Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for April, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 230 God’s Gift Of Acceptance

5May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Romans 15:5-7 (NLT)

Love is accepting of others.
Your boss is a kind man, but you only wish he’d stop wearing those brightly colored ties that always seem to make him look more like a clown than a serious businessman. You’re certain you’ll call a special meeting to correct this behavior, if he wears that orange and purple floral tie one more time. You thought about informing your girlfriend about how much you despise the way she takes far too long to choose between the salmon or the grilled chicken with her salad. Take a moment to reconsider.

Changing others is not what we’re called to do. The Holy Spirit is the teacher and God is the changer. He alone is the one who has the authority to determine what change if any is needed. Even when your heart is well-intended by trying to improve your boss’s appearance or end your friend’s indecisiveness, speaking up could cause harm to the relationship. Is this problem going to hurt or put someone in imminent danger? I highly doubt a psychedelic tie or an extra wait before placing an order will place anyone’s life in danger.

Acceptance is a better option.
Accepting and caring for others instead of controlling them, shows the love of God. Embracing the uniqueness of those around us will help expose them to the things of God. If we are always trying to change people, they may never experience the joy of receiving the gift of acceptance. Within each of us as human beings is a longing to be accepted. As children we wanted to be among the first picked to play on teams. In adulthood many of us are still seeking acceptance as we daily check in on Facebook to count the likes.

God’s acceptance of us.
Although many who’ve walked with the Lord have come to know the warmth, and security of His unconditional love, there are those who are still searching. By allowing others to be who they are we aren’t making provisions for wrongdoing, we are simply accepting them as they are. God didn’t expect us to clean up and get saved, before He saved us and cleaned us up. He reached down and pulled us out of sin.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (KJV)

Ease up on your suggestions for improvement. I suspect this is a slight character flaw that improves as we grow in grace. While having the unique ability to see what is wrong can be a tremendous strength in business and problem solving, this same strength tends to create a weakness in relationships. God gave man dominion over the earth, not over each other. …and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26 (KJV)

Trying to change others only adds stress and makes life complicated.  A great  way to simplify your life is to seek God’s help with whatever is happening on the inside that causes a tie or indecisive friend to be so irritating. Meanwhile, why not give the loving gift of acceptance, and avoid the temptation of trying to change others?

Organizing the Inside – Day 229 The Truth About Our Environment

1The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” 4So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed…
Genesis 12:1-4a (NLT)

Upgrade your environment.
God told Abram to leave his native land, perhaps because He knew that Abram’s relationship with Him would be influenced negatively by family and friends. God had plans to upgrade Abram’s environment. Abram obeyed, by leaving his father’s household as God had instructed him. I often wonder how my life is affected by family and friends. I’m inclined to think in a positive way for the most part. As I consider my relationship with God and the things and people around me I pause. Is there a need for some things to change in my environment?

Perhaps it’s time to decontaminate your environment.
When you consider the things around you each day, ask yourself if you need to make a few adjustments. What are the environmental influences surrounding you? Now we can’t leave the world completely. Jesus prayed that we would be in the world, but kept from the world. 15I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  John 17:15-17 (NLT) We are made holy by the truth of God’s Word that sanctifies us. But we must receive it, if we reject the truth how is it able to change us? No one is suggesting you live in a holy bubble, just be open to the Holy Spirit.

Something to consider
What things in your environment are polluting your relationship with God? Are there things that you need to remove from your environment? Or perhaps there are things that you need to bring into your environment. If God is speaking to you about making some very serious changes; then do what He is leading you to do. Start by considering what you do in your down time.

  • What are you watching on television?
  • Where do you go online?
  • What are you listening to?
  • Who are you listening to?
  • What are you reading?
  • What spiritual food are you eating?

It’s our own responsibility to make certain the things in our environment are things that will help strengthen and encourage us in our relationship with the Lord. The people you spend time with, whether you want to admit it or not, influence your life. Strong positive friends who don’t compromise in living the word of truth are a source of encouragement. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) People, who are lazy, lack-luster, and slothful in the things they do will certainly not

Organizing the Inside – Day 228 She Finally Found The Place

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.  Acts 20:24 (NLT)

Lord, are we there yet? Are we there yet?
For so long she searched for the place. She knew in her heart for years she really wasn’t there. She thought surely this can’t be the place, because something just doesn’t seem right. She heard others talk about the beauty of this place, and concluded this place is in a far and distant land. She reasoned that one would first have to die to go there. She thought this place sounded in some ways like you might imagine heaven to be. It was described to her as a place where joy, peace, love and contentment reside.

God gave people ideas, and passion, gifts and talent and dreams too, as a means by which He’d use to guide them there. Only those who embraced serving others in love could go there. Once there you never want to leave. You’d find everything you needed there and so much more. Everyone who lives there is abundantly provided for; yes, there is much overflow.

Upon arrival she simply couldn’t understand why she allowed so many things to detain her. It became clear that people, fear, foolishness, anger, greed and self-centeredness each played a part in delaying her arrival.

She looked up and saw that the windows of heaven were open and all that poured out almost took her breath away. She found the place that she’d searched for all those years.  Oh yes, it’s true she found the place where all the pieces seemed to fit together. She better understood the pain of her past, and the future no longer frightened her. She finally found “the place” right there in the center of God’s will; she discovered His purpose and plan for her life.

Have you discovered “the place”? God has a purpose and plan for your life. We’d love to hear a bit of your story.

Organizing the Inside – Day 227 Take Time To Ask

29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 33“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” 34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Matthew 20:29-34 (NLT)

I enjoy reading about the boldness and determination of the two blind men who paid no attention to the crowd telling them to be quiet. Actually they shouted all the louder, as they called out to the Lord for help. Jesus responded by asking them a question. Jesus knew exactly what they wanted. He also knew what they needed, yet He took time to ask them, “What do you want me to do for you?”  He’d just taught the disciples about service. (Matthew 20:20-28) The lesson continued with His example. He could have simply given the blind men what He knew they needed most, but instead He took the time to ask them about what they wanted.

Service is about giving people what they want.
Once we do, they will follow long enough to also discover what they need. Often I think we assume we know what someone needs and instead of taking the time to first find out what they want, we often just offer them what we think they ought to have. I find it interesting that many Christians seem so busy with their own agendas, that they don’t take time out to ask those they serve, “What do you want from me?” There are leaders who will tell you without blinking, “I already know what you need, and don’t have time to worry about what it is you think you want; so sit here while I tell you what you need to do.” They sometimes forget that they’re not the only ones with a special direct line to God. What arrogance is displayed by some who are supposed to be servants.

It wasn’t until the two blind men got what they wanted that they followed Jesus.
So much could be said about this last verse. Successful business leaders know that customer loyalty is created within a relationship of trust. When those you serve realize that you can and will give them what they want, then they trust you, and know that you care. Caring is what creates true loyalty in business and life. We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (KJV) A strong bond is established when a leader is humble enough to first find out what they can do for the people they serve. It’s important not to assume we know what someone else needs. Show how much you care by taking the time to ask the simple question, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Organizing the Inside – Day 226 Keep Your Saltiness

34“Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? 35Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” Luke 14:34, 35 (NLT)

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Matthew 5:13 (NLT) The bible is clear that salt can lose its saltiness. But how does this happen? I believe this describes what happens when Christians who are at one point on fire for God, start blending too much with the world. When salt becomes wet it is diluted in water, when it later dries, it isn’t salty anymore, and really isn’t good for much. There is nothing that can add true flavor like salt. I believe the very essence of the salt that Jesus teaches about is the love of God which is found in the truth of the gospel.

Have you ever tried cutting salt from your diet?
I once tried reducing salt in my diet. I purchased no-salt chips, (really) I stopped cooking with salt, I looked for products on the market that read, “no salt added” or “reduced salt.” Yuck, everything really seemed to have no flavor, eating was no longer enjoyable. I even tried Nu-salt which sort of tasted salty, but did nothing to bring out the flavor in my food. I realized the salt substitution was playing tricks on my taste buds because at first taste, it seemed salty; only seconds later the fake salt became a very bitter taste in my mouth. The same happens when we try to substitute the truth of the gospel, or water down the truth with what the world views as right. When we compromise and allow the world to change the composition of our core belief we are no longer authentic, what we share is no longer authentic…no longer salty.

The gospel of truth must not be compromised.
We cannot allow what the world says that we should, “show tolerance” for, (the ungodly acts of the flesh) to become acceptable or remotely considered as right. The gospel must be presented in its pure form, simple truth. Blending with the teachings of false religion or the “new norm” will clearly make you and the message you bring useless to the kingdom. There is no substitution for the anointed Word of God shared by a believer. It is pure 100% truth and love; there is no substitution for real salt to add flavor.

Organizing the Inside – Day 225 Loving One Another

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133 (NLT)

Unity and sisterhood are important to God.
David talks about how pleasant and beautiful harmony among family is. Christians belong to the largest and most diverse family ever known. As members of the household of faith the bond we share should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately we too often find more discord and tension in the church than we should. You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. James 4:2 (NIV) We are not killing each other literally, but how many times do we hurt our sisters in Christ with the words we speak against them?  It is up to those of us who are mature in Christ, to willingly forsake our own self-centered desires for the sake of the whole. Too often, well-meaning Christians go to great extremes to avoid conflict; doing so under the guise of minding your own business or that you hate drama. Often confrontation is the only way to bring about resolution. Confrontation doesn’t have to be something negative. Sometimes discussing your differences and clearing up misunderstandings results in much-needed peace.

The world will know that we are Christians by our love.
I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  John 17:23 (NLT) We’ve been called to set an example of God’s peace, hope and love. We are ambassadors, representing His kingdom and what we show others really does hold eternal value. There are those who want to know more about God but have yet to ask.  Sometimes they’re standing on the sidelines pretending not to care. All the while they are watching your life and mine. Curiously wondering about our lifestyle and the choices we make as believers.

When they look at us what do they see?
I pray that they will see something different in our attitudes, beginning with our reverence for the things and people of God. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 1Peter 2:9 (NLT) What does your life show? Are you in unity with your sisters in Christ? If not, take time at once to ask God to guide your heart in love. Mend broken relationships that need mending, especially those within the family of God.

Organizing the Inside – Day 224 Live Guilt Free

Have you ever felt guilty just for the sake of feeling guilty?
Some folks feel guilty even when they haven’t done anything wrong. Their super-hyper conscience keeps them in bondage. If you’re not careful the devil will have you believing that there is something wrong and you are guilty of some unknown act of sin just to keep you off-balance. Beware, of this simple yet common trap of the enemy. Satan is the accuser; the truth is that he is defeated. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth–the one who accuses them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10b

The work is complete.
No amount of work, or gifts, or acts of faithful dedication can redeem us from sin and make us right with God. Redemption is God’s free gift.  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 (NIV) There is no marathon to run, no code to crack, and no case to plead. The price was paid. No matter how you feel, you are worthy because of God’s unconditional love. Salvation in the full meaning of the word is yours, free and without cost.

Your feelings are not relevant.
Your faith in Christ is what’s relevant.  Let go of the guilty feelings. Remind yourself where those negative feelings come from. Believe in the truth of God’s Word which says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”  Psalm 103:12 Not only have you been made the righteousness of God, you were given the power to become His own child. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. Romans 4:11 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12 (KJV)

Avoid falling into a place of spiritual and emotional defeat by realizing who you are in Christ.
You have been redeemed, and only by faith in Jesus Christ have we been made heirs of His righteousness. Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Galatians 4:7 (NLT)

But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11 (NLT)
Simplify your life at once by kicking guilt to the curb.

Organizing the Inside – Day 223 Be Heavenly Minded

1Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Colossians 3:1, 2 (NLT)

Many hours are spent planning the near future.
We plan for retirement, today’s tasks and tomorrow’s uncertainties. We plan for almost every important and often even the unimportant events in our lives. As an organizing expert I realize the importance of planning for a successful outcome. I’m often challenged by the fact that too much planning ahead leaves little room for the next spontaneous move of God. Planning is good, but there must be balance.

Spend less time planning and more time preparing for eternity.
One way to simplify our lives is to stop planning every minute detail. Allow God’s guidance to lead us down the plain paths of truth for His name’s sake. Let’s unbend our minds and uncomplicated this journey by relying a bit more on His direction and leadership. Realize that the small matters we spend so much time making adjustments and planning for often have no eternal value.

Set your mind on things that are eternal.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3 (NLT) For those habitual planners who perpetually plan in their sleep, this may be a huge challenge. Remember that your real life is in Christ and only what we do for Him will last. Release the worry that comes with wanting to make certain everything is under control. Free yourself from trying to foresee every detail, to avoid problems. Enjoy what God has done! Rest in the glory of His presence and experience the wonderful power of His great and abiding love.

Relax your mind, simplify your thoughts, your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Organizing the Inside – Day 222 When Idols Are Broken

2This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. 3For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 4He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

14The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. Psalm 91:2-4, 14, 15

The message is simple.
Trust God! No matter what your present situation looks like; the power of God is at work in your life. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NLT) God‘s Word is true! The time has come to put all your faith, hope and trust in Him. When your idols have fallen and all that you held on to and believed in has been proven false; then do you trust God completely? When your resources are suddenly no more, and your friends turn away, then will you lay prostrate before Him? When prophesies you relied upon are no longer proclaimed, then will you look to God?

Prepare for battle, but expect God to carry-out His Word.
Wait upon God. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God–there never has been, and there never will be. Isaiah 43:10 (NLT) Wait with an expectation for Him to do as He promised. My soul, wait you only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Psalm 62:5 (KJV) Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7 (KJV) But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”
2 Chronicles 20:17

He alone is God!

Organizing the Inside – Day 221 Acceptance, The Loving Path

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (NLT)

After taking a personality test, weaknesses I thought were long gone were exposed. I hid the fact that I had problems balancing my expectations of others.  The same judgmental measuring stick I used on myself, I also used on everyone else. My expectations for myself and others remained in the consistently unattainable stratosphere of my mistaken belief. While removing planks from both my own eyes, I was happy to consult others on their multiple eye obstructions as well. Being a self-ordained plank remover was a tiring and emotionally exhausting existence. Also read Matthew 7:1-5

You first must accept yourself.
Accepting yourself is a prerequisite for being able to fully accept and love others. Yep, that’s tough to swallow because who doesn’t have the occasional moment of “I wonder if I’m good enough?” Nevertheless realizing that Christ’s finished work on Calvary, means we are all “good enough” will change your life. Seeing you the way that God sees you is paramount to successfully fulfilling His plan. I don’t believe you can fully give of yourself until you know and accept yourself. Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power. 2 Corinthians 13:4 (NLT) It is not uncommon to wonder about your abilities, everyone has, but that (self-doubt) too must be crucified along with the flesh. You must accept God’s amazing grace and power realizing that even if you were the only sinner, Christ would have still given His life. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6 (NIV) God has called us to love others and not judge them. We have the responsibility as Christian women to walk in love and unconditionally accept the faults of others. When you find yourself feeling just a bit irritated by someone else’s short comings, or unsuitable behavior, opt-out of the judgment seat, and choose love instead. It’s the same unconditional love that Christ has toward us, which has healing properties that will help close the deepest wounds, and mend broken lives.