How To Gain The Proper Perspective In Your Life

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How To Gain The Proper Perspective In Your Life How To Gain The Proper Perspective In Your Life

How To Gain The Proper Perspective In Your Life

 

 

Have you ever noticed that when you are worrying about a certain thing in your life, seeing someone else enjoying himself or herself can really feel annoying?

It seems that some go through life having such a good time that they appear naive and immature. People can clearly enjoy their lives and it can appear to us as if they don’t have a worry in the world. But the truth is that they have made a choice to have that attitude.

What Is Your Outlook On Life Today?

Do you wake up every morning to embrace the day? So many people allow their circumstances to dictate their lives. They don’t realize that they have been given free will to choose how they want their day to be. We can make a decision every morning to rejoice and be glad for the day that the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24).

The Bible encourages us to constantly put on a fresh mental attitude. When we wake up in the morning we can make that first choice to focus on good things (Philippians 4:8). We can choose to be grateful for and excited about the day.

It is too easy to let our responsibilities and the pressures of life cause us to drift into negative thinking. Negative thinking weighs us down, causing us to lose our joy and enthusiasm. Before we know it, we stop appreciating our friends and family, and begin to doubt that they are for us. And soon, we may even think that the entire world is against us.

Negative thinking makes the small things seem tremendously large, until we are living in constant worry and frustration.
If that is how you feel today, take heart because your life can be different. You can take off that garment of heaviness and put on a garment of thanksgiving. You do this by making a choice to engage your will; you can choose to have a new outlook on life.

Everyone faces difficulties and huge challenges. We all have obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. The difference between those who are able to rise above their adversities and those who are mired in them is their attitude.

What Are You Thankful For?

A key to enjoying your life is finding things to be thankful for every day. Make a list. Write down all the good things in your life. Review it each day, every morning, before you leave the house. This will help you focus on the many treasures that fill your life, and it will give you a positive perspective and a grateful heart.

We all have things to be grateful for, but sometimes our perspective becomes distorted and we fail to recognize and focus on those good things.

I think we all have one or two friends who have a tendency toward a negative perspective. They are always having a bad week. Their children are always sick, they are almost always late for work and the list goes on and on.

No matter what season of life you are in, you must deal with the temptation to focus on the negative. Make no mistake, we all choose where to place our focus. Those who have the richest perspective on life choose to be happy and content with what God has given them and to trust Him in those things that are truly difficult.

Compare the Proverbs 31 Woman to Eve

The Proverbs 31 woman seemed to have it all: she was diligent, faithful, content and she ran a huge household without murmuring. She totally enjoyed her life.

Compare the Proverbs 31 woman to Eve. She was a woman who truly did have it all. She was living in the most gorgeous situation ever with the perfect man by her side. Then the day came that she chose to focus on one negative thing, which was the only fruit tree from which God had told her not to eat. She couldn’t focus on all the other fruit she was permitted to take.

The more she looked at the forbidden fruit, the larger it became in her mind. She allowed the one negative in the garden to twist her perception of the entire garden. She magnified that one forbidden thing until it was so large in her thinking that she couldn’t see anything else.

What Are You Magnifying?

When you magnify something, it doesn’t actually change the size of the object, it simply changes your perspective of the object. When you hold a pen or something in your hand and stretch your arm out in front of you, the pen seems small compared to your surroundings. But when you pull the pen in nearer to your eye, it appears much larger.

In fact, when you hold it close enough, you aren’t able to see anything else. So often in life, our difficulties and challenges seem so much larger than they actually are, simply because we are holding them closer to us than necessary. But when we have the right perspective, those same difficulties become much more manageable.

What’s the point in choosing the negative? It’s like swimming against the current – it makes everything a struggle. An improper perspective will drain your energy and vitality. It will sap the fun and joy right out of your life. Your life was meant to be enjoyed. You weren’t created to constantly struggle and be in perpetual discouragement.

I am always amazed how my perspective changes when I have a grateful heart and choose to count my blessings.

To Sum It Up

To keep the right perspective, we must magnify the right things in our lives. When I come up against challenges, I remind myself of all the great things God has done for me and will do for me. I begin to thank Him for allowing me to know Him; I thank Him for my family, my husband and my children. I thank Him for my awesome church family and my pastor.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Wise choices will watch over you. Pro 2:11 NLT
You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which is a SPIRITUAL Devotion
that helps you to make the right choices in your life!

 

 

 

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Four Ways To Receive and Process Rebuke Without Bitterness

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Four Ways To Receive and Process Rebuke Without Bitterness Four Ways To Receive and Process Rebuke Without Bitterness

 

 

Four Ways To Receive and Process Rebuke
Without Bitterness

 

Rebuke is a curious, yet serious, word. It’s not used much outside of church circles.

I have taken inspiration for this post from Sparkling Gems from the Greek, November 6 (www.renner.org). The author, Rick Renner, approaches this topic from the perspective of having the integrity to confront a person who has offended you. I will instead examine it from the outlook of the one who is being corrected.

Quite honestly, just thinking about being rebuked makes me want to recoil. Isn’t that what Believers are always doing to Satan? Yet, I know that at times, I offend others both knowingly and unknowingly. It’s one thing to be called out from within my family, and quite another to be confronted by a friend or stranger.

Pastor Renner’s devotional, titled Confront, Forgive and Forget, inspired me to reflect back on the last time I was personally rebuked by someone outside of my family. The Holy Spirit taught me a lot from that experience which I want to share here. It is important that I clarify that this post is not about corrective actions that fall under the category of church discipline. We will discuss Believers rebuking fellow Believers. But, first things first, let’s define the biblical meaning of rebuke.

What Does Rebuke Mean?

Perhaps the thought of being rebuked is uncomfortable because I am thinking of the dictionary definition: “to express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.” That implies a harshness that is intended to wound the person being rebuked. The biblical meaning is quite different.

Pastor Renner does a beautiful job explaining the meaning of the word rebuke found in Luke 17:3. He says, “The word “rebuke” is the Greek word epitimao, which in this case means to speak frankly, honestly, and politely as you tell a person how you feel that he has wronged you. This doesn’t mean you have to speak to him like he’s a devil; it just means you need to directly and honestly confront him.”

The underlying motivation of the first is to strike out at the person being rebuked and thus harm the relationship. The underlying motivation of the second is to clear the air, and to restore the relationship to wholeness.

This topic is controversial because of the potential for the abuse of rebuking and also because, by nature, we are defensive when confronted. It is our nature to strike out. When someone corrects us, even in the most loving way, it takes a manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit to remain open and grounded. However, when we ask, God always provides a way for us to productively receive and process rebuke.

Productive Ways To Receive And Process Rebuke

The suggestions offered here have two overarching goals: to honor God and to guard against a root of bitterness. I can’t overemphasize the importance of immediately and routinely rooting out thoughts that would lead to bitterness. In my experience, it is extremely painful and difficult to eradicate bitterness, once left unchecked and deeply rooted.

• Center Yourself in the Holy Spirit

In any situation in which you are caught off-guard, or begin to feel emotional, train yourself to make your spirit aware of the Holy Spirit. This practice is so vital, yet under used. In essence you are praying, asking for His help in responding in the moment and beyond. What a comfort and encouragement it is to know the Helper and Comforter is right there with you, helping you to respond appropriately. Although it is done without speaking, it is powerful. The times I have, on the spot, asked God to help me to see the situation/person as He does, are the times I have been able to respond supernaturally, beginning with assuming the best about the person’s motives.

• Assume the Best

If you will take the position that the other person truly wants to make the relationship better, you can appreciate them for their candor in addressing the issue rather than letting it grow into a root of bitterness. It’s fairly natural to receive rebuke with defensiveness – especially if it’s delivered imperfectly. But we have the Holy Spirit as our helper to assess our part in causing the offense and to help us respond with the right attitude. And remember: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” (Ephesians 6:12).

• Join Forces Against Your Common Adversary – Not Each Other

The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and that includes relationships. Satan is the author of strife and loves to see Believers take offense. If you can be in agreement with the other person that you both want to restore wholeness to the relationship, it takes you out of a victim’s role. The person rebuking you is not your enemy. When both parties yield to God, relationships can be strengthened by dealing with the grievance instead of burying issues and pretending they don’t exist. Once the grievance has been aired and you are working together to resolve it, it’s time to seek and accept forgiveness and mercy.

• Seek and Receive Forgiveness and Mercy

Sometimes we are guilty of offense. Sometimes it’s a misunderstanding. And sometimes it’s just a matter of different personal styles of relating. At times, repentance and a change in attitude is called for. Other times, it’s appropriate to apologize in acknowledgement of what the other person is feeling. Sometimes, two people must agree to act in love toward each other despite personal style differences. Whichever the case, genuinely seek forgiveness and receive it. Follow your Heavenly Father’s example and then forgive yourself. Your heart is free. You have asked for forgiveness and received God’s mercy. Don’t mentally rehash it. Don’t continually talk about it. Consider the matter settled. Move on.

To Sum It Up

The meaning of rebuke implies a direct and honest confrontation. A rebuke can be personally and spiritually productive when we center ourselves in the Holy Spirit, assume the best of the other person, join forces against our common adversary, and seek and receive forgiveness. In doing so we honor God and guard against a root of bitterness.

 

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You Have Veto Power Over Being Defined By Your Age

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You Have Veto Power Over Being Defined By Your Age You Have Veto Power Over Being Defined By Your Age

 

You Have Veto Power Over Being Defined By Your Age

 

Mention the words “peer pressure” and the picture that most likely comes to mind is that of a pre-teen feeling stressed about fitting in with her fellow middle schoolers.  And yet at every stage of life, there are areas in which we feel pressure to go along with the group and conform in order to fit in.

I’ve noticed a particular kind of “joking” that goes with the aging process.  When adults of a certain age get together there is often shared commiseration about changing eyesight or hearing.  This shared set of expectations about aging has become an accepted part of our conversations and social chatter.  Have you ever noticed that it’s a challenge to purchase a birthday greeting card without some negative reference to the recipient’s age?

Although there is nothing wrong with lighthearted banter, many believe what they say and hear.  If you don’t see yourself as deteriorating through age, it can become uncomfortable to be surrounded by friends and family who limit themselves on the basis of their year of birth.   When I’m caught in such conversations on the inside I’m saying, “No.  That’s not me.  I don’t see things that way at all.  My destiny was set into motion with God knowing my age today. I choose veto those negative things you are saying about age.”

No one can put us in “the age box” if we don’t mentally agree.  I make a motion that we veto age-related limitations on our lives by taking heart from Caleb, one of my Bible heroes.  Let take a look at his back-story and then draw encouragement from it!

Caleb:  A Man of a Different Spirit

As one of the children of Israel, Caleb was enslaved in Egypt, hard-pressed by Egyptian taskmasters until God’s miraculous intervention led them out of Egypt.  At age forty, he was appointed to go on a spy mission into Canaan, the promised land, along with Joshua and ten other representatives.  All twelve men saw same land, yet only Caleb and Joshua came back with a good report, ready to step out in faith, believing God’s promise to possess the land.  God declared that Caleb and Joshua would be the only men of their generation to enter into Canaan.  And Moses promised to Caleb a portion of the land.

Forty-five years passed.  Forty-five years of wandering in the wilderness when Caleb had tasted of the promised land.  He knew what the children of Israel had forfeited by refusing to possess the land.  Did he live those years in regret and negativity?  Most likely not.  When we next encounter Caleb, at age 85 he is not shy about reminding Joshua of the promise made to him by Moses.

Caleb says,

“GOD has kept me alive as He promised.  It is now forty-five years since GOD spoke this word to Moses, years in which Israel wandered in the wilderness.  And here I am today, eighty-five years old!  I’m as strong as I was the day Moses sent me out.  I’m as strong as ever in battle, whether coming or going.  So give me this hill country GOD has promised me.  You yourself heard the report that the Anakim (giants) were there with their great fortress cities.  If GOD goes with me, I will drive them out just as GOD said” (Joshua 14:13,14 THE MESSAGE).

Wow!  What a great example Caleb provides for staying vibrant, bold and strong.

How Did Caleb Exercise His Veto Power Over Being Defined By Age?

Caleb vetoed vacillation.  He remained in faith.  God said that the children of Israel would go up and possess the land and Caleb believed God.  While the other spies focused on the giants, Caleb focused on God’s provision.  A big part of Caleb’s staying in faith was what he spoke in faith – a good report.  I would say that the other ten spies were murmurers and the worst kind of murmurers for they infected the other people with their complaining.  During the forty-five years of waiting, it seems that Caleb looked forward in faith to the day that he would take possession of what had been promised to him.  How about you?  What has God promised you? Are you standing firm?  Do you have a reason to get up every day and fight the fight of faith?  Purpose, hope and faith will keep you vibrant.

Caleb vetoed timidity.  Caleb wasn’t apologetic about being eighty-five years of age.  No, he gave God the glory for his vitality.  Caleb believed God’s promise of the portion of land and he acted boldly to claim it.  And he didn’t take an easy portion.  No, he asked for the hill country.  And before he truly possessed it, he had to clear out those giants. Yes, the giants were real, but Caleb boldly believed that the hill country was already his.  Have you traded in your hills for a flat paved path?  God has hill country that he has promised you.  And confronting those giants will keep you bold.

Caleb vetoed inaction.  How do you think Caleb was physically ready when it came time to take possession of the hill country?  In the years he was waiting for the promise, I think that Caleb rose to the challenge of his day-to-day activities because he knew that his “someday” was coming and he intended to be prepared.  What actions are you taking to prepare for your promise?  Is the Lord asking you to maintain physical activity, so you can go on a mission trip?  Do you hear the still, small voice prompting you to start a business or take a class?  Being disposed toward spirit-led action will keep you strong.

Are You Ready To Possess What God Has Promised You?

God is not checking your ID for your date of birth.  He is looking to “strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT). In fact “the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32 KJV).  Don’t go along with attitudes and words that diminish your capacity to possess what God has promised you.  The next time you find yourself being defined by your age, tell yourself  “God has promised me my portion in the land.  I am vibrant.  I am bold.  I am strong. I veto those age-related limitations.”

 

 

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5 Tips for You to Rule over Bitterness

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walkawayfrombitterness 5 Tips for You to Rule over Bitterness

5 Tips for You to Walk Away from Bitterness

 

It is amazing to me the stories I have heard lately of so many people that are going through situations that are just really heartbreaking to me. Of course we need time to get our life together after a situation that shakes us at the core of our being. But then again, we also need to know that we cannot get bitter; we need to get up and get moving forward again.

I know people who get bitter and become so buried in their grief that they never get beyond the experience. They hold on to it for years. Some turn their backs on God, the church and the people who love them because they are angry and bitter or afraid to love again. I know the time when both of my parents died within two years in my late teen years; I was in shock and I almost thought I wasn’t able to make it.

But then the moment came that I knew I had to take control of my emotions to prevent them from ruining my life. Many times, if we’re not careful we can prevent a breakthrough from occurring by having the wrong attitude. Granted, it’s hard and the situation may be unimaginable that you’re facing. We are emotional beings and it is very difficult for us to press though those emotions.

When things don’t go as planned and people hurt or disappoint us, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the time we must dig into the Word and stay close to God. Hanging around positive people and listening to positive music and messages can be of great help regardless of what is going on in our lives. Keeping a positive outlook and not get bitter, but get better should be a way of life.

Here are 5 tips to help you avoid or overcome bitterness:

1. Replace your complaining friends with positive ones

Look at your circle of friends. Who’s there? If you have friend who is always talking bad about their husband or telling you what you should do, it’s time to make a change. If you’re hearing things like, “I’m sick of my husband/parents. He’s/they are no good” Or if you have dreams that you want to accomplish and the friends around you say, “Give it up. You’re too old for that now. You should have done that, years ago.” Time to move on, they should support your dreams.

2. Replace fault-finding and complaining with thankfulness

Be thankful to God. I’m not suggesting that you thank Him for a bad situation or difficult experience, but thank Him in the midst of it. God is your heavenly Father. There is no one like Him. He will work things out for you if you live a life of faith and trust Him.

The fact that God is in your life means that you have far more working for you than against you. Thank Him daily and expect good things to happen. Your breakthrough is right around the corner. The Bible says we should do all things without complaining so that we will be blameless Phil.2:14-15

3. Don’t feed off negative sources

We must learn to make a choice to fix our minds on good things. Surround yourself with people who are good for you and have your best interest at heart. If you have been bombarded with negative messages, make the change.

4. Commit to developing your spiritual walk

Attend church regularly. God wants us to surround ourselves with people who have similar thoughts and values to our own. He also encourages us to assemble with Christians regularly so that we may uplift each other. Prayer and meditating on the Word is also important. Get in a quiet place daily and talk to God. Listen as He speaks to your heart throughout the day.

5. Watch what you say

Words have power. So choose them carefully. If you want positive results, you’ve got to have positive communication. If you want negative results, complain and continue to talk about the things you don’t want in your life. Either way it’s a choice. I encourage you to choose that which is positive.

Avoid quarreling, fighting, and gossiping. This type of communication produces strife and hinders every blessing. Instead say good things. Learn to agree or to agree to disagree and don’t take part in negative talk about anyone. Choose the high road. You’ll be glad you did.

Staying positive in a negative world is not easy, but it can be done. In fact, it must be done if we want our faith to continually increase. To live a positive life, we must intentionally focus our attention on good things.

What makes it difficult for you to focus on the positive rather than on the negative? What are some specific things about God on which you choose to focus your attention?

 

You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which is a SPIRITUAL Devotion that helps you to make the right choices in your life by clicking here

 

 

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React or Respond Do You Know the Difference?

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React or Respond
Do You Know the Difference?

by Olga Hermans

Sometimes the biggest challenge in dealing with our problems is understanding what to do and how we should respond. To find the answers, we must seek God and His perspective on our situation. It is not the time to run away from God because we fear that He will be disappointed in us.

He understands that we will make mistakes along the way, and He promises never to condemn or turn His back on us. He is always there; ready to guide us to the next step in our lives.

When circumstances in our lives cause us discouragement or worry, we have to make a choice. Either we’re going to let it get the best of us by giving all our attention to it for the next days, months, or years, or we’re going to respond rather than choose to react.

Take the Back Seat

When we choose to respond, we give the steering wheel to God and take the back seat. I say the back seat because too often we take the passenger seat and are tempted to co-pilot. God doesn’t need our help to navigate through the storm; He is more than able to handle it. Remember, God already knows the end from the beginning.

Once we give God the wheel, we have to trust Him. For example, let’s say you were planning a road trip that you have never taken before. Your brother, on the other hand, is very familiar with the drive because he has traveled it many times.

In a case like this, it would be in your interest to let him navigate the trip. Through his experiences, he has learned all the detours to take to avoid traffic and construction and is, therefore, the best person for the job.

But if you sit in the passenger’s seat with an open map to co-pilot and begin questioning his judgment and telling him what the map says he should do, you’re going to frustrate him. Eventually he will stop the car and let you drive.

Then you’ll be in the same position you were in at the beginning – navigating the trip alone and needlessly exhausted by the experience. Had you allowed your brother to drive, and rested in his ability to do so, you would have arrived at your destination sooner, feeling refreshed and energized.

How Do We Treat God?

This is a good example of how we treat God sometimes. We ask Him to get involved in our situations, then, we begin telling Him what we want Him to do and how we want Him to do it. In our minds, we know just how the problem should be resolved.

When God’s plan appears to be different from our own we are tempted to take over the wheel. As a result, we become frustrated and disappointed with the outcome. Sometimes, without even realizing we have taken the wheel again, we blame God for the things that could have been avoided, had we given Him complete control.

To respond appropriately to the troubles in our life, our first decision should be to give all our cares to Him and leave them there! You see, responding and reacting are two different things. When things happen to us, it is natural to react.

What Happens When Our Emotions Get Involved?

When we react, our emotions get involved like crying, getting angry or taking revenge. It is okay to cry or to get angry, but then release it. Don’t seek revenge. Take control of the situation. God has given you the authority to speak life into your circumstances by responding with the faith you possess as an overcomer.

Even though He has given us emotions, it is not His will that they control our lives. When we stay in reaction mode, it leads to trouble. That’s when bitterness, envy, depression, and self pity set in. It is virtually impossible to have a positive attitude when these feelings overtake us.

Don’t let emotions fester for long periods of time. Let them go, and release your faith and start saying things like, “I know I’m coming out of this situation. This is a test that I am well able to pass. No matter what it looks like or how I feel, I trust God. He will never leave me or forsake me!” Before you know it, your situation will start to turn around.

God Desires To Guide Us

The second response is to allow God to guide us through difficult times. Being in constant prayer about the situation and reading the Word will give us the peace and direction we so desperately need. They help us to remain positive when everything inside of us wants to focus on the negative.

You will be surprised by how your perspective about the situation can change when you get God involved. There is no point in overreacting, questioning God, or feeling sorry for yourself. Reacting is never the best solution.

You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which is a SPIRITUAL Devotion that helps you to make the right choices in your life by clicking here

 

 

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Dare To Be Real

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Dare To Be Real

by Olga Hermans

Have you ever wondered why people do the things they do or what causes them to behave in a certain way they do? What motivates them to achieve or accomplish things in life? These are some good questions and to answer them we have to look within.

Though many people think they might know themselves and others, we cannot see what is happening on the inside of them or us; in our soul where our will, our mind and our emotions reside or what is in our heart.

We may get to know others over the course of time in a very personal way as we share our experiences in life, our hopes and our dreams and maybe our secrets from time to time. But we will always have limited access, because in the end it is always God who can see within the soul.

It Takes Courage 

There are times that it really takes courage for us to look within ourselves and to see what is really going on; our hidden thoughts, desires and emotions that are tucked away but need to be dealt with. We might think or feel that most areas of our heart are perfectly fine.

But it really takes time to examine and reflect on the things we’ve experienced in life; we have to figure out how we really feel.

Life is a journey to be discovered and it brings a lot of change. As we go about to discover and uncover certain things about ourselves, we find out that we need to make adjustments in order to continue to grow and to become mature.

There is this continuous growth process and personal development that enables us and empowers us to be men and women of destiny and of purpose. When we discover who we really are we will experience that it liberates us to be free and to be the best at what we have been created to do here on this earth for God, for ourselves and for others.

Are You Willing To Look Within?

There is a quote from Oscar Wilde that I really like, it says: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Or Ralph Waldo Emerson, who says: “Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” I love quotes, you? The point is that we shouldn’t try to become someone you are not. Be real. Be yourself.

Oftentimes, when we are not true to ourselves, we end up deceiving ourselves in an attempt to be someone we really aren’t. We can get so caught up in the day to day interactions with other people and the things going on around us that, if we are not careful, we end up losing ourselves in the process.

Be Authentic

The key to being an authentic individual is having a pure heart and really knowing who you are, from the inside out. We are the sum of all the choices we have made in our life; the good, the bad and the ugly.

Everything that we have experienced from childhood to the present has helped to shape and mold our personalities and identities. My own experience that has definitely shaped me is that my parents passed on when I was twenty years old. This definitely has set me apart from many other people but also in a group of many people who have experienced the same.

Looking within may require us to face some real tough issues, but as we expose and uncover them, we allow God to do a work in us. Then the experience becomes a testimony to others of the goodness and the faithfulness of God.

Why We Do What We Do

Every issue in our life stems from what is within. This includes why we do the things we do. Whatever is in the inside will eventually be seen on the outside. Whether it is low self-esteem, pride, unforgiveness, appreciation, love, commitment, or some other underlying factors, they will determine our thoughts and our actions.

Pure Motives

It is within the heart that we can find the true reason or motive behind why we do what we do. People look at the outer appearance, God looks at our hearts. Many times in life we have to judge our hearts by asking questions like: Why do I do the things I do?
Am I going above and beyond my duties at work to simply be noticed, or because I am a diligent and dedicated worker? Do I help others just to be seen or for what I can get out of the deal, or am I doing it because it honors God? Doing right things for the wrong reasons, still doesn’t make things right.

Guard Your Heart

When change occurs on the inside of our hearts, it causes a change on the outside. True change will happen from the inside out. We are instructed in Proverbs 4:23 to guard our hearts diligently. Guarding ourselves against negative talk and negative people helps us to keep our hearts guarded and free from contamination.

When we put the right things in our hearts, we will get the right results in our lives.

Are You The Real Deal?

When we have the courage to look within, it causes us to be honest with ourselves about who we are at the very core of our being and we can honestly answer questions like: what drives my actions? What causes me to behave a certain way? What are my motives?

What are the things that keep you moving in a positive direction?

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Learn How Important Growing Up Is For You!

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Learn How Important Growing Up Is For You!

by Olga Hermans

 

Most Christians desire to fulfill the will of God. They know that they are redeemed from the curse and they want everything that Jesus purchased for them by shedding His blood on the cross. But things like the news and people around them on the job try to talk them out of that; they diminish their belief in their covenant with God, especially when it comes down to their financial provision.

There is a wonderful inheritance waiting for those who are mature, responsible and faithful.

Galatians 4:1-2 says, “Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.”

So this means that when we want to qualify to receive our inheritance, childlike tendencies will hinder us. Wow, that hurts and it may sound totally unfair, but let’s have a look at it! You might be reading this and know you have children that you cannot give a car to because they are not mature enough to handle it.

It’s the same with our heavenly Father; He loves us so much that he knows that when He would give us everything that we desire, it might destroy us. For that reason it is important for us that we understand what we need to do to walk in a life filled with blessings!

growingup1 Learn How Important Growing Up Is For You!Growing up is a process and in order to grow up, you need to locate yourself, you need to know where you are in life. All of us begin at the New Birth as spiritual babies in Christ, but God doesn’t intend that we stay that way. His desire is for us to grow in all areas of our lives-spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and financially.

Although we all may grow in different areas in our own way, we are supposed to grow up. He is right there on our side to make it all happen. Psalm 115:14 says, “The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children.”

One way we can make our growth process a little easier is by waking up unto God and that happens when we desire to read the Word of God more than ever before. We grow when we desire the sincere milk of the word. 1Peter 2:2 When you do that, you place a demand on the Holy Spirit who causes you to grow. 2 Peter 3:18

One thing is for sure, God expects us to grow spiritually. When you grow up, you are able to handle trials and temptations; you have God’s wisdom flowing in your life. Plus you will be able to grow strong relationships with others.

When we keep on walking with the Lord through all our trials and struggles, we will have grace in every situation that we face. His grace is always sufficient and He always causes us to triumph. He anoints us with His power and His ability. It will require that we make a quality decision to allow God’s Word to mature us.

There are things that we do as children; we speak differently, we understand things differently and we think differently. It is time to put them away. 1Cor.13:11 There is no need for us to sweat the small things, because in the eyes of God everything is a small thing. It doesn’t matter, what matters is that you and I are going to finish the race strong.

Why would we be jealous and not be glad when a friend gets promoted; God has a way better promotion for you. Why would you concern yourself with what other people think of you? Breaking free from worrying about what people think of you might be your biggest breakthrough.

In order to discover the life you were born to live, you need to grow up from your old ways of doing things. If what people think about you is more important than what God thinks about you, then God cannot be the source of your life. John 12:42-43

It is important to stay focused and to get all our priorities right in 2012. It’s very simple: God is our loving Father. He is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator and possessor of heaven and earth. We should live to please Him. What Anna, Ken and John think doesn’t matter.

stayfocused Learn How Important Growing Up Is For You!We should give our full attention and stay focused on God. If we keep listening to criticism and sarcastic remarks and the opinions of others, it will cost you your blessings, your healing, your provision and even the salvation of your family members. It is not all about you; it is all about what Jesus did for you and me on that cross. Our full inheritance is waiting for us, especially in 2012. God wants to bless you so that you can bless others (Gen. 12:2-3).

Watch out for people who satan will use to discourage you in everything that you are believing for. Satan is the father of lies, and lieing is all he can do. John 8:44 He will try to get you in trouble and put shame on you. Don’t believe his lies; don’t let him succeed in deceiving you in any way. Be bold enough to apply the Word of God to your life and receive His blessings with a grateful heart.

I remember the time when my husband and I decided to leave The Netherlands when our children were still quite young. Most people around us discouraged us, but there was that peace on the inside of us that kept us moving forward with the decision and you know what? Because they saw how steadfast we were in our decision, they came alongside of us. It was a great experience and because we had been obedient to what God had called us to do, we were tremendously blessed.

Sometimes it takes determination to not listen to other people’s opinions in the small things of life and in the big things of life. When you believe for healing for your child, that is not a small thing! Stay with the people who are in agreement with you and leave the opinions of those that bring doubt at the door.

It doesn’t matter who disagrees with your acts of obedience. Walk in complete liberty from people and their opinions so you can possess all the Father has for you.

If you are born again, Jesus Christ has made you free from the bondage of opinions so you can glorify God, free from poverty so you can be rich and free from sickness and disease so you can be healed. He made you free to walk in liberty.

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How To Be A Good Steward

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How To Be A Good Steward

by Olga Hermans

 

 

There is something about it to make the most of every moment that is given to us and every opportunity that is brought before us. If we really seek to discover the life we were born to live and ignite it with passion, then we need to do that or else so much time is wasted.

We need to be able to make good choices if we want to be a good steward of our own heart which will lead us in the right direction. Wise choices will watch over you. Pro 2:11; did you know that? If we desire to receive the fullness of the blessings of God so that we can be a greater blessing to others, we must make a commitment to invest the time and energy it takes to develop ourselves.

Maybe you say: “I want to do that, but how do I do that?” I am not talking about developing your talents and your gifts, although that is a good thing to do. But when you really desire to develop yourself, you need to put forth the effort to increase yourself on the inside so you can be on the outside all that God has called you to be.

Maybe this is a completely new concept for you and maybe not, but I like to encourage you to give it some thought. Expanding your inner capacity is very, very important. Let me give you an illustration.

Imagine you had a nice big (40 ounce) pitcher of water and you wanted to pour it all into an eight-ounce glass. That wouldn’t work, would it? You can go ahead and try it anyway, but we all know what would happen, right? Most of the water would spill out and go to waste.

To pour the full amount of the pitcher, you need to get a bigger glass. You need to increase the size of the receiving object. The same is true in the realm of the spirit. For God to transfer to us and through us all the wisdom, power and blessing that belongs to us through Jesus, He needs us to be bigger receivers. He needs us to expand our heart.

To do that, we must make a serious commitment to our own spiritual growth and development. We must become, above all, good stewards of our hearts.

We can learn a lot from Joshua in the Old Testament; he once stood with the wilderness behind him and the Promised Land in front of him and heard the Lord say, “Arise…go over…you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them.” Joshua 1:2

Just like Joshua, we are standing on the edge of the Promised Land. All God’s promises are “yes and amen”; they are our inheritance because of what Jesus has done for us. It would be a good choice for us to do the same what Joshua did, because he took the instructions that God had given him quite seriously.

One thing that I admire so much on Joshua and that worked for him was that when he was under pressure; he didn’t spend less time with the Lord, but more. This is something we all need to learn. If we want to win our battles, we must come to the realization that we can only win them with the Word.

Joshua knew that he depended completely on God, that he couldn’t go to battle in his own strength. He knew that he needed the power of God in his life. He knew, he had to learn how to think like God, talk like God and act like God. He knew that the only place to find the wisdom that he so desperately needed was in the Word of God.

So, if we want to inherit our Promised Land, we need to press into the King of the Kingdom and those other things will be given to us. We need to spend time in His presence and get serious, very serious about the Word of God.

As wise stewards of our hearts, we must watch out not to slip into a state of complacency where God’s Word is concerned. We must be very aware of the fact that mediating on the Word day and night is what prepares us to prosper and increase.

God’s Word is to our spirits what food is to our bodies. It strengthens and nourishes us and it causes us to grow. If we feed our physical body junk food by eating cakes and starbucks coffee or McDonalds instead of vegetables, fruits and other nutritious foods, we will get weaker and weaker. Our bodies will start to fail us. That is an undeniable fact and we all know it.

But here is another undeniable fact that we sometimes overlook. If we feed our spirits on facebook or Twitter updates, magazines, news broadcast, and other superficial stuff more than we read the Word of God, the same thing will happen. Our inner man will start to waste away. Even if we have been spiritually strong in the past, we will become spiritual weaklings, unable to lay hold of the inheritance that God has promised us.

Have you ever wondered how Christians can attend church for 35 years and yet never changed? It is because of non-productive patterns in their lives. They only ate junk food and their bible reading was very irregular, rare and disconnected from God.

You don’t want to stay stagnant do you? You don’t want to be dissatisfied and miss out on the good things that God wants to give to you. Don’t make that mistake; you need to get enlarged on the inside. You need to get strong in the Lord and in the power of His might to overcome every obstacle that comes your way.

You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which is a SPIRITUAL Devotion that helps you to make the right choices in your life!


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How To Make Time For Yourself

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How To Make Time For Yourself

by Olga Hermans

Nowadays you can meet people almost every day that will tell you how busy they are and have no time for other things and under how much stress they are. I remember there was a time that we could ask people, “How are you doing?”. The answer was almost always, “Fine.” Now, almost everybody answers that same question with: “Busy,” “Tired,” or “Stressed.” Have you experienced that? I have found myself telling people that I am busy and felt kind of cool with that answer and then I thought: I am not busy; I just think I am busy. I really need to make more time for myself and for other interesting things.

I told you that I made a choice to take time to exercise which I am starting to enjoy more and more. But I really know people who genuinely believe that being busy is a sign of success. They like to push themselves to the point of exhaustion and try to cram more and more activities into an already tight schedule.

It almost feels like a disease that is spreading all over the place, but then there are also people who are waking up and like to take more time for the more important things in life. We need to become aware that we don’t need to spend every hour of the day doing “something” that we perceive as productive. It really can become unhealthy.

When we want to discover the life we were born to live, we need to try to enjoy the minutes that we live. My father was like that; he was so busy with building his business that he thought he didn’t have any time to spend with us, his family. When he got close to 60, he started to make some different choices and started to plan his life a little different, but then it was too late. He died from a heavy heart attack and collapsed right on the spot. That was such a sad moment for all of us; we never knew him as our dad, we only knew him as the busy man behind his desk.

There is something that is called “margin” by Dr. Richard Swenson. This is a concept that is necessary in whatever you do; if you are a mom, you need it. If you are a businessperson, you need it. Everybody needs it. He gave this example to explain it:  if a person is flying from New York to Los Angeles with a change of planes in Dallas, would that person leave himself only five minutes to make the connection between two flights? I hope not!

No travel agent would ever allow such a connection. If the person did attempt a five-minute change, there would be a high probability that the person would miss the second leg of the flight. He would likely be very impatient, anxious, and frustrated for the first half of the trip, wondering if he was going to miss the second flight and eager to be the first off the plane in Dallas. The point is, such a traveler has not left sufficient “margin” for an enjoyable journey.

You got the picture right? Every time when I am in the car and my son is the driver, I think he is tailgating. I think there should be that margin of safety when we drive. He is not really that bad, but I rather am safer than he. If a person is tailgating a driver at sixty miles an hour in rush hour traffic, there is little margin for error! I really believe that it is a wise choice having sufficient “margin” in every area of life.

Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that Jesus was in a hurry; he always took the time to minister to everybody! He actually spoke against a “hurried” mindset. You remember while Jesus was visiting in the home of Martha and Mary, Martha was busy preparing and serving food to Jesus and those who were traveling with him. He was teaching. Martha became so frustrated that she was having to do all the kitchen work by herself that she said to Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to come and help me.”

Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-41. Many people think that way, “If I don’t do it, it just won’t get done.”
When we become too busy we lose our joy. People irritate us. We become frustrated, anxious and critical. We complain too much. We need to become a better manager of our time and sometimes make tough choices, but we need to practice keeping a healthy “margin” in our lives.

Here are 7 ways to reduce stress by organizing your time:

  1. Buy a calendar and put the non-negotiable dates on there like birthdays, anniversaries, and the major events that you need to attend.
  2. Organize your desk at work and at home; the place where you pay all your bills and so forth; you don’t need to be looking for things that need to be done a few times a week.
  3. Organize your kitchen. You don’t need to be searching for items when you need to prepare a meal.
  4. Don’t pick up the nuisance phone calls; you know the ones that just want to sell something to you; unplug the phone during certain hours.
  5. Make a to-do list each evening before you go to bed. This way you don’t need to continue to mull things over in your mind all night.
  6. There are so many things that you can do, but the most important thing that you need to do is spend time in the presence of the Lord; throw all your cares over to Him and just relax and enjoy your time with Him. Listen to Him and when He tells you to do something; do it!
  7. There are things that can help you relax when you go through some stressful times, which we all do. Stress-away is one of the best things to use; you can reduce stress at any time, and anywhere with the convenience and portability of an essential oil roll-on. You just need to shake it well and apply it generously to wrists, neck, arms, or anywhere you love experiencing essential oils.

The question that you might need to ask yourself is this: “Have I allowed enough margin so I have enough time for what I am doing?”

You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which is a SPIRITUAL Devotion that helps you to make the right choices in your life!

 

 

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Life is Not Fair

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Life is Not Fair

by Olga Hermans

Have you ever felt like that? I sure have. Now I know better, but I remember the times that I felt that way and almost couldn’t see any answers coming towards me. This thought can drop you into a pit in no time. We think that when we really are created equal then why am I going through all of this? You never know what people are going trough; some people are really good at covering up their issues. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have any.

How often do we question the fairness of things? I am certain that it is too often to count. God is eternally just, but there are times I’ve questioned His immediate perspective of fairness. Because He is God all knowing, omnipotent, omnipresent, I mentally know that from an eternal perspective His wisdom, justice, and sense of right and truth are above questions.

When I read my Bible, I am in awe of His perfect wisdom. I never questioned the big picture knowing that God was a good God. My question was more like why do people at an age of 60 still have their parents and I lost them when I was 20. Or why do some couples have to fight the good fight of faith for having a baby while others mistreat their children or even abort them?

These are the questions that are not mentioned in the Bible. It seems that some of us start out with more than others, as if they have a head start before I had even begun. I always felt that God could have been fairer. I remember the times that I tried to judge between fair and unfair, just to find out that I needed to change my perspective over to God’s.

There is a parable in the Bible where Jesus describes His kingdom perspective: Matt.25:14-30. The distribution of the talents was not equal; I am pretty sure that most of us have thought that this wasn’t fair. But Jesus had called his servants together to give them different amounts of money to handle, according to their abilities.

We have to find out that we do not have the same talents and abilities. We cannot all do the same things, but we can all be what God has called us individually to be. I cannot be what you are, and you cannot be what I am, but we can each be all that God wants us to be. We all need to discover the life we were born to live and do that with passion. I believe that passion will drive us to that place where we discover our talents and our gifts.

You can read this parable for yourself and see what happened; the first man went immediately and put to work the talents that were entrusted to him. The man entrusted with two talents put his to work also, and gained two more. But the man given only one talent “went off, dug a hole….and hid his master’s money”. Matth.25:14-18.

Right now we can see a problem in their attitude, because this servant didn’t even try to increase what had been entrusted to him. He was offended when he saw what the others had received. He decided in his heart not to do anything with what was given to him. The only thing he wanted to do was to keep it the same, but he didn’t plan on bringing more value to his talent.

It took some time before the master came back. Often only the course of time will reveal the true nature or character of a person. This servant had plenty of time to change his attitude, but he didn’t. His attitude revealed a deep-seeded heart-condition.

God knows our heart and He knew the heart of this servant; God has a lot of patience. He always waits for the harvest of the heart. You can read how excited the first and second servants were. Jesus called then “good and faithful”. He even blessed them with greater authority; He knew that they trusted Him and therefore He can trust them with more. Those who trust can be trusted.

The last servant with the one talent Matth.25:24-25 comes last and he is not excited about the return of the master at all. He didn’t realize that the master was weighing his heart. He had entrusted him with something good, but in the hands of a bitter, fearful and wicked servant the good talent lays dormant. It’s not how many talents you possess; it’s what you do with those talents.

This is a sad story, because that servant could be you or I; this servant was cast outside of the blessings, privileges and provisions of his master and had to live among the fearful and tormented. Matth. 25:28-30.

God is interested in our hearts; He weighs it by what He places in our hands. He measures us by what we have and not by what we lack. You and I vary in our talents and abilities. God does not compare us one to another. He deals with us as individuals and gives us at least one talent.

God entrusts us with a measure of faith. Rom.12:3. He gives it to us because we cannot please God without faith. Hebr.11:6. We always have to act in faith in whatever we do. Let’s not doubt His goodness, because when we think like this, it causes us to hold back portions of our heart and keep control over our lives.

Our faith is meant to be used. Its purpose is not to accumulate things but to receive and grow in the knowledge of God. It is given to us that we may experience Him as a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

God wants us to seek and grasp His heart. So, to discover the life you were born to live you need not to hide your talent. Don’t be afraid to step out or afraid that you might fail, afraid of criticism, afraid of people’s opinions or afraid of being misunderstood. Take the talent and use it for His glory.

Let me encourage you to use your talents to the greatest possible extent and to do your very best in every area of your life. Then you will hear the Master say, “Well done!”

You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which is a SPIRITUAL Devotion that helps you to make the right choices in your life!

 

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