If I may ask, where is your heart resting? Or should I ask, who is your God? Many of us would be quick to answer, JESUS!... But do you really mean that from the core of your heart? Is your response based on personal experience/encounter with Jesus or just a shallow response that had been passed down from one religion to another? If our hearts rests in the One True God, why are there many of us who do nothing but complain daily? Some work day and night and do everything it takes (ex. Hollywood hopefuls) just to make sure they're big (glittery) dreams are fulfilled. How about those that mock God because they didn't get what they asked for (material or supernatural)? They resort to selling their souls to the devil thinking that by doing so, they will have no use for God. And how about some who thinks they are better than their brothers/neighbors? Sadly, this is true even in the Church. The truth is, not even believers (Born-again, John 3:3) are excused from carnal mindedness. But unlike the people of the world, we are not in bondage to it. We always have a choice to walk away from the dictates of the flesh. The question is, are we going to make the right choice? For if we truly know the God we serve, we would recognize/discern the works/footprints of the enemy. Unlike unbelievers, we could ask the help of the Holy Spirit to keep our focus solely on what Jesus did at the Cross and rid us of our focus on ourselves (including every self-seeking ambition/dreams) and looking at other people's success/failures. Jesus warned us in Matthew 6:19-25, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
You see, when we turn our focus on something else other than the Cross of Jesus Christ, we build ourselves a pagan altar that worships another god. The first and greatest commandment foundational to other divine laws spoken by Jesus in Mark 12:29-30 tells us, "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." If we love Him, we will consider loving our neighbors as ourselves for that is what He requires of us. We would treat them fairly the way we want to be treated. To truly love God is to experience Him through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (our Savior). It is only possible through faith in His finished work (death, burial and resurrection) at the Cross and is perfected by our obedience to His Word. Any other thing we place out trust and life into above God (examples: family, friends, boyfriend, fame, talent, strength, riches, beauty, careers, personality, power, influence and every kind of material things) is an "IDOL" that will lead us into destruction both now and forever.
As I draw closer to God daily, the less attracted I am of the world. He's teaching me to see everyone as my co-worker in the ministry and strips me of pride, envy or comparison. He helps me to see that each believer has been given a talent and purpose (unique from others) that He wants us to use at each appointed time, based on His leading. In big or small task, He looks at the motives of our hearts and our willingness to obey His direction. If God calls us to humility and servant hood, why do we see a pecking order or hierarchy in many Churches today? Aren't we all equal members of the Body of Christ? All of us are valuable, none is less than the other. Yes, there should be reverence for the office appointed to us in leadership but these leaders must not think highly of themselves by encouraging their congregation to treat them like "rock stars." Unlike the world, "leadership" in the Kingdom of God means "servant-hood." We need not look any further than the pure example of Jesus, Himself! In all my readings of the Scripture, I have never seen Jesus clamor for attention, demand the nicest seat in the house, nor desired to hang out with the wealthy and influential. On the other hand, The Bible showed us how Jesus, Son of God served people---from washing the feet of His disciples to ultimately giving His life for all of humanity. I am not saying that it's wrong to hang out with influential people but when we do, we should ask ourselves this: "Why are we doing what we are doing? Is it truly for God or for our own personal benefit?" We need to be honest with ourselves as nothing is hidden from God. I believe that if we keep ourselves in constant check, we will be a true "Service-Oriented Leader" than a "Self-advancing kind of leader." In closing, let me leave you with The Word of God in Romans 12:3 which says, "For by the grace given me (Paul) I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." My Life Application Bible supported this verse with this wonderful explanation I needed to share. It says: "Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. The key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth---our identity in Christ. Apart from Him, we aren't capable of very much by eternal standards; in Him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God's eyes.
For this Card, I used images from Mama Elephant that I colored using Touch Five markers, sentiments from Studio G and the main sentiment from Stampabilities. I did quite a bit of inking for my background using Distress Inks. The cloud template was something I created and used before and I also added some Liquid Pearls (White Opal) for added dimension. Attached a small piece of ribbon from my stash and this project is done. I was inspired to create this interactive card after watching a VIDEO from Darlene DeVries. Go ahead and try it yourself. It's kinda fun!
BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD
BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD WHEN PULLED
BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD INSIDE
BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Crafting with an Attitude---ATG
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Creates and Makes---ATG
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends---ATG
Crafting with Dragonflies---Use your Stash + Bling
Crazy 4 Challenges---Layer It Up
ITD's Creative Playground---ATG
There you have it, folks! Don't miss the fun by joining our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create. Can't wait to see what fabulous projects you're going to highlight this week. Realize that when your heart is right with God, He will use you mightily to lead others in Godly humility.