Convictions Determine Conduct

Dictionaries usually define conviction as a fixed or strong belief. Conviction is really much more than that. Your convictions include your values, commitments, and motivations.

I like the definition of conviction I once heard from the great Bible teacher Howard Hendricks: “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!”

Our convictions determine our conduct. They motivate us to act in certain ways.

When you first become a Christian you often do things simply because other Christians around you suggest them or model them. You may pray, read the Bible and attend services because you see the examples of others.

This is fine for a new Christian. Little children learn the same way. However, as you grow, you must eventually develop your own reasons for doing what you do. Those reasons become convictions.

Biblical convictions are essential for spiritual growth and maturity. What is ironic today is that people often have strong convictions about weak issues (football, fashions, etc.) while having weak convictions about major issues (what is right and what is wrong).

Think about your walk with Jesus and make a list of the convictions you now hold. Are your convictions weak on any major issues?

from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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The Greater the Opposition, the Greater the Opportunity

Every time God puts a fresh new idea in our hearts or gives us a dream, vision or new challenge for our lives, the enemy will be there to oppose us.

God constantly calls us to new levels. Some seem big and important; others seem relatively small or insignificant. Whatever the case, when we reach a new level with God, we will face a new level of opposition from our enemy, the devil.

Along with opposition, however, comes opportunity, but God is always with us, and we have no need to fear. Some things may seem too great for us, but nothing is impossible with God. He is not surprised or frightened by anything, and with Him, we can accomplish any challenge set before us.

If you are determined to reach the new levels God is calling you to, then don’t give up in the face of opposition. Instead, realize that the greater the opposition, the greater the opportunity in front of you. Be courageous, and draw boldness and courage from the Holy Spirit, for He is always with you.

Prayer Starter: God, don’t let me falter in the face of opposition. I know that You have great plans for me and great opposition only means a greater opportunity. I trust You and I know that You can take me to new levels.

from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Making Tough Decisions

It’s important to make the right choices, especially in the middle of hurt, discouragement, frustration and confusion when the right choice is the tough choice to make. When things are stressful, we naturally like to take the path of least resistance. But those are the very moments when you need to make the tougher choice. Because to reap right results in life, you have to do right when you don’t feel like it.

What’s amazing to me is that Jesus knows what we feel like. When He became a human being, He struggled with all of the frustrations we struggle with. He felt like giving up and taking the easy way, but He overcame and made the tough choices.

When we grow weary and falter in our determination, we can know with confidence that we serve a God who knows what we’re going through. And we don’t have to make tough decisions on our own.

When you find yourself stressed-out and beat down, on the verge of giving up, remember that God is with you and He understands. Find the strength to make the tough choices in Him.

Prayer Starter: God, I’m so glad and so thankful that You understand everything I go through and struggle with. When I am tempted to take the path of least resistance, I will find my strength in You to make the tough choices.

from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Love Is A Choice

Today we’ve bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it’s something that just happens to us; it’s not something we control. In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, “I fell in love,” as if love is some kind of a ditch. It’s like I’m walking along one day and bam! – I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself.

But I have to tell you the truth – that’s not love. Love doesn’t just happen to you. Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.

There’s no doubt about it, attraction is uncontrollable and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. Love is a choice.

You must choose to love God; he won’t force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won’t force you to love him. Because he knows love can’t be forced.

And this same principle is true about your relationships: you can choose to love others, but God won’t force you to love anyone.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Are You Hopeful?

When you think about the future, are you hopeful? Or do you struggle with a sense of dread?

People who have seen God’s faithfulness in the past tend to be very hopeful about the future. They know a bad situation can turn into a wonderful testimony in a matter of minutes.

On the other hand, people who have lost all hope view life from the perspective of dread. A close cousin to fear, dread steals the ability to enjoy ordinary life and makes people anxious about the future.

Hope is the opposite of dread, and a close relative of faith. When we have faith in God, it leads to hope, and our outlook on life and the future is positive.

Hope allows us to leave our unanswered questions in God’s hands; it empowers us to remain at peace, and it enables us to believe the best about the days to come.

You can have hope when you trust in God’s love. He has the power to provide for you and lead you through every situation.

Prayer Starter: God, I choose to put my faith in You, knowing that it will turn into hope. I don’t have to dread, because You have the ability to care for me, so I put my hope in You.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Be Generous and Cheerful

As Christians, we should be generous people, giving whatever we can whenever we can. And that doesn’t just mean money, we can give help, encouragement, time, talents and forgiveness.

This means we can’t let selfishness get in the way. A lot of people are stingy, clinging to what they have and afraid to give it up. Others aren’t stingy in their actions, but they are stingy in their hearts, giving because they feel obligated, not because they really want to.

But this isn’t the way God calls us to give. Second Corinthians 9:7 tells us, “God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, ‘prompt to do it’) giver whose heart is in his giving.”
If you think about it, when we give our lives to God, everything we have is His anyway, it no longer belongs to us. We should be givers, using our resources the way He wants us to.

Give cheerfully today. It pleases God, and those who give cheerfully are happy, fulfilled, and highly effective.

Prayer Starter: God, I make up my mind and purpose in my heart right now to be a cheerful giver. Show me how I can generously give to You and the people in my life today.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Do Your Best!

God is excellent. As His representatives, we should be too. So it’s important that we do our best in everything that we put our hands to. We must be motivated to do our very best in whatever we set out to accomplish. Paul urges us to “learn to…prize what is excellent and of real value.” As we make excellence a way of life, we will sense God’s joy and be good examples to the world.

You must sow excellence in order to reap an excellent harvest. We can’t expect excellent results in life when we don’t live a life of excellence. The Bible teaches us to develop diligence, steadfastness and determination, all of which will help us live lives of excellence.

So I encourage you to do your best with any project or activity that God places in your path. Be diligent. Don’t leave things undone, but finish what you start to the best of your ability. Set your mind to be steadfast and determined. Commit yourself to excellent results.

God honors an attitude of excellence. Choose to do your best, and He will always work alongside you.

Prayer Starter: God, I want to live a life of excellence. Strengthen me and help me to do my best in every situation with steadfastness, diligence and determination.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Discernment Is the Key to a Clear Conscience

It’s critical to keep your conscience clear because nothing will keep you from enjoying life as much as guilt.

In Acts, Paul said that he pursued discipline and avoided worldly desires so that he could walk blameless and guilt-free before God. The same applies to us. Walking in the confidence of a clear conscience will keep us free and happy.

That sounds easy when it comes to clear-cut, right and wrong issues, but what about the ‘gray’ areas of life? How do we keep our conscience clear when we’re unsure what the right or wrong choice is? What if we accidentally sin without realizing it? I’ve found that God’s discernment solves this problem.
Discernment is spiritual understanding, and it’s the key to living with a clear conscience. It takes practice, but it simply involves paying attention to your heart. God will let you know when you shouldn’t do something that will bring guilt later on.

I encourage you to live in a way that will keep your conscience clear. Don’t do things you know you shouldn’t, and rely on God’s discernment when you’re facing an issue you’re not sure about. He will never lead you wrong.

Prayer Starter: God, thank You for Your discernment. Help me to pay attention to Your still, small voice speaking to my heart so I can live in a way that will keep my conscience free and clear before You.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Wisdom is Calling Out to You

Along the way on our journey through life, we will have to make many decisions, and we will always get into trouble if we make them emotionally or according to what we think or want.

God wants us to make wise decisions. I believe having wisdom is choosing to do now what we will be happy with later.

Proverbs says that wisdom is calling out to us. You must walk in God’s wisdom and realize that the choices you make today will affect your tomorrow. So many people never enjoy life because they’re always dealing with messes resulting from a lack of wisdom.

Don’t do something selfish, gambling that things will turn out right. Wisdom does not gamble, it invests in the future. Wisdom doesn’t settle for a cheap thrill. Instead, it follows God into a better tomorrow.

So what about you? Are you walking in wisdom today? If you’re not, the good news is that wisdom is already calling out to you. God’s ready and willing to provide you with His wisdom. Just ask Him for it and make the decisions that will invest in a godly future.

Prayer Starter: God, I want to enjoy life, not constantly clean up problems that result from a lack of wisdom. Thank You for providing Your wisdom for me. I choose to receive it and make godly decisions for my future.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Be Decisive!

Indecision is a miserable state to be in and certainly is not a fruit of the simple life. The apostle James said the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Never making a decision because you’re afraid you’ll make the wrong one will get you nowhere. How much time do you think we waste when we can’t make up our minds?

We often labor over the choices before us when we just need to make a decision and let it stand. This may be a simple example, but think about it: When you stand in front of your closet in the morning looking at all your clothes, just choose something and put it on. Don’t go back and forth until you make yourself late for work!

Let me encourage you to start making decisions without second-guessing yourself or worrying about the choices you make. Don’t be double-minded or wishy-washy because doubting your decisions after you make them will steal the enjoyment from everything you do. Make the best decisions you can and trust God with the results.

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, thank You for showing me that indecision doesn’t really get me anywhere. Help me to let my “yes” be “yes,” and my “no” be “no.” I know I can’t go wrong when I make decisions the best I can and simply trust You with the results.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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