Friday, February 24, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 19

A Heart That Shows It Cares
1 Corinthians 15:58 ~ Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Learn to Reach Out
Again and again Jesus tells us to give-to give to everyone (Luke 6:30); to give hoping for nothing in return (verse 35); to give in the generous way God, who is kind to the unthankful and evil, gives (verse 35); and to care for others by giving (verse 38).

  • Your presence and sometimes a single touch are worth a thousand words
    • When it comes to reaching out, remember this principle of ministry: 
      • Your very presence is a source of comfort.
      • Your touch an bring comfort far greater than words.
  • Be a giver
    • we can give a smile, greeting, warm question, touch, hug, and name (always use the person's name!)
  • Be bold
    • be bold and give to the people God places in your path.  If, however, you find yourself avoiding a certain person, ask God to show you why.  
    • Sin in our hearts-hearts meant to overflow with care for others-keeps us from being confident in our relationships.  So find out what is going on-or not going on- in your heart that's hindering your ministry.
  • Become a generous soul
    • Don't just give, but give liberally, cheerfully, bountifully, hilariously, extra, above and beyond (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
    • Who can I give to today?
    • Who, Lord, is in need?
    • How can I bless others with what You have blessed me with?
  • Determine to withhold nothing
    • Proverbs 3:27 exhorts us, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so."  
    • What are some of the good things "in the power of your hand"?
      • praise
      • encouragement
      • thanks
      • a greeting
      • kindness
      • good deeds
      • a note of appreciation
Learn to Look Out
  • Develop a "generous eye"
    • People all around us need a tender word--or more.
    • Do you see why you and I must be developing and overcoming selfish tendencies?  That way we can give to others.
  • Be direct
    • Whenever you see a person in need, be direct.  Walk straight up to the wounded sheep and see what she needs and what you can do.
    • Don't hope someone else comes along.  Don't run looking for the pastor.
    • God has allowed you to find this person in need.  Now allow your heart to overflow with care.
Go to Give

Missionary and martyr Jim Elliot once said, "Wherever you are, be all there.  live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."
  • Be all there
    • While I'm at Bible study, I don't want to be thinking about what I'm going to fix for dinner that night.  
    • During my pastor's message, I don't want to be planning my week. 
    • I don't want to be concerned about what happened before I got there or what will happen after the event.
    • I want to be all there.
  • Live to the hilt!
    • Not only do I want to be all there, but I want to also live each moment to the hilt.
    • As long as you're there, as long as you've given an evening or a morning to an event or Bible study or worship service, give totally.
    • Minister to as many people as you can in as many ways as you can.
  • Divide and conquer
    • Agree with your closest girlfriends, mother, or daughter not to sit together, walk together, share coffee time together, or visit.
    • Remember, you came to give!
    • You'll find yourself doing a lot of receiving--you'll find yourself quite blessed--as you let God use you in this way!
Develop Your Prayer Life
  • A woman after God's own heart is a woman who prays.
  • Her heart naturally overflows in prayer as well as care.
  • Since praying for people is a powerful way to care for them, you and I should want to join with God in a ministry of prayer, a ministry that makes a huge difference in people's lives.
  • Prayer isn't easy!
  • It's definitely a discipline, but it's also a ministry that flows from a full heart.
  • Three decisions can help you place yourself before God so He can fill your heart with concern for others.
    • Determine a time
    • Determine a place
    • Determine a plan
    • These practical steps enable us to fulfill God's desire that we be "praying always...with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

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