A Beautiful Life

How do the people around you know that you follow Christ?

Is it because of the way you love them, have generosity towards them, and encourage them? Because of your grace and forgiveness towards them, and the way that you relentlessly believe in them? Or is it because you just simply tell them?

Read Chapter 8 of 1 Corinthians in your Bible, where Paul is warning the more mature believers to be cautious of the way they live in order to prevent the non-believers and new believers from stumbling. He stresses the importance of not becoming a stumbling block to others, as you are then sinning against Christ. In this chapter, Paul wants us to realize that the way we live as Christians is not only impactful, but crucial in other people’s faith and walk with the Lord.

If you never told anyone that you were a Christian, would they still notice something different about you? Would they wonder how you had peace in the midst of trial or kindness towards those who have hurt you?

Today, aim to get people wondering about you. Shine the light that following Christ has placed inside of you, and watch as people are drawn towards you. As believers, we have been given a great responsibility and influence over our world. Use this influence, and He will use your life as an example of His love. A beautiful life is the sign of a life full of Christ.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Pride Before Destruction

Proverbs 16:18 & 19

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

If you are married, you understand that pride does go before destruction! It is too easy to become prideful when you are in an argument with your spouse. It can become almost second nature to believe the lie that you deserve better, you are entitled to better, or you simply are better. Don’t be misled, this kind of thinking is directly from the enemy, and he will undoubtedly feed off of it to create as much destruction as he can. Child of God, do not let the enemy into your mind or your marriage that way! Proverbs 16:32 says, “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Learn to rule your spirit, turn away from pride and self-importance, and make sure your heart is in a condition of complete obedience to the Lord. Don’t give the enemy a footing in something that he has no business entering.

Proverbs says that, “It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.” The Lord would rather you have a lowly spirit and little riches than a prideful spirit and many riches, because He promises a great inheritance for the meek (Matthew 5:5). Having a quiet and gentle spirit is very valuable to the Lord, because it is proof that you have died to your selfish nature in light of His sacrifice for you. And that is the key. Although a humble spirit does not come naturally for us, it can be developed through the constant renewal of our minds back to His death that let us live. The truth is, we will stop thinking so highly of ourselves when we realize that He is higher than us all. We will not boast in anything except His perfect love when we realize that it cannot be matched. We will not lean on our greatest qualities when we realize that one breath from Him holds infinitely more power than anything we could ever accomplish. When we sink into the fact that Jesus-the man who had every reason to be full of pride-had none at all, but in complete humility laid His perfect life down for us, our spirits will be changed.

Give Me Jesus

I need Him.

I need Him because I am tangled up in this world. I need Him because I am out for my own selfish gain. I need Him because I’m insecure. Because I’m prideful. Because I’m a liar. Because my sin is ugly.

I need Him because I know I am broken, but still I long for beauty.

And oh how beautiful Christ is! How precious are the quiet moments with Him where my silent prayers are heard. How tender are the tear-filled nights with Him when He wraps His arms around me. How invigorating are the bold prayers of faith prayed by His children. How full of hope I am when His strength is displayed in my life. And oh, the peace that invades my heart when I hear the words, “it is finished.”

I want Him.

I want Him because He wanted me. I want Him because I want a life that matters, a life that is truly intoxicating. Because I can’t do it on my own. Because I don’t need to.

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”

Abounding In Light

Jesus.

Blameless. Sinless. Glorious.

Picture Him walking through the streets: heads turning, knees bowing, eyes wide open in admiration.

Jesus.

Pure love. Pure truth. Pure light.

Our Jesus was one of a kind. He embodied a light that can never be duplicated, one that will never dim. He showed the love of God to a world that was so desperately in need of it. As He came to be the light of the world, to take a world so covered in darkness and give it hope, now we are called to do the same (Matthew 5:13-16).

How are you responding to this call?

The truth is, His calling on your life remains, whether you ever take Him up on them or not. We are consistently given the opportunity to show our broken world the radiance that is Christ. My challenge to you today is to take Him up on it. We need to long for an existence that is so focused on God that others can’t help but to see Him in us. Give everybody you meet an encounter with Jesus, and watch as His Spirit sets in all around. Deny yourself of any yearning for your own glory, and you’ll be creating space for the Lord to work.

Jesus was incredibly kind (Matthew 19:14), loving (John 10:10) and humble (John 14:28). Begin to intentionally show kindness to all, extend love at every opportunity, and constantly renew your mind back to the fact that it is all for the Father’s glory, because He is much greater than you, even on your best day.

Now picture yourself walking through the streets: heads turning, knees bowing, eyes wide open in admiration. Praises rising, all people giving thanks to the one true Lord; our gracious Father, abounding in light.

Long for that, because He is more than worthy.

John 8:12

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”

Freedom In Redemption

When we fail, so many times we fall into the belief that there is no hope for us anymore. We feel like failures, and put our faith in that feeling. We decide to believe the lie that God cannot redeem us, instead of leaning on the truth that there is NOTHING that our God cannot redeem. With this mentality, we become less effective and less powerful for the Kingdom. Faith is about truth, not feelings. Feelings change, because they are fleeting and unreliable. But truth is certain, constant and unchanging. Truth is something that we can confidently place all of our hope in. Knowing this, why would we allow our faith to be wavered by feelings? Why wouldn’t we lean more on truth, knowing that it is deeply rooted and will not differ? Instead, we depend on our feelings to lead us, forgetting the truth about the character of the Lord we serve. Let me remind you. Our God is a redeemer (Job 19:25-27), abounding in mercy (Psalm 145:9) and forgiveness (1 John 1:9), who makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your failure does not hold enough power that the all-powerful King will think you to be beyond redemption. Our God is fiercely and forcefully strong for His children, and He is not intimidated by your sin. He knows exactly how to break you from your bondage, which He so humbly proved when He died on the cross with you in mind.