Matthew 5:16 NIV | Let Your Light Shine

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Shine your light into the darkest corners of the school, workplace, etc. Let others see your good deeds and point them to Christ when they ask why you do them.  Go out of your way to help another person out and to lift others up in their troubles.  Jesus pulled Peter out of the water when his faith was wavering, I think we should be able to pull others out of their troubles as well. Pull them out of the storms that they are in.

Matthew 4:19-20 | Amazing

19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

In the ESV version, instead of “at once” it says “immediately”, just think about these two verses for a while. First of all, “fish for people” kind of sounds funny, what did Jesus want, for them to throw nets on people and catch them? But if you think about it, these guys lived and breathed fishing, this was their identity and profession, they were fishers, that’s pretty much all they probably knew.  So, using that analogy worked for them, they knew exactly what Jesus was asking them. But they didn’t know who Jesus was, he was just some stranger who happened to walk by and talk to them, and yet they IMMEDIATELY left their nets and followed Him. They didn’t say “ummmm we don’t know you, we’re not really interested in that.” or “let us think about it first and then we’ll let you know later if we want to follow you or not” they left at once.  They left everything that was comfortable to them, everything that they had known to follow a stranger.  They didn’t know where he was going to lead them, all they knew was that they were going to be “fishing for people”. How many people these days need to think about it, think about what it was going to do to their lives, how it was going to affect them selfishly, instead of just trusting God with their lives and going for it, giving up the comfortable for the uncomfortable….


Another great sermon, this one goes through the Beatitudes.  If you have time or need a way to make your quiet times more enjoyable, look up sermons like this one and watch them, most sermons are at least 30 minutes long so you’ll get a quality quiet time in and it can open your heart to know what God may be trying to tell you.  I’ve been watching Red Rocks sermons lately for my quiet times, but you can check out any churches sermons. Enjoy!

Q2P | Labels

> Who do you label? Why do we label people?

Honestly, we all label people. Some of the people could include friends, family, co-workers, bosses, and just plain old complete strangers.  The more I think about this question, the more labels I come up with for people and the sick feeling comes into my gut.  Sometimes I don’t give people a chance to even show themselves to me before I start labeling them, which I feel is the worst. Sometimes I’ve known the people for years and the labels I give them are either to keep me from going insane or to put them in a category I can better understand them. Labels like weirdos, nutters, special, fake, hypocrite, “they need me to treat them this way”, etc.  Now there are some good labels like Godly, man of God, awesome, best friend, etc. Those labels are given to the very best of the best though, not to the lowly we find in our paths every single day.  So, who do you label and what are those labels you give them? Are they good labels or bad labels?

As for the “Why” part of the question, I think I label others is, like I said above, to put them in categories.  Even more so, it’s to make me feel superior to certain people, like I am higher up than they are.  I mean more than they do, so I’ll label them like this or like that.

> If you had to put a label on me, what would it say?

> How are we labeled as Christians?

Often, as Christians, we only put on the label of “Christian” when we are at church or with others who we wish to look Godly in front of I believe.  If it’s convenient, then yeah….slap that sucker on and let’s get scripture memorizing, worship singing, etc. But when it’s not convenient, I’ll take it off and hope that no one knows that I’m a Christian so I can fly under the radar and not have to talk about my faith to anyone.  We want the good, but we don’t want to deal with the uncomfortableness of not being able to answer non-Christians questions or fight for our faith.  Can you imagine what would happen if the early Christians lived like a lot of us do? We wouldn’t be around, the message never would’ve reached our ears.

> What are some big negative labels used in the world?

((Some Verses To Check: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Isaiah 62:2, Judges 6, 2 Corinthians 12:9, and Jeremiah 29:11))

Quick Listener, Slow Speak/Anger

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.  So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”
(James 1:19-21 NLT)

– Sometimes we talk too much and listen very little, communicating to others that we think our ideas/thoughts are more important than theirs (mostly SN)
– Selfish anger never helps anybody (SN)

1) Do you take time to really listen to others? Do you really take an interest in what they have to say?
2) What kind of things are you quick to get angry about, that you should maybe become slower to get angry about?
3) Are you one that enjoys talking?

I have prayed before to become a better listener in college, and the next day I woke up not being able to hear out of one ear.  Answered prayer, and I was forced to really look at the person talking to me and pay close attention to what they were saying.  It usually happens that way, where I pray expecting one thing and God delivers it packaged in a different way.

I tend to have lots of selfish anger within me, something that I continually try to work on. I pray that someday I can get rid of this selfish anger and unjustifiable anger once and for all, but for now I’m stuck with it.

I am a talkative one, most times I just like to talk to talk, with no real purpose in my talking.  I guess I just like the sound of my own voice at times and I get carried away.  I’m actually shy, so I don’t know why I enjoy talking so much, but I do.

Do Everything

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.  Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” (Philippians 2:14-15 NLT)

> Study Notes
– Why’s complaining and arguing so harmful? If all that people know about a church is that its members constantly argue, complain, and gossip, they get a false impression of Christ and the Good News.  Belief in Christ should unite those who trust him.  *good reminder!
– Lives should be characterized by moral purity, patience, and peacefulness, so that we’ll “shine brightly” in a dark and depraved world.  A transformed life is an effective witness to the power of God’s word. **

QUESTION TO PONDER: Are you shining brightly, or are you clouded by complaining and arguing?

<< This is probably one of the greatest devotions I’ve had in a long time! I got the verse off of my brothers wall, they use it to teach their kids and as soon as I saw it, I took out my bible, journal and wrote it down.  How many times do we, as Christians, find ourselves arguing and/or complaining? I do it every single day. I do it especially at work, where I need to be the best example of a Christian, and yet I fail every time.  I complain because I feel like I’m being burned out by the amount of work they give me, but the flipside is I do more work and work harder and faster to glorify God haha, so I don’t feel like it’s ok for me to slow down.  I argue with the things that I feel are common sense, but others don’t see it the way I do.  I am around it all the time.  This verse though teaches me that I need to rise above the world, rise above what everyone else may be doing and be a shining example to those around me of who God is.  It’s a horrible challenge, but it’s one that I hope I can win over time.  Will you join me? >>

Bright Future

“My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.  In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul.  If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.” (Proverbs 24:13-14 NLT)

* Reading different verses in Proverbs today, the last sentence is what stuck out to me.  One of my recent hopes was cut short because I was hoping to have an interview for one of two full-time custodial jobs that opened up.  To my bitter sadness, I did not get an interview at all.  Recently, I have been doing two sections at work, and sometimes up to three on part-time hours and I’m about burned out.  Now, I get help in them most days, but there are a few days when I have to do two pretty much by myself in six hours, sometimes less time if there’s a game going on we need to clean up after. 

The fact that I have been doing all of this created a thought that I deserved AT LEAST an interview.  ((EXTRA NOTE: I take on everything that is thrown at me, or attempt to, so that (if I was ever replaced, let go) I wouldn’t leave thinking/wishing I did more or have any regrets.  I give it all of my energy and just pray that God would get the glory through it all))  I don’t deserve anything, God blesses me with what I need, not what I necessarily want all the time…

In the end, I won, my HOPE was greater than the position, my HOPE is to glorify God.  All I can pray for concerning this is that God take away the bitter feeling and allow me to use this opportunity to glorify Him *

QUESTION TO YOU: Has there been anything you have not received that you think you deserved, but after thinking about it, realized your real Hope was never really cut off?

Speaking Up

(Taken from Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional, Faithlife Study Bible App)

The verse this one was on was John 4:27-42, which talks about The Disciples and the Harvest. Where Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman and tells her everything about her life and through her testimony, hundreds believe in Jesus Christ. Take some time to read that section right now, it is a steller chunk of scripture to chew on.

Alright, the devotional talks about a lot of cool things, I almost highlighted the entire section. Here are a few sections I enjoyed:

– “Because we convince ourselves that people won’t accept our testimony about God’s work in our lives, we’re not usually ready to share it.”
= This is very true in my life, I can give a testimony, but I’m not usually particularly ready to give it all the time. I attempt to show my testimony through the way I live, but that’s sometimes a cop out of sharing my faith.

– “Soon, staying silent becomes a way of life.”
= People often feel this way, they think their faith is personal and shouldn’t be shared even though it talks in the bible about proclaiming the Good News and sharing with people. I sometimes find myself keeping silent instead of speaking up when an opportunity arises though.

– “But we’re called to action. Our words have power, and not because of our own storytelling talent or our ability to tap into others’ emotions.”
= You may not know it, but your words really do have power, we don’t give God the credit he deserves. Even if we don’t “package” our words in the most elaborate of ways, God can use them to do powerful things in peoples lives. I’m not very good at wording things in the best ways, but God has used my words to change people and help them in various areas.

– “God can and will use your words to draw people to Him through His Spirit – perhaps without our even being aware of it.”
= This one hit me hard, I’m never aware of anything I do as far as faith goes. When I look at my life, I don’t see any “fruit” being produced (if you’re a non-Christian, this whole “fruit” talk makes no sense I’m sure, if you want me to try to explain it let me know) I feel like I’m a failure as far as my faith goes, but who knows… God may be doing big things through me that I am unaware of.

– “Like the disciples, we have to realize the urgency of the good news.”
= The Kingdom of God is near! We don’t realize the urgency of this task at hand, we don’t know when he is coming, but the urgency is very important to remember. We can’t sit down and wait for someone else to share and act, but we need to get on the “front lines” and act ourselves. The battle rages on around us, we need everyone in it!!

– “Verbalizing with humility, what God has done for us is an important part of faith. We shouldn’t shy away from it or doubt that He will use it to bring others to Himself.”
= Amen to that! It’s probably one of the most important parts of our faith. If no one ever shared their testimonies or what God is doing, no one would ever know!! Think about if the disciples and those who have paved the way before us never shared their faith, we would never have heard about the Good News and we’d be lost without it!!

– Do you speak to others about your faith?
– How can you begin telling others about the work God has done in you?

Student or Scholar

(I got this from faithlife study bibles “Connect The Testaments: A Daily Devotion” app on my iPad)

“We have certain expectations of who He should be for us, but we don’t think about how we should align our lives with Him.”  This daily devotion talked about Nicodemus and Jesus’ encounter.  The scholar (Nicodemus) quickly became the student and Jesus was quick to show him that he was not in a place to hold Jesus accountable.  It also talked about how we often approach God with off par expectations.

Some Questions to think about:
> Are you teachable?
> Do you approach God ready to learn and apply His words?

I personally want to be teachable, but I know I have a hard head when it comes down to the truth of it, I like things one way and don’t like change, I never have liked it.  I talk about wanting God to teach me to be strong and control the parts of my life that are very flawed, but when he gives me the opportunity, I throw it out the door.  I don’t usually approach him ready, I moreso approach God because I feel I have to most days. I feel I have to read the bible, pray a certain way and if he wishes it, I’ll get something good in my life.

It doesn’t work that way though, God is far far greater than any of us and who are we to expect something out of Him, he is the one who holds us in his righteous right hand and protects us from the troubles of this world.  We need to learn how to become teachable and approach God the way he deserves to be approached…

"Don't forget to smile!"