Archive for March 2011

Healing Promises in God’s Word

Is miraculous healing something that just happened in Biblical times? Absolutely not! We as Christians have the privilege of calling on God to heal us in modern times by standing on the promises in His Word. A key point here is that God does the healing through us, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here are some promises God makes about healing in the Bible.

“He heals the broken-hearted

And binds up their wounds.”

Psalms 147:3, New American Standard Version

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5, New King James Version

“And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over demons, and to heal diseases.

And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.”

Luke 9:1-2, New American Standard Version

If you feel broken-hearted for any reason at all, you can stand on the promise in Psalms. Actually reading that scripture out loud repeatedly will grow your faith in the healing power of God. Read the scripture in three ways: Proclaim the healing to yourself, thank the Lord for providing this healing and proclaim the healing in spite of satan’s attacks.

In Isaiah, you see the prophet proclaiming in past tense what will happen when Jesus is crucified. His blood that was shed on Calvary and the wounds He suffered for our sake have already won the victory for our healing.

Finally, in Luke Jesus commissions the disciples to spread the gospel and to perform healing. He has commissioned us to do the same thing, in His name, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Call on Him and read His promises in the Bible out loud daily to grow your faith and heal your sicknesses and wounds.

Are You Proud or Humble?

Do you ever find that you are your own worst enemy? For example, do you find that pride sometimes gets in your way, or more importantly, in God’s way? The definition of pride is “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from achievements, qualities or possessions that do one credit.” That doesn’t sound so bad, really. After all, having pride is a good thing . . . right? Or is it?

The opposite of pride is humility. As born-again Christians, humility should be a constant. By humility, I mean not taking personal credit for what God has done. After all, we did not accomplish this or that thing alone. God was with us every step of the way. I personally know that God dislikes certain kinds of pride, and if we don’t avoid being prideful, God will help us by making us humble.

Here’s an example from my life that demonstrates what I’m talking about.  In the mid-1990’s I had a booming consulting business. I was newly divorced and my children were 6, 8 and 11 at the time. As a new consultant, I doubled my corporate income in three years while raising my daughters. I was pretty proud of myself. Then it happened. God called me to move from Dallas to San Antonio.

Well, that move was hard. Of course, I did what I was called to do, but these were some of the toughest years for me. My consulting revenue dropped 40 percent the first year I was in San Antonio, and no matter what I did, I could not bring it back up. I now understand that God had many reasons for me to move to San Antonio, not the least of which was to get over myself, to fall at His feet in total humility.

Not all pride is bad. In fact, some pride is good. God does want us to take pride in doing a good job, or caring for our children.

God wants us to give up our pride for many reasons that are ultimately for our benefit and because He loves us dearly. Let me share some of them:

  • We learn to depend solely on God for all our provision.
  • We will give God credit for all blessings.
  • We can focus on hearing Him rather than telling Him what to do.
  • Our selfish actions get out of the way.
  • He can work through us to further the kingdom.
  • We can walk by faith, not by sight.

As believers and followers, it is important to walk by faith and learn to trust that God has our best interests at heart. Pay attention to your daily actions and make sure they are what He wants you to do. If you are unsure, just ask! But rest assured, he will tell you, one way or another!

Hello God! It’s me. Can you hear me?

And more importantly, can I hear You? Have you ever wondered how you know if you hear God? It sounds easy – pray, seek guidance, read the Bible for your life guidance, diligently obey. But how do you know if you hear God?

It’s really simple. Stop and listen. God will speak to you if you are still enough to hear Him. I see born-again Christians trying to grow their faith, scurrying from meeting to meeting, reading every book they can find, listening to a slew of TV evangelists to try to hear God. Now don’t get me wrong – these are not bad things. They just sometimes get in the way.

In order to hear God, stop, quietly study His Word and be silent. Otherwise, you might not hear Him. Here are a few ideas to help you truly hear God:

  • Use the Holy Bible as your life manual.
  • Learn how God uses dreams and visions to speak to you, regardless of your age.
  • Observe how God speaks to you through people and events.
  • Hear God speak to you directly. It may be an audible voice, or a quiet yet strong message in your spirit.

The most important thing is to learn to listen. Make sure you can still your heart and mind so you can receive God’s messages. Understand that to pray is to commune with God so that you may build a relationship with Him.

Learning His nature by being immersed in the Word of God will guide you to hear what He is saying. As in building any relationship, it takes working on it every day. Our relationship with God is no different. Setting aside focused, quiet time to read His Word and pray with Him will enhance and strengthen your relationship and help you hear God more clearly.

Diligently Obey God?

Why diligently obey God? It shows your love and respect for Him and you will be blessed. How do you obey Him? Seek Him daily, yearning to know His mission for you on this earth as well as what He wants you to do today.

Diligently obeying God is purposeful, not merely convenient. Diligent indicates on-purpose, not by accident. One of the origins of the word is French and means to love, take delight in. I personally like that origin. After all, we are obeying God because we love to!

Obey is to do as you are commanded. Again, the word has a French origin of two words meaning “in the direction of” and “hear.” Obeying God is leaning in His direction and really hearing Him. Now we have a baseline understanding of what it takes as born-again Christians to diligently obey God. What’s next? Applying it to your life.

We know that God has laid out a guide for living in the Holy Bible. If you are new to the Bible, ask God to send you the right mentor to help you understand it and apply it to your life. Getting the guidance you need keeps you solidly on the right path.

Now you have some of the tools to ensure that you are diligently obeying God. Let’s look at how this applies to your Christian walk in a practical way. Start with the following two questions:

“What is my assignment?” This question will help you find God’s calling for you.

“What do you want me to do today, or right now?” This question will clarify God’s immediate action for you to take, and help you learn to listen to Him all day, every day.

Diligently obeying God means doing what he asks – no more and no less. He knows the right action for you to take so trust in Him and do as He directs. Sometimes you will not understand the why, but that is OK. Just keep listening, and asking the two questions. You will learn to clearly hear Him and know you are headed in the right direction.

Spiritual Gifts and Talents in the Workplace

We have discussed your spiritual gifts in a prior post, but what about using those gifts in the workplace? That may feel awkward at first. After all, if your gift is singing, you may not feel it is appropriate to burst into song while working on your latest project. But consider this – you have a set of spiritual gifts and talents. In truth, we all have a unique blend of gifts that allow us to perform the function in life that God has called us to.

Using our spiritual gifts in the workplace provides harmony. For example, when teams come together to accomplish a project, having everyone work together without one person thinking he or she is better allows the team to function at a higher level. Plus, when everyone recognizes and uses their gifts and talents, the team really soars into high gear, accomplishing tasks at a rapid rate and completing the project with grace.

God has a plan for us. This plan allows us to use our gifts but in different ways. For example, several people may have the gift of great communication. However, one may be called to a career in sales and another to a career as a writer or journalist, while yet another becomes a public speaker. So, while we do need to understand our spiritual gifts, we also need to listen to God to understand how best to use them.

Do you know what God is calling you to do? It could be anything, leaving the opportunities wide open and boundless. If you are not sure what God has called you to do, stop and pray about it. Even better, ask others to pray with you, then listen. God will answer, and you will know with certainty how and where to use your spiritual gifts and talents.

Good or Great?

We live in a time where good is often not perceived as good enough. We want to be great! We strive to reach unheard of goals, scaling to new heights for what we perceive are appropriate accolades for greatness. That made me wonder – what is the difference between good and great, particularly for born-again Christians?

I did not have to ponder long. I believe the difference is humility. History provides many examples of humble leaders. One is Nelson Mandela. He spent the majority of his life in jail, a humble home, yet the people still had him as their leader in their hearts. The apostle Paul wrote some of his most joyful passages from his humble jail cell. Paul always gave God credit for blessings, yet did not blame God for the trials he had spreading the gospel. Mother Teresa dedicated her life to God’s work in the poorest part of India. She was often sought out by some of the most rich and powerful people because they desired her spiritual counsel.

Many company executives try to be good leaders, but are often too sure of their autonomy. The greatest leaders are humble, recognizing they are servant leaders and would not be where they are without the help of their team. These leaders understand that by serving their employees, these same employees will better serve the customer, and the entire organization will flourish.

Jesus was the ultimate leader. He made hard decisions, often took the unpopular road, and yet was so humble that He died a horrific death to pay for everyone else’s sin, past, present and future. What a magnificent leader and role model!

In business, humility can be seen as weakness. However, as born-again Christians, we have the best example in Jesus, and know that humility and serving others will make the difference between good or great. Choosing to be humble servants in business will not only make us stand out, but will ensure a solid path for our organization to follow.

God – the Ultimate Business Consultant

God created the universe and everything in it. So why don’t we turn to Him for business advice? Let’s face it – we will do almost anything to sabotage ourselves and our business. When you think about turning to God for business advice, you realize that you will need to play bigger and have solid faith!

I remember working up a proposal and then worrying I would not get the work. I really needed the money, and toyed with lowering the price. Yet I felt like God was telling me to raise the price. So, I started debating with Him. “Are you sure? I really need this work.” It’s a frightening place to be in, but I went with what God was telling me and priced the project higher.

I presented my proposal to the potential client. After cruising quickly through it, the woman I was meeting with came to the pricing. She looked at it, and then exclaimed, “This is cheap!” I was amazed that God cared enough about me to reveal something about my potential client I could not have known.

By choosing to stop and listen to God, I was able to not only land a good client, but receive more money that I could definitely put to good use. God is always there to give us direction, whether personal or professional. Will you stop and listen the next time God provides good advice? After all, He is the ultimate business consultant.

God Has a Plan for Your Career

Whether you work in a large corporation or as an independent consultant or contractor, God is there. Yet recognizing His plan for us while we are engaged in the day-to-day can be difficult. I know this first hand. When I was in college I planned to be a banker. After all, my great granddaddy and great uncle had started a bank in a small Texas town almost 100 years before. I worked hard toward this goal, working summers in a bank to get experience while I earned my degree. Then it happened! I got my career in banking . . . and was miserable for the nine years I was there.

Eventually, I was laid off by a struggling bank. Even though I had been unhappy at that job, I still felt like a failure. What I could not see was that all of this was part of God’s plan for me.

After my banking career, I worked as a mortgage salesperson, paid solely on a commission basis. So when I started my own consulting practice, all of the finance, accounting, banking and sales experience I received from these jobs and my college education served me extremely well in my consulting business. I was able to train and inspire salespeople, helping them to reach new goals. But that was not all . . .

God led me to professional speaking and training, a vocation I now realize God had been grooming me for all along. Plus, all the business writing I did helped me to be comfortable with tackling the challenge of writing books. Here I am, happy, fulfilled and loving what I do. But I could not see this after being laid off by the bank. Only God knew what was in store for me!

I am thankful every day that I have God in my life, both personally and professionally. Do you recognize God in your professional life? The next time something happens that wasn’t in your plan, remember . . . God has a plan for you, and it’s bigger and better than what you can see right now.

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