Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 146-150 of 285
June 25, 2017, 5:00 AM

Seeking affirmation from God leads to a deeper trust, faith, satisfaction and dependency in Him.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Psalm 51:6

When we are not comfortable in our own skin, we will pursue any avenue to obtain feelings of affirmation, even if they are temporary. Since we are created in the image of God who desires relationships and intimacy, we are hard wired for connection. We want to hear we belong, we are loved and we are valued.  The problem arises when we, as broken people, try to fill and satisfy these God given desires by looking to other broken people to speak value and worth into our lives.


How we relate to and are received by others determine our sense of self and feelings of security. We determine how valuable we are based off the perception of others. This places us on dangerous footing. By seeking the applause of the crowd, we become nothing more than an actor on the stage of life – we pretend, we play a role, we overcompensate, and we crave attention.  Our relationships become no more than a means to an end. We use other flawed individuals to get what we want. Our days are spent always comparing and always competing. Bitter envy and selfish ambition begin to take root in our lives.


We find ways to compete rather than look for opportunities to connect. It’s almost impossible to root for anybody when we are always trying to compete with everybody. We have no frame of reference to really consider others because our default is to figure out how to gain the upper hand.  Our relationships aren’t a cure for our loneliness, but serve as the context for expression. How we deal with our loneliness impacts every relationship we have. In Genesis, when God looked at Adam and said it wasn’t good for man to be alone, God wasn’t saying people could fill us in ways that He couldn’t. God was making a bold statement about Himself. The reason it is not good for man to be alone is because man cannot glorify God by himself.


Throughout history, a body of people reflecting the image of Christ is what has glorified God. We come together to support and encourage one another as we seek to glorify God through the way we live and interact with one another. People will see God’s love through our love for each other.  This can only take place if we understand the origin of our true self-worth. Instead we must let our true worth and identity be spoken into us from God. It begins by trusting that we have value in the eyes of God. The only relationship that makes us valuable is the one we have with our Creator.


Seeking affirmation from God leads to a deeper trust, faith, satisfaction and dependency in Him. But, it also transforms our approach to human relationships as well. When we are no longer looking for a human solution for our loneliness, we are free to find a connection with others.  Where do you tend to compare and compete? How is this inhibiting your ability to be authentic with others?


This is my Prayer:  Father God, rather than compete, help me look to connect with others. Lord teach me no to hide my true self from those around me.  Jesus show me how to have the courage to reveal my heart knowing I am loved by You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

June 24, 2017, 5:00 AM

The object of our worship will determine our future and define our life.

They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.  Romans 1:25

The Bible makes it clear to us that all worship is to be God alone.  The first of the ten commandments tells us that we should worship God only, and have no other gods before Him. What’s worship? We typically think of worship as a religious act. However, if a person is a member of the human race and has a mind, body, and emotions, then they are hard-wired to worship. Worship is simply putting our hope in something or someone and then chasing after it. In other words, we hold something up, and give our lives to pursuing it.


Worship can take all kinds of forms. So how does this play out in my life? It might look a little bit like this…. If I worship technology, then I always have the newest computer, TV, gaming console, phone, etc. as soon as they come out. If I worship my favorite sports team, I will travel to the ends of the earth to watch them play. I will sit in inhumane weather, screaming my head off, in my latest favorite player’s jersey. If I worship my kids, I will spend my last dollar making sure they have the right clothes, get on all the right travelling sports teams, drive all over country (nine days a week) to take them to whatever activity they’re supposed attend. If I worship myself, well then, everything is about me. I spend my time based on what makes me, and only me, happy. I spend my money on things that make me look and feel good. I make decisions based on, “How does this affect me?”


Now here’s the deal, technology is not bad. I can even argue that it’s good. Watching or playing sports in and of itself is not bad. My kids are definitely not bad – the Bible tells us they are a gift. Doing things for myself is not wrong. However, none of these things were meant to be worshipped. They are gifts. Who or what we worship is our choice.  The object of our worship will determine our future and define our life. It's the one choice that our other choices are motivated by.  Our worship of God is birthed out of His love for us, which in turn makes us want to love Him, which shapes where we spend our time and our resources. So the question becomes, “What does my life look like if I worship God? 


Now with that in mind, I’ll close with Joshua 24:14-15

 "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord"

A life of worship, is one where we give everything we have and are into His control. We allow God to order and direct how we conduct ourselves in every part of our lives, how we relate to our family, friends, and others, how we deal with our money, how we go about our work. Everything is brought under the control of God, and lived out in accordance with His word to bring Him glory.  So choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve(worship)!


This my prayer:  Father God, I see where at times in my life I worship Your creation over the You, and I am sorry.  Lord please forgive me and help me to give my life to pursuing You and Your glory.  Jesus help me to show Your love in such a way to my family and those You bring into my life, that it motivates them to worship You.  In your name, Jesus. Amen.  

June 23, 2017, 5:00 AM

Who do you know that could use a helping hand or some genuine comfort? 

He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we may be able to comfort those in any trouble, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

I don’t know about you, but for the longest time the act of leading others to Christ seemed intimidating to me. I would build it up in my head, and worry that I will come across as a fraud. I would think about inviting a friend or coworker to church, get up the courage to do it and then change my mind the minute I opened my mouth. I was scared they would think I was pushing my faith onto them. What I didn’t realize, is that my actions and my story introduce those around me to Christ every day. I heard the statement one day, “Your relationship with Jesus is personal, but it is not private.”


Building a relationship with Christ changed my life and continues to change my life every day as I walk with Him, learn from Him, and reach for His Truth in the Bible for hope, guidance, and wisdom.  I am truly grateful to have met and been saved by Jesus, and to be able to share my story and tell others about that relationship.  To pass on His gift of comfort to someone else is the most important and meaningful work on this earth 2 Corinthians 1:4 makes it incredibly clear, that we are able to use our story, our struggles, and the comfort we have found in God to help comfort someone else and show them the true source of that comfort.


Sharing God with others is like reaching out with one hand to help a friend while grasping on tightly with the other hand to Jesus, who has helped you and continues to support and comfort you every day. Who do you know that could use a helping hand or some genuine comfort?  What would it look like to take some time and share your story with a friend who may not know Jesus like you know Jesus?


This is my Prayer: Father God, Thank You for my story and Your work in my life. Lord give me the strength to share my story and the story of Your grace, support, and comfort. Jesus I have friends, family, and coworkers who need Your comfort and I know I can share that with them. Help me to share Your love today and every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

June 22, 2017, 5:00 AM

How are you reflecting Christ’s heart in your relationships?

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Today’s passage reminds us that we are God’s workmanship and have been created to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. It is important to keep in consideration that some individuals may not be aware that God has a purpose for them. By being in relationships with others, we have the opportunity to grow together. As you consider the people you are in a relationship with, remember God made them for a purpose.


1 Corinthians 12:12-27 speaks to the “in it together” mentality of a community. Each person plays an important role in the body of Christ. Yet, this Scripture goes a step further in our goal to remain united. In verse 26, we learn that “if one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” How do you typically respond when someone you know makes a wrong decision or is going through a hard time? Do you suffer with them? Do you desire to carry that burden? Are you there to pick up the part of the body that has fallen?


Verse 26 also speaks about rejoicing. Do you rejoice when a part is honored? When others receive something, are you happy for them? Or do you feel as if you deserve something as well? All too often, we tend to envy the accomplishments of others or wish we could get some sort of recognition, but if we see ourselves as a part of the same body then when one part receives honor we all do. We must compassionately pursue relationships that were made for God. Relationships provide us the opportunity to not only reveal God’s character but to experience something bigger than us. A God-centered community is intentional about each individual within it.


The individuals have a responsibility to encourage each other in their walks with God: to love one another by making these relationships a priority, to be authentic and to experience accountability.  The hope is by understanding the point of a redemptive community you will be further strengthened in your walk with God and see how important each individual is to our overall impact as believers. Community is a group of people that are radically devoted to God, to one another and to the world we are called to serve. Community is where God penetrates our world. Our challenge is to reveal Him to others.  Who do you know that needs to be encouraged? How are you reflecting Christ’s heart in your relationships?


This is my Prayer: Father God, may I look for ways to encourage others today. Lord give me the eyes to see where You are moving in their life. Jesus help me to point out the good so they can be spurred on to pursue Your heart. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

June 21, 2017, 5:00 AM

Would you say you are a person of integrity?

The man of integrity walks securely. Proverbs 10:9

When you were a kid you never understood why sweets were off limits before dinner or how a chocolate chip cookie or two could ruin your appetite. In your young mind, parents were cruel dictators who forced you to eat your vegetables. With your belly growling, mom distracted by another sibling, you just happen to stroll into the kitchen.  Your eyes instantly lock on the cookie jar. Your heart starts beating a million miles a minute. Your mind goes through all the different scenarios that could take place.


It might be your sugar deprivation, but you swear those cartoon characters appear on both shoulders giving you differing advice about what to do. From what you can tell, it all comes down to two choices:  be patient and wait until after dinner for your delicious treat or sneak in when no one was looking, devour it quickly and pray that you don’t get caught with your hand in the cookie jar. If you were like me, you took the advice of the oh-so-wise Cookie Monster and thought that “C is for cookie and that is good enough for me.”


The choices that seemed like a matter of life and death as a kid (glue your mom’s vase back together or come clean, tell your dad you spilled Kool-Aid on the brand new carpet or blame your sister, cheat on a test or get the grade you deserve) seem almost trivial now as an adult. Yet, what we have failed to realize is that as the choices we are faced with become greater so do the consequences for our actions. Often we aren’t faced with choosing between good or evil, but rather better or best. These gray areas make it increasingly difficult to take the right course of action because we can justify in our minds that we will be the only one who knows, that it is not that big of a deal, or we can get away with it without anyone having the slightest clue.


Instead of taking the time to examine the hole in our heart, we become experts at hiding our real selves. Integrity sounds good in theory, but if we are honest we see it more as an inconvenience. After all, we deserve what we want when we want it. Life becomes more about our immediate gratification than the condition of our heart. What it comes down to is a lack of trust in God. We think that just like our parents were holding out on us with the cookies before dinner, God might not come through. We take matters into our own hands and our actions become just reactions rooted in fear and insecurity. Would you say you are a person of integrity? Why or why not? What makes you answer in the ways that you? How do these “gray” areas complicate the everyday choices you need to make?


This is my Prayer: Father God, help me to be the same person when I’m in a crowded room or behind closed doors all by myself. Lord open my eyes to those places where I exchange my character and influence for immediate gratification. Jesus teach me to walk in such a way that people see Your reflection in everything that I do. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 146-150 of 285
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