Tag Archives: what does the bible say about

Trusting His Plan

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my son to get ready, and then, before he gets ready, he asks, “Where are we going?” I usually tell him, “It doesn’t matter. I said to get ready, so get ready.” Instead of quickly obeying, he constantly wants to know all the info before doing anything. As a parent, it can be frustrating. There are things he needs to know, and there are things he doesn’t need to know. I simply want him to obey when asked to do something instead of questioning everything I tell him to do.

Even though I know these frustrations as a parent, when the shoe is on the other foot, I act the same way. How many times had God told me to get ready or to go somewhere, and I want to know all the details before I do anything? There’s also those times where I know where He’s leading me, but I want to know all the steps first. It’s like I’m my own child when God is the father telling me to do things. I wonder how frustrated He gets at our questioning and inactivity while He’s waiting for our obedience.

Proverbs 20:24 says, “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (NLT) As children of God, we need to understand there are things we need to know, and things we don’t. God knows everything we are about to do, and how He wants it done. Since the beginning of time, all He has asked is that we would simply trust Him. He’s looking for our obedience without having to understand everything. We need to have enough faith to trust His will, His plan and His directions without questioning them. Simple obedience yields eternal benefits. Just like the old song says, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way.”

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Looking Within

A couple of years ago I went to become a certified John Maxwell trainer, speaker and coach. During the coaching certification, one of the exercises was to coach someone to be able to juggle. As many of us were failing at helping someone juggle (because we didn’t know the first thing about juggling), the certified got up and said, “It is within you, but you have to learn to draw it out.” Before you knew it, people were juggling all over the room. All of us had to put aside our self limiting thoughts, and believe that God had placed everything we need within us.

I’ll never forget that moment because it taught me that God has put so much inside of me, but it was up to me to draw it out. Our mind functions on knowledge, but our spirit has a connection to the all knowing creator. He has given each of us all we need, but we as individuals must learn to draw it out like water from a deep well. We must trust that our creator has equipped us for every good work. We just have to look inside to find it.

Here are some Bible verses about things God has put in us.

1. Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.

Proverbs 20:5 NLT

2. “No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is within you.”

Luke 17:21 GNT

3. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My ordinances and do them.

EZEKIEL 36:27 AMP

4. What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.

Philippians 2:12-13 MSG

5. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands on you [at your ordination].

1 TIMOTHY 4:14 AMP

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The Prince Of Wholeness

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

One of the names of God that I love is Jehovah Shalom. I began to dig deeper into the word “Shalom” to see what all it means. I know it means “peace” and that it is often used as a greeting in Israel, but one of the other meanings for the word is “completeness” or “whole”. I found that very interesting. So I went back to Isaiah 9:6 where it says Jesus will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. I switched to the Message version of the Bible and there it called Him the Prince of Wholeness.

My mind raced, “How had I missed that?” I’m not sure how I’ve read that a hundred times and have heard the word shalom over and over and never saw that He is the Prince of Wholeness. We all need peace in our lives so much that we focus on that part of “shalom”, but rarely go deeper into its meaning. We don’t look beyond the surface, but we need to. We need to dig deeper to find something like this because we all need it.

I’ve had my life shattered and broken. When I look back at that period in my life, I see myself laying on a foundation in the pouring rain. There is debris of what was my life laying all around. There is nothing that is salvageable. That is there is nothing I can salvage. But here, in this scripture, I see a God who can take the broken pieces of my life and make me whole again. I see a Prince who is not content with leaving me broken and unprotected. He wants me to be whole.

He wants you to be whole too. When you’re broken like that, you think that all is lost. You feel that no one cares and the world is dark all around you. You can’t see the future because you can’t imagine a future you’d want to be in. There is no light of hope to guide you. You take each breath as it comes. Each second of the clock ticks in slow motion, and survival is your only instinct. You aren’t worried about tomorrow because you’re focused on surviving today. Yes, even in that moment of your life, He is the Prince of Wholeness.

God is able to take you from that broken place in your life to a place of Wholeness. Completeness. Rebuilding. Becoming stronger and better. He is the God of creation and He can create a new beginning for you. It’s not something that happens over night. A masterpiece is not painted in a day. A mansion is not built over night. Your life is more complex and worth more to Him than anything else in all of creation. You may struggle with feelings of unworthiness or worthlessness, but you are worthy and you are priceless. You are worth rebuilding to Him. You are worth being made whole. Don’t give up. Invite the Prince of Wholeness to come in today and to complete the work which He began in you.

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Unselfish Generosity

Organizations, teams, relationships and people groups function best when people look out for each other as much or more than themselves. Problems arise when people are selfish and trying to get their own instead of helping others succeed. A culture of selfishness breeds greed, distrust, back stabbing and division. It’s unhealthy and stunts growth. I believe that’s why one of the characteristics God desires for Christians to have is selflessness. It promotes growth, healing, unity and trust.

God’s desire for you and I is to help others in our journey through life. If you look around you, there are people in your life every day that need a word of encouragement, a helping hand, someone to share their burdens with or your time. If you haven’t seen them, you’re too busy being focused on your own needs. God gave us His selfless love and wants us to show selfless love to others so that we can point them to Him. If you struggle in this area, ask God to open your eyes to the needs of others and to help you show His love. If you pray that way, you’ll not only change the life of others, your life will change too.

Here are some Bible verses on unselfish generosity.

1. So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior–a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love.

EPHESIANS 4:1-2 AMP

2. And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity.

2 Corinthians 9:10 GNT

3. But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.

Isaiah 32:8 NLT

4. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.

Luke 6:37-38 MSG

5. But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

GALATIANS 5:22-23 AMP

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Be An Encourager

Several years ago, my sister in law ran a half marathon. I drove her to the race well before it began. When we got there, I told her, “You got this!” Then, when the race started there were lots of cheers as the runners left. My wife and i drove to a place down the path where we could cheer her on as she went by in the middle of her race. All along the route, people had signs and words of encouragement for all the runners. Then, at the finish line, we cheered as loud as we could for that final push as she completed her race.

So many times we say, “Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.” It’s a long journey with ups and downs, and there’s times where we feel like quitting. We all need people in our life to cheer us on and to encourage us to keep going. The same is true of our walk with God. Today, look for someone whom you can encourage, even if you need encouragement too. Cheer them on in their race. Express confidence in them, and you’ll be encouraged too. It gives us strength when we help others on their journey.

Here are some Bible verses on encouraging others.

1. Give strength to hands that are tired and to knees that tremble with weakness. Tell everyone who is discouraged, “Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue, coming to punish your enemies.”

Isaiah 35:3-4 GNT

2. Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 AMPC

3. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

Proverbs 10:21 NLT

4. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Romans 12:8 NLT

5. Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.

HEBREWS 10:23-25 AMP

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Humble Leadership

I’ve seen a few different types of leaders. One type of leader is too good to do anything. They’ve risen through the ranks and paid their dues, so they feel there are certain things they shouldn’t have to do any more. Another leader feels that no matter how high up the totem pole they get, there is no job beneath them. They feel like it’s their duty to know the way, show the way and go the way. If they’re going to ask someone to do something, they should be willing to do it as well.

We read in the Bible where the disciples argued over who was the greatest. What they were asking was, “Besides Jesus, who’s the leader of this group?” Jesus didn’t get onto them for asking the question. He simply stated God’s idea of what leadership is in His Kingdom. You can be a leader and be humble at the same time. Humility is not saying others are better than you, it’s saying that nothing is beneath you. If you want to be a great leader, especially in God’s Kingdom, then learn to be humble.

Here’s some verses on humble leadership.

1. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.”

Luke 22:25-26 NLT

2. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Philippians 2:5-8 MSG

3. So when He had washed their feet and put on His [outer] robe and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is who I am. So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.”

JOHN 13:12-16 AMP

4. In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.

1 Peter 5:5-6 GNT

5. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

1 Peter 4:10 NLT

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Symbiotic Relationships

A couple of years ago, we started going to a different church. The Pastor and I went to lunch in order to get to know one another. During the lunch he said, “I want to drink from your well just like you drink from mine.” What he was saying was, I want to learn from you just like you learn from me. I was taken aback. I thought, “What do I have that you as a pastor could learn from me?” He must have seen the look on my face, so he repeated that he wanted a symbiotic relationship.

What I’ve learned is that we all have something to give, and therefore we all have the ability to help each other out. As Christians, we need to make sure we spend time building each other up and helping each other out. This isn’t a competition. There’s not one of us who has this whole thing figured out. Not one of us are perfect. So why not swallow our pride so we can learn from each other? We shouldn’t be people who take, or drink from other people’s wells, all the time. We need to create symbiotic relationships in the Body of Christ.

Here are some Bible verses on having symbiotic relationships with each other.

1. What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours.

Romans 1:12 GNT

2. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Ephesians 4:16 NLT

3. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

4. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself.

ROMANS 12:16 AMP

5. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.

Luke 6:37-38 MSG

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