By Topic

Patience

Wednesday

December 2, 2015

He is Immanuel, God with Us

Read

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

“‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” Matthew 1:23

Think

We all know what it feels like to wait in anticipation for something. It could be a big promotion at work, a vacation you’ve planned, a visit from a friend… the list goes on and on! The prophet Isaiah told of Jesus Christ’s birth approximately 700 years before it happened. Mankind was waiting, yearning for the day that a savior would come to rescue them from their sin.

In our busy day-to-day lives, it’s easy to take for granted the true gift that Jesus was to the world – and how desperately our ancestors waited and prayed for Him to come. We were separated from God until Immanuel (God with us) came to bridge the gap between us and the Father. Jesus was truly worth the wait!

Pray

Thank God for sending His Son to live the perfect life, die a sacrificial death, and rise victoriously from the grave.

Act

Scripture tells us that Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Take time today and identify areas where you may need the counsel, might, and peace of Jesus in your life.

Friday

March 13, 2015

Stop and think

Read

“Wise people think before they act; fools don't and even brag about it!” Proverbs 13:16

Think

While we may not all have an anger problem, we do all have a problem with anger. Why? Because we don’t often understand it. We think anger is something that just happens. But it doesn’t. When we get angry about something, there’s usually another emotion involved, as we read about earlier this week. But how can we keep from swinging over that first emotion and landing on the platform of anger? Three words: stop and think.

When we take a step back from any situation that is driving us towards anger, we get a chance to realize what we are really going through emotionally. Maybe it’s insecurity. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s confusion. Whatever the root cause of your anger is, when you take time to stop and think, God can help you process it properly. And that is when anger can become your ally.

Pray

Ask God to help you have patience in moments of frustration and anger. Pray for discernment about the real issue at hand.

Act

Write down a list of primary emotions that may cause you to get angry (i.e. fear, anxiety, insecurity, etc.). Then, write a list of tangible ways you can process those the next time they come around.

Monday

July 28, 2014

From Nothing to Something

Read

“Do not despise these small beginnings…” Zechariah 4:10

Think

The Bible is full of stories of people who started out nowhere, but ended up going somewhere because God was directing and guiding their path. Time and time again God uses people who seem unusable, people whom society sees as nothing, and He turns them into something as they seek Him and His will.

Maybe you’re in a position right now that seems to be going nowhere. Maybe you look at your past and have convinced yourself that God can’t use you because of where you come from or what you’ve done. Don’t believe those lies. God wants to use you right where you are to do great things for Him. Simply rely on His strength and His plan for your life. And discover how your small beginning can lead to amazing purpose!

Pray

Thank God for where He has placed you. Ask Him to give you the right perspective on where you are, and pray for the discipline and discernment to follow Him as He directs your path.

Act

Read the story of how David was anointed king of Israel in 1 Samuel 16. And remember that the greatest king in Israel’s history began as a boy whom no one thought would amount to anything!

Thursday

February 20, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

Read

“…but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” – 1 Samuel 17:15

Think

Olympic athletes are amazing to watch. They make what they do seem so simple that we forget about the hours of practice, the falls, and the frustrations they experienced in private as they perfected their skill. We never see the mishaps that occurred over and over again before they showed the world a perfect performance.

It’s easy to forget about the preparation required for greatness. As we read about David, we notice that there was a long period that he spent doing seemingly menial tasks. But it was during these times that David practiced his skill with his sling shot in private. We’ll never know the mishaps David had as he perfected his skill while no one was around. It probably never occurred to him how important it would be to his future. Yet, that same skill would eventually enable him to defeat the Philistine giant and ultimately be propelled to greatness as a mighty warrior and future king.

What may seem to be a monotonous task today may be the very skill God will have you use for His purposes in the future. Keep practicing!

Pray

Ask God to help you not take for granted the tasks and skills He has entrusted to you. Pray for the discipline to keep practicing in private.

Act

Challenge yourself in a skill you already have no matter how mundane it may seem to you. Recognize that no matter what the skill is God may use it for His purpose, so be ready.

Tuesday

February 18, 2014

Keep Holding On

Read

“Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” – 1 Samuel 16:10

Think

There are times in life when it seems that opportunities have passed us by. Perhaps we were distracted by other activities or interests, so we think we just missed out. Maybe we think that because someone else got there first, we missed out. It’s in those times that we think, “It’s too late.”

Too many times we stop looking for opportunities before God is done. We give up and decide the time has passed or it was just never meant to be. During those times, it helps to consider the story of David. David’s seven brothers had already been presented to the prophet Samuel as prospects to be the next king of Israel. To the natural eye, it seemed that any of them could have fit the position. But God already had David in mind for the position.

The greatest lesson in this part of David’s story is to realize that if God has a purpose in mind for us, He will hold the position until He is ready for us. You may feel as though you’re behind, but you may be right on schedule. If God wants you to take hold of it, then keep holding on for it!

Pray

Ask God to help you have patience for His timing and direction in your life.

Act

Perhaps you are in a place where God doesn’t seem to be using you. Begin journaling about it and note what you are utilizing and learning now. It could be that God is preparing you for what He has prepared for you in the future!

Monday

November 25, 2013

Pursuing the right path towards happiness

Read

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

Think

The pursuit of happiness is really a pursuit of satisfaction. So often, we chase fun fix after fun fix, in hopes of experiencing those moments of euphoria. But the reality is those moments are temporary. What God wants for all of us is lasting satisfaction.

Experiencing lasting satisfaction starts with understanding the reality that God has a plan for our lives – a plan that leads to much more than momentary euphoria. Have you come to a point of realizing that God's plan is far better than any plan you can come up with? Surrender to His plan, and discover more than happiness!

Pray

Thank God for His plan and purpose for your life. Ask Him for the discipline and dedication to pursue His plan above all others.

Act

Make a list of things you chase in your pursuit of happiness. Throughout this week, ask yourself if those things line up with God's plan for your life. Are they pointing you to the satisfaction God wants you to experience?

Tuesday

November 19, 2013

Tue, Nov 19

Read

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1˸6

Think

Any artist will tell you that to producing a great work of art is a process. It takes time and effort to create, whether it is a song, a painting, or a story. Joy is a process as well.

As God's creation, we may not be the finished article. Just like an artist who is part way through a painting, or a writer who experiences a “block” half way through a story, we may not see ourselves as God sees us right now. God, though, has a flourishing finish in mind for us. Remember you are in process.

Don’t give up midway Instead, stay focused on the work God is doing in you so that you can experience the joy of being His work of art.

Pray

Thank God for where He has you in the process. Ask Him to help you overcome any doubt and to enable you to trust Him to finish the work He has started in you, wherever you may be today.

Act

Write down today’s truth, “Joy is a process.” Then, look for ways God is working in your life to help you become the person He wants you to be.

 

Tuesday

October 15, 2013

Tue, Oct 15

Read

… you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6˸11

Think

Yesterday we mentioned that a blended family can be like a delicious and nutritious perfectly blended smoothie.  It starts with finding the “right ingredients”. But before you begin placing the ingredients into the blender, there is a preparation process that must happen.

Cutting away criticism, peeling back the pride and gutting guilt takes time, but they are all crucial in order for the family to function.  The most important thing to remember is the preparation process that only the Spirit of God can do your life. This is why time and wise, Christian counsel are key to successfully preparing for a blended family.   Even though the preparation process may be a lengthy and sometimes arduous one, it will be rewarded in a beautifully blended family!

Pray

Ask God to cleanse the areas of your life that could harm your relationship and prevent your family from winning in the Octagon.

Act

From the list made yesterday, let your family know what you’re thankful for and let them add to the list if they want.

Monday

June 24, 2013

Mon, Jun 24

Read

“On this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16˸18

Think

Laird Hamilton, one of the greatest big wave surfers of all time, once said that riding giant waves takes more faith than skill. While true, it also takes the ability to discern where those waves will be and when they will be there.

When it comes to our lives, God has giants in store for us to ride. He wants us to experience the ultimate thrills in life that are found in His plan. It takes faith on our part in what He says. It also takes the ability to discern where those waves will be.

The reality is that the only way to experience God's giant waves is by getting involved in the local church. Are you getting the most out of life by being plugged in and involved in the local church?

Pray

Thank God for the fact that He has great things in store for your life. Ask Him for the opportunities to experience those waves, and for the courage and discipline to get involved in the place those waves will be - the local church.

Act

Write down today's verse on a piece of paper. Carry that paper with you throughout the week as a reminder of the importance and priority of the local church. And make a commitment to get involved in the church!

Monday

April 29, 2013

Mon, Apr 29

Read

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17˸17

Think

There’s a special connection between a man and his dog. We call them “man’s best friend” for a reason. But dogs are more than just companions; we can actually learn a lot about life through our dogs. And one of the greatest lessons is the lesson of loyalty.

Loyalty is a quality that is too often lacking in our culture. We love loyalty in our dogs, but we so rarely see it in people. Loyalty, though, is crucial to getting the most out of the life God has given us. When you have the chance to commit to something or someone, then commit! Stay loyal to God. Stay loyal to your spouse. Stay loyal to your friends. And discover the lasting benefits of staying loyal to God’s plan.

Pray

Thank God for His loyalty to you. Ask Him for the strength and endurance to remain loyal to those things He has called you to.

Act

Start a list of the lessons this week that we can learn from our dogs. Today, write “Be Fiercely Loyal” and write today’s Scripture reference. Keep the list visible in your house. And make it a point to read it each day.

Tuesday

April 9, 2013

Tue, Apr 09

Read

The servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything.” The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. Matthew 18˸26-27

Think

In today’s reading, we see a telling picture of forgiveness as a king forgives his servant of a debt the servant would never have been able to pay. Because of the king’s forgiveness, the servant goes free, owing nothing. But this is more than a story. This is a picture of what God has done for each of us.

We all have a debt that we cannot pay. Yet God has forgiven us of it. Through Jesus Christ, God has canceled our debt. Now, we have the ability to walk free. And we have an obligation to be people of forgiveness, canceling the debt that others may have created with us.

Are you living in God’s forgiveness? Are you extending that same forgiveness to those around you?

Pray

Thank God for canceling the debt you created through your sin. Acknowledge the fact that through Christ, you have been forgiven. And ask Him for the strength to extend that same forgiveness to those in your life.

Act

It is possible to receive forgiveness without truly experiencing it. When we refuse to extend forgiveness, we haven’t really experienced it ourselves. Read Matthew 18:28-34 to see how the servant in today’s story received forgiveness, but didn’t truly experience it.

Friday

February 15, 2013

Fri, Feb 15

Read

“So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless – like chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 2˸17

Think

In this Scripture, Solomon, one of the greatest kings of all time, expresses his deepest feelings. He is telling us that, even with his creativity, money, treasures, and all he had going, he was still unhappy with his life. Why? Because he had taken his focus off of God.

How many of us have experienced that same feeling? Have we changed jobs, swapped cars or moved house, still trying to find that one thing that is missing?
Like Solomon, we need to remember where we have come from and who has our best interests in mind? True pleasure and satisfaction only comes when we look to the God who created us. Have you experienced that satisfaction?

Pray

Thank God for all He has done for you and all the things in your life that He has provided. Ask Him to show you how to use those things for His purpose and for his glory.

Act

Commit to honoring God with all you are and all you have. If you are not already invested in the local church through your tithes and offerings, do so today.  And discover the amazing satisfaction that comes from partnering with the greatest entity on earth!

Thursday

February 14, 2013

Thu, Feb 14

Read

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3˸5-6

Think

We all have a desire for understanding. We want to know what’s around the bend for our lives.  And many times, our desire for that knowledge drives us to rely on our own plans. But the truth of today’s Scripture is that when we trust first in God, He will make our paths straight.

And while we may not always know what’s ahead, we can trust that God has the best in store for us. It may not always be an easy path, but it will be the one that leads to the plans that he ultimately has for our success. When you wake up each day, are you trusting that God has the best in store for your life?

Pray

Let God know that you are prepared to trust Him with your life. Ask Him to show you His will and purpose for you in everything you are involved in.

Act

Consider all the things which you have going on in which you may have uncertainty, lack of success or may even be a complete failure so far.  Consider where you are placing your trust. And if it is in anything other than God, make a change today and begin to look first to him.

Thursday

February 7, 2013

Thu, Feb 07

Read

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1˸14

Think

In our world, it’s inevitable that we will encounter people whose beliefs and perspectives don’t align with God’s plan or purpose.  As Christians, we are called to stand firm in our beliefs. So how do we balance our call to ‘make disciples of all nations’ while remaining sensitive to a world filled with opposing viewpoints? How can we reach a world that sees differently than we do? It’s all about building bridges and drawing lines in the sand.

To reach people with the good news of Jesus, we must first extend the grace of God (build bridges) while remaining steadfast in the truth of God (drawing lines). When you meet someone who has a different perspective than you, don’t start by telling them they are wrong. Instead, see them as loved by God and extend the grace that God has extended to you. Then, rely on God to show you at what time to draw the line.

Pray

As you encounter people who think, act and believe differently than you, pray for God to give you the wisdom and patience to show them His message. 

Act

On a piece of paper, write GRACE and TRUTH. Under each word, write a short list of ways you can extend both to the people in your life.

Thursday

September 13, 2012

Thu, Sep 13

Read

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1˸3

Think

If asked, most people would say that they could use a little more patience, wisdom, or even faith. But the truth is that we don’t need more of that; not if we’re followers of Christ. The Bible tells us that if we have stepped over the line of faith in Jesus, we have everything we need; we have “every spiritual blessing in Christ.” In other words, we have all the patience, wisdom and faith we need to get the most out of life. We simply need to access it!

Have you accepted Jesus into your life? If so, are you tapping into His power each and every day? Because when you do, you will discover all it takes to experience life on a new level.

Pray

Thank God for the reality that He has given you everything you need in Jesus. Pray for the discernment and courage to tap into these things as you need them throughout the day.

Act

For more understanding of all the spiritual blessings you have been given in Christ, read about the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5˸22-23.