Tag Archives: short devotions

God’s Handiwork

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.

Psalm 19:1-2 (NLT)

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Strength Is For Service

Do you have any friends who are body builders? I do. They work hard at bringing their body under discipline, they exercise, lift weights and eat right too. Imagine if you will, if this person who is ripped walked past someone who was struggling to lift something and said, “I lift things heavier than that at the gym.” Then they walk away. How would you feel about that person? You know and they know they have the strength to help, but didn’t. It would change your opinion about them.

The same is true for those of us who have strength of character. We may be strong in many areas of our lives and not have to worry about certain temptations. Imagine if we saw someone struggling with sin and said, “I don’t struggle with that.” We would look like hypocrites and give the appearance that we don’t care about their struggle. Hopefully you think that would be a shame, but believers do it all the time. We see people struggle with sin and we steer clear of them. That’s against what God’s Word teaches.

Romans 15:1-2 lay it out clearly. It says, “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?‘” (MSG) Part of being a Christian is looking beyond yourself and helping others who are walking down the same path. We can’t just leave them behind or treat them as inferior Christians.

My favorite part of that verse says, “Strength is for service, not status.” God has called you and I to be servants. No matter how close we get to God, no matter how strong of a Christian we think we are, we are to help others by serving them. God is pleased with our ability to be humble enough to help those who struggle rather than to turn our nose up at them. The only status that matters in Heaven is “Servant”. You are never too strong to not bend down and help someone else. God is looking for us to do what’s right even if it’s not convenient. 

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God’s Blueprints

Blueprints fascinate me. When I see a set rolled out, I have to look through them. I don’t know how to read them, but I still flip through as though I do. One person will look at them and see where the plumbing goes. Another will see how much concrete is needed for the foundation. Another will see where the electrical lines need to be run. To the rest of us, what looks like lines on a page actually give exact detail of how to build a structure. Whether you understand them or not, they have the ability to make a concept into a reality.

God has blueprints for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you.” Your life is not a series of random events caused by karma. It has been carefully planned out by God. Most of the time, we don’t understand the plans He has for us. We look at our lives and wonder what He’s doing or how something tragic could be part of it. The different events in our lives, both good and bad, shape us into who He created us to be. It’s normal for us to question what we don’t understand.

In the times I find myself questioning God, I’m reminded that He is the one who drew up the blueprints of my life. He alone understands them fully. When I look at them, I see two dimensional lines on a page, but He sees it in three dimensions. He sees how it’s all fits together. He understands what needs to happen in my life to connect it all together. He knows what needs to happen in order to take a line off a page and to bring it into reality. He also knows how to readjust when our decisions conflict with His plan.

I’ve often asked if God planned out for the bad things that have happened in my life. I’ve come to believe He didn’t plan them, but He planned for them. The bad things that have happened were mostly a result of my poor decisions and not of His doing. He allowed me to face the consequences of my choices, but He never gave up on His plan for me. He found a way to engineer my struggles, faults and poor decisions into the person He wants me to become. He knows how to take the things that disqualify us from being His kids and to use them to qualify us to spread His love.

God’s blueprints also include tragedies and losses that are not a result of our decisions. We may never know why those things happen in our lives, but we can trust that He has a plan, He knows what He’s doing and that He can use those events to fortify our foundation. When I don’t understand why, I can trust Him still. His ways are higher than mine. His understanding of the plans He has for me are beyond anything I can imagine. When I’ve looked back at my life, I’ve seen His handiwork. I’ve seen how He has used tragedies and consequences to fulfill His plans. He’s got a proven track record that helps me trust Him even when I don’t understand.

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10 Scriptures On “Good”

  
1.   Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are right [with You and all people] in their hearts. (Psalm 125:4 AMP)

2.   Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light. (1 Timothy 5:24-25 NLT)

3.   Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; GOD probes for what is good. (Proverbs 16:2 MSG)

4.   Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 GNT)

5.   Turn your back on evil, work for the good and don’t quit. GOD loves this kind of thing, never turns away from his friends. Live this way and you’ve got it made, but bad eggs will be tossed out. The good get planted on good land and put down healthy roots. (Psalm 37:27-28 MSG)

6.   Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good. (Romans 12:21 GNT)

7.   As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NLT)

8.   Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all]. (3 John 1:11 AMP)

9.   Find a good spouse, you find a good life— and even more: the favor of GOD! (Proverbs 18:22 MSG)

10.   So—join the company of good men and women, keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths. It’s the men who walk straight who will settle this land, the women with integrity who will last here. The corrupt will lose their lives; the dishonest will be gone for good. (Proverbs 2:20-22 MSG)

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The Law Of Correspondence 

Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.Romans 12:2 (GNT)

One of Brian Tracy’s psychological laws is the Law of Correspondence. It states that your outer world will always be a reflection of your inner world. Your demeanor, actions and reactions are indicative of what’s going on inside your mind. Jesus put it this way, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)” Whatever is going on in your heart and mind shows up in your words and actions. That’s why you can often look at someone and know there is something wrong going on with them.

We try to cover up our hurt, our insecurities, our fears and sins, but they always seem to find a way to the surface. We can try to change our actions, but those on,y last for a little while. Ben Franklin carried a book with him in which he wrote down his vices. He tried to keep track of what he did, when he did it and what triggered it. Then he would do everything in his power to not repeat those things. What he found was that he could only do it for so long before other vices popped up. He was trying to control an inside problem with an outside mechanism.

Because we judge each other based on external actions, we often try to control our own external actions so as not to be judged. The problem is that we can’t do it for very long either before something else pops up. That’s why God doesn’t deal so much with our actions as He does with our heart. He knows that our external actions and sins are a result of what’s going on inside of us. He doesn’t deal with the fruit of the problem, He deals with the root.

Romans 12:2 tells us that God wants to transform our minds so that we won’t conform to the ways of the world. When we allow God to transform our heart and mind, we begin to act differently than before. II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any person is in Christ, he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old previous moral and spiritual condition has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new one has come! (AMP)” God takes away our old way of thinking and puts in us a new mind that wants to do things his way. 

If you’ve accepted Christ, but are still struggling with actions that are in conflict with how He wants you to live, pray and ask God to transform your mind. Give Him permission to come in and change your inner world so that your outer world will be a direct reflection of who He wants you to be. Scripture says that man looks at outward appearances (actions too), but God looks at the heart (mind too). He is more concerned with what’s going on inside than outside. It’s important that we stop trying to control our actions as Ben Franklin tried to do and to allow God to change our actions through the renewing and transforming of our hearts and minds. 

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Be Like A Timex (Video)

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.  (‭Proverbs‬ ‭24‬:‭16‬ NLT)

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Fixer Upper (Video)

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Jeremiah 29:11

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