Friday, September 28, 2012
Read: 1 Corinthians 3:1-10 For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? -1 Corinthians 3:3
Audio: I Corinthians 3
Bible in One Year: Song of Solomon 4-5; Galatians 3
The story is told of two shopkeepers who were bitter rivals. They spent each day keeping track of each other's business. If one got a customer, he would smile triumphantly at his rival.
One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, "I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. What is your desire?" The man frowned and then said, "Strike me blind in one eye." Now that's jealousy of the worst kind!
The self-destructive emotion of jealousy had the potential of tearing apart the Corinthian church. These believers had received the gospel but had not allowed the Holy Spirit to change their hearts. As a result, they became jealous of one another, which led to a divided community. Paul identified their jealousy as a sign of immaturity and worldliness (1 Cor. 3:3). These believers were not acting like people who had been transformed by the gospel.
One of the clearest indicators that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives is our contentment and our thankfulness for what we have. Then, instead of experiencing jealousy, we are able to genuinely celebrate the gifts and blessings of others.
God, You are so good! You have provided all we need and so much more. Help us to be content with what we have, knowing that without You we would have neither life nor breath.
The remedy for jealousy is thankfulness to God.
Hold Fast to Your Dream
Ecclesiastes 5:3…...a dream comes with much business and painful effort
In a fast-paced world that is both challenging and demanding it is important to have dreams and visions. Without them, it is easy to become complacent and fail to grow beyond where you are right now. However, working toward your dreams and visions requires hard work. Those who want to do great things without having to work hard will never see it come to pass. Using good business principles and being willing to work are requirements in the kingdom of God.
Walking in kindness and love is a major factor in seeing your dreams fulfilled. No person is an island to himself – we need other people to help us be all we can be. Therefore, we must operate with principles that build good relationships.
As you hold fast to the dreams God has placed in your heart, prayerfully seek His guidance, and He will lead you to miraculous victories in your life.
Enjoy Life as You Grow
Being perfect sounds good, but it is not reality. Reality is that you are a human being, and no matter how hard you try to be perfect, you still make mistakes. Your heart can be perfect, but your performance will never be perfect as long as you are in earth.
You are legally and positional perfect in Christ, but experientially, you are in the process of changing every day from glory to glory. It is a growing process, and it takes time.
Struggling for perfection to gain acceptance and approval from God or others only brings frustration and never-ending struggle. And it is not necessary because Jesus accepts you just as you are. He will never pressure you to perform or demand something of you that you do not know how to give. So just do your best….and enjoy life while you are maturing.
Your Weakness Is God's Opportunity
2 Corinthians 12:9…………my strength and power are made perfect and show themselves most effective in your weakness
Do you ever feel hopelessly weak and down on yourself? God wants you to know that the only power weakness has over you is the power you give it.
Disliking yourself because you have weaknesses opens the door to trouble that can affect many areas of your life. But human weakness is not a surprise to God. In fact, it is an opportunity for His strength and power to be made perfect in your weakness.
As you meditate on the truth of this promise tonight, make a decision that you will not get so disrobed about your weaknesses that you fail to recognize them as great opportunities for God. Stop grieving over your weaknesses and start receiving God's grace, strength, and power.
Visit the Still waters
Psalm 23:2…...he makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters
This particular psalm is familiar to most people, but have you ever given much thought to the "still and restful waters"? I believe this is where you find quiet rest and strength to face the pressures of life.
One might say the "still waters" are healing waters. The quiet and stillness contain restorative qualities for your soul.
The still waters are available at all times but we go there far too seldom. Anytime you feel the slightest urge or need you may visit the still waters, if only for a few minutes. Let everything get quiet, and then bask in the beauty of solitude. Silence can teach us more in a moment than all the noise in the world ever could.
So spend more time beside the still waters and find peaceful rest for your soul.
Learn the Power of Patience
Hebrews 10:36….for you have need of steadfast patience and endurance
Patience is powerful because it frees you from the control of the devil and the circumstances he brings to upset us. However, patience – which is a fruit of the Spirit – only grows through trials. It is during these times that you can develop the ability to remain strong and stable.
Patience is required if you are to see the fulfillment of God’s promises in your life. So it is important to develop control over your thoughts and what you say when you are faced with challenging circumstances. It is not easy, but with God’s help, you can do it.
Actively pursue the patience of Christ and it will lead you into His power. Then you will be able to accomplish God’s will and receive His promises.
Read Exodus 3:1-15
Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you. - Job 12:7
Audio: Exodus 3
Bible in One Year: Isaiah 3-4; Galatians 6
Reading about the Creator being revealed to the shepherd Moses on mount Horeb, I imagine the sheep continuing to bleat as they had before Moses turned aside to look at the burning bush. They probably stomped their hooves, walking between Moses and the fire.
As I imagine this, I notice something: Sheep don't need to remove anything to get closer to God because they don't wear shoes. Sheep are always in intimate contact with the holy ground of God's presence.
As sheep of the Good Shepherd, we all start out like the sheep, "barefoot" and intimately in touch with the One who made us. But soon we learn to lace up our shoes and put barriers between ourselves and the Holy One.
We slip on confining assumptions linked to race, gender, class, and other human categories that limit us and insulate us from the close contact God yearns to have with us.
God said, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground" (Exod. 3:5). Every day, that invitation calls us to abandon whatever material perspectives and preoccupations keep us away from God. Our purpose is to live close to God. And when we put off whatever blocks that, God's purpose will ignite in us.
Enjoy Kingdom Living
As a child of God, it is your privilege to live in God’s kingdom. But what and where is His kingdom? Luke 17:21 says the kingdom of God is within you. And the Scripture for this evening sheds light on what it is and is not.
The kingdom of God is not food and drink - things of this world, - but it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Many people have the wealth of the world, but they do not have true satisfaction.
Satisfaction in your inner man is what Jesus wants to give you. When things are right on the inside, the outward things do not matter as much. So keep your eyes on the true kingdom of God and the rest will be added in abundance.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
You Are More Than a Conqueror
Romans 8:37…………we are more than conquerors
Some people believe the only way to victory is to somehow avoid having problems. But I have learned that real victory is not in being problem free. True victory for the child of God comes when there is still peace in the soul right in the midst of the raging storm – when tragedy strikes and one can still say, “it is well with my soul.” This can only happen when you are looking at Jesus instead of your circumstances.
The key to having victory is understanding it only comes “through Him who loves us”. If you are facing problems that seem insurmountable, remember you are a conqueror through Him. Allow God to strengthen your inner self. When you are strong inside, you can defeat anything that comes against you.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Grace for the Humble
James 4:6…but gives grace to the lowly
All human beings have evil tendencies, but if you are humble enough to ask for and receive God’s grace, He will give it to you.
Early in my Christian life, I tried to take care of my own evil tendencies, but I was not successful. God opposed all my fleshly plans. I finally learned that the proud try to take care of themselves, but the humble lean on God and get the help.
If you have tried to make things happen in your own strength, you are probably frustrated like I once was. But I encourage you to do what I did – trust in the grace and power of the Holy Spirit…..and receive everything you need from Him.
Robin L. Johnson
Friday, September 14, 2012
Learn How to Fly
Isaiah 40:31………….those who wait for the Lord….shall change and renew their strength
God’s Word makes several references to eagles, the most powerful winged creature on earth, and I believe you can learn some valuable lessons from them.
Eagles do not fear or run from a storm – they allow the powerful wind currents to lift them about it. Nor do they waste time battling with other birds. When attacked, they simply mount up higher, soaring effortlessly above their enemies. When you grow weary of the struggles and battles of the “lower life”, it is time to learn to fly.
Allow God to teach you how to fly above your problems. Be determined to know Him and the power of His resurrection. You will discover that when you are soaring close to the heart of God, you can face whatever comes without growing tired and weary.
Take Up the Easy Yoke
Matthew 11:29…...take My yoke upon you and learn of Me
There is a life that is so superior to anything the world has to offer that no comparison can be made. But in order to have that kind of life you must be willing to be yoked to Christ and learn His ways. This means you must stay close to Him and learn how He handles every situation that arises.
His ways and thoughts are far superior to yours, and you must be willing to abandon yourself to Him and discover what His will is for your life.
Give up being independent and learn to lean and depend on God. Give Him full reign of your life. In return, you will find rest, relief, ease, refreshment, recreation, and blessed quiet.
Pray About Everything
James 5:16………the earnest prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available
Driving down the road one day, pondering an upcoming change in my life, I found that I was afraid. It really was not a major thing but it felt like it to me.
God spoke to me that day and simply said, “Pray about everything. Fear nothing.” He showed me He could not work through my fear, but if I would give Him my faith, He would help me in my situation. I needed it that day for something seemingly minor, but I have used it many times since for all types of situations.
Isn’t it good to know that God cares about everything that concerns you – even the little things you are afraid of? Your part is to pray and have faith, and God’s part is to provide the power to meet your need. What do you need to pray about tonight?
Speak Words of Wisdom
Matthew 12:34…...for out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks
It is challenging to say right things when you feel totally wrong. When your emotions are running high or low, you are tempted to speak emotionally rather than sensibly. But you must allow wisdom to rise above emotion.
God spoke about nonexistent things as if they already existed, and He created the world with faith-filled words. You are created in His image, and you can also call things that are not as though they are. You can speak positive things about yourself into the atmosphere and thereby “prophesy your future”.
Think about the words you speak and you will learn a lot about yourself. As a Christian, you are God’s representative, and your words should reflect His character. Meditation on the goodness of God will fill your heart with joy, and the words you speak will glorify Him and be a testimony to others.
Romans 15:13 …...May the God of your hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing
As a believer, your joy and peace are not based on doing and achieving, but on believing. Joy and peace come as a result of building your relationship with the lord.
Psalm 16:11 tells you that in His presence is fullness of joy. If you have received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, He - the Prince of Peace – lives inside you (see John 14:23; 1 John 4:12-15). You experience peace in the Lord's presence.
Joy and peace come from knowing, believing, and trusting in the Lord with simple childlike faith. So just believe… (see 1 Samuel 30:1-20). Be filled with an overflowing hope that cascades into every area of your life.
Experience God's Presence Tonight
Isaiah 26:9………my soul yearns for you [O Lord] in the night
Have you ever noticed that in the quiet darkness of night there seems to be something special about the presence of God?
He is always with you, even during the daytime, and you can talk to Him anytime, even when you are busy. But during the day there are many distractions that keep you from focusing on His presence for an extended period of time. And by the end of the day, you have often experienced problems and frustrations that can cause you to feel lonely and needy. It is then that you can finally give time and attention to the one who is the answer to your needs.
When you yearn for God in the night, seek Him earnestly, and you will find He will minister to you in a special way. He will provide answers to any problems you may have, and He will give you peace and rest.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Continuing my walk, I pondered his words. As a child of God with everlasting hope and forgiveness, I too am blessed. Dealing with a difficult situation, such as a loved one's cancer treatments, we're apt to forget that we are indeed blessed. We forget to trust God no matter our circumstances and to be thankful for doctors, nurses, caring friends, and families. An unknown man reminded me that I am blessed and that my family is blessed. I doubt I will ever meet him again in this life, but his confident words are etched deeply and echo repeatedly in my thoughts: I am blessed.
Acknowledging the Lord in all your ways means submitting all your plans to him and allowing Him to work them out according to His will and desire for you. He wants you to come to know Him in the power of His resurrection (see Philippians 3:10).
It is a sign of maturity to seek God for who He is and not only for what He can do for you. So as you pause at the end of your day, seek God’s face (His presence) and get to know your wonderful, loving heavenly Father better. Acknowledge His power and experience the joy of walking in the paths He chooses for you.
A Time for Everything
Ecclesiastes 3:1….to everything there is a season
If it seems you have been struggling forever with negative things in your life, don’t despair. There is a time and a season for everything, and bad things ultimately give way to better things.
Even the good thing going on in your life may not stay exactly the same, because things are always changing. Sometimes changes are exciting….and sometimes they are difficult. But Jesus never changes – and as long as you keep your eyes on Him, you will make it through the changes in your life and continue growing.
Be careful not to get too attached to people, places, positions, or things, but always be free to move with the Spirit. Let go of what lies behind and press on to what lies ahead (see Philippians 3:13-14). Reach toward the new horizon God has for you. You will be glad you did.
Deposit Yourself with God
1 Peter 4:19….those who are ill-treated and suffer
The same as you deposit money in the bank, trusting them to take care of it; you should also deposit yourself with God, trusting Him to take care of you. As you pray tonight, release yourself and all that concerns you to God.
If you are spending so much time trying to take care of yourself and make sure nobody is taking advantage of you that you have no time left to enjoy your life, it’s time to deposit yourself into God’s care. You can trust Him….for He never fails.
When I rest in the Silence, it may not look as if any forward movement is occurring. Nevertheless, I am tapping into a wellspring of spiritual resources and gathering strength to maneuver around any obstacles that may arise. I have what I need to move through the tight spaces in my life. I can access peaceful pools of stillness or move at a brisk pace. I choose the flow that best suits me.
I love my life.
Like a string of colorful beads, the days of my life follow one after another. Every bead, every day, contributes to the whole. As I reflect on the days of my life, some may seem brighter or more colorful than others; some may appear cracked or chipped, yet each day is precious.
I have been strengthened by challenge, broken open in crisis, and sustained through it all by God within. I have been humbled by my errors and encouraged by my successes.
I've been blessed by friends and family as we've lived through times of joy and sorrow. For every loss I've grieved, I have been blessed by a time of love. I have no regrets. I love my life!
"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway."
~ Mother Teresa
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I would wish for you a financial blessing that you cannot hold and your household will be over run with the goodness of GOD.
Passing the Blessing on
Pursue Your Purpose
Matthew 6:33…..but seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness
Have you ever thought, “What is my purpose in Life?” Each of us wants to feel we have a purpose….that we are making a meaningful difference in the world.
God has a purpose for each of us, and that is to do right and glorify God.
How do you pursue your purpose? By getting up each day and putting God first. There are many other things we may be tempted to chase after – job position, education, relationships, money, material possessions, and so on. But too often when you attain these things your life is just as empty and unfulfilled as when you started.
God knows what you need and is well aware of your heart’s desires, and He will grant them if you will just pursue your purpose by seeking Him first.
Enjoy Your Life Now
John 10:10….I came that they may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance
Life is a journey – a process of advancement and progression. And as you move toward the future, you must be careful not to lose sight of the now and the enjoyment it can bring you.
For many years I was a Christian but not enjoying life. Then God taught me that enjoying life is not based on enjoyable circumstances. It is an attitude of the heart. When I decided to change my approach to some of the circumstances I faced in life, it made a remarkable difference!
As a believer you have available to you the abundant quality of life that comes from God. Do not get so caught up in your busyness that you fail to enjoy the pleasures God provides every day. He has given you abundant life and your goal should be to enjoy it to the fullest.
Let your Light Shine
Although you live in the world, you are not to be of the world….worldly in your ways. Because it is easy to become worldly without realizing it, you need the Godly influence of spiritually mature people in your life. You also need to be a student of God’s Word, which can change your ungodly desires and train and establish a Godly character in you.
As a child of God you are to be a light to others who dwell in darkness. People should be able to tell by your joy, the light in your eyes, the way you treat people, the way you talk about people – or do not talk about them – that you are a Christian.
Determine now that you will be a light in this present world. Ask God to help you glorify Him through your choices and actions.
Pursue a Life of Excellence
Matthew 7:13-14…don’t look for shortcuts to God
Many people are trapped in a mediocre lifestyle. They seem to lack personal motivation, so they are easy targets for those who promise an easy way to success that requires little effort on their part. They do just enough to get by, but they never go the extra mile.
Living that kind of life is a poor substitute for the real rewards in life that can only be found in being a person of excellence, which was God’s plan for you from the beginning.
Learn the truth about God’s good plan for your life and vigorously pursue it. You will sense a wonderful fulfillment and the fruit of your life will be abundant and bring glory to God.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
People will reject you just as they rejected Jesus and Paul and the other apostles and disciples. It is especially difficult when you are persecuted by people who are living wrong and are saying wrong things about you. Psalm 118:22 says, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” This passage is talking about David who was rejected by the Jewish rulers, but later was chosen by the Lord to be the ruler of
Even though people may reject you, if you will hold steady and continue to do what God is telling you to do with a good attitude, God will promote you and place you where no man can put you.
Think on These Things
Many years ago my philosophy was, “Don’t expect anything good to happen, and then you won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t. Since my thoughts were negative, so was my life.
Perhaps this describes you. You avoid hope to protect yourself against being hurt. Unfortunately, this type of behavior sets up a negative lifestyle where everything seems to go wrong.
Maintain a positive outlook and attitude. Speak positive words. Jesus endured tremendous difficulties and yet He remained positive, He always had an uplifting comment, and encouraging word. You have the mind of Christ, so begin to use it. If He would not think it, you shouldn’t think it either.
Be a Doer
Any time you see what the Word says and refuse to do it, reasoning has somehow gotten involved and deceived you into believing something other than the truth. There may be times when you do not understand everything the Word says, but you should move ahead and do it. God wants you to obey him whether or not you feel like it, want to do it, or think is a good idea. When God speaks we are not to question His methods. His ways are not our own.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Lean on, trust in, and confide in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” In other words, do not rely on reason or logic. When God speaks, we are to mobilize, not rationalize.