“Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”
Saw this awesome picture God created when I was on the road today. His face literally shining on us! Stinkin crazy!
Think on this today:
The One who makes that picture happen, is the One who loves us, cares for us, fights for us, and fulfills our every need.
I could write all day about how awesome, capable and powerful God is but just think on that and live in the peace, comfort and confidence that comes in knowing God, having full access to God, and having this same God who created that, love you!
Shortest Gold ever because what else can be said about Him that He isn’t already showing us!?!?!!!
I love you but God loves you way more!!! Happy Friyay everyone!
Walked into a gas station late one night and the lady behind the register said, “hey sir, how are you doing? Welcome to Circle K!” A big smile painted all over her face and at first I thought “that’s different,” usually when you walk into a gas station of all places it’s rare to get such a welcoming and warm response from the person behind the counter. But I thought maybe it’s just me, then as I looked for my pack of juicy fruit I listened as this woman greeted every single person that walked through the door with the same warm greeting! “Hey, how you doing today, welcome to Circle K.” Even if people came in back to back or if she had a customer she was checking out, she didn’t seem to miss a beat. It struck me as odd because usually a job behind a gas station counter is one of the lower paying jobs around and usually the attitudes of gas station workers I’ve encountered over the years is in a lower place on the welcoming and smiling spectrum. But this woman was different, she took her job seriously and she gave it all she had to give, even though I’m sure she wasn’t asked to, she gave anyways.
She was a welcomed surprise (no pun intended) in a world of bad attitudes and poor spirited individuals. I took such a great lesson from her that night as I watched her continue to embrace and successfully over achieve at a job that she could easily like so many others with this job, not care and not try. It was obvious that her heart was shown to each customer and felt by many!
I thought so much from this random woman behind a cash register and I had only known her through one sentence!
A gentleman was checking out in front of me and the two were talking as if they knew each other I guess from years of living in the same community. The old man asked the cashier how her baby was doing before he exited the store and she paused for a moment, sighed and said; “we’re getting by.” It was obvious that getting by was far from what was actually taking place in the woman’s life.
It stopped me dead in my tracks, how could a woman with a baby and obvious problems financially and most likely larger than that; how could she possibly have such a huge smile on her face? How could she radiate with such amazing amounts of joy as she welcomed each and every customer that stepped foot into her store. Struggling, working a job with little advancement possibilities, while taking care of and providing for her baby, but she smiled anyways, served anyways, went above and beyond anyways, and loved anyways with such a simple sentence of; “hey, how are you doing today? Welcome to Circle K!”
What an example this woman is for any of us that are struggling to make ends meet, providing for others or going through any tough situation. Wow, what an example for us to learn from and live in!
Before the old man exited the store, after hearing the woman’s response of “we’re getting by,” in a much different tone than her welcome, he walked behind the register with money in his hand and said, “here you go, this is for that baby of yours, you keep pushing through!”
It was such little moments but once again I watched God’a mighty hand at work in such simple ways!!!! Another great example and lesson from this old man to give, put self aside and give to those who are in need! Anyone could have watched the way this woman worked so hard and went above and beyond with the simple word; why? Why would you give so much when you get so little? After hearing about her struggle, once again; how? How can you remain joyful and having a heart to serve others while going through all this bad?
I don’t know the answers but I think the only answer is God. Only God can bring us through tough situations and give us all and then some of what we need to continue serving Him faithfully! I watched as the woman’s faith was displayed for all to see and I also watched how God takes care of, provides and blesses those who remain faithful even in the worst of times!
From the lessons of this woman and this old man, I could talk all night about the gold to be taken away here but I just pray that you too learn from these awesome faithful examples of love and service! And I simply challenge you today if you are going through something difficult, if you find yourself in a place that seems like it isn’t enough or not good enough for what you need, trust God and smile on!!! Keep loving and serving others with all you got despite the odds, for as you’ve seen, God will always take care of you!!!
And for the one who sees the opportunity to give or love someone in need, I challenge you to reach out to someone, give them exactly what they need, whether that’s money or an encouraging word! Don’t sit by and focus on yourself, God had called you for so much more, take time to reach out by a text, phone call or any opportunity that opens up and give yourself to others! Speak encouragement and bless others with the love from Jesus that lives within your heart! It doesn’t have to be some big grand gesture, just keep it simple because as we’ve seen God works in extremely simple ways! Be that somebody today that reached out with a smile, speaks a warm welcome of encouragement or gives themselves to others around you!!! It’s why we’re here and what it’s all about!!!
We’ve talked about the race over and over again these past couple of weeks and guess what?!?! IT AIN’T STOPPING!!! We are running a race and this race is more important than anything we’ll ever do in this life! What matters most is that we run the race and run the race in the best possible way!! I watched this video and just when I thought I was getting “raced out” from all of these messages, there it is! John Piper speaks the truth found in these verses from Hebrews 12 in such a real, powerful and convicting way! Don’t just watch this today to say you watched it, really let it sink in and ask yourself, how does this apply to my life and the way I’m running the race? And be honest with your answer because to run this race well, it takes truth from yourself and as we embrace God’s truth! No more half-butting around, we have a race to run and a race to run WELL!!!! LET’S GOOOO!!!!!!
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. ‘
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. ‘
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
This week is going to be a little different on the God Gold and I’m really excited to share with you what God has been teaching me lately! More than anything I pray these messages encourage you, move you forward in your lives and most of all closer than ever and stronger in your faith in the Lord! I want you to know that I’m right there with you fighting these daily battles that come with running the race, I understand that it’s hard sometimes, well, to be honest it’s hard a lot of the time! But thank God we don’t have to go through this alone, thank God we have each other to walk with on this journey, to learn alongside, and grow together! Thank God for giving us His Word, as our fuel to fight the good fight with faith, for giving us His Son to walk in the fullness of life, so despite how hard things may get at times, I thank God for you and all of the diamonds He is making out of our dirt!!!
This week, we are still going to be digging into “The Race,” but instead of jumping back and forth to different lessons about the race God has set before us, we are going to set our eyes and hearts on this one word, “endurance.” So much can be said about this word and why God has called us to run this race with endurance, and I felt as if I would be doing you a disservice if I tried to pack a whole bunch of God Gold about this word into one big long message. Instead, we are going to look at all the sides of endurance, what it means, what it looks like in our lives, why it’s important to run in this type of way. We are going to learn about endurance this week with just that, ENDURANCE!!!
This has been a huge struggle of mine for quite awhile. I have always been raised to go, go, go until the job is finished! Don’t stop, and run as fast as possibly can! I was raised by a father who taught me what hard work looks like, and thank God for the years my dad and so many others spent teaching me what hard work looked like in life because without knowing how to work hard, I don’t know where I’d be, but it probably wouldn’t be very good!
I want to hit on this idea of hard work as we run this race. For many of us like myself, we’ve always seen and heard of hard work being working longer, faster, as hard as possible without giving in. That’s the example and definition I was raised with and I believe with all my heart that is true, but God shows us that there is a way to attack this race with “hard work” but it’s not exactly in the way we have always seen. It’s with “endurance.”
So often we can caught up in this idea of hard work being working harder and harder, faster and faster, but we see the writer in Hebrews here give us the analogy of “running a race,” and running with “endurance.”
Think about this with me, what kind of runner runs the race with endurance? When we look at the two different types of runners, sprinters and distance runners we see that it’s the distance runners the writer is pointing us to! But why wouldn’t we sprint? Wouldn’t we get to our goal faster? Wouldn’t we win the race? On the surface that seems to be true but the race isn’t for the quick footed or fast, it’s for the one who endures daily the trials and challenges we will face in this race. What I noticed the difference here being is that a sprinter is really fast for a short time and yeah that seems good but God doesn’t call us to run a race that is short, He calls us to run the race of life that is a day in day out grind! God calls us to run with endurance like a long distance runner, who is built to last, who continues that constant speed throughout whatever is thrown in our path.
The thing about hard work is that it’s not meant to be done in the fastest and hardest way! But God calls us to work hard in this race and have grit, to show up to the race every single day and continue to run! Where a sprinter, someone who goes into the day with all they have, running in that way caused us to become tired and burnt out easier, so when we face those challenges of life or any kind of obstacle, we may get through the first couple but sooner or later our strength will give in and we will have no choice but to give up! It’s this idea of running with endurance, that says to keep the same constant speed, instead of just working hard, work hard at running in this style of endurance, which is also working smarter in the long run! Running with endurance doesn’t mean you will reach your goal quickly, it will take time, patience, and daily getting after it with persistence and grit to not give up. But with endurance we can keep running through obstacles that come up because we still have plenty in the tank to do so.
I pray that through these messages of endurance we will see the truth that working harder and running fast will only get you so far to the goal and joy Christ has set before us. Trying to run that way will only burn you out to the point that you may lose sight of what you’re even running for and towards. Endurance is that steady pace, working hard and smart, running the race God has set before us to last and be effective not just one or two big times but to be more effective in walking out this mission He has set us on day after day, to really make Gods glory known in this world and the lives He has placed around us! The myth of running really fast will get you nowhere but tired and ready to give up! God calls us to run this race with endurance, to keep that constant, day after day speed pushing towards the joy of bringing salvation to this world! It’s working hard at working for the long haul, and it will get you to the finished line of eternity that God has set before us!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, it took time, constant effort and work, brick by brick something beautiful was built! Don’t buy the lie that this will be easy and quick, because it won’t! Christ didn’t endure the cross in that one moment there nailed to it, His race began way before that, as He walked out a sinless and perfect life so that the cross was even possible! He wasn’t just a one hit wonder, it took daily obedience and following after Gods will to reach that finish line of the race!
Let’s dig into this truth this week and run the race with endurance! Don’t just try to fast but be consistent, be built to last!!!
It’s a little past Christmas but ran across this the other day and WOOOH!!!!! Talk about a ditty that makes you want to praise!!!!! Hope you enjoy this!!!