You Can Be Alone Without Being Lonely

Loneliness often manifests as an inner ache, a vacuum, or a craving for affection. Its side effects include feelings of emptiness, uselessness or purposelessness. There are many causes of loneliness, but many people don’t realize that they don’t have to live with it. They can confront it and deal with it.

It’s important to realize that just because you are alone, it doesn’t mean you must be lonely or lonesome. While it may not always be possible to avoid being alone, there are always answers to loneliness.

God’s Word tells us to be strong and courageous, for God is always with us. In the natural, you may be alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to be lonely, because spiritually, God is always there. He will never leave you or forsake you.

The next time a feeling of loneliness tries to manifest in your life, I urge you to remember Deuteronomy 31:6. Declare out loud that God is with you and begin to talk to Him. As you make room for Him, His presence will fill your life. You don’t have to be lonely when God’s presence is with you wherever you go.

Prayer Starter: God, I’m so glad that You’re always with me. I know I never have to feel lonely with You by my side.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Wise People Look Ahead

Many people in life start out well but they end up poorly because they don’t plan for the pitfalls. But the Bible says the wise man looks ahead.

We all face pitfalls as we make plans for our future, such as cultural distractions, voices of doubt, tempting shortcuts and discouraging delays. Just take a look at Noah. He had pitfalls after God told him to build the Ark. But he overcame them. And you can too.

Now, this doesn’t mean God will give you the goal of building an ark, but I pray he’ll give you a BIG goal for your next ten years.

The Bible says we’re wise to look ahead and make plans. By doing that, we’ll not only be prepared to spot the pitfalls when they come into our lives, we’ll also be prepared to apply the antidote to the pitfalls of life. As the Bible says, only the fool fails to look ahead.

Ask God to help you establish goals for the next decade of your life. Then you’ll be ready to learn how to handle the pitfalls that potentially could keep you from getting where God wants you to go.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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You Are A Work In Progress

Spiritual maturity is neither instant nor automatic; it is a gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life.

You are a work in progress. Your spiritual transformation in developing the character of Jesus will take the rest of your life, and even then it won’t be completed here on earth. It will only be finished when you get to heaven or when Jesus returns.

At that point, whatever unfinished work on your character is left will be wrapped up. The Bible says that when we are finally able to see Jesus perfectly, we will become perfectly like him: “We can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” (1 John 3:2 NLT)

Much confusion in the Christian life comes from ignoring the simple truth that God is far more interested in building your character than he is anything else.

Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: he wants to make us like himself (Christlike) before he takes us to heaven.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Identify the Battlefield

Did you know that we are in a war every day? Looking around at all the suffering, we may think the battles are just taking place externally, but in reality, we’re losing the advanced and more important conflict, the battle in our minds.

When we fail to identify the battlefield, we also fail to correctly identify our foe. We tend to believe people, money, religion or “the system” are our problems. Unless we renew our mind, we risk continuing to believe those lies and making important decisions based on deception.

Each day our minds are bombarded with a constant stream of nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts and fears. While any one of these can cause defeat and devastation, grabbing on to God’s truth can bring victory and joy.

You may have some major strongholds in your life that need to be torn down. Let me encourage you by saying, “God is on your side.” There is a war going on, and your mind is the battlefield. But the good news is that God is fighting on your side!

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, I don’t want to be deceived, ignoring the real battle that’s happening in my mind. Keep me on guard so that I can fight the good fight. With You on my side, I can’t lose!

from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Molded Into Godly Character

God uses his Word, people, and circumstances to mold us. All three are indispensable for character development. God’s Word provides the truth we need to grow, God’s people provide the support we need to grow, and circumstances provide the environment to practice Christlikeness.

If you study and apply God’s Word, connect regularly with other believers, and learn to trust God in difficult circumstances, I guarantee you will become more like Jesus.

Many people assume all that is needed for spiritual growth is Bible study and prayer. But some issues in life will never be changed by Bible study or prayer alone. God uses people. He usually prefers to work through people rather than perform miracles, so that we will depend on each other for fellowship. He wants us to grow together.

In many religions, the people considered to be the most spiritually mature and holy are those who isolate themselves from others in mountaintop monasteries, uninfected by contact with other people.

You cannot grow to Christlikeness in isolation. You must be around other people and interact with them. You need to be a part of a church and community.

Why? Because true spiritual maturity is all about learning to love like Jesus, and you can’t practice being like Jesus without being in relationship with other people.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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A God-Fashioned Life

Many religions and New Age philosophies promote the old lie that we are divine or can become gods. Let me be absolutely clear: you will never become God, or even a god.

This desire to be a god shows up every time we try to control our circumstances, our future, and people around us. But as creatures, we will never be the Creator.

God doesn’t want you to become a god; he wants you to become godly, taking on his values, attitudes, and character. We are meant to “take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 MSG)

Every time you forget that character is one of God’s purposes for your life, you will become frustrated by your circumstances. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me?”

Never forget that life is not about you! You exist for God’s purposes, not vice versa. God gives us our time on earth to build and strengthen our character for heaven.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Avoiding Spiritual Burnout

You cannot love people the way God loves you without God’s power in your life because human love runs out.

If you feel that nothing seems to be worth the effort, or life seems to be futile, or you find yourself blaming God for your problems — “Why did you let this happen to me?” – these are warning signs of spiritual burnout.

1 Timothy 4:8 says: “Take the time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” (Phillips) How do you stay spiritually fit so you can love people? By building spiritually refreshing habits into your life.

A Daily Quiet Time – “This is the reason we never lose heart. Our body does suffer wear and tear but every day the inward man receives fresh strength.” (2 Corinthians 4:16) Outwardly our body suffers wear and tear, but inwardly we can be spiritually renewed every day by spending time alone with God.

A Small Group–A Christian without a small group is an orphan. You need a small group. The Bible says, “Let us encourage one another.” (Hebrews 11:25) You need to get together in a small group at least weekly where you can share needs and problems, where you care for one another.

Worship–Praising God will renew and rejuvenate you. Psalms 59 says, “I will sing of your strength in the morning and I will sing of your love for you are my refuge in times of trouble.” You need that emotional release and that recharging that comes from singing. Put on a Christian tape or CD, sing along and see how God restores your soul.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Putting on the Gift of God’s Righteousness

Here are two very important questions that you need to ask yourself:

‘Do I know who I am in Christ?’
‘Am I walking in righteousness?’

Too many people can’t properly answer these questions and it keeps them from living in the freedom and peace that God designed for them to walk in.

The moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Bible says God takes away our sin and gives us His righteousness. It’s a gift, and we don’t need to earn it. But we do need to put it on, and every time we do, we receive His peace.

When you know who you are in Christ, worldly obstacles won’t matter anymore. When you know that He loves you and He died for you, you’ll just get up every day and do your best to love God.

When that happens, when you know who you are in Christ, you can put on and walk in the righteousness that He purchased for you. As you experience His love for you, your natural response will be to live for Him with all that you have.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I want to be constantly aware of who I am in You. Help me to remember all that You’ve done for me so that I can daily put on Your righteousness.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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You Have a Relationship with Yourself

Did it ever occur to you that you have a relationship with yourself? You may have never given it much thought, but you spend more time with yourself than anyone else, and it’s vital that you get along well with you because you are the one person you never get away from.

We should love ourselves, not in a selfish, self-centered way that produces a lifestyle of self-indulgence, but in a balanced, godly way that affirms God’s creation as essentially good and right. We may be flawed by unfortunate experiences we’ve gone through, but that doesn’t mean we’re worthless and good-for-nothing.

We must have the kind of love for ourselves that says, “I know God loves me, so I can love what God chooses to love. I don’t love everything I do, but I accept myself because God accepts me.” We must develop the kind of mature love that says, “I believe God is changing me daily, but during this process, I will not reject what God accepts. I’ll accept myself as I am right now, knowing that I will not always remain this way.”

Prayer Starter: God, like Isaiah 43:25 says, You blot out my sins and accept me, which means that I don’t have to reject myself. I am free to love myself in a healthy way because You love me!

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Invest to Help Others Meet Jesus

This is one of the most misunderstood statements by Jesus, but he isn’t saying we should “buy” friends with money. What he meant was that you should use the money God gives you to bring people to Christ.

They will then be friends for eternity who will welcome you when you get to heaven! It’s the best financial investment you’ll ever make.

You’ve probably heard the expression “You can’t take it with you”- but the Bible says you can send it on ahead, by investing in people who are going there!

The Bible says, “By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven–it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.” (1 Timothy 6:19 TLB)

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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