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Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
Love is slow to suspect but quick to trust; slow to condemn but quick to justify; slow to offend but quick to defend; slow to expose but quick to shield; slow to reprimand but quick to empathize; slow to belittle but quick to appreciate; slow to demand but quick to give; slow to provoke but quick to help; slow to resent but quick to forgive. Jerry Cook talks about a church where the people make the following pledge to each other: ‘I’ll never knowingly say or do anything to hurt you. I’ll always, in every circumstance, seek to help and support you. If you’re down and I can lift you, I’ll do that. If you need something and I have it, I’ll share it with you. If I need to, I’ll give it to you. No matter what I find out about you, no matter what happens in the future—either good or bad—my commitment to you will never change. And there’s nothing you can do about it.’ 1 Corinthians 13:7 says love: 1) ‘Believes all things.’ When someone you care about is called into question, love says, ‘That’s not the kind of person they are; that’s not what they meant.’ 2) ‘Hopes all things.’ Love sees people not just as they are, but as they can be through God’s grace. And if you let Him, God will download that kind of love into your heart. 3) ‘Endures all things.’ The word ‘endure’ is a military term. It means driving a stake into the ground. It’s like saying, ‘I’ll stand my ground in loving you.’ Today, take the love that God has given to you, and give it to others.
Heavenly Father, help me to unconditionally love others and be there for them – no matter what! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 32 | Download | Duration: 00:02:51
Are You Lonely?
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25
In the first chapters of Genesis we read, ‘And God saw that it was good.’ That is, until He created Adam. Then God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone... ’ (Genesis 2:18). Adam was enjoying a great relationship with God, but because he didn’t have a human companion, God said it wasn’t a good thing. God designed you with two voids. One is a void only He Himself can fill. The other is a void only the right people can fill. And you can’t fill either void with things like jobs, houses, cars or money. You say, ‘What should I do?’ 1) Keep your eyes open. Today one in five relationships begins on the Internet. But there’s a built-in danger there; you can be anybody you want to be on the Internet, yet not be known and loved for the person you really are. Furthermore, loneliness can blind you to your own true needs and another person’s lack of character. 2) Pray about it. When Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, was sent to find a wife for Isaac he prayed, ‘O Lord... give me success today... ’ (Genesis 24). And God did. Isaac and Rebekah became one of the great love stories of the Bible. 3) Reach out to others. That may mean taking down the wall you’ve been hiding behind and building a bridge. The Bible says, ‘Do not be interested only in your own life... be interested in... others’ (Philippians 2:4). There are no perfect relationships, or risk-free ones. It’s in finding an unmet need and pouring yourself into it that you conquer loneliness and discover a new joy in living.
Heavenly Father, help me to see that all relationships start with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 33 | Download | Duration: 00:02:59
The Design and the Designer
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26
Wernher von Braun, the first director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre, who’s known as ‘the father of the American space program,’ stated in a published article in May, 1974: ‘One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be a design and purpose behind it all... The better we understand the intricacies of the universe... the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based... To be forced to believe only one conclusion—that everything in the universe happened by chance—would violate the very objectivity of science itself... What random process could produce the brains of a man or the system of the human eye?... They [evolutionists] challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?... They say they cannot visualize a designer. Well, can a physicist visualize an electron? What strange rationale makes some physicists accept the inconceivable electron as real, while refusing to accept the reality of a designer on the ground that they cannot conceive Him?’ The devotional you are reading was not the result of an explosion in a printing press. No, if there’s a book, then there must be a publisher. If there’s a building, then there must be an architect and builder. If there’s a work of art, then there must be an artist. ‘Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.’
Heavenly Father, thank you for the marvelous work that you have done in creation, and continue to do each day with each person in this world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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Confront Them—In Love!
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15
Sometimes love requires confronting people. But it must be done in the right way, and only over the right issues. If you spend your life correcting people you’ll finish up with no credibility, and no friends. At what point should you confront somebody? Only when you’ve answered these questions: a) Is it important? If it involves a destructive habit, an abusive behavior, a major doctrinal error, or a situation that could hurt them, it’s important—get involved. b) Is it chronic? If you observe the same thing happening over and over, it doesn’t have to be big to get your love in gear. c) Have you earned the right to speak? If a casual acquaintance does something unwise, it’s probably none of your business. But if someone close to you does it, it’s both appropriate and loving to say, ‘That will hurt you.’ Paul points out four things about love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 : 1) ‘Love is not rude.’ It doesn’t use the aggressive, heavy-handed approach. 2) ‘Love is not self-seeking.’ It forgets about the need to be accepted, and makes sure that what the other person hears is filtered only by kindness. It refuses to walk away having spoken half the truth. 3) ‘Love is not easily angered.’ When you confront someone in love, don’t be upset if you get an angry response such as, ‘Who are you to tell me?’ The right medicine doesn’t taste good, but it heals. 4) ‘Love keeps no record of wrongs.’ When you have been hurt, it’s critical that you deal with it and put it behind you. Only then can you confront someone for their own good.
Heavenly Father, help me to confront, when appropriate, in love – and to continue to love the person no matter what. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 26 | Download | Duration: 00:03:21
Believe God for Your Healing
He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you." Exodus 15:26
In the Bible, one of the names God chooses to be called by is ‘Jehovah Rapha,’ which means ‘I am the Lord who heals.’ Now, if God calls Himself the healer, then you have the right to believe what He says and expect that, given an opportunity, He will perform His role competently. After all, His credibility depends on living up to His name. The Psalmist said, ‘... Your promises are backed by all the honor of your name’ (Psalms 138:2). Has God changed? No; He says, ‘... I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I never change’ (Malachi 3:6). And Jesus, who is God, is ‘... the same yesterday and today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). What He was, He still is. What He did, He still does. So, when you or a loved one is sick, do these two things: 1) Pray, in faith believing. A ‘good faith’ deal requires that both parties trust each other’s word. Their trust is a rational decision of their will, not their emotions. Faith is your will deciding that God will keep the promise He has made to you. It’s refusing to be ambivalent by saying, ‘If only I felt more positive.’ No business could survive such ambiguity. Jesus spelled it out clearly: ‘... All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you’ (Mark 11:24). 2) Look for faith-partners who will pray with you. ‘... Pray for each other so that you may be healed... ’ (James 5:16). ‘... If two of you agree... concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you’ (Matthew 18:19).
Heavenly Father, I know you are a God who is good on your promises – Your way – in Your time. Help me accept that. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 31 | Download | Duration: 00:02:50
Make Your Children Proud Of You
Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6
Your child is already in the process of becoming the kind of person he or she is eventually going to be. So to bring them up right and to make them proud of you, live by these six principles: 1) Assure them of your love. They need to know your love is given, and it will never be withdrawn because of their appearance, achievements, or actions. Let them know they are loved for who they are, and that their worth in your eyes is never in question. 2) Build strong character and godly values. ‘Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it’ (Proverbs 22:6). 3) Establish clear boundaries. And be consistent in maintaining them. Do children like rules? No. But your first goal is not to make your child happy, it’s to teach them responsibility, and happiness will follow. 4) Help them to discover their potential. That means listening, observing, and once their talents are identified, helping to develop them. ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given us... ’ (Romans 12:6). 5) Don’t try to duplicate yourself through them. God gave each of your children their own unique makeup and personality. So don’t try to make them something that God and the rest of us don’t need one more of. 6) Encourage them to pursue their life’s vision. ‘... Your young men [and women] shall see visions’ (Joel 2:28). Don’t pour cold water on the fire of their enthusiasm, fan it. Get out of the critic’s seat and become their greatest supporter. If you do, you will make them proud of you.
Heavenly Father, help me to be an encourager of Your children! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 37 | Download | Duration: 00:03:14
Dealing with Temptation
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Temptation brings with it feelings of guilt. As a result we get discouraged and think, ‘If I were a better Christian I wouldn’t have such thoughts. I’ve prayed, over and over. Why doesn’t God just take it away?’ Temptation never goes away! Prayer doesn’t remove it, prayer just drives you closer to God and He gives you power over it. ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ (James 4:7). The Bible says, ‘The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand... he will show you a way out so... you can endure’ (1 Corinthians 10:13). When you’re tempted you never have to wonder what the right thing to do is. God makes His will clear in Scripture and He’s given us His Spirit to convict, guide, and empower us. Plus, we can ‘... approach the throne of grace with confidence... and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16). Richard Blackaby writes: ‘It’s a mistake not to take temptation seriously. Many who’ve succumbed, thought they were strong enough to resist... When wickedness surrounds you, never assume you’re immune... remove [yourself] from temptation’s way... “Put away the evil from among you” (Deuteronomy 22:21). Keep any form of temptation out of your home, your relationships and your mind by maintaining your love relationship with God and recognizing you’re powerless to resist in your own strength. When Joseph was tempted to commit adultery he fled (Genesis 39:12). Darkness and light can’t co-exist. Run from the darkness to the light.’’
Heavenly Father, help me to flee temptation and run to You for strength and protection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 38 | Download | Duration: 00:02:50
Living Fearlessly – Part 3
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
When you know that what you’re doing is in sync with God’s will, you can be confident He will provide what you need and fight for you. God told His people, ‘When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you’ (Deuteronomy 20:1). Then God added something else: ‘…Is any man afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his brothers will not become disheartened too’ (Deuteronomy 20:8). God knows that when you allow fear to rule your heart, it’s fatal, not only for you, but to those around you. Playwright David Mamet wrote: ‘On June 5th, 1944, thousands of American paratroopers jumped into Normandy. Four men refused to jump. Can anyone imagine the rest of these men’s lives? What prodigies of self-excuse, rationale, or repression they must have had to employ. Their lives, in effect, ended the day they refused to leave that plane…We all die in the end, but there’s no reason to die in the middle.’ You don’t overcome fear overnight. But gradually, day by day, you can get it by the scruff of the neck and bring it under control. ‘…the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits’ (Daniel 11:32). The word ‘know’ means ‘to be in relationship with, or to be intimate with.’ Want to overcome your fears? Spend time in God’s Word. Prioritize your prayer life. Get to know God better.
Heavenly Father, help me to overcome my fears for YOU! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 30 | Download | Duration: 00:02:57
Living Fearlessly – Part 2
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
The words ‘fear not’ appear in the Bible all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Why is that? Because God understands that fear is not only our biggest enemy but our constant companion, and He wants to help us overcome it. One author writes: ‘Think of your comfort zone as a prison you live in—a largely self-created prison. It consists of a collection of “can’t, musts, must-not’s,” and other unfounded beliefs formed from all the negative thoughts and decisions you have accumulated and reinforced during your lifetime. Every fear is like a bar in that prison.’ But the good news is, because fears are feelings, the faulty ones can be removed by faith in God, and you can become free from them. Does this mean you can live totally free from fear? No, writer Michael Ignatieff says: ‘Living fearlessly is not the same thing as never being afraid. It’s good to be afraid occasionally. Fear is a great teacher. What’s not good is living in fear, allowing fear to dictate your choices, allowing fear to define who you are. Living fearlessly means standing up to fear, taking its measure, refusing to let it shape and define your life. Living fearlessly means taking risks, taking gambles, not playing it safe. It means refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer when you are sure that the answer should have been ‘yes.’ It means refusing to settle for less than what you’re due, what is yours by right, what is yours by the sweat of your labor and your effort.’ And let’s add—what God has promised and planned for you.
Heavenly Father, help me live as one who does not allow fear to shape who you made me to be, knowing you are with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 35 | Download | Duration: 00:02:49
Living Fearlessly – Part 1
I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. Isaiah 41:9
Have you ever wondered how animal trainers used to control a five-ton elephant and keep it from running away? They did it by controlling the animal’s thinking. When a baby elephant was being trained, a rope was put around its leg and then tied to a wooden post secured in the ground. The elephant, which was not yet very strong, pulled at the rope but was unable to break it or to pull up the post. Eventually it gave up. From that point forward when the elephant’s leg was secured it believed it couldn’t get away—even though it was fully capable of escaping, and had been for a long time. It remembered its struggle. That’s one reason it’s said, ‘Elephants never forget.’ And we are like that too. Our thinking limits us, just as an elephant’s does. Usually it’s because of fear. The truth is fear can steal your dreams. You may be afraid of failure. You may be afraid of rejection. You may not want to make a fool of yourself. You may be afraid of trying because you believe you can’t succeed. If you give in to these thoughts and believe that you can’t achieve your dream, you’ll be right—and therefore unable to achieve your dream. Often what we fear has no connection to reality. But here’s the good news: Fear can be overcome. The first step to overcoming it is to believe God when He says about you: ‘…You are my servant; I have chosen you…do not fear, for I am with you…I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’ (vv. 9-10).
Heavenly Father, help me overcome fears that limit what you want to do in, with, though, and sometimes in spite of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 35 | Download | Duration: 00:03:10
Jesus Is In Fact God!
"What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied. Matthew 22:42
One day Jesus took Peter, James and John up to the top of a mountain. We read: ‘…Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus…Peter…blurted out, ‘Master…Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’’ (Luke 9:30-33). Peter’s thinking was wrong. Three shrines would have made Moses and Elijah equal with Jesus. Nobody is equal with Jesus! He is wholly, solely, fully, thoroughly and altogether God. When God spoke from heaven that day, Moses the lawgiver, Elijah the prophet, Peter the preacher, James the apostle and John the revelator were all present. But God didn’t say, ‘Listen to them.’ No, He said, ‘…This is my beloved Son: hear him’ (Luke 9:35). Jesus knew exactly who He was. When His accusers shouted, ‘You claim you are the Son of God,’ …He replied, ‘Yes…’ (Luke 22:70). He actually said, ‘…He that hath seen me hath seen the Father…’ (John 14:9). Then He blew their minds by predicting both His death and His resurrection (John 10:18). Let’s be clear about this: You can discount Jesus as a fraud or worship Him as God, but don’t call Him just another historic figure. C. S. Lewis said, ‘A man who said the things that Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher. He’d either be a lunatic or the devil. You can spit at Him, kill Him, or fall at His feet and call Him Lord, but let’s not come up with patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.’ So, what do you think about Christ? Is He the Lord of your life? He wants to be.
Heavenly Father, help me keep Jesus as the LORD of my life – in all things, at all times. In His Precious Name, Amen
Played: 42 | Download | Duration: 00:03:04
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:8
Contentment isn’t something you find at a particular destination, it’s something you practice every day on your way to it. And even if you miss the right path from time to time, you still enjoy the scenery along the detour. Paul said, ‘Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content’ (Philippians 4:11). Paul learned not to let what he didn’t have, overshadow what he did. How do you find contentment? By doing these three things: 1) Seek it. Make it a daily choice. Come to the place where you believe that having more materially, won’t make you happier. Sometimes contentment calls for simplifying your life. Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Contentment makes poor men rich, and discontent makes rich men poor.’ 2) Say it. Cultivate the ability to say, ‘I have enough.’ Push back from life’s table and say, ‘I’ve had enough.’ Stand with the surprise bonus in your hand considering what you might buy, and say, ‘I have enough, Lord. How can I use this for You?’ 3) Settle it. ‘…If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them’ (Psalms 62:10). If all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world represented eternity, you could say that one grain represents your lifespan. Now think: You are over here grinding your one grain day and night to get everything you can out of it, while ignoring all the beaches of eternity that God has in store for you. Not very clever, is it? To be content, focus on eternity. Let enough be enough. Let your lifestyle be biblically-based; make it eternally focused!
Heavenly Father, help me live a life of contentment, satisfied that I have you, so I have all I need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 40 | Download | Duration: 00:02:40
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2
When we talk about angels operating among us, the spiritually unenlightened think it’s just religious sentiment. That’s because they allow their intellect to neutralize their faith. Notice: 1) Angels have a long history among us. An angel shut the mouths of lions for Daniel. An angel went before Israel’s army guaranteeing their victory. An angel showed up in a storm to let Paul know that he’d survive a shipwreck. An angel opened prison doors for Peter, saving his life on the eve of his execution. 2) Angels protect us in times of danger. ‘For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways’ (Psalms 91:11). And when you consider some of your ‘ways,’ don’t you realize just how much you need protection? Your early cancer detection, or your narrow escape—those were more than just lucky breaks. Angels even watch over our children. Jesus said, ‘See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels… always see the face of my Father in heaven’ (Matthew 18:10). Now you know why kids survive things that make parents go weak at the knees. 3) Angels help us in times of need. ‘Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?’ (Hebrews 1:14). So, has God done away with His secret service? Are they sitting on their hands collecting unemployment somewhere in heaven? No, they’re still working hard. You may not be able to see them with your natural eyes, but the benefits they bring surround you every day.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your angels that are there to protect me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 42 | Download | Duration: 00:02:44
Wanting To Succeed In Life
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. Psalms 119:18
To succeed in life: 1) You must refuse to settle for yesterday’s accomplishments. If what you did yesterday still looks big to you today, you probably haven’t done enough today. Paul celebrated his accomplishments, but he focused on what God had for him in the future: ‘…Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on…’ (Philippians 3:13-14). 2) You must refuse to sit around waiting for tomorrow’s opportunities. Between the great things we can’t do and the little things we won’t do, the danger is that we’ll do nothing. The world is blessed most by those who do things, not by those who merely talk about doing them. 3) You must refuse to let your beginning dictate your end. George Washington Carver spent his early years shuffled between foster homes until, it is thought, Maria Watkins, a washerwoman, found him asleep in her barn. She didn’t just take him in; she took him to church and introduced him to Jesus. When he eventually left her home, he took with him the Bible she’d given him. Maria left her mark on his life, and George left his mark on the world. This father of modern agriculture was a friend to three presidents as well as Henry Ford and Gandhi. He is credited with over three hundred different inventions. And the remarkable thing is, despite his disadvantages, he never became bitter or spent so much as a moment getting even. Instead, he went into his lab every morning and prayed, ‘Open my eyes that I may see.’ How could God fail to bless someone with such an attitude?
Heavenly Father, help me to have an attitude that is grateful and never resentful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 52 | Download | Duration: 00:02:39
God Is Always Working Out His Plan for You
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. Isaiah 46:10
You are not a mistake your parents made in the heat of passion. What your parents did may have been illegitimate, but you are not. You may wonder: ‘God, is it possible that You have a reason for my conception? Am I called to do something great in life? Is there something so unique to my personality, so connected to my life experiences, so relative to my sphere of influence, so dependent upon my color and culture, so necessary to my needs and shortcomings that nobody can do it exactly the way You want it done but me?’ YES! God says, ‘I make known the end from the beginning…My purpose will stand.’ You are going to succeed because God has already determined your destiny. Before God establishes the procedure, He decides the purpose. When a builder is confused he refers back to the blueprint and checks with the architect. God is the architect and builder of your life. He never gets confused about what He’s planned or how it’s to be built. When He builds something, it’s built for maximum efficiency and optimal performance. We think, ‘Lord, why are You holding me back while others get to go forward? Why is it taking so long for my breakthrough to come?’ God responds, ‘What does the blueprint say?’ God is building a solid foundation under you so that you’ll be able to handle the pressures that accompany His blessing, and go through the storms of life without being moved or shaken. Anything that’s made well is made slowly. Anything that’s worth having is worth fighting for.
Heavenly Father, give me patience as you work out Your plan for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 29 | Download | Duration: 00:02:47
Learning To Walk By Faith – Part 3
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
What does it mean to ‘walk by faith…’ (2 Corinthians 5:7)? It’s radically different from walking by sight, reason, emotion or intellect. It calls you to live above these things. It enables you to enter the realm of supernatural possibilities because Jesus said, ‘All things are possible to one who believes’ (Mark 9:23). Here are some scriptural principles about faith that will help you: 1) It is not rooted in human effort. Self-confidence and intellectual acumen don’t qualify. Optimism, good luck and social connections don’t qualify. Learning religious formulas won’t do it either. 2) It’s rooted in God’s unlimited power and unchanging Word. ‘Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word.’ The Word of God, received and residing within you, continuously produces faith within you. No teeth-gritting super-effort is required; you simply decide to believe what God says and respond to it. 3) Walking by faith calls for action. ‘Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds’ (James 2:18). Until you act, your faith is useless. ‘In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead’ (v. 17). The moment you act your faith springs to life, inviting God to move on your behalf. Today He’s waiting for you to act so that He can respond to you. Even if you don’t feel like it, ask yourself, ‘What would my first step of faith be if I really felt like taking action?’ Do it! You’ll be walking by faith and reaping the rewards! (Hebrews 11:6).
Heavenly Father, guide me in your Word so I can walk by it – by faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 43 | Download | Duration: 00:02:51
Learning To Walk By Faith – Part 2
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:24
Here is another question to consider: What is ‘walking by sight’ (2 Corinthians 5:7)? It’s living your life based on how things look to the natural eye. It’s deciding and acting in accord with your perceptions and circumstances, rather than God’s Word. It’s being dictated to by your feelings and thoughts. Your thoughts and feelings are—yours! Examine them. Don’t let them hijack you. Use your spirit-controlled temperament to bring them under control. Too often we are sandwiched between faith and doubt, in a ‘catch-22’ between what our transformed spirit says and what our carnal mind says. One day a distraught father brought his son to Jesus for healing. Jesus told him, ‘…Everything is possible for one who believes’ (Mark 9:23). At that point the boy’s father said, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ At times we experience both faith and doubt. This man was honest about his doubts, yet Jesus still worked a miracle for him. If he had needed correcting, Jesus would have corrected him. If his faith was not genuine, the Lord would have known it. But Jesus accepted his declaration of faith, despite his doubts. There are three lessons here for us: 1) Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your doubts. 2) Don’t let your doubts overrule your faith. God’s Word in the matter is God’s will for you; stand on it. 3) Hand your doubts over to the Lord and say, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ How long does it take to learn to walk by faith? A lifetime!
Heavenly Father, thank you for being with me each day on my daily walk – and help it to be directed by faith and not by my individual sight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 54 | Download | Duration: 00:02:57
Learning To Walk By Faith – Part 1
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
It’s time to ‘get with it’, when God tells you the same thing three separate times: ‘The just shall live by faith’ (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11). This is not a suggestion for theological debate; it’s His will for your life. Clearly, God has made faith the only way to live! No alternative is offered. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him’ (Hebrews 11:6). Let’s take a moment and consider some questions arising from this life-transforming truth: 1) Who are ‘the just’? Paul writes, ‘Know that a person is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith…’ (Galatians 2:16). Justification (just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned) can’t be earned, it’s a free gift that comes by faith. If you have placed your trust in Christ then you are fully accepted in God’s eyes. How good is that? 2) What is ‘walking’? Paul says, ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ Walking requires that you get up and start moving. You can’t just sit around aimlessly, waiting for the rapture. Walking involves: Motivation—you’re moved by a purpose. Direction—you’ve chosen a destination, a goal to reach. Motion—you’re committed to mobilizing your energy and resources in the pursuit of your God-given destination and purpose. To walk by faith you must be engaged in consistent, forward movement intended to bring you into God’s destiny for your life.
Heavenly Father, help me to walk by faith that trusts you and not by my personal GPS. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 42 | Download | Duration: 00:02:50
Show Them Love Now!
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6
Each morning pray: ‘Lord, whether or not I get anything else done, help me to spend this day loving You and loving others, because that’s what Your Word says life is all about.’ If you do that, you’ll treat those around you more graciously. And people will notice it. You’ll start winning in areas where you’ve lost. The more time you give to someone, the more you reveal their importance to you. It’s not enough to tell them they’re important, you must prove it by investing in them. The best way to spell love is T-I-M-E. Love is not what you think or feel about others; no, it’s how much you give of yourself to them. Men in particular struggle with this. They say, ‘I don’t understand my wife and children. I provide everything they need. What more could they want?’ They want you! They want your attention! Love concentrates so intently on another that it forgets itself. This kind of attention says, ‘I value you enough to give you my most precious asset—my time.’ Why is now the best time to express your love? Because you don’t know how long you’ll have the opportunity to do so. Circumstances change, people die, children grow up. The truth is you’ve no guarantee of tomorrow. If you want to express your love you’d better do it now. So, who do you need to start spending more time with? What do you need to cut out of your schedule to make that possible? The best use of life is love, the best expression of love is time, and the best time to love is now.
Heavenly Father, help me make the adjustments in my life, my schedule, that helps me love more! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 44 | Download | Duration: 00:02:34
Are You Stressed Out About Money? – Part 2
This is what the LORD says -- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17
The best way to overcome financial anxiety is by trusting God to meet all your needs. You say, ‘That’s nice, but what does God know about my business?’ More than you think! He’s the CEO of the whole world. When it comes to successful systems, nobody knows more than He. He created the universe in such precise order that if one star moves two degrees out of orbit without His permission; the whole thing dissolves into cosmic chaos. Yet when He needs to move a star, He can do it like He did for the wise men that first Christmas. Wall Street could learn a thing or two from Him! Here’s part of His résumé: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.’ If you want to become more profitable, go into partnership with God. Does that mean you can just stay home from work, go fishing, and God will pay your mortgage? No, God doesn’t reward laziness and inefficiency! The story’s told of a pastor who stopped by to admire the garden of one of his parishioners. ‘Isn’t God’s handiwork wonderful?’ he said. The parishioner thought about it for a moment and then replied, ‘Yeah, but you should have seen it when God had it all by Himself.’ Understand this: 1) You’ve got to get up and go to work. 2) You’ve got to consult God before you make decisions. 3) You’ve got to honor God with all that he entrusts to you. 4) When you’ve done your best, you’ve got to trust God with the rest.
Heavenly Father, Knowing that you are in charge, help me do the work you would have me to do, trusting you in all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen