Search
Follow UPGRADE

   Member of AWSA

  Info about AWSA

 

[See their Bios on the Partners Page by clicking on the Blogger box, above]

     PARTNERS:

Lina AbuJamra

Sue Badeau

Dianne Barker

Twila Belk

Dr. Michelle Bengtson

Gail Bones

Harriet Bouchillon

Mary Carver

Jeanne Cesena

Pamela Christian

Lisa Copen

Erin Davis

Diane Dean

Deb DeArmond

Kelly DeChant

Danna Demetre

Melissa Edgington

Debbi Eggleston

Pat Ennis

Morgan Farr

Pam Farrel

Sally Ferguson

Liz Cowen Furman

Gail Goolsby

Sheila Gregoire

Kate Hagen

Doreen Hanna

Holly Hanson

Becky Harling

Debbie Harris

Nali Hilderman

Cathy Horning

Kathy Howard

Mary James

Priscilla Jenson

Lane P. Jordan

Rebecca Jordan

Ellie Kay

Maria Keckler

Sylvia Lange

Debby Lennick

Peggy Leslie

Kathi Lipp

Kolleen Lucariello

Kathi Macias

Paula Marsteller

Melissa Mashburn

Dianne Matthews

Cindi McMenamin

Elaine W. Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Lynn Mosher

Karen O'Connor

Yvonne Ortega

Arlene Pellicane

Ava Pennington

Laura Petherbridge

Gail Purath

Marcia Ramsland

Kaley Rhea

Rhonda Rhea

Vonda Rhodes

Cynthia Ruchti

Julie Sanders

Judy Scharfenberg

Deedra Scherm

Laurel Shaler

Joanie Shawhan

Stephanie Shott

Poppy Smith

Susan K. Stewart

Stacie Stoelting

Letitia "Tish" Suk

Jill Swanson

Janet Thompson

Janice Thompson

Teri Thompson

Brittany Van Ryn

Elizabeth Van Tassel

Leslie Vernick

Laurie Wallin

Julie Watson

Joan C. Webb

Shonda Savage Whitworth

Cherri Williamson

Kathy C. Willis

Debbie W. Wilson

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Jamie Wood

And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson

 

Entries in Well Done (2)

Wednesday
Aug282019

Whom Did Jesus Praise? Will He Praise You? (Part 2)

In Part 2 of this Spiritual Life UPGRADE, Dawn Wilson encourages us to consider some of the people Jesus praised while He was on earth.

Jesus might offer us words of praise, but we need to be praiseworthy.

In Part One of “Who Did Jesus Praise?” we saw the praise He shared with to those who would trust Him without “seeing” Him physically, a near relative (John the Baptist) who bravely took a stand against his culture and proclaimed the truth, and a disciple who proclaimed a powerful statement of faith.

In Part Two we will examine two others: a woman who stretched out her hand, and a woman who gave sacrificially… and we’ll think ahead to our praise in heaven!

Again, we’ll consider how we might win Jesus’ praise.

4. Woman touching the hem of Jesus garment

Luke 8:43-48 and Mark 5:21-24; 35-42 tell the story of a woman who had “an issue of blood” (for 12 years!) who touched Jesus’ garment, likely His outer cloak.

Though Jesus simply pointed to her simple act of faith—and He told her to “go in peace” and know that she would be freed from her suffering—a response of love that showed His great love for the woman.

The bleeding woman was fearful. Religious Jews felt it immodest and inappropriate to touch men in public. The woman was also ritually unclean (Leviticus 15:25-27). She could have faced serious consequences when she reached out to touch Jesus’ garment.

Yet she bravely reached out in her desperation.

She had lived for over a decade as an outcast socially and spiritually. So she took a huge risk. She touched the edge of His cloak (Matthew 9:20). This was a special area. Ritual tassels (tzitzit) were on the “corners” of the garment (Numbers 15:37-41).

The Messiah who would come, according to Malachi 4:2, would have “healing” in his wings. Jewish writings say these “wings” represent the four corners of garments with the “wings” or tzitzits. The woman grabbed for one of these wings, which would normally be a great affront to Him.

But Jesus’ response was gentle and loving (Mark 5:34). He told her to take heart, and in a sense, He was praising her fearful-yet-audacious faith. He wasn’t like the proud priests in His day; He was always focusing on the people’s redemption. Jesus was also unlike the Jewish men who did not see women as men’s equals. Paul clarified this when he said “there is neither male nor female,” because all are one in the Messiah (Galatians 3:28).

Like this woman, we need to be brave, bold, and reach out to the Lord to find healing and help in our own time of need. Jesus wants us to do this, and He would praise us when we do.

5. One Who Gave Her All

We find a story about a special, sacrificial woman in Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4.

Nothing was hidden from Jesus’ knowledge. He sat in full sight of the “treasury” in the Temple, the place for voluntary contributions. He observed the rich people casting in their gifts. But he also saw a poor widow who threw in two mites, two small brass coins.

His observation was that the poor widow had given more than all the others. She had given all she had to live on. She gave out of her poverty.

Jesus sees people’s hearts. He knows their circumstances. He sees through facades and how we 'keep up appearances.'

People might laud others who make huge financial gifts, but Jesus took time to praise one whose gift weighed in heavily because of her great sacrifice. He noticed her sincerity and generous heart.

The truth is, Jesus still sees the “treasury” in our giving and living.

The Lord observes our thoughts, deeds of charity, and especially the way we worship.

He sees our motives. He knows whether we give of our time, talents and treasures to be seen by people, or whether we give “as unto the Lord.”

Jesus praised the widow that day. Someday, the feeble efforts of God’s sincere and generous children—gifts made and things done to honor Him—will also be commended.

And lets we think we have anything to give, even the poorest and simplest of us are not excused from gifts and good works (2 Corinthians 8:2-3). God will always know our deepest heart, will and affections. The amount we give is not what concerns Him as much as our willing mind (2 Cor. 8:12).

He accepts and praises our obedience and love, not the measure of our gifts.

6. Will We Hear a “Well Done”?

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, but it’s something to think about.

In Matthew 25, we see Jesus—by way of a parable—suggest He will praise (commend) and also reward the deeds done for Him, for His glory.

The master in the parable says, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

Then he praises the servant for his faithfulness, says he will be rewarded, and he should “enter into the joy” of his master. The “Master” in this parable is Jesus himself. The servant is us, Christ-followers. The Lord will reward those who do their best to serve Him.

Paul proclaimed in 1 Corinthians 15:58, our labor is “not in vain in the Lord.”

In Matthew 25:34, in another parable, Jesus pictured the Day of Judgment and said those on His right—true believers—will enter into God’s prepared Kingdom.

Jesus, in commending Christians, says our love and service to others is the same as loving and serving Him (Matthew 25:40).

Oh, how I long to hear Jesus say “Well done” to me! Do you want to hear that word of praise too?

Observing those Jesus praised, we might again examine our own hearts:

  • Am I being brave in reaching out to Jesus with my needs, especially my desperate needs?
  • Am I sharing sacrificially with my time, talents and treasures?
  • Will I hear my Savior say, “Well done?” (If not, what do I need to change now?)

Again, as you consider these three points—will you win the praise of Jesus?

Dawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Today, is a speaker and author, and the creator the blog, Upgrade with Dawn. She is a contracted researcher/reviewer for Revive Our Hearts, and a writer at Christianity.com (wiki posts) and Crosswalk.com. She and her husband Bob live in Southern California and have two grown, married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Foto Rieth at Pixabay.

Thursday
Sep292016

Well Done or Burnt Out?

Kathy Carlton Willis knows a lot about living under pressure. I've followed her and her husband during a difficult year, and she focused on the Lord to keep her faith strong. Kathy also knows a lot about the stress of burn-out, and in this Spiritual Life and Self-care UPGRADE, she shares wise counsel.

"Sometimes I wonder if my efforts will lead to me hearing 'Well Done' or being burnt out," Kathy said. "Let's look at the recipe for finding the balance."

I (Dawn) think this is such a vital topic in our busy, busy world. Several years ago, I almost totally lost my ministry because of a health issue related to burn out. Loving friends did question all I was doing at the time, but I wish someone had pulled me aside and asked tough accountability questions about my priorities and why I was doing what I was doing.

Kathy continues …

In most recipes, the difference between making a crispy creation and a delightful dish is in two variables. Time and temperature. (Just like the old phone service you could call for that information!)

Getting the best out of life for God’s BIG glory without burning out requires those same two variables. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Time

  • How long do you spend on the things that require your attention during your waking hours?
  • How long do you sleep and rest between periods of busyness?
  • Do you have time to add something new to your schedule, or do you need to delete something before you add anything else?

2. Temperature

  • How hot does your passion burn for your specific projects?
  • How consistent are your efforts before you need to take a break?
  • Do you get bored easily with the project?

Oftentimes we evaluate the ingredients of a recipe to determine if it will be a success, when the real issue is to make sure we have the time and temperature set correctly.

It’s wise to ask God to lead in adding to or taking away from your workload. Seek Him to reveal what activities tickle your taste buds. And follow His lead when it’s time to take it easy for a bit.

If it’s been a while since you had a day you could label BLESSED REST,  then you probably need a day like that!

Overdo or overdue?

Are you on the verge of burning out? I realized it was time to slow down and relax when I wrote the following paragraph to my mom:

“I want one day to relax and do what I want, when I want.

I haven’t had one of those in a LONG time. Overdo.

Sort of my Merry Christmas present to myself!”

See the problem? I spelled “overdue,” overdo. And that was the problem.

I was overdoing it—rest was overdue!

We rarely will admit we’re burning out until it’s too late. The toast is already burnt. We’ve pushed the time and temperature too long, too hot. 

And you know what happens when you let the toast burn? It stinks! It stinks when we push ourselves too hard, as well. We’re no good for anyone, at that point.

Let the toaster cool off and add more bread. You rest, then decide what God wants you to add or subtract from your life schedule to fuel your passions and feed your purpose without overdoing it!

Burnt Out?

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9 KJV)

Well Done?

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21 AMP) 

When you seek Jesus to be Lord of your life (Master) and are faithful in His instructions, seeking to be effective for the success of the Kingdom and not merely personal success, you will hear Him exclaim about your work, “Well done!”

Where are you headed—to hearing “Well done” or being burnt out?

Kathy Carlton Willis shines for God, reflecting His light as a speaker at writer's conferences and women's retreats, and as an author - contributing to three books and writing hundreds of columns and articles online and in print publications. She wrote Grin with Grace with AMG Publishers and has several books releasing over the next few years. She and her husband Russ live in Texas with Jazzy, their hilarious Boston Terrier.