“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12, NIV
As believers, we should expect great things in our lives because we know that God can do all things. We know that He loves us and wants to bless us. However, we sometimes forget one simple principle when we are expecting those great things. We forget to do unto others as we would want to done to us. We expect to receive gifts and special treatment, yet we don’t consider giving them to others.
Do you expect to receive love but promote hatred? Do you expect to be lifted up but shove others down? Do you expect to be embraced but push others away? Do you expect to be built up with encouragement but tear others down with your tongue? Do you expect peace but cause chaos? Do you expect forgiveness but never forgive? Do you expect patience but are never patient with others? Do you expect to be understood but never listen? Do you expect people to be there for you in your time of need, but never have time to be there for them? Do you expect friendship but are never a friend? Do you expect to be recognized but ignore others? Do you expect to be appreciated but don’t appreciate others? Do you expect comfort and gentleness, but cut others down instead? Do you expect financial blessings but never give financial gifts to those in need? Do you expect guidance but lead others astray? Do you expect perfection but forget that only God is perfect?
When in expectation, make sure your giving matches up. Look for opportunities to give and not just to receive. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6: 9-10, NIV
“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10
Lord, when I lost my voice, you spoke up for me. When I was sick, you healed me. When I was lost, you guided me back home. When I was in danger, you protected me. When I started to fall, you caught me. When my worries started to overwhelm me, you gave me peace. When no one would listen, you heard me. When I became weary, you strengthened me. When I was broken-hearted, you dried my tears. When I was lonely, you were with me. When I was in need, you were my provider. When I was discouraged, your love encouraged me. When I was confused, you gave me wisdom. When I wanted to give up, you enabled me to keep fighting.
Lord, with all the things that you’ve done for me and all the things that you continue to do for me, how can I ever say no to you? How could I have ever turned my back on you? How can I not get down on my knees to praise you? My life is not my own, it’s yours to do as you will. I know that I can trust you because you only have good intentions for me. It would be foolish of me to stop trusting you now. I will endure and continue to fight the good fight of faith. My strength is in you. You are the source of my peace and my joy, now and forevermore. Thank you!
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men” Matthew 5:13, NIV
Are you salty or bland? Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth. Salt always seems to make everything taste better. A pinch of salt is even added to desserts to help bring out the flavor. Followers of Christ are supposed to help make things better. The way we do that is by following Jesus’ example. What are some of the characteristics of Christ? He is kind, loving, merciful, wise, powerful and generous.
It’s one thing to say we are believers but it’s another thing to actually be a follower. There are a lot of people who don’t know Jesus and their first contact with him could be through you. Do you realize that your actions could mean the difference between someone giving their life to Christ or not?
You can call yourself a Christian, quote scriptures flawlessly, keep a Bible at your desk at work and sing gospel songs like an angel, but if you’re walking in unforgiveness, judging others, speaking hatred, lying, cheating, stealing, if your hand is only out to receive and not to give, if you’re not willing to help someone outside of your inner circle, you are not following Jesus’ example. If someone who has not made a commitment to God were to look at your life, would that make them run towards Him or away from Him? Don’t be bland, be salty and show off God’s love.
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 16, NIV
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life.” Matthew 6:25
Sometimes, our words don’t match our actions. It doesn’t always mean that we are being unauthentic. It’s just that bad habits, such as worrying, are hard to break. Our intentions are good and we really are trying. We’re praying constantly and reading scriptures that relate to our problem. We know the truth in our spirit but our flesh keeps betraying us and we fall back into those old habits. Most of the times we don’t even realize that our actions or words are conflicting with our faith.
If you want to know if you have truly put your worries in the Lord’s hands, ask yourself these questions. Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you plagued with nightmares? Are you suffering from headaches on a daily basis? Are you eating more or less than usual? Are you having trouble digesting? Are you feeling nervous and jittery? Are you easily irritated–do you find yourself snapping at people when they have only said hello? Are you isolating yourself from your friends and loved ones? Do you feel depressed? Are you becoming more forgetful or having trouble concentrating? Are you getting clumsy? Do you feel physically and mentally fatigued? Does it seem like you’re always catching a cold or flu?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you might still be holding on to those worries. God is very clear on the subject of worry. We are not to worry about anything. Whenever worry creeps up on us, we are to place it in God’s hands. “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
We have to remember that no matter what we’re going through, God is always there and wanting to help us. We have to stop trying to keep control over a situation that we have turned over to Him. He can fix things and clean up messes better than anyone. It’s possible that He was already working on the solution to your problem before you even asked Him for help. Your worries are not yours to keep, so let them stay where they belong, in the Lord’s capable hands.
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27