Do you realize it’s all about a personal relationship? Do you realize the difference between being in something rather than of something?


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.


Fearful to Fearless:

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.”

Revelation 1:17 (GNT)

Biblical Truth:

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.

John 17:15-16


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.

Prayer Starter:

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


Heavenly Father,
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.

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There is power in the words you use. What is on your mind tends to come out of your mouth.


Words have the power to build up or to tear down. Words have the power to speak life or to speak death. We need to have the ability to control our tongue. What we plant we reap, so plant words that are good for building others up and tearing down strongholds.


21The tongue can bring death or life;those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21

29Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Ephesians 4:29

2We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

Romans 15:2

2Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

James 3:2

11So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

3Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.

Proverbs 13:3

3We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5


Fearful to Fearless

Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.

1 John 4:18 (NCV)

Biblical Truth:

Those who dread God’s punishment are afraid of Him because of their sin. Believers fear God in worshipful ways, giving Him honor and praise for His authority and love for us. This love eliminates any cause for being afraid.


Today’s Devotional: Choose Better Thoughts, Reap a Better Life

(Non-Bold or Indented, Italic words are copy/paste from the devotional by Joyce Meyers or other Bible verses)


21The tongue can bring death or life;those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21


This scripture clearly says that death and life are in the words we speak. It’s so important that we learn to control our mouths, but we need to make sure we do it the right way.

We need to control our words in the right way. Our words come from the overflow of our hearts. We need to control our thoughts too.


45A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

Luke 6:45


I think some people try to control their mouths but do nothing about their thoughts. That’s like pulling off the top of a weed, unless the root is dug up, the weed always comes back. You’ll never control your mouth unless you first learn to control your mind.

The enemy, our self-talk, others around us bring the temptation of wrong thoughts. How do you respond?

We’re constantly tempted to think wrong thoughts, but we don’t have to accept them. We have a choice! We can purposely choose right thinking so that we can then choose right speaking.

Life is full of choices and just like that we have to choose what we will fill our minds with. We have to choose what we will receive and what we will reject. Fill yourself with God’s love and watch fear flee. Fill yourself with God’s Word and watch the lies and negativity flee from your mind and your speech. Grab onto and hold tightly the truth and promises of God and walk encouraged and filled with faith and hope.

You can choose life-generating thoughts by hearing, reading, thinking and talking about God and His Truth. What’s inside you will find its way outside, so when you fill your mind with good, positive, powerful, life-giving things from God, positive, powerful, life-giving words will naturally follow.

Prayer Starter:

Holy Spirit, I want to change my thoughts so that I can speak life-giving words. Help me fill my thoughts with Your Truth so that my words reflect You.


Today’s Reading: Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan 

 


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this day and for Your Word that speaks life and hope into me daily. I praise You Lord for the truth that You are always with me and that there is power in words, especially when I speak out Your Word over my life and the life of those around me. I thank You Lord that You provide me with wisdom and discernment and guide my steps. I may plan my direction, but You direct my steps. Help me Lord today to walk in the peace and joy and hope that come from my relationship with You. Forgive me and help me to forgive others so that I don’t allow any bitter root to stick around. Help me Lord to use words that will build up rather than tear down others. Help me Lord to use words that will tear down strongholds that are keeping people from receiving Your truth and love and that are holding them back or down from their destiny. Lord, I lift my life up to You today and pray that every thought, every word, and every action will come under Your authority so that in everything that I think, every word that I speak, and every action that I take, You will receive the praise, the glory, and the honor, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Life may get you down, but you don’t have to stay down.


Ever been hit by a barrage of little things day after day? Ever felt like you keep getting knocked over or knocked down? Do you keep getting up? What is motivating you to get back up? Where are you keeping your focus so that you not only get back up, but start to move forward or keep moving forward?

In my case, I take time every morning to turn to God’s Word and chew on it, meditate on it, and try to let it fill me up so that I can keep getting up, keep moving forward, and overflow into the lives of those around me. I remember a great sermon that said that a setback is just a setup for a comeback. So don’t give up, get ready. If you even think of the breakthrough of hitting going through the sound barrier and all the turbulence and shaking just before the breakthrough, the turbulence you are feeling in your life could be the enemy trying to stop you just before you have that incredible breakthrough that God has planned for you. Don’t give up. Get back up. Keep pressing forward. Keep your eyes on God for He is bigger than any of your problems. And see the incredible peace and joy when you get to the other side and are experiencing the breakthrough. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Trust in God!


Fearful to Fearless: Fear Not, Just Believe:
Where love abounds there is no fear!

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God has God living inside, and that person lives in God. And so we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love. God is love. Those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. This is how love is made perfect in us: that we can be without fear on the day God judges us, because in this world we are like him.

1 John 4:15-17 (NCV)

Biblical Truth:

God showed His love through Christ whom we declare as our Savior. Through our trust and adoration in Him, love abounds…where love abounds, there is no fear.


Today’s Devotional: Don’t Meditate on the Little Disappointments

(Non-Bold or Indented, Italic words are copy/paste from the devotional by Joyce Meyers or other Bible verses)


15 I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.

Psalms 119:15


Big or small we need to be able to face them all. Big or deep disappointments or emotional hurts. Small or continuous disappointment or let downs. Focus on truth. Focus on hope. Focus on love. Focus on God.

Deep hurt doesn’t just come from huge disappointments, like when we fail to get the job or promotion we really wanted. Deep emotional hurt can come from a series of minor annoyances and frustrations. That’s why we must know how to handle the small, daily disappointments and keep them in perspective.

When you focus on something continually, it’s called meditation. The little frustrations that come up every day are annoying on their own, but when they pile up, it almost seems impossible to meditate on anything else.

When we focus on the problem rather than God, we can get discouraged. Turn back to God and get back up. In this world we will have troubles, but do not fear, for Jesus has overcome the world.

But instead of concentrating on your problems and getting discouraged, focus on God and meditate on His promises for you. Life might get you down, but you don’t have to stay down. God is ready, willing and able to pick you up.

Don’t be a stepping stone under the pressure, but rather use the events, the disappointments, the learning as stepping stones to get you up and over and out of the hole you are feeling like you fell into.

When disappointment weighs on you, you can either let it press you down, or you can use it as a stepping-stone to better things. Choose to face disappointment at its onset by meditating on God’s ways. He has better things for you, and He will help you defeat disappointment.

Prayer Starter:

God, like Psalm 119:15 says, I will meditate on Your Word, not the little disappointments that try to press me down. Life can be discouraging, but Your Word is so encouraging, I know I can overcome the discouragement by looking to You!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord that You allowed me to awake this morning with out a headache or sense of nausea. I praise You Lord for being the God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly
more than I could ever ask or imagine. Lord, You know what is coming my way today and so I thank You and praise You and give it all up to You today and ask for Your wisdom and discernment for every conversation and decision that I need to make. Lord, give me strength to accomplish Your will today and the hope and joy that come from walking in your presence. Lord, fill me to overflowing today with Love I pray. So full that fear has no place but to flee. I thank You Lord for this day, for my family and friends, and for all that You have planned, and may every thought, word, and action bring You praise, honor, and glory I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s Reading: Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

Worries or Big Cares weighing you down?


What’s weighing you down? Worried about something? Big cares about something? This is hope and a way to help, if you are willing to give it up and trust.

I know it’s hard to give it over to God, but He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. I know it can be hard to cast your cares upon someone else and to trust, but God cares for us, He cared for us even before we knew who He is, so much so that He send Jesus to give His all that we may be able to receive and find salvation.


Fearful to Fearless

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)

Biblical Truth:

God takes notice of the good that is in His servants, to their honor and benefit. He cares for us and overlooks our many failings.


Today’s Devotional: Becoming One Means Enjoying Each Other

(Non-Bold or Indented, Italic words are copy/paste from the devotional by Joyce Meyers or other Bible verses)

 


1In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2by observing your pure and reverent lives.

1 Peter 3:1-2


What do  you do to enjoy your spouse? Men, what are you doing to enjoy your wife and to allow her to enjoy you? Women, what are you doing to enjoy your husband and to allow him to enjoy you? God came up with this great plan of marriage —

18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. 21So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. 23“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” 24This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

Genesis 2: 18-24

God knew it wasn’t good for us to be alone. God knew we needed a helper someone who we could enjoy life with. Marriage is something that is to be honored by everyone.

4Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. 5Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Deut 31:6, 8) 6So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”(Ps 118:6) 7Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.

Hebrews 13:4-7

So how are you enjoying the incredible blessing that is marriage with your husband or wife?

You can have such fun in your marriage when you begin to enjoy each other. Do you know that God did not put you together to be miserable? He didn’t put you together to fight, pick on each other or try and change each other.

The Bible says specifically that a woman is to enjoy her husband, but I believe this scripture applies to both sides of a marriage. However, I rarely hear a woman say, “You know what? I really enjoy my husband,” or hear a man say, ‘I’m enjoying my wife.’

Have you noticed anything special about your spouse? My wife is incredible. She is so loving and caring, she is so organized, she is so beautiful and encouraging, she is not only an incredible wife, but an incredible mother who is not just a mom, but a teacher, a shuttle driver, a coach, and a mentor. God has blessed me so much with my wife. I still remember the summer when I was praying that God would find me a good wife and the next school term who did I meet in that first room on the 3rd floor, the girl that I would one day marry. I enjoy going out with her. I enjoy staying home with her. I enjoy travelling with her. I enjoy just being with her. God knew what He was doing when He made this incredible connection. I praise God for my wife who completes me in so many ways. I LOVE HER LOTS, AND LOTS, AND LOTS, AND LOTS, AND ….

But in marriage, God wants us to enjoy each other. He wants you and your spouse to laugh and have fun together. I realize it’s not always easy. Marriage definitely has its challenges, but despite your differences, ask God to show you wonderful things about your spouse. Ask Him to help you see your spouse the way He does, because He loves them and died for them just like He did for you.

Being challenged by this? Then turn to God and cast your cares upon Him. Ask God to give you His perspective of your spouse. Ask God to help you to enjoy each other. Ask God to provide wisdom and insight into the things you can do to make marriage more enjoyable for them. Ask God to give you His eyes to be able to see how He sees, give you His heart to be able to love like He loves and transform your marriage into something that you can both enjoy.

When you have God’s perspective of each other, joy will just naturally fill your heart, and you’ll be able to enjoy your spouse.

Prayer Starter:

God, I want to enjoy my spouse. Even when marriage is difficult, help me to find joy and have fun with them by seeing them the way You do.


Today’s Reading: Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for the Word that comes from You and the hope that comes from trusting in You. Help me Lord today to cast my cares upon You and to not allow the lies of the devil and the worries of the world to cause worry in my heart. Help me Lord to make my marriage enjoyable for my wife as I enjoy getting to spend time and be with her. Lord, I lift up this day to You and look forward to hearing Your Word being preached before continuing the day and getting to spend some time with my family. Lord, may my thoughts, words, and actions today all be in alignment with Your will and bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you have hope? What is your reason for the hope that is in you?


Hope is defined in the dictionary as:

  1. want or expect something: to have a wish to get or do something or for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely
  2. confident desire: a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen
  3. likelihood of success: a chance that something desirable will happen or be possible

Hope is defined in the Bible as:

20Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Romans 8:20-25

1Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1

10This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

1 Timothy 4:10

God’s Word is full of hope and more examples can be found here.


What are you hoping and hopeful for? Where does your hope come from?

I am hopeful for great things for my family and my kids. I am hopeful that in the end I will see God face to face and spend eternity with Him. I am hopeful that God will use me to glorify Him and to share my testimonies with others who will glorify Him and receive Jesus as their Lord and savior so that they can also spend eternity with Him. Jesus is the reason for the hope that is within me. The Word that God has done in and through me has provided me with the confidence in the future that in and through it all, God is using every situation and every circumstance to help me become more like Him. I know from my past experience that God is for me and not against me. I know from my past experiences that God is bigger, greater, stronger than anything I will have to face. I know from my past experiences that God will never leave me nor forsake me. I know from God’s Word that in the end He wins. So my hope and trust are in Him. So I will share my hope and my joy with those God has brought into my life.


4Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful!

Philippians 4:4



Fearful to Fearless

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

1 Peter 3:13-15a (NIV)

Biblical Truth:

Do not be afraid of your enemies. Your enemies are God’s enemies, and they can do nothing to you unless allowed by His permission. Instead sanctify the Lord in your hearts through sincere reverence, trusting his faithfulness, submitting to His wisdom and giving Him glory.


Today’s Devotional: Resist the Devil and Rejoice in the Lord

(Non-Bold or Indented, Italic words are copy/paste from the devotional by Joyce Meyers or other Bible verses)

Where are you today? What is your attitude about where you find yourself? It’s more about your attitude than about your position or situation. Don’t allow others or negative thoughts or attitudes to rob the joy that God desires for you. It is like those cartoons I shared the other day, we need to be selective in regards to what we allow into our minds and hearts and whether we hold onto them or let them go.

Depression is defined in part as “a hollow; being in a low state; a state of sadness; dejection.” The real cause of depression is not where we are, but our attitude about where we find ourselves. That’s why the devil wants to make you feel like you’re worthless and rejected.

But if you don’t let the devil impress you with what he does, then he can’t oppress you; and if he can’t oppress you, then he can’t depress you.

So let’s resist the attacks of the enemy of our souls. Let’s resists the lies being used to try and bring us down and away from the joy we are supposed to experience.

I think one of the best ways to resist the devil and achieve victory over depression is to let the Holy Spirit lead you into a time of rejoicing. The enemy wants you to look at the negative and have a pity party, but the Holy Spirit wants you to look at the positive and just have a party!

Philippians 4:4 says to “rejoice in the Lord always.” When we’re focused on God, rejoicing in Him, depression has no place in us. So the next time the enemy tries to make you feel low or sad, choose to rejoice in the Lord!

No more pity parties. No more negative thinking. Let’s choose hope and rejoice in all that God has planned for our lives. Let’s pick up the call God has put into our lives and step up and step in to all that He has planned since the beginning of time for us to do.

Prayer Starter:

God, You are wonderful and amazing, which is why I can rejoice in You always. Depression has no place in my life because I am filled with You!


Call of Christ – Will You Answer? from worshiphousemedia on GodTube.


Today’s Reading: Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

  • Galatians 4 – Children of God
  • Galatians 5 – Let’s express our faith in LOVE. The Fruit of the Spirit.
  • Galatians 6 – We harvest what we plant. What seeds are you planting? Always do good!
  • Psalms 39 – Life is short… Put your hope in God alone.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within it. I praise You Lord for the wisdom and direction You provide me through Your Word and Your Spirit that are alive and working in my life. Help me Lord to be sensitive to the prompting of the Spirit so that I may walk in Your ways and be able to bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.