I don't know about you, but I'm not much for making New Year's resolutions. I do agree though that January 1 is a great time to reevaluate your journey and make positive lifestyle changes. I did that on January 1, 2015 by committing to completely immerse myself in Scripture on a daily basis that year. I longed for God to make me More Like Him and Less Like Me. I needed this!
A few months into this journey I realized I needed for an outlet to share all that was on my heart. I started creating daily memes, called them InstaEncouragements and shared them on social media. Some were reposted by friends and there were lots of likes and positive comments.
Soon after this it became apparent that "InstaEncouragements" needed it's own home and branding. The InstaEncouragements Instagram was born. That's where the journey really began. The Instagram was followed by a presence on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
As InstaEncouragements gained followers, more and more people asked, "Can we purchase these in print form?" After several months of prayer, figuring out the logistics and the best way to proceed, we opened our little Etsy shop.
From the beginning, I've wanted God to make me more like Him and less like me. I also hoped to be an encouragement to others who wanted the same thing in their lives. However, I didn't want to JUST be an encouragement. I also wanted to equip others so they in turn could be an encouragement too! That's really where my heart is. I want to be more like Him and less like me and I want to encourage you and make you an encourager! <---- GOALS!
Thanks for reading. I hope you will find something here that will enable you to be an encouragement to someone in your life, and become more like Him!
While we're on the subject of New Years resolutions and immersing yourself in scripture, let me just suggest a few daily devotionals I have enjoyed using.
In the pages of Moments with You, the Raineys offer just what couples need to get started or to continue growing in their quiet times together. These short but poignant biblical devotions are enjoyable and easy to use, providing a daily discussion point, prayer and Scripture reference. Married couples desiring a deeper spiritual connection with God and their spouse will come to treasure their time spent over Moments with You. For married couples of all ages and at all stages of life." -goodreads
This also makes a GREAT WEDDING or SHOWER GIFT!
Another great devotional, this one for women, is God Hears Her. Don't you just sometimes want to be heard? God hears. Even in His silence, He hears.
It makes a great gift, with its small size and attractive hardcover binding. Pick up one today to encourage yourself and get another one to encourage a friend!
I hope these encourage you to be intentional about immersing yourself in Scripture. If you have a favorite devotional that you'd like to share please do that in the comments.
I love that this passage reminds me of the price of peace and the price of peacekeeping. We are to repay no one with evil. No one. Not even the people who we believe might deserve it. Instead, we are to meditate and give thought to what is honorable in the sight of all. We're called to live peaceable with ALL people. Not just those who we like. Not just those who are like us. Not just those who are easy to get along with. All people!
Wow! This is a tough one. This passage clearly states to avenge a wrong, and who here hasn't been treated wrongly at some point, is not our job. It's not our duty. Not our calling. Not in our job description. That is totally the business of our Heavenly Father, our protector, or avenger.
"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:17-21
So how do we live in peace with those who make our life difficult? This passage lays it out. Feed them, give them drink. Practically speaking, pray for them! PRAYER- that's my goto, all-purpose tool in my toolbox for life. I mean how can I be angry with someone when I am seriously committed to uplifting them in prayer? That's just my simple way of overcoming evil with good!
Forgiveness is work, it's difficult work. At the same time though, it's a gift I give myself. When I forgive, I release myself to love that person as God loves that person and as He loves me.
So how do you live peaceably?
The past, living there requires a tremendous cost. There's the "What ifs?" that plague our minds. The "wishing I'd done this and not that." Satan loves for us to go there. He likes it when we campout there, set up shop there, build a residence there. It's one of the simplest tools in his toolbox to distract us from the good in the present.
There's an old song that reads:
Please, Mr., please, don't play B-17, It was our song, it was his song, but it's over.
This post isn't about failed love attempts, although it certainly could be. I'm thinking today of mistakes made, regrettable decisions, hasty and foolish pride, sinful choices, and all the things we wish we had a Command-Z button in life for. Ah Command-Z button how we need you!
Isn't it wonderful though that God forgives the past, and we know this! The past is behind us, He has made us new. New creatures for His glory. There may be regret. Certainly there will be but we must not live there. All things are new. We have new and better choices to make today.
If you're living in the past with past regrets haunting you today, give them over to the Almighty God who loves you and forgives you and wants only the best for you. He has a plan for you to use those experiences for your good and His glory!
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