Decision-Making Builds Faith

After God gives you a dream, you’ve always got a decision to make. Are you going to do something about the dream He has given you? Nothing is going to happen to that dream until you wake up and put it into action.

James 1 teaches us that faith is a verb. It’s active and not passive. It’s something you do. Decision-making is a faith-building activity. You use your muscles of faith.

A great illustration of God’s plan is a trapeze artist. They swing out holding onto a trapeze bar, and then they let go in order to grab hold of another trapeze bar that swings them to the other side. But, at one point, they’re not holding on to any bar. They’re suspended in air for a split second.

Have you ever been there in a career, where you’re leaving one job for another and nothing’s in between? You’re 180 feet above the ground with no net below and holding onto nothing.

But if you don’t let go and grab onto the vision God wants you to have, you swing back. But this time you swing back lower and lower until you’re finally stopped, hanging there in the air. And there’s only one way out: down!

God brings your dream to a point of decision so your faith will build as you swing toward Gods dream for you.

—from Rick Warren’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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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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Are You Seeking the Right Stuff?

Romans 14:17 defines the kingdom of God as a life of goodness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

We are to seek His kingdom, but a lot of people spend their life seeking all kinds of other stuff. When it comes to righteousness, peace and joy, they don’t have any because they’re chasing after other things.

I used to think that if I had all kinds of worldly stuff, I’d have no worries and my life would be peaceful, but no matter how much stuff I gained, it never really brought peace. True peace comes from being one with God.

It’s important for us to understand this because I think a large majority of Christians spend their whole life searching for the wrong things, when our real treasure is in Jesus.

So what are you seeking today? What’s your treasure? Worldly things will ultimately leave you unsatisfied, but if you seek God and His righteousness, peace and joy, you can experience the completely satisfying and fulfilling life God wants you to have. Go after Him today.

Prayer Starter: God, I decide today to stop pursuing worldly things that will not satisfy. I want to be one with You, so I seek Your righteousness, peace and joy.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Make a Difference by Being Different

One of the most important tests we all face as we try to achieve what God has called us to do is cultural distraction. For instance —

The distraction of popularity — If you are always worried about what other people think, you will be distracted from your destiny.

The distraction of pleasure – It’s OK to have fun and feel comfort, but if that’s the primary focus of your life, you will never fulfill your destiny.

The distraction of profits — You can’t serve both God and money. Making a profit can’t be the primary focus of your life.

The distraction of possessions — Judging your success by how much stuff you own will keep you concerned about keeping things and maintaining things.

The antidote to cultural distractions is this: you must dare to be different from others. If you are going to reach the dream God has given you, you must also dare to be different from others.

Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. Everything was headed toward destruction, but two words changed history — “but Noah.” That’s the power of one person. That’s the power of just one individual who chooses to be different.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Listen for the Still, Small Voice

To find peace in our lives, we simply need to obey the promptings God gives us each day. A prompting is a “knowing” deep down on the inside, telling us what to do. First Kings 19:11-12 refers to this knowing as a still, small voice. A prompting isn’t a whack on the head with a hammer!

In 1 Kings, the Lord didn’t use the great and strong wind, the earthquake or fire to prompt Elijah. His voice came to Elijah as a sound of gentle stillness and a still, small voice. A prompting doesn’t even have to be a voice at all. In fact, God often gives direction by speaking to your heart rather than to your ears.

If we’ll simply learn to listen to God and do what He says, we’ll discover that things will go well for us. No matter what the situation, we need to listen to God and obey His voice. You may not understand the reasons that God is asking you to do certain things, but as you listen to His voice and obey His direction, you can experience a peaceful calmness. So listen up!

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, help me to listen closely to hear Your promptings every day. I want Your peace, so I will listen to You.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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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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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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