Challenge your own thinking

Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/01/28

Challenge your own thinking

Proverbs 1:5 NIV

As you examine your mistakes, you realize it was your thinking at the time that caused them, and that’s why you need to keep challenging your own thinking. “Let the wise listen and add to their learning.” How do you do that? By learning to appreciate how others think and by continually exposing yourself to people who are different from you. You will think like the people you spend the most time with. When you spend time with people who think outside the box, you’re more likely to break new ground. Let’s face it, any time we find a way of thinking that works, our greatest temptation is to rely on it repeatedly – even if it doesn’t work in new situations. When your goal is to protect the success you already enjoy, you put the brakes on the process that can lead you to even greater success. Holding on to a good tradition is a good thing. But you need to remember that every tradition was originally a good idea, perhaps even a revolutionary idea, but every tradition may not be a good idea for the future. When you cling to what’s already in place, you resist change – even change for the better. That’s why it’s important to challenge your own thinking. If you’re too attached to how things are done now, nothing will change for the better. Dr. John Maxwell writes: “In your early years you won’t be as wrong as people think you are. In your later years you won’t be as right as people think you are. And all through the years you will be better than you thought you could be.”

Soul food: Isa 12-16Matt 10:21-31Ps 104:24-35Prov 3:11-12

 

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Go back and submit

Go back and submit

Genesis 16:9 NIV

The Bible says: “Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. The angel of the Lord found Hagar…in the desert…And he said, ‘Hagar…where have you come from, and where are you going?’ ‘I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,’ she answered. Then the angel…told her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’ The angel added, ‘I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count'” (vv. 6-10 NIV). Hagar obeyed, and when her son Ishmael was born, God said, “I have heard you: I will surely bless him…make him fruitful and…greatly increase his num bers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation” (Genesis 17:20 NIV). Most of us don’t relish the idea of submitting [acquiescing, deferring to, surrendering], and God sent Hagar back to a hard place that day. But when she obeyed, He blessed her. Note the question the angel asked her, because it may be one God’s asking you as well: “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” If He is, stop and consider your answer. God, who knows the end from the beginning and who brings good things out of bad, has your best interests at heart. Even though it’s hard to do, if you’ll obey Him, He will bless you. He’ll give you grace to endure and strength for the struggle, and do things in your life that can’t be accomplished any other way. By trying to escape your present situation, you may be running from the lesson God wants to teach you and the rewards that lie beyond it. So the word for you today is: “Go back, and submit.”

Soul food: Isa 8-11Matt 10:11-20Ps 104:1-23Prov 3:9-10

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Stand on God’s Word (4)

 Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/01/24

Stand on God’s Word (4)

1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

When you violate your marriage vows. You violate God’s Word, break your spouse’s heart, embarrass the cause of Christ, live with the fear of exposure, and trade short-term pleasure for long-term pain. So before you get involved, seek God’s help, and stand on His Word. “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another…God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery” (Hebrews 13:4 NLT). “Put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires” (Colossian s 3:5 NLT). “Don’t participate in…promiscuity and immoral living…Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires” (Romans 13:13-14 NLT). “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does…Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NLT). “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT). If you’re toying with the idea of having an affair, or you’re already in one, or you’re trying to get out of one, stand on the Word of God today and believe Him for victory.

Soul food: Isa 1-3Matt 9:27-38Ps 96Prov 3:5-6

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Stand on God’s Word (3)

 Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/01/23

Stand on God’s Word (3)

1 Corinthians 9:25 NRS

When you are trying to lose weight. Studies confirm that today over half the population of the western world is overweight. If you are one of the many people battling a weight problem, and the repeated cycles of failure that often accompany it, here’s the good news: God can help you win the battle! Often it’s not about what you are eating, it’s about what’s eating you. We overeat to find comfort and relief from stress and anxiety, but it’s a short-term fix and it doesn’t work. The psalmist went directly to the root of his problem: “Search me…and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT). God can relieve the “anxious thoughts” within you. The Holy Spirit is the greatest therapist in the world. When you surrender and ask Him to take up residence within you, you discover that “the fruit of the spirit is…self control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). He can give you the power to control your appetite, and start living by the Scripture: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT). So make this your prayer today: “O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone” (Jeremiah 17:14 NLT). The word for you today is – with God’s help you can lose weight, and keep it off for good.

Soul food: Exo 39-40Matt 9:14-26Ps 91Prov 3:3-4

 

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Stand on God’s Word (2)

 Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/01/22

Stand on God’s Word (2)

Psalm 119:50 NLT

When you are in pain. Sometimes God lifts you out of your situation. Other times, He carries you through and makes you stronger by proving His love and faithfulness to you. Sometimes He relieves you of the pain; other times He sustains you in the midst of it. If you’re in pain today, read these promises from God’s Word and stand on them: “Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.” “Let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live” (vv. 76-77 NLT). “Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble” (Psalm 25:16-18 NLT). “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!” (Psalm 34:17-20 NLT). “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV). Notice, God’s promises revive and comfort us in all of our troubles. Your Bible is a prescription from the Great Physician Himself, and the label on the bottle reads: “Take as often as needed for pain.”

Soul food: Exo 36-38Matt 9:1-13Ps 89:38-52Prov 3:1-2

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Stand on God’s Word (1)

Stand on God’s Word (1)

Jeremiah 1:12 NKJV

When you are facing danger. David said: “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety…my God and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you…If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up…so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone…The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation'” (Psalm 91:2-16 NLT). Note the phrase, “This I declare about the Lord.” When you speak God’s Word over your life, you release the power contained in it. So stand firm today, and expect God to honor His Word!

Soul food: Exo 33-35Matt 8:28-34Ps 89:15-37Prov 2:21-22

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Make your relationships a win-win

Make your relationships a win-win

Philippians 2:4 NKJV

If your only motive for giving to someone is to see what you can get back, you will be disappointed. The Bible says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” When you give yourself to another person for that person’s development and well-being, you are truly giving and God will bless you for it. If you’re married or a parent, you know this from personal experience. What does your husband or wife value most highly? Money in the bank, or your time freely given? What would your children rather have? A toy, or y our undivided attention? The people who love you would rather have you than what you can give them. It’s wise to invest in yourself and your career, but never at the expense of those who matter most. If you succeed in your career but fail with your loved ones, your success will be hollow and your regrets real. Solomon was famous for his wealth and wisdom. Yet he wrote, “As I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless – like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NLT). Learn from his mistakes. Don’t invest in things, invest in relationships. Here is how most relationships often play out: “I win, you lose – I win only once. You win, I lose – you win only once. We both win – we win many times.” When you seek the good of others, God promises that good things will come to you (See Ephesians 6:8).

Soul food: Exo 30-32Matt 8:18-27Ps 89:1-14Prov 2:20

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The right mind-fuel?

The right mind-fuel?

Romans 12:2 NCV

What we consume determines our performance. That’s why you need to be careful what you feed your body, your children, your pets, and even your car. But what you feed your mind is equally important, especially when you consider these two laws that operate in life: (1) The law of cognition. Your thoughts influence your emotions and your behavior. The Bible says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Jesus said a good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit (See Matthew 7:18). In other words, good thinking can’t produce bad results , just as bad thinking can’t produce good results. (2) The law of exposure. The Bible says, “Do not…be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking.” You’ll always think about what you are exposed to the most. And given the violence, lust, and greed portrayed by the media, it’s not surprising that crime and immorality are on the rise. You can’t just say, “I’m going to read this magazine, watch this program, listen to this music, but it won’t affect me.” Social science now confirms what God said all along – it does affect you! Where you go, what you read, (or don’t read), what you watch, and the dreams you entertain all shape your mind. Paul writes, “Remember what Christ taught and let his words enrich your lives and make you wise” (Colossians 3:16 TLB). So when you need the right mind-fuel, remember: “God whose gracious Word can make you into what He wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need” (Acts 20:32 MSG).

Soul food: Exo 25-27Matt 8:1-9Ps 81Prov 2:11-15

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Looking for a lifetime partner

Looking for a lifetime partner

2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV

An ox and a donkey each have a tail, two eyes, and four legs. But if you harness them together, they won’t get along or work well together. Actually, they will pull in different directions. That’s because God made them with very different natures and attributes! With that picture in your mind, here’s some advice on dating you’d be wise to heed. Looks soon fade, so choose someone who has other, less obvious attributes. For example: (1) Consider their manners and how they treat the waiter at the restaurant. (2) What type of interests do they have ? (3) Do they share your spiritual values and beliefs? (4) Do they show genuine interest in what you have to say? (5) How do they treat people they’re not trying to impress? Once the newness of the initial attraction wears off, there must be something more, or the relationship is doomed. And make sure you’re the chooser, and not the chosen. Think about what you really want, and don’t entrust your heart to someone without first ascertaining their suitability. The only way to do that is to ask questions and develop X-ray vision so you can learn to read their motives through their mannerisms. If you’re going to make an informed decision about sharing your life with this person, and share the most intimate, vulnerable parts of yourself literally and figuratively, you must open your eyes, along with all your senses, and really see the other person. Stop. Look. Listen. Pray. That’s the Bible’s formula for making a wise decision when it comes to choosing a mate for life.

Soul food: Exo 22-24Matt 7:15-29Ps 79Prov 2:9-10

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Use the power of praise

Use the power of praise

Psalm 34:1 NIV

You can praise God too little, but you can never praise Him too much. David writes, “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3). “Seven times a day do I praise thee” (Psalm 119:164). “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” When you are overwhelmed by circumstances, the last thing you feel like doing is praising God. But it’s the first thing you should do, because praise gets your attention off yourself and onto God’s miraculous power. Jehoshaphat faced an army he had no hope of defeating. But when he started to praise God, his enemies destroyed each other while he looked on in amazement. When Paul and Silas praised God in prison, their chains broke and the doors opened. It’s normal to focus on the problem and forget to praise God, but praise solves problems. Peter writes: “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Start to acknowledge the power of praise and choose to exalt God regardless of how you feel. Praise brings you into God’s presence and positions you for His favour and blessing. You say, “But I don’t understand how praise works.” Think about it like this: You don’t have to understand aerodynamics in order to fly. You just get on the plane and the pilot takes you where you need to go. It’s the same when you praise God – just do it and you’ll get results.

Soul food: Exo 16-18Matt 6:19-34Ps 74:1-11Prov 2:6

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