I hear and see this word a lot (thanks Michelle) and today I was pondering, who and/or what is it that inspires me. Inspire as defined by Mirriam-Webster dictionary is to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration; to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on; to spur on; affect.
First and foremost I am inspired by God and by His word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Can I do good deeds without God? Sure, plenty of people perform “good” deeds every day without proclaiming to know Him. However, a more biblical understanding of “good works” relates to all aspects of our thinking and conduct before God. We must be rooted in His word and in Christ. As we become rooted in Him we should naturally begin to bear fruit. The fruit that we bear may also be referred to as “good works”. Some examples may be sharing the good news of our Savior with lost people we encounter in our daily lives, treating our families/coworkers/friends/strangers with respect, helping your “neighbor” whether that be financially or through other helpful acts depending on their need and your abilities, etc., etc.
Secondly are the people in my life that inspire me. I will share a few here, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.
My parents – They have always inspired me, but especially in the last 4.5 years since mom’s diagnosis with ovarian cancer. Mom’s ability to keep a good attitude and a smile on her face a majority of the time blows most peoples minds. Does she have her difficult moments? Absolutely, but she doesn’t dwell there. Her faith and belief that God is working in and through this trial is unwavering and she will share it with anyone that asks…and probably some that don’t. Dad has been a rock through all of the doctor’s visits, treatments, hospitalizations, and the difficult days at home. He has supported Mom every step of the way. I hope to one day have a marriage and relationship like theirs that stands the test of time.
The Hills -Kiona and Adam are faithful followers of Christ, worship leaders, and parents to 14 (yes, I said 14) children. God has entrusted them with loving and raising these 14 precious souls and I have to say they are doing a bang up job. I am always amazed at the bond that everyone in that family shares. There are challenges, sure, as would be expected with that many people (and personalities) under one roof, but the love they have for each other is evident as soon as you meet them. It has been a pleasure to welcome one of their daughters into my home as she makes that oh so important transition into adulthood, and figuring out what the future holds for her. Having experienced the fruits of their parenting I can say with some authority that they have done and are doing a wonderful job. They inspire me to be more intentional to spend time with the young people in my sphere of influence. It is important who they have in their lives to look up to and it’s important that what they see points them towards (and not away from) the One who formed them, loves them and desires a personal relationship with them.
Michelle – She certainly fits the animating and enlivening definition. If you’ve had the pleasure of spending any time with her through church, Tres Dias, or any number of other settings then you probably know what I mean. It’s more than that which inspires me though. It is her passion and love for the Lord, her enthusiasm for sharing and teaching His word, and her commitment to trusting the Lord through all things whether good or bad, comfortable or uncomfortable that inspires me to pursue a more intimate relationship with Him and a deeper knowledge of His word. Because we are so different, but have become such good friends I am also inspired to step outside of my comfort zone and be more open and receptive to people, willing to share more of myself, and more apt to pursue friendships rather than sitting back waiting and hoping they will magically appear on their own. Finally, in helping her in pursuit and implementation of the ministry in which God has called her to, I have become more in tune with the passions and abilities that He has given me and ways in which I can gain experience and potentially use them for His glory.
I could list so many more, but I’m also interested in you. Are there people in your life that inspire you? Maybe family, friends, teachers, co-workers….you name it. I would love to hear about them, but more importantly maybe you should let them know. Just a thought…