Life is about personal relationships, not a superficial one, but a real one where we get to spend time with, listen to, talk to, walk with, walk through, walk around, lift up, support, share, receive, help and be helped. This is true with people as much as it is with God. God isn’t some superpower out there somewhere, He is right here with us and willing to help and encourage us through every day. If we don’t start the relationship we will miss out. If you haven’t started a relationship with Jesus, why not now? why not today? He will show you what true love is all about and how relationships are supposed to be. We need to be a part of some personal relationships – spouses, kids, family, friends,…
Worried about being hurt? Worried about taking that risk? Worried about stepping out? This past weekend as our church is going through a LOVE campaign something that was preached jumped out at me and so I started to seek the full text and found a quote from C.S. Lewis:
To love is to risk. To not love will leave you cold and empty – it will be hell.
Risk it! It’s worth it!
We are to in the world, not of the world. If you go swimming you are in the water, you aren’t of the water. If you go for a walk in the woods, you are in the forest, you aren’t from the forest. When you are in something that is just your position, it isn’t who you are or how your life is lived. We are here to live our lives, however, we are to live them in a way that exemplifies where we are from. When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became new, we were born again of the kingdom of God. So until we are called home, we are to live in the world shining the light of God into the world so that they will know that we are of God.
When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the first and the last.”
God is all powerful, yet speaks to us personally. He reaches out to comfort, encourage and strengthen us.
Today’s Devotional: Be in the World, Not of It!
(Non-Bold or Indented, Italic words are copy/paste from the devotional by Joyce Meyers or other Bible verses)
15I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.16They do not belong to this world any more than I do.
Are you being overloaded? Are you being stretched to the limits? Are you on the edge of collapsing? Are you allowing the stress, the pressure, the discouragement, and negativity to change you, who you really are?
Many people today are living in a perpetual state of overloaded, stretching themselves to the limit. As a result, they’re on the verge of collapse. Even the atmosphere seems to be charged with all kinds of stress, pressure, discouragement and negativity.
Jesus gives us good news and a hope that is greater than our situation and problems. Jesus even confirms upon us that we may in the world, but we aren’t from the world. We don’t have to live with and work in the systems of the world. He has provide us with an alternative.
But the good news is that, as Christians, although we may be in the world, according to John 17, we are not of the world. We don’t have to operate by the world’s system, reacting like the world. Our attitude and approach should be entirely different. The world responds to difficulties by being upset and discouraged, but Jesus said in John 14:27 (AMP) that we should stop allowing ourselves to be agitated, disturbed or upset.
27“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27 (NLT)
So what are you facing right now? Check your attitude before you say anything. Don’t let it agitate you, disturb you, or upset you. God has provided for us a gift – peace of mind and heart. We need to not be troubled or afraid of what we are going to face or experience, but rather trust in God.
This verse indicates that our attitude can be different from the world’s. I’ve noticed that the right attitude and approach can completely turn a situation around. The right attitude opens the door for God to work supernaturally and help you. The right attitude is what allows you to be in the world but not of it, even when you’re surrounded by it.
Remember that Jesus has deprived the world of its power to harm us, and because we are in Christ, we are able to approach the challenges we face in life in a calm, confident manner.
God, You said that even though I am in the world, I don’t have to be of it. I choose Your attitudes and mindsets today. Even in the midst of this world, I choose to respond with Your peace and the mind of Christ.
Today’s Reading: Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for a great set of parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, sister and cousins as I celebrate my birthday today. I praise You Lord for the things You provided me with and for the incredible blessing of today being married to the most incredible woman I could have ever asked for or imagined to be my wife. I thank You Lord for the incredible kids You have blessed us with and the incredible life we are getting to share together as a wife. As I look back at where I have been and consider how far You have taken me, I look to You today as I consider what is ahead of me and ask that You will give me visions and dreams for the next things You have for me. Help me to be a good husband and a good father to my children – if possible, help me to be great in these areas for my wife and kids benefit. Lord, today I celebrate the day that You brought me into this world and started my journey. I thank You Lord for having allowed my life to intersect You and to allow me to start my search and journey to find You. Lord, I am so glad that I was able after so many years to realize that life isn’t about a ritual or routine, but it is about relationships. A relationship with You that is personal and exciting. A relationship with my wife and kids. A relationship with my friends. A relationship with others. Lord, as I get ready to start this day, I lift it up to You for I know that You have prepared in advance the work You have for me and I ask that today Lord in every thought, every word, every action, every meeting, every encounter, that You Lord will be made real for those I will be with so that in and throughout this day You may receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.