Let God Illuminate Your Mind
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalms 19:8
The Psalmist writes, ‘The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.’ God can put an idea in your mind that changes the direction of your life. Marconi had an idea from which came the radio. Bell had an idea from which came the telephone. God, Who is the creator, gives creative ideas to people all the time. But you must act on them; otherwise He will give them to somebody else. Isn’t it time you asked Him for one of His ideas for your life? The fact that you believe in God is wonderful. But here’s something equally wonderful—God believes in you! Instead of looking at your present situation and thinking, ‘I guess my life’s as good as it’s ever going to get,’ start asking, ‘Lord, what do You have in mind for me?’ If you let it, life can beat you down and make you feel low, lost, lacking, and limited in ability and potential. And if you act on these feelings and thoughts instead of what God says about you in His Word, you’ll never move forward and fulfil what He put you on this earth to do. You say, ‘God has never given me one of His great ideas.’ Maybe that’s because you have never asked Him for one! He gives them to seeking hearts, prepared hearts, faith-filled hearts and obedient hearts. Here’s a profile of the kind of person God gives great ideas to: ‘His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night…Whatever he does shall prosper’ (Psalms 1:2-3).
Heavenly Father, what’s next in my life? Give me an idea that I can act on and only be successful if You make it happen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Thoughts about Jacob
Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26
Jacob got off to a bad start in life. When it came to business practices, he had more angles than a pyramid! First he cheated his older brother, Esau, then his father-in-law, Laban. Then, one night, the Angel of the Lord showed up in his tent and Jacob wrestled with Him until daybreak. As the sun rose, the Angel said to him, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ At that point the Angel told him he would no longer be called by his old name, Jacob, which means ‘deceiver’, but by his new name, Israel, which means ‘a prince with God’. Up until this time Jacob thought making money would make him happy, but it didn’t; it almost cost him his family. Sound familiar? But after wrestling with God he received a new name, a new nature, a new walk and a new future. Isn’t that what you want too? Well, the good news is—you can have it! The Bible says, ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jacob was a self-made man. The problem was he wasn’t enjoying the life he’d made for himself. He didn’t know he’d been born for a purpose greater than merely acquiring ‘stuff’, and it was only in God’s presence that he discovered this. His story in a nutshell is this: Jacob was who he was. He wanted to be like Esau, but, Israel, a prince with God, was who God made him. And God can do the same for you if you let Him.
Heavenly Father, I can’t wrestle with You and win – I give up – Change me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Release Yourself from Bitterness – Part 2
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15
Releasing yourself from bitterness calls for: 1) Choosing to forgive. ‘Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you’ (Ephesians 4:32). Whether or not the person who hurt you apologizes, is dead or alive, or is still hurting you, your only option is forgiveness. By forgiving, you set yourself free to enjoy life. 2) Releasing the wrongdoer from all expectations. By changing your expectations, you reclaim your peace of mind. Whether or not the other person changes is his or her business—move on! Requiring a certain response keeps you bound to them. Paul says, ‘Christ has set us free to live a free life…Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you’ (Galatians 5:1). 3) Transferring to God all expectations for your needs. His Word says, ‘God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19). Note the word ‘all’. God can supply the people, resources and opportunities you need to live a joyful life. 4) Asking God to bless your offender. Yes, it’s difficult, but Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!’ (Matthew 5:44). That kind of prayer puts you in the driver’s seat of your life. 5) Doing something nice for your offender. Ask God how you can bless them. ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will…conquer evil by doing good’ (Romans 12:20-21). You defeat anger and bitterness by believing and acting on God’s Word.
Heavenly Father, I forgive and release myself to follow Your will and reflect You in all that I do. Thank You – in Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Release Yourself from Bitterness – Part 2 – August 29, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Release Yourself from Bitterness – Part 1
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31
Anger is often the product of frustrated expectations. We expect something, and when we don’t get it we end up disappointed and angry. And our anger leads to a dysfunctional personal, spiritual and relational lifestyle. Frustrated expectations are often rooted in early experiences with our parents, siblings and authority figures. Perhaps our needs for love, acceptance, security and significance were never met; then later we experienced broken commitments in marriage, business and friendships. Ultimately, smoldering anger becomes a weapon in our arsenal, threatening to hurt everything and everybody we care about. We become bitter people—avoided, excluded and lonely. God instructs us to ‘get rid of all bitterness’, so that ‘no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many’ (Hebrews 12:15). How do we obey His command? 1) By accepting and acting on His Word. Without a Scriptural foundation, old emotions will repeatedly undermine your efforts to overcome them. ‘Get rid of all bitterness’ is an order that implies the promise of success when you obey it. 2) By choosing to be released from bitterness. Choice isn’t an emotion, and it doesn’t require an emotional response. God won’t control your emotions, but neither will He let them influence Him. Believing God’s Word and making the choice to obey it always results in success. So start strengthening your will and your faith. How? By choosing to obey God in spite of your feelings! Practice this every day until it becomes a lifestyle. Then instead of being mastered by your moods, you’ll find yourself ‘reigning in life’ (Romans 5:17), no longer controlled by your negative emotions.
Heavenly Father, help me be controlled by positive emotions that help others and myself and help me let go of all anger of all kinds. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Release Yourself from Bitterness – Part 1 – August 28, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
When the Answer Isn’t What You Want
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Corinthians 12:7
Paul isn’t referring to the kind of ‘thorn’ you find on rosebushes, but a sharp, pointed stake that inflicts pain. And the word ‘buffet’ means ‘to render blow after blow after blow’. This makes his next statement all the more amazing: ‘I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in…touch with my limitations…I…begged God to remove it. Three times…then He told me, “My grace is…all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Once I heard that…I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift…Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer…I just let Christ take over!’ (vv. 7-10). Paul responded to his thorny situations by doing six things: 1) Admitting he needed God’s strength. 2) Asking, even begging, for God’s help. 3) Accepting the answer when God said, ‘No.’ 4) Appreciating it as ‘a gift’. 5) Acting with confidence and continuing to fulfil his mission. 6) Acknowledging that the problem allowed God to work through him. When the driving force within Paul had been redirected by God, he wrote: ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20). Paul’s will had been taken to the cross and crucified. Now he operated in the will of God and no longer questioned the path or the price. That’s the place God wants to bring you to!
Thank you Heavenly Father for the “thorn” that you have given me – that I can use to be humbled and thankful as I serve You and do Your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post When the Answer Isn’t What You Want – August 27, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...