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 4
#11
Heart Heart

ARE YOU FLOURISHING?(3)

‘…But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces…many times over.’ John 12:25 TM

Here are two more areas in which God created you to flourish: 1) Your relationships. Relationally, your languishing self is often troubled. You’re undisciplined in what you say, sometimes reverting to sarcasm, gossip and flattery. You isolate. You dominate. You attack. You withdraw. Whereas your flourishing self seeks to bless others. They energise you. You’re able to disclose your thoughts and feelings in a way that invites openness in them. You’re quick to admit your own mistakes and to freely forgive others. 2) Your experiences. God grows you because He wants to use you in His plans to redeem His world: that’s why you find Him changing your experiences. Your flourishing self has a desire to contribute. You live with a sense of calling. Indeed, your inner longing to become all you were meant to be is a tiny echo of God’s longing to begin the new creation. The rabbis spoke of this as tikkun olam—to repair the world. Focused on yourself, your life is as small as a grain of wheat. Given to God, however, it’s as if that grain is planted in rich soil, growing into part of a much bigger project. Jesus said: ‘…Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces…many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life…as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal’ (vv. 24-25 TM).

Jeremiah 49-50, Mark 2:18-22, Psalm 50:1-15, Proverb 10: 8-10.

Heart Heart
#12
Heart Heart

YOUR ANSWER IS IN THE BIBLE

‘The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul...’ Psalms 19:7 NLT

Worldly success can leave you empty, but here’s something that won’t: ‘The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul...’ Have your plans fallen apart? Have you made a mess of your life? Do you need direction? Read this: ‘The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple’ (v. 7 NLT). Have the things you thought would bring you happiness, ended up bringing you misery? Read this: ‘The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart…’ (v. 8 NLT). Are you directionless, wondering where to go and what to do with your life? Read this: ‘The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living’ (v. 8 NLT). The answers you’re seeking are in your Bible. David was a brilliant soldier, a popular king, and a man with access to all the riches anyone could desire. But he discovered these things don’t bring lasting joy. What he found instead is that: ‘…The laws of the Lord are true…They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward to those who obey them’ (vv. 9-11 NLT). What was David’s problem? ‘How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt…’ (vv. 12-13 NLT). What was David’s solution? Reading God’s Word daily, feeding his soul on it, and walking according to its precepts.

Jeremiah 51-52, Mark 2: 23-28, Psalm 50: 16-23, Proverb 10: 11-13.

Heart Heart
#13
Heart Heart


THE PERSON YOU WERE MADE TO BE

‘…We are…created…to do good works, which God prepared in advance...' ’Ephesians 2:10 NIV

God created you, and He knows what you were intended to be. He has ‘good works’ for you to do, but they’re not necessarily the kind of ‘to do’ things we put on a list for our spouses or employees. They’re signposts to your true self. Your spiritual life isn’t limited to certain devotional activities. It is about being empowered by God to become the person He envisioned when He created you. But just as nobody becomes happy because their goal is to be happy, becoming the person God intended you to be won’t happen if your focus is always on yourself. Flourishing is tied to a nobler vision; it doesn’t happen by ‘looking out for number one’. People who flourish bring blessing to others, and they do it in unexpected and humble circumstances. Every once in a while you catch a glimpse of the person you were made to be. You say something inspirational. You express compassion. You forgive an old hurt. You give sacrificially. You refrain from saying something you’d normally blurt out. And as you do, you glimpse for a moment the reason God made you. Only He knows your full potential, and He’s always guiding you toward the best version of yourself. He uses many tools, He’s never in a hurry—and that can be frustrating. But even in our frustration He’s at work producing patience. He never gets discouraged by how long it takes, and He delights every time you grow. Only God can see the ‘best version of you’, and He’s more concerned with your reaching your full potential than you are.

Galatians 5:22, Luke 2:8-20, Proverbs 3:13-18, Psalm 119:161-168.


Heart Heart
#14
Heart Heart

Hurt by Christians (1)





'...You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.' Psalm 86:17 NIV


Have you been hurt by a Christian who chose to condemn you instead of showing compassion and helping you? Or by someone who neglected you when they should have sought you out, restored you spiritually and returned you to your rightful place in the family of God? Most people who’ve been hurt by other Christians could easily convince a jury that it should never have happened. And the truth is, it shouldn’t. But it did—and reliving it won’t change things. But it will change you—and not for the better.

Stop and think: if you were mugged and taken to the hospital, you wouldn’t spend all your time obsessing about the person who beat you up. No, your main objective would be to recover as quickly as possible and move on. Ironically, with physical wounds we seek help immediately, but with emotional ones we’re inclined to focus on the problem instead of the solution.

So what are you going to do? Here are your options:

(1) Rehearse it. By constantly talking to others about what happened, you empower your pain and keep it alive.
(2) Repress it. David did that: ‘When I kept silent…my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.’ (Psalm 32:3–4 NIV)
(3) Process it. That means being willing to uncover the areas where you were wounded and opening yourself to receive God’s grace. That’s when you discover: ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ (Psalm 147:3 NKJV)
(4) Share it. The Bible says, ‘Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…’ (James 5:16 NIV) If you’re wise you’ll choose options three and four.


SoulFood: Acts 1:1-3:10, Matt 2:1-12, Ps 127, Prov 10:19-21

Heart Heart
#15
Heart Heart


HURT BY CHRISTIANS (2)

‘…Do you want to get well?’ John 5:6 TM

Getting hurt in life is inevitable; staying hurt is a choice. You can decide to remain a victim by dwelling on how things should have been, or use the experience to grow stronger and wiser. At the Pool of Bethesda Jesus met a man who’d been lying paralysed on a mat for thirty-eight years. When Jesus discovered how long he’d been there, He asked, ‘Do you want to get well?’ After thirty-eight years, the chances are this man saw his handicap as part of his identity. He’d been incapacitated for so long that he thought like a victim: ‘…I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool…’ (John 5:7 TM). Translation: ‘Nobody cares.’ But Jesus did, and He commanded him to get up and walk. Now, it took faith for this man to overcome those old ingrained feelings of hopelessness and self-pity, but when he obeyed Jesus he was healed on the spot. God never forces healing on you, even when you’re hurting. You must want to get well, and make a conscious decision that by God’s grace you can. Let’s face it, the church is made up of flawed human beings who sometimes speak without thinking and hurt others. But that’s no reason for leaving the church! ‘…You’re part of the body of Christ…’ (Colossians 3:15 CEV). Apart from it you’ve no function, no food supply, and no fulfilment, so you begin to die spiritually. The truth is, it takes the same energy to choose healing as it does to choose helplessness—but the results are very different. One leaves you paralysed by events, the other gives you hope for the future. Which one will you choose?

Acts 1:1 -3:10, Mark 3:7-12, Psalm 43, Proverbs 10: 17-18


Heart Heart
#16
Heart Heart


GENEROSITY PAYS OFF

‘…The measure you use…will be measured to you.’ Luke 6:38 NIV

Dr William DeVries, the surgeon who pioneered the artificial heart, is the kind of doctor who shows up at the hospital on Sunday, just to cheer up discouraged patients. He even changes dressings and, if a patient wants him to stick around and talk, he always does. His friends say he’s ‘an old shoe’ who fits in wherever he goes. He wears cowboy boots with his surgical garb, and repairs hearts to the music of Vivaldi. 'He’s always got a smile lurking,' says friend Dr Robert Goodin, 'And he’s always looking for a way to let it out.' DeVries believes that ‘arriving’ is not a place where others serve you, but where you get to serve them. Chuck Swindoll writes, 'We occupy common space, but we no longer have common interests. It’s as if we’re on an elevator with rules like ‘No talking or smiling or eye-contact allowed without written consent of the management.’ We’re losing touch with one another! The motivation to help, to encourage, yes, to serve our fellow man is waning. Yet it’s these things that form the essentials of a happy, fulfilled life. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, 'The greatest among you will be your servant' (Matthew 23:11NIV). Everything God gives you is first a gift to enjoy, then a seed to sow. Got a good education? Leadership ability? More money than you need? You’ve got seeds - sow them! Read God’s promises regarding generosity, then start giving to others what He’s given to you. That’s the way to find happiness!

Acts 3:11 -5:42, Mark 3: 13-19, Psalm 127, Proverbs 10:19-21
Heart Heart
#17
Heart Heart


PRACTISE BEING UNSELFISH (1)

‘You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.’ Philippians 2:5 NLT

‘Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too’ (v. 4 NLT). Spiritual maturity is the ability to see and act in the best interests of others. Immature people have difficulty seeing things from someone else’s point of view. They rarely concern themselves with what’s best for the other person. In many ways they’re like children. In ‘Property Law as Viewed by a Toddler’ Michael V. Hernandez describes the world from a typical child’s viewpoint: 1) If I like it, it’s mine. 2) If it’s in my hand, it’s mine. 3) If I can take it from you, it’s mine. 4) If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine. 5) If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. 6) If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine. 7) If it looks like mine, it’s mine. If I saw it first, it’s mine. 9) If I can see it, it’s mine. 10) If I think it’s mine, it’s mine. Unfortunately, maturity doesn’t always come with age; sometimes age comes alone. You must fight your inherent selfish attitude, and that can be a lifelong battle. But it’s an important one, because if you don’t win you’ll end up focused on your own agenda and overlook other people. Unless somebody’s important to your cause or your interests, they won’t get your time or attention. The Bible says, ‘You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had,’ and everything He did, He did for others. It comes down to this: if you’re serious about following in His footsteps, practise being unselfish.


Acts 6-7, Mark 3:20-27, Psalm 75, Proverb 10: 22-23.
Heart Heart
#18
Heart Heart Heart


PRACTISE BEING UNSELFISH (2)

‘Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.’1 Corinthians 10:24 NKJV

GREAT LEADERS often have great egos, and therein lies great danger. In ‘The Empowered Communicator’, Calvin Miller uses the form of a letter to describe this problem and the negative impact it has: ‘Dear speaker, your ego has become a wall between yourself and me. You’re not really concerned about me, are you? You’re mostly concerned about whether or not this speech is really working…about whether or not you’re doing a good job. You’re really afraid that I will not applaud, aren’t you? You’re afraid that I won’t laugh at your jokes or cry over your emotional anecdotes. You’re so caught up in the issue of how I’m going to receive your speech, you haven’t thought much about me at all. I might have loved you, but you’re so caught up in self-love that mine is really unnecessary. If I don’t give you my attention it’s because I feel so unnecessary here. When I see you at the microphone, I see Narcissus at his mirror…Is your tie straight? Is your hair straight? Is your deportment impeccable? Is your phraseology perfect? You seem in control of everything, but your audience. You see everything so well, but us. But this blindness to us, I’m afraid, has made us deaf to you. We must go now. Sorry. Call us sometime later. We’ll come back to you when you’re real enough to see us…after your dreams have been shattered…after your heart has been broken…after your arrogance has been wrecked with despair. Then there will be room for all of us in your world. Then you won’t care if we applaud your brilliance. You’ll be one of us.’

Acts 8-9, Mark 3:28-35, Psalm 130, Proverbs 10:24-26.

Heart Heart
#19
Heart Heart


PRACTISE BEING UNSELFISH (3)

‘…take an interest in others, too.’ Philippians 2:4 NLT

John Craig says, ‘No matter how much work a man can do, no matter how engaging his personality may be, he will not advance far if he cannot work through others.’ That requires you to see value in other people. This truth is understood worldwide by successful people from every walk of life. At an international meeting of company executives, an American business person asked an executive from Japan what he regarded as the most important language for world trade. The American thought the answer would be English. But the Japanese executive, who had a more holistic understanding of business, replied, ‘My customers’ language.’ Having a good product or service isn’t enough. Becoming an expert isn’t enough. Knowing your product but not your customers just means you’ll have something to sell and no one to buy. Furthermore, the value you place on people must be genuine. Leadership coach Bridget Haymond writes, ‘You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but people know in their gut if you really care about them.’ If you want to connect with others you have to get over yourself, change your focus from inward to outward, away from yourself and onto them. And the great thing is, you can do it. Anyone can. All it takes is the will to change, the determination to follow through and a handful of skills anybody can learn. The motivation to learn can be found in these words from the apostle, Paul: ‘Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.’ When you look for opportunities to invest in others, you’ll find them.

Acts 10-11, Mark 4:1-9, Ps 103: 1-12, Proverb 10:27-29


Heart Heart Heart
#20
Heart Heart


PRACTISE BEING UNSELFISH (4)

‘…no man cared for my soul.’ Psalms 142:4 (KJV)

THE PEOPLE you seek to influence in life always ask themselves: Do you care about me? Think about the best experiences you’ve had with people in your own life. What do they all have in common? They genuinely cared about you, right? And what’s wonderful is, you can broaden your ability to care about others outside your social circle. Regardless of your profession, when you help people, you make your life and theirs better. Let’s listen to some observations by successful people from various backgrounds. Business: ‘You can’t make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secretly feel that he’s a nobody’ (Les Giblin, former national salesman of the year and popular speaker). Politics: ‘If you would win a man to your cause, you must first convince him that you are his sincere friend’ (President Abraham Lincoln). Entertainment: ‘Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience’ (Luciano Pavarotti, legendary Italian opera tenor). Ministry: ‘The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have’ (Norman Vincent Peale, pastor and author). The Psalmist wrote, ‘No man cared for my soul.’ And deep down some of the people you deal with every day feel that way, too. Whether you’re trying to share your faith, do business with them, make friends, or help them in a particular area, you must prove to them that you truly care. It takes time, effort, and even sacrifice, but if you’re serious about connecting with others, you’ll do it. The chances are somebody did it for you, and it helped determine the person you are today. So do it for others!

Galatians 5:22, 2 Peter 3:3-15, Matthew 5:39, 1 Samuel 25:1-42.

Heart Heart