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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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A Lamp For My Feet – The Roman Road to Salvation

The Roman Road to Salvation
‘The gift of God is eternal life.’ Romans 6:23 NKJV
Does your life feel empty? Do you long for peace, the knowledge that your sins are forgiven and the assurance of a home in Heaven? Today, place your trust in Christ and make Him Lord of your life. ‘How?’ you ask. Take the Roman road to salvation. (Found in the Book of Romans.)
Step 1: ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23 NIV) Face it, we’re all sinners to the core, incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us and desperately in need of a Saviour.
Step 2: ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 6:23 NIV) The Gospel means ‘good news’ and here’s the good news: your sins (all of them) have been paid for at the cross.
Step 3: ‘But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8 NIV) You can’t earn salvation by good works or deserve it by having good character. God offers it to you freely. All you have to do is receive it by faith.
Step 4: ‘That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’ ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ (Romans 10:9;13 NIV)
Now pray these words: ‘Lord, I surrender my life to You. Come into my heart. By faith I receive the gift of eternal life. Thank You for setting everything right between You and me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.’
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A Lamp For My Feet – Quiet Time with God: It’s Simple, Really

Quiet Time with God: It’s Simple, Really
by Rick Warren
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5 ESV)
Having a quiet time is like many other activities you might do in life — in at least one respect. To be successful, it helps to have a plan. The Bible says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5 ESV).
If you’ve never had a quiet time before, you may not have a good, simple plan for doing one. Simplicity is important with any plan you develop. If you make it complicated, you’re more likely to get off track. All you really need for an effective quiet time is a Bible, notebook, and maybe a hymn or songbook.
So what does a daily quiet time look like?
First, be quiet before the Lord. The Bible calls it waiting on God. You start by simply sitting down and shutting up. As you do this, you’ll find yourself revving your engine down and calming yourself.
Second, pray briefly. Start off with a short opening prayer. Ask God to open your mind and guide you. Ask him to cleanse your mind.
Read a portion of Scripture slowly. This is where your conversation with God begins. He starts speaking to you through his Word, and then you speak back to him through prayer. Read the Bible slowly. Don’t try to read too quickly or too much. The more slowly you read Scripture, the more you’re forced to think about what you’re reading.
Meditate on the Word. Spend some time chewing on what God is saying. Chew on the Word like cows chew on cud. Ponder and wrestle with it in your mind. There are lots of great methods for meditating on the Word. You can find specific ideas on how to meditate on the Bible in my book “Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods.”
Write down what you discover. When God speaks to you through his Word, care enough about what he is saying to write it down. Writing enables us to remember what God has said to us and record our discoveries.
Pray again. Be quiet. Ask God to show you his Word. Talk to God about what he has said to you. Tell him what you’re thinking about what he is saying. Talk to him about anything else that’s on your mind.
There’s not just one way to have a quiet time, but following a plan similar to this can get you started on a rewarding devotional journey.
Talk It Over
•    Have you ever thought about your quiet time as an intimate conversation with God?
•    What distractions do you need to eliminate in order to “be quiet”?
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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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A Lamp For My Feet – For a New Perspective, Try This Method

For a New Perspective, Try This Method
by Rick Warren

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.” (Colossians 3:16a NLT)

Studying the Bible in a way that changes your life doesn’t take a bunch of expensive tools. You don’t need commentaries or Bible study software. In fact, if you were stuck on a desert island with just a Bible, you could simply use the method you’ll learn about in this devotional.

 

Yesterday, I told you how important it was for you to meditate on God’s Word. God says that if we meditate on his Word, we’ll be successful. Here’s a method you can use to meditate on God’s Word in a way that’ll please God.

The “pronounce it” method of biblical meditation is an easy method for meditating on Scripture and getting every ounce of spiritual nutrition you can out of it.

 

You start with a verse and read it over and over again. Each time you read the verse, you emphasize a different word. It’s the simplest way to start unlocking Scripture. You can do it even if it’s the first time you’ve ever opened up a Bible. It’s simple but amazingly powerful. Each time you emphasize a different word, you get a different perspective.

 

Take the first part of Colossians 3:16 for example. The verse says, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (NLT).

 

The first time you read the verse, emphasize the word “let.” “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” What does it mean to let? It means to “give permission.” I open the door; it’s my choice. We have to choose to let the Word of God dwell in us richly.

 

Then, read the verse again and emphasize “word.” “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” That means I need to get God’s Word in my mind.

 

Then, emphasize the third word of the verse, “Christ.” You’re not dwelling on what some philosopher, guru, or talk show host has to say. You’re dwelling on the words of Christ! I don’t want to let the word of the world dwell in me, but I do when I spend my time watching TV instead of reading God’s Word.

 

Then you focus on the word “dwell.” “Let the Word of Christ dwell within you.” The word “dwell” means “to hang there for a long time.” It’s not rushing through God’s Word so you can get on with the rest of your day. To let the Word of Christ dwell in you is to let it live within you.

 

Then you stop and emphasize the word “in.” It’s good to have the word of Christ around you. You can put the Word of God on a plaque or a bumper, but it won’t change your life until you let it in your life.

 

Then focus on the word “you.” The Bible isn’t just God’s Word for your pastor, a seminary professor, or your Sunday School teacher; it’s God’s Word for you! The Bible is instruction for every single believer.

Finally, emphasize the word “richly.” What does that mean? It means the opposite of poorly. In other words, richly means lusciously, extravagantly, and profoundly. God doesn’t want his Word to be a poor substitute in your life. He wants it to create beauty in your life.

 

See all the great jewels you discovered in this passage just by focusing on one word at a time? You didn’t need a seminary degree or a great library of reference tools. You can do this!

 

Talk It Over
•    How will you dwell on God’s Word throughout your day?
•    Does your life reflect the richness of God’s Word and his grace? How would it look different to other people if you allowed God’s Word to make a difference in your life?

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Open Your Eyes

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18 ESV)

Studying God’s Word will change your life if you put what you learn into practice. But all of that starts with your willingness to study his Word.

 

The Bible says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18 ESV).
God has so much he wants to show us, but we must be willing to look into his Word with open eyes.

 

So how should we study God’s Word? Effective Bible study, no matter what Bible study method you use, has five parts.

 

1.    Ask the right questions. Learning to study the Bible is learning to ask good questions from the text. There’s no limit to how many questions you can ask of the Bible because there’s no limit to its wisdom and insight. The deeper you dig, the more gold you’ll find.  Asking questions of the text you’re reading will help you look at the text through a whole new set of eyes. Suddenly, every time you pick up God’s Word to study it, new truths will jump out at you.

2.    Write down your observations. Never study the Bible without pen and paper in hand (or a keyboard if you prefer). When you ask your questions and you find your answers, write down what you learn. You can read the Bible without writing something down, but you can’t study it.
Dawson Trotman, who was the founder of the Navigators ministry, used to say, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” In other words, if you can’t say it and you can’t write it, then you haven’t really thought about it. Even if you don’t see anything in the verse, write down that you don’t see anything. Just the act of writing that down will open up new thoughts.

 

3. Apply God’s Word. You move from the “what” to the “so what” and do what the Bible says. The ultimate goal of all Bible study is application. In other words, how will this Scripture change my life? We never settle for understanding alone. We want to apply the biblical principles to our daily living.

Interpretation without application is abortion! You stop the process before it comes to full fruition. All of our Bible study efforts really don’t have any value if, in the final analysis, I don’t become more like Christ.

In fact, you only believe the part of the Bible you apply. Do you believe in sharing Christ with others? Do you believe in tithing? Do you do those activities? If you don’t do them, then you don’t really believe what the Bible teaches about them. The problem that most of us have with the Bible isn’t what we don’t understand; it’s applying what we do understand!

 

4. Study the Bible systematically. Don’t just study the Bible haphazardly. You can study it systematically by studying it verse-by-verse, book-by-book, topic-by-topic, or theme-by-theme. The opposite of that is the old dip-and-skip method, where you just open up the Bible and put a finger down where you want to study. That won’t produce the kind of results God wants in your life.

 

5. Read the Bible over and over again. This simple tool will change your life. It’s amazing how much you can get out of a passage if you study the same passage over and over again and then come back to the same passage a few months later. The more you read a passage, the more you’ll get out of it.

There’s no better time than today to start studying the Bible for yourself. No matter how you choose to study, apply these five principles, and you’ll get more out of whatever you study.

 

Talk It Over
•    In what specific areas of your life do you believe God wants you to apply his Word today?•    Do you have an accountability partner? If not, do you think having one would help you study the Bible more diligently?

•    Consider the place where you study God’s Word each day. How does it help or hinder your focus?

•    What do you think the difference is between “right” and “wrong” questions to ask of the Bible? Are you afraid of asking the “wrong” questions?
*** *** ***
Ask the Right Questions

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22 NLT)

 

As I’ve taught over the last few days, Christian meditation means thinking about Scripture. You meditate on Scripture in the same way a cow chews her cud — by chewing on it and chewing on it and chewing on it.

The “probe-it” method of Bible study is a great way to do that. When you use that method, you probe the text with questions, almost like a jackhammer. To help you do that, I’ll share with you one of the strangest acrostics I’ve ever used: SPACEPETS. Each letter in the acrostic is the first letter of a key word of a question you ask of God’s Word.

 

1.    Is there a SIN to confess? Does God’s Word make you aware of something you need to make right with God?

2.    Is there a PROMISE to claim? There are more than 7,000 promises in God’s Word. Ask yourself if the passage you’ve read contains a universal promise. Ask whether you’ve met all the conditions of the promise. Every promise has a premise!

3.    Is there an ATTITUDE to change? Is there something about which you need to think differently? Do you need to work on a negative attitude, worry, guilt, fear, loneliness, bitterness, pride, apathy, or ego?

4.    Is there a COMMAND to obey? Is there a command you need to obey no matter how you feel?

5.    Is there an EXAMPLE to follow? Are there positive examples to follow or negative examples to avoid?

6.    Is there a PRAYER to pray? Paul, David, Solomon, Elijah, and Isaiah, among others, pray in the Bible. You can use their prayers and know that they’ll be answered because they’re in the Bible and in God’s will.

7.    Is there an ERROR to avoid? It’s wise to learn from experience, and it’s even wiser to learn from the experience of others! We don’t have time to make all the mistakes ourselves. So what can you learn from the mistakes of those in Scripture?

8.    Is there a TRUTH to believe? Often, we’ll read something in Scripture that we can’t do anything about. We simply have to believe what it says about God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the past, the future, Heaven, Hell, or other topics in the Bible.

9.    Is there SOMETHING for which to praise God? You can always find something in a passage you can be grateful to God for, like something God has done or protected you from.

 

Every question in this list has a verb in it. They are all associated with something you can do. Write them in your Bible or put them on a note card you keep with your Bible. They’ll help you be “doers of the Word” every time you meditate on the Bible.

 

Talk It Over
•    After reading about the probe-it method, go back to the Scripture you read yesterday for your quiet time and apply this method to that passage. What new truths do you discover?•    What promise from God are you leaning on today?
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“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22 NLT)

 

Nothing becomes dynamic until it becomes specific. That’s why when you read God’s Word, you try to move it from what it was to what you need to do now — your application.

 

A great habit to get into after you read your Bible is to write a one-sentence application to what you’ve just read. It’ll help you become a “doer of the Word,” not just a hearer.

 

What makes a good application sentence? It has four characteristics:
•    It’s personal. You can’t write an application for somebody else. It’s not about what the world needs to do or what your husband needs to do or what your kids need to do. It’s about what you need to do!•    It’s practical. Your application should be something you can actually do and something you are able to make a plan to do. Broad generalities won’t help you. In fact, they’ll produce little action and will make you feel helpless.

•    It’s possible. If you can’t actually accomplish your application, you’ll likely get discouraged. If your application is that you need to pray five hours a day, you won’t do it. Don’t go a day without prayer. That’s practical. Praying for five hours isn’t practical.

•    It’s provable. You need to set yourself a deadline to check on yourself. Until you set a deadline and a goal, you can’t check yourself. Then it’s just a dream.

You can do this with any portion of the Bible you’re reading. The Bible says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” (James 1:22 NLT).

 

Talk It Over
•    After reading this devotional, how will your quiet time change?
•    What one-sentence application will you try to put into practice today?
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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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A Lamp For My feet – The Lord Is Close

The Lord Is Close
by Rick Warren
“You know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11 GNT)
The Bible says that God is a caring Father. He’s compassionate, loving, gracious, and he cares about you.
It’s important to note that when Jesus spoke the word “father,” he used the Aramaic word “abba.” “Abba” is one of the first words that every Middle Eastern child learns, because it means “daddy” — papa, dada, abba. It is the ultimate term of endearment, of closeness, of family. It is an intimate phrase that says there is no barrier between a little baby and a father.
What do we know about our heavenly Father, about our “Abba”? Let me tell you three things today:
First, God is never too busy for you. When you pray, God does not say, “Not now. I’ll see you later.” God never turns away. He’s with you every single day.
Second, God loves to meet your needs because he’s a close Father. The Bible says, “You know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11 GNT) I hate to admit it, but I am sometimes selfish and self-centered, thinking only of my needs. Yet, as a parent, I love to give to my kids. I love to meet their needs. How much more does God — our perfect Father— want to meet your needs?
Third, God is sympathetic to your hurts. He’s never too busy, he loves to meet your needs, and he’s sympathetic to your hurts. When you come to God with your pain, he doesn’t say, “Oh, come on! Get over it! Put a smile on your face. That’s an easy little thing. Get a Band-Aid!” If you’ve had a tough week, God understands.
The Bible says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV). Some of you feel crushed in spirit. What do you do? Turn to God. He is sympathetic to your hurt. He loves to meet your needs. He is never too busy for you. He wants to help you out! He’s your heavenly Father.
Talk It Over
•    God is never too busy for you. How often are you too busy to bring your hurts and concerns to your caring Father?
•    How do you think God cares about the details of your life — the seemingly small and inconsequential things that get you down and rob your joy?
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God Is Your Loving Father
by Rick Warren
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Acts 17:27 NIV)
God, your Heavenly Father, loves you more than you will ever know. You can turn to him when you need acceptance, when you need approval, and when you need attention.
God has seen every single moment of your life. He has witnessed every word you’ve ever said — good or bad — and every hurt you’ve ever experienced. God knows every fear, every sin, and every sorrow you’ve ever felt.
Unlike your human father, God has known every thought you’ve ever had, and he’s understood you completely. Today, you can turn to him because he’s a caring, consistent, close, and competent Father. He will never leave you.
Maybe you’ve allowed experiences with a human parent to warp or cloud your view of your heavenly Father, and that has made you think God is unreasonable or unreliable or unconcerned. You were wrong. You need to turn to the truth today.
Would you pray this prayer in your heart?
“Dear God, I want you to be my heavenly Father, and I want to be your child. I ask you to adopt me into your home. I want to be spiritually born into your family through Jesus Christ. Jesus, I don’t understand it all, but I accept you as the way to the Father. I want you to be in charge of my life to guide me and direct me. Thank you that you are a loving, caring, and consistent Father. Thank you that you are competent and that you can handle all the problems that I give to you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Talk It Over
•    How has your relationship with your earthly father affected how you view God?
•    How do you think God wants us to use the model of the heavenly Father with our own children?
*** *** ***
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.
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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A Lamp For My feet – Trust One Day at a Time

Trust One Day at a Time
by Rick Warren
“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.… Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:6, 8 NLT)
God wants you to trust him one day at a time: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Not for next week. Not for next year. Not for next month. Just one day at a time.
Philippians 4:6 and 8 show us that there are four things that you need to do to trust God on a daily basis: “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.… Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT).
1.    Worry about nothing.
Why is worry such a big deal? Because it’s not just a bad habit. It’s a flat out sin! But God keeps his promises, and you can trust that he will take care of you. “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34).
2.    Pray about everything.
Prayer can change things. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (NIV) God solved your biggest problem — getting into Heaven — when he sent Jesus to die for you. If God loved you enough to send Jesus to die for you, don’t you think he loves you enough to take care of all these other problems?

3.    Thank God in all things.

No matter what happens, give thanks. The Bible doesn’t say, “For all things give thanks.” It says, “In all things give thanks.” You don’t have to be thankful for bad things in your life. You should never be thankful for evil. You don’t have to be thankful for cancer or a car accident or war or abuse. But God says in everything give thanks. Why? Because you know that God’s going to take care of you. You know he’s going to meet your needs. You know he’s going to help you.
4.    Think about the right things.
God gives us a list of things to think about, things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise.
Where do you find things that are pure and lovely to think about? At the movies? I don’t think so. On TV? No. You will only find pure and lovely and honorable thoughts in the Word of God. You need to read it, study it, memorize it, and fill your mind with it. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (NLT)
Talk It Over
•    Where do your thoughts turn most often?
•    In what situation do you need to thank God today?
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