Archive | March 2014

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

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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