forgive to live forgiveness

Walking with Jesus
Living Life God’s Way

What really

George Washington Carver was born a slave in Missouri around 1864. His parents had been bought in 1855 by Miles Carver, a German immigrant. When George was a week old, he was captured along with his mother and sister by Confederate raiders from Arkansas, who sold them as slaves in Kentucky. Miles tracked George down and got him back, though not his mother or sister. The Carvers decided to raise George as their own son, and “Aunt Susan” taught him to read. He was too sickly to work in the fields, so he began studying plants, developing natural pesticides and fungicides, and finding ways to improve the soil. He was so successful that local farmers began to call him “the plant doctor.”

George came to faith in Christ as a young boy. He described the event in a letter he wrote in 1931:
“I was just a mere boy when converted, hardly ten years old. There isn’t much of a story to it. God just came into my heart one afternoon while I was alone in the ‘loft’ of our big barn while I was shelling corn to carry to the mill to be ground into meal.

A dear little white boy, one of our neighbours, about my age came by one Saturday morning, and in talking and playing, he told me he was going to Sunday school tomorrow morning. I was eager to know what a Sunday school was. He said they sang hymns and prayed. I asked him what prayer was and what they said. I do not remember what he said; only remember that as soon as he left I climbed up into the loft, knelt down by the barrel of corn and prayed as best I could. I do not remember what I said. I only recall that I felt so good that I prayed several times before I quit.

“My brother and myself were the only coloured children in that neighbourhood and of course, we could not go to church or Sunday school, or school of any kind.

“That was my simple conversion, and I have tried to keep the faith.”

Because he was not allowed in the schools in his hometown, George walked ten miles to a town where there was a school he could attend. He arrived after the school had closed and spent the night in a barn. The next day, he met Mariah Watkins from whom he rented a room.

After attending several other schools, he eventually got his high school diploma. In 1888 he got a loan to pay for education and went to Simpson College in Iowa to study art and piano. His skill at drawing flowers and plants led his professors to encourage him to apply to Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State). Carver was so successful that his professors talked him into staying for a master’s degree and becoming the college’s first black faculty member. He completed his degree in 1896. By this point, he had developed a national reputation as a botanist.

In 1896, Booker T. Washington recruited Carver to head the Agricultural Department at Tuskegee Institute, a position which he held for 47 years. In that position, he was as concerned about character development as he was in academics; he even began teaching a Bible study at the request of his students.

His agricultural research at Tuskegee led to a system of crop rotation to repair soils depleted by cotton cultivation. He discovered that alternating cotton with sweet potatoes or legumes such as peanuts not only increased the yield of cotton but also produced food and diversified the cash crops for the farmers. Carver then began developing alternate uses for sweet potatoes and peanuts to increase the market for the new crops. He ultimately found 118 derivatives from sweet potatoes and 300 from peanuts.

All this brought him to the attention of important figures in government, including Theodore Roosevelt. He also became one of the very few Americans admitted to the Royal Society for the Arts in England (1916).

Carver used his fame to educate American farmers on best practices and to promote racial unity. All through his career he had sought out Christians for fellowship. He saw in the gospel the means to overcome racial and social divisions. Three American presidents consulted with him during this period, and he continued his agricultural research.

In January 1943 Carver fell down a flight of stairs at the Tuskegee Institute. He died of complications from the fall a few days later. His epitaph reads: “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honour in being helpful to the world.”

Carver’s early experiences and conversion would shape his life and work. The early challenges developed a deep inner character that shaped not only his own life, but those with whom he would meet over the course of his life. A deep love for God will always have a profound impact on one’s life that will produce a selfless desire to serve others.
(from Glenn Sunshine, carver/)

Reflect: Who among your family and friends needs to know and experience the story of Jesus? Begin praying for them and ask God to give you opportunities to share Jesus with them.


When we surrender our hearts to God, we become His children. The Bible describes this process as being “born again”, where we are then accepted and incorporated into a “new tribe”—the family of God.

What does Jesus ask us to do to show we are His followers?

John 13:34

1 John 4:7-12, 16, 21; 2:8-10; 3:14-18,23 || 2 John 1:5,6 || John 15:12,13,17 || Leviticus 19:18,34 || Romans 12:10 || Ephesians 5:2 || James 2:8 || 1 Peter 1:22

God is the creator and the source of all that is living and all that is good in our world. When our hearts are filled with God’s love, it will naturally flow to others and they too will also experience the love of God.

Jesus came to this world to reveal the character of God. He accomplished this through His healing and teaching ministry that culminated in the demonstration of His sacrificial love on the cross, and the power of His resurrection.

“Avail yourself of the greatest privilege this side of heaven. Jesus Christ died to make communion and communication with the Father possible.”

Billy Graham

As disciples of Jesus, we are called to follow His example of selfless love and service to others. This radical love is powerful and contagious—it is an influential witness because it is so different from the conditional love we experience every day. This love will refresh and re-energise not only you, but people you encounter.

Why did Jesus come to our world?

Matthew 20:28

Luke 22:27; 5:31.32 || 1 John 2:2 || Isaiah 61:1-3; 53:4,5 || Philippians 2:4-8 || Psalms 146:7-9 || Ephesians 5:2 || Hebrews 9:28

Because Jesus loves us, we respond in turn by showing our love for Him. We do this when we seek to bless and help other people just as He did in His life on Earth.

“You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

As Jesus worked unceasingly to reach people, He faced many challenges, but was determined to do God’s will.

There was not one trace of selfishness in Jesus—everything He did, He did for God and the good of humanity. In uniting yourself with God, having experienced His love and grace, no personal sacrifice will be too great.

“Do not let any opportunity move you away from serving God. That’s a price too high to pay.” – Goerge Foreman


What is the good news about Jesus that we are to share with others?

John 1:29

1 Peter 1:19,20 || Revelation 5:12,13; 13:8 || Galatians 1:4 || 1 John 2:2; 3:5; 4:10 || Isaiah 53:5-7

As your walk with Jesus deepens, a desire will be born in your heart to make Him known to your friends and family. The good news about Jesus is to be shared—it isn’t something we are to keep to ourselves. Notice that when Philip found Jesus, he went to Nathaniel and told him: “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:43–51).

What happens when we prioritise others?

Proverbs 11:25

Proverbs 8:27 || Isaiah 58:7-11 || Job 29:13-17 || Matthew 5:7; 25:34-36 || 2 Corinthians 9:6-13

When we focus our efforts on helping others rather than looking for our own self-interest, we will be blessed. God invites us to use these blessings as part of the redemption story and diffuse them to others. This is the greatest privilege that has been granted to us: that we may take part in the work of God.

God could have delegated this work to the angels or used other methods—but in His love and infinite wisdom, He invited us to work alongside Him to tell others of His compassion, mercy and love.

“Hold your possessions so loosely that when they are lost in the sacrifices of love, your confidence in a supreme Treasure in heaven will fill you with joy.” John Piper


How did Jesus live a life of service to others?

2 Corinthians 8:9

1 Peter 2:2 || Philippians 2:6-8 || Mark 10:44,45 || Matthew 20:28 || John 13:3-5 || 1 Timothy 6:17-19 || James 2:5 || Hebrews 2:9-18 || Matthew 6:33

As we face challenges and obstacles, these experiences draw us closer to Jesus as we understand that He has already faced and conquered every challenge for our sake. Every time we put others first, or perform acts of selfless service or kindness, we are following the example of Jesus.

In doing this work, you may experience opposition and uncertainty. When you face challenges, look for guidance in the Bible, spend time with God in prayer and your faith will be strengthened and your soul refreshed to continue in your walk with Jesus.

“If you go to work as Jesus designs that His disciples shall and reach out to others for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

— Ellen G. White

How are we filled with love for others?

Philippians 2:13

Hebrews 13:20,21 || 2 Chronicles 30:12 || Isaiah 26:12 || Jeremiah 31:3 || John 3:27 || 1 Kings 8:58 || 1 Timothy 1:9 || 2 Thessalonians 1:11,12

The spirit of unselfish work reveals Christ’s character resulting in peace and happiness. When we love in this way, we will become strong in the faith.


How does helping others impact you?

Isaiah 58:10,11

Psalm 41:1-3; 112:4-9 || Deuteronomy 15:7-10 || Matthew 10:39 || Proverbs 11:24,25; 14:31; 28:27

When we follow Jesus, our character will become more like His—instead of being selfish, we will be unselfish, instead of helping ourselves, we will help others. When we live a life of service to others, there is no room for laziness, selfishness or pride. This means our goals will be different because we no longer choose to put ourselves first above Jesus and everything He has told us.

As we model our lives on the example of Jesus, we grow in our understanding of God and will be able to share His love clarity. As our faith continues to grow, we will approach Him boldly presenting our request to Him.

“Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”

— Francis of Assisi


How do we grow in our faith?

James 1:25

Psalms 119:2,3 || James 1:2; 2:12 || Luke 6:46, 49; 11:28 || John 8:31; 13:17; 15:9,10 ||

Romans 11:22 || 1 Timothy 4:16 || 1 Corinthians 15:58 || Revelation 22:14

Jesus has instructed us to share His story and be a blessing to others, which also includes action. We should help everyone, regardless of whether or not we may think they deserve our help. It is important to remember that the work God has called us to participate in, is not about us, but Him. In Matthew 5:13–16, Jesus calls us to be the salt of the earth and light to the world. In every aspect of our life, we are called to be lightbearers in times of darkness and add flavour to life where there is hatred.

As we follow Jesus and do good in His name, we will find that our faith is strengthened and our relationship with Him will grow.

It may tempt some people to be the type of Christian who just receives the blessings Jesus has given without responding in any way. It is true that Jesus gifts us with salvation. This is not something we have earned, however, once filled with God’s love, we begin to live a life that will honour Him, a life of sacrificial service.

If you don’t exercise the muscles in your physical body, your arms and legs will weaken and lose strength. In the same way, if your faith isn’t active, your walk with God will weaken and your witness will be powerless.

“True leadership is serving God and not looking for the glory that might come from it. You don’t do it for the glory or personal benefit but for God’s glory. You don’t take credit for anything that is done, but praise God for everything that
He has done through you.”

— Vonette Bright


Where can we work for Jesus?

1 Corinthians 7:24

1 Corinthians 10:31 || Colossians 3:17,23,24 || James 1:27 || Philippians 4:11 || Isaiah 6:8 ||
2 Corinthians 3:3 || Acts 16:25; 22:21; 26:16,17 || Matthew 25:36; 28:19,20

Although we are all called to share the good news of Jesus with the world, this doesn’t mean we are required to travel to other countries in order to accomplish this work. We can be a witness for Jesus in our home, our workplace, and in our relationships with friends and family.

When we follow Jesus, His character and love will be evident in our lives, and others will see and experience what He is like through our example. Therefore, it is important to live our lives in a way that will bring glory and honour to God.

Why is it important to use the gifts and talents God has given us?

John 15:2

Matthew 25:14-30; 31-46 || Colossians 3:23

Sometimes we can make excuses and fail to use our God-given talents and abilities. We may feel that because we are not the best at something, it’s not worth expending any effort at all.


Society values things like fame, wealth, power and physical attractiveness. This can make us feel unworthy or that we don’t measure up to others who on the surface may appear to have more than we do.

That’s not how God’s kingdom works! God has given us talents and abilities that He calls us to use for Him in His service. It doesn’t matter if you think your abilities are insignificant compared to others. God doesn’t want you to compare yourselves to those around you, He wants you to surrender to His will and focus on doing whatever you can to be a blessing to others.

When we love God with all of our heart how will we treat others?

Ephesians 6:6-8

1 Thessalonians 2:3, 4 || Matthew 7:2 || Galatians 1:10 || 1 Peter 2:15; 4:2 ||
Hebrews 13:5 || 1 Timothy 6:6

Attitude matters. If we sincerely love God, this will be obvious by the way we live. Jesus will be reflected in our life through our words and actions, and we will be a blessing to others. What matters is that our hearts are sincere and open to God’s leading, and that we are seeking to do His will.

You don’t need to wait for a momentous occasion or have a certain level of skill before you can start serving God. You can start right away.

“Serving God doesn’t mean we’ll no longer have difficulties. We’re still on the battlefield, but we don’t have to fight alone.”

— Joyce Meyer


What is the result of a life lived in Jesus?

2 Corinthians 9:6

Luke 6:38 || Proverbs 11:18, 24; 22:9 || Matthew 5:14 || 1 Timothy 5:25||
Psalms 41:1-3 || Ecclesiastes 11:1, 6 || Galatians 6:7-9 || Hebrews 6:10

God sees the world in a different way than we do. There might be some small kindness or help that we can provide. We may not see this as having any significant impact, however it could actually be the start of a wave of joy that grows wider and deeper. Like a small stone thrown in the waters, the ripples can extend out far beyond the initial action.

We may not know the impact of all our actions until heaven. This can sometimes cause discouragement, weariness, and confusion if we are even accomplishing anything worthy of what God has called us to do. Our task is not to judge the success of our efforts—we are to leave that in God’s hands.

“The humblest and poorest disciples of Jesus

can be a blessing to others.” Ellen G. White

You are called to live humbly and faithfully as a follower of Jesus, allowing His goodness to flow from you to others. As you do this, you will become more and more like Jesus, and this work will prepare you for the joy of heaven, where you will be with God always.

The George Carver story could have ended in a very different way. Carver could have justified another course of action whereby he simply accepted the events of his life, however, he came to see and strive for a very different outcome. Understanding his value to God, Carver embraced the difficulties and followed the convictions of his faith leaving a legacy that shaped and impacted the life of modern America.

God has called you to show His love to others

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