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Who inspires you to do your best?

When I think about doing my best, I first think of my parents. I suppose that is because they were the first, that I remember, to tell me to do my best. Whether it be in school, making friends, or playing well with others. (The latter has not always been my strong suit.) But as we learn to live with Christ, we know that we should do all things to glorify God.

Colossians 3:23 (ESV)  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Not only are we to do all things as well as possible in order to glorify God, we are also to give thanks to Him. It takes some work for me to be in constant remembrance that every single opportunity, every single day of my life is all thanks to God.

Colossians 3:17  (ESV)  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

When our lives are going sideways or things just don’t feel right….we get frustrated and flustered. No matter what we are doing, if we are disciplined to do all things that glorify God and give him thanks, we can truly never be disappointed.

“The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.” William Arthur Ward.

Celebrate Your Season of Singleness

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

For some, being single is a lonely, desperate and sad way of living. That’s how I used to feel about being single. I have been divorced for seven years. But, it wasn’t until recently that I’ve accepted what it means to be single. Our culture tells us that we should be married. At minimum, we should have someone “special” in our lives. The world tends to see single people as lonely, desperate, broken, dysfunctional, or less than whole. We shouldn’t care what society thinks.

We do not dare to compare ourselves with those who use themselves to measure themselves and they judge themselves by what they themselves are. This shows that they know nothing.                  2 Corinthians 10:12

Our concern should be centered on what God wants for us.

Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. Matthew 6:33

Our season of singleness is a beautiful gift from God. What God withholds from us can be our greatest gift. Only God knows when we are ready to meet our spouse that He has chosen for us. His timing is perfect.

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

So, what are we to do while we wait?

Here is a list of some things to do while we are in our Season of Singleness.

  1. Learn Contentment    God will always give us what we need. We can focus on increasing our trust and broadening our knowledge that God knows what is best for us, that He is providing for us and that He is protecting us.
  2. Learn to Live     During our season of singleness we should use our free time and freedom from additional commitments to grow closer to God. Become planted in a church. Join a Bible study group. Serve others by finding somewhere to volunteer or ways to mentor others. Practice spiritual discipline by developing spiritual habits. These could include reading the Bible, making prayer a practice and learning to apply the character of Christ to our lives.
  3. Cultivate a Solid Support System     We need to develop good, strong friendships and learn to let go of toxic relationships. This is a great time to focus on family and getting to know our loved ones better.
  4. Learn Humility     Stop looking and reaching outside of yourself and start looking and reaching within yourself. Stop viewing everyone in the room as a possible candidate. For this leads to lust. Stop looking for those that may be interested in you. For this leads to being prideful. Start viewing people with the value they deserve as they too are created in God’s image. This leads to being respectful.
  5. Prepare Yourself     During your season of singleness, prepare yourself to be the best you that is possible. Begin exercising and develop better eating habits. Map out short and long term goals. Master your finances and budget. Take time to become more educated.
  6. Give all Glory to God     Acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor through praise and worship. Recognize His essence of glory. Listen to and agree with Him. Submit to Him and obey Him.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36

Being a woman, I have gotten caught up in “waiting for my Boaz”. I’ve caught myself wasting valuable resources searching for the “one”. This includes money, time, energy, thoughts and emotions. All single women should really study the book of Ruth. We should all strive to live our Season of Singleness as Ruth did. Her focus wasn’t on searching or seeking Boaz. Her focus was on glorifying God. She was content. She was living her life. She was focused on family. She did things with humility. By the time Boaz arrived, she was prepared. Ruth’s life glorified God. This is what we should all strive for during our Season of Singleness.

Rejoice always, Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.                                                1 Thessalonians 5:16-22.

 

 

Forgive Me!

Forgiveness is not as difficult as it seems. Nor is it as difficult as we make it. There are two verses that come to mind when I think of forgiveness.

Colossians 3:13  ..bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

The theme that I see here is that God forgave us. He forgives me and he forgives you. To walk In Christ is to follow in Jesus’ example. Who are we to withhold forgiveness when He graciously gives forgiveness to all sinners.

It is not for us to withhold forgiveness. Besides, forgiveness has its own healing power and freedom. Forgiveness is not acceptance or condoning bad behavior or sinful acts. Neither are we expected to forget. Learning to forgive is showing the wisdom to stop punishing your own future. Forgiveness is a bold choice. Give it a try!

Disciplined Freedom ~ Ahhhh….Get it?!

Today, I learned something that I wish I would have learned many years ago. Discipline is Freedom. Makes perfect sense…right?

My pastor has been preaching about Freedom this summer. How God gives us Freedom. Pastor’s emphasis has been on what we have Freedom To…. That in itself has made me do a lot of thinking this summer. We have the Freedom to Love. The Freedom to Serve. The Freedom to Forgive. We are Free to live a glorious life In Christ.

We also have the Freedom to be disciplined. What? That sounds like a lot of work. And it will be. We are Free to ask for help. We can ask God to take our pain away. We can ask God to heal our sisters and brothers. We can ask God to do anything. Everything is in His power. But some things will require Disciplined Freedom.

I have been praying that God would make me Healthy. I have been praying that my life be full of Happiness. Our Father can make these things happen. But, sometimes we have to do things for ourselves. (Philippians 4:13) I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Ahhhhhhh….get it? God will help me live a healthy, happy life. We have the freedom to be Disciplined enough to live our life in a healthy way, bringing happiness to our lives. (2 Timothy 1:7) ..for God gave us a Spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (Proverbs 25:28) A man (woman) without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Ahhhhh…Get it? We have to be Disciplined to be Free.

Right now, my health is anything but good. I have found great comfort and happiness living a better life In Christ. I attend Church and worship with a wonderful congregation. I have an open relationship with God. But I am still unhealthy. No matter how hard I pray, I will continue to be unhealthy. Not because God doesn’t want me to be healthy. But, because He has asked me to be disciplined with my Freedom.

I get that we are not free to sin, just because Jesus loves us. Believing that Jesus died for our sins and has paid the ultimate price for our salvation is Freedom. Believing that our sins are forgiven is Freedom. We are not free to sin and take advantage of God’s forgiveness and freedom. We are commanded to be in control and to practice discipline within our lives. Through God’s strength, I can be more disciplined to exercise and to eat better. I have the Freedom to ask God to walk with me while I change my habits and become better disciplined in this area of my life. I will ask God to help me change my desires. To help me desire a healthy lifestyle. Where God can make many things happen, many other things require self-control and discipline….on our part. This is our Freedom To…..be disciplined and maintain self-control. Ultimately, taking advantage of our Freedom to be Healthy and Happy. Ahhhh…..Get it?!!!!