Daily Archives: July 9, 2012
by Joyce Meyer
In my teachings, I try to be an encourager, reminding people that God loves them and has a plan for their lives. But it wouldn’t be very loving of me if all I ever served up were messages about how much God loves you. That would be like expecting to be healthy eating nothing but a steady diet of dessert. To grow strong in the Lord, you need a balanced diet that includes not just comfort and encouragement, but also clear instruction on what you must do to grow in your faith.
In other words, if you want to be strong like Popeye, you have to eat your spinach!
For many of you, two of the yuckiest vegetables on your plate are discipline and self-control. Yet, without discipline and self-control, you’ll never achieve the dreams and goals God has planted in your heart, let alone live a life that glorifies Him. If you’re going to persevere and be the person God wants you to be, you must learn to practice discipline and self-control.
Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (NLT).
There is nothing more wonderful or comfortable than having grown in God to a place where you are at peace with Him in every area of your life. Learning to live with discipline and self-control brings a harvest of peace that far exceeds the short-term thrill of living without boundaries or accountability.
By the same token, there is nothing worse than waking up with a guilty conscience, knowing there’s something unsettled between you and God. The only way to settle things with Him is by learning to say “no” to the things that poison your life, and sticking with people and situations that contribute to your spiritual well being. Understand that God has put those people and situations in your life to polish you and mold you into the image of Christ.
Maybe you think learning self-control is too hard. You say, “I don’t have any willpower.” But discipline is much more than just having willpower. John 15:5 says we can’t do anything apart from God. It took me a lot of years of frustration and wasted effort to learn that I could not make happen what only God can do.
Three Ways You’ll Grow
If you want to build discipline and self-control into your life, study, pray and linger in the presence of God – and tell Him you know you can’t do anything if He doesn’t make it happen. Spend a little time every day in His Word. Spending time with God is where everything comes together.
If God is dealing with you about your behavior and attitudes, instead of brooding because you can no longer get away with the things you once got away with, you should rejoice. That’s the Holy Spirit coming alive inside you.
Align with God’s Will
God has planted a seed in your heart and it’s growing. Believe that God is working in your heart to make you want more of what He has for your life than just getting your own way. You can water that seed by seeking Him with your whole heart. The more you pray, study and read the Word, the more you will see the positive results of doing the right thing, which will make you want to do even more right things.
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. —Jeremiah 29:13
One Saturday years ago, Dave and I called my aunt and uncle and invited them out for a nice dinner. They couldn’t go, my aunt said, because my uncle had to recharge the battery on the pacemaker unit on his heart. I wondered why he couldn’t wait until later to charge his pacemaker; I didn’t realize that waiting would be the difference between life and death. His pacemaker was a “vital necessity.” It literally kept him alive.
According to today’s scripture, a believer’s “vital necessity” is time with God. I wonder, what is the most serious time commitment on your calendar today? Your most important time commitment is the same as mine and as every other believer’s: spending time seeking God, in His presence.
Perhaps because God is always available, we think we can spend time with Him “later,” so we choose to respond to what seems urgent, instead of giving God a place of priority in our schedules. But if we spent more priority time with God, maybe we wouldn’t have so many emergencies that rob us of valuable hours and minutes in our lives. When you sit in God’s presence, even if you don’t feel you are learning anything new, you are still sowing good seed into your life, seed that will produce a good harvest.
With persistence, you will get to the point where you understand more of the Word, where you are having great intimate fellowship and conversation with God. You will sense His presence and begin to see changes in your life that will amaze you. If we seek God first, he will add everything else we need in life (Matt. 6:33).
Love God Today: At what point in your day today will you take time to focus exclusively on God and be in His presence?
by Joyce Meyer – posted July 09, 2012 – From the book Love Out Loud by Joyce Meyer.Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1, NKJV)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria Osteen
As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are called to live a bold, confident and overcoming life. You don’t have to live under a burden of fear. You don’t have to live with anxiety. Because of Jesus, fear, worry and uncertainty are beneath you. When you rise up in faith knowing that God is with you and for you, all doubt and fear has to leave your life.
Notice that today’s scripture says that the righteous are as bold as a lion. Righteousness is God’s way of doing things. When you do things His way, when you are submitted to His plan for your life, He promises success. It may not always be the way we had in mind, but ultimately, His plan is to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future!
Today, if you’ve been feeling anxious or fearful, begin to declare God’s truth over your life which will set you free! Declare that you are righteous in Christ Jesus! Declare that you are more than a conqueror! Declare that you are as bold as a lion because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I come to You in the precious name of Jesus, thanking You for boldness. I choose to stand strong in Your righteousness. I renounce the spirit of fear. I renounce anxiety. I renounce worry, and I take up faith which works by love. Thank You for having Your way in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen
© 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries
READ: 1 Chronicles 17:16-24
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights. —James 1:17
At a cultural show in Bandung, Indonesia, we enjoyed a wonderful orchestra performance. Before the finale, the 200 people in the audience were each handed an angklung, a musical instrument made of bamboo. We were taught how to shake it in rhythm with the conductor’s timing. Soon we thought we were performing like an orchestra; we felt so proud of how well we were doing! Then it dawned on me that we were not the ones who were good; it was the conductor who deserved the credit.
Similarly, when everything is going well in our lives, it’s easy to feel proud. We’re tempted to think that we are good and that it is by our abilities that we’ve achieved success. During such moments, we tend to forget that behind it all is our good God who prompts, prevents, provides, and protects.
David remembered that truth: “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: ‘Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?’” (1 Chron. 17:16). David’s heart swelled up in appreciation of God’s goodness.
The next time we are tempted to take credit for the blessings we enjoy, let’s pause and remember that it is the Lord who brings blessing. —Albert Lee
No strength of our own, nor goodness we claim;
Our trust is all thrown on Jesus’ name:
In this our strong tower for safety we hide;
The Lord is our power, “The Lord will provide.” —Newton
The hand of the Father is behind all good things.
Copyright © 2012, RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI 49555 USA