through right now will last forever.

But what about those people and things we lose in life that are irreplaceable?

I recall coming home from school and telling my grandmother I was hungry. Since dinner wasn’t ready, she offered me something to “tide me over.” It was always just enough to get me through to the evening feast. God understands how deeply you loved the one you lost. He knows no substitution will do. In those times, He gives you what you need to “tide you over” until you gain the ultimate healing, that place where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…” (Rev 21:4)

Whatever He gives will be more than enough to meet your needs, bless you, and keep you — until that glorious day when you enter into His eternal presence.

For more on this topic, check out this article: God Protects and Vindicates His Children

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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The Christian Work Ethic

Posted on July 13, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…

Colossians 3:23

Yesterday, I accompanied my wife to the garden center. Few things give her more pleasure than plants and flowers. As for me, well, I’m content with supporting her habit. I push the buggy and do my best to smile through the ordeal.

Her flower garden is her passion, and she pushes herself to the brink of her physical limitations to do the hard work required. On those rare occasions when she persuades me to join her for a little digging in the dirt, my enthusiasm for the task is considerably less than hers. It’s just not my thing.

That’s the way we approach work projects. If we’re involved in something we love, then we give it all we have. But if it’s something we care little about or dislike, then we do just enough to get by.

The Apostle Paul addressed the Christian work ethic in our focus text. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.”

Most of my life, I’ve been blessed with jobs I loved. But along the way, I also had some jobs I took out of necessity. You’ve probably had some jobs like that. You dread going to work and can’t wait until quitting time.

But regardless of our opinion of our work, we should always give our best, “as working for the Lord.”

Some people in Paul’s day suffered from short-timer syndrome. Jesus was coming back soon to take them away from the drudgery of life. Others saw their newfound freedom in Christ as an excuse for slothfulness.

In all our pursuits, since surrendering to Christ, we work for the Lord. And we should act like it.

Perhaps you have a job that makes you miserable. But you also have a means of income; something for which to be thankful. Approach your work with an attitude of gratitude.

Possibly, your boss treats you badly, but at least you have a boss. Be thankful. Your hard and efficient work in the midst of a difficult situation demonstrates your love and faithfulness to Christ.

I’m reminded of something Jesus said about love. In Matthew 5:44, He told us to love our enemies. Let’s be honest. That’s a tough command to follow. Jesus says, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”  His point is that it’s easy to love those who love us. Anybody can do it. But Christians are capable of so much more. We have the capacity for loving those who despise us. You and I have been given divine enablement for doing what the world can’t.

The same is true for instructions regarding our work ethic. Even though we’re in an unpleasant, thankless, or difficult job situation, we can rise above the urge to sluff off or do just enough to get by. We show ourselves to be God’s children by doing our best despite the way we feel. Remember, you don’t work for man. You work for God.

Just because we’re underpaid doesn’t mean we should under-perform. Only excellence is worthy of our Lord.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Make Time to Serve Jesus Christ

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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Working for the Lord’s Higher Purpose

Posted on July 12, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

…even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 10:33

We come into the world wanting attention. “Hey, look at me. Look at what I have or what I can do.” But when we are born again, that focus changes, or it should. Instead of saying, “Look at me,” we should say, “Look at Him.”

If your life was an advertisement for Christ and His kingdom, how effective would it be?

Some people share their faith by handing out gospel tracts. Others carry a big Bible and preach in a public square. Some enlist in witnessing programs, like Evangelism Explosion. Then there’s the bring-a-friend-to-church method. Nothing wrong with these efforts at bringing the lost to Christ. But nothing represents Christ better than godly living and a sincere concern for others.

In the two previous devotions, I emphasized the importance of valuing others, placing them in high esteem, and giving them respect. That’s what Paul means when he says, “I try to please everyone in every way.” He lived a godly life around everyone, including prison guards. And he was motivated by a higher purpose, not for his benefit, but for the benefit of others.

He didn’t allow mistreatment, slights, or the offensive behavior of others to alter the way he treated them. Paul employed the hard teachings of scripture that call for loving your enemies, blessing those who persecute you, loving your neighbor as yourself, and forgiveness. He took the position, “If God loves me, after all I’ve done, then I can love you.” In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul wrote, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

Paul’s statement that he tried “to please everyone in every way,” does not mean that he conformed with the sinful practices of the crowd he wanted to reach for Christ. He didn’t go out drinking with the boys, attend wild parties, or embrace the seedier side of life to accomplish the higher purpose. But he treated everyone with respect, valued them more highly than himself, and looked beyond their faults to focus on their greater need.

Red Lobster has been running a TV ad lately that makes me want their lobster dinner every time I see it. That’s amazing, considering I don’t like lobster. The ad gurus have successfully caused me to think again about something I had previously dismissed. Oh, that I could live my life in such a way that someone who had rejected Christianity would take a second look.

Who in your life is the thorn in your side? Thank the Lord if no name comes to mind. However, for most of us there is someone, or more than one, who has hurt us deeply. We say we forgive them but the wounds remain. The thought of valuing them higher than ourselves may sound good in theory, but it’s not practical. When misfortune comes their way, we can’t help but get a little satisfaction from it. They are deplorable, reprehensible, and undesirable. Yet they remain in your life. By necessity, possibly because the two of you were once married and had children together. Or that coworker who treated you horribly is now your boss. Or maybe you were betrayed by a friend.

As a Christian, your higher purpose is to be faithful to God by honoring Him with your life, which includes following all of God’s directives, not just what is convenient. That includes being good to all. Paul’s motivation for rising above his personal feelings was for the salvation of others and to honor God.

Granted, some of the people who have hurt us claim to be Christians. But that doesn’t excuse our responsibility to uphold a godly witness.

Our good conduct doesn’t guarantee that anyone will be saved or that any Christian will correct their behavior. But it does guarantee that God will be honored and represented in the world as He should be.

Let your light shine on everyone and leave the results up to God.

For more on this topic, check out this article: The Powerful Influence of Faith

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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