Do You Know Where Your Life Is Going?

“Holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.” – 1 Timothy 1:19 If I asked you today, “Do you know where your life is going?” some of you might respond, “Nowhere.” Congratulations! At least you know! You can change your life’s course today if you know your life is going nowhere, and that somewhere can be greater than you imagine. According to the Lord, all things are possible for you! When you know where your life is going, but you don’t like where it’s going, what do you do? You become a new kind of person who goes in an entirely new direction. Become invested in where your life is heading. Ask any captain of any ship in the port of Long Beach, CA, at any time, where is their port of call? What is their

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Consumed by the Present Day

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 I shared yesterday about people who are dragged down by their pasts and I know that many of us have been in that category at one point or another in our lives! Today, I want to speak about those people who are very distracted by their present situation. There are many people or groups of people who are totally consumed with the present day, or the present moment. While that’s not a bad thing at all, if you’re living that way all the time, you tend to catastrophize or trivialize things, which is not good.  Catastrophizing is believing that your job is the only thing that matters! How will I cope if I lose this job? It looks

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Pulled by the Future

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13,14 Taking this opportunity today, I want to encourage you to stop being dragged down by the past. Everyone knows someone who is always weighed down by the past. It’s possible that it may be you who feels  weighed down by the past. Your parents may have said or done something to you when you were a child that still haunts you today. A friend or a business partner, a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend might have betrayed you. Maybe you carry this kind of guilt, this thing you said or did that you can’t take back, and you

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Transformed To Be Like Christ

“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” – Acts 26:17,18 I wish all fathers or those who fulfill the role of a father a happy Father’s Day. You are honored, celebrated, and appreciated on this day! Life in general has one hard truth: transformation is not easy. If you want to become like something, or you desire to become like someone, then there is a type of suffering price that must be paid to acquire those characteristics. There is a cost for your body, soul, and mind when taking part in transformation. Consequently, the Apostle Paul said that he wanted

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A Life Without Walls

“While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: ‘Run, tell that young man, “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it.” – Zechariah 2:3,4 Upon settling back into Israel after seventy years of exile, the Jews heard from the Lord through the prophet Zechariah, who instructed them to return to God with the corresponding promise that He would return to them. An important part of demonstrating their renewed faith in the Lord was that they would build His temple before reconstructing other parts of the city. Accordingly, since their efforts would be focused on erecting God’s House, at least for a season, Jerusalem would be without walls. While this doesn’t mean much to us today, back then, it was simply unheard of. Nearly every town and settlement was

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A Heart Completely Transformed

“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.’ ” – Acts 26:15,16 Yesterday, I shared with you how the disciple Paul, who later became an apostle, expressed his desire to know Christ and to become like Christ. It is Paul who is credited with writing much of the New Testament, which we read and study in all of our churches today. Paul was a driven disciple, and this is something that I think is very interesting. This man who was once a Pharisee was turned around, and was able to have his heart completely transformed after he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. Despite having the law

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Choose To Follow God

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:10,11 There are many things in life for you to decide on, but the most important decision you will have to make in your life is whether or not you choose to follow God. This issue is particularly important to me, and I take it very seriously. During the writing of Chapter 3 of Philippians, Paul is in prison Despite this challenging circumstance, Paul said, “I want to know Christ.” In my opinion, it is of utmost importance for us all to want to know Christ more and more each and every day. It is also important to note that Paul also stressed in Philippians 3:13,14 that becoming like Christ is a process that takes

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Build God’s House First

“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 1:16” – Zechariah 1:16 Once the Israelites left Babylon and arrived back in Jerusalem, they discovered a bit of a mess. After seventy years away, they hardly knew where to begin when it came to rebuilding. Thankfully, the Lord spoke vividly through a young prophet named Zechariah, and he received a vision from the Holy Spirit whose message was clear — “Return to me and I will return to you.”  Though His people had once turned their back on God and endured years of suffering as a result, their Heavenly Father was now offering them a second chance. While there was much work to be done in the long-forsaken city, the Lord made it

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When Freedom Feels Foreign

“The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” – Zechariah 1:2,3 After being away from their homeland for seventy years, King Darius of the great Persian Median Empire came in and set the Lord’s people free. It’s hard to imagine how shocked they were upon being told that they could go home, especially since their circumstances literally shifted overnight. Because they had fully settled in a foreign land — many of them even being born there — to suddenly have total liberty was a huge change.  Yet in spite of having become comfortable in captivity, they seized their chance at freedom and embarked on a return journey to their native land. However, when they arrived, they beheld only a shadow of what

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Care for Your Soul

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:4 Something I’ve noticed about people, and Christians in particular, is that we have a hard time practicing self-care. Yet especially as believers, we have every reason to love ourselves and to treat our bodies, minds, and hearts with the same affection that the Lord does. To expound further upon the image we introduced yesterday of being the apple of His eye, I want to encourage you to bear good fruit in your life by staying connected to the Vine.  In other words, slow down, abide in His love, learn from His example, and grow strong and healthy so you can nourish others. As you do this, He will empower you to establish rhythms of rest

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