AMH Series // His Word is Written Across My Heart
We held a fundraiser not too long ago and Ashley challenged our group of leaders to share about why we love serving in this ministry. This was easy for me! One of my favorite parts of our girl’s retreats is hearing each one of the girls in the group stand up and share what they wrote on their commitment cards.
If you haven’t been through a retreat, the commitment cards are handed out in the morning after all of our devos and discussions about purity. The girls then spend some quiet time in prayer with their Bibles and notes from the night before to see where God is challenging them to grow. We tell each group of girls that if they are not willing to stand up in front of a group of their peers who will be supportive and encourage them in their commitments, how are they going to be able to stand in front of a world that wants to tear them down?
We All Need Community
The reason I love this so much is the community of support these girls have in living out their faith. They have leaders and friends who will be there to walk out their commitments with them.
This is the way it’s supposed to be. As Christians, we are all stretched to grow and mature in our faith, but we aren’t meant do it alone. We need Christian community to encourage and challenge us.
In Hebrews chapter 10: 23-25 we read:
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
In these verses we are reminded that we have a faithful God, and that life as a Christian is not done alone. You cannot “one another” without another person.
We All Need to be Encouraged and Challenged
I’m sure by now many of you have seen Chris Pratt’s acceptance speech for the Generation Award at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards. I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the video in my Facebook feed. With all the negative news we see trending, it was nice seeing something good for a change. What was even better was seeing a fellow brother in Christ sharing his faith on a public forum, even though we may not agree with all of the movies he’s been in.
If you haven’t seen the video yet and want to, take a quick commercial break, and come back after watching it.
His speech is a great example of sharing encouragement and also challenging others to do good.
Here are three quick thoughts from what he shared:
- Take responsibility. Chris starts off his speech by saying, “I accept the responsibility as your elder. So, listen up.” We have all been given a platform to share and live out our beliefs. Chris was given a stage to reach millions. You have the ability to reach individuals in your sphere of influence as well. Don’t take that lightly. We need to encourage and challenge each other to be intentional in our corner of the world.
- Use your gifts to be a blessing. The third rule he shared was “not to be a turd.” He said, “If you are strong, be a protector. If you are smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons, so do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.” In Hebrews 10:24, it talks about stirring up others for good works. It’s important as Christians to realize that there are ways to use our gifts, such as strength and intelligence, as tools or as weapons. We need to encourage and challenge each other to use them as tools not weapons.
- Remember, you still have room to grow. Rule nine stated that nobody is perfect. Which I think was a bold statement. Chris continued by saying, “People will tell you that you are perfect just the way that you are, you are not! You are imperfect. You always will be.” We were not promised perfection on this side of heaven, but God does promise to continue the good work He has started in us until completion when Jesus returns (Phil. 1:6). As a community of believers, we need to encourage and challenge each other towards these good works as well.
We All Need Support
Being a Christian isn’t easy. You will be scrutinized, judged, and persecuted for your beliefs. You cannot do it alone. To fulfill the law of Christ is to bear with one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). As you continue to make commitments to be challenged and to grow in your faith, surround yourself with fellow believers who will help hold you to it.
I have been so thankful for the leadership team at Across My Heart Ministries. It’s great to be surrounded by a group of girls who challenge each other, hold one another accountable, and continue to serve God together.
That is my hope for all of you. We are all in this together.
Ashley, cue High School Musical.