Do we begin again to commend ourselves?… (2 Corinthians 3:1)
Paul’s focus was not on what he could get now, but on what would be his in eternity—
Our prayer could be very similar to what Paul taught and probably prayed for himself—“May I lead by serving. May I not look for human praise—nor even be tempted to toot my own horn—but lead and minister only to hear applause from the nail-scarred hands of Jesus.”
As R.T. Kendall reminds us—
“Every day we breathe in and out—in and out—thousands of times a day. There is a day fixed, that unless Jesus comes first, you and I will only breathe out. No amount of money, power, or prestige can alter the date that we each have with death. And at that moment the only thing that will matter is whether we have known Christ and served Him well—that our lives have made a difference. In short: that we are popular in heaven—and famous in hell.”
This is part 37 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts in this series by clicking here.
The psalmist says this in every single verse of Psalm 136.
Get the point? Just in case you missed it—
God’s Promises by Jack Countryman is a wonderful resource to help you use the Bible to enhance your prayer life and build your faith. Check out my full review of this fantastic book by clicking here.
“Each day we can look forward to God’s Spirit going before, clearing the way, leading the path, and giving us the guidance we need. … But God doesn’t stop at mere survival. He doesn’t just satisfy and strengthen. Though there will be difficulties and times of drought in our lives, God guides us to His living waters. He enables us to flourish ‘like a watered garden,’ where His blessings always bloom.” [Isaiah 58:11]
“When life darkens our door with its troubles and trials, satan wants nothing more than for us to feel forsaken and alone—but we are not! God stands by our side; He guides, counsels, and comforts. Rest assured, no matter what you face in the coming year, nothing can separate you from the love of your Father (Romans 8:38-39). Therefore walk boldly into each new day, knowing that you follow the footsteps of the One who never leaves you.” [Deuteronomy 31:8]
“Troubles are never pleasant at the time, but they quickly turn into tools when entrusted to God. Our Lord will take our times of troubles and trials—even the hard feelings we experience in them—then use them to teach us to fully rely on Him and His provision.” [Psalm 138:7]
“Our God is a loving God, but He isn’t Santa Claus or a genie in a bottle. Our God loves to give good gifts, but in His economy the best gifts are not tangible or material. Yes, our God feels compassion when we hurt, but He still allows hardships into our lives that will refine our character and strengthen our faith. Against the backdrop of these truths, we can better understand the often-misread statement that God will give us the desires of our hearts. The real promise of this verse is that, as we pray, read His Word, and grow closer to the Lord, He will change our hearts so that what we desire for ourselves is what He desires for us.” [Psalm 37:4]
“Mercy. We don’t deserve it. We haven’t done—can’t possibly do—anything to earn it. And yet we are promised that this unbelievably lavish gift is ours when we choose to follow Jesus. Why? Why would such a perfect and powerful God gives such a gift to ones so undeserving? He tells us in Titus 3:4: because of ‘the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man.’ And He not only gave us mercy, He also ‘poured out on us abundantly’ His own Spirit, to live and work within us, making us more and more like the Savior who died to save us.” [Titus 3:4-6]
“Our God is not some fickle, capricious, changeable sort of God. He does not search out ways to be angry or displeased with His people. In fact, He so wants to be pleased with us that He gave us the example of His Son to follow.” [Ephesians 5:2]
“When our burdens and sorrows seem too heavy for us to bear, God offers to carry them for us, inviting us to cast them upon Him (Psalm 55:22). And when the sorrow is so great that we feel we cannot put one foot in front of the other, God gives us this promise: ‘I will carry you; I will sustain you’ (Isaiah 46:4).”
“Perhaps nothing is as devastating as being betrayed by someone you love and trust. Know that Jesus—betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter—fully understands. He will enable you to recover. The key, as hard as it is, is to pray for that person and ask God to bless him or her. When you pray to God—and you may have to do this again and again—you release the anger and disappointment that come with being betrayed. It is difficult to despise someone you lift up in prayer. And though retaliating is a natural response, it’s not a godly one. Praying is always the best option. Allow the Lord to receive your hurt and to replace it with His peace.” [Psalm 3:4, 6]
“When we place our faith in Christ, the stormy seas of our lives—churned up by our own sins—are stilled. And while the storms may still rage around us in this sin-plagued world, they do not rage within us. That does not mean our troubles and tribulations are over, but it does mean we can rest in knowing God will see us through them.” [Romans 5:1]
As Dr. Les Parrott presented the five ways Jesus showed His love to us, he supported his thoughts with some insightful quotes from other authors. Check out my full book review of Love Like That by clicking here.
“If you stop to be kind, you must swerve often from your path.” —Mary Webb
“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.” —C.S. Lewis
“Pride is our greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.” —John R.W. Stott
“Jesus was the Man for others.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Jesus was able to love because He loved right through the layer of mud.” —Helmut Thielicke
“They that know God will be humble; they that know themselves cannot be proud.” —John Flavel
“Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.” —Wilson Kanadi
“Mercy gave the Prodigal Son a second chance. Grace gave him a feast.” —Max Lucado
“Christ accepts us as we are, but when He accepts us, we cannot remain as we are.” —Walter Trobisch
“Jesus did not identify the person that with his sin, but rather saw in this sin something alien, something that really did not belong to him, something…from which He would free him and bring him back to his real self.” —Helmut Thielicke
“While every other religion offers a way to earn approval, only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.” —Philip Yancey
“Judgmentalism finds its identity in what is not. … Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scale.” —Byron Langenfeld
“To love a person means to see him as God intended him to be.” —Fyodor Dostoevsky
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” —Anne Lamott
“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” —Flannery O’Connor
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” —John F. Kennedy
“We often err not because we find it hard to perceive the truth (it is often right there, at the surface), but because it is easier and more pleasant to be guided by our feelings, especially if self-centered.” —Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“A ‘no’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” —Mahatma Gandhi
“Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply.” —Henri Nouwen
Check out some of Dr. Parrott’s quotes from Love Like That which I shared here.