Be a Blessing

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God wants to bless us so we can be a blessing for others. He doesn’t want us to hoard His blessings and keep them for ourselves, He wants us to share.

Have you ever been in a drive-through and paid for the vehicle behind you? You don’t expect anything in return, just sprinkling a little bit of joy on someone’s day…
Have you ever pulled forward to the second window to pick up your food and noticed in your rear view mirror that the person you just blessed was blessing someone else? That’s what this verse is talking about! Only God’s blessings are even bigger and better than burgers and fries!
God wants to put joy in our hearts so we are inspired to make a difference in someone else’s life!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Here are just a few ways you can be a blessing:
– Acts of kindness – even when it’s not needed, sometimes the smallest gestures can brighten someone’s day!
– Kind words – words of encouragement, compliments
– Listening – sometimes people just need to be heard and understood. Give someone the attention they need!
– Donations – whether it’s a charity that is near and dear to your heart or a coworker who is going through hard times, sometimes monetary donations are a blessing. When you are doing your spring cleaning ask yourself if someone at a homeless shelter could find your items useful, before you just toss them.
– Acts of service – volunteer at your local food bank or check with your pastor to see if there are any volunteer initiatives that you could participate in.
– Prayers – sometimes the best thing you can offer someone is a heartfelt prayer.

Dear God, I thank You for all the blessings that You have given me. I am so overjoyed that you want to make ME a blessing! Please open my eyes so that I might see every opportunity to bless others. I hope that by blessing others, I will bring glory to Your name!
Amen

Trust and Obey

“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
– ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:22‬‬

“And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.”
– ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭7:5‬‬

‭‭Noah placed his faith in God, even though God’s plan may not have made sense to him. He didn’t question God or make any excuses, despite the enormous task that lay ahead of him. ‬‬

‭‭God has a plan for us. And when he calls you, he will equip you. Don’t allow fear to keep you from answering His call. ‬‬

‭‭Later on in the Bible we read about God’s plan for Moses, who has a completely different reaction to God’s calling. When Moses was afraid that he wasn’t the right man for the job…‬‬

“The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.””
– ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭4:11-12‬‬

‭‭When God tells you to go, you GO!‬‬
‭‭He is the one who determines who is qualified and unqualified. It is our responsibility to trust and obey, despite feeling inadequate or uncertain. As Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us,‬‬

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
– ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬‬

‭‭When I am uncertain that I have the abilities that I need to fulfill God’s plan for me, I will pray:‬‬

‭‭Dear Lord,‬‬
‭‭I hear you calling me, and I don’t want to let you down. Please give me the courage to step into action and follow your plan. Help me to set aside my anxieties, so they won’t hold me back. I put my trust in you, and I know that you will be by my side and give me the ability to complete the task that you have called me to do. Thank you for believing in me and preparing me for what lies ahead. ‬‬
‭‭Amen‬‬

Walk Faithfully

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
– ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:9b‬‬

In a world full of wickedness and sin, Noah stood out from the rest. He loved and obeyed God, and he walked with Him faithfully.
Proverbs 13:20 says

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

You see, who you spend your time with, is who influences you.

Even though Noah was surrounded by corruption and violence, he didn’t allow that to influence him. He didn’t spend his time living a life of sin with those around him. He spent his time with God.
Noah lived in a time when everyone around him was so appalling, that God regretted that He had ever created us. He wanted to wipe the entire human race from the face of the Earth. But even in the midst of all that sin, Noah knew that following God was still the best way.

No matter what your family, friends, or coworkers are trying to lead you into, there is no excuse to go along with it. We can’t control the people in the world around us, or make the right choices for them. But we CAN control how we spend our time, and with whom we spend it. You have the strength to stand out, like Noah did, by walking faithfully with God.

Make a habit – Add it to your routine. Just like you brush your teeth first thing in the morning, or eat meals at a certain time, set aside a time to spend with HIM.
Pray often – Not just when you need something. I have a reminder in my phone with a different prayer for each morning of the week. It helps as a reminder on those busy days, and it helps me to remember some of the things that I want to pray about.
Read the Bible – Learn the stories. Find a verse that will bring you peace during troublesome times and remind you to turn to him in times of need.
Join a group at church – Ask your pastor about bible study groups that will help you learn more and make new friends at the same time!
Journal – Start writing about some of the things you are learning as you read through the bible. Jot down some of your favorite verses so you have a quick reference when your spirits need lifted.
Listen to some good, positive Christian music – Nothing makes me feel better than singing along with my favorite tunes on K Love!

These are just some of the ways you can start walking faithfully with God. The most important thing is to make the time for Him in your life. If you only have time for a 5 or 10 minute daily devotional, then start there. Start small. Be consistent. Eventually, it will become second nature to you.

Lord, I pray that you will help me walk with you daily. I want to fully surrender to your plan for me. Please draw me close to you and guide me to the path you have set in place for me. I want to follow only You, God.
Amen

Do What Is Right

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
– ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭4:7‬‬

God encourages us to do what is right. We might think that our hands are clean, or that our behavior is “good enough,” but just because we are not actively sinning doesn’t mean that we are doing what is right.
God knows what is in our hearts. He knows our motives.
He knows when we are not giving our best.
He knows when we are telling the truth, but not the whole truth.
He knows when we wish our competition would fail.
God warns us that if we do not do what is right, sin is right outside the door. Every time we do not do what is right, we are opening that door a little wider. If you allow yourself to be greedy, if you allow yourself to envy, if you allow yourself to hold on to anger, if you allow yourself to hate…you are allowing yourself to slip and slide dangerously closer to sin.

We all have been angry. We all have times when we feel like the situation we are in doesn’t feel 100% right. God is telling us that we have the power to control that. We have the power to do what is right and close the door on sin. Slam it shut, lock it, and slide the deadbolt!

When I feel like I’m failing to remain in control, and I’m afraid the door may be cracking open, I will pray:
Dear Lord, I must confess that I haven’t done what is right. Please open my eyes and give me clarity when I am allowing my emotions to get the best of me. Help me to resist the urge to deal with situations my own way. In my heart, I want to live in obedience and follow you. Thank you for guiding me back to the right path when I start heading in the wrong direction.

Amen