Take Advantage

When I opened my Bible app, the verses included with this devotional popped up.  What a refreshing reminder!  Each day, God gives His people new mercies, or, a clean slate.  Each day, we have a new opportunity to reach our potential.

As you start another year, I encourage you to embrace the precious opportunity you have each day.  Live for God.  Strive to reach your potential.  Align your life with His Word, which, by the way, never fails.  And, if you get off track, you don’t have to wait until the next year to do better.  You can start fresh the very next day!

Take advantage of each day this year!  Every new day you see is a sign that God still believes in you.

Thought to Consider:
How will you use each day advantageously?

Always Be Thankful

I saw the Bible verse included with this email on the digital sign at a church.  This verse would be easier to digest if it said, “Be thankful during good circumstances.”  This verse, however, is not situation-specific; we should be thankful all the time.

Does all the time include bad circumstances?  Does it mean we should be thankful when our finances are shaky, job prospects are slim, and family and friends are fickle?  Yes.  How?  When we face challenging situations, we must remember that God allowed them.  And, He doesn’t allow anything that we won’t manage successfully!

During this holiday season, let’s strive to be good examples of this verse.  You may not be exactly where you thought you would at this point in 2012, but, if God is on your side, you can always  be thankful.

Thought to Consider:
Are you always thankful?

Open Your Mouth?

One of my favorite bible verses says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences” (Proverbs 18:21, NLT).  Think about that for a moment.  This verse is a reminder: the power to change our lives, for better or worse, rests in our mouth.

Since our mouths have the potential for such significant impact, we should be more intentional about when and how we use them.  We should be like the children of Israel who conquered Jericho with Joshua.  They didn’t open their mouths aimlessly; they were purposeful.  When they opened their mouths like God instructed, they saw the walls of Jericho crumble!

So, are you careful or careless with your mouth?  If you’re careless at times, I challenge you to be more careful.  The words you speak are a bridge to your destiny.  Where are you headed?

Thought to Consider:
… For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way (James 2:2, NLT)

Apply What You Believe

James asked, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions” (James 2:14, NLT)?  He later explains that what we believe must affect our behavior.  For example, if you believe rain is likely, you should pack an umbrella.

In Psalm 27, David illustrates how we can apply what we believe.  In verse 1, he several things he believes: God is his light, salvation, fortress.  He later applies what he believes: I shouldn’t be afraid or tremble.   Since God is David’s guide, rescuer, and protection, David decided to be confident.

Now, think about what you know about God.  He rewards those who pursue Him.  He supplies all of our needs.  Are you applying what you believe?  If not, let this email encourage you to put your faith in action.

Thought to Consider:
How can you apply your faith in God?

On Trial

I wrote this email while waiting patiently to fulfill my civic responsibility – jury duty.  While waiting, I couldn’t help pondering how it would feel to be on trial.  How would it feel to put my fate in the hands of other people, who only have facts and evidence to evaluate my character?

In Psalm 26, David requests a trial by God.  Can you imagine that?  He is the great judge, who knows everything.  In spite of this, David, without legal representation, speaks with confidence.  He’s confident because he has acted with integrity and trusted in the Lord without wavering (see Psalm 26:1).

So, how would you fare if you were on trial with God?  Could you plead your case as confidently as David?  If so, I commend you.  If not, I encourage you to prioritize letting your light shine.  Then, you, too, can receive God’s vote of confidence.

Thought to Consider:
Would God call me a person after His own heart?

Worry Vaccine

Recently, we’ve had several incentives to panic – unexpected natural disasters, political election results, outbreaks of deadly diseases, gas price increases and shortages, job unavailability, and the list goes on.  If you’re not careful, just watching the news can make your heartbeat race.

In Psalm 23, however, David gives us a vaccine for worrying.  He begins with a definitive statement: The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need (Psalm 23:1, NLT).  Throughout the rest of the psalm, David gives three reasons why God’s people have no need to worry:

  1. We have His provision: verses 2-3
  2. We have His protection: verse 4
  3. We have His presence: verse 4-6

If you’ve been tempted to worry lately, just remember who you are.  More importantly, remember whose you are!  As David later noted, “Once I was young, and now I am old.  Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.”  If you keep your hand in God’s hand, you have no need to worry.

Thought to Consider:
God will supply all of our needs!

Connect to Conquer

People who unite can achieve the impossible.  One person said the word “team,” a group of people who unite, is an acronym that means “Together Everyone Achieves More.”  Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.”  I reiterate, people who unite can do some amazing things!

Today’s verse highlights what united people can do.  The Israelites had a common vision.  Collectively, they wanted to see the walls of Jericho come down.  Because they united, God honored His word.  The Israelites witnessed the walls of Jericho come down, and they possessed one of the first plots in the land promised to them.

Maybe you’re wondering how you will accomplish some great feat.  I challenge you to connect with the right people.  Jesus said, “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you” (Matthew 18:19, NLT).  If you connect with like-minded people, you can conquer, complete, or change anything!

Thought to Consider:
Who can you connect with to achieve your goals?

Dealing with Dream Killers

Let’s talk for a moment about dream killers.  You may know them more affectionately as “haters.”  These people are first to tell you that what you’ve heard from God will not come true.  They can be aggravating, discouraging, insensitive, and worst of all, your family and friends.  Such was the case with Joseph.

So, how do you deal with dream killers?  Like Joseph, you really can’t get mad at them.  Their comments were less personal and more perceptual.  To their credit, his brothers had never seen anything close to Joseph’s dream, and they didn’t have the revelation that he had.  From their perspective, Joseph’s dreams really couldn’t happen.  They were simply doing the best they could with what they had.

That’s my advice for you.  Whenever you confront dream killers, don’t get mad.  Just remember –they’re doing the best they can with what they have.  Keep believing God, for His word shall be fulfilled in due time.

Thought to Consider:
Don’t let dream killers kill your dream.

Declare It!

The last Daily Recharge was a reminder of the power of God’s word.  Whatever He says must happen.  When He speaks over our lives, we have a guarantee that His word will be fulfilled in our lifetime.

When we understand and believe what God says about us, we should declare it.  That’s what Joseph did.  As soon as God revealed the plan for his life, Joseph broadcast it.  He literally couldn’t keep it to himself.  Even after His brothers told him it was impossible, Joseph kept speaking what God revealed.

I encourage you to follow Joseph’s example – keep speaking what God has revealed.  Your declaration is not to get God’s attention; rather, it’s to remind you of where you’re already heading.  Keep speaking until God’s word is fulfilled in your life!

Thought to Consider:
… I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans (Jeremiah 1:12, NLT)

Destiny Assured

One thing about God is certain: whatever He says must happen.  He literally means what He says.  That’s the heart of the message He shared with Isaiah: “It is the same with my word … It will accomplish all I want it to …” (Isaiah 55:11, NLT).

Our present circumstances cannot override God’s word.  Just think about Joseph.  I’m sure his brothers thought their evil scheme would change his destiny.  Joseph, however, had a word from God (the dreams).  And, this word turned the pit, Potiphar’s house, and the prison into rest stops along the way to the palace!

Maybe you’re at different coordinates than the destiny God has spoken.  Hang in there!  God is not like man; He doesn’t lie.  If He said it, then trust that your current circumstances are leading you to an assured destiny.

Thought to Consider:
God is not a man, so He does not lie … Has He ever promised and not carried it through? (Numbers 23:19, NLT)