Be the one God created you to be! Be YOU! Don’t hand over your “you” to anyone! We all need you!! We aren’t supposed to be the same, but we can live in unity and purpose with our differences and glorify God
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-20
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4: 5-6
Imagine you are getting out the ingredients to bake a batch of cookies, but you have unknowingly mixed up the salt and the sugar. You end up putting in a dash of sugar and a cup of salt.
Now, picture a little child taking a big bite of one of those cookies. How long will it take the child to realize something is wrong? Do you think he or she will ask for another cookie? Of course not!
The art of seasoning is a matter of balance. Just enough salt to notice, but not too much salt to overwhelm. Salt creates a thirst, a desire for more. As Christians, we sprinkle the salt of God’s grace and gospel into our daily conversations. We don’t saturate every conversations in a way that drives others away. The artful seasoning of God’s loving grace into our conversations will create a thirst and a desire in the lives of others. They will long to know more of Jesus. This is how you “make the most of every opportunity.”
My Dad was very talented when it came to creating things. He created everything from beautiful, fine crafted wood workings that were gifts from our government to others and celebrated in city parades, to houses, and everything in between.
He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
I was so blessed to grow up on building sites and in work shops where my Dad would share his wisdom with me as he worked. One thing my Dad taught me was that wise builders know that every house must have a foundation. A foundation is usually made of concrete or stone and steel, and its purpose is to hold the house up from underneath. Wise builders also know that the foundation must be built on very solid ground or rock. If the house is built on sand, the building will fall when the sand under the foundation washes away in a storm, or when it shifts during an earthquake.
For the same reason, our lives must have a strong foundation. Storms are a part of life. We all will face our share of difficulties and disappointments. Therefore wise people build the foundation of their lives on God, whom the Bible calls the Rock:
“For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” (2 Samuel 22:32)
[God] alone is my rock and my salvation. (Psalm 62:2)
God is like the solid rock, dependable and durable, on which wise people lay the foundations for their houses. You can always count on God and His Word–the Bible–because they always tell us what is true. Whether building houses or building their lives, wise people will follow a good plan, and there is no plan as good as the one found in God’s word:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
What a beautiful picture of freedom in Genesis 2:25:
Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame….
Absolutely nothing hidden. Honesty with themselves, each other and best of all with God. What a pure, beautiful way to live. So inspiring!
There’s only one way to get that kind of life and that’s by living second. We live in a culture that all about being first at whatever the cost. Where lives are lived in secret and where money and me, me, me is what counts. It’s exhausting. There is no joy.
I am on the launch team for the I Am Second Organization. We launched a new and improved book this week. It’s updated with even more content and inspiring stories about God making extraordinary differences in ordinary people like you and me. Real stories. Real people. Changing lives.
I know the people in this book. I know them because I saw a little piece of me in nearly every story. Maybe you’ll see a little of yourself in the pages too.
The words “change me” are the two mos
t powerful words a Christ follower can say. Once said, God began doing a work on all of the heart ache, pain, punishment, prostitution, hate, drugs, pride, pornography, alcohol, bitterness, shame, and loneliness and more. God is a God who can do immeasurably more than we can ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). We see this truth in this book. This book is about victory.
The stories in this book will warm your heart, draw you closer to your Savior, and inspire you. Get.This.Book.
Do you know someone that needs encouragement? Someone that needs a Savior? Someone screaming out for help in the wrong direction? Someone you want to reach with the Gospel? Get.This.Book.An
A person on our team shared this verse and I agree that it does a great job at summing up what this book is all about and what the people in this book are doing:
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me. Psalms 66:16-20
This isn’t just a book. It’s a movement.
Here’s the link to purchase the book on Amazon: I Am Second
A few quotes from the book:
*I do not profit in any way from this book. I get no money whatsoever from the sales. We here at E3 are about Encouraging, Equipping, and Empowering others. This book is a holy hallelujah touch down in accomplishing this and so we pass it on to you. We are honored and blessed to be a small part of the team*
As we headed through the hall, she wanted to lead. She didn’t know where I was going, but she felt she knew and wanted to lead anyway. For a little while she was going where I was headed but as soon as we were at a crossroad, she went the wrong way.
Aren’t we all like that with God? We walk with Him a while, and then we think we know what’s best and begin to take over the lead. That inevitable moment comes when it is obvious we were wrong. Ouch.
We all want God on our side. God wants to be. He wants a growing, thriving, active relationship with us. We don’t have to struggle and beg for it. He wanted to be with us so badly that He sent His Son to die to make that happen. We definitely don’t have to wonder if God is for us. He’s made that obvious.
We can learn a lot from Jesus’ life. He lived intentionally. Remember WWJD? We can lean in and learn what He did, to know what we should do:
Jesus only did what God was doing (John 5:19). Jesus never did anything that He didn’t see the Father doing. We follow Jesus who follows God. But we get caught up in wanting to know “what is going to happen if” (fear). We think we know, and that’s when we start taking over.
One family night my hubby dropped my daughter and me off at the door to the movies. On the way out, we didn’t know where our vehicle was. She asked several times, “Where are we parked, Daddy?”. I used the opportunity to teach. Daddy knows where the car is. We can trust Daddy. If we follow Daddy, we will get to the car. Jesus knows what He’s doing too. We can trust Him. If we follow Him, we will always be going the right way.
Hey, I get it. I really do. Life is scary. There are a lot of unknowns to us. We. Don’t. Know. Where. We. Are. Going. But, Jesus does. Where He is, the Father is. Are you in Christ? Are you doing what He is doing? There shouldn’t be a big disconnect between the stuff Jesus does and the stuff that we do because we should be looking at Jesus, doing what He is doing as Jesus is looking at the Father, doing what He is doing. You know, follow the leader, Simon says game. Only, life isn’t a game, and we aren’t kids.
We spend so much time trying to get Jesus to turn around and follow us…..and we don’t even know where we are going. If we lead, it is rarely good for anyone that we influence or who follows us.
If our passion–if our focus is on Jesus–then we are headed right where God wants us. And, wherever God is….that’s for sure where I want to be.
What about those neutral things? Those things that aren’t right or wrong? What about when I mess up? David messed up. Big. Yet, He was called the man after God’s own heart. David’s secret? Humility. He knew that a truly humbled heart is the way to please God (Psalm 51:17).
In contrast, being proud is a sure-fire way to guarantee that God is NOT with you. God resists the proud (James Ch 4).
The idea that God is on our side can lead us two ways:
- Thinking that it means now we can get done all we want to do because He’s with me. He’s on my side.
- Worship. Know myself truly, that apart from God there isn’t one thing in me good. I don’t want to be on my own side. It stinks! I want to be on God’s side. I join in with Psalm 124 and say, “If the Lord had not been on my side.” I say in all humility, BUT GOD. By His grace go I.
Yesterday we talked about being fearless. Immediately God took me to His Word and to a place in my heart asking Who is this God that you would serve Him fearlessly in this crazy life and in seemingly impossible circumstances? And, why??
Immediately He took me to Matthew 6:9; The Lord’s prayer. Specifically the first line: Our Father in heaven.
Who is your Daddy?
Because of Jesus, we come to God as our Father. A child, sitting on our Daddy’s knee chatting….and listening to His wisdom. Trusting in His care over us. We come to Him not as a fearful people to a tyrant lording over us. No, He’s kind. He’s gentle, yet sure and just. He’s your Daddy!
Some of you may have never had that feeling of being a Daddy’s girl. Never sat on your Daddy’s knee and felt that love, care, protection, strength, provision and wisdom. I’m sorry. I truly and deeply am. I know you have an idea or dream of who you wanted your Daddy to be, wished your Daddy to be.
I have some notes on Daddy. Notes on who He’s been to me, will always be to me, and most certainly wants to be for you. This list never ends, and is added to regularly. I’ll never be able to stop describing Him as He meets my every need, my every longing as I go through this life. Some of this list is from teaching notes, and all of it is true.
You are secure and taken care of because of Who you belong to. This is your Daddy. Follow Him fearlessly. Allow me to introduce you:
Your Daddy is…
the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End
Keeper of creation and Creator of all
Architect of the universe, Manager of all time
He always was, always is, always will be unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone
He was bruised, but brought healing
He was pierced, but eased pain
He was persecuted but brought freedom
He was dead and brings life
He has risen to bring power and was raised to bring peace.
The world can’t understand Him, armies can’t defeat Him, schools can’t explain Him, and leaders can’t ignore Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him, Nero couldn’t crush Him
He is Life, He is Love, He is Longevity, and He is the Lord
He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness and He is God
He is holy and righteous and powerful and pure
His ways are right, His Word eternal, His will unchanging, and His mind is consumed with US
He’s our Savior, our God, our peace, our comfort, our Lord, and He rules our lives
His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life
He’s the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders
His goal is a relationship with you and He will never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment book
When you fall, He will life you up
When you fail, He will forgive you
When you’re weak, He is strong
When you’re lost, He is your way
When you’re afraid, He is your courage
When you stumble, He will steady you
When you’re hurt, He’s going to heal you
When you’re broken, He will mend you
When you’re blind, He will lead you
When you’re hungry, He will feed you
When you face trials, He’s with you
When you face persecution, He shields you
When you face problems, He will comfort you
When you face loss, He will provide for you
When you face death, He will carry you Home to meet Him
He is everything for everybody everywhere every time and in every way.
He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to
You see, with a Daddy like this, we can face anything, anytime fearlessly because we can trust Him. We. Can. Trust. Him. You are His creation. He’s invested and consumed with you. He can’t stop thinking of you, and doesn’t want to. He is the Supreme Ruler. Nothing can defeat Him. He’s your Protector. He never fails. He is madly in love with you. Madly. Crazy. Head over heals. Stalker type love….only not creepy. He is unstoppable and never gives up on you. Never. He is your Provider. When He calls you to a thing, He will carry you through it. He will equip you. He is powerful and majestic.
He’s your Daddy
You can do all things through Him who is your strength. In His strength, you are fearless.
If you’ve ever been in a city during rush hour traveling down 5 lanes of traffic, you know the busyness of it. Everyone in a hurry to get where they’re headed so they go…and they go FAST.
It was on a day like this, at just that time of day, that I was traveling home from work. Suddenly, right in the middle of that 5 lanes of busy, rush hour traffic, my vehicle just stops. Dead. In the middle of those 5 lanes. No puttering to stop. Just stops with no engine running. Stopped dead. As I look in my rearview mirror and see that 18 wheeler and all those vehicles headed right at me, I yell….”Jesus, no!”
“When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in time of trouble. I will rescue and honor them” Psalm 91:15
It wasn’t a rhetorical using-of-His-name-in-a-sentence type usage (which I can’t, stand by the way). I was literally talking to my Savior, needing Him to save me in the physical realm this time. As if there was a bubble around me, the vehicles started parting. That 18 wheeler got close enough for me to see the panic on his face as he yanked hard and fast on his steering wheel to the left to pass by. My Lord saved me that day. My vehicle finally started and I went on my way, calling my hubby to praise the Lord with him.
There are days when we wake up and look around to say, “How in the world did I get HERE, and how did things get THIS way???” Call out that name: JESUS….the sweetest name I know. Don’t try to clean things up before you do, like some people do just before the housekeeper comes, or when company is coming. He says, come as you are, mess and all. You are tired of the mess, of the juggling, of the hiding, and the keeping of the secrets….
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28
Dear Lord, thank You for meeting me just where I am, mess and all. Thank You that You rescue us….over and over again. Your love never fails. Your love endures forever. There’s power in Your name. Lord, I call on your name right now. I need You. I thank You……
Photo credit: tomtom.com