Resource Library

Tuesday
Apr182017

The best news you’ll ever hear

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air… But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

- Ephesians 2:1-5

A farmer went to meet with his banker and announced that he had some bad news and some good news. “First, the bad news... I can’t make my mortgage payments. And that crop loan I’ve taken out for the past 10 years—I can’t pay that off, either. Not only that, I won’t be able to pay you the couple of hundred thousand I still have outstanding on my tractors and other equipment. So I’m going to have to give up the farm and turn it all over to you for whatever you can salvage out of it.”

After a few moments of silence, the banker said, “What’s the good news?”

“The good news is that I’m going to keep on banking with you.”

With so much bad news in the world today, it’s often true that the good news you receive does very little to make you feel better. Yet the greatest news of all, that which is found in Scripture, is the one piece of Good News that can counteract any bad news you’ll hear.

What is this Good News? It’s the simple fact that if you’re in Christ, He’s saved you. He’s brought you out of the depths of sin and despair and has raised you up to be alive with Him. That’s fantastic news!

So whenever you feel overwhelmed by bad news, remember that Christ died for you, and in Him, you have eternal life!

Prayer Challenge:

Thank God for the Good News that Christ has died for you and you can have eternal life through faith in Him!

Tuesday
Apr182017

Are you missing your potential?

"Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

- Hebrews 5:13-14

Leadership magazine once ran an article about the curious growth habits of sharks. As the article explains…

If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length – eight, twelve, sixteen, or even twenty feet!

The same can be said of some Christians. Isolated and protected in a self-made bubble, these immature believers live a life free of the challenges, joys, battles, and opportunities that stretch other Christians to their full maturity.

God has plans for you. Maybe you’ve been swimming in the wide ocean for years – serving God and growing in your faith – or maybe you feel like you’re just now diving into the great deep. Either way, there’s no limit to how much you can grow in your faith and how much you can do for God’s Kingdom if you just take the leap.

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God will mature you in your faith as you commit to serve Him today.

Questions for Thought:

What are some challenging things you could do today that you know would make an impact for God’s Kingdom?

Is there any reason you’re holding back? 

Tuesday
Apr182017

What makes you uncomfortable?

"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."

2 Timothy 4:3

Whenever you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke, prod, and press various places, all the while asking, “Does this hurt?” Now if you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity. Or, more likely, there’s something wrong, and the doctor will say, “We’d better do some more tests!”

This is often true when pastors preach on touchy subjects, and certain members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has pushed too hard, which is possible. Or perhaps there’s something wrong underneath the surface.

Today’s Scripture is clear that there will come a time when people will stop putting up with sound doctrine. They’ll want to hear what makes them feel good instead of the truth. They’ll prefer living under the illusion that things are okay with them instead of discovering the truth that there is something very wrong underneath the surface.

The Bible is a tool that the Great Physician uses to poke and prod in order to identify areas of concern in our lives. So the next time you read Scripture or hear teaching that makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself if the pressure is too high, or if maybe there is something under the surface that needs to be checked out.

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to help you discern if there are any areas of your life where you have problems under the surface. Pray that He would give you the resolve to react appropriately when the “prodding” hurts!

Tuesday
Apr182017

Do you look up to God?

“Be still and know that I am God."

- Psalm 46:10

The story is told of a British politician who took his 8-year-old daughter on a tour of London. They came to Westminster Abbey and the awesomeness of it struck the little girl. As she gazed at the towering columns and stirring beauty of the Gothic features, her father was intrigued at her concentration.

He looked down at her and asked, “Sweetheart, what are you thinking about?” The little girl replied, “Daddy, I was thinking how big you seem at home and how small you look in here.”

How easily we lose our sense of wonder before God. With age comes experience and wisdom, but if you’re not careful, it can also dull your sense of who God truly is. And when you can’t see God for who He is, your entire vision is skewed.

Remember God’s awesomeness each day – because it’s in that childlike sense of wonder and submission that God raises you up to the full strength of who He created you to be, and what He’s called you to do. 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to restore your sense of wonder at His awesomeness. Pray that He’ll strengthen you as you stand in awe of His presence.

Questions for Thought:

What are some places or things that remind you of who God truly is and fill you with wonder?

How could a sense of God’s awesomeness strengthen you in your faith?

Saturday
Apr152017

The importance of giving substance to your faith

"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

- James 2:26

A young boy, on an errand for his mother, had just bought a dozen eggs. As he walked out of the store, he tripped and dropped the sack, breaking every egg he had bought. The sidewalk was a mess, and the little boy tried not to cry. A few people gathered to see if he was okay and to tell him how sorry they were.

In the midst of all the “I’m sorry”s and everyone making sure the boy was okay, one man handed the boy a quarter. Then he turned to the group and said, “I care 25 cents worth. How much do the rest of you care?”

That little story is a strong parallel to many people today, isn’t it? You see, some tend to pity Jesus and say things like, “He was such a noble teacher,” and, “What a brave thing to die for what you believe.” However, when it comes to actually putting their money where their mouth is, that’s where their devotion stops.

The Bible says that faith is of the utmost importance. But faith itself is only proven when there are works behind it like giving your money, your time, and even your very life to Christ. So instead of just giving Jesus your words, give Him your works and add substance to your profession of faith!

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to empower you to add substance to your faith by giving your money, your time, and even your very life to Christ every day!

Thursday
Apr132017

Living in the freedom Christ has given you

"Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."

Galatians 4:6-7

A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to Grandma’s backyard, he saw her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let it fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead.

So he panicked and hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching. After lunch that day, Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you, Johnny?” And she whispered to him, “Remember the duck.” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, “I’m sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally smiled and said, “That’s all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it.” Again she whispered, “Remember the duck.” Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.

Finally, after several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he couldn’t stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he’d killed the duck. “I know, Johnny,” she said, giving him a hug. “I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I just wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”

How many Christians today have received forgiveness in Christ, but miss out on living in the freedom they have? Don’t live under the impression that you still have to earn your salvation. Instead, live in the freedom that Christ has bought you!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to help you understand the freedom you have in Christ. As you grow in your freedom, shake off the yoke of slavery and experience the joy you’re meant to have!

 

Thursday
Apr132017

The heartbeat of life

"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

- 1 John 4:12

A young man was once determined to win the affection of a beautiful lady who refused to even talk to him. He decided that the way to her heart was through the mail, so he began writing her love letters. He wrote a love letter every single day. Seven times a week, the young woman received a letter in the mail. When she didn’t respond after months, he increased his output to three notes every 24 hours.

In all, he wrote her more than seven hundred letters. And she wound up marrying the postman!

God created you for relationships. And there’s nothing sweeter or more encouraging than spending time with someone you love. And in Christ, that means everybody. Whether it’s with family, friends, people you’ve known for decades, or only just minutes – relationships are the heartbeat of life.

So seek out healthy, God-honoring relationships with others. They’re how the love of God in you is made complete.

Prayer Challenge:

Thank God for building a relationship with you through Christ. And ask Him to help you strengthen the other relationships in your life.

Questions for Thought:

Who are some people in your life that you could visit with soon to encourage and build up in love?

Thursday
Apr132017

How to love others with the love of Christ

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

- John 13:34

In Ernest Gordon’s famous book Miracle on the River Kwai, he tells the story of captured soldiers who had been forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad. The group was extremely fragmented, but one afternoon something happened. A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot.

Finally, one man stepped forward. So the officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. There had been a miscount at the first checkpoint—no shovel was missing.

The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others. The incident had a profound effect.… The men began to treat each other like brothers. When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors and insisted, “No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.”

It’s amazing the power that sacrificial love can have. And as those who are in Christ look to the cross and see the sacrificial love that was shown there, they should also be moved to show it to others!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would give you a new appreciation for the sacrificial love that Christ showed you when He died on the cross. Ask that He would empower you to show that kind of love to others as well!

Thursday
Apr132017

Don’t let the pressure win

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

- John 16:33

The famous 19th century missionary to China, Howard Taylor, once shared some powerful words that apply well to the situation we’re facing in our world today…

“It doesn’t matter how great the pressure is. What really matters is where the pressure lies, whether it comes between me and God or whether it presses me nearer His heart.”

A few minutes watching the news is enough to tell you that this world is a pressure cooker – and it seems about to burst. But the question to ask yourself today is this: How are you responding to the pressure. Is it pushing you from God or nearer to His heart?

Nothing in all of history has ever caught God off guard. From the dawn of creation to the fall of Rome and everything since, God has been and will forever be king over all. 

So while the whole world is losing their heads in a panic, you can keep yours – knowing that Christ has overcome. And in His name, you can be a lighthouse of hope for a dark and stormy world!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God will draw you nearer to His heart and fill you with confidence in these difficult days.

Questions for Thought:

With all the fear and anxiety in our culture today, how can you be a voice of strength and hope?

How could you shine the light of the Gospel in a dark world?

Thursday
Apr132017

How to overcome fear in your life

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

- 1 John 4:18

Little 5-year-old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper one evening. So she asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup. But he didn’t want to go in alone. “It’s dark in there and I’m scared,” he told her.

So she asked again and he persisted. Finally she said, “It’s okay—Jesus will be in there with you.” Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came. So he said, “Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?” 

Everyone has fears. And maybe today you’re like little Johnny when it comes to fear in your life. No, you may not be afraid of the pantry, but perhaps there’s something that stops you in your tracks and paralyzes you with fear… like sickness… loneliness… abandonment… or death.

But Scripture couldn’t be clearer. The perfect love of Jesus Christ, who loves you so much that He died for you, can drive out any fear in your life. And if you have truly entered a love relationship with Him, then you have the power in you to overcome your greatest fears!

Don’t let fear hinder your life. Instead, live in victory over it by trusting in the love of Christ that lives in you to be bold and live boldly for Him!

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to remind you of the depth of Christ’s love for you. When you do, you’ll be empowered to overcome fear as you cling to the promise that there’s no safer place to be!

Thursday
Apr132017

How you can avoid the trap of false teaching

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

- Matthew 7:15

Chuck Swindoll tells a story about how years ago a man went into a fried chicken place and bought a couple of chicken dinners for himself and his date. But instead of chicken, the young woman at the counter inadvertently gave him the proceeds from the day—a whole bag of money.

After driving to their picnic site, the two sat down to enjoy their meal. But they discovered a whole lot more than chicken—over $800! So the man quickly put the money back in the bag, got in the car, and drove all the way back to the restaurant.

The manager was thrilled to death. He said, “Oh, great! I’m gonna have your picture put in the local newspaper. You’re the most honest man I’ve ever met!” But the man quickly responded, “Oh no, don’t do that!” Then he leaned closer and whispered, “You see, the woman I’m with is not my wife... she’s somebody else’s.”

Now I’ll bet that you absolutely loved this man up until the last sentence. And now you probably think he’s a sleazebag! Isn’t it amazing what can happen to our impressions of people once we know the full story?

In much the same way, many “spiritual leaders” today look good on the outside. But when you find out what they’re really teaching, you discover they may not be all they proclaim. So be careful what you allow yourself to be taught by “pop-spirituality” and cling to the truth of Scripture!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to give you good discernment between what’s true, biblical teaching and what is false “pop-spirituality.”

 

Thursday
Apr132017

O how He loves us!

He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 

- 1 Peter 2:24

The long-time pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas, W.A. Criswell, once recalled a vivid dream in which he watched Christ being beaten just before His crucifixion.

As Criswell recounted…

“I saw the Savior; His back was bare and there was a soldier lifting up his hand and bringing down that awful cat-o’-nine tails. In the dream, I rose and grasped his arm to hold it back. When I did, the soldier turned in astonishment and looked at me. And when I look at him, I recognized myself.” 

For those of us who’ve been following Christ many years, it’s easy to forget how the relationship started.

It’s easy to forget what great sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. It’s easy to forget the agony He willingly suffered on the cross. And it’s easy to forget that it was our sin that led Him there.

But Jesus endured it all because He loves you with an everlasting love. Yes, we too shouted with the crowd that day, “Crucify Him!” But what Christ cried out then He cries out even now, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

That’s the love Jesus has for you. It’s the love that built your faith, and it’s the love you can enjoy for eternity if you’re in Him! 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to give you a fresh and vivid sense of Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf. Pray you’ll grasp anew His great love for you.

Questions for Thought:

What are some ways you could respond in gratitude to Christ’s love? 

How might Christ’s love for you make you think differently about a situation you’re facing today?

Thursday
Apr132017

How to find the courage to share your faith

And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

- Philippians 1:14

On Memorial Day weekend in 2002, a barge pilot passed out and hit a bridge span of I-40 over the Arkansas River. The accident destroyed a 600 foot span of the bridge, and 14 unsuspecting people died as their cars and 18-wheelers dove over the edge of the missing span.

Several fishermen happened to be on the river in a bass competition when they saw the bridge collapse. Realizing that the cars and trucks were still coming, one of the fishermen below the bridge reached into his boats' emergency kit for the emergency flare. Whipping the flare up into firing position, the fisherman shot up into the air.

That flare hit the windshield of the next 18-wheeler speeding down I-40 at 70 miles an hour. The shocked driver hit his brakes, and his front tires slid over the drop-off. Putting his truck into reverse, he pulled his wheels back up onto the bridge and warned the other drivers.

All it took was for one man to pick up his flare gun and fire it to save the lives of many. If it weren’t for him, who knows how many more would’ve died in the accident? In the same way, you’ve been given the ‘flare’ of the Gospel to save others. The question is, will you fire it? Live your life to share the life-saving message of Christ with others and just watch who gets saved!

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to give you the courage to share the life-saving message of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know Him. And pray that He would save those who are headed over the edge into eternity apart from Him.

Thursday
Apr132017

Let God use you today!

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

- Psalm 71:18

Chuck Swindoll once said, “Let’s recognize that age has little to do with ability.” He then went on to point out…

“Ted Williams, at age 42 slammed a home run in his last official time at bat…. Golda Meir was 71 when she became prime minister of Israel…. George Bernard Shaw was 94 when one of his plays was first produced…. And Benjamin Franklin was a framer of the United States Constitution when he was 81.”

If age were an obstacle to achievement, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, and a long line of other biblical characters would have never been used to do incredible things for God – Abraham to raise Isaac, the child of promise; Moses to deliver God’s people from slavery; and Samuel to anoint the young shepherd boy David to one day be king.

It was in their twilight years that God called them to one of the greatest tasks of their life – and He gave them the strength to see it through!

So be encouraged today knowing that God’s plans for your life don’t have an expiration date. In fact, His biggest adventure for you may be just around the bend.

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to ignite a new passion in your heart for the road ahead. Pray that He will use your experience and abilities to build His Kingdom and encourage others.

Monday
Apr102017

How to know for sure you’re in Christ

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

- John 10:27-29

The famous preacher, H. A. Ironside, once stated that salvation was like Noah inviting a pagan in his day to place his trust in God and come in to the ark. Yet some mistakenly view salvation like Noah offering to put a peg on the outside of the ark saying, “If you just hang on through the storm, you’ll be saved.”

I heard someone say recently, “If you can lose your salvation, you already have.” They’re exactly right because the saving work of Christ simply cannot be dependent upon the work of man. If your efforts were enough to merit you good standing before a holy God, then Jesus’ death and resurrection would have been for nothing at all! 

In Christ, your salvation is never dependent upon your holding on to God. Rather, it depends entirely on your being securely held by and in Christ. And just as Jesus promised in today’s passage, no one will ever snatch a believer out of His hand. It simply can’t be done! 

So many Christians today worry about their security in Christ. But Scripture couldn’t be clearer: if you’re truly in Christ, there’s no way you can lose that. It’s given to you forever and is a guarantee of your salvation. So when you find yourself worrying about your eternal destiny, remember the truth of Philippians 1:6, that he who began the good work of salvation in you will always bring it to completion!

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to give you clarity and confidence that you are His child. If you’ve never trusted Christ to take away your sins, do it today and be confident that you’re His forever!

Thursday
Mar302017

The impact you can make by encouraging others

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Years ago during the world lightweight boxing championship match, a Scotsman was fighting against a man from the United States who was six years younger. The Scot was the reigning champion, and the bout was being fought before a crowd of 20,000 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Soon after the match began, it was clear that the fight would be a close one. So chanting began to arise from the Scottish crowd. It was singing. It became louder and louder, with hundreds of male voices singing a strange Scottish melody!

These men were singing to encourage their champion. As he fought for his title, but even more for the respect of the Scottish people, they wanted him to know they were behind him.

As a member of the body of Christ, it’s your job to encourage one another as well in the great battle of faith. When you see some who are struggling in obedience to Christ’s call on their lives, and others who are on the front lines expanding the Kingdom of God in places all over the world, your role is to be an encourager and cheer them on. Then, when it’s your turn to step into the ring, they’ll encourage you too. 

Never underestimate the power of an encouraging word. Studies have proven that words of encouragement help those who are struggling. So find someone today who needs an encouraging word and help them fight their battle of faith by encouraging them!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray that God would show you someone who you can help fight the battle of faith today with an encouraging word or note.

Wednesday
Mar292017

How are you investing yourself?

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 9:7

The famous economist Arthur Brooks wrote a book a number of years ago called Who Really Cares, in which he analyzed the demographics of America’s most generous people. This book remains a point of controversy for many today – and even Brooks himself didn’t like the results of his research at the time.

From the evidence he amassed, Brooks found that people who practice religion and live in traditional nuclear families are the most generous Americans, by every measure.

The religious were more likely to volunteer their time, give their money, and even donate their blood than any other demographic. 

There’s something that happens when we give ourselves to God. We begin living beyond ourselves and see others through a lens of greater compassion and love. And that changes everything about us – including our giving! 

God wants His people to love others through our words, our actions, and yes, our money. So however you choose to give, be generously devoted to showing the love of Christ to those who need it!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to show you how He would have you invest your time, talent, and treasure for His Kingdom.

 

Questions for Thought:

Why do you think having a relationship with God causes people to be more generous?

Where has God called you to invest your time, talent, and treasure for His Kingdom?

Tuesday
Mar282017

How you can be fulfilled in every way

...in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

— Colossians 2:10

Boris Becker, the famous tennis star, was at the very top of the tennis world. Yet despite all of his success, he was on the brink of suicide. He was quoted as saying, 

“I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed. It’s the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string.”

You don’t have to read many biographies to find this very same kind of frustration and disappointment. The famous author Jack Higgins, for example, was asked what he would like to have known as a boy. His answer: “That when you get to the top, there’s nothing there.” 

There are so many people today who believe that if they can simply do this or that, then their lives will be fulfilled. Yet they’re sorely disappointed when they reach their goal and discover that the view from the top isn’t as great as they thought it would be. 

Maybe you thought your life at this stage would be better or more exciting than it has been. Many may have even grown cynical about life itself because they’ve decided it’s not what it should be. The solution to this problem is to look to Christ, not the world, to fulfill you. He is the one who gives you fullness and the only remedy to any emptiness you feel inside!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God to change your perspective from looking to the world for fulfillment to finding your fullness in Christ alone.

Monday
Mar272017

Serving God in the big and small

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

Woodrow Wilson was on his whistle-stop train tour of the U.S. when he was President of the United States. The train stopped in Billings, Montana. As was custom, he was standing at the rear of the last railroad car speaking to a crowd from the platform. 

Two little boys elbowed their way through the crowd to get close to the President. One of them offered Mr. Wilson a small American flag, which he gladly accepted. The other didn’t have a flag, so he reached down in his pocket, took out a dime, and offered it to the President. 

Wilson reached down, took the dime, and thanked the little fellow. 

Five years later, Woodrow Wilson died. As his wife was going through his personal effects, she stumbled across that dime – wrapped in a piece of paper and tucked in the President’s wallet. He treasured that small gift so much that he kept it with him at all times.

That’s how God feels about you. He treasures even what you feel like is the most meager display of love – a simple word of thanks or act of service. That’s because the heart behind your gift of service is far more important than the gift itself.

Don’t ever believe you have nothing to give to God. He loves your faithful service – no matter how big or small!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Ask God how you can serve Him in both large and small ways today.

 

Questions for Thought:

Why do you think God invites us to serve and give even though He already has everything He needs?

What are some practical ways – large and small – that you can serve the Lord?

Sunday
Mar262017

How to stay calm in the midst of stress

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

 — Proverbs 15:18

A story is told about a little league coach who pulled one of his young players aside and asked him, “Do you understand what cooperation is?” The boy nodded yes. 

Then the coach asked, “Do you understand that what matters is that we win together or lose together as a team?” The little boy again nodded yes.

“So,” the coach continued, “when a strike is called or you’re out at first, you don’t argue or curse the umpire. Do you understand that?” Again, the little boy nodded. 

“Good,” said the coach. “Now go over there and explain it to your mother.” 

It happens, doesn’t it? In the heat of the moment, when emotions are flying and tempers are hot, it’s tempting to sometimes lose your patience and just unleash on whoever is around you. And what’s really interesting is that quite often, it doesn’t even matter what the issue is! 

But God has a better plan for you when it comes to managing your temper. As today’s verse says, people who are patient and not easily angered don’t just benefit themselves; they calm others around them as well. 

So when you’re tempted to lose it, ask God to give you the patience to react differently. When you do, you’ll notice that your overall stress level will decrease as you foster an environment of patience among those around you!

 

Prayer Challenge:

Pray and ask God to give you the strength to react calmly when stress hits and to foster an environment of patience with those around you.