Monday Motivation: Unending Love

“I love you.”

Without a doubt, the three most powerful words ever known to man. When spoken with sincerity, these simple words can literally have us floating on air and feeling like anything is possible.

Have you ever stopped to think why these words hold so much sway over our hearts?  Have you taken the time to think why we humans are able to relish in the most beautiful of human emotions?  I firmly believe it’s because we were purposefully created to enjoy that which God is at his core (1 John 4:8).

It was his love that spurred him to make mankind (Genesis 1:27).  It’s his love that sustains our daily needs and causes our cup to overflow with blessings (Psalm 23:5).  It was his immeasurable love that sacrificed his only son on our behalf (John 3:16).  And it’s his love that provides us peace and understanding during our overwhelming anxieties (Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7).

Whatever you face…

Wherever you are…

Never forget about the unending love of God.

-Joe Butler

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Monday Motivation: Change Your Perspective

It’s been raining a lot lately. I guess that’s appropriate considering it is summertime here in Florida. And these aren’t your run-of-the-mill showers either. The storms we’ve been having brew up during the heat of the day until they unleash their fury in the form of a torrential downpour of nickel-sized raindrops and violent bolts of lightning.

Now of course when the weather is bad, it’s the first thing people usually talk about. I’ve heard all kinds of comments lately about the “miserable” weather or how hot and stifeling the temperatures are. And it’s true, it has been ridiculously hot lately. The heat index has hovered around 105-110 degrees almost every day for the past two weeks.

But have you ever taken the time to notice how beautiful and inspiring that kind of weather is?  I love the smell of rain on hot concrete or the scent of moisture on a freshly cut lawn. I relish the sight of powerful strands of electricity playing across a cloud-filled night sky. I enjoy the calm before the storm when the winds shift and bring with them a crisp, cool breeze and the clouds advance across the sky like an approaching army.

You see, it’s all about perspective. Where some see inconvenience, I choose to see beauty. And the reality is, just about all of life is that way. In every situation, we have the choice to wallow in the negative and focus on what’s wrong and even dwell on how the day hasn’t met our expectations. Or, we can change our perspective and glory in every circumstance God has put us in. We can see the good in the bad and the lessons in the struggle.

Want to find true happiness and the genuine wealth God has offered us through this life?  Just change your perspective!

-Joe Butler

Monday Motivation: 24/7

My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.

(Psalm 121:2-3)

I’m tired!  It’s about the end of the school year for me, and by this time of year I am mentally exhausted.  When you have a classroom full of 8-9 year olds all day, you can’t help but feel spent when the final bell rings.  It’s hard to imagine not feeling tired when we deal with stressful situations or an utterly taxing day.

But God never tires!!!!!

He is always looking out for you.  He shares your joys, walks with you through your struggles, and celebrates in your victories.  Isn’t it amazing to know that we have a God who never rests until his children are blessed and well-cared for?  Just remember that God is there 24/7.  No matter the need, no matter the worry, just call on his name!

-Joe Butler

Monday Motivation: What Good Works Will You Do?

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

(Ephesians 2:8-10)

Just imagine a master craftsman.  He puts a tremendous amount of attention and detail into everything he creates.  Every part has a purpose, every piece has a role.  A designer always creates with an end result in mind: What work will this object do?  What purpose will it fulfill?

We are the workmanship of the Almighty God, created to fulfill a unique calling that no one else can fill.  We were created to perform good works.  Not to earn our salvation.  That would contradict the definition of grace.  But we were created and molded and made with a purpose in mind.  God planned these works before we were ever born and designed us in such a way that we would have the talents and resources to fulfill them.

What good works will you do today?

-Joe Butler

Monday Motivation: God Forgives!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

(1 John 1:9)

Just let your heart dwell on the promise of those beautiful words above.

God is faithful.

God is just.

God forgives.

If we are willing to confess and repent of our sins, God will always forgive.  ALWAYS!

-Joe Butler

Monday Motivation: Rooted and Sustained

Our ability to transform our world for God stems from our relationship with him.  We cannot decide to surrender our life to the will of God only at the difficult hour of a trial or act of temptation and expect to rise victorious.  Our desire to stand for God in a sinful world must grow long before a crisis occurs so that when the going gets tough, we will always remain firmly rooted and sustained by the one true vine.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

(John 15:5-7)

Never forget…apart from God, you can do nothing.

-Joe Butler

Monday Motivation: Self-Control

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

(Titus 2:11-13)

For many of us, we have just come off of an uplifting Lord’s Day of worship and rest and are now returning to a busy work week and family/personal tasks.  In the process of performing the many responsibilities we must do every day, I pray that you would keep in mind the passage above from Titus.  While the grace of God does amazing things in our life to include offering us salvation, it also acts as our trainer, teaching us what is right and how to live.

Make it a daily reminder this week that the Lord wishes us to live upright, godly lives as we anxiously await the return of our Savior.  Be ready to turn away from unrighteousness when those situations arise and pray for self-control to face any temptation that the devil may throw at you.  And no matter what you, do it in the name of the Lord, offering him the glory he so rightfully deserves.

-Joe Butler