3 Practical Ways to Love One Another as the Bible Teaches

3 Practical Ways to Love One Another as the Bible Teaches

With all the unraveling of our social spheres over the last 12 months, it feels as if our society has forgotten how to love one another. Deep down, I know that’s not entirely true. Yet as I look around our hurting world and the ease so many seem to find in attacking each other from behind electronic screens or scowling from behind masks, it seems we could all use a fresh perspective on what it looks like to love like Jesus, just as we’re taught in the Bible. 

 

As Christians, how can strengthen our society through acts of love? In Christ, we have such power—and the impact could be greater than we imagine. 

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure statement. 

 

The lack of love we currently see in our world comes with dire consequences. Distrust is running rampant making us feel segmented—rather than unified—as a culture. It spurs loneliness, depression, anxiety, and also fear about the future. Deep in our hearts and spirits, we know it shouldn’t be this way. 

 

Loving people is important for so many reasons. It reflects the love God has for His creation. Our obedience in this area helps display the Gospel of Jesus, and love is highly contagious. The more we give it to others, they, in turn, will begin to love. We identify ourselves as ambassadors of Christ—as His followers and His representatives—when we love the people of our world. 

Pursuing a 1st John Kind Of Love

 

It isn’t always easy, even when we earnestly seek to obey the new commandment of the Bible. What seems like a lifetime ago, I connected with a small group of Christians who had a strong desire to love well. A few of the leaders in this group shared practical ways they felt our group could show greater affection and respect toward the people we met. The group seemed to go along with a few of the ideas but showed reluctance to many of them. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience. 

 

As we worked to put the desire to love into action, disunity crept into our group. Members disagreed about how we should show it, and which of our comforts we should lay down in order to help our community feel more welcome in our midst. As I walked through this struggle with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I felt both confused and disheartened.

The Blessing of Obedience

In 1 John, we’re taught that God’s love is perfected in disciples who walk in obedience to Him. We can know that we’re abiding intimately with Him when we are walking in His footsteps, doing as He did when He walked this earth. 

 

Each of us is called to follow hard after Jesus and do as He does. Radically speaking, this requires sacrifice. It requires selfless unconditional devotion toward others, and a willingness to decide to love even when feelings and emotions resist. That degree of obedience is hard to find. Even in Christianity, loving like Jesus is too often curbed by earthly motivations and current moods.

 

We read that Christ left His throne and came to earth as a man to walk among us. He laid down His life for you and for me. He was scorned, battered, ridiculed, and also beaten for us. The Son of God didn’t offer casual love, but radical love evidenced by radical sacrifice. We are called to do the same for others. If we aim to love like Jesus, there should be nothing that we are unwilling to do for or share in order to show that we love one of our brothers or sisters. And yet, our humanly hesitations prevail.

 

Acting in the Strength of Jesus

 

The entire experience within our small group opened my eyes to the limits humans often put on the love we extend. According to the sentiments of our group, it was fine to love one another so long as the group didn’t have to give up some of the comforts that they held dear. Though we’d read the Bible and desired to obey, we still had much to learn as disciples of Jesus. 

 

Sadly, this hesitant attitude toward love permeates pockets of Christianity and too few are willing to sacrifice in our love for one another. 

 

If there is one thing that our broken society has revealed, it is our lack of Bible-directed love for one another. As a society, and even more pointedly as disciples of Jesus, we’ve fallen short of the love that he’s called us to share. We can all do better. We must learn to let the love of Jesus course through our own veins so we can love as He does—not in our own strength, but in His. Christ will help His disciples walk in His ways and at the same time, grow our faith and the expression of our spiritual gifts. 

 

Helpful Encouragement to Love One Another from the New Testament 

 

Jesus gave His followers a new command, saying in John 13:34-35 (ESV), “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

The question becomes, how to love according to the Bible and the commandment that Christ gave in John 13. In the simplest terms, there are three practical ways:

Speak it

Show it

Receive it


Speak Love to One Another

We all know the power of words. Proverbs 18:21 in the English Standard Version says “Death and life are in the power of our words.” They can tear people down or build them up and Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) instructs that we use our words so they give grace to those who hear. 

 

 

As a tenet of Christianity, we’re taught in the Bible to guard our words and use them carefully. We’re to use our words to speak life. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (CSB) exhorts, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.” 

 

Learning to love is one of our primary callings of the New Testament. But how do we draw near to God and use our words as Jesus directed in the new commandment? 

A Menu of Helpful Options

 

In her book Gracelaced, Author Ruth Chou Simons shares ways to use our words to encourage and build up. She says,

 

“Speak reminders of freedom in Christ. . .

Speak the joy of forgiveness in Him. . .

Speak encouragement for weariness. . .

Speak truth that convicts. . .

Speak warning of sin’s lies and deception. . .

Speak friendship and care for the battles ahead. . .”

 

These are tender reminders of practical ways to use our words kindly. We are to care for others as we care for ourselves. We can offer verbal encouragement for their spiritual health, their struggles with sin, and their connection to Christ—just as much as their physical well-being, their professional integrity, and matters within their families. 

Show One Another

Obedience stretches beyond our words and should permeate our actions also. In the Bible, obey Jesus and do as He does. We are to walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10, ESV), give to the needy (Matthew 6:2, ESV), and show acts of kindness for others (Hebrews 13:16, TPT).  

Practically speaking, as a child of God and in His power, we can each show love to one another by

  • Praying for them
  • Listening and seeking understanding before we speak
  • Delivering a meal for a family that is facing a challenge
  • Celebrating together 
  • Sending cards or notes of encouragement through text or mail (If you don’t know what to say, a Bible verse is often well-received)
  • Being vulnerable with them 
  • Including new people in ordinary activities that you enjoy
  • Sharing books or resources that may be helpful
  • Supporting a cause that’s important to them
  • Share opportunities to develop their spiritual gifts
  • Generously providing for the needy 
  • And so much more

 

No matter the way that you choose to demonstrate it, you are showing that you care about them and esteem them as a person. I don’t know a single person that isn’t encouraged and built up by feeling valued. 

 

Receive Love From One Another

 

Too often in Christianity, we’re eager to improve the way we show esteem, yet reluctant to receive it in return. It’s often our pride that hinders us from accepting help or encouragement from those around us. The truth, however, is that It’s a privilege to receive encouragement and help from others. And it’s also a gift from God, Himself. 

 

Receiving from Jesus is how we put our faith in action. It’s He who equips us to love in His strength rather than our own. Along the same lines, receiving the encouragement that others share is one way that we, in turn, receive it from God.  

 

Our Heavenly Father placed us in a community—a community where each of His followers reflects all that dHe feels for us. When we reject it from others, we in essence reject the love of the Father. When we reject their help and encouragement, we forsake a meaningful gift that He shares with us. 

 

Helpful Encouragement from Jesus—in John 17 

 

John chapter 17 shows us the prayers of Jesus. In His closing words—while praying for you, me, and all Believers—He prays that the “love you have loved me with may be in them and I may be in them” (John 17:26, CSB). Another version puts it this way, that which “You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them” (John 17:26, AMP). 

 

Jesus prayed that the Father’s love would flow through Him, that we’d experience in our hearts, and reveal it to those around us.  May we learn to speak love, show it, and receive it. All for His glory.

What Does The Bible Say About Loving God and Also One Another?

The Bible is rich with encouragement from Jesus and His disciples to love God and each other. I invite you to meditate and pray through each of the verses shared below. Our aim as Christ-followers should be to abide with Jesus so fully that His love flows naturally through us. 

 

Helpful Bible Verses About Showing Love to One Another

(Verses are from the English Standard version)

 

Psalm 63:3

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

Proverbs 10:12 

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Luke 10:27

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

John 14:15

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 15:12

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Romans 12:10

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Ephesians 4:2

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

1 John 3:18

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

1 John 5:3

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers for Business Success — 25 Powerful Scriptures to Pray for Your Christian Brand

Prayers for Business Success — 25 Powerful Scriptures to Pray for Your Christian Brand

Business leaders faced countless difficult decisions in 2020. For many, it felt as if progress toward prosperity came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, financial goals seemed out of reach, employees were furloughed or laid off, and tough decisions were made. Like no recent time in our history, small businesses began to lift fervent prayers to the Lord for business success.

 

In the months preceding the pandemic, it seemed to many business leaders that they could coast their way to wealth. They felt confident that their past efforts to make a successful business would carry them through. Then our world turned upside down with health concerns. In such an unprecedented time, many small business leaders turned to the Lord for counsel, guidance, and provision. That has proved to be a good practice. Prayer is now and always has been powerful and effective. The Word of the Lord says that the prayers of the righteous avail much.

 

What would happen if businesses began to consistently lift a prayer for success? Not only when hardships dampen hopes to succeed—but daily? Imagine the result of seeking the Lord to ask for help to follow Biblical principles and run God-honoring businesses—even during prosperity? What if business leaders offered these kinds of prayers for business success:  

  • Consistent prayers for business growth
  • Fervent prayers for success and prosperity
  • Passionate prayer for successful business transactions
  • Ongoing prayer for business breakthrough
  • Heartfelt prayer for more customers
  • Sincere prayers for profitable sales

 

Imagine the impact if business owners turned to the Lord to determine what the Bible says about honoring God in business, or making sound decisions? A lot could change—for the better.

 

Why A Business Should Offer Prayers for Success

The uncertainty of 2020 has taken a marked toll on businesses. World governments took a stance never before seen and mandated business closures or imposed regulations that were too extreme for small businesses to endure. Many business leaders felt as if control over their organizations had been stripped away. It felt as if many decisions were no longer theirs to make, which made leaders feel powerless to steer things in a positive direction. Too often for entrepreneurs, it felt as if someone else was in control of their business practices. A sense of frustration and hopelessness ruled the day.  

 

The truth is, it shouldn’t be so hard to prosper in the marketplace and work for the financial security of our children. And yet the health crisis has crushed the job market and made it feel nearly impossible for any business to thrive.

 

So what good can it bring to offer prayers for business success?

 

The Bible saysTherefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, ESV). This applies to prayers lifted for personal matters and business concerns alike. 

 

Prayer is also a trusted way to gain wisdom. When we ask God for wisdom, direction, and guidance, He gives it freely. Consider James 1:5 (ESV) which says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

 

The Hope that Prayer for Business Brings

 

Many Christian entrepreneurs and ministry leaders already know the power of prayer. Seeking the Lord calms anxiety, turns hearts toward gratitude, and helps us know that we are never alone. Communing with God and seeking His strength for all of our concerns is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. 

 

When we forsake the practice of prayer, we’re often consumed with worry. Our focus becomes fixed on the problems we see and our minds feel overtaken with fear for the future. Without prayer, it’s far too easy to lose hope, to feel overwhelmed—without direction, and utterly alone.

 

Yet the moment we begin to pray, we can sense God’s nearness and the hope of Jesus Christ. We’re able to cast our cares upon the Lord knowing that He will carry them on our behalf because He cares so greatly for us (see 1 Peter 5:7).  The psalmist declared, 

 

The Lord is near to all who call on him,

    to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18, NIV).

 

We’re wise to thank the Lord for His provision and remember to actively call on God. Amen?

 

Offering Prayer for Guidance Through Business Decisions

 

As a small business owner, I’ve faced many challenges over the past months. At moments it felt as if my business wouldn’t survive the pandemic. Leads dried up, customers put services on hold, and uncertainty ruled the day. 

 

As I prayed over my business, I discerned the Lord prompting me to pivot—to rethink what I offered. When I began to pray I felt God bring fresh ideas along with the wisdom and training opportunities to carry them out. When things looked bleak, I continued to walk in hope and remembered to thank Jesus for His guidance. As a result, the last half of 2020 brought more financial success and opportunity than the prior three years combined. I’m now coaching business owners to clarify and strengthen their online marketing message so that customers are invited to envision the story of their own well-being.

 

By offering prayer to the Lord, I am confident that I’m walking in His path, pursuing His purpose for my life, and enjoying a meaningful business. I believe every business owner should feel confident—even amid uncertain times in our economy. Prayer is one of the ways to achieve that.  

 

Faithfulness in Prayer Can Lead to Prosperity

 

Business success is about much more than improving financial means. For entrepreneurs who follow Christ, a business can be a meaningful way to build relationships and model the ways of Christ. Many who don’t know Jesus Christ will never grace the doors of a church and your business practices may give them a glimpse of hope they never knew existed. Business owners have a unique opportunity to offer prayer for those they serve and to show the love of God to a hurting world.

 

While the Bible doesn’t promise financial prosperity, in several instances the Bible says that we can make our way prosperous and set ourselves up to flourish.  Consider Deuteronomy 8:18 and Joshua 1:8, below (emphasis added):

 

God gives the power to gain wealth

“… but remember that the LORD your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors as it is today” (Dt 8:18, CSB).

We make our way prosperous

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Jos 1:8, ESV).

 

Just as these verses encourage, when we offer prayers and ask God to make our business thrive, we invite the movement of the Holy Spirit. He will show us the power God provides, and as we meditate on the Word of God we make our way prosperous. Righting our hearts before Jesus is a powerful and proven way to help our efforts succeed. 

 

When we flourish in business, we can give more generously, help others, and reveal the work of the Lord to those around us. Lifting prayer for business success reaches beyond selfish motives and can genuinely impact customers, vendors, employees, our own children, and generations of people—all through the wise decisions we’re equipped to make. 

 

25 Scriptures to Enhance Your Business-Minded Prayer

 

The most simple yet profound way to lift prayers for your business is to use Bible passages to provide guidance. Some of my favorites are:

 

Proverbs 3:3-4 (NIV)

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

 

An example of praying the Scripture is:

 

Father God, write your love and faithfulness on the tablet of my heart. Help me find favor and a good name in Your sight and before mankind. In the name of Jesus, amen.

 

Matthew 5:16 (CSB)

 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. 

 

Offer prayer like this:

 

Lord Jesus, may Your light shine through me. In my business, let customers, employees, and even their families see the good works that You instill so that they can see you and give you glory. In the name of Jesus, amen.

 

Psalm 84:11 (ESV)

 

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

 

A prayer can sound like this:

 

Thank you, Lord, that you help me to walk uprightly in my job. Be my sun and shield. I ask that you bestow Your favor and honor on my business and withhold no good thing. In the name of Jesus, amen.

 

For more Scriptures to pray over your business, I invite you to download my free eBook, a collection of 25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business. It provides Bible verses along with encouragement to offer prayers through each one for your own business success.  

 

It’s not difficult to offer prayer for your job or business by using Scripture.  In fact, there are three easy steps:

  1.  Research the Bible verses (this is already done for you in my eBook—25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business—and you can download it for free). 
  2. Offer prayers using the Scriptures in Jesus’ name each day (or at a minimum every workday).
  3. Thank Jesus for the ways the Lord will reveal Himself and how He answers your prayers. 

 

Prayer Can Enhance Your Business 

Imagine how it will feel to pray and focus on God throughout your day, knowing He is with you. In prayer, when you ask for and receive God’s guidance, it makes all things feel easier, less overwhelming, and somehow simplified. When you pray, your work becomes more efficient and meaningful and you see your products and services begin to help others. Those are likely the reasons that you started your business in the first place, and when you start to see your work pay off, it’s easier to believe that you’ll find prosperity. Then, by saying thank you to Jesus, you give Him the glory, honor, and praise for equipping you with all you need. 

 

Every Christian, whether a business owner, ministry leader, or employee should lift fervent prayer for their organization or job. Jesus longs for us to have an abiding relationship with Him, not only when we’re at home in a quiet place, but throughout our day: on the job, at work, while running a business, writing for the Kingdom, or leading others to Him. We are to pray without ceasing and continuously give thanks in the name of Jesus.

 

Download Your Free Prayer Ebook

 

If you don’t know how to offer prayer for your business or if you would like a free collection of Scriptures to help you lift prayers for business success, I invite you to download 25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business, my free eBook. It will provide you with the encouragement you need to cover your work life in prayer, ask Jesus for His help and provision, and to thank Him for all He gives. 

 

While God doesn’t promise prosperity, He does provide all we need to generate it in our lives. The Lord is faithful to hear our prayer. Interceding in His name, we give Him glory and let Him carry the burden of the weight of all the things our business or ministry needs. He is our provider, our guide, and our encourager. He cares about all of the work that we do and every life that we touch through our efforts. 

 

Spiritual Journals—A 4-Step Formula to Begin

Spiritual Journals—A 4-Step Formula to Begin

A 4-Part Formula to Start Spiritual Journals

 

I’ve often tried to adopt the daily practice. But with spiritual journals, I find I use them more frequently when I’m trying to sort out decisions or seek Biblical direction. I journal in a variety of ways when I feel the Holy Spirit prompt, “Don’t miss this,” or when I’m trying to untangle my thoughts. 

 

Recently, though, I’ve discovered a lot of peace when journaling my spiritual journey on a day-to-day basis. The daily practice reminds me to focus on our Savior and seek His ways as I navigate life. 

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure statement.

What are Spiritual Journals or Spiritual Notebooks?

 

A spiritual journal is simply a notebook or a document on your device reserved for writing thoughts. More than just recording events of your day, spiritual journals will record how we see the Lord’s involvement in our daily lives.  

 

Types of Journals for Your Spiritual Walk

 

The types are as endless as your own imagination, but a few of the most commonly used spiritual journal ideas include:

 

  • Prayer journals (listing out your prayers so you can watch for and record answers)
  • Journals that pair with Bible studies (helping you internalize and apply what you learn)
  • Sermon journals (writing down the inspiration that comes from spiritual leaders)
  • Spiritual growth journals (detailing your intentional activities to draw near to God)
  • “God” sighting journals (recording where you see the Lord moving in your life, answering prayer, providing for needs, directing your path, etc.)
  • A Gratitude Journal (naturally, to record your thanks)
  • Spiritual Gift Journal (to convey how you use or develop your spiritual gifts)
  • And many more

What Is the Best Journal?

 

There are a plethora of options, but the best journals are the ones that you will actually use. I find it beneficial to shop around and pay a little bit more for a journal I enjoy opening and using each day. My spiritual walk is a gift that I want to document appropriately. If funds are tight, you can always add your favorites to your wishlist or ask for them as a gift. 

 

For writing about spiritual matters, I’ve experimented with a 3-ring notebook (smaller versions work well for me), composition notebooks (especially if they’re cute), spiral notebook (these are super fun when they can be personalized), 3×5 notecards, even sticky notes. Sometimes I will record my thoughts in a typed document, but normally I like to write with a pen in hand. There’s something about slowing down and considering the words that help me focus my spiritual thoughts. Using a keyboard doesn’t always bring the same degree of introspection. 

 

Research shows that writing with pen and paper promotes high-quality learning and offers a good strategy to store and internalize ideas for the long-term. The act of putting pen to paper to record what we have experienced in our walk with Christ strengthens both our recollection and our resolve to walk in obedience to His ways. That’s why it’s important to shop for something you’ll enjoy. 

 

Why Keep a Journal for Spiritual Matters?

 

The instruction from Deuteronomy 4:9 (HCSB), encourages us to remember spiritual teaching and pass it on to our children. It says, “be on guard and diligently watch yourselves so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren.”

 

The practice of journaling prompts us to take this Biblical encouragement and puts it into practice. Writing down the ways we see the Lord moving in our spiritual lives helps us keep them at the front of our minds so we can share them with others.

 

4 Reasons to spiritual journal

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A Journal Helps Us Self Examine

Through journaling, we can evaluate our thoughts, reactions, spiritual growth, and the way we apply Biblical truth to our lives. 

Author Michael Hyatt says in his article about a daily journal, “What happens to us is not as important as the meaning we assign to it. Journaling helps sort this out.”

I completely agree. Writing in a spiritual journal prompts me to process my thoughts and determine the most God-honoring response to the situations I encounter. I can then proceed with purpose and intention—steady my spiritual walk, so to speak—and pursue obedience to Jesus. I find it’s well worth the time investment and is one of my favorite practices to help quiet surging emotions to focus on the Lord. 

Writing in a spiritual journal is a helpful tool to diligently watch ourselves.

A Journal is a Great Tool for Meditation

When we’re quiet before Jesus, He often reveals meaningful insights through His Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit. We often have to sort through the revelations one bite at a time. Recording our thoughts brings what may seem like a blurry landscape into better focus. The more we contemplate Biblical truth by writing in a journal, the more we can process, remember, and apply the spiritual aspects that we learn. 

Journaling is helpful to remember what we’ve seen. 

A Journal Records our Journey of Faith

A journal serves as a type of memorial stone so that our stories don’t get lost in the busyness of our schedules.  The Lord told Joshua to establish markers that would always serve as a memorial for His people and a sign among them. Looking back on our own stories helps us recall the steadfast nature of the Almighty and builds our faith for the road ahead. 

Journaling is helpful to keep our stories from slipping our minds.

A Journal Can Witness to Future Generations

Most often when we write in a journal, we’re writing for our own benefit and not for an audience. Keep in mind, however, that when we pass from this life, our journals may be collected and read by our loved ones.  They will read our stories of powerful spiritual testimony and spiritual growth through our own words. Only the Lord knows how He may use our journals to encourage others and perhaps draw them into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Journaling helps teach our children and grandchildren.

A 4-Part Formula To Start Spiritual Journal

Facing a blank page can feel daunting. When creating a spiritual journal, writing to—or about—the Lord can feel intimidating, although He encourages us to speak to Him as a friend. The biggest key to becoming comfortable with the practice of writing in a journal is to begin doing it. There are 4 steps that will help any beginner adopt the practice as a daily routine.

  1. Decide When And Where You’ll Journal.  Many people enjoy setting aside a specific time and place to record their thoughts each day. Others write when inspiration strikes and always have pen and paper within reach. Finding a quiet place is important so you can reflect and contemplate. Establishing a prayer closet or prayer nook is a good practice. You may need to experiment and find a favorite routine that works best for your personality and schedule. 
  2. Start Small. If you’re just beginning, remember to start small. Your goal isn’t to write your entire life story but to begin where you are. Start by recording your thoughts today and work to develop a consistent habit over the next few weeks. As with any spiritual discipline, journaling takes practice before it starts to feel comfortable and routine. 
  3. Ask Yourself a Few Questions. Especially in the beginning stages, you might like to ask yourself a few questions then record your answers in your journal. Here are a few places to start: 
    • What did I read in the Bible today that encouraged me?
    • How will it help me in the challenges I face today?
    • Where did I see Jesus’ activity in my life today (in the way He provided, directed, or helped)?
    • For what things am I thankful?
  4. Review What You Write. Looking back on your thoughts of your past helps keep your mind focused on Jesus in the present and future. It also reminds you that Jesus is near, that He has helped you before, and is sure to help you again.  Anne Frank once said, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” What a delightful reason to write and review a spiritual journal. 

Journal Templates With Writing Prompts

Some journals are available with pre-printed templates. These are among my favorite tools and help relieve a lot of pressure that comes when wondering what to write or how to begin. They are encouraging tools. I invite you to visit my shop for a dynamic prayer journal or Bible study companion journal

Comparing a Prayer Journal vs Notebook

A prayer journal is among the most unique types of journal. It is most beneficial when you have room for several aspects of prayer. My Prayer Journal is a reader favorite and is available in my shop. It uses the beautifully illustrated acronym P.O.W.E.R., with room to record your Praise, Offer of Thanks, Warfare (with room to write prayer requests and answers to prayer), ways that you Embrace His Instruction, and Repent of any sin in your life. (By the way, this makes a wonderful gift for anyone who enjoys prayer.)  When you’re trying to add a new spiritual practice into a tiny nook of time, having pre-printed prompts is a game changer!

If you’d like to read another article about prayer, I recommend this one on how to pray daily. 

The Gift of Keeping a Journal 

For centuries, countless followers of Jesus have kept a journal to document their spiritual journey and add to their abiding connection with Christ. It’s a favorite among ways that we can release our creative nature and express our hearts. When we journal, we clear our minds of troubling thoughts and lay them at the feet of Jesus. We release the burdens of our hearts so that we can walk in freedom and joy. By writing in a journal, we can pass on a legacy of the Lord’s loving truth to the generations that follow. 

If you haven’t yet started the practice of journaling about your spiritual walk with Jesus, I encourage you to begin as soon as possible and reap the blessings that follow.

 

 

 

 

How to begin spiritual journal

 

 

3 Fail-Proof Steps to Clarify Your Message and Grow Your Brand

3 Fail-Proof Steps to Clarify Your Message and Grow Your Brand

Have you created something wonderful? Maybe it’s a ministry that serves people or a book with an inspirational message. Perhaps you’ve created a business that helps people overcome a common struggle. You believe in it. You’ve invested money and shared it all over social media. But it still feels like no one knows about it—and that’s frustrating. I invite you to discover how to clarify your message to help your ministry, book, or business stand out in a noisy online environment.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our affiliate disclosure.

 

How to Reach a Wider Audience for Your Ministry, Book, or Business

 

The sad truth is, even though your product or service may be exactly what people need, they won’t engage with your brand unless your message is easy to understand.

 

“People do not buy the best products and services, they buy the products and services that are communicated the clearest.”  Donald Miller, Bestselling Author of Building a StoryBrand and Marketing Made Simple

 

Since people buy-in to the easiest rather than the best, what would happen if you developed a clear message for your product or service? What if you became the easiest brand in your field to do business with?

 

The average consumer sees over five thousand marketing images each day. The online world is more than noisy, sometimes it feels like pure chaos. With so much stimulation, it’s nearly impossible to capture anyone’s attention, even when you have something they need. Instead of trying to figure out an unclear message, they tune it out.

 

That’s a problem for someone trying to share details about a ministry with the potential to change the world or a business with a revolutionary solution. It feels disheartening. It shouldn’t be so hard to get your product or service into the hands of those who need it.

 

What you need to cut through all the noise is clarity.

 

What a Confusing Message is Costing You

 

You worked hard to develop and launch your service. Now, instead of serving customers and watching the resulting glow from the help you provide, you spend countless hours trying to advertise. Marketing feels like an experiment that never works, yet without it, you fear you’ll become just another failed statistic. You’ve poured way too much of yourself into your brand to have that happen.

 

But there is a better way! When you clarify your message and present it with consistency, your customers will understand. They’ll begin to see you as an expert, but more importantly as a guide who can lead them to the solutions their hearts crave. Soon you’ll see that they will engage with your brand, make purchases, and share what you offer with friends.

 

After reading the StoryBrand book (Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller) I knew immediately—this was the solution I’d searched for. I took all I learned a step further and pursued training to become a StoryBrand Certified Guide. While in training, my cohorts and I were tasked with writing a clear message for a product. I selected a prayer devotional for marriage that I’d written about 2 years prior. This was one of the best products I’d ever created, yet sales were disappointing.

 

To complete my assignment, I wrote a new message that focused on clarity. Then I shared it on social media over a break in our training. Without even creating a sales funnel, I simply used the StoryBrand framework to share a clear message. By the end of training that very day, I had email notifications for two new book sales. Within hours, my clear message was already bringing results.

 

To reach a wider audience for your ministry, book, or business, you must clarify your message. I’ve seen it work for many clients and for my own products and services too.

 

3 Fail-Proof Steps to Clarify Your Message

 

So how do you clarify your message? While the StoryBrand framework is a bit more involved, I’ll break it down into a simple, three-step roadmap.

 

Begin with the problem

 

By talking about the problems your potential customers encounter, they’ll become more interested in your message. Suddenly, they’ll see themselves in a story. They can envision using your product or service because you’ve proven that you understand what they’re facing.

 

As you reflect on the problem that you solve for your audience, consider what roadblocks to success that they see every day, the way those roadblocks make them feel, and how they might believe the world “should” be. These are known as external, internal, and philosophical problems. When you convey that you understand what they face, you’ve helped them understand how you can help.

 

Share the plan

 

This is the part where you make it easy for them. Break the process of engaging with your brand into three simple steps. Let me share a few examples:

 

If you’re running a ministry for the homeless your three steps might be:  view our online list of needs, drop off supplies at our central location, feel the satisfaction of helping families in your community.

 

If you’ve written a book, three simple steps may be: read my book, follow the 5-part blueprint, enjoy newfound confidence.

 

Don’t overcomplicate the process. Our minds easily function with sets of three so keeping your plan to 3-steps is best. Make the journey easy for your potential customers so they know what to expect and can envision themselves taking the next step.

 

Invite the action

 

Too many leaders fail to ask for the sale. The third no-fail step to clarifying your message is to call your audience to action. Tell them what you want them to do. Your call to action doesn’t need to be lengthy or over-involved. Words like “buy now” “schedule an appointment” or “give online today” are clear, easy to execute, and create engagement. Weaker calls to action like “learn more,” “start now,” or “click here” are vague, muddled, and confusing. Invite them to take a very specific next step.

 

How Clarifying Your Message Can Grow Your Brand

 

Most businesses and ministries are multi-faceted. Books cover multiple topics. As you work to clarify your message, focus on one aspect at a time. How do you want to be known? When your customers think of you, what do you want to come to their minds every single time?

 

By clarifying your message, you begin to establish yourself (or your brand, or your team) as a go-to expert. You stimulate curiosity about what you offer and begin to build a trust relationship with potential customers. When they’re ready to engage, they’ll think of you first and connect without hesitation. Your reach will expand, and your brand will grow.

 

Staying consistent with your clear message, repeating it often, and helping your audience envision a connection with you will give you a competitive advantage. You’ll help your customers understand the benefits of working with you. A clear message will forever change the way your customers think about you and the value you bring to their lives.

 

 

Help to Clarify Your Message

 

If you have mind-blowing ideas but struggle to execute strong messaging principles, I can help. I lead ministries, small businesses, and solo-preneurs through repeatable frameworks so they can grow their brand while prioritizing what matters most. As we work together, I’ll help you adopt effective business-building strategies and expand your reach. My superpower is leading others to success. I can’t wait to come alongside you on your journey.

 

Schedule a consultation today at www.cathymcintosh.com/growyourbrand.  I aim to be the best investment you make in your business or ministry. Let’s meet for a virtual coffee and discover if we’re a good match.

 

 

 

 

 

A 15-Minute Spiritual Growth Challenge

A 15-Minute Spiritual Growth Challenge

I love the changes of seasons in Colorado, and I adore spring. The world is alive with the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. After long winter months, I look forward to the newness of spring and its reminder of the redeeming work of Christ.  No matter how cold and bleary our past, He makes a way for renewal and hope. Jesus reminds us, regardless of how far we feel we’ve drifted from an abiding connection to Him, that He is steadfast and longs to draw us toward spiritual growth once again. I love that.

 

I recall coming out of one of those hazy, blustery seasons of life, yearning for a fresh start. My connection with God seemed to hang on by a thread and I struggled to feel His nearness or discern His promptings. I was in a season of spiritual winter, to be sure.

The renewal of spring inspires me greatly. Suddenly, I feel alive and rejuvenated, ready to take on the world. More importantly, I’m ready to reprioritize my walk with Jesus—intentionally—by focusing on keys to spiritual growth. Care to join me?

 

Sprouting Spiritual Growth

 

I know what you’re thinking. We’re entering one of the craziest times of year. Is this the best time to make new commitments?

 

Oh, my sister, yes. Yes it is. Our commitment to Christ is the most precious gift in our lives and leaving it untended will cost us dearly.  Without an abiding connection to Jesus, I struggle with feelings of isolation. I’m grumpy and unmotivated and tend to feel that my daily routine is meaningless.

 

But the blessings of abiding are more than we can imagine. I feel a deep sense of meaning and connection and more easily embrace the love that Jesus has for me. That helps me love others better and give more generously of myself.  One of my favorite spiritual growth quotes is by Wayne Dyer who said, “When you are spiritually connected, you are not looking for occasions to be offended, and you are not judging and labeling others. You are in a state of grace in which you know you are connected to God and thus free from the effects of anyone or anything external to yourself.”

That state of grace is certainly a way I want to live, so what do you say? Are you ready to reach out and grab hold of increasing spiritual maturity?  Let’s allow our spiritual growth to sprout again and take root. We don’t have to spend hours a day pulling weeds from our spiritual gardens. Drawing close to God is a little like breathing. It’s something we do all day, every day, alongside every other activity we face.

 

 

A 15-Minute Spiritual Growth Challenge

 

Someone recently asked what is meant by spiritual growth.  It’s the process of learning more about Jesus and discerning more of His presence in our lives. Spiritual growth and maturity are about developing a friendship with our Savior, learning to lean into His strength for help in every part of our day. It doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. In fact, sometimes the best spiritual growth comes through small, intentional steps. 

 

Could you commit, say, 15 minutes a day to focused, Christ-centered activity? Maybe give up a hand of solitaire on your smartphone or choose a messy bun instead of grabbing the curling iron. I know you can find a quarter of an hour at least 5 or 6 days a week.

 

 

How Do You Achieve Spiritual Growth?

 

Not so long ago, I decided to read 5 Psalms and 1 Proverb each day. It took me less than 15 minutes each day. Most days I picked up my Bible and read before starting my daily to-do’s. Sometimes I read while I rocked my sleeping granddaughter or while my grandson played with his toys next to me. I’ll admit, there were a few days where I didn’t get it done, but most days I did. And you know what? Just that little bit of time in God’s Word stirred my heart and poured hope and truth into my dry, dusty heart. As they say, a little goes a long way and I’m enjoying the process again this month.

 

Will you accept the challenge to read 5 Psalms and 1 Proverb each day for the month of May? Let’s band together and give God’s Word our focus and attention for a few daily minutes.

 

I hope you’ll join me! If you’re up for the challenge will you let me know? Let me know on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll be happy to pray for you during the journey. I know you’ll love it and the joy it brings to your jumbled life.

 

May God’s Word strengthen you today,

 

 

 

 

 

 Spiritual Growth Challenge

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