Audience of One
Scripture References: Prov. 29:25, Gal. 1:10, 2 Cor. 10:8
There is nothing wrong with our desire to be accepted, appreciated, and approved by other people. Without the affirmation of others we never fully blossom into our full potential. We can only become what God created us to be with the help of others. But as wonderful as it is, approval can be misused, abused, and confused. Don’t let the desire to please consume all your time, energy, and happiness. People-pleasing is the flip side of envy. Envy says, “I must be like you to be happy.” People-pleasing says, “I must be like BY you to be happy.”
Prov. 29:25 says, “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you.” God didn’t create you to fulfill the expectations of others. You were planned for God’s pleasure. 1 Thess. 2:4 NLT says, “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” In 2 Cor. 10:8 Paul said, “You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord’s approval.”
Remember that even God can’t please everyone.
Only a fool would try to do what even God can’t do. Jesus even said, “Woe, to you when all men speak well of you.”
Remember that you don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy.
Happiness is a choice. Instead of focusing on the unappeasable people of the world, refocus on Jesus, who accepts you unconditionally.
Remember that what seems so important now is only temporary.
1 John 2:17 says, “The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.”
Remember that God shaped you to be you, not somebody else.
In the end, God will not ask you why you weren’t like someone else. Instead, He is going to ask, “Did you fulfill the purpose I created you for?”
Lord, although others may encourage me, You are the only one that matters.
I live to please you and fulfill Your purpose for my life.
Examine my heart today.
Help me to identify and remove any impure motives.
I don’t need the approval of others to be happy.
You shaped me not to be somebody else, but to be me.
Help me to be the best version of myself today.
For your glory and honor, in Jesus’ Name.
Avoid Envy- The Enemy of Purpose
A heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones." (Prov. 14:30)
You cannot fulfill God’s purpose for your life if you envy the lives of others. While God created each of us with similar purposes, the way you fulfill those purposes is absolutely unique. God distinctively shaped you for a life unlike any others. Only you can be you. Only you can live the life God designed you to live. To attempt to be what you weren’t created to be always leads to frustration, fatigue, and failure.
In today’s world, where the web allows us to see how everyone else is living, we must guard against envy. Envy enters when we resent how God made others and reject how He made us. Asking questions of comparison about others will only distract your focus away from what God wants to do in your life and refocuses it on all that you don’t have.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
2 Cor. 10:12 says, “…When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.” Why is it foolish to compare yourself with others? Because you are incomparable! God doesn’t judge you for talents you don’t have or for opportunities you didn’t get. He will. Only evaluate your faithfulness by how you lived and what you did with what you were given. Are you doing what God created you to do? Are you making the most of what you’ve been given?
Celebrate God’s goodness to others.
Instead of resenting others, rejoice with them. Paul said, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Rom 12:15). This is difficult sometimes because we fear that there is only a limited supply of God’s goodness and grace. Remember Eph. 3:8 that says, “….this grace was granted and graciously entrusted: to proclaim to the Gentiles the unending (boundless, fathomless, incalculable, and exhaustless) riches of Christ.” Truly God’s supply cannot be exhausted. Learn to enjoy other people’s victories and you will always have something to be happy about.
Be Grateful for who you are and whatever you have.
1 Cor. 4:7-8 MSG says, “Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need.” Envy asks, “Why them” whereas gratitude asks, “Why me? Why do I get all that I have?” What you do is what matters most to God. God did not make a mistake when He gave your life purpose so be unique in who you are always being grateful to God.
Lord, thank you for making me unique from any other person on this earth.
May I live the life that you designed for me.
I will not compare myself to others knowing that you made me incomparable.
I will celebrate the victories in other people’s lives.
I will be grateful for who I am and for what I have.
You made me on purpose for Your purpose and I am thrilled with that.
Making a Difference
Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.”
Making a difference begins by you knowing that you were saved to serve and made for a mission. It means waking up each morning expecting God to work through you in fresh new ways. Making a difference requires you thinking in new ways and shifting your perspective and attitudes.
Think of Others
“Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too.” (Phil 2:4). When speaking with unbelievers, always be sensitive in your heart to the Holy Spirit as to their real spiritual needs. Through caring and listening with your heart, locate where others are at in their spiritual journey and do whatever it takes to bring them a step closer to knowing Jesus.
Pray for opportunities to witness. Ask for courage to speak up and the discernment to see an opportunity to plant a seed when it presents itself. In Paul’s ministry he said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” (1 Cor. 3:6-7). At the moment, you may not exactly know what your role is, but know that God is using you to accomplish your part in the harvest of another searching heart in God’s kingdom.
Maintain an eternal perspective. Instead of allowing rejection to affect you, allow your eternal perspective to encourage you knowing that people only have so long to accept God’s love and that your reward for sharing with others approaches quickly. It has been said that “you can’t take it with you,” but the Bible teaches that you can send it on ahead by investing in people who are going there. Paul told Timothy, “By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.” (1 Tim 6:19 LB).
Think Creatively to fulfill your commission.
Instead of focusing on excuses for why God cannot use you, expect Him to infuse you with His ability. God says, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jer. 1:7-8 NLT) In the same way that God used the dust of the earth to create man, God will use your availability and willingness to reach others if you will only let Him. The Great Commission is your commission, and doing your part is the secret to living a life of significance.
Lord, I want to make a difference in other’s lives by serving them.
Help me to change the way I think about others.
I will put others first in my thinking.
I will look for opportunities.
Use my part to make a difference in reaching others.
Never again will I doubt your ability to use me.
I will make a difference in other’s lives today, in Jesus’ Name.
What's Your Message
Have you ever thought that God wants to speak to the world through you? Paul said, “In Christ we speak the truth before God, as messengers of God.” Wake up to the fact that you have a storehouse of experiences that God wants to use to bring others into His family. That testimony is in you.
Your message includes your testimony.
This is the story of how Jesus made a difference in your life. In a courtroom, a witness isn’t expected to argue the case but rather, simply report what happened to them or what they saw. There is no other story just like yours, and there is nobody who can share it better than you. You may not be a bible scholar but you are the authority on your life and people cannot argue with personal experience, yours. Many who won’t accept the authority of the Bible will listen to a humble and personal story. As Paul said, “Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have, but answer in a gentle way and with respect.” (1 Peter 3:15-16 NCV)
Your message includes your life lessons.
Sharing the truths that God has taught you from experiences with him can help others as well. While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. Learning from one another is key. Prov. 25:12 TEV says, “A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than… jewelry made of the finest gold.”
Your message includes the good news.
In 2 Cor. 5:19, Paul said, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” This is the simple message that we must share with others any time the opportunity presents itself. The drive and passion to share the good news comes when we care for the unbeliever as much as God does. Your mission field is all around you so don’t miss the opportunities God is giving you every day. Then one day, someone will approach you in heaven and say, “Thank you. I’m here because you cared enough to share the Good News with me.”
Lord, speak through me to others today.
As your messenger, I will share the story of Jesus changing my life.
I will tell others about what you have done in my life.
I will share what lessons you have taught me.
And I will share the simple message of how you love them.
Help me to bring others into Your family today.
In Jesus’ Name.
Made for a Mission
God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. This assignment is called your mission. It’s two-fold: Your ministry is your service to believers while your mission is your service to unbelievers. Being a Christian includes being sent into the world as a representative of Jesus Christ. Jesus said,
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (Jn 20:21)
Jesus clearly understood his life mission on earth. At age twelve he said, “I must be about my Father’s business,” (Luke 2:49) and twenty-one years later, dying on the cross, He said, “It is finished.” (Jn. 19:30). Like bookends, these two statements frame a well-lived, purpose-driven life. Jesus completed His mission and we strive to do the same.
The mission Jesus had while on earth is now our mission because we are the Body of Christ. “Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.” (2 Cor. 5:18 TEV).
Your mission is a continuation of Jesus’ mission on earth.
“Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) These words of Jesus are not the Great Suggestion. Our mission is mandatory in God’s eyes.
Your mission is a wonderful privilege.
“God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him.” (2 Cor. 5:18 LB) What a privilege to work with God and represent Him in the earth.
Your mission has eternal significance.
Did you ever think that it’s more important than any job, achievement, or goal you will reach during your life on earth? The ripple effects of your mission will last forever while the impact of any secular job will not.
Fulfilling your mission will require you abandoning your agenda and accepting God’s agenda for your life. Instead of asking God to bless your efforts, hand God the blank assignment sheet of your life and ask Him to fill in the details. “Give yourselves completely to God—every part of you—for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes.” (Rom. 6:13 LB) If you will commit to fulfilling your mission in life no matter the cost, you will experience the blessing of God in ways that few people ever experience. You were made for a mission to live that way.
Lord, I realize that my life is a mission because Jesus sent me.
As a member of Jesus’ body, may my life matter today.
I take seriously the privilege of sharing Jesus with others.
I set aside what I want to do and pursue Your plan for my life today.
I join with you Lord to accomplish our mission together.
Servants of Excellence
If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done." (Eccl 11:4)
Do Your Best With What You Have
As we continue to improve our serve every day remember that servants don’t procrastinate or wait for better circumstances. They never say, “One of these days,” or “When the time is right.” Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.
Do Every Task with Equal Dedication
Col. 3:23 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…” Whether you feel specially called for a task or not, tackle it with all of your heart. Paul warned us, “If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” (Gal 6:3 NLT). Jesus specialized in menial tasks that others tried to avoid such as washing feet, helping children, fixing breakfast, and serving lepers. Nothing was beneath Him because He came to serve. Your servant’s heart will always be revealed in little acts that others don’t think of doing.
Servants finish their tasks and don’t leave a job half undone, quitting when they get discouraged. When you pass your daily tests of faithfulness, you will be in good company with people like Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Daniel, Timothy, and Paul - all of which were called faithful servants of God. Although you may retire from your career, you will never retire from serving God.
Servants don’t promote or call attention to themselves. Instead of acting to impress they put on the apron of humility, serving one another. Jesus said, “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matt 6:1 CEV). Paul labeled it as serving with “eye service.” Real servants don’t serve for the approval or applause of others. Instead, they live for an audience of One.
You may find yourself serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown and unappreciated. God put you there for a purpose so stay put until He chooses to move you. Don’t be surprised when God openly rewards some of His most obscure and unknown servants one day in heaven. Knowing this, don’t be discouraged when your service is unnoticed or taken for granted. Keep serving. As Paul said, “Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (1 Cor 15:58 MSG). In Matt. 10:42 Jesus said, “If, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will surely be rewarded.” Let’s serve with excellence and serve like Jesus.
Lord, help me not to put off the opportunity to serve others.
When I do serve, I will do it with all my heart.
I know that when I serve others, I am really serving you.
I will finish the job.
I will do my job humbly.
I will not try to impress others, because you are the only one that matters.
In Jesus’ Name.
Servants in Action
In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. Jesus, however, measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you. To be like Jesus is to be a servant. That’s what He called Himself.
Real servants are always available.
If you see a man fall into a ditch, God expects you to help him out, not say, “I don’t have the gift of mercy.” While you may not be gifted for a particular task, your ministry will always be serving others wherever you’re needed at the moment. Much like a soldier, a servant is always standing by for duty. “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Tim. 2:4 NASB). Real servants do what’s needed, even when it’s inconvenient. Are you available to God anytime? If you will remind yourself at the start of every day that you are God’s servant, interruptions won’t frustrate you as much, because your agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into your life.
Real servants see the needs.
When you see a need, see the moment to meet it. “Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.” (Gal 6:10 GW). Be on the look out for people that God puts right in front of you, opportunities to grow in servanthood. Some miss occasions to serve because they lack sensitivity and spontaneity. Great opportunities to serve never last long. They pass quickly and sometimes never return again. John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
Begin by looking for small tasks that no one else wants to do. Do these little things as if they were great things, because God is watching for servants in action.
Lord, I want people to see Jesus in me.
Help me to set aside “me” and what I want for the sake of others.
I make myself available to help others.
Help me to see the need and act.
I will not allow the good interruptions to help others pass me by today.
I will be sensitive and spontaneous today to help anyone in need.
In every moment and in every way, I will serve others today.
In Jesus’ Name.
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