Focus on Giving What God Gives You

Human nature says: I give to you now you owe me.

God Almighty says: It brings Me glory to give you gifts that will profit you and bless others.

Question to Ponder: Are we using the gifts God so graciously gives us, to build-up others?  As Christians, we should never leave a man behind.  That’s not the path of wisdom.  

The Focused Ant

It’s something how I can be fixated on one particular thing; especially if it’s fascinating. Like, ants. Yes, the insect ants! I don’t hear what they’re saying to each other. However, by the way they move, I can sense what they’re communicating. The other day I videotaped a group of ants, attempting what I thought was the impossible. They worked to get this wasp down a crack in the pavement. Amazingly, at some points I would see the wasp shift a millimeter, but that was about it.
Fast forward to some time later, the ants were successful. But how? During my observation, they never stopped to take a break. They kept at the same pace. It was amazing. They knew exactly what to do and that was: keep working that thing. It was like they had no choice in the matter.
We’re different than the ants. In the way, we have a choice to abort the mission. We have a choice to say “Whatever- the kingdom is good. God will get the glory at a different time, or in some other way. Just not now because this is impossible and I’m tired.” But to the ants, that queen must eat to reproduce. End of story. They know nothing else. What if I had the same mentality as the ant? Just what if- I approach God’s purpose for my life with a one track mind like the ant? Of course, we’re more advanced than the ant. But just think for one minute- what if we take the same focus as the ant and surround ourselves with others that are just as focused. Surely, we can get a lot done here!

 

To Love Like a Child:

“I love you John” my four-year old daughter said to the elderly man I take care of. He didn’t say anything.

“I said, I love you John” with a little more ‘umf’ in her voice. He kept walking away.

“Mom- John didn’t say anything. He didn’t say he loves me” she said with suspicion. Obviously, she did not understand why someone we cared for, wouldn’t say those three important words.

To prevent further uncertainty in that four-year old soul of hers, and to stir up empathy in his, I said: “Hey, John- Sahar said she loves you. I think you hurt her feelings when you don’t say it back.”

“I-I-I-I-I-I love you Sahar” he stuttered. He kept walking away.

Immediately, she smiled and did a full twirl with her arms wide open. It was evident. She found what she was looking for.

Since then, this same scenario has happened quite a few times; but yesterday was different.

After my four-year old told John she loves him, with eye contact and a smile, without any directions from me, he declared “I love you too!”

That moment was a breakthrough!

The Holy Spirit revealed something profound to me this morning that I hadn’t considered before. My four-year old had displayed what God wants to see in us. To love those who need love but aren’t easy to love. There are millions of people who are so hard to love that society gives up on them. We’ve developed this narcissist type of attitude: I don’t have time for this. Shoot, if he/she doesn’t want my love, so be it. I will not force something they obviously don’t want.

But what if Jesus had this same type of attitude? Where would you and I be? Because I can say with confidence that we were not the easiest ones to love. But God being who He is, a God of love, made it His mission to show you and me, that: I truly truly truly do love you!

The Parable of the Lost Sheep found in Matthew 18:10-14 describes the importance of showing that one lost sheep, that he/she is not forgotten. Love will bring back the lost because it’s the weapon that conquers fear. A little child never gave up in professing her love to someone who didn’t reciprocate it back. She didn’t allow offense and feelings to hinder her mission. She pursued a need with determination- and she won! John won! Jesus won! Love won! This is the face of victory!

Love today, those you see left behind and forgotten. Through our actions and declaration of love, their hearts will be mended internally to receive what God’s trying to give them.

The Deep Waters

Proverbs 18:4
“The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.”
Amazingly, the bible also indicates that intentions of the heart are deep waters; as well as words of a man’s mouth. So, we have intentions and words as deep waters.
Which made me dive into (not literally)- what is the meaning of deep waters? In other translations, and also reading about Noah and his situation with the flood, deep waters refers to the ocean (underground water).
This verse continues to strike me for some reason. Why would God refer what comes out of our mouth and the intentions of our heart to an ocean? And then it hit me, like a tide coming in to breathe.
So, journey with me on this…
Deep waters can bring tranquility. There’s nothing more serene than watching the still waters of the ocean. The sound of its constant waves has put millions of people to sleep at night. Shout out to You-tube. Its massiveness illuminates my mind, enhancing its ability to imagine and dream bigger. When I stand in front of an ocean, it’s like I become more alive; and time stops!
Deep waters can bring devastation. One tsunami can wipe out thousands, just like that, without any warning. As we just seen recently in Indonesia; which the death poll has surpassed 1,900 people. Deep waters can be a part of a great flood, wiping out living creatures and homes. They can bring destruction like a hurricane. They can be treacherous and cause death.
Intention is what deciphers the ocean’s movement: whether it will be vengeful or calm. What has your heart’s intention and mouth been moved/conditioned/prepared to do? For instance, an earthquake moves the ocean into a tsunami. Just like heartbreak moves our mouths to speak words of bitterness; which, spills into the lives of others.
I like to challenge us all. To be conscious and consider the value of every word we speak internally and out loud. Are you speaking a tsunami that will destroy others’ dreams, confidence, their hopes…? Is your internal dialogue causing hurricane after hurricane in your own life? And it’s not even hurricane season. Or, are you speaking words of stillness that will calm the restless? That will give hope to the hopeless and wisdom to the understanding?