Daily Archives: August 29, 2012
Read: Psalm 100
Nine years ago today a good friend went out for a lunchtime jog and never came back. Kurt De Haan, who was the managing editor of Our Daily Bread, died of a heart attack on that sunny Thursday. Some of us who worked with Kurt still keep mementos of him in our offices.
For instance, on one wall of my cubicle, I display the last memo I received from Kurt. It reminds me of his thoroughness as an editor—striving to represent God’s Word accurately and well. Another co-worker displays the last paper wad Kurt threw in her direction, reminding her of his eagerness to enjoy life.
Each time we talk about Kurt and how much we miss him, we discuss his combination of a quest for excellence mixed with an enjoyable personality. He worked hard and loved life. He strove to teach God’s Word with integrity while living his life with joy.
Remembering Kurt and his example is refreshing and challenging. It reminds us that others are watching us and can tell if we’re serving “the Lord with gladness” (Ps. 100:2), and if our love for Jesus is coming through in our good works (Eph. 2:10). Serve well. Serve with joy. Does that describe our work for the Savior?
and peace You’ve given to me. May those who work
with and know me see that joy. And may I always
stand for truth and righteousness.
Read: John 6:25-29
A friend who lives in Singapore told me about an old Chinese greeting. Instead of “How are you?” people would ask “Have you eaten until you are full?” The greeting likely originated during a time when food was scarce and many people did not know when they would have their next meal. When food was available, it was advisable to eat until they were full.
After Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two small fish (John 6:1-13), the crowd followed Him wanting more (vv.24-26). The Lord told them not to work for physical food that spoils, but “for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you . . . . I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (vv.27,35).
As followers of Jesus, we should help those who lack adequate physical nutrition. And with all, we can share the good news that our hunger for inner peace, forgiveness, and hope can be satisfied by knowing Christ the Lord.
Jesus Christ, the bread of life, invites us to come to Him for His feast for the soul, urging us to eat until we are full.
who are weary and thirsty and say, “Come to Me
and be filled.” We are hungry and are thankful
that You satisfy us. Amen.
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. – Proverbs 29:25, NLT.
In life, there will always be people who try to squeeze you into their mold; people who try to pressure you into being who they want you to be. They may be good people. They may mean well. But the problem is that they aren’t your creator. They didn’t breathe life into you. They didn’t equip you, empower you or anoint you; Almighty God did! If you’re going to be all that God created you to be, you can’t focus on what everybody else thinks. If you change with every criticism, trying to win the favor of others, then you’ll go through life being manipulated and letting people squeeze you into their box. You have to realize that you can’t keep every person happy. You can’t make everyone like you. You’ll never win over all of your critics.
Instead of trying to please people, when you get up in the morning, ask the Lord to search your heart. Ask Him if your ways are pleasing to Him. Stay focused on your goals. If people don’t understand you, that’s okay. If you lose some friends because you wouldn’t let them control you, they weren’t true friends anyway. You don’t need other’s approval; you only need Almighty God’s approval. Keep your heart and mind submitted to Him and be free from people pleasing!
Prayer for Today:
Father God, I come humbly to You today. I invite You to search my heart and mind. Let my ways be pleasing to You. Let my thoughts be Your thoughts. Thank You for setting me free from people pleasing in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries
Relationships are all about learning. In marriage, we are learning to become one; in families, we are learning to get along; in business, we are learning to work together; in friendships, we are learning to make allowances for one another. Life is a learning process, and the quicker you embrace that fact, the more you’ll enjoy the people around you.
Over the years, I’ve learned that Joel doesn’t like hearing every single detail of a story, even though I do. I want to know exactly what was said, who said it, and how they said it. That’s why, when I tell a story, it takes me fifteen minutes, and Joel can tell that same story in about two minutes flat! Knowing this, I try not to tell him every single detail—although it’s not always that easy.
One time, I was enthusiastically telling Joel something that I thought was important, and just as I was getting to the good part, I noticed his eyes were beginning to glaze over. I began talking faster and faster, but it didn’t do any good. Finally, I said, “You don’t want to hear this, do you? I can tell because you are not even paying attention to me.”
It wasn’t anything he said; it was the way he looked. I could tell by his body language that I had lost him after the first three minutes. In that moment, I could have either allowed myself to get upset and frustrated, or I could make a few adjustments in the way I communicate with him.
I chose what was best for our relationship which was to adapt my communication style. Now I try to tell him only the most important details of the story. When I see his eyes glazing over, I don’t get upset. It’s just my cue that he is going into “detail overload,” so I adjust to make it easier for him to receive.
As you think about the people in your life, remember to respect and appreciate your differences. Don’t hold offense just because someone has a different approach than you do. Be willing to make adjustments and focus on the common ground of peace. As you work toward unity, you are positioning yourself to receive the wonderful blessings God has in store for you.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity… for there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. (Psalm 133:1-3, NIV)
Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries