good things

Changing the Skylight

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:22,23 Jesus tells us, “The eye is the lamp of the body.” It is our eyes that perceive light! Then He states, and I paraphrase, “If your eyes are bad, your body will be full of darkness.” What is Jesus emphasizing in this story? Picture yourself sitting in a house with friends. The house is full of light, but the electricity is not on. The light that fills the room is generated by a skylight powered by nature and is usually made of transparent or translucent glass. Jesus is saying that your eyes are almost like a skylight to the

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Renew the Good Things

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11 Yesterday, we revealed that even if we feel “chopped down,” we are actually being pruned for something better. This principle reminded me of a story of how God will renew good things in your life! When I was in my early 20s, a friend of mine was in a long-term relationship with an amazing, beautiful, and intelligent girl. She wanted to get married and needed to know his intentions. She asked, “Do you want to get married or not?” She wanted to know if she should continue investing in their relationship. He finally said, “I don’t want to be married; I don’t think it’s best for me. I’m sorry, I think we should break up.” After a

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Rights Are Useless Without Responsibility

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:8 Dallas Willard was a professor at USC and also a great theologian. Dallas wrote a lot about our slogan-driven society, saying that we are “smothered in slogans.” As a philosopher who thought deeply about the mysteries of life and spirituality, he especially loved to pick on bumper stickers. Though there were many phrases that bugged him, nothing got his goat as much as the exhortation to, “Get up and stand up for your rights!” Instead, he wanted a bumper sticker that said, “Get up and stand for your responsibilities!” Why? Because rights mean nothing in a society where people are not responsible. How are you going to uphold your rights if you live in a world where individuals believe only in themselves and not in the dignity

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Let Faith Shape Your Future

“He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ ” – Mark 4:40 Today I want to encourage you to let faith, not fear, shape your future. There is something about living a life of real faith. Whether you’re a new or seasoned believer, we’ve all experienced moments when things around us seem to be falling apart — but then something inside us changes and gives way to feeling a real sense of hope. It’s hard to explain why, but you just feel something good is about to happen. In your heart, you believe a door is about to open, or the situation you’re struggling with is about to change.  We need faith to embrace this sense that something good is about to happen. How can you love your neighbor or your enemy without faith? How can you truly love your neighbor, especially

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The Power of Delayed Gratification

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14 It’s so important as believers that we understand the power of delayed gratification. One famous study in the 1970s was done at Stanford University. It was on delayed discounting, which is a scientific way of saying delayed gratification. They offered children the opportunity to eat one marshmallow now, or have two marshmallows later. They would leave the room and come back 15 minutes later. Some of the kids ate the marshmallow right away, and some of the kids waited. In the video, you can see they are tortured with this decision. The kids that waited and ate two marshmallows were the subjects of a study that spanned 30-plus years.  These children who waited to eat the two marshmallows did better in every aspect of life. They did better financially, in their careers, and

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Soften Your Heart

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26 In my own life experiences, I have struggled with addressing various issues with a hardened heart. In our world today, we know how to power up, and to tell it like it is, feeling like we have to always be tough on the outside. Today, I want to challenge you to soften your heart! First soften your heart to God, then to your friends and co-workers. If you are married, soften your heart to your spouse, your kids if you have any, or your parents. God has good things in store for you, but our hearts must be softened to fully receive them. Suffering through bad experiences can indeed make us feel despondent and discouraged. Maybe in

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God Has Good Things in Store For You

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” – Psalm 27:13 Sometimes it’s easy to question if God has good things in store for us. We look at what is going on in the world today and can’t help but wonder what He’s up to. Maybe you have experienced harsh conditions or hard trials that make you question God. These circumstances could involve your family, school, or the workplace. I remember “hating” some of my coaches growing up and it was a difficult time for me. I do recall one awesome coach, but he would still make us do really hard drills! But, coaches are meant to stretch and strengthen you physically and mentally. Similar to a coach, God has the best in store for you, but sometimes it takes awhile to realize it. God is in your corner! 

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Get Back Up

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9 When I finished seminary, the average time a graduate spent in pursuit of ministry was just five years. Even after countless hours of formal education and the sacrifice of months spent studying and training, the unforeseen yet inevitable challenges of doing the Lord’s work in a fallen world are too much for many. And unfortunately, this isn’t just true in ministry. Most people stay at a job for an average of four years before moving on in search of something better. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it speaks to the truth that consistency in any endeavor is hard, because it comes at a cost. In whatever we undertake, there’s a “honeymoon” period when things are new and exciting, and the

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