By Topic

Understanding

Monday

February 20, 2017

Worthy of the Calling

Read

Ephesians 4:1-3, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Think

People who don’t know God have a completely skewed sense of purpose. They have no basis for absolute truth. Living a life without God’s guidance leads to decisions that produce regret, shame, the inability to forgive, and a long list of avoidable consequences. But life does not have to be this way.

The minute Jesus enters into the equation, our perspective on life completely changes. Even the vilest lives riddled with shame and regret can be supernaturally transformed. Reborn through the grace and mercy of God, our lives become a brand new creation. And everything is possible through Christ who gives us strength.  Therefore, don’t let yesterday hinder your decision today to be who God wants you to be tomorrow.  Live a life worthy of God’s calling and encourage others to do the same.

Pray

Thank God for His discernment and wisdom available to us 24/7. And ask Him to help you live a life worthy of His calling.

Act

Read Ephesians 3 and 4 in the NIV translation.

 

Wednesday

January 18, 2017

Power Source

Read

Ephesians 1:18-19, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength.”

Think

Power must have a source. There are natural energy sources such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind. The electricity we so readily rely on everywhere we go is generated at power plants primarily using coal. As Christ followers, we have the most vast and potent energy source available to us 24/7. It is neither natural nor man-made—it’s the supernatural power we have in Christ! In Ephesians 1:18-19, Paul is not praying for God to empower us—He is praying for us to understand the power we’ve already received and to use it! Unfortunately, though, we frequently fail to recognize the extreme importance of tapping into this amazing force generated by the sheer love and grace of God. You see, apart from Jesus we are utterly powerless, devoid of hope, and incapable of pleasing God. With Him, we have the same supernatural resurrection power of Christ as He burst forth from the grave and put death to death.

The first step in applying the power within us is understanding we are not the source. Next, we must note the definition of power, which is the ability to get things done. This means we are not here to carry out our own plans and purpose; rather we are here to serve God and orchestrate His sovereign agenda. To do this we must pray for discernment and wisdom to understand how to put the power we have in Christ to work and live it out. We must also study and pray through Scripture and allow it to study us. So no matter what we face, we can firmly stand on the foundational power and promise of the Almighty God—Whose strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Pray

Thank God for providing you with the resurrection power of Christ. And as you seek His wisdom through Scripture ask Him to guard your mind and heart against complacency.

Act

Spend a few moments reflecting on times in the past when you tried to rely on your own strength. What was the outcome? Now bask in the radiant energy made yours through the Son and the impact it has on your life every day.

 

Tuesday

June 14, 2016

Unseen Glory

Read

I Corinthians 13:12, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”.

Think

In ancient times, mirrors were not like they are today. They were made of imperfect polished brass or other metals, providing only a somewhat visible, but hazy reflection. Likewise, as mentioned in today’s verse, we are only given mottled glimpses into eternity, because God provides insight only into what we need to know, not what we want to know. Additionally, the Bible tells us to hope for what we cannot see. Although we cannot visibly see God, we can see a physical manifestation of His presence as we look at creation and at the undeniably dramatic life change that occurs after one bows the knee to Christ. By faith we see the validity of His presence and power in which we place our hope. Due to His abounding love and faithfulness, God has fulfilled His promise of our reconciliation to Him through the bloodshed, death, and resurrection of His Son, thereby securing for us an eternal residency in heaven. Once there, we will reach ultimate spiritual maturity. The great news is, there unbelief cannot exist. And our hope and faith will be replaced with utter enjoyment and seeing God face-to-face.

Pray

Thank God for the blessed day when you will fully know Him as fully as He knows you. And ask for insight beyond your current understanding of Him as you delight in His Word.

Act

God adores our quest for further understanding of Him, His church, and ourselves. Journal a couple of questions, either about Scripture or personal, you have for Jesus. Then pray for Him to guide you as you turn to the Word for answers. Thank Him in advance for what He will reveal. And remember, sometimes the answers we desire are not always the answers we will receive.

 

Wednesday

May 13, 2015

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Read

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” Genesis 2:18

Think

There is no doubt that the genius of God can be seen in everything around us - from the change in seasons to the way cells multiply underneath the lens of a microscope. But God’s greatest creation is neither of these things; it’s us! And within this great design, He purposefully made man and woman to be distinctly different.

Notice in the verse above Gods says He made a helper “fit” for him. This means that He, God, made man and woman not as identical twins, but to compliment each other, even down to the God-ordained neuroscience. The brain of a man and woman were literally created differently, therefore, we think, act, and react in different ways.

But this wasn’t an accident, God created men and women to compliment each other and to add to each other with unique sets of talents and abilities. Now that is something to celebrate!

Pray

Thank God for your spouse or if you are single, for the person He will bring you in the future. Thank Him that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that He created us with the differences to both compliment others and make us unique.

Act

What makes you different from your spouse or best friend? Write down three characteristics that make you stand out from the rest.

Tuesday

May 12, 2015

Our Go-To Manual

Read

“As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.” 2 Samuel 22:31

Think

Instruction manuals can be priceless. These sometimes lengthy guides can teach us everything from assembling a new bicycle to understanding the warning lights in our cars. Do you ever wish that you could have an instruction manual for your wife, husband, or best friend? Well you have one!

God created the Bible to help us better understand Him, ourselves, and those around us. It is the “owner’s manual” to the life that we have here on earth, God’s Word that guides our actions and reactions to daily situations and the relationships in our lives.

However, God’s Word only goes as far as you are willing to use it. Set aside time each morning to read God’s Word, then put what you read into action! You will find your relationships more fruitful, your lives more full, and your understanding of others clearer.

Pray

Thank God for the people that He has placed in your life and what they have added to who you are. Ask Him to guide your relationships with others and to help you develop relationships that are rooted in Him and His church.

Act

Make a short list of the three most important relationships in your life. Write down what value you bring to the relationship, what value they bring, and where you see this relationship in five years.

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.

Tuesday

November 18, 2014

Hearing from God

Read

"The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them."  Psalm 25:14

Think

Yesterday we read that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” But what does it mean to fear God? Are we to cower in the corner, not daring to peek in His direction? Are we supposed to run in terror when He speaks to us or gives us direction? No. Fearing the Lord means having a healthy understanding of who He truly is.

The original phrase, “fear the Lord” is composed of a cluster of words, including awe, admiration, fear, trembling. God is God; we are not. When we fear Him, we place ourselves in a position we belong in. And when we place ourselves in the right position, we find ourselves in a place to hear from God in ways we never would have otherwise. Are you putting yourself in a position to hear from God? It starts with fearing Him in a way we were created to fear Him.

Pray

Thank God for communicating His will and purpose for your life. Pray for a heart that understands what it means to fear God and for ears that are open to hearing when He “makes His covenant known” to you.

Act

Sometimes the best thing for us to do is hear a message more than once. Go back and watch this past weekend’s message. And take notes so that you can fully understand what it means to fear the Lord!

 

Monday

November 17, 2014

The Beginning of Wisdom

Read

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

Think

The list of fears people face is endless. We have a fear of everything from death to heights; from public speaking to snakes. Yet, how often is the fear of God on our list? And when it comes to the fear of God, how much do we truly know about it?

The Bible tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When we have a healthy fear of God, everything else falls into perspective. We begin to understand life the way it was designed to be lived, because we are in a position of humility before the One who created it. Do you have a healthy fear of the Lord? It starts with humbling yourself before Him.

Pray

Thank God for who He is. Simply admit to Him your awe for His power in your life. And pray for a heart of humility so that you can learn to fear Him in a healthy way.

Act

Find a creative way to post this following line on your social media accounts as a reminder of the importance of fearing God: We fear EVERYTHING but God; yet, we shouldn’t fear ANYTHING but God!