God Will Restore Your Soul

For a period of time in my life, I rebuked whatever I didn’t want because I thought it must be from the devil. I say that I rebuked until my “rebuker” was just totally worn out. But then I discovered that a lot of what I was trying to rebuke was from God. Many of the things I did not like or want were things God had allowed for my growth and development.

The writer of Hebrews said that we must submit to the discipline of God. He chastises us only because He loves us. Don’t try to resist what God intends to use for your good. Ask the Lord to do a deep and thorough work in you so you can be all He wants you to be, do all He wants you to do, and have all He wants you to have. During my years of resisting anything that was painful or difficult, the simple truth is that I did not grow spiritually. I kept going around and around the same old mountains (problems). Finally, I realized that I was trying to avoid pain, but I had pain anyway. The pain of staying the way we are is much worse than the pain of changing.

Our personality is our soul (mind, will, and emotions), but often it has been wounded by our experiences in the world. God promises to restore our souls if we will cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in us. I had a broken soul, one that had no peace or joy, but God has made me whole and He wants to do the same for you.

God’s word for you today: Open your soul to God and ask Him to heal every wound and bruise.

–》》From the book Hearing from God Each Morning by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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Wait On God’s Glory

Have you ever come to God with an urgent prayer — only to watch him do nothing? You’re not alone. The Bible tells us that one day Martha and Mary sent for Jesus to come and heal their very sick brother. They sent an urgent message asking Jesus to come immediately.

A lot of times we pray that way. “God, You’ve got to do something now! It’s urgent!” But nothing happens.

“Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days and did not go see them.” (John 11:5-6 NLT) Jesus intentionally delayed; it looked like He didn’t care.

Then three days after the request, Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “Let’s go.” By the time they arrived, Lazarus has died. Mary and Martha came running out and they both said the same thing, “If you had been here, our brother would not have died.” (John 11:21, 32 TLB)

Jesus just calmly looked at them and said, “Mary, Martha, if you’ll just believe, you will see the glory of God. You’ll see a miracle.” He walked up to the cave, they moved the stone out of the way and Jesus said, “”Lazarus, come out!’ And Lazarus came ” (John 11:43-44 TLB)

Jesus waited until the situation was humanly impossible and then He brought the miracle.

Do you want to have an answer from God? Be willing to let God answer in His own time.

–》From Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional

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A Home From God’s Spirit

If you are born again, you hopefully know that Jesus lives on the inside of you through the power of the Holy Spirit. The question is, is God comfortable in you? Does He feel at home within you? Even though the Spirit of God lives within you, other things live in you, too – such as fear, anger, jealousy, or murmuring and complaining.

God once gave me an illustration of what it is like for Him to live in a heart where murmuring, complaining, and discord reside. Suppose you go to a friend’s house and your friend says, “Oh, come on in. I’ll get you a cup of coffee. Get comfortable and make yourself at home.” Then, your friend begins yelling at her husband and the two of them rant and rave and carry on right in front of you. How comfortable would you be in the presence of such strife?

If we want to be a comfortable “home” for the Spirit of the Lord, we must give up things that cause us to forget about His presence or are offensive to Him. We must stop grumbling, allowing strife and unrest inside us, or harboring unforgiveness. Instead, we need to make sure our inner lives are engaged in things that please and honor God’s presence. Our mouths should be full of praise and thanksgiving. We should wake up every day and say in our hearts, “Good morning, Lord. I want You to feel at home and be comfortable in me today.”

We all need to take inventory of what goes in our hearts because they are the dwelling place of God. When we examine our inner lives, we are looking at holy ground where God has chosen to make His home. Let’s commit to making Him comfortable in us.

God’s word for you today: Make sure you are a comfortable home for the Spirit of the Lord.

—》》From the book Hearing from God Each Morning by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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WILLPOWER

As you’re reading, January 1st may be nothing but a distant memory. More than likely, so, too, are all those New Year’s resolutions we’ve made. That usually happens because people rely on willpower, and willpower rarely works.

The concept of willpower is easier to grasp when you understand its scriptural basis. The Greek word for “will” in the Bible is often translated as “desire.” It’s the idea that we can achieve a goal when our true desires match our objective. That meaning is drawn from the very nature of God. As a perfect and sinless Being, the Lord is free of inner conflict, so whatever He wills comes to pass.

But we humans struggle greatly with inner conflict, don’t we? And that often places our desires in direct conflict with our goals. Take exercise as an example. We may wish to lose twenty pounds, but if what we truly desire is to eat ice cream every night, we’ll soon find our willpower breaking down with a spoon in one hand and a banana split in the other. The reality is our wishes are never strong enough to overcome our true desires for very long.

The solution, then, is to ask God to help us understand the inner areas that hold sway over our desires. So – back to the weight loss example for a moment – after examining our motivations, we may discover we eat junk food to pacify emotional pain that’s never healed. If that’s the case, then to the degree we find healing for that inner struggle and resolve it, the need to cover the pain will, likewise, go away.

So whether it’s weight loss, a better marriage, or letting go of that bad habit, are you relying on willpower to achieve your goals? If so, you may have to put in some work to get your true desires to align with your objectives. That will certainly include seeking God in prayer, and it may even require the listening ear of a friend or, if the hurt is deep enough, the guidance of a counselor. But if you stay on the journey, your willpower can be strengthened over time and work for, rather than against, you.

—》》For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, at JimDalyBlog.com.

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Help Is Here

Many people have received Jesus as Savior and Lord. They will go to heaven, but never draw on the full capacity of the Holy Spirit that is available to them or experience the true success God wants them to enjoy on Earth. Simply put, many will be on their way to heaven, but they won’t enjoy the trip.

We often look at those who have wealth, position, power and we consider them “successful.” But many people who are considered successful still lack peace, joy, contentment, and other true blessings. Such people have never learned to depend completely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

People who are self-sufficient often think depending on God is a sign of weakness. But the truth is that by drawing on the ability of the Holy Spirit, they can accomplish more in their lives than they ever could by working in their own strength.

God created us in such a way that although we do have strengths, we also have weaknesses and we need His help. We know He wants to help us because He sent a Divine Helper, the Holy Spirit, to live inside us.

We often struggle needlessly because we do not receive the help available to us. I encourage you to depend on Him, not on your own strength. Whatever you are facing, you don’t have to go through it alone.

God’s word for you today: Your worst day with God will be better than your best day without Him. The Holy Spirit is here to speak to you and help you in every way you need help today.

—》From the book Hearing from God Each Morning by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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Magic Hats

You’ve heard the phrase, “Garbage in; garbage out”? Well, the positive spin on that saying is just as true. If you want good things out of life, you’ve got to put good things in.

Many of us treat life as if it’s a magic hat we can reach into and pull out whatever we need whenever we need it. We make a habit of living hurried lives, but when a situation requires patience, we hope we can reach into our magic hat and produce that character trait at will. Or we believe we can over-commit our schedules, leaving very little time for our spouse and children. Then, when cracks begin to appear in our relationships, we think we’ll magically be able to connect with our family at a deeper level. But life doesn’t work that way.

To get good things out of your life, you have to first put good things in. If you want good health, you first have to choose healthy behaviors. If you want a successful marriage, you first have to instill within your relationship qualities that will make it successful. Want a better relationship with your children? Well, then drop some things from your busy calendar and throw the ball around, accept the invitation to that tea party with the stuffed animals, or have a picnic in the backyard.

Succeeding at changes like these requires our openness to God’s truth and a willingness to receive the counsel, support, and encouragement of those who matter most to us. In the end, however, we have to be intentional about acting on these influences and persevering in behavior and choices that are in harmony with God’s Word. After all, we don’t have a magic hat that allows us to pull something out of nothing. The positive character traits we seek can only result from a daily commitment to prioritize actions and decisions that please the Lord.

For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, at JimDalyBlog.com.

–》from YouVersion’s Living On Purpose Reading Plan

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Waiting is a Time for Preparation

You have to be patient to be a farmer. There’s no such thing as an overnight crop. You plant and then you wait.

After a farmer plants a seed in the ground, does he go and sit on his hands for six months and watch TV? No. The whole time that he’s waiting, he’s getting ready for the harvest. After he’s planted, he’s cultivating, watering, weeding, fertilizing, and preparing for the harvest.

The point is this: If you find yourself waiting on God, use the time to get ready for his answer. Patience is not passivity. Waiting is a time for preparation.

—》》From Rick Warren Daily Devotional

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God’s Provision : Faithful Giving

There is a universal law called the principle of sowing and reaping. If I sow generosity, it’s going to come back to me, and I’m going to reap generosity.

Every farmer knows this. A farmer has four sacks of seed in his barn and he looks at his empty field. He doesn’t complain, “There’s no crop! I wish there was a crop!” He just goes out and starts planting seed. When you have a need, plant a seed.

It seems illogical that when I have a need, I should give.

Why did God set it up that way? Because God is a giver. He is the most generous giver in the universe, and God wants you to learn to be like him. He wants to build character in you.

The Bible says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” (Proverbs 3:9 NLT) This is the principle of tithing. It’s the principle that says every time I make $100 — the first $10 goes back to God.

Tithing is an act of worship. We’re giving to God. We’re saying, “All of it came from you anyway.” God says, “Put me first in your life and watch what I do.” You may think you can’t afford to tithe, but the reality is, you can’t afford not to.

–》From Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Quiet Inner Confidence

Through the years, many people tried to hold me back from God’s call on my life. There were those who did not understand what I was doing and why I was doing it, so they judged me falsely. At times their criticism and judgment made me want to “sit down” and forget about my vision from God.

But I had a big God standing up on the inside of me, and “sitting down” was not an option for me. He caused me to stand up on the inside and be determined to go forward no matter what others thought, said or did. It was not always easy, but I learned from my experience that being frustrated and unfulfilled due to being out of the will of God is more difficult than pressing through all the opposition.

Standing up on the inside does not mean being rebellious or having an aggressive attitude toward those who don’t understand us. It means having a quiet inner confidence that takes us through to the finish line. It is knowing inside that despite what is happening on the outside, everything is going to be all right because God is on the scene, and when He is present, nothing is impossible.

Pray: Lord, Your presence in my life changes everything about me. Help me to stand up alongside You for all that You want me to do and say and be. Amen.

—》From the book The Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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God Is A Capable Father

God can handle any situation you give Him. No problem is too tough for Him. Nothing is beyond His ability. But the first thing you’ve got to do is bring it to Him.

What’s the decision you’re facing this week? What’s the mountain that needs to be moved? Cancer? Bankruptcy? Your kids are having problems? Can’t break a bad habit? “Nothing is impossible with God.”

In Jeremiah 32:27 God says, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (NIV) It’s almost like God laying down the gauntlet saying, “I dare you. Think up a problem that I couldn’t solve. Is anything to hard for me?”

Most of us, growing up, have said, “My daddy can do anything! My daddy can beat your daddy!” I really thought that. As I grew up I began to have my eyes opened. I realized that when it came to my allowance, my dad had limited resources. When it came to advice, sometimes he was just guessing too. My guess was as good as his, because he’s an imperfect father.

Yet, Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes!” (LB)

I have a pretty vivid imagination. I can think up some pretty big dreams. I can set some high goals. God says, “My son, you think up the greatest thing you think I could do in your life and I can beat that. I can top that.”

—》from Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional Reading Plan

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