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Become a Great Encourager

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
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I am always delighted when someone tells me they like my outfit or they say, "Hey, dinner last night was amazing!" It's uplifting to be encouraged in those general ways, and I strongly recommend that you give lots of those types of encouragement. But can I tell you that you can make a spiritual deposit of encouragement in someone's life that not only takes their life to a whole new level, but it takes your life to a whole new level as well? The writer of Hebrews says, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…encouraging one another" (Hebrews 10:24–25). When we love and encourage one another with the sincere love of God, we're allowing God to extend His grace through us. We're saying, "God, I want to be that person. I want You to use me." That's when you'll take a whole new perspective on how you are encouraging people and making a deep spiritual deposit into their lives.

One of the best places you can begin to learn to be an encourager is in your own home. If you make your home an environment of encouragement, you'll see peace and blessings dwell in your home like you've never expected! When husbands and wives intentionally encourage each other, they see their entire family go to a whole new level. But we must be intentional, full of purpose, and sincere with our encouragement.

My mother is a great encourager, and she taught my brother and me to make deposits in people's lives. She showed us how to go out of our way to find out what others need and give it to them. Thinking back over my life, the best part of it has come through my having learned to encourage others. I am standing in so many blessings that have come to me as I've encouraged others. My mother taught me to do it, and I've been able to pass it on to others.

Perhaps no one ever taught you to encourage others, and you find it's uncomfortable to think of starting, but God says to encourage others daily. He has put a heart of encouragement in each of us. You can develop into a great encourager! The way to get good at anything is to practice and give it time, and it will become a habit as well. You have to give it effort, and you have to think about it to "consider" it. If you want your life to go to another level, be an encourager! Find out what people need and give it to them. Make spiritual deposits in their lives.

Let Jesus into Your Boat

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
comments: 0

When we look at other people who are excelling, we sometimes think, "Wow! God has given them so many gifts and has such a great purpose for their lives. What happened to me?" We're so focused on our job, raising our family, and paying the bills that all we see and feel is ordinary. We can't see God's purpose in our lives. But just because we aren't seeing or feeling it doesn't mean it's not there.

Today I want you to lift your eyes above your circumstances and realize that God has great purpose for your life. Your life holds meaning and the potential to make the world a better place. God has marked you to have an influence on the people around you. If you're being the best you can be, using your gifts and talents and mixing them with faith, you're enriching your world and making an eternal difference. Your life matters.

Too often we fail to recognize and appreciate the gifts and talents that God has given us. But the apostle Paul says that when Jesus ascended to heaven, "He gave gifts to men" (Ephesians 4:8). We don't all have the same gifts, but we all have gifts to be used for God's purpose through our lives. We have to recognize our gifts, learn how to use and walk in those gifts, appreciate our gifts and not compare them to others.

How do you discover your purpose? Look up and invite Jesus into every area of your life. Let Him into your boat, so to speak, as Peter did in Luke 5, and you'll never be the same. Peter was a fisherman, and he and his crew were washing their nets when he looked up and saw Jesus step into one of his two boats. Jesus asked Peter to put out a little distance from shore so He could preach from the boat to the large crowd gathered on the beach. That boat represented Peter's vocation and livelihood. He could have said, "Sorry, but we're not finished working here." But Peter let Jesus use his boat that day for His purpose, and by the end of the day, Peter went from fishing for fish to becoming a fisher of men. It became his destiny and passion! Having Jesus in his boat changed Peter into a fisher of men.

God wants in your boat! He wants in your workplace, in the middle of changing diapers, in the middle of your family! He wants to get into your boat, into your life, and use your gifts and set your life purpose on Him.

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