The Purpose of Prayer
Don’t wait for God to answer your prayers. The purpose of prayer is not to get answers, but to get to know God!
Every answer to prayer will be followed by other requests.
We think: “If this or that would just happen, then I’d be fulfilled.”
Yet, even miracles will leave you dissatisfied if you don’t turn your attention back to God. It’s a great seduction! I fell into it for years.
Only one out of the ten lepers Jesus healed came back to thank Him. (Luke 17:17–18) Nine out of ten never looked back.
Don’t obsess over what you don’t have; rejoice in every morsel God provides, and more will come. He’s a loving Father who promises to give us everything we need.
Jesus saves the best wine for last.
Seeing Needs Not Offenses
When people hurt us, we always have a choice. Either we seek the healing God alone can give, or we find ourselves wallowing in the pain of past offenses.
No one escapes the planet unhurt. It’s the price of admission to the human race: a marathon not for the faint-hearted or faultfinding, but for the faithful few who are more humbled by their own shortcomings than the faults of others.
Ask God to show you people’s needs, not their offenses.
Be a pathfinder, not a faultfinder!
Learn to forgive, not just be forgiven.
God’s perfect plan is designed to heal my past, establish my present, and inspire me to run toward a future beyond my wildest dreams.
Do you see it? It’s right in front of you.
Dying To Live
How often should we die to our ambitions, our self-will, and even ourselves?
Resurrection life is only available to dead people.
If Jesus had to die to get it, so do we.
So, how can you tell if you’re dead to yourself? When you’re asleep in a boat in the middle of a violent storm. When someone slaps you on one cheek and you turn the other. When all Hell’s breaking loose outside of you and yet you keep allowing the peace of God to rise up inside you.
Resurrection life is only available through Jesus Christ—for He alone conquered sin and death for each of us.
Trust in Jesus and you’ll never taste of death . . . only everlasting life.
Not just in Heaven, but right here on Earth.
What’s On God’s Heart?
A friend of mine went into the wilderness to spend time with God and, frankly, get away from people. One night in the middle of nowhere looking up at the stars, he prayed a tender, humble prayer, “God, I’m always sharing what’s on my heart. What’s on Yours?”
Breaking the complete silence, the sound of a small plane flying high overhead caught his attention.
Immediately, God’s Spirit shot back, “The world—the world’s on My heart!”
Jesus described the Father’s heart so clearly when He said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The question is: do we love what God loves—the people in this broken world?
Losing Something to Gain Everything
A missionary I once met had spent years ministering to a remote tribe without seeing any converts.
One day, a member of the tribe accidentally electrocuted the missionary’s nine-year-old son. The tribe had a custom that when someone was killed, the victim’s relatives had the right to take revenge. They expected the missionary to take the life of the one who took his son’s life. But instead of exacting retribution, the missionary forgave him. This response sent a shockwave through the tribe. They’d never heard of anyone forgiving such a deed.
Eventually, because of he and his wife’s selfless attitude, the entire tribe came to know Jesus. His family had experienced an incomprehensible loss, but their willingness to forgive changed everything.
Forgive those who have hurt you. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Being A Doctor Or A Patient
How do you recover when someone hurts you? If your goal is to understand—with a humble heart, eventually you’ll be healed.
But, if you refuse to budge, and merely nurse the hurt caused by others, then your pain will only grow deeper.
At times, our attitude is the clearest indication of what we’re most committed to: stewing or healing, remembering or reconciling.
Am I on a journey to become a doctor, or destined to remain a patient?
The only person who can make that decision is me. I may be hurt, but I must be more committed to being healed, than rehashing my pain.
Jesus suffered and died so we could become completely whole inside.
Receiving that healing is a life-long process, but worth every minute.
Have you forgotten Who God is?
He doesn’t just act loving—God is love! And if we seek Him with all our heart, we’ll become like Him: a loving person.
Jesus commanded us to love ALL people at ALL times, no matter what they may say or do to harm us. Only this response accurately models the heart of a God who’s called us to live as He lived, and even be willing to die as He died.
If we’re leaning on Jesus, no one can ever do anything to make us not love them.
I must never lose sight of this reality: all of the grace I’ll ever need to obey God is continually available to me.
All God asks us to do is reach out and receive it.
We Are As Loved As Jesus
Learning to trust God accesses the peace of mind that seems impossible to attain. Yet, it’s always within reach—with arms of faith.
Believe God for the impossible. Not with presumption, based on the desires of your own heart, but with real faith. Faith that’s grounded upon the sublime plan of the God who knows all things, loves us infinitely, and always uses His wisdom for our good.
Jesus said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)
It may be hard to believe, but we are as loved by the Father as Jesus was. And He longs for us to remain in a constant connection with His unconditional love for us.
Only then can we process life as God intended.
Freedom’s Ahead When Self’s Behind
The self-centeredness of others may have hurt you, but it will be your own self-obsession that will keep the pain alive. The greatest enemy to your being as free as God intended is not sin, but self!
Jesus already took care of your sins when He died on the Cross. Now you must learn to die to yourself, in order to be truly free.
Freedom’s ahead, when self’s behind!
Learn to rest so completely in God’s perfection that you’re not overwhelmed by your own lack.
If we refuse to accept God’s plan for our lives, we consign ourselves to a brave new world of perpetual un-fulfillment.
Waiting for a better life is like staring at your dinner, hoping to improve its taste.
The magnificent life God created for you…it’s what’s for dinner.
God Takes Pleasure In You
If we believe Jesus died and rose again, and have allowed Him to be our Lord and Savior, then the Bible says we are now God’s sons and daughters.
Though we may firmly believe this, we can still at times feel God’s ashamed of us. We wonder if He is glad or sad; grateful or disappointed in whom we have become?
How we answer this question will shape our thinking in every dimension of our lives and could not possibly be over-estimated. Jesus said to His Heavenly Father, “You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23b)
Ever see doting parents smile at their child? That’s how God feels about you. God takes pleasure in the very thought of you. You make God smile! Believe it. It’s a truth that will set you free.
God Likes You
For the first 30 years of my Christian life I didn’t think God liked me.
Now, if God was an imperfect human, that would make sense. But He’s not! Each of us make decisions to like or dislike people based upon their past or present actions.
But imagine being completely aware of everything a person will ever do. No longer would your estimation be based upon individual events. Your picture of them would be complete. At that moment, if you like them, it would be because you see the entirety of their lives. That’s exactly how God sees us.
If you’ve ever believed God loved you, or liked you, He still does. Why? Because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) God enjoys you! “How precious…are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17)
The Right Question
Whenever you find yourself wondering why something’s happening, realize it’s never a coincidence. It’s invariably God working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.
Actually, WHY is typically the wrong question; WHAT is the word we should be asking. “God, WHAT are you trying to show me?” The situation, no matter how bleak, is not a mere accident; it’s God at work, even using what Satan meant for evil.
If we love God and are committed to doing His will, He promises us in Romans 8: 28, that all things, no matter how much they hurt, that happen to us will work for our good, either on Earth or in Heaven.
That’s a PROMISE God will keep.