REMOVE THE LABEL

REMOVE THE LABEL

In Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV), we read: No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.

Most people like shopping. And when we shop, we look at labels. A label can tell you a lot about the product it’s attached to. It tells you where it was made, what it’s made of, what brand it was made by, and what its value is. We may not spend the money on it, but when we see labels like Armani, Gucci, or Dolce & Gabbana, we know it’s a quality product. And then there are labels that let us know the product isn’t worth buying.

The clearance rack may be a great place to find a bargain on clothes, but it’s a horrible place to live your life. None of us belong on the clearance rack of life. And yet, many of us have been labeled in such a way that we feel we belong there. Has someone labeled you as “defective” or “stained” or “used”?

We need to break off every destructive label that’s been placed on our lives! If you are living with a label, cast down the words and imaginations that have been spoken against you. Don’t receive them. Don’t think about them. Don’t tolerate them. Rebuke them and cast them down.

We all deal with self-confidence and self-esteem issues. At times, we feel these labels are right! But don’t allow your emotions to define your life. Only God has that right. Jesus lives on the inside of you. If a label doesn’t belong on Him, it most certainly doesn’t belong on you!

[A new Bible Reading Plan will be released in our third 90-Day Challenge. In the meantime, the following Bible reading plan is from our first 90-Day Challenge. If you’ve completed this plan, we recommend that you read through portions again in a different version of the Bible. Use this time to catch up on any missed reading (Example: Instead of NKJV, try NLT).]

Daily Bible Reading:  Matthew 1

CHOOSE THE BLESSING

CHOOSE THE BLESSING

The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:9 (AMP):  Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].

This is a test. Will you pass it?

Everyone wants God to bless them, their family, their health, and their finances. But do you realize that the path to that blessing takes us through some difficult terrain? Between you and the blessing are those who will insult, disrespect and mistreat you. And how you treat them will determine if you receive the blessing God desires for you.

When we decide to return good for evil, we choose the blessing. When we choose to do good to those who have mistreated us, we choose the blessing. When we bless others that don’t deserve it, we choose the blessing. When we love instead of hate, forgive instead of holding a grudge, encourage instead of belittle, we have chosen the blessing.

Anyone can bless those that have blessed them. But when we choose to bless those who don’t deserve it, we are choosing to be like Jesus. And with that choice, God releases His blessing on us.

[A new Bible Reading Plan will be released in our third 90-Day Challenge. In the meantime, the following Bible reading plan is from our second 90-Day Challenge. If you’ve completed this plan, we recommend that you read through portions again in a different version of the Bible. Use this time to catch up on any missed reading (Example: Instead of NKJV, try NLT).]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 21 & 22 ; Proverbs 31

OVERCOME EVIL

OVERCOME EVIL

In Romans 12:21 (AMP), Paul wrote:  “Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.”

Overcome evil. Don’t let evil overcome you. You are not a victim. Paul didn’t write, “Pray that evil never comes knocking. If it does, you’re toast! There’s no way you can win.” Paul wrote, “Do not let yourself be overcome…” We’ve all felt the pressure of evil trying to push its way into our lives. And yet, the only way it can get in is if you give it permission. The truth is, evil overcomes us because we allow it to, not because it’s stronger than we are.

We don’t overcome evil by ignoring it, hoping it will go way, or praying that God will take it away. We overcome evil by doing good! Screaming in the dark won’t do anything. You must turn on the light.

Pray for those who don’t deserve it. Speak life when others are speaking death. Choose peace when others create conflict. Walk in love instead of justifying hate. Praise when you rather complain. Declare victory when you feel defeated.

[A new Bible Reading Plan will be released in our third 90-Day Challenge. In the meantime, the following Bible reading plan is from our second 90-Day Challenge. If you’ve completed this plan, we recommend that you read through portions again in a different version of the Bible. Use this time to catch up on any missed reading (Example: Instead of NKJV, try NLT).]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 19 & 20 ; Proverbs 30

PAYBACK DOESN’T PAY BACK

PAYBACK DOESN’T PAY BACK

In Romans 12:19-20 (NET), we read:  Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head.

Don’t pay people back for the hurt they cause. Instead, we are to “give place to God’s wrath…for He will repay.” Now, if you enjoy thinking about how God will punish those who hurt or mistreated you, think again. That’s not God’s heart and it shouldn’t be ours either.

The place of God’s wrath is the Cross. It was there that God punished Jesus for both the sin we commit and the sin committed against us. In every relationship, in every instance where we have been hurt by others, we need to give place to the Cross. We need to put the Cross in every situation. Don’t pay people back for the sin they committed against you. Instead, remember the Cross. Remember that God has forgiven you for the sins you committed against Him and others…and forgive in the same way.

So what about “heaping burning coals” on people’s head? What does that mean? In Bible times, when a person’s fire went out, they would go to their neighbor for help. To reignite their fire, they would be given burning coals in an earthen jar, which was carried on the head. “Heaping burning coals” on someone’s head wasn’t a picture of burning someone alive! It was a picture of warming their homes.

The people who hurt us need help. Their hearts need to be reignited with God’s love. By doing good to those who have done us evil is to give place to the Cross. Remember…it’s all about “loving people back to life.”

[A new Bible Reading Plan will be released in our third 90-Day Challenge. In the meantime, the following Bible reading plan is from our second 90-Day Challenge. If you’ve completed this plan, we recommend that you read through portions again in a different version of the Bible. Use this time to catch up on any missed reading (Example: Instead of NKJV, try NLT).]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 17 & 18 ; Proverbs 29

SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL

SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL

In 1 Corinthians 13:5b (AMP), Paul wrote:  Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 

Surrender to God’s will. The “abundant life” that Jesus came to give us comes down to our willingness to surrender to God. Everyone wants it their way but only one way works – God’s way.

When it comes to our relationships, both personal and professional, we all tend to treat others the way they treat us. And this is clearly seen when we reach that “breaking point” in a relationship. It feels good to retaliate when people mistreat you. We feel justified giving people the silent treatment, the cold shoulder, or the evil eye when they’ve done the same to us.

We may feel that people have broken our hearts but they didn’t. Jesus makes His home within our heart. No one is powerful enough to break His home. Our hearts aren’t broken by the actions of others; they’re broken by our own. Our hearts are broken, not when someone hurts us, but when we choose to hurt them back. What we think will break those who have hurt us, in reality, only breaks ourselves.

God knows this. He created us. And He provides us with instructions on how to deal with the hurt others cause, so that hurt doesn’t cause us to break our own hearts. He says: Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

Loving people that way doesn’t make sense. Lose the logic. Trust the Lord.

[A new Bible Reading Plan will be released in our third 90-Day Challenge. In the meantime, the following Bible reading plan is from our second 90-Day Challenge. If you’ve completed this plan, we recommend that you read through portions again in a different version of the Bible. Use this time to catch up on any missed reading (Example: Instead of NKJV, try NLT).]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 15 & 16 ; Proverbs 28

KEEP YOUR VOWS

KEEP YOUR VOWS

In Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 (TNIV), we read: When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.”

The devil uses breaking points to attack our vows. A vow is a promise that we make to the Lord. And guess what? He expects us to keep them! Have you ever said the following?

  • Lord, I’ll do whatever You tell me to do.
  • Lord, where do you want me to go? I’ll go there.
  • Lord, use me to help others.
  • Lord, I’ll give whatever you tell me to give.

You may be telling yourself, “But I was desperate at the time. I didn’t really mean those things. I didn’t ‘promise’ God I would do it.” If we take our vows to God so lightly, it’s no wonder we so easily break our vows to each other.

Your marriage is based on a vow. It’s that vow that keeps two people together when conflict arises. It’s that vow that makes them work things out for the benefit of each other. And when that vow is taken lightly, when a breaking point comes, the marriage breaks down.

Being a parent is a vow. It’s a promise we make to God to raise our children in a way that honors Him. And when a parent tells a child, “Do as I say, not as I do”, they break their vow to God. Shouldn’t our vow to God to be an example to our children be greater than our bad habits and personal compromises? Don’t use pressure as an excuse to change, adjust or break your vows. Keep your word no matter what it costs you. Honor God and He will honor you.

[A new Bible Reading Plan will be released in our third 90-Day Challenge. In the meantime, the following Bible reading plan is from our second 90-Day Challenge. If you’ve completed this plan, we recommend that you read through portions again in a different version of the Bible. Use this time to catch up on any missed reading (Example: Instead of NKJV, try NLT).]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 13 & 14 ; Proverbs 27

HIS WORD IS TRUTH

HIS WORD IS TRUTH

In John 17:17 (AMP), Jesus prayed: Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

To ensure that a breaking point becomes a breakthrough, and not a breakdown, we must know the truth about the situations we are facing. And guess what? You are not the source of truth! Let’s look at what this means…

Our minds: Just because a thought enters your mind, doesn’t make it true. The thoughts that run through our minds about any given problem can create a fog. Don’t get caught up chasing after them. Running after a thought in our minds only creates more stress and anxiety. Going through the “What if…then what?” scenarios in our minds will never lead us to the truth.

Our emotions:  Our emotions are like roller coasters – up one moment and down the next. Truth can’t be based on how we feel.  If it was, then the truth would change as often as our feelings do – and what good is truth that changes?

Many people make decisions when facing a breaking point based on their own thoughts and emotions. And that’s why they breakdown instead of breakthrough. So, what do we base our decisions on? We should base them on God’s Word, as Jesus said, “Your Word is truth.” Base your choices on God’s Word, the Bible. It will never steer you in the wrong direction. It will never fail you. It will never change based on how you feel or what you think. God is faithful. You can stake your life on what He says.

[A new Bible Reading Plan will be released in our third 90-Day Challenge. In the meantime, the following Bible reading plan is from our second 90-Day Challenge. If you’ve completed this plan, we recommend that you read through portions again in a different version of the Bible. Use this time to catch up on any missed reading (Example: Instead of NKJV, try NLT).]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 11 & 12 ; Proverbs 26