Let yourself enjoy

Let yourself enjoy the moment you’re in, the place you are, and the things you’re doing. Let yourself enjoy the life you have right now.

It’s great when you work to make life better, richer and more fulfilling. But don’t ever give up the chance to enjoy all the goodness you already have.

The more fully you enjoy this day, the better tomorrow will be. Instead of indefinitely putting off your enjoyment until some idealized time in the future, experience enjoyment at every opportunity.

You don’t need for everything to line up in a certain way in order to enjoy yourself. All you really have to do, is make the choice.

Instead of judging each situation, each person and each activity, make the choice to give of yourself. Give your joy, and make the moment truly enjoyable.

Joy instantly makes life richer and more satisfying. Go ahead, right now, and let yourself enjoy.

— Ralph Marston

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Avoid the Mistake

Read Judges 7:1 through 8:35

Does the following scenario point to any common details in people’s lives?

Do people often pray hard and study Scripture in order to seek God’s provision when struggling financially? Do these same people attend church weekly and ask other believers to pray for their needs. As their accounts increase to a comfortable amount, do they begin getting an early start on their workdays to put in more hours at the office. Do they cut back on prayer and Bible study.

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family (Judges 8:27).

Gideon, as a young and inexperienced warrior, was called by God to engage a vast invading army. Gideon’s life had been tough, and his circumstances forced him to draw close to God. But, with the enemy’s defeat and the rich spoils of the battle, Gideon misused his blessing.

Prayer Suggestion: When you enjoy a season of success, pray even harder that God will keep you in a deep relationship with himself.

 

by Gospel Publishing House

GPH_Gospel Publishing House

Christian Life Is A Battleground

Greg Laurie Daily

 

 

 

 

At Every Turn

Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. ~ Ephesians 6:17

During the Korean War, a unit known as Baker Company was separated from the regiment, and enemy forces were advancing on them. For several hours, no word came from Baker Company. Finally, radio contact was made, and when asked for a report of their situation, Baker Company replied, “The enemy is to the east of us. The enemy is to the west of us. The enemy is to the south of us. The enemy is to the north of us.” Then, after a brief pause, a voice continued, “And this time, we’re not going to let them escape.”

It seems that way in the life of the believer. The Enemy is at every turn. Yet some Christians don’t realize that the Christian life is not a playground but a battleground. They are oblivious to the fact that a war is raging. And in this war, they are either winning or losing.

In a battle, it’s always better to be an aggressor instead of a defender because the defender is simply waiting for the enemy’s next attack, hoping he will survive. If we, as believers, are always defending, then the Devil is in the superior position. But if we are attacking, then we are in the superior position. When the apostle Paul wrote about the armor of God in Ephesians 6, he mentioned one offensive weapon: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (verse 17, NLT).

Make no mistake about it: there is authority and power in the Word of God. God’s Word sticks. God’s Word breaks through. God’s Word impacts. When the Enemy has you surrounded, keep him on the defensive with the Word of God.

His Plan Will Stand

You Are Closer Than You ThinkTODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel — that will stand.”  (Proverbs 19:21, NKJV)

 TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

God is strategic. He has laid out an exact plan for our lives right down to the smallest details. He knows the people you need to meet in order to fulfill your destiny. He knows who is going to give you a good break and who is going to put in a good word for you. He knows when someone is going to need to be there to help you out of a difficult time. God has it all figured out. He is not vague or approximate. He is orchestrating your life right down to the very second, causing you to be at the right place at the right time so you can meet the right people that He has ordained before the foundation of the world.

You probably can look over your life and see how, time after time, God directed your steps to the exact moment. If you had been ten seconds earlier or ten seconds later, things would have played out differently. That’s God orchestrating His plan. That’s God ordering your steps. All you have to do is stay faithful to Him and follow His leading because in the end, His plan will stand!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for orchestrating my life. I trust that my times are in Your hands. I trust that You are working things out for my good as I keep my faith and hope in You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Joel & Victoria Osteen

CONFRONT TO CONNECT

Wisdom HuntersFaithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.Proverbs 27:6 (NKJ)

Confrontation means there has been a disconnection. Something has severed trust. It may be relational, emotional, or financial. Maybe you feel you have lost someone’s love and respect. Whatever the reason for the disconnection, confrontation needs to seek a reconnection. This is what a caring, faithful friend does. They seek to reconnect where there has been a disconnect. Your salvation in Jesus brought you into relational wholeness with heaven so you could model the same on earth. Scripture teaches, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians5:18).

However, if ignored, delayed confrontation deteriorates into disconnection. It dilutes understanding, trust, and intimacy. This is why wise leaders keep short accounts and speak freely and early about their concerns. If a leader ignores his or her obvious feelings of frustration, they will naturally distance themselves from the team and the organization. But if they confront early on, in a spirit of respect and understanding, they stay engaged with the enterprise and the individuals, and therefore avoid creating a culture of control and distrust.

This is true in marriage. A wife may confront her husband when she does not feel loved. This is a natural response when she feels distant from her spouse. Depending on the context of the confrontation, the husband may respond positively (if he is smart!) or he may push back defensively if he senses a combative or controlling spirit. It is normal and healthy to desire and seek out relational connection. This is how God has wired people. Just make sure you set yourself up for a successful connection and not an aborted one.

Your husband is much more receptive to receiving your emotional advances when done in a spirit of respect. Use questions like, “Sweetheart, can we sit down sometime today to discuss the children’s schedule for the upcoming week?” This gives him time to process and prepare. If he feels pounced upon or backed into a corner, he will react defensively. In this situation, healthy confrontation gives a couple the organizational connections they need to be more effective in managing their family responsibilities.

Caring confrontation creates a culture of teamwork and trust. A connected culture creates communication channels that build great organizations. Sadly though, a disconnected leader encourages disconnected individuals who then feed disconnected departments that facilitate disconnected divisions that ultimately lead to a disconnected and dysfunctional organization. So, most importantly, start by connecting with Christ. Vertical relational reconnection facilitates horizontal relational reconnection. Sin subtly or not so subtly severs relationships, but confession leads to connection. David, a most effective leader, said it well: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin”(Psalm 32:5). Therefore, make your motives and methods of confrontation for the purpose of reconnection. Friends who care confront to connect.

Taken from the March 16th reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 1” … http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a

Your Life Is Shaped By Your Thoughts

Written by Rick Warren on Purpose Driven 

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2a (NLT)

You cannot become all God created you to be until you understand the five factors that influence your identity. The first two are chemistry (how you are made) and connections (your relationships). You are a product of the way God created you and of the relationships in your life.

Your identity is also influenced by your circumstances and your consciousness.

Circumstances are the things that happen to you and around you — none of which you control. You are a product of the trauma, troubles, suffering, shame, shock, pressures, and pain that have shaped your life. Perhaps even abuse has affected your identity. If you’ve ever had a series of failures or a catastrophe, it has left an indelible mark on who you are.

Consciousness is how you talk to yourself. You know what? If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be friends anymore, because our thoughts are filled with the lies we’ve heard from other people that we’ve let simmer and fester. When we repeat other people’s thoughts in our head, they go deeper and deeper in our consciousness, and they begin to shape our identity.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (LB). Your thoughts don’t have to be true to hurt you; you just have to believe them. If you tell yourself your marriage won’t last, then it won’t. If you’re afraid you can’t do something, then you won’t. Your thoughts run your life!

Your circumstances may be out of your control, but God is in control of everything. Your thoughts shape who you are, but you can change the way you think. Your circumstances and consciousness have shaped who you are, but the way you respond to your circumstances and the thoughts you choose to believe will shape the rest of your life.

Talk It Over

  • What is your natural response to a difficult situation or circumstance? Do you run away or face it? Do you worry or trust God?
  • How do you need to change the way you think?
  • Who or what around you influences your thoughts in a negative way?

I am fearfully and wonderfully made….

The Enemy’s Strategy

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:14

This morning I was having a rough start getting out of bed. My paralysis was giving me fits. I shook my head and growled, “This body is a pain… I hate it!”

Body_ProblemsWhy was that so awful? Because the Enemy has a deep hatred of my flesh and blood and all I was doing was agreeing with him. He gets a charge when I bad-mouth my body. And he would like to get you to do the same.

Why? Because your body, even underneath wrinkles or fat, and despite the ravages of illness or old age, is made in the image of God. Your heart, mind, hands, and feet are stamped with the imprint of the Creator. Little wonder that the Devil wants you to be ashamed of your body!

This morning I had, once again, to plug my ears against the lies of the Tempter and remember that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I rehearsed the old, familiar truth that God has a plan for this flesh and blood of mine. That’s why the Devil considers my body a threat—he understands that when I yield to God my body, albeit paralyzed, my feet and hands are powerful weapons against his forces of darkness.

The devil is only a fallen angel. He is a deceiver. He is doomed for destruction. And until then, he has one goal in mind: your spiritual defeat, emotional malignment, and physical frustration. If he tries to get you to agree with him today… don’t.

I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, O Lord.

Devotional shared by Joni and Friends International Disability Center