What’s on your mind?


There are times when our minds start to spin like crazy causing our guts and our hearts to feel messed up. Tight in your stomach. Heartbeat racing. Thoughts rolling in your head. There is a way and a hope to get us through this. We need to stop and ask God for help.

Fearful to Fearless today provides this insight…

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. – Psalm 94:19 (NASB)

Biblical Truth:

When anxious thoughts swirl in our heads God is able to bring relief to our soul, timely relief that brings a calming peace that worldly comforts cannot.

TGIF by Os Hillman shares through today’s devotional: Embracing the Lean Times

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” – Jeremiah 17:7

Where are you putting your trust? Where are you turning for wisdom, for discernment, for guidance, for help, for relief, for hope, for love, for patience, for forgiveness, for endurance, for perseverance, … Are you at a breaking point? Are you at a point where it is getting too hard for you to do on your own? Are you at a point where you think if God doesn’t do something quick you are going to have to step in and do something yourself?

God’s Word with the story of Abraham and Sarah show us the pitfalls of trying to take things into our own hands. God’s timing is perfect and when we are tempted to try and go it our own way that is the time to call out to God and trust Him even more. His ways are better than our ways. His timing is perfect. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Our way may create bigger problems. Our way may open up doors that should never have been open. Our way may create even a greater pain than what we were trying to escape from. Seek God for wisdom and discernment. Seek God for patience and the ability to press on. Nothing is impossible with God. All things are possible for those who believe.

Os provides the example from Jeremiah as he describes being tested and tempted to try and solve a financial problem on your own. Jeremiah’s text says:

5This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. 6They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. 7“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. 9“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:5-10

We might not see the outcome yet, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t working on it. There are no problems in Heaven, there are plans.

7For we live by believing and not by seeing. – 2 Corinthians 5:7

1Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – Hebrews 11:1

11For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

When we compare God’s ways to our ways, we discover that even within the struggle and the challenge, just as Jeremiah spoke above in chapter 17, God bears fruit despite our circumstances, just as He did for me this past fall with an incredible testimony of provision. God doesn’t want us to shrink back, or shrivel up, He wants us to allow our roots to dig deeper into who He is and how much He loves us. As we trust in God, we can bear fruit regardless of our day to day circumstances. Share God’s love with those around you. Share that hope that is in you. And allow God to bear fruit no matter what circumstances you are facing today.

The tough times allows our roots to go deeper. It provides us with strength for the future. It provides for us a faith that is strong just arid climates produce plants with incredible root systems to allow them to survive the heat and dry seasons. Dig deeper into God’s grace and allow your faith in Him to flourish and produce fruit. Ask God to help you with the water you need to press on and watch how He will work in and through Your life for the glory of His Kingdom.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for Your Word and Your encouragement. I lift up this day and the celebration of Jesus through this Easter season and ask Lord that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the
honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me to be a good example for You Lord and may every thought, word, and action I take bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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

 

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Don’t compare yourself to others. Do what you are supposed to do.


Everyone has a roll and a purpose. Everyone is unique with a divine place. So don’t try to be like someone else. Don’t try to be a clone. You were created with a distinct purpose so go and do it, go and get it, and be the person God has created you to be.


Today’s Devotional by Os Hillman in TGIF ….

Understanding Our Own Calling

…”If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” – John 21:22

What would you answer or what is your answer to the question “do you love me” by Jesus? We see in John 21 that Jesus asks Peter this question 3 times:

15After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. 16Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. 17A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. 18“I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.”19Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

John 21:15-19

We see in this chapter how important God makes it no matter who asks that we need to follow Jesus. We don’t need to be concerned with what the purpose of another‘s is, but rather to focus on what God is calling us to do. Comparing each other is what the devil wants to throw in to divide us and to create jealousy and bitterness. So Let’s focus on what God wants us to do rather than trying to compare ourselves to others. Comparing what others have to what we have… Comparing where others are to where we are… Comparing who others are to who we are… Don’t start that game, but rather focus on your role, your purpose, your calling and watch God incredible things in and through your life.

So are you chasing after your calling for God? Are you focused on what He is asking you to do? OR… Are you comparing yourself to others? Are you finding yourself dissatisfied with where you are at in your life right now? Os concludes this devotional today with the following thought, consider where you are in relation to it:

“Are you tempted to compare yourself with where others are in their life? Are you dissatisfied with where God has you right now? “

He closes his devotional with this scripture as a point of encouragement and reminder of the incredible life and truth found through God’s Word:

Be of good cheer-”[be] confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” – Phil. 1:6


Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. – Psalm 91:5-6 (NLT)

Biblical Truth:

When terror strikes, it is enough to frighten us night and day, but by God’s grace we have His promise of security to save us from its grip.


Heavenly Father,
Help me today I
ask to be patient and wise. Grant me wisdom as I step into this new day and help me to walk in this wisdom and live my life to glorify You. Help me Lord to share Your glory with those who are feeling down. Help me Lord to share the hope that is in me because of what You have done in and through me. Help me Lord to share the hope that is in me because I asked Jesus into my heart. Lord as we step into the incredible weekend and miracle of Easter, I praise You Lord and pray that many will come to know You, Your love, Your plan, Your purpose in their lives. Grant me eyes to see and ears to hear so that You may grant me words to speak into the very situation being discussed. Lord, it’s not about me, but it is all about You. There is nobody Lord that can do what You have done or what You will do in and through the lives of people. I lift up this day to You Lord and ask that You will help me to have thoughts, words, and actions that will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY!!

Do you realize the difference between ownership & stewardship?


Ownership:

  1. right of possession: the legal right of possessing something
  2. fact or state of owning something: the fact or condition of being an owner of something

Synonyms: possession, rights, tenure, proprietorship, title

Stewardship:

  1. plane or ship attendant: somebody who attends to passengers on an aircraft or ship, or manages provisions and dining aboard a ship
  2. property manager: somebody who manages somebody else’s property, finances, or household
  3. hotel or club manager: somebody who manages arrangements concerning meals or lodging at a hotel, club, college, or other establishment

Synonyms: bailiff, agent, factor, estate manager, overseer, land agent

(definitions provided by Bing.com)


The Bible teaches us that

1The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. – Psalms 24:1

so we own nothing. God provides for each of us and put the stewardship or responsibility for taking care of it in our hands. As we read in Luke 16that speaks of a shrewd manager and in 1 Corinthians we read:

2Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. – 2 Corinthians 4:2

Matthew 25 tells of the good and faithful servant in the parable of the 3 servants where two of the servants put what they were given to work and heard from their master:

21“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! – Matthew 25:21

and

23“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ – Matthew 25:23

and to the one who didn’t heard:

26“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,27why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ – Matthew 25:26-27

God’s Word teach us that if we will be faithful with what God has given us that we will be reward. Matthew 25 completes the parable with this message for us to receive and put ourselves to the challenge.

29To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. – Matthew 25:29

We see this theme today in TGIF by Os Hillman

Resolving the Ownership Issue

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” – Psalm 24:1-2

We learn in today’s devotional about some of the challenges of being a workplace believer, especially when it comes to remembering that everything is God’s and everything we receive comes from Him.

“…because, if we work hard at business, we receive all the benefits of that work. It appears as though all that we have achieved was through our hand. Yet God says that it is by His hand that we are able to make wealth (see Deut. 8). He is the source of that ability. As soon as we become owners and not managers, we fall into trouble with God. ” – Os Hillman

Success can be something very challenging to be able to handle. As we read into today’s devotional Joseph is special and even though he was only 30 years old, he was able to be a steward of all the resources of Egypt by the grace of God. We read in the Bible many stories where people were able to start good but then with success, fame, fortune, we see them fall. We need to make sure that we are living a life that glorifies God from beginning till the end, if we have a little or we have a lot. Don’t make it all about you. Don’t allow pride to derail you and ruin your future. God’s Word tells us that:

18Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

Another great quote by Os on this subject is:

“Not every man can carry a full cup. Sudden elevation frequently leads to pride and a fall. The most exacting test of all to survive is prosperity” – Oswald Chambers

Consider what you have. Consider what you will do with it. Bring it all to God and allow Him to be the owner of it all. And watch what He can and will do with it all.

Consider giving your talents, your efforts, your relationships, your life, your family all up God as an incredible offering with praise and thanksgiving. We know God has it all so it isn’t out of His need we should be giving and living, but it is out of our love and praise for Him.

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? – Psalm 90:11 (ESV)

Biblical Truth:

Your power is so great! We cannot even comprehend it! Let our worship be an acceptable offering to You Lord, even though you deserve so much more.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for the incredible love and faithfulness that You provide me. I praise You Lord for preparing in advance the work I am to do so that I am able to follow after You while having the confidence that You have my back and are walking every step of the way beside me. Lord, I praise You for the relationships in my life, with You, with my wife, with my kids, with my extended family, , with my pastors and brothers and sisters in Christ, with my friends and co-worker, and every other relationship that will and is planned to enter into my life. Lord, thank You for giving me eyes to see things that were hidden before. Thank You for being my eyes, my ears, my courage, my strength, my
hope, my Lord, and my God. My life hasn’t been the same since I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. You multiply my time and bless me with a life that is full of love. Thank You for such incredible relationships and for a loving home with my wife and kids. Lord, as I prepare for this day, may every thought, every word, and every action bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s Reading…

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

Do you realize the great things that come through tough times?


As I reflect on tough times in my life, I think back about how God used them and the incredible things that came out of it. Going through them I can remember wanting God to take it away, make it go away, make it stop, make it end. On the other side and when I see how my findings or my experiences can be used to glorify God and to encourage others to not give up, I realize that if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t give it up for it taught me such great and deep truths and provided in me a testimony that can point others to God’s goodness and share that there is hope and there is a way and that they don’t have to be stuck in a downward spiral, but there is a way back up and it starts by looking up to God and asking Him for help. When I think about the betrayal and the lies, the mistreatment and the misdirection, I can understand why it upset me and was making me bitter. When I think about the truths revealed to me and spoken to me it was life changing. Forgiveness… It produced a healing in my body, mind, and spirit causing the heavy weight to melt off my shoulders and the acid in my stomach from the bitterness eating me away from the inside out to stop. It opened my eyes to problem I was creating in me physically, but also spiritually since I wasn’t supposed to be holding a grudge, but as God has forgiven me, I am to forgive others. I remember apologizing and asking God to forgive me for having held on for so long. He transformed my life after that moment and He produce a testimony that I have shared many times with friends and colleagues who are troubled and are allowing bitterness to start and take over and mess up their lives. The tough times or the dark times aren’t all bad, they aren’t comfortable and the reality is that God is more interested in our CHARACTER than He is with our comfort. When we get comfortable we can fall into a trap where we are no longer useful or helpful or moving forward. It could even cause us to be sitting on a beach when the battle for the souls of those around us are all under attack.

So don’t give up! Don’t give in! Ask God for Wisdom! Press forward to receive all that God has in store for you!


TGIF… by Os Hillman shares the topic on times of darkness. Click the link below to read the full posting.

Treasures in Darkness

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” – Isaiah 45:3

Periods of darkness…

  • They have a particular purpose from God’s point of view
  • They help us to come back to the truth and the fact that God is Lord
  • They help us to realize that He is calling us by name
  • They produce faith and testimonies about God’s faithfulness
  • They reveal how personal He wants to be with each of us
  • They reveal how faithful and trustworthy He is

Os closes his devotional with this thought/statement…

“Has God brought you into a place of darkness? Trust Him today to reveal that hidden treasure that can be found in this darkness. Let Him summon you by name. ” – Os Hillman


Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

A God greatly feared and revered in the council of the holy (angelic) ones, and to be feared and worshipfully revered above all those who are round about Him? – Psalm 89:7 (AMP)

Biblical Truth:

Even the angels in heaven fear and worship the Lord, they praise His mighty name. Let us be filled with a holy awe and give Him the honor that only He is worthy of.


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 lift You up Lord for all that You have done and allowed me to be a part of. I thank You for the Good Friday rehearsal time last night and I look forward to an incredible Good Friday service this week. I thank You Lord for Easter and the celebration and victory of Jesus who is alive. Lord, as I look to my time today help me to get the right things done that are a priority for You and to allow me to walk with the courage and hope and
love and truth because You go before me and You watch my back and You walk with me every step of the way. Help me today I pray with wisdom and discernment so that every thought I think, every word I speak, and every action I take, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you have conviction about life?


What do you have conviction about?
Your marriage? Your kids? Your family? Your friends? Your work?
Your relationships? Your faith?
Your service? Your volunteer time? Your community?
Your sports? Your pleasures?…

We are all living a life with conviction for something. Consider where you are spending your time, your resources, your energy and it will give you a pretty good idea of what your convictions are.

Today in TGIF by Os Hillman, Os speaks to us about Living a Life of Conviction.

“For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5a

Reading it raise the challenge to consider where I am spending my time and energy and resources. I am spending it investing for the future or I am spending it on things that will fade away? When I think to my post a few days about about First Things First, it spoke to my priorities. When I consider 2000 when my life was filled with changes including getting the blessings of both sets of parents about my decision and then buying a house that wasn’t where we thought we would live (but was better than where we had considered) and how it ended up being so close to the church we attended that first Christmas and how God orchestrated it all that we would be transformed. He had been prompting me and calling me, but it wasn’t until 2000 when it call came together and my eyes were opened, my mind was cleared and the relationship with Jesus became real. It isn’t about rituals and routines, it was about a relationship. Spending time with God during my morning devotionals. Speaking to Him throughout my day. Serving Him with my time in the tech area or drama areas as the case would be. Learning about true cleansing with seminars like Cleansing Stream. Making and spending time with my wife and kids because they are gifts from God. So filling up my wife so she knows how important she is to me and how blessed I am because of her is so important. So filling up my kids so that they know how important they are to me and how big of a blessing they each are to me. Conviction is a very big word with very strong ties. Providing for and being a part of the lives of my wife, kids, and friends is an important piece of who I am and my convictions. God’s hand in my life has helped me to learn, to see, and to hear what is important and where my focus and time should be spent. Being able to walk through my day talking with God and hearing the still quiet voice prompt me when I have questions or concerns is so powerful. Being able to hear and obey isn’t always easy as life tries to bury it all with busy and other noise and distractions. So let’s look to see where we have convictions and consider if they are in the right areas.

Os’ concluding thoughts are worth restating/including here (visit http://www.marketplaceleaders.org/tgif regularly to hear and learn more daily):

“In order to impact the workplace for Jesus Christ, each of us must be reflecting a faith that is demonstrated through deeply held convictions. Are you living a life of deep conviction that spurs you on to reflect the power of Christ in your life and the lives of others? Paul was willing to suffer great persecution for his faith in a living God. God calls each of us to a life that is supernatural, not simply a good, moral life. The early Church understood the role the Holy Spirit played in demonstrating this power of the gospel. It was this deep work that resulted in living the gospel with great conviction. If you are not living the gospel with great conviction, ask the Holy Spirit to so fill your life today that the power of His Spirit is truly reflected in your life so that you may impact others in your workplace.” – Os Hillman

So let’s look to live in the supernatural. Let’s share with others not only the goodness of God but the hope and the power that comes from living a life of conviction because of who He is and all that Jesus has done for us, in us, and through us. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear or doubt, …

7For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7 

Let’s grab onto this truth and live a life with conviction about who we are but more importantly who God is to us so that others may come to know  the hope that is within us.


Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. – Psalm 85:9 (NKJV)

Biblical Truth:

Glory dwells with those who worship the Lord, those who have salvation in Christ. He is with us!


Today’s Reading from God’s Word:

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


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord that You speak through Your Word. I thank You Lord that You speak through Your Spirit. I thank You Lord You speak through family and friends. I thank You Lord that You speak through people. I thank You Lord that You speak through nature. Lord, You are so amazing and I praise You today for who You are and all that You have done in and through my life. Grant me
wisdom for this day so that with everything I do You will be glorified. Grant me strength today to complete the work You have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. Lord, I lift up my family, my friends, and those I am going to meet so that they may come to know You more and that their lives will be touched and impacted and transformed for the glory of Your Kingdom. Help me Lord to share Your glory with others today and to lift You up in all I say and do. Lord, You know what is coming even before I get there. I know Lord that You have my back. And I thank You so much for walking with me through it all. Help me today Lord so that every thought, every word, and every action will bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.