Join me in reading Today’s Word with Joel and Victoria Osteen:
LET THIS BE YOUR PRAYER
Like many people today, I have big dreams and goals. I have desires in my heart. But my prayer now is, “God, not my will, but let Your will be done.” If a door closes, it’s no big deal; I let it go. If my plans don’t work out, no big deal; I know God has something better. I’ve learned to not get so consumed by a dream that if it doesn’t happen my way, I get all bent out of shape.
Maybe you’ve gone through a disappointment. You don’t understand it. You could easily be bitter, live with a chip on your shoulder, and give up on your dreams. Realize today that God is at work in your life. He is directing your steps. What you thought was a setback is going to turn out to be a setup for a comeback! When you surrender your will to Him, when you humble yourself before Him, that’s when God can take you to another level.
Today, shake off the self-pity. Shake off the disappointment and realize that God has you in the palm of His hand. Know that He has good plans in store for your future, better than you could ever imagine! Trust Him with your whole heart today and every day!
Precious heavenly Father, today I surrender every area of my heart, mind and life to You. Have Your way in me. Do Your will in my life. Let everything I am bring glory to You in all things! I bless You today and always in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today I am reading day 173 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Focus on Doing God’s Will
MAT 11:27-30 “My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
Some of you are carrying a yoke — a heavy burden — of the expectations that were put on you by your parents, or your husband, or your wife, or your children. Some of you are burdened down with a yoke put on you by your boss or by your teacher.
But most of us carry a yoke of burden that we’ve put on ourselves because of unresolved guilt and unrealistic expectations. We’re trying to prove that we matter.
We take on a heavy yoke that God never intended in order to prove that we’re important when God says we’re already important.
God’s yoke is that we follow his purpose for our lives, and when we do that, things work out a whole lot better. When we go our own way in life, we hit one brick wall after another. In a sense, God says, “Put on my purpose, my plan for your life.”
How heavy is God’s yoke? Jesus says, “The yoke I will give you is light and easy.” You say, “But my Christian life isn’t easy. My Christian life is heavy; it’s like a duty that I have to fulfill.”
Then it may be you are out of God’s will. You may be doing something that God never intended for you to do. Jesus did not come to give you a burden but a blessing.
Today I am reading day 162 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Letting Go of the Eternally Useless
2CO 4:18 For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.
As you strive to reach the goals that God has given you, it’s important to remember that life on earth is just a temporary assignment. Knowing this truth should radically alter your values and fix your attention on the things that are eternally important.
As C. S. Lewis observed, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.”
It is a fatal mistake to assume that God’s goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance. Faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns.
Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison. John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything, or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it. But the end of life is not the end!
When life gets tough, when you’re overwhelmed with doubt, or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth the effort, remember that you are not home yet. At death you won’t leave home – you’ll go home.
Today I am reading day 138 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Give God Your Best
Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
God shaped you for a purpose and he expects you to make the most of what you’ve been given. He doesn’t want you to worry about or covet abilities that you don’t have. Instead he wants you to focus on talents he has given you to use.
When you attempt to serve God in ways that you’re not shaped to serve, it feels like forcing a square peg into a round hole. It’s frustrating and produces limited results. It also wastes your time, talent, and energy.
The best use of your life is to serve God out of your shape (the gifts and abilities God has given you). To do this you must discover your shape, learn to accept and enjoy it, and then develop it to its fullest potential.
The Bible says, “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (Ephesians 5:17 NLT) Don’t let another day go by. Start finding out and clarifying what God intends for you to be and do.
Begin by assessing your gifts and abilities. Take a long, honest look at what you are good at and what you’re not good at.
Make a list. Ask other people for their candid opinion. Tell them you’re searching for the truth, not fishing for a compliment.
Ask questions like these: Where have I seen fruit in my life that other people confirmed? Where have I already been successful?
Today I am reading day 67 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
God’s Antidote to Indecision
Psalm 23:3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Sometime we’re afraid of making the wrong decision. And that creates stress.
But God says there is an antidote to our indecision. Psalm 23:3 tells us, “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” We handle the stress of decision-making by letting God guide us.
You may be thinking, “But I’ve tried this!’ You asked God to guide you but then you became more confused than before. You still couldn’t figure it out. You wonder, “Why is knowing God’s will so difficult?’
Is God playing games with us? Of course not! God wants to guide us. He wants us to know His will more than we want to know it. Our problem is we often look for the wrong thing when we’re trying to find God’s will.
Some of us look for a feeling. Some of us want a methodical approach to God’s will, a recipe or a formula to apply. Some of us take a magical approach and look God to do some fantastic sign.
All of these ways lead to frustration and cause us to miss God’s will.
God does not want you confused and he does not want you stressed over making any decision. He is there, guiding you every step of the way.
This is his promise, so you can believe this to be true: “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3 NIV)
Today I am reading day 7 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:
Your Will Be Done
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.
Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.
• What do you think God wants you to do with your life?
• What happens if you ignore God’s will?
Have you ever gotten lost? Even though you really thought you knew where you were going? Would you have gotten lost if you had had good directions?
We can get lost in life if we don’t use the guidebook God has provided us with — the Bible. We were not designed to be “know-it-alls.” None of us were. We were designed to rely on God’s instructions and on his will.
This isn’t always simple. God’s will isn’t always obvious, but that doesn’t mean that we should put our lives on hold while we wait for him to reveal his plan for our lives. God’s Word gives us plenty to go on. The Bible tells us how to behave, how to treat others and how to live wisely. When we follow the instructions God has already given us, he will further reveal his will to us.
My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for caring enough about us as individuals to create a plan for each of our lives. Guide us as we strive to determine your will. Amen.