Grace and peace,
Grace and peace,
During my brief time here on Earth I have learned this if nothing else, how valuable and sought after are people who are willing to help without hesitation at a moment’s notice. The ones who go the extra mile. The heart of a servant is one of the most cherished qualities among people when we look for friends or spouses. We all want people in our life we know without a doubt we can trust to be there when we need them just as we too should strive to be that person who gives without expecting a return and who loves unconditionally, always, especially when what we really want to do is freak out or get angry or hurt. Showing kindness and compassion is not only commanded of us by God, but is appreciated by our fellow humans.
Being humble and gracious are clear indicators of a servant’s heart. Watch people, see how others react to certain situations and pay close attention to how you react also. I know I have much to learn and even farther to grow to get where God wants me to be.
Trying to serve, trying to be gracious, trying to love without condition or be a friend without expectation is frustrating and at times very painful, people take advantage of tender-hearts, do these things anyway. Even if you never receive recognition here the Lord watches you and knows of your faithfulness. Above all else be faithful to the Master and keep his commandments. “But remembering to do all that stuff is hard!” It really is not, when you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these commandments hinge all of the law and the prophets.”
When these are forefront in our lives, God recreates us and we seek to do good and our heart is turned from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh as it is written in Ezekiel 36:26-27
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
“Move you”, notice the Lord did not say “Control” you or “Force” you. His Spirit dwelling within us speaks to and pushes us to do these things, but it is still our conscious decision to live as such. Following these commands brings glory to God. It is a better way to live, bringing peace to your world even amidst hardships. Bring joy to your friends and love to those who hate you, especially when no one else sees you.
A true servant’s heart does for others more than for ourselves. I must share because the love of God within me prompts me to do so. I must love because the light of Christ at work within pours out of me, flows through me. If I stopper it up, it bursts forth anyway, until is free I am not myself nor do I feel at home. I cannot squelch my passion nor mask my face. We are called to be a city on a hill, we are lamps set on a stand, giving light, bringing hope to all who see us. We are servants of the most high and when we live as such, our servant’s heart rejoices and I myself, am content. What does that mean? Do unto others as you really want them to do to you and let not your heart be troubled. Pick up your slack, carry your weight along with those around you, and never weaken others in their faith. Instead be a strong link fastened to God in Christ and perpetually focus your heart and mind on Him. Whichever direction you are looking is the way you end up traveling. Pray for me that I not let my eyes wander again. I pray the same over you. I do not like the results I get when living for myself.
2 Corinthians 4:5-6 NIV
“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and OURSELVES AS YOUR SERVANTS for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”
Grace and Peace,
Do you ever get tired of fighting? Maybe someone hurt you or you hurt someone else and everyday after that is turmoil in your heart and mind. You pray for reconciliation and cry for the pain caused and felt, but seemingly nothing changes and may even get worse. Whatever your reason for fighting, do what is necessary for reconciliation. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
When someone wrongs you forgive them and move past it. It is written, love your neighbor as yourself. When we hold grudges against the ones we are called to love and be a light for, we erect barriers in our heart against God. Matthew 5:23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” We are not even in the right place to offer our gifts to God when we are angry or we know someone else is angry with us. If you have the opportunity, reconcile whenever possible, as quickly as you are able and then head back to the altar to praise God for the chances He gives you to glorify Him.
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.” Matthew 5:25
Turn the other cheek, reconcile, if they sue for your shirt, give them your cloak as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two. Do not take an eye for an eye. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Even the tax collectors do that. And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others?…” Matthew 5:43-47
Do not try to impose salvation on others. Present the truth and let them do with it what they will. You are not responsible for being someone’s savior. You cannot do it. Trying to save them from themselves or from others, especially when they do not want you to will only bring you more pain and frustration and maybe even other consequences. It is good to defend the helpless and the weak, but do not stay where you are not wanted. “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” Matthew 10:14 When we continue to chase after people or constantly throw scripture at them, even with the best of intentions, we begin to push them away and build barriers around them instead of tear down walls that were already there. Let them run, pray for them and never give up. No matter what. God is waaaay better at bringing people home than you or I will ever be.
Oh, and remember when you pray that God is in control. Do not pray selfishly, but pray for His will to be done. Pray for the person you chase. Pray for the person who runs. Pray for all the people who like living in darkness because it is what they have grown used to. Those who have tasted the light will return to it because God is sweeter than any earthly high. Those who do not know it will hear it.
We are not saviors, we are presenters of Truth. Let people make their decisions. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Spread the gospel and let God handle the rest. For those I have tried to save from poor decisions or from themselves or from going places I thought would hurt them, I am sorry. I forget my place as a servant sometimes and think I know best. I pray your forgiveness and God’s redemption.
If you know someone has something against you, or you have a burden you carry in your heart for someone else, go today and fix it. Go while you have the opportunity or it may be taken from you. Live like there is no tomorrow. Live like you will never have the chance to speak with people in your life again. Live like you will never have the choice to love and reconcile again. Live for the satisfaction of tomorrow, not in the temporary fake joys of a fallen world. You will be hurt by them. Even those who seem to have everything feel regret and wish for chances to do things over. If you want to live with no regret, live your life to the glory of God, and do not make choices you will regret. War is a terrible thing. War of the heart is equally terrible and people get hurt either way. Love to the best of your ability and let the real Savior handle the rest.
Grace and Peace,