John 3:16 Arrow For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life ^DREAM interpretation ministry

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The word for taday- A daily devotional 3

‘Search me, O God, and know my heart...’ Psalms 139:23 NIV

Here are two more reasons why spending time alone with God each day is important: 1) To take spiritual inventory of your life. David prayed, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’ (vv. 23-24 NIV). Note the words ‘anxious thoughts’ and ‘offensive way’. These are things you start to take stock of when you are in God’s presence. For example, are you growing daily in your spiritual walk? Are you allowing unconfessed sins to pile up in your life? How about your attitudes? In order to see yourself from God’s point of view, you have to face these questions in His presence and answer them honestly. 2) To commit each day to the Lord. The writer of Proverbs said, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight’ (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV). Share your schedule with God, ask Him to guide you in your daily activities and alter them as needed. Ask Him to help you manage your time better so you can get more done (Psalms 90:12). Ask Him to help you distinguish between what’s truly important and what isn’t (1 Corinthians 10:23). Every day of your life you’ll have to deal with two things: problems and opportunities. And God will give you the right perspective and approach to handle both. You’ll be amazed how much more effective and efficient you are when you’ve spent time with Him.

2 Kings 4:18 - 6:33, Matthew 22: 34-46, Psalm 112, Proverbs 7:6-9
Your Daily Devotions (4).

'...You will fill me with joy in Your presence...'
Psalm 16:11 NIV

To build and maintain intimacy in a relationship
you must schedule time with the other person,
otherwise it won’t happen. There’s a reason the
Bible likens your relationship with Christ to that
of a bride and groom. For a marriage to be
strong, two people must pay attention to one
another. And that happens only when they’re
willing to set aside things like work, financial
concerns, and even children. Likewise, your
devotional life should involve simply enjoying the
presence of the Lord.
The Psalmist puts it this way: ‘ You will fill me with joy in Your presence .’ And: ‘Delight yourself…in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart .’ ( Psalm 37:4 NKJV) ‘
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so
pants my soul for You, O God .’ ( Psalm 42:1
NKJV) ‘… You are my God; early will I seek You; my
soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a
dry and thirsty land where there is no
water .’ ( Psalms 63:1 NKJV)
Many of us lead unhappy lives because we never spend time in God’s presence. Do you know the Lord, or do you merely know about Him? ‘Knowing Christ’ was Paul’s number–one priority: ‘ But whatever gain I
had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ... For
His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and
count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain
Christ and be found in Him…having a
righteousness of my own that comes from…faith in
Christ.’ ( Philippians 3:7–9 ESV ) Have you
reached the place where you can say that too?

SoulFood: 2 Ki 10-12 , Luke 16:19-31 , Ps 24, Prov

‘Four men arrived carrying a paralysed man on a mat.’ Mark 2:3 NLT

One day when Jesus was preaching at a house in Capernaum, ‘four men arrived carrying a paralysed man on a mat.’ This man wanted to move but he couldn’t. And spiritual paralysis works that way too. Inside, you know you have what it takes to succeed, but your spirit isn’t responding. What’s going on? Unremitting stress creates pressure that eventually turns to frustration, and constant frustration produces weariness. You feel bland. Nothing excites you. One day feels like the next, until you start believing that nothing will ever go right for you. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a mansion or a mud hut; unless you’re free in your spirit, it’s like living in a prison. There are different kinds of spiritual paralysis. There’s the kind that leaves you with out-of-control emotions. You can’t hold on to what you need, like a job or a relationship. You know something’s wrong but you can’t seem to make it right. Another type of spiritual paralysis stems from mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. When people are continually drawing from you, eventually you run dry. It’s impossible to be an encouragement to others without refilling your own well at the Source. Refuse to spend another day in a paralysed, out-of-control, exhausted state. Like the man in today’s story, you’ll find your answer in Jesus. He gives joy, freedom and purpose to life; He ‘refreshes the weary and satisfies the faint’ (Isaiah 40:31). But you have a part to play as well: to ‘…build [yourself] up in your most holy faith, and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep [yourself] in God’s love’ (Jude 20-21 NIV).

2 Kings 10-12, Matthew 23:29 - 24:2, Psalm 135, Proverbs 7: 21-23

‘…A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife...’ Matthew 19:5 NIV

Don’t make your children feel guilty about growing up! They were born to fly. If they can’t, what does that say about you as a parent? It was God who first came up with the idea of children leaving home. So when your role changes, don’t lose your perspective and give in to resentment and self-pity. Learn to move gracefully from owner to coach. That’s how God intends life to work. Your children are supposed to have what it takes to succeed on their own. The question is, do you? Don’t attack the people who are now part of your grown child’s life. It’s easy to become judgemental when you’re no longer in control. Don’t do it! Nobody is attracted to a critic; you’ll just push your kids away. Don’t lose your head; you’ve too much invested in the relationship. Whether you’re upset because you’ve given so much and seem to be getting so little in return, or you genuinely don’t approve of their choices, prayer is a better option than bickering. Talk to God about it. He can change what you can’t! Your children would be ill-equipped for life if they’d grown up physically without developing their own opinions and uniqueness. As a parent you’re entitled to your thoughts and feelings, but once you’ve expressed them, respect their choices and support them the best you can. Don’t let the devil rob you of your most precious investments. The best thing you can do is love your child, pray for them, and ‘be there’ when they need you.

2 Kings 13-15, Matthew 24: 3-28, Psalm 24, Proverbs 7:24-25.

‘Teach me to do Your will...’ Psalms 143:10 NKJV

In considering God’s will for your life, let’s begin with: what you pretend to be. When you know you’re doing His will, you can drop the mask. You don’t have to convince people you’re important while secretly fearing you’re not. Nothing is more boring or disconcerting than someone who ‘name-drops’ in order to make an impression. A newly-promoted lieutenant was eager to impress his underlings, so when a young private walked into his office the lieutenant pretended to be on the phone with the general. ‘Yes, General, you can count on me, Sir,’ he said, as he banged the receiver down. Turning to the private he asked what he wanted. ‘I’m just here to connect your phone, sir.’ Pretending to be what you’re not is hard work. That’s why you feel so tired after a first date, or a job interview, or when you’re around people who expect you to project a certain image. Inside you is an unpretentious person. And it’s such a relief not having to act humbler than you are, or feign that you pray more, or know more about the Bible than you do. The good news is that you never have to pretend with God; genuine brokenness pleases Him more than spiritual pretentiousness. To fulfil His will and become the person He wants you to be, you need to be honest about who you really are. The Psalmist prayed, ‘Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.’ So be who you are. When you do that—God will do the rest.

2 King 16: 1- 18:16, Matthew 24: 29-51, Psalm 26, Proverb 7:26-27

‘I delight to do Your will, O my God...’ Psalms 40:8 NKJV

In discovering and doing God’s will for your life, you must come to terms with what you think you should be. Comparison kills spiritual growth. For example, the mother of three young children hears her pastor preach about Christians who rise at dawn every day to spend an hour of quiet time with God. The fact is, she’d love an hour of quiet time—anytime! But her kids won’t cooperate! So what she takes away from the sermon is that she doesn’t measure up as a Christian. In essence, she’s practising ‘spirituality by comparison’ and living under a cloud of guilt. It doesn’t occur to her that the love she expresses to her children counts as a spiritual activity. Or that she may be serving God more faithfully than somebody who neglects their family in order to have that hour of quiet every morning. Another example: a gregarious, spontaneous husband is married to a woman who enjoys solitude. It comes easily to her. Nevertheless, he feels like he’s a failure when it comes to prayer because he doesn’t enjoy being alone the way his wife does. He doesn’t consider that his joy and willingness in serving others counts, or that the degree to which he loves them is shaping his soul and delighting God. ‘Should’ is an important word, but when it comes to spiritual growth, God doesn’t want you to obey Him just because you ‘should’. He designed you to want His plan for your life—to get to the place where you can say, ‘I delight to do Your will, O my God.’

Galatians 5:22, 1 Corin 13, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 15: 1-17.

‘…Prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’Romans 12:2 NKJV

In order to fulfil God’s will for your life, you’ll have to deal with what other people want you to be. Your boss wants you to be more productive. Your health club wants you to be fitter. Your credit card company wants you to be deeper in debt. It seems like everybody has an agenda for you, and, if you spend your life trying to meet their expectations, you’ll never be free. Sometimes loving people means having to disappoint them. Seeking to become the person others want you to be is a shallow way to live. Nobody can tell you exactly how to change, because only God knows. Even you can’t tell yourself how to change, because you didn’t create yourself. To love someone is to desire and work toward their becoming the best possible version of themselves. And the one person in the entire universe who’s qualified to do this is God. Unlike people, God has no hidden agenda or unmet needs that He’s hoping you can help Him with. He knows what the best version of you looks like. He delights in the very idea of it, and is already working to bring it to fruition in your life. The Bible says, ‘…In all things God works for the good of those who love Him…’ (Romans 8:28 NIV). That means God is at work every moment to help you become His best version of you. And you’ll only be truly free when you make up your mind to be happy about being the person God meant you to be—the one He’s working on every day.

2 Kings 18: 17 - 20:21, Matthew 25: 1-23, Psalm 115, Proverb 8:1-3.
Thursday, 19 March 2015 00:12

'...How different from this way of faith is the
way of law...' Galatians 3:12 NLT
To fulfil God’s will for your life and become the
person He wants you to be, you must deal with
the ‘me’ you’re afraid God wants you to be. Most
people equate spiritual maturity with trying hard
to follow the rules of the Bible. But as long as
you think God’s aim is to produce rule–followers,
spiritual growth will feel like an obligation rather
than a desire of your heart. Paul writes, ‘ How
different from this way of faith is the way of law,
which says, “If you wish to find life by obeying the
law, you must obey all of its
commands.” ’ (Galatians 3:12 NLT) Rigid
adherence to rules and regulations produces a
desire–smothering, emotion–controlling, self–
righteous person. The Bible says, ‘… The written
law brings death, but the Spirit gives life .’ (2
Corinthians 3:6 NCV) There’s a big difference
between following rules and following Jesus,
because you can’t follow Jesus without
cultivating the right heart. Jesus didn’t say, ‘I
have come that you might follow the rules.’ He
said, ‘…I have come that [you] may have life, and…
have it more abundantly .’ (John 10:10 NKJV) Until
you understand that spiritual growth is about God
conforming you into the image of His Son Jesus,
the question, ‘How’s your spiritual life going?’ will
intimidate you. A nagging sense of guilt and
deceit will prompt you to say, ‘Not too well. Not
as good as it should be.’ People are apt to use
external behaviours and devotional practices to
gauge their spiritual health. For example, they
measure by how early they get up to read and
pray, how long their quiet times are, or how
often they attend church. That’s not what
spiritual formation is about. It’s about your
relationship with Christ, not rule–keeping!

SoulFood: 2 Ki 24-25, Luke 19:1-21, Ps 116:1-11,
Prov 8:8-9

‘…I have come that they may have life…to the full.’John 10:10 NIV

Psychologists have begun to speak of what is perhaps today’s largest mental health problem. And it’s a rapidly growing problem. They call it ‘FTT’, which means ‘failure to thrive’. When you have it, you’re still able to function, but you’ve lost your sense of hope and meaning. FTT isn’t the presence of mental illness; it’s the absence of mental, spiritual and emotional vitality. In ancient lists of deadly sins it was called ‘acedia’, which means ‘weariness of soul and inability to delight in life’. It’s why Jesus looked at a crowd of people with dead marriages, dead-end jobs, and a feeling of inner deadness, and said, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10 NIV). In a vision, Ezekiel saw a valley full of dead bones. It was FTT in its final form. God asked him, ‘Can these bones live?’ He replied, ‘…You alone know’ (Ezekiel 37:3 NIV). God did know, and He made them come alive. And He can cause you to live again, and to thrive. The Talmud says that every blade of grass has an angel bending over it whispering, ‘Grow, grow.’ Paul said that in Christ the whole redeemed company ‘…grows and builds itself up in love…’ (Ephesians 4:16 NIV). But it’s not just about you. God wants you to flourish so that people can be encouraged, gardens can be planted, music can be written, sick people can be helped, or companies can thrive in ways they otherwise would not. So let’s stop and propose a toast: ‘Here’s to the person God designed, desired, and has determined you will become!’

2 Kings 24-25, Matthew 26: 1-25, Psalm 19, Proverbs 8: 6-7.

‘Love…does not demand its own way...’ 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NLT

Some kids at a summer camp were discussing creation, and one asked, ‘If everything has a purpose, how come God made poison ivy?’ Another replied, ‘Because He knows there are some things we should keep our hands off!’ But keeping your hands off things isn’t easy when you’re insecure and controlling by nature. ‘Sometimes my husband drives me crazy,’ you say. Well, maybe you drive him crazy too! The Bible says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they will become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24 NAS). Notice the word ‘become’. Leaving is the easy part; becoming is the hard part. It takes love, patience, kindness, and hard work. Jesus said, ‘…Stop allowing yourselves to be…unsettled’ (John 14:27 AMP). You’re doing it to yourself! Learn to ‘let go’ and work on developing the fruits of the Spirit in your own life. Letting go doesn’t mean you don’t care; it just means allowing others to learn in their own way and through their own experiences. It calls for focusing on Jesus rather than obsessing on the other person’s behaviour. ‘You will keep in perfect peace…all whose thoughts are fixed on You!’ (Isaiah 26:3 NLT). Fix your thoughts on God, not others. Letting go means caring about, instead of care-taking. It means stepping out of the middle and not trying to influence the outcome by fixing, judging, nagging, scolding, arguing, criticising, and regulating. It’s about facing each day with God’s help and cherishing each moment. It’s about realising the only person you can ‘change’ is yourself. It’s about fearing less and trusting more. And it’s the only way to be happy.

Hosea 1-5, Matthew 26: 26-46, Psalm 116:1-11, Proverbs 8:8-9