“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
I always feel encouraged by this passage. It is such a wonderful reminder that each and every kind of gift and talent is needed in the Body of Christ. All our unique passions and skills not only come from the same source – our generous God – but are meant to be used to further His Kingdom. So there’s no room for comparison or competition, and no reason to feel less valuable. We are all an important thread in a beautiful tapestry that God is weaving together!
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 11:1
I’ve heard it said that following Jesus is simple, but it’s not easy. The longer I’ve been on this faith journey, the more I understand what that phrase means. It isn’t hard to discover what God wants – it’s clearly stated in His Word. What can be difficult, as I’ve experienced myself, is making the decision to consistently do what God wants. That’s why I so appreciate those brothers and sisters in Christ who, like the Apostle Paul, have given me a living example to go by. I hope that as I mature I’m helping to show others, too.
“Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity and power is a false identity- an illusion! Loudly and clearly he says: ‘You are not what the world makes you; but you are children of God.”
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
1 John 3:1
“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”
– John C. Maxwell
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Question To Ponder: Do you ever find yourself unsure how to pray for a person or situation? There is comfort in knowing that in those moments the Holy Spirit will join with you to approach the throne. Are you willing to ask for His help?
“You must not add to or subtract from what I command you, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God I am giving you.“
God had Moses give this instruction to the young nation of Israel, and it’s just as important for us to hear today. As it says in Proverbs, “God’s Word is flawless,” and it’s impossible to make something more perfect! For years I made God’s commands more complicated and burdensome than He meant them to be. Then I wondered why I didn’t have much joy in serving Him. Now my goal is to be obedient in what the Lord truly calls me to do, no more, no less.
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Before I became a follower of Christ, I leaned on my own strength and understanding to get what I needed. I trusted in myself to control situations and make things go the way I wanted. To be fair, I didn’t know any better then. But the more time I’ve spent with God, the more I’ve seen of His goodness. Over and over again, He has been faithful to me. Sometimes He answers a prayer directly – other times He has worked in a way I didn’t expect. But looking to God always ends up bringing me a sense of peace I never had when I relied on myself.
“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing...”
When I first came across this verse, it left me a little confused. I mean, were we supposed to be able to physically and mentally separate one side of our body from the other like that? But Jesus was actually teaching a broader principle about giving, namely that we are not to show off our good deeds. I heard a Pastor put it this way recently: if we let any generous conduct be visible to others, it should be for God to get the glory. Otherwise, we should be quiet givers.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.“
Here in the U.S. it’s Veteran’s Day.
Thank you to those who have served in the Armed Forces. Your selflessness and bravery are an inspiration to the rest of us.
“We must do our business faithfully; without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to GOD mildly, and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from Him.”
“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you…”
1 Thessalonians 4:11