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Happy New Year

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. -Isaiah 43:19

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THIS YEAR GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Two of our biggest fears are failure and criticism. And they never completely go away. You can overcome them, but they’ll show up when you face your next challenge. It’s in accepting fear as part of life’s journey instead of running from it, that you learn to conquer it. Indeed, as you look back at what you’ve already overcome, you realize that most times failure doesn’t do permanent damage you actually grow stronger through it. If you’re anxious today, God is saying to you, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.” So trust Him, and get out of your comfort zone! An unknown poet wrote: “I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I couldn’t fail; the same four walls of busywork were really more like jail. I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before, but stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor. I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much; I said I didn’t care for things like dreams and goals and such. I claimed to be so busy with the things inside my zone, but deep inside I longed for something special of my own. I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win; I held my breath and stepped outside and let the change begin. I took a step, and with new strength I’d never felt before, I kissed my comfort zone goodbye, then closed and locked the door. If you are in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out, remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.” The word for you today is: This year, get out of your comfort zone.

Incredible though it may seem, when Israel encountered difficulties in the wilderness, they wanted to return to their old life of slavery in Egypt. The security of the known was less threatening to them than the challenges of the unknown. So the Lord said to them, not once, but twice, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid…[of] them…the Lord your God will…go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor [forsake] you.” Why did He say that? Because it’s in taking action that you overcome your fear! When you challenge your fears, you master them. When you wrestle with your problems, they lose their grip on you. When you dare to confront the things that scare you, you open the door to the future. A wise man once said, “Take the bull by the horns until you have him screaming for mercy.” Almost without exception every man and woman in the Bible whom God called to do great things felt inadequate, and told Him so. And how did God respond to them? “I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isa 41:10 NLT). Author John Mason writes: “The desire for safety stands against every great and virtuous dream. Security, many times, is the first step toward stagnation. Boldness in vision is the first, second, and third most important thing. If you dare nothing, you should expect nothing.” So whatever opportunity or obstacle you’re facing today, factor God in. With Him on your side, what you have is always greater than whatever you lack.

Devotional//Word For You Today// Have a blessed day 🙂

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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Present In Every Situation

“I was not aware of it.”
Ge 28:16 NIV

BE “AWARE” OF GOD IN YOUR SITUATION

One night Jacob had a dream. He saw a ladder with angels on it extending all the way up to heaven, and God said to him, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go” (v. 15 NIV). The next morning Jacob said, “The Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” When it comes to recognizing God at work in your life, you can be spiritually tuned in, or be like Jacob and not be “aware” of Him. It was business as usual for Moses the day he noticed the burning bush—not an uncommon sight in a hot desert climate. Except this time the bush kept burning, and “when…he turned aside to look, God called to him” (Ex 3:4 NKJV). You’ll have some of your greatest encounters with God in the everyday experiences of life. But you have to be open and receptive, otherwise you’ll miss Him. Author William Barry says: “Whether we’re aware of it or not, at every moment of our existence we’re encountering God…who is trying to catch our attention…to draw us into a reciprocal conscious relationship.” And you never know where He’ll appear, or through whom He’ll speak. After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene thought Jesus was just the gardener. Paul writes, “Wake up…sleeper” (Eph 5:14 NIV). You can be awakened by a miraculous healing, a restored relationship, or even a great trial. Don’t just look for God in your triumphs; look for Him in your troubles too. Theologian Frederick Buechner said, “There is no event so commonplace but that God is present, leaving you room to recognize or not to recognize Him.”

Devotional// Word For You Today

Takeaways: Sometimes, God will cause things to happen in our lives that will cause us to position our eyes on him.

Familiarity of who God is and what he does can hinder us from truly experiencing him.

Jesus loves you. Have a blessed day 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Sacrificial Love

THE MARRIAGE COVENANT

“For those who are married, I have a command that comes…from the Lord.” 1Co 7:10 NLT

Having God’s blessing on your marriage is contingent upon you operating according to His rules. To enjoy His protection, peace, and prosperity you must follow His instructions. For example, you can spend hours arguing and still not resolve the issue. If you’d just followed God’s rules, the argument could have been over in a matter of minutes, and both parties would have been satisfied at the end of the process. When your car breaks down, you take it back to the dealership. Why? Because they sold it to you and they know how to fix it! God performed the first marriage. So when your relationship gets into trouble, if you’re wise you’ll talk to Him about it before talking to each other. Furthermore, when you get married with the attitude, “If this doesn’t work out I can always get a divorce,” you’re running in the opposite direction from the truth of God’s Word. Paul writes: “For those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife” (vv. 10-11 NLT). Yes, there are some acceptable reasons for divorce, but they are the exception and not the rule! Recently a Hollywood celebrity spent millions of dollars on her wedding and then divorced her husband two months later on the grounds of “incompatibility.” When you say, “Till death us do part,” you say it before God and you’re supposed to mean it. 

We throw the word “love” around loosely, leaving it to be defined in many different ways. People say things like, “I love chocolate cake,” or “I love football,” or “I love that television show.” What they really mean is they “like” and “enjoy” these things. The Bible definition of love goes much deeper than what entertains and excites us, and what makes us feel emotionally attached to one another. To love someone is to pursue their well-being and make it a priority. Love’s first concern is always: “How does this action contribute to my partner’s well-being?” If it doesn’t—or if it does the opposite—then it isn’t love. The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her…In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but…cares for it” (vv. 25, 28-29 NLT). As a husband, you can learn two things from these Scriptures: (1) We are all innately selfish. So your greatest challenge will always be to put your wife’s interests ahead of your own, and be willing to sacrifice your own agenda to do it. (2) We must practice being sensitive. Think how sensitive you are to the aches and needs of your own body, and apply that same principle to caring for your wife. You say, “That’s a tall order!” Yes, and the God who commands you to do it will give you the grace to do it day by day. So draw on His grace!

A good marriage is built on mutual sacrifice. Adam had to sacrifice something near and dear to him in order to get Eve—a rib. And your wife will know you love her when you’re willing to give up things that are important to you in order to meet her needs and promote her well-being. Too many men want to be married but still function as singles. They don’t want to sacrifice any time, attention, or resources for the benefit of their wives. They don’t want a wife; they want a maid. They want to marry someone so they can be served. No—it’s the opposite! The Bible says you and your wife are “heirs together.” That means she is an equal partner. So her opinions, thoughts, and perspectives matter. Yes, as the leader of your home you may make the final decision, but when you don’t get your wife’s input and consider her viewpoint, holy wedlock can turn into unholy deadlock. Your wife will respond to you when she feels cherished and valued (See Eph 5:29). You say, “But my wife’s as cold as ice.” How did she get that way? Ice only stays icy in a cold environment. So instead of complaining, work at changing your environment. Husbands are thermostats and wives are thermometers. Husbands determine the climate and wives thrive or shrivel accordingly. There’s a reason your wife is cold—and there’s a solution. When you begin to love, nurture, cherish, and protect her as Christ did the church, you’ll have a whole new woman in your arms. Try it and see.

Paul writes, “The wife must respect her husband.” Pay close attention to the word “must.” This is a command from the Lord, not a suggestion or a topic that’s open to debate. Notice, the Bible doesn’t say a woman must “love” her husband, but it does say that she must “respect” him. And guys, before you take the throne and start handing out decrees, that means you must prove yourself worthy of respect! To respect your husband is to hold him in esteem and honor. What a woman needs from a man is located in her heart, and what a man needs from a woman is located in his head. It’s called his ego. You say, “I’m not going to feed his ego!” That would be like your husband saying, “I’m not going to feed your heart.” Men long to have their egos fed. When you fail to feed your husband’s ego, he may end up vulnerable to somebody else who feeds it for him! As a wife, you were created by God with the ability to feed your husband’s ego in a healthy manner, by respecting and honoring him. There’s nothing more dangerous in a marriage relationship than disrespect. When a man doesn’t feel respected, he will either rebel against you, remove himself, or become passive. God has given two simple rules for building a successful marriage. The first is for husbands to love their wives, and the second is for wives to respect their husbands. And when you operate by God’s rules you get God’s results. So if you want God’s best, and His blessing at home—start doing things His way.

Devotion// Word For You Today. Have a blessed day 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Learn To Listen

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Pr 12:15 NIV

“LORD, WHAT SHOULD I DO?” Part #3

Another way God will lead you is: Through godly advice. Moses experienced this. Instead of getting help, he tried to do it all himself. At that point his father-in-law, Jethro, said to him, “What you are doing is not good” (Ex 18:17 NIV). Then he told Moses to delegate responsibility to capable leaders who could share the load with him. “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (Ex 18:24 NIV). As a result, Moses’ problem was solved, and Israel made it successfully to the Promised Land. Some of the time God will speak to you directly and reveal what you should do, but much of the time He will speak to you through relationships. He will bring wise and seasoned people alongside you. At that point you need to be humble enough to heed their advice. You may be good; indeed, you may be better than most. But you’ll never be as good as you could be, without the help of others. But you must be careful who you listen to—trustworthy counselors and persons who want only what God wants. Such persons will stay objective, listen carefully, and answer slowly. Often they won’t give you an answer at the time you ask for it. They want to sleep on it; they want to pray about it; they want to think about it. Such a person is like having an extra set of eyes and ears. Why would you want to live without them? So today be open to those God sends into your life to help guide you. 

Devotional//Word For You Today

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Holy Spirit

“God is working in you.” Php 2:13

“LORD, WHAT SHOULD I DO?” (Part #2)

Another way in which God will lead you is: Through the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. As a parent, you wouldn’t allow your children to get into trouble if you could stop them—and neither would God. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” God will give you a desire to do His will, plus the power to carry it out. You ask, “But how can I know God’s voice?” Through time, through testing, through experience, and most of all through intimacy with Him. When a loved one calls you on the phone, they don’t have to say, “Hello, this is your husband or your wife calling.” You know their voice! And learning to recognize the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit is crucial, because much of the time you won’t be able to figure it out. “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (Pr 20:24 NLT). When all is said and done, you will say, “Honestly, I didn’t figure this thing out. It must have been God.” The longer you walk with God the less you’ll know about why He leads as He does, but you’ll know with assurance that He does lead you. Knowing that is what will draw you back to Him time and time again to seek His guidance. The apostle Jude said, “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith” (Jude v.3 NIV). Those words—“I felt I had to”—are nothing less than the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.

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Posted by on October 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Unfailing Love

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Ps 119:105 NIV

“LORD, WHAT SHOULD I DO?” (1)

When you pray, “Lord, what should I do?” He can respond to you in several ways. Let’s look at some over the next few days. He will answer you through His written Word. Instead of turning to “Tom, Dick, and Harry” for guidance, go to God. Make His Word your first option rather than your last resort. The Psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Without a regular daily intake of God’s Word, you’ll be “in the dark” as to what’s best for you and the direction your life should go. “I the Lord will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled” (Eze 12:25 NIV). If God says it in His Word, you can count on it. There are precepts in Scripture, but mainly God has given us principles to follow. These principles require wisdom and discernment. The Psalmist said, “I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge” (Ps 119:66 NLT). This doesn’t mean you must have a particular verse for every decision or move you make. That’s not how it works. Most times when you ask God for guidance, He will give you “good judgment and knowledge,” and that’s enough to get you moving in the right direction. Will you sometimes experience fear? Yes, but that’s when you must use your faith! Your greatest clarity as to God’s will often comes from hindsight, not foresight. It’s in looking back on how God has led you that you say, “Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave” (1Ki 8:56 NIV).

Devotional//Word For You Today 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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At The Cross

“You forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
Ps 32:5 NLT

CONFESSIONS OF A SECRET SINNER

David said, “I confessed all my sins to you…And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” Julie Ann Barnhill writes: “If you’re tired of pretending you have it all together, it’s time to act. For too long Christian women in particular have believed they’re the only ones dealing with shameful issues, agonizing regrets, and skeletons in their closet. Once we open up to God, ourselves, and others, we experience exhilarating freedom and peace. A woman wrote to me: ‘I had an abortion when I was eighteen. Nobody knows. For years I marked the date on my calendar and grieved for the child nobody knew about, and the young woman who bore the guilt alone. No more! Now I know I’m not alone, and for the first time in my life I truly believe God is bigger than my secret—and He’s willing to forgive.’ Secrets only hold power when they’re hidden. Once they’re revealed in the light of God’s love they lose their control. However, there are some things to consider before opening up to someone: (1) If that person repeats things others have shared in confidence, guess who’s up next for discussion? (2) Beware of someone who’s apt to offer unsolicited advice, then take offense when it’s ignored. (3) Stay away from somebody who tries to ‘fix’ you, and tells you not to worry about your secrets. Instead, look for someone who: (a) has good sense and knows when to ‘back off’ and/or move forward when you’re upset; (b) is up-front about their own struggles; (c) is quick to listen and slow to speak; (d) undergirds their words and counsel with scriptural truths.”

Devotional//Word For You Today

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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