A Truly Challenging Commandment

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” Jn 15:12 NLT Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (v. 11 NLT). What are these “things” that you must do to have His joy in life? Jesus tells us in the next verse: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” You say, “That’s a truly challenging commandment!” Yes, and you’ll have to do a lot of growing and maturing … [Read more...]

Reasons to Be Thankful

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God…for you.” 1Th 5:18 NKJV Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to us, but grumbling does. No one had more cause to grumble than Joseph. Abandoned, enslaved, betrayed, and estranged. Those are the chapter titles for his life story. Yet when he talks about it you won’t hear a tinge of bitterness. Instead, you’ll hear the opposite. In naming his two sons, he makes them living, breathing, lifelong testimonies of his gratitude to God. “Joseph named … [Read more...]

Through the Wilderness

“He said, ‘Which way shall we go up?’ And he answered, ‘The way through the wilderness.’” 2Ki 3:8 The Israelites discovered that for them, the way into the Promised Land was through the wilderness. One Bible teacher refers to it as “God’s killing field.” He says: “In the wilderness experiences of life, the things that cause you to stumble in your walk with God are permitted to die. There He weeds out those who want only a superficial relationship from those who long to know Him intimately. It’s … [Read more...]

Stay Focused (Part 2)

“I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.” Ne 6:3 NIV When it came to rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah discovered that not everyone around him wanted him to succeed. To stop the work, his enemies used two things—threats and rumors. Nevertheless he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in less than two months. How did he do it? He stayed focused on what mattered and refused to be distracted. “They were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: ‘I am … [Read more...]

Stay Focused (Part 1)

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Pr 4:25 NIV Years ago an airliner crashed into the Florida Everglades. On its approach to the Miami airport, the light indicator for proper deployment of the landing gear failed. They flew circles over the swamps of the Everglades while the cockpit crew checked to see if the gear truly had not deployed, or if the bulb in the signal light was defective. When the flight engineer tried to remove the signal light assembly it … [Read more...]

How “Hungry” Are You?

“He satisfies the…hungry with good things.” Ps 107:9 NIV Successful people are often just people who were a little hungrier and thirstier for success than the rest of us. What we desired, they pursued. Napoleon was born in poverty. His classmates made fun of him in school. But he devoted himself to his books, excelled in his studies, and became the brightest student in class. Before his life was over, he conquered much of the world! If a seedling tree has to fight its way up through rocks to … [Read more...]

Choose Your Battles Wisely

“If you follow this advice…then you will be able to endure the pressures.” Ex 18:23 NLT A good general knows it’s a mistake to try and fight on too many fronts at once; that when you’re “spread out too thin” you’re vulnerable! And the same is true in life. To avoid undue stress, you must refuse to let every little thing upset you. In other words, choose your battles wisely. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Before you devote time, energy, and emotion to an issue, ask yourself how important … [Read more...]

A Prayer for Your Children

When someone loves you enough to leave you an inheritance, you should treasure it and treat it in a way that honors them. The Bible says that your children are a “heritage” from the Lord. So here’s a prayer for them: “Lord, I cannot begin to tell You how blessed and grateful I am for my children. I recognize each of them as a beautiful gift from You. You have given them to me to love and care for, to enjoy and celebrate, to delight in and raise so that they may come to know You as the greatest … [Read more...]

Ask God for a Strategic Plan

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” Isa 30:21 NKJV Jesus understood God’s strategic plan for His life—the redemption of humankind—and lived each day of His life in the light of it. At the end of His life, He could pray, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (Jn 17:4 NKJV). Strategic planning is critical to success in any undertaking. And as a redeemed child of God, your strategy should come from … [Read more...]

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus, Not on People

“Peter asked Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’” Jn 21:20 NLT The Bible says, “Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, ‘Lord, who will betray you?’ Peter asked Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus replied, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.’ So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said … [Read more...]