As Christians, we are called to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16), and one way we can do that is by using our influence for good. We all have influence in some capacity, whether it's with our family, friends, coworkers, or even strangers on social media. But the question is, how can we use that influence in a way that honors God and benefits those around us?
First, we need to recognize that our influence is a gift from God. It's not something we earn or deserve, but something we are entrusted with. As 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." Whether we have a large, small platform, or if our cirlce of influence are our family and friends, we can use it to serve others and bring glory to God.
Second, we need to be intentional about the messages we are sharing and the actions we are taking. Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver." Our words have the power to build up or tear down, to encourage or discourage, to inspire or demotivate. We need to be mindful of the impact our words can have and use them wisely.
Similarly, our actions speak louder than our words. James 2:17 says, "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." If we want to be a positive influence in the world, we need to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. We need to live out our faith in tangible ways that demonstrate our love for God and others.
Third, we need to be humble and willing to learn from others. Proverbs 15:31 says, "Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise." None of us have all the answers or know everything there is to know. We need to be open to feedback, willing to admit when we're wrong, and eager to learn from others. This attitude of humility and teachability will influence others greatly.
Finally, we need to remember that ultimately, our influence is not about us. It's about pointing others to Jesus and glorifying God. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." When we use our influence for good, we are reflecting God's goodness and love to the world around us.
Using our influence for good is a high calling and a great responsibility. It requires us to be intentional, humble, and focused on serving others and bringing glory to God. May we all seek to be faithful stewards of the influence God has given us, using it to make a positive impact in the world and point others to the hope and love found in Jesus Christ.
Is God Holding Out On You?
The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is one of the most well-known tales in the Bible. It tells the story of how God created the first humans, placed them in a paradise, and gave them everything they needed to live a happy and fulfilling life. However, things took a turn for the worse when Eve disobeyed God's command and ate from the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil. Many people today struggle with the question of whether God is holding out on them, just as Eve may have felt in the garden. In this blog, we will explore this idea further and see what lessons we can learn from Eve's disobedience.
The story of Eve's disobedience begins in the book of Genesis, where we are told that God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden. In this paradise, they had everything they needed to live a happy and fulfilling life. However, God had placed one restriction on them. They were not allowed to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God warned them that if they ate from the tree, they would surely die.
One day, the serpent came to Eve and convinced her to eat from the forbidden tree. He told her that God was holding out on her, and that if she ate from the tree, she would become like God, knowing good and evil. Eve was tempted by this idea and ate from the tree. She then gave some to Adam, who also ate from it.
The consequences of their disobedience were severe. They were banished from the garden and forced to work hard to survive. Pain and suffering became a part of their lives, and they experienced the full weight of sin for the first time. However, the story of Eve's disobedience also teaches us a valuable lesson about the nature of God and His relationship with us.
Many people today struggle with the idea that God is holding out on them. They may feel like God is withholding blessings from them or that He is not answering their prayers. However, the story of Eve's disobedience teaches us that God is not holding out on us, but rather He is protecting us from harm. God knew that eating from the tree would bring death and destruction, and He warned Adam and Eve to protect them from those consequences.
In the same way, God may withhold blessings from us or not answer our prayers because He knows that it would not be good for us. We may not always understand His ways or His timing, but we can trust that He has our best interests at heart. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" (Isaiah 55:8).
The story of Eve's disobedience also teaches us the importance of obedience to God's commands. When Eve disobeyed God's command, she opened the door to sin and suffering in the world. Similarly, when we disobey God's commands, we open ourselves up to the consequences of sin. However, when we obey God's commands, we invite His blessings and favor into our lives.
In conclusion, the story of Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden teaches us many valuable lessons about the nature of God and His relationship with us. We can trust that God is not holding out on us, but rather He is protecting us from harm. We must also strive to obey God's commands, knowing that doing so will bring blessings and favor into our lives. Let us learn from Eve's mistake and seek to live a life of obedience and faithfulness to God.
Season 2 of the Faith For Her Podcast is dropping next month with Bible teachings that follow this thread and conversations with amazing women that will help you gain a deeper understanding of God's love for you, His great redemption plan for all of us, and encouragement to walk out your faith.
Listen to the teaser here:
What Does Faith in Jesus Mean?
Faith in Jesus is a central tenet of the Christian faith, but what exactly does it mean to have faith in Jesus? To put it simply, having faith in Jesus means believing in and trusting in him as our Lord and Savior. It means acknowledging that he died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead overcoming sin and death, and that through this sacrifice, we can have forgiveness and eternal life.
But faith in Jesus goes beyond just believing in these facts. It means making a conscious decision to trust in Jesus and follow him as our Lord and Savior. This means putting our faith into action by living our lives according to his teachings and seeking to honor him in all that we do. It also means relying on Jesus for guidance and comfort, and trusting in his love and grace, even in the midst of difficult times.
Having faith in Jesus also means recognizing that we are not perfect and that we cannot save ourselves. We must turn to him for forgiveness and grace, and accept that we can only have eternal life through him. This can be a humbling experience, but it is also a freeing one, as we realize that we don't have to carry the weight of our sins and mistakes on our own.
Faith in Jesus also means putting our hope and trust in him, and recognizing that he has a plan for our lives that is greater than anything we could ever imagine. This can be difficult, especially when we face challenges and hardships, but it is important to remember that our faith in Jesus is not based on our circumstances or our own strength, but on the unwavering love and grace of God.
Faith in Jesus means recognizing and trusting in him as our Lord and Savior, putting our faith into action by living according to his teachings, relying on him for guidance and comfort, and putting our hope and trust in his plan for our lives. It is a life-changing experience that brings peace, joy, and hope to all who put their faith in Jesus.
The Faith to Say Yes
Yesterday, I sat around a table with 3 men, two I have served with and admire and Ernie who I just met. We were planning out a communications plan for the Vulnerable Children's ministry at my church. I was there because in a debrief meeting after an event serving foster families it came up that there was a dire need for communications help.
I recall the drop in my stomach as I heard the need. "But God, this can't be what you have for me. I teach the Bible." Then I felt the deep stare from my daughter sitting next to me and then an elbow in my ribs. I looked into her face as she mouthed, "mom, that's you." This would not be the first time God has used my daughter to nudge me down His path for me.
As I sat in the planning meeting yesterday we laid out the communication needs of the ministry and I took notes to create a process and procedure for managing communications.
"I don't want to over ask, I know you are volunteering," staff member and ministry leader, Max, had said this to me before. God knew I would need gentle leadership as I eased back into serving at church. His mercies are new everyday.
"You are not over asking, " I assured him. "I will get this organized, I will meet the needs with volunteers and train them, but long term doing the day to day execution is work to me, literally, since that is what I do for a living."
Ernie who has a calm and quite way about him looked at me for a moment. "What is it that brings you joy in serving?"
"Teaching the Bible is my passion."
Earnie smiled, "I was just in South America teaching the principles of Trust Based Relational Intervention for children who have experienced trauma and when I would share the science behind it and why it works the people didn't want to accept it. They wanted to know what God said about it. They trust God not science in their culture. There is a need for Bible teaching in caring for vulnerable children."
I smiled this time.
Then Max asked me, "would you want to do Biblical teachings on TBRI and connecting with children from hard places?"
"Maybe," I answered, "but right now God has asked me to do this."
My answered surprised me a bit, it may surprise you, why wouldn't I jump at the chance to teach again and leave all this communications stuff that felt like work to someone else? The answer is simple, experience in trusting God and not rushing what He has for me at the cost of building His kingdom. Funny enough, I started in women's ministry in the trenches of communications before ever taking the stage to teach a Bible Study. It is in these quiet places of serving behind the scenes that learning takes place, relationships are built, and faithfulness in serving where God places you is tested.
Is God asking you to serve in a place that doesn't make sense? Don't be a Jonah. Say yes. Abide in Him and allow Him to teach you in a season of ambiguity. Serve selflessly because there is a need, not because you love doing something. Heed the words of Jesus who said he came not to be served but to serve.
Kingdom work always requires the hard and holy yes if you want to see God move. When you stand before God and give an account of your life don't let his words be, "You saw a need and you didn't fill it." Let His words be, "Well done good and faithful servant."
Have the faith to say yes.
I'd love to hear from you. Is God asking you to say yes to something but you are struggling to commit to it? Let me know so I can pray for you and encourage you.
CHURCH TOUR – A Place of Healing
CHURCH TOUR: CHURCH 1 – SHEPHERD’S GROVE IRVINE
I'm just a girl, standing before my God, knowing that He loves me and wanting others to know that love too.