Thursday, May 15, 2014

others are the reason

When we get stronger, others reap the benefits.  Our great and gracious God is in the business of building us and molding us to be more like Jesus.  That is God’s plan to impact us, one at a time and for all time.

It is evident from the beginning of time and the evidence of the Bible, Old and New Testament, that God is for His people.  Life is not about stuff or possessions.  God is pursuing people as we talked about yesterday, and He is seeking to help others live strong, abundant lives that connect to God and to other people.

Literally, when we allow the work of God in us, He begins to work through us.  He loves us, and He is setting us up to let others experience His life and love.  Others are the reason.

By thinking it is about us or by being self-centered we miss what God says is best and what will make the biggest difference in this world.  Turn the other direction.  By thinking and acting like it is all about serving and loving others we are part of the blessings and results of a life used by our awesome God.

Let’s begin at that point.  Allow God to make your life and mine about other people.  Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi makes this very clear.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.  For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.  And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

What do we learn from what Paul wrote?  I am asking God to help me apply these and even more to my every day life.

“always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you”

That’s more prayer.  I do pray, but I want my heart to be bent toward praying for others even more.  That means I think less about what I want or about my opinion.

“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ”

Trusting God to work in the lives of the people around me and even in me is what I must confess and watch.  It is not mine to measure.  It is mine to praise God for what He is doing.

“I have you in my heart”

Who is on or in your heart?  The people you think about the most grab your heart, fill your prayers and are part of your daily schedule.  Too often our heart is filled with the wrong stuff.  Check your heart.  Guard your heart.  Make sure the right people are there.

“that your love may abound still more”

Praying for others is an incredible thing.  What we pray speaks to what we believe.  Did you know that we can pray for others in a selfish way?  It is true.  If our prayers have to do what I can get or what I benefit from someone, our prayers are wrong. 

“filled with the fruit of righteousness…to the glory and praise to God”

By allowing God to fill us lives will be changed.  My life is being changed.  Others are being changed.  And it is all for the glory of God as our lives are connecting to others.  It really is like a spider web by our lives connecting to the lives of others.  We never know who we will bless, but we acknowledge that others are the reason.

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