by Rick Warren
- Where are you most tempted? Is it in airports? On business trips? At home when you’re alone and the kids are at school? During the weekend? When you’re watching television?
- What changes do you need to make in your schedule or lifestyle to minimize your exposure to these situations?
- How is my relationship with the Lord? ‘If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.’ (Psalm 66:18 NAS) Anything that adversely affects your relationship with God also affects your prayers. Friendship gives you favour; intimacy gives you access. Jesus said, ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.’ (John 15:7NKJV)
- How strong is my faith? ‘Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is…a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.’ (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) Notice three words:
- ‘Believe.’ God’s deepest longing is to be believed, regardless of emotion or circumstance.
- ‘Diligently.’ When you pray, put your heart and soul into it. Paul speaks of ‘labouring…in prayer.’ (Colossians 4:12 KJV)
- ‘Him.’ God is not some ‘force out there’, He’s your heavenly Father Who ‘…knows that you need all these things.’ (Matthew 6:32 NKJV) Your highest priority should not be getting your needs met, but building your relationship with God.
- Am I showing patience? ‘Until God’s time finally came – how God tested his patience!’ (Psalm 105:19 TLB) Joseph was tested by the very promise God gave him. Can’t you hear Satan whisper, ‘I thought the dream said you were supposed to be Prime Minister; what are you doing in prison?’ But it only looks like a prison; in reality, it’s the birthplace of destiny. Joseph saw God’s promise fulfilled – in God’s time. And you will too!
by Rick Warren
Make it a goal today to be conscious of the ways you compare yourself to others. What do you need to do when you’re tempted to compare?
By Rick Warren“God … sent Christ to make peace between himself and us” (2 Corinthians 5:18a CEV).
How have you seen your relationship with others improve as your relationship with God has improved?
What steps can you take this week to restore a broken relationship in your life?
Sow Today to Reap God’s Blessing
by Rick Warren
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9 KJV)
Every farmer knows that what you sow in one season, you will reap in another season. You plant in the spring, and you harvest in the fall. The way you respond right now is definitely going to affect your future. If you respond correctly in a season of life and you do the right thing, even when you don’t feel like it, it pays great dividends in the future.
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”(Galatians 6:9 KJV). In other words, don’t give up. No matter which season you’re in, there are four questions you need to ask yourself so that you will reap God’s blessing in the next season.What can you learn in this season of life?There are some things we only learn through experience.
Deuteronomy 11:2says, “
What can you enjoy in this season of life?The Bible says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).
We are to live the good and the bad days with a sense of gratitude, because each day is a gift from God.What is most important for this season? Ecclesiastes 3:1 says,
The Bible says very clearly that you weren’t put on this earth just to live for yourself: “Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help” (Proverbs3:27 NCV).
God gave you abilities, talents, and energy to help other people.Pray this prayer today: “Jesus Christ, I want to grow in you. I want to develop spiritually. Would you use the seasons of my life? Would you teach me to learn to trust you in every season, even the difficult ones? Lord, I invite you to be at the center of every season of my life, so you can build the character that I will take with me to Heaven. In your name I pray. Amen.”
What You Learn in Tough Times
‘…Problems and trials…are good for us…’ Romans 5:3 TLB
We all want ‘…the crown of life…’ the Lord promised (James 1:12 NKJV) – but we don’t want the ‘problems and trials’ that develop ‘strength of character in us.’ (Romans 5:4 NLT) But it can’t be done. Here’s what you learn in tough times:
(1) Enjoyment. ‘Count it all joy when you fall into…trials.’ (James 1:2 NKJV) It’s when you pass God’s test that He fills you with His joy. So pull some of the groans out of your prayers and throw in a few hallelujahs. Remember, pain is inevitable – misery is optional! (2) Enlargement. The Psalmist wrote, ‘…You gave me
(2) Enlargement. The Psalmist wrote, ‘…You gave me enlargement. The Psalmist wrote, ‘…You gave me room when I was in distress…’ (Psalm 4:1 NRS) Most of the things we know best, we learned the hard way. Our greatest progress comes from our greatest pain; hence God doesn’t save us from it, but strengthens us in it.
(3) Enlightenment. The Bible says, ‘Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness…’ (Psalm 112:4 NKJV) We don’t realise how little we know until we walk through life’s dark places and God turns on the light.
(4) Endurance. James writes, ‘…See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm…’ (James 5:7-8 NIV) You can’t shorten the seasons or hurry the harvest, so be patient. And pay attention. While you’re waiting, God is working. Bruce Wilkinson says, ‘Tests of faith are trials and hardships that invite you to surrender something of great value to God… [and look forward to] the refining experience… and the priceless result.’