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Seeking Advice

In 1 Kings 12, Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king. The people asked him to lighten the load that his father had put on them. He asked for time to talk to advisors and would answer. He went to his father’s advisors first. They agreed he should lighten the load so the people would be loyal. Then he went to his friends who were younger. They advised him to make things harder. He rejected the advice of the older people, and the nation revolted. The kingdom split in two and he only ruled a small portion of Israel.

We all need advice from time to time, even Solomon did. Who we listen to determines how life is going to go for us. Good advisors don’t just tell us what we want to hear. They give us wisdom and see things we can’t. The best advisors are people who are older than us because they’ve been down the road and know where the road bumps are. Ultimately, every decision we make is ours, and we have to bear the responsibility for those choices. So when you’re looking for advice, lay down your pride and get it from people who are wiser than you.

Here are some verses on getting advice.

1. Sensible people accept good advice. People who talk foolishly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 10:8 GNT

2. People who despise advice are asking for trouble; those who respect a command will succeed.

Proverbs 13:13 NLT

3. Without consultation and wise advice, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they are established and succeed.

PROVERBS 15:22 AMP

4. Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice.

Proverbs 12:15 MSG

5. Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.

Proverbs 13:10 NLT

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Don’t Give Up

Life is full of opportunities where it seems easier to just give up. Despite what you see on social media, everyone had challenges and things they face that push them to their limit. We all have a white flag of surrender that’s just itching to come out in certain situations, but there are no rewards in giving up. There is no growth in quitting. Proverbs reminds us that no matter how many times you and I get knocked down, we are to get back up. We must purpose in our hearts that we won’t be defeated and that we won’t give up or we’ll take the easy way out when it shows up.

Most of the time, our breakthrough is just beyond the point where we want to give up. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. It requires us to hang in there and stay engaged. As Ephesians 6 put it, after we’ve done everything, we should at least still be standing. When we continue to stand despite the set backs, despite the sucker punches, despite the news we receive, God honors that. Giving up is admitting defeat, but you and I fight from a place of victory that’s already been won.

Here are some verses on not giving up.

1. Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect GOD to get here soon.

Psalm 31:24 MSG

2. Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up.

Hebrews 12:3 GNT

3. Now Jesus was telling the disciples a parable to make the point that at all times they ought to pray and not give up and lose heart.

LUKE 18:1 AMP

4. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9 NLT

5. They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, “They’ll give up; they’ll never finish it.” I prayed, “Give me strength.”

Nehemiah 6:9 MSG

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Learning To Follow

In our world, there is so much emphasis on leading and so little on following. Even my young son wants to lead wherever we go. He wants to be out front leading the way. The problem is that He has no clue where we are going most of the time. That doesn’t change the fact that he wants to be out front. What he has to learn is that before he, or anyone, can be a good leader, they have to be a good follower first. If everyone is trying to lead, and no one is following, it creates chaos.

No one knows where your life is going better than God, yet for most of our life we are out front like my son trying to beat Him there. Thankfully God is patient with us as we learn to follow Him. As we get better at following Him, our prayers often change from “God, where are you taking me” to “God, would you please lead me?” If we want to know where He’s taking us, we’ll try to get out front again. If we want Him to lead us, then it doesn’t matter because we fully trust in His timing and destination for our lives.

Here are some Bible verses on following and leading.

1. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalms 139:24 NLT

2. I follow faithfully the road he chooses, and never wander to either side.

Job 23:11 GNT

3. The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me.

JOHN 10:27 AMP

4. He leads the humble in the right way and teaches them his will.

Psalm 25:9 GNT

5. Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

John 8:12 NLT

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The Importance Of Seeking

Several years ago, my then boss was near our office when she got caught in a flash flood. There was a thunderstorm sitting over us that was dumping huge amounts of rain. I went outside into the storm to push her car into the parking lot. At some point, I lost my wedding ring in the knee high waters. I spent more than an hour on my hands and knees in the middle of the storm trying to find my ring. I must have gone back and forth a more than a dozen times before I finally found it.

When the Bible uses the word “seek”, that’s what it’s talking about. It’s a relentless pursuit of something despite the obstacles, dangers or odds. It’s a single-minded focus that is determined to find something. The Bible mentions many thing we are to seek including God’s presence. How many times do we give up in our seeking because we don’t find it right away? God wants us to pursue Him and His righteousness until we’ve found Him. Don’t give up before you find what you’re looking for.

Here are some Bible verses on seeking.

1. Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

COLOSSIANS 3:1 AMP

2. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually [longing to be in His presence].

1 CHRONICLES 16:11 AMP

3. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

MATTHEW 6:33 AMP

4. This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.

JOHN 15:17 AMP

5. Seek and deeply long for the LORD and His strength [His power, His might]; Seek and deeply long for His face and His presence continually.

PSALM 105:4 AMP

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Soul Refreshing

Do you ever have those times where you’re spent emotionally, mentally and physically? It often happens when we’ve been worrying, waiting or stressed. You add all that together and it takes a toll on your mind and body. In those times, it doesn’t take much to make you emotional or to overreact to things. It’s human to have those moments, and I think it’s ok that we go through them, but we weren’t designed to live in that state.

When life is piling up and wearing you down, God offers to refresh us and renew us. However, we can’t get that refreshing by focusing on what’s going on in our lives. We get the refreshing from the water of God’s Word. When we put God’s Word into our hearts and minds, then meditate on it, we become refreshed because we start thinking of heavenly things. It gives us a new perspective and allows God to speak into our situation. His Word is an oasis in the deserts of life that we walk through. It’s up to us to stop and take a drink from it in order to be refreshed.

Here are some verses from the Bible on refreshing.

1. Hear my voice according to Your [steadfast] lovingkindness; O LORD, renew and refresh me according to Your ordinances.

PSALM 119:149 AMP

2. I will refresh those who are weary and will satisfy with food everyone who is weak from hunger.

Jeremiah 31:25 GNT

3. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25 NLT

4. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Psalm 19:7 NIV

5. You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, GOD is rock-firm and faithful. Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again. But I’m in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made Lord GOD my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do!

Psalm 73:25-28 MSG

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Unselfish Generosity

Organizations, teams, relationships and people groups function best when people look out for each other as much or more than themselves. Problems arise when people are selfish and trying to get their own instead of helping others succeed. A culture of selfishness breeds greed, distrust, back stabbing and division. It’s unhealthy and stunts growth. I believe that’s why one of the characteristics God desires for Christians to have is selflessness. It promotes growth, healing, unity and trust.

God’s desire for you and I is to help others in our journey through life. If you look around you, there are people in your life every day that need a word of encouragement, a helping hand, someone to share their burdens with or your time. If you haven’t seen them, you’re too busy being focused on your own needs. God gave us His selfless love and wants us to show selfless love to others so that we can point them to Him. If you struggle in this area, ask God to open your eyes to the needs of others and to help you show His love. If you pray that way, you’ll not only change the life of others, your life will change too.

Here are some Bible verses on unselfish generosity.

1. So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior–a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love.

EPHESIANS 4:1-2 AMP

2. And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity.

2 Corinthians 9:10 GNT

3. But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

Isaiah 32:8 NLT

4. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.

Luke 6:37-38 MSG

5. But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

GALATIANS 5:22-23 AMP

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Waiting Well

I’m not always a very patient person. I don’t like to wait whether it’s for food, technology to work or even when God is trying to do something. I want to rush things and make them happen. The problem is that like a Polaroid picture, God develops things in our life over time. We prefer an instant picture, but the best things God gives take time. We have to learn to wait instead of trying to rush it. I believe there are many moving pieces and there’s an exact right time for things to come together for things to work out exactly as planned.

Knowing that, i still act like Abram at times. When God told him his wife was going to have a baby, he rushed things. In his mind, he felt like his wife couldn’t get pregnant so he married her servant and got her pregnant. He didn’t wait very well for the promise and messed things up. God was still able to deliver His promise even though Abram had been impatient. Waiting is tough for any of us, but how we wait is important. When God makes a promise, we need to trust Him and His timing. Don’t rush things, but be prayerful. You are capable of waiting well.

Here are some Bible verses on waiting and having patience.

1. But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

GALATIANS 5:22-23 AMP

2. I waited patiently for the Lord ‘s help; then he listened to me and heard my cry.

Psalm 40:1 GNT

3. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalms 27:14 NLT

4. The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 GNT

5. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.

HABAKKUK 2:3 AMP

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