Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Christ Is Shining
I talked to a young woman, whose parents couldn’t afford to send her to college, then her scholarship fell through, and she couldn’t get the finances she needed. She was working at a job she didn’t like, and the poison was coming out of her. She was so bitter and negative, it was destroying her future. I told her, “You’ve got to let all that go before anything’s going to change. You’ve got to quit thinking about it, quit talking about it, quit rehearsing it all the time. The enemy would love to keep you negative and sour for the rest of your life.”
If you’ve made that mistake, the good news is, God wants to take those negative experiences and use them to your advantage, if you’ll dare to do your part and rise up.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Get Out of the Ashes
In the bible, a good man named Job suddenly lost his family, his health, and his business. Not surprisingly, in the midst of all that personal tragedy, Job didn’t make good choices – at least, not at first. In fact, Job sat down among the ashes.
Are you sitting in some ashes of defeat to day? Are you still sour because you didn’t get that last promotion? Is your attitude negative because you weren’t able to buy that house or car you really wanted? Are you bitter because a relationship didn’t work out or angry because you were treated abusively as you were growing up? Quit mourning over something that’s already over and done. This is a new day. Your future can start right now.
Monday, July 26, 2010
A Victor’s Mentality
In the Old Testament, when the people were going through mourning or some kind of loss, they marked their foreheads with ashes to signify their sorrow. This type of mourning was permissible and expected. Interestingly, God’s people were allowed to grieve for a certain period of time, and then God told them to move on with their lives.
It’s the same way with us. When we go through some sort of loss or disappointment, God doesn’t expect us to be emotionless. Its okay to go through a time of grieving. But don’t allow yourself to live there. Don’t let that season of mourning turn into a lifestyle of mourning, living a sour and negative life, going around with a chip on your shoulder. God wants to turn all that around. Start having a victor mentality this morning.
Shake Off the Doldrums
Rahab was a prostitute living in
Nobody is too far gone, no matter what she or he has done. Maybe you’ve made some serious mistakes, and now you’re living in quilt or with a sense of disqualification. God still loves you and has not run out of mercy. Ask for forgiveness and then move on. God can accomplish His great plan for you.
Evict That Victim Mentality
Too many people nowadays are living with a victim mentality. They are so focused on what they’ve been through, complaining about how unfair it was, they don’t realize they are dragging the pains of the past into the present. It’s almost as though they get up each day and fill a big wheelbarrow with junk from the past and bring it into the new day.
Let go of that stuff! Your past does not have to poison your future. Just because you’ve been through some hurt and pain, or perhaps one or more of your dreams have been shattered, that doesn’t mean God doesn’t have another plan. God still has a bright future in store for you.
Live in the Light
We all want to be free from our past, and to do so you must understand this basic principle: the past is the past. You cannot undo anything that’s happened to you. You can’t relive one moment in the past. But you can do something about right now. Your attitude should be, I refuse to dwell on the negative things that have happened to me. I’m not going to think about all that I’ve lost. I’m not going to focus on what could have been or should have been. This is a new day, and I’m going to start moving forward, knowing that God has a bright future in store for me.
If you do that, God will give you a new beginning.
Friday, July 23, 2010
1 John 1:9
The God of Another Chance
The Old Testament records how King David ordered a man murdered so he could marry his wife. But when David repented, God forgave him and still used him in a great way. A man named Saul hated and persecuted Christians and had them thrown in jail. Yet God forgave him, changed his name to Paul, and he ended up writing almost half the New Testament.
We all make mistakes, but God does not disqualify us simply because we have failed. He’s the God of another chance. You may have missed plan A for your life, but God has a plan B, a plan C, a plan D, and a plan E. God will always find a way to get you to your final destination if you will trust Him.
Beauty for Ashes
My father married young, and sadly, the marriage ended in a divorce. His dreams were shattered over his bad choices, and he didn’t think he’d ever preach or marry again. He could have given up on fulfilling his God-given destiny. But he made a decision to receive God’s mercy, and little by little God restored his life and ministry, and eventually he fell in love and remarried. He pastured Lakewood Church in Houston for more than forty years, and today all five of my parent’s children are working in the ministry. God took what the enemy meant for evil, and He turned it around and used it for good.
God gave him beauty for his ashes, and He can do the same for you.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
When we refuse to forgive, bitterness poisons our soul. Worse yet, after a while, we accept it as part of our personality. We say, “Well, I’m just an angry person. I’m always sarcastic and edgy. This is who I am.” No, that’s not who you are. You were made to be a crystal clear stream. God created you in His image to enjoy life to the full, not to live with bitterness and resentment, polluted and putrefied yourself and contaminating everyone else with whom you have influence.
I doesn’t matter how polluted the stream in your life may be right now. If you’ll begin to forgive the people who have offended you, and release all those hurts and pains, that bitterness will leave and you’ll begin to experience the joy, peace, and freedom God intended you to have.
Quick to Forgive
It is usually the little stuff that gets us in trouble. Maybe your spouse is not spending as much time with you as you’d like, and you can feel yourself starting to get resentful with your mate, sarcastic, cryptic, or unfriendly. Instead of forgiving quickly, letting go of the hurts and pains, we quietly bury them deep down inside our hearts and minds. We don’t want to talk about the issue. We don’t want to think about it. We want to ignore it and hope that it will go away. But it won’t.
Don’t let your heart get polluted. Be quick to forgive, and the joy of the Lord will burst forth within you like a fresh mountain spring.
Number Your Days
Our time here on this earth is so short. What a shame it would be to allow something that happened in the past to ruin one more day. If you get stuck in a traffic jam, which you can’t undo, know that God is still in control. If somebody offends you, your attitude should be, I’m traveling light; I’m not going to carry any extra burdens.
I’ve made up my mind to do my best to enjoy every single day. I may make mistakes; things may not always go my way. I may be disappointed at times, but I’ve made a decision that I’m not going to allow what does or doesn’t happen to me to steal my joy and keep me from God’s abundant life.
Years ago in a remote village of Africa, people were dying because their water supply from a fresh mountain steam, which was fed from a spring, was contaminated. Divers were shocked to discover that pigs had drowned and gotten stuck in the spring’s opening, contaminating the crystal clear mountain spring water. The divers removed the dead pigs, and the water began to flow clean and pure once again.
Something similar takes place in our lives when we don’t forgive and a root of bitterness takes hold, contaminating our soul. You need to get rid of the poison that is polluting your life. Deal with it this morning by forgiving anyone who has hurt you. And then choose to live today in freedom and freshness.
Let Go of the Past
Everybody goes through disappointments and setbacks from time to time, but if we hold on to hurt and pain, we end up living negative and bitter lives. Maybe you’ve made some mistakes or some poor choices, and now you’re tempted to sit around feeling guilty and condemned, thinking you wish you had chosen another career or married that other person.
It’s so easy to live life focused on that rearview mirror. We can’t do anything about the past, and we have no guarantees regarding the future; we can only do something about right now. The good news is your past does not have to poison your future. God still has good things in store for you. He wants to take that negative situation, turn it around, and use it to your advantage.
Life Isn’t Fair
We live in a society that loves to make excuses, and one of our favorite phrases is: “It’s not my fault.” But the truth is if we are bitter and resentful, it’s because we are allowing ourselves to remain that way. We’ve all had negative things happen to us. If you look hard enough, anyone can make excuses and blame the past for his bad attitude, poor choices, or hot temper.
It’s time to let go of your excuses and to get rid of your victim mentality. Nobody – not even God – ever promised that life would be fair. If you bring it all to Jesus and let it go, today can be a new beginning.
Start Clean Each Day
When you get up in the morning, you may recall all the mistakes you made yesterday- the times you blew it, when you had a bad attitude, or when you were undisciplined. No, don’t start you day off like that. Get up in the morning and say, “Father, I thank You that I have discipline, self control; that I make good decisions. I may not have done what I could have yesterday, but that day’s gone. I’m going to get up and do better today.’
Any day you get up feeling guilty about yesterday, if you fail to correct it right then and there, is going to be ruined as well. You’ll drag around depressed and defeated. Don’t fall into that trap.