Friday, October 8, 2010

Hard Work and Dedication

By Bethany Lashbrook

This Week’s Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (NIV)

When I was in high school, I had posters in my room of all the latest models. I liked their flat bellies. I wanted a flat belly like them. So, I worked hard at doing sit-ups and off and on during high school I was able to get a flat belly out of it! But, it came with a price. Each night before going to bed, I would find myself doing hundreds of sit-ups.

Most great things come with a price. When I started attending a new church as a young woman, I looked up to women that I believed maintained the model Christian life. I believed they had it all together – lovely family, nice smile on their face, willing to help others, loving unconditionally. I believed that this came natural for a fine Christian woman.

I have since learned this: it takes work. It all does. These women don’t just rise and shine to a smile on their face (okay – maybe some women do, but not all). They have to do certain things to make it happen. I’m sure they read the bible daily, pray daily, and choose to walk with God daily.

It takes sit-ups to get a flat belly. It takes hours and hours behind the wheel to become a safe driver. It takes reading many books to become intellectual in a subject. It takes many mistakes to become a good parent.

So, why would I think that it wouldn’t take a lot of hard work to become a model Christian woman?

It takes hard work and dedication to read the bible daily. It takes practice to become a good prayer warrior. It takes LOTS AND LOTS of encouragement to proclaim Christ to others. It takes holding of the tongue on many occasions. It takes discipline to remain faithful to Jesus and his teachings.

My husband and I have this saying “it takes time or money”. It seems like everything in this world either takes more time, or more money. I can’t buy Christianity, so why didn’t I think that it would take more time to become a good Christian?

Becoming a disciplined Christian means more than Sunday morning church. It means learning to live life as a Christian every day of the week and every moment of the day. It is a discipline, but a good one!

Dear Father, thank you for giving us your word so we may learn more about you, and try to become the way Jesus was – caring, loving, forgiving, full of joy, and peace. Help me to show the fruits of the Spirit so others may see You in me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Application: *Are there women that might be looking up to you, watching you, wanting what you have? Make sure to share what you know about FAITH with them. We need to be on-call 24/7 for others who want to know more about what we have that they might not have.

*Do you find yourself wanting what someone else has that you just can’t quite get? Well, ask her how she got there. Ask her about her study habits and disciplines she has picked up through the years. Most women would love to share her story of how that smile got on her face!

Power Verses:

1 Thessalonians 5:12 “Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.” (NLT)

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (NIV)

Titus 2:3-5 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” (NASB)


debby c said...

and I needed to hear this! thanks

Kathy said...

I love this! I also really like the new look of the blog! Keep up the awesome work.

Marsha said...

This is great, Bethany! it will bless a lot of gals!

JenniferLayne said...

I LOVE this, Bethany. So well said. Actually, no, I HATE this (that it takes work!) haha!! Seriously, though, it DOES take work and commitment, but it is SO worth it, isn't it?