Showing items filed under “Alane Pearce”

Laying Down Your LIfe

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Greater love has no one than this:
to lay down one's life for one's friends.

(John 15:13) 


The greatest love is to lay down your life for your friends.

Certainly we aren't called to die for our friends...are we?

Well, yes. We are.

If we mean to show the love of Jesus to the world then we must die!

We must die to self. 

We must lay down our own lives -- set aside our prejudices, our rights, and our own desires -- for a better way. 

A way of love. 

There is no other option in Scripture.

If we want to live we must die to the desire to put ourselves first. 

We must lay down our busy lives for our friends...

  • We can lay down our To Do List and help a friend in need. 
  • We can turn off Netflix and be with our neighbors to start relationships. 
  • We can set aside our prejudices and instead show empathy and share God's love. 

Laying down your life and helping someone else pick up theirs is the beginning of a relationship that shows the love of Jesus. 

Laying down your life and helping someone else pick up theirs is the beginning of a relationship that shows the love of Jesus. 

And in case you were wondering, God has equipped you to lay down your life. He has equipped you to share his love. He has even put someone in your life who needs to know about Jesus. 

What are you going to do?

Love has called your name and gifted you. Love is sending you and offering you the greatest joy of eternity--leading the lost home. Love asks you to lay down your life.

For whom will you lay it down? Who will you lead home?

Your Story : Your Witness


But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

(1 Peter 3:15 ESV) 


Most of us claiming the resurrection of Christ act like we don’t have a story to tell. We might think we can’t be a witness for Jesus because our story isn’t “good enough.”

That is simply not true.

A witness is an "attestation of fact, event, etc., from personal knowledge;” (source) Witnessing has nothing to do with our goodness, or our imperfections. Each of us can speak with authority based on our personal knowledge of the situation.

Personal knowledge is an important element of a Christian witness. And personal knowledge is something God promises us as we pursue a relationship with him.

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)

What is your personal knowledge of Jesus? What is your personal knowledge of the hope that Jesus’ resurrection gives to you? This is your story. This is what you can share.

As a Jesus follower you have personal knowledge of what Jesus has done in your life. You have personal knowledge of how Jesus changes your heart. You have personal knowledge about why you trust him. You have a story about giving up your life and following after him.

Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic. It certainly won’t be like anyone else’s story because you’re unique. But you do have a story...a story about the day you invited Jesus into your heart...a story about how he reveals himself to you. This is what we must share.

Have you prayed prayers and seen answers? This is your witness. 

Have you seen miracles - even small ones? This is your testimony.

Have you seen Jesus revealed in and around you? This is your story.

Your witness, your testimony of fact from personal knowledge and relationship with Jesus, is your story about how Jesus is real to you. 

No one can refute it.

As a disciple you must share it.


And God will use it to bring glory to himself.

 


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Why Jesus Matters

 

Be like the Son of Man.
He did not come to be served.
Instead, he came to serve others.
He came to give his life as the price for setting many people free.

(Matthew 20:28 NIRV)

 

What does it mean that Jesus came to Earth? That he laid down his heavenly Glory, and stepped into the world as a baby. To grow and live. To follow God with every breath, every step. To show us the way.

The way of love.

The way of peace.

The way of joy.

Do you know the love of Jesus? A love so deep that he calls you brother. The love that put you first when he gave his life for you so you could be with him for all eternity.

Do you know the peace of Jesus? The peace that passes all understanding. The peace that covers you when everything is chaos. The peace that breathes, “Be still, I AM.”

Do you know the joy of Jesus? The joy of knowing you are a child of the King. The joy of knowing that if God is for you nothing can stand against you. The joy of a fellowship with God that gives you purpose and passion.

If you don't know these things, you can when you get to know Jesus. When you decide that your way is inadequate and the only way to really have life is by allowing Jesus to lead your every step.

If you know Jesus, it’s time to act. Time to make it real. Time to share this love, this peace, this joy, with a world that is broken and hurting; a world that needs to know how much Jesus loves them.

How will you share Jesus with the world in 2017?

 


Do you want a devotional like this one delivered to your inbox once each week? Sign up for the Weekly Life Lifters here, and be encouraged and inspired for a deeper relationship with Jesus. 

Putting Jesus First

Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 NLT)

Putting Jesus First...What does it mean? What does it look like?

Jesus said that in order to be his follower, we must deny ourselves (turn from our selfish ways), and take up our cross daily.

Deny yourself—everything in your life has to be less important than Jesus. This includes what you want: for Christmas, to happen next year, in your job, and for your family.

Take up your cross daily—that means you must make a daily decision to deny yourself. Not just once on the day you receive him, but every day. Make your wants, your goals, your rights, your thoughts, and your actions secondary to what Jesus wants for you to do and to be.

Putting Jesus first.

It’s the easiest thing to understand and the hardest thing to do.

Putting Jesus first means wanting him so much that everything else is secondary. It means actively seeking him every day. It’s not living in a passive way. It’s not making “good Christian decisions” and calling it a day. It’s not even about “What Would Jesus Do.”

It’s about “What Will You Do” to submit to Jesus.

Are you intentional about seeking him? About reading the Word? About prayer?

Are you willing to give him the reins to your life—to let him decide where you will go and what you should do? Do you bring him into every action and every thought? Do you ask him how he wants you to spend your days? Who to befriend? Whom to help?

When you seek Jesus’ input through prayer and Scripture, you put him first. Your life becomes a daily conversation with him—a journey that flows out of relationship, which is so much more fulfilling than anything you could come up with.

Put. Jesus. First. Every day.

5 Reasons to Serve

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Serving is not about waiting tables at church. But it is about sharing food, handing out coffee, giving a smile, and using your skills and gifts to help, encourage, and support the people around you.

Serving is about volunteering your time and talents to fill a need. If you are an extrovert you can do this in a visible way like being a greeter, working in the nursery, or leading a group or class. If you prefer to work “behind the scenes” you can volunteer in the office, use your skills for the creative team or in the office, or by working in other non-public ways. You can volunteer for Impact Projects or help with ministries…there is always a need to fill using the gifts God gave you. 

Beyond knowing that there is a need, why volunteer for the church?

  1. God has Gifted You
    As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10 ESV)

    You were created by God on purpose, for a special purpose. You are where you need to be, you are who you need to be. God has designed work for you to do so you can be his hands, his feet, his love, to a hurting and needy world. Whatever it is that you know how to do is exactly what your community needs you to share with them.

  1. Service Demonstrates your Faith
    In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17 NIV)

    Taking action by choosing to share your gifts to encourage and help others demonstrates that you have been changed by Jesus. Before we realize God’s love, we are self-centered and self-serving. But Jesus isn’t like that. Jesus cared for and served others—even as he died on the cross. If we have truly been touched by the love of Jesus, we will also want to be like him in service to others.

  1. Serving Blesses - Both You and the Recipient
    He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)

    Encouragement and healing go hand in hand. As we encourage others they find healing, and we see God working so we are encouraged. This is why people who go on mission trips say they came home feeling like they went to be a blessing and came home blessed beyond measure.


  2. Serving Helps us Share the Love of Jesus
    Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. (Isaiah 58:10 NIV)

    We are called to share the love of Jesus with the world around us. But the fact is, it’s hard to reach a heart when someone has a physical or emotional need. You can’t cure physical thirst with only a testimony of Jesus’ love. If someone is thirsty, it’s better to give them a cup of water to quench their thirst first. Then they will be able to hear the message of God’s love. This is serving which leads to sharing the love of Jesus.


  3. Serving is Good for You
    Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38)

    Volunteering is so good for the mind and body that it can ease symptoms of stress and depression. It gets you out of your own head and doing something to better the world around you. Tapping into your gifts and passions builds self-confidence, energy, and strength. Serving others can also be the best distraction from our own worries.


There are so many places where you can use your gifts at Severn Run!

If you aren’t serving, maybe it’s time to start. Volunteer an hour, a day, a week. Help out a need. Do a project. You can even volunteer from home!

Here’s how to find a place to serve at Severn Run:

  1. Pray and ask God how he wants you to serve
  2. Go to severnrun.com/serve
    --Read through the serving opportunities and choose one that fits your skill set
    --Or click the Categories arrow and choose a place to serve by ministry
  3. Click the blue title of the serving opportunity
  4. Learn more about the need
  5. Sign up by filling out the form at the bottom of the page

 

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