1 CORINTHIANS 15:10 NIV 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am….
ROMANS 12:2 WUEST 2 And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.
God is a brilliant Creator. He only makes originals — not copies. According to Ephesians 2:10, you are God’s work of art.
God made you unique. So be all that God created you to be.
Don’t try to be someone else. Don’t try to be an ear in the Body of Christ, if God made you a foot. Just be yourself.
This does not mean that you cannot improve, or grow. Growth is part of God’s plan. And we can certainly learn from others, and imitate excellent actions and attitudes.
But too many people are insecure and hope to gain acceptance from others by conforming to what they think will make them popular or successful — even though they hate it and know they are not being real.
ROMANS 12:2 PHILLIPS 2 Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould….
Don’t let the world pressure you into conforming.
Express the originality that God put within you. God made you the way you are for a purpose — His purpose.
This is not to encourage rebellion, of course. But it is not God’s plan for us all to be identical and do everything in the same way.
I am not saying you have to try to be different. Just be who God made you — without fear.
Not everyone may like you, or what you do. But that is normal. You can’t always please everyone. Make it your aim to please God by expressing what He made you.
ROMANS 12:2 NLT 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
The Bible reveals many truths about who we are once we receive Jesus Christ. We actually receive new life, a new standing with God, and new ability. As you feed the Word of God into your thinking, that new life will be able to manifest more and more.
HOSEA 4:6a NKJ 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
People wonder why many Christians experience so much trouble in life, instead of victory. The reason, according to the Bible, is a lack of knowledge.
The Bible tells us the devil is out to destroy us, but it also makes clear that we can overcome his attacks. The real problem lies with our ignorance of God’s Word.
Real knowledge produces faith. When we really know something, we have faith in it. Then we will act on that knowledge.
The reason God’s people are destroyed by calamity is not because God doesn’t love us, or because God is not able to help us. It is simply that we don’t know the truth. If we really knew the truth, we would act on that knowledge. Acting on true knowledge makes you free — it does not destroy you or put you into bondage.
JOHN 8:31-32 NKJ 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
God’s Word is our instruction book. When we act on it, things will work for us. God allows us to make choices. When we make the right choices, we will be blessed.
Don’t let the devil condemn you with this message. Instead, let it give you hope. You can learn God’s Word and act on it more accurately in the future — and be blessed!
EPHESIANS 6:2-3 NKJ 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
Think about this: God himself promises that if you will honor your parents you will have a long and blessed life.
What a promise!
So we need to learn from Scripture what God means by “honoring” our parents, so we can do it and be blessed.
MATTHEW 15:4-6 NLT 4 For instance, God says, Honor your father and mother,’ and Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.'” 5 But you say, `You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.’ 6 And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God.
Here we have Jesus telling one way that people are to honor their parents: by caring for their needs.
So honoring your parents is not just speaking politely to them, or telling others that they are great parents. If your parents have needs, you should help them. In this way, according to Jesus, you are showing them honor.
Here is Mark’s account of the same speech:
MARK 7:10-12 NLT 10 For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: Honor your father and mother,’ andAnyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, `Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I could have given to you.’ 12 You let them disregard their needy parents.
Obviously, letting your parents go with unmet needs, when you could meet them, is the opposite of showing them honor.
Of course, the words we speak and the attitude we have toward our parents, also indicates how we honor them.
The word translated honor means to value or prize. God is telling us we should value our parents highly. When you consider something valuable you take care of it, and speak well of it. This is how you should treat your parents — if you desire God’s blessing.
(This is not to say we should honor parents above God and His will. Parents should not control the lives of grown sons or daughters. But, no matter what, our parents deserve love and respect — not necessarily lifelong obedience.)
LUKE 5:16 NKJ 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Jesus prayed and He is our example. If prayer was necessary for Jesus — how much more so for us.
JOHN 13:15 NKJ 15 “For I have given you an example. . . .
LUKE 6:12 NKJ 12 . . . He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
MARK 1:35 NKJ 35 . . . a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
Jesus obviously impressed His disciples with His prayer life, and the importance of prayer. They asked Him to teach them to pray — the only thing recorded that they ever asked Jesus to teach them.
LUKE 11:1 NKJ 1 And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
PSALM 5:12 NIV 12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
God’s favor can change your life.
Someone who is favored is called a favor-ite.
(The New Testament teaches that being righteous (in right standing with God), is a gift we receive when we receive Jesus — not something we attain by our works.)
So, the promise of Scripture is that God surrounds you with favor. What does that mean?
Favor is the blessing of God making people like you and treat you well.
Is it automatic? We have access to God’s grace only through faith (Romans 5:2). So, you will never experience the fullness of God’s favor without believing for it.
Faith is released through words. So every day thank the Lord for giving you favor with people, for surrounding you with favor!
Don’t say, “People don’t like me.” or “Everybody seems to be against me.” or “I never get a break.”
Instead say, “Thank you Lord for giving me favor with people.”
Then watch God begin to move on your behalf!
We have authority in our domain and can choose to invite God’s involvement — or not.
EZEKIEL 22:30 NKJ 30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
JOHN 16:23-24 NKJ 23 “. . . Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
JOHN 14:13-14 NKJ 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Christ has delegated a certain amount of His authority in the earth to His Body, the church. Our decisions as believers — which we can express in prayer — make a difference in our lives and others’ lives.
MARK 11:24 NKJ 24 “. . . whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
JEREMIAH 33:3 NKJ 3 `Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
PSALM 50:15 NKJ 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
PROVERBS 22:4 NKJ 4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.
Humility is the opposite of pride.
Humility does not think it is better than anyone else. “I am what I am by the grace of God.”
1 PETER 5:5 NKJ 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
A humble person is one who follows God’s instructions, instead of leaning to their own understanding.
Being a humble person does not mean being a loser. A humble person is one who has the proper relationship to God and grasps reality, which is: without God, we can do nothing.
Humility will cause a person to remember their need to pray.
A humble person is one who prefers to suffer wrong rather than do wrong.
Pride will bring you low. Humility will cause God to exalt you.
LUKE 14:11 NKJ 11 “For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
God cannot exalt proud people without it harming them.
JAMES 4:10 NKJ 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
1 PETER 5:6 NKJ 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
PROVERBS 16:2 NLT 2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.
Motives are important to God.
God is interested in WHY we do things, not just in WHAT we do.
Why do you do what you do?
Is it to help others? To please God? Or do you live focused totally on yourself?
These questions are important to ask ourselves. As First Corinthians 11:31 says, “if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”
However, we must use caution when trying to judge other people. We don’t know their motives.
PROVERBS 21:2 LB 2 We can justify our every deed, but God looks at our motives.
We often justify ourselves, but judge others harshly. We may judge ourselves based on our good intentions, but we are only capable of judging others by their actions.
So, we must be very cautious about judging others in a condemning way.
1 CORINTHIANS 4:5 NIV 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
One main reason we are not qualified to judge others is because we don’t know their thoughts, intentions, and motives. Only God does.
JAMES 5:13 NIV 13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
The Greek word translated as trouble in this verse means to suffer trouble, be afflicted, or to endure hardship or evil.
The best thing anyone facing trouble can do is pray. You don’t have to know how, just pour out your heart to God and discuss the situation with Him.
We are tempted to do many other things: cry, complain, criticize others — but Scripture says we should pray when we face tough problems.
Notice it does not say you should ask everyone else to pray for you. It says you should pray.
There is nothing wrong with having other people pray for you. But there is something wrong with expecting others to pray, while you never pray.
By praying, we do not mean begging God for help. God loves you, and always desires to assist you.
What is needed is not twisting God’s arm to get Him to help. Usually a part of the answer is God getting us quiet enough for long enough so He can speak to our hearts and show us what needs to be done.
Sometimes we have missed it, and that is why we are in trouble. Other times, we may face trouble just because we live in a fallen world. But always, when we are in trouble, we need to know God’s direction as to what to do.
Discuss your situation with the Lord. Lay it out in detail. Often just telling Him honestly about the situation will cause you to realize what should be done. Pour out your soul to the Lord, but also wait in His presence with thanks and praise. Let your heart and mind get quiet. Let God’s peace overcome your turmoil and worry.
God tells us that if we will draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. This is why you should pray. You need God’s help. He has the wisdom and knowledge to get you out of the trouble you face.
Direction may not come the first time you determine to seek God and pray. You may not seem to get the answer while you pray. But know this: God is working, and the answer is coming. So keep praying. Keep on drawing closer to God. Help will come.
JOHN 16:33 NIV 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 CORINTHIANS 12:22,27 NKJ 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
There are NO unnecessary parts in the Body of Christ.
The devil wants you to think your part does not matter, so you will slack off.
But your part IS important. Your prayers are important. Your giving is important. Your witness to others is important.
It is easy to believe a famous person who ministers to thousands is vital in God’s plan. But we need to be reminded that every member of the Body of Christ is needed — including you!
Don’t condemn yourself because you aren’t doing a job that puts you in the spotlight. Don’t worry that no one knows what you are doing. God knows.
Someone witnessed to Billy Graham. Someone prayed for Oral Roberts to be healed of tuberculosis. Do you know their names? God does. What if they hadn’t been faithful and obedient to do their part?
What if the person who brought you the Gospel hadn’t been obedient?
So, when you are tempted to be discouraged and think what you do doesn’t matter — resist those thoughts!
No one but God may see what you are doing, but it is significant.
Have confidence in God. He knows what He is doing. God placed you where you are. God has a plan and a job for you to do there. Be faithful and do it. When it is time for you to do something else, God will arrange it and lead you out.
Don’t try to be somebody else. Just be faithful and obey God where you are.
Too many Christians think preachers are supposed to do all the work in the Body of Christ. Preachers may be likened to a mouth. A mouth is important. But a mouth is not more important than our hidden, internal organs. We don’t see the liver and kidneys working. However, you could live without a mouth capable of speech, but not without functioning kidneys or liver.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:22 NLT 22 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary.
A body may exist without some of its parts functioning, but it cannot accomplish as much as it would otherwise.
Do your part! God thinks it’s meaningful. Don’t let the devil convince you otherwise.
Maybe all you can do is pray, but that is most important.
Obey God and be faithful where you are. You are needed or God would not have placed you there.