Daily Archives: April 13, 2015
Here on the pulse of this new day you may have the grace to look up and out and into your sister’s eyes, into your brother’s face, your country and say simply, very simply with hope good morning. Ever, did you ever, sit down and wonder about what freedom’s freedom would bring it’s so easy to be free you start by loving yourself then those who look like you all else will come naturally… Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things you need to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love… true love never dies. You remember that because it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. The reason you should believe in those things is because those are the things worth believing in, hope lives in believing and faith is believing in what you cannot see…
This is NOT about religion. This is about real life lessons that can be applied to your life and business immediately; when you apply these steps to your life you will notice the results immediately.
Below are 12 powerful quotations from Christ Jesus:
To Serve Is To Be Great
“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.”
Here is the secret to great leadership. Leadership is not about ruler ship. It is about serving others. And in giving to others you will never lack for any good thing in your life.
There Is A Cure For Worry
“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion, do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers, most of which are never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.”
To live a worry free life is a joy. Anxiety is a killer. So to be able to face each day, knowing that if the world can exist in such beauty and splendor, there is nothing that you need to be concerned about. Take a fresh look at nature and get the point.
Love Conquers All
“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence. This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: Love others as well as you love yourself.”
Also… “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.” When it comes to love we are given three directives: Love God. Love your neighbor. Love your enemies. The first step forward to develop this love in your life is to learn to pray. I have found prayer to be an incredibly energizing practice. Now if this is not familiar to you, let me explain that this is not the point where you get all holier than thou on me. Prayer for me is simply sharing my heart with one greater than myself. You will often find me talking out loud as I pray, or sometimes I’m simply speaking quietly in the depths of my mind to one greater than myself. I was actually up at 3.30am this morning praying. That happens to me from time to time. But I also pray while I’m at work. I pray while I stroll beside the ocean. I pray in the car. I pray as an individual, and we pray as a family. But what is prayer? Simply handing over life’s good and bad that we’re handed to one far greater than ourselves and that even includes our enemies. Seems back to front to conventional thinking, I have seen many an enemy turned around 180 degrees through the power of simply praying that good happen in their life.
Follow The Golden Rule
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.”
This is such a wonderful principle. Simply, do as you want to be done. If you set the example you do not have to set the rule. Often the good turn won’t come back from the one you did it for, it will come back from somewhere in this amazing universe that we live in.
Ask For What You Need
“Here’s what I’m saying: Ask and you’ll get; Seek and you’ll find; Knock and the door will open. Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.”
Go on, I dare you. Ask. In sales I learnt very quickly that if I never asked for the sale I would never get the sale. The power is in the asking. Now I’m not saying that you are going to pull a sales strategy on God. But ask, and in your asking expect to receive. When my children ask me for something, as their mother I cannot resist the pull that it invokes on my maternal heartstrings to give them the best that I have to offer.
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole travelling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” Point one finger in the direction of another in judgment and you have three pointing straight back at you. Not good. Resist the slippery slide towards judging others.
Keep Your Word
“Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ when you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” If you can say yes, if you can’t say no. Don’t make excuses by telling a lie when you know that you cannot do what you have promised. The word ‘no’ can be your most liberating friend if used wisely. You can’t do everything, so start practicing the use of it. And if you say ‘yes’ ensure that you do what you say even if it is inconvenient. This builds a depth of character in your being and trust from those around you.
Give In Secret
“When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively.” There is nothing worse than someone blowing his or her own trumpet. Practice the art of giving in secret. Your reward will be great.
“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” To forgive others is to free you from the disabling chains of un-forgiveness. Sorry is sometimes the hardest word to say, but once said it is liberating. Don’t wait for others to apologize. You lead the way and be the first to offer the hand of forgiveness. This is not about wrong or right, but rather living a life of freedom.
Speak Good Words
“A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” Death and life are in the power of the tongue, so use words wisely. Put a watch over your mouth and analyze the words that leave your lips. Are they positive? Or are they tinged with negativity and judgment? This is serious business, so pay heed to the advice given. It is truly the difference between salvation and damnation, here on earth let alone throughout eternity.
Nothing Is Impossible If You Have Faith
“The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” Faith is a small word, but a powerful one at that. Faith is trust in a greater one than yourself, trust in the abilities that have been placed within you, and trust that with every step forward you will find your way towards your dreams and your goals. With a sprinkling of persistence added to the formula you can do only one thing, win!
Use It Or Lose It
“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money. After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this ‘play-it-safe’ who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’”
Every one of us has been endowed with a specific gift or natural talent that requires use. If you fail to lose it you will lose it. Whatever you do, don’t compare yourself with the other guy or girl who seems to have been given a bunch of talents. Use the one that you have and develop it. These represent your personal strengths, and like any muscle, the best way to develop any strength in your life is by strengthening it. So at every opportunity use it and that way you will never lose it. You will in fact enhance it and position yourself to become a leader in your chosen field of endeavor.
If there is one of these life lessons that you have developed in your life with great results, please feel free to share how it has helped you.
Source of Quotations: Taken from ‘The Bible’
Mark 10: 43,
Matthew 10: 26-31,
Matthew 22:36-39 & Matthew 5:41-45,
Motivational Memo: To learn one must be taught. To teach one must first learn.
I would rather follower a great example than lead by ignorance…
I choose to have a relationship with God rather than have religion.
It’s no secret that those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ consistently fall short of the glory of God. Being a disciple of Jesus is a lifelong journey towards conforming ourselves to the image and way of life that Jesus taught. However, so often, followers of Jesus chose to blatantly ignore some of the clearest instruction of our teachers and obscure it with vague theology so that we can get off the hook. Other times, followers of Jesus are taught something explicitly contradictory to the plain words of Jesus and then spend their lives obeying the instruction they received instead of the commands of Jesus.
I was inspired to write this when someone dear to me once said this to me… “How can I honor the one who loves me so deeply when I display the character that I do for I am only human, how can I display any other character than I do when it is who I am, only God can change me for I cannot change myself as all I can do is choose to surrender to his grace and even surrender seems challenging sometimes and I realize it is through his amazing grace that will continue to carry me through to brighter tomorrows.” I realize everyday I awake I fall short of God’s grace, I also recognize God blesses me with his amazing grace each and everyday through his eternal love and everlasting life, this is why everyday I search for new ways to be a pleasure in the sight of God that he may continue to bless me and that he continues to use me as his vessel to bless others.
Often, we end up at the place of disobedience, all of us who claim to be followers of Jesus struggle to obey the commands of our Lord. One of the most transformative periods in my faith was when I took time to re-read the Gospels of the New Testament and get reacquainted with Jesus’ himself, in his own words. As I studied the words of Jesus, I discovered that so much of what he asks of us as his disciples is incredibly clear and yet so much of it was new to me. I had never heard it in church or Sunday school or actually heard someone teach the exact opposite of the words of Christ. It was during that season of my life where I took a self-inventory of how I lived and what I believed and aligned to the person and teachings of Christ that my faith was radically transformed for the better.
Below I have compiled a short list of 4 clear teachings of Jesus that most of us who exist within Evangelicalism have either never heard, refuse to acknowledge, or believe the exact opposite of. It’s my hope that by rereading these teachings of Christ, you will be inspired, like I have been, to return to the Gospels and begin to reshape your faith and life around the way and teachings of our Master, Jesus. Get ready and buckle up, because most of what Jesus says is pretty bold and potent. It’ll shake up your faith!
Jesus, not the Bible, is God’s living and active Word that brings life.
“You don’t have His word living in you, because you don’t believe the One He sent. You study the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life.”– John 5:39-40 HCSB
The Christian life is one that is fundamentally rooted in the reality that Jesus Christ is living and active. He interacts with us on a day-to-day basis and desires that we cultivate an intimate relationship with him. The more we commune with the Spirit of Christ, the more life and truth we are exposed to and are able to comprehend. However, for many Evangelicals, we rely more on the Bible than we do on the living and active Spirit of God within us. We fear that following the Spirit could lead to confusion and subjectivity and so we root our faith in the Bible. The problem is that a faith that is rooted in the Scripture alone is not sustainable. It will dry up and wither on the vine. While the Bible is an important and authoritative guide for Christian faith and practice, it isn’t the foundation or center of our faith- Jesus is. And if we truly believe that he is alive, we should also have faith that communing with him will produce spiritual life within us. He is the living Word that we can ask anything to and expect, in faith, to receive and answer. Sometimes he will speak through Scripture. Other times he will speak through our friends and family. Other times he will find unique and special ways to reveal himself to us. But in order to maintain a vibrant and living faith, we must not make the Bible our substitute for communion with the living Word of God. Studying Scripture is valuable, but nowhere near as valuable as cultivating a day to day relationship with the God incarnate.
The only way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven is through DOING the will of God.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 ESV
“An expert in the law stood up to test Him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the law?” He asked him. “How do you read it?” He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all of your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. “You’ve answered correctly,” He told him. “Do this and you will live.”– Luke 10: 25-28 HCSB
“We are saved by faith alone, apart from works!” This is a very popular Protestant catch phrase. The doctrine of sola fide (faith alone) was developed by the Reformers in response to the Roman Catholic Churches corrupted teachings that emerged in the 16th Century teaching that one could gain favor with God and shave off years in Hell and Purgatory by giving money to the church or doing acts of penance. The intention of the doctrine of faith alone was very good- to correct the error that our salvation could be earned or that God’s grace could be manipulated. But like most doctrines that are formulated in response to another group’s doctrine, it often goes too far. One of the clearest teachings throughout all four Gospel accounts is that the way to enter the Kingdom of God is through living in obedience to the Law of Christ. Time and time again, Jesus makes very clear statements that condemn those who think that they will be saved because they believe the right things or do the right religious rituals. Jesus responds to people who believe they are religious and deserve heaven by saying that their outward religiosity is detestable to God and the only thing God desires is that they would exercise their faith by obeying the command of God- to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. (Micah 6:8) Jesus says if anyone claims to be right with God but doesn’t serve the poor, needy, oppressed, marginalized, sick, diseased, and sinful, then they do not have a relationship with God. No matter what they proclaim with their lips. No matter how religious they may appear. Jesus says those who don’t obey will have no part in his Kingdom. He makes very clear that the way to “inherit eternal life” is through loving God and loving our neighbor. Isn’t this astonishing to you, then, how many Christians today have been taught that salvation comes through right believing instead of right practice- a message that is fundamentally contrary to the words of Jesus. (And even more to his little brother James who says, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” James 2:24 ESV)
Condemnation isn’t Jesus’ style.
“I have not come to condemn the world, but to save it.” John 3:17 ESV
“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”– John 8:11 ESV
Many modern day Evangelical preachers spend a lot of time talking about the kinds of people that God is opposed to and who he condemns. They spend time talking about how to transition from a position of condemnation before God to a position of Grace through believing the right things about Jesus. They often talk about those who disagree or live contrary to their understanding of what is “righteous” as those who are under condemnation from God. But what’s funny is that as one examines the teachings and life of Jesus, we find him not only befriending, loving, and affirming some of his societies most despised and vile people, but chastising the religious leaders who condemned them for their sin. Whether it is Jesus’ conversation with Rabbi Niccodemus in John 3 where Christ explains that it is his mission to redeem the world and not to condemn it or the instance where a woman is caught in the act of adultery and is taken outside to be stoned by the religious officials (as the law required) and Jesus steps in to stop the condemnation and proclaim freedom and forgiveness to the broken woman, it is clear that Jesus is not in the condemning business. Instead, it seems Christ is in the business of restoring humanity to the most broken and wicked of people. It seems that his passion is to see the weak, sick, and broken become strong, healthy, and whole in his Kingdom. It seems that he spends very little time (almost none) telling sinners why they’re wrong or speaking words of condemnation over them, but rather practically loving and extending grace to the most screwed up of individuals. Maybe we Evangelicals, who are known for our condemnation of entire people groups with whom we disagree, could learn something from Jesus on this point.
You’re supposed to sacrifice yourself and speak words of blessings for those you disagree with the most.
“Love Your Enemies and Bless Those Who Persecute You” Matthew 5:44 ESV
It seems like every week there is a new major controversy-taking place within the Church. Most of the time, the situation revolves around one group of Christians disagreeing with another and then taking to the Internet to write slanderous posts about the other. If it’s not infighting, then it is Christians engaging in culture wars, working to defeat those whom we disagree with politically and socially by painting them as soul-less monsters. But that response is absolutely contrary to the way of Jesus. Jesus calls his followers to love the people they disagree with most and to speak blessings over them when all we really want to do is curse them out. No matter what the situation is or what kind of enemy we have, Christians are called to bless the people who hurt us the most. This includes in theological battles, political disagreements, national wars, and personal conflicts. Christians are called to a radical position of nonviolence and forgiveness, grace, and even blessing of our enemies. There is no way around it. And when Christians chose to ignore these clear teachings, our hypocrisy is glaringly obvious to the watching world. Want some proof?
The point of this post is to encourage those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus to reexamine how we are living our lives and practicing our faith. It is so easy to get so caught up in the flow that we fail to recognize just how far away from shore we have been carried. The words of Jesus are pretty darn clear, but oftentimes in our zealousness for our faith, we often get pulled away from the basics and eventually end up living in a way that we believe is honoring to God, but is actually contradictory to everything he has taught us.
In this post, I have offered just four examples. There and hundreds of teachings contained in the 4 Gospels of the New Testament, teachings that, if we obeyed, would absolutely flip our lives and world upside-down for the glory of God and the good of all people. What the Church as a whole and Evangelicals in particular desperately need in this age is a return to the plain teachings of Jesus. We need to be willing to set aside out theological debates and meanderings for a season and focus on simply reading, conforming, and obeying the will of Christ, both as revealed in scripture and as his Spirit leads us. The world is desperately longing to encounter Jesus through us and for far too long we have been giving them a cheap knock off that we have exported under his name. But it’s clear to everyone that what is passing for Christianity today is almost totally divorced from the teachings of Jesus Christ.
My prayers are that we would all turn our faces towards our risen Savior and seek to selflessly follow his commands. I am convinced that the Jesus’ way is the only way that will heal our broken world. I am convinced that the whole earth is groaning as it waits for men and women to take of their crosses and follow in the way of redemption. I am convinced that when those of us who call ourselves “Christian” re-orient ourselves in Jesus, the power of God will flow through us in an unprecedented and miraculous way that will bring salvation to the ends of the earth. Oh how I long for that day.
“Those who aren’t following Jesus aren’t his followers. It’s that simple. Followers follow, and those who don’t follow aren’t followers. To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it.”
The views expressed in this piece are exclusively those of the author and not of any of the organizations that she represents.
I believe sometimes the ones who are hardest to love are the ones who need it most and while the only perfect person is Jesus Christ it is why I would rather follow a great example than lead by ignorance and so I ask to those reading this are you a follower or are you just a fan?
This video contains explicit language.
That video may be hard to stomach but Bill Maher is 100% correct. “If you ignore every single thing Jesus commanded you to do, you’re not a Christian.”
Portions of this post originally appeared on The Revangelical Blog on Patheos.