Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose . . . Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:2-5
MAKE JESUS CENTRAL. The chief project of life is cultivating closeness with Jesus.
Continue reading “The Attitude of the Church”
For a wide door for effective service has opened to me [Paul], and there are many adversaries. 1 Corinthians 16:9
1. WALK THROUGH THE OPEN DOOR. Opportunities are often disguised by obstacles. With every promise there will be inherent challenges and problems. Paul knew he was going to have challenges, but he kept forging ahead anyway. Instead of shrinking back or hesitating, we must seek God about what opportunity He has for us in the midst of difficulty.
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Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” John 4:34-35
GOD’S AMAZING PLAN. Jesus lived to do God’s will. There is nothing more fulfilling than to follow God’s plan for our lives. God has called us to be a culture of effective workers who do our work heartily to Him and have genuine impact in the lives of others around us.
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Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:35-36
1. FOLLOW THE SHEPHERD. When Jesus saw the crowds, He wasn’t moved with disdain but with compassion. He went about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). Because God has poured out His love in our hearts, we actually have a capacity for compassion. Like our Shepherd, we are made to be carriers of this type of love. Take time to listen to what God is saying to you: repent quickly and forgive quickly.
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Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2
1. IT’S GOD’S LOVE. Walking in love is a process that involves sacrifice, commitment, and follow-through, but it doesn’t originate in our humanity. We are born with a tendency to act selfishly, but the moment we receive Jesus, God’s love is deposited within us and we can move into a new dimension of becoming considerate and valuing others.
Continue reading “The God Kind of Love”
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. Psalm 19:7-8a
1. GOD’S WORD RESTORES THE SOUL. There is such a battle for our thinking, and what goes into our minds will come out. When the Word of God gets inside us, life flows out of us. When garbage gets in, garbage comes out. Weapons of mass distraction are vying for our attention and bombarding our minds and hearts. But as we constantly feed on the Word of God, we will be renewed and restored (Romans 12:2).
Continue reading “It’s Good to Get in the Word!”
NINE RESULTS OF THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOUR LIFE
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
1. LOVE. Loving God and connecting with Him is the best part of life. God is love and His Spirit who dwells within us helps us to respond to others by walking in His love.
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Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
Set the Thermostat. Just like you can change the temperature to heat or cool your home, if you walk in love, you will set the thermostat of the world you live in. When you walk into a room and sense strife or conflict, you can bring change to the environment by simply operating in love. Every person you encounter is someone for whom Christ died. Even if you disagree with someone, ask yourself: “How can I genuinely value that person without compromising the truth?”
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“Yield now and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you. Please receive instruction from His mouth and establish His words in your heart.” Job 22:21-22
1. YIELD. A yield sign is a beautiful thing–it tells us to look and acknowledge traffic and people around us. We yield and listen to the Holy Spirit, not to be reticent or fearful, but instead to become aware of what He is saying in order to move forward.
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But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:16, 22-23
1. WALKING BY THE SPIRIT. When you receive Jesus as your Savior, your spirit is made alive in God! You become a child of God and you have the ability to hear His voice and receive His guidance. These are blessings attached to choosing the things of God. These attributes—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—are the tools that give us victory in life.
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But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14
LIFE TRIUMPHS OVER DEATH. When Jesus died on the Cross, everything looked like a failure. But when He rose from the dead, it turned into victory over death and sin! Whatever you have been through, however you have messed up, Jesus wants to forgive your sins, give you a fresh start, and lead you in triumph.
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Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him [Jesus], and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:8-9
1. HONOR JESUS. Jesus is the Messiah and He fulfilled every prophecy about Himself, and some day soon Jesus is going to come back. In the meantime, we are to exalt and acknowledge Him. And just like the crowds cried out “Hosanna!” (“Save us!”) when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, we are also coming into a time when our city, our nation, and our world will be stirred to ask for God’s salvation.
Continue reading “Let’s Get Ready for Easter”
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
1. RESIST NEGATIVITY. Words are powerful. They can contain either hurt or healing and they can contribute to someone’s suffering or to someone’s cure. The Greek word for unwholesome in Ephesians is translated rot. So, just like the expression “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch,” one complaining person can contaminate a whole group of people.
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Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts. . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7, 9
1. WE LEARN GOD’S THOUGHTS. God’s lowest thoughts are higher than our highest thoughts. As we invest our time in reading the Scriptures, our minds get renewed (Romans 12:2) and we trade in our smaller way of thinking for God’s amazing, big beautiful, eternal thoughts!
Continue reading “Benefits of Getting Into the Word of God”
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD. God is all powerful and when we draw near to Him, strength will come. His presence shifts us from surviving to thriving. Delving into the Word of God and spending time in God’s presence will strengthen your heart. If you feel worn down by life, take time like Jesus often did to “slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Luke 5:16). The Creator of the Universe has everything you need—all the strength, all the power, all the insight, all the guidance. And always try to remember what Daniel 11:32b proclaims: The people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits!
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These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Acts 17:6b NKJV
The people in the Book of Acts were living so effectively it was rocking the world around them. They had a message that was life-changing, and they were doing life together with a heart of faith and a resolve to follow God. When they came on the scene, their words were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and signs and wonders followed them.
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But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:8
1. RECEIVE STRENGTH. We can strengthen ourselves in the Lord during difficult times (1 Samuel 30:6). Instead of backing down when we hit a challenge, we can draw near to God and remember what He has already brought us through; we can sing praises to Him; we can stay in the Word; we can stay connected in church and hear teaching to help us get strengthened.
Continue reading “The Outcome of Seeking God”
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3 NKJV
1. WORLDS ARE FRAMED. The whole universe is held together by the word of God’s power (Hebrews 11:3). What’s going to frame your world? Will you yield to doubt and fear? Cave in to depression? Instead, let the promises of God fuel your faith.
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1. PRAISE YOUR WAY TO STRENGTH. God is so good! He is worthy of praise! It pleases Him and, interestingly, He designed it to benefit us! He’s looking for worshippers who will worship in spirit and in truth. Worship and praise are weapons against fear, despondency, and stagnation. It will drive away introspection and fortify your faith.
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. Acts 16:25-26
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The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. Proverbs 10:11a
WHAT’S FILLING YOUR RESERVES? When we get our hearts filled with the truth of God, it will not only benefit us personally, but abundant life will flow out of us for others. Value the Scriptures. What you value, you focus on, and what you focus on, you’ll speak out.
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All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
1. BUILD YOUR FOUNDATION ON THE WORD. God has given us His Word to provide substance to our spirits so that we can be “adequate and equipped for every good work.” Jesus describes a person who acts on His words as a wise person who built his house on the rock (Matthew 7:24-27). When we build our lives on God’s Word, then—when the storms of life hit—there is a solid foundation.
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The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7
1. LET GOD LIFT YOU. When King David had to strengthen himself in the Lord after a hard battle, it wasn’t easy. He wasn’t well rested; he wasn’t feeling spiritual; he didn’t have anyone else to encourage him. But still he got into God’s presence and received direction and encouragement (1 Samuel 30:6). Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, however depleted you may feel, seek the Lord—He has answers and strength for your every need!
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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10
1. ENTER INTO GOD’S PRESENCE. God has strength corresponding to everything we need and everything we are called to do—both for today and for our entire lives. Prayer is not just a discipline or duty; it’s a delight designed as a bridge to help us enter into God’s presence. When we get in the presence of the Lord and start praising Him and thanking Him, joy and strength will come into our situations (Psalm 16:11; Nehemiah 8:10).
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Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world. Philippians 2:12b-15
1. BRIDLE YOUR TONGUE. The tongue is a powerful part of our lives. No human being can tame it alone—that’s why it’s so wonderful that God is at work in us, helping us. Grumbling and complaining can be habit-forming. But when we bridle the tongue, we will protect our own souls. When we can do all things without grumbling or disputing, we will see greater results.
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It is God himself whose power creates in you both the desire and the power to execute His gracious will. Philippians 2:13 Weymouth
YOUR HELP COMES FROM THE LORD. Any Christian who has taken on any kind of responsibility knows that we can’t do it alone—our help comes from God (Psalm 121:2). God never gets weary. When you hang out with Him, His likeness rubs off on you, His strength gets into you. That’s why we must take time to connect with the power source.
Continue reading “God Is at Work”