“Whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is kind, if there is any virtue, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”(Philippians 4:8, NIV)
What you think about determines the quality and direction of your life. Naturally, people who think positive, uplifting thoughts have happier, healthier, longer lives. They are less stressed, more vibrant and enjoy better sleep. That’s why the scripture encourages us to think on good things — things that are true, noble and lovely. Some translations say to “fix your mind” on them. When you fix your mind on noble things, you close the door to the negative voices and open your heart to allow God to work in your life.
Choose today to fix your mind on good things. Do whatever you need to in order to keep those good thoughts before you. Write them on note cards and put them in a place where you can see them. Confess God’s promises over your life and declare His blessing on a daily basis. As you fix your mind on the goodness of God, you will rise higher in every area of your life. You will be filled with His peace and victory, and you’ll see every dream and desire in your heart come to pass.
Father in heaven, I choose to fix my mind on noble things. I choose thoughts of peace and victory. Fill my heart with Your goodness that I may glorify You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God can make something good out of your mess! The test you’re experiencing will become your testimony. 2nd Corinthians 1:4-5 says, “God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone who’s going through hard times so we can be there for that person, just as God was there for us.”
You didn’t sign up for this crash course in single parenting? No, God enrolled you. He’s taken the intended evil and rewoven it into this curriculum. Why? So you can teach others what He’s taught you. Rather than say, “God, why?” ask “God, what?” What can I learn from this experience? Rather than ask God to change your circumstances, ask Him to use your circumstances to change you.
Life is a required course. Might as well do your best to pass it! You will get through this!
From You’ll Get Through This
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11:28, NIV)
In this day and age, our culture has become so accustomed to having constant activity going on — computers, cell phones, television, email, video games. And there’s nothing wrong with that stuff; but sometimes, we have to stop and be still so we can focus on knowing God.
This is especially true during the difficult times in life. When you are facing a challenge, it’s easy to want to run to a friend or talk about it with a neighbor. But at some point, you have to stop and say, “God, I rest in You. I know You have me in the palm of Your hand.” Remember, our battles are spiritual battles. The people in your life aren’t your enemy, the forces of darkness are. When you choose to be still and know that the Greater One lives on the inside of you, you are saying to the whole world, “I trust God. He is my Defender.” When you choose to believe in Him, you will enter into His rest.
Remember, the battle belongs to the Lord. As you are still before Him, as you tune out the distractions of the world and lean into Him, you will find rest and experience His victory and blessing in every area of your life.
A PRAYER FOR TODAYFather, I humbly come to You, seeking rest for my heart and mind. I choose to be still before You. I choose to cast my cares on You. Speak to my heart so I can know You more. Fill me with Your peace as I put my trust in You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
“I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10 NLT
In life, you only have to please one person. And that is your Creator. You only have to please the Lord, the one who made you and has a purpose for your life.
That simplifies life enormously! You only need one person’s approval: God’s.
Jesus said it like this in John 5:30: “I don’t try to please myself, but I try to please the One who sent me” (NCV). He said, “I’m living for an audience of one.”
You may have never realized this, but people-pleasing is a form of idolatry. The first commandment in the Ten Commandments is, “Don’t have any gods before me.” Anything you put before God becomes a god. So a boat could be a god. A career could be a god. A girlfriend could be a god. Golf could be a god. Anything that becomes number one in your life that isn’t God becomes your god.
The second commandment is, “Don’t make any idols.” Anything that replaces God in your life is an idol. Success can be an idol. Money can be an idol. Sex can be an idol. A relationship can become an idol. If that relationship to your girlfriend, your wife, your boss, or your friend is more important than God, it’s an idol.
When you are a people-pleaser, you have allowed something other than God to take first place. All of a sudden it becomes god in your life, because you are allowing the opinion of others to matters more than God’s opinion. What they think of you matters more than what God thinks of you. You don’t want to tell them you’re a Christian because they might think less of you. For example, you don’t want them to know you go to church because they may not like you. At that point, you have another god in your life. You have an idol.
You only have to please one person. Paul says in Galatians 1:10, “I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (NLT).
Howard Rutledge came to appreciate his time as a POW in Vietnam. He wrote: “After twenty-eight days of torture, I could remember I had children but not how many. I prayed for strength. During long periods of enforced reflection, it became so much easier to separate the important from the trivial. My hunger for spiritual food soon outdid my hunger for steak. It took prison to show me how empty life is without God.”
God is at work in each of us, whether we want it or not. He takes no pleasure in making life hard. Philippians 1:6 says, “He does not relish in our sufferings, but He delights in our development.” No one said the road would be painless or easy. But God will use this mess for something good. God is doing what is best for us, training us to live His holy best. Rest in this assurance…you will get through this!
From You’ll Get Through This
“And after this it came to pass that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them...”(2 Samuel 8:1, KJV)
Your life is not over because you had a setback. God has an “after this” in your future. He has another victory planned. He wants to take you further than you ever dreamed possible!
When you go through tough times, don’t be surprised if the enemy whispers in your ear, “You’ll never be as happy as you used to be. You’ve seen your best days. This setback is the end of you.” No, let that go in one ear and out the other. God is saying to you, “After the bad break, after the disappointment, after the pain, there is still a full life.”
Know today that you have not danced your best dance. You have not laughed your best laugh. You have not dreamed your best dream. If you will stay in faith and not get bitter, God has an “after this” in your future. He’s not only going to bring you out, He is going to bring you out better than you were before!
Father, thank You for victory in store for my future. Thank you that “after this,” I’m rising higher. I’m coming out stronger. I’m more prepared for my future. I’m better equipped and empowered to fulfill the destiny You have prepared for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In die Romeinse tyd het atlete net 'n eenvoudige lendedoek gedra sodat niks hulle kon hinder in 'n wedloop nie. Paulus skryf: "Weet julle nie dat atlete wat aan 'n wedloop deelneem, wel almal hardloop, maar dat net een die prys ontvang nie? Hardloop dan só dat julle die prys kan wen. Almal wat aan 'n wedstryd deelneem, ontsê hulleself allerlei dinge. Hulle doen dit om 'n verganklike oorwinnaarskroon te verkry, maar ons 'n onverganklike. Ek hardloop dan ook soos een wat nie van sy doel onseker is nie..." (1 Kor 9:24-26 NV). Wat van jou? Hardloop jy net vir die pret of om te wen? As jy suksesvol wil wees in God se plan vir jou, moet jy ophou om party (selfs lekker) dinge te doen en fokus op dit wat jy nodig het om jou roeping te voltooi. Dit beteken dat jy soms "nee" moet sê - selfs vir mense met goeie bedoelings wat jou probeer betrek by dinge wat nie met jou roeping te doen het nie. Dit beteken ook ons moet "... die sonde wat so maklik verstrik..." (Heb 12:1 NV) laat staan. As God sê iets is verkeerd, is dit verkeerd. Jy moet eenvoudig vergifnis vra en dit uit jou lewe uitkry. Wie kry die prys? Dié wat die prys betaal. Paulus het geweet dat hy nie die wedloop sou wen voordat hy nie sy liggaam, gedagtes en gees onder die beheer van God se Gees geplaas het nie. Dieselfde geld vir jou. Niemand kan jou forseer om te doen wat reg is nie; jy moet luister na wat God sê en daarop reageer.
Sielekos: Sag 5-8; Luk 23:1-12; Ps 39; Spr 24:26-28
“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ ”(Zechariah 4:7, NKJV)
When Zerubabbel wanted to rebuild the temple, he laid the foundation, but people came against him and forced him to stop. For ten years, no work could be done. Zachariah, the prophet, came by and told him to do something interesting. He said, “Go get the capstone.” The capstone was the stone that was reserved as the final piece of stone for the building. It was symbolic. It represented the finished product. Why was it important that he keep the capstone in front of him? Because every time he looked at it, it would remind him that God would finish what he started. When Zerubabbel was tempted to get tired and discouraged, he would go look at that capstone. That was God saying to him, “I’m still on the throne. I’m going to do what I promised. Just stay in faith.”
Today, do you have your capstone in front of you? Do you have something that represents the final piece to your dreams? Keep that vision in front of you. Keep focused on where you are headed. Get the capstone and thank God for His faithfulness to complete the work in you.
Father, thank You for the work You are doing in my life. Help me to keep the vision in front of me. Show me where to place my focus. Confirm Your Word with signs following as I stay on the course
What is your definition of true friendship?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Happy is the house that shelters a friend,” and “a friend is a person with whom I may be sincere and before him I may think aloud. The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.”
Walter Winchell defines a friend as “one who walks in when others walk out.”
Someone else has said that a friend is “a man who laughs at your funny stories, even when they aren’t so good, and sympathizes with your misfortunes, even when they aren’t so bad.
Do you have a friend?
Do you know true friendship?
Many would have to answer no. The good news is that you can have a best friend
forever. That friend is Jesus Christ. Get to know Him. You’ll never be disappointed. He’ll always be there with you. He sticks closer than a brother.