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Faith & Wisdom

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Do you ever feel like your faith walk is easily affected by life’s circumstances? Do you seem to waver between trusting in God and trusting in yourself to work through the trials of life? When you don’t know what to do, what do you do?

The bible tells us that faith and wisdom work together to bring stability into our daily lives.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” (James 1:5,6)

Did you notice the warning to ‘not doubt’? ┬áDoubt embraces uncertainty and distrust, it makes us hesitant to believe, fearful or apprehensive about the truth. God encourages us to receive wisdom from Him and then warns us not to doubt the instruction in truth that He gives. If we doubt we are described as unstable and tossed about as the wind.

“…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)

Faith in God and the application of His wisdom in our daily lives will give us the stability we desire that will position us to weather any trial or test that comes our way. This is God’s promise to those who love Him.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)

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Perseverance Leads to Fulfillment

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Perseverance is the key to fulfillment. Many are inspired to fulfill their designed purpose and yet so few enter into their promise land. Perseverance implies a continued, patient effort towards a desired end that leads to fulfillment.

The decision to perseverance is just the first step, finishing well requires a strength beyond our ability. The prophet Jeremiah was called by God to persevere. He was also given assurance that he would have divine protection in his difficult pursuit of fulfilling God’s plan for his life.

“And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land…They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:18, 19)

Even with this powerful promise of protection from God, Jeremiah struggled with all the threats and opposition he received early on, just as we struggle. God used it all to show Jeremiah his need beyond his own abilities. The Lord answered his complaints by addressing his inadequacies to go the distance without God’s help.

“So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?” (Jeremiah 12:8, The Message)

Like us, Jeremiah had to learn how to depend on God’s strength to persevere. With every deliverance Jeremiah’s trust in God’s power and presence grew. He achieved the fulfillment of God’s purpose for his life and received all that God promised him.

Whatever God has asked of you, His power and strength will get you there, not your’s. Choose to persevere, trusting in His daily provision. May the ‘few’ turn into the ‘many’ who persevere to the end, fulfilling their purpose on this earth!

“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Love is Kind

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Image of Love by J. Shauk
Image of Love by J. Shauk

Love is kind, a very becoming character trait in a person. When seen exhibited in a person it tends to spread. One kind act often leads to another.

It is easy to display kindness towards kind people but how do you respond to an unkind person? Did you know that Jesus said we get no reward for being kind to kind people. He modeled kindness to an unkind world towards Him.

“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

We’ve all benefited from God’s kindness, His blessings are shed abroad, even upon the unkind.

“…For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 7:45b)

Let kindness begin in your closest relationships. I have found this to be the hardest test to pass but once you master being kind in your own household it will easily spread abroad. Kindness brings out the greatness in us when done through the kindness extended to us from God.

“…Your kindness made me great.” (Psalm 18:35b)

Love is Kind.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Matthew 5:46)

A Visionary Life

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If you have a ‘life vision’ you are living with purpose, you are a visionary. The best visions come from God because His vision for you comes with the power to achieve fulfillment. His vision for your life places you into a company of great visionaries that have come before you, impacting their world for the better, inspiring change and bringing hope and help to all nations and people groups. Don’t settle for the ordinary life that lacks vision when God has given us an extraordinary opportunity to use our gifts and talents to fulfill His will for our lives.

God spoke long ago to those who would follow Him with a trusting heart. He predicted that they would speak of His awesome deeds one day upon the fulfillment of their vision.

“They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness.” (Psalm 145:6)

I have received many visions from God without a clue as to how God would lead me into the fulfillment. Looking back, He has certainly performed awesome deeds on my behalf to support me and my path of fulfillment. His ways cannot be compared to our way of doing things, we must trust in His higher way.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)

A vision has to move from the mind to the heart and then to reality. Small faith steps lead to cumulative results that begin to have the impact that God envisioned for us.

What vision has God given you? It’s never too late to start moving and aligning your life toward it. Submit the process to God and with His help you will see the fulfillment and discover your purpose!

“A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” (Proverbs 13:19a)

Befriend Faithfulness

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What is the desire of your heart? What do you long for in your life to see God fulfill?

Many of us have deep longings that are pursued according to what we believe is the right approach, however God offers an approach that may not conform to the wisdom of the world but promises to lead us into the fulfillment of our deep desires.

It begins with trust. Not trusting in our own ability and skill but trust in God who establishes us in His will.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:1)

To befriend faithfulness is to cultivate a lifestyle of obedience by honoring God in our daily roles. His Word, the bible leads us into His truth about how to live in a way that pleases Him.

As we learn about God and all His goodness and love toward us we will begin to delight in Him. As I learned to delight in God my deep desires and longing for a blessed life began to center on God’s plan for me. Understanding that all things come from God it made sense to delight in the Giver of all things good.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:2)

Once we learn to trust in the Lord we are lead to delight in His involvement in our lives then we must commit our way to Him.

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” (Psalm 37:3)

Trust, delight and committing places us in a position for God to act. The same God who did not spare His only Son (Romans 8:32) will also give us the very best for our lives. He promises to give us the desires of our heart once we are in right relationship with Him.

Wait for God’s best, befriend faithfulness!

Gift of Compassion

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Have your own trials and sufferings affected your heart of compassion towards others? Do you struggle with feeling sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of others with very little inspiration to help?

Jesus warns us about having compassion for others when at the end of our lives we will be held accountable for how we treated others. He will proclaim you ‘blessed’ by His Father to inherit the kingdom prepared for you when you live a lifestyle of compassion towards others.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-38)

His followers wanted to know how and when they had done these acts to Jesus and He explained that “…as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)

For those who lacked compassion for the suffering Jesus ‘condemned’. In other words they would have no part of Jesus and were told to depart from Him, cursed into eternal fire that had been prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) All because they refused to follow Jesus.

Our personal sufferings tend to turn our focus on ourselves and walking through it can block out others in their pain. Compassion is always available to us when we place our trust in God to see us through. This same compassion that we receive can be a blessing to others when extended. The world would truly be a better place.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4)

The Gift of a Lifetime

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Most gift-giving comes with strings attached and an expectation of reciprocation on some level. We are afforded many occasions throughout the year to give gifts to others as a gesture of affirmation, validation or reconciliation to possibly strengthen fragile relationships. In each case of gift-giving you have the giver and the receiver and at the core exists the relationship between the two.

God set the bar really high when it comes to the pure essence of gift-giving when He revealed His heart on the matter:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

In other words, when God gives a gift to us it is pure with no strings attached and perfectly designed to meet our need for all time as a recipient. God’s gift is given voluntarily without any payment or expectation in return. If we accept His gift we accept without any particular effort of having to earn it.

When we receive His perfect gift we find all the affirmation, acceptance and validation that we sought in other gifts that can never meet this need. Most of all we find our relationship restored to the God who created us to be in relationship with Him.

The perfect gift is Jesus Christ our Savior, the Gift of a lifetime. What He offers can never be paid for by any effort on our part. He was sent by God to save mankind.

“…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Have you received the Gift of a lifetime?