Category Archives: Purpose

Watcha gonna do?


Do you have a plan? Do you have a goal? Do you have a purpose?

Whatcha gonna do?

Finish high school? Learn a trade? Get a college degree? Go to university?

Have you gotten a call? Has God put something into your heart that you are now going to pursue?

Everyone doesn’t find value in the same things. Some find value in what can be acquired or how much money can they make. Some find value in how they can help others and serve in their communities or around the world.

Do you have priorities? Do you realize the impact on the rest of your life because of them?

Think you don’t have priorities? Think again! Where are you spending your time? What do you spend your money on? Seems that is where your priorities are!

Why not seek first God’s kingdom and God’s ways? And then let God help you take care of the other needs of your life?

Achievements people value vary too! Are you looking to achieve something that can be lost, stolen, or destroyed? Are you looking to achieve something that can never be lost, stolen, or destroyed but rather will last forever? Longevity! Eternity! Focus! Calling! Purpose! Plan!

Where are you at today? Do you view each day as starting with “Happy” and ending with “day” and so whatever ends up in the middle makes it today?

Whose promises will you pursue? Where are you going to build your life on? The world’s? God’s?

The world’s which as you can tell from everyday life sways like the waves in the sea based on popular opinion? God’s which never changes and is like the solid rock that can’t be moved!

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

–from Matthew 7

Whatcha gonna do? Jesus is calling out to you! The devil is speaking lies to you!

What will you value? How will you show value? Whatcha gonna do?

Have you been called to serve in the workplace? Have you been called to serve in the church, in missions, on the field? There is ministry to be had everywhere! They are all important! They are all through one body! They are all for the body of Jesus working together that the world will come to learn the truths and the hope and the love and the purpose of God!

So what goal are you pursuing? What call are you answering? Beyond the job, the career, the title, what is the goal you are pursuing?

Whatcha gonna do? Don’t waste your time and efforts! Don’t waste your life without purpose, meaning, and goals! Don’t waste your life pursuing the wrong goals that will fade and disappear but rather pursue goals that will have purpose and last for all of eternity!

Whatcha gonna do? Why not choose with that free will you have to pursue something meaningful! Why not choose to have meaning, purpose, and goals that will make a difference not only to you but also to your family, friends, and community?

Life is so much more than stuff! So much more than property and possessions! So…

Property and possessions shouldn’t be your goal or purpose, they would be the byproducts of your obedience and purpose of pursuing God and His kingdom and His righteousness! Remember how we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[e] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

–from Matthew 6

Whatcha gonna do? … Why?


 Find Your Purpose in Life

Day 244: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Pursue righteousness and love … Proverbs 21:17-26
  2. Aim to please God … 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
  3. Rise to Micah’s challenge … Micah 5:1-7:20
    • It is possible to have a wasted soul. God warns, through Micah, against:

      ‘Obscene wealth…

      piled up by cheating and fraud…

      shady deals and shifty scheming…

      No matter how much you get, it will never be enough –

      hollow stomachs, empty hearts.

      No matter how hard you work, you’ll have nothing to show for it –

      bankrupt lives, wasted souls’ (6:10–14, MSG).

      At times, the prophet Micah looks forward (for example, see 7:7–20). At one point he unknowingly prophesies about Jesus (Matthew 2:5–12). He sees a ruler coming from Bethlehem, ‘Whose origins are from of old, from ancient times… And he will be their peace’ (Micah 5:2,5a). He will be known as ‘Peacemaker of the world!’ (v.4b, MSG).

      At other times, the prophet Micah looks back. He looks at all that God has done for his people (see 6:3 onwards). He redeemed them. He led them (v.4). He urged them to ‘remember’ (v.5).

      God is a God of astonishing love and mercy: ‘Mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most. And compassion is on its way to us. You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing. You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean’ (7:18–19, MSG).

      Through Jesus your past is totally forgiven. Don’t keep looking back with regret. God has ‘hurled all [your] iniquities into the depths of the sea’ (v.19) and there is ‘no fishing’ allowed.

      What will our response be to this amazing grace? Micah presents this challenge: ‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’ (6:8c). This threefold challenge gives us the purpose and goal of our lives.

      Act justly

      Justice is very high up on God’s agenda. Injustice causes so much of the world’s suffering today. I have to make this a higher priority in my own life and in our community. We must do more to see that the poor, the marginalised and the voiceless receive justice.

      Love mercy

      God has shown us such mercy. Our response should be to show mercy to others. As Joyce Meyer puts it, ‘People do not need to be pressured to perform perfectly; they need to be loved and accepted.’ We need to bring the message of the gospel of God’s love and mercy to as many as possible, including the prisoners, the homeless, the elderly and the poor.

      Walk humbly with God

      Never see yourself as better, above, or more important than other people. A proud person overestimates their own importance. They cannot laugh at themselves. ‘Don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously’ (v.8c, MSG). We cannot do any of this unless we are walking in a relationship with the Lord.

       

      These three go together. True faith is evidenced by how you live. This is why Paul writes that ‘the things done while in the body’ (2 Corinthians 5:10) really matter. You will be judged by them. They are the evidence of your faith.

      –from Day 244: Bible In One Year 2017


Today’s Bible Reading…

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Benefit Enrollment time?


What things go through your mind each time you need to go through the benefit enrollment process? What things do you realize have been impacted by the decisions of men? What things do you realize when you consider the impact of your decision on yourself and your family? What’s most important area to you? What’s just going with the flow? What’s key to your decision? What requires thought or research? How do you know if they are good or not? Do you compare them with the old way? Do you consider how they will continue to impact the future? Do you realize it impacts the providers as much as the consumers? Do you realize that decisions outside of either of your controls has gotten you to where you are today? So what are you going to do?

Have you considered the benefits of having faith in God? Have you considered the benefits of having a relationship with Jesus? Have you considered the benefit of being able to pray anywhere, anytime, and for any need since God is with you? Have you reaped the benefits of your faith? Have you reaped the benefits of your prayers for yourself and for others? Do you realize there are benefits? Have you signed up for them by receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Do you keep track of your prayers as well as you track your benefits program? Do you keep track of your answered prayers as well as you track the benefits you have used or received? Do you track the little prayers and the big prayers? What is the bar for when you will track them? Have you reviewed that log to realize and build up your faith? I know I have testimonies of God working in my life. I haven’t necessarily logged every prayer but with today’s reading and devotional, I am considering trying to capture every ask and every answer rather than just the big ones to be able to see how many times I pray and how God is faithful and just to answer them. Some may be a Yes, some a No, and others may be to wait, but God always answers. This morning’s reading is challenging me on this. Why would I track things that won’t last for eternity but then not capture the things that build up my faith and can be testimonies to myself, my family, my friends, and others for all of eternity.

Don’t forget the blessings of God! Don’t forget the benefits!

Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits –from Psalm 103:2

It is so easy to do when you consider how busy life can feel, so what will be the best way to capture and remember them all?

Have you considered? Have you studied? Have you read the manual (the Bible)? So that you can understand all of God’s benefits? Have you meditated on the fact that during benefit enrollment it’s not all about what you get but what you may get and how much it will cost you? Do you realize that God’s benefits are priceless? Do you realize that Jesus paid the price? Will you receive it? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you start that personal and intimate relationship with Him? Will you grab hold and live life to the full? Will you take hold of His plan for your life that provides you with a hope and a future?

How will you start your today? …


God’s Benefit Package

Day 238: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Remember and thank God for all his benefits … Psalm 103:1-12
    • David had clearly faced many troubles in his life: sin, disease and ‘the pit’ (vv.3–4). Yet he, like the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 1:3), begins with praise for some of God’s benefits.

      Forgiveness

      God forgives all your sins (Psalm 103:3): ‘he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities’ (v.10); ‘as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us’ (v.12).

      Healing

      God ‘heals all your diseases’. One day we will be completely healed. We see signs of this now, when God heals us directly and supernaturally. In addition, God has put in our bodies the immune system, antibodies and the mending process.

      Redemption

      God ‘redeems your life from the pit’ (v.4a). There is no pit so deep that God’s redemption cannot reach.

      Love

      He ‘crowns you with love and compassion’ (v.4b): ‘for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him’ (v.11).

      Satisfaction

      He ‘satisfies your desires with good things’ (v.5a).

      –from Day 238: Bible In One Year 2017

  2. See his benefits even in the midst of suffering … 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
    • He starts the letter with praise – not for the problems but for the positive benefits that have come through them. What are these benefits? How can you and I see the benefits in every difficulty?

      You will be comforted

      ‘The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles’ (vv.3–4). The word for comfort means to encourage, cheer and come alongside. God is the ‘Father of compassion’ (v.3). He is not aloof from suffering. He comes alongside us and suffers with us. His Holy Spirit is ‘the Comforter’ (John 14:26, AMP).

      You will be a help to others

      If you are in a time of suffering right now it may not seem much comfort – but one day you will bring great comfort to other people: ‘He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us’ (2 Corinthians 1:4, MSG). Those who have faced difficulty in life make the most effective ministers.

      You will be changed

      Hardship ‘produces in you patient endurance’ (v.6). Like gold refined by fire or a vine pruned to produce more fruit, difficulties lead to patience, endurance, steadfastness and perseverance. They lead to character transformation.

      You will not be alone

      Paul writes, ‘Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort’ (v.7). The word he uses for ‘share’ comes from the Greek word koinonia, which is the word used to describe the closest possible relationship. In times of difficulty we should experience an extraordinary closeness of relationship as we comfort and encourage one another, ‘Your hard times are also our hard times’ (v.7, MSG).

      You will learn to trust God

      When things go well it is easy to become self-reliant. But when everything goes wrong and we reach the end of our tether, we are forced to trust God. As Paul puts it, ‘Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally’ (v.9, MSG).

      You will be rescued

      Paul writes, ‘He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us’ (v.10). As we look back and see that God has delivered us in the past, we can be confident he will deliver us in the future.

      Your prayers will help others

      Prayer is powerful. God really does answer prayer. One of the best ways we can help other people is by praying for them: ‘As you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many’ (v.11). When your prayers are answered, God will be glorified.

      –from Day 238: Bible In One Year 2017
       

  3. Don’t let his benefits make you proud … 2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27

Today’s Bible reading for day 238:

  • Devotional
  • Psalms 103:1-12
    • 1Let all that I am praise the Lord;
      with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
      2Let all that I am praise the Lord;
      may I never forget the good things he does for me.
      3He forgives all my sins
      and heals all my diseases.
      4He redeems me from death
      and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
      5He fills my life with good things.
      My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

      6The Lord gives righteousness
      and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

      7He revealed his character to Moses
      and his deeds to the people of Israel.
      8The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
      slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
      9He will not constantly accuse us,
      nor remain angry forever.
      10He does not punish us for all our sins;
      he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
      11For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
      is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
      12He has removed our sins as far from us
      as the east is from the west.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
    • 1This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
      I am writing to God’s church in Corinth and to all of his holy people throughout Greece.
      2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

      God Offers Comfort to All

      3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
      8We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
  • 2 Chronicles 26
    • Uzziah Rules in Judah

      1All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father. 2After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath and restored it to Judah.
      3Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. 4He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. 5Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.
      6Uzziah declared war on the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. Then he built new towns in the Ashdod area and in other parts of Philistia. 7God helped him in his wars against the Philistines, his battles with the Arabs of Gur, 8The Meunites paid annual tribute to him, and his fame spread even to Egypt, for he had become very powerful.
      9Uzziah built fortified towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the angle in the wall. 10He also constructed forts in the wilderness and dug many water cisterns, because he kept great herds of livestock in the foothills of Judah and on the plains. He was also a man who loved the soil. He had many workers who cared for his farms and vineyards, both on the hillsides and in the fertile valleys.
      11Uzziah had an army of well-trained warriors, ready to march into battle, unit by unit. This army had been mustered and organized by Jeiel, the secretary of the army, and his assistant, Maaseiah. They were under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officials. 12These regiments of mighty warriors were commanded by 2,600 clan leaders. 13The army consisted of 307,500 men, all elite troops. They were prepared to assist the king against any enemy.
      14Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and sling stones. 15And he built structures on the walls of Jerusalem, designed by experts to protect those who shot arrows and hurled large stones from the towers and the corners of the wall. His fame spread far and wide, for the Lord gave him marvelous help, and he became very powerful.

      Uzziah’s Sin and Punishment

      16But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar. 17Azariah the high priest went in after him with eighty other priests of the Lord, all brave men. 18They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is the work of the priests alone, the descendants of Aaron who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!”
      19Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead. 20When Azariah the high priest and all the other priests saw the leprosy, they rushed him out. And the king himself was eager to get out because the Lord had struck him. 21So King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house, for he was excluded from the Temple of the Lord. His son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land.
      22The rest of the events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors; his grave was in a nearby burial field belonging to the kings, for the people said, “He had leprosy.” And his son Jotham became the next king.
  • 2 Chronicles 27
    • Jotham Rules in Judah

      1Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
      2Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done, except that Jotham did not sin by entering the Temple of the Lord. But the people continued in their corrupt ways.
      3Jotham rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord. He also did extensive rebuilding on the wall at the hill of Ophel. 4He built towns in the hill country of Judah and constructed fortresses and towers in the wooded areas. 5Jotham went to war against the Ammonites and conquered them. Over the next three years he received from them an annual tribute of 7,500 pounds of silver, 50,000 bushels of wheat, and 50,000 bushels of barley.
      6King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.
      7The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and other activities, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. 8He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. 9When Jotham died, he was buried in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.
  • 2 Chronicles 28
    • Ahaz Rules in Judah

      1Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, as his ancestor David had done. 2Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel. He cast metal images for the worship of Baal. 3He offered sacrifices in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, even sacrificing his own sons in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 4He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree.
      5Because of all this, the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army. 6In a single day Pekah son of Remaliah, Israel’s king, killed 120,000 of Judah’s troops, all of them experienced warriors, because they had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 7Then Zicri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son; Azrikam, the king’s palace commander; and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command. 8The armies of Israel captured 200,000 women and children from Judah and seized tremendous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria.
      9But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there in Samaria when the army of Israel returned home. He went out to meet them and said, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. 10And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God? 11Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord’s fierce anger has been turned against you!”
      12Then some of the leaders of Israel—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—agreed with this and confronted the men returning from battle. 13“You must not bring the prisoners here!” they declared. “We cannot afford to add to our sins and guilt. Our guilt is already great, and the Lord’s fierce anger is already turned against Israel.”
      14So the warriors released the prisoners and handed over the plunder in the sight of the leaders and all the people. 15Then the four men just mentioned by name came forward and distributed clothes from the plunder to the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothing and sandals to wear, gave them enough food and drink, and dressed their wounds with olive oil. They put those who were weak on donkeys and took all the prisoners back to their own people in Jericho, the city of palms. Then they returned to Samaria.

      Ahaz Closes the Temple

      16At that time King Ahaz of Judah asked the king of Assyria for help. 17The armies of Edom had again invaded Judah and taken captives. 18And the Philistines had raided towns located in the foothills of Judah and in the Negev of Judah. They had already captured and occupied Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages. 19The Lord was humbling Judah because of King Ahaz of Judah, for he had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord.
      20So when King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria arrived, he attacked Ahaz instead of helping him. 21Ahaz took valuable items from the Lord’s Temple, the royal palace, and from the homes of his officials and gave them to the king of Assyria as tribute. But this did not help him.
      22Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord23He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah.
      24The king took the various articles from the Temple of God and broke them into pieces. He shut the doors of the Lord’s Temple so that no one could worship there, and he set up altars to pagan gods in every corner of Jerusalem. 25He made pagan shrines in all the towns of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods. In this way, he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of his ancestors.
      26The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign and everything he did, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27When Ahaz died, he was buried in Jerusalem but not in the royal cemetery of the kings of Judah. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.

 

We were created to be more than survivors but rather be thrivers through Jesus!


Ever asked someone “How are you doing?” Ever been asked by someone “How are you doing?” Ever been given or answered “surviving”? Do you remember what was going on in your life? Did you ask them why or what’s going on? Today’s devotional starts with an interesting thought and so will put it here before I continue…

Some people see life today as the Three Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth put it, ‘Double, double toil and trouble.’ My own perspective on life changed when a friend wisely pointed out to me that, in a sense, this life is a series of problem-solving exercises. We will never be without problems in this life. If, in the midst of all the challenges, you cannot learn to thrive in the situation in which you find yourself, you will never find contentment.

–from Day 224: Bible in One Year 2017

“In this world we will have troubles”, Jesus told us but that wasn’t where he ended, He ended with “but take heart because I have overcome the world.” He is sharing this with us so that in every situation we can have hope and not be held down or held back but be over comers in and through Him!It is in and through this power of Jesus that we can “consider it pure joy” whenever we “face trials of many kinds” because we “know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance” and that when we “let perseverance finish its work” we can “be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”The devotional continues with this wisdom from Solomon as it closes before getting into today’s Bible reading…

The writer of Ecclesiastes says, ‘We should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now’ (Ecclesiastes 5:19, MSG). Learn to enjoy life in the present. If you do not, life will pass you by and you will never enjoy where you are right now.

–from Day 224: Bible in One Year 2017

So let’s be more than survivors! Let’s be conquerors! Let’s thrive in the midst of the trials and troubles so that in and through it all, God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.As we know from Romans 8…

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

–from Romans 8


Don’t Just Survive, Thrive

Day 224: Bible in One Year 2017

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/224

  1. Trust, respect and honour God … Proverbs 19:23-20:4

  1. Be totally devoted to the Lord … 1 Corinthians 7:17-35
  2. Enjoy the blessings of work and relationships … Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12


Today’s devotional jumped into each of these items as does today’s reading from God’s Word…

Day 224 of 365 • This day’s reading


Are you putting the right thing(s) as the top priority?


I learned many years ago the impact of having my life running on the right priorities can have a negative impact. In my case it ended up being that my diabetes went out of whack. I was putting work and money too high on the priority list. Both are important in taking care of the other priorities but they weren’t in the right place for health and happiness. When I America to the realization of what was going on after the doctor’s appointment, I had a revelation with the question “What’s most important to you and is that how you are living?”

Obviously the answer was no but I need to go through the process. I wrote out in priority order what I thought they were and it looked like this:

  1. God
  2. Wife/Marriage
  3. My Child(ren) … only had one at that time, and three now

      The other things are necessary to list, but it showed me anything else would be at best in 4th place. And obviously the way I had been living and where my time was being spent didn’t align to this list. So I had to make some changes and have a change of mind. I had to step down in some areas and step up in others.

      It was the best decision and action of my life! I put first things first!

      We need to get past the superficial! We need to live up to God’s calling on our lives to become more like Jesus, to live set apart and Holy Spirit filled, to allow God to work in and through us as we have been transformed by an encounter with Jesus, and sharing the Good News to the world round us. So let’s our our hope and faith and trust in Jesus and press forward today.


      Three Levels of Greatness

      Day 221: Bible in One Year 2017

      https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/221

      1. Holy God … Psalm 93:1-5

      1. Holy church … 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
      2. Holy temple … 1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30


      •   <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/1/PSA.93">Psalms 93</a>
      
      •   <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/1/1CO.5">1 Corinthians 5</a>
      
      •   <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/1/1CH.28">1 Chronicles 28</a>
      
      •   <a href="https://www.bible.com/bible/1/1CH.29">1 Chronicles 29</a>
      

      Do you have purpose?


      What drives you? What makes you tick? What gives you purpose? What is your purpose? Do you realize you were created on purpose? Do you realize you were created for a purpose? Have you ever read the purpose driven life? Have you ever visited their website? Ever considered why you are alive? Ever asked does your life matter? Ever questioned what on earth am I here for? These questions get covered in Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life. You aren’t an accident!

      Consider the following verses:

      Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.

      –from Proverbs 11:28 (NLT)

      and

      7“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
      And whose trust is the LORD.

      8“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
      That extends its roots by a stream
      And will not fear when the heat comes;
      But its leaves will be green,
      And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
      Nor cease to yield fruit.

      –from Jeremiah 17:78 (NLT)

      It’s not about you! It’s all about God! “You were born by His purpose for His purpose! It is so much bigger than ourselves! We have a much greater purpose than self.

      Will you trust Him when you are on the mountain top of success? Will you trust Him in the valleys of struggle or despair? Will you trust Him in the midst of the storms and waves? Does it matter how high or how low live brings you on how much you will depend on God? Can you take hold of John 16:33 and James 1:2-4? Will you trust God even when you don’t know what’s next? I remember back in February of 2013 getting the message to leave the company I had worked for since I had graduated from school and was nearly complete my 19th year but I didn’t know where I was to go. Would I get out of the boat and be obedient? Would I allow the waves and the storm to keep me in the boat? Would I step out in faith? Would I start the journey to who knows where? Imagine praying “God if Microsoft if the boat and You want me to get out, can you please tell me what side?” Knowing I only wanted to do what He wanted to do and didn’t want to go or pick something that wasn’t His plan or His will or His purpose. Imagine relatively shortly there after hearing your cell make the “you’ve gotten a text sound” and it was a tweet that I paraphrased as “get out of the boat“. I still didn’t know where I was to go but I knew I was to go. I came home that night, updated my linkedin profile, updated my resume and started applying for jobs. I had a lot of interviews and it wasn’t till April when the right job appeared and it wasn’t till May when I started the second half of my career. I had to wait upon the Lord and He renewed my strength! That last day of my old job, my reading was in Job and what caught my heart and mind was Job 42:12 which paraphrased says “and the second half of his life was twice as good as the first half.” I remember telling a friend over lunch together and he didn’t think that is what it said till I showed him the numbers from Job 1 and compared them to Job 42. What if I hadn’t of listened? What if I hadn’t of started? What if I was more focused on self and comfort of staying in the boat? Consider the miracles and testimonies that I would have missed out on. God created me and you on purpose! God created me and you for His purpose! What will you focus on? God’s timing is perfect! None of the other jobs were the right job and had I just left my old job the job that God provided wasn’t available yet and didn’t exist till April. We need to wait upon the Lord and trust in Him with all our heart, mind, and strength.

      So where are you at today? Don’t allow a setback to get you down, take hold of something Willie Jolley speaks “A setback is just a setup for a comeback!” When we remember that God works it all for good and for His glory, we don’t have to worry when there are setbacks or disappointments, we can just lean harder into God and trust in Him! Never lose sight of the fact that…

      Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

      –from Romans 12:2

      That’s right, God’s will for you and for me are good, pleasing, and perfect!


      God’s Purposes For You — Day 184: Bible In One Year 2017

      Devotional, Proverbs 16:8-17, Acts 22:22-30, Acts 23:1-11, 2 Kings 6:24-33, 2 Kings 7, 2 Kings 8:1-15

      https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/184


      1. God orders your steps through human plans … Proverbs 16:8-17

      2. God’s orders your steps in spite of human opposition … Acts 22:22-23:11

        • The crowd
        • The commander
        • The court
        • The crises
      3. God’s orders your steps through human agents … 2 Kings 6:24-8:15