What’s one good way to lead from obscurity?

Most of us aren’t celebrities or high-profile people who live in the public eye. Most of us lead quiet lives, and many people even struggle with feelings of unimportance.

Colossians 3:23 reminds us to work as if we’re working for the Lord. Be encouraged! You are known by God, and the very biggest audience of all – the Creator of the Universe – is cheering for you to succeed.

 

What’s one good way to get more in life?

Many of us get caught in the Comparison Trap. We see what others have and become envious. After all, isn’t it only fair that everyone should get the same good things in life?

The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 that we were created to earn our own way. He warns against slacking off and encourages us to work hard to get what we want.

Are you just sitting back and expecting more, or are you doing what it takes to earn more?

 

God Made the Way to Heaven

There’s a sin gap between where we are and where we long to be. No matter how much we try, we can’t earn our place in heaven.

Thankfully, God made a way – and He made it clear in the Bible. Through Jesus’s death on the cross, we can find forgiveness for our sins and restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

 

 

Don’t Just Care, Connect

God created us to connect in community, and through Christ’s work on the cross, we are one church family united as brothers and sisters with one Heavenly Father.

Practice the values of living in community and serving others. Connect with God and one another – because real heroes restore relationships.

 

You Can’t Be a Hero if You Only Care About Yourself.

Romans 12 teaches us to “be devoted to one another in love and honor one another above ourselves…” because we all make up the body of Christ, and each person is equally important.

Do you serve your church, family, and community – or do you wait to see whether they’re serving you? Resist the urge to compare your contribution against everyone else’s and invest yourself in others.

 

Life Doesn’t Work When You Work Alone!

When you’ve been hurt by others, it’s tempting to withdraw as a means of protecting yourself. But there’s no real safety in solitude. It’s only through authentic relationships that we prosper through life’s difficulties.

God didn’t intend for you to live emotionally isolated and disconnected from others. Be courageous and dive into community!

 

Guarding the Interests of Others

Under pressure, half-selfish always defaults to selfish. Instead of being half-selfish, guard the interests of others. Do as the Bible instructs and put other’s interests before your own. Serve people selflessly and lovingly. Find inspiration from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:3-11.

To become selfless, seek God’s help and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. Walk the path of “dying to self.”

Half-Selfish

“Half-selfish” is when we’re all about getting what we want and fulfilling our own selfish desires, but we need someone else’s help to make things happen. It’s selfishness wrapped up in a pretty package to make it appear as though it’s something else. We might want to be about others, but we’re still all about ourselves. Jesus’ disciples understood this tension all too well.

 

We Can’t See Our Own Selfishness

The Bible teaches us in Matthew 20:28 that “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” We admire that kind of selflessness in Jesus and the people around us. We just don’t want to live that way ourselves! The truth is we want others to live selflessly so we can continue to live selfishly.

Often, we can’t even see our own selfishness because we’re so blinded by the wounds inflicted upon us by someone else’s selfishness.

 

The Risk of Not Praying

Prayer moves things in heaven to move things on earth. When you don’t pray, you risk missing out on the fullness of all God wants to do.  That’s because you can’t have the full engagement of God unless you’re fully engaged in prayer.

If you’re struggling to pray, ask yourself where else you’re struggling in your faith. Is your belief or your obedience faltering?

Does the Life of Jesus Flow Through You?

As a follower of Jesus, you are filled with “living water.” What will you do with that life-giving, life-changing power?

Dr. Benji Kelley, guest speaker from Newhope Church, teaches that you can be a reservoir, or you can be a river. A reservoir stores water and grows stagnant while a river passes water through it to others.

Don’t hoard God’s love and redemptive power. Let it flow in you and through you.

What Is One Thing You Wish Someone Would Tell You in Your 20’s?

While there are many different areas where good advice is always welcomed, focusing on our decisions and our destiny during our younger years is wise. Good decisions compound over time; they pay off the older we get. Bad decision also compound, but in a negative way.

The choices we make have incredible consequences for the life we ultimately live.

What Are Some Practical Resources on Christian Theology?

There are different intellectual roadblocks for some people on their journey to Christ, so we must first understand what those roadblocks are before recommending a resource.

For philosophy, “How Should We Then Live” by Francis Schaeffer is a good resource; for historical/archaeological evidence, Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands a Verdict”; C.S. Lewis and Ravi Zacharias are great resources as well.

As PK says, we can’t argue someone into heaven, but we can be prepared to answer their questions with integrity and authority.

How Do I Know My Calling?

When it comes to our personal calling from God, wrestling over what that looks like isn’t a one-time thing. God knows exactly how to position His children where they need to be to fulfill His calling. But as we seek to know our calling, we should remember that our design reflects our destiny. There are six things we can consider when it comes to our calling: our history, our intensity, our capacity, our opportunities, our spirituality and our personality. The pressure is all on God to get us where He wants us to be.

How Do We Pursue a Calling and Marriage Simultaneously?

Before Christians should get married, they should talk all about their respective callings. Our callings are primary before marriage, but once we are married, our marriage becomes primary. If two people with strong callings don’t discuss their callings before getting married, there will be challenges. Figuring out how two callings work together requires compromise, prayer, and a commitment to one another above everything else.

How Can We Distinguish Between Moral Outrage and Authentic Passion?

We have more access to information about what’s going on in the world than any generation ever before. But in our relationship with God, He gives us a heart for certain things. We should have a heart for all of what goes on in the world, but we should only invest in some of what we see and hear. We don’t want to become de-sensitized to what’s going on, but if we find ourselves feeling hollow—if we read tragic stories without much emotion—we need to sit with God and ask for Him to restore our sense of compassion.

Should We Give Beyond Tithing?

Scripture tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time and a season for everything. There may be seasons of abundance in our financial journeys when we feel prompted by God to use that abundance as an offering to the church, to individuals, or to organizations. This is honoring to God when done in obedience to him.

There may be times, however, when we are pressed to give and we’re uncertain as to the wisdom of the timing because of our circumstances, or because we don’t know if it was actually the Holy Spirit prompting us or a professional fundraiser guilting us into giving. When uncertain, wisdom would tell us to take into consideration the long-term picture of our financial plan and to make decisions that fit into that plan.

Should We Tithe Before or After Taxes?

When referring to the tithe (a word that means 10%), Scripture uses the word first fruit, or first portion. While taxes are withheld from paychecks before we’ve had a chance to calculate tithe, taxes should actually be viewed as a secondary portion. Thus, to be considered a first fruit, the tithe would be calculated using the gross, before taxes are taken out.  Scripture further instructs us to bring the whole tithe to the storehouse—in our case, the church.

Ultimately, our attitude toward tithing reflects the posture of our heart towards God when it comes to our finances. Part of the spiritual discipline of tithing is letting go of the control of those tithes and trusting God with the money, as well as trusting him to provide for our needs. As if he knew we would need further convincing, God tells us in Malachi 3:10 to test him in this:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

How Should Christians Build Relationships With Non-Believers?

Being in the world, but not of it, does not mean that we as Christ followers should isolate ourselves from people who don’t share our beliefs. Jesus spent an enormous amount of time relating to non-Jews, much to the consternation of the religious leaders of his time.

Engaging with non-believers can give us opportunities to demonstrate with our actions and our lifestyles how following Christ can make a difference in how one does life. This does not mean, however, that we engage in activities that are not Christ-honoring in order to reach out to the lost, rather, we invite them into our world and into our lives and into our church and make them a part of who we are.

The church should be a place of insulation and refuge for the lost, not a place of isolation and refuge from the lost.

How Should We Share Our Faith Without Being Preachy?

The desire to share Christ with unchurched friends can be outweighed by a fear of coming across as being too pushy or preachy. It is said that actions speak louder than words, so the life we live and the love we share can be the most effective means of opening the door to conversation.

When our relationship with Christ is evident in how we relate to others, how we date, how we handle money and disappointment, and how we do our work, others will want to know what makes us different. As we answer their questions and share the difference Christ has made in our lives, the next natural step is to invite them into a relationship with Christ as well.

Is Having Debt A Sin?

While debt is not clearly labeled a sin in the Bible, it is discouraged in Proverbs 22:7, which reads, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

That’s because we’ve all been given a size at which God wants us to live, and debt is something that limits that size. It’s a sin to live smaller than God intended.

What Practices Can Help Get Us Through A Spiritually Empty Season?

When you’re in a spiritually empty season, remember that God is still at work. Sometimes He takes a step back so you can advance two steps closer. During these times, you’ll grow your heart for God and you’ll grow your strength for seeking Him.

Learn to pine for the Lord in your spiritual winter and you’ll gain new insight in your spiritual spring.

How Do We Stay Connected With Jesus?

People commonly believe that a faith-filled life means living in a constant state of spiritual high. That’s just not true. Every Christian will go through seasons of abundance and seasons of depletion – seasons of mountaintop experiences with God and seasons of wandering through life’s valleys.

Ask yourself if there’s sin in your life blocking your connection with God, and if you’re truly seeking Him. If there’s no sin and you’re faithfully seeking Him, your spiritual dry-spell is probably just a season.

Why Is There a Generational Shift in Authority and Opinion?

Young people have constant access to their friends and acquaintances through smart phones and social media. This leads to less interaction with adults.

Then, when it’s time to make a decision, there are multiple voices competing for attention, and each begins to have equal weight – regardless of whether the advice is helpful and wise.

Embrace the positive aspects of constant communication with friends, but take time to learn from generations who’ve gone before you. They have a wealth of wisdom and experience to share.