trust

Faith in Attitude and Action

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1 Last week, we talked about Satan’s three opening moves — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Today, we are going to begin talking about the three opening moves Jesus has that enable us to counter the devil’s attacks on our life: faith, death to self and agape love. For the next few days, we are going to look specifically at faith, because without it, death to self and agape love are not possible.  For those of you who go to church, you hear the word faith often. I think that sometimes we make the whole concept of faith kind of mystic and overly-complicated when the truth is, it’s actually quite simple — it just means trust. For example, when you walk

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Filled to Overflowing

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38 Yesterday we talked about living life with open hands. Today, I want to build on that idea by sharing with you a somewhat spiritual law that enables you to maintain this posture of openness: give away what you desire most.  I firmly believe that one of the best ways to invite God’s blessing into our lives is to give to others the thing that we feel we most lack. To some of you, this may sound like a radical proposition. In light of what the world teaches, it just may be. However, the idea behind it is that the more you give away, the more room you have to be filled

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Live Life With Open Hands

“The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.” – Deuteronomy 28:12 Here are some encouraging thoughts to dwell on as you start your day: God is all sufficient; He’s all joyous, all powerful, and all loving. In fact, there is no more joyful being in the world than the Lord. Even better, He is thinking about you, He knows you by name, and He knows how many hairs are on your head! Wow! I know my kids and I love them immensely, but I guarantee you I don’t know how many hairs are on their heads. Nevertheless, Jesus takes the time to notice these things. He’s near, not far, and He has all the time, energy, and power that

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God is Sufficient in Your Finances

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19 Yesterday we talked about living in a culture of fear that causes our world to shrink instead of expand. Today, I want to share with you a specific example of how society encourages fear in our finances. When I was in college, I got my first credit card. My mom thought it would be a good idea for me to have this card in case of any emergencies. She didn’t want me to not have money to pay for a hamburger or to fill my gas tank, so she instructed me to use it as needed. Ah yes, I remember the day I got that shiny new Discover card in the mail — it felt like I had just won the lottery! It was a live card and I

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Trust God’s Heart

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” – Psalm 112:7 As we have learned about the winter and wilderness seasons, as well as King David’s life, we’ve come to the understanding that difficult times often bring mixed blessings and that they always serve a purpose. I have a few practical tips that can help you better manage these difficult times in your life, which will surely occur. First and foremost, avoid asking too many questions. It’s natural to want to know why something bad is happening to us, so we ask questions like, “Why is this happening to me?” “What does this mean?” or “What does this mean?” While I don’t want you to feel bad about asking those questions, I do want to reassure you that you don’t need to know all the answers. Whenever something bad happened to our

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Winter Creates Willpower

“It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.” – Psalm 74:17 It’s January, and many of us are in the midst of the cold season. I recall moving from Southern California to Oklahoma for school; I hadn’t really appreciated the benefits of California weather until then. When I went outside one day, the temperature was probably no more than three degrees, with a windchill of minus one million (just kidding). As I neared my car, there was a thick coating of ice on the windshield, and as I tried to get it off, I sliced my knuckle on a portion of the car and collapsed to my knees in agony. “Why am I here?” I remember exclaiming at the time.  I believe that our life’s winters can be similar. Perhaps you’re unemployed, suffering from a persistent illness, or going through a

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Claiming Victory

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” – 1 John 3:4,5 The Bible is not ignorant of the world’s suffering. When you study the Jewish Scriptures, especially the Old Testament, you’ll see that the authors grappled with this question: why do good people suffer? Job, one of the first books of the Bible, is devoted entirely to the subject. Moreover, the majority of the minor prophets and the Psalms are lamentations: Oh Lord, how long will you forget the poor?, How long will you forget the downcast, oh Lord?, How long must we sing this song? In fact, Jesus Christ’s words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” are a Psalms quote. The

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An Ambassador for Him

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16 If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that Jesus is a good Father. He prepares us by training and equipping us so that we are never unprepared for life’s fights and problems. In Matthew 10, for example, Jesus commissions his disciples to carry on the work of His Kingdom in the same way that He has modeled it to them. He gives them the power to banish demons and heal the ill, but He also warns them. He warns them that they will be like sheep among wolves when they venture out. I don’t know about you, but that wouldn’t make me feel very safe, and it certainly wouldn’t get me enthused about the travel. The caution, on the other hand, comes with a

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Walking in Truth’s Freedom

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17 Have you ever been caught in the act of telling a lie? I believe that most of us have been caught in the trap of dishonesty at some point in our lives, if not as adults, then certainly as children. Perhaps we lied about something minor (what has been dubbed “the little white lie”), or perhaps it was something more serious and had a bad influence on someone we care about. Whatever the case may be, I don’t believe there’s anything worse than being caught in the web of deception. I just heard a story about a social media video that went viral. On a plane, a 28-year-old man got into an argument with other passengers and the flight crew. He began boasting that he owned six residences, made

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Great and Precious Promises

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” – 2 Peter 1:3,4 As we conclude our discussion about embracing a journey to spiritual and emotional healing, I want to leave us with one practical thing we can do as we wait — stand on God’s promises. I know this sounds trite, but before tuning it out, it’s important to chew on the fact that the Word of God is alive. It’s not just a book that we read chapter and verse (though we certainly should do that), it’s the power of the Living Lord to accomplish His

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