Faith has to be tested, or else how can you tell how strong yours actually is? It's easy to say "All is well," while you're on the beautiful mountain top, but what happens when you get to the ugly valley? Will those same words come out of your mouth? The tests you go through will either strengthen your faith or kill it. Keep your eyes on Christ while going through tests and your faith will be strengthened. Take your eyes off of Him, Who is indeed our Ultimate Prize, and your faith might be dealt a heavy blow.
Faith has to be your greatest possession, especially during times of conflict. Or how can you move forward when everything you see around you appears to be dark and gloomy? Hence, we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians. 5:7). Keep walking 'til you ultimately see light, keeping in mind that God did not promise us the absence of trouble, but He promised us His presence through it all (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5).
These are just some of the many great quotes from the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington that truly stood out to me:
"Where do we go from here? To chaos or to community? ... We say 'No' to chaos and 'Yes' to community." (Reverend Bernice King)
"Dr. Martin Luther King gave a powerful voice to the quiet hopes of many." (President Barack Obama)
"Because they marched, city councils, and legislatures changed. Because they marched... eventually the White House changed." (President Barack Obama)
"They were seeking not just the absence of injustice, but the presence of economic opportunity." ... "'What does it profit a man,' as Dr. King would say, 'if he can sit at an integrated lunch counter, but cannot afford the meal?'" (President Barack Obama)
"The promise of this nation will only be kept when we work together." (President Barack Obama)
"The fierce urgency of NOW remains." (President Barack Obama)
Let's not be critical towards others. Dale Carnegie writes in his book, "How to Win Friends & Influence People": "Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it...hurts [a person's] sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
"B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Later studies have shown that the same applies to humans. By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.
"Hans Selye, another great psychologist, said, 'As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.'
"The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned" (pp. 5-6).
Please don't become complacent and too comfortable with where you are now. At some point, good change and growth must take place. ... You cannot get to the next level if you cannot get off the one you are currently on. God has more for you to do than you might have imagined.
Then sometimes you are in a place where you are actually not comfortable, but you don't see a way out of the situation you are in. You wonder, "Where is God in the midst of what I'm going through? Isn't there something He can do for me?" Sure there are some things He could do for you, but be careful that you don't fall into the trap of having a "me, me, me" mentality. If it's all about you, then you just might forget that it's not really about you. It's all about God. Instead of focusing only on what God is going to do FOR you, give Him honor, glory, and praise for what He is going to do THROUGH you. While you're going through your tough time, God wants to use you to be a help and to be a blessing to someone else. You might be worn out and tired, but when you take the time to refresh others, God will refresh you. Trust me your time will come! Just keep sowing good seeds for others to be a blessing and you'll reap a great harvest in due time. Galatians 6:7-10 declares,
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Thank the Lord for giving us the strength and the necessary resources to become all that He has called us to be. When I consider all God has blessed me with I keep in mind that I could be worse off than I am now. (I actually did experience a worse state before when I was younger being semi-homeless for a few months.) But I will use what He has given me to help others and to bring Him glory. I can use my testimony, willingness to serve, and physical resources. Let's get back to Acts 2:42-47 living.
Always keep your goals in mind. A goal is for getting what you see on the inside to happen on the outside. You will know you have accomplished your goal/dream when there is no difference between what you see in your sleep and what you wake up to. So dream big, ask God for what you need in big faith knowing He'll supply your needs, then go and do it big! #Leggo
I kinda get upset when people feel like God is forcing Himself on people just because other people want to force Christian religion down their throats. People might force things on people, but God does not force Himself on people. He does, however, want us to CHOOSE Him for the sake of having an intimate relationship with us. Jesus stands at the doors of our hearts and knocks (Revelation 3:20). We are the ones that have to choose to let Him in or not.
Besides who wants a forced relationship anyway? If we wouldn't want a forced relationship, what makes us think our Creator God would want one if He created us with free will? A forced relationship is not natural, it is unhealthy, and it therefore does more harm than good. If some people don't choose to live for Christ, I believe He is heartbroken since He died for us on the Cross and finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). But people are going to have to face the consequences of not receiving Christ (and not having their names written in the Book of Life) on the day of judgement (Revelation 20:12-15).
And just because you go to church on some Sundays, it doesn't mean you are saved. Church attendance saves no one. It simply offers a way to hear the preached Word, to fellowship with others, and to participate in some religious/worship practices. But only Christ can save your soul.
So... Will you choose a gracious and loving Savior today? You don't have to try to clean yourself up and be "perfect" to come to Him. We're unclean sinners, that's why we need Him. He washes us and cleans us up by His blood. As we abide in Him, He does the perfecting til we see Him face to face. Then when it's all said and done, the two great words I want to hear from the Lord are "Well done." .... How about you?
No matter what you might be going through right now, trust and believe God. Trust that each time He provides for you, His provision for you is for your purpose, because He created you for a purpose. If you are struggling to recognize what that provision actually is, then pray that the Lord gives you eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to receive what He has laid out for you.
Understand God's provision does not come in the same form every time. One day it could come in the form of a person helping you. The next day it could be a certain physical object. And the next day, it could come in the form of important information. As long as you know God is the One from Whom your blessings come, you'll make it alright. Moreover, when you are blessed, recognized that you are blessed to be a blessing to others. So it's not only about you. It's about letting God use you for the sake of purpose to help others with their purpose as well.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.