YOU are here for a reason. You have an eternal assignment. And you are well equipped for such a time as this.
Yes, YOU, my friend!
Each of us as believers carry an assignment on this earth that has great eternal impact -- and that is to share the Good News with others! Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t take us right up to Heaven the moment we get saved? It’s because we have a job to do on this earth still!
When we talk about sharing Jesus and the basics with others, I acknowledge that just the notion of talking with others about your faith may send you into fear, doubt or other assorted emotions. So let’s have a chat about it. I don’t want you to feel that way about sharing your faith. Allow me to share some insights on this topic with you, so you can feel both empowered and at ease about being an ambassador for Christ!
First, you need to realize that God has you right where you are for a purpose. It’s not by chance. You’re in that family, at that workplace with those coworkers, on that sports team, in that neighborhood, in that school and so on -- all for a reason. Know that God has placed you specifically where you are to be an influence and to help those you know come to know Christ. Thinking about that will take you up a few notches in confidence already! If He knows right where you’re at, and specifically put you there with those people, you can be assured He knows what He’s doing -- and that He’s right there with you.
Secondly, what we need to do is fill up our hearts with God’s Word. 1 Peter 3:15 MSG encourages us: “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” I love how this version expresses how to effectively evangelize. We keep our lives and our hearts focused on the Lord, and then when we’re in everyday conversations with others, we’re ready to share why we live the way we do.
Often the most compelling form of winning others to Christ comes from just sharing your testimony...your personal story. What has Jesus done in your life? Were you freed from addiction? Healed? Set free? Has He helped you become a better parent, employee, friend, son/daughter, etc.?
>>Take a moment today to really think about how you would answer this question: What has following Jesus meant to your life, personally?
If the answer to that is always rolling around in your heart, you’ll find it just flows naturally out of your mouth when you get opportunities to tell people why you love the Lord. And, always remember...it’s not God’s will that any should perish...He wants everyone to come to Christ!
Rest assured that He is actively at work in everyone’s lives to help them see the truth. He’s already working on their hearts...so when you’re in a conversation where you can feel that Holy Spirit nudge to speak up and share your faith, you can do so without fear or worry...He’s already drawing them to Him, and we just need to do our part as He prompts us!
I encourage you today to see what a great purpose every day of your life is. Yes, God wants you to enjoy life and be prosperous in all areas, but let me tell you, the greatest joy is sharing all of that with others! Share your blessings, share what you’ve learned and share your testimony...be a bright light that is unwilling to let worry or uncertainty of what someone might think stop you from sharing a comment or Scripture that may be exactly what they need to hear that day. Live your life in such a way that your actions and speech are like magnets that draw others to the Lord -- that’s what a life lived with purpose truly looks like.
And, oh what a joy it will be to get to Heaven and be surrounded by people that we helped come to know Christ!
Say This: “Father, thank You so much for all of the blessings You’ve given so richly and freely to me. I don’t just want to be blessed...I want to be blessed to be a blessing! Lord, help me to spot ways to bless others and specifically I ask for open doors to speak Your Word and the Good News into others’ lives. Help me to store up Your Word in my heart and be ready and eager to share those life-giving Words to those I encounter. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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Filtering by Category: Holy Spirit
YOU are here for a reason. You have an eternal assignment. And you are well equipped for such a time as this.
Friends, today’s devo will be short and sweet but I genuinely hope it encourages you! If you haven’t read last week’s devo yet, I highly recommend reading that before jumping into today’s. (You can check it out below, on this blog page.)
Today, let’s talk about something that may not be talked about enough but I believe many may be struggling with this...let’s dive into what to do if you feel “stuck” in your prayer life. Sure, you likely know all the benefits of prayer and you genuinely desire to be a pray-er...but for some reason, you just feel like you can’t break through whatever is holding you back in prayer. I’m here to tell you today, there’s hope! You will break through!
The secret is being filled with the Spirit. When you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, He helps you pray out God’s perfect will. We see this in God’s Word: “...for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will” (Romans 8:27 NLT). You can pray out what you know in your own understanding...but then you don’t have to feel “stuck” or “stopped” there. Pray in the Spirit, and He’ll help you pray out all of the mysteries, the things you don’t know but He does!
So, are you feeling burdened about an issue or situation in your life and just struggling to find the “right” words to say in prayer? Pray in the Spirit! Are you fearful, scared, anxious, nervous, agitated, frustrated or confused? Pray in the Spirit! Worried about your future, wondering what path to take or choice to make? You guessed it...pray in the Spirit!
>>You don’t have to have all the “right” words or know all of the details...the Holy Spirit will help you!
Romans 8:26 NKJV explains it like this: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” And, I love 1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV as well: “...in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.”
So take a few deep breaths, do a few shoulder rolls and sit up a little straighter -- you are not alone in this, the Lord will help you pray! Pray with your own understanding, speaking out in faith the promises of God. But also pray in the Spirit. Allow Him to help you pray out mysteries, laying out the track you’ll run on in life. You don’t have to have it all figured out, just lean into Him and He’ll help you pray it out!
Say This: “Father, thank You so much that I am born of the Spirit and also filled with the Spirit. Thank You that the Holy Spirit helps me to pray out mysteries and to pray according to Your perfect will. Thank You that I don’t have to know it all -- You help me pray! I thank You for helping me to experience breakthrough in my prayer life as I pray more in the Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
When you purchase a special gift for a child, a friend or someone you love -- and then once you get it all wrapped up and tied with a bow -- aren’t you excited to watch them open it? You want them to enjoy it and be blessed by whatever’s inside that beautifully curated box, right?
When it comes to our spiritual lives, there is a great parallel. Jesus purchased great gifts for us and for a variety of reasons many believers have not yet received, opened or experienced His gifts! Today, let’s dive into -- better yet, let’s receive and unwrap -- one of God’s wonderful gifts.
The gift I am talking about is the Holy Spirit! Specifically, God has “gifted” us with two experiences we can have with the Holy Spirit.
>>Friends, this is not going to be just “nice to know” information -- seriously, these two experiences are game-changers! Let’s take a look at each of them.
The first gift we can experience -- and absolutely the most important and essential for each of us -- is the gift of being “born of the Spirit.” This is the Holy Spirit coming to live within us. This happens when we get saved, when we ask Jesus to be the Lord of our life.
We see this mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV): “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” We also see it again in John 14:17 (AMP): “The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.”
Absolutely, being “born of the Spirit” -- our salvation and eternal destination -- is the best gift and takes center stage. But, the story doesn’t end with us being saved and having the Holy Spirit take up residence in our hearts...there’s more!
The Bible talks about another gift the Holy Spirit brings to our lives. This gift is known as being baptized with the Spirit...this happens when we receive the Spirit, and He fills us and comes upon us.
In Acts 1:4-5, we encounter Jesus talking to some of the apostles soon after His resurrection. He encourages them with this: “Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit’” (NLT).
Another verse that helps shed light on this gift...this second experience of the Holy Spirit...is seen in Acts 2:4: “And they were filled with the Holy Spirit…” (NKJV). In that verse, “they” referred to a group of believers -- those who were already saved -- who then experienced more of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came “upon” them...they were “filled” with the Holy Spirit.
Today, I want to encourage each of you, friends, to dig into the Word and find out more about what God has to say about being born of and filled with the Spirit. Both experiences are free gifts we simply unwrap by believing and receiving them. Be hungry and thirsty for all that He has for you, don’t leave a gift unwrapped!
Why am I so passionate about helping you experience these gifts? Here’s why… When you are born of the Spirit, you become a new person in Christ -- you’re forgiven and made righteous in God's sight and given eternal life! This is huge and life-changing! If you have never received this gift, you can do it today. Just pray the sample prayer below -- today’s YOUR day!
When you are filled with the Spirit, you’ll have a whole new level of power and ability to live out the victorious, world-changing Christian life and a fresh boldness to share the Gospel with others. If you’re tired of living the “roller coaster” Christian life or just feeling like you can never quite live the life you feel called to as a believer...this is the gift you need to open today!
Being born of and filled with the Holy Spirit are game-changers, and I’m so excited for you to experience these gifts! Here are the two prayers you can pray right now...
Prayer to be born of the Spirit -- salvation: “Father, thank You for sending Jesus to the cross to die for my sins so that I can be reconciled to You! I don’t want to spend a single moment apart from You, in this life on earth and for eternity. Jesus, I invite You into my heart today and ask You to be the Lord of my life! Thank You for Your great love for me and for saving me. Today’s my day -- thank You Holy Spirit for causing me to be born again and from this day forward, I am born of the Spirit and Jesus is my Lord! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit -- empowerment: “Father, I ask You in Jesus’ Name to fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I may receive the fullness of Your Spirit. Lord, I want to have power to be a witness for You. I want to be able to praise You from my innermost being, and I want to speak Your Word boldly. Jesus, I believe You are the baptizer, so I ask You to baptize me in the Spirit. I believe I receive the Holy Spirit coming upon me now. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Haven’t we all been there?...We are following our GPS to get to a desired location. It tells us to take a right turn in half a mile, but then we miss the turn! What does your GPS do at that point? Does it say, “Wow, you totally missed that. Guess you’re just going to stay lost now.” No way! Without skipping a beat, it graciously suggests a new next turn (and maybe a few more after that!) to eventually get you back to the right path. In fact, even if you miss the next 3, 5 or even 10 turns, your GPS still never gives up on you!
So why is it that when we “miss a turn” in life, we know our GPS would be patient with us but somehow we get to thinking that God is mad at us? He has given us the Holy Spirit as our Guide, and yes -- our Guide is continually sharing directions, indicating which turns to take and more. He for sure wants us to arrive at all of the promises God has given us! But, if we miss a turn, make a mistake or take the wrong path, He doesn’t give up on us! Just like our GPS, the Holy Spirit never says, ”Okay fine, do it your way. I’m done helping you. Peace, out!” Nope! He’s just saying “re-calculating, re-routing” along the way, giving us guidance into the next steps to take so we can keep heading the right direction.
If you’ve felt like you’ve made wrong choices in life...if you’re feeling like you “missed the boat” or did things your way for so long that there’s just no way God could clean all that up...hear the Holy Spirit patiently and lovingly saying to you today: “Re-calculating!” He has never and will never give up on you. The Holy Spirit acts as your Guide in everyday life, in the big decisions and the small ones. He will lead you step-by-step, always towards the promises and blessings that God has in store for you!
How do we follow the Holy Spirit’s lead? There are two essential and primary ways that He leads us -- first, through God’s Word (the Bible) and secondly, through peace. One reason we each need to make reading and hearing the Word a daily priority is that the Holy Spirit customizes the Word to each of us -- personally -- so that as you read or hear Scriptures, He can literally quicken a word or phrase directly to you, and you’ll know you have the answer you’ve been seeking.
>>Isn’t that amazing? Talk about a supernatural advantage in life!
Then, once you’ve received direction from the Word, then check your spirit, the real you inside. Ask the Holy Spirit to make it clear to you if your spirit is at peace with the decision/direction or if it seems “scratchy.” We know from Colossians 3:15 that peace acts as an umpire, so we know that God will confirm the answer to you both through His Word and through peace.
When we make it a lifestyle to be in the Scriptures daily and to listen closely to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and discernment of peace inside, we can move forward with decisions in life with confidence. This is God’s will for us -- He doesn’t want us going through life always having to hear “re-calculating!” He is patient with us and extends so much mercy, but His best for each of us is to continually hear from Him which directions to take, and then to take them! That path has fewer detours and gets us more quickly to the land of His blessings and promises. Make the choice today to be led by the Holy Spirit daily, in the big and little stuff, and enjoy that supernatural advantage!
Say This: “Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit! I am so glad He is my internal guide, my supernatural ‘GPS.’ Raise up in me a greater desire to read and listen to Your Word daily, and I believe that as I make the Word a priority, I’ll hear customized direction and answers. Help me to discern when I have peace in my spirit and when I don’t, and give me the courage to always follow Your Word and peace -- thank You for that supernatural advantage! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
There must be something about hearing that is a big deal. Jesus said many times, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” That seems straightforward...but did you know that we tend to hear in “layers?” For example, maybe you go to the theatre to watch a newly released movie. Then, later when it’s released on DVD or on-demand, you watch it again. In that second viewing, you notice things you hadn’t noticed the first time. And, I’d be willing to guess that after a third viewing, you’d catch even more of the details.
Why is this important? If we hear in layers, then we need to make it a point to hear God’s Word many times over. Each time we hear -- if we’re truly tuned in, engaged and listening with our ears and our spirit inside -- we’ll hear more and more nuggets of truth to apply to our lives.
Remember the parable about the four types of soil? Let’s revisit it here with a fresh take on the power of hearing...and hearing...for a moment:
“One day Jesus told a story…‘A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!’ When he had said this, he called out, ‘Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.’” (Luke 8:4-8, NLT)
And then Jesus provided the interpretation as well:
“‘This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” (Luke 8:11-15, NLT)
The first time we hear God’s Word, it may be like the footpath -- it’s so new to us, that it would be easy for the enemy to snatch it away if we don’t take further action to truly move that Word deeper into our heart.
Maybe we hear the Word or sermon again, and receive it with joy, but it still doesn’t have very deep roots yet...so when temptation comes calling, we fall away from that truth.
Then, the next time we hear it, it’s still pressured out by the distracting cares of this world.
BUT when we hear the Word yet again (for the 4th time!) -- and cling to it, store it deep within our heart and sprinkle on patience and faith -- that’s when it produces a harvest in our lives!
So, don’t be afraid to listen to the same message/sermon and The Basics With Beth TV episode more than once...don’t hesitate to read the same Scriptures, devo and faith-filled book more than once. Be encouraged -- there are layers of “hearing” and the more you can hear and lean into God’s Word, the more you will glean from it!
Say This: "Father, thank You that Your Word is rich and full of layers. I will press in, lean in and listen intently -- several times over -- to make sure I catch all the truth that You have for me in a message, sermon, Scripture, etc. Help me to listen until Your Word goes deep into my heart, so it can truly produce a great harvest! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”