Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.” Luke 6:32 (NIV)
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If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV).
His point is this: anybody can love those who love them. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovable. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you.
This may seem like an impossible task and it is – that’s why we need God’s love in us, so we can then love others: “We know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16 NIV).
When you realize how much God loves you – with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love – then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding.
You can’t do that until you have God’s love coming through you. You need to know God’s love so it can overflow out of your life into others.
Love must become your lifestyle, the habit of your life. But it starts with a decision. Are you ready?
Your life is worth far more than you think, and by learning to love others with the love God gives you, you will have an influence far greater than you could ever imagine. If you will commit to this, you will experience love as God means it to be, filled with hope, energy, and joy.
My prayer for you is “that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love …” (Philippians 1:9 NCV).
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 (NLT)
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Love is a skill that can be learned. In other words, it’s something you can get good at and that means you get better at love by practicing love.
You may think you’re a good lover, but God wants you to become a great lover, a skilled lover, a master lover. Yet, most people never learn how to love. You can become an expert at relationships.
Wouldn’t you like to become known as a person of extraordinary love? When people speak of you they might say: “He doesn’t care who you are or what you look like.” “She doesn’t care where you’ve been or what you’ve done or where you’re from.”
The only way you get skilled at something is to practice. You do it over and over. The first time you do it, it feels awkward, but the more you do it, the better you become.
The same is true with love (1 John 4:7). Let’s practice loving each other. As the Bible says, “Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15 HCSB).
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
… That you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:20 (NIV)
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Love is a choice and a commitment. You choose to love or you choose not to love.
Today we’ve bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it’s something that just happens to us; it’s not something we control. In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, “I fell in love,” as if love is some kind of a ditch. It’s like I’m walking along one day and bam! – I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself.
But I have to tell you the truth – that’s not love. Love doesn’t just happen to you. Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.
There’s no doubt about it, attraction is uncontrollable and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. Love is a choice.
You must choose to love God; he won’t force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won’t force you to love him. Because he knows love can’t be forced.And this same principle is true about your relationships: you can choose to love others, but God won’t force you to love anyone.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
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How do you deal with conflict quickly?
I’ll tell you, but you’re not going to like it. The solution to resolving conflict is confrontation.
That’s right; if you’re going to resolve conflict, you must confront.
You don’t have to confront in anger, though. In fact, you shouldn’t confront in anger. Lovingly go to the person and, speaking the truth in love, deal with the problem immediately.
In James (1:19), we’re taught three rules for confrontation: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
If you do the first two, the third one is automatic. If you’re quick to listen and you’re slow to speak, then you will be slow to anger.
What are you listening for?
You listen for the hurt in that person. Hurting people always hurt other people. When someone is being a jerk, more than likely, it’s because that person is hurting. When you understand their hurt, you have a better understanding of why they do what they do, and you’re a little more patient with them.
by Rick Warren
Thursday, November 20, 2008
If you are angry, be sure that it is not out of wounded pride or bad temper. Never go to bed angry – don’t give the devil that sort of foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 (PH)
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It’s okay to be angry, but anger becomes wrong when it’s not resolved quickly. The apostle Paul teaches, if you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin and do not stay angry all day.
The Phillips translation says, “Never go to bed angry.” That would keep a few of us up all night! If you said, “In our marriage, we’ll never go to bed angry,” you might work toward resolving problems a lot faster.
When anger is not dealt with quickly, it can turn to resentment and, then into bitterness. Bitterness is always sin; resentment is always sin; those emotions are always wrong.
But that doesn’t mean anger is always wrong. When you care about people, sometimes anger is the correct response. I get angry when I see people blowing their lives on things that don’t matter. I get angry when I see people walking right into the middle of something they know is wrong.
Regardless, we’re to resolve our anger quickly, or else we’re giving the devil a chance push us into bitterness and resentment.
By: Rick Warren (winking to those of you, that matters to! LOL)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:5 (NLT)
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Your choices control your calendar and, as a result, your lifestyle. Your choices are far more powerful than your circumstances. You may not like how complicated your life has become yet, with very few exceptions, no one is forcing you to keep your life complicated.
You have the power to simplify your life.
The Bible teaches, “We are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6:5 NLT). To me, that means God expects us to assume responsibility for our lives and to carefully choose how we spend our time.
That’s why I’ve spent years teaching people to discover why God placed them on this planet: What is your purpose for being here?
Ultimately, it will be the donation of your life that will count far more than the duration.
In other words, it’s not how long you live – or even how much you cram into how long you live – it’s really about how you live.
Here are three essential steps to simplify your life:
· First, figure out your purpose, and then let your purpose guide the goals of your life.
· Second, organize your activities based upon your purpose.
· Finally, harmonize your schedule with your purpose; that is, bring your activities into agreement with your goals.
You have just enough time to do God's will while you’re here on earth. You’ve been given just enough time to fulfill your purpose. When you try to do more than God planned for you, it’s only natural that you’ll find yourself constantly out of time or stressed over your schedule.
If it doesn’t fit the purpose of your life, God doesn’t want you doing it. In fact, he may be overjoyed that you finally got the message and stopped doing meaningless activities. He may even want you to add “rest” or “have fun” to your to-do list.
My prayer for you is that you will find relief from stress and a new sense of satisfaction as you do only the things God created you to do.
PS: For those that it seems to bother and hide under anonymous, this devotional was done By: Rick Warren.
But as Rick Warren would normally like to say, "he doesn't want the credit, he doesn't care that I posted that devotional on my blog and didn't add his name to it. He would rather see it said "BY GOD".
I am not writing my own devotional each week, never claimed to do that. Which tells me that you must not read the books by Beth Moore or you may have known that my first two devotionals were by her. :)
However, lets all be adults and stick to the point. The point is letting Gods word, no matter if I wrote it, post it, or if Beth Moore or Rick Warren wrote it. Just as my daily quotes, I never put who said them. That is not the important part and I am not trying to take claim for anything I didn't do. I am simply sharing and spreading the "GOOD NEWS" as God has called his children to do. So lets stick to just that please. In the future, comments like I have received from "no namers".....will never be posted or seen by any other than me, and I will just delete them and be on with my day.
For everyone else..... I am glad you are enjoying these devotionals and I am sure that you were not victimized because you didn't know that devotional was written by Rick Warren.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
“Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them.” (1 John 5:10a GW)
“Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word .... The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore – you’re the message!” (1 Thessalonians 1:8 MSG)
When you became a believer, you also became God’s messenger. God wants to speak to the world through you. Paul said, “We speak the truth before God, as messengers of God.” (2 Corinthians 2:17b NCV)
Your Life Message includes your life lessons. These are insights you’ve learned about God, relationships, problems, temptations, and other aspects of life. David prayed, “God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.” (Psalm 119:33 MSG)
Sadly, we never learn from a lot that happens to us. Of the Israelites, the Bible says, “Over and over God rescued them, but they never learned – until finally their sins destroyed them.” (P 106:43 MSG) You’ve probably met people like that.
While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn’t enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lessons of one another. The Bible says, “A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than … jewelry made of the finest gold.” (Proverbs 25:12 TEV)
Write down the major life lessons you’ve learned so you can share them with others. We should be grateful Solomon did this, because it gave us the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, which are filled with practical lessons on living. Imagine how much needless frustration could be avoided if we learned from each other’s life lessons.
Mature people develop the habit of extracting lessons from everyday experiences. I urge you to make a list of your life lessons. You haven’t really thought about them thoroughly unless you’ve written them down. Below are a few questions to jog your memory and get your started:
- What has God taught me from failure?
- What has God taught me from a lack of money?
- What has God taught me from pain or sorrow or depression?
- What has God taught me through waiting?
- What has God taught me through illness?
- What has God taught me from disappointment?
- What have I learned from my family, my church, my relationships, my small group, and my critics?
Friday, November 14, 2008
Jesus Taught the Most Important Command Is to Love
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (NLT)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.