Going All In

I was thinking about my life in the context of eternity. I am alive for a short time (120 years if I’m blessed), yet there are many times I don’t live like it. In my studies, I don’t always give 100% of my effort, and in my job, I don’t always go the extra mile. Most importantly, I realised I was not going all in with my relationship with God.

Can you relate to this? In many situations there is room for improvement, but how far should you go? Your time is limited, so how should you prioritise it?

Colossians 3:23-24 says ‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Matthew 22:37-38 says ‘Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.’

Therefore, do the best work you can, knowing you are serving God, not your boss/lecturer/teacher/pastor and prioritise your relationship with God above all else.

Family

This week God has been talking to me about family. It started when I was talking with a friend about her family. Her family experienced some hardship but didn’t handle it well. As a result, some relationships suffered and today still need attention.

The conversation I had with my friend reminded me of my family. Last year I moved away from family but didn’t make an effort to stay in contact. I wanted to leave them behind as much as possible because of my past (terrible) experiences. However, after some thinking and praying, I believe God wants me to connect with them again.

Have you struggled with your family in the past? Are there relationships you can help mend?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says ‘If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

God wants every one of us to love each other the way He loves. This includes family.

Take Control of Your Emotions

I was alone in my bedroom when I finally couldn’t hold it in any longer. My shoulders started to shake, and I began to cry. I was upset because I was following my emotions, and they were dictating my mood. I had a decision to make; I could continue to allow my feelings to control me, or I could take control of myself and go to God.

When I look at my life, I want to see a man of God who is firm and secure. I want to see courage, faith and fearlessness.

What do you want to see in your life? Perhaps you also want to be secure, firmly planted on the rock that is Christ. Maybe you want to have more control over your impulses and desires.

I have good news! Every impulsive desire, failure or fear can be overcome by renewing your mind.

When I was alone in my bedroom, I chose to pray. After praying a little while, I started playing worship music and singing. After only a few minutes, my emotions turned from sadness to contentment. I knew deep down how much God loves me.

If you want to take control of your emotions, actions and ultimately, your life, get alone with God and refresh yourself. Don’t just leave God in the part of your day where you do your devotion, but instead live with Him. If you see a need for more strength, don’t hesitate to ask Him.

Romans 12:2 says ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ask For Directions

From a young age, I have been competitive. I always do my best to win at everything – from games at a friend’s house, to working on a project for my job; I do everything I can to be the best. This competitiveness drove me to listen to a lot of audiobooks. The purpose was to learn everything I could about my job, the world, and business in general. The problem is that a lot of successful people chase after money. They aren’t Christian, and their values started to rub off on me as I listened.

Can you relate to this? Do you find yourself following other values rather than God’s?

This morning I prayed that God would realign my heart and my desires. I want to follow Him and His direction for my life rather than creating my plan. I know God is looking out for me now. I have surrendered to Him so that He will lead me.

Each day is a day to surrender. To follow God requires each step (each day) to be used for good. Each day is an opportunity to draw closer to God and the destiny He has for you!

Proverbs 3:5-6 says ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.‘ God will lead when we are willing to follow.

Does This Verse Change Generosity?!

I was reading the bible in Proverbs when I came across an unusual verse. The verse made me rethink how I view giving and generosity. I was convicted and challenged when I understood another aspect of how giving works. The Bible text said (Proverbs 19:17) ‘Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.‘ Wow! I didn’t know God took generosity so seriously! The fact that he takes personal ownership of our kindness to the poor, turning it into a loan He will repay shows His heart for the poor.

What makes this verse even more interesting is how He chooses to be in our debt. As far as I am aware, this is the only time God is in our debt! God is very generous to us already, extending His grace every day. We are almost always on the receiving end when it comes to our relationship. After all, He is the one who saved us, and He is the one who gave His love without expectation of return. However, here He is giving us the opportunity to give back beyond His expectations. The act of giving to the poor reverses the roles of giving and receiving. God becomes the receiver, but true to His generous character, he will not accept the gift without promising another gift in return!

Respectful Yet Honest

I was talking to a friend at church when he started talking about another friend of mine in a negative way. He didn’t respect them at all, saying they were an idiot. I’m sure there was a reason why this friend wasn’t the smartest, but that doesn’t justify putting them down like that! Not only did my friend manage to pull down my friend, but he also lost my trust.

Honesty is critical, but say behind someone’s back what you would say to their face. It may be hard, to be honest in a respectful way when they are wrong, but it is so essential to maintaining trust in relationships. If something is wrong, tell them! The worst thing to do is gossip about them when they are likely to fix their problem if only they were told.

2 Corinthians 8:21 says ‘For we aim at what is honourable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.‘ Respect and honesty build trust, one small conversation at a time. Don’t underestimate its power, but instead aim to respect everyone, including God.

Relying on God’s Consistency

Some days I feel as though I could climb Mt. Everest, conquering the day without effort, while other days I want to stay in bed watching movies all day. I think we’ve all been there, unmotivated and undisciplined, but at what point does this turn from a bad day to a bad week, to a bad habit?

Thankfully, God is with us at every turn. He has our back, keeping us refreshed when we go to Him. Isaiah 40:31 says ‘But they who wait for 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.

I am so thankful for God’s grace for me. He always gives me strength when I pray.