Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Follow Jesus

Not long ago, I was evaluating my performance so far in life.  I'm a competitive person, but I usually have sense enough to compete against myself by topping past goals and checking off to-do lists.
  For a moment though, I started to think about where I stand compared with the rest of the world.  

Then I read John 21:20.  Peter asked Jesus what John would do, and Jesus replied, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me."  God has given us all very different callings in life.  If I were successful in the same things as some of the people I know, chances are I would be miserable.  What works for others in many (most!) cases isn't exactly my cup of tea!

The morning after my ponderings, I woke up to Psalm 84:11, "The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."  
God never deprives His children of good things.  They are there for us; we just need to boldly claim them as our own, while keeping in mind that happiness and success for us may come by a totally different means than it does for others.

While others may inspire, don't look to them as paradigms of success to be unduly admired or imitated.  Look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Mother Theresa once said, "God does not call us to be successful, but to be faithful."  If we are faithful to God and to the work He gives us, we are successful.
Linking with:
The Enchanting Rose

70 comments:

  1. hello Bethany, I like the Mother Theresa quote. She was a smart woman.. Lovely birds and images.. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

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  2. i believe God is proud of you, bethany. :)

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    1. I hope to make Him proud. It was slightly difficult to imagine God being proud of someone until I thought of Job--God bragged about him. Also the voice that came from heaven at the Mount of Transfiguration said of Jesus, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." We can make the Lord happy!

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  3. Lovely bird photos, Bethany. You do have good sense - enough to follow the Lord with all your heart.
    I think that is much greater than many lofty accomplishments.

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  4. I agree, totally- and I love the quote, and I believe that God does give us all gifts that we are perfectly fit for, if we will only o[en our hearts to him. Have a super day!

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  5. Great post greetings from turkey

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  6. True! I think you have a very successful blog and plenty of readers. I *imagine* you have a few close friends and a good circle around you. Whatever GOD wants you to do, you will be successful in doing. You can't do anything else but your own tasks. :)

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    1. Sometimes the hard part for me is figuring out exactly what God wants done in every situation. Psalm 32:8 is comforting, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."

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  7. I agree with that quote and I think you are very successful. I also agree with TexWis that God is proud of you!

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  8. Nice post, with lovely pictures, nice verses and a great quote, Bethany!
    Have a Beautiful Day!!
    Peace :)

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  9. Your images are so beautiful Bethany, I really enjoyed them. I never compare myself to anyone else, as we never really know anyone, or their struggles. You seem to be a beautiful person, you should be very proud of the way you present and carry yourself!!

    Thank you always for the very thoughtful comments you leave for me on my blog!!

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    1. It is a bad idea to compare ourselves with others. I think there's even a Bible verse that mentions it: "They measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments as well!

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  10. The Lord has called us to different tasks, as we are all gifted with various skills and talents. I do track and field for fun (I love it even when the workouts are vigorous) but I'm not exactly the most athletic person out there. <3

    xoxo Morning

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    1. It's good that you have something that you enjoy that is also good for you!

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  11. You are so wise.......loved your thoughts and reflections in this post. Wishing you a beautiful week! Nicole xo

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    1. Wisdom comes from God, and I'm always in need of more! Have a beautiful week as well!

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  12. Thank you Bethany, I really appreciate your candidness as you boldly follow the Lord, you have inspired me to shine my light much brighter in my day to day life!

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    1. Reminds me of the song "This Little Light of Mine." Have an awesome day and God bless!

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  13. Thanks for these thoughts Bethany! We need to be faithful to following the Lord's pattern, not assuming that what that looks like for one will be for us.
    Your bird photos are just lovely!
    A question ~ is The Enchanting Rose link-up for inspiring thoughts and devotional-type things? Thanks!

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    1. Yes, it is, but it's also for a wide variety of other topics--craft, fashion, cooking, photography, and more.

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  14. Beautiful bird photos Bethany! I have been seeing quite a few birds lately here and I LOVE it! Great post:)
    Blessings, Aimee

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    1. It's a pleasant change from this winter when we only had sparrows and penguins.

      well, not quite...

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  15. Great thoughts, Bethany! I especially needed to hear this after a difficult night at work.

    Ps. We should plan to meet soon! :-)

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    1. Yes! Let me know when you find a good date. My schedule is generally flexible, and I'd be happy to hit the road to go meet you somewhere!

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  16. Beautiful photos of the birds, Bethany.
    Good post, beautiful words.

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  17. Beautiful images and message. Remember to be "too blessed to be stressed." Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  18. Dearest Bethany,

    Such true words you shared today! Thank you so much for this encouragement... I love what you said: "If we are faithful to God and to the work He gives us, we are successful..." These words truly jumped out at me - thank you so much!

    And I just love your photographs!

    Have a blessed day!
    Much love in Christ,
    Kelly-Anne

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    1. Thank you Kelly-Anne! Have a wonderful day as well! God bless.

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  19. I like the Mother Teresa quote. It just seems to sum up your whole point. Do our best to obey God and we will be successful!

    Beautiful bird pictures!

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    1. We'll be successful in God's eyes, and that's all that eternally matters. Jesus was not rich by the world's standards while He lived, and He was beaten and crucified. To the carnal mind, that comes as close as a person can get to failure. Yet He fulfilled God's plan for His life, and was truly successful.

      I'm sure most people at the time thought it was King Herod with all his wealth, or the high priest in his palace that were the successful ones. I guess God had a good reason to say in Isaiah 55:8-9, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways...For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

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  20. You are so right on target … If we will just put our faith in God and try to do his will the successes in life will surround us. You have done an excellent job here in putting all into perspective. I am tempted to go further with commenting but I really don’t think I can improve on what you’ve said. Well done and thank you Bethany!

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    1. Thank you for visiting, John! I always appreciate your comments.

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  21. I agree with John... You are right on target, my friend! I so appreciated this post and the words of wisdom. The Lord taught you something wonderful so that you coul teach us as well *smiles*

    The image of the bird is simply lovely! Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration - it's always a joy to have you at the party. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you for hosting, Stephanie! I'm always glad when I have something to join in with.

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  22. You are quite inspiring, Bethany.

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    1. You are as well, Margie! I enjoy reading your poetry.

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  23. You have hit the nail on the head, Bethany. It is always best to put our faith where it deserves to be placed instead of depending on our own frailty. Blessings to you- xo Diana

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    1. Well said. We are weak, but He is strong! God bless!

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  24. What a lovely post, Bethany. Your images are stunning. And your faith is inspiring.

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    1. It's so nice to see a variety of birds in our area this spring!

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  26. Blessings to you, sweet girl. And your photos are awesome...

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  27. I agree with Eilleen, I love the Mother Teresa quote. She was an admirable woman.

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    1. She definitely made a difference in many lives.

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  28. The colors in your first photo are striking, love it. Inspiring post.

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  29. In looking back over my 64 years and pondering how I have followed Jesus thus far, I appreciate more and more how Jesus told His disciples that in the world they would know trouble, but they could confidently face life with peace He would give, and the comfort and counsel the Holy Spirit would give them when He asked His heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to them. I have felt like I have bumbled around a lot while trying to follow the Lord, but even when I have botched things up He has been merciful and continued to draw me closer to Himself to experience His love and share it with those around me. As your quote from Mother Teresa highlighted, and you expressed your desire to do, I hope the Lord will find me faithful to please Him as I glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

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  30. Excellent post. I wish I had started examining my progress in life at a much younger age. But one thing I did learn along the way is that success in God's eyes is not the same as success in the eyes of most men. I keep working on obedience. Sometimes I succeed. Blessings.

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    1. That's right. Most people at the time of Jesus probably thought King Herod, Pilate, and the high priest in his palace where the successful ones. But Jesus, who slept in a garden and was beaten and crucified, was the truly successful One as He performed the will of God.

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  31. A well timed post. I have seen myself 'less than' what others are in the faith. I have taken my eyes off of Jesus to look around. I should look less at my so called shortcomings and unchecked to do's and focus on His kingdom and reaching the lost. Thank you Ms. Bethany. God bless

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    1. I often think that if we are a bit like mirrors. If we focus on faults and shortcomings, we'll be discouraged and ugly. If we try to just look to ourselves, we'll be empty. But if we gaze on the infinite beauty of His Kingdom and grace, our lives will become beautiful reflections of His love. God bless you too!

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  32. Beth, I took this post as an encouragement!!! Thank you very much! Liuba x

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  33. "If we are faithful to God and to the work He gives us, we are successful." So true! Thanks for the reminder!

    http://teensliveforjesus.blogspot.ru

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  34. Such beautiful and encouraging thoughts, The quote: "God does not call us to be successful, but to be faithful." If we are faithful to God and to the work He gives us, we are successful ... this is something I need to always keep in mind. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for your comments Laura! I've missed your blog posts lately.

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