2018 – September

9-27-2018

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21 (NIV)

Have you ever saved money for a long time in order to buy something you really wanted? Was it a computer or a new pair of shoes? How did you treat it once you finally got it? Chances are you went out of your way to make sure you took good care of it. Why is that? When you’ve invested your own money into something your heart is now in it. You’ve had to work for that and save. It wasn’t easy to get the money and to use discipline to put off buying other things to wait and get what you really wanted. This is also how the things of God work. When you take the time to invest in your relationship with God, you value it. You realize how special it is and guard it. Your relationship with God is important so be sure that you don’t take it for granted. Take time out of each day to pray and read your Bible. Be sure to attend a small group and a local church. These things will help you grow in your relationship with God.

Treat your relationship with God like a treasure. If you do, you heart will be there too. Spend time and money developing your relationship with God. It will bring you lasting rewards.

9-26-2018

Are you living today thinking about a problem? Are your thoughts pre-occupied with a situation and you keep trying to figure out what to do? I have good news for you. God knows the answer to your problem and knows how to fix it. Why don’t you just stop thinking about it and start to talk to God about it? Excessive thinking can be a symptom of worry.

Jesus said “ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment?” Matthew 6:25. You may be tempted to “ take thought”- or worry about the situation. But right now I want you to know God cares about it. Why not take a moment and simply say “Father, I’ m sorry I’ve been worried about this situation. But here it is……(state the problem). Father, I don’t know how to fix it but I know you do. So I’m asking you to give me wisdom to know what to do. I’m asking You to work in this situation for me because I can’t do anything about it. And So from now on when I think about it- I say God, you are working on it and I won’t worry about it anymore. Thank You Father and from now on I’m going to set my thoughts on the fact that You care for me and are working this out.

9-25-2018

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Colossians 3:9-10 ESV

Have you met a believer who lies? I have. Lies to get a contract, lies to their spouse, or just seems to lie for no reason.

Why do we lie? Because we respect people’s opinion more than the opinion of God. We don’t know who we are. That we are princes/princesses of God.

In my personal life, God dealt with me on this issue – that when I lie, I am siding with the devil. I am saying He is not big enough to care for me. In ALL of my experiences when I lied, I never got the result I was looking for. It eventually made me depressed and distant from the One who loves me.

We must have absolute trust in God as our source in order not to lie. We must commit to a decision that no matter what, we will not lie. Whenever you are tempted to lie, tell yourself: “The old man that loves lying is dead.” Then renew your mind and affirm that you are righteous and that God is your source and He will take care of you (Eph 4:22-24). I have found out that when I resolve first in my heart not to lie, I am able to stand up to situations that may want to make me lie and declare “No.” With God, you can win this battle.

When it seems easier to lie than face the consequences, remember you are renewed in the image of your creator.

9-24-2018

I say, “The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:24 (CSB)

Where you put your hope says a lot about what’s important to you. Perhaps you put your hope in popularity or in your ability to get good grades to get a scholarship to college. Maybe your hope is in your musical skills and that one day you’ll make it big. There are so many different places to put our hope in. It’s almost easy to forget about putting our hope in God. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the concerns of life that we forget that God is where our hope should be.

Jesus should be where we are placing our hope. When life gets tough and things aren’t going the way we think they should, having hope in Jesus will help you get through. So take some time today and get real with yourself. Ask yourself where are you putting your hope? Is it in Jesus? Or have you taken your eyes off Jesus and put your hope in something else?

If you realize that you’ve begun to put your hope in something other than Jesus, choose today to put your hope back in Him. Choose to live a life fully devoted to Him.

9-20-2018

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!

Psalm 50:23 ESV

We may look at how much, or how little, we give to God and guess as to how happy He will be with the sacrifices we’ve made.

We might look at others around us and measure our sacrifices against how much, or how little, we believe they’ve sacrificed.

What discouragement can follow this approach! Our sacrifice to the Lord should be made with humility and thankgiving.What matters is not how much was given, or the pain of sacrifice, but rather the heart and attitude of the person involved.

God looks into the heart of the person as they offer their sacrifice.

Look at the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). The person who offers their sacrifice with thanksgiving knows that it isn’t their time or money that they are offering; it is understood that all they have is a gift from God, and they glorify and thank Him with their sacrifice.

Matthew Henry says that we should offer sacrifices of “thanks-living”, believing that our entire life should be lived with thanksgiving to God.

Be encouraged today that what you give, little or big, is enough to please God; it is the spirit of the giver that makes all the difference.

Be sure to daily offer your sacrifice with thanks.

9-19-2018

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Every person at some point in their lives has experienced pain as the result of a physical injury. And what do most people do when they’re in pain? They look for anything that will take the pain away.

Unfortunately, no treatment or miracle drug can take away the pain of our sin. And in this broken, sinful world, that pain leads to death—our eternal separation from God.

If you’re experiencing pain, here’s a reminder of some great news!

We can find the ultimate relief from our pain in Jesus Christ. He gives us the strength we need to overcome many challenges we face in life (Philippians 4:13). And his death on the cross was an offering for our sin. It relieved us of our fair punishment of separation from God for eternity. When we place our faith in Jesus, we’re made right with God, no matter who we are (Romans 3:22).

We all sin and will continue to sin. And the consequences of these sins will lead to more pain. But God gives us the gift of salvation, not because of what we’ve done, but because of His endless mercy and grace. When we put our faith in Jesus and believe that he died on the cross for our sin and that God raised him from the grave, we will be saved and our pain will be relieved.

Are you in pain? Can you trust Jesus to take that pain away?

9-18-2018

…for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NLT)

Today’s Bible verse is really encouraging. First, it shows us our value to God. It says God bought us for a high price. If you’ve ever been out shopping, you know that you don’t pay a high price for something that is junk. If you’re going to pay a lot of money for something it is because its something you really want or something that is very valuable. The reason that God paid a high price for you is that you are someone that God really wanted to know and are very valuable to Him. When you begin to realize and believe in the value that God places on you, it then will change how you live. That’s what the second part of this Bible verse talks about. Because God loves you so much and thinks you’re so valuable, then you are encouraged to live up to that value that He places on you. You are to honor God with your body.

Challenge yourself to do what this verse talks about today. Live your life in a way that honors God. God loved you enough to pay a high value for you, so respond to that love and honor Him with your body.

9-17-2018

“Everything is permissible”- but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 ESV

The church in Corinth was struggling with their newfound freedom in Christ, and with that they were asking a question that Christians have been asking for years “What can I get away with and still call myself a Christian?”

Instead of giving them a nice little list of Christian rules, the Apostle Paul tells them they are not asking the right question. Instead of asking the infamous “How far is too far?” question, Paul challenges them to ask this question instead: “What can I do to benefit others? How can I intentionally seek to help others, even at the risk of some of my freedoms?” It is a totally different question. It is a question that can change our lives.

Ask yourself this question right now: How am I setting up other people to grow in their relationship with Jesus?

That is the heart of what Paul was saying to the Corinthians and it is still applicable to us. Yes, we have a freedom in Christ. We even have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What would it look like if we were willing to sacrifice those freedoms to benefit others?

It is so profound that Paul uses the word “seek”, because it implies being intentional with your actions. When you played Hide and Seek as a kid and you were the “seeker”, you were very, very intentional at seeking (or else you weren’t very good!).

What can you do today to intentionally seek the good of others? What can you do today to help someone grow closer to Jesus?

9-12-2018

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. – Proverbs 30:5 (NIV) The Bible isn’t just like any other book. The words written in it are powerful. If you take time to get the Bible into your heart and mind, it can change your life. The Bible can help you go from sad to happy all by simply getting God’s word into your heart. If you believe what is written in the Bible and act on it, your life will change. So when you face challenges and struggles today, you can take comfort. You know that God’s words are flawless and contain the answer to the things you’re facing. Look to God’s word for encouragement, direction, and comfort. Challenge yourself to spend some time today to discover some Bible verses that speak to you. Begin reading and thinking about them to get those scriptures into your heart and life. If you don’t know where to start, here are a couple of suggestions.

9-10-2018

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, – Colossians 3:23 (HSCB) It’s hard to stay motivated when things are tough. Maybe you tried really hard on a project for school and didn’t get the grade you wanted. Or perhaps you tried out for the basketball team only to find out that you didn’t make the cut. When you try hard but don’t get the results you want it can be really disappointing. Today’s Bible verse talks about doing all things enthusiastically as if you’re doing them for the Lord. A good way to think about it is in everything you do, treat it as worship to God. So even when you try something and don’t get the results you want, if you’ve done our best, then you can take comfort in the fact that God sees what you’re doing. And God rewards those who are faithful. In everything you do, do your best. Remember that you’re doing things for God, not for others. So even if doing the right thing is hard, it’s always worth it in the long run. So choose to do things enthusiastically and for God.

9-6-2018

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

We can learn from our mistakes but often those mistakes knock us down and hurt us. However a better way to learn and grow is to have God show us where we need to change and grow through the Bible. This is less painful and more effective way and it helps us trust God more.

When we take the time to read God’s word (the Bible) and let it correct us and show us the best way to live, feel and view things, we are being instructed the way He intended for us. We are able to avoid pitfalls and circumstances that He knows would hurt us. Just like a loving Father, God wants us to live a good life. He knows what’s best for us and that is why He has given us His Word.

Today, take time to not only read the Bible, but let it speak to you. If something stands out and shows you that your current path isn’t the best, decide to follow the Bible over your feelings. This is what trusting God is all about; not leaning to your own understanding but His.

9-5-2018

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  – John 3:16

This Bible verse is a really familiar one. Most people had to memorize it in Sunday school. In fact, its so familiar that we can become so used to what it says that we don’t get excited about it anymore. However, this verse is powerful.

This verse shows us that God loved us in a big way. God saw us in the position we were in, separated from Him and He just couldn’t stand it. He did an extravagant thing. He gave His best for you and me to be able to know Him.

Its easy at times to look at ourselves and others and see all the flaws. All the stuff that is wrong and reasons why we or someone else is unlovable. However, God doesn’t see us that way. When He sees people He sees how much He loves us and what we can become in Him. So the next time you feel down about yourself or someone else remember how much God loves them and you!

9-4-2019

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. – Psalm 119:114

Sometimes when life gets tough, we just need someone to have our back. When you have those moments when you feel like you can’t keep going or that life is just too hard, it’s important to remember what today’s Bible verse says. This verse tells us first that God is our refuge and shield. That means when things get tough, we can go to Him and He will keep us safe and be a place of refuge. When life gets hard and you have difficulty trying to keep going, you can remember that you can always go to God and He will be your place to get recharged and feeling better about life. We also see in this verse that God’s word can be our source of hope. No matter how crazy life gets, we can always have hope. We see in the Bible that we can make it through. God’s word is so important because it gives us hope. We see in it that we can do all things through Christ and that God will never leave us or forsake us. So even though life sometimes is hard, you can be encouraged to know that God will always take care of us!

9-3-2018

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:35 (NLT)

How often do you take time to think about how you can help others? Do you ask God daily how you can be a blessing to those around you?

Or do you compare what you have to your friends and feel like you don’t have enough, don’t measure up and are lacking in some way? It’s so easy to compare yourself to those around you and become focused inward. You might feel like you don’t have the best clothes or the best summer vacation story. And if you focus on those things, it will steal your joy. Instead, find happiness in helping others. Ask God to show you a need around you and how you can meet it. Look for ways to show God’s love to others and help others in need. As you begin to live a generous life, you’ll find that you a happier and more fulfilled.

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