Giving thanks in every circumstance.
You can thank God in every circumstance because God is in control. He can bring good out of evil. He can turn around the stupid mistakes you’ve made. No matter what happens, God isn’t going to stop loving you. There are a hundred things to be thankful for in any circumstance, even when the circumstance stinks.
Verse of the day: give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)
Application: Sometimes it’s hard to think of a hundred things to be thankful for. I’m going to begin with one simple thing: God is good. Start there!
Prayer: God you are always good. Always. Thank you for being God over every circumstance! In Jesus name, Amen.
An attitude of gratitude.
God makes you rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion, which will result in thanksgiving to God.
God doesn’t bless you so you can be greedy; he blesses you so you can be generous. You give away, and God gives back to you so you can give more away and he can give more back to you and on and on and on. God doesn’t give you things so you can pile them up. When you let go of what’s in your hand, it’s now empty to receive greater blessings from God.
Verse of the day: You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11 NIV)
Application: it’s not enrichment for my own sake but rather for the sake of others. We have seen this generosity on display up close and personal. We hope to be able to one day return the blessing.
Prayer: Lord bless us so we can bless others. Thank you! For EVERYTHING. In Jesus name, Amen.
A family, a fellowship, and a fight
The church is the family of God. We are brothers and sisters with the people we minister and worship with, and we should treat them as such. It’s also a fellowship, where we work and serve together with a common goal — the Great Commission.
You’re also in the same fight together against Satan, and you need to support each other. You need to defend and encourage each other.
The best place to learn how to cooperate with others is in the church.
Verse of the day: But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. (Philippians 2:25 NIV)
Application: A family, a fellowship, and a fight. I love the imagery of these words as it relates to the church. Which are you lacking in? I feel like I could use work in all 3. Maybe the “fight” more than the other two.
Prayer: God I can’t do this life alone. Thank you for the church. I love it still! Use me as part of your body…under Jesus leadership. In his name, Amen.
Forget Yourself, and Look to the Needs of Others
The starting point for all happiness is shifting the focus away from yourself. If all you think about is yourself, you’re going to be a pretty miserable person. If you truly want to be happy in life, you have to care about the needs of those around you.
Paul gives Timothy as an example of this in Philippians 2:20-21: “There is no one like Timothy for having a real interest in you; everyone else seems to be worrying about his own plans and not those of Jesus Christ” (LB).
Verse of the day: “Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2:4 MSG).
Application: I have to admit I spend a lot of time (especially lately) wrapped up in myself. I need to spend some time with others. I need to shift my focus.
Prayer: God make me mindful of those in my life I can serve. Shift my focus. My problems are not so big that you can’t handle them. Use me to help someone else. In Jesus name, Amen.
Happiness comes from service.
God designed you to be happiest when you are giving your life away. Why? Because he wants you to become like him. It’s all about love!
“If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (Mark 8:35 LB).
To have a happy heart, you have to practice service and generosity every day.
Verse of the day: Matthew 20:28 says, “Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (NLT).
Application: It not about serving for serving’a sake. It’s about becoming like Jesus. Serving out of love!
Prayer: God I want to serve you and others for the right reasons…with the right motivation. Mold my heart to always serve out of love! In Jesus name, Amen.
“Trying to predict the future, it is a discouraging, hazardous occupation. If by some miracle a prophet could describe the future, exactly as it was going to take place, his predictions would sound so absurd that everybody would laugh him to scorn. The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So, if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I’ll have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, there’ll be any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.”
- Arthur C. Clarke - 1964
Hear it, read it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, apply it.
God has promised many wonderful benefits in your life if you will meditate on the Word of God and then do it.
Surprisingly, if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate on the Word of God. Worry is when you take a negative thought and you think on it over and over and over. When you take a passage of Scripture and you think on it over and over and over, that’s called meditation.
Verse of the day: I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:16 NIV)
Application: it the 6 things listed above, I need to work on memorization and meditation. That way application comes easier!
Prayer: Lord help me to commit your word to memory, meditate on it regularly, and apply it appropriately. In Jesus name, Amen.