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Today’s Truth

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

1 Chronicles 4:10

Friend to Friend

Years ago I worked with a woman in Nashville named Cindy. She was a no-nonsense publisher for a major music company. Each month she listened to the songs I wrote and gave honest, constructive feedback that required this songwriter-chick to have thick skin and wear big-girl-panties. She was salt and light to me in the work place, but not in ways that I expected or necessarily appreciated at the time.

I didn’t always love what she had to say.

Total honesty? She. Scared. Me. Silly.

I wrestled with her strong, bristly opinions while at the same time grew from

the pruning of her wise, professional words. She challenged me toward greater excellence and she wasn’t afraid to speak difficult words of truth.

One thing I will never forget: as she listened to the new songs I wrote, she regularly insisted that I was a “worship leader/worship writer” instead of a Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) writer/artist. Drove me bananas because I was SURE I was a CCM writer/artist.

Over the years, Cindy and I became friends and eventually, I came to realize that she was right. I am a worship leader and worship writer. And it’s not only who I am, it’s who I always was. Even when I didn’t know it and insisted otherwise.

Cindy died in her early fifties.

Cancer stole her from us.

A few nights before she went on to be with the Lord, a large group of Nashville’s finest songwriters gathered at her bedside to celebrate her life that was salty and bright for Jesus. To thank her for her impact, share stories, and sacredly sing her to the other side of glory. A knot held my throat captive as I watched the gathering online via video. What a legacy. Cindy poured wisdom into so many people, she said and did things that caused others to think big thoughts about God, and spurred them on toward excellence.

She lived a life of influence because she was intentional about being salt and light in my life and in the lives of many others.

I want to die like that.

I want to live like that.

Don’t you?

In the Bible, a man named Jabez asked God for all the influence God would give him. Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked” (1 Chronicles 4:10).

Jabez wanted to live with impact to the max.

He pleaded to be a difference maker. I’m right there with him.

We all have influence. The question is will we use our influence to sway our friends toward an awesome movie or will we influence them toward our awesome God? Will we choose to live in a way that causes our unbelieving neighbor or co-worker to want to hear more about Jesus? Will we teach a young wife to understand how to respect her husband, or help a young mom realize that God is honored when she nurtures her demanding, thankless children? Will we help the weary parent of a prodigal see that her child’s rebellion is not her failure and not her child’s final faith chapter?

It all begins with a choice.

If we want to be women of impact, we need to live with our eyes wide open to God-opportunities. We need to get beyond our own agendas and move in the direction of HIS agenda. It is not about doing more of what you are already doing – it is about listening to the whispers of Jesus in the middle of the grocery store, or at the nail salon, or in your cubicle, in the next pew, in your living room, or classroom.

Being a woman of impact is not about doing more each day, it’s about living to be led by Jesus with the days you are given.

It all begins with a choice. If we want to be women of impact, we need to live with our eyes wide open to God-opportunities. We need to get beyond our own agendas and ask God what HIS agenda is. Let’s ask God to bless us and enlarge the borders of our influence for Him today!

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for impacting my life with your grace and truth. Please open my eyes to see the opportunities all around me to point others to You. Stir my heart to make today and every day count for you.
In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Now It’s Your Turn

Consider the people in your life that you influence. Pray for fresh vision, courage, and opportunities to make an impact in their lives for Christ.

GIVEAWAY: I want to impact YOU today, so I’m giving away 3 digital copies of the music soundtrack to my latest book, I WANT IT ALL. For a chance to win, CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave a comment. Who do you want to impact?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study right in the back of the book; no extra purchase required. I WANT IT ALL is easy to read yet contains compelling and challenging content. You’ll connect with the stories, probably dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little … because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS.

(CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

4 Responses to “What Kind of Impact Are You Making?”

  1. Mandy Foley says:

    WOW! Hello? Awesome devotional. Thank you!

  2. Wanfa Durbin says:

    I recently had a tumor removed from my right lung which went a little sideways. A lot of nerve damage was caused as a result! I’m such a type A person so I’ve been challenged in so many ways! When I read the devotional today I fell on my face before God begging forgiveness for my lack of trust in His all knowing wisdom! Rather then praising Him,
    (there was no cancer found). I’ve been challenged with what I can’t do! Thank you for your words TODAY! I realized it isn’t in what I Do,but rather am I willing to allow His will to be Done through me!

  3. Kathy M says:

    I want to thank you for making an impact on my life! I am so glad that I stumbled onto Girlfriends in God several years ago and I love the way you have developed this devotional as well as your posts on Facebook. Your messages are always timely and helpful. I am beginning a new chapter in my life and I am anxious to see where the Lord will lead me. Thank you for following the Lord and sharing your heart and life with us.

  4. Nikki M says:

    Thank you for these daily devotions.

    My niece called me yesterday about her younger brother & sister. Her brother is 17 and has fallen into a pattern of nothing but video games and inappropriate internet time, smoking cigarettes and pot. He barely goes to school and is close to failing this year, he is a junior. Her younger sister is 14 and just needs some positive influences right now.

    Their mom, my sister is single ( separated) She works a lot. She does not have a lot of time with the kids and really has lost control.

    I have an idea of how to possibly get my nephew to come out of this dark hole, a few years back he enjoyed carpentry with his uncle, my husband. So I’m hoping he will agree to come spend time with him again as we do some work on our house. My niece enjoys horses, she has her own and would like to do some showing. I used to take my daughter to shows and I miss it, so I would be more than happy to take my niece.

    They both have been taught about Jesus. My sister is a christian. Id love to just give them time, love and attention with Gods help.

    Please pray that they will both agree to spend time with my husband and I. These kids, as their older half siblings have had a rough life, there is so much more to this story. I love my sister and would love to be a positive Godly influence on her as well. Thank you.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8