For All The Helpers Out There…

Greetings all!  I recently scanned an article written by an accomplished Speech and Debater, Isaiah McPeak.  His comments regarding characteristics of ‘helpers’ was particularly interesting in light of our studying the Spiritual gift of ‘helps’.  As a mom of 4 kids that participate in debate, I find I am always in awe of experienced debaters who help by giving their research to a novice or even when they help by providing advice on how someone else can improve their skills (surprised because this can be a highly competitive environment).  All this even if  it means they have ‘given away their ‘secrets’ to an opponent.  The ONLY motivation to do such a thing is that they care to help someone not as advanced as they are so that they have an opportunity to learn and do better. The people best at helping seem to be those who have experienced being helped by a ‘champion’ when they themselves were considered a ‘novice’.   This particular group of debaters practice their debate skills on a variety of topics in order to train themselves in the skills of 1) presentation, 2) critical thinking, and 3) research.  And they do it in an environment that values honorable competition as well as cultivating maturity, wisdom, grace, and poise; all to bring glory to Jesus Christ.   The majority of their learning is a direct result of someone helping them in some way.  The foundational reasoning for cultivating these skills is so they will be able to speak to someone about Christ.  Don’t we all want to help someone along so they are ultimately better equipped to serve Christ?   (The ‘champions’ he is referring to below are debaters that win tournaments.  ‘Novice’ is a word referring to a student just starting out in debate and more likely than not does not have a clue what they are doing. smile 🙂 )

So, how does this notion of helping relate to you?  Operating in the Spiritual gift of ‘helper’ is not only a selfless gift but because of the contribution this brings to others, someone else is able to do things they never would have been able to do if the ‘helper’ had not contributed.  Amen!! Someone on the receiving end of this will be wise to never forget this.  Someone on the giving end of this will be wise to never withhold what you have been gifted to give.

                                                                                                                                                                     Helper (Excerpt from Ethos Publications, Isaiah McPeak)

“Lifelong champions help others. They don’t take take take, they give give give. They were surprised, then, to realize that in openly sharing info with novices, investing time with them, possibly partnering with them, was a better teacher than simply acquiring knowledge and not sharing it.”

“Those who never tasted the benefit of helping think this sounds crazy and always will. They’ll be executives negotiating nickels and dimes from every employee, constantly trying to maximize every negotiation, and generally stressed out about getting more of their way than the next guy. The lifelong champion is much more carefree and trusts that investing in people, giving more than receiving, engaging in the world of ideas…”

“Well, let me tell you a quick story. The eventual President of Pixar was one of the only people in the 70s sharing his methods for improving computer animation. Most companies were keeping it a safe-locked secret. He was openly sharing it, even if it meant others competed better (in business, for real dollars), and went to academic conferences sharing and talking about it, and so on.”

“Guess who got found and flown to Lucasfilm to help some guy named George Lucas make computer stuff for some movie called Star Wars. Not the small-minded people, that’s who.”  

How does this excerpt influence you if you are gifted as a ‘helper’ (even if you are not)?   If you operate in the Spiritual gift of helps, you will give of yourself in ways that assist others without a regard to a ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality.  If you see that you can help no matter what form that might take, you do it.  The big picture is what you see.  You see how you can make a difference in individual lives and while you are at it you rebuke the lies the enemy throws your way regarding ‘what’s in it for you?’  Why are you able to do this?  Because you have the Spirit of the living God directing your sails and the turbulent winds that try to blow from the pit of hell will not cause you to capsize.  Be bold ‘helpers’.  The world needs the help that the Spirit in you is directing you to provide.  You are much needed and valued.

How about if you and I try our best to remember what Galations 3:3 warns us about.  The Spirit leads us into opportunities initially but then we allow the flesh to take over.  Basically, what was started in the spirit we think we are better off finishing in the flesh.  Not so sweet things.  Every one of us will be tempted to allow it to happen but let’s wise up to the Spirit’s warning.  Whatever Spiritual gifting we operate in let’s continue persisting in it to completion in the realm of the Spirit and not allow ours or any one else’s fleshly influence to get in the way for a minute.  The Spirit of God is a helper, as it is one of the gifts He shares with us.  So, let’s lean into God for His power to help us succeed and anticipate that He will!  Who can you offer your help to today?

In His grace,

Amanda

P.S. ~ If anyone is willing to share in a ‘comment’ how they helped someone we would be blessed to hear!

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You Are God’s Coworker

“Now the one planting and the one watering are one in purpose, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”  1 Corinthians 3:8-9

Based on our intense loyalty to Jesus, it is our Christian duty to boldly distribute what we astonishingly possess in Him as well as to profusely share the benefits of this rich Christian life which is found in Christ alone.  Do you consider yourself to be unwaveringly faithful to your Savior?  If so, have you earnestly considered the profound importance of your assignment as God’s coworker; fearlessly conveying the message of the Cross in order that Jesus’ sacrifice is allowed to resonate and be received by ANYONE having an ear to hear?  Do you consider yourself a coworker having received life in Christ which has unquestionably made such an indelible mark upon your heart and reality that you fiercely desire everyone to know about this incredible life?  Do you sense your loyalty accompanies a passionate obligation to share the Good News?  Indeed.  But it is much more than that! The obligation stems from an overflow of pure gratitude for the One who has unashamedly rescued you from this world’s crippling system of slavery as well as from an infernal torment of a bleak eternity apart from Jesus!!

Considering another weighty aspect of being God’s coworker, do you ponder the implication of working alongside God?  Do you consider your attitude?  Your work-ethic?  The meditation of your heart?  Your motivation?  Your commitment?

Reflection Questions:

  1.  Are you allowing the work you do for the Lord to invade your thoughts as opposed to allowing your thoughts of the Lord to invade you?

          2.  Do you worship your work as opposed to worshipping the One that has called you to the work?  Do you know you are rewarded based on your heart’s desire during your labor and not based on how other’s choose to respond?

3. Do you focus wholeheartedly on God and allow yourself to live free from the burden of the upkeep of your work?

Fellow sojourners, we have no right to judge where God decides to put us.  Wherever that place shall be, it will be our aim to pour out our wholehearted devotion to Him right in that place.  Let’s take a running jump on the springboard of our faith and plunge heart first into the waters of service to our King.  He is so worth it.

In His grace,

Amanda

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Faith That Climbs Mountains

Satan waits with anticipation at the foot of every spiritual mountain ready to seize the opportunity to destroy our faith (Matthew 17:1-2,14-17).  Why there?  Let’s take a look at some significant occurrences that took place on mountains.

† Mount Sinai ~ place where Moses received the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:20,24)
† Mount Zion ~ David captures area and it becomes
City of David, also location of Solomon’s Temple (2 Samuel 5:1-10, 1 Kings 8:1)
† Mount Carmel ~ Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18)
† Jesus appoints the Twelve on a mountain
† Sermon on the Mount ~ Jesus delivers the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1)
† Jesus was tempted by Satan on a high mountain (Matthew 4:8)
† Several people receive healing  (Matthew 15:29-30)
† Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2)
† Jesus’ final discourse (Matthew 24:1)
† Jesus commissioned the disciples (Matthew 28:16)
† Mount of Olives ~ Jesus prays here and also ascends
from here into heaven (Luke 22:39-49, Acts 1:9-12)

We should get something clear in our minds…Satan is an opportunist.  God will give us an invitation to climb a faith mountain with Him and Satan will most certainly be there at the foot of that mountain looking for an opportunity to plant doubt, confusion, and discouragement in our heart and mind.  Don’t provide him a reason to approach you.  The enemy does not desire for you to climb that faith mountain so he waits at the bottom hoping to derail you before you get too far.  Instead, allow the Lord to strengthen you BY His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against these tactics of the Devil.  Know that he waits at the foot of the faith mountain ~ don’t be shocked to find out that he does!  See his tactics clearly.  Stand firm in faith.

  1. He wants you to question your faith when you do not see immediate results after you have stepped out in faith.
  2. He wants you to look to God the way the world looks at everything ~ why wait?  You should have what you want, the way you want it, and have it NOW.  The Bible instructs us that we must wait on God with faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12, 10:36, 11:1, James 1:3).

Let’s boldly step out of this timidity and be satisfied with nothing less than experiencing our own personal relationship with Jesus and not merely what we hear about Him from other people.  Allow Jesus access to your entire self (the unhealthy parts, the scared parts, the unsure parts, the unhappy parts, the decision making parts…all the parts you deny Him).

Do you desire to have limitless faith?

  1. Don’t limit His work in your life.  His word gives us the proper concept of Him (Romans 4:12).
  2. Our faith does not need to be blind.  Someone operating full of faith often see more than others are able to see (2 Kings 6:15-17, Hebrews 11:27).

Is there a place in your life Jesus is calling you towards that will require you to push through the enemies lies and fears in order to proceed to new heights with your Savior?  Doesn’t the enemy ultimately try to coax you into thinking your fears are more relevant than Jesus’ promises?  That you must maintain your fears and frustrations in order to preserve who you are?  If you live for your flesh this would be true.  Live in the spirit and see how the enemy intends to plant these seeds of doubt and refuse to allow him access.

“I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:1-2

Some scholars believe this Psalm was sung as the traveler began his journey.  Take your eyes off your current situation and lift your eyes toward your faith mountain fellow sojourner.  Your Maker intends for you to do some climbing.

In His grace,

Amanda

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The Healings and Miracles of Jesus

Greetings fellow sojourners!  Every portion of the ministry of Jesus Christ of Nazareth should significantly infiltrate your life with the all-surpassing knowledge of His magnificence and how much He loves you.  You are not a passing fancy nor are you replaceable.  You are significant to the kingdom of God.  Today we are taking a look at the healings and miracles of Jesus.  I have included a video at the end that I pray blesses you.  As we look at this particular ministry of Jesus, there can be no denial that healing of the sick as well as miraculous manifestations was a dominant factor of His ministry.

When Jesus departed the scene of John the Baptist’s ministry He went to Cana in Galilee to attend a marriage and here He performed His first miraculous demonstration, turning water into wine.  This miracle was intended especially for His new disciples.  It was also intended to indicate that His ministry would be altogether different than Johns’ ministry.   John left the place where men dwelt and went into the wilderness and called people out to him.  Jesus mingled in people’s lives and had glad tidings to bring personally to their hearts and a happy revolution in their circumstances which would be like the turning of the water of their life into wine.  This seemingly simple miracle also demonstrated the reality of Jesus Christ’s sovereign power over individuals, nature, and the dead.

Jesus healed the sick.  He cured lameness, blindness, deafness, palsy, leoprosy, and many other afflictions.  In addition to these bodily cures, He also healed diseases of the mind. “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30, 31)  Here are some Scriptural examples of Jesus’ ministry regarding healing and miracles:

Control over Nature

1. Calming the storm – Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:37-41; Luke 8:22-25

2. Feeding 5,000 – Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14

3. Walking on water – Matthew 14:22-32; Mark 6:47-52; John 6:16-21

4. Feeding 4,000 – Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9

5. Retrieving a coin from a fish – Matthew 17:24-27

6. Withering of the fig tree – Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-25

7. Huge catch of fish – Luke 5:4-11; John 21:1-11

8. Turning water into wine – John 2:1-11

Healing  Individuals

1. Man with leprosy – Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-44; Luke 5:12-14

2. Roman centurion’s servant – Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10

3. Peter’s mother-in-law – Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:30-31; Luke 4:38-39

4. Two men possessed with devils – Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-15; Luke 8:27-39

5. Man with palsy – Matthew 9:2-7; Mark 2:3-12; Luke 5:18-26

6. Woman with a bleeding issue – Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48

7. Two blind men – Matthew 9:27-31

8. Dumb, devil-possessed man – Matthew 9:32-33

9. Canaanite woman’s daughter – Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30

10. Boy with devil – Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:17-29; Luke 9:38-43

11. Two blind men – including Bartimaeus – Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

12. Demon-possessed man in synagogue – Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37

13. Blind man at Bethsaida – Mark 8:22-26

14. Crippled woman – Luke 13:10-17

15. Man with edema – Luke 14:1-4

16. Ten men with leprosy – Luke 17:11-19

17. The high priest’s servant – Luke 22:50-51

18. Nobleman’s son at Capernaum – John 4:46-54

19. Sick man at the pool of Bethsaida – John 5:1-15

20. Man born blind – John 9:1-41

Raising the Dead

1. Jairus’ daughter – Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56

2. Widow’s son at Nain – Luke 7:11-17

3. Lazarus – John 11:1-44

In His grace,

Amanda

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