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A Lamp For My Feet – God Is Waiting for You to Ask

God Is Waiting for You to Ask
by Rick Warren
“If you … know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11 NIV)
God is the source of everything. Everything you see in the world and everything you can’t see in the world and in the universe, God made. He’s the source of every good thing in the universe.
As you depend on God as your source for everything, there are four truths you need to remember.
First, everything is a gift from God.
Nothing you have, have you earned. It’s all a gift of God’s grace. If God didn’t want to give it, you wouldn’t have it.
The Bible tells us in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (NIV). That’s why the Lord’s Prayer in this third phrase starts with the word “give.” “Give us this day our daily bread.” Why? Because it is a gift. You can’t earn it.
Second, there’s nothing I need that God can’t provide. You don’t know what you’re going to need the rest of this year. But whatever it is, God has the power to supply it.
The Bible says this in Philippians 4:19: “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Glorious resources means as lavish as only God can lavish. God has unlimited resources.
Third, God wants to give you everything you need.
Matthew 7:11 says, “If you … know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” God wants to meet your need.
And, here’s the fourth thing: He’s waiting on you.
If you have needs in your life that are not being met, it’s not God’s fault. You’re not waiting on God. He’s waiting on you! The problem is not that God doesn’t want to meet your need; the problem is that you never ask him for it. James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask God.”
Talk It Over
•    To whom are you looking to meet your needs?
•    What have you been waiting to ask God for that you need?
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A Lamp For My Feet – God Breaks, Then He Multiplies

God Breaks, Then He Multiplies
by Rick Warren
“Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1 RSV)
Whatever you give to God, he multiplies.If you give God your talent, he’ll multiply your talent. If you give God your energy, he’ll multiply your energy. If you give God your time, he will multiply your time. If you give God your money, he will multiply your money. If you give God your relationships, he will multiply your relationships. Whatever you give to God he will multiply and give it back.
Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (RSV).
There’s a miracle in the Bible that Jesus did to teach this truth. Five thousand people followed Jesus out in the middle of the desert. He taught them all day, and at the end of the day, they were all hungry. The disciples told Jesus to send them all away. Instead, Jesus told the disciples that they needed to feed the people. I’m sure they swallowed hard on that one. What was he doing? He was testing their faith. He wanted to see if they would depend on him to provide what they needed to feed 5,000 people.
Out of that huge crowd, one little boy had brought a lunch pail, and inside were five little loaves of bread and two dried fish. The little boy brought his lunch to Jesus and said, “Lord, you can have this.”
Jesus took the bread and loaves. He prayed and broke it and blessed it and multiplied it. He tore it apart and began to feed everybody. It fed all 5,000 people! There were 5,000 witnesses to this miracle.
Not only did the small meal feed 5,000; when they picked up all of the leftovers at the end, there were 12 baskets full of leftover fish and loaves!
God always gives you more than you need, more than you anticipate, more than you can imagine. He took what the boy gave him. He broke it, he blessed it, and he used it.
That’s what God does in your life. The hard part is the breaking part. When God takes you and breaks you, he will then bless you and use you for his purpose.
Talk It Over
•    What are you willing to give to God today?
•    Why is it important to submit yourself to God to be broken?
•    With what attitude do you think God wants you to give?
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A Lamp For My Feet – Hold Up Your White Flag

Hold Up Your White Flag
by Rick Warren
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
Surrender means leaving the future to God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (ESV).
What area of your life is not surrendered to God? You’ve surrendered the kitchen and the living room. But what about the bedroom of your life? What about the closet of your life? What about the garage of your life? What area of your life is not surrendered?
Some of you have not surrendered your sex life. You say, “I know God says sex is only for marriage, but I’m going to do it my way.” That’s why you’re under stress.
Some of you have not surrendered your finances to God. “I know God says that I should give the first 10 percent back to him, but I can’t afford to tithe.” And that’s why you’re under stress.
Some of you have not surrendered your relationships to God. “I know I should forgive that person who hurt me, but I’m not about to forgive them.” That’s why you’re under stress.
Some of you have a secret sin that you have not surrendered to God. You have a habit that you have not surrendered to God. You have a hurt or a hang up that you have not surrendered to God.
Some of you have never surrendered your life to Jesus Christ. You’ve never surrendered yourself to be baptized. You haven’t found a church family.
Surrender is holding up the white flag and saying, “God, the war’s off. I’m not going to fight you anymore. I want serenity, not stress.”
Aren’t you tired of being at war with God? I would think so. Surrender is the ultimate expression of faith.
Talk It Over
•    What area of your life is not surrendered to God?
•    What steps do you need to take today to surrender to God the thing that has caused you the most stress?
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A Lamp For My Feet – Let Go, and Know God Is in Control

Let Go, and Know God Is in Control
by Rick Warren
“Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 GW)
Every day, you have to decide who’s going to be in control of your life — you or God.
That choice is a battle. There are things in your life that you want to control. You want to make your own rules. But stress relief always starts with letting God be God. It always starts with saying, “God, I’m giving up control, because you can control the things that are out of control in my life.”
Psalm 46:10 says, “Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth” (GW). 
I don’t know what you’re going to face this week. You don’t, either. But I can already tell you what God wants you to do: Let go, and know. Let go of control, and know that God is in control. Let go, and know! This is the first step to serenity in your life.
Whenever we face out-of-control situations, we tend to go to one of two extremes. For some of you, the more out-of-control your life gets, the harder you try to control it. Some of you do the exact opposite: You just give up! You have a pity party and invite yourself to it.
Both of those reactions to stress are foolish. They don’t work. Instead of being a victim or becoming hyper controlling, you need to pray the prayer of surrender.
The number one reason you’re under stress is because you’re in conflict with God. You’re trying to control things that only God can control. You can’t control your husband or your kids or your wife or your job or your future or your past or any of that stuff. The more you do it, the more you’re trying to play God, and that puts you in opposition to God. Not only are you going to lose that conflict, but you’re also going to be tired.
Millions of people pray the Serenity Prayer, which is based on the Lord’s Prayer, but most have never read the last eight lines to the prayer: “Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to your will so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen.”
That’s where the power is! There is power when you surrender to God the very things you’ve been trying to take control of from him.
Talk It Over
•    What does it mean to practically “live one day at a time”?
•    What is the result — physical, emotional, and spiritual — when you surrender to God the things you want to control?
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A Lamp For My Feet – Christianity: A Belong System

Christianity: A Belong System
by Rick Warren

“You will all be joined together, and you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God.” (Romans 15:6-7 NCV)

There are only two ways to get into a family: You can either be born into it, or you can be adopted into it. God does both for you! It’s called being born again, and it’s called being adopted into the family of God. God does both.

In Roman law, which people followed in the New Testament, you could disown a child you birthed. But if you adopted a child, you were forbidden to ever disown them. God says you are not only born again into his family, but he has adopted you, and there is no way he could ever disown you. That’s good news!
You may ask, “No matter what I do? Really?” No matter what you do!

Once you’re born, you cannot be unborn. Once you are born again, you cannot be unborn again. You can grieve the Father, just like we often do to our earthly parents. The fellowship may be broken, but no matter what your parents say, everybody knows you are still their child. In the same way, once you become a child in the family of God, you’re in!

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:15, “I want you to know how people who are members of God’s family must live. God’s family is the church” (GW). We are the family of God. Church is not something you go to. Church is something you belong to. You’re welded into the building of the temple of God. You’re grafted into the vine and the tree of life. You’re born again and adopted into the family of God. He’s saying all these things. You’re joined into the body of Christ. These are all connection models.

Most people think that Christianity is a belief system. There are beliefs that are involved, but it’s more than that. It’s a belong system. It means you belong to the family of God. It means you are a part of the body of Christ.
The Bible says it’s like being born into a family.

Romans 15:6-7 says, “You will all be joined together, and you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God” (NCV).

Talk It Over
• What are the benefits to belonging to the family of God?
• What is the evidence in your life that you belong to the family of God? Do you represent your family well?

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A Lamp For My Feet – To Bear Fruit, Get Connected

To Bear Fruit, Get Connected
by Rick Warren
“Live in me and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me.” (John 15:4 GW)
Right before Jesus goes to the cross, he gives his last minute instructions to his followers: “Live in me and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me” (John 15:4 GW).
Jesus says that being spiritually connected is like being attached to a vine. You’re not going to have any fruitfulness or productivity in your life if you’re out there on your own. You’ve got to stay connected.
In plants, a disconnected branch can’t bear fruit. You not only don’t have the support, you not only start to whither and die, but you don’t have any productivity in your life if you’re not spiritually connected.
I grow a lot of vegetables and fruit every spring. If I cut off a branch, those branches aren’t going to produce any tomatoes or anything else. They’ve got to be connected in order to produce fruit.
What kind of fruit should you produce when you are connected to the Body of Christ? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control” (Galatians 5:22-23a NIV).
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be more loving. I’d like to be more joyful. I’d like to be more at peace, no matter what happens to the economy. I’d like to be more kind to people who are mean to me. I’d like to be a good person. I want to be faithful, not unfaithful. I want to keep my promises. I’d like to be gentle with people who are not very gentle. And I’d like to have more self-control.
That’s called the fruit of the Spirit, and it’s the evidence that you are spiritually connected. If you are not seeing yourself grow in all these things, guess what? It means you’re not spiritually connected.
He’s saying this is so important, not only do you need the support like in a building, and not only do you need the life blood like being in a body, he’s saying you’re not going to have any fruitfulness or any productivity in your life if you’re out there on your own. You’ve got to stay connected.
•    Talk It Over
•    What is the evidence in your life that you are bearing fruit?
•    In what “fruits” do you need to grow? How are you going to do that?
•    What benefits have you witnessed in your life from being connected to the Body of Christ?
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A Lamp For My feet – Let Go of Your Hurt

Let Go of Your Hurt
by Rick Warren
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13 NLT)
Many of us have someone in our lives who has done some crazy, hurtful thing to us or, maybe even more importantly, to somebody that we love. In our minds we think, “I know the Christian thing to do is to forgive, so I will. I will forgive him as soon as he gives me an apology.”
The problem with that is, you’re still holding on to the hurt. Truth is, that person may never ask you for forgiveness. He may never say he’s sorry, because he doesn’t get it, or she may not even realize what she’s done. So you end up stewing over something that the other person has long ago forgotten. And it’s eating you up inside!
Never hold on to a hurt, because resentment tears you up. Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it’s going to kill someone else. It doesn’t work. You have to decide that, before anything else happens, you are going to forgive that person.
Jesus said this even in the most extreme of circumstances, as he’s hanging on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a NIV).
So what do you do? When you struggle with forgiving, remember the great gift of God’s forgiveness.
Remember a verse like Colossians 3:13: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT). It’s not a bad one to memorize and carry with you throughout the day, because you’re going to have plenty of chances to use it.
That phrase “make allowance” is the Greek word that means “to bear with, to endure, to be tolerant.” Basically it means to cut people some slack. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NIV). I want God’s blessing in my life and your life. One of the ways you receive that is by being merciful.
Talk About It
•    What hurt are you still holding onto?
•    What do you need to do today so that your hurt does not turn into resentment?
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This devotional is based on the current Daily Hope radio series at www.rickwarren.org.
Rick Warren has helped people live with hope and on purpose for more than 40 years. He’s the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of several books, including “The Purpose Driven Church” and “The Purpose Driven Life,” read by more than 100 million people in 137 languages. He created the PEACE Plan (plant churches of reconciliation, equip servant leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, educate the next generation), which is used by churches in 196 countries. His radio teaching and daily devotional, Daily Hope, is offered across America.
This devotional ©2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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