“...you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29;13, NKJV
Today marks two weeks into the new year...half way through January already...so what better time than now to check in on those resolutions that you made for 2018! How are your resolutions going so far? Making progress? Haven’t started yet? Re-thinking this whole goals thing? Let me encourage you today -- stay strong! It takes time to develop new habits. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Don’t quit! Keep your eye on the prize -- make the small, daily choices that lead to long-term success.
Many choose resolutions related to health, relationships, fitness and so on -- and for sure those are good areas to invest in. But let’s make sure we are prioritizing seeking the Lord as #1! This is always on the top of my new year’s resolution list...after all, we can always learn more about the Lord and grow closer and closer to Him, so let’s never stop seeking after more of His presence!
What are some practical ways you can do this? Read a daily devo (check!). Read faith-filled books (like these). Get plugged into a vibrant local church. Watch faith-filled TV programs (like this one). Read your Bible daily. Pray intentionally every day! Journal -- write down things that jump out to you when you read your Bible, write down prayers, write down how you’ve seen God move in your life...if you’ve never done journaling before, I encourage you to try it for 2018!
So, two weeks into the year now, let’s lean into the Lord’s grace and get moving on making each 2018 resolution a reality. You can do this!
Say This: “Father, thank You so much for the blessing of this new year. I lean into Your grace each day to help my new year's resolutions become a reality! Thank You for Your great love for me and for showing me the small, daily steps I can take to grow closer to You this year. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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“...you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29;13, NKJV
“...The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16, AMPC
You’re on my heart today...would it be alright with you if I pray for you today? I’m praying the following prayer over you -- and if you’re in agreement, join in with your “Amen!” after you read it and receive it!
“Father, I thank You for each and every Basics Daily Devo reader all across the world. It is by no mistake that they are here on this earth for such a time as this. I ask You to fill them with Your Word, give them Your wisdom to distinguish the truth in every circumstance, to not grow weary in well-doing, to always believe the best in others, to be intentionally and abundantly generous, and to see Your glorious presence in their lives this year to a whole new level! I thank You that the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus and the angels of God surround and protect each and every Basics Daily Devo reader and their loved ones. You have a divine purpose for each of them and today I ask that You guide and direct them along that path and give them the courage, strength and support they need to live every single day for You! Help them all to be soul winners for Christ and bright lights in this world that draw people to Jesus everywhere they go. Thank You for blessing them exceedingly and abundantly beyond what they could ever ask think or imagine! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7, NLT
I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of how good God truly is! As you’ve probably heard, the huge mass of an iceberg is only 10% visible above the water -- while the vast 90% is resting beneath the surface.
What if we have only yet grasped the “10%”...I mean, how much more blessed are we in Christ than we realize? How much more loving is our Heavenly Father than we truly grasp? How incredibly generous has He been, when maybe we haven’t fully understood or seen all His workings behind the scenes? Do we know all the depths of how good God is? And how favored we are by Him? Perhaps it will take eternity to grasp!
Doesn’t this just stir you up? It does for me! I am so amazed each day at how extravagant His love is for me and how rich His blessings and favor are...so to even think that what I have tasted and seen is quite possibly only the tip of the iceberg -- the hypothetical “10%” -- wow, that makes me crave to know Him so much more!
Today, do you need a refreshing dose of the revelation of His amazing love in your life? A personal acquaintance with the goodness of God is a revelation that He alone imparts. As we spend time in His Word, the Holy Spirit will open our spiritual eyes to help us "see" the glorious riches of our inheritance in Christ. Seek after Him relentlessly and never stop!
Say This: “Father, wow -- thank You that Your love for me is so vast that there is always more and more I can learn and discover about Your goodness. I will seek after You all the days of my life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth…” Prov 4:23-24, Message
As we are embracing the beginning of this brand new year, it’s a great time to pause a moment and take inventory of our lives based on a key word...congruent.
Congruent means to be consistent, in agreement and identical. When applied to our “public” lives versus our “private” lives, this becomes a super important word. After all, we should be the same person in public who we are in private. What does a congruent lifestyle look like? If we lead people to the Lord from the pulpit or when people are watching, we should be proactive about leading people to the Lord in our private lives, too. If we pray tear-filled, passionate prayers in leading a prayer meeting, we ought to pray the same way in our private prayer closet. If we suggest to everyone else to tithe and give to the gospel, we should be leading the charge by tithing and giving as much or more.
It’s not healthy to live life one way in front of others, and live a different way in our private life. We shouldn’t talk out of both sides of our mouth. We each need to be wholly who we are for Christ -- no matter who is or isn’t watching. That congruent lifestyle will bring more peace to your life overall -- and, it will increase your impact for Christ because your life will be such a strong, consistent testimony!
Sometimes it’s obvious to us where we need to increase our congruence -- and at other times we may have a blind spot that we need help seeing. I encourage you to seek the Lord for His grace and wisdom either way! Through our congruent lifestyle, let’s make 2018 the year we have an even greater impact on our sphere of influence for Christ!
Say This: “Father, I desire to have my life be a great testimony of Your love, goodness and blessings. Please help me be a stronger testimony through being fully congruent in my public and private life. If there are any areas where I can become more congruent, please make those visible to me -- and I lean on and require Your grace and wisdom to bring those areas into alignment with all the best You have for me! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
"The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that." Proverbs 29:25, Message
Living for an “audience of One” is the secret to being truly free. When we live to please the Lord and walk in a manner worthy of Him…that's all that really matters.
Let’s take a moment to look at the opposite of that...what if we live with the constant fear of human opinion? Well, when we are overly concerned about what others think -- whether we meet with their approval or disapproval -- our judgment becomes blurred and we veer from our core values. When we find ourselves saying or doing things merely to please people, or not saying and not doing certain things to please people, we become men-pleasers rather than God-pleasers. Bottom line is this type of fear disables us from walking in the kind of life God wants for us.
So, what do we do? Seek God's approval and accept the fact that we'll never have a 100% approval rating from others. Be okay with that. Don't be disabled by the opinions of others...instead, trust the Lord and accept these truths:
1. Some people like you; some people don’t.
2. Some people admire and respect you; some people despise and hate you.
3. Some people agree with you; some people like to argue with you.
4. Some people encourage you; some people criticize and tear you down.
5. Some people rejoice with you; some people rain on your parade.
6. Some people are thrilled with the changes in your life; some people dismiss it.
7. Some people love to see you break out of stereotypical paradigms; some people get mad.
8. Some people approve of your spouse, kids, hair, clothes, hobbies, style; some people dislike the whole package.
9. Some people see your potential; some people are threatened by it.
10. Some people are happy when you're blessed and successful; some people are jealous.
Let's go for the praise that comes from God! If you've found the opinions of others disabling you -- make a change today. Trust in the Lord. When you are confident and clear in your heart that your decisions, actions and words are pleasing to the Lord then move forward...full steam ahead!
Say This: “Father, thank You that Your opinion of me is the one the truly counts. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You and not to be overly concerned with the opinions of others. Thank You that I know Your voice and it’s the voice I choose to follow! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”