Who can you pray for right now? Who can you care for tomorrow? Who can you look to share Jesus with this week?
If you were here this past Wednesday, who did you write down? Go love them this week. Prayer. Care. Share.
And always remember 2 things: Jesus’s POWER and his PRESENCE. Jesus is stronger than everything. And he’s promised you that He will always be by your side as you go out and live for him. Believe that! Trust it.
Love you guys. Let’s go share with our friends what they need the most - Jesus.
John 15:16 says, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you."
I challenge you to go back in the passage and read all of John 15 and count the number of times the word 'ABIDE" shows up. Continuing with the theme of BEING A DIFFERENCE MAKER, John records what Jesus said is necessary for growth as a Christ follower. If your desire to be a difference maker is fueled from your desire to know Jesus in a greater way, Jesus explains in this passage that it's necessary for you to be attached to him, for us, particularly through his words (the Word, Bible).
If you have a relationship with Christ, you have been chosen to be used by him to love the world around you. The people who are hurting, needy, think they have it all together, enemies, friends, and even little brothers! Look at the verse above again. You have been CHOSEN. You have been APPOINTED and given responsibility. You have been given SUPPORT (prayer).
Now go and make a difference.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This last Wednesday night we continued talking about being a Difference Maker, particularly from Mark 2 and how the four friends mentioned made a huge difference in their friend's life. How cool would it be to be that instrumental in seeing a life changed.
The passage above is a huge reminder on we can control our mind. It's been said by many that 'leadership is influence', our lives influence other...constantly, either for good or for evil. If you are going to be a difference maker, you will influence others. Read the passage again and when you do, ask yourself some of these questions:
What is a leader? What are they like in your opinion? Are they big and strong? Are they loud and confident?
Now how do you think God chooses a leader? How does God choose who He will pick to play on his team?
Read 1st Samuel 16:1-13 to find out...
Samuel Anoints David as King
1 Now the LORD said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”
2 But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”
“Take a heifer with you,” the LORD replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the LORD. 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”
4 So Samuel did as the LORD instructed. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town came trembling to meet him. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?”
5 “Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too.
6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the LORD’s anointed!”
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the LORD has chosen.” 9 Next Jesse summoned Shimea,[fn] but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the LORD has chosen.” 10 In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”
“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”
12 So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.
And the LORD said, “This is the one; anoint him.”
13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.
I highlighted verse 7 to help you find the answer! God looks at the heart. (Fun Fact: David is actually known as the "man after God's heart"...you think maybe this is why God chose him to be king)According to human standards, David did not meet the qualifications people were looking for in a king. EVEN HIS OWN DAD DOESN'T EVEN CONSIDER HIM AN OPTION!
What does this mean for us? God can use anyone He wants! God can use you and YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. There's so much potential inside of you. If only you would give your heart over to Jesus and let him use you!
The thought I want to leave you with is this..."Man looks on outward appearances, but God looks at the heart."
So how is your heart? Is it wanting to live for Jesus? Or is it focused on loving something else? If you want to make a difference, surrender yourself to Jesus and live for Him. This is the heart that God desires!
Hey guys. So often we give so many different reasons for not sharing the faith that lives within each of us. There are so many methods and aids to help you become better equipped. We will teach anyone at anytime how to share Jesus with your friends. There are many resources as well.
The folks at Dare2Share do a great job at constantly putting out resources that exist to help YOU and I become more equipped and prepared. Check this short video if you want to explore a new way to share your faith...God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life. (GOSPEL) share it. share this video. share this devo!
MATTHEW 6:25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
It's so easy in life for us to get used to living in a way where we think we have to be comfortable all the time. The bible never tells us that we are supposed to be comfortable, perhaps in places, possibly quite the opposite. Look at verse 32 and see what dominates the thoughts of unbelievers. Sadly, I know, there have been times in my life where I've let them dominate my thoughts.
Life is full of risk. You may be living a life of worry and not realizing it. We worry what other people think all the time. About our clothes, our opinions, what we think or say...these things begin to really influence us and harms us in our relationship in following Jesus and our effectiveness as Christians.
Read verse 33 & 34 again. Some see it as risk...some see it as trust. But if you can begin to live out these two verses, your life will start looking more and more like Jesus and less like the world around us.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
36 As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What does it mean to be a conqueror? What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? How is this possible? (too many questions?...there I go again).
Real quick. All the stuff listed in vs. 35 are real issues to first century Christians...real issues to Christians today in parts of our world, where there is persecution. To be more than conquerors, we have to have a special kind of support, someone greater fighting for you or defending.
In this case Jesus. When you choose to place your faith in Jesus, for him to be who he claims to be...you don't have to be the one who is in control.
All the real life battles we come up against, we can be more than conquerors...but only if we are following the leader. Vs 38 -39 tell us that nothing can separate us from God's love. Nothing. Our failures, our foolishness, what other people say about you, your own thoughts about yourself...nothing. Sometimes we get so focused on our immediate situations and forget that the Lord is the great conqueror. Trusting him is what he asks us to do...we see it as risk, but it's really not, when you are confident in your relationship with the Lord.
Will you give it to him? Whatever 'it' is. Remember you are loved, you are cared for, and you have a Lord who has said to you, you are more than a conqueror.
So often in life we become focused on what's going on around us, so much so that we neglect the constant. Change is constant. Technology, fashion, sports records, grades, who's dating who...you get the picture.
The next five days we will be following the idea of making the most of our opportunities and not living thoughtlessly (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Opportunities present themselves constantly. It is easy to get caught up in the mundane and day to day of life. Just 'rolling with the punches' and just saying 'that's life.' As you spend time in God's Word (the Bible) you begin to learn and realize that God has a plan for it all.
In Psalm 107, we are reminded that no matter what's going on around us, no matter the noise that's coming from the world, the Lord still has love towards you. "His faithful love endures FOREVER." Forever! Forever! You hear that?
That means there's nothing that you could ever do that would make him not love you.
So, today, RIGHT NOW, do what the verse is telling us...THANK HIM. Do it now. Put down your phone, close your eyes, and take some time thanking the Lord for what he's done in your life, in the lives of those around you, and of what he's going to do.
Check this out. This is Paul describing the Bible.
"16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Imagine what your life could look like if you spent time alone with God every day this week? this month? this year?
Student, you have an incredible opportunity to hear the very words of God at your fingertips! You have an opportunity to become trained to live for Jesus, become complete spiritually, and to be equipped for EVERY good work. Now that is incredible.
Take a minute to watch this video and think about the above question.
"6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is (constantly) nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. - Paul writing to Timothy in 1st Timothy chapter 4 (NLT)
This caught my attention as we are focusing this week on being disciplined to read our bibles daily! In verse 6, Paul relates our need for physical nourishment to our need for spiritual nourishment. So I looked up the definition of nourish. Nourish means "provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition."
So Paul is saying this: In the same way we need food to grow, be healthy, and stay alive physically...we need the Bible to grow, be healthy and stay alive spiritually. Without this spiritual food, we cannot be spiritually strong. Imagine an athlete trying to compete in a competition when he hasn't eaten in weeks! Imaging how hard life would be if you ate actually food as often as you ate spiritual food! Would you still be alive today?
So the question is how do you "eat" the Bible? Here it is. You read it. You think about what it means and how you can apply what it says! (If you need help understanding, you ask a trusted person or resource questions!) Simple as that.
A few questions:
Just as we need food to survive, we need the Bible! And we can have as much of this spiritual food as we want! Lets go feast!