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Friday, March 27, 2015

Who Will Be in Heaven Because of Me?

In review of Acts 20:24 it says, “The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me — to tell people the Good News about God’s grace.”

Bottom Line:
Life is worth nothing unless it is used to complete work that Jesus gives us; to tell others the Good News about God’s grace, kindness and love.

What this means to me:
My life should be used to complete the work that Jesus has given me, to tell others the Good News about God’s mighty grace, kindness and love.

Todays verse in Acts 20:24 states, “The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me — to tell people the Good News about God’s grace” (NCV).

It’s worth noting that this verse doesn’t say the most important thing in life is to get married, fund my retirement, travel a lot, become famous, or pay off the house. It says the most important thing in life is for me to fulfill my mission. If Jesus died on the cross for me so that I can fulfill my mission and I don’t, then it was a massive, eternal waste.

God put me on Earth for a purpose. He has a mission that only I can fulfill. Part of that mission is to tell other people the Good News of God’s grace. I know Christ because somebody took the time to invest in myself and my family and showed us what a life was like following him. So, who am I going to tell?

If somebody died for me, wouldn’t I want to know about it? Well, Jesus died for every single person in the world. This weekend, the typical American will sit at home watching TV, with a soda or beer, maybe reading the newspaper, kicked back and relaxed — and totally unaware that Jesus Christ died for him and unaware of the grace that is available to him.

The Bible explains to us in 2 Peter, that the Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God wants everybody in his family, and because God cares, I too must care.

The way I can show my gratitude for the grace of God is by making my own life count, by living a life of extravagant generosity, and by telling as many people as I can about the Good News.

A good question to ask myself today, “Is anybody going to be in Heaven because of me?”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

When God Says I’m Forgiven, He No Longer Holds It Against Me

In review of Isaiah 43:25 it says, “I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you.”

Bottom Line:
It is God who forgives your sins, he does this because of who he is. When he does, he will not hold them against us.

What this means to me:
It’s good to know that it is God alone who will blot out and forgive my sins. He does this because of who he is and for his own purposes. The good news is that when he forgives, he no longer holds or uses them against me.

Its tempting to think (even as a believer) that when problems occur, God is getting even with us as a result of what we did.  

It’s like the guy who was driving up to a mountain lake. On the way up it starts snowing, so he gets out to put chains on his tires. While he’s doing this, another car comes along and slams into his car, and he watches in horror as his car goes over a cliff. He continues up the mountain on foot in the snow and sleet, and he’s getting sick from the cold. Then, as he rounds a corner, he sees that his cabin has burned down. He cries out, asking, “Why me, God?” The heavens part, and a voice says, “Because some people just tick me off.”

Like this story, It’s natural to think that is the way God feels about us. We think that whenever we’ve got a problem, God is ticked off. However, the Bible says, “I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you” (Isaiah 43:25 TEV).

God will not hold a grudge. When I received Jesus as my Savior, I am assured that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. God will not rehearse it; he releases it. He will not rub it in. He rubs it out!

I believe the cause of my problems can come from my own bad choices or prior disobedience. Sometimes they are just things that happen, that God uses to strengthen my character and build my faith. I should however consider what’s going on in my life. Am I blaming God for any of these? At this point I don’t believe so, however it would be good for me to consider this and clear up any misconceptions.

Overall, some bad things can happen to “good” people. This is because God allows for free will in all individuals. Often this free will, choices and how others handle it can affect us.  The good news is whatever happens to me, God will be there to guide me through it, train me or stretch my faith.  God will never waste anything.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Holy Spirit Will Bring God’s Truth to Mind

In review of John 14:26 it says, “The Holy Spirit … will be your teacher and will bring to your minds all that I have said to you.”

Bottom Line:
The father will send the Holy Spirit; the advocate, comforter and helper, who will continue to teach you and reminding you of all I have told you.

What this means to me:
God has sent his Spirit to live in me. He acts as the advocate, a comforter and a helper to God. He will continue to teach me and remind of what has been revealed in scripture.

What I’m learning is that God will speak through ideas from the Holy Spirit. I’ll get thoughts, suggestions and impressions or notions. When the enemy talks to me, that is temptation. But when God talks to me in my mind, this is called inspiration.

Jesus says in John 14:26, “The Holy Spirit … will be your teacher and will bring to your minds all that I have said to you” (Phillips).

The Holy Spirit is my teacher and counselor, much like a personal coach!

Notice the verse says, “bring to your minds.” The Holy Spirit will speak directly into to my mind. He won’t speak in an audible voice. He doesn’t need to, He has direct access to my mind. “His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children” (Romans 8:16 NLT).

If the Holy Spirit is to bring God’s truth to mind, that means there’s gotta be something in there to bring out. This is why I need to continue to get into the Bible. When I read, study, and fill my mind with God’s Work, I storing the truth in my mind, and then the Holy Spirit can bring it out at just the right time.

It is encouraging to know that I may read the Bible and say, “I didn’t get anything out of it today.” However, I don’t have to get something out each time you read it. Rather what I’m doing is storing the truth in my mind. My mind’s filled with everything else I’ve seen — every billboard, every commercial, every bad joke, every movie. It’s all in there. I need to balance it with the truth. Then the Holy Spirit can bring God’s truth to mind and show me the way I should go.

I’m glad that I have developed a routine of getting into God’s word most workdays. It helps to shape my perspective and outlook for the day. It keeps me armed with the truth.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

God Will Give Advice Through Others

In review of Proverbs 12:26 it says, “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.”

Bottom Line:
A righteous and godly friend will give good advice and guidance to a friend. The path of the wicked will lead them astray.

What this means to me:
I can count on good advice and guidance from a righteous and godly friend. Someone with the wrong intent will lead me astray.

God will speak to me through friends and family, particularly if they are believers. Proverbs 12:26 reminds me, “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray” (NLT).

Everyone has blind spots. There are things in life that I’m never going to see that need to be corrected, so God puts people around me to tell me the truth. Everybody needs somebody in their life who loves them enough to tell them the truth.

It’s important for me to have someone like this in my life, a godly friend or friends who don’t just tell me what I want to hear but love me enough to level with me and say, “You know what? You’re blowing it right now. You’re making a big mistake. You’re full of pride. You’re going the wrong direction”?

I can not always see clearly. I need to give trusted people permission to get in my face and say, “you’re blowing this. You’re wrong. Have you ever thought about ‘this’?” I can see where this will be really important after my wife and I move away from our current community and settle into a new one. We will need to re-establish a group that we can connect with.
While I need this type of person in my life, I also need to be that kind of person for someone else. I shouldn’t just let people get away with it when I see them going in the wrong direction and not say, “What are you doing? Don’t you see what’s wrong with this?”

One of the primary benefits of a small group is feedback and counsel. These should be people who I get to know so well that I can trust them and give them permission to speak into my life and I have permission to speak into theirs.

God wants to speak through me and use me to help others grow, but it takes courage. And God wants to speak through other people to me, but it takes humility. “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6).

In my own life, I think it’s easier to not share what’s going on in my life, as someone might point out that I’m wrong or my thinking needs correction. I rarely like being corrected. I need to be open and humble, ready to accept criticisms, and suggestions for improvement.  Given this verse today, I should expect a situation soon in which God will use someone to speak into my life.  I should be prepared for this, be humble and listen intently.

Monday, March 23, 2015

God Is Waiting for Me to Plant a Seed

In review of John 12:24 it says, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

Bottom Line:
In order for a single seed to produce, the kernel must be planted and die. When it dies like this, it will produce many seeds.

What this means to me:
Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it will remain alone. Its death however will produce a plentiful harvest.

What does a farmer do when he’s got a barren field that’s producing no income? He doesn’t complain about it. He doesn’t even pray about it! He just goes out and starts planting some seed, because nothing is going to happen until he plants the seed. He can pray all he wants, but it’s not going to produce fruit. He’s got to plant something.

As I reflect on my own life, I often wait on something, whether its something from God or something from someone else to get things going. What I’m learning that that God is actually waiting on me to plant a seed.

It seems everything in life starts as a seed; a relationship, a marriage, a business, a church. And nothing will happen until the seed is planted.

I believe that God require me to plant a seed, because planting is an act of faith on my part. I take what I’ve got, and I give it away. This type of action takes an act of faith! And its one that brings glory to God.

Jesus described this principle of sowing and reaping when he was trying to explain why he came to Earth to die on the cross. In John 12:24 Jesus said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (NIV). Jesus was saying, “Millions of people will be saved and go to Heaven because of my death and Resurrection. I’m going to plant a seed, and the seed is going to be my life.”

Here’s the principle of sowing and reaping: Whenever I have a need, I should plant a seed. Whatever it is: more time, more energy, more money, more support, more relationships, more wisdom; just plant a seed. If I need more time, give more time to those around me. If I need more money, give some away to someone who needs it. If I need more wisdom, share what wisdom I have with others. Literally give myself away!

It seems counter intuitive to give away something that I need more of, but that is exactly the kind of attitude that God wants to bless and that will produce fruit in my life. When I have a need, don’t gripe about it, don’t wish about it; just plant a seed!

This morning as I reflect on what I’m wanting God to provide, the following things come to mind;
focus, relief, and sound practice.  When it comes to focus, I think God may be saying that I need to spend the right amount of time outside of work, when everyone else can not easily reach and vie for my attention, so that I can focus on the things that need to be done. I believe with relief, I’m looking for some release of the pressure of needing to find additional technical staff at work due to recent attrition.  And when I think of sound practice, I think of an orderly way to bring new resources on board and to operate my team.

Given what I’m learning in today’s study, I need to plant the seed of: Dedicated quiet time for work related activities (away from everyone else, unplugged.)  When it comes to relief, I need to continue to follow-up on contractor resources and interviews so that a decision can be made.  Lastly initiate the actions to identify the top issues and have the teams develop process and procedures to help on-board new resources.

Just identifying actions and thinking through the steps of planting have already brought some overall relief to me. So today I pray for God’s assistance in helping me plant the seeds I have identified.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Learning To Plant Today, Then Learning To Be Patient for the Harvest

In review of Galatians 6:9 it says, “Let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.”

Bottom Line:
Do not get tired of doing what is good, for if you don’t give up, a time will come when you will be rewarded.

What this means to me:
I should never get tired of helping others or doing what is good. If I persist and not give up, I’ll reap a harvest of blessing when the time is right.

Given this, the time to start planting is now! It’s a natural tendency to say, “One of these days, I’m going to …” indicating that I’m going to serve more one of these days.

Unfortunately, “One of these days”equates to “none of these days.” What I’m learning is that I shouldn’t wait for things to get better or a situation to change; I should start planting now. The sooner I plant, the longer I’ll enjoy the harvest in my life.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that the harvest will not always come in my time or timing. There’s always a delay between sowing and reaping. A farmer plants in one season, and harvests in another. I can’t plant this morning and expect a harvest this afternoon.

I simply need to be patient and never give up doing what I know I should be doing!

This is one of the principles that the Kingdom of God operates on. This verse in Mark 4:26-29 says, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head” (NIV).

The results will come, but they will come slowly and as part of a process. And because it takes time I’m reminded to, “Let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest” (Galatians 6:9 GNT).

I should also forget about last year’s crop failure. Rather, I should start focusing on the long-term harvest in life. I didn’t get the way I am overnight. It took years to mess things up, and it’s going to take a while to put things back together. There is a time of delay between sowing and reaping.

The Bible says in Psalm 126:5-6, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest” (NLT).

I should consider what need I may have been grieving over. Mourning is ok; however moaning is not. Instead of moaning, I need to plant a seed, because whatever I need more of, I need to give away.

Today is the day for me to plant the seed.

As I reflect on this, the one thing I would like to receive more of, is the good feeling I get when I can meet with and help someone out. I need to make sure I can make time to follow-up with some of those in my life that I can meet with before I move.  I would like God to help me give myself away today so that I can make a difference in the lives of others and one day reap the harvest he has planned for me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Learning To Store Up Treasure in Heaven

In review of Matthew 6:21 it says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Bottom Line:
Your heart will also be where your treasures are.

What this means to me:
My heart will always follow what and where I consider my treasures.

I will enjoy forever whatever I invest in Heaven, and I invest in Heaven every time I use the money I’ve been entrusted with for Good. While the money I’m entrusted with is used to grow my character, encourage fellowship in the Body and serve others, there are two additional areas I should invest in so that I can yield eternal dividends in Heaven.

One such investment is a Global Fund. This is when I use money to share the Good News and bring others to Jesus. Luke 16:9 says, “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (NIV). This verse isn’t indicating that I should buy friends. Rather it means that God wants me to invest in things that help others get into Heaven so that when I get there, they will welcome me. This is one of the greatest investments. Is anybody going to be in Heaven because of me?

One other investment area is God’s Treasury Fund. This is when I give money to God as an act of worship, Rick Warren calls this the Treasury Fund. God makes a promise in Proverbs 3:9: “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (TLB). A tithe is giving the first 10 percent of my income to God. Anything given above a tithe can then be considered an offering. In reality I can’t really give God anything, because he already owns it all. This is much like the allowance I received as a child. When I used it to buy a birthday present for one of my parents, I was really using their money. Does that mean they would like the gift any less? No! Because they cared more about the thought and the love behind the gift. What I’m learning is that God feels the same way about my giving.

The Bible says that wherever my treasure is, my heart will also be there. This indicates that If what’s most important to me are the things of this earth, then every day I’ll be moving further and further away from my treasure. Every day I’m are here on Earth, I’ve got one less day here on Earth. I’m moving further and further away from the things you’re going to leave behind.

However, if I’m investing in God’s funds and using what he provides to serve God’s purposes, then I’ll be storing up treasure in Heaven every day. I’ll be getting closer and closer to my treasure instead of further and further away.

Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Given this I will pray today: “Dear God, forgive me for all that I’ve spent on things that aren’t going to last. I want to start investing in Heaven. I want to invest in these godly funds. I want to use my money the way you want me to use it. Today I commit to using my money to grow my character and grow in spiritual strength, wisdom, and knowledge and become all that you want me to be. Help me to see ways that I can use what you have given to me to strengthen relationships and show love to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to invest in eternity by using my money to serve others. I want to learn to be generous. I want to be a blessing to others. And I want to use my money to bring people to you. I want people to be in Heaven because I gave. I want to spread the Gospel through my acts of service. And Father, I want to show where my treasure is by investing in eternity through my gifts and offerings to you. I want to honor you by giving you the first part of all my income. I want to give up my lust for money so that the Almighty himself will be my treasure. Help me to remember that I’m not a fool to give up what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

God’s Voice Brings Peace

In review of Philippians 4:6-7 it says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray. Tell God what you need, and thank him for what he has done. As a result you’ll experience God’s peace, which is beyond anything we can understand. This peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ.

What this means to me:
I am to not worry about anything, rather I should take these concerns to God in prayer, telling him what it is I need with thanksgiving for what He has already provided. Then His peace will descend upon me and guard my heart and mind as I continue to live in Christ Jesus.

Today I will look at two additional things to test whether an impression or an idea is from God or not.

I can ask, “Is the thought or impression convicting or is it condemning?”

There is a tendency to go through life living under condemnation and guilt, thinking it’s the voice of God. But what I learning is that it’s not. That’s the enemy!

Conviction comes from God and condemnation comes from the enemy. The purpose of conviction is to correct something that’s out of whack in your life. The purpose of condemnation is just to put you down and make you feel miserable and guilty and ashamed. The motivation behind conviction is that God loves you and wants to help you be better. The motivation behind condemnation is that Satan hates you and wants to make you miserable. When God speaks to you about an area in your life for conviction, he’s very specific. Condemnation is general.

God will be specific when something is out of whack. He follows this up with a solution. I then confess it to God, and then the feeling of conviction leaves instantly. Condemnation, on the other hand, will go on and on and on.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). God will never do anything to attack my value. If I hear a voice that says, “You’re hopeless! You’re worthless! You’re unlovable!” I can know with certainty that is not the voice of God.

Finally, I need to ask if “I sense God’s peace about it?”

If I get an impression and it makes me feel pressured, overwhelmed, or confused, I need to question whether that impression is really from God. God doesn’t want me to live under pressure. He wants me to sense his peace.

The enemy wants to drive me compulsively. But God desires to draw me compassionately. I should consider if I’m sensing God saying anything encouraging, or is it all about pressure?

The word for the pressure that comes into our lives that drives us away from God’s peace is: worry. But Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

These verses point out that worry is never from God. It only creates pressure in our lives. Those verses also provide this incredible promise: Take your worry to God, and leave it there. Listen to his voice. It will bring peace if you only obey it.

So in recap, God will always specifically point out what’s out of whack so that I can correct it and make me better.

Overall, here is a summary of questions I can ask to know if an impression is from God.

Does it agree with the Bible? (John 7:17)
Will it make me more like Christ? (James 3:17)
Does my church family confirm it? (Ephesians 3:10)
Is it consistent with how God has shaped me? (Ephesians 2:10)
Does it concern my responsibility? (Romans 14:4)
Is it convicting rather than condemning? (Romans 8:1)
Do I sense God’s peace about it? (Philippians 4:6-7)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Impressions From God Will Guide Me To Be More Like Christ

In review of James 3:17 it says, “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

Bottom Line:
Wisdom from above is pure, peace loving, gentle and willing to yield. It is one full of mercy and illustrate the fruit of good deeds. It will show no favoritism, and will be genuine.

What this means to me:
The wisdom I obtain from above is pure, peace loving, will be gentle at all times and one that is willing to yield to the best interest of others. It is one that will display mercy and the fruit of good deeds. Ultimately it will be one that is genuine and will show no favoritism.

As I wrote about yesterday, If I am to recognize God’s voice and figure out whether I have an impression from him or not, I need to first consider if the idea agrees with the Bible.

Next I need to consider that, “If I follow through on this impression, will it make me more like Christ?”

Philippians 2:5 says, “In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus” (NCV). God’s goal is to make me more like Christ, so it makes sense that he would never give me the impression that would lead me in a direction opposite to this.

James 3:17 is packed with a great checklist for helping to see if something is an impression from God when it comes to the character qualities of Jesus Christ: “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (NIV).

If an idea or impression is impure, then it’s not from God.

Is the impression peace loving? God’s going to give impressions that promote harmony and not conflict.

Is it considerate? When God gives an impression, he is concerned about the impact that impression is going to have on somebody else. He will not give me an impression that will mess up others lives.

Is this impression submissive? This simply means it will be humble, teachable, and not arrogant. If I’ve really heard from God, then I shouldn’t be afraid to test that idea by sharing it with others and getting their input.

Is it full of mercy? What I hear from God will make me full of mercy.

Is it impartial and sincere? An idea from God won’t make me manipulate and control others.

Checking an impression against these seven character qualities of Jesus Christ will help me know if an idea is from God and if it will make me more like Jesus.

Given what I’m learning, I can show God that I want to be more like his Son Jesus, by asking daily in prayer for him to shape my heart and by checking impressions I get against the James 3:17 checklist. Impressions I get should always be characterized by how it will treat and affect others.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Learning How To Verify If An Idea Agrees with the Bible

In review of John 7:17 it says, “Anyone who wants to do [God’s] will can test this teaching and know whether it’s from God or whether I’m making it up.”

Bottom Line:
Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether or not my teaching is from God or is merely my own.

What this means to me:
It is much easier for me to recognize whether someone’s teaching is from God or themselves by knowing what God’s Word says and how this person lives their life.

Jesus explained in John 7:17, “Anyone who wants to do [God’s] will can test this teaching and know whether it’s from God or whether I’m making it up” (MSG). God doesn’t like it when people put words in his mouth and say, “God told me to do this,” when he really didn’t. In order to know when its God talking, I first need to consider if their idea agrees with the Bible.

God is always consistent. He will never contradict what he’s already said in his Word. God will never tell me to violate a principle that’s in the Bible. He’ll never tell me to ignore what he’s already said. He’ll never tell me to deny what he’s already said.

Luke 21:33 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (NIV). That means if it’s true, it has always been true, and it always will be true. Because truth is not new! Truth has been around forever. If something was true 4,000 years ago, it was true 50 years ago, and it is still true today. God’s truth stands the test of time.

Trends change. Popular opinion changes. Even science changes. But the truth of God never changes, so God would never say something and then change his mind. Knowing this truth should provide some encouragement, because I’ll never have to wonder what God thinks about something that he has already clearly stated in his Word.

Secondly it would also be helpful to dig into God’s Word and memorize it so that when I get an idea or an impression, I can say, “That couldn’t be from God because the Bible says this.” Unfortunately, If I don’t really know what's in the Bible, then I’ll be fooled by all kinds of lies from Satan. So, the more I know God’s Word, the better I’ll will be able to discern when God is speaking to me.

I must be cautious to never try to “adapt” a truth from scripture to fit my circumstance. If I find myself doing so, it will be important to quickly reverse that through process. This is where bouncing ideas off of other mature believers comes in handy. One other way I can know and hold onto God’s word is through scripture memory. Today I should consider how I can get back into this process, targeting to memorize one verse a week.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Writing Down Prayers, Answers and Insights

In review of Habakkuk 2:2 it says, “The LORD gave me this answer: ‘Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you.’

Bottom Line:
Then the Lord told me to write down clearly what he reveals.

What this means to me:
When the Lord provides answers, insights, or instructions, I am to write it down clearly.

It was because Habakkuk had written down what the Lord said to him, we have the book called Habakkuk. Because David wrote down what God spoke to him, we have the book of Psalms. They both had asked God a question, God gave them an answer, and they wrote it down.

What I’m learning is that one of the best things I can do is to write down my own prayers and requests. Writing them out will make them more specific, and help me to be more serious about what I’m praying about.

The process of writing prayers, answers, insights and instructions out is called spiritual journaling. It’s important to not make this process too complicated! I’m am to simply write down what I’m saying to God, and then write down what God’s saying to in reply.

Here is one format that Rick Warren suggests for journaling. “In your notebook, first, put a vertical line down the center of the page. On one side, write what you say to God. On the other side, write what God says to you. As you write down what you say to God, don’t expect him to always say something to you immediately. Sometimes he’ll answer later in the day, or he may even wake you up in the middle of the night. Then, on the same sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line, and above the line, write “Yesterday” and record the events of your day. Underneath the line, write “Life Lessons.” The next day, look back on the events of the day before and ask, “What lesson was God trying to teach me through those events?” God is trying to teach us lessons through the everyday events of our lives, but we miss them all the time. When you take time to write them out in this way, it will help you focus on hearing God’s voice and what he wants you to learn from him.”

Personally, I’ve been doing my own journaling a little bit differently, however, I should consider how I can incorporate in the portion of “What lesson was God trying to teach me through the events of the day.”

I know from experience that journaling has been a very powerful habit for me. It has helped me focus my thoughts. It has helped me to remember what I’ve read and what God said.  As I consider recording the events of the day in my journal, I can see where it can help point out patterns of what God is could be saying or teaching me. I can take what my conclusions are and discuss them with other mature christians to see if I’m interpreting them correctly. So often, I go through life repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Adopting this added steps will help keep me from missing the lessons God is trying to teach me.