Resource Library

Thursday
Feb162017

How can you grow a generous heart

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

A man was walking one day when he heard a woman screaming hysterically. He looked over to see she was kneeling in front of her child. He was able to get the woman to calm down enough to discover the boy had swallowed a coin and couldn’t breathe. So the man picked him up by his ankles, gave him a few shakes, and a quarter dropped to the ground.

“Thank you, sir!” the woman said. “You seemed to know just what to do to get the coin out. Are you a doctor?” 

“No ma’am,” replied the man, “I work for the IRS.” 

Many people today would identify with that little boy…and not just when it comes to paying taxes. Many feel like when they go to church, their pastor is trying to shake every last coin out of their pockets. And at the same time, many pastors feel that’s what they have to do to get people to give!

But what if there was a better way…an attitude of generosity that didn’t make giving feel like coercion or robbery? There is, and it’s having a biblical idea of what money and giving is all about. You see, the resources we have are ultimately God’s anyway. So whether you’re a pastor or a churchgoer, it’s not your money! 

Giving is best done with that kind of humble attitude on both the giver’s and receiver’s part. So give graciously…and receive humbly. That’s how you grow a generous heart in you and others! 

 

Prayer Challenge: 

Ask God to give you the right attitude toward giving to His Kingdom purposes.

 

Questions for Thought: 

Why do you think so many people have such a hard time accepting biblical instruction on giving?

How do you personally feel when you’re asked to give money to a good cause?

Wednesday
Feb152017

Where is Jesus in the Bible?

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 22:13

The evangelist Harry Rimmer was speaking to Christians interested in military evangelism. During the speech, Mr. Rimmer displayed his own personal copy of a white Pacific Fleet New Testament, which was issued to servicemen by the Gideons. 

After the meeting, a member of the audience walked up and showed Mr. Rimmer another white Pacific Fleet New Testament, one given to his son prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But this one was stained with blood.

The man told Rimmer, “This little book is very precious to me. It’s stained with the blood of my son.” Rimmer paused for a moment, then looked at his personal Bible and said, “God feels the same way about His Word. He loves it too. Its pages are stained with the blood of His Son.” 

Every page of God’s Word speaks of Jesus. From the Garden of Eden to the Book of Revelation, even the longest genealogy is written with Jesus in view. So as you read Scripture, remember who’s at the center of it all – Jesus, the Savior of the world!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to open your eyes to Jesus’ presence on every page of the Bible.

 

Questions for Thought:

Why do you think Jesus occupies such a unique place not only in Scripture, but in human history?

How might your Bible reading look differently knowing Jesus is present in every verse?

Tuesday
Feb142017

The key to having those tough talks

A gentle answer turns way wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

 Proverbs 15:1

President James Madison suffered from many ailments in his old age that required him to take a variety of medicines. A longtime friend sent him a box of vegetables pills, one of his own home remedies, and wanted to know if Madison saw any improvement by taking them.

It wasn’t long before the man received a carefully-worded reply back from Madison. It said,

“My dear friend, I thank you very much for the box of pills. I have taken them all; and while I cannot say I am better since taking them, it is quite possible that I might have been worse if I had not taken them.” 

One of the biggest challenges we can face when we’re in a position where we have to have a hard conversation is doing so in a way that preserves another person’s dignity. Whether you’re declining an offer from a salesman or breaking some bad news to a good friend, how you say it will speak much more loudly than what you say. 

But when it comes to having those tough conversations, it’s important you don’t shy away from what’s right. Maintain your commitment to the truth, but bathe the truth in love and grace, and let others know you sincerely care. Love others well by speaking what’s right in the right way! 

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to help you bathe your words of truth with grace at all times.

 

Questions for Thought:

When you think about having hard conversations with people, how do you feel about it? Do you like having those talks, or would you rather avoid them?

Who is one person in your life today with whom you probably need to have a hard conversation?

Monday
Feb132017

What are you getting from God’s Word?

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”

Proverbs 30:5-6

Dr. Chuck Swindoll, in his introductory notes to the book of Romans, shares a story about a pastor named Donald Barnhouse, who started his ministry at Tenth Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Barnhouse stepped into the pulpit on his first Sunday morning and preached from the first verse of Romans 1. 

The next Sunday morning, he stood up and preached on the second verse of the same chapter – but didn’t even finish that verse. So the next Sunday morning, he picked up where he had left off in the second verse and moved on into the third verse.

For 42 months – three and a half years – Barnhouse never preached on a text outside of Romans. 

God’s Word is so rich – so full of truth that you can read and meditate on just one verse for hours. Yet it’s easy to just jump in and out of your devotional time, checking your box and forgetting what you just read, isn’t it? 

Don’t turn your Bible reading into a race against the clock – trying to get as much in as you can. Take it verse by verse, absorb it slowly, and let incredible truth change your life!

  

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would use His Word – every word of it – to transform your life. 

 

Questions for Thought: 

What have you been reading and learning in the Scriptures this week?

What’s one way you might be able to modify your devotional time to get more out of God’s Word?

Sunday
Feb122017

How to avoid spiritual deception

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2

An article years ago in U.S. News & World Report brought to light a very sneaky practice by some manufacturers of common household goods. In an effort to save costs, these companies were reducing the amount of product in their packaging without reducing the size of the package. And it was going completely unnoticed by the general public!

A box of a well-known laundry detergent, for example, that once held 61 ounces now only holds 55 ounces. Same size box, less soap!

It’s interesting how something can be wrapped in a certain way in order to disguise what’s really on the inside. Take people, for example. How many of the people you see at church on Sunday are well dressed with their best smiles, yet inside they’re struggling deeply? Most people would probably be shocked to find out the struggles their ‘super-spiritual’ friends are having! 

Be authentic. Now, that doesn’t mean you vent your struggles and frustrations to everyone, but it does mean you’re open and honest about what’s going on in your life. Peel back the pretty wrapping and show others what’s really on the inside.

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to help you open up to others and be honest about the struggles you’re facing.

 

Questions for Thought:

What’s your biggest apprehension about how others would react to your complete honesty about what’s really going on in your life? Is that fear from God? 

What’s one struggle you have today that you’ve been keeping to yourself? To whom can you open up about that struggle?

Thursday
Feb092017

How are we to treat the lost?

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 Mark 2:16-17

The great scientist Isaac Newton once performed an experiment that required him to stare at the image of the sun in a mirror. The brightness burned into his retina and he suffered temporary blindness. Even after he isolated himself for three days behind closed shutters, still the bright spot wouldn’t fade from his vision. 

“I used all means to divert my imagination from the sun,” he wrote, “but if I thought upon him, I presently saw his picture though I was in the dark.” 

For millennia, people have been trying to get rid of the problem of sin by removing themselves from the presence of sinners. In the Middle Ages, monks would isolate themselves from the world in monasteries. Yet, their extreme piety often led them to commit the sin of pride.

And in the early days of the American colonies, many came over from other countries to establish a nation of all Christians. But it wasn’t long before unbelievers began to pop up all over.

Isolation from sinners doesn’t get rid of sin. In fact, like that dark room for Isaac Newton, it can actually make the problem of sin more prevalent.

When it comes to sinners, many people’s first reaction is to isolate themselves. But instead of pulling away, remember you have the power in you to confront sin and love sinners. Choose engagement with sinners over isolation and show God’s love to the lost!


Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to open your eyes to the lost people in your life whom perhaps you’ve been avoiding. Pray He’d show you how to demonstrate His love for the world.

 

Questions for Thought:

Have you been guilty in the past of isolating yourself because you didn’t approve of others’ behavior? How?

Who are some ‘sinners’ in your life today with whom you can engage for the sake of sharing Christ?

Wednesday
Feb082017

The importance of knowing God’s Word

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

A church pastor visited the sixth grade Sunday School class one day, and listened as the teacher taught some of the Old Testament. At the end, the pastor asked, “Does anyone know who knocked down the walls of Jericho?” 

Two boys answered, “Pastor, we don’t know who did it, but it sure wasn’t us.” 

Shocked, he turned to the teacher and asked, “What do you think of that answer?” The teacher replied, “Pastor, they’ve always been honest. If they said they didn’t do it, I believe them.” 

The pastor huffed off and went out into the hallway where he saw the chairman of the church board. He told him what had just happened. “Can you believe that?” the pastor sighed.

The chairman of the board looked at him and said, “Pastor, let’s not fuss about who did what. We’ll just fix the walls and pay for it out of the General Fund.” 

All kidding aside, I think most Christians today would agree there’s a surprising lack of biblical literacy even among churchgoers these days. And much of it has to do with the fact that too many people who know the Bible well aren’t stepping up to pass their knowledge onto others.

So if you’d put yourself in the camp of those who know the Bible well, make it a point to teach others. And if you don’t, find someone who can teach you!

  

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would help you find a relationship where you’re either teaching or learning the Bible.

 

Questions for Thought:

Why do you think it’s so important to know God’s Word?

Who in your life today could you either teach or learn from about the Bible?

Tuesday
Feb072017

What’s the greatest hope of heaven?

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:17

New Testament scholar A.M. Hunter relates a story in one of his books about a dying man who asked his Christian doctor to tell him about the place he was heading. His doctor fumbled a moment for the right words, and then heard a scratching at the door. 

“You hear that?” he asked his patient. “That’s my dog. I left him downstairs and he’s come up because he heard my voice. He has no idea what’s inside this door, but he knows that I am here. Isn’t it the same with you? You don’t know what lies beyond the Door, but you know that your Master is there.” 

When it comes to what heaven will be like, there’s much more we don’t know than we do. But one thing is for sure: our Master is there. And because of that, everything else is incidental. What makes heaven heaven is the fact that we’ll be with God forever! 

That is our greatest hope of heaven. Yes, it will be great when there’s no more pain, no more tears, and no more sorrow. But the greatest thing about heaven is that we’ll exist forever in the very presence of our Heavenly Master!

 

Prayer Challenge: 

Pray that God would renew your hope in the life to come because you’ll be with Him forever!

 

Questions for Thought:

Imagine your life with no pain and no sorrow. How does the thought make you feel?

Now, how does it make you feel that an eternity in God’s presence will be even greater than having no pain or sorrow? 

Monday
Feb062017

Living for the hope of heaven

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

John 14:1-3

A man walked into his doctor’s office for a regular visit, and he noticed a brand new fish tank had recently been installed. The water was crystal clear. The fish were so colorful and exotic looking. He was mesmerized as he watched the fish swim.

Then he starting thinking about what a sad existence those fish had. They were stuck in that nice, expensive tank with nowhere to go. They would probably spend their entire fish lives in that very nice tank, chasing each other and waiting for the next time they’d be fed. 

The man thought, “That’s what life is like without God.”

God has created us for much more than just existence here on earth. And the very fact that we can think about a life beyond this one is a testament to His eternal plans for us. 

So don’t get discouraged when your “fish tank” isn’t everything you want – or even if it is. There will come a day when God will reach down, take you out of it, and bring you into your eternal home!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would help you live with an unshakeable confidence in His eternal plan for you.

 

Questions for Thought:

How is it possible to find joy in the promise of heaven even when our “fish tank” here isn’t ideal?

What excites you the most about the hope of eternity with God?

Sunday
Feb052017

The key to lasting happiness

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…

1 Peter 1:8

What does it mean to be happy? 

Dennis Wholey, author of a book called Are You Happy?, reports that according to experts, only about 20% of Americans today are happy. One psychiatrist, Thomas Szasz, even went so far as to say, “Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children and by children to adults.” 

To really understand the key to finding happiness, it’s important to first understand what it is. Looking at the biblical use of the word, we find ‘happy’ is most often used to describe a state of being emotionally satisfied with one’s circumstances. The problem, however, comes when those circumstances change. 

This is why lasting happiness eludes almost everyone…because it’s based upon our circumstances, which can change in a moment. But there is a biblical attitude that, when we have it, will keep us emotionally satisfied even when circumstances change – it’s called ‘joy’.

The key to lasting happiness is to let God’s Spirit express joy through you that’s not based on your current situation. Instead of looking for your circumstances to satisfy you, look to God to give you His inexpressible joy in all circumstances!

 

Prayer Challenge: 

Ask God to express His supernatural joy through you in all circumstances.

 

Questions for Thought: 

How have you seen God at work creating an attitude of joy in the midst of challenges for you or someone else?

What circumstances are you facing today that require God’s supernatural power for you to find happiness and contentment?

Thursday
Feb022017

How to serve God through any limitation

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”

1 Samuel 12:24

An elderly widow was eager to serve Christ, but was severely limited in her activities. So she talked to her pastor who told her, “Find what you love to do and do it for Jesus.” The woman loved to play piano, and it didn’t require her to even leave the house.

So she came up with a plan. The next day, she took an ad out in the local newspaper that said, “Pianist will play hymns by phone daily for those who are sick and despondent – the service is free.” Then, she included her number below.

When people called, she would ask them, “What hymn would you like to hear?” Within a few months, her playing brought cheer to several hundred people. Many of them poured out their hearts to her, and she was able to help and encourage them.

God calls you to serve Him where your passions and abilities meet. Over time, those passions and abilities may change. But you can be sure God will always supply you with the abilities and Spirit-empowered drive to accomplish His will for you.

Don’t let your limits keep you from honoring God. Find the place where our gifts and passions meet and start serving the Lord!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to show you where your abilities and passions can be best used for His Kingdom!

 

Questions for Thought: 

What is one thing you wish you could do for God, but you’re not able?

When you think about your abilities and your passions, where do you believe they best align for the purpose of serving God?

Wednesday
Feb012017

Are you being transformed?

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

A pastor was giving a sermon one Sunday when he noticed a man sitting in the back he’d never seen before. The visitor looked disheveled, with a long scraggly beard and dirty clothes. And at the end of the service when the pastor gave the invitation, he was one of the first people to come forward. 

With tears in his eyes, he knelt for several minutes. After the service, the pastor walked up and introduced himself. 

The scraggly man told the pastor his story. He was an oil worker, who would spend a year at a time working out in the field, making $80,000. Then he would come back and spend it all in a month. After that, he’d go back out in the field, make another $80,000 for a year of work, and blow it all again. After realizing that this kind of life wasn’t fulfilling, he knew he needed more in life – he knew he needed Jesus. 

The next Sunday, the man came back to church, but the pastor didn’t recognize him. He was dressed in a three-piece suit and had no beard! The pastor asked what caused him to shave and dress up, and he said, “Jesus changed me on the inside, and I want people to know it. So I changed the outside.”

When Christ comes into your life, everything changes. And when everything changes, others take notice. Allow Jesus to transform you on the inside – and others will see that transformation on the outside!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God if there is any area of your life where you’re keeping Him from transforming you.

 

Questions for Thought:

Why do you think many people resist letting God into certain areas of their lives?

What are some areas of your life today you may be holding onto that God wants to transform?

Tuesday
Jan312017

How to know if you’re really living for Jesus

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Luke 12:34

A lady answered a knock at her door one day to find a man with a very downcast look on his face. Concerned, she asked, “Can I help you?”

“I’m sorry to disturb you,” the man said, “but I’m collecting money for an unfortunate family in the neighborhood. The husband is out of work, the kids are hungry, the utilities will soon be cut off, and worse, they’re going to be kicked out of their apartment if they don’t pay the rent by this afternoon.” 

“Of course. I’ll be happy to help,” replied the woman with great concern. “But who are you?” 

The man looked her in the eye and said, “The landlord.”

Like that landlord, the things you value will provoke you to action. If at the center of your values is your love for material wealth or desire to please people, then you’re going to make those things your main concern. But if you value Christ above all, everything else will pale in comparison. 

Let the cause of Christ be the main value of your life. You’ll know it is when the cause motivates your thoughts and actions above everything else! 

 

Prayer Challenge: 

Ask God to make Jesus the center of your life, motivating all you think, say, and do.

 

Questions for Thought:

If someone you’d never met followed you around on a normal day, what would he or she say is the main focus of your life.

What’s one way your life would look differently if you put Jesus completely at the center?

Monday
Jan302017

Seeking God in times of trouble

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 

Romans 8:18

One Sunday in church, some of the members were praising the Lord for what He had done in their lives that week. A woman stepped forward in front of the congregation to give thanks for God’s provision in her life. She shared…

“Earlier this week, the roof of my house caught fire. I want to praise God that my neighbor saw it, and a possible disaster was averted. There was only minor damage, and my family wasn’t harmed. God is good!” 

Some amens and a few claps arose from the crowd as a man stood up and began to walk forward. He stood in front of the congregation and said, “I have a praise I’d like to share, too. I’m her insurance agent.”

God is present in every trial you face. From everyday challenges to heartbreaking loss, He’s right there with you and promises to work everything out for your good and His glory. So whatever you’re struggling with today, remember you’re not alone. 

Trust God in times of trouble – that He’s doing something in your life that’s infinitely greater than the pain of your struggles!

 

Prayer Challenge:        

Pray and ask God to help you see where He’s at work in your trials and struggles.

 

Questions for Thought:

What do you think it is about pain and heartbreak that draws us near to God?

Think of a challenge – big or small – you’re facing today. How are you seeking God in that trial?

Sunday
Jan292017

Are you ready to soar?

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

If you ever get a glimpse inside the nest of an eagle, you’ll see something fascinating. A mother eagle starts building with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. Then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs.

By the time the growing birds reach flying age, they don’t want to leave because of the comfort of the soft nest. So the mother eagle begins pulling up the soft carpet, baring the sharp rocks and branches. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. This encourages them to leave their home and move on to more mature behavior.

In order to move forward, the young eagles must be made uncomfortable. And in order for us to move forward into spiritual maturity, sometimes God does the same thing: He gets you out of your comfort zone and puts you in a place where you have to jump out and trust Him to help you soar!

Wherever God is pushing you from being comfortable today, see it as a chance to develop a deeper trust in Him and soar on the wings of faith He’s given you.

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would show you where He wants you to jump out and trust Him to bring you to a new level in your spiritual journey.

 

Questions for Thought: 

Think of a time when you were pushed out of your comfort zone. How did it make you feel?

Where do you believe God may be ‘baring the rocks’ in your life to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone?

Thursday
Jan262017

Where do you find your joy?

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. 

 Psalm 16:11

A thief broke into the apartment of an aspiring writer one night. Trying to avoid waking him, the intruder quietly picked the lock on his desk. Suddenly, the silence was broken by a burst of laughter from the bed, where the young author lay watching the thief.

“Why are you laughing?” asked the thief as he turned around.

“I’m laughing at the risks you’re taking to find money in my desk in the middle of the night when I can’t even find it there during the day!”

It’s a tendency for all of us to search for fulfillment in places where it can never be found. Much like that thief searching frantically through a poor man’s desk, many people search to and fro for things in the world that will satisfy them. Yet, that search will inevitably end up going nowhere. Real and lasting joy simply can’t be found in the things of the world!

Don’t allow the lure of worldly things to lead you down the path of trying to find joy in them. Enjoy the material possessions you have, but don’t let them rule your life and don’t think they can fulfill you. Find your ultimate joy in your relationship with Jesus Christ alone!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to help you focus on finding your joy in Him alone, not the things of the world!

 

Questions for Thought:

Where have you been tempted to find your joy outside of Christ? What about it tempted you?

What’s one way you can focus more on finding your joy in Christ alone? 

Wednesday
Jan252017

Remember what’s most important

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

A pastor was called to a new church. His first Sunday there, he preached a message from John 3:16 entitled, “How to Be Born Again.” The message was well received, but no decisions were made to follow Christ.

So the second Sunday, the pastor’s message was again taken from John 3:16 and was entitled “How to Be Born Again.” Again, no decisions were made. The third Sunday, the sermon was the same. 

By this time, the other leaders in the church were worried about what was happening – the pastor just kept preaching the same sermon over and over again. So they called a special meeting with him to discuss his sermons.

One deacon said, “Don’t you have any more sermons you can preach?” The new pastor responded, “Yes, I have plenty of sermons. However, I’m going to keep preaching this one until we get it right!”

Understanding a truth often takes repetition. That’s why Scripture memorization is so powerful – because by learning the words, we reach new levels of understanding of the truth behind the words. So never feel like you’ve outgrown your need to know the foundational truths of God. Preach the Gospel to yourself every day!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to remind you daily of the foundational truths of His Word.

 

Questions for Thought:

Why do you think many people struggle in their faith when they get away from what’s most important in the Bible?

What’s one thing you can you do to remind yourself of the Bible’s foundational truths every day?

Tuesday
Jan242017

Avoiding the trap of want

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Exodus 20:17

A fly was buzzing around one day when he saw a large crowd of flies dancing below him on a piece of brown paper. Intrigued, he flew in for a closer look. What fun they were having! He just had to be a part of it. But as he got ready to land, a bee suddenly stopped him.

“Don’t land there… that’s flypaper and it will kill you!” said the bee.

“Stop being silly,” the fly retorted. “Look at how much fun they’re all having!” And with that, the little fly landed and joined the ‘party’.

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when it looks like things are working out so well for other people. They have nice cars, expensive clothes, and from the outside looking in, they seem to have it all together.

But what you don’t see with so many people who ‘have it together’ are the mounds of debt they’re drowning under, the self-image issues they’re constantly battling, and the toxic, crumbling relationships they have with others. When it comes to coveting what others have, things are rarely what they seem.

No good ever comes from coveting what someone else has. So instead of wishing you had more of this or a better that, thank God for what you have today. Live free from coveting and you’ll experience much more joy!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to release you from the trap of want so you’ll find satisfaction in His blessings today.

 

Questions for Thought:

Think of something you want but you don’t have today. Is it possible that want may have more control over life than God would desire?

How might your life look differently if you were completely content with everything God has already given you? 

Monday
Jan232017

Are you opening God’s Word?

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

— Hebrews 4:12

A minister was out one day visiting the home of one of his church members. The lady of the house welcomed him in, and began trying to impress him with how devout her family was by pointing out the large Bible on the bookshelf. 

“We have a real reverence and respect for God’s Word in this house,” she told the minister. And as she was talking, her five-year-old son walked in the room, overhearing part of the conversation.

He interrupted, saying, “Mommy, I didn’t know that book was God’s. We should probably just send it back to Him because we never read it anyway.” 

So many Bibles in homes these days serve no other purpose than to sit on the shelf and collect dust. Few people really read God’s Word. And even worse, many mistakenly believe that having a Bible on the shelf accounts for some kind of spirituality.

An unopened Bible is as useless as no Bible at all. So be sure to open God’s Word regularly. It won’t transform your life just sitting on the shelf!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to help you stay consistent in His Word so it can transform your life.

 

Questions for Thought:

How often do you think you honestly open your Bible?

What can you do to become more consistent in reading God’s Word?

Sunday
Jan222017

Your job in leading others to the truth

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 

1 John 3:18

Like most people on Thanksgiving, Cathy wanted to get an early start on her cooking. She had invited 25 friends and family members over for Thanksgiving dinner and was so excited to host this year. By noon, she had already put together her casseroles and her pies, and the bird was going in the oven!

She began to worry, however, when 5 o’clock rolled around and no one had shown. She called her niece to ask what time she was coming. It was then that her niece broke the news. “Cathy, what are you talking about? Today is November 21st. Thanksgiving is next Thursday.”

Her early start had come a week early. But it wasn’t her fault. The free calendar she had been given by a local hospital, along with the other 40,000 that had been distributed, said Thanksgiving was on the 21st instead of the 28th!

Most people who don’t believe the gospel aren’t doing it out of anger or malice. Most have simply been misinformed of the facts. Perhaps they haven’t been told about the grace and love of God. Or, maybe they just don’t know what the Bible is all about.

Our job as believers is to come alongside people like that and gently guide them to the truth. Now that doesn’t always mean they’ll accept it. But at least they won’t be misinformed. Lead the lost to the truth of Christ and let God take them from there!

  

Prayer Challenge: 

Pray and make yourself available to God to lead a lost person to the truth about Jesus Christ.

 

Questions for Thought:

Why do you think many lost people today might be hesitant to ask questions about the gospel?

Who are some lost people you know whom you can come alongside and lead toward the truth of Christ?