Consider the results of your efforts when you approach them with a willing heart; a willing spirit that challenges the shortcomings of the body. In your prayers, ask God for a willing spirit to sustain you (Psalms 51:12) because willingness does not recognize barriers, only obstacles. Willingness gives freely; it does not require a contract or a return. Willingness operates with care, love, and concern; it does not move about recklessly, looking only at the finish line and not the beauty of the journey. A willing heart does not suffer regret nor does it heed to challenges. As we press on to do the work God has called us to do, let us altogether finish it so that our eager willingness may be matched by the completion of it (2 Corinthians 8:11). For we act according to God’s will and for his purpose (Philippians 2:13).
Let us prayerfully enter into our work, applying to it a willing spirit and applying the gift God has given us; serving others and faithfully administering God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10). Let us examine our hearts in the matter of giving, sharing, and serving in our church and community. Consider as evidence the outcome of a willing spirit through Christ on the cross; the word of God through the inspiration of willing men; the advent of a new building through vision and willing hands; spiritual guidance through willing leadership.
We now embark on a new journey to root deeper and branch wider both in the church and the community. It is with willing hearts and hands that we must come together to shepherd the flock of God that is among us that we can all be partakers in the glory that is to be revealed (1 Peter 5:1-4).
Remove from all that you do, the fear of repercussion, challenge, failure, or unwanted burden and you may find a need to act out of love. For love is walking in obedience to our Father’s commands (2 John 6), which are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).
Remove the blinders of sin that cause us to act with a strong focus on self; for willingness is one step forward but the journey is purposed by obedience, which comes through faith (Romans 1:5) and leads to righteousness (Romans 5:16).
Obedience is not simply acting to achieve a promise or to avoid a penalty; for even Christ, who is our promise, was obedient (Luke 2:51), (Philippians 2:8). Walk away from selfish desires and let the Holy Spirit work in us, so that we can put to purpose, that which Christ has commanded us.
Let our faith guide us, seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33); walking in obedience with his will; not turning to the right or to the left, but in steadfast love and faithfulness and we will receive his Grace.
Obedience may require acting against our desires; obedience is a prayerful journey that is built on trust, hope, faith, and community. Obedience requires courage found in our relationship with God. It is the endurance to walk the narrow and often rocky path of faith and righteousness; a journey of reflexive discoveries and relationship building.
For in our obedience we truly get to know Christ and what he has purposed for us. In our obedience we discover our strengths in Christ; in our obedience we learn to truly love as Christ loves us; in our obedience we learn and are able to share the power of faith.
These six things the Lord hates, yes seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren (NKJV).
We too often find peace in tearing down others! A bitter heart motivated by revenge, jealousy, greed, or simply selfishness has little restraint in its quest for satisfaction; a quest that often lead to doing evil. We often look upon our flaws as the results of the beauty contained in others, carefully dismissing responsibility and accepting lust. The faithful and forgiving heart is often at the back of the line, only seen when a selfish need exists. A saint among thieves lay sleepless, thinking of ways to ward off the unseen yet ever-present danger. Those who seek peace also seek trust and are those against who trust becomes a weapon. Messages contained in a meaningless smile echoes the thoughts of ones mind and the feelings of the heart.
The certainty in deception is that it is expected, evident, and revealed to its faithful victims. The rewards received through deception will be lost by deception, making them temporary while those whose rewards are from selfless actions will be rewarded unselfishly. The lavish things we enjoy as a result of deception can also be our demise. Be careful in your quest for stardom; greed and deception is often revealed at the top of your game and the resulting charge is often much greater than our deceptive gain. Be kind and true in your interactions with others because like the saint, thieves are also sleepless among thieves.
Someone standing in the mirror keeps pointing out something in you, something that is trying to claw its way out of a pit of fear and confusion. Reminding you that for most of your life you have searched for signs of what is your destiny; that you have made every effort to help others and doing your best to live right. You have slipped and you have fallen, many times, but somehow have always managed to pick yourself up. Realizing that you are still not walking straight, you spend many unrevealing hours seeking ways to have a positive impact. A stranger tells you that you have to first overcome your own obstacles before you can reach that next level and those words continue to echo through your thoughts. You have been moving forward with little progress, taking the long road hoping to finally get around these obstacles but they somehow seem to find you, or maybe they are apart of you. Your thoughts are sometimes loud and angry; casting a shadow over your soft voice. Your will remains the strongest of your qualities. You share your most precious gifts with others because you find peace in knowing they provide substance and nutrients to a life, a day, or even a moment. This is possibly your moment but the only way to affirm that is to embrace it. This maybe your gift; the gift of God to you for others and through which your blessings will come. So don’t fight it, let God nourish it in you. Find joy in your gifts and peace with the One who gave these gifts to you. Love knowledge, love understanding, love one another, love yourself, and love the Lord.
Love is the answer, obedience is your map.