encouragment

This 1 Thing Will Spur You On Towards Love and Good Deeds

On Saturday morning I was enjoying an intense workout at my Crossfit gym which included a 400m outdoor sprint in several parts of the workout.  After our first sprint the members in our “team” trickled  in one by one. Once we were all at the next workout station, one of our teammates said “Did you guys see the snake that was on the path right near the turn-around point?” Only she had seen it, but we were all thankful for the warning.

When, after 12 rope climbs and 50 dips it was time to run that same path again our team did something very different. The first time we ran; we all ran as individuals, at our own individual paces.  Now that danger had been detected, our team ran as a pack with the faster runners slowing down a bit, and the slower runners (me) picking-up the pace. Nobody talked about this, it was not spoken, it was just what happened. While we were all still running as individuals, we were now part of a “pack” encouraging each other and spurring one another on past the danger that lurked on the path. It made me stop and wonder if this is the same reason God has for telling us not to give up meeting together. Our instinctively formed “running pack” had many eyes, looking in many directions for danger (that slithering snake!) at the same time and reporting it.

While our “pack” was better for watching for danger, we were also better at encouraging each other.  Many of the faster runners were encouraging the slower runners to keep pace and “finish strong.”  In life, our running “pack” we “do” life with can spur us on towards love and good deeds when it is the body of Christ you are meeting up with.  

Who are you “running” in life with? Do they spur you on and encourage you? Or bring you down? Do they know the dangers as described in scripture? It is my prayer that nothing is keeping you from meeting together with other believers.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:24-26

Written by Jamie Shaver

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Start Doing These 4 Things to Flourish, Thrive, Be Successful or Fortunate

I don’t know any person who does not want to be blessed, happy, fortunate, and prosperous; however, I know many people who attempt to do so by listening and following ungodly advice.  Eve “walked” in the counsel of the ungodly in the garden.  Genesis 3:4-6 says:

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Eve was tempted in the garden because she listened to Satan.  She sinned in the garden after she pondered what he said to her.  She believed the lie, and finally acted on it.  I always find it interesting to read that Eve saw that the fruit was “desirable for gaining wisdom.”  I believe she thought that because Satan told her if she ate of it she would be “like God knowing good and evil.”   Where do you go to find wisdom?  Eve went to a source God told her NOT to go to.  

Imagine what may have happened if she had chosen not to listen to Satan.  Or imagine what may have happened if she had chosen to not ponder on that counsel and believe it, but had run to God instead.  After she disobeyed God she gave the fruit to Adam and he ate it.  Then together they hid from God.  

Do you ever find yourself trying to “hide” from God?

Today, we can try to “hide” from God by avoiding our more “godly” friends, not attending church, stopping our bible study or devotionals and disregarding prayer time.

Do you ever find that when you choose to disobey God that you seek company in your disobedience?  

I think it is interesting that Eve “gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.”  Ultimately, Eve followed the counsel of the ungodly, then offered the fruit of disobedience to her husband.   

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Psalm 1:1-3 below shares with us the four things we need to focus on if we want to thrive.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly (following their advice, their plans and purposes), nor stands (submissive and inactive) in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down (to relax and rest) where the scornful (and the mockers) gather.  But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.  And he shall be like a tree firmly planted (and tended) by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper (and come to maturity.)- Psalm 1:1-3 Amplified Version

1. Delight and Desire the law of the Lord

2. Habitually Meditate: Ponder and study God’s Word and instructions.

3. Believe: Believe and agree with the teachings you have meditated on.

4. Act: Live it out!  You will be like a tree firmly planted…and everything you do shall prosper.

Where do you go for counsel and direction?  Who do you call when you have a difficult decision to make?  Are you listening to ungodly counsel if any areas of your life?  

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?