How to solve problems (2)

How to solve problems (2)

Psalm 28:7 NKJV

Second, you must identify the real problem. Sometimes a doctor can cure you, other times he or she prescribes medication that enables you to live more comfortably with your problem. But first they have to diagnose it. Philosopher Abraham Kaplan makes this distinction between problems and predicaments: “A problem is something you can do something about. If you can’t do something about it, then it’s not a problem, it’s a predicament. That means it’s something that must be coped with; something that must be endured. When you treat a predicament as a problem you can become frustrated, angry, and depressed. You waste energy and make bad decisions. Then when all your attempts fail, you give up and see yourself as a victim.” Here’s an example: If you’re married, perhaps you are a “morning person” and your spouse is a “night person,” or vice versa. That’s a predicament. You can’t change it. You can’t change the way people are wired internally. And if you try, you and your spouse will experience lots of conflict and there’ll be no resolution. However, your difficulty in finding ways to spend time together because of your different bents is a problem, and that can be solved. And here’s another thought: Sometimes God will deliver you from a bad situation and other times He will use it to develop your character and make you more like Christ. Yes, He can turn your sigh into a song! David said, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. “

Soul food: Judg 19:16-21:25Matt 18:10-20Ps 119:97-104Prov 18:6-8

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How to solve problems (1)

How to solve problems (1)

Numbers 21:4 NKJV

To reach the Promised Land the Israelites had to “go around the land of Edom” (v. 4 NKJV). This made their journey much longer, and “the people became very discouraged on the way.” There’s a lesson here. The best way to escape a problem is to solve it. Between you and your “promised land” you’ll face issues that have to be resolved. Recognizing obstacles for what they are – temporary tests of your resolve, ability, and faith in God – won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to handle them. So let’s discuss problem solving. First, recognize that you’ ll always have problems. A college student sent this email to his mom at the end of his semester: “Flunked out of school, coming home tomorrow. Prepare Dad.” The email he got back said, “Dad prepared. Prepare yourself!” Al Davis, who owned the Oakland Raiders football team, said: “A great leader doesn’t treat problems as special. He treats them as normal. If you’re working, expect problems. If you’re dealing with family, expect problems. If you’re just minding your own business and trying to relax, expect problems. If everything goes according to plan, then be pleasantly surprised. If it doesn’t, and you’ve planned accordingly, you won’t get so frustrated. A problem not anticipated is a problem. A problem anticipated is an opportunity.” Paul said, “To Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…be glory…forever” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV). The problem you’re facing today is just an opportunity for God to do f or you or through you what you can’t do by yourself.

Soul food: Judg 16:1-19:15Matt 18:1-9Ps 119:89-96Prov 18:1-5

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Always be honest

2019/08/13

Always be honest

Colossians 3:9 NLT

Try to answer the following questions honestly. Would you lie in order to get yourself out of a jam? Impress someone? Avoid dealing with the consequences of your actions? Well, how’d you do? In a major survey people were asked, “What would you be willing to do for $10 million?” (Are you sitting down?) Twenty-five percent said they’d be willing to abandon their families. Twenty-three percent said they’d be willing to become a prostitute for a week. And 7 percent said they’d be willing to murder a stranger. Are you shocked? Maybe you’re thinking that you’d never do that. Well, don’t be so quick – the survey showed that Christians were “almost as likely as non-Christians” to falsify their tax returns, call in sick when they weren’t, cheat on their mates, and tear down someone else’s character to make themselves look better. Think about it – have you done any of those things lately? If you have, read these words carefully and prayerfully: “Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him” (vv. 9-10 NLT). Pay particular attention to the words “put on your new nature.” Honesty is a garment you have to put on every day. So start modeling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God. Think the truth. Face the truth. Love the truth. Pursue the truth. Walk in the truth. From today on make up your mind that you’ll always be honest.

Soul food: Judg 9:34-11:40Matt 17:1-13Ps 119:73-80Prov 20:25Ecc 5:4-6

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Get some rest

Get some rest

Mark 6:31 NIV

Why did Jesus take time out to rest? So that when He worked, He’d be at His best. And today He wants you to know that if you don’t take a break, you won’t get one. He wants you to survive the long haul, not just the short sprint. And the first obstacle you need to overcome is guilt. That’s what makes us workaholics. We feel guilty and tell ourselves, “There’s just so much to do.” Jesus handled life differently: “Because so many people were coming and going that [He and his disciples] did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me…to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves…to a solitary place” (vv. 31-32 NIV). No time to eat, too many people coming and going, no time to take care of yourself – does that describe your life right now? Some people say, “It’s better to burn out than rust out.” That’s poor advice, plus it’s not scriptural. You don’t burn out when you’re in the will of God! Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). And the reason He could say that was because people didn’t set His agenda, His heavenly Father did. The psalmist said, “He maketh me to lie down” (Psalm 23:2). Wouldn’t you rather go to the park by choice than to the hospital by force? The fact is God won’t send you there, but your own lack of wisdom can. Today Jesus is saying to you, “Get some rest,” and if you’re wise you will do it!

Soul food: Judg 7:1-9:33Matt 16:13-28Ps 119:65-72Prov 17:23-26

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In spite of the circumstances, God is with you

In spite of the circumstances, God is with you

Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

Five times in one chapter, Genesis 39, the Bible says, “The Lord was with Joseph.” But that didn’t exempt him from jealousy and betrayal, or the advances of Potiphar’s wife, or her lies that sent him to prison. The Bible says, “They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character” (Psalm 105:18-19 NLT). Joseph didn’t know it, but he was in training for reigning. God wanted to see if he would choose trust over lust, and obedience over e xpedience. It’s in looking back that you realize why one of God’s names is “Redeemer.” He can redeem everything you’ve been through – the good, the bad, and the ugly. The lesson Joseph learned is this: God is with you even when there is no evidence He is. He is walking alongside you. He is working with you. He is going ahead of you to rearrange circumstances in your favor. His Word says, “‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So that we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV). But sometimes in the plan of God things get worse before they get better. That’s when you must tighten your grip and lean harder on God: “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:35-36 NKJV).

Soul food: Ruth 1-4Matt 15:15-28Ps 119:41-48Prov 17:17

 

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What is godliness?

What is godliness?

Psalm 42:2 NIV

What comes to mind when you think of the word godliness? Religious rules and regulations? Christians who point fingers and say, “Thou shalt not”? Little wonder so many people avoid us! Is godliness even possible in an age of interstate drivers and internet shoppers? Or do we need to return to the days of Little House on the Prairie in order to be godly? The fact is godliness isn’t a culture, it’s an attitude of the heart. It has little to do with how a person looks (although that’s hard for some of us to see beyond), or what they drive or own. It has nothing to do with our personal preferences and the standards some of us would like to impose on others. The Bible says, “[People] look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). Godliness is an inside job. And the longer you think about it, the more convinced you become that a truly godly person is one whose heart is sensitive to God, who takes God and His Word seriously, and who desires more of Him. David cried, “My soul thirsts for God.” That’s it! You can be rich or poor, young or old, urban or rural, follower or leader, active or quiet, married or single, Democrat or Republican – none of that matters. What matters is having a longing to know God intimately, to obey Him, and walk with Him. So ask yourself, “Do I want to be godly?” And if you don’t like the answer, get down on your knees and ask God to change your heart and attitude.

Soul food: Obad2 JohnMatt 15:1-14Ps 119:33-40Prov 17:16

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Your God is unlimited

Your God is unlimited

Jeremiah 32:17 NIV

God can solve any problem because He is not bound by human limitations: (1) He is not limited by time. God can do in an instant what would normally take years. “He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly” (Psalm 147:15 NIV). He can speed up the natural process of your healing; He can accelerate your harvest of blessing so that you’ll be sowing with one hand and reaping with the other (See Amos 9:13). (2) He is not limited by lack. When the Israelites left Egypt, God instructed them to borrow the silver and gold of their taskmasters. That’s be cause the Egyptians owed them 400 years’ back pay with interest! And when they obeyed God, He broke their chains of lack and they got back everything that had been stolen from them. Whatever Satan has taken from you, God can restore and more (Zechariah 9:12). (3) He is not limited by the Enemy. Moses told the Israelites, “The Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever” (Exodus 14:13 NKJV). How does God deal with Satan’s power? By increasing yours! “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple, but he couldn’t push Him over – and he can’t push you over the edge either. So use God’s Word and stand up to him! (4) He is not limited by anything but doubt. He made an axe-head float, a donkey talk, and a corpse come back to life after four days, so you don’t have a problem He can’t solve. So rise up and declare, “Nothing is too hard for You.”

Soul food: 1 Pet 1-5Matt 14:22-36Ps 119:25-32Prov 17:11-15

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Congratulations on your new location!

“Congratulations on your new location!”

John 14:2 NLT

A lady ordered two bouquets of flowers, one for a friend who was relocating his business and the other for the funeral of a friend who had just died. Unfortunately, the florist mixed up the orders. As a result, the friend relocating his business received flowers with a note saying “In deepest sympathy,” while the deceased’s flowers came with a card saying, “Congratulations on your new location!” Redeemed child of God, one day you’ll hear the words, “Congratulations on your new location.” Heaven isn’t “a state of mind” or celestial cyberspace. I t’s a prepared place for a prepared people. The Bible talks of “the whole family in heaven and earth” (Ephesians 3:15). Perhaps someone you’ve loved and lost is waiting for you there and you’re looking forward to seeing them again. Perhaps you’re wondering if we’ll know each other. Yes! Would we know less in heaven than we knew on earth? No. Paul says, “Then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Not only will we know each other, but we’ll eat together and enjoy one another for all eternity. Imagine fabulous food with no cholesterol! No disease. And best of all, no heartache, for God Himself will “wipe away all tears…and there shall be no more death…sorrow…crying, nor pain. All of that…gone forever” (Revelation 21:4 TLB). Have you come to the place in life where you know for sure that if you died today you’d go to heaven? You can have that assurance by placing your trust in the One who paid for all your sins – and offers you the gift of eternal life.

Soul food: Deut 32:29-34:12Matt 14:13-21Ps 119:17-24Prov 17:7-10

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The importance of good communication

The importance of good communication

2 Timothy 2:2 NLT

Here’s a bit of time-tested wisdom that will help get you the results you want in life: Become a good communicator. Whether you lead in the church, the workplace, or the home, you must take the time to communicate clearly with people in order to succeed. One of the things virtually every employee wishes he or she had with superiors is better communication. Unfortunately, when those employees become managers, they forget to communicate with those they manage. This isn’t the case of Sally Frame Kasaks, who became CEO of the Ann Taylor clothing store franchise. She placed a new emphasis on quality products and on “more and better communication with employees at all levels.” Within a year, sales rose over 30 percent. Paul Kahn had a similar agenda when he became chairman and CEO of Safeguard Services. He had his head of operations, Richard Interdonato, change the internal company strategy to emphasize three things: (1) Open doors. Leadership became more accessible to employees. (2) Visibility. Interdonato spent about 40 percent of his time “just talking with people.” (3) Sharing information through a daily newsletter and frequent open forums with employees. It worked. Within a year, earnings increased by 13.1 percent. When you’re on top, always remember the issues that are important to those below you. Why? Because no matter how great your vision may be, without the cooperation and commitment of those below you, your vision will never be fulfilled. Paul, who was a great communicator, wrote, “Teach these truths to other trustw orthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

Soul food: Deut 28-29Matt 13:47-58Ps 119:1-8Prov 17:3

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Are you feeling threatened?

Are you feeling threatened?

Acts 4:31 NASB

Are you in an intimidating situation? If so, notice four things the disciples did when they felt threatened by the religious authorities of their day. (1) They brought God into the picture. “Lord, behold their threatenings” (v. 29). Have you talked to the Lord about it? If it’s not big enough to be a prayer, it’s too small to be a burden! God should be the first person you discuss it with, not the last. Prayer is the door through which He enters your situation, so be sure you invite Him in. (2) They prayed for greater faith. “Grant…thy servants…boldness” (v. 29). It’s unrealistic to think all your questions will be answered and all your fears will disappear. Faith and fear will always be at work in your life. To be an overcomer, you must learn to starve your fear and feed your faith on God’s Word (See Romans 10:17). (3) They expected God to intervene. “Stretch out your hand” (Acts 4:30 NIV). Don’t just sit in the seat of “do-nothing” and expect God to move. Go on the offensive. When the disciples were in a storm the Bible says, “About four o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water!” (Matthew 14:25 TLB). Jesus works the night shift! He’s available any time you call. (4) They were filled with the Holy Spirit. “When they had prayed…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:31 NAS). There’s the key! They were strengthened and energized by God’s power – you can be too.

Soul food: Deut 18-21Matt 13:10-23Ps 78:40-55Prov 16:32

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