"All these things shall be added to you."
Some folks think that God's sole purpose is to save their soul, help them become as morally upright and as spiritually mature as possible, and one day take them to heaven to live with Him. And in a sense that's true. But here's what isn't true - that God is not interested in your job, your health, your relationships, your finances, or your dreams and goals because somehow those things are carnal, worldly, and temporal.
When you think like that, you "spiritualize" every promise you read in Scripture, and when you pray, you believe the only thing God wants to do is help you become more spiritual. Let's look into the Scriptures and see what God really says about this. The truth is, in fact, the exact opposite. By maintaining that God plays no part in when you do that, you're on dangerous ground, because you're making yourself the sole source of your success, and the Bible calls that - pride! What Jesus taught is this: "Do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles [who do not serve God] seek... For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. - Matthew 6:33.
So let's be clear: God wants you to succeed in life for the right reasons, and He wants you to have all the things you need to do it.
"Having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]."
We can learn a lot about the importance of a good attitude by looking at the children of Israel.
It's estimated that about 1.5 million Israelites came out of Egypt. God delivered them from slavery and led them to the Promised Land. The trip should have taken about 11 days, but instead it took 40 years. Why? Because they were constantly complaining about everything! They complained about the food God sent from heaven each day. And any time something difficult crossed their path they were ready to give up and go back to Egypt - back to slavery. What's astounding is that out of the 1.5 million people who left Egypt, only two from the original group made it into the Promised Land.
And today there are many Christians who have also escaped from "Egypt" (their former life of slavery to sin), believers who are always looking forward to the Promised Land, yet they end up wandering in the wilderness their entire lives, dealing with the same old problems and issues. Are you one of them? Do you feel like you've been circling the same mountain for too long?
If so, here's your answer: "Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old un-renewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness."
In other words - change your attitude!
"We all stumble in many things."
Striving to do better is a good thing, but try to have realistic expectations. Everything in life isn't black or white; there are gray areas and some "in-betweens." Everything can't be perfect all the time, and everything isn't horrible all the time. Deciding to skip a meeting or social event because you're running five minutes late or have a blemish on your face, or cancelling an entire trip because a flight is delayed, or feeling like a terrible human being over one innocent mistake, is sometimes referred to as "polarizing."
This leads to frustration and negativity. To maintain your joy in life, you must accept that you won't be perfect all the time, and neither will the people or things around you. When you expect perfection from life, you tend to expect the same from other people. And that kind of unrealistic thinking not only meets with a great deal of disappointment when your expectations aren't met, it puts unbearable pressure on the people you care about and can eventually destroy those relationships. Why not give people a break and stop demanding something from them that they have no ability to give you? The apostle James said we all stumble, fall, and offend in many things. So if we all make mistakes - and we do - learn to accept that it's just part of the human experience, and relax!
Question: In what specific ways do you need to be more accepting of the imperfect areas" in your own life, or in the way someone else's imperfect areas affect you? And before you answer, think about this:
"Love is patient, love is kind" - 1 Corinthians 13:4
"God has placed the parts in the body... just as he wanted them"
1 Co 12:18
Do you feel like joining a different church where people are "more like you"? A team of missionaries to Kenya were being driven across the plains to their destination by a Masai tribal escort. En route their attention became riveted on the herds of wildebeests and zebras migrating together. Their escort explained why two massive herds of such different species would travel together. He said that while wildebeests have poor eye sight, they have a keen sense of smell, whereas zebras have good eyesight and a poor sense of smell. So together they were less vulnerable to attack because their differences compensated for their weaknesses, Paul writes, "If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?"
That reminds you of those zebras and wildebeests, doesn't it? When we join a club, we usually choose to be with people who are more or less like us. But membership in Christ's body throws us together with people who are as different from us as a hand is from a nose. And while those differences can rub you the wrong way at times, they are differences God designed to benefit you. Zebras and wildebeests don't have to like each other, but their survival and success depend on getting along together. Your spiritual growth doesn't depend on agreeing with everybody, but it does depend on loving them enough to live together agreeably!
"Train up a child... [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent]."
The Bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it." The truth of the matter is that while certain universal principles apply to all children, no two are alike, and it's a mistake to treat them as if they were. In fact, here are two of the most common blunders you can make as a parent:
(1) Trying to mold your child into what you used to be. Just because you were a star football player in college doesn't mean your son will want to follow in your footsteps. And just because you made straight A's in school doesn't necessarily mean your children are capable of a 4.0 grade point average. While you should never tolerate or reward laziness, you need to accept that not all children are equally gifted athletically or intellectually.
(2) Trying to make them into what you want them to be. Don't try to relive your life through your kids. You had your chance, and just because you didn't make the grade as a professional athlete doesn't mean you should force your son or daughter in that direction. The Bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent]," not necessarily the way you should go, or want him or her to go. There are three hallmarks of healthy self-esteem you should continually strive to teach your children: (1) Know who you are; (2) Like who you are; (3) Be who you are.
Some of us are scared to take the jump in our every day lives, but what’s crazy is we shouldn’t be scared because we have God on our side!🗣
If you don’t feel excited to start every single day, then you need to jump and trust God💯
Fear is there to show you that what you’re doing with your life is challenging your current lifestyle. Fear isn’t a bad thing, it’s something worth being embraced🔥
Share this to your page for someone who needs to hear that they should JUMP into their next endeavor in life♥️
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"Discipline your children; you'll be glad you did."
Several years ago, sociologists and child psychologists made an interesting discovery. Contemporary thought assumed that putting fences around playgrounds made children feel restricted in their recreation. And based on that theory it was decided to remove the fences so children wouldn't feel confined. To the astonishment of the experts, the opposite effect occurred. Researchers found that children became more inhibited in their activities. They tended to huddle toward the middle of the playground and exhibited signs of insecurity. Interestingly, when the fences were replaced, the children once more played with great enthusiasm and freedom.
What's the lesson here? We all need boundaries-something to define the limits of safety and security. Whereas the "experts" theorized that boundaries restrict creativity, children on the playground proved that we need a clear understanding of what's safe and acceptable in order for ingenuity and inventiveness to flourish. That means your children will flourish and you'll function better as a parent when guidelines are clearly communicated, and the consequences for not following them are completely understood.
There's a humorous story of a father who gave his sixteen-year-old son his first car. Before handing him the keys, he said, "This is a magic car, Son." "Really?" the boy replied. "Yeah," answered his dad. "One speeding ticket-and it will disappear!" And the first car you buy for your child should be a "magic" car too.
Bottom line: God sets the rules for success in life, and He rewards those who honor them. In the words of Scripture: "Study this Book of Instruction continually... obey everything written in it.,.. then will you prosper and succeed in all you do" - Jos 1:8
"Turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me."
Here are three Bible examples of radical commitment:
(1) Commitment on the job. In the past, employers appreciated their workers, and workers valued their employers and their job. Today's workplace is often adversarial, with employees criticizing their bosses and doing the minimum required to get by, while many bosses have become increasingly demanding, taking their workers for granted. This isn't God's way. His way calls for mutual commitment between management and labor. Paul says: "Obey your earthly masters... always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don't just do what you have to do to get by... work heartily... keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you're really serving God" - Ephesians 6:5-8
(2) Commitment at church. Many Christians have adopted a cafeteria-style approach toward church. We pick what we like and leave what we don't. But membership in Christ's church involves a covenant relationship with a body of believers who watch over, cherish, and pray one another, and fulfill the great commission together.
(3) Commitment to Christ. Christ is not looking for wishy-washy, "lukewarm" followers. He told the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me." That means you no longer follow your own wishes and will, you follow Christ and His will. That's radical commitment, and you are called to it.
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"Crucified with Christ... I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."
Many people today want to get as much as they can for themselves while giving as little in return as possible. They want to be there for their friends in the good times, but absent in the not-so-good ones. Sadly, national statistics confirm this lack of commitment.
The marriage rate is down while the divorce rate is up. Involvement in ministry and worthy causes that help the needy are all down. Why? Because people don't want to put themselves on the line, or be pinned down by responsibility. We often view opportunities to serve others as obligations, therefore we avoid them. We're a sound bite generation with a short attention span, a custom to 15-second advertisements or videos and fast food. We want our sermons simple, entertaining, and "feel-good." Yes, radical commitment is rare-but it's what God requires of you. Commitment means your promise is binding whether it's convenient or not. Let's look at a few examples:
Commitment to marriage. Marriage, as God sees it, isn't a fifty-fifty arrangement. It's a mutual agreement to give 100 percent of ourselves. It's a lifetime covenant between you and your spouse: "for better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; until parted by death."
And that covenant is a lot easier to live up to when both partners have learned, like Paul, to say, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." That means dying to self-interest is the key to great relationships.
If you read this devotional or touched you in a way, "comment" #BelieveInTheBand below!
"The Lord your God will bless you as He has promised." - Deuteronomy 15:6
Sometimes life beats you down so much that you give up hoping and believing that anything good will ever happen for you. If that's where you are today, read these words: "I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord... plans for good... to give you a future and a hope" - Jeremiah 29:11
God has a good plan for each of us, but not all of us experience it. Why?
Two reasons: (1) We don't realize we have rights and privileges
We believe God can save us and take us to heaven when we die, but don't think He can do anything about our past, present, or future
(2) We live far below the level He intended because we see ourselves in the wrong light.
We believe He can bless anybody - except us - because we're not worthy. God has clothed you in the righteousness of Christ, so you're worthy in His sight and He has plans to "bless you as He has promised." In Bible days when a new king came to the throne, he made sure the old king and his family were put to death; that way nobody could rise up against him. So when David replaced King Saul, Mephibosheth, Saul's grandson, fled to the wilderness in fear. But David was a different kind of king. Instead of seeking to wipe out his predecessor's family, he asked, "Is there still anyone... left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" - 2 Samuel 9:1
"Why would God bless ME?" you ask.
The answer is simple but clear: for Christ's sake!