Small Changes Reap Great Rewards

“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” – Matthew 7:17,18 Today, I want to share a powerful promise: if you change just one small thing in your thinking, it will reap great rewards in your life over the course of years!  When I was in high school and college, we used to go out on boats a lot, especially during the summer months. I remember one vessel we were on had this thing called a fly bridge, which was an area on top of the ship from which it could be maneuvered. Although there was a beautiful chrome steering wheel up there, there was a reason it stayed perpetually bright and shiny. Instead of sailing the boat using the wheel, the captain actually navigated using a little jenky

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A Transformed Mind = A Transformed Life

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 In Spain, there’s a man named Justo Gallego Martinez, who lived to be 96 years old. Justo was a Trappist monk during the Spanish Civil War, a time in which he saw many of his friends murdered and his own life was also in grave danger. Even worse, after the war, he contracted tuberculosis causing him to leave the monastery and he could no longer be a monk. Refusing to lose hope, he thought to himself, “Lord, if you heal me of this disease, I’ll build a cathedral for you.” The Lord healed him — the problem was, he had no money or resources to carry out his vow to God.

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Revolution Starts in the Heart

“‘What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘Crucify him!’ ‘ Why? What crime has he committed?’ asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, ‘Crucify him!’ ” – Matthew 27:22,23 When I look at the story of the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, one of the things that strikes me the most is how once the people discovered that He was not the political revolutionary they thought He was, they turned on Him. The crowds that just a while earlier had been shouting, “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” were now screaming “Crucify Him and give us Barabbas!” Why did they want Barabbas? Because he was a rebel who had already led a fight against the Romans. They knew what they were looking for and Jesus was not it. Unfortunately, they missed the

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Three Kinds of Faith

“Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” – Matthew 9:29 We’ve been talking a lot about faith — what it is and what it isn’t and how it plays out in our lives. Today, I want to assert that there are different kinds of faith that correspond to distinct seasons of our lives as Christians.  Different things motivate our trust at various times in our lives, but the bottom line is that faith is essential to our survival and quality of life. Why? Because faith has to do with the future. When we are unable to put our hope in anyone or anything, we quickly become despondent and crippled by worry, anxiety, and depression. Faith is the essential component of a productive, abundant, and fruitful life, which is why living in the Kingdom of God is absolutely the best way.

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Make Jesus Your Top Priority

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 Did you know there is no such thing as a neutral mind? Your mind is the control center for your life and your thinking patterns become your habits and your habits crystalize into circumstances. This is why it’s imperative that you focus on what you’re thinking about. When Jesus says, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you,” He is giving a very clear directive that gives us a priority in our thinking.  Though we often see the devil portrayed in images of demonic possession and animal sacrifices, his work in our lives is actually much more sinister. Jesus broke the bondage of demonic powers and their physical control over your life 2,000 years ago. So today, rather than being

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Stress is Strengthening

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4 I want to share a piece of information with you today that I believe can shape the way you think about your walk with God. While life’s circumstances are often tough, just because things aren’t going the way you want them to does not mean that Jesus is disinterested; He is not withholding Himself and punishing you. God, on the other hand, isn’t always concerned with improving your circumstances; rather, He is constantly concerned with improving you! He is passionate about making disciples, and that is His top priority. What is the definition of a disciple? Someone who aspires to be just like Jesus in terms of intelligence, strength, power, love, forgiveness, mercy, and wisdom. If this sounds egotistical, realize that this is exactly what Jesus desires for us: to become disciples

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One Moment Is All it Takes

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5 To everyone who is feeling down or disheartened today, I want to declare that one moment is all it takes for things to turn around, and I believe your moment is coming! As dark and stagnant as your situation may look right now, in the blink of an eye, God can step in and change your circumstances, and I’m certain He will. He is not slow in keeping His promises — it’s just that He exists on a timetable that’s much different than ours. Knowing this, He beckons us to continue confessing His goodness with the assurance that He will make His presence known at just the right time and in just the right place. In fact, the suddenness with which He

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Plans to Prosper

“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 Jeremiah 29:11 is the most tattooed verse in the Bible. In fact, I’m confident that many of us who’ve spent time in church can recite this amazing promise by heart, and a lot of us would even call it our favorite verse. That said, it’s incredible how many Christians don’t truly believe what it says. It’s written in black and white that the Lord wants to prosper us, which means that He wants us to flourish, thrive, and be successful, yet we often doubt His goodness. Interestingly, God gave this promise to His covenant people, the Israelites, after they were exiled to Babylon. Though they were captured and carried away to a foreign land so things looked bleak,

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Gratitude with Contentment

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13 Well, we made it to Thanksgiving 2020. It’s been a rough nine months, and for most of us, the holidays look a great deal different than they did last year. Some of us are sad about not being with the people we love today, and others are grieving the loss of a friend or family member. Knowing this, it can be difficult to experience strong feelings of gratitude. So what do we do?

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