Word of the Day

Living Fearlessly

 “You are my servant; I have chosen you.” Isa 41:9 NIV

Have you ever wondered how animal trainers can control a five-ton elephant and keep it from running away? They do it by controlling the animal’s thinking. When a baby elephant is being trained, a rope is put around its leg and then tied to a wooden post secured in the ground. The elephant, which is not yet very strong, pulls at the rope but is unable to break it or to pull up the post. Eventually it gives up. From that point forward when the elephant’s leg is secured it believes it cannot get away—even though it is fully capable of escaping, and has been for a long time. It remembers its struggle. That’s one reason it’s said, “Elephants never forget.” And we are like that too. Our thinking limits us, just as an elephant’s does. Usually it’s because of fear. The truth is, fear can steal your dreams. You may be afraid of failure. You may be afraid of rejection. You may not want to make a fool of yourself. You may be afraid of trying because you believe you can’t succeed. If you give in to these thoughts and believe that you can’t achieve your dream, you’ll be right—and therefore unable to achieve your dream. Often what we fear has no connection to reality. But here’s the good news: fear can be overcome. The first step to overcoming it is to believe God when He says about you: “You are my servant; I have chosen you…do not fear, for I am with you…I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (vv. 9-10 NIV).



Word of the day

If you’re not choosing to spend regular time with God, then you’re choosing to die spiritually

In many cultures, life is centered around food. Very few people in the western world would go for more than 10 or 12 hours without food or drink. Besides the fact that food is built into culture, doing so would make one very hungry.

Many people wouldn’t dare going physically hungry; yet they starve themselves spiritually. If you ate food only once a week- say for several months, you’d certainly die of starvation and malnutrition. Yet countless Christians do exactly that in their spiritual lives.

It is no wonder that Jesus called himself

the bread of life (John 6:35

). In order to grow spiritually, you must feed on spiritual food — God’s word.
Have the attitude found in

Isaiah 26:8: Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.

Make it your desire to know God better.
When you regularly spend time with God — praying, seeking him, and studying his word — you will thrive spiritually. Take some advice from the psalmist:

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always (Psalm 105:4

).

Make time with God a priority in your live. If you made being well fed spiritually as important as be well fed physically, your relationship with God would thrive.



Word of the day

Generous giving
 
Why all the focus on the giving of gifts at Christmas? Well, I
will be the first one to say that things have gotten a bit out
of hand for sure!

However, the main thing to remember on this topic is that the
example of the Father is giving!

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and
only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life.

The greatest gift to mankind came from the greatest Giver. The
Heavenly Father showed us what it meant to be extremely generous
by sending His Son into a world that for the most part rejected
Him then, and continues to reject Him now.

I would say the opposite of being generous is being stingy –
The Heavenly Father could hardly be accused of being stingy

when He gave His only Son to this world.


Word of the Day

Don’t miss your divine Moment.

Matthew 1:18-19

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
 
It’s possible to miss out on your divine Moment.
Joseph who was engaged to Mary almost missed a divine moment to be the earthly father of Jesus were it not for God’s intervention.
The bible says Joseph was planning to divorce Mary quietly when he discovered that she was pregnant. Joseph was about to make a bad decision based on what he saw. He sees a pregnant fiancée and he is thinking- I am out of this thing, he feels cheated. He did not know that the Child Mary was carrying was conceived of the Holy Spirit. The Lord spoke to Joseph right before he made a bad decision and explained to him what was happening.

How many times have we seen people walk away from great opportunities, Jobs, businesses, relationships, churches and engagements because of something they saw or heard? As Christians, we walk by faith and not by sight.
Lessons.
1. Never make a hasty decision on based solely on what you see or hear, what if you are wrong. Sight can be deceiving.
2. Let God order your steps in all that you do by spending time with Him. Let Him Instruct you like He instructed Joseph.



Word of the day

Submitting to and Respecting Authority 
by Karen Wolff

As a parent I can surely tell you that when your kids don’t show you respect, it is really hard not to want to ground them until they’re 30—at least. We all try to instill the importance of honoring authority into our kids. Yet, we all have more than a little trouble honoring the authority that’s over our own lives.

Remember the old saying, “Do what I say, not what I do?”

We all want it. We all expect it. Yet, we want others to earn it from us. How is that supposed to work?

God’s View of Authority

The truth is, God has placed an entire network of people in this world into positions of authority. I’m not just referring to our government leaders, but also to the leaders in our workplaces and in our families. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at just how God views authority and our lack of respect thereof.

Coming under authority and showing respect isn’t easy. Nobody wants to be told what to do or how to do it. We criticize anybody that makes a decision we don’t like.
 

It’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s not good for me.

In our country we’ve taken our right to free speech to an unbelievable level. We openly criticize our leaders, our country, our values, and pretty much anything else that doesn’t line up with what we want. We don’t see anything wrong with complaining, whining, and showing disgust to anybody who will listen.

An open dialogue about how to solve issues is always a good thing. But some have even categorized their poor behavior as an attempt at “open dialogue.” There is much to learn about how God views these kinds of situations.

Protection and Favor

When you are in relationship with God, he provides you with protection and favor. But as you belittle and criticize those people he has placed in authority over you, that protection and favor is lifted from you. The bottom line is that God expects you to respect him and his choices. He expects that you will respect the people he’s placed in authority over you. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with every one of their decisions, but it does mean you still need to show respect for the position, and by extension, the person who is in the position.

Romans 13:1-3 says, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.”
Now, do you want to respect authority? Probably not. In reality, would you rather just tell them what you think about it? Yup. So how do you go about this seemingly impossible task? How do you submit to and show respect for the authority God has placed over you when you don’t agree? And, how do you keep a good attitude while you’re doing it?
 

Practical Steps for Respecting Authority

  1. Start by reading and learning what God says about respecting authority. Find out just what he thinks and how much importance he places on your willingness and your attitude about it. When you discover that God will only give you authority over others when you show that you can come under authority yourself, perhaps things will look a little different to you.
  2. Pray for those in authority over you. Ask God to guide them as they fulfill their tasks. Pray that their hearts would seek God as they make decisions. As God to show you how you can be a blessing to those in authority over you.
  3. Set the example for the people around you. Show them what submitting to authority for the right reasons is supposed to look like. Don’t participate in back-biting, gossiping, or criticizing your bosses or others in authority. There is nothing wrong with having constructive conversations, but there is a fine line between offering your opinion and becoming disrespectful.
  4. Understand and know ahead of time that you are not going to like every decision. If you look at the responsibility and accountability that exists within the role of your leaders, it should become clear that the scope of their authority affects more than just you and your circumstances. There are times when decisions will negatively impact you. But just remember that how you react to these times will determine how quickly God puts you in a position of authority over others.

There is no magic pill that can make you feel good about having to submit to authority—any authority. But know when you make the conscious effort to do what God says, regardless of how it feels, you are planting a wonderful seed that will produce a harvest in your life.

You can’t expect a harvest of blessings from people who will respect and honor you, if you haven’t first planted the seeds. So as hard as it is, start planting!



Word of the day

Submission to Authority

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men…
1 Peter 2:13

The word “submit” comes from the Greek word hupeiko, meaning

“to yield.” The culture in which we live suggests to us that we must be in control of our own destiny. Leading submitted, humble lives seems to be synonymous with being weak in character. However, yielding to the Lord and to those in authority actually strengthens us to live successful lives.

When we yield ourselves completely to Christ, we love others and have their best interest at heart. We become people who are God-centered and not self-centered. Yielding to the authority of God allows us to live in peaceful surrender to a loving God who knows what is best for us and for others.

The verses in this section of I Peter challenge us as we seek to understand the meaning of submission in our lives.

Where are you struggling with submission to authority?  Yielding requires us to slow down or perhaps stop and allow others to go ahead of us. The Lord has given us people in authority such as parents, government officials and our bosses, to whom we must be willing to submit. God is our ultimate authority, and as we learn to yield and surrender ourselves to Him, we will likewise learn to submit to others. We are actually strengthened as we learn to humbly do so.



Scripture of the day

Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. 

 



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