Grace, God’s Power Freely Given

If you’ve been in the world very long, you’ve learned that there are very few days that go exactly the way we’d like them to go. Thankfully, God is never going to put us in a situation without giving us the ability to be in it with joy.

I believe God gives us His special grace for every situation. Here’s how I like to define grace: God’s power to help us do whatever it is we need to do. You can have that power today, but you have to receive it, and the only way to receive it is by faith.
Romans 12:3 says that “God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”

Ask yourself today, “What am I doing with my faith?” Are you putting your faith in yourself, or in others, or in your circumstances? That’s not living in grace, that’s just living by your own strength and works. And it won’t get the job done!

But when you release your faith and trust God to do what you can’t do, you’re putting your faith in Him. Then grace, God’s power, will come through the channel of faith and will enable you to do things that will amaze you and others.

Here’s my longer definition of grace: It’s God’s power coming to us freely, meaning it doesn’t cost us anything other than just putting our faith in God, enabling us to do with ease what we could never do on our own with any amount of struggle or effort.

Put your faith in God. He wants to give you His grace today.

Prayer Starter: God, I know that life won’t always go the way I want it to, but I trust in You. By faith, I receive Your grace, the power You have freely given to help me walk through any situation I face today.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Oh Yes You Can!

We all face temptation, it’s an unavoidable part of life. The question is not, “Will you be tempted?” The question is, “When you’re tempted, will you be ready?”

I really want you to get this: You can beat temptation. Stop saying, ‘Joyce, I just don’t think I can.’ Take ‘I can’t!’ out of your vocabulary.

In your own strength and by your own ability, you’re right. You can’t. But when you put God’s Word in your heart, when you lean on His strength and trust in His promises, there’s no temptation you can’t overcome.

Over the years, I’ve noticed five things that make all the difference in overcoming temptation. First, you’ve got to be wise. Think about the choices you’re making and the consequences before you make them. Wisdom looks ahead.

Next, you have to believe that you can resist temptation. Condemnation, guilt and shame work off of momentum, if you stop them early, they lose their power, but once they get rolling, they’re hard to stop. Third, think of facing temptation as normal life. If you’re expecting a fight, you’ll always be ready.

Fourth, avoid areas of weakness. Don’t put yourself in situations where you can easily fall. If you struggle with managing your money, don’t go to the mall when you can’t afford to buy anything!

And finally, don’t give yourself too much credit. We don’t graduate from being tempted. It’s so easy to think you’ve matured beyond stumbling, and once that happens, you make yourself an easy target.
God wants you to trust Him to bring victory in every area of your life. By His grace, you can!

Prayer Starter: God I realize temptation is a part of life. Help me not to be caught off guard or surprised when it comes. Thank You for the wisdom and grace to overcome any and all temptations and to live in Your victory.

—-from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Self-Control Applies to Every Area

There are certain messages in the Bible that apply to everything – self-control is one of them. It doesn’t matter what kind of problem we have in our lives, self-control comes into play in every area. If we don’t discipline ourselves, our emotions will rule us and our lives will be miserable.

Exercising self-control means living in moderation. Everything in life requires quality decisions and discipline to make it happen. So many of our problems are a direct result of a lack of discipline. Financial debt happens when we can’t control our spending habits, bad health follows when we can’t control our eating habits, etc.

If you are in a situation that seems overwhelming to get out of, a lot of discipline and self-control may be required. Thankfully, God has given us the Holy Spirit to live in us and help us.

If you are born again, you have the Spirit of Christ inside you – complete with the fruit of self-control. You may not have developed it, but know that it’s there. You have what it takes. Make a decision to develop self-control through your relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Starter: God, I choose a spirit of discipline and self-control. By the power of Your Spirit in me, I will do what You tell me to do and not be controlled by my feelings.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Processing Your Anger

All anger, regardless of its cause, has the same effect on our lives. It upsets us, causing us to feel pressure. Keeping anger locked inside and pretending it doesn’t exist can even be dangerous to our health. Most of the time we’re only hurting ourselves, and the person who angered us isn’t even aware of it.

I struggled with terrible anger until God grabbed my attention. I eventually had to find a positive way to process my anger. That was a place of new beginnings for me.
When you face your anger and decide to deal with it God’s way, you can overcome it. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be stable and walk in the fruit of the Spirit. We have the power to forgive those who do injustices in our lives and to love the unlovely.

So we must take responsibility for our anger and learn to deal with it. Instead of keeping it all bottled up inside, seek the Lord and ask Him to help you release it. Process it and bring closure to it, and that will relieve the pressure.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I don’t want to keep my anger inside of me because that will only damage me and it’s not pleasing to You. I ask for Your help. Help me to relieve the pressure of anger in my life.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Forgiveness: The Key to Keeping the Devil Out of Your Life

Forgiveness helps us because it releases God to do His work in us. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness. Serious diseases can develop as a result of the stress and pressure that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness put on a person.

The Father can’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive other people. We reap what we sow. Sow mercy, and you’ll reap mercy; sow judgment, and you’ll reap judgment. You need to forgive, by the grace of God in your life, to leave the door of your heart open to the Lord.

Unforgiveness gives the devil a foothold, which he needs to create a stronghold. When he has a stronghold, he can block the influence of the Holy Spirit. But whether or not he has the power to do that in your life is entirely up to you.

When you forgive, it keeps the enemy from getting an advantage over you and keeps your fellowship with God flowing freely. So do yourself a favor, and be quick to forgive.

Prayer Starter: God, I don’t want to give Satan a foothold or a stronghold in my life. I don’t want anything to hinder or get in the way of my fellowship with You. I release my unforgiveness so that I can fellowship freely with You

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Press on and Enjoy Your Progress

It’s true that we all still have a long way to go. I used to get discouraged about how far I had to go, and it seemed like I was reminded of it every day, sometimes every hour. I carried a constant sense of failure, a feeling that I just wasn’t who I needed to be, I wasn’t doing enough and I needed to try harder. Yet, when I did try harder, I only failed again.

I’ve now adopted a new attitude: “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m OK, and I’m on my way!” I now know with all my heart that God isn’t angry with me just because I haven’t arrived yet. He’s pleased that I’m pressing on and staying on the path.

If you and I will just “keep on keeping on,” God will be pleased with our progress. He has promised to light the path before us. We may not know the way, and we may stumble from time to time, but God is faithful. He sees your progress, He’s proud of you, and He’s going to help you stay on the right path!

Prayer Starter: God, I won’t get discouraged about where I am. You’ve already brought me so far, and I know that You will continue to light my way.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Launch Out in Faith

There comes a point in life where you have to stop talking about and praying about a barrier in your life. You must step out — in spite of your feelings, your fears, and your doubts.

Joshua and the Israelites had to take the plunge, literally. Once they crossed the Jordan River, they were going to begin a battle to take over the nations.

The Jordan River is not a very big river, except in flood season when it into a giant, rushing, torrential, very dangerous river. The Israelites just happened to be right there during flood season.

They said, “How are we going to get across?” God said, “I’m going to do a miracle! But I want you to step in first. This is a test.” So the spiritual leaders began to walk into the water, and God did a miracle. The waters receded and the people crossed over.

What do you do when you know something is God’s will but you’re scared to death to do it? You do it anyway! And once you start doing it the faith will come. God doesn’t do the miracle first. No. He wants you to step out, to launch out in faith.

Face your fears. “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done!” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 NIV)

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Move Forward with God’s Promises

What does God promise us if we say, “I want you to use me.” He promises you three things that can all found in Joshua 1.

God promises strength — “No one will be able to stand against you.” (Joshua 1:5) In other words, what God asks you to do, he’ll give you the power to do.

God promises success — “You will be successful.” (Joshua 1:6) God wants you to succeed in serving Him. He doesn’t want you to be a failure.

God promises support — “I will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV) God’s word, done God’s way, will not lack God’s support.

God has many, many promises for you in the Bible but you’ve got to discover them. Joshua 1:8 says, “Always remember what is written in this book. Study it day and night to be sure to obey everything that’s written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything.” (TLB)

Would you like to be wise in life? Would you like to be successful in life? God’s promise of success is not based on your ability. It’s based on your commitment to His Word.

from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Let Go of Doubt

There are two things that cause self-doubt in your life —

Comparing your abilities to others – When you compare your abilities to others, you will begin to doubt my abilities. Instead of looking to God, you start looking at everybody else. You think these other people have more talent, more abilities, more education, or more experience. The moment you start comparing yourself to them, you’re going to be filled with self-doubt.

The Bible says, “It is dumb stupid to compare yourself to other people.” (2 Corinthians 10:12) God doesn’t want you comparing yourself to anybody else. He created you to be unique. He wants you to be you.

Remembering your past failures — Remembering your past failures is like putting a movie in your mind of all your mistakes and playing it over and over. It tortures you to death and it causes you to doubt your abilities.

God does not want you focusing on your past. If you stay focused on your past mistakes, you can’t get on with your present. And God can’t use you in the future. God says forget the past.

Don’t let your past doubts, don’t let your past guilt, keep you from being used by God. God essentially says, “I don’t care what your past is. I want to use you!”

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Accept God’s Timing

God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn’t always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan. Although frustrating, not knowing the exact timing is often what keeps us in the program. When we accept God’s timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems.

Exodus 13:17-18 tells us that God led the Israelites the longer, harder way on their journey to the Promised Land because He knew they were not yet ready to go in. There had to be time for their training, and they had to go through some very trying situations. And in the process, God never failed to take care of them and show them what He wanted them to do.

The same is true in our lives, God’s training period simply requires us to do what He tells us to do when He tells us to do it, without questioning or trying to figure everything out. No matter how long things take, we can always confidently know that it will be better when we accept God’s timing.

Prayer Starter: God, I accept Your timing. I may not always understand, but I know Your ways are perfect and I completely trust in You.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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