Tag Archives: love

Presidential Prayer Team; C.H. – Unlikely Trio

 

“One of these things is not like the others…” This line from a popular song on the Sesame Street television show prompts children to point out the item distinctive from the rest. Perhaps a lawnmower is displayed amid a screen full of fruit. Kids learn how to compare and contrast.

In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness. Psalm 45:4

One look at today’s verse may have you singing that tune. Why? When Christ rides out victoriously for truth and righteousness, meekness may, at first, seem like the lawnmower among the fruit. Many mistakenly assume meek means weak. But Christ was anything but weak. Meekness is humility with self-control. Self-control requires great strength. Christ said, “Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29)

Christians are often quick to stand up for truth and righteousness, but struggle with humility. While they may seem an unlikely trio, truth and righteousness should be given with a gentle and lowly heart. Like the kids watching Sesame Street, you can learn from this passage. Ask God to help you dispense truth with meekness instead of pride. Pray, too, for your nation’s leaders to be filled with a humble spirit and a desire for truth.

Recommended Reading: James 3:13-18

Charles Stanley – God Calls in Various Ways

 

1 Samuel 3:1-21

When you hear the phrase “call of God,” what comes to mind? Many people assume it refers only to God’s call upon the lives of professional ministers. This could not be further from truth. The Lord issues no fewer than four specific calls to every single believer.

First, we are given the call to salvation. This is how God establishes a personal relationship with us. Today’s passage shows the poignant way in which God introduced Himself to young Samuel. He also reveals Himself to each of us in the wonders of nature all around us (Rom. 1:20).

Second, all believers experience the call to sanctification (Lev. 11:44). This is the Father summoning His children to experience godly living. Sanctification can be defined as being set apart—or made holy—for the purposes of God.

Third, every Christian receives the call to service. Scripture clearly reminds us that all believers—not just pastors and full-time missionaries—are called to serve the body of Christ and to spread the good news of salvation; each of us was “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). This means we all have specific and important tasks to accomplish.

Fourth, we all have the call to account- ability. The Bible teaches that each of us will one day stand before our Lord and give an account of our life. This is not something to fear if we are presently seeking to walk in His ways. Rather, it will be a time of great reward and rejoicing.

Make no mistake—our loving Father still speaks to His people. As you read His Word today, ask Him to make His call in your life clear.

Our Daily Bread — Wonderfully Made

 

Psalm 139:13-18

Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. —Psalm 139:14

While getting an eye exam recently, my doctor hauled out a piece of equipment that I hadn’t seen before. I asked him what the device was, and he responded, “I’m using it to take a picture of the inside of the back of your eye.”

I was impressed that someone had invented a camera that could do that. But I was even more impressed by what my doctor could learn from that picture. He said, “We can gather a lot of details about your current general health simply by looking at the back of your eye.”

My doctor’s comment amazed me. It is remarkable that a person’s overall health can be measured by the health of the eye. What care the Lord has taken to place these details in the bodies He has created! It immediately brings to my mind the words of David, the psalmist, who reveled in God’s creativity: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Ps. 139:14).

The enormous complexities of our bodies reflect the genius and wisdom of our great Creator. The wonder of His design is more than breathtaking—it gives us countless reasons to worship Him! —Bill Crowder

Lord, we are in awe of You! Thank You that You

created us with such complexity and care

and that You know us with such intimacy.

We love You and trust You with our lives.

All life is created by God and bears His autograph.

Alistair Begg – Not Far From Home

 

That through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death. Hebrews 2:14

Child of God, death has lost its sting, because the devil’s power over it is destroyed. Stop fearing death! Ask God the Holy Spirit to grant you an intimate knowledge and a firm belief in your Redeemer’s death, so that you may be strengthened for that journey. Living near the cross of Calvary, you may learn to think of death with pleasure and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is blessed to die in the Lord: It is a covenant blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment; it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones are already living. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not.

We are not far from home–a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will its voyage be? How many weary winds must beat upon the sail before it shall be berthed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be buffeted on the waves before it comes to that sea that knows no storm? Listen to the answer: “away from the body and at home with the Lord.”1 The ship has just departed, but it is already at its destination. It simply spread its sail, and it was there. Like that ship of old upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, “Peace, be still,” and immediately it came to land. Do not think that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth, they open in heaven. The chariots of fire are not an instant on the road.

So child of God, what is there for you to fear in death, seeing that through the death of your Lord Jesus its curse and sting are destroyed? And now it is like a Jacob’s ladder with its base in a dark grave, but with its top reaching to everlasting glory.

 

Charles Spurgeon – Final perseverance

 

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 10:26-39

God preserves his children from falling away; but he keeps them by the use of means; and one of these is, the terrors of the law, showing them what would happen if they were to fall away. There is a deep precipice: what is the best way to keep any one from going down there? Why, to tell him that if he did he would inevitably be dashed to pieces. In some old castle there is a deep cellar where there is a vast amount of stale air and gas which would kill anybody who went down. What does the guide say? “If you go down you will never come up alive.” Who thinks of going down? The very fact of the guide telling us what the consequences would be, keeps us from it. Our friend puts away from us a cup of arsenic; he does not want us to drink it, but he says, “If you drink it, it will kill you.” Does he suppose for a moment that we should drink it? No; he tells us the consequence, and he is sure we will not do it. So God says, “My child, if you fall over this precipice you will be dashed to pieces.” What does the child do? He says, “Father, keep me; hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.” It leads the believer to greater dependence on God, to a holy fear and caution, because he knows that if he were to fall away he could not be renewed, and he stands far away from that great gulf, because he knows that if he were to fall into it there would be no salvation for him. It is calculated to excite fear; and this holy fear keeps the Christian from falling.

For meditation: God is the One who keeps us from falling (Jude 24), but he still tells us that we have some responsibility to keep ourselves in his love (Jude 21).

Sermon no. 75

20 April (1856)

John MacArthur – Becoming Pure in Heart

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).

Purifying a heart is the gracious and miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, but there are some things we must do in response to His prompting. First, we must admit we can’t purify our own hearts. Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin?'” The implied answer: no one!

Next, we must put our faith in Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice on the cross is the basis for our cleansing. Acts 15:9 says that God cleanses hearts on the basis of faith. Of course our faith must be placed in the right object. First John 1:7 says, “If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Finally, we must study the Bible and pray. The psalmist said we keep our way pure by keeping it according to God’s Word, which we must treasure in our hearts (Ps. 119:9, 11). As we pray and submit to the Word, the Spirit purifies our lives.

That’s how you acquire and maintain a pure heart. As a result you “shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). That doesn’t mean you’ll see Him with physical eyes, but with spiritual ones. You begin to live in His presence and become increasingly aware of His working in your life. You recognize His power and handiwork in the beauty and intricacy of creation (Ps. 19). You discern His grace and purposes amid trials and learn to praise Him in all things. You sense His ministry through other Christians and see His sovereignty in every event of your life. Life takes on a profound and eternal meaning as you share Christ with unbelievers and see Him transform lives.

There’s no greater joy than knowing you are pure before God and that your life is honoring to Him. May that joy be yours today and may God use you in a powerful way for His glory!

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask the Lord for continued grace to live a pure life so others will see Christ in you.

For Further Study:

Read Isaiah 6:1-8.

Describe Isaiah’s vision of God.

How did Isaiah respond to God’s presence?

 

Joyce Meyer – An Unfolding Relationship

 

The path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared]. —Proverbs 4:18

One of the best things about learning to hear God’s voice is that it is progressive. It is not a skill we master; it is an unfolding relationship we enjoy. As the relationship unfolds, we learn to communicate with Him more often, more deeply, and more effectively; we learn to follow the Holy Spirit more closely; we learn to pray with more confidence; and we learn to hear His voice more clearly.

Have you ever been happy in your relationship with God, feeling it was going well for a while and then, for no apparent reason, you start to feel restless, bored, distracted, or unsatisfied? Have you ever felt a nagging that something just was not right about your fellowship with God, or a stirring to do something differently? Most of the time, when you have such impressions, the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something.

Your inner man (your spirit, the part of you that communes with God) knows when something is not right in your prayer life, because the Holy Spirit lives in your spirit and will let you know when something needs to change in your relationship with God. You just need to be bold enough to follow the Spirit. God knows we are ready for more and is urging us on to a deeper place of communing with Him and hearing His voice. God is always on the move and He wants us to move with Him. Never be afraid to leave one way or method of doing something to press toward something new.

God’s word for you today: Remember, hearing God’s voice is not a skill; it’s a relationship.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Place of Privilege

 

“For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be” (Romans 5:2).

Interesting, is it not, that because of our faith, which is really His faith imparted to us, He has brought us, you and me, to a place of highest privilege.

What are some of the benefits that constitute this highest privilege?

First, we are justified – considered righteous in God’s sight.

Second, we are admitted into His favor and we abide there.

Third, we have the hope and prospect of even higher and richer blessings, in the fullness of His glory, when we are admitted into heaven.

Strange, then, that you and I often chafe at the bit when things become a little rough. At such time as that, I need to remind myself that I do not deserve any better. All the mercies and blessings of God are undeserved – gifts of God’s grace (“God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense,” as the apt acrostic expresses it).

What, really, is the “bottom line” of everything that happens to the believer – to you and me? After confessing that we are receiving our just deserts, we must always go back to the all-inclusive promise: “All things are working together for our good.” They may not feel good, they may not seem good, they may not even be good, but they are accomplishing good in us.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:8-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will meditate on the rare and high privilege that is mine as a child of God and look forward to becoming all that God wants me to be.

Charles Stanley – Hearing When God Calls

 

1 Kings 19:11-13

Do you think of the Lord as a power or a person? Witnessing His mighty power is certainly important if we are to trust God’s ability to achieve His will. But unless we have a personal connection with the heavenly Father, we could lose sight of why He concerns Himself with us at all.

In today’s passage, we find the prophet Elijah struggling with those two aspects of his relationship with the Lord. Just one chapter earlier, he had experienced the triumph of God’s awesome power in a showdown with hundreds of false prophets (18:17-40). Immediately after that, however, Elijah feared for his life and fled. The prophet intellectually knew that the Sovereign of the universe was more than capable of protecting him. But fear for his life had driven a wedge between his understanding of God’s power and his awareness of God’s personal interest and intimacy. The result was that Elijah ran away.

He came to Mount Horeb, where he waited for God to pass by. Then, three powerful forces of nature came upon that spot in quick succession. Yet the prophet knew God was not in those dramatic occurrences. After the wind, earthquake, and fire had passed, Elijah heard a faint, gentle blowing. He recognized immediately that it was God and thereby discovered his Lord in a new and intimate way, right in the midst of that light breeze.

Are you intently listening for the quiet voice of God? Or do often you find yourself distracted by the dramatic forces pulling at you and clamoring for attention? Ask your heavenly Father to subdue the noise so you can learn to detect His soft, life-changing whisper.

Our Daily Bread — Strengthened Through Suffering

 

1 Peter 5:1-11

May the God of all grace, . . . after you have suffered a while, . . . strengthen, and settle you. —1 Peter 5:10

Church services often end with a benediction. A common one is taken from Peter’s concluding remarks in his first epistle: “May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10). Sometimes omitted in the benediction is the phrase “after you have suffered a while.” Why? Perhaps because it is not pleasant to speak of suffering.

It should not surprise us, however, when suffering comes our way. The apostle Paul, who knew well what it was to suffer, wrote: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).

If we live a life of submission to God (1 Peter 5:6) and resisting the devil (v.9), we can expect to be maligned, misunderstood, and even taken advantage of. But the apostle Peter says that there is a purpose for such suffering. It is to “restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast” (v.10 NIV).

God’s path for our Christian growth often leads us through difficulties, but they fortify us to withstand life’s future storms. May God help us to be faithful as we seek to boldly live a life that honors Him. —C. P. Hia

Forbid it, Lord, that I should be

Afraid of persecution’s frown;

For Thou hast promised faithful ones

That they shall wear the victor’s crown. —Bosch

When God would make us strong He schools us through hardships.

Alistair Begg – Torn in Two

 

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Matthew 27:51

No small miracle was performed in the tearing of so strong and thick a curtain; but it was not intended merely as a display of power–many lessons were contained in it.

The old law of ordinances was put away and, like a worn-out garment, torn and set aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because they were fulfilled in Him; and therefore the place of sacrifice, the temple, was marked with a clear sign of this change.

With the curtain torn, all the hidden things of the old dispensation became apparent: The mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleaming above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for He was “not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face.” Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world are displayed in Him.

The annual ceremony of atonement was also abolished. The atoning blood that once every year was sprinkled inside the curtain was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was finished. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered inside the curtain with his own blood.

Therefore access to God is now permitted and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. It is not just a small opening through which we may peer at the mercy-seat, but the tear reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of heavenly grace.

Is it wrong to suggest that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvelous manner by our Lord’s expiring cry was signifying the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion? Our bleeding Lord has the key of heaven; He opens and no man shuts; let us enter in with Him to the heavenly places and sit with Him there until our common enemies shall be made His footstool.

 

Charles Spurgeon – The uses of the law

 

“Wherefore then serveth the law?” Galatians 3:19

Suggested Further Reading: Proverbs 26:12-16

I find that the proudest and most self-righteous people are those who do nothing at all, and have no shadow of pretence for any opinion of their own goodness. The old truth in the book of Job is true now. You know in the beginning of the book of Job it is said, “The oxen were ploughing, and the asses were feeding beside them.” That is generally the way in this world. The oxen are ploughing in the church —we have some who are labouring hard for Christ—and the asses are feeding beside them, on the finest livings and the fattest of the land. These are the people who have so much to say about self-righteousness. What do they do? They do not do enough to earn a living, and yet they think they are going to earn heaven. They sit down and fold their hands, and yet they are so reverently righteous, because they sometimes dole out a little in charity. They do nothing, and yet boast of self-righteousness. And with Christian people it is the same. If God makes you laborious, and keeps you constantly engaged in his service, you are less likely to be proud of your self-righteousness than you are if you do nothing. But at all times there is a natural tendency to it. Therefore, God has written the law, that when we read it we may see our faults; that when we look into it, as into a looking-glass, we may see the impurities in our flesh, and have reason to abhor ourselves in sackcloth and ashes, and still cry to Jesus for mercy. Use the law in this fashion, and in no other.

For meditation: The more we learn, the more we realise how little we know; the more we do, the more we realise how little we do; the holier we become, the more we realise how unholy we are. Being sluggish is most unsuitable for the Christian (Hebrews 6:10-12).

Sermon no. 128

19 April (1857)

John MacArthur – Thinking Biblically

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).

God is concerned about the way you think. That’s why Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). In Philippians 4:8 he instructs us to think about that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and praiseworthy.

When Jesus spoke of a pure heart in Matthew 5:8, He was talking about sanctified thinking. The Greek word translated “heart” is kardia, from which we get the word cardiac. While we often relate heart to the emotions (e.g., “He has a broken heart”), the Bible relates it primarily to the intellect (e.g., “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders”; Matt. 15:19). That’s why you must “watch over your heart with all diligence” (Prov. 4:23).

In a secondary way, however, heart relates to the will and emotions because they are influenced by the intellect. If you are committed to something, it will affect your will, which in turn will affect your emotions.

The Greek word translated “pure” in Matthew 5:8 means “to cleanse.” In the moral sense it speaks of being free from the filth of sin. It also refers to something that is unmixed, unalloyed, or unadulterated. Spiritual integrity and sincere motives are appropriate applications of its meaning to the Christian life.

Jesus was saying the kingdom citizen is blessed because he or she has pure thoughts and pure motives that together produce holy living. Someone might say he’s religious and has pure motives, but if his behavior isn’t righteous, his heart isn’t fixed on God. Similarly, you can go to church, carry a Bible, and recite verses, but if your heart isn’t clean, you haven’t met God’s standard.

You must do the will of God from a pure heart (Eph. 6:6). Toward that end, make David’s prayer yours as well: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Memorize Psalm 19:14 and make it a part of your daily prayers.

For Further Study:

Read the following verses, noting the characteristics of a pure heart: Psalm 9:1, 26:2, 27:8, 28:7, and 57:7.

Joyce Meyer – Avoid Worldly Competition

 

Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another. —Galatians 5:26

According to the world’s system, the best place to be is ahead of everyone else. Popular thinking would say that we should try to get to the top no matter who we have to hurt on the way up. But the Bible teaches us that there is no such thing as real peace until we are delivered from the need to compete with others.

Even in what is supposed to be considered “fun games,” we often see competition get so out of balance that people end up arguing and hating one another rather than simply relaxing and having a good time together. Naturally, human beings don’t play games to lose; everyone is going to do his best. But when a person cannot enjoy a game unless he is winning, he definitely has a problem—possibly a deep-rooted one that is causing other problems in many areas of his life.

We should definitely do our best on the job; there is nothing wrong with wanting to do well and advance in our chosen professions. But I encourage you to remember that promotion for the believer comes from God and not from man. You and I don’t need to play worldly games to get ahead. God will give us favor with Him and with others if we will do things His way (See Proverbs 3:3,4).

What God does for you or for me may not be what He does for someone else, but we must remember what Jesus said to Peter, “Don’t be concerned about what I choose to do with someone else—you follow Me” (see John 21:22).

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Prays for You

 

“Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26, KJV).

Prayer is our mighty force for supernatural living and the most personal, intimate approach to and relationship with God. Through the instrumentality of God’s Holy Spirit, we have access to the Almighty, leading the way to supernatural living.

In some theological circles there is much skepticism and hesitancy about the Holy Spirit. We must not forget, however, that Jesus Himself had much to say about the Holy Spirit.

In John’s gospel, for instance, Jesus explained to the disciples that it was necessary for Him to leave them in order that the Holy Spirit should come to them. “He shall guide you into all truth…He shall praise Me and bring Me great honor by showing you My glory” (John 16:13,14 LB).

Just as the Holy Spirit transformed the lives of the first- century disciples from spiritually impotent, frustrated, fruitless men into courageous witnesses for Christ, He wants to transform our lives in the same way. We need only to surrender ourselves and by faith we will be filled with His power.

It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to the Lord Jesus whom He came to glorify. He makes the difference between failure and success in the Christian life, between fruitlessness and fruitfulness in our witness. Through His filling of our lives with God’s love and forgiveness we are “born again” into the family of God.

And it is the Holy Spirit who not only enables us to pray but who also prays on our behalf, as today’s verse clearly points out.

Bible Reading: Romans 8:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Today I will visualize, with deep joy and gratitude, the Holy Spirit Himself praying for me, beseeching God on my behalf.

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Bit Parts, Great Acts

 

As Joshua prepared to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him a list of promises and admonitions. He’d give them the land He had sworn to Moses, victory over their enemies, success and His presence. They were to not be frightened, dismayed or distracted from obeying God’s law. Three times, He admonished Joshua to be strong and courageous.

Do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

After God promised them so much, could Joshua not be confident? When God does something big on earth, He enlists the help of His people. He gives them a bit part while He does the majority of the work. But He knows His people become frightened if they focus on their own abilities and resources and not on His power, so the Lord was emphatic about Joshua being bold.

Has God asked you do something small in His big plan? Give? Pray? Serve? Encourage? Do not be timid or scared. Focus on the Father and His ability. It may be difficult to comprehend that He accomplishes great things through weak people, but He does. Do whatever the Lord asks, big or small, and expect more great things as you pray for the United States and its leaders.

Recommended Reading: Matthew 25:14-30

Greg Laurie – The Power of Prayer

 

And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

—Genesis 32:26

Never underestimate the power of prayer. When you are praying according to God’s will, your prayer is unstoppable. And how do we know what God’s will is? By careful study of Scripture.

Jesus made this promise: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).

We gravitate immediately toward the latter part of that verse: Ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. We love that, as though God were some sort of genie. But that isn’t the case. We tend to forget about the first part of this verse: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you . . . If we are walking in fellowship with God and studying the Word of God, then we will start praying according to the will of God. And then we will start seeing our prayers answered.

First John 5:14–15 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

Therefore, we should never give up or back down. We need to keep praying. That is why Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). In the original language there is an ascending intensity to the terms. It is like starting off with some politeness. Then you get more aggressive. And then you are not letting go, like Jacob, who wrestled with the Lord and refused to let go until He blessed him.

Don’t give up.

Max Lucado – Resentment

 

Resentment is a prison.  When you’ve put someone in your jail cell of hatred, you are stuck guarding the door.  If you’re out to settle a score, you are never going to rest.  How can you?  For one thing, your enemy may never pay up.

As much as you think you deserve an apology, your debtor may not agree.  The racist may never repent.  The chauvinist may never change. As justified as you are in your quest for vengeance, you may never get a penny’s worth of justice.  And if you do, will it be enough?

You see, resentment is a prison.  Jesus doesn’t question the reality of your wounds.  He just doubts whether resentment is going to heal you.  What are you going to do?  Spend your life guarding the prison jail cell?  Or entrust your wounds to Jesus?

Joyce Meyer – Your Change Begins with You

 

Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. —Isaiah 43:1

If you have made your mind up that you intend to enjoy the best life God has for you, then you must realize that the change you’re waiting for begins in you. You must believe what God’s Word says about you more than you believe what others say or what your feelings or own mind say. Your circumstances aren’t your problem, because they won’t last—but until you change your thinking, no matter what’s going on in your life you’ll still be stuck.

Maybe you have had negative messages fed to you since you were a child. It could have been parents who had troubles themselves and took their frustrations out on you. It could have been a teacher who delighted in belittling you in front of the class. Perhaps your parents excessively compared you to another sibling, giving you the impression that you were flawed. You may have experienced one or more broken relationships and become convinced it was your fault. But, whatever the reason for your self-doubt and negative attitude toward yourself, it has to change if you truly desire to enjoy God’s best in your life.

See yourself as God sees you, not the way the world sees you or even the way you see yourself. Study God’s Word and you will find out that you are precious, created in your mother’s womb by God’s own hand. You are not an accident. Even if your parents told you they never really wanted you, I can assure you that God wants you; otherwise you would not be here on earth. You are valuable, you have worth, you are gifted, you are talented, and you have a purpose on this earth. God says that He has called you by your name and that you are His.

Take a minute to look into your heart. What do you see there? How do you feel about yourself? If your answer does not agree with God’s Word, I want to encourage you to begin today renewing your mind about yourself.

Trust in Him: God says in His Word that you belong to Him, and that you’re uniquely and carefully created by Him. Do you believe it?