Category Archives: endurance

Don’t Be An Imposter

TODAY’S VERSE
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:328-42 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to be busy with “God’s work” that we forget who we are working for. Question. What do you think God is more interested in, us or the work we do for Him? You must be careful. It is not wrong to be busy when you need to be. There are seasons of hard work. But why are you doing it? To earn God’s love? To keep up appearances? Because of what others might think if you don’t work at the church all the time? Brennan Manning calls this being an imposter. He writes about it in his book, “Abba’s Child”. “Imposters are preoccupied with acceptance and approval. Because of their suffocating need to please others, they cannot say no with the same confidence with which they say yes. And so they overextend themselves in people, projects, and causes, motivated not by personal commitment but by the fear of not living up to other’s expectations. – Living out of the false self creates a compulsive desire to present a perfect image to the public so that everybody will admire us and nobody will know us. The impostor’s life becomes a perpetual roller-coaster ride of elation and depression.” Mary chose to worship Christ. And though Martha’s hard work and devotion are commendable, this time she was filled with worries and cares. Jesus had to remind Martha that what Mary had chosen, that is to focus on the love that Christ has for us, is really the only thing Martha had to really do. If she did that, everything else would fall in place. Today, might we understand that we don’t have to earn the Lord’s love. Instead, we need to live as if we already have it. We do!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me serve You with a sincere heart. Forgive me for the many times I have been an imposter, just acting a part so I could win approval. Help me understand Your love for me in such a way that I would be a Martha with Mary’s insight.
AMEN

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Help Me Rejoice

TODAY’S VERSE
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What qualifications do you put on happiness? So many times it seems as if we put conditions on whether or not we are going to rejoice. We must be liked. We must be successful. We have to have the right kind of car, house, clothes or social status before we can really find happiness. But what happens if those things that we feel are so important to “who we are” is taken away from us? What if we lose our job or a friendship tanks or we face bankruptcy? What if we are falsely accused of something or our friends turn on us? Then what happens to our peace, joy or happiness? Somehow Habakkuk found the secret. It was in his relationship with God. He was able to rejoice in Him no matter what. He had committed himself to God and when troubles began to brew, he was able to trade his commitment in for trust. Finally, when times were at its worst, his trust allowed him to return to joy from painful situations. This joy came from a deeply trusting relationship with God. Listen to what he said, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” This didn’t happen by accident. Habakkuk had a relationship with God that he could return to over and over again. Today begin with trust. Trust Him with everything you have and everything you need. Trust Him with today, tomorrow and the future. Then, when you need it, just like Habakkuk, your trust will help you return to joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to trust You in all things. Help me to put my hope in You. Help me to rejoice in You no matter what happens. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Bring God Great Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalms 147:11 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever wondered what God delights in? We know all about our own wants and desires. But God has desires too. The truth is that God delights in you and me. The Psalmist declares that the Lord delights in two things. First God delights when we deeply respect and revere Him. He is the creator of the universe. All power belongs to Him. Who are we that He would even care about us? Why would He ever consider us worthy to even utter His name? However, what I love about this verse is although God is delighted when we respect His majesty, He also delights when we put our hope in His unfailing love. This very God that deserves all our fear and respect delights in us putting all of our hope in His never-failing love. Do you want to make God happy today? It’s simple. Put your hope in the unfailing love He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You deserve all my respect. You are the almighty, all-powerful, all-wise God and I stand in awe of You. I also hope in You because of the great unfailing love You have for me. Thank you, Father, for Your love. Might my hope in Your never-failing love bring You all the delight that You deserve.
AMEN

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He Cares For You

TODAY’S VERSE
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
I Peter 5:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If someone offered to take all your anxieties away from you would you take them up on the offer? Or would anxiety, by its own nature, cause you to worry that the person would not be able to take care of your situation? Ironically, you would end up with a whole new set of worries! So, what do you do when Peter tells you to give all your worries and cares to God? If you are like most Christians, you just hold on to them. Sure you pray. You even begin to trust Him, but as soon as anything happens, you go back to holding on to your worries and cares all over again. The truth is that giving your cares to God takes faith. The author of Hebrews says if you have true faith, then it would necessitate that you believe God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. That is what Peter meant when he said to cast all your cares on Christ. God exists and He will “reward” your faith in Him by caring for you. Can you imagine that? Next time you worry, start with the thought that God deeply cares for you! He cares for you with all the resources of His mighty power and wisdom to use on your behalf. Today, start giving Him all your cares.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how I worry and carry many concerns with me. Today, I choose to give all my worries to You. I know You are all-powerful, wise, and loving. You said that You care for me, so I trust You with all the outcomes of this step of faith. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus.
AMEN

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Walk In the Light

TODAY’S VERSE 

Jesus replied, ‘My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.'” – “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. John 12:35-36, (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Hiking in the darkness is vastly different than hiking in the daytime. Once on a primitive hiking trip, I had to walk an injured person out of the woods to a hospital to get stitched up. It took most of the day. In order to catch up with the rest of the group, we hiked back on the trail during the night. Unfortunately, with so much use, my flashlight became very dim. What a hike! Winding up the mountain, roots form the large trees crossing in the trail, cliffs, animals, ravines, what would be difficult to navigate in daylight became unbearable in the dark. Slowly, using what light we had, we eventually made it back to base camp. How? By focusing on the light! You see, even with dim light, we could see the four or five feet ahead of me. It didn’t matter that thousands of acres were in darkness, I only needed to see the five feet in front of me. Even though our flashlight was dim, no matter how hard it tried, the darkness could not penetrate the light I had. In today’s passage, Jesus told us to, “Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you.” The darkness of sin, doubt, despair, and confusion are always trying to trip us up so we have a choice to make. We can focus on the darkness or we can turn the light on! Might we decide to turn the light of faith, His word and prayer on, living in the joy of knowing Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how dark my world can become. Help me to remember to turn on the light of faith, prayer, and Your Word so I can navigate the trail You have in front of me today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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False God

TODAY’S VERSE
“You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Ever since Adam and Eve, mankind has been tempted to think that they could become a “god”. However, David Benner in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” makes a very interesting observation. He points out that in the Garden of Eden, it was not the act of trying to be like God that was a sin. It was the act of thinking they could be like God, without God. Truth is we are commanded to be like Christ. We are to emulate the characteristics of God such as love, mercy, and justice. But we are never told that we can do that without the help of God and His Holy Spirit. David Benner writes, “Adam and Eve wanted to be God without God, a likeness that was based on independence rather than surrender. – What we get when we choose a way of being that is separate from God is the life of the false self. – The false self is the tragic result of trying to steal something from God that we did not have to steal. Had we dared to trust God’s goodness, we would have discovered that everything we could ever most deeply long for would be ours in God. Trying to gain more than the everything God offers, we end up with less than nothing. Rejecting God, we end up with a nest of lies and illusions. Displacing God, we become a god unto our self. We become a false self.” I am so glad Jesus came. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He came so we could know God. It is His truth, His life that enables us to be more like Him. Today, examine yourself. Are you following Christ and letting Him influence who you are, or are you busy creating your own life apart from God?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for all the times I have tried to set myself up as my own God. Today, I ask You to speak to my heart and help me get back on track with You. Guide me in everything I do so I will become the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Spiritual Victory

TODAY’S VERSE
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.
I Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a spiritual reality that we need to be aware of. Peter warns us that we are in a battle and that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The good news is that God has given us everything for the victory. He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us, His word to teach us and His presence to protect us. As a result, we can obey Peter when he tells us to be self-controlled and alert, to resist Satan standing firm in the faith. James tells us that if we “resist the devil”, the devil will flee from us. So, today let us resist the lies of Satan, stand firm in our faith in God and be victorious.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that the Spiritual battle we are in has already been won. Thank You that You have provided all I need for the victory. Help me today to stand firm on Your promises, to be self-controlled and alert and to resist the schemes of Satan.
AMEN

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