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The Small Seed  | Women Growing Faith | study guides, stories of faith, family resources + community | #nourishtheseed | JUNE THEME: Work, A Divine Principle

How do we come to understand and perform the work God intends for us? Let me share four principles that will help.

1. Focus on others. We can follow Christ, “who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
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2. Discover and develop spiritual gifts. Heavenly Father gave us these gifts to help us identify, perform, and enjoy the work He has for us.

3. Make use of adversity. Our trials help us discover and prepare for the work Heavenly Father has for us.

4. Rely on God. When we ask Him in faith with real intent, He will reveal our divine assignments to us. Once we discover them, He will help us fulfill those assignments.

At the same time God helps us fulfill divine assignments, the adversary works to distract and dissuade us from a life of meaning.... Are we so preoccupied with worldly things that we are diverted from our divine assignments?

In addition, Satan discourages us with feelings of inadequacy. He makes our work appear too difficult or intimidating. However, we can trust God! He loves us. He wants us to succeed. He “doth go before [us]; he will be with [us], he will not fail [us]” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
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When a reporter tried to recognize Mother Teresa for her life’s mission to help the poor, she retorted: “It’s [God’s] work. I am like a…pencil in his hand....He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used.”
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I invite each of us to “yield [ourselves] unto God…as instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:13). Yielding ourselves involves letting Him know we want to be of use, seeking His direction, and accessing His strength. — John Pingree, I Have a Work for Thee

You will find the abundant life wherever you find the sign that says the surrendered life. — @AnnVoskamp via @ifgathering

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. — Luke 9:24 (KJV)

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
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But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
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And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. — Luke 10:38-42

We can all try to watch out for Martha-like anxiety, which is genderless. It can also deprive us of special experiences if we are too “cumbered about much serving.” Conscientiousness is not an automatic guarantee that we will choose the “good part” which will not be “taken away” from us.
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Our most precious remembrances are concerned with “the good part.” These will remain with us, while many of our once-pressing anxieties will be long since forgotten. — Neal A. Maxwell

How can allowing yourself to accept assistance enable you to do more good? How can consciously choosing ‘that good part’ actually help lighten your load?

Today we are excited to share an interview with Dr. Nathalie Johnson by Story of Faith editor @jackiedshafer. Jackie shares:
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When my sister, Stacey, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was told to see Dr. Nathalie Johnson because she's the best surgical oncologist in Portland. She proved to be that. With time, we learned that not only was she a skilled, talented surgeon, but also a compassionate, loving, understanding, and faith-filled supporter. We were so touched each time Dr. Johnson took the time before surgery to pray with Stacey and sing “Amazing Grace” to her. What makes Dr. Johnson's story all the more remarkable is that she is a breast cancer survivor herself. We thank her for sharing her Story of Faith with us!
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Click the link in our profile or IG stories to read her full Story of Faith interview

📷: courtesy Dr. Johnson + Legacy Hospital

A late-night thought on Christlike love…
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According to John’s testimony, Jesus Christ taught that his capacity to love and to redeem the human race depended first on a harmonious relationship with his Father. It was as though this relationship was essential for gaining the capacity to redeem and bless the rest of humanity.
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The Lord revealed that his perfected relationship with the Father consisted of two ingredients: love and obedience (see John 17). When combined and harmonized, these appeared to produce an alloy stronger than either ingredient alone. They seemed to be the keys by which Father and Son became perfectly united.
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The question struck me: Did the Savior obtain his power to love completely, and thus to redeem us, by virtue of submission to his Father, a submission that was loving and voluntary? Do we likewise gain the capacity to love and participate in the redemptive process as we voluntarily and lovingly submit ourselves to the will of the Savior and our Father? It seems that this is exactly what the Lord taught. Our unity with them is a result of obedience and love; and this oneness with a higher power in turn enables us to love more effectively and become one with each other. — Allen E. Bergin, The Way to Christlike Love
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📷: Alex Loup

Buried in the seldom-quarried mines of the minor prophets is this jewel: The LORD your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you. (Zeph. 3:17)
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Don’t move too quickly through that verse. Read it again and prepare yourself for a surprise. The LORD your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you. (Zeph. 3:17) Note who is active and who is passive. Who is singing, and who is resting? Who is rejoicing over his loved one, and who is being rejoiced over?
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We tend to think we are the singers and God is the “singee.” Most certainly that is often the case. But apparently there are times when God wishes we would just be still and (what a stunning thought!) let him sing over us. I can see you squirming. You say you aren’t worthy of such affection? Neither was Judas, but Jesus washed his feet. Neither was Peter, but Jesus fixed him breakfast. Neither were the Emmaus-bound disciples, but Jesus took time to sit at their table. Besides, who are we to determine if we are worthy? Our job is simply to be still long enough to let him have us and let him love us. — Max Lucado, from Just Like Jesus: A Heart Like His

Sometimes our circumstances aren’t ideal. Often they are not ideal. This isn’t heaven. And the call to lay down our lives will take different forms. But this is our calling, with its countless manifestations. Not because we’re the one who finally will save our kids or our family or our neighbors or ourselves. We’re not Christ. But we are Christians....
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We seek to faithfully live the actual life God has given us, not the one we hoped for or wish we had. We take the principles God himself has given us—for work and dominion, the priority of the home, generosity and hospitality, caring for the children (and adults) God has given us (their bodies and souls)—and we apply them to the real life in front of us. Not the ideal. Not the fantasy. But the actual life God has given us.
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The everyday lives of Christian women will not all look the same. Yet our hearts will be united more deeply than any exclusive gathering of women who work, or stay at home, or work from home, or any other category, because of our clinging together to Christ. — Abigail Dodds, from Every Woman’s Call to Work (at desiringgod.com)

📷: @restoringphotography

There are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin...
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The majesty of your life, of your neighbor’s life, and of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be made manifest at the last day, even if such majesty is not always recognized by everyone in the early going. So don’t hyperventilate about something that happened at 9:00 in the morning when the grace of God is trying to reward you at 6:00 in the evening—whatever your labor arrangements have been through the day.
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...There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. ‘Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,’ and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast ‘without money and without price’ at the table of the Lord. — Jeffrey Holland, The Laborers in the Vineyard

Reflection Question: What blessings do YOU receive when you diligently stick to a task or push through adversity?

📱A portion of this quote appears on one of our June study guide phone wallpapers! If you missed their release last week, the link is in our IG bio or stories archives!📱

Do you ever feel that the shouts of social media are louder to you than the whisperings of the spirit? Does the feedback you see here on Instagram or on other social platforms weigh more heavily on your feelings of self worth than what your family, and especially what God think of you?
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If you want to know the answer to the question, "what does God want me to do" or "what can I do to help build God's kingdom", we have a 5 step challenge we want to pass on to you from a recent talk we heard from one of our favorite religious leaders, Russell Nelson.
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1 – Disengage from a constant reliance on social media by holding a 7 day fast from social media.
2 – Make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord for 3 weeks in a row. As you pray about this sacrifice of time you'll be guided to know both what you can give up that week and what you can do instead.
3 – Do a thorough life assessment with the Lord to ensure that your feet are firmly planted.
4 – Pray daily that all of God's children will receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
5 – Stand out. Be different from the world. You are to be a light to the world.
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A few of us on our team are taking on this challenge this week to more fully enlist in the work of God, and help bring others to Him. Sometimes the best thing we can do to get closer to God is to simply take a step away from the world and focus on building the kingdom! 💛
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📷: @jordanleedooley

Has it ever hit you that the first verse in the Bible is about work—what God calls his creative activity (Genesis 2:2)? Or that the very first work undertaken is described as creative—not drudgery to avoid? Or that God really enjoyed his work?
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The more we think about the whole first chapter of Genesis, the more glorious things we see regarding how God views his work, and the wonderful, liberating implications it has on how we are to view our work.
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So where do we get the idea that God enjoys his work? From the last verse of the first chapter in the Bible:
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And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
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...It’s amazing to think about: the very first thing the Bible teaches us about God is that he engaged in incredibly vigorous, prolonged, creative work, and he enjoyed it—both the work itself and the fruit of his work. — Jon Bloom, How to Find Joy in Your Work

Happy Thursday! Today we are back with another series of 4 unique wallpapers for your phone! You can download them via the link in our stories—we are also posting each wallpaper in our stories for you to screenshot directly.

Scroll thru the pics to see each up close + SCREENSHOT or DOWNLOAD your favorite(s). Each design is based on this month’s study guide and has been created to help you keep the word of God and other inspiring teachings in the forefront of your mind.

Keep tagging us @thesmallseed or using our study guide hashtag #nourishtheseed as your study and share what you’re learning! 🌱

Work is a glorious thing. And if you stop and think about it, the most enjoyable kinds of leisure are a kind of work. Both these facts are true because the essence of work, as God designed it before the Fall, was creativity — not aimless, random doing, but creative, productive doing....
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If you are starting to grow lazy, I summon you back to joy. God made us to work. He formed our minds to think and our hands to make. He gave us strength—little or great—to be about the business of altering the way things are.
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That is what work is: seeing the world, thinking of how it could be better, and doing something—from the writing of a note to the building of a boat; from the sewing of what you wear to the praying of a prayer.
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Come, leave off sloth and idleness. Become what you were made to be. Work. — John Piper @desiringgod

📷: Martin Grincevschi

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