Having an attitude of peace and calm is priceless.
It’s an attitude that says, “I’m trusting God,” and it speaks powerfully to people, but it takes times, focus, and the grace of God to be consistently peaceful.
Too often our stress level is tied up in our circumstances. You could always be stressed because you’re always struggling financially or because you’re not getting along with someone you love.
To conquer the stress in our lives, we need to learn to practice the peace that’s been provided for us by the overcoming power of Jesus. One way to develop consistent peace is to learn to live “in the now”.
We can spend a lot of time thinking about the past or wondering what the future holds, but we can’t accomplish anything unless our mind is focused on today.
The Bible tells us that God gives us grace for each day that we live. I believe God’s grace is the power that enables us to do what we need to do — and He gives it generously, as we need it.
Everyday, we need to say…
“God has given today. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
If you can learn to trust God “in the now”, receiving His grace as you need it, you can become a truly peaceful person and that’s powerful.
Prayer Starter: God, I know that you have overcome any and every obstacle, so I ask you to help me live in the peace that you’ve provided for me to show me how to trust you as I live “in the now”.
I once heard a story about an evangelist in Russia, who was walking around telling people…
“Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you.”
He was handing out Gospel tracts, and one lady said…
“You know what? Your sermon and gospel tract isn’t going to fill my belly.”
See, sometimes we need to show people God’s love by meeting their physical needs and then we can share the Gospel of Christ.
Jesus spoke about the importance of meeting people’s physical needs.
In Matthew, He said that when we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the needy, or care for the sick, it’s like we’re doing those things for Him. He showed us how helping someone in a practical way an create a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with someone. When someone can see God’s love in action, in a real way in their own life, it’s much easier for them to believe our message that God loves them.
So what does this look like practically? It could start with something small, like giving a hug to someone nearby who feels unloved.
From there, you could go on to support ministries that help the sick, thirsty, and hungry. Maybe you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or outreach in your community or take a mission trip to serve the needy in another country. The possibilities are endless when you make a decision to serve others not only through words, but also through practical action.
Prayer Starter: Lord, I want to put action behind my words. Show me how I can practically help the people you bring across my path so they can experience the power of your love.
One morning, I was having my quiet time alone with God, and I said to the Lord, ‘God how can you stand seeing all the pain, starving children, human trafficking, genocide, injustice, degradation, poverty, etc. in the world and do not do something?’
I didn’t say it as a complaint nor because I was questioning His integrity, and I don’t even know that I was really expecting to get an answer, but I just asked him.
Immediately, his answer came back: “I work through people. I’m waiting for my people to arise and do something.”
You and I are part of an army, the body of Christ, and it’s going to take everyone doing their part to change this world, God wants to work through us, and He’s calling us to put on love and get to work.
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul talked about how the churches in Macedonia gave by saying…
“But first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us [as his agents] by the will of God [entirely disregarding their personal interests, they gave as much as they possibly could, having put themselves at our disposal to be directed by the will of God].”
That just amazes me, because they didn’t just give their money, they gave themselves. God is calling us to live the same way and one person working for the Lord has the ability to make a profound difference!
So, how will you give yourself to the Lord and be his agent today?
Prayer starter: God, I invite you to work through me. I choose to lay down selfishness and pick up love so that I can be used by you to change the world.
In Ephesian 4:29, the apostle Paul instructs us to not use any foul or polluting language.
At one time, I didn’t realize that this included complaining, but I have since learned that murmuring and complaining pollute our lives.
Plain and simple, complaining is a sin! It causes many people a great deal of problem in their lives and destroys the joy of anyone listening. We need to ask ourselves, how quick are we to become impatient and begin to complain when stuck in traffic or while waiting in checkout lanes in grocery or department stores? How quick are we to spot and point out all the faults of our friends and family members?
The best antidote for complaining is thanksgiving. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are too busy being grateful for all the good they have that they have no time to notice the things they could complain about.
The Bible says that we are to enter God’s courts with praise and thanksgiving. You and I need to make it a daily goal to live a life of thanksgiving. Let’s be as positive and grateful as possible.
Try to go to bed at night pondering everything you have to be thankful for. Let it be the first thing you do in the morning. Thank God for “little” things or things you might normally take for granted: a parking place, waking up in the morning, a meal, your family, etc.
Don’t get discouraged when you fail, but don’t throw in the towel and quit either. Keep at it until you have developed new habits and you are living with an attitude of gratitude. Be generous with your gratitude; it will sweeten your relationship with the Lord.
Prayer Starter: God, I want to live with an attitude of gratitude, starting right now! I thank you so much for loving me and blessing me. Help me see the positive things in life and to thank you for them.
Have you heard the saying “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”?
Our minds have so much capacity for good, to learn, create, think, and grow. It’s tragic when we don’t use them to their rightest potential.
There was a time in my life when i allowed too many damaging thought to enter my mind…negative, tormenting, guilty, unforgiving, shameful, and accusing thoughts.
The problem was that I had no ideas I could control my thoughts or choose which thought I focused on and believed in. I didn’t realize that thinking something that wasn’t true, I had the power to stop. No one ever told me I could win my mind.
Has anyone ever told you?
If not, then I’m here today to tell you that you don’t have to let your thoughts control you.
Romans 12:2 says to “let God transform you by changing the way you think.”
God wants to help you on a practical level, to win the battle in your mind, but what does that look like on a practical level? Here’s what has worked countless times for me and what I know will work for you too:
The next time you’re wrestling with your mind, I want you to stop and find something specific that you can thank God for. Tell Him how grateful you are for His goodness and all the rich ways He’s blessed your life.
As you’re diligent to do this, you will see your life begin to change and things will get better and better. It’s my hope and prayer that you will know that power God has given you and that everyday in your thoughts, you will walk in the fullness of His love for you.
Prayer starter: God, I want to experience your power in my thoughts. I choose to focus on your goodness and your love for me. No matter what negative thoughts come my way, I know that you are so much bigger and better.
If you can grasp an understanding of the power of the words you speak, it may just change the course of your life.
Your mouth is a powerful tool, either for God or for the enemy. In other words, you can speak positive, uplifting, encouraging things into existence in your life or produce negative, gloomy, and discouraging things.
Now, I don’t believe any of us want to be a mouthpiece for the devil. But the fact is that mouth can be used for blessing or destruction; not only in our lives, but also in the lives of others.
I’ve seen it in my own life, there was a time pretty much everything I said was negative, but the Holy Spirit taught me how to use the creative power of the Word of God.
I learned how to speak the mountains rather than about the mountains in my life.
What I mean is, I learned to apply the truth of His word to my circumstances, and over time, I began to see positive and lasting results.
The mouth is like a pen and your heart is like a tablet. When you say something over and over, it gets on the inside of you and becomes you. It’s not something you have to try to do anymore, it’s who you are.
I’d much rather be a mouthpiece for God than the enemy. I want to speak His truth and enjoy my life.
1 Peter 3:10 says…
“Let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days keep his tongue free from evil and his from guile.”
Do you want to enjoy life? Then use your mouth to speak the things of God into your life.
Prayer Starter: Lord, I know that my mouth is a powerful tool that can be used for you or for the enemy. I submit my mouth to You. Show me how to speak Your truth into my life and into the lives of others.
I believe that one of the greatest opportunities we have is to make a profound difference in the lives of others.
God has given me the opportunity to help many people who need guidance. But I don’t believe this is a special opportunity that God made just for me. Everyone, you included, has the ability to influence someone.
When you take the time to reach out to other, you are impacting the world….yours and theirs.
Galatians 6:10 tell us to “be mindful of a blessing” to everyone God brings across our paths. We are called to be a blessing and build up others in their faith, to not be afraid to speak out the truth in love.
I don’t believe God wants us to be mere spectators in life, He wants us to be people who really love others and care enough to be willing to be pour into their lives. We need to build up others in Jesus’ name so they can grow and reach even more people.
Whether you know it or not, someone’s watching and looking up to you. People are influenced by the way you live and they need to see God’s love in your everyday actions.
At times, we’ll make mistakes, and when we do we can thank God for his forgiveness, but we may also have to realize that many times we may be the only evidence of God some people see.
Prayer Starter: God, everyday there is another opportunity that you have given me to reach out, bless, and influence someone else with your love. I want to live a life of blessing towards others, showing them what it means to live a God focused life.
Want to hear a funny story?
I regret a lot of them, and they come from things that happened in my ordinary, everyday life. Now, I wasn’t laughing when these stories were in the making, but I’m glad I can laugh about them now.
For example, I didn’t think it was funny when I couldn’t get my hair to stay in place, but if you’d seen what I did about it, you certainly would have laughed. It wasn’t amusing when I tried to make clothes, especially for the people who had to wear them. And I was irritated when my younger siblings would throw stuff at me over the aisles at Walmart, but I realize now, that they knew how to have a little fun no matter what they were doing.
I’m glad I’ve learned to look at times like these and see the humor in them. Now I know that not everything in life is necessarily enjoyable, but I think we all need to learn to have more fun in our lives. And I bet if you took the time to think about it everyday, you could find a moment that brought you to joy or you can laugh about it now.
God wants His children to have some fun.
The Bible says a merry heart does good like medicine. I think we all need a healthy dose of laughter every day — many times during the day. You just can’t overdose on joy!
I encourage you to deliberately look for something to smile or laugh about everyday and be sane to share a smile or laugh with someone else and brighten their day too!
Prayer starter: Lord, your word says that a cheerful heart is like good medicine. Thank you for helping me to find the joy and fun in life!
I want to talk to you about a four-letter word: FEAR
Many of us can probably remember when we were kids, if we said a bad word, our parents threatened to hurt us or even to wash our mouth out with soap.
Well, if “fear” is a dirty, four letter word, then faith in God’s love is the soap.
I’m not talking about wimpy faith. I’m talking about a powerful faith in God’s unconditional, unlimited, unwavering, perfect love for us.
1 John 4:18 teaches that understanding God’s love for us will deliver us from our fears. Now this doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel fear, but faith in God and His love will enable us to “do it afraid” if we have to.
God wants you to know that He is with you. He will lead and guide you, so you can put your confidence and faith in Him! Remember his love is perfect, even when we aren’t. He isn’t going to love us anymore or less because of our mistakes.
Isn’t it good to know that God loves you, right where you are? Doesn’t that thought just kind of boost your faith and take your fear down a notch?
You and I are going to feel afraid now and then. When we do, we can get our focus back on God and from that, He will lead us through any situation we face. It’s the perfect love of God, not perfect us that eases out the fear every single time.
Prayer starter: God, only your love can cast out my fear, so I put my faith in You. I know that your presence is with me and that you will lead me through any fearful situation I face. I receive your love.
In John 17:4, Jesus says….
“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
This saying that following God means finishing what He’s called us to do.
Every since that verse, it’s become very important to me that I not just do what God has called me to do, but that I finish what He’s called me to do.
There are a lot of people who step out and begin a journey with God, but I don’t think there are nearly as many who finish it.
The apostle Paul said….
“…if only I may finish my course with joy…” (Acts 20:24)
I’m determined to finish God’s call for me and enjoy every minute of it! That’s what I want for you too, to enjoy every single day of your life and finish what God has called you to do. But most of this is up to us. It’s not all up to God. He has done His part and given us everything we need in Christ. It’s up to us to keep learning, growing, and letting the spirit of God work in us.
Take the time to consider the things that God has called you to do and ask yourself,
“What am I doing today to finish strong what God has set before me?”
God has great plans for you. Receive them by faith and go after them with all your heart.
Today, I want you to make a commitment to finish strong. It’s a commitment I know God will honor.
Prayer Starter: God, like Jesus I want to be able to say that I have completed the work you have for me. Thank you for working in me to give me the power and desire to live for your pleasure and finish my course with joy.