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Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Significance Comes From Serving

In 1 Peter 4:10 it says, “Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace.” (NCV)

Whenever I pursue something in life, I do it hoping that it will give me significance. But the only way to really experience significance is to serve with others in ministry. Ministry just means doing good to other people.

Significance does not come from status or a hood ornament on your car or a logo on your shirt. Significance does not come from a bigger salary. Significance does not come from sex.

Significance comes from service. Significance comes when I start thinking about other people more than I think about myself and give my life away. I cannot be selfish and significant at the same time.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others” (NCV).

What are your talents? What are the unique skills and abilities God has given you? They were not given for your benefit. God gave them to you for the benefit of the people around you. We are all shaped for significance, and we will find that significance by using our gifts and talents and abilities to serve others.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break” (NCV).

I may think it’s easier to do things on my own. I may prefer solitude. I may need my alone time. But I will always get more done when I serve with other people.

We are not meant to serve God by ourselves. We are meant to serve God on a team. We are meant to serve God in a family, in a small group, in a church. We are meant to serve God in relationships.

If we want to find significance and give our best to God, then we need to serve him with our community.

In summary, as a good manager of God's gifts, I must use my gifts for the good of others. My abilities should be faithfully used in serving others, they aren't for my personal enjoyment or selfish gain. Fulfilling my destiny requires recognizing the unique way God has created me. God has given me gifts for a purpose. I have a responsibility to be a good steward of those gifts, not in a selfish way but for the good of others. A key to living a productive and fulfilling life is to use my gifts to serve God by serving others.  

Monday, May 6, 2024

You Learn Your Purpose Through Relationships

In Romans 12:5 it says, “Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of [Christ’s] body.” (MSG)

We only learn who we are in a relationship with others. We only learn our true identity in community.

You’ll never learn who you really are by yourself. You only learn it in relationships. That means you must connect with other people for fellowship.

If you had been born and lived your entire life to adulthood with no human contact, you wouldn’t have the slightest idea who or what you were. You wouldn’t even know you were a human being. You only know that because you’re in a relationship with other human beings. We learn our identity by being in relationships.

The Bible says we need to be connected to God’s family, the body of Christ: “We are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around . . . Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of [Christ’s] body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we?” (Romans 12:4-5 MSG).

My ear only functions and fulfills its purpose by being connected to my body. If my ear was cut off and was lying on the ground, what’s the value of it? Nothing, because it can’t hear anything.

Same goes with my nose and eyes: If they’re not connected to my body, what’s their purpose? They don’t have a purpose, because they can’t smell or see anything by themselves.

In the same way, if you’re not connected to the church, then you’re not going to know the purpose of your life. You’re not going to know your role. You’re not going to know your function. You’re not going to know your value and your meaning.

As a part of God’s family, each of us has a special role that only we can play. You have a job that won’t get done if you don’t do it. You have contributions to make that other people won’t benefit from if you’re not connected to God’s family.

You’re an important part of the body of Christ! And you’ll only find your value, your purpose, and your identity when you are connected to the church and form relationships that help shape you into who God made you to be. 

Friday, May 3, 2024

How to Face Your Fears and Indecision

In Proverbs 3:5-6 it says, “Trust the LORD with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the LORD in all you do, and he will give you success.” (NCV)

The root of all indecision is fear. We all struggle with different kinds of fears. We’re afraid we’ll make mistakes and embarrass ourselves. We’re afraid we won’t be able to finish what we’ve started. We’re afraid we’re not good enough.

One of the fears that keeps us from making decisions is the fear of disapproval. Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety” (TLB). The moment I start worrying about what other people think, it’s over, because fear of disapproval is always worse than disapproval.

So how do I get rid of a particular fear? There’s only one way: Face it, and move against it. You do the thing you fear the most!

But how should I make that move? In faith. The only antidote to fear is faith. I have to step out in faith. I’ve got to trust God and start moving.

Courage is not the absence of fear; courage is moving ahead in spite of my fear. If I’m not afraid, I don’t need courage. Courage comes because I’m scared to death but I am also sure of what God wants me to do, so I do it anyway.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust the LORD with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the LORD in all you do, and he will give you success” (NCV).

God supports those who move in faith. So here’s the question I need to consider: Where do I need to trust God? I haven’t truly trusted him until I’ve attempted something I can’t do on my own power.

In my next decision, I need to prepare for it and then step out in faith. Because my choices determine my character and destiny. Commit myself to the Lord, and he will give me the wisdom and courage to make the decision that will bring me closer to who he made me to be.

How have your fears kept you from moving forward in life?

Is there a decision you need to make that requires you to trust God?

What step of faith do you believe he is telling you to take?

If you committed every decision to the Lord, how do you think your life would look different than it does today? 

Thursday, May 2, 2024

How To Trust God for Your Big Dream

In Genesis 37:5, 10 it says, “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more . . . When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had?’” (NIV)

If I want to make it in a career, I need to respectfully show boldness. Sometimes following God’s dream for your life requires boldness as well! Boldness is the courage to think big, to show initiative, and to take risks for a dream while facing the possibility of failure.

In Genesis 37, we read the story of Joseph, who had a dream so incredible—so audacious—that nobody in the world believed him. He dreamed that one day he would be a great leader and all his brothers would bow down to him.

Was it the truth? Yes. Was the dream from God? Yes. Was it fulfilled? Yes. Was Joseph a little crazy to tell his brothers? Yes.

When Joseph shared his audacious dream with his family, “they hated him all the more . . . When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had?’” (Genesis 37:5, 10 NIV).

Like Joseph, I’m going to have to step out in faitheven when it doesn’t make sense, even when people ridicule me, even when I’m afraid, even when the odds are against me. If God puts a dream in my heart, he will honor me when you step out in faith to do it.

Even when everyone might be against you or not understand, I may need to find myself holding the line. Sometimes I just need a little bit of boldness because I believe in what God has told me to do.

Joseph made one bold decision after another in faith. As a result, he got the promotion of a lifetime—he eventually became a great leader and ruled over all of Egypt.

Where do I need to be bold? Where do I need to trust God? Maybe I need to take the initiative to step out in faith, think big, or take a risk. When I’m following God’s dream, I can know he will honor the big steps I take in faith.

Today, I’m continuing to reflect on how God wants to use me. I’ve recently been focusing on purpose, not only for my life for helping Tr to discover and fulfill their purposes. I do want to be obedient to God and make a difference in others lives. One particular audacious goal has come to mind. It combines my passion to be a personal development and financial behaviors coach. Why not expand this to helping people discover and fulfill their purpose for their lives. So I’m thinking about offering individuals and couples the opportunity to be in a coaching session with me regarding purpose. I can then branch them into thinking about a relationship with God, assistance with helping them get financial issues that may be bogging them down, or restoring relationships. I will introduce this via different methods as my goal to have 50 no-cost / no-obligation conversations between now and the end of the year. This will help not only them, but myself in having deep conversations and offering continued coaching if it makes sense to them.