Be A Giver

God is a giver and desires His children to be givers. Giving is the opposite of selfishness. Giving is love in action. And God blesses those who give.

LUKE 6:38 NIV 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

PROVERBS 3:9-10 NKJ 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

MATTHEW 10:42 NIV 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-8 NIV 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

HEBREWS 6:10 NIV 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

LUKE 12:33 NIV 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

ACTS 20:35 NIV 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

God designed His system with incentives to encourage people to give. He has promised to bless those who give, both now and in the age to come.

Be An Encourager

1 THESSALONIANS 5:11,14 ESV 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

People accomplish more if someone believes in them and encourages them.
All of us can grow fainthearted without encouragement.

HEBREWS 3:13 NIV 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

HEBREWS 10:24-25 NLT 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

PROVERBS 12:25 NLT 25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Just one encouraging word can make a big difference in someone's life.

So encourage someone today!

PROVERBS 21:19 NLT 19 It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife.

Whether you are a husband, a wife, or a child, no one enjoys being with a crabby, complaining person.
 But everyone loves to be around someone who encourages them.

Your Marriage Is Your Ministry

EPHESIANS 5:33 ESV 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

God desires to bless your spouse through you!

Jesus has sent us out as members of His spiritual Body, to minister to those around us. We are supposed to allow His love to flow through us.

MATTHEW 25:40 GWN 40 "The king will answer them, 'I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.'

God loves your spouse -- enough to die for them. His desire is to help them and bless them. They are not perfect. They need a lot of help. That is why God sent you, as His representative, to minister to them.

To minister means to serve. God put you where you are to serve -- to be a blessing. It is a mistake to think of "Christian ministry" only as being a pastor or missionary, etc. Any time a Christian is serving (helping) people it is "Christian ministry."

Your ministry is not limited to your spouse, but it certainly includes them.

Whatever other ministry God may entrust to you, if you are married, God has trusted you with the ministry of being a blessing to your spouse.

God has not left you to struggle in this ministry on your own. He is with you, and in you, to work through you. God will help you. But you must allow Him to do so.

Building up and encouraging your spouse will also be doing yourself a favor. They will be more pleasant to live with when they are blessed, loved, and encouraged.

Let The Joy Flow

NEHEMIAH 8:10b GWN 10 Don't be sad because the joy you have in the LORD is your strength."

As children of God we have joy in our spirit. But we must choose to let it flow out into our minds, bodies, and circumstances.

Joy is part of the provision God has given us so we can walk in strength and victory. Not allowing joy to flow out of our innermost being allows a weakness that can provide an opening for the devil.

JOHN 17:13 GWN 13 "But now, Father, I'm coming back to you. I say these things while I'm still in the world so that they will have the same joy that I have.

Joy is part of the "fruit" produced by the Holy Spirit through our human spirits.

GALATIANS 5:22 GWN 22 But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

But we must choose to let the joy out. We must open our mouth and release words of joy, thanking and praising God. We must choose to let the joy flow!
But don't expect this to always be easy. It's when things seem the worst that you need to act on this the most.
JOHN 15:11 NLT 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

Not only did Jesus tell us we should be filled with His joy, but it should overflow -- like a river of life flowing from our innermost being (John 7:38).

One way to keep our focus on the Lord is to rejoice in Him. As children of God, we have joy and peace in our spirits. But our minds may be blocking the flow by keeping our focus on circumstances and our reasoning.

Sometimes it's good for us to just let loose and force ourselves to really rejoice and praise God. Just go ahead and make a fool of yourself praising God! God won't mind.

2 SAMUEL 6:14-16,21 NLT 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. 15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams' horns. 16 But as the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was filled with contempt for him. 21 David retorted to Michal, "I was dancing before the LORD, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the LORD, so I celebrate before the LORD.
If it was not wrong for King David, it's not wrong for us! It's okay to shout for joy and to jump for joy! Some people may not appreciate it, but the Lord does, and it's good for us.

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 NKJ 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

To rejoice means to re-joy or to have joy again. In the Lord, we can experience joy again and again and again!

Circumstances in your life may not be perfect, but you can always rejoice in the Lord, because He is always perfect. God is perfect in goodness and greatness and love! There is no fault in Him!

Selfish Love

What many think of as love is really just a form of selfishness -- not pure love.
It can be identified by thinking like this: I love you because of the way you make me feel. I love you because of what you do for me. I love you because of how you make me look. I love you because of what I can get from you.
True love is instead marked by thinking like this: I love you because you are valuable and precious. I love you because I want the best for you.
I am not saying that "selfish love" is evil, only that it is not pure love. It is not the highest form of love. It is immature, like a baby would love his mother. We are supposed to grow past this kind of love to experience true, pure love -- which is completely unselfish. It seeks the best for the other person, not because of what they can do for you, but because of what you can do for them, because they are valuable and precious to God.
JOHN 15:13 GWN 13 The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends.
A human giving their life to the point of death has to be completely unselfish. It cannot be motivated by any benefit they would receive. So the more unselfish love is, the greater, purer, and more mature it is.
ROMANS 5:8 GWN 8 Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God's love for us.

Every Good Gift Is From Above

13 Let no one say when passing through trial, "My temptation is from God;" for God is incapable of being tempted to do evil, and He Himself tempts no one.
16 Do not be deceived, my dearly-loved brethren.
17 Every gift which is good, and every perfect boon, is from above, and comes down from the Father, who is the source of all Light. In Him there is no variation nor the slightest suggestion of change.

God is not doing evil that good may come from it.  "Do not be deceived," the Bible tells us in verse 16 above. Obviously then, brethren CAN be deceived -- and many ARE.

God is NOT the one behind the bad things happening. Deadly storms such as tornados and earthquakes are not acts of my God. Only good comes down from my Father God -- and He does not change or vary from day to day.

John 10:10 LB     
10 The thief's purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.

John 10:10 is the dividing line in the Bible. The purpose of the devil is made clear: to harm you. The purpose of the Lord is also clear: life in all its fullness -- life as God intended.

Jesus is for you. The devil is against you. It's as simple as that.

Does God Test Us?

Yes. But it's always an open-Book test. With the help of God's instruction Book -- the Bible -- you can always pass the test.

4 . . . even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

God doesn't test you to hurt you, but so you can experience victory. He walks in faith and believes you will win every test. He is like a confident parent who tells their child to "Go out there and show them what you can do," expecting them to win.

In all schooling there is testing to determine whether the material taught has been mastered.

Testing is necessary and even beneficial for the one being tested. You may think you're ready to graduate -- but testing confronts you with reality.

Testing lets you know how you're doing. If you're not doing so well, turn to God, asking for His help. Spend more time in God's Word and in prayer.

Remember that God's tests are different than the temptations of the devil. God's test is whether you will act on His Word.

God never tempts you to do wrong! He never uses evil to test you (James 1:13). God just allows you to overcome evil by acting on His Word -- which is more than enough to put you over.

PSALM 105:19 NKJ
19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.

You should always stand in faith, resisting the devil. God's Word always works -- but not always instantly. From when you take your stand on God's Word to when the answer manifests, constitutes the test.

Remember, God is for you -- He's on your side. He sent His Word, His Holy Spirit, His angels, and His ministers to help you.

God's Word Will Make You Free

JOHN 8:31-32 NKJ
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 
32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Many people are afraid that God's Word will put them in bondage -- because of the rules they think they will have to follow. But Jesus said God's Word would make you free.

Abide means to live, to continue, or to spend time somewhere.

If you continue to spend time in Jesus' Word -- you will know the truth.

When you know the truth, you will act on that knowledge -- and acting on the truth will make you free!

The Bible, especially the message of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, will set you free if you continue in it.

We are not guaranteed instant results, although sometimes they do happen. Freedom is certain, however, if you stick with God's Word. Jesus gave His guarantee!

If you are not enjoying freedom in any area of your life -- you have not continued in God's Word enough in that area. Feed it in: speak it, sing it, read it, write it, think it, dream it!

God's Word has the information that, when acted upon, will make you free!

SAY THIS: I will continue in God's Word and it will make me free.

The Holy Spirit Will Help You

JOHN 14:16 NKJ
16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever,

If you allow Him to, the Holy Spirit will guide you in every area of life; from the words you should speak, to the spouse you should marry, to the investments you should make.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity of God. It is difficult for humans to understand how there can be only one God, as the Scriptures teach, yet He can reveal Himself as three persons. So do not let it be an obstacle for you, or be drawn into fighting about it.

The Holy Spirit is a person, not just a force. He should be treated with the utmost respect and gratitude.

I have personally found the Holy Spirit to be a wonderful, wonderful Helper -- in so many ways. Even in simple, practical things, like reminding me of things, or helping me to find misplaced items. The Holy Spirit is truly interested in everything that affects you, and desires to help you -- if you will allow Him to.

No doubt, the Holy Spirit has been helping you, too. You just may not have recognized it. You may have called it "a hunch" or "it just came to me" or "I just had an idea." Start giving thanks to the real source of your help -- the Holy Spirit of God.

The Bible mentions several ways the Holy Spirit helps: teaching you all things, bringing the Word to your remembrance, telling you of things to come, revealing to you the things of God, comforting you, encouraging you, empowering you to be a witness, and bringing life and healing to you.

You are not facing life all alone -- as an orphan would. The Holy Spirit is with you continually -- living with you. When you need help He is never far away, but always right with you, waiting for you to call on Him for His help.

SAY THIS: Holy Spirit, I appreciate your help. Thank you for guiding me in life and helping me in every way.

You Are Part Of Christ's Body On Earth

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ. 

17 Suppose the whole body were an eye--then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything? 

18 But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. 

21 The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you." The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you." 

22 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary.
27 Now all of you together are Christ's body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.

Scripture says we are a Body -- not just that we are "like a body." You ARE connected to everyone who acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord -- whether you like them, or think they are necessary, or not. Whatever happens to ANY member of the Body does have an affect on EVERY member.

Remember this the next time you are tempted to speak ill of another believer, or mistreat them. Even if they don't believe exactly like you, or go to the same church -- they are still connected to you in Christ. So be nice to your Body!

SAY THIS: I am a member of Christ's Body on earth. Today I will let Jesus Christ manifest His love and wisdom through me.