control

Focus on the Solution

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” – 2 Corinthians 1:21,22 Today, we conclude our series on understanding the significance of our daily thoughts. A tune-up of our present thoughts is always in order because they can dictate our future! What we consume and think about is an excellent indicator of what our future can become. Our last focus is to “Turn our thoughts onto the solution, not the problem.” We may come up with short-term solutions to problems, but over the long term, the solution for your life is Christ in you. The Christ-centered solution is to work hard on yourself, more than anything else in the world. First-century Christians were not called Christians. They were called

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Focus on What You Have

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6,7 Today, we continue with our discussion on the importance of our daily thoughts. What we consume and think about is an excellent indicator of what our future can become. Here’s something my grandfather Dr. Schuller taught me: “Focus not on what you’ve lost; focus on what you have.” It is easier said than done to always look at what you have left, never at what you have lost. I recognize it takes constant vigilance to make sure that I’m focusing not on what I’ve lost but on what I have, and as I stated yesterday, to focus not on what I can’t control but on what I can control.  It’s vital to

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Focus on What You Can Control

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” – Luke 12:25,26 Today, let’s take a moment to expand our understanding of how important our daily thoughts and disciplines are and how they affect our lives. Similar to a car getting a tune-up, our thinking could use a tune-up from time to time. Over the next few days, we will discuss how to do this. To start, what do you think most people focus on? Do they focus on what they can control or what they cannot control? If you are tossing and turning at night, chances are you’re obsessing about what you cannot control. So many things can consume our thoughts, be it politics, the news, or inflation. None of these are within our control! The first area of your

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Progress On The Inside

“…to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12-13 Today I want to share with you that personal development is something you can control. Something that you may not have recognized about yourself and others is that all of us want a sense of personal progress in our lives. The way most people measure personal progress is with individual milestones. You get married, and you have children. You receive tenure as a professor or become promoted to partner at your law firm. Perhaps you secure the ideal job or sell your business. These are all significant milestones, but they are not always within our control. So what can

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The Battle in the Boat

“He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” – Luke 8:24 Most of you are familiar with the account of Jesus boarding a boat with His disciples, only to go to the back of the ship and take a nap. After He fell asleep, a storm suddenly arose and His friends woke Him up in a panic, certain they were going to die. Rather than getting hysterical, the Lord calmed the storm and rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. While there are many lessons to be learned from this story, one of the most poignant was depicted by the dutch artist Rembrandt in his work, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” in 1633. Hannah and I have a print of it hanging on our kitchen wall and every morning as I sip my coffee, I stare at

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Surrender to Him

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” – Psalm 118:8 Have you ever been backed into a corner? Maybe you were unjustly accused or forced to take responsibility for something that wasn’t your fault. Perhaps you are facing a great obstacle in your life, such as a serious illness or the threat of losing your home or business. Even if you are staring death in the face, I want to encourage you today that God can turn your situation around for good. The key to experiencing His blessing and power is to relinquish your desire to take control. In other words, you must surrender.  In the Kingdom of God, what He invites us to is often the opposite of what feels right or seems natural. Instead of being closed-fisted, or holding onto our “right” to be angry, He says to hold it loosely,

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Let Jesus Into Your Loneliness

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” – Psalm 27:10 We’ve been talking about feelings of loneliness and how we tend to feel disconnected from others because we are afraid they will reject the parts of us that are flawed. Consequently, we put on a false front and pretend that we are stronger and more “okay” than we really are. However, I want to tell you resolutely today that pretending is the world’s way, it is not God’s way! Your Heavenly Father gives you permission to come to Him broken, beat up, doubting, hurting, and frustrated and in return, He gives you rest for your soul. He yokes you to His abundant life, and then naturally, with little effort on your part, He fills you with freedom, joy and other eternal treasures your soul needs to thrive.  The sad reality is that when you don’t

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Testing and Tithing

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” – Malachi 3:8-10 Yesterday, we talked about how money is the king of the earth and how, even when we are in the Kingdom of God, it plays an important role in our lives. This is why the Lord gives us a set of truths in His Word that equip us to handle wealth His way because He is the giver of all of it. Today,

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What Does it Mean to be a Leader?

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7 Do you consider yourself to be a leader? If you replied no, I urge you to reconsider your answer. It’s common to think of leaders as people who have been granted a job or a title that gives them control in a specific region or over a specific group. However, the truth is that all Christians are supposed to be leaders. How? In the same way that Jesus did, by serving others. Simply put, leadership is influence, and our objective as we plant ideas and deeds into the world is to make the Lord apparent to others so that they want to learn more about Him and receive His life into theirs. Our innate human drive to control is in direct opposition to servant

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Don’t Predict the Outcome

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” – Romans 11:33 Something that a lot of us like to do is predict the future. Especially if we’re intelligent and good at assimilating information, we think we know what will happen based on our knowledge and past experience. And as much doing this provides a sense of security and the illusion of being in control, it leads only to lost energy. You see, we all think we’re smarter than we are, so writing the story of our future gives us a feeling of power, but it also robs us of the focus we need to make it through today. There’s a reason Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow, because when we learn to take Him at His Word, our lives get much better. Right now,

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