Defeating Envy: LEAD – For God’s Sake!

 

envy

Defeating ENVY – LEAD, for God’s Sake!

Let’s look at a couple of verses from the Scripture on the topic of Envy:

Proverbs 27:4
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Matthew 27:18
For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

Acts 7:9
And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him

Galatians 5:26
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another

Philippians 1:15
Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

James 3:16
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work

Some years ago, as I was studying Biblical prosperity, I heard sister Gloria Copeland preach an insightful message on ‘exposing the spirit of envy’. This is the ‘keeping up with the Jones’ mentality, that will open the door to greed, covetousness, pride, contention, strife, and every evil work.

Gloria
God is a good God, and I am convinced that He wants us, His children to prosper, financially: what parent does not want good things for their children?

Here is the definition of Envy:

ENVY:
ˈenvē/
noun
noun: envy; plural noun: envies.
  1. a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
    “she felt a twinge of envy for the people on board”
    synonyms: jealousy, covetousness; More

    the green-eyed monster
    “a pang of envy”
    • a person or thing that inspires envy.
      “their national health service is the envy of many in Europe”
      synonyms: finest, best, pride, top, cream, jewel, flower, leading light,the crème de la crème

      “the firm is the envy of Europe”
verb
verb: envy; 3rd person present: envies; past tense: envied; past participle: envied; gerund or present participle: envyin
g.desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else).
“he envied people who did not have to work on weekends”
  1. synonyms: be envious of, be jealous of; More

    begrudge, be resentful of

    “I admired and envied her”

Obviously, Envy, and her green-eyed monster sister, jealously are from hell, and enemies to be destroyed, in our own hearts.

The question is, how?

I am comforted by this verse:

3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth

God’s way of prosperity, is an inside job. He always works from the inside out.

Money, wealth, material things are blessings for sure, but can never satisfy the depths of any human heart. Only a deep personal relationship with Jesus, receiving the depths of His love, wisdom, forgiveness, affirmation, encouragement, and comfort can ever do that…

11_30_LongTermLeadershipGrowth_868340145
Prosperity, without corresponding development of one’s soul, can ruin us. The very things that are blessings, that should produce humility and gratefulness in our hearts towards God, can become instruments of pride, self-exaltation, greed, haughtiness, and a host of other evils rooted in our own selfishness…

How do we defeat envy and jealousy within us?

We must grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus through the Word of God!

Proverbs 1:32
For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

prosperity harvest
Money must be mastered. It makes a great servant, but a cruel Lord.

As long as we, by the Holy Spirit, rule money through the fruit of the Holy Spirit of self-control, it makes a great servant.

If we do not with great strength master it, it will quickly seek to turn the tables and make us serve it, and we will find as we journey down it’s pathway, that there is a very real task-master holding the proverbial carrot on a stick in front of the donkey, that we chase, but can never quite obtain, while we bear it’s burdens and tasks…We see the carrot, and pursue it, but cannot easily see the invisible hand holding the stick: satan, or one of his minions, quietly exercising more and more insidious control of our lives.

LEAD - For God's Sake!

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death
Doing right with money, will grant you favor with God to have a continually supply, but no amount of money can protect one from destruction for violation of the Word of God.

My son is ten years old, and I have worked hard on keeping the heart strings tight between us, endeavoring to not only mold him scholastically, calling out and developing the mighty man he is called to be, but pray, with God’s help, that he will pick up not only the lessons I teach him, but the very spirit of why I instruct him so strenuously.
Over the holiday, I overheard an interchange between he and his BFF (Best Friend Forever), another boy, named Jack. There were both excitedly telling each other what they got for Christmas, and suddenly, my son yelled: “Dad! Guess what? Jack got a new smart phone for Christmas, and a bike!”

He was not envious, jealous, nor competitive with his best friend, rather, a partaker of his joy, and truly excited for his friend!

Would to God that we all had friends like that!
Instead of people who compete, and play the old ‘one-upmanship’ game!

Why cannot we adopt this spirit seen in my son, recognizing that we all have a loving heavenly Father, that delights to give us good things, as we serve Him. When we see a friend or colleague receive a blessing, why cannot we shout out:  in faith towards heaven:NEXT!

next
In leadership, we study, and we quietly make decisions, set goals, and then pursue them, with fire, intensity, and bull dogged resolve!

I read this quote today along those lines, and it seems to fit here:

To protect against envious people, as you create things:

You have a brain and mind, use it, and reach your own decisions. If you need facts or information from other people to reach decisions as, as you probably will, in many instances, acquire these facts or secure the information you need quietly, without disclosing your purpose….
If you talk more than listen, you not only deprive yourself of many opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge, but also disclose you plans and purposes to people who take great delight in defeating you, because they ENVY you.
Genuine wisdom is usually conspicuous though modesty and silence…
TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU INTEND TO DO, BUT FIRST, SHOW IT! DEEDS BEFORE TALK!”
Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, p 195

Mr. Hill hit the nail on the head in this. (If you would like my thoughts on Mr. Hills 25 year study of leadership commissioned by Andrew Carnegie, from a Biblical standpoint, please read: (https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/leadership-the-fate-of-the-world-depends-upon-it/)

Napoleon-Hill

Unfortunately, it is a fallen world, and we cannot share our hearts, dreams, plans, or purposes, with everyone: sometimes, even those close to us, will take our designs and run with them.

I have had that happen in business a couple times, whereby we discovered and developed an innovative new product, then innocently showed it to some wealthy people, to try and solicit interest, only to have them take it from us, and produce it themselves, making the profits we should have obtained.

We forgive, and learn…

Make a commitment to growth!

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/learn-and-apply-something-new-today/

Not mere academic knowledge, but education of heart, in our spirit, through the Word of God.

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/the-word-of-god-shall-talk-with-thee/

I believe firmly, that academic knowledge, without corresponding development of the heart in morality, will simply produce intelligent criminals.

adolf

God would develop our whole person: spirit, soul (mind and intellect) and our body. (The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Leadership, can be spelled R-E-S-P-O-N-S-B-I-L-I-T-Y!

responsible
I think of the great Biblical leaders, and the responsibility they each faced:

Abraham: Had 400 employees directly working for him.
David: Incredible enemies, and the responsibility of managing and ruling an entire nation.
Moses: Led, provided for, and governed 3 million former slaves.
Joseph: Governed the nation of Egypt, but also looked after the food distribution of Egypt food stocks to not only Egypt, but also surrounding nations, during a famine he knew would last for 7 years, with enough strength of character and will, that the food supplies did not run out until the famine ended.

Sure, we can use these, and others, as great examples of faith, courage, prayer, etc, but what about the integrity, and responsibility they exercised before God, to lead in their spheres of influence, well.

Would to God, that we too, might grow in integrity before God, to do the same, for the betterment of humanity, not merely our own selfish desires!

We must commit to grow, the world depends upon it….

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, men look on the outward, You look upon the heart! Search me, cleanse me from envy, competition, pride, and my own selfish greed’s and ambitions, that I might, in purity of heart and purpose, grow, lead, and become the leader You have need of, in this, my generation. Educate my heart, Father, that my moral strength, become greater than my physical or mental abilities, that I might truly grow into becoming the person of excellence, you require. Prosper me Father, that You be glorified in my well being, as Your child. This, I ask, in Your precious name, Lord Jesus, Amen!’

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Leadership Development and Timing!

Leadership Development and Timing!

Leadership Development and Process!
Luke 12:42

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?

If we recognize that all authority, whether political or spiritual comes from God, we, as growing leaders determined to perform the perfect will of God for our lives, and the lives of those we lead, find ourselves, constantly, humbly, praying, seeking His face for wisdom, and studying to learn how to do things better

.kneel

John 13:NIV
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Down is Up in God’s Kingdom.

Seems that the heart of true leadership, is the call to honestly love and serve God’s people. As we grow in grace and humility, it is only so that we can do more to empower, equip, prosper, educate, disciple, heal, and love the people God has called us to lead.pour

Mark 9:35 The Voice (VOICE)
It is only natural for the disciples to wonder which of them will be His right-hand man. Even the three disciples who have just seen Jesus’ glory revealed in the transfiguration cannot resist the attraction of honor. After all, who has a better claim than they do to being the greatest of Jesus’ disciples?
Fortunately Jesus overhears what is said and is quick to respond in mercy to correct their mistake. Greatness in His eyes doesn’t consist of seeing wonders or performing miracles or even fasting and praying. Instead, greatness is about humility and service. These are the heart of the kingdom of heaven.

servant-king
35 He sat down with the twelve to teach them.
Jesus: Whoever wants to be first must be last, and whoever wants to be the greatest must be the servant of all.
As I am reading, yet another book on leadership, learning, growing, developing, and allowing my weaknesses of character and understanding to be exposed, and rebuilt upon the impregnable foundation of the Word of God, I read this quote, that prompted the writing of this article.

‘A new moral principal is emerging which holds that only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader. Those who choose to follow this principal will not casually accept the authority of existing institutions. Rather, they will freely respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants.’

Servant Leadership, A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, Robert K Greenleaf

Perhaps humility and servant-hood are new concepts in the business world, but they are not new to the kingdom of God. Seems that down is up in the kingdom, for God gives grace, that is power, authority, wisdom, and influence, to the humble…

2 Corinthians 8:9
You know the grace that has come to us through our Lord Jesus the Anointed. He set aside His infinite riches and was born into the lowest circumstance so that you may gain great riches through His humble poverty.

promotion
The riches of heaven come to us, because God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, not only humbled Himself to become a man, Christ Jesus, but then emptied Himself of every earthly rank, position, and privilege, and accepted a beggars death upon the cross, that the wrath, the judgment, the punishment each of us deserve, might be poured upon Himself. God within God, doing the infinite, that we, the finite, might be reconciled, to Him.

As leaders, we become shepherds, called of God to lead, feed, and protect God’s people, as they grow in their particular gifts and callings.

1 Peter 5: 2 When you shepherd the flock God has given you, watch over them not because you have to but because you want to. For this is how God would want it not because you’re being compensated somehow but because you are eager to watch over them. 3 Don’t lead them as if you were a dictator, but lead your flock by example; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will be crowned with honor that will shine brightly forever. 5 You who are younger in the faith: do as your elders and leaders ask. All of you should treat each other with humility, for as it says in Proverbs, God opposes the proud
but offers grace to the humble.[a]  6 So bow down under God’s strong hand; then when the time comes, God will lift you up. 7 Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.
humility1
Humility is rarely a virtue that our culture values. We’re trained from an early age to show our strengths and hide our weaknesses. This type of thinking also spills over into our models of leadership, as we learn to dictate to others how they should perform.

Peter, however, says that we should be humble in our relationships with one another and not lead as dictators. In fact, this humility before one another and God is actually the position of the greatest strength. Our enemy desires to consume us, but we find strength to resist him when we are dependent upon God for His strength.

These verses bring me great comfort, as I daily prepare for the calling and task before me:

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

When I saw Sadhu Sundar Singh in Europe, he had completed a tour around the world. People asked him, Doesn’t it do harm, your getting so much honor?” The Sadhu’s answer was: “No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me, but the Lord, who does the job.”

Corrie Ten Boom, Each New Day

In the quote, that prompted this article, I am reminded of this verse:

Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

willing
There is, I believe, a day of God’s power, an unveiling of a masterpiece, whereby God Himself, sets in the public eye, a leader that He may have been preparing secretly, for many decades. For those of us in that divine development process, this verse should again bring comfort:

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
integrity

In order to be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence. Hence the supreme quality of a leader is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, on a football field, in an army, or in an office. If a man’s associates find him guilty of phoniness, if they find that he lacks forthright integrity, he will fail. His teachings and actions must square with each other. The first great need, therefore, is integrity and high purpose.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bits & Pieces, September 15, 1994, p. 4

There is a set time, and appointed time for the release of our gift into the earth. Perhaps, like me, you clearly see that the time is close, and appears to be, NOW! Yet, despite the incredible vision God has given you, and the personal promises He has spoken to you, the time, is yet for an appointed time.

Habakkuk 2
King James Version (KJV)
2 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

faith
Daily, we seek Him, set upon our watch, listening carefully for what He might speak to us, carefully documenting and writing the vision, yet though we press for it in faith, it is for an appointed time, and there is nothing we can do to make it happen any quicker, so, if we are wise, we diligently prepare…

Ps 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

The very promises of God, spoken to your heart, are testing and trying you.

You are not testing the word of God – it is testing you!
test ready
Notice this verse though. Before Joseph was brought from the prison to the palace, the Sovereign judgments of God were in the earth. Joseph was tried, trained, and prepared in the brutal circumstances of an Egyptian prison, yet the hardness worked a work in Joseph, causing him to become a strong leader, in what for Egypt, were some brutal times.

Brutal times are again coming to the earth, in many nations. I think of my years as a missionary, working underground in a mine, on boats, in the competitive field of triathlon, in construction.

There have been tough times, brutal people and circumstances, hard things that have happened.

Yet, over the decades, in places often far from the comforts of the familiar, of family, of friends, I have met Jesus, and walked with Him, daily now, for many, many years.

As much as I love my family, my church, my country, and now this country I am called to, I love Jesus more, and know Him….He has been totally faithful, no matter what people or circumstances have done to me…He is faithful to you too!

call1
Let’s pray:
‘Father, keep me focused upon my purpose, Your personal promises to me and my family. May I not become distracted, discouraged, dismayed as I stay in the press towards the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. May I lead, and develop as a servant leader, daily, determined to grow, develop, seek, hear, and walk in holiness, without compromise, flying straight and true, to the calling You have placed upon my life, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen!’

Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

Commitment
Philippians 1:21
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
The Bohemian reformer John Hus was a man who believed the Scriptures to be the infallible and supreme authority in all matters. He died at the stake for that belief in Constance, Germany, on his forty-second birthday. As he refused a final plea to renounce his faith, Hus’s last words were, “What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood.”
Source Unknown.
Ever notice that to try something out, is easy. To fully commit, and go for it, takes everything you’ve got. Couple of years ago, I experienced a mild stroke driving home from work. Blacked out at the wheel on the highway. Amazingly, I came to on the grassy median between the four lanes. Called my wife, and headed into a walk in clinic to discover what had happened. Blood pressure 200/150 meant I needed some meds, and to make some radical life changes in work, diet, exercise, and had to learn a whole new way of living. For a year or so, I simply worked on getting to the gym four times a week, drinking water instead of soft drinks, energy drinks, and gallons of coffee each day, and to add fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods back into my life, instead of simply driving through whatever was close to the job, and chowing down on the meal deal of the day.
Then, I was introduced to P90X! Thought I would do the 90 day gig with my wife just to humor her, and after a day or two was so sore I could hardly move. Tried to start it again with fresh resolve, but man, that program is tough! So, I sat down, read through the program, bought the vitamins, and recovery drink, and then aggressively decided to nail the diet down. This time, I committed!
Took everything I had, but I finished the 90 days! Lost 40 lbs, and bench pressed 315lbs for the first time in my life. Not bad for a 50 year old man! Ended up doing the program 2 more times over the next year and a half, and even ran a bunch of 5km runs. (Now, 2 years later, I need to get back into it…)
Read this quote today, and thought about my radical commitment to Jesus and His calling upon my life:
Suffering is the heritage of the bad, of the penitent, and of the Son of God. Each one ends in the cross. The bad thief is crucified, the penitent thief is crucified, and the Son of God is crucified. By these signs we know the widespread heritage of suffering.
Oswald Chambers in Christian Discipline.
In this life, there are things we go through that are hard. Yet, when we are strong, they are less difficult..usually.
In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of 413 “famous and exceptionally gifted people” called Cradles of Eminence. They spent years attempting to understand what produced such greatness, what common thread might run through all of these outstanding people’s lives. Surprisingly, the most outstanding fact was that virtually all of them, 392, had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to become who they were.
Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 134.
Today’s exhortation is for those of us in the fight. Perhaps this is the long dark night of your soul. Today, I am fighting a health challenge and some personal struggles that are excruciating…Yet, I am not dead, therefore I will not quit!
On a wall in his bedroom Charles Spurgeon had a plaque with Isaiah 48:10 on it: “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” “It is no mean thing to be chosen of God,” he wrote. “God’s choice makes chosen men choice men…We are chosen, not in the palace, but in the furnace. In the furnace, beauty is marred, fashion is destroyed, strength is melted, glory is consumed; yet here eternal love reveals its secrets, and declares its choice.”
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, p. 223.
Are you in the furnace today? The place where all of our vanity, strength, and foolishness gets destroyed in the flames, and what emerges is the pure gold character of a sanctified life, fully committed to Jesus, with power from heaven that clearly demonstrates to all, that Jesus is fully committed to us….
I still drink coffee in the morning. Thought about quitting, but it brings back many good memories on cold mornings before work, where dad and I would take a fresh loaf of bread out of the bread maker, and drink a pot of coffee together, as we headed out the door in the dark before work. Guess I could quit, but I like my coffee. As I looked at my cup, I saw this quote, and it seems to fit my rambling today:
A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.
Mildred Witte Struven, in Bits and Pieces, September 19, 1991, p. 6.
I still remember crossing the Atlantic under sail, aboard a 65 schooner named ‘The Illusion’, when I was 21. We were determined to cross the ocean, fully under sail, and 26 days after leaving Key West, Florida, we heard the welcome sound of ‘land ahoy’ as we approached the Azores islands off of Portugal. As the youngest crew member, I always drew night watch, and so we would set our heading, and under the star lit night, swish through the waves in the darkness. Yet, there would come Venus, the one sailors call ‘the morning star’, in the deepest darkness of the night. When we saw her, we knew that soon, the sky would begin to glow, from black, to deep blue, to orange, before the sunrise lit the horizon each day. I remember the dread, and sense of responsibility that I felt, as I struggled to stay awake, and on course as the safety of the other seven sleeping crew members was in my young hands, and the old saying took on new meaning for me:
‘The hour is always darkest before the dawn..’
I am not sure who I am writing for today, but I know it for someone…Don’t give up on your dream!
Let’s pray:
‘Father, You see us, You know where we are at, and how we feel, and Lord Jesus, You are touched by the feelings of our weaknesses. Yet, You are with us. You will never leave us, nor forsake us. Bring Your encouragement, your gentle whispers to our heart that we so need to hear today, that we, straight as an arrow, would fly true to the mark of the high calling upon our lives, without compromise. Cause us to hear, and do, Your perfect will today, Amen!’