2 Peter 1:3 NIV

Ever felt stressed out because you don’t think you have what it takes to live like Jesus? Maybe you’ve felt under pressure because, however hard you try, you don’t feel good enough for God? The good news is that God’s already ‘given us everything we need for a godly life.’ Everything we might possibly need to be able to live God’s way, we already have access to. These are things like wisdom, strength, peace, courage, and love. He equips us to be able to do the things He’s called us to. The Holy Spirit lives within us to guide, instruct, and transform us. The Bible says: ‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?’ (1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV). We just need to listen to the Spirit’s promptings rather than doing the things we want to do. God hasn’t left us to do everything on our own. He cares about each of us, and provides us with what we need. Paul encouraged the church in Philippi by saying: ‘My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19 NIV). And that can encourage us too. It’s worth remembering that God’s given us ‘everything we need’, not ‘everything we want’. There will be things we pray for that we don’t get. They might not actually be good for us, even though we think they would be. So when we’re worried that we can’t live God’s way or we’re frustrated because God’s not giving us the things we want, let’s remember that God sees the bigger picture and He’s already provided everything we need.

2 Kings 4:18-6:33; Mark 16; Ps 80:12-19; Prov 13:13-16

Looking for donkeys – and discovering your destiny (2)

1 Samuel 10:27 NKJV

When God calls you to a special destiny, not everyone will be happy about it. “Some…said, ‘How can this man [Saul] save us?’ So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.” Note Saul’s reaction to his critics: “He held his peace.” Bottom line: It’s not your responsibility to convince others of your calling; it’s their responsibility to discern it. The Bible says, “A man’s gift makes room for him” (Proverbs 18:16 NAS). It’s your gifts – and the results they produce – that validate your calling. “Samuel said to Saul…’stand here awhile, that I may announce to you the word of God'” (1 Samuel 9:27 NKJV). When you know you’ve heard from God, the criticism of others will affect you less. His presence reassures you, His words direct your steps, and His peace settles the storm within you. After you hear the voice of God, the flattering words of others can’t puff you up, because both your feet are on the ground and your instructions are clear. You will not require the praise of others, for His confidence in you satisfies completely. After you hear the voice of God, your attitude changes instantly; you won’t face the future with anger, torment, or fear. God has spoken, His words have settled every issue, and time will prove Him correct. And here’s an important Scripture to keep in mind: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). Instead of comparing yourself with others and putting yourself down, celebrate each small step of faith you take on the way to your God-given destiny.

Soul food: 1 Kings 14-15; Mark 13:24-37; Ps 121; Prov 12:23-24

An attitude adjustment (1)

Philippians 4:8 KJV

We all need “an attitude adjustment” from time to time. It’s crucial to maintain the right attitude when the going gets rough. No matter what happens in your life, determine to go through it with the right attitude. In fact, determine beforehand to keep a positive mindset in the midst of every negative situation that arises. If you make this a conscious decision and meditate on it during the good times, when difficulties arise you’ll already be prepared. Paul writes: “Whatsoever things are true…are honest…are just…are pure…are lovely…are of good report; if there be any virtue…any praise, think on these things…and the God of peace shall be with you” (vv. 8-9). Some of the greatest writers and composers in history created masterpieces during the worst times of their lives. Beethoven’s most famous symphonies were written when he was almost totally deaf and experiencing great sorrow. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think, “I could never be like those people.” If you think like that, you’ll be defeated before you even try. Maintaining a right attitude is always much easier than regaining a right attitude. So as soon as you sense yourself becoming negative, make an immediate attitude adjustment. The Bible says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7KJV). The moment the Enemy sends negative thoughts into your mind, stop them midstream. Discipline yourself to stand strong with a positive attitude in every circumstance. When you do, “the God of peace shall be with you.”

Soul food: Num 25-26; Mark 8:14-26; Ps 57; Prov 11:14

Having trouble sleeping?

Proverbs 3:24 NLT

Insomnia is a miserable thing. At any given time it affects 30 to 50 percent of the population. You dread bedtime, toss and tumble all night, and walk around exhausted the next day. And when it continues for weeks or even months, it can depress you and rob you of your joy. Is that what’s happening to you right now? Then let God help you. His Word says He “gives rest to his loved ones” (Psalm 127:2 NLT). His promise is “You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.” And if you’re addicted to sleeping pills, the Great Physician can heal you. Make this your prayer today: “Father, shine Your light on the root cause of my sleeplessness. Whatever anxieties are stopping me from entering into a state of restorative slumber, I cast them all on You as instructed, knowing You care for me (See 1 Peter 5:7). Calm my racing thoughts and restless mind. Help me to be still and know You are my God (See Psalm 46:10). I submit to Your command not to worry about anything, but to pray about everything instead. I bring my needs to You, and thank You for all You have already done. Your Word assures me that if I do this I’ll experience Your peace, which is more wonderful than the human mind can understand, and that it will guard my heart and my mind (See Philippians 4:6-7). By faith I will lie down tonight without fear or anxiety and enjoy pleasant dreams. Yes, I will lie down in peace and sleep because You…Lord, will keep me safe (See Psalm 4:8). In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Soul food: Num 8-10; Mark 6:30-44; Ps 37:16-24; Prov 11:4

Rest in Him

Proverbs 3:24 NIV

We all know that it’s challenging to try and get through the day when we’ve had no sleep. We can become overly emotional or easily irritated. We can lack motivation for the tasks of the day, and can find it hard to concentrate. When we’re afraid, anxious, overwhelmed, or too busy, our sleep can be impacted. So what can we do about it? God wants us to rest in Him. He wants us to trust Him when we have too many thoughts in our minds. The Bible says: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5 NIV). We can hand over all our concerns to Him, and rest in the knowledge that He’s in control. The psalmist wrote, ‘Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you’ (Psalm 55:22 NIV). Every night when we’re ready to go to bed, we need to spend time handing over all our worries and burdens to God. He promises that ‘When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.’ So let’s make this our prayer today: ‘Father, whatever anxieties are stopping me from resting peacefully, I cast them all on You, knowing You care for me (have a read of 1 Peter 5:7). Calm my racing thoughts and restless mind. Help me to be still and know You are my God (take a look at Psalm 46:10). I bring my needs to You, and thank You for all You have already done. Help me experience Your perfect peace which will guard my heart and my mind (have a read of Philippians 4:6-7). By faith I will lie down tonight without fear or anxiety. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.’

Num 8-10; Mark 6:30-44; Ps 37:16-24; Prov 11:4