Molded into Godly Character

Ephesians 4:24 NLT
Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.

God uses his Word, people, and circumstances to mold us. All three are indispensable for character development. God’s Word provides the truth we need to grow, God’s people provide the support we need to grow, and circumstances provide the environment to practice Christ-likeness.

If you study and apply God’s Word, connect regularly with other believers, and learn to trust God in difficult circumstances, I guarantee you will become more like Jesus.

Many people assume all that is needed for spiritual growth is Bible study and prayer. But some issues in life will never be changed by Bible study or prayer alone. God uses people. He usually prefers to work through people rather than perform miracles, so that we will depend on each other for fellowship. He wants us to grow together.

In many religions, the people considered to be the most spiritually mature and holy are those who isolate themselves from others in mountaintop monasteries, uninfected by contact with other people.

You cannot grow to Christ-likeness in isolation. You must be around other people and interact with them. You need to be a part of a church and community.

Why? Because true spiritual maturity is all about learning to love like Jesus, and you can’t practice being like Jesus without being in relationship with other people, I encourage you to do just that!!

Source: Rick Warren’s Youversion.com Bible Reading plan

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When the future seems uncertain…

From Youversion.com ~ Rick Warren Reading plan…just too good.

No matter what the pollsters, pundits, and prognosticators claim, no one can accurately predict all that is going to happen in the next year, let alone the next few days or weeks. Our best forecasts are just educated guesses.

Change is not only increasing in speed and intensity, but also in unpredictability. How can anyone succeed when the future is so uncertain?

The Bible suggests three timeless principles for facing an uncertain future:

Set goals according to God’s direction. The Bible says, “We may make our plans, but God has the last word.” (Proverbs 16:1 GNT) In other words, planning without praying is presumption. Start by praying, “God, what do you want me to do?”

Live one day at a time. Decide to make the most of each moment of your life to accomplish God’s will in your life. Jesus said, “Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34 LB)

Don’t procrastinate. Do it now! “Don’t boast about what you’re going to do tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1) Procrastinating is a subtle trap. It wastes today by postponing things until tomorrow.

What did you plan to get done last year that you didn’t do? When do you intend to start working on it?

$86,400

A friend posted this on Facebook this morning and I wanted to share it.

“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400.
It carries over no balance from day to day.
Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?
Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.

It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no drawing against “tomorrow.”
You must live in the present on today’s deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running!! Make the most of today.

Treasure every moment that you have!
And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special,
special enough to spend your time with.”

So we have 86,400 seconds EVERY DAY, then the moment is gone.

 

I honestly lose track of time each day and don’t remember that we really don’t know how much time we have left on this earth. So make the most of every second. Love God, Love people. He loves you and wants to spend eternity with you.

If you don’t know Jesus, or have a personal relationship with Him, I’d love to share my story with you. Remember, Jesus loves you. Go out there and make the most of this day!

Tithing ~ Giving back to God, He will bless you!

What is Tithing?
Tithing is RETURNING the first 10% of our income to God’s church.

Leviticus 27:30 NIV84
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.

Tithing is giving God my FIRST and best so he can bless the REST.

Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV84
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Why Tithe?
Tithing provides for God’s work through the CHURCH.

Malachi 3:10 NIV84
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

The storehouse is the church!

Put God First
The purpose of tithe is to teach you to always put God first in your lives. Deuteronomy 14:23 TLB

Why Tithe?
Tithing builds my FAITH in God.

Here is what Rick Warren says:

We’ve all heard the word – TITHE – Take the first 10 percent of their income and give it back to God. Why?

Three reasons –

First, we tithe out of gratitude for the past. “God, I realize that everything I’ve achieved up to this point, anything I have, it all belongs to You anyway. I want to give 10 percent back to You as an act of gratefulness.”
Second, we tithe to keep our priorities right in the present. It’s a reminder that God is really first in my life. (Deuteronomy 14:23)
Third, we tithe as a statement of faith for the future. When I write out the check or give money, I’m saying, “God, You’ve taken care of me in the past and so I trust You. I’m giving you this as a demonstration of my faith in you.”

In Malachi 3:10, God gives us a challenge: “Bring all the tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. Test Me in this,” says the Lord, “and see if I won’t throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing you will not have enough room for it.” (NIV)

God is saying, “I dare you to put Me first in every area of your life including your finances and see if I don’t bless you.”

My family is experiencing so many blessings because of tithing and paying off debt. God is showing up and showing off! He is blessing and blessing. If you don’t believe it, tithe for 3 months and test God, in Malachi, that is the only place where God tells us to test Him. Test God and He will bless you beyond your wildest imagination!

Forgiveness

If is better to forgive than to harbor hurt and resentment. And God forgives me, so I should forgive others no matter what.

Matthew 6:14-15 ~ “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Give God Your Hurts by Rick Warren

YouVersion.com

In your life, you will be hurt by others; sometimes intentionally; sometimes unintentionally. How you handle that hurt determines your happiness.

When you bottle up hurt in your life and hold onto it – that is called resentment. If somebody hurt you years ago and you’re still holding onto it, it will poison your life. For your own health and happiness, you must learn to forgive.

The Bible says forgive and be forgiven. In fact, Jesus says, “If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” (Matthew 6:15 TEV) They’re inter-related.

Forgiveness is the only way to get rid of the past. That’s one of the values of prayer. It helps you unload, forgive those who have hurt you and let it go so you can get on with life.

When we let go of our hurts and forgive others we are reflecting the grace of our heavenly Father, who forgave us and continues to forgive us. It means we’ve given God our love; we’ve given God our lives; and, in doing that, we worship God.

Managing your Time

Another good YouVersion post from the Rick Warren Daily Devotional. We all need to do this!

Jesus experienced enormous stress and pressure, yet it didn’t seem to disturb his peace of mind. In spite of opposition, constant demands, and little privacy, his life reflected a calm sense of balance.

What can we learn from Him?

Know who you are (John 8:12) — Eighteen times Jesus publicly defined himself. There was no doubt in his mind as to who he was. Trying to be someone you’re not causes stress!

Know who you want to please (John 5:30) — Jesus never let the fear of rejection manipulate him. No one can pressure you without your permission. You can’t please everyone. Even God can’t!

Set clear goals (John 8:14) — Jesus said, “I know where I came from and where I am going.” Preparation prevents pressure but procrastination produces it. You work by either priorities or pressures.

Focus on one thing at a time (Luke 4:42-44) — Jesus knew how to handle interruptions without being distracted from his primary goal.

Don’t try to do everything yourself (Mark 3:14) — Jesus enlisted twelve disciples. We get tense when we feel it all depends on us.

Make a habit of prayer (Mark 1:35) — No matter how busy Jesus got, he found time to get alone and pray. A daily quiet time is a great stress decompression chamber.

Take time to enjoy life (Mark 6:30-31) — Balance is the key to stress management. Work must be balanced with fun and worship.

God’s Masterpiece

Ephesians 2:10 NLT ~ For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

No matter what you do in life, God designed you with talents, gifts and interests that He wants you to use for His glory.

You are custom-made. There’s nobody like you in the whole world. And the gifts, the abilities, the talents, even the interests you have were genetically given to you by God. God made you with a specific purpose in mind and He wants you to use the gifts he’s given you in your daily life.

I love this, the Bible says you are God’s workmanship. The Greek word used for workmanship is poema. That’s where the English word poem comes from ~~ you are God’s poem!

You are God’s work of art.

You are God’s masterpiece.