God Says Enjoy Life

You may be under a lot of stress right now because of the economy, but God still wants you to enjoy life.

As a Christian, you can enjoy life because your conscious is clear. You can enjoy life because you are secure within God’s love. You can have fun, laughing in church. You can enjoy friends who don’t manipulate you — because they are learning to be like Jesus and that means they are learning to look out for the interests of others.

Unfortunately, there are many people who do not want to let God into their lives because they fear God will make them give up anything that is fun. They think that to become a Christian is the same as saying the party’s over, that to be spiritual is to be miserable.

People are frantically looking for fun fixes, but that means they operate under the law of diminishing returns. They spend more time, more money, and more energy to get less and less of a thrill. They go around asking, “Are we having fun yet?”

The truth says God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17b NIV)

God wants you to enjoy life!

–from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Where You Are Weak, He Is Strong

Weak or strong? If you had to pick one of those words to describe yourself, which one would it be? I think most of us would probably say ‘weak.’ But did you know that we don’t have to remain defeated by our weaknesses?

The only way to overcome your weakness is to rely on God’s strength. To do that, you have to stop focusing on your weaknesses. You cannot look at everything you are not. You must look at everything God is. Focus on His strength and all He is willing to do for you.

The weaknesses of the world are not your inheritance. Jesus did not come to earth, die on the cross, and rise again on the third day for you to be weak and defeated. He went through all that to give you an inheritance, authority in this life and His strength to rule over your circumstances.

In any area where you stumble, God is ready and willing to provide you with His strength. So the next time you find yourself confronted by your weakness, remember and declare that where you are weak, He is strong!

Prayer Starter: God, I declare and confess that where I am weak, You are strong. So I will not worry about, or remain defeated by, my weakness. Instead, I put my faith in Your strength.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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From Condemnation to Confidence

Many of you have been condemning yourself, maybe because of some unresolved guilt, maybe because of some unrealistic expectations, maybe both. The Bible says, “All of us have sinned and we all fall short of God’s ideal; yet, now God declares us not guilty if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness, freely takes away our sins.”

Would you like to have that burden removed? Would you pray, “Jesus Christ, I want to ask you to forgive me for all the things I’ve ever done wrong.” If something specific comes to mind right now, just agree, saying, “Yes, and that… and that…” As those pictures go across your mind, say, “Lord, I ask forgiveness for that, and I accept your forgiveness because of Jesus Christ.”

Then would you pray, “Lord, help me to relax in your grace, to realize that you don’t expect perfection. There is no condemnation in Christ. You’ll never love me any more and never love me any less because of what I do.”

“Father, I want to walk in your grace. I want to take off the yoke of guilt and put on the yoke of grace today. Lord, help me to eliminate the negative self-talk in my life. Help me to focus my mind on the positive things. Help read my Bible every day and memorize it and meditate on it. And as I read it, remind me again and again how much you love me.”

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Legacy: Acceptance

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Everyone craves acceptance. It seems we never get enough. When you give your children the opportunity to be themselves and to become what God wants them to be, you give them a great legacy. The welcoming environment of acceptance is the atmosphere in which kids bloom.

Even though they’re your children, acceptance is never automatic. You must be intentional in offering it and continual in showing it. One of the most important times is when a child does something that embarrasses you publicly. At that moment, you have a choice: Will I care more about how others see me or about the feelings of my child? We’ve all seen embarrassed parents in stores use angry, derogatory words with kids who didn’t realize what they were doing.

An often-quoted research study noted that the single greatest factor determining whether a child succeeds in life or messes up is the presence and acceptance of a caring adult in his or her life. The amazing discovery was that it doesn’t have to be a parent! It just has to be someone who offers love, acceptance, and godly guidance.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Who Is Your Real Enemy?

Are you facing challenging circumstances? Are you in need of provision in some area and not sure where it’s going to come from? Many Christians today are dealing with serious hardships. Some have lost their jobs and benefits. Others struggle with critical health problems and live with constant concern about how to cover the cost of medicine and doctor visits in addition to simple necessities such as shelter, food and clothing.

There are many things in the world that threaten us. But our biggest enemy, fear, is not “out there.”

Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that we are at war not with flesh and blood, but with the enemy of our souls. We must not be confused about the identity of the enemy in our battles.

Thankfully, our unseen God is more than capable of dealing with our unseen enemy. When we come to a deep understanding of God’s unconditional love for us, we realize He will always take care of everything that concerns us.

You don’t have to be afraid of your unseen enemy. Trust in God, the only One who can defeat the spiritual forces of darkness.

Prayer Starter: Lord, don’t let me forget who my real enemy is, and don’t let me forget that You are all-powerful. I know I can’t handle everything the enemy throws my way, but You can.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Understand Grace, Walk in Faith

Most of us are aware that it is by grace that we are saved, but I wonder how many people truly understand the power of God’s grace.

Everything we receive from God must come by grace through faith. But all knowledge of faith must be built on a clear understanding of grace, because even faith comes to us by grace, as a gift.

When you understand grace, you can walk in faith and receive God’s blessings.

God’s grace isn’t complicated or confusing. It is simple, and that’s why many people miss it. There is nothing more powerful than grace. Everything in the Bible, salvation, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, fellowship with God and all victory in our daily lives, is based on it. Without grace, we are nothing, we have nothing, we can do nothing.

Today, don’t just hear about grace, but understand that everything in our lives depends not on our merits or abilities or works, but on God’s willingness to use His infinite power to meet our needs. This is grace.

Focus on that truth today, and watch your faith grow.

Prayer Starter: God, I don’t just want to hear about Your grace without grasping its real power. Help me to understand how wonderful Your grace is so that my faith in You can grow.

—From Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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When Tempted, Resist the Devil

After we’ve humbled ourselves and submitted to God, the Bible teaches us to defy the Devil. We don’t passively resign ourselves to his attacks. God tells us to fight back.

The New Testament often describes the Christian life as a spiritual battle against evil forces, using war terms such as fight, conquer, strive, and overcome. Christians are often compared to soldiers serving in enemy territory.

How can we resist the Devil? Paul tells us, “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NLT)

The first step is to accept God’s salvation. You won’t be able to say no to the Devil unless you’ve said yes to Christ. Without Christ we’re defenseless against the Devil, but with “the helmet of salvation” our minds are protected by God. Remember this: If you are a believer, Satan cannot force you to do anything. He can only suggest.

Second, you must use the Word of God as your weapon against Satan. Jesus modeled this when he was tempted in the wilderness. Every time Satan suggested a temptation, Jesus countered by quoting Scripture.

He didn’t argue with Satan. He didn’t say, “I’m not hungry,” when tempted to use his power to meet a personal need. He simply quoted Scripture from memory. We must do the same. There is power in God’s Word, and Satan fears it.

This is why memorizing Scripture is absolutely essential to defeating temptation. You have quick access to it whenever you’re tempted. Like Jesus, you have the truth stored in your heart, ready to be remembered.

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—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Small Beginnings

You are probably believing God for something to come to pass in your life. If you look, you will find evidence of a small beginning. God gives you seed, perhaps only a little, tiny seed, something that causes you hope. Rejoice over that seed. It is a sign of greater things to come.

When you despise something you regard it lightly. You count it as nothing and don’t take care of it. But if you don’t take care of what God gives you, you will lose it. You need to be content during the small things. You know the Lord is the Author and Finisher (see Hebrews 12:2). What He begins, He completes (see Philippians 1:6). Don’t curse your seed by complaining or proclaiming negative things over it. Instead say, “Lord, this is only a little thing, but thank you for giving me some hope, something to hold on to. Thank You, Lord, for a beginning.”

—From the book Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2004 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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When Temtped, Humble Yourself Before God

You may sometimes feel that a temptation is too overpowering for you to bear, but that’s a lie from Satan. God has promised never to allow more on you than he puts within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome. However, you must do your part too by practicing biblical methods for defeating temptation.

First and foremost, you want to refocus your attention on something besides the temptation. It may surprise you that nowhere in the Bible are we told to “resist temptation.” We’re told to “resist the devil,” and that is very different. (James 4:7)

The Bible says we’re to refocus our attention because trying to resist a thought simply doesn’t work. It only intensifies our focus on the wrong thing and strengthens its allure.

In other words, whatever you resist, persists.

Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize its allure is to turn your attention to something else. Don’t fight the thought, just change the channel of your mind and get interested in another idea.

The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you. That’s why Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.” (Job 31:1 NLT)

And David prayed, “Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless.” (Psalm 119:3a TEV)

–from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Sickness Isn’t Only Physical!

The Bible teaches that Jesus came to heal our wounds, to bind up and heal our broken hearts, and to give us beauty instead of ashes and the oil of joy instead of mourning (see Isaiah 61:1-3).

Many Christians read this scripture and know that God wants to heal us from physical and spiritual sickness, but there’s more to it than that. The truth is that our emotions are part of our makeup and they can become sick like any other part of us.

The world today is full of people who are suffering from emotional pain. The cause is often abuse, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, disappointment, judgment, criticism or other negative behavior by others. This emotional pain can be more devastating than physical pain because people feel that they have to hide it and pretend it isn’t real.

If you have an emotional wound in your life, you need to know that Jesus wants to heal you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking He is interested only in your spiritual and physical life. Take your wounds to Him. Jesus wants to heal you everywhere you hurt!

Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You for caring about every part of me, including my emotions. Any emotional pains and wounds that I have, I bring to You. I know that You can heal and restore me.

—From Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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