Encouragement for Life

Going Pure

Politicians, celebrities, and others talk a lot about “going green”. They want to protect the treasures of the earth. To keep the earth pure or restore it to purity. If you look up the word “pure”, you’ll discover that it means to be without stain, to be free from pollution, to be clean, innocent, and guiltless.

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As important as the earth is, think how truly vital it is to God that you keep yourself free from stains and damage. God wants you to protect a precious possession-your purity. You already know it’s important to preserve your physical purity, but did you know your mind is where purity starts? What you think greatly determines how you behave. Make keeping your wonderful self pure and righteous for the Lord a priority.

God, when I’m tempted to give up on purity, remind me that I matter greatly to You. Keep me on my toes, Lord. Give me the strength and desire to protect my heart, mind, and body. Amen.

From Jim’s Heart – God’s Will in the Workplace

Over the years, men have often asked me how they could “know” God’s will for their career. They thought if they had the answer, they would get a much clearer perspective on their jobs and their direction in life.

I tell them God’s will regarding their work isn’t some mystical revelation they have to hunt for. Rather, it’s spelled out clearly in the Bible: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23), and “Be obedient to those who are your masters… not… as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ” (Ephesians 6:5-6). When you see this as God’s will for your job, it will transform your attitude in the workplace-and have an incredibly positive impact on everyone around you!

God, it’s great to know that by seeking You and retaining this mind-set, I can be confident that I’m in Your will. I choose to work heartily and honor my “masters”-because I honor You, my ultimate Master. Amen.

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Wisdom is Always Available!

Are you experiencing any problems or trials in your life? Are you at a crossroads in your career? Could you use some direction in your relationship with your spouse, or a family member or a friend or workmate? Then you need wisdom-God’s wisdom, and there’s no need to wait even another second for it. Why? Because God has promised you wisdom. He calls out in James 1:5:

  • Your problem-If any of you lacks wisdom
  • God’s instructions-let him ask of God
  • Encouragement-who gives to all liberally and without reproach
  • God’s promise-and it will be given to him

Whatever issue or problem you are facing, you don’t have to argue, debate, make lists of possible positive and negative outcomes. You don’t have to wrestle with your views and thoughts for days or weeks on end. You don’t have to agonize or grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble upon answers through trial and error.

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Whenever you need wisdom, all you need to do is pray and ask of God… and He will respond: It will be given to you!

Representing God on the Job

At your workplace, do you see yourself as Christ’s ambassador? Being an ambassador for Christ means properly representing Him in whatever you do, including at work. You represent God as you go about doing your job.

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What kind of ambassador are you? Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” No matter how difficult or challenging your workload or workplace environment, every day is an exciting new opportunity to give the people around you a positive representation of God and the Christian life.

God, may I represent You well at work-by humbly serving others and by performing my assigned tasks without complaint and with excellence and joy—“for I serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24). Amen.

When You Are Tempted

If you’re alive, you’re tempted. That’s a simple fact of life. That’s why you and I need God’s self-control every minute of every day. We need His help to resist our “urges” regardless of how innocent we’d like to think they are. “No” can be a hard word to say, but it’s the key to self-discipline.

The psalmist says, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3). Pray over everything-your marriage, your work, your trials, your temptations. The good news is that you can claim God’s power. You can walk by His Spirit. You can win the battle!

Father, I’m so thankful You’re in my life. Help me to remember that in 1 Corinthians 10:13 You promise to not give me more than I can bear without giving me a way of escape. I praise You for this promise. Help me do my part. Amen.

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Before You Make A Decision

As Jim and I look back, we realize we learned many times the hard way that, when we didn’t pray, or consult with each other, or seek God’s wisdom, or ask for godly advice, we just about always made bad, wrong, or lesser decisions.

Before you make a decision

So, speaking from personal experience, here is a handful of guiding principles for making decisions. These principles have become personal slogans Jim and I use to remind ourselves to pray before we make decisions.

  • No decision made without prayer (Philippians 4:6-7).
  • When in doubt, don’t (Romans 14:23).
  • Always ask “What does the Bible say?” (John 17:17).
  • Always do what you know is right (James 4:14).
  • Don’t let fear influence you (1 John 4:18).

It’s Never Too Late

Paul was an amazingly influential believer — and yet did you know he got a late start in the Christian life? Most people become Christians as teens and young adults; Paul didn’t get started in formal ministry until he was past 40! Most pastoral search committees would never consider a man in his mid-forties with little to no experience!

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In spite of his late start, Paul had a powerful impact. This teaches us two important lessons:

—It’s never too late to start serving God.

—It’s never too late to change the course of your life so you can make a difference.

No matter what your age or circumstance, God can always use you.

Lord, help me to turn away from my excuses for holding back and choose to serve the people You bring my way. Amen.

Checklist for Your Day

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___Purpose to follow God’s ways all day long. Start with prayer.

___Purpose to do His will every minute. Yes, even with those phone calls you’d rather not take, the meetings you’d rather skip, the meals you’d rather not cook.

___Purpose to stay alert to God as you go about your day. Check in with Him when challenges along the way. Look for His joy and peace as you go through your day.

___Purpose to talk with God throughout the day when you feel harried or overbooked. It’s as easy as remembering to say “Please, God, let me respond in Your way. Help me stay calm. Help me know when to speak and when to listen. Help me to help!”

Lord, each day is so full of activity. Please help me keep focused on You throughout the day. I want to face each challenge with Your peace and wisdom. Keep me calm amid every storm. Amen.

Little Things Matter

And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after,
and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.

Luke 23:55

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How is true love measured? In the case of the faithful women who loved and followed Jesus, their great devotion was evident in little things. On history’s darkest day their devotion shone brilliantly.

Love stayed. Although Jesus’ disciples fled in fright, these dear women stayed with Him through His crucifixion, never wavering, ever watching, modeling a to-the-end devotion.

Love followed. This loyal company of ladies walked behind those who carried Jesus’ body to learn the way to Jesus’ tomb.

Love cared. These caring women realized no one prepared Jesus’ body for burial. It was a little thing, perhaps, yet they decided to see to their Master’s final earthly need.

Love worked. Returning home after a long, gruesome, agonizing day at the crucifixion and these ladies prepared spices and ointments for the embalming of Jesus’ body.

Little things. Yet they revealed hearts that loved God. Can you think of something you can do today for your Friend and Savior? Can you stay a little longer in prayer, follow a little closer in obedience, care a little more for His people, work a little harder for His kingdom? Ask for His guidance.

There’s No Need to Panic

What would you do in an emergency? In a disaster? I had the opportunity to find out when a killer earthquake struck our home in California. It was early in the morning, and I was home alone when the ground began to buckle and crack beneath my bare feet. I panicked as I raced for the door in blacked-out darkness.

Then Psalm 46:1-3—verses I had memorized—came into my heart, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Sounds like an earthquake to me! I knew God’s presence immediately.

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Jesus tells us not to panic but to pray instead. If you spend time bringing your daily questions and worries to God, you’ll be prepared to rest in His strength when the things around you shake, shudder, and quake.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George

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