Today I am reading day 48 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Life Above The Sun
John 10:10 10… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
When you are not enjoying abundant life, you will feel as if life is full of toil. In your heart, life is meaningless and empty. You feel like someone “grasping for the wind”. (Ecclesiastes 2:11)
It seems as if nothing you do adds up to much. The Bible calls this life “under the sun”. (Ecclesiastes 2:11) Someone who lives life under the sun may or may not know God, but God is either forgotten or not the center of things in his life. His thoughts are earthly and he does things to gratify his flesh. In the end, he finds life depressing and unfulfilled. Life under the sun is full of despair.
But this is not so with someone who lives life above the sun with God. For life with Him is filled with joy and pleasures at His right hand. (Psalm 16:11) Life is abundantly full and good just as Jesus promised — “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”.
When you live life above the sun, your thoughts are heavenward and you become Christ-occupied. You live for Him because you know that all things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16) When you live for His glory, your life takes on a new meaning and purpose.
God’s Word says, “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17) The Greek word for “consist” means “held together”. In Christ, all things are held together. And that is why when Christ is the central figure in your life, you will have it all together. Your mind will be held together. Your hopes and dreams will be held together. Your family will be held together by the cords of His love.
Your life will not be empty, but full of God’s goodness because “Christ in you, is the hope of glory”. (Colossians 1:27) It is a wonderful life — this life lived above the sun. And you will have an even more wonderful life to come in heaven!
Thought For The Day
When Christ is the central figure in your life, you will have it all together.
Today I am reading day 365 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Remember Best, Forget Rest
Philippians 1:3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
What do you remember about people? The good experiences or the bad experiences? Paul said, “I like to remember the good things about people, focus on the good times we’ve had, remember the positive experiences.”
When Paul said this he had not had an easy time in Philippi. Acts 16 tells us that when he went to Philippi he was illegally arrested, whipped, humiliated, and thrown into prison — before finally being asked to leave town. Yet he says, “I thank God every time I remember you.”
Paul could have dwelt on the negative. He could have remembered the painful memories. He chose not to remember the painful; instead, he focused on the things he could be grateful for.
Maybe you have been hurt in the past by a parent or a partner and you’re still holding on to that hurt. As a result you can’t enjoy being around them today. You’re still focusing on the bad and the negative. Be grateful for the good in people. Pleasant memories are a choice. I can choose what I’m going to remember about the past.
If you want to enjoy others, you’ve got to focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses. With some people it takes a lot of creativity. But you can find something good in everybody.
I’m not saying that you deny the hurts you’ve had or that you excuse the weaknesses in other people. That is psychologically unhealthy. But focus on the good and choose to emphasize the strengths.
Today I am reading day 348 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Don’t Give Temptation Power
2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
Have you ever watched a food advertisement on television and suddenly felt you were hungry? Have you ever heard someone cough and immediately felt the need to clear your throat? Ever watched someone release a big yawn and felt the urge to yawn yourself?
This is the power of suggestion working within your mind. We naturally move toward whatever our attention is focused on. The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you.
This is why repeating, “I must stop eating too much or stop smoking or stop lusting” is a self-defeating strategy. It keeps you focused on what you don’t want. It’s like announcing, “I’m never going to do what my mom did.” You are setting yourself up to repeat it.
Temptation begins by capturing your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions. Then your emotions activate your behavior, and you act on what you feel. The more you focus on “I don’t want to do this,” the stronger temptation draws you into its web.
Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it, just hang up!
Sometimes this means physically leaving a tempting situation. This is one time it is okay to run away. Get up and turn off the television set. Walk away from a group that is gossiping. Leave the theater in the middle of the movie.
To avoid being stung, stay away from the bees!
Today I am reading day 306 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Give Your Attention to Jesus
John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Did you know that Jesus shows up in your life all the time? The Bible says he’s around you all the time; his spirit is there but you don’t recognize him. He shows up in other people and what they say to you. He shows up in opportunities. He shows up in problems. He shows up in difficulties, but you don’t know it because you are not paying attention.
Actually, this is really common. It happens in the Bible. People fail to recognize Jesus. For instance, Jesus once asked a Samaritan woman for a drink of water. Not knowing who Jesus is, she engages him in a religious debate. Jesus says, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” (John 4:10 NLT)
This happens to us. We don’t recognize Jesus when he’s around us. The Bible says he’s always near, but we don’t listen. We don’t tune in to his presence.
Here’s why we need to pay attention to Jesus. He will focus us on the things that are truly important and that will change the way we handle every relationship, task, and circumstance in our lives.
When you learn to live in light of eternity, your values change. You use your time and money more wisely. You place a higher premium on relationships and character instead of fame or wealth or achievements or even fun. Your priorities are reordered. Keeping up with trends, fashions, and popular values just doesn’t matter as much anymore.
Today I am reading day 1 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Focus Your Life
Genesis 24:1 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in everything he did.
The next ten years can be the greatest of your life. They can become a Decade of Destiny, where your life is focused and, as a result, you’re able to make an impact in all you do.
To get where you believe God wants you to go and be what you know God wants you to be, there are several steps you need to take that will get you focused —
First, determine your present position — You’ve got to know where you are before you can know where you are going. To do that, ask yourself two questions:
Where am I now? Where are you spiritually, financially, emotionally, relationally, physically, and occupationally?
What would I like to change? In all of those areas you identified, what would you like to be different?
God promised Abraham that he would become the father of a great nation. But in Genesis 24, we find Abraham is now an old man and his son, Isaac, still doesn’t have any children yet. Abraham assessed the situation and, as a result, he sent his servant, Eliezer, to find a wife for Isaac.
An important principle here is that it is never too late for you to make a change in your life, even though making the change may take longer than you think. This is why you can’t procrastinate. You can either drift through the next ten years or you can have direction over the next ten years. God wants you to have direction.