Change Your Self-Talk

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“You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you.” Job 22:28 NKJV It’s not what others say to you or about you that determines your future; it’s what you say to yourself after others get through talking! The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will … Read More

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus (2)

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“Jesus…went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” Ac 10:38 NKJV The Bible says: “Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to … Read More

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus (1)

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“The boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves.” Mt 14:24 NKJV Jesus had accompanied His disciples in a previous storm and calmed it. But now He was up on a mountain praying, and they were alone, “tossed by the waves.” Why? Because sometimes the teacher has to step back in order to see how … Read More

The Power of Forgiveness (2)

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“Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” Col 3:13 NIV In Restoring Your Spiritual Passion, Gordon MacDonald writes: “One memory that burns deep within is that of a plane flight on which I was headed toward a meeting that would determine a major decision in my ministry. I knew I was in desperate need of a spiritual passion … Read More

The Power of Forgiveness (1)

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“Forgiving each other, just as…God forgave you.” Eph 4:32 NIV The power of forgiveness is an awesome thing. No relationship can survive without it, much less thrive. Whatever the issue, forgiveness sets both sides free, takes a weapon out of Satan’s hands, and opens the door for God to go to work in the situation. This is never more so … Read More

Have Realistic Expectations (2)

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“He knew what was in a man.” Jn 2:25 NIV Here are three areas in which you must learn to have realistic expectations: (1) You must have realistic expectations of yourself. When you do things poorly you usually feel bad. That sets in motion a never-ending cycle of reaching for things that are out of reach, hoping to prove something … Read More

Have Realistic Expectations (1)

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“He knew what was in a man.” Jn 2:25 NIV Jesus saw the best in people and worked to bring it out. But He wasn’t naïve; He understood human frailty. When people disappointed Him, He didn’t retaliate in anger, or distance from them. What did He do? “Many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his … Read More

“Let Us Pray”

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“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.” Eph 6:18 NLT In August, 1806, five Williams College students met in a field for one of their twice-weekly prayer meetings when a thunderstorm drove them to take refuge in a nearby haystack. Continuing in prayer, Samuel John Mills shared his burden that Christianity be sent abroad, and the … Read More

“Whatever It Takes”

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“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Pr 13:4 NIV The word “diligence” includes such qualities as hard work, honesty, persistence, and striving for excellence. The New Living Bible Translation puts it this way: “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” One expert says, “Success … Read More

Learn to be Tactful

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“I try to find common ground.” 1Co 9:22 NLT Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. To win someone over, you must first do two things: (a) understand them; (b) become comfortable with diversity. Paul wrote, “So I can bring them to Christ…I try to find common ground with everyone” (vv. 21-22 NLT). Paul wouldn’t … Read More

Secure in God’s Presence

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“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex 33:14 NIV Unless you spend time in God’s presence you will always have an underlying sense of insecurity. There are certain people we draw security from just by being around them; their presence and approach to life make us feel better. Likewise, when you need to be … Read More

The Cost of a God-Given Dream (3)

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“I have suffered the loss of all things.” Php 3:8 NKJV Stop and listen carefully to what some of the people around you are saying. Many of them express regret because they backed off from their dream of earlier years: a career not pursued, an opportunity left unseized, a relationship allowed to wither and die. Decades later they come back … Read More

The Cost of a God-Given Dream (2)

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“I have worked…been in prison…been flogged.” 2Co 11:23 NIV Second, there’s the ongoing cost. We all want what successful people have. The problem is, we don’t want to pay the price they paid initially, and continue to pay every day. Paul spells out the true story behind his success: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been … Read More

The Cost of a God-Given Dream (1)

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“I consider everything a loss…compared to…” Php 3:8 NIV Y our dream will never be fulfilled unless you’re willing to pay the price that comes with it. And that price is paid not once, but over a lifetime. First, there’s the initial cost. You will have to make personal and sometimes painful sacrifices. You may have to walk away from … Read More

Your Heart Condition

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“Above all…guard your heart…it is the wellspring of life.” Pr 4:23 NIV Heart disease will kill you if you don’t detect it and treat it in time. That is true— physically and spiritually. It’s why the Bible says, “Above all…guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Wanting to look your best is commendable. It can enhance your … Read More

“Thank You”

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“He will not forget how hard you have worked for him.” Heb 6:10 NLT Are you thinking, “I do so much for others; now I just want a little appreciation in return”? But there doesn’t seem to be any coming, so you feel unappreciated and taken for granted. Just two simple words, but oh how much they mean: “Thank you!” … Read More

Happiness Is Found in Christ Alone

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“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are.” Eph 1:11 TM Where can you find happiness? (1) Not in unbelief. Atheist Voltaire wrote, “I wish I had never been born.” (2) Not in pleasure. Lord Byron wrote, “The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone.” (3) Not in money. When dying, Jay Gould, the American multimillionaire, … Read More

Don’t Lose Control!

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“Anger resides in the lap of fools.” Ecc 7:9 NIV The word “anger” is just one letter short of the word “danger.” When you lose control you risk losing other things as well, like the respect of others or the chance to find a constructive solution. Anger toward human suffering is not only appropriate, it’s the catalyst for change. Paul … Read More

God’s Timetable

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“By your patience possess your souls.” Lk 21:19 NKJV When God makes you wait for something longer than you want to, He’s teaching you patience. Your emotions are like a wild horse—they need to be reined in. “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he … Read More

Roots and Wings (5)

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“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother.” Ge 2:24 NIV Healthy parenting calls for finding the right mix of autonomy with each of your children. Some kids distance sooner, some later; some take small tentative steps, some leap confidently into the gap. There are no “good” or “bad” kids when it comes to this, just more … Read More

Roots and Wings (4)

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“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother.” Ge 2:24 NIV You can’t always prevent your child from getting hurt. “In this world you will have trouble” (Jn 16:33 NIV). Either they’ll get hurt and learn to deal with reality, or suffocate in your cocoon, never becoming mature—a hurt much sadder and much more painful and debilitating. … Read More

Roots and Wings (3)

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“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother.” Ge 2:24 NIV The second gift you must give your child is “wings.” They are born to fly, not stay in the nest. By becoming overly protective and stifling them in the name of responsible parenting, you’ll end up losing them. Jesus said children are designed to leave and … Read More

Roots and Wings (2)

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“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother.” Ge 2:24 NIV On the journey from adolescence to adulthood, your kids will experience insecurity, contradictions and mood swings. They will send you conflicting signals: needing closeness, yet distance; connection, yet independence; all at the same time. They will pull you in with one hand and push you away … Read More

Roots and Wings (1)

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“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother.” Ge 2:24 NIV You’ll know you’ve succeeded as a parent when your children are able to leave you and go out and build a successful life on their own. You will never cut them off, but there comes a time when you must “cut the apron strings” and let … Read More

“Up Close and Personal”

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“That…which we have heard…seen…touched.” 1Jn 1:1 NIV You can draw closer to the Lord if you really want to. You can have first-hand knowledge of Him. You don’t have to settle for Sunday morning sound bites, second-hand information, or a long-distance relationship. You can get “up close and personal” with Him. John writes, “That which was from the beginning, which … Read More

Show Your Gratitude

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“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord.” Ps 107:8 NKJV The Psalmist writes, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord, for his goodness.” Notice the word “would.” A thankful attitude is a choice you make regardless of the situation. You choose your attitude just like you choose the food you eat and the clothes you wear … Read More

De-stressing

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“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places.” Isa 32:18 NIV Years ago stress was considered mostly a male problem, but not anymore. Women are experiencing the stress of pursuing perfection, looking a certain way, competing in the workplace, attempting to do it all, never saying no, and having no time for themselves. That’s not how God wants you to … Read More

Healing for Your Grief

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“He heals the brokenhearted.” Ps 147:3 NIV One of the most moving scenes in Scripture is Jesus weeping at the graveside of Lazarus. It’s not that He was powerless to change the situation, which He did, but that He empathizes with us in our time of loss. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” The Lord didn’t promise … Read More

How to Experience God’s Grace

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“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God.” 1Co 1:3 Several of Paul’s epistles open with the words, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God.” That’s because you cannot experience God’s peace unless you first know how to receive His grace and walk in it. There are three things about grace you need to understand: (a) it cannot be … Read More

Covetousness (4)

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“Be content with such things as you have.” Heb 13:5 NKJV If your goals are God-centered, He will help you to achieve them. But if you are asking Him for something just because your neighbor has it, you’ll be disappointed. The Bible says, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps 84:11). When God withholds something … Read More

Covetousness (3)

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“He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” Ps 106:15 NKJV See if you recognize this pattern. As slaves in Egypt the Israelites pray, “God, get us out of here!” So He does. Then in the wilderness, on their way to the Promised Land they say, “God, we’re gonna die out here. We were better off in … Read More

Covetousness (2)

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“You shall not covet.” Ex 20:17 NKJV Why do we keep giving in to sinful desires? For two reasons: (1) Because the new birth doesn’t automatically do away with the old nature. Like two cars approaching an intersection at the same time, your old and new natures are always on a collision course. (2) Because if you dwell on a … Read More

Covetousness (1)

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“Let your conduct be without covetousness.” Heb 13:5 NKJV Covetousness begins with craving, then evolves into conniving to get what you want. Achan, Ahab, Ananias and Sapphira were willing to steal, lie and kill to get what they wanted. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will … Read More

What’s New?

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“His compassions…are new every morning.” Lam 3:22-23 NIV Are you going through a hard time at the moment? You’re not alone! Things were so bad in Israel that when Jeremiah wrote one of the books of the Bible he called it Lamentations. In a positive-thinking, feel-good world, that’s not exactly a best-selling title. Jeremiah describes God’s people as a “widow” … Read More

Sound Thinking

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“God has…given us…a sound mind.” 2Ti 1:7 NKJV The Bible says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” In order to improve your life you must change two things: (1) Your thought processes. Gordon MacDonald says: “People who are out of shape mentally fall victim to ideas … Read More

Rejoicing in Trouble

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“Breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet.”       Eze 37:10 NKJV Your hopes may be dead and your dreams buried, but God can breathe into them again. Ezekiel stood in a valley of dead, dry bones. That’s about as bad as it gets! Right? Then something amazing happened. God said to the Prophet, “Prophesy…and say…‘Thus says … Read More

Why God Accepts You (2)

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“Approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him.” 2Co 5:21 AMP The world tells us that our value is connected to our “doing.” Growing up, we’re constantly compared. When asked why we were not doing as well as our brother or sister, we felt we were doing our best and we had no answer. So we determined to try … Read More

Why God Accepts You (1)

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“Approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him.” 2Co 5:21 AMP God loves and accepts you as much on your bad days as He does on your good ones. In a performance-based society, that’s easy to forget. But you mustn’t! God’s acceptance is based on your standing in Christ, not the state of your life at a given time. … Read More

Moving from Doubt to Faith

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“Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’” Lk 17:5 NKJV Why do we experience so much doubt? (1) Because doubt satisfies our need for self-protection. We don’t like to be wrong, to get hurt, or to fail, so our subconscious reasoning says, “It’s easier not to trust, to lower my expectations so I won’t be disappointed.” But you are disappointed, aren’t you? Why? … Read More

“Time Out!”

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“Stand…still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.” 1Sa 9:27 Here’s an ancient Scripture with a modern message: “As they were going down to…the city, Samuel said to Saul…‘stand thou still a while, that I may show thee the word of God.’” Today we are told that in order to succeed we must hit the floor … Read More

Let Go of Your Independent Attitude

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“We will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Heb 4:16 NLT The Bible says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” We grow up being told, “If you want something you’ll have to … Read More

Are you a Christian with a quit option?

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Have you ever felt like giving up and just throwing in the towel? Maybe you have grown tired of the battles and struggles. Life presents plenty of opportunities to quit. But before you quit, you need to understand that the battle is not about what you’re facing. The battle is not with your family or marriage, a financial problem, or … Read More

Be Real

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“Beware of…hypocrisy.” Lk12:1 NKJV The word “hypocrisy” could be translated as “hype.” And hype, no matter how religious it is, is only a charade. Jesus denounced it. Speaking about the religious leaders of His day, He said: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that … Read More

Are you living inside out?

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Have you ever been in a hurry, thrown your clothes on quickly and not realized until you were at school or work or the grocery store that your shirt was inside out? There’s just something that makes you feel exposed when you wear your clothes inside out. The seams are showing, the place where you tore the shirt and had … Read More

The Treasure Within You

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“We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” 2Co 4:7 NKJV God has given you talents and He wants you to use them. They may lie dormant under layers of failure, fear, or low self-esteem. You may be aware of them, yet not know how to put them to work. Maybe you’ve been going from relationship to relationship hoping to find … Read More

The “Blessed” Man and Woman

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“Blessed is the man who…” Ps 1:1 NKJV Here’s a scriptural key to being blessed: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings … Read More

In difficult times, don’t just survive – thrive!

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It’s easy to become discouraged during difficult times. If you look at today’s economic situation, you see many people without jobs, people losing their homes to foreclosure, and a sense of fear and insecurity about the future. But, regardless of the economic circumstances, God has promised provision for people who place their trust in Him. Psalms 92:12-15 (TLB) contains a … Read More

Bumps

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“These trials will show that your faith is genuine.” 1Pe 1:7 NLT It is impossible to tell by looking at a person how much faith they have. Compare your faith to a bucket of water; you only discover how much is inside when somebody bumps it. Likewise, when life bumps you, you spill out what you are full of. Maybe … Read More