Thursday, June 18, 2015

The 10 people you need in your life

Because you don't have to do life alone.
• • •

1. The person who holds you accountable.

When this person asks you how you're doing...they actually want to know.

They're curious about how your walk with the Lord is going. What struggles you're facing and how you can realistically improve. They call you to check on you and track your progress.

This person teaches you the power of prayer.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
(James 5:16 ESV)

2. The person whose gifts are different than yours.

This person's strengths will complement your weaknesses. You will probably bump heads at times, but eventually you will notice it's your differences that make you fit together so perfectly. 
Kind of like a puzzle.

This person teaches you how to serve.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace
(1 Peter 4:10 ESV)

3. The person who has been through what you're going through.

This person understands you in a way others simply can't. 

They will never agree with you in your sin, but they will keep you from feeling isolated.

This person teaches you how to love.

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
(1 Peter 3:8 NKJV)

4. The person who is patient.

This person listens more than they speak. When you make mistakes you will expect them to get angry (and rightfully so!)...but they won't.

This person teaches you understanding.

He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly [foolishness]
(Proverbs 14:29 NKJV)

5. The person who is humble.

This person doesn't want credit for anything. They recognize that everything good in them is a direct result of God's grace. He is the star of their show.

This person teaches you how to succeed.

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
(Luke 14:11 NKJV)

6. The person who is encouraging.

This person will believe in you when you don't believe in yourself. The words they speak will stick with you long after they are spoken.

This person teaches you about grace.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
(Ephesians 4:29 NKJV) 

7. The person with high expectations for you.

This person will not let you settle. Good isn't great enough for them.

This person teaches you how to conquer.

But exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
(Hebrews 3:13)

8. The person who sees you the way God sees you.

This person refuses to think bad thoughts about you. They will reaffirm your identity in Christ.

This person will point you back to the Lord. 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
(Colossians 3:16 NKJV)

9. The person who has discernment.

This person is observant and picks up on every little detail. They will always know when something is not right.

This person teaches you right from wrong.

And this I pray, that your may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. 
(Philippians 1:9-10)

10. The person who goes harder for Jesus than you do.

That unashamed.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
(Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

4 signs you have a ton of faith

Because I'm not sure anyone has told you lately.

• • •

1. You make the best out of the worst. 

You know when worst case scenario becomes "your" case scenario. You think you have a decent relationship with God then something so terrible happens that you just want to ask Him...

I once heard a man say that having a disabled son allowed him to see the honor in living a life of purpose. He considers himself blessed and even favored by God, who opened his eyes and softened his heart toward a group of people he would have otherwise ignored.

Just like him, you see the good in your situation. Now when people show you pity, you convince them that you are the one who is blessed.

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
[Romans 4:20-21]

2. You are not easily cast down.

Have you ever planned your future based on the belief that everything will work out in your best interest, only to be slapped in the face by reality?

 Like going shopping for a new outfit then finding out you didn't get the job. Or actually getting the job, then getting into an accident and losing your car, which was your only way of getting to the job.

It was so close to going your way.

When something new pops up, your faith does not waver. You have learned to spot a distraction a mile away. Similarly to #1,  you count it all joy when a part of your plan is disrupted. It takes a lot more than a bad day to get you down.'re pretty much a boss.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
[Joshua 1:9]

3. You can evangelize in bad situations.

Remember how you got into that accident in number two? Well you made it out ok (praise Jesus) and now you're that guy at the scene of the collision telling everyone Jesus saved your life..and theirs!

Paul preached in jail.
[I'm sure it's in the bible]

4. You can admit things are out of control.

Some people confuse having a lot of faith with having everything under control. When in fact, having faith can mean just the opposite.

Faith is the the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Meaning- it's what you don't know.

Having a lot of faith means, even when you don't see the end anywhere in sight, you trust God. You can only physically have evidence for things that are seen. For everything have faith.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
[2 Corinthians 5:7]

And if faith can move mountains, then what's a mere hill to someone like you?

original photo 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

3 ways to love people (who are already in your life) better

Because sometimes familiar can be more difficult than the unknown.
• • •

1. Be quick to listen.

Once you get close to someone, it can feel like you already know exactly what they have to offer. You may not know everything about them, but you can kind of guess how they will respond to situations or what advice they may give.

But you know how God is constantly moving in your life, forcing you to grow and evolve? Well guess what, He is doing the same in their life.

Putting limits on people, is kind of, well...putting limits on God. The same One who gave you knowledge and the very words to say, can do the same for others. 

So even when it feels like you've heard everything they have to say, listen. 

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
[James 1:19-20]

2. Keep no record of wrongs.

We live in a "forgive, but don't forget" society. We are taught to remember the times people hurt us, to avoid falling into the same trap twice.  

But God teaches otherwise.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
[Ephesians 4:32]

Even as Christ forgave you. So what if you sinned against God and He was like-

 "Well...I forgive you, butttttt I really can't trust you any more because of that one time you really messed up. Yeah you kinda blew it that time."

You wouldn't even serve Him any more. That concept would contradict the gospel at it's very core.

God tells us to forgive the way He forgave, not the way we want to.

You have hurt people in the past and I'm sure if they gave you another chance, you would choose not to hurt them again.

Now, that doesn't mean falling into the same trap over and over again. If you know someone struggles to keep secrets, you don't have to pretend they don't and confide in them. Just pray for their weakness and trust that God will deliver them in that area. Everyone struggles with something. 

For if you forgive men their trespasses, you heavenly Father will also forgive you. But is you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses.
[Matthew 6:14-15]

3. Genuinely compliment their growth.

So numbers one and two pretty much established that we are always growing. And if there's anything I know about hurts. 

Dying to yourself, suffering losses, feeling alone, like no one truly understands you. It hurts.

So when you notice the love of God in someone's life, tell them. Remind them that it's worth it.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you maybe perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
[James 1:2-4]

• • •

How do you show the people in your life you love them?