Played: 1 | Download | Duration: 00:02:48
Weathering the Financial Shake-Up – Part 1
The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken -- that is, created things -- so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Hebrews 12:27
Writing about a recent conversation, Rick Hamlin says: ‘Another guy like me said, “I dread going to work. All these layoffs are depressing. I keep thinking I’m going to be next. I’ve tons of work, and my clients appreciate what I’m doing, but I start worrying and there’s no stopping.” Worrying is the worst of it, and the stories are piling up; friends, friends of friends, people from church, neighbors, parents of our kids’ friends. An early retirement here, a downsizing there, a severance payment, a pink slip, all put faces on the statistics and that gnawing fear can make every day an agony.’ The chances are, you may be feeling some shots of discouragement yourself—daily arrows of frustration that wear you down and steal your joy. Satan’s like a terrorist specializing in guerrilla warfare. He knows he’d lose big time if he went against the forces of heaven, so he singles out individual believers. The question is, how do you stand firm when ‘everything that…can be shaken’ is shaking? Well for starters, Isaiah says, ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you...’ (Isaiah 26:3). If Moses had focused on his circumstances, he’d never have had peace standing between the Red Sea and the Egyptians. His peace came from knowing he was where God wanted him to be. Peace in and of itself isn’t the goal; peace is a by-product of knowing: ‘How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear [honor] you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you’ (Psalm 31:19).
Heavenly Father, in all circumstances I thank You for what You give me each day and the security I have in You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen
Played: 19 | Download | Duration: 00:02:45
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Have you heard about the fightin’ Irishman who landed in America and announced, ‘If there’s a government here, I’m agin’ it’? We smile, but ‘harsh words stir up anger.’ If you want to avoid conflict, don’t create it. The key to getting along with people who are upset or who don’t share your viewpoint is to relax and try to empathize. That doesn’t mean agreeing to their every whim. But when you are clear about your position, you can let them be who they are. When you are okay with who you are, you don’t need to make others wrong in order to feel right. Not only is it naïve to expect everybody to see things your way, you must recognize that they have their own thoughts, opinions and feelings. Jesus said, ‘Settle matters quickly with your adversary…while you are… with him’ (Matthew 5:25). One family counselor says, ‘Instead of meeting verbal attack with verbal counter-attack, seeing the situation from the other person’s viewpoint is disarming, leaving the attacker with no target.’ Do you have to agree with everybody? No, but ‘Do all…you can to live in peace with everyone’ (Romans 12:18). Are there times when you must defend your position? Yes, but don’t go around with a chip on your shoulder looking for arguments. Sometimes Christians are the worst offenders; we think because our cause is just, it doesn’t matter who gets caught in the crossfire. ‘Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs’ (Proverbs 19:11). Make up your mind to extend to others the same grace God has extended to you.
Heavenly Father, help me be an agent of peace and not one who stirs up conflict. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 25 | Download | Duration: 00:02:52
To Win In Life
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24
William Arthur Ward wrote: ‘Believe while others are doubting. Plan while others are playing. Decide while others are delaying. Prepare while others are daydreaming. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. Save while others are wasting. Listen while others are talking. Smile while others are frowning. Persist while others are quitting.’ To win in life requires three things: 1) You must start. That may seem obvious, but many of us are stuck in the starting blocks waiting for something to get us going. What has God called and equipped you to do? Step out and do it, and He will empower you! 2) You must give it your all. Divers in the Olympics don’t save all their effort for their final dive. They concentrate on nailing every single one, increasing their chances for a gold medal. Don’t settle for mediocrity at any stage of life (Philippians 3:14). 3) You must never quit. In the 1992 Olympics, Derek Redmond of Britain was competing in the 400 meter race when he suffered a torn hamstring and fell. As the other runners breezed past him, he began to struggle to his feet. His father, whose face was covered with tears, suddenly ran down from the stands to help him up. Slowly, agonizingly, they made their way around the rest of the track and crossed the finish line as the stadium in Barcelona burst into thunderous applause. Redmond didn’t win a medal, but he won something more important—the respect of the world. The Bible says, ‘Run in such a way as to get the prize.’
Heavenly Father, help me to never give up and to run the race in a way that You will say “Well done good and faithful servant”. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 20 | Download | Duration: 00:03:13
Lifting Up Those Who Fall
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1
It’s okay to confront somebody you believe is in the wrong, but not with a self-righteous attitude. When church leaders insisted a woman ‘...caught in the act of adultery’ be stoned (John 8:4), Jesus replied, ‘...let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone’ (v. 7). Ouch! One Christian author writes: ‘Are we aware of other people’s mistakes because they confided in us, or have we appointed ourselves the “moral police” to justify examining the blemishes in everyone else’s behavior? Is your goal to restore prodigals, or do you have a hidden agenda to elevate yourself by condemning those around you? A lady confessed to me that she’d been confronted twice by other Christians; the first was a red-faced stranger who was furious with me for wearing knee-high leather boots with a short skirt to her church. She called me a “Jezebel.” The second was a good friend who tenderly pointed out my pride in a specific situation. The name-calling left a bruise on my soul; the compassionate rebuke turned me toward the forgiving arms of our heavenly Father.’ God alone has the perfect combination of holiness and mercy to stand in judgment of the human heart. The Bible says, ‘If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.’ The only One who was worthy to condemn us, chose instead to pardon us, and in light of our own sinner-saved-by-grace [status]—when the Holy Spirit impresses you to confront someone who’s messed up, do it with honesty, compassion and humility.’
Heavenly Father, help me be one who lifts and builds up others instead of tearing them down. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 23 | Download | Duration: 00:03:08
Are You Willing To Change?
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. Philippians 4:8
If you’re not moving closer to your dream, you may not be insistent enough in your pursuit of it. And the key to greater insistence is not necessarily working harder at the same things, but being willing to change. Change what? 1) Your thinking. Are you convinced you can’t succeed? Do you describe yourself and what you’re doing in negative terms? Are you afraid to get started because conditions aren’t favorable? Do you stop trying to move forward when you don’t have the resources you need? If so, you need to change your mindset, to break the cycle of negative thinking. 2) Your perspective. Do you have a short-term mindset? Are you expecting success in days, weeks, or months? The greater your assignment, the longer it’s likely to take. So recalibrate your expectations and create a more reasonable timetable for yourself; otherwise, you’ll live in frustration and defeat. That’s not God’s will for you. Paul’s desire was ‘...that I may finish my race with joy...’ (Acts 20:24). God wants you to experience joy in the pursuit of your goal. 3) Your ways. How are things going in your personal life and in your home life? Are you ready to deal with the habits and hang-ups that stand between you and success? What can you do today that will bring you closer to your dream—no matter how small the progress? Author and publisher Robert Collier says, ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.'
Heavenly Father, give me the patience and the persistence to follow what You have for me – and help me change my thinking to Yours on the way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 31 | Download | Duration: 00:02:41
Listen To Him!
I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. Revelation 2:21
Paul told the church at Ephesus, ‘…I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you…’ (Acts 20:20). A surgeon saves your life by cutting out what threatens you, and God’s Word does that with us. One of Christ’s warnings to the church at Thyatira was: ‘I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds’ (Revelation 2:21-22). When you are heading over a cliff’s edge, someone who truly loves you will try to stop you. And nobody loves you like the Lord! But you cannot keep ignoring His warnings. The Prodigal Son’s father welcomed him back home, but he still lost his family inheritance. Every day you live, you put another building block in place. What are you building? One day you will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul describes it: ‘...the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames’ (1Corinthians 3:13-15). Your friends may think your disobedience is no big deal. But God, who knows the extent of your ultimate loss, will ‘get in your face’ and tell you to repent while you still have time. Today, if He is speaking to you about a certain issue, listen to Him! Obey Him!
Heavenly Father, help me to listen and to heed Your voice in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 34 | Download | Duration: 00:02:57
Vitamins for Spiritual Health
Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my brother?" Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 2 Samuel 20:9
The principles of God’s Word work like spiritual vitamins. Never excuse in yourself what you accuse in others. King David did that. In confronting him over his sin with Bathsheba, Nathan the prophet told David a story about two men. One had many cattle; the other had only one lamb. When a guest came to the rich man’s house for dinner, he took the poor man’s lamb. ‘David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said “…the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb…because he had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!...’’’ (2 Samuel 12:5-7). Nathan continued: ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel…I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives…And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!…You have killed Uriah [Bathsheba’s husband]…with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife…Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house…’ (v. 7-10). David didn’t know it, but he pronounced his punishment with his own lips: ‘He shall restore fourfold.’ And David did. First, the child he fathered with Bathsheba died. Second, his son raped his daughter, and he didn’t have the moral authority to deal with it. Third, Absalom, the beloved son destined to inherit his throne, fomented war and died at the hands of his own people. Fourth, civil war broke out in Israel and thousands of people died as a result. The lesson is clear: never accuse in another what you excuse in yourself.
Heavenly Father, help me to get my life in order before I accuse others of their faults. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 31 | Download | Duration: 00:02:58
Temptation – Part 3
For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16
Temptation enters through three doors: ‘The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.’ That’s how it entered the Garden of Eden. ‘When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and a tree desirable to make one wise (the pride of life), she took of its fruit…’ (Genesis 3:6). Satan has no new tricks, he just dresses up the same old temptations in new attire. ‘The lust of the flesh’ is anything you recklessly go into debt for, manipulate for, or violate your integrity for. ‘The lust of the eyes’ has to do with your perception. By the time you start seeing clearly, you’ve lost a great relationship or walked away from an opportunity, only to look back and say, ‘I was foolish. If only I’d waited.’ ‘The pride of life’ is the most subtle, therefore the most dangerous. You need a certain amount of pride to succeed in life. So when does pride cross the line? When you start exalting yourself; when you neglect God and think your success is the result of your own effort; when you can’t admit you’re wrong; when you’re willing to go all the way to the bottom, fighting and blaming others. Someone who cannot repent cannot be restored. After his affair with Bathsheba, David wrote, ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise’ (Psalm 51:17).
Heavenly Father, keep me from the lust of flesh, eyes, and pride that I face each day. Keep me focused on You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 29 | Download | Duration: 00:03:17
Temptation – Part 2
but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. James 1:14
Notice the three areas in which Satan tempted Christ: 1) Provision. ‘…Command that these stones become bread’ (Matthew 4:3). This addresses one of our greatest fears—that if we don’t look out for ourselves nobody else will. So Jesus says: ‘Do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?’’… your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’ (Matthew 6:31-33). 2) Protection. Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and said, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: “He shall give His angels charge over you…’’’ (Matthew 4:5-6). This addresses another of our core fears—that God may not protect us. Satan whispers, ‘You’re on the pinnacle of success right now, but you could easily go over the edge.’ When you start thinking like that—claim this promise: ‘In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion…’ (Psalm 27:5). 3) Position. ‘The devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’’’’ (Matthew 4:8-10). Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting provision, protection and position. The temptation is to try and get them through your own devices and for your own ends.
Heavenly Father, Keep me from falling into temptation with the things that only You can provide that will satisfy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 27 | Download | Duration: 00:02:57
Temptation – Part 1
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1
Christ’s temptation in the wilderness answers these two questions: 1) Who is tempted? Everyone! If Jesus was tempted, you’ll be tempted too. Now, you can be victorious over temptation, but you can’t pray temptation away. Satan tried different approaches with Jesus and he will do the same with you. Being tempted doesn’t mean you’re not in the will of God, it just means that Satan doesn’t give up his rule in your life without a fight. The battle begins the moment you decide to serve God, and the attacks come at you every day. So, ‘Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ (Ephesians 6:11). 2) When are you tempted? When you have an important role to play in God’s plan you’re a high-value target to the devil. Matthew records, ‘Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.’ (Matthew 4:1) But notice what had just taken place before this: ‘When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’’’ (Matthew 3:16-17). So temptation is a compliment; it proves you are called by God. And it’s also a confirmation; it’s evidence that you are walking in His will. Following His temptation, we read, ‘Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee…’ (Luke 4:14). And you will too!
Heavenly Father – when tempted let me not see that as a bad thing but something that, with Your power, I overcome! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 21 | Download | Duration: 00:02:41
Stop Worrying About It!
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' Matthew 6:31
If you let them, two things will rob you of your peace of mind: 1) The past. We all make mistakes—even the folks you admire and think never make mistakes. The Bible says, ‘For every man shall bear his own burden’ (Galatians 6:5). We all struggle in certain areas. We all say and do things we wish we hadn’t said or done. ‘So what can I do?’ you ask. Ask God to forgive you, then trust Him to make it work out all right. He can do that. He can help you clean up your mistakes and grow stronger through them. For example, when you say something you shouldn’t, instead of obsessing about whether or not you offended somebody, ask the Lord to let them know your heart was right even though you put your foot in your mouth. Trust God to work on them and give you favor. That way you don’t have to spend the next several days feeling anxious, or cringe when you meet them. 2) The future. God won’t meet tomorrow’s needs until tomorrow comes. So when you are having an attack of the ‘what if’s,’ stop and consider these words from the lips of Jesus: ‘Therefore do not worry, saying, what shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’ (Matthew 6:31-33). Victor Hugo said, ‘When you have accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace; God is awake!’
Heavenly Father, help me not to worry about things but turn them over to You, always trying to do what is right in your eyes! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 25 | Download | Duration: 00:02:50
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
In Scripture the word ‘abounding’ means ‘to overflow.’ Today let’s look at three ‘abounding’ Scriptures and see what we can learn: 1) Abounding iniquity. ‘Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’ (Matthew 24:12). The word ‘iniquity’ means ‘lawlessness.’ Do you remember your life before you met Jesus? You had no boundaries. You were ruled by your impulses. You’d go anywhere, do anything, and say whatever you pleased. Now, we’re not bringing up your past to make you feel bad, but to make you grateful and to show you how far God has brought you. And what was God’s solution to your sin problem? 2) Abounding grace. ‘... Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more’ (Romans 5:20). God’s grace cannot be earned or merited. And that’s a good thing, because we were all spiritually bankrupt. But as Martin Luther said, ‘The recognition of sin is the beginning of salvation.’ It’s feeling bad about your sin that leads to feeling good about God’s grace. Do you remember the day Jesus found you, saved you through the waters of Baptism, brought you into His family and showered you with His blessings? What should your response to such grace be? 3) Abounding in the work of the Lord. ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.’ You were saved to serve! When you don’t, you’ll feel like a fish out of water. So pray, ... .
‘Lord, today I give myself fully to You, to be used in Your service as You see fit.’
Played: 33 | Download | Duration: 00:02:44
You Can Defeat Satan
and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:27
Satan is a force you’ll contend with every day. And he’s a master at reinventing himself. The Bible says he can morph ‘... into an angel of light’ (2 Corinthians 11:14). And while his approach may be appealing, his intent is always to ‘... steal and kill and destroy... ’ (John 10:10). Destroy what? Your peace of mind, your destiny, your relationships, etc. How can you defeat him? In two ways: 1) Don’t fear him. ‘The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil... ’ (Psalm 121:7). Thirty-one times in the New Testament we read that as believers we are ‘in Christ.’ So to get at you, Satan must first go through Him! 2) Don’t give him access. ‘Nor give place to the devil.’ Satan has no place in your life unless you open the door and give him one. And when Christ is enthroned in your heart, there’s no room for the devil. But it’s not enough to have a clean heart, you must have a spirit-filled heart. Jesus said: ‘When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, I will return to the person I came from. So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before... ’ (Matthew 12:43-45). The best way to break bad habits is to replace them with good ones. The best way to defeat Satan is to make Jesus Lord of your life.
Heavenly Father, help me keep Your presence in and beside me each day so there is no room for the Devil’s presence! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 39 | Download | Duration: 00:02:49
Doing Gods Will
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Psalms 40:8
Often when we’re starting out, we dream of doing earth-changing things and the thought of tackling them intimidates us. That is yet another reason to start small. Don’t try to help everyone, just try to help someone! Do that, and in time you may find yourself living what Saint Francis of Assisi described when he said, ‘Start doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly, you are doing the impossible.’ Even if you never get to do big things, you can find great fulfillment in doing right things. No act of kindness is too small to be worth doing.
One leader writes: ‘Little did I realize when I started with a desire to add significance to others, that it would add significance to me! Now I understand. We should not receive anything without giving, and we cannot give anything without receiving.’ The truth is, your dream isn’t worthy of your life if it doesn’t bless others. President Woodrow Wilson stated: ‘You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.’ There’s an old Middle Eastern blessing that says, ‘When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. May you live your life so that when you die, the world will cry and you will rejoice.’ And that will surely happen if you live by the scriptural truth, ‘I desire to do your will, O my God.’
Heavenly Father, help me do faithfully what You place before me today, knowing that You will continue the good work You have started. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 41 | Download | Duration: 00:02:44
Maximize This Day
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24
God determines the number of your days, but you determine how they are spent. The Psalmist said, ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is all you’ve got. And you can begin your life over today, if you live by these words: ‘Today I will delete from my diary two days—yesterday and tomorrow. Yesterday was for learning; tomorrow will be a consequence of what I do today. Today I will face life with the conviction that this day will never return, that it may be the last opportunity I’ll have to contribute because there’s no guarantee I’ll see tomorrow. Today I will be courageous enough not to let opportunity pass me by; my only alternative will be to succeed. Today I will invest my most valuable resource, my time, into my most important possession, the life God has given me. I’ll spend each minute purposefully, making today a unique opportunity. I’ll tackle each obstacle knowing that with God’s help I can overcome it. Today I will resist doubt and pessimism and warm my world with a smile. I’ll maintain a strong faith, expect nothing but the best, take time to be happy, see every task as an opportunity to honor the Lord, and endeavor to leave His footprints on the hearts of those I meet.’ John Boykin wrote, ‘Time is your life—nothing more, nothing less. The way you spend your hours and your days, is the way you spend your life.’ So pray, ‘Lord, help me to maximize this day.’
Heavenly Father, Help me make the most of today for Your Glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 27 | Download | Duration: 00:03:07
Knowing How Jesus Taught Us to Pray – Part 4
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' Matthew 6:13
Jesus taught us to pray: ‘Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one... ’ (v. 13). Satan knows your areas of weakness and he will exploit them. But there’s good news. It’s your weaknesses, not your strengths, that draw you closer to God and make you lean on Him. Paul wrote: ‘... I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). At first this verse doesn’t seem to make sense. You want to be freed from your weaknesses, not boast about them. But Paul gives you several reasons: 1) Your weakness prevents pride. Paul writes: ‘... So I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations... ’ (2 Corinthians 12:7). You’ll often find a weakness attached to strength, acting as a governor to keep you from becoming boastful or running ahead of God. Gideon chose 32,000 men to fight the Midianites, but God reduced his numbers to 300 (Judges 7). Why? So that Israel would know it was God’s power and not their own that saved them. 2) Your weakness creates fellowship. Your struggles show you how much you need the support of others. Vance Havner said, ‘Christians, like snowflakes, are frail, but when they stick together they can stop traffic.’ 3) Your weakness enables you to help others. It’s the broken who become masters at mending. Your most effective ministry can come out of your most painful experiences. The things you’re most reluctant to share are often the very things God will use to help others.
Heavenly Father, I thank you Father for using my weakness and doing great things with them. Help me accept weakness, not as defeat but rather as something that you work with. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 38 | Download | Duration: 00:02:35
Knowing How Jesus Taught Us to Pray – Part 3
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12
Let’s clear up some misconceptions about the words, ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ Satan will try to convince you that if your feelings haven’t changed toward the person who wronged you, you haven’t truly forgiven them. No, you can make the right decision and still have the wrong feelings! This is when you need faith to carry you through. You have done your part, now you are waiting for God to do His. God has the power to change your feelings toward the one who hurt you, and He will. Another misconception is that all you have to do is make a decision to forgive and then your job’s finished. No, you are instructed to ‘Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you... ’ (Luke 6:28). You say, ‘Bless them? Are you serious?’ Yes. The word ‘bless’ means ‘to speak well of.’ You’re extending mercy to those who don’t deserve it. But isn’t that what God does for you? The truth is you cannot truly forgive without the Holy Spirit’s help. So today why don’t you pray:
‘Holy Spirit, breathe on me and give me strength. I forgive _____________ [name] for what they did. I release them from this debt and ask You to bless them. I turn the situation over to You. I trust You for my total restoration. Help me, Lord. Heal my heart, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.’
Now, by faith, leave it all in your Father’s hands, move forward and anticipate His blessing. You won’t be disappointed.
Played: 41 | Download | Duration: 00:02:31
Knowing How Jesus Taught Us to Pray – Part 2
Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ Notice the word ‘daily.’ You can’t fight today’s battles on the strength of yesterday’s bread; you must have a fresh supply. In the wilderness God’s people were only permitted to collect enough manna for one day; if they tried to collect more it rotted. It’s wonderful to talk about what God did yesterday and what He’s going to do tomorrow, but all you’ve got is today. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ Only as you partake of what God’s provided for you today will you be able to stand up to the challenges you face. This prayer is an expression of faith. The very fact that you ask means you believe God’s got what you need and that He cares enough to provide for you. It says, ‘I don’t need to go to anybody else but You, Lord.’ So hang up the phone, turn off the TV, shut the door, get down on your knees, approach God in faith and pray, ‘Give me what I need for this day.’ God knows what you need, you don’t! As you partake of what He provides for you each day you’ll be able to handle whatever life throws at you.
And one more thought. When people start getting on your nerves for no apparent reason or you start having all sorts of mood swings or you begin living by feelings instead of faith it’s probably because you’re not eating right. If that’s so, it’s time to go back to your source and say, ‘Lord, I’ve come for my daily bread.’
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me what I need today. Help me trust You for that and not expect what you have in mind for me tomorrow to come today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Played: 31 | Download | Duration: 00:02:38
Knowing How Jesus Taught Us to Pray – Part 1
"This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Matthew 6:9
Here’s how Jesus taught us to pray: 1) ‘Our Father in heaven.’ When you say, ‘Father’ you are acknowledging that you’re ‘family,’ that you have a special relationship with God which entitles you to go to Him at any time, confident you’re loved, welcomed, and assured of His favor. When you say, ‘in heaven,’ you can go no higher. You’re drawing what you need from the ultimate source of goodness, grace, mercy, provision, protection and authority. What a privilege! 2) ‘Hallowed be Your name’ (v. 9). This thought should always be uppermost in your mind: ‘Whatever I do today, Lord, whether in thought, word or deed, let it honor You.’ People should be able to look at your life and want to become acquainted with the One you serve. 3) ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (v. 10). Each time you choose to say no to yourself and yes to God’s will, you demonstrate to a watching world what it means to live as a citizen of His kingdom. Note the words, ‘as it is in heaven.’ Is anyone in heaven fearful or doubting? Stubborn or disobedient? Critical or negative? When the enemy brings something to your door that’s contrary to God’s will, you have the authority to rise up and say, ‘If it’s not done and approved in heaven it has no place in my life here on earth.’ When it comes to disobedience, refuse to accept the package and sign the receipt. The one thing Satan hopes you never discover is that you have the God-given authority to restrict his movements in your life.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for teaching me how to pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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Decision Making – Part 2
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
Here are two important things to remember when you’re making an important decision: 1) Believe that God is directing your steps. Because He is! ‘The Lord directs the steps of the godly... Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand’ (Psalm 37:23-24). God didn’t say you wouldn’t stumble. He just promised to pick you up, dust you off, correct you when you need it, and keep working with you. J. I. Packer says: ‘A moment of conscious triumph makes one feel that after this, nothing really matters; a moment of seeming disaster makes one feel like this is the end of everything. But neither feeling is realistic, because neither event is really what it’s felt to be.’ So don’t get bent out of shape; by God’s grace you’ll handle it and come out wiser. 2) Realize that God can bring good out of bad situations. ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them’ (Romans 8:28). In every success story you’ll find struggles and setbacks. And you’ll also find tenacious faith that refuses to give up. After listing a series of adversities that would make your worst day seem like ‘a trip to the beach,’ Paul writes: ‘... None of these things move me... ’ (Acts 20:24). Where does such an attitude come from? It comes from knowing that God is working in you, He’s working with you, and He’s working through you, and sometimes working in spite of you! And as Ethel Waters used to say, ‘My God don’t sponsor no flops!’
Heavenly Father, in all situations let me commit myself to You to do whatever You need to do in my life to correct and mold me to keep going forward. In Jesus’ Name, Amen