Scripture I read: Philippians 4
S: "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say; rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;"
O: Greek translations of "rejoice" Rejoice = celebrate Rejoice = revel
Our ability to show up for ourselves and God in celebration of His love in the midst of suffering or chaos is how other people will see that He is still at work.
The message translation of this passage says "make it clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them not against them".
Encouragement to others is such a sweet melody to the Lords ears. It's not just a gift that specific that specific people have, it's a gift and responsibility to encourage one another where we are at that we ALL have.
The next line in the message translation says "help them see that the master is about to arrive". This is SO HARD because in our world right now, it's not easy to try to tell strangers about Jesus. People are cruel, rude, and don't want to hear it. But that cannot stop out effort to invite them to the Savior. It's our job to invite them into the light of Jesus..its His job to actually do the saving. That should free us up of any preconceived notion that "we can't save _____", because we most certainly don't have to. All we have to do is show them the bright light that they cannot turn away from.
Our differences here on earth don't matter in eternity. There is no segregation of people in Heaven. We are all ONE as we sing sweet triumphs and praise under the feet of Jesus. So because of that, though we may be EXTREMELY different here on earth, we have to be bold enough to share with everyone (gay, lesbian, adulterer, criminal...etc) that there is life greater than this one. Because as hard as it is to believe, we don't deserve it...as much as they don't deserve it.
Heaven is not a cafeteria clique where we ONLY let the "good" people come sit. Because my Bible says that anyone who calls on the name of Jesus has a seat at my Fathers Table. And I want to stand at the feet of Jesus on that day and hear Him say "well done".
Not because of the "good" person that I was or how much success I had here on earth with money or my family. But how much I chose to love in the face in the hate, evil, and ridicule.
"Christians" are the most judged and looked down upon belief because how many "claimers" there are and not enough "doers".
The world watches, and the world notices very quickly when we claim to cling to the love of Jesus but gossip about our co-workers.
Arguments and disagreements cannot be allowed to drive a permanent stake between people because there is SO much power in unity.
When we remember that Jesus came for EVERYONE, claimed victory at Calvary for EVERYONE'S sin, and ultimately wants EVERYONE to bask in His glory, we can step off our our high horse, grab hold of bravery and allow God to heal relationships.
A: The real enemy is the Devil. All he wants is division. So we HAVE to be a people who fight back with unity.
It's not our job to identify a persons weakness or faults or shortcomings. But instead to cultivate kindness, gentleness, mercy, hope, and encouragement through the pointing out of the GOLD in them. Not the dirt.
We could be given the opportunity to help lift someones vail or encourage them deeper in their love for Jesus, all we have to do is be bold, be willing, be available, and be obedient.
Our faith is not perfect as we live on this earth, but the Author and Perfecter of our faith who is "at hand" is making changes and growing us in His Character daily.
I must go today and encourage those in my life who are in need of a rescuer, or are in need a focusing back on Him.
P: Heavnely Father, Thank you for your proximity and your presence in my life. You change everything. Everything about who I once was is now being reflected and perfected in Your image. Lord, there are people in my life today who are in desperate need of some encouragement in their faith. Father help me see them and to go to them to show them I am on their side and we are fighting the same enemy. Jesus thank you for giving me the responsibility as Your child to spread the gospel in such a simple yet profound way. I will celebrate you today Lord. And daily I revel in the goodness of the promise that Your breath is my breath. I lift my eyes to the hills Jesus, because that was where my help was won, and that is where it still will always come from. Open my spiritual eyes today Spirit, and make me sensitive, brave, and obedient to the opportunities to present to me. Thank you Jesus, for this mission. Amen.