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#bibleverses-2835
                    Understanding God’s love for you

“Perfect love casts out fear.” 1Jn 4:18 NKJV

 

Question: Since we’re naturally drawn to people who love us, why is it so difficult for us to go to God in prayer? Answer: Because we need a fresh revelation of His love for us! Paul prayed that the Ephesian church would “be able to take in…the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love” (Eph 3:18 MSG). The word “extravagant” means going above and beyond all that’s expected or deserved. The truth is, God couldn’t love you any more than He does right now. “What’s His love like?” you ask. Look at the cross. Had you been the only person who ever lived, Jesus would have died just for you. “What does His love cost?” you ask. Nothing! It comes with no strings attached. You didn’t do anything to deserve it, and when you mess up, you don’t forfeit it. “Absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love” (Ro 8:39 MSG). Once you accept that, you can acknowledge your weaknesses, seek God’s help, grow strong, and use the talents He has given you. When you believe God loves you based on who you are in Christ, you have the ultimate self-esteem—born of God’s esteem for you. And since His is the only “perfect love,” it removes your “fear.” So, what are you afraid of? That you won’t get what you need? That you will lose something you have? John tells us: “His perfect love for us eliminates all dread…If we are afraid, it…shows…we are not fully convinced that he really loves us” (1Jn 4:18 TLB). Ask God today for a fresh revelation of His love for you, bearing in mind that what He loves, He prizes, protects, and provides for.
                
#bibleverses-2834
                    A love for God’s Word

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ps 119:105 NKJV

 

The psalmist highlights two important things Bible reading does for you: (1) It shows you your spiritual condition. In Bible times there were no paved roads, so when guests entered a house, they paused to wash the sand, dirt, and grime from their feet. That’s what Bible reading does. David said, “How can a young man [and an older one] cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (v. 9 NKJV). (2) It shows you the direction you need to go. “Your word is…a light to my path.” When you’re faced with an important decision and you don’t know which way to go, God will guide you through His Word. David, who loved God’s Word and meditated on it constantly, prayed, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness” (Ps 143:10 NKJV). Many of the mistakes we make could be prevented if we stopped long enough to seek God’s guidance. He knows what lies ahead; we don’t. So “commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Ps 37:5 NKJV). Just like children need to be taught to cultivate a taste for healthy food instead of junk food, you need to cultivate a taste for God’s Word. The psalmist said, “I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love” (Ps 119:47 NKJV). “Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it” (v. 140 NKJV). Today ask God to give you a love for His Word. That’s a prayer He will answer!
                
#bibleverses-2833
                    What does it mean to meditate?

“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” Ps 119:15 NKJV

 

Another word for meditation is rumination. Rumination is what a cow is doing when she chews her cud. The cow eats grass, chews all she can, and then swallows it. It sits in one of her stomachs for a while, and then a little later, she burps it up—with renewed flavor. The cow chews on it some more and swallows it again. This process continues in all four stomachs. That’s rumination. The cow is pulling every ounce of nourishment from the grass. And meditation is simply thought digestion. Meditation doesn’t mean putting your mind in neutral and thinking about nothing. On the contrary, it’s thinking seriously about what you’re reading. For example, you dwell on one verse of Scripture and ask, “What does this mean for my life?” You talk to yourself about it and talk to God about it. The Bible says this: “Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise…And God, who gives peace, will be with you” (Php 4:8-9 CEV). Notice that we are to ponder different categories of things and, by implication, to avoid thinking about the opposite kind of things. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” You need to spend time every day—a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes—where you sit down, read a portion of the Bible, and think deeply about what you have just read. Then talk to the Lord about it in prayer. That’s the starting point for spiritual change and growth.
                
#bibleverses-2832
                    Think right, live right

“Your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Pr 4:23 GNT

 

Someone has wisely said, “You’re not what you think you are, but what you think—you are.” Lasting change always begins with new thinking. How do you become a Christian? By repenting of your sin and placing your trust in Christ. The Greek word for repentance is metanoia, and it means to change your mind. We’re not changed by willpower, but by the transforming power of God’s Word when we use it to renew our minds each day. The Bible clearly teaches that the way we think determines the way we feel, and the way we feel determines the way we act. So if you want to change your actions, you have to return to the source and change the way you think. At times you may act resentful. Why? Because you feel resentful. And do you know why you feel resentful? Because you are thinking resentful thoughts. The same is true of anger, worry, lust, and other destructive thought patterns. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32 NLT). When you base your life on truth—when you live with the right kind of thoughts, not misconceptions or false beliefs, and you base your life on thinking from God’s Word—you will be set free. You will find your old habits, feelings, and actions beginning to fall away. When you focus solely on removing bad thoughts, you create a vacuum into which the bad thoughts can return. But when you replace bad thoughts with good ones—scriptural ones—you are empowered by God to live the life of blessing He wants you to enjoy.
                
#bibleverses-2831
                    How God changes us (2)

“Beatings purge the inmost being.” Pr 20:30 NIV

 

Another way God changes us is through circumstances. Problems, pressures, sorrows, hardships, and stress always get our attention. C. S. Lewis said, “Pain insists on being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures…but shouts to us in our pain.” The J. B. Phillips translation of Romans 8:28-29 reads: “To those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good…God…chose them to bear the family likeness of his Son.” Nothing can come into your life without your heavenly Father’s permission; it must be “Father filtered.” The interesting thing about how God uses circumstances is that their source makes no difference to Him. We often bring problems on ourselves. Sometimes they’re caused by other people. Other times the Enemy causes things to happen to us. But the source of the circumstances is irrelevant. God said, “I will make it fit into my plan for your life, to make you like Jesus Christ.” That means there is no circumstance from which we can’t learn if we maintain the right attitude. Why did Solomon say, “Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being”? Because we change only when our fear of change is surpassed by our pain. If you want to become more like Jesus, think about this: “Though He was a Son…He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb 5:8 NKJV). If God used the challenges, conflicts, and circumstances of life to prepare His Son for His destiny, won’t He do the same in our lives? So instead of trying to escape your circumstances, learn from them and grow stronger.
                
#bibleverses-2830
                    How God changes us (1)

“It…teaches us to do what is right.” 2Ti 3:16 NLT

 

One of the ways God changes us is through His Word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (vv. 16-17 NLT). The story is told of a converted cannibal in the South Sea islands. He was sitting by a large pot reading his Bible when an anthropologist approached him and asked, “What are you doing?” The native replied, “I’m reading the Bible.” The anthropologist scoffed and said, “Don’t you know that modern, civilized man has rejected that book? It’s nothing but a pack of lies. You shouldn’t waste your time reading it.” The cannibal looked him over from head to toe and slowly replied, “Sir, if it weren’t for this book—you’d be in that pot!” The Word of God had changed his life—and his appetite. If you’re serious about changing your life, you have to get into the Bible. You need to read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, speak it, and apply it. “But my faith is weak,” you say. Are you reading your Bible regularly? Are you studying it? Are you memorizing it? No? Then how do you expect your faith to grow? The Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Ro 10:17 NKJV). Bottom line: The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us more like the Son of God.
                
#bibleverses-2829
                    Work it out

“Work out your own salvation…for it is God who works in you… to will and to do…His good pleasure.” Php 2:12-13 NKJV

 

The Bible says, “Work out your own salvation…for it is God who works in you…to will and to do…His good pleasure.” This Scripture almost sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? But instead, it is a paradox. And G. K. Chesterton described a paradox as “truth standing on its head to get attention.” The key to understanding this particular paradox lies in the little word out. Notice that the Bible doesn’t say, “Work for your salvation.” To work for something means to earn it, deserve it, merit it. And the Bible plainly teaches that salvation isn’t something we have to work for or earn. It’s a free gift of God’s grace (See Eph 2:8-9). When Paul says, “Work out your salvation,” he is talking about a “spiritual workout.” What do you do during a physical workout? You develop and tone the muscles God has already provided you. To “work out” means to grow and make the most of what you have been given. What Paul is saying here is this: Develop your spiritual life! God has a part in our spiritual growth, and we, too, have a part. He provides the power, but we must access it, flip the switch, and let it flow through our lives to fulfill His will for us. Practically speaking, how do we do that? By spending time praying and reading God’s Word each day. By sharpening and strengthening one another through fellowship. By exercising the gifts God has given us. The fact is, He has already done His part; now it’s up to you to do yours.
                
#bibleverses-2828
                    Do it today!

“He said, ‘Tomorrow.’” Ex 8:10 NKJV

 

Every plague God sent on Egypt mocked one of their gods. For instance, the Egyptians deified lice, so God sent them a lot of lice—and frogs. Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses and said, “All right, I give up.” But when Moses asked him, “When do you want me to get rid of the frogs?” Pharaoh’s response was classic; he said, “Tomorrow.” He must have been insane! Why would you wait any longer to have the frogs removed? But we do the same, don’t we? We procrastinate by putting off the changes we know would be good for us. Maybe we’re unconcerned. Maybe we’re too lethargic to change. Maybe we’re fearful because we don’t know what the changes will entail. Maybe we’re just too proud and stubborn. Whatever the reason—we procrastinate. NASA space engineers tell us most of the fuel that is used in a rocket launch is burned during the initial few seconds of liftoff. It takes enormous energy and thrust to move the rocket off the launching pad. Once it’s moving and headed for orbit, it needs much less fuel and is simpler to control and direct. It has conquered inertia. It’s one thing to know God can solve your problem and change your life. It’s another matter to overcome your inertia and let Him begin to do it now! We keep saying, “One of these days…” The truth is, Jesus Christ has the power to make changes in your life today. He will give you the power to begin and the power to keep going. It’s not too late. He can put your life back together again. So the word for you today is—do it today!
                
#bibleverses-2827
                    Don’t withhold it—give it!

“Because you have…not withheld…I will bless you.” Ge 22:16-17 NKJV

 

God won’t ask you for what you don’t have, but sometimes He will ask for the thing you really want to keep. Why? To see if there is anything you value or depend on more than Him. Abraham was tested like nobody else in history. But he passed the test and was blessed like very few others in history. Imagine having God say to you, “Take now your son, your only son…whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (v. 2 NKJV). Can you envision the questions that would swirl through your mind? Little wonder Abraham was called “the friend of God” (Jas 2:23 NKJV) and “the father of all…that believe” (Ro 4:11). And when the test was over, God said this: “Because you have done this thing, and…not withheld…your only son…I will bless you, and…multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand…on the seashore… In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Ge 22:16-18 NKJV). So here is the question: What is God asking of you? Are you wrestling with it? Are you withholding what He wants, or are you “all in”? Isaac was the hardest seed Abraham ever had to sow. But that seed produced a harvest of blessing greater than anything Abraham ever dreamed or thought possible. What is God asking you to do today? When you say yes to Him, you will experience a whole new level of blessing in your life. Try it and see.
                
#bibleverses-2826
                    God’s DNA is in His Word

“All Scripture is God-breathed.” 2Ti 3:16 NIV

 

Have you ever watched a medical professional administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and the patient came back to life? That’s what happens when you meditate on God’s Word, because “all Scripture is God-breathed.” Imagine yourself at a party where people are blowing up balloons and popping them with pins. A scientist could figure out which balloon was yours because your DNA (the genetic configuration that makes you unique) is in your breath. Now apply that principle to reading the Bible, and you will understand how vital it is to your spiritual life. John tells us “the Word was God” (Jn 1:1 NKJV), so anytime you ingest God’s Word, you’re ingesting His attributes. That’s why the Enemy will try to keep you so busy that you have no time to read your Bible. The truth is, many of the issues we struggle with could be resolved or eliminated altogether if we developed a hunger for God’s Word. Job said, “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 NKJV). Jeremiah, who was so dejected that he became known as “the weeping prophet,” said, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer 15:16 NKJV). Jesus experienced every test and trial known to man; He even went toe-to-toe with the Tempter. What was the secret of His strength? He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Mt 4:4 NKJV). Today get God’s Word into you—it’s His DNA.
                
#bibleverses-2825
                    Be faithful

“You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.” Mt 25:21 NKJV

 

In Scripture, to be faithful means to be steady, stable, dependable, and consistent. Do those attributes describe you? They should, because faithfulness pays big dividends with God. “A faithful man will abound with blessings” (Pr 28:20 NKJV). Jesus said, “Many are called, but few chosen” (Mt 20:16 NKJV). Why is that? Because talent may open the door and get you the job, but character and faithfulness will keep you there. When it comes to faithfulness, God will test you in two ways: (1) Your faithfulness in someone else’s vision. “If you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Lk 16:12 NKJV). If you’re critical, caustic, complaining, competitive, or constantly comparing yourself with others, you will be disqualified for what God has in mind for you. Faithfulness calls for serving with love and humility. (2) Your faithfulness in small things. “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things…For to everyone who has, more will be given…but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away’” (Mt 25:23, 29 NKJV). God wants to know He can trust you. You prove that by how well you serve others and by your faithfulness in small things. These are proven biblical principles that don’t just work in spiritual matters, but in everyday life. So today, take a few moments to prayerfully ask yourself the question, “Am I faithful?” When you are, God will bless you.
                
#bibleverses-2824
                    Aim for the mark

“I press toward the mark for the prize.” Php 3:14

 

Paul writes: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect [mature], be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” (vv. 14-15). Paul describes the Christian as a marksman. In Paul’s day, the mark would have been hit by an arrow, but in our day, the mark could also be hit at a firing range. If you have ever fired at a target, you know this: (1) Your aim must be unbroken by distractions. When you have the bull’s-eye in your crosshairs, something as insignificant as taking a breath at the wrong moment can make you miss the mark. So what is Paul saying? Simply this: “Forget what’s behind you and around you and stay focused on winning the prize.” He is not referring to your salvation. Jesus already purchased that and gives it to you freely by grace. No, he is talking about fulfilling your God-given destiny and obtaining the reward that waits beyond it. (2) Your bullet has to have the right amount of powder. Otherwise, it will start dropping off before it hits the mark. Are you getting the idea? Your powder is your power! And where does your power come from? The Holy Spirit! Jesus said: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem [at home], and in all Judea and Samaria [on the job and in your relationships], and to the end of the earth” (Ac 1:8 NKJV). So the word for you today is—aim for the mark.
                
#bibleverses-2823
                    Leaning on your own staff

“He…[died]…leaning on…his staff.” Heb 11:21 NKJV

 

The Bible says, “By faith Jacob, when he was dying…worshiped, leaning on…his staff.” Picture this: Each time Jacob had an experience with God, he took a knife and cut a ring around his staff as a reminder of what happened. The rings started at the bottom and worked their way to the top. One would surely have symbolized the night he wrestled with God and his name was changed to “Israel…a prince…with God” (Ge 32:28). Another would have represented the night God showed him a vision of a ladder extending into heaven with angels on it. In short, Jacob’s staff represented a lifetime of experiences with God. So, it’s not surprising that he died worshiping God—and leaning on his staff! Now consider the story of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4. Her son suddenly became ill and died, so Elisha sent his servant Gehazi ahead with his staff to let the woman know he was coming. But when Gehazi placed the prophet’s staff on the dead boy, nothing happened. Only when Elisha himself came was the child restored (See 2Ki 4:32-35). The fact is, you can’t lean on anyone’s staff but your own! You can’t stand on anyone else’s experience with God but yours. When it’s time to face life’s challenges—including death—you can only lean on the faith you have developed during your personal walk with God. That’s why it’s essential to be faithful and consistent in your spiritual journey. By leaning on his staff when he was dying, Jacob, in essence, declared, “The God who preserved, protected, and prospered me thus far will take me the rest of the way.” What blessed assurance!
                
#bibleverses-2822
                    Be passionate about it! (3)

“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.” 2Ch 25:2 NIV

 

The enemy of passion is indifference. You go through the motions, but your focus is broken by other things. It’s not that you have said no to God; it’s that you haven’t said a resounding yes! In the Old Testament account, King Amaziah “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.” Think about it: At what point does the passion leave a marriage? It doesn’t happen overnight. It happens when you neglect and take each other for granted. Maybe you think your lack of zeal is no big deal. Think again! Jeremiah warns about “a curse on anyone who is lax (negligent, slack, slipshod) in doing the Lord’s work!” (Jer 48:10 NIV). You say, “How does it happen?” The Bible tells us, “This people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes” (Ac 28:27 NIV). The word “calloused” depicts a steady buildup of hard, dead skin on the soles of your feet until you can’t walk right or without pain. Note what Jesus told the first and last two churches in Revelation: (1) “I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” (Rev 2:4-5 NIV). (2) “I know your deeds…you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm…I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:15-16 NIV). With that in mind, the word for you today is—be passionate about it!
                
#bibleverses-2821
                    Be passionate about it! (2)

“I felt a fire burning inside.” Ps 39:3 CEV

 

David wrote, “I felt a fire burning inside, and the more I thought, the more it burned, until at last I said: ‘Please, Lord, show me my future’” (vv. 3-4 CEV). Passion is like fire; unless you feed it and stoke it, it will die. Question: On a scale of one to ten, how wholehearted are you about serving the Lord? Before you answer, think about these Scriptures: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…all your soul and…all your strength” (Dt 6:5 NIV). “Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart” (Ps 119:2 NIV). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Pr 3:5 NIV). “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13 NIV). “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you” (2Ti 1:6 NIV). “‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him” (Lk 8:39 NIV). “Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church” (1Co 14:12 NIV). “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” (Col 1:29 NIV). “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Php 3:13-14 NIV). All these Scriptures can be reduced to one sentence: Be passionate about what God has called you to do.
                
#bibleverses-2820
                    Be passionate about it! (1)

“Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them.” 1Ti 4:15 NKJV

 

“Elisha said: ‘Pick up the arrows and hit the ground with them.’ Jehoash grabbed the arrows…hit the ground three times, then stopped. Elisha became angry at the king and exclaimed, ‘If you had struck it five or six times, you would completely wipe out the Syrians. Now you will defeat them only three times’” (2Ki 13:18-19 CEV). Elisha had given Jehoash, the king of Israel, a plan from God for not only defeating his enemy but eliminating him permanently as a future threat. But the plan depended on two important things. First, being fully obedient. Second, being passionate. Jehoash passed the first test but failed the second. He was obedient to what the man of God told him to do, but he didn’t go far enough, and he didn’t put his heart and soul into it. In short, he settled for less than God had planned for him. Maybe he was tired or distracted…maybe he didn’t listen carefully to the prophet’s instructions…maybe he thought “token obedience” would be as effective as wholehearted obedience. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But this much we do know: He forfeited God’s best because he wasn’t passionate enough. Don’t miss the lesson here. It’s not enough just to say, “I’ve obeyed the Lord.” You must obey Him wholeheartedly; otherwise, you can end up compromising your future and failing to experience the fullness of what He has in mind for you. Paul bottom-lines it to Timothy in these words: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them.” In other words, when God tells you to do something, be passionate (zealous and enthusiastic) about it.
                
#bibleverses-2819
                    The smell of sin

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.” 2Co 2:15 NLT

 

When food in your refrigerator goes bad, you know it the moment you open the door. And your life is like that. When there is something wrong inside, the people who come in contact with you often sense it. Jesus spoke some of His harshest words to Peter: “Get…behind me, Satan…for thou savourest [smell] not the things…of God, but those that be of men” (Mt 16:23). What was Peter’s sin? Pride. He openly contradicted Jesus (See Mt 16:22). There are sins of the spirit and sins of the flesh. Peter’s was a sin of the spirit, whereas David’s was one of the flesh that manifested itself in adultery and murder. Later David wrote, “Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep…Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me” (Ps 19:12-13 NKJV). Now, God doesn’t want you to become self-absorbed and introspective to the point where you live in condemnation. But He does want you to be sensitive to sin and deal with it immediately. Scripture gives us three ways to stay clean in a spiritually polluted world. (1) Walking in the light (See 1Jn 1:7). That means striving to be honest before God and man. (2) Being accountable (See Ecc 4:9). That can mean having someone in your life who is mature enough to deserve your confidence, gracious enough to put up with your inconsistencies, and honest enough to confront you. (3) Dealing with your sin right away (See Ps 32:3-5). The moment that brings consciousness of sin should lead to confession of sin resulting in cleansing of sin. Then you must get back up and go on with God!
                
#bibleverses-2818
                    Like seeds growing within you

“The word of God…effectively works in you who believe.” 1Th 2:13 NKJV

 

When you read God’s Word and believe it and act on it, it’s like seeds growing inside you. Those seeds have life! In the natural world, you don’t have to understand the process by which seeds grow; you just have to water, nurture, and protect them. And it’s the same with Scripture. Paul writes, “You welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (v. 13 NKJV). Note the phrase “effectively works in you.” God’s Word is self-sustaining; it doesn’t require others to validate it. In the New Testament account, when Jesus was walking on the water toward His disciples, Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you…tell me to come” (Mt 14:28 NIV). Jesus gave him one word, “Come” (v. 29 NIV), and Peter started walking. The other disciples probably didn’t believe Peter could do it. That’s because they didn’t understand who was speaking to Peter. “They thought [Jesus] was a ghost” (Mk 6:49 NIV)! There is a lesson here for us all. When God speaks to you through His Word, don’t expect everybody to understand, agree, or support you. It’s only human to want certain people to see what you see and believe in what you do. But in this Scripture, God prepares us for rejection by those who don’t understand what God has told us. If you’re not careful, people’s opinions can make you doubt what God has said. Sometimes He confirms what He told you through others, and sometimes He doesn’t. But as long as you feed on His Word and believe it, it “effectively works in you.”
                
#bibleverses-2817
                    God speaks to you through His Word
“The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Jn 6:63 NKJV

 

God will speak to you through His Word. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” but don’t go cherry-picking for feel-good Scriptures. To grow in faith, you must spend time each day reading through your Bible. You can’t arbitrarily decide that one verse applies to you while another doesn’t. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives…God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2Ti 3:16-17 NLT). To profit in business, you must know your business thoroughly, otherwise you will be out of business. And the way to succeed in your Christian life is to make it your business to know your Bible. It’s like the analogy of the sperm and the egg. Neither the male sperm nor the female egg is capable of reproduction. It’s only when the sperm impacts and is embraced by the egg that conception occurs, leading to life and birth. And it’s the same with your spiritual growth. When God’s Word and a receptive heart get together, something is going to happen! You can’t beat prolonged exposure to Scripture. Without it, you won’t hear what God is saying to you. You will always be dependent on somebody else’s interpretation. Can you imagine communicating with your husband or wife on that basis? How long do you think your relationship would last? The same principle applies to your relationship with God. Today let God speak to you personally through His Word.
                
#bibleverses-2816
                    Who are you depending on?

“My God shall supply all your need.” Php 4:19

How can you tell when you’re depending on people rather than God? When you get upset with your boss because you didn’t get the raise you think you deserve. When you become angry with a loved one because he or she turned you down for a loan. When you do things like that, you’re sitting at the wrong door waiting for your blessing! Yes, it hurts when your efforts aren’t acknowledged. But you must understand this: God will use people as instruments to bless you, but He alone must always be the source of all your blessings! Ponder these Scriptures: “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Dt 8:17-18 NIV). “When God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them…this is a gift of God” (Ecc 5:19 NIV). “She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her…silver and gold” (Hos 2:8 NIV). What was her problem? She ignored God and forgot that He was her true source. We generally pursue and nurture relationships that are rewarding— and that’s important information. Why? Because only when you recognize God as the source of all your blessings will you commit to nurturing your relationship with Him. That’s why Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt 6:33 NIV). When you pursue God, sow generously into His kingdom, and expect Him to meet your needs—your efforts will be blessed.