By Topic

Control

Thursday

March 23, 2017

Storing Up

Read

Proverbs 13:22, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous”.
Luke 14:28, “ For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

Think

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit nothing every time”. This thought directly correlates to financial stewardship. Great stewards manage God’s money God’s way for God’s glory. Vision also plays a crucial role. This means every dollar earned needs a destination before it’s spent. But most of us fail to do to this. In fact, here’s some interesting, yet unfortunate, data about spending. 88% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. 18% of the 88 are facing bankruptcy, in bankruptcy, or coming out of it. The average American spends $1.26 for every dollar earned regardless of salary. 1/3 of adults in the USA are currently in the debt collection process. And finally, the number one cause of divorce in this country is the result of fighting over finances and money problems—but there’s hope!

Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down”. What does this have to do with finances? A lot actually. Food and olive oil were common tender in the ancient world. Storing up means to save and invest. If we don’t, then every dollar we make has an obligation to the past and has no opportunity for the future. Wise managers cut the fat and keep their spending habits lean. This requires the discipline of getting rid of credit cards and cutting every corner possible, even selling stuff we don’t need. We can live without motorcycles and boats. And ladies, do you really need another pair of shoes? Take that money and invest in the future. For example, if you put $100 every month into a mutual fund or Roth IRA starting at age 25, by 65 you will have made $1.7 million! If you’re thinking, “I don’t have a hundred dollars” think again! What about every overpriced Latte you bought at the coffee shop or those ridiculous car payments? The wise save and invest and fools spend $1.26 for every dollar they make! Are you storing up or gulping down?

Pray

Father God, I want to honor You by being a great steward of what You’ve entrusted to me. Help me acquire the discipline needed to spend wisely, save, and invest. You are my everything! Thank You for investing in me and providing me with the hope of the ultimate inheritance awaiting me in heaven. I praise You in the name of Christ, Amen.

Act

Did you know that you can learn a lot from an ant? In fact, Proverbs 6:6-8 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest”. Today , let this verse marinate in your mind. And if you’re feeling ambitious memorize Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty”.

 

Tuesday

September 6, 2016

Ultimate Freedom

Read

John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free”.

Romans 8:39, “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

Think

God is all-powerful, all knowing, and always present. He reigns supreme over all of Creation. He is always in control. However, He doesn’t try to control everything. He releases us into the world with freedom of choice. He does not force us to love Him. That decision is solely ours. So we either choose to accept His forgiveness and grace—something we don’t deserve—or not.

Far too many have skewed notions when it comes to defining freedom. Apart from God, the quest for freedom only leads to chaos and eternal incarceration. Conversely, connectivity with God not only provides security and stability, it allows us to freely become who God created us to be. Thus, in the midst of life’s ups and downs what seems like chaos is actually controlled. Ultimate freedom outside of God’s will does not exist. Freedom is only found in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Pray

Bow before Jesus and reaffirm your desperate need for His guiding hand. Then thank Him for the security and safety of being tethered to His righteousness and the totality of His truth.

Act

Think about a time in the past when you willfully went your own way. What was the outcome? In the end did the experience bring you closer to Christ?

Monday

September 5, 2016

Yoyo Master

Read

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” - 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)

Think

Life is full of ups and downs. It really is like a Yoyo much of the time. It can seem completely out of control as though You’re On Your Own. Many times that can be because we are really trying to do life on our own. We treat God as though He is our own personal Yoyo. We do tricks with Him like putting Him in the “sleeper”. We pretend He isn’t around until our YOYO life begins to spin out of control and then we “wake Him up” to rescue us. Once the crisis is averted we go back to playing tricks with God and trying to live the out-of-control YOYO life again.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. It’s important to realize that we are NOT the Yoyo master – God is the real master. When we humble ourselves and give control of our Yoyo life to God, we actually gain control. When God is in control of our life we can truly cast our cares upon Him – throw our whole life into the life He has for us. Life will still be full of ups and downs, but with God’s hand tethered to the string or our life, we can be secure in the knowledge that the master is in control.

Pray

Thank God for being the Master of your life so you don’t have to be. Ask Him to help you relinquish control of your life to Him so that you can gain control.

Act

If you haven’t given control of your life to God yet, now is the perfect time. Just pray this prayer here.

Monday

September 14, 2015

The quarterback question

Read

“As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell on his knees before Him. ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’” Mark 10:17

Think

Football is back in America! This time of year, people everywhere are geared up and pumped up for their team. From peewee football to high school football, college to the pros, this is the time of year millions of American’s anticipate all year. But no matter what level the game is played on, there’s one question that every team has to answer. It’s “the quarterback question”. Who will be the starting quarterback?

That question isn’t reserved for the gridiron. In fact, it’s a foundational question that we all have to ask. Who are we going to allow to quarterback our lives? Too many people think they are designed to call the shots. But the truth is that we aren’t made for that position. God created us to hand that ball to Jesus and allow Him to call the plays for our lives. Have you done that? Or are you still under center? It’s time to step off the field and let Jesus take control.

Pray

Thank God for sending Jesus to be our “quarterback”. If you haven’t given Him control of your life, hand it over to Him so you can discover the power of the ultimate quarterback in your life.

Act

Read the account of a young man who struggled with giving up control in Mark 10:17-22. Read Jesus response to his questions. And see if you find yourself in that story.

Wednesday

December 24, 2014

Power and Control

Read

“When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.” Matthew 2:3

Think

When Herod heard that a new king had been born, he went on tilt. In his mind and heart, there was no one on earth or in heaven who held a higher position than himself. He had placed himself on the throne of his life and refused to relinquish power and control to anyone, including Jesus – the newborn King.

Have you placed yourself on the throne of your life? Are you holding on to power and control with a white knuckle grip? The reality is that we aren’t designed to be our own king. God, in His sovereign wisdom, has placed us on earth in order to worship Him. It is only when we give up power and control to Him that we discover the purpose and potential of true power and control in our lives.

Pray

Ask God to reveal any area of your life that you have refused to surrender to Him. Ask for humility and clarity as you seek to give Him full control.

Act

Write down one area of your life that you need to relinquish control of to Jesus. Today, and tonight, remember Jesus was born to become the King of our lives. Do what you need to do – give Him full control.

 

Friday

August 22, 2014

It’s Time to Resign

Read

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” Acts 1:8

Think

God is God; we are not. That simple, yet transformational fact is one that we all need to understand. We need to download it into our lives. But too often, we try to run the show. We want to call the shots. We want to be the ones to make all the decisions. But the reality is that we don’t control everything.

As much as we don’t like to admit it, there are things that are simply beyond our power. Because of that, we need to come to a point where we give up control. Because when we give up control of our lives to God, He allows us the opportunity to experience what His control can do. It’s not about blindly following. It’s about fully trusting that God has our best in mind.

Pray

Surrender your life to God. Give control to Him. Ask Him to help you let those things go that you need to let go. And pray for His guiding hand to be the controlling force in your life.

Act

It’s time to resign. Repeat this pledge to God. Write it down. And discover the freedom that comes with giving God the control only He can have.
“Today, being of a sound mind, I do hereby acknowledge that I am not God. That I have never been God and never will be God. I am not Omniscient, Omnipresent nor Omnipotent.
I am, therefore, not the Sovereign ruler of the universe. I hereby resign from trying to control everything and everyone.”