Word of the Day

Serving allows us to experience miracles.

In John 2, Jesus was at a wedding and the couple was running out of wine for its guests. He tells the servants to fill several big jars to the brim. When they served the water to the guests, it was wine! The guests never knew what happened; the servants were the ones who witnessed the miracle. The same is true for us when we serve.

We cannot do everything but we can do something. Find something you can do and make sure you do it for the right reasons.



Word of the Day

Benefits Of Serving God

There are significant benefits to serving God and serving others. One is the sheer joy found in hearing the still small voice in your heart saying “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

8 Blessings We Experience By Serving Others:

1. Serving allows us to discover and develop our spiritual gifts.

1 Corinthians 12 compares the church to a human body. Just like our bodies are made of many parts serving specific functions, the church is made up of people with different skills and abilities. Alone these pieces aren’t very useful, but together we create something beautiful.

2. Serving allows us to experience miracles.

In John 2, Jesus was at a wedding and the couple was running out of wine for its guests. He tells the servants to fill several big jars to the brim. When they served the water to the guests, it was wine! The guests never knew what happened; the servants were the ones who witnessed the miracle. The same is true for us when we serve.

3. Serving allows us to experience the joy and peace that comes from obedience.

1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms… so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” Serving is a form of worship, a way to express gratitude for what Jesus has done for us, and to share the love and grace we’ve been given.

4. Serving helps us to be more like Jesus.

We shift our focus off of ourselves onto others through serving. We begin to see others as Jesus sees them. And we see Jesus IN others (Matthew 25:40).

5. Serving surrounds us with other Christians who can help us follow Jesus.

When we’re working side by side with other people, a bond inevitably forms. This was part of God’s plan for how the church is supposed to work. That’s why Hebrews 10:24-25 instructs us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together… but encouraging one another.”

6. Serving increases our faith.

As we move out of our comfort zones, God increases our faith by revealing new potential — in ourselves and in His Church. When we see what He can do when His power is at work within us, we begin looking for the doors He’s opening rather than pushing our way through the one’s He’s closed (Ephesians 3:20).

7. Serving allows us to experience God’s presence in new ways.

Encouragement and healing go hand in hand. As we encourage others and they find healing, we’re encouraged. It’s the reason so many people who go on mission trips say they came home feeling like they got more than they gave.

8. Serving is good for your soul.

Studies have shown that volunteering is so good for the mind and body that it can ease symptoms of stress and depression. Tapping into our gifts and passions builds self-confidence, energy, and strength. Serving others can also be the best distraction from our own worries.

We make all sorts of rational explanations for not serving.

 


Word of the day

Every problem is an opportunity to trust God.

We all experience difficulties, problems, and trials throughout life. Usually, we also look for ways to solve those problems. All of the various solutions basically ask one of these two questions: “What can I do to solve this?” Or, “What can God do to solve this?” In other words, we either try to solve the problem on our own, or we let God solve it. Obviously, it is much wiser to give your problems to God. Therefore, in the midst of your problem, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
 
Trust God to solve your problems. 
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal (Isaiah 26:4). During your trials you should frequently quote Psalm 91:2I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Furthermore, when you’re truly trusting in God, there is nothing to worry about. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1). Make this your cry: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God(Psalm 20:7).
 
Trust the Lord God Almighty in every area of your life, even during problems, because every problem gives you an opportunity to trust God.
 


Word of the Day

When you forgive, the debt doesn’t just go away. You absorb the debt. That’s why forgiveness is so hard.

Say you lend a person one thousand dollars, but suppose that when the time comes for the loan to be repaid that person is unable to repay you. If you forgive that person of his debt, then that person no longer owes you anything. By forgiving, you forfeited the money—you absorbed the debt. How is it that God is able to forgive our sins against him? He absorbed them by sending his son to suffer the penalty for our debts (sins).

Christ absorbed the penalty of death so that we don’t have to. When God forgave us, he said, “There’s no need to repay me.” (We couldn’t repay God even if we tried, but now we’re freed from the burden of trying.) When you forgive someone, you absorb their debt. That’s why forgiveness is so hard. In Luke 7, Jesus tells this parable to Simon: “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Forgiveness is a sign of love. To forgive someone of a massive debt (in this case, five hundred denarii) is a sign of massive love.
 
How is forgiveness a sign of love? Because if you forgive much, then you must absorb much debt (pain, suffering, loss, etc.). Our sin against God is the biggest possible debt we could have; so for God to absorb that is a sign of his endless, measureless love.


The Power of Vision

Vision is a conception that is inspired by God in the heart of a human.

The greatest gift God ever gave to humanity is not sight but VISION.

-Sight is the function of the eyes,

-VISION is the function of the heart.

-You can have sight but no Vision.

Vision is seeing the future before it comes into being.



Word of the day

Love is the visible attribute of an invisible God.

1 John 4:12 says, No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. In other words, even though no person has ever actually seen God the Father, we are able to see God’s character as we love one another. Remember that God is love (1 John 4:8); so, when we walk in love, we are like God. Thus, although we can’t actually see God, we can see his character in our love for each other (and in his love for us). Indeed, Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Furthermore, Jesus said that we, his disciples, will be known by our fruit: By their fruit you will recognize them(Matthew 7:16, 20). Galatians 5:22 tells us what that fruit is: The fruit of the Spirit is love. Thus, we are known by our love—love for one another and love for God.

It is so important to walk in love, because love is the visible attribute of an invisible God.



Word of the Day

TEN ATTITUDES TO AVOID IN THE CHURCH

  1. Rebellious Attitude: This kind of attitude leads people to be unteachable, critical of leadership, defensive to correction, and prideful when dealing with.
  2. Socially-Weirdy Attitude: A weirdy is someone that cannot have a normal conversation without others feeling awkward. Sometimes it manifests in “over-sensitive emotions,” talking to much about one’s self, long periods of silence, and desire for “clingy-co-dependent-friendships.”
  3. Perverted Attitude: Everything turns into a sexually slanted conversation. Guys mostly struggle with this, but this could also be seen with a woman who may think that every guy in the church is trying to hit on her.
  4. False Prophet Attitude: This person believes that everything they “feel” God tells them is always to obeyed by others (including leadership) without question. They think they are above rebuke and correction because they believe those who don’t see things the way they do is because others are not as “spiritual” as them.
  5. Know-It-All Attitude: The know it all always has to let everyone know what they know. They have to have the last word in every conversation, make the most comments in small group, and take forever to convince they need to learn something new.
  6. Controlling Attitude: This person is not happy unless everything in the church is done their way. They can’t compromise or remain silent when they disagree with something. They need to remain in control and let everyone around them know if they’re not happy.
  7. Victim Attitude: The victim believes that what the church is doing for everyone else will not work for them because they are too messed up. They think that their past, current problems, or issues always need special attention because unless they have everyone’s attention they think nobody loves them.
  8. Quitting Attitude: The quitter cannot stick with discipleship or the church because every time things get hard they quit and blame it on someone or something else.
  9. Self-Centered Attitude: This person cannot serve, make sacrifices, or think about what’s going on in the big picture of the church. Everything in the church is about them, their family, and needs.
  10. Luke Warm Attitude: They don’t want to be challenged or expected to grow. They just want to be left alone and made to feel comfortable with their current walk with God.


WORD OF THE DAY

To Bear Fruit, Get Connected

Right before Jesus goes to the cross, he gives his last minute instructions to his followers: “Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me” (John 15:4 GW).

Jesus says that being spiritually connected is like being attached to a vine. You’re not going to have any fruitfulness or productivity in your life if you’re out there on your own. You’ve got to stay connected.

In plants, a disconnected branch can’t bear fruit. Not only do you lack support and start to wither and die, but you also don’t have any productivity in your life if you’re not spiritually connected.

I grow a lot of vegetables and fruit every spring. If I cut off a branch, those branches aren’t going to produce any tomatoes or anything else. They’ve got to be connected in order to produce fruit.

What kind of fruit should you produce when you are connected to the Body of Christ? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control” (Galatians 5:22-23a NIV).

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be more loving. I’d like to be more joyful. I’d like to be more at peace, no matter what happens to the economy. I’d like to be more kind to people who are mean to me. I’d like to be a good person. I want to be faithful, not unfaithful. I want to keep my promises. I’d like to be gentle with people who are not very gentle. And I’d like to have more self-control.

That’s called the fruit of the Spirit, and it’s the evidence that you are spiritually connected. If you are not seeing yourself grow in all these things, guess what? It means you’re not spiritually connected.

He’s saying this is so important that not only do you need the support like in a building, and not only do you need the life blood like being in a body—he’s saying you’re not going to have any fruitfulness or any productivity in your life if you’re out there on your own. You’ve got to stay connected. And the Good News is that God wants you to be connected! God is for you!


Word of the Day

HOW TO BEAR FRUIT IN EVERY SEASON

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper. Psalm 1:3-4 NLT

Whether you are a gardener or not, today’s scripture holds a valuable lesson for you. Well-watered hearts bear fruit in every season, just like well-watered plants.

WHY WATER MATTERS

I’ve enjoyed gardening since I was a teenager. For almost three decades, I’ve experimented with many different plants in various settings.

The more sun a plant receives, the more drought-resistant it must be. Even though I live in the Midwest, I plant tropical-based lantana in my deck pots, because it loves the 12+ hours of sizzling sunlight that shines there.

My lantana plants flower freely all summer, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds with their colorful blooms. Even though these plants can take the heat, I must water them every day so the flowers can grow.

All my plants perform best when I water them every morning before 10:00 a.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. Their roots need nourishment to face the long, hot day ahead, so their leaves and flowers won’t wither.

When your faith is deeply rooted in God’s Word, you will be steady and secure no matter how hot your trials may be. You will be able to bear fruit even in periods of storms or drought, because your roots draw sustenance from a constant source of strength.

WATERING YOUR HEART WITH BIBLE STUDY

For the past 17 years, I’ve read the Bible every morning. Nothing has transformed my faith more than interacting directly with His Word. In those years, I’ve faced severe marriage trials, extended family conflict, job stresses and financial issues. Yet my faith held firm because meeting with God was at the top of my to-do list.

Just as my lantana plants do best with morning waterings, you and I will bear fruit when we start our days with God. His Word is living and powerful, and the Holy Spirit will use it to speak powerfully into whatever situation you may be facing.

To meet with God each day, you can use several different methods.
1) A printed Bible. I enjoy using the One Year Bible.
2) A Bible app.
3) A devotional app, such as Devotable.
4) A printed devotional.
5) Search for a topic with a concordance (online or printed).

Set aside 10 minutes. Pray that God will open your mind and teach you before you begin. After you read the scripture, ask God to help you apply what you’ve learned.

Choose one verse from the day’s passage for meditation. I focus on it throughout the day for greater peace. You can choose one verse and record it in your planner or write it on a sticky note to keep it fresh in your mind.

HOW TO KEEP THE WATER FLOWING

Adjust your Bible study time depending on your life season. For example, when I was nursing my babies, my Bible study time was held in tandem with their naps. From years of experience, I believe that first thing in the morning is best, but anytime at all will water your heart.

The main goal is to do study God’s Word every day. Trees by a riverbank have a constant supply of water. You need to set yourself up to be constantly supplied. Enhance your personal study time to bear fruit with helps like these throughout the day:
• A scripture-based screensaver
• Faith-focused Facebook groups
• Emails from devotional sites
• Scripture-based plaques for your desk
• A bracelet that displays a verse or encouraging phrase

No matter what season of life you’re in, God’s Word will water your heart and give you the strength to make it through. What storm or drought are you facing now? Whether it’s stress at home, at work, with relationships, with your health, with your church, or with your finances, God wants to help you through it.

BEARING FRUIT IN EVERY SEASON

God will provide strength and sustenance for you in His Word. You will be refreshed and able to bear fruit for His glory.

The Holy Spirit will help you bear the fruits of the Spirit for God’s glory (see Galatians 5:22-23). Whether your life season is positive or negative, you can bear spiritual fruit year-round as you draw close to Him through regular Bible study.

When you bear fruit in every season, you will inspire those around you to grow greater faith. In this way, all you do will prosper, because you are depending on God for your strength and sustenance.
 


Word of the Day

Bearing Fruit Matters

It is not those who hear the law . . . but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. — Romans 2:13

“Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God”

Trying to be righteous in what I do is not the same as trying to earn salvation by aiming to be righteous. We are saved only by God’s grace. But once we realize we are saved and declared righteous through Christ, we want to live in gratitude by trying to be righteous. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that the way I live says something about who I am and how I really understand the faith journey. Jesus taught that you can tell something about a tree by the fruit it bears (Matthew 7:16-20).

Though I may do good things, that’s not really Paul’s point here. The question is whether or not the good things I do come from a heart that belongs to Jesus. Do all the things I do reflect that my heart belongs to him?

I also do bad things, because I am still a sinner. But God wants me to have integrity; God wants my faith connected with all I think, do, and say. And God’s Spirit helps me to live that way.

God wants to shape me from the inside out. When I belong to him, that’s what I want God to do too.




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