Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Right + Rude = Wrong

In review of Galatians 6:1, it says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too.”

Bottom Line:
My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don’t be tempted yourself.

What this means to me:
If someone I know starts to get off track, I should go to them and gently help them back to the right path. I do need to be cautious, to make sure that I’m not tempted by the same thing. At one point or another, those around me will disappoint me, nobody’s perfect. A key thing will be to learn how love responds when people disappoint me. In Galatians 6:1 it says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too” (NCV). The loving response to people who disappoint me is to be gentle, not judgmental.  To have the tough conversation and to confront those I love when they are doing wrong is to be done in a respectful and gentle manner. I should not be harsh, rude or mean spirited. Today, I’m reminded of a simple formula: “Right + Rude = Wrong”. It doesn’t matter if I’m right. If I’m rude about my interactions, nobody will care what I have to say. They’re just get defensive! (I know I would.)  So I should respond in a gentle and loving way if I want to get through to someone who has disappointed me. Proverbs 15:4 says, “Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit” (NLT). I always have a choice in how I speak to someone, even my direct family. Deeply hurtful words can wound a person, and I can easily scar someone for years. But the Bible says that kind words are words that will heal and help. So when others mess up, I shouldn’t get on their case, telling them whatever I think they are at the moment. Instead give them a vision of how things could be! Speak words of life and health and hope into them, not harsh words of judgment and be gentle. I need to learn to cut others some slack and be kind and gentle in my speech and responses. Today I will consider my speech patterns and strive to be gentle.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Being Tender Without Surrender

In review of Proverbs 19:11 it says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

Bottom Line:
It’s wise to be patient and show what you are like by forgiving others.

What this means to me:Wisdom and sensibility bring patience and allow me to control my temper. Whenever I”m wronged it would be a great virtue to overlook it, forgiving regardless of the offense/insult.  Doing so will show what I’m really like. There will always be people in my life who will want their way. They’ve got a right way and a wrong way to do something, and my way is always the wrong way. When I don’t meet their standards, they’re going to let me know about it. And it always seems I can never quite please them. The best way to handle them is to follow what scripture tells me, patience will come from my perspective: “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV). The more I understand a person, their backgrounds, battles, and burdens, the more patient I’m going to be with him. I often look at people and say, “Look how far they have to go.” But I don’t always stop and ponder, “How far have they’ve come.” Perhaps they were raised in a family where they had no model of kindness or courtesy. Maybe they grew up in a very dysfunctional home, and it’s a miracle, really, that they made it this far. I may not be considering what possible burdens are they carrying. They may be sick. They may have a family issue. They may have just lost their job. There are all kinds of battles and burdens people carry that I don’t know about. Proverbs 19:11 tells me to overlook offenses. So today,I need to consider today how I handle offenses, will I overlook them or am I going to be offended by them. Will I be so touchy and irritable that anybody who looks at me funny or forgets to say something or doesn’t see me offends me? Love lets it all of this go. The Bible says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Love is understanding, not demanding, it’s what I would want others to do to me when I’m having a bad day or I don’t feel well or I’m carrying heavy burdens. This doesn’t mean that I’m just to let people run over me, or push me around. I do not need to act like a doormat, cave in, and let them say whatever they want. The key is to be tender without surrender. Jesus had never caved in to manipulators who were extremely demanding and legalistic. They had all kinds of demands that they themselves couldn’t even keep. But Jesus did not let demanding people push him into a corner. He was tender without surrender. That’s called love in action. Today I will attempt to spend time considering what people around me might be struggling with, or perhaps even take the time to ask them. This will help me provide grace. Today I’ll will attempt to change my response to other in order to be tender without surrender.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Love Is Tactful, Not Just Truthful

In review of Proverbs 16:21 it says, “A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.”


Bottom Line:
Good judgment proves that you are wise, and if you speak kindly, you can teach others.

What this means to me:

It would be wise and show good judgement and understanding on my part if I could speak words with pleasantness and kindness. In this manner, I can be much more persuasive in helping others learn. I will never get away from having difficult people around me in life. The real key will be in how I respond to them. Proverbs 16:21 says, “A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is” (TEV).  The more pleasant I am, the more persuasive I can be. I need to keep in mind that  I’ll never be persuasive when I’m abrasive. The way I say something determines the way it’s received. If I say something offensively, it’s going to be received defensively. That’s why love is all about my words. Love is truthful, but it is also tactful. Tact and tone will always go together. It matters the way I say something, not just what I say. I can say something very difficult for someone to hear, but if I say it in the right tone, a loving tone, it will be received much better. A loving response to a difficult person will require that I be pleasant and tactful. If I want to respond the way Jesus would, I would show that person love with the words I say and the way I say them. In communications with others, my expressions and tone play a big part in how what I say is received.  Today I will be cautious in how I relate, keeping love and kindness in mind.  I will strive to be very tactful in what I say and communicate.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Helping Others with My Faith

In review of Romans 1:12 it says, “I mean that I want us to help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.”

Bottom Line:
We may be encouraged by each other’s faith.


What this means to me:
When I get together with other believers, we both can be encouraged by each others faith. Their faith will help me, and my faith can help them. A key to getting around insecurities is to start believing what Jesus says about me instead of believing what other people say or have said. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:7, “If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him” (LB). Jesus wants me to believe in others the way he believes in me. Jesus always affirmed people around him. When he looked at people, he saw their potential and what God intended them to be. He brought out the best in people not by labeling them but rather by saying, “I believe you can do it. I know you can do it.” This is illustrated in the following verses. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20 NIV).  “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23b). “Then Jesus told them, ‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more.” (Matthew 21:21 NLT). “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12). These are all possible because when Jesus Christ was physically on Earth, he could only be in one place at one time. Now, Jesus puts the Holy Spirit in me and anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus believes I can do great works because I have the Holy Spirit in me. He believes in me! Jesus wants me to believe in others, too, and express to them the potential I see in them to do great things for God. “Help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.” (Romans 1:12 NCV). Today I will consider any insecurities that keep me from believing in myself the way Jesus believes in me. I will also consider ways I can express to others that I believe in them.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love Looks, and Love Listens

In review of 1 Peter 2:17 it says, "Respect everyone, love other believers, honor God, and respect the Emperor."


Bottom Line:
Treat everyone you meet with respect and dignity.

What this means to me:
I am to treat everyone I meet respect, dignity and honor. I am to respect and take God seriously.  I am to honor the leaders above me regardless of how I may feel as God has put them into place. If I am to love like Jesus, it means that I must value others the way Jesus values me. I’m a child of the king. God created me, and Christ gave his life for me. The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:19, “The ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ” (NLT). My worth can be seen by looking at the cross. Jesus was willing to die for me. God was willing to give his Son for me. I am valuable to God. Jesus wants me to give that kind of value to everybody else, even the people I can’t stand. Christ says, “I love them this much (arms spread wide on the cross). So I expect you, my child, to love these people the same way I love them because I died for them, not just you. Treat them the same way I treat them. Value them the way I value them.”  The message translation paraphrases it to some simple steps, “Treat everyone you meet with dignity” (1 Peter 2:17 MSG). I can treat others with dignity by looking at them, giving them my attention, and listening to them. In Mark 10:21, Jesus was walking down the street, and a young entrepreneur came up to him and asked him a question. Jesus’ response was that he “looked at him and loved him” (NIV). He looked, and he loved. Its more difficult to love without looking! When a waitress serves me or the grocery store cashier speaks with me and I don’t give them my attention, I’m not being very loving. Love looks, and love listens. I have had problems with this in the past with not focus on others because I was busy. As I have over the last few weeks, II will incorporate this “look and listen” into my life. I will have faith and trust that God will provide the right amount of time for allow things to work out and I can still me my deadlines and commitments

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Acceptance Does Not Always Mean Approval

In review of John 6:37 it says, “The Father gives me the people who are mine. Every one of them will come to me, and I will always accept them.”

Bottom Line:
Those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.

What this means to me:
The Father is the one who gave me to Jesus, and now I have become one of his own.  When I came to him, he openly accepted me and promised to never turn me away.  As a follower of Jesus, I too need to be accepting of people in the world. John 6:37 says, “The Father gives me the people who are mine. Every one of them will come to me, and I will always accept them” (NCV). I may have accepted Christ into my life, but I really need to fully understand that he’s accepted me. He doesn’t love me because of who I am or what I’ve done, but because of who he is. Titus 3:7 says, “Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to God and he gave us the hope of eternal life” (CEV). He didn’t make me acceptable because I  changed. And It’s not that I never sin. It’s by his grace alone! God wants me to show the grace and acceptance to other people around me. There is a difference between acceptance and approval. Jesus Christ accepts me completely, but that doesn’t mean he approves of everything I do. I need to do the same with the people around me. I don’t have to go around approving of everything everybody does. But I do need to accept them, because that is a mark of love.  The Bible says in Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you” (NIV). One of the ways I can show acceptance to other people is to simply listen to them. Love pays attention. Love listens to the fears and the doubts of others and treats them with respect. Love accepts others the way Jesus accepts you. I need to keep this in mind, especially as I run across those whose lives I don't’ approve of. I can still show them love.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Learning That The Best Time to Love, Is Now!

In review of Proverbs 3:27-28 it says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.”


Bottom Line:
Never hesitate in doing good for anyone who needs it right now. Don't tell them to come back .

What this means to me:
I should not hesitate to do good for anyone who needs it right now. I should never tell them or think they should just come back later. The best time to love is right now, not tomorrow, not later, not someday, not one of these days, not when I get around to it, not soon, but Now! I have learned that God places these opportunities in our life for a purpose. And as such I am to never procrastinate or delay in responding or showing love. Often these come as one-time opportunities that may never come again. God often uses me, his follower to show his love. In this way, I can participate in what he is accomplishing here on earth. So this verse reminds me, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now” Proverbs 3:27-28 (GN).Whatever I’m going to give of myself, I should give now! Right now this is especially important, as my schedule is packed with things/deadlines that need to be met. Opportunities to help will often occur when I’m really busy. I suspect that one of these opportunities will occur in the near future and God is preparing me now through this reminder. I need to make sure that I allow myself to be open and ready to serve always.  I can do so knowing that God will provide the time and resources I need to accomplish my tasks and meet my deadlines.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Learning How to Express My Love with My Time

In review of 1 John 3:18 it says, “We must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words.”


Bottom Line:
Show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.

What this means to me:
I am to show love and the truth through my sincere actions, ones that are sincere, helpful and show true caring; not just empty words or talk. While everyone may have different amounts of energy, wealth and talent we all have one thing in common: time: 168 hours a week.  I only have a certain amount of allotted days, so I need to consider what my time is worth. Given this, the most valuable thing I can give someone is my attention, because when I give attention to somebody it communicates that, they matter to me, and that they are valuable. I’m telling them that they are worth listening to and worth my time. The essence of true, loving relationships is how much I give of myself to others. The second law of love is this: “The best expression of love is time.” The Bible says in 1 John 3:18, “We must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words” (GW). This is so true when it comes to family. Nothing can compensate for time; there is no amount of gifts, money, or clothes that can make up for it. Ephesians 5:2 reminds me, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (NLT). Love means giving up. It means I give up my agenda for their agenda. It means I give up my time for their time. It means I give up my preference for their preferences. It means I give up what I’d rather do right now to do what they would rather do. This is a sacrifice. This is love. I’ve decided, especially given my busy schedule (work, ministry, school) that I just need to purposely take small moments in my schedule to reach out and talk with others and take an sincere interest in them. I pray and have faith that God will help me arrange my day in such a way, that I can get all of the things/commitments completed, but still show proper love to others.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Learning My Life's Purpose be about Love (part 2)

In review of 1 Peter 4:8 it says, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”

Bottom Line:
Above all, continue to show deep love for each other, because love will cause people to forgive each other for many sins.


What this means to me:
One of the most important things I need to keep in mind daily is to continue to show deep love for others. This will help me with my interactions and allow me to show grace to others.  As I mentioned yesterday, the best use of my life is love.  Here are two more reasons why I need to make learning to love my life’s purpose.
  • Love compensates for sin. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:8, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins” (NLT). The love of Jesus Christ covers my sins, and gives me the power to let other people off the hook. I’ve been forgiven, so I can forgive others.

As I see in scripture, David was not exactly a perfect guy. He blew it a lot. He lied. He cheated. He stole another guy’s wife. He committed adultery. He even had a guy murdered to cover up his sin!  But when David blew it, he admitted it, and he repented. He didn’t always do what was right, but he sought after the Lord and wanted to do what was right. God called David a man after his own heart. How could God say that about a man like David? Because it’s more important for me to love God with all my heart than it is for me to be perfect. I need to ask myself, am I loving God with all my heart?  Am I loving my neighbors/others as I do myself?  Doing so will cover a multitude of sins.
  • Love reverberates forever. I need to learn that what matters right now are relationships. In fact, the Bible says life without love is worthless and wasted: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love” 1 Corinthians 13:3 (MSG).


Because I get busy, relationships in my life often get the short end of the stick. I have a tendency to give first-class allegiance to second-class causes, and start skimming on relationships. This verse reminds me that nothing can take the place of love. Life is not about achievement or balanced schedules or recognition. It’s about love. This is extremely important for me this week as I have lots of tasks and to-do’s.  I’ll need to be vigilant that I not let busyness cause me to forget what’s most important.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Learning My Life's Purpose be about Love (part 1)

In review of Colossians 3:14 it says, “Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together.”


Bottom Line:
Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly.


What this means to me:
Love is more important than anything else, so I should clothe myself with, and be loving in all I do. Love is what ties and brings everything completely together in perfect harmony. The best use of the life God has given me is love. In scripture God tells me that I need to make learning how to love my primary objective, my greatest ambition, my lifes purpose. There are four reasons why love is more important than anything else. Today I’ll look at the first two.
  • Love validates my faith. The reason why God wants me to learn to love is because he wants me to become like him. The Bible says in 1 John 4:20, “If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen” (TEV). Love validates my faith. It proves I’m really a child of God.
  • Love integrates my life. There are a lot of things that can become my dominant life principle. But what I need is something at the center, so strong that it won’t fall apart when the trials come, the emotional earthquakes hit, and the financial hurricanes stir. When all of the tribulations of life batter me, I’d better have something at the center, that’s going to hold me together, or I’ll come apart.

The Bible says the only thing strong enough to do both of these is love; love for God and love for each other. When I let love become the center of my life, it will bring everything else into focus. Colossians 3:14 says, “Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together” (CEV). Today I will consider any ambitions that might be getting in the way of making love a top priority. I will attempt to start the day with knowing that God is love and that I’m developing my character after him.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Life is a Lesson in Learning to Love

In review of Matthew 22:37-39 it says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself"


Bottom Line:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, this is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important commandment is to love you neighbor/others as much as you love yourself.

What this means to me:
The highest priority for my life should be to Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment for me. The second most important commandment is similar, and it is to love my neighbor/others as much as I love myself. My life can get really busy and I often have lots of things to accomplish.  However, If I want my life to really count, I’ll need to better focus it on things that God considers important.. I don’t have time for everything, and not everything is of equal value. Matthew 22:36-39 says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself’” (LB). Jesus tells me, there are two things more valuable in life than anything else and it is: loving God and loving each other. And God put me here on earth to do two thing:. to learn to love Him and to learn to love others. Contrary to popular belief, life is not about acquisition, accomplishment, or achievement. In the long run, I won’t take my career, my car or my house to Heaven. The one thing I will take is my character. I’m taking the part of me that lasts forever. God put me on Earth for time I’ve been given so I can learn to love him with all my heart and learn to love others. Overall, life is one giant lesson in learning to love. In order to best accomplish this, I need to remember to stop what I’m doing and focus on what people are saying to me when they engage me. I need to take the time to notice and to reach out to them, even if it’s a just a brief conversation, to show interest in them.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Love Is an Action

In review of Revelation 2:4-5 it says, “You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.”


Bottom Line:
I have something against you. You do not love me or each other as much as you used to. Think how far you have fallen and return to me. Change your hearts, the way you think and act, and do what you did at first


What this means to me:
I need to make sure that that my love for God and for others does not falter. When it does, recognize it and return to a changed heart, one that thinks and acts and does like it did when I first came to Christ. What I’m learning is that love is an action, not just emotion. Love is something I do. It’s easy to love somebody who loves me. It takes no effort at all. However real love acts and does the loving thing when people around me don’t deserve it, when they don’t respond, or when I don’t feel it. Acting in love when I don’t feel it is the highest form of love. It’s a more mature love when I act loving toward a person who does not respond the same way. I’m also  learning that it’s easier to act my way into a feeling than it is to feel my way into an action. Feelings will follow, because feelings follow behavior. In Revelation 2:4-5, Jesus says to the Church, “You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first” (ESV). What Jesus told the Church is the same principle for renewing the love in any relationship, even my marriage. I remember, I repent, and I do the things I did at first. The reason the love went away is that I stopped doing the things that created the love in the early days. God doesn’t want me to live by my feelings. He wants me living by faith. Sometimes God lets the feelings go away, then I have to love by faith and live by faith. When I love somebody and do the loving thing, even when they are not responding and even maybe when they are retaliating, I are loving by faith. That is an action. I need to remember that often my attitude also has a lot to do with it.  I want to remember to stop what I’m doing and acknowledge them with a smile (even if it’s an IM or voice call.) The simple act of kindness and respect will go a long ways toward showing other I love them by my actions.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Love is a Choice. Choosing to Love.

In review of Deuteronomy 30:20 it says, “You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him.”


Bottom Line:
Choose to love the Lord your God and obey what he tells you. Committing yourself firmly to him will be key for how to live life.


What this means to me:
I can choose to live a life of love, because I love the Lord and choose to do whatever he tells me to do. I commit myself and place my faith in him.  This is key to living a life he desires. The two top things he tells me to do is to; love him and to love people.  Our culture has bought into a myth that love is uncontrollable, it just kind of happens to you. The language we use even implies that we can’t control how we love. It’s common to say, “I fell in love”, like it was a ditch you stumbled into (I was just walking along one day and, bam! fell into it. I just couldn’t help myself.)  However this really isn’t love.  Attraction and arousal are common and uncontrollable, but are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. What I’m learning is that “love” is a choice. In a wedding, a man and a woman stand before each other and say their vows. They say to the other person, “I choose you above everybody else in the world, and I choose you for the rest of my life.” In this statement they are making a public announcement of their choice. Now,  that’s a commitment. I’ve learned early in life that you can’t force anybody to fall in love with you, and you can’t force them to stay in love with you. This is because love is a choice. Love cannot be forced. This is true of all relationships, including my relationship with God. The first part of Deuteronomy 30:20 says, “You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him” (NLT). So based on this, in order to make a real difference in my life, I must choose to love God. God isn’t going to force me to love him. I could always just thumb my nose at God and go a totally different way, but ultimately destroy my life. God will never force me to love him, because love is a choice. Today I can choose to love God by obeying his two overarching commandments, to love him and to love others. I can take steps today to show others in my life that I love them by adjusting my perspective towards them. Instead of going about my busy life/schedule, I can take the time and choose to be interested in their lives, and to listen to them. After all having relationships with people can lead to everlasting changes in their life, especially as I let them know what God has done for me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Loving Because God First Loved Me

In summary of 1 John 4:19 it says, “We love because he first loved us.”

Bottom Line:
We love because God loved us first.


What this means to me:
God is love. I should love in response to him reaching out and loving me first.  He wants to extend himself through me in how I love. This verse says “We love because [God] first loved us” 1 John 4:19 (NIV). God is always first in everything. He takes the initiative. The only reason I can love God or anybody else is because God first loved me. And he showed me that love by sending Jesus Christ to Earth to die and take on the penalty for my sin. He showed that love by creating me. He showed that love by giving me everything I have in this life. In order to learn how to love other people, I really need to understand and feel how much God loves me. When I feel that unconditional love, I can start cutting people a lot of slack. I won’t be as angry as I’ve been in the past. I’ll be more patient. I’ll be more forgiving. I’ll be more merciful. I”ll show other people grace. The reason for others being judgmental, sarcastic, angry, self righteous, and always putting other people down, is because they’re putting themselves down. They don’t feel good about themselves. They don’t feel loved. They don’t feel forgiven. They don’t feel grace. They feel guilty. They feel bad about themselves. And if they feel bad about themselves, they certainly don’t want anyone else feeling good about themselves. I’m learning that I cannot give to others what I have not received myself. Unlovely people are unloved people. Hurt people hurt people. I need to remind myself how much God loves me and let it heal my heart so his love can flow through me. It will be impossible for me to love others until I feel loved myself. God’s love is there, I just need to embrace this in my thinking. The Bible says, “We know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16a). Today I will consider How I show love to others and begin basing my love on the love God has for me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Learning to Trust God for a Second (or Third or Fourth) Chance

In review of Romans 5:1 it says, “By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God.”

Bottom Line:
We have been made acceptable to God by our faith. This peace has come because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

What this means to me:
I have been made acceptable to God by my faith. This peace has come because of what Jesus Christ my Lord has done for me. Jesus is all about providing second chances when I stumble, and I really need this. I can be grateful that his mercies are new every morning. Jesus tells us, “I didn’t come to condemn the world. I came to save it.” That means God doesn’t stand behind me and shake his head disapprovingly when I blew it. Also, I don’t need to feel to ashamed about my past failures. God isn’t ashamed of me. This is good news! A better approach for me is to accept that God loves me completely, totally, and unconditionally. Because Jesus died in my place on the cross, I am completely acceptable to God. Romans 5:1 says, “By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God” (CEV). God wants to give me his best, no matter how many times I have and will fail. The Bible reminds me that i have complete access to God and his power, if I choose to know him. Also, I can do this now, I don’t have to wait until I get my life together. I’ll get all the amazing benefits of being a child of God today! With this in mind, I can move forward in life being completely and totally transformed. Just keep in mind God’s unconditional, continuous, and never-ending love for me. So as I look toward setting and achieving some new goals, I’ll internalize the truth that God loves me despite my failures. He longs to walk with me as I try to progress this year. So instead of letting my past failures define my future, I’ll remember that God has a great love for me and move forward..

Monday, February 3, 2014

Reasons To Never Give Up

In review of Galatians 6:9 it says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t become weary or tired of doing what is good, living the right way or helping others.  At the right and proper time we will reap a harvest of blessing and everlasting life, If we do not give up.

What this means to me:
I am to never become weary or tired of doing what is good, living the right way or helping others. At the right and proper time I will reap a harvest of blessing and everlasting life, If I do not give up. Failure is never final. I’ll never be a failure until I quit and it’s always too soon to quit. Rick Warren explains that “You can’t determine a person’s greatest by his talent, wealth, or education. The Greatest is better determined by what it takes to discourage him.” So, I need to think what does it take to discourage me from going after a dream. Do I get discouraged because a friend, relative or family member tells me, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” The Bible says in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (NIV). God is telling me to “just keep on, keeping on.” God will work in my life according to my faith.  The Bible says, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God” and “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” and “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” So I need to consider what I’m doing in faith? I may want to consider adding the following question to my daily quiet time routine, “God, what can I do today that will require faith?” It’s an important question, because its the things that require my faith that are going to please God. There are a lot of things in my life that I don’t have control over. I didn’t control who my parents were, when and where I was born,, or what my race or nationality is. I didn’t control what gifts and talents I was given. And I didn’t decide how I look.  But one I thing I do have complete control over is how much I choose to believe God. God will use people who expect him to act, who never give up, who take risks in faith, who get his dream and go after it. It’s my choice whether I want to be the kind of person God uses to accomplish his purpose. Today I will consider what act of faith God may be asking me to take today.

Using My Words to Build Others Up

In review of Ephesians 4:29 it warns me to “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building ...