Focus Passage:Genesis 1-3
This passage always captures me. The idea of nothing being instantly transformed into something with a few words and a generative breath astonishes me every time. What perplexes me even more so, is the reality that the Creator God would choose to form us in His own image and give us reign over all the work of His hands. Yet, that is what He purposed in His grand plan. When I think about my work as a teacher, business owner, coach, volunteer, mother, and friend, I am reminded that we are to bear His image in every corner of this world that He gives us. We, like our Creator in the beginning, are called to speak life into all that is around us. If plants grow better in response to encouragement, how much more so would the people around us flourish if we verbally stated what our minds should be dwelling on in Philippians 4:8 (Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things)? How would students respond to me if I intentionally encouraged them every day? How would it affect my employees if I found ways to show appreciation through thought out words spoken in sincerity on a daily basis? How would the environment change if we set the correct tone for the break room, field, or meetings? Would this change how I respond in conflict or crucial conversations?
These questions and others flood my mind as I think about the grind of daily life. How easy it is to get into a rut and simply complete one task after another before realizing the day is over and a new one has begun. How easy it is to not take a step back and rest where we can admire and enjoy the Work that He has been doing in, around, and through us where we can give Him praise and breathe in His presence. Without this though, oh how easy it is to believe the lies. They are so subtle. Slight twists on the truth that normally we would catch, but because of busy-ness, exhaustion, etc… we find the lies tickling our ears drawing us in. We can even convince ourselves that the lies are in accordance with the Truth. We can isolate from community and make unwise choices that feed flesh and not our spirit. We are prone to wander. Yet, what grace is available to us. Calling, beckoning, pulling us back into the herd where we belong. Where we can hear the Voice of Life speaking into our hearts and compelling us to draw near to our Savior. It is from the closeness with Him that our hearts can overflow through our mouths (Matthew 12:24) with Words that drip like honey (Prov. 16:24) and leave others wanting to know Christ.
Questions to Ponder:
1.) As you think about the various roles in your life, how are you doing in speaking life to those around you?
– While in a good mood?
– While angry?
– While defensive?
– While tired?
– While busy?
2.) Who do you have in your life that speaks life into you on a regular basis?
3.) When are you most susceptible to hearing and believing lies that the enemy is trying to harm you with?
4.) How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how life-giving your thoughts were this and how has that affected yourself and those around you?
5.) Who around you needs to be encouraged and how/when do you plan on doing that?
Bobbie Sparks: I have the privilege of serving on the executive team of At Work on Purpose. Currently I have jumped head first into a new startup focused on simple tools for employee engagement called AroVitas. I’m also the founder and admin for an online English school for Chinese students called ASEnglish4u. For fun I get to coach some of the best young ladies around at Calvary Christian School, and God chose me to be the mom to the happiest little adopted baby boy around (slightly partial). I love learning and have a huge heart bent towards injustice and God’s love for the underprivileged.
Random fact: I play about 30 instruments but have always had a dream to learn to play the bagpipes!