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Security

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”.

 

Friday

January 13, 2017

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Read

Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.”

Think

With identity theft so rampant in our world today, we often have to verify who we are with passwords and fingerprints. Legal documents are signed before a witness for authenticity and notarized with a specific stamp. Such precautionary measures are nothing new. In ancient times, important documents and decrees were sealed with hot wax stamped with the impression of the owner’s ring. In today’s verse, Paul uses this word picture to illustrate a believer’s faith being sealed by the Holy Spirit—the essence of ultimate security. God wants us to be absolutely certain of our salvation. Jesus is forever branded on our hearts and His Spirit always leads us back to God’s promise and absolute truth.

No one walks into a car dealership and expects to buy a car without some form of down payment. No, the purchaser enters into a contract promising to make payments until the balance is paid in full. The moment we put our trust in Jesus we are given a very real and immediate earnest deposit guaranteeing us the promise of greater blessing and a Christ-filled eternity in heaven. Our names are signed in the Book of Life by the blood of Christ. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit from the inside out, and delivered from the bondage of sin and death by the outpouring of God’s grace through faith. Our identity is found in Christ alone. So in the words of Stevie Wonder let’s praise Him by saying, “Signed, sealed, delivered—I’m Yours!”

Pray

Spend a few moments “Facetiming” with God. Seek His face and praise His name with an attitude of utter gratitude, and let His Spirit guide the rest of your time spent in prayer.

Act

Read Ephesians 1 in the Amplified Bible (AMP) translation.

 

Friday

November 4, 2016

Precautionary Measures

Read

Ephesians 6:10-11, “Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes”.

Think

No one hopes to sustain an injury or get hurt. Instinctively, we try to avoid harm. We take precautionary measures such as wearing seatbelts and putting on helmets to ride bikes. We read warning labels and lock our doors to prevent home invasion. Why then, when it comes to spiritual safety do so many Christ followers fail to put on God’s protective armor? It’s not as if we are clueless about Satan’s attempts to distract us and attack our faith. If the Bible says the devil comes only to steal, kill, and destroy why not be prepared for battle? What soldier goes into combat wearing a tank top, shorts, and flip-flops? Obviously, it’s a ridiculous question, but is it so far-fetched when it comes to our spiritual lives?

Wearing God’s armor means that we seek to live out God’s truth with single-minded devotion. We never forget that Jesus died and rose again to make us righteous before the Father. Secure in our salvation, we block the enemy’s lies and efforts to wedge doubt into our thought life. Standing firm in faith, we share Christ with the lost. We resist temptation by leaning on God’s strength and strive to live lives of purity. And we immerse ourselves in Scripture. We pray through it, memorize it, and meditate on it. If we put these safety measures in practice, Satan has no choice but to tuck his tail between his legs and slink back into the shadows. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Put on God’s armor today, and you will be amazed at just how much safer you’ll feel as you literally take on the world.

Pray

Praise God for always equipping you with what you need for battle. Ask for the drive, passion, energy, and commitment needed to enact these safety precautions. And thank Him for His fierce and abounding love.

Act

Memorize the following two verses to add to your Scripture arsenal:

James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you”.

Romans 8:39, “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”.

Thursday

October 27, 2016

Saved Seating

Read

Ephesians 2:6, "And God raised us with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus".

Colossians 3:1,3-4, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God...For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also appear with Him in glory".

Think

In a game of Musical Chairs, the players go around in a circle until the music stops and everyone scrambles for a seat. During each round a chair is removed and one unfortunate individual is left standing. As Christ followers, we never have to worry about losing a seat beside our Savior in Heaven. The moment we bow before Jesus, in a position of surrender, we are cosmically pardoned—our sins forgiven and forgotten. And God sees the righteousness of Christ in us, thereby allowing us to enter into His perfect and holy presence.

Like playing Musical Chairs, we must be zealously-driven to fill seats and heavenly- minded to promote reconciliation to the Father through the Son. Conversely, though, our aim is to add—not subtract—chairs because the stakes are sky high for the spiritually lost. People all around us are spinning in space, looking for seats in all the wrong places. As coheirs with Christ in the Kingdom of God, our goal is to populate Heaven and depopulate Hell. Therefore, we've got to move our meat to save some seats by continuously inviting the lost to experience life change firsthand every weekend at Fellowship Church. And the great thing is, Jesus will never say, "Sorry, that seat's taken".

Pray

Thank God for His constant affection and grace. And ask Him to fill your heart with zeal to share all the wonderful things Jesus is doing in and through your life.

Act

Pray for the house to be full and invite at least one person to join you for Spookarama this weekend at Fellowship Church. For more information on this event, click here: https://fellowshipchurch.com/spookarama

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

July 4, 2016

Ultimate Sacrifice

Read

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Think

There’s nothing like freedom. All this week, we will think about it, honor it, and celebrate it as a country. But freedom is never free. It costs, and costs dearly. The truth is that freedom is the most expensive gift that any of us can have, because it comes at the highest cost – the price of someone else’s blood.

​So many men and women have gone before us and sacrificed for the freedom we have. It’s true in our nation; and it’s true with our God. God sent Jesus, His only Son, to pay the ultimate price for our eternal security. And there is no greater gift than that.

Pray

Thank God for the men and women of our Armed Forces who were, and are, willing to pay for your freedom. And thank God for His willingness to pay for your eternal freedom through the sacrifice of His Son.

Act

Saying “Thank you” is one thing; showing it is another. Find a military member or vet and perform a  random act of kindness. Buy them a meal. Bake them some cookies. Mow their lawn. Take your “thank you” to the next level!

 

Friday

February 19, 2016

Overcoming Insecurity

Read

“If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:7

Think

Insecurity is one of the biggest blockades to many aspects of our lives. It keeps us cowered in a corner and paralyzed from pursuing God’s plan. The insipid nature of insecurity is undeniable. How often do we find ourselves listening to lies like these: “You’re not good enough to ...” “If people knew what you were really like…” “There’s no way you can…”

The truth is, God never intended for us to deal with insecurity. In fact, He never wanted us to even begin listening the lies that insecurity whisper in our ears. So how can we overcome insecurity? The key is found in listening to the right voice. When we set our ears to what God says about us, we discover the key to overcoming those insecurities. Don’t listen to the lies. Instead, listen to what God says about you! “You are loved.” “You are valuable.” “You are mine!”

Pray

Thank God for His truth that can help us overcome any insecurity we face. Pray to hear His voice in the midst of a chaotic and crazy world. Rely on His Truth to help you through.

Act

Read Galatians 2:20 for a reminder of just how loved and valuable you are!

Wednesday

February 17, 2016

Victory Through Vulnerability

Read

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

Think

Insecurity is something everyone deals with, yet few of us ever address it head on. We’d rather run from it and act like we have to “have it all together.” We don’t want others to know of our insecurities, and we convince ourselves that if they did, they would think less of us.

The key to victory over those insecurities, though, is vulnerability. When we admit to God, and to trusted others, those insecure areas in our lives, we find ourselves in a place of comfort and peace. It is when we face our fear and insecurity that we experience God’s power to help us overcome them. Rather than running from your insecurities, admit them to God, ask for His help to overcome them, and discover true victory!

Pray

Admit to God those areas where you are insecure. Ask Him for the strength you need to overcome them. Use His strength to help you discover victory!

Act

Write down one area of your life where you are insecure. Now, scratch through that insecurity and write today’s verse down as a reminder that victory comes when we place ourselves in a vulnerable position before our heavenly Father!

 

Tuesday

October 7, 2014

Risk Facing the Unknown

Read

“At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.” Numbers 13: 25-26

Think

In the United States alone, over $119 billon dollars are lost each year in the gambling industry. But what does it mean to gamble? It’s taking a risk to achieve a desired result. But there’s no such thing as a risk without a certain level of uncertainty.

To risk facing the unknown is hard. As humans, we think we need the answer to every question and to know and understand everything.  But God is certain in our uncertainty and will lead us in the direction He wants our life to go. For Moses and the Israelite people, the Promise Land was unknown. But Moses had faith to seek out what He knew by faith God had promised His people. Are you hedging your bets on God’s plan for your life? Or is uncertainty keeping you frozen in fear?

Pray

Thank God for His certainty in your life and name the areas specifically that you have recently seen Him prove Himself to be faithful. Ask Him to give you the confidence to follow Him into the unknown areas of your life.

Act

Where do you need to step out into the unknown of your life and take action? Is it starting a new career or asking forgiveness from someone where there has been conflict in the past?