Friday, May 15, 2015

People Pleasers

God Is Love

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

The world is full of people pleasers. And while that is a good thing for those of us who are service providers, we all know it is exhausting, if not impossible, to constantly please others. Looking at the motive, we see ourselves striving for acceptance and love. To win over hearts, we can fall into the trap of believing we must earn acceptance. And often we find no matter what we do or say, it is never enough to feel at peace.

But the Bible tells us that we are loved and accepted unconditionally by God. We can never be separated from God’s love no matter what we do or don’t do. And, no good works will provide that love, because it is a gift from God. God loved us first and chose us to be in a relationship with him – nothing is required to receive the gift other than the desire to accept God’s saving grace which was made available to us through Jesus. We don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be His.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Because God is love, through Christ we are completely loved and accepted.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Removing Impurities

God Is Holy

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; ... Malachi 3:3

Let’s face it - No one likes to change their ways or habits, no matter how destructive they may be or how necessary. While the status quo is always easiest, deep down, we all admit there are some things we’d like to change about ourselves. Maybe it’s having more patience with a co-worker, or having a higher level of integrity at work; maybe it’s being more of a team player, or being more charitable….

The Bible tells us that God is constantly at work refining our character. Just like the silversmith that removes impurities in metal over a blazing fire, God places us in hot spots to perfect our character. Daily, we can find ourselves in situations that challenge us to move in a new direction, to extend grace, forgiveness, or a helping hand when we would not otherwise. We have two choices – to stay on the same path or to be like Jesus in our thoughts and actions. But how many of us choose the latter? If we trust God and obey His word at times of testing, we will find that just like silver, imperfections in our character are removed allowing His reflection in our life to become real and visible to those around us.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8

Because God is holy, He continues to perfect our character through difficult circumstances.