BE SINGLE-MINDED

BE SINGLE-MINDED

In James 1:6-8 (NKJV), we read: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

We dare you. We dare you to believe in the God that believes in you! We dare you to believe in words that God has spoken over your life – to step out of living a powerless life into a powerful one. To do so, you’ll have to be single-minded.

In 1 Kings 18:21, Elijah asked, “How long will you falter between two opinions?” James addresses the same problem by saying that “the double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

We sometimes ask ourselves, “Did  God really mean what He said?”, or “Does this promise apply to my life?” These are symptoms of the double-minded Christian. When you’re soul (mind, will, emotions) isn’t anchored to God’s Word, when the storms of life come, you’ll be blown away by doubt and uncertainty.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our second 90-Day Challenge for 2014. We will finish reading the New Testament, and go through the Book of Proverbs three times. Each time we go through Proverbs, we encourage you to select a different version of the Bible to read from.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 17 & 18 ; Proverbs 29

JUST A LITTLE LONGER

JUST A LITTLER LONGER

In Hebrews 6:9-12 (NKJV), we read: “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Who determines what’s impossible? The only limitations you have are the size of your dream and the determination of your faith. Many people disengage too early, for had they persisted a little longer, they would have realized that just over the horizon they would get a glimpse of their coming victory. Don’t grow weary on your journey.

The Bible’s very clear:  it’s through faith and patience that we inherit the promises of God. Faith and patience make up the bridge that lies between you and your dream…and it’s a bridge that you must cross. We all have need of endurance (see Hebrews 10:36) to persist in faith. Remember…you cannot possess what you’re unwilling to pursue.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our second 90-Day Challenge for 2014. We will finish reading the New Testament, and go through the Book of Proverbs three times. Each time we go through Proverbs, we encourage you to select a different version of the Bible to read from.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 15 & 16 ; Proverbs 28

IT’S YOUR TURN

IT’S YOUR TURN

I Kings 18:30, 38-39 (MSG) reads: “Then Elijah told the people, ‘Enough of that—it’s my turn. Gather around.’ Immediately the fire of God fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench. All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, ‘God is the true God! God is the true God!’” 

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah watched as the prophets of Baal tried to call upon their god. Then a point came when he realized that it was his turn. He called upon the Lord, and He answered with fire. There’s a season to learn. There’s a season to practice. And then there’s a season to act. Elijah recognized when that time came for him when he said, “It’s my turn.” He could watch no longer. He could study no longer. The time came for him to step up and do what he was born to do.

You can only put your destiny on hold for so long. You can only keep life on pause for so long. You can only watch others “go first” for so long…until it becomes your turn. You may be in a season of preparing for ministry, or in a relationship looking toward marriage, or apprenticing in some type of industry. But when “it’s your turn” step out in faith and let God move through you.

And for those of you who feel like life is passing you by, don’t fret or become anxious.  Your turn is coming too! Don’t throw it away by taking matters into your own hands by trying to force something to happen. In the kingdom of God, when it’s not your turn, you can’t cut in line.

If it’s not your time, wait. When it’s your turn, take it.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our second 90-Day Challenge for 2014. We will finish reading the New Testament, and go through the Book of Proverbs three times. Each time we go through Proverbs, we encourage you to select a different version of the Bible to read from.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 15 & 16 ; Proverbs 28

SETBACKS TO COMEBACKS

SETBACKS TO COMEBACKS

In Mark 9:17-18 (NKJV), we read: “Then one of the crowd answered and said, ‘Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.’” 

Have you ever found yourself in the same predicament as Jesus’ disciples? A desperate father had brought his demon-possessed son to the disciples pleading for help. The disciples, not realizing their faith wasn’t up for the task, attempted to help but failed. Jesus’ opponents took this opportunity to defraud His ministry knowing that His disciples were embarrassed by their apparent lack of power. But Jesus walked onto the scene, just in time, to set the record straight.

In Mark 9:23, Jesus declared, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Jesus wasn’t moved by the argument He walked into, nor was He embarrassed by His disciples setback. Not intimidated by the awkward moment, Jesus immediately set the young man free from years of oppression.

Jesus’ refusal to back down from a challenge is what the spirit of faith is all about. Don’t be intimated or embarrassed by failed attempts to live by your faith. Keep in mind that the disciples went through the same thing, yet went on to do incredible exploits. In God’s kingdom, setbacks always turn into comebacks.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our second 90-Day Challenge for 2014. We will finish reading the New Testament, and go through the Book of Proverbs three times. Each time we go through Proverbs, we encourage you to select a different version of the Bible to read from.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 13 & 14 ; Proverbs 27

A FAITH CHECK UP

A FAITH CHECK UP

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5 (AMP): “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]…” 

Pain or discomfort in your body usually means something is wrong. It’s always a good idea to head to the doctor’s office for a check up. Ignoring the symptoms won’t make them go away and can actually make them worse. But a proper diagnosis provides you with information on what you can do to help your body heal. The same thing holds true for our spiritual life.

As Paul states in today’s verse, we need to “examine and test and evaluate” the condition of our faith. And there are always “symptoms” that indicate when our faith is weak or unhealthy: a bad attitude, depression, loneliness and isolation, or a lack of passion for spiritual things. If left alone, or untreated, these symptoms will only get worse.

It’s also important to note that Paul says we are to, “test and prove yourselves [not Christ].” When things go wrong, we like to blame God. We say things like, “Why did you let this happen?”, or “Where were you when I needed you?” But the problem isn’t with God, it’s with the condition of our faith.  Imagine the quarterback who throws the perfect spiral down the field to the receiver who’s not paying attention. The problem isn’t with God giving…it’s with our receiving.

Check the condition of your faith. Test yourself, not Christ.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our second 90-Day Challenge for 2014. We will finish reading the New Testament, and go through the Book of Proverbs three times. Each time we go through Proverbs, we encourage you to select a different version of the Bible to read from.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 11 & 12 ; Proverbs 26

RESPONSIBLE CHILDREN

RESPONSIBLE CHILDREN

Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 6:20-25 (NKJV): “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the Lord showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’”

Parents are life coaches. They are to train their children to be champions by passing on to them the values and principles of God’s Word. Why? Because if they will follow God’s instructions, they will never be led astray.

How will your children handle the good, the bad, and the uncontrollable issues that life will throw at them? You may make those choices for them when they’re young, but what choices will they make for themselves as they grow older? Although your children will only be young once, they can be immature their entire lives.

Maturity doesn’t come with age or experiences. It comes with the acceptance of responsibility. Responsibility is our “ability to respond” in the right way. We must teach our children that God has given them the ability to respond correctly to life’s circumstances. Change will happen and God’s Word can teach them how to respond in the right ways…so they can reach their destiny.

Abigail Van Buren (of Dear Abby) wrote that maturity means:

  • The ability to stick with a job until it is finished
  • To do a job well without having to be supervised
  • To be able to carry money without spending it immediately
  • To bear an injustice without trying to get even

Your children will get hurt. Things will happen to them. Parents must prepare them to process their emotions – to develop faith, hope and love.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our second 90-Day Challenge for 2014. We will finish reading the New Testament, and go through the Book of Proverbs three times. Each time we go through Proverbs, we encourage you to select a different version of the Bible to read from.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 9 & 10; Proverbs 25

UNFAILING LOVE

UNFAILING LOVE

Paul writes in Ephesians 4:31-32 (TMB): “Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”

God’s love is unconditional. And God’s love forgives unconditionally. If you don’t learn to forgive, you’ll never learn to truly love. No one has the privilege of carrying unforgiveness! It will eat you up, steal your passion and destroy your purpose for living. Unforgiveness can be a deep-rooted issue in people’s lives. Parents must teach their children to forgive and be an example of forgiveness.

Hanging on to a grudge may give you a sense of satisfaction but the truth is that it hurts you more than the person you won’t forgive. Too often people wait too long to forgive. They relive the offense over and over again. Forgive quickly!

There’s no way to undo the hurt others cause. But the miracle of forgiveness is that it heals those hurts and makes you whole. Ironically, when you refuse to forgive, you give your offender permission to continue to control your life. When forgiveness is hard, remember what God has forgiven you of, and extend that same forgiveness to others.

[The following Bible Reading Plan is based on our second 90-Day Challenge for 2014. We will finish reading the New Testament, and go through the Book of Proverbs three times. Each time we go through Proverbs, we encourage you to select a different version of the Bible to read from.]

Daily Bible Reading:  Revelation 8; Proverbs 24