The story of our lives is written out of the overflow of our hearts.
If our hearts are full of fear, doubt, unbelief, negativity, bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, pride, lust or greed, then those traits will characterize our lives as well.
Conversely, if we choose to fill our hearts with love, joy, peace, hope, kindness, faith, courage, grace, compassion and purpose, then those traits will determine our story.
The good news is that we get to choose. Determine that your heart is going to be set on course with Jesus and His Word, and that the ensuing story of your life is going to be a great one.
Don’t settle for a quick, nondescript short story when you can have an epic novel, a daring adventure and a Holy Mystery.
It all starts and ends in our hearts.My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. (Psalm 45:1)
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:10-12).
Every day, situations in our normal routines call us to be the light of Christ in darkness. Let’s rise ready, right where we are, with what we have. Let’s see people where they are, meet their needs and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
This means seeing others instead of always looking out for ourselves. For some of us, it means being a better spouse and parent, a kinder neighbor or a more engaged church member.
Rising ready may mean buying lunch for a friend who just lost a job, offering to do some shopping for a neighbor trapped at home with a screaming newborn, taking the time to listen to a heartbroken friend whose husband was just diagnosed with cancer. It may mean going through your closet and giving clothes to the local women’s shelter.
When you’re rising ready, you will discover the pure joy of giving and blessing others.
On several occasions recorded in the Gospels, Jesus healed individuals and then warned them to say nothing to anyone about what He had done for them. Sometimes, though, those whose lives He had touched did not keep quiet.
One man, a leper, first went to a priest who would pronounce him clean, and then he began to tell everyone that Jesus had healed him. The same thing took place when Jesus healed a deaf mute. The more Jesus told him to stay quiet, the more he proclaimed his healing.
Just like the leper and the deaf mute, when we have genuinely encountered Christ, nothing should keep us from talking about Him.
Sometimes we pull back from doing so because we have encountered resistance, ridicule or opposition from family, friends or coworkers; but we must determine that nothing or no one can stop us from declaring the good news.
People are more ready to hear than you might think.
Never forget that for many people we are the only Bible they will ever read and the only disciple of Christ they may ever meet. We are God’s love letter to this world!
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6).
If our world is only about “me” and “my needs,” we are building a very small world for ourselves. God did not wire us to be “about us.” Only when we learn to “water” the lives of others are we continually sustained and refreshed by God.
When I am believing God for something that hasn’t happened yet, I find the best thing I can do is seek to meet someone else’s need. And whenever I do, the results are amazing!
As I take my eyes off of myself and my needs and begin helping others, I see God taking care of me, and often those deep desires of my heart quickly come to pass.
It is a spiritual principle that when we live a generous life, we’re going to be watered by God. As we continue to live generously, our lives, impact and influence will continue to expand.
It is our giving that opens doors, not our receiving. Let’s not miss any opportunity to sow seed and to be generous.