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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Jesus is better than Santa take two

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

1.  Getting on Jesus’s nice list is easier than getting on Santa’s. Santa’s nice list is all about the things you do. It’s about being a nice person and doing good things. If you do enough good things, then you’ll be placed on Santa’s nice list and get presents. Jesus does things differently. To get on Jesus’s nice list, you don’t have to work hard and do good things, you simply have to believe in Jesus and confess him as your Lord.

2.  Jesus is what Christmas is all about. Sorry Santa, you are cool and your red suit is awesome, but Christmas is all about Jesus. This holiday is all about celebrating our Savior, who came to the earth as a baby. His teachings, His life, and His sacrifice on the cross brought us salvation. Santa is a great guy, but he’s not the reason we celebrate. Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas!
This Christmas season, don’t forget to give thanks for what Christmas is really about, Jesus. Jesus is why we celebrate. He’s the reason we give gifts, sing songs, and eat way too much! Jesus is the best gift you can give this Christmas season. So as you’re getting together with friends and family, take time to find out if the people you love and care about have accepted Jesus as their Savior. If they haven’t, this is a great time for you to give them the opportunity. Don’t be afraid this Christmas season to share what Christmas is really about, Jesus.

Dear Lord, we thank You for all that You have done for us and continue to do so. Help us to share Your love with all those around us today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Jesus is better than Santa

James 1:17  (ESV)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

1.  Santa is a pretty cool guy! I have nothing against the guy in the red suit, but I thought this morning I would share a few reasons why I think Jesus is way better than Santa. Jesus doesn’t give out coal. The great thing about Jesus is that He doesn’t give bad gifts, like coal. He only gives the best gifts; you know the ones the non-coal type. Jesus has your best interests at heart and is all about giving you awesome gifts. So no matter what you are in need of this Christmas season, Jesus has your answer!

2.  Santa gifts last a year or two but Jesus’ gifts last forever. There’s lots of awesome gifts that you can get from Santa. Many times, those toys might be really great when you first get them, but after a while, you usually outgrow them or they go out of style. Jesus, on the other hand gives gifts that never wear out or get outdated. The gifts Jesus gives are ones that you can enjoy for the rest of your life!

3.  Talking to Santa lasts a few months, but talking to Jesus lasts a lifetime. The great thing about Jesus is that you are able to talk to Him at any time. He’s there and ready to listen. You don’t have to wait until the Christmas season and find him at a department store to talk to Him. You can talk to Jesus at any time and in any place, and He’s ready to listen.

Jesus has got Santa beat when it comes to Christmas awesomeness. Where Santa is lacking, Jesus has got him covered. Jesus desires nothing more than getting to know you better this Christmas season. So in the middle of your time off from school and eating your weight in candy canes, take some time to think about all the good things that Jesus has done for you, and be sure to thank Him for being way better than Santa!

Dear Lord, we thank You for being way better than Santa. Help us remember this Christmas season the many things You do for us and share that with others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas treasure

Matthew 6:2 (ESV)  
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Today’s Bible verse got me thinking about Christmas time. How much of our energy is spent this season buying or getting the “right” gift? Why do we try so hard to get something that will be outdated or that you’ll get bored of before too long? So much of our energy at Christmas time is spent in the pursuit of things that don’t last.

This verse tells us to not store up treasures on earth, but to rather store up treasures in heaven. So instead of just living for yourself and what you can get, choose to do something different this Christmas.

If you have a friend who needs help offer it. If you see a need, meet it. If you have extra money, give it to your church to help them reach out to someone else in need. Mostly, just be open to let the light of Jesus shine through open doors all around you.

Dear Lord, we pray today that our hearts and eyes would be open to those around us. Help us spread Your love through our actions. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree

John 1:14 (ESV)
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.

Christmas season is in full swing! Stores are crammed full of people doing their last minute shopping and you’re probably gearing up for all the good food that you’re going to eat in the next few days. Because Christmas is such a busy time, it’s easy to forget some stuff, so we’ve got a checklist guaranteed to help you get rocking around that Christmas tree!

Decide to be happy – It’s easy to fall into the habit of unhappiness at Christmas time, and its usually the small things that steal the fun right out of Christmas. It usually starts with simple things, like being jealous about the presents a friend got, or feeling upset because you were forced to go to Aunt Lucy’s house instead of hanging out with your friends. Choose to not let the simple things make you unhappy this Christmas. Decide no matter what to be happy and you’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree in no time!

Be thankful – No matter how stinky your Christmas seems, you can always find things to be thankful for. One thing to be thankful for at Christmas is the fact that Jesus came into the world to pay the price for your sins. You’re not getting what you deserve, which was hell. Instead Jesus paid the price for your sins so you can party it up this Christmas season!

Remember what Christmas is Really About – There’s usually so much going on at Christmas that sometimes it’s easy to forget what Christmas is really about…JESUS! Spend some time thinking about what Jesus means to you, and be sure to thank Him for what He’s done in your life.

Keep in mind this Christmas season how awesome Jesus is. Think about all He’s done in your life, and take time to be thankful. If you do, you’ll find that you’ll be rocking around that Christmas tree in no time!

Dear Lord, we thank You for coming to Earth as a baby and growing up among us. But most of all we thank You for dying on the cross for our sins so that we may live with you forever. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Faithful in the small things

Luke 16:12 (ESV)
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?

You might want to do something awesome for God but you’re waiting on Him to put it together for you. And while, it’s always good to get God’s timing on things, today’s Bible verse challenges us to do something else while we’re waiting.

This verse is saying that a first step is to serve another person’s dream. Get involved in helping someone else reach their potential. As you are faithful in the small things, you’ll see that God will advance your steps little by little.

As you learn to give and be a blessing with the money you have you’ll see that God trusts you with more. So choose today to live your life differently. Determine to start being faithful today with the small things and realize that God will take care of your future.

Dear Lord, we pray that our eyes and hearts would be open to be a blessing to those around us.  Help us be faithful in the small things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Stinky shoes

1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV)
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

There’s not many things that smell worse than stinky shoes. I’m sure you’ve come across a pair that has that odor with the extra kick. It may even be a family member. You know the ones that make you gag a little when you pick them up?

It seems like shoes can get stinky pretty easily. It’s just the nature of them. You put them on, run around in them for a few days, and they start to accumulate that funky stinky feet odor. But many times, because you wear the shoes all the time, you don’t notice the odor. It’s easy to become accustomed to the foot odor and not realize…your feet stink.

You know that’s a lot like personal growth. It’s easy to become so accustomed to your daily activities, routines and things that we can forget to grow personally. Unless we try to do something beyond what we’ve already mastered, we won’t grow.

That principle can apply to lots of areas in our lives. If we don’t push ourselves to grow, we can easily become stinky and not realize it.

To win, you’ve got to be disciplined in training. You’ve got to push yourself beyond where you’re comfortable in natural things and in spiritual things. So decide today that you’re not going to become stinky like your shoes sometimes get. Decide to keep pushing yourself forward in your relationship with God and in your habits and routines. The secret to your failure or your success is found in your daily routines.

Dear Lord, help us to push our self beyond what is normal.  Help us to grow spiritually so that we may bring honor to You and not be stinky. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Pinball and thoughts

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I have always enjoyed the game of pinball. There’s something exciting about the flashing lights, the music, and most of all, trying to keep that ball in play by hitting it with the flippers.

Pinball is a little difficult in the sense that the crazy little ball never wants to stay in play. It always is trying to get to the bottom. Each time it nears the drain at the bottom, you have to try with all your might to hit those flippers hard enough to keep that ball in play.

Pinball reminds me a lot of what the Bible says about our thoughts. The Bible encourages us to get rid of thoughts that aren’t good and fill our mind with those that are good.

To me, this verse is telling us that when a thought comes that isn’t of God, we are to flip it away from our thinking. Just like in Pinball, when the ball comes near the drain at the bottom, we are to flip it away from us, when thoughts come to us that aren’t of God we are to flip those out of our thinking.

So when thoughts come to you and you begin to think that no one understands or cares about you, choose to flip those thoughts from your thinking. Don’t grab a hold of that thought or even entertain it. Kick it out of your thinking and you’ll see that you’ll quickly begin seeing results in the way you think.

Dear Lord, we pray that when the things of life that come our way that are bad for us we would choose to flip those thoughts out of our mind. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Pictures and thoughts can be deleted

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

If you are like most people, you love taking pictures with your iPod, camera, or phone. Each picture you take shows a piece of your life. And some of these are so great, you have to share them on social media so all your friends can see.

Imagine if you will that every thought you have in a day is like a picture stored on your phone. Some you look at and decide “that wasn’t too great- I look stupid” and hit delete.

Did you know that your thoughts are similar to photos? They contain an image. Some thoughts you should choose to keep and others you choose delete. Every day you can scroll through your thoughts and ask yourself “is this thought worth keeping?” So with that in mind, here’s some tips to help you develop good mental pictures:

1 – Bad Thoughts Can Be Deleted
If you have a thought that is a negative image, one that doesn’t make you smile, then delete it from your thinking.
Many times, we don’t take any time to think about what we think about. Getting into the habit of deleting bad thoughts is important because our self-image is based upon how we think about ourselves. Don’t spend tons of time thinking about things that aren’t good. Instead delete those thoughts and replace them with good thoughts.

2 – Thoughts Can Be Shared.
Each time you take a picture on your phone you have the choice to share it or not. If you really like how you look, most likely, you’ll choose to share it on some social media platform. You want others to see what you’re up to and interact with what you shared.

As you know, everything you post on social media sites reflects you. It’s like a billboard that tells everybody what you are thinking and doing. So ask yourself, what image are you portraying? Are you posting your fears, your emotions, your hang-ups?

The things you post and speak reflect your thoughts. If you’re constantly speaking negative things and posting negative things, it’s a reflection what you’re thinking about. If you wonder how people see you, just check out what you’re sharing with others.

There’s nothing wrong with sharing your thoughts, but what you say and share often affects your attitude. If you’re always speaking and sharing negative things, often your attitude and outlook will follow. Your attitude is determined by what you think about. Spend time thinking good things and your outlook and attitude will follow.

There’s power in sharing positive things and avoiding spending too much time talking and sharing things that are negative.

Tip #3 – Thoughts = Success
The images you look at daily determine your success online and in life. If you always look at the images where you don’t look good, you’ll begin to believe that you’re ugly or don’t measure up. What you look at on your phone matters.

In the same way, your thoughts are linked to what you look at and listen to. Take some time to examine what you’re letting your eyes and ears feast on. If you’re having a hard time keeping your thoughts positive, pay attention to what you’re looking at and listening to.

If you want to propel your life forward, begin to examine what you’re thinking about. If you have a thought isn’t a good one don’t hesitate…delete it from your thinking. Thinking good thoughts will help you achieve success.

Dear Lord, help us listen to our thoughts more and delete those that we don’t want developed in us. Help us not always say what we feel, but instead say what we want in our life and what will help other people. Help us to come to You with our hurts and feelings in prayer. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Brushing your teeth and God's Word.

Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Brushing your teeth isn’t usually the highlight of your day, in fact, you might even sometime not want to brush them in order to get out the door earlier in the morning or to get to bed quicker at night. Even though brushing your teeth can feel like a chore sometimes, teeth brushing can teach us about reading the Bible. And hopefully, make reading the Bible seem a little less boring.

Brushing should be a habit. Imagine if you only brushed your teeth once and never touched your toothbrush again. My guess is that you’d have some pretty gross teeth and stinky breath. Well, just like you shouldn’t brush your teeth only once, you shouldn’t read your Bible only once. The Bible is a book that you need to get into. You’re not going to get it all by reading it once.

Brushing keeps you fresh. Your breath gets just plain nasty if you don’t brush your teeth. That’s a lot like reading the Bible. Reading the Bible helps to keep us fresh. The Bible is filled with instruction, wisdom and guidance to keep us going strong through life. Getting into the Bible is a great way to encourage yourself and stay fresh in your walk with God.
Brushing makes you feel better. Don’t you love that awesome clean feeling that you get after you brush your teeth? The same feeling is available to us when we read the Bible. The Bible will encourage us and make us feel better. Whether you’re going through a problem, need some healing, or just plain want to be encouraged, reading the Bible is your answer.
The Bible is a powerful book. It has the power to change the way you look at life and the way you feel. If you haven’t already, choose to make reading the Bible a habit. You’ll be glad you did.

Dear Lord, help us to make it a habit to read and studying Your Word. Thank You for all we can learn from studying the Bible. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

A lesson learned from a GoPro

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

My sons both have GoPros and enjoy using them doing different activates including strapping it to Max as he swims.  GoPro cameras are an awesome invention. They let you capture the world around you in new ways. You can ski with them, surf with them, attach them to your dog, your head, or maybe even your little brother. There are tons of crazy things you can do with a GoPro camera.

One of the great feature the GoPro is it’s waterproof case. It can be submerged and still be okay. That’s a lot like us. Life can be really hard at times. You can have days where you feel like you’re getting battered, bruised and held under the water. It could be anything from friends not treating you right to things breaking around the house.

The good news is that no matter how hard life gets or how tough things might seem, you can put your trust in God. See God promises to never leave you.

God will never leave us. He will never fail us. He’s like the GoPro’s waterproof case. As long as the GoPro camera is in the case, the GoPro is safe from the elements. Water can’t hurt it. Snow can’t hurt it. The camera is safe when it’s in the case.

That’s how we are when we put our trust in God. When we lean on Him, rely on Him and make Him our trust than no matter what is going on around us, we are safe.

God will always have our back if we put our faith and trust in Him. So challenge yourself to put your trust in God. Don’t live your life in fear and become discouraged by what’s going on around you. Instead put your trust in God and see God come through for you.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can put our complete trust in You, And no matter the circumstance You have our back and we can shine forth for You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

We've been set free

Romans 8:2  (ESV)
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

How do you feel when it’s Friday? Do you feel relieved? Maybe you know that you don’t have school or work for a few days and get the chance to get caught up on sleep and chores. In a way, Friday is a type of freedom. You know that you have two days to relax and catch up.

The feeling you get on a Friday is only a small fraction of the freedom that you experience in Christ. Today’s verse tells us that we’ve been set free from sin and death. We are no longer bound by sin, we’re not held back by our sinful nature and it’s desires. Rather we’ve been set free. Sin no longer has a hold on us.

This freedom that we experience in Christ is way greater than any weekend or holiday. It’s life changing. You’ve been made completely and totally free from the power of sin because of what Jesus did. That’s the most freeing news there is!

Dear Lord, we thank You for the freedom that You give to each of us. Thank You that we are no longer bound by sin but freed because of what You did for us on the cross. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Share the good news

1 Chronicles 16:8 (ESV)
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!

When something amazing happens to you, what do you do? If you’re like most people, you tell someone. You might write a tweet, share something on Facebook, send a Snap, but regardless of the way you do it, you let people know when something major happens in your life. God built us that way. He built us to share and have relationships with other people.

However, many times when it comes to something amazing that God did in our lives, we often keep silent. We might fear that other people will think we’re weird, or just feel unsure of how to share with others.

So challenge yourself today to give thanks to God for what He’s done, but also let others know about it. Today’s Bible verse tells us to let the whole world know what He’s done. Share what God has done in your life with someone today. Let God speak through you to encourage others that they can get to know God too. If God has done something amazing in your life, don’t keep it a secret. Step out and share what He’s done for you. You never know who might get encouraged because you weren’t afraid to tell someone!

Dear Lord, we thank You for all You have done for us. Help us to share the good news with all those we come into contact with today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Our relationship with God sometimes seems like a yo yo

2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

If you’ve ever used a yo-yo, you know it’s not always as easy as it looks. I remember growing up trying and trying to get mine to go down and come up right. With some practice I actually got the hang of it, and experimented with some tricks.

I think a lot of times in our walks with God, it can often feel like a yo-yo. We have a good day when we read the Bible and get a lot out of it. Then a few days later we read and can’t even remember what we read. Or maybe we had a great church service and get really excited about God, but then we head to our home and normal routine, and we start getting involved with our friends and what’s going on, and we start to forget about God. Simply put, it can feel lots of times like your relationship with God is like a yo-yo. There’s lots of ups and downs.

Here’s something to think about if you feel like you’re in an up or down swing in your relationship with God. Here’s a great secret: to have a successful relationship with God you can’t let emotions be your indicator. You might feel goosebumps when you read the Bible one day and absolutely nothing the next. This doesn’t mean that God has left or that there is something wrong with you.

We are encouraged to not walk by what we see or feel but to walk by faith. So if there’s a day when you don’t feel excited about reading your Bible, or that you got much out of it, don’t get discouraged and give up. Rather continue to walk by faith and not be moved by what you see or your feelings.

Dear Lord, help our faith stay strong. We pray that we won’t get discouraged and give up but instead keep pushing to walk by the faith that You have given to us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

God is for us.

Romans 5:1 (ESV)
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

How many times do we feel that we need the approval of others to make us happy? We might think if we could just get that person to like you, or hang out with the right people we’d be happy.

The truth in this scripture is that we don’t need others to make us happy. We’ve been accepted by God. We have peace with God. Our acceptance and happiness is based on what God says about us, not what others say.

Our happiness is not based on what others say about us. It’s based on what God says about us.

Knowing this can change your life. When you begin to realize God’s great love for you, it changes everything. God loves you unconditionally. He loves you regardless of who likes you or doesn’t like you. You can be happy knowing that you’ve been made right with God!

Dear Lord, we thank You that Your love changes everything for us. Help us to remember it doesn’t matter who likes us and who doesn’t. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Good actions

Proverbs 20:11 (ESV)
Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
    by whether his conduct is pure and upright.

How are your actions? Its easy to say the ‘right thing’ when you’re around your family or at church. But what’s the real you like? How do you act when no one is around? Do you slack off? Do you only do the minimum of what is expected? How you act when no one is looking shows your true character.

Your actions are what you’re known by, so if your actions aren’t uplifting and helping others, decide today to make any changes that are necessary. It’s not always easy to change, but it’s always worth it. It’s worth it to put the effort in to be a person of character. Choose to not compromise, even in the smallest area. Be a person of excellence and always do your best. It’s the small choices you make every day that will set you apart from others. Choose to be someone who is known by good actions!

Dear Lord, we come to You and ask you to show us if there are things we are doing that aren’t uplifting and helping others. We desire to be a person that is pure and upright. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The light of your path.

Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.

Many times people say the Bible isn’t relevant and doesn’t help us make decisions in today’s world. However, if you simply read it with an open heart, you’ll be surprised to find that it’s very relevant.

When you read God’s word you get the chance to learn things that help you with your everyday life. Whether you need advice on dealing with others or some wisdom for your finances God’s Word has what you need.

God’s Word (the Bible) is ready and available to give you light to the decisions you need to make. God cares about the path you’re on. He has wisdom for you today. Read God’s Word today and let it speak truth to you and light your path.

Dear Lord, help us to stay in Your Word so that we will know the path that You have for us to follow. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Don't wait to go to church

Romans 5:20 (ESV)
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.

I once knew a person who told me that he would start going to church  once he got his life together. He said that he was too messed up to go to church and needed to work on himself before he felt like he could go to church.

If you wait to go to church until you’ve worked on yourself, you’ll never go. That’s like saying I’m going to wait until I’m no longer sick to see a doctor. If you’re sick, you need to see a doctor then, not when you get well. In the same way, if you’ve not got your life together and you’ve got sin in your life, that’s the perfect time to get yourself into church.

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.

In todays verse it talks about how the law was given so that we could see how sinful we are. And as we realize how sinful we are, we realize that we can’t get rid of sin on our own. We need God to help. God’s grace is always more than enough to cover whatever sin you have in your life.

So if you’re going through something or if you have sin in your life, don’t hide from God or feel like you need to get things together before coming to God. Rather, go to God. Get His help. Walk life with God and have Him help you fix the sin in your life.

Dear Lord, help us to not wait on our self to get our self together. But instead help us to come You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Balanced diet

Matthew 28:20 (ESV)
Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

There is a certain is a pizza place in Chicago that makes the best deep dish pizza. If I lived in Chicago I honestly think I could eat there almost every day for weeks and never get tired of it. Their pizza is just that good. However, I know that eating stuffed pizza for every meal for weeks on end wouldn’t be good for my health. I know that I should include other food groups in my diet. To be healthy, I need to eat a balanced diet.

A balanced diet is also good for us spiritually. It’s really easy to get into a rut when it comes to reading our Bibles. Many times we focus on those verses that make us feel good, and we ignore those that challenge us. Just like it isn’t good for us to eat the same foods day in and day out, it’s also not good for us to do that spiritually.

We shouldn’t pick and choose to read only the things in the Bible that we like, or the passages we want to obey and ignore the rest. That’s not what being a true disciple means. As we look at today’s Bible verse it says:

and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

In this verse, Jesus is giving some final instructions to His disciples. He tells them to teach others to obey everything He commanded them. He didn’t tell the disciples they could obey the things they liked and ignore the things that challenge them in the Bible. Rather, Jesus told them to obey everything.

The same goes for us today. We can’t pick and choose what we’re going to obey and believe in the Bible. We need to take time to read it all, and take time to obey it all. Even if a passage challenges us, or goes against what makes us feel good, as disciples of Jesus, we need to obey it. So today, examine your heart. Are there areas where you’ve ignored some of Jesus’ commands? If there are, make the adjustments today to line your life and beliefs up to God’s word.

Dear Lord, help us to be faithful in reading all of Your Word and not just the things that we want to hear and obey. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Love discipline?

Proverbs 12:1 (NLT)
To learn, you must love discipline;
    it is stupid to hate correction.

If you want to be good at something, it takes discipline. Growing up I tool piano lessons and that required practice every day to master the skills that my teacher set forth each week. If you play an instrument, you have to practice, if you play a sport you have to train and eat right to be better. To grow in any area in life you’ve got to discipline yourself.

If you want to become a person of character, you’ve got to love discipline. Discipline not easy and it’s certainly not fun. Discipline is hard work. But if you want to learn, to grow, and to be better, you’ve got to learn to love discipline.

That’s what our verse is encouraging us to do. To become better at anything we’ve got to embrace correction and love discipline. When we do we will learn and grow.

It’s the small choices we make that set us apart from others. So decide that you’re going to discipline yourself to make good choices. It’s those choices that determine where you end up in life.

Dear Lord, help us to be disciplined in the things we do so that we can become what You have designed for each of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The worry trap

Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of worry. I wake up many nights worried about the next day and what I needed to do. Concerned that I would forget something that needed to be done. I have lost a lot of sleep because I was so worried that I’d forget something the next day.

Worry is a bad thing. It keeps you from sometimes sleeping, eating, or even just enjoying life. That’s why the Bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Because if we’re using up all our energy worrying about the next day, we’re not enjoying today. God doesn’t want us going through life bogged down with worry and cares. Instead, He wants us to trust Him, that He will take care of things.

So today, if you have a bad habit of worrying about things, decide to make a change for good. Decide to stop worrying about things that may or may not happen and enjoy the things God has provided for you today. As you break the habit of worry, you’ll find that you’ll begin enjoying life more each day!

Dear Lord, help us to not worry about the things in life but to fully trust You in all things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Your worth

1 John 3:1 (ESV)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Do you have days where you doubt your worth? Maybe you wonder why you are the way you are, or why you can’t say the right thing at the right time. Or perhaps you don’t look the way you wished you did. All this self-doubt can start to weigh on you, and make you feel like you’re not important.

Today’s verse gives us a true picture of our worth to God. It tells us that God has adopted us into His family. Because of this. we now have value and purpose. All the superficial things, like how you look and what you do no longer matter. What matters is what God says about you. Your true value is based on what God thinks of you.
The good news is, God thinks you’re great. He loves you in a big way. He wants nothing more than to know you. He loves you with a greater love than you’ll ever know. So when you have days where you question your worth, take some time to think about how much you’re worth to God. He loved you enough to adopt you into His family. To Him, you’re priceless!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You have adopted us into Your family and that You think we are priceless. Thanks for loving us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

God has a unique plan for your life.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

It’s so easy to feel like you don’t measure up to others. You can see the things other people are posting on social media and if you’re not careful, you can begin to think that your life isn’t that exciting, or doesn’t matter. The truth however, is that you were created for an awesome purpose.

God sees you as someone that is important. You are His handiwork, that means He cares about you and has an interest in you. He cares what you’re up to and He’s created you to do something good.

God has a unique plan for your life. He wants to use you to touch other people and to make a difference in your world. There are people around you that need to know about Jesus. God wants to use you to touch them and show them Jesus. God has so much in store for you to do. So don’t give into the lies that you’re not important, or you’re not as talented as someone else around you. Chose to believe what God says about you, that you’re created to do good things!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You created us with special gifts and talents.  Help us to see them and use them for You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Worship God with music

Psalm 27:6 (ESV)
 And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

What do you do when you have a bad day? There are lots of different things that you can do to help you get over a bad day. However, as we look at our Bible verse today it tells us one awesome way to beat the bad day blues.

Today’s verse talks about singing and praising the lord with music. There’s something about singing and praising God that helps you get in a better mood. It doesn’t matter if you don’t sing well or can’t play an instrument. Just grab your phone or MP3 player and enjoy worshiping God through the music.

Worshiping God is one of the best things you can do when you have a bad day. So if you’re having a bad day, choose to sing to God. It will help you begin to enjoy your day and get your focus on God and all He’s done for you.

Dear Lord, we thank You great music there is to lift our spirits when we are down. Help to remember to praise You in all things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

One Black Friday

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

As I turned on my computer this morning my inbox was filled with “Black Friday” ads.  After great Thanksgiving Day yesterday today began the unofficial “Christmas shopping season,” the time of year when retailers move from operating “in the red” (at a loss) to operating “in the black” (making a profit).  Stores offer crazy low prices to lure us the customers in, hoping that we will in turn spend a lot of money for gifts. The debt accumulated all year is finally paid.
Each year on Black Friday it makes me think about another “Black Friday”, a day when the greatest price was paid for the greatest gift ever given.  2000 years ago, an innocent man gave His life so that others might live.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, left His heavenly home, to be born into an ordinary family and live an ordinary life in an ordinary town, until He began His extra-ordinary ministry on earth.  For 3 years, He healed the hurting, taught those who would listen, and preached the truth to all.  The conclusion of His time on earth was paying the price for the sins of the entire world, past, present and future, and providing the gift of eternal life to any who receive it. In a word, He paid the debt that we owe, a debt we were powerless to pay.   

Now that Thanksgiving Day is over, let’s continue to live with thanksgiving in our hearts.

Dear Lord, thank You for paying the debt we owe. Thank You for rising from the dead in victory, giving us the opportunity to live in victory.  Help us be ready to share the real reason for the season.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Psalm 107:1, 8-9 (ESV)
1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

As we look at Thanksgiving here are some fun facts:

Pounds of turkey consumed by the typical American: 13.8
Pounds of expected U.S. cranberry production: 735
Dollar amount (in millions) of Thanksgiving weekend movie box office earnings: 275
Percentage increase in the volume of household waste between Thanksgiving and New Years: 25
Time in minutes it takes to make Stove Top Stuffing: 30
Number of pounds the average person puts on between Thanksgiving and Christmas: 1
The value (in billions) of the turkeys shipped: 3.6
Number of cities in U.S. named “Turkey”: 3
Number of years the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade was suspended during WWII: 2
Cubic feet of helium needed to inflate the Jimmy Neutron balloon in Macy’s parade: 12,300
Number of days the first Thanksgiving celebration lasted: 3

The First National Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; Whereas, both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me

"to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness!"

Now therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.

Dear Lord, we are thankful for all You do for us. We are thankful for all that You have provided for us. Help us to not only be thankful on this one day but throughout the year also. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.