‘May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, ‘
Hope everyone is getting over that Christmas hangover alright! Today, I’m excited as we start what feels like a new season as the new year approaches to share with you some encouraging truth for your daily dose of God Gold!
This verse really stuck out to me today as I watched God show just how valuable and important this truth is. So often we can find ourselves getting caught up in “MY” life and care solely about ourselves, what we have going on and what we have to do. I say that because I too so often fall into that category, but thank God for being who He is and teaching us to live in His ways, although we may get caught in that trap at times, by His grace we don’t have to live that way!
After some experiences today, I saw first hand how crucial it can be to live in harmony with others in the ways God lives in harmony with us. First, with endurance. Having endurance when dealing with others is HUGE!!! God doesn’t say be fast or move quickly here, He speaks of how He loves us being the way we should live with and love others. When we love others and serve them with endurance, we aren’t just saying a nice word here or there to get it over with so we can feel better about ourselves and not guilty because we fulfilled our Christian duty. Having endurance with others is not just loving them when it’s convenient, or when they have done something where you feel like they have done something to earn your love. Loving with endurance is loving despite what we want or see on the surface, living to treat others as God treats us involves a deeper kind of love and service to others. It involves loving others and serving them even when they treat you poorly, even when they don’t love and serve you in that way, or even when you don’t feel like it. How we live with one another isn’t just a one-time good deed, it involves endurance, which takes time. Endurance is seen in those who run for distance like marathon runners. It takes a special kind of mindset for those runners to have going in before they can ever finish their race. It’s an understanding that things aren’t always going to be perfect, it may be raining, there may be obstacles to get by, or your body may be injured or not feeling good. Despite all of those things, there must be an understanding going in to your day that how I treat others, how I encourage them and serve them, to live in this way before them it will take a great deal of patience, sticking with them, hearing them out even if it doesn’t advance your personal agenda. That’s the problem we face when living a “me” life, it’s all about me and only me.
To really run with endurance and encouragement to others, me has no place. It’s first replacing me with Him. How would God handle this person? Serve them? Treat them? First take your eyes off you and place them on God as He gives us examples daily on who He is and how He works His love into our lives. Think for a second on all the bad you do daily, all the times you know exactly what way to go, that God would want you to go, but you decide to go another way. Think of all the decisions you make and things you do that revolve around pleasing you and not pleasing God, which is rejecting Him. Just think of all those things in your life then think about how God deals with you, despite all the many ways we fall short, God continues to love us, continues to faithfully answer our prayers in times of need, bring His blessings to our lives, provide and protect us constantly. Think about how good God continues to be to you day in and day out with the big truth being that YOU DON’T DESERVE IT!
That hit home with me today, and yeah it hurt a little bit but God’s truth will do that to you! What’s even better is God’s truth when we hold Him as lead of our lives, He opens our eyes to what matters most, what we should be doing and how He wants us to live. His truth changes us and I pray in some way this truth will move you from “ME” and move you to Him so you can handle the relationships with others He’s placed all around you in a way that not only changes your life, but even better changes others lives. I watched time and time again today when God got me out of the way and helped me to live in His ways in how I treated others, things changed. I didn’t care as much about me but I constantly thought about how I could add value to someone’s life, how can I serve them or encourage them in a way that may change their life? I can’t take any credit because that was all God’s doing, thankfully He gives us a front row seat to watch Him work!
When God began to move me out of the way, He moved me to speak less and listen more, to speak positive words of encouragement over others even when they weren’t or even when I didn’t feel like it. Then I realized how awesome the feeling was to watch those words and moments of attentiveness to them and their needs, having endurance to stay by their side and encouragement to move them forward in their life, the overwhelming joy it is to watch people be moved by it!!! That’s what it’s all about, that’s why God calls us to live and love others in His ways, because His ways change other’s lives, even if we barely see it or don’t see it at all, it doesn’t matter what the results are in front of you keep running the race for those relationships!!! The results aren’t in what we see but in what we believe and have confidence in what God’s words of love will do in someone’s life.
So I want to challenge you today in what God has challenged me with;
How are you loving and serving others? With a quick hit and run? Or with endurance, staying by their side through thick and thin like God does with us?
What do you spend the majority of your time? You and how to please you? Or God and how to please Him by being other’s focused and living to serve them?
How are you speaking to others? Taking the time to intentionally listen to others and find out how they are doing? Is there any way you can serve them that will add value to their lives?
How are you speaking to others? With words about self, negativity, or words of positive encouragement?
Do you see and handle others like God sees and handles you? We may not deserve it but God loves us constantly anyway, they may not deserve it but do you love them anyways?