How Can You Help

“Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’” Romans 15:2

If you’re driving down the freeway and get a flat tire, and the president of the United States drives by, nobody expects him to stop and help you replace a tire. He’s too important to deal with your problems.

But that’s not Kingdom values—that’s worldly values. Jesus said, if you want to be great, you must be the servant of all. The more you give of yourself and serve other people, the greater you are in God’s Kingdom.

What does it mean to love like Jesus? “Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’” (Romans 15:2).

Look for how Jesus may be in your life disguised as a hurting person. He may be at the water cooler on Monday morning. He may be at the soccer game. He may be the person behind you in the grocery store line. He may be the most unlovable person you know who is carrying a deep hurt. If you want to serve Jesus, then start by showing up for the hurting people around you.

Romans 12:13 says, “When God’s children are in need, you be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night”.

There are many people in your church, neighborhood, and even family who are single moms working to put food on the table, widows who are lonely in their empty houses, students who are overwhelmed by life in a pandemic.

How can you love them like Jesus today?

God Will Meet Your Needs, Not Your Greeds

My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:19

One of our biggest worries tends to be about our ability to provide for our needs.

But it shouldn’t be!

The Bible says, “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

What a joyful promise for those who are in Christ!

God doesn’t promise to meet all your “greeds.” He doesn’t promise a fancy car or mansion. God is not a genie in a bottle. But he will give you all you need.

Most of us don’t really understand this, so we don’t pray for it. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 84:11: “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right”.

Make note of these three words: no good thing.

When my kids were growing up, I wanted to give them good things. I might withhold something bad from them—something that would harm them or something that would cause them to be stunted in their spiritual, physical, or emotional growth. But I wouldn’t withhold anything good from them.

If I, as a dad, want to give my children good things, how much more does a Heavenly Father who’s perfect want to do likewise?

God solved your biggest problem—your sin problem—when he came to Earth and died for you. If he was willing to do that, don’t you think he cares about the other issues you’re dealing with?

Absolutely. He cares about your finances. He cares about your health. He cares about your career. He cares about you!

Fear Not – God Is For You

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31

Psychologists have identified hundreds of different known fears that people can have. Fear is a universal problem—and it takes away your joy.

But here’s the good news: You don’t have to be afraid. You have God on your side!

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

With God on your side, you don’t need anything else. God plus one equals a majority.

What’s your greatest fear? Is it embarrassment? Failure? Rejection? Disappointing others? Not fitting in?

Satan uses all of these fears to rob you of joy. He knows what will make you joyful, so he creates fears to oppose those things.

For instance, Satan knows doing what’s right will always bring you joy. So he makes you afraid of what other people will think if you do the right thing. He makes you worry more about your popularity than pleasing God.

Satan also knows one of the greatest sources of joy in life is when you share the love of Christ with an unbeliever. So he makes you afraid to tell people about Jesus.

The truth is, to find joy, you need only one thing. You need to live for an audience of one: God. That’s Jesus’ path to complete and total joy.

He said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

You can have joy in life, knowing that God is for you. Fear not!

God Uses Your Mistakes For Good

“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28 (GNT)

Let’s face it. You and I do foolish things from time to time. We make mistakes.

But nothing you ever do is beyond the capacity for God to use. You may make mistakes, but God doesn’t.

The Bible says this in Romans 8:28: “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose”.

When you make a mistake, God says, “I can fit that in too. I can use it all for good.”

I want to be clear, though. This isn’t a promise for everyone. The Bible doesn’t say God works everything for good for those living in rebellion against him or for those who aren’t living for God’s purposes.

This promise is for people who come to God and say, “I want to live for your purpose. Even though I make mistakes, I want to do the right thing. I want to follow and trust you.” Do that, and God will take it all and use it for his good.

That’s a reason for joy.

When you put your life in God’s hands, it doesn’t mean you’ll never goof up again. You’ll still make bad decisions. You’ll still mess up. But God can fit it all into his plans.

There is no plan B for your life. Before you were born, God knew all the mistakes you’d make. He also knew how he’d fit those mistakes into his plan.

That means you can relax. You can stop being anxious. Do the best with what God has given you.

You can live in confidence and joy, knowing God will work everything in your life into his plan.

In Uncertain Times, You Need Eternal Security

Your riches won’t help you on Judgment Day; only righteousness counts then. Proverbs 11:4

What good is your money in the end?

“When the wicked die, their hope dies with them. Confidence placed in riches comes to nothing” (Proverbs 11:7). The Bible also says in Proverbs 11:4, “Your riches won’t help you on Judgment Day; only righteousness counts then”.

The only way to have security that will outlast your life is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you’re facing financial insecurity right now, you likely will be tempted to stop trusting that God will take care of you.

But the Bible is very clear when it comes to God’s provision. It tells you that God will provide but often in ways that you don’t expect or understand. The Bible also lets you know what to do when you feel like you’re not going to have enough and when you’re tempted to hoard your resources. You need to trust in God, not in your possessions. You’ve got to be God-centered, not materialistic. And you should save but for the right reasons.

If you’ve never opened your life to Jesus Christ, you’ll never be able to trust him with your money or make financial decisions that honor him. You don’t have the security of a relationship with God that you need in order to handle uncertain times like the ones we’re in right now. But you’re only one prayer away from knowing and trusting God with your life!

You don’t need to know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You don’t need to know what the future holds. You just need to know who holds the future! When you have a relationship with your Creator, you’ll have the security you need.

Love Drives Out Fear

“Those who make a practice of sin are straight from the Devil, the pioneer in the practice of sin. The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways.” 1 John 3:8

Jesus defeated death, and that means he also defeated Satan. In fact, that’s why he came to Earth. The Bible says, “The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways” (1 John 3:8).

What is the Devil’s work? He messes with your mind. He fills it with worry, guilt, resentment, anger, fear, and confusion. He whispers in your ear that you’re worthless, helpless, hopeless, and aimless.

Satan uses these thoughts and emotions to keep you enslaved.

The biggest tool Satan uses to mess with your life is fear. The Bible clearly says that fear doesn’t come from God: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). The Bible also says, “God is love” (1 John 4:16). So when you’re afraid, that’s not from God—because there is no fear in love, and God is love.

As a Faith blogger and now pastor, I’ve learned the number one thing most people fear is death. Satan will use that fear to manipulate you.

But Jesus defeated death; he destroyed the Devil’s work. And so, when you as a Christian grieve a death, you grieve with hope.

You grieve because you miss those you’ve lost. You grieve, but you know that if they believed in Jesus, you will see them again in heaven. They are waiting there in that place where we all were designed to go in the first place.

In Hebrews 2:14-15, the Bible says, “Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil). In this way he would free those who were slaves all their lives because they were afraid of dying”.

So whenever you feel fear creeping into your heart—whether it’s the fear of death or another fear—remember that fear isn’t from God. Then ask God to drive out that fear with his perfect love.

Four Steps Toward Forgiveness

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31-32

If you’re like most people, you might have some misconceptions about what it means to forgive. And, because you don’t understand forgiveness, you find it really difficult to forgive.

As a follower of Jesus, you need to understand forgiveness. The Bible clearly calls Christians to forgive. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently”.

So, if God expects you to forgive others, what does healthy, biblical forgiveness look like? Here are four things you should do when you need to forgive someone.

1. Recognize no one is perfect. When you hate somebody, you tend to lose your perspective about that person. Resentment, bitterness, and hurt make you stop seeing that person as a fellow human being. You treat them like an animal. But the truth is everyone is in the same boat. The Bible says, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). We’re all imperfect.

2. Relinquish your right to get even. This is the heart of forgiveness. The Bible says, “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (Romans 12:19). Even if you think you deserve to retaliate, don’t. If the hurt runs deep, you may have to commit over and over again to not getting even. But, no matter what, leave the repayment to God.

3. Respond to evil with good. Humanly speaking, it’s nearly impossible to respond to evil with good. You’ll need God’s help. You’ll need the love of Jesus to fill you up. Why? “[Love] keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5). When you can respond to evil with good, you’ll know you’ve fully released someone from the wrong they’ve done to you.

4. Refocus on God’s plan for your life. As long as you continue to focus on the person who has hurt you, that person controls you. In fact, it often goes a step further: If you don’t release your offender, you will begin to resemble your offender. So stop focusing on the hurt and the person who hurt you. Instead, refocus on God’s purpose for your life his purpose is greater than any problem or pain you might be facing.

Don’t sit another day in your resentment. If you’ve been holding on to pain caused by someone else, go through these four steps and move on to the life you were created to live!

How To Satisfy Your Spiritual Thirst

“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14

Do you feel unsatisfied with your life? Are you ready to live a fulfilled, meaningful life? It’s time to start looking for satisfaction in Jesus alone.

If you’re like most people, you’re always looking around, trying to find something to make your life happy and significant. You think, “If I could just wear this kind of clothes, then I’d be cool. If I could just have plastic surgery and get this fixed, then life would be grand. If I could just get this job, I’d be satisfied.”

The pursuit of these things leaves you exhausted because these things will never really satisfy you.

The Bible says, “My people have done two evils: They have turned away from me, the spring of living water. And they have dug their own wells, which are broken wells that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

Not only have you rejected God and not looked to him to meet all your needs and satisfy your life—you’re also trying to meet your needs on your own. The wells you’ve dug—called a career, good looks, or the perfect house—aren’t going to hold water.

In John 4:13-14, Jesus says, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life”.

Sin is addictive. It only makes you thirstier! If you don’t believe that, ask anybody who’s looked at pornography—once is not enough. If you are addicted to prescription medication, one pill is never enough. If you have a problem with anger, you’re not going to lash out just once. Sin creates greater thirst for satisfaction.

That’s how it is with every pursuit outside of Jesus. It will only leave you thirstier than you were before!

But Jesus offers living water that will permanently satisfy your thirst.

If you feel unsatisfied with your life, you’re spiritually thirsty. And the only one who can quench that thirst is Jesus.

Jesus Chose To Suffer For You

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Few people are willing to suffer for someone else. But Jesus was. In fact, he didn’t suffer for just one person; he chose to suffer for all the people in the world!

John 19 describes some of Jesus’ suffering: “After this, Jesus knew that everything had been done. So that the Scripture would come true, he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ There was a jar full of vinegar there, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a branch of a hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth” (John 19:28-29).

Jesus was in agony on the cross—and he was thirsty. He was suffering not just from pain but also from great thirst.

Jesus didn’t deserve to suffer for everyone’s sin. We each deserve to suffer for our own sins. But Jesus was willing to suffer and thirst for you so that you can go to heaven.

Jesus did nothing wrong. He committed no crimes. He didn’t hurt anyone. He lived a perfect life. So why did they kill him?

Jesus died for the redemption of others. He was thirsty for your benefit.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Jesus’ love for you is so great, so deep, and so wide that he was willing to take your sin as his own and cover it with his righteousness. Your sin cost him his life. He considers you worth it!

It’s hard to wrap our minds around that kind of love, but maybe this story will help:

In 1987, Northwest Airlines Flight 255 took off from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Twenty seconds later it crashed and killed 156 people. Only one person survived—a 4-year-old girl named Cecelia from Tempe, Arizona.

How did she make it when everyone else died? Rescuers pieced together what likely happened. Evidently, when the passengers realized they were going to crash, Cecelia’s mother took off her seatbelt, turned around, and got in front of her child. She surrounded her with her body, covering her in her love, protecting her little girl. The mother gave her life for another.

That’s what Jesus did for you! He suffered so that you don’t have to. He went through hell on the cross so you don’t have to go through hell for eternity. He covered you and protected you from the punishment, flames, and pain.

Jesus willingly died so you could have eternal life. He chose to suffer to buy your redemption. You never have to wonder how much God loves you. He’s already shown you on the cross!

Jesus Saves You From The Fear Of Death

“The Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”Hebrews 2:14-15

Death is a universal fear. Nobody is exempt from it!

But did you know Jesus saved you from that fear? That’s right Jesus didn’t just save you from your sin. He also saved you from the power and fear of death.

“The Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

John 19:30 says, as Jesus died on the cross, he shouted, “Tetelestai!” It’s a Greek word, meaning, “It is finished,” and it was his battle cry. “Telestai” is the shout of a victorious conqueror who says, “I have defeated death. I have proven to you that you don’t have to be afraid of death—because I’m going to come back to life. I am the Resurrection, and you can be resurrected by believing in me. Death is not the end. You don’t have to fear it anymore!”

Because Jesus died on the cross in my place, I am not afraid. Death does not have power over me. I know death is just a transfer, and I know where I’m going when I die. It can be the same for you, too—it should be the same for you when you trust Jesus as your Savior.

Romans 5:17 says, “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ”.

When you become a Christian, baptism symbolizes your confidence that you have died to sin and have been raised to new life. The way you live your life, too, shows people you are confident in being resurrected one day to be with Jesus forever.

You’ve been raised to live a new life, marked by a steady assurance of eternity. This is the best thing to ever happen to you! Now you can live your life helping other people have that same assurance. As you talk about death and life in Jesus, make sure you’re doing it in a way that makes other people want to trust Jesus as Savior too.

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