Honestly, I’m struggling financially right now. I’m opening with that because I have a ministry fund and I was told I should use that money to pay off bills. Most people would think that was an awesome idea I’m guessing since I’m living paycheck to paycheck. But in reality, if you look at the bigger picture, if I used that money, I’d be in the same hole just deeper down because that money would all disappear fast as well. A co-worker explained it to me like this: When you’re on a plane and there’s an emergency, the oxygen masks come down and what do they tell you to do? They tell you to take care of yourself first and then help any children around you. Honestly, that just shows how bad we are these days. If there’s a six year old child beside me in an airplane and those masks come down, I’d rather save his life rather than my own. I’ve lived a decent life already, he still has his whole life ahead of him. Let’s say you’re a 90 year old grandma and those a 6 year old sitting next to you, to put it on yourself first is just foolish for the same reason as I pointed out above, you’ve lived a long life, if one of you is going to survive and the other isn’t, I’d rather the 6 year old survive. It’s time we start looking at the big picture and not just worrying about the small things in life, but the big impact we can have on this world. So, I challenge you to look at your life and switch to a bigger picture mode instead of a small picture mode. God bless and shine bright.
> 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))
“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? >>
(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…