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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

God knows us. That is why over 2000 verses in the Bible discuss this very topic! In America, we are very blessed. With blessings sometimes however, comes stumbling blocks. To have a proper attitude towards money, just remember that every good gift comes from God! Today’s verses are Philippians 4:19, Hebrews 13:5, and James 1:17. Have a blessed day.

Did you know that the Bible talks about money, possessions, and accumulating wealth in over 2,000 verses? In fact, 11 of the 39 parables Jesus taught are about that very subject. It’s probably safe to say that God knew that there would be a temptation and tendency to handle money poorly. 

Sadly, we do love and adore money more than we should. We often wish we had more. And we think that a possession or amount of money will bring lasting gratitude, when in reality, it’s just a temporary fix that will soon need to be satisfied once again.

James 1:17 (NIV) tells us that our God is the giver of “every good and perfect gift,” and if we’ll apply this, our mindset will change when it comes to our finances. Let’s consider these tips when it comes to growing our gratitude in this area:

  • Where you live. Whether our home is big or small, most of us have a place to live. Thank God for the gift of a place to live regardless of size or style.
  • What you possess. Many of us have clothes that we don’t wear, and have the ability to stream music or read books on a device that allows us to get any information we can find. But we still want what we don’t have. Take some time to reset your mind and thank God for the provision to have what you own.
  • At your fingertips. If you have the ability to get clean water at the turn of a faucet or buy food from a grocery store, then you are more blessed than most in the world. Thank God for the gift of these conveniences. 

No matter how much money we make, it’s wise to see our income as a gift. Chances are, there are more people in the world who might think the lives we live are amazing. Keeping our lives free from the love of money will help us be more satisfied. We do this by using money, not loving it. 

At the root of our desire to gain more money or possessions is a misunderstanding of what we truly need. Philippians 4:19 NIV says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” God cares too much about us to give us everything we want, but loves us immensely and will meet our needs.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

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Whatever you prayerfully decide to do in life, thank God for the ability to do it. Even if it’s not what you’ve planned, be grateful to have have a job. Some people don’t have one. Try a different attitude if you really don’t like your job. Do all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Today’s verses are Genesis 2:15 and Colossians 3:17. Have a blessed day.

When God created Adam, He gave him a job. Genesis 2:15 (NIV) tells us that God put Adam in the Garden of Eden to “work it and take care of it.” So, work has been around since the beginning of time! 

All of us work at something. Before we can earn a monetary wage, we may work at school or do chores at our house. As we age, we land that first job and find a newfound self-respect as we earn our first paycheck. Into adulthood, we find a role or career that suits us, even if it’s providing full-time care for our families at home. 

No matter what each of our “careers” look like, we have the opportunity to live a life of gratitude for how God has brought us to where we are. Here are some ways to be grateful for the work God has given us to do:

  • Change your lens. Even if you’re unhappy in your current job, be thankful for the ability to be employed (or stay at home with your family), and take time to pray for those who are struggling with unemployment.. 
  • You earn something.  Regardless of your income level, you can thank God for His provision in your life. You can be grateful for what you have, instead of focusing on what you don’t.  
  • List what you love. Every job comes with things you love. It could be actual health or retirement benefits, or it could be a close friend you’ve made while working there. Focusing on the good will strengthen your heart toward gratefulness.

As we think about our work, we may have jobs that can bring more stress than we’d like. It’s also true that some of us may be without work at this time. Regardless, we can implement Colossians 3:17 NIV as a guide in our work life, which says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When we adjust our outlook and see the blessing in having a job or a role as a full-time caregiver, our enjoyment of our work life will increase drastically.  

Whether you’re struggling to locate work or content where you are, always keep in mind that you’re working for God first. Do every task, assignment, and duty in His name, and thank Him regularly for the ability to do so.

Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

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In the four phases of health (physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental), God is in control. Thank You Jesus! While some times are harder than others, we can do our part to eat healthier, stay away from harmful habits, etc. Today’s verses are Psalm 118:24, 139:1-16, and 1 Corinthians 6:19‭-‬20. Have a blessed day.

In Psalm 139, we see a beautiful blueprint of how intimately God knows each of us. He “created our inmost beings,” “knit us together in our mother’s womb,” and “saw our unformed body.” He calls us “fearfully and wonderfully made.” How amazing is our God! 

In this fallen world in which we live, there will be struggles each of us face. Sometimes a health challenge is thrust upon us, while other times, we bring things upon ourselves.  

Regardless of where we are in these areas of our health, when we wake up each day, we have reason to thank God for our spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health. Let’s consider these habits as we walk in gratitude for our health:

  • Honor your body. Our bodies are God’s temple; meaning, His Spirit dwells inside of us. If we’re able to exercise and eat healthy food, let’s show our gratitude to God for having the ability to be active and choose the right foods for our bodies. 
  • Strengthen your mind. Sadly, mental illness is a real threat and often keeps people imprisoned. Most of us know someone struggling with some version of it and that can be hard to navigate. If we don’t struggle with this, let’s be grateful to God for the ability to help others through their difficult season.
  • Grow spiritually. Reading the Bible, attending church, and gathering with fellow followers of Jesus is forbidden in certain parts of the world, yet many people risk their lives to do it anyway. If you have the freedom to pursue Jesus and share Him with those around you, be thankful for this amazing gift!

In this life, we’ll experience many health issues. Some seasons will be harder than others. No matter what you’re facing in the spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical health realm, start each day with Psalm 118:24 ESV, which says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” 

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 139:1‭ O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. 5. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8. If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10. Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

1 Corinthians 6:19‭ What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

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All of us have different roles in life: at work, at home, at school, etc. It’s easy to complain. Let us try to compliment. Below are some tips. Today’s verses are Romans 12:9‭-‬18 and Galatians 6:9. Have a blessed day.

Relating to people is the heartbeat of our lives. We’ll rarely go a day without having interactions with other people in our many roles. We’re daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, and more. As we think about the different roles we have, let’s consider our gratitude level. Are we thankful for the people God has put in our lives? Do we express our gratefulness to (and for) them?

Maybe you’re in a marriage that’s become stale. It could be that there’s tension with a longtime friend. Or perhaps, you feel there’s too much stress between you and your child. Regardless if there’s strain or not, we have clear instructions from Romans 12 about how to treat others: be devoted to each other, honor each other, practice hospitality, and live at peace with each other, to name a few. As we learn how to be grateful for the people in our lives, here are some extra tips to help us: 

  • Replace complaints with compliments. This can be a challenge, can’t it? Most of us are prone to see the things that frustrate us instead of the things that bless us. Let’s choose to see the good! 
  • Serve someone. There’s someone in your life who’s load is heavier than yours. Show your gratitude by doing something that would lighten their burden.
  • Write it down. Write down something you’re grateful for about the people in your life. Write it on a note and leave it for them to find, or have an ongoing list and give it to them when you reach 50 or 100 things. Imagine the look on their faces!
  • Just say “thanks.” When we have eyes to see the gifts and blessings in our lives, we’ll see there’s much to be thankful for. So, daily thank your spouse, your child, your closest friend, or someone else for one thing.

It’s been said that we are like the people we spend the most time with. Who we allow in our personal inner circles affects our gratitude quotient. Be mindful of who you spend time with. One of the more challenging things in our relationships is that we may be willing to change, but other people may not. Sometimes that means relational adjustments are necessary. 

No matter who’s in our lives, we can’t neglect our role in growing our gratitude. As Galatians 6:9 NIV says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” As we express our thankfulness for—and to—the people in our lives, we’ll be overwhelmed by how it changes us, and in the process, we’ll get to watch it impact them. 

Romans 12:9‭ Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13. Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

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The new reading plan is How To Be Grateful For Your Life. It ta 5 day plan. I love gratitude for many reasons. I am most grateful for Jesus Christ. Today’s verses are Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and Hebrews 11:1. Have a blessed day.

The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their trouble. — William Penn

As we read God’s Word, we can see the theme of being thankful. There are hundreds of verses telling us to give thanks or offer praise to God. Outside of the Bible, you’ll find lots of articles and research stating the benefits that come with being a grateful person. People who are thankful are known to be depressed less, get better grades in school, sleep better, stay healthy, have deeper friendships, and have a brighter outlook on life. Basically, gratitude is good for you! 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Living as grateful people is God’s will for our lives. God knew before the beginning of time how positively gratitude would affect us—long before an article or book was written about the topic. So, whether your life is moving along smoothly or it feels like you’re walking in quicksand, consider adding these daily habits to your life: 

  • Create new pathways. Dr. Caroline Leaf, cognitive neuroscientist and author, said, “As you think, you change the structure of your brain.” This isn’t easy. But, we have a choice in what we think about, so let’s allow thoughts of gratefulness to fill our minds.
  • Choose five things. Make a daily habit to say or write five things you’re thankful for. You can do it any time of the day—morning or night!
  • Set a gratitude alarm. Choose different times in the day. When the alarm goes off, ask God to bring to mind the blessings and gifts in your life and thank Him for them. 
  • Tell someone. Every day, talk to someone about what you’re thankful for. Maybe it’s their friendship, the sunrise, a powerful moment with God, or an unexpected blessing you received. Saying it makes it more real.

It’s vital that we make our gratitude habitual so that when life’s storms come upon us, we know how to navigate the rough waters. And part of this is trusting God and even choosing to be grateful when we don’t understand the world around us. 

As we build this gratitude muscle, it won’t be something we have to think about—it’ll become as natural as breathing.

Proverbs 3:5‭ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Hebrews 11:1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

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This video is 4:44 minutes. It is also the last in this series. My prayer is for us to have grown deeper in love with the knowledge of God. Today’s verses are Genesis 15:1‭-‬6, 1 Kings 3:6, and Romans 15:8. Have a blessed day.

The word emet is a common word used to describe God in the Hebrew Bible. It can be translated as “faithfulness” or “truth.” So when the authors say that God is “full of emet,” they are saying that he is trustworthy—we can trust him. But trust isn’t always an easy thing.

For example, God promised the Israelites that he would give them a king of peace that would rule forever and ever. But Israel’s kingdom collapsed, and they found themselves without a home or a king. They wondered if God was truly faithful to his promises and cried out to him, “Where is your loyal love that you swore to David in your emet?” (Psalm 89:49). Ultimately, God answered their cries in the person of Jesus—the embodiment of God’s trustworthy character. Jesus is the faithful king whose Kingdom will endure forever, and he invites all people to trust in him.

When it’s hard to trust God because our circumstances seem to contradict the promises he has made, we can remember the history of God’s trustworthy character. God has always been faithful in the past, and he will remain true into the future. So we can join the long line of people who have put their trust in God and discovered God’s enduring faithfulness!

Reflect:

1. How do the following passages portray God’s faithfulness?

2. How are we called to respond to God’s faithful character?

Genesis 15:1‭ After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2. And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3. And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 4. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 5. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

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I am very grateful for God’s patience. When you look around and see what you think is others getting away with sin, they are not. (Please stop comparing yourselves to others and compare yourselves to Jesus Christ!) Today’s verses are Exodus 15:1‭-‬11, Romans 1:18‭-‬25, and 2 Peter 2:3‭-‬9. Have a blessed day.

What does it mean for God to be slow to anger? Let’s take a look at a strange Hebrew idiom together while we explore this characteristic of God.

The Hebrew phrase for “slow to anger” literally means “long of nose.” It’s a Hebrew turn of phrase that figuratively describes what happens when someone gets angry. In Hebrew, if someone wanted to say that a person is short tempered, they would say they are “short of nose” or “hot nosed.” So to say that God is “long of nose” is to say that he is patient. It takes him a long time to express his anger. He gives people plenty of time to respond to his gracious warnings.

But that doesn’t mean he never gets angry. If people do not respond to his call for justice, he will express his anger and give people over to the consequences of their own actions. So yes—he does get angry, just like we would if we saw someone bullying a young child. But unlike us, he’s slow to express his anger because he wants everyone to have a chance to turn from their wrongdoing.

God is not content to let people sit in their own self-destruction. In the Bible, God is on a mission to rescue his people. This is why Jesus went to Jerusalem to die a criminal’s death that he did not deserve. He was demonstrating his patient love by taking the consequences of his people upon himself. In Jesus’ death and resurrection, we see God’s anger and his love working together to provide forgiveness and life for humanity. This is what it means to say that God is slow to anger, and it’s good news for all of us.

Reflect:

1. How do the following passages portray God’s patience?

2. How are we called to respond to God’s patient character?

Exodus 15:1‭ Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. 4. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 5. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 6. Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. 7. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. 8. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 10. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. 11. Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Romans 1:18‭ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

2 Peter 2:3‭ And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5. And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7. And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

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This video is 4:39. God is so good to us. He blessed when we don’t deserve it. Praise ye the Lord! Today’s verses are Isaiah 30:18‭-‬19, John 1:11‭-‬14, Ephesians 2:8‭-‬10, and James 4:6. Have a blessed day.

https://youtu.be/ABPVVw_aw44

What does it mean for God to be gracious? Let’s take a look at the Hebrew word for grace, khen. 

One meaning of khen is “delightful or favorable.” Things or people that naturally attract delight or favor (like jewelry or kindness) can be said to have khen, but something unattractive or someone undeserving can also receive khen. For example, when someone is in debt to another and they ask for khen, they are asking for favor in spite of what they deserve. 

Extraordinary acts of khen like these require a generous spirit. And no one does this better than God himself. He shows extreme khen over and over again. In fact, this characteristic of God is so reliable that over forty times in the book of Psalms, people cry out for God’s khen when they are sick, in danger, or in exile. And biblical prophets, like Isaiah, also talk about God’s khen as they declare that God will one day show his grace by delivering all creation from death and ruin. 

When we turn to the authors of the New Testament, they describe God’s khen with

When we turn to the authors of the New Testament, they describe God’s khen with the Greek word kharis, which means “gracious gift.” When we are introduced to Jesus in the John’s Gospel, we are told that Jesus is God’s glorious kharis become human. God knew that humanity’s destructive choices would continue to spiral into chaos, so Jesus died and rose again to give humans delight and favor instead of death and judgment. And just like any gift, all one has to do is receive it. When people humbly own their failures and ask God for grace, his response is consistent, generous, and gracious.


Reflect:

1. How do the following passages portray God’s grace?

2. How are we called to respond to God’s gracious character?

Isaiah 30:18‭. And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. 19. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

John 1:11‭ He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Ephesians 2:8‭ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

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We could surely use a lot more of this in the world today. Let’s start with ourselves. Video is 5 minutes. Today’s verses are Isaiah 49:13‭-‬16, Matthew 9:35‭-‬36, and Ephesians 4:32. Have a blessed day.

What does it mean for God to be compassionate? Let’s take a look at the Hebrew word for compassion, rakhum.

Interestingly, this word is related to the Hebrew word for womb, rehkem. This correlation helps us understand that compassion is a powerful way to describe the strong emotional bond between a parent and their child. And it’s the first word God uses to describe himself in Exodus 34:6-7.

God is portrayed as a compassionate parent all throughout Scripture. And when we come to the story of Jesus, we see him embody the compassion of God. Jesus compared his feelings for people to that of a mother hen’s care for her young. And he suffered and labored so that many could live through him. Jesus demonstrates what God’s compassion looks like, and his followers are called to display that same compassion for one another.

Reflect:

1. How do the following passages portray God’s compassion?

2. How are we called to respond to God’s compassionate character?

Isaiah 49:13‭ Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. 14. But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. 15. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Matthew 9:35‭ And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 37. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Ephesians 4:32. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

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In this six day reading plan, we are going to discover some of the attributes of God. This first video is six minutes. Today’s verses are Exodus 34:6-7. Have a blessed day.

Exodus 34:6-7 is the first description of God’s attributes found in Scripture, and it’s the most referenced passage in the entire Bible. Here, we learn that all of God’s actions are an expression of his compassion, grace, patience, loyal love, and faithfulness. This passage has been carefully designed to help us see the meaning and importance of each trait in relation to the others and understand how these five traits relate to God’s justice.

Sometimes, God brings severe consequences in response to human evil. How does God’s compassion and grace balance with his anger at destructive human behaviors?

Exodus 34:6-7 tells us that God’s core character traits are rooted in generous mercy and loyal love, which means that God’s anger is not a primary attribute. It’s a divine reaction to selfish and destructive human decisions, and it’s rooted in God’s love. Just like you would get angry if you saw a beautiful work of art being vandalized, so God’s anger is a response to evil done to or by his human image-bearers.

God’s anger and judgment are really important themes in the Bible, but they’re not the whole story. God’s core character is one of generous love that created the world, and he plans to rescue and restore his creation from human evil. Exodus 34:6-7 invites us into a lifetime of pondering the depths and mysteries of the character of God.

Let’s start by understanding the significance of the characteristics listed in Exodus 34:6: compassion, grace, slow to anger, loyal love, and faithfulness. Join us for the next five days of this reading plan to take a closer look at each attribute of God.

Reflect:

1. What do you think it would be like to live in a world that had compassion but no consequences for wrongdoing?

2. What do you think it would be like to live in a world that had consequences for wrongdoing but no compassion?

3. Why is it good to have both compassion and justice?

Exodus 34:6‭ And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

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God’s Word transforms the world and my life. How amazing is our God that He cares and thinks about even me! Today’s verses are Matthew 24:35, Matthew 28:18‭-‬20, John 1:1, and Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21. Have a blessed day.

Imagine everything is dark and without form until God breathes out the words, “Let there be light.” In an instant, everything changes. The light pierces the darkness, and what was once invisible is now seen clearly. One word from God changed everything … but it didn’t stop there.

The same God who created the universe with one breath is continuing to breathe new life into the world through the power of His Word. God’s Word continues to pierce the darkness. God’s Word transforms lives and renews hurting hearts. God’s Word is alive and active because He is alive and active. And we have constant access to His Word.

The more we study the Bible, the more we discover that God wants everyone in the world to experience a personal, active, restorative relationship with Him.

No matter what trials or hardships we face, God’s Word will still continue to go out and pierce the darkness. His words will continue to transform people like Ghana, Sumu, the Populucan people, Samuel Ajayi Crowther, and William Tyndale. And His words have the power to change you.

So pause and think about your story. How has God’s Word transformed you? And in what ways might God be bringing Scripture alive in your life right now?

Celebrate what God has done in your life so far, and reflect on what He’s doing in the world around you.

Going forward, choose to take part in the story God is telling. It’s a story that began when He spoke the world into being, and will continue until the day Jesus returns—a story that transcends history and is continually transforming the world.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 28:18‭ And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Ephesians 3:20‭ Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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Imagine the Bible were not translated into English. How would we know about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Thank You Jesus for Your word! Today’s verses are Hebrews 13:7 and 1 John 2:5. Have a blessed day.

Imagine introducing yourself to someone from a different country by telling them you belong to a people group whose name means “babblers.” That’s what the name “Popoluca” means, and it’s associated with an indigenous people and language of Veracruz, Mexico.

To this day, “Popoluca” is still used to describe the 35,500 people within that region who speak that language. Those who speak it though, call it “Nuntajɨ̱yi”— “the Straight Speech.”

While Nuntajɨ̱yi may seem insignificant to some, those who can now read or listen to the New Testament in their language understand it matters to the One who created it. Carolina is one of these people. A granddaughter of the translator of the Popoluca New Testament, Carolina is the first Popoluca woman to graduate from college. She has dedicated her life tosharing God’s Word in her language, and is now leading a team translating 50 of the Psalms. 

“When we read the Bible in Spanish, it seems like a wasted effort. But when we read it in our language, it arrives all the way to our heart. It touches our hearts—it moves us—because we can really understand it.” 

Carolina is an active part of the YouVersion Community, and she regularly uses YouVersion to study and share God’s Word in Nuntajɨ̱yi. 

“We’re very happy you’ve put our words into your app, because now anyone in the world can see it—our language is right there with well-known languages! So often our language is not seen as valued, but in this app, it is clear that our language is highly valued.”

Today, take a moment to thank God you have the Bible in your language. Thank God for Carolina and thousands of other Bible translators working around the world today. Because of their faithfulness and passion, God’s Word continues to spread throughout every area on earth, transforming the identities of the people who hear and understand it.

Hebrews 13:7. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

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The Blessing

Jesus began His teachings with praying and as He left this world to receive His glory, He blessed and prayed. What a powerful testimony and example to live by. Today’s verses: Luke 24:50‭-‬51 and 1 Thessalonians 2:8. Have a blessed day.

What was this blessing that Jesus gave to these disciples as He ascended to heaven? Whatever He said, it caused the disciples to stop and worship Him. Then they returned to Jerusalem with great joy—not just joy, but great joy! How could these disciples, who had been through so much with Him, leave that place full of joy, even after Jesus had vanished to heaven?

The answer if simple: Jesus had all authority, and now it was going to be bestowed on them. In a short time they would engage the most powerful force in the universe—Spirit-empowered prayer. How could they not be filled with unspeakable joy?

Those of us in the teaching profession recognize that there are many ingredients that make an effective teacher. Nonetheless, no matter how many pedagogical theories or strategies emerge, the greatest and most effective method that teachers identify is example, example, and example. Jesus’s life was the supreme example of prayer. He began His ministry in prayer at His baptism. He prayed about all things. Now, Jesus was ending His time on the earth in prayer as He ascended to the Father.

My wife’s brother, Paul, lived to serve others, in particular at-risk boys. He spent a lifetime giving himself to young men. At Paul’s funeral my wife told a story about Paul’s grandson. During the last years of Paul’s life he watched his little grandson a few days a week. One of Paul’s habits was to bring a cool bottle of water out to the trash collectors when they came. A few days after Paul’s death, his grandson was in his own home with his mom. The garbage truck could be heard coming down the street. Paul’s grandson ran to his mom and insisted they get some bottles of water from the refrigerator to take out to the trash collectors. Oh, the power of example. A living example imparts its very life to others (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Jesus’s life was a living example of prayer.

Because we have many different gifts and unique parts to play in Christ’s church, we will leave a variety of legacies. However, there is clearly one great legacy open to all of us. I believe it is one to which we all should aspire. Let this be our prayer, Lord: “May the legacy of our lives be answered prayer, as was Yours.”

Luke 24:50‭. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

1 Thessalonians 2:8. So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

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In order for Christ Jesus to bear our sins and redeem us, our Father God had to turn away from His Son at that time. That is the greatest price ever paid so that we may receive the gift of salvation freely. Today’s verses are Mark 15:34 and Proverbs 16:4. Have a blessed day.

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Have you ever felt forsaken by the Lord? Abandoned? It is a lonely feeling to find yourself in the middle of a crisis or situation you can’t explain or do anything about. Can you trust Him with all the challenging events of life and live in faith? Even in the midst of suffering and pain? We must come to the conclusion and understanding that the Lord uses all things to accomplish His purposes in our lives. The Lord even uses evil things that come from the evil one (Proverbs 16:4).

Jesus claimed God as His Father, yet He lamented that the Father was withdrawing His love and care for Him. The Father abandoned Christ while Christ bore our sins on the cross. It was the greatest price that could be paid for our sin, Christ’s suffering. Though forsaken, Christ remained faithful to His mission—redemption for those who would choose salvation through Him.

I know a couple who are the epitome of godly people—they mentor and pour their lives into others like few Christians I have ever known. Their youngest daughter was the worship leader at the Christian school where I was headmaster. She was a beautiful, talented, zealous, anointed Christian girl. The first time I saw her was in a church service when she was twelve years old and giving words of encouragement to others. After she graduated from our school, she attended a Christian college to study nursing. Shortly after her first semester of college, she was tragically killed in a car accident. Many years before the same family had lost its only son in a tragic accident and later had a stillborn child. If ever people had cause to become disillusioned and lose their faith, this couple did. Yet they are full of the Spirit of our Lord, humble, peaceable, and joyous.

There will be times in life when you feel abandoned. The burden may seem more than is humanly possible to bear. We want to ask why these events happen, but why? isn’t the right question. The right question is, will you worship and follow God even if He does not meet your expectations? Will you follow Him even when you feel forsaken? Will you still pray?

Mark 15:34. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Proverbs 16:4. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

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Pray in the Spirit for the strength to be able to pray with endurance Heb. 12:1. Try it! Today’s verses are Matthew 26:36 and Matthew 26:38‭-‬44. Have a blessed day.

How much time in prayer is sufficient? Fifteen minutes? Thirty minutes? An hour? Jesus was distressed and troubled, and He needed the disciples to watch with Him in prayer. He had modeled prayer, and now it was time for them to support Him in prayer. But they couldn’t even pray one hour. Is prayer this tough for you?

When we pray in the flesh, we are like couch potatoes trying to run a marathon—we are winded and simply do not have what it takes to finish. When we pray, we must pray in the Spirit. It is the Spirit who provides the strength and the energy to pray. The Spirit, pneuma in the Greek, is more properly termed “breath” or “wind” (Acts 2:2). Just like the couch potato trying to run, our flesh has no strength and no breath, but the powerful wind of the Holy Spirit fills us and gives us the strength and breath we need to pray. By praying in the Spirit, we can finish the marathon of life without running out of breath. We can persevere (Ephesians 6:18). We can develop the discipline of prayer. We can “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

One of the lessons about prayer our Lord repeatedly taught is we must persevere. This may be the greatest stumbling block to the prayer life of most Christians. Answers to prayers don’t come as quickly as we anticipate.

Let’s be completely honest with ourselves here—patience is not exactly something we practice a great deal in our nanosecond -response – time culture. My definition of lust is “I want it, and I want it now!” If there is a sure prescription for failure in prayer, it is the attitude of “I want my answer, and I want it now.” Our love of ease, impatience, and spiritual laziness don’t contribute to persevering prayer.

But why doesn’t God just go ahead and answer our prayers? That’s a great question. God has an end game with us—an eternal, essential purpose. That purpose is oneness with Him and being conformed into His image. Above all things, including answering our prayers, He wants to draw us deeply into Him. Persisting in unanswered prayer is the training ground for increased faith. It’s the place where God extends grace to us, and it is the perfect soil for character building. Unanswered prayer leaves us vulnerable before the Lord, the ideal place for surrender.

Matthew 26:36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

Matthew 26:38‭. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

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Satan is the father of disunity amongst God’s people, and we are to fight to keep God’s people unified spiritually. Today’s verses are more this, but John 17:1‭-‬26 and 2 Corinthians 10:4‭-‬5 are declared. Have a blessed day.

We need to learn this lesson—we experience the Lord three ways: through our personal experience, through the Word and prayer, and through our fellowship with others in our community. In all three of these realms Satan is at war to destroy God’s essential purpose: unity.

Satan lies to us about our personal relationship with Christ. He constantly attacks the credibility of God’s Word and diverts our attention away from prayer. Satan does this because he knows it is through the Word and prayer that we mature as Christians and become equipped to battle against him. And the enemy schemes to create division in our fellowship with other believers because he understands that division will discredit the love of Christ. Disunity in the body of Christ will cause people to doubt if Jesus really is who He said He is, the Son of God. Much of Jesus’s prayer in John 17 addresses His plea to the Father for the unity of believers with them (the Father and Son) and with one another (vv. 11, 21-23).

The Word of God reveals that there is a furious spiritual battle taking place right now in the heavens and the unseen realms (Ephesians 6:12). Most of us are unaware of this war. And if we are aware, there is an additional rebutting that takes place with many Christians when it comes to spiritual warfare. The thought of battling demons, evil spirits, or Satan himself is overwhelming and frightening.

The truth is that we are to war against Satan. God has called us to use the weapons of our warfare to defeat the enemy and crush him underfoot (Romans 8:37-39; 16:20; 1 John 2:13-14). Everyday people such as you and me are called to put on the armor of light and cast aside the works of darkness (Romans 13:12). We are called to bring God’s kingdom of heaven to earth (Matthew 6:10).

Through prayer and the Word of God we are able to discern the strongholds of the enemy and tear down his defenses (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The powers of darkness will be broken in our lives and the lives of others as we learn to war in the spirit. We will be God’s warriors, fully equipped to see the forces of evil destroyed and His kingdom and unity established in our midst. Christ’s prayer in John 17 will be realized in our lives.

John 17:1‭. These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

2. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

4. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

6. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

7. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

8. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

9. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

25. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

2 Corinthians 10:4‭ (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

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The transforming miracles of God occur in our every day lives. Answered prayers for others and ourselves, safe travels, waking up, etc. Look with your spiritual eyes, and you will see so much more. Today’s verses are Luke 9:28‭-‬29 and 2 Corinthians 3:18. Have a blessed day.

Too often we believe that we must answer the call to a particular service or put forth some heroic act to elicit the miraculous. I believe what the transfiguration of Christ reveals to us is that as we pray and seek God, we are changed and the miracles of God will slip into our ordinary life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

What qualifies as miraculous in our everyday mundane lives? It is one thing for us to encounter a great injustice and stay true to God as others see our godly character.

But what about praying for a coworker’s salvation? What about the wife who works and takes care of a home and prays for the ability to keep it all together? Are answers to prayer in these situations any less than miraculous? No, they are not.

Flashes of lightning, visions, dreams, revelations, and what we typically view as miraculous aren’t daily occurrences for most of us. I believe the Lord does want us to have huge answers to prayer every day and see miracles. That is what I am contending for in my prayer life. Truthfully I am not there. But I am a holding on, and I am putting into proper perspective the miraculous events in my daily life that aren’t lightning bolts from heaven.

When we go to work every day, we are plunged into toil and worldly things. The everyday sameness or lack of spirituality at work could cause us to miss what the Lord is doing. The same is true for those who care for children and the home or an elderly parent. But there is a great breakthrough that the Holy Spirit has planned for us. He wants us to experience His miraculous power in the dailiness of life. Prayer is the key to this experience. We can indeed live in an attitude of prayer the entire day, in every conversation and through every task we undertake. And it is through this that the mundane is truly transformed into the miraculous.

But the transformation of prayer can go much deeper. As we face the world every day, we face temptations, and this is where we need the Lord to purify us. Prayer is the vehicle that frees us from the bondage of flesh. Prayer is our road to transformation. “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning” (Luke 9:29, NIV).

Luke 9:28‭. And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

2 Corinthians 3:18. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

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This new reading plan, 10 DAYS THROUGH THE PRAYERS OF JESUS, is a deeper study of effectual prayer. Today’s verses: Luke 3:21‭-‬22, Isaiah 50:4, and Psalm 46:10. Have a blessed day.

It didn’t matter if the issue at hand was profound or an everyday incident, Jesus began all things with prayer. While Jesus was being baptized, He prayed (Luke 3:21-22). Before setting out to preach and cast out demons throughout Galilee, He rose a great while before sunrise to pray (Mark 1:35-39). When the people rolled the stone away from Lazarus’s tomb, Jesus prayed for all to hear before raising him from the dead (John11: 4-44). And as He sat at a table for dinner with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He simply prayed (Luke 24:30-31). Jesus’s example leads us to pray before taking that new job, before a proposal of marriage, and on the way to work every morning.

Beginning all things in prayer is a foundational discipline of the Christian life. The times of praying in stillness and solitude are when God reaches into our minds, emotions, and wills—the deepest minds, emotions, and wills—the deepest places of our souls. In the quietness of prayer we free ourselves from the constant distractions of the world and the nagging whispers of our past, dysfunctions, and sins. Beginning all things in prayer during the day and having close and continual fellowship in prayer with God will leave its mark on us. As we follow our Lord by beginning everything in prayer, we position ourselves to receive the glorious benefits that flow from this way of living. First and foremost, prayer is our path to intimacy with God. There is no other way to deeply know God apart from the stillness of prayer (Psalm 46:10).

One of the sweetest and most powerful benefits of beginning all things in prayer is that our “spiritual ears” will be trained to recognize His voice. We learn to quiet our thoughts, our educational training, and our persuasions. We become deaf to anything except His voice and will. By following Christ’s example and beginning all things in prayer, we are able to discern His voice above the cacophony of the world and the murmurs of the enemy. Learning to recognize His voice is fundamental preparation for hearing the Lord through the Word.

Beginning all things with prayer leads to right hearing. Right hearing produces right speaking. This is how we learn to speak words of life to people, to speak the language of the kingdom, and to call people to their destiny in Christ (Isaiah 50:4).

Luke 3:21‭. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Isaiah 50:4. The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

Psalm 46:10. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

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Happiness is fleeting, joy is a deeper sense of contentment. I choose joy. Today’s verses are John 15:11; Romans 15:13; Galatians 5:22‭-‬23; and Proverbs 17:22. Have a blessed day.

Most people are confused with the distinction between joy and happiness. The difference is substantial. Often, we move through our days performing one tedious task after another—washing clothes, cooking dinner, catering to a demanding boss, without much joy or happiness. Most people seek happiness as a life goal. The truth is the Bible never promises happiness; however, it does promise joy. It even says our joy may be full or complete . . . a better goal. 

Happiness is an emotion based upon “happenings.” It’s easy to be happy when things are going well . . . when you have freedom from suffering, financial security, and all your relationships are good. But when you have trouble with one or more of these areas in life, what happens to your “happiness?” It’s probably gone. And you feel sad. 

On the other hand, joy is a stronger, deeper, yet less common feeling than happiness. It is not dependent on circumstances. It is rooted in who God is. It is birthed out of relationship with God, and subsequently, others. His joy supernaturally sustains our souls in seasons of heartache, injustice, and sorrow. Enduring the valleys of life is nearly impossible without the life-giving fuel of joy in Christ.

Pastor Rick Warren is quoted as saying “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” Let’s settle our hearts in this assurance and hope.

Joy can also be a by-product grounded in the idea of doing something good for someone. We have joy when—even in our suffering—we are acting for the benefit of someone else’s well-being. If you have ever selflessly given of yourself or your possessions, you are certainly familiar with this feeling of joy.

So, what motivates us in life? Is it success? Happiness? Or lasting joy? If all of our efforts are focused on trying to be happy, we are missing the point. But if our purpose is to have joy in a fulfilling life, then we have to commit to and trust the Lord and love one another in a way that seeks something better than simply personal self-satisfaction. 

What are you doing in your world that is causing you joy? Are you connecting with God and others through relationship and service? Do something good for someone else, and see how you feel. This is joy. Paul tells us that if we walk in the ways of God that joy is a resulting fruit of the Spirit. So also is love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control 

Having joy includes feeling happy. But being happy doesn’t always include joy. In its fuller spiritual form, joy involves living from God’s goodness and expressing God’s goodness to others. May the joy of the Lord be your strength as a joyful heart is good medicine for your soul. It is key to a grateful life.

Ponder:

Ponder the difference between your happiness based on happenings and your joy based on an inexhaustible relationship with Your Heavenly Father. Tether your heart to His gift of joy.

Prayer:

Dear gracious Lord, Help me recognize the difference between worldly happiness and Your gift of deep, abiding joy. Continue to develop this fruit of Your Spirit within me. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

John 15:11. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Romans 15:13. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Galatians 5:22‭-‬23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Proverbs 17:22. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

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Heart Healing

This new 5 day reading plan, The Great Physician, hopefully will be able to touch your hearts and souls as no other can; through Scripture. Today’s verse is Psalm 51:10. Have a blessed day.

This verse is often associated with our need to be cleansed from sin and to reset our spirit on God’s ways. It’s like, ‘clean me of the gunk, and help me never do it again’.

I wonder, though, if we can’t also read it through the lens of healing. 

There are hundreds of scriptures about how we need to ‘guard our heart’, how our heart is the ‘wellspring of life’, and how ‘out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’. Our hearts are a reservoir of our innermost thoughts and wellbeing. 

So what do you do if you have a sick heart? Maybe it’s been broken, become weary with life, or is simply feeling hopeless and unenthusiastic about what your future holds. 

It’s in those times we need some heart-healing. 

We need God to create in us a pure heart – one free from the bitterness, worry, and pain that may be weighing it down, and instead, one that’s full of energetic trust in Him. 

That may not be an easy process. Clearing out the gunk may involve some professional help and support from your community, but as you pray this prayer you can also ask God what steps you need to take for Him to do His work. 

Let Him guide you, and let your spirit feel fixed on Him once more.

Written by LAURA BENNETT

Psalm 51:10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

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THANKFULNESS

This is the last day of this 12 day reading plan, Righteous Roots In The Heart. Thankfulness is the chosen state of contentment. I am glad we have had this opportunity to dig a little deeper into the fruit of the Spirit. Today’s verses: Psalm 100:1‭-‬5; Jonah 2:9; Ephesians 5:3‭-‬4; Philippians 4:11‭-‬13; Colossians 2:6‭-‬7; 3:15‭-‬17; and 1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18. For more information on Julie Gossack, https://gbcmt.org/womens-ministries/#kardiology101. Have a blessed day.

Thankfulness is a contented state of heart that expresses itself in words of praise and gratitude. It is a humble love offering to God that does not demand any perceived rights.  A thankful heart is overwhelmed by the gracious gifts that flow from the mercy and goodness  of God. Contrary to thankfulness  are anxiety,  selfishness, greed, envy, and pride. 

THANKFULNESS in the heart says things such as:  “I will give thanks in all things.” “I will not grumble or complain.” “I am joyful and content.”

Psalm 100:1‭. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 .Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Jonah 2:9. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Ephesians 5:3‭. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Philippians 4:11‭. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Colossians 2:6‭. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 3:15‭. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

1 Thessalonians 5:16‭. Rejoice evermore. 17. Pray without ceasing. 18. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

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SELF-CONTROL

Oh, if I had only such a wonderful gift! Many of us struggle with temperance, but we have the Holy Spirit to help us. We must learn to yield to His will, not our own. Today’s verses: Proverbs 25:28; Galatians 5:22‭-‬23; 1 Thessalonians 5:5‭-‬8; Titus 2:11‭-‬12; and 2 Peter 1:5‭-‬9. Have a blessed day.

Self-control, which is often translated “sober,” is a sober-mindedness that gives thought before acting.  Self-control, which is produced by the Holy Spirit, gives way to righteous desires rather than sinful desires. Having self-control is looking to future and eternal realities rather than indulging our immediate sinful impulses. 

SELF-CONTROL in the heart says things such as: “I will give thoughts before I act.” “I will refrain from using my body to sin.” “I will deny myself.”

Proverbs 25:28. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

1 Thessalonians 5:5‭. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Titus 2:11‭. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

2 Peter 1:5‭. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

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PEACE

Julie pretty much said it very well below. Today’s verses: Psalm 4:8; Isaiah 26:3; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Galatians 5:22‭-‬23; Philippians 4:6‭-‬9; and Hebrews 12:14. Have a blessed day.

Peace is a contented state of heart produced by the Holy Spirit.  It is a tranquility of being that is not dependent upon our external circumstances.  Peace embraces  the very goodness of God in every situation and demonstrates a spirit of thankfulness and rest. Contrary to peace are anxiety, fear, envy, anger, and despair. 

PEACE in the heart says things such as: “I am at rest because of God’s promises.” “I trust His provision for me.” “I will fix my eyes upon Jesus and not my circumstances.”

Psalm 4:8. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Isaiah 26:3. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

2 Corinthians 13:11. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Philippians 4:6‭. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Hebrews 12:14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

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PATIENCE

Patience is something I struggle with many times, although not always. It is getting better the more I draw near to our Lord Jesus. Patience is also an action of inaction. We determine not to be angry or repay evil with evil. It is also the act of having mercy on others, as Christ Jesus has had mercy on us. Today’s verses: Galatians 5:22‭-‬23; Ephesians 4:1‭-‬3; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; and James 5:7‭-‬10. Have a blessed day.

Patience, or long-suffering, is forbearance shown toward others.  It is a merciful restraint  produced by the Holy Spirit that does not retaliate or give way to anger.  Patience is love for others that shows self-control, even when we are wronged.  Contrary to patience are anger, wrath, pride, selfishness, and bitterness. 

PATIENCE in the heart says things such as: “I will show kindness to others.” “I will not repay evil for evil.” “I will forgive.”

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Ephesians 4:1‭. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

1 Thessalonians 5:14. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

James 5:7‭. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. 10. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

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MEEKNESS

Meekness does not mean we are to lay down and allow people to treat us like a doormat. It is the wonderful acknowledgement that God is our sovereign King and Lord, and we accept Him with joy. Today’s verses: Psalm 37:11; Matthew 5:5; Galatians 5:22-23; James 1:21; and James 3:13. Have a blessed day.

Meekness, also translated “gentleness,” is primarily a response to God. It is a state of heart that not only acknowledges God’s sovereign rule but also embraces His sovereign rule as good. With meekness we do not blame God for undesirable circumstances, nor do we become angry with Him when we do not get our way.

MEEKNESS must come from the power of the Holy Spirit. Contrary to meekness are despair, anger, wrath, impatience, anxiety, fear, and envy. 

Psalm 37:11. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Matthew 5:5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

James 1:21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

James 3:13. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

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LOVE

Love is an action. There are many descriptions of love, but the kind the Holy Spirit blessed us with is a sacrificial and giving love. It is the love which prefers others rather than ourselves. It is one that I have to work on every day! Today’s verses: Proverbs 10:12; Matthew 5:43-48; 22:37-40; Romans 12:9-10; Galatians 5:22-23; and 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13. Have a blessed day.

Love is a benevolence and goodwill toward others that is produced by the Holy Spirit. It is a deliberate affection and a friendly regard toward God and man that displays itself in purposeful acts of sacrifice and kindness.  Contrary to love are anger, impatience, bitterness, and envy.

LOVE in the heart says things such as: “I want to love God by obeying His Word.” “I want to consider others’ interests.” “I will sacrifice for another’s benefit.”

Proverbs 10:12. Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Matthew 5:43‭. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 22:37‭. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38. This is the first and great commandment. 39. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Romans 12:9‭. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

1 Thessalonians 3:12‭. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13. To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

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KINDNESS

Kindness is the “new” hearts desire to be gentle and to have a servant’s heart granted by the Holy Spirit. Today’s verses: Galatians 5:22‭-‬23; Romans 12:10‭-‬13; Ephesians 2:4‭-‬7; Colossians 3:12; and 2 Peter 1:5‭-‬7. Have a blessed day.

Kindness is a pervasive spirit of gentleness and servanthood that is shaped and molded by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling power. It is motivated by sincere love for others. Kindness is similar to goodness, but goodness is the act of good works whereas kindness is the heart attitude behind the good works. Contrary to kindness are anger, bitterness, selfishness, and pride. 

KINDNESS in the heart says things such as: “I want to be useful to benefit others.” “I want to care for others.” “I do not want to be harsh, rough, or rude.”

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Romans 12:10‭. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13. Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Ephesians 2:4‭. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:12. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

2 Peter 1:5‭. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

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JOY

Joy is a gift from the Holy Spirit, and it produces a deep, inner peace and contentment we have no matter the circumstances around us. Today’s verses: Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 9:2; 63:4-8; John 15:11; Romans 15:13; and Philippians 4:4. Have a blessed day.

Joy is a gladness of heart produced by the Holy Spirit. Joy permeates our disposition despite trial, heartache, or pain. It is an attitude of spirit that is fixed upon eternal glories and heavenly blessings so much that the sorrows of earth do not cause our soul to despair. A joyful heart is a thankful heart. Contrary to joy are despair, anxiety, anger, and envy. 

JOY in the heart says things such as: “I will rejoice when others receive good.” “I will remember all God’s goodness on my behalf.” “I am content with God’s sovereign gifts.”

Nehemiah 8:10. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Psalm 9:2. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Psalm 63:4‭. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 6. When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. 7. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 8. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

John 15:11. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Romans 15:13. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Philippians 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

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GOODNESS

We studied the fruit of the Spirit last night Church. Goodness can be a verb in that it is an action. It is more than being kind, it is the act of willing service toward our fellow man. Today’s verses: Romans 12:10-13; 15:1-3; Galatians 5:22-23; 6:9-10; and Titus 3:8. Have a blessed day.

Goodness is an active expression of benevolence toward others that is produced by the Holy Spirit.  It is a love that motivates us to serve others and help human need. Goodness  is similar to kindness, but kindness is the heart attitude behind the good works whereas goodness is the act of good works. Goodness does manifest itself in gentle correction of others for their benefit. Contrary to demonstrating goodness is doing evil or harm.

GOODNESS in the heart says things such as: “I want to help human need.” “I want to serve others.” “I seek to do good works.”

Romans 12:10‭. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11. Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13. Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Romans 15:1‭. We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 6:9‭. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Titus 3:8. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

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FAITHFULNESS

This new reading plan is titled, “Righteous Roots In the Heart.” It is a 5 day devotional, and I hope you enjoy it. Today’s focus is on Faithfulness, in this instance meaning to”win over” or “to persuade.” Trusting in God is not always easy, you do have to give up that control of your life; but it is always worth it. He is truly worthy of our trust, holiness, obedience, and good good works! Share this confidently with family, friends, and neighbors. This is the Will of God, Have a blessed day.

The word for “faithfulness” in Galatians 5:22 means to “win over”  or “to persuade.”  Faith, or faithfulness, as produced by the Holy Spirit, is a firm persuasion and conviction. It is a belief and confidence in the person of God  and His revealed Word such that it brings forth  holiness, obedience, and good works. Contrary to faithfulness are unbelief,  disobedience, and ungodliness. 

FAITHFULNESS in the heart says things such as: “I want to obey God even if it is difficult.” “I believe and trust in God even if I don’t understand my situation.” “I want to be diligent in all things.”

Galatians 5:22‭. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Proverbs 14:14. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

1 Corinthians 4:1‭. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

2 Corinthians 5:7. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Galatians 6:9. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

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Living on solid ground through God’s Word has changed my life. I will never be able to repay Him, and He doesn’t ask me to. His desire is for me, and all of us, to follow Him. If we would only hide His truth deep within our hearts, we would be able to smell one of Satan’s lies a mile away! At least that is my prayer. Today’s verses: 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 8:38-39; Psalm 28:7; Philippians 4:19; and Deuteronomy 31:6. Have a blessed day.

God’s Word is your solid ground for truth. It is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The truest thing about you is what God says, not what you think or feel and also not what others say, think, or project onto you. You have a new identity in Christ. You are who He says you are. 

God’s Word is true, regardless of our past experiences, our own reason, emotions, performances, experiences, or circumstances. Joy is our birthright. Hope is our birthright. Love is our birthright. The scriptures are loaded with truth about our rightful Christian identity. Memorize them!

Here are a few of the common lies we believe and some truths in scripture to combat them:

·  I am not good enough. (You are a royal son/daughter of the King: 1 Peter 2:9, I am perfect in Christ: Heb 10:14, Col 2:10, Eph 2:10)

·  I am unloved (You are very loved: John 15:9, Rom 8:38-39, Eph 2:4, 5:1-2)

·  This is impossible. There seems to be no way. (Jesus IS the WAY and makes a way: John 14:6, Ps 37:23, Jer 29:11, Eph 2:10)

·  I am a fearful, anxious person (You are free from fear: Ps 34:4, 2 Tim 1:7, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 John 4:18) 

·  I am not strong (You have God’s power and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit: Acts 1:8, Rom 8:9-11, Eph 1:18-19, Ps 28:7)

·  I do not have enough money for my needs (God is Jehovah—that means provider. He will meet all of your needs for His glory! Philippians 4:19, Ps 23:1)

·  I can’t make it. I don’t know which way to go. (Pray to God, He will show you the right path. Seek His word; it will light your way. Psalm 119:105, Ps 32:8, Jer 33:3)

·  I am alone. (The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged: Deut 31:6,  Ps 73:23, Is 41:10)

You are called and equipped to do the good works God has ordained you to do. Don’t allow the enemy to use limiting beliefs or lies to rob, steal, and destroy your joy in your destiny. Choose and memorize His truth. 

Ponder:

How much time do you spend memorizing power-filled truths to help navigate discouragement or lies in your life? Are you living on the solid ground of His truth?

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I confess to believing lies and not walking in the power of Your truths. Help me learn to hide Your truths in my heart so I can live a life which is glorifying to You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

1 Peter 2:9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Romans 8:38‭. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 28:7. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Philippians 4:19. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Deuteronomy 31:6. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

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Media, parents, friends, papers, internet, social media, people’s personal agendas, etc. With so much “information,” how can we be sure we are being told the truth? If it disagrees with the Bible, it is wrong. We all have things we have believed for a long time. That doesn’t make them true! Remember from whom lies come, and put on the full armor of God each day. Today’s verses: James 4:7; John 8:44; Ephesians 6:11-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; and Romans 6:6. Have a blessed day.

Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. Lies can be perceived as truth if you believe them to be so. Have you ever felt in your gut that you were being lied to but couldn’t quite pinpoint it? This world has so many messages coming at us from every direction. Most are subtle lies from the prince of the world and the father of lies—Satan (John 8:44). Many lies start as simple misinformation early in our lives and then end up as ugly strongholds in later years.

The real tragedy of believing common lies is that the people of God do not follow and live in their God-given identity and destiny. We all fall into this trap in one way or another; no one is exempt. We all have been lied to by the media, by our bank account, by our past experiences, by our feelings, and even by loved ones around us. Our tendency is to allow our reason, emotions, or circumstances dictate our truth as final authority. 

How do we identify these lies so that we can live in the truth? The Bible is the Lord’s inspired Word, His holy instructions on how to combat the lies and live the BEST life of truth, love, and peace. 2 Timothy 3:16 NIV says that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” Psalm 119:105 NIV says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” We invite the Holy Spirit, by a volitional act of faith, to cleanse and renew our minds so we can stand on the truth and authority of God’s word. As a child of God, we simply dare to believe that we are who HE says we are! As a Christian, we are not the same anymore. The old has gone and a new life has begun. When we become followers and believers in Jesus, we lose our identity in this world and embrace our new identity in Christ. 

Memorize His power-filled truths to combat pervasive lies in your mind. When the truth is on the forefront of your mind, you will be more cognizant of the lies, and able to call them out and dismiss them. Imagine going onto a battlefield with no sword, no shield, or helmet. That would be foolish. In the same way, we need to wear the FULL ARMOR OF GOD to conquer temptation and protect ourselves from the lies of the world. We must die to the lies so that we can walk in HIS truths over our lives.

Ponder:

Identify areas where you are living below your Christian privilege as a child of God. Research the Bible for truths to shed a light on dark areas of your life.

Prayer:

Oh Lord, shed Your light on the subtle lies that I have believed to be true. Help open my eyes to the enemy’s lies and reveal Your truths so that I may walk in them. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

James 4:7. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

John 8:44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Ephesians 6:11‭. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 6:6. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

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It is very important that we yield our will to God’s will for our lives if we desire true joy and peace. God has a special plan for each one of us individually. No matter what the circumstance we find ourselves in, knowing it is God’s will is the greatest comfort of all. Today’s verses: Psalm 139:13-18; Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 26:39; and Isaiah 55:8. Have a blessed day.

Creators create things with reason, purpose, and intention. Things don’t just accidentally appear. Scriptures say that we were “knit together…fearfully and wonderfully…in the secret place…with days assigned to each of us.” That doesn’t sound accidental. It goes on to say that we were knit as the Creator’s “masterpiece/handiwork…to do good works that were assigned in advance for us to do.” Whoa! So, I was planned ON purpose, WITH purpose and FOR purpose? He intentionally created me with a personalized calling on my life.

When I was a little, I had big dreams of what life would be like when I grew up, much like you did. I had plans. Big plans. My will, my way, so to speak. But, somehow, my entire world didn’t cooperate with all my “big plans”. As years and experience bred greater learning and wisdom, I realized that I am not completely in charge of my world. I needed the cooperation of other humans. I had a hope to do things the “right way.” But what was that? My spouse had one opinion. My boss had another opinion. My children had another opinion, all about the right way. 

After a season of heart-breaking, life lessons I read about the grace of yielding. We have a choice of yielding to others, but I pondered the idea of yielding to God’s greater plans and purposes for my life, not just my little girl dreams. I was reminded of Jesus’ words and His example: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt. 26:23 NIV) This statement shows the yielding or the dying of self. Jesus chose the will of the Father over his own will. This highlights a definite “dying of self to greater purposes.”

We are all self-centered creatures with a vast propensity for “my will, my way.” Consider the grace of yielding to “His will, His way.” As our creator, His original ways for our lives are higher than ours, as His thoughts and plans our higher than ours.  When you die to your self-centered way, you then discover the beauty and power within yourself that God intended. We live in the greatest fullness of life when we are in the sweet center of that purpose and that plan. 

Ponder:

How can you live a life with a grace to yield to God’s greater plans and purposes for your days? Ponder your life’s story for His greater glory.

Prayer:

Oh Lord! I need Your help to remind me that I truly do want “Your will, Your way” over “my will, my way” as Your ways are so much higher than I could think, hope, or imagine. I choose to die to myself and my ways so that I can live for Your greater purposes for my life. Lead, guide, and direct my steps! In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Psalm 139:13‭. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18. If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Matthew 26:39. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Isaiah 55:8‭. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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When we are serving others, we (hopefully) lose track of our focus is on them, not ourselves. We use the gifts God has blessed us with, even if we never knew we had them until then. Remembering that this is all God-centered and not me-cented is a great gift from God which I treasure. Today’s verses: 1 Peter 5:6 and 1 Peter 4:10. Have a blessed day.

Whenever something takes time it requires patience. In 1 Peter 5:6, we are encouraged to humble ourselves before God and if we are patient we will be exalted in due time.  One of the best ways to humble ourselves is to serve others with the gifts God has given us.  Our reading today reminds us that we have all been given spiritual gifts. In serving others we practice patience by using our gifts to further the kingdom of God and not our own agenda. Whether we receive recognition or not isn’t the focus of serving. It is about honoring God and serving people.  

I was taught that when you serve others, your focus is shifted and you receive a new perspective on your situation. I encourage you to patiently listen to the needs of others and to serve them with the gifts God has given you.

Application

Make a list of your talents and gifts

How can you serve others with your gifts and talents?

Prayer

Dear God, Thank You for the talents and gifts you have given me. Holy Spirit, help me to use these gifts to patiently serve others. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

1 Peter 5:6. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

1 Peter 4:10. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

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We’ve made it to the list of this reading plan. I hope this has helped you in your prayer life. I believe the next reading plan will be on patience. Today’s verses: Hebrews 5:7-8; 2 Corinthians 12:9; and James 5:16-18. Have a blessed day.

Hopefully, you’re praying more on your own, adding prayer to some daily habits, and are regularly looking for opportunities to pray with others. If you’ve followed each of these steps, you are moving toward confidence in your prayer life. But guess what? It’s still tough. After years of praying out loud, we still get nervous. We still cower and sometimes choose to remain silent. Although we feel scared, it is ok. Let’s remember that when we feel prompted, we are getting the chance to live like Jesus.

You are just about finished with prayer boot camp. Congratulations! Whether you completed all of the challenges or created a few modifications along the way, we are proud of your accomplishment. 

Now, invite someone to go through prayer boot camp with you. Send this plan to them, and do it together. Prayer will change your life. Praying with others… changes their lives, too.

While on earth, Jesus prayed. In Hebrews 5, it is stated that Jesus’ prayers were answered not because of His perfection but because of His “reverent submission.” Let’s humbly give everything we have to God.

Dear sweet Lord,

We devote ourselves to prayer. We desire to have a reverent and submissive position before You. We are at Your feet, inviting You to lead us. As You continue to provide strength, we will do our best to follow Your direction. Thank You that Your strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

We are proud of you for completing this plan. If you’d like to learn about other reading plans and resources by Chuck and Ashley, sign up here: https://www.elliottlifecoaching.com/subscribe.

Hebrews 5:7. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

2 Corinthians 12:9. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

James 5:16‭. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

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Today’s focus is on focusing our prayer time into four sections: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication (asking God to fulfill our needs and requests). With the time we have to pray separated like this, we can have a more balanced prayer time. Please remember that this is only an overview of the lesson below written by someone else. Today’s verses: Gen. 1:1; Job 42:2; Psalm 51:1-13; Psalm 7:17; Phil. 4:6-7; and 1 Peter 5:7. Have a blessed day.

Step 7. Take a moment to consider the contents of your previous 2-3 prayer moments. Did you ask God for something? Did you pray for someone else? Did you honor God for His amazing attributes? Were you thankful?

Using a tool such as an acronym or prayer worksheet can help you be more balanced in prayer.
The acronym ACTS was first documented in writing back in the 1800’s to guide prayer time.

ACTS stands for:
Adoration
Confession
Thanksgiving
Supplication

How many minutes would you like to pray today? Divide that number by four and spend time on each topic. For example, if you want to pray for 8 minutes, spend 2 minutes on each topic.

Spend time adoring God; take time to contemplate His amazing qualities. He is your Creator, Father, and Friend. He holds time and is High above all things, yet He deeply cares for you.

As you move to confession, reflect upon your life and commit to turning away from sin. During this time, you may also feel compelled to make amends with those you have hurt as a result of your behavior.

Giving thanks can be so much fun. We (Chuck and Ashley) enjoy helping our toddler pray. We begin by saying, “Thank You God for ___.” He loves to look around the room and fill-in-the-blanks. Thank You God for… “mommy,” he exclaims. Thank You God for… “blanket,” he whispers as he looks around and smiles.

As our hearts are filled with gratitude, jealousy dissipates. Our mind can only actively process one thought at a time. When we choose thankfulness, we create neural pathways that make it easier to be thankful in the future.

What is supplication? Simply put, it is making requests to God. After taking time to glorify Him, repent, and thanking Him, spend some time asking God to meet your needs and the requests of people around you.

Dear Heavenly Father,
My Creator and Friend, please forgive me of our wrong attitudes and behaviors I’ve had. Thank You for Your mercy. Lead me toward the path of life in Your Son, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Genesis 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Job 42:2. I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Psalm 51:1‭. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Psalm 7:17. I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

Philippians 4:6‭. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

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Step 4’s focus is on opportunities for boldness. You won’t have to look for them, God will provide the opportunities. Remember, God can use each of us with our different gifts. After all, He is the one who blessed us with them. ☺️ Verses for today: 2 Corin. 10:5; Acts 4:29-31; Romans 8:31; and 2 Timothy 1:7. Have a blessed day.

As you continue with regular prayer time, ask God for boldness. Then, notice that God will provide opportunities for you to engage with neighbors, pray with friends, or invite someone to dinner. 

Some of you introverts may be rolling your eyes about now! But, God will use your unique personality to glorify His Name. We (Chuck and Ashley) are extroverts who have been praying with others and engaging in other “bold” activities for years. Yet, it is still difficult for us.

Every boot camp exercise session we attended required endurance. And that’s ok. We humans enjoy challenges. Although it should get easier, being bold will always bring about some resistance because the enemy doesn’t want us to be brave. When the next opportunity to be bold appears, and defeating thoughts approach, take them captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Invite God’s Holy Spirit to supernaturally fill you with boldness as He did for many in the book of Acts.  

Dear Sweet Lord,
There have been times we have been too busy, too fearful, or have overlooked opportunities to reach out to people around us. “Give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word” (Acts 4:29). In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Acts 4:29‭. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30. By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Romans 8:31. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

2 Timothy 1:7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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The focus today is on praying Bible verses. It is amazing at what comfort we can have when we remember to turn our eyes upon our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Our temporary situations are put into perspective. Maybe this is an opportunity to find out if your family member or friend is sure they are going to Heaven when that day comes. Something to think about instead of questioning why. Today’s verses: Phil. 4:13; Col. 3:15; & Psalm 119:11. Have a blessed day.

Are you getting a bit more comfortable praying out loud? If not, keep at it. You’ll get there. If you’ve ever done a burpee, the first time was a bit more awkward than the 1000th. 

Step 3:  Pray Scripture out loud.
Now that you’ve begun praying out loud, begin incorporating Scripture into your regular prayer time. If you’ve hidden God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11), it will be easier to recall verses while you’re walking around your home, school, or workplace.

Recently, while traveling across a rainy university campus, I (Ashley) felt a bit overwhelmed by life. I began to pray, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). My confidence began to shift. I had the opportunity to stay overwhelmed by the rain and my circumstances, or I could turn my attention to the One who controls the rain. God didn’t suddenly stop the rain. But He encouraged my heart through His Word. 

Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us hide Your Word in our hearts. As we go about our days, bring the right verses to our hearts to encourage us and remind us that You are with us. Give us thankful hearts, filling us with peace and a desire for unity in our relationships. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Colossians 3:15. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Psalm 119:11. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

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Today’s focus is on step two, praying out loud on your own. This is a good way to practice in case you are ever called to pray. It is also a confidence builder. I want you to remember this: Everyone thought their prayers were not as eloquent as most people’s. As long as you pray to God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord, it will be freeing. Please practice this daily. It is like having a conversation. I do, and the words just seem to come. Today’s verses: Luke 18:9-14 and 1 John 5:14. Have a blessed day.

Do you ever pray out loud while talking to God on your own? If not, try it today. Consider it practice. If you would like to pray out loud with others, praying aloud on your own is a great opportunity to build comfort. 

Sometimes we lack confidence, worrying that our prayers are inadequate. Typically, when we have these thoughts, it’s when we are around others who seem to pray more eloquent prayers. But in Luke 18, Jesus explains how the sinful tax collector’s prayer is more acceptable than the religious Pharisee’s prayer. Why? Because the sinful person was humble, honest, and focused on communicating with God rather than elevating himself. 

When you begin to feel nervous, remind yourself that the goal of prayer is to communicate with God, not to impress others.

But why pray out loud?

Hearing your own prayer does a couple of things.
1) It helps keep your attention focused on prayer, preventing your mind from wandering.
2) There’s something about hearing your own prayers that instills a bit more faith into your heart.

God,
Strengthen our ability to pray for others. As we pray out loud, increase our faith and confidence in You. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen. 

Luke 18:9‭. And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

1 John 5:14. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

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This is a 15 day reading plan we are beginning. The first day’s focus is on beginning a prayer relationship with God. If it is more of a one on one between God and you, rather than a chore; you will get more out of it. Step one is praying more on our own. In all things we do, let us work toward bringing others to Christ Jesus. If I may be so bold, please pray for my Mom. She is in the hospital getting tests. She 86 years old, and we are praying she doesn’t have stomach cancer. Thank you. Have a blessed day.

Congrats! You signed up for prayer boot camp. During our time together, we’ll do some exercises that will strengthen your ability to pray more alone and with others. By the end of this plan, if you follow each of the steps, you will have a stronger relationship with Jesus and more confidence regarding your ability to lead others to Christ through prayer.

Have you ever done a bootcamp-style workout? For years, we attended an outdoor boot camp program at our local YMCA. A great friend of ours led the program, and we loved it. The diversity was great. People brought courage and determined to get better. 

The exercises were set for the group, but each person had the opportunity to perform at their fitness level. If we traveled a certain distance, some ran while others walked. If we completed an obstacle course, we competed against ourselves to see how many times we could finish the course in a set amount of time. 

In a similar way, some of the prayer exercises will be super simple. Others will take grit. We will start out easier and will increase in challenge. Consider the beginning to be the warm-up. 

So what is step 1?

Step 1:  Pray more on your own. 

If you have never planned to pray on your own, let today be the first. Consider setting an alarm to remind you to pray.
How long does it need to be? This will depend on how much you’ve been praying in the past. If you’ve never planned prayer, start with 30 seconds. If you already pray for 5 minutes at a time, try to increase it to 10 minutes or improve the consistency of your prayer, carving out daily prayer time.

Pick one or two important topics that relate to your own life. Why? We are more likely to keep praying if prayer feels less of a burden and more like a relationship. God wants you to share your life with Him. For example, pray that God will increase your desire to read His Word or spend time meditating on the amazing blessings He has brought into your life.
First, we will pray together. Then, pray on your own as you read God’s Word.

Lord,
We desire to be close to You. We choose to discipline our bodies, training them to follow You (1 Corinthians 9:27). When we look in the mirror, help us see strength like David, Elijah, and Paul. We give You our weaknesses. We give You our strengths. And we ask that You make us stronger. Make us prayer warriors.
Amen.

1 Corinthians 9:27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Romans 8:26‭. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Jeremiah 29:12. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

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Today the focus is something that may make many Christians nervous. You won’t find you specific answer in the Bible when your question is of this world. Such as: Should I buy this house or that one, should I marry this person or that person, etc. A better way to frame the question would be: Would this choice be against God’s truth? Are any fears guiding my decision? Is this a wise decision (financially, emotionally, etc)? Have I sought God’s wisdom? These are easier to answer, and He does answer His children. Remember those times when you thought He didn’t answer you? The answer was No! LOL. I’m so happy I learned that. Have a blessed day.

Over the past two days, we’ve talked about both the Known and Unknown wills of God. But there’s one more aspect of God’s will that makes so many followers of Christ nervous. We often want to know just how specific His will is.

Should I buy this house or that house?
Should I go to this college or that college?
Should I marry this person or that person?
Should I choose this plan or that plan?
Should I take this job or that job?

The Bible does not answer these kinds of questions specifically, nor does it say, “You should be a doctor,” or “Marry Jim next year.” Maybe we need to take our specific questions to the Word of God and see how our desires and questions line up with the truth from God’s Word. 

Is there one perfect person for you to marry? Probably not. If that were the case, then if one person chooses the person

they shouldn’t have, then everyone else’s choice is wrong. Instead, what we do when it comes to spending our lives with someone is use wisdom and discernment as to what is God’s best. 

Now, that doesn’t mean God won’t answer a specific prayer we pray. God loves us and often surprises us with exactly what we asked for! But, most of the time it’s wise to allow God’s Word to be our guide, for it has plenty to say about decisions we should make. Let’s pray for wisdom and discernment as we learn from God’s Word and consider asking these questions:

Would this choice contradict God’s truth?
Is this the wisest decision? (financial, relational, emotional, etc.)
Are any fears guiding my decision?
Would I regret this in a week, month, year, or ten years?
Which path brings me the most peace?
Have I sought Godly wisdom? 

Too often we live with anxiety about making the wrong choice. Chances are strong that we’ll make some decisions we wish we hadn’t. Making wrong choices is often what leads us to making better choices in our future. 

But no matter the choice we make, God’s love for us never increases or diminishes. He’s absolutely smitten with us. God’s transformative power changes us. With a renewed mind that is led by God’s Spirit, we can discern God’s best for our lives. 

Reflect

  • In your life, do you often feel paralyzed when it comes to making big decisions? List a few things you are fearful about and ask God to reveal His truth to you. 

Psalm 119:105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Proverbs 3:5‭. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 12:15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

James 1:5‭. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

James 3:17. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

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On this third day of this 5 day reading plan, our focus is on conforming not to this world but being transformed in our minds by the Holy Spirit to do God’s Will. We will never know it all, so relax if you don’t know it. Join the Christian crowd! Be comforted in knowing the known Will of God and do it. In so doing, God is more able to reveal His Will to us. Amen! Have a blessed day. P. S. Verses for today: Luke 22:39-46 and Romans 12:1-2.

There’s so much about God’s will that we don’t know. No matter how smart we are or what we try, we’ll never know what’s going to happen in the future. That’s God’s realm. Not only that, but there are things we pray for—even beg God for—that won’t happen as we desire. We’ll still have questions until the day we depart this earth.

While we can’t know it all, we can know more of God’s will. It’s true. Romans 12:2 states that God’s will is good, pleasing, and perfect and that we’ll be able to test and approve it. But, in order to do that, we have to do something that can be quite a challenge. We must eliminate our need or desire to conform to what everyone else is doing and instead, allow our minds to be transformed by God’s power. 

This isn’t easy. It’s challenging because we are surrounded by influences that are far from godly. At every turn in our lives, we get bombarded by new ideas, new fascinations, and new people. New things aren’t bad, but we do have to figure out which ones pull us from God’s best. In order to grasp any part of God’s Unknown will, we have to bring Him our transformed mind. We have a transformed and renewed mind when we seek to follow Him in the Known will of God and the things He calls us to. 

Think about it like this. When we’re living in sin, giving in to every harmful temptation that crosses our path, how likely is it that we’ll be able to truly discern what God’s best is? We wonder why we can’t sense where God is leading us, and it’s because our lives can sometimes be wrapped up in the pleasures of this world. But when we obey God’s Known will by loving others well, choosing to refrain from gossip, and walking honestly in our lives, won’t it be easier to possibly discern God’s Unknown will that is “good, pleasing, and perfect” because our minds have been transformed? 

Today begins our daily opportunity to cast aside the standards our society puts in place as truth. As we do, we seek the power of God’s Holy Spirit to transform our minds. And with transformed minds there is no telling what God will reveal to us in His perfect timing. 

Reflect

  • When it comes to the Unknown will of God, what are the things that you wish you could know now?
  • Instead of focusing on what will happen, what do you sense God is calling you to do right now?

Luke 22:39‭. And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42. Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46. And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Romans 12:1‭. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

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