Scriptures: 1 Samuel 30:4-8
We can learn to love the life we are living! God's Word helps us deal with the battle to stay encouraged.
How do we feel encouraged? Stop feeling guilty about enjoying God's blessings. Jesus said He came that we might have abundant life. We need to start believing in ourselves! Start by forgiving ourselves and then loving ourselves. We can learn to handle rough spots in life better: these verses in Samuel speak about David and his men. They come home expecting to find loving families, rest and food. But all they found at home was emptiness, desolation and loss. These mighty warriors were overwhelmed by sorrow and began talking about stoning David. But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. Despite all that was happening David found his source of encouragement.
How can you encourage yourself in God?
Put worship before warfare: Worship God then deal with an issue! Stop trying to fight the enemy without the One who has already won every battle!
Ask God for direction: We need to know what God wants us to do! We need to stop asking others for advice and go directly to the source of all knowledge and wisdom.
Treat others right! The saying is true: "hurt people hurt people." When we take our pain out on others it just adds to the problem that already exists; we must remember that tough days are a test of a Christianity.
So where do we go from here: we need to stop feeling guilty for being blessed, start to believe in ourselves, and do better through the rough times in life by worshipping, asking and treating others fairly.
Scriptures: Proverbs 14:26
The meaning of confidence is: "the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust." For a Christian it is the belief that we can rely on God and His Word.
In life we deal with confidence stealers, what are they? First, entertaining thoughts of failure: allowing our thoughts to dwell on our faults, instead of our victories. Second, condoning pessimism: "the belief that evil in the world outweighs the good," we must remember that good wins! Jesus already won the victory! Third, meditating on the magnitudes of our problems: spending time giving our issues more attention than they deserve. Finally, trying to see before believing: faith is believing without proof! Each of these steal our confidence, so what do we do?
We need to regain our confidence. We must remember that the devil blows issues out of proportion, he wants every problem we face to seem impossible to overcome. We know that nothing is impossible with God! We must declare that God is with us! We must submit our words and thoughts to God: making sure we are in line with the Word. We have to be willing to renounce our lack of trust in God and His Word so that we can begin to recover what our doubt has taken from us! God wants to restore what our doubts have stolen!
Proverbs 14:26 in the Amplified Bible says: "in the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge." The same verse in the Message reads: "the
Scriptures: Acts 26:12-19
Life is full of opportunities in disguise. Apostle Paul was in prison for what he believed and preached, but this did not stop him from making the most out of every opportunity. Paul was called to present his case to King Agrippa, but Paul takes this time to present the Gospel to the king.
Paul believed God could change the heart of anyone: even an evil King! A man who was in an intimate relationship with his own sister, yet Paul still believed God would intervene. Do you believe that Jesus can change anyone anywhere?
Paul believed it was God's job to convict people of their sins. He preached that God can turn us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God. We need to let Jesus fix what is broken in people's lives. Paul did not know he was broken till Jesus showed him.
Paul believed in the power of the message of Christ. Paul stayed on message, the Gospel: Christ crucified and Christ risen. We are not called to talk people into becoming Christians: we are called to share our deliverance and how it came through the power of Christ.
Paul believed that one message could change the world and he always remembered what that message had done for him! Opportunities in disguise are about to come your way! Will you take the time to present the Gospel? The Gospel is the power of God unto someone's salvation.
Scriptures: Matthew 6:19-21, 2 Corinthians 4:18
The world presents a concept that nothing lasts: that everything has an expiration date. God's Word has principles, which if followed, will bring lasting value. In His Word there are principles for relationships and personal success.
The first principle: live life God's way. A lasting life was designed by God: the Word tells us to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
The second principle: make the right sacrifices. Human nature tends toward the insignificant. We must choose where our focus will lie: the temporal or the eternal? Things that last require continual sacrifices.
The third principle: catch the rabbit first. The recipe for rabbit stew starts with catching the rabbit first. Our ideas or choices should not be the controlling factor for our decisions in life. We need something that is beyond ourselves: the Living Word of God! Let the rabbit catch you! How? Be in the right field! Too many people are searching for rabbits in foxes' dens.
God's ways from God's Word mingled with the right sacrifices produce lasting things.
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 14:33 and James 3:16
What is confusion? Confusion is disorder that leads to purposeless actions; the opposite being order which is a designed pattern determined by purpose! We live in a hour of much confusion, when people are neglecting the most important things in life. There is a restless spirit that exists and a quarrelsome nature is promoted.
What are the symptoms of confusion? Having no direction when facing the issues of life. Feeling trapped by circumstances. The inability to accept righteous information. Outward and inward disobedience toward the rules of holiness. Not knowing the difference between useless dreams and good dreams.
God is not the author of confusion: He is the author of peace! Do you want peace in place of chaos? Recommit yourself to living a life of holiness. Pray for the ability to concentrate on the things of God. Pray to be interested in the things of God. Pray for the ability to respect others. Prayer is essential to a peaceful life.
Our enemy shoots arrows of confusion: his main agenda is to confuse you. When we are confused we accomplish nothing! Do you want clarity, peace and success? Pray that the enemy's arrows of confusion will backfire. Pray for the ability to concentrate. Pray that you become interested in the things of God. Pray that you will be able to respect others. Pray that God will scatter the spirit of confusion.
Scriptures: Matthew 13:44-46
Jesus taught two parables about finding the Kingdom of Heaven: the parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of the pearl merchant. The hidden treasure was found in a field and stumbled upon by accident. The pearl merchant was earnestly seeking for pearls. In both cases the person was willing to give up everything for what they had found.
Jesus used these stories to describe finding the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is immensely valuable and question we must answer is: why is it so valuable?
The kingdom of Heaven offers you a new circle of relationships. Our King was willing to give up everything for the members of His kingdom, we need to strive to be like him.
The kingdom of Heaven solves humanity's greatest problem: death! Death is mankind's biggest problem and death was conquered by our King! We should live with the joy that our greatest problem is already taken care: why do we worry so much about the small issues we face?
The kingdom of Heaven changes our lives. The kingdom has transforming power and members of this Kingdom live better lives.
So what is the discovery principle? Everything in your life worth having will require your own personal sacrifice. The kingdom of Heaven will cost you something! The man who found the treasure in the field sold all that he had. The pearl merchant sold all that he had. What are you going to give or give up to discover the true value of the Kingdom of Heaven?