Daily Devotional

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu May 31, 2018 11:48 pm

Bible Verse
Malachi 2:16a
"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, (NIV)

Thoughts
OK, I'm know that I'm going to start a firestorm with this one. Please, what follows is just MY opinion. We can agree to disagree civilly (if not, my email address is [email protected]). One of my pet peeves is people shooting big game with a rifle that is too small. Yes, I know that shot placement is paramount with any caliber rifle, and yes, I know, you can kill a charging grizzly bear with a .22 if you hit him right. But, I would choose my .375 RUM for such an encounter while you go back to camp to change your clothes. (Can you go too big? Yes, if you can't handle the recoil of the rifle and put the bullet where it needs to go. But, a good muzzle brake can fix much of this. And, a gut shot animal from a poor shot is most likely going to get away no matter the size of the gun. Anyway, I digress.) Deer with a .223? Bull elk with a .243? Perhaps, if you have the discipline and marksmanship skills to ear-hole an animal at a set distance with no wind or movement of the animal, and the ethics to not take any other shot. However, for the average hunter who is going to take whatever shot he can, I consider it irresponsible and unethical to go into the field with a firearm that isn't enough (translated, energy and penetration properties), that isn't adequately suited to the animal they are pursuing. There's too many animals wounded and lost because the shooter didn't bring enough gun. True story, a friend shot a trophy class bull elk four times with a smaller caliber rifle (one that most would consider adequate). His words to me were that the elk wasn't impressed much. Fortunately, they recovered the animal in this instance. But, maybe not the next time. The bottom line? As African hunter and author Robert Ruark would say, "Use Enough Gun!"
(Cliff S)

Action Point
I know why God hates divorce so much, because I am divorced, and I hate it. Marriage is a testimony to the world about our relationship with God. It is supposed to be for forever with someone we love and trust. But, Satan knows that divorce weakens people's trust in God making it difficult for them to trust His promise that He will never leave them nor forsake them. It can destroy the idea that they can be a part of the family of God forever. And, divorce has lasting psychological and spiritual effects on individuals. A primary psychological effect for me has been to think that I'm not good enough to be in a relationship. This harms me as a man, and as a son of God. God still loves me, divorce and all. But, just as sometimes I ask myself, why wasn't I enough for my former spouse, or, if I would marry again, might it end the same way, I can fall into the trap of thinking that I'm not enough for God. And, actually, I'm not, nor can I ever be. You see, God reached out to me before, during, and after my divorce and reminded me that His Son, Jesus, died for me and that He will never cease to love me, nor will He ever leave me, divorce and all. Now, understand, I am not advocating divorce, but it's because of what Jesus did for me that I am enough for God! My sins are forgiven and I will spend eternity with God because I have accepted Jesus' sacrifice for my sins and He is now my Lord and Savior. That is reassuring. That is "bringing enough gun!"
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:45 pm

“Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).

Change requires new thinking. In order to change, we must learn about God’s truth and start making good choices, but we also must change the way we think. We’ve talked about this before: The battle over sin starts in your mind, not in your behavior. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act. If you want to change the way you act, you start by changing the way you think. In addition, if you want to change the way you feel, you must start with the way you think. Think – Feel – Act For instance, I can say, “I need to love my kids more,” but that isn’t going to work. Or someone can say, “I need to love my spouse more,” but that isn’t going to work. You can’t fight your way into a feeling. You must change the way you think about your kids, about your husband, about your wife, and that will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act. The Bible says, “There must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT). Let me sum it up this way: You are not what you think you are, but rather, what you think, you are. The battle for sin, the battle to deal with those defects in your life that you don’t like — it starts in your mind. If you want to change anything in your behavior or anything in your emotions, you start with your thoughts and your attitude. The renewal of your mind is related to the word “repentance.” I know repentance is a dirty word for a lot of people. They think it means something bad, something you don’t really want to do, something painful. They think of a guy standing on a street corner with a sign that says, “Repent. The world’s about to end.” Repentance has nothing to do with your behavior. It is about changing your mind, learning to think differently. “Repent” simply means to make a mental U-turn. It’s something you do in your mind, not with your behavior. Changing the way you think will then affect your emotions and affect your behavior. When I repent, I make a mental U-turn. I turn from guilt to forgiveness. I turn from purposelessness to purpose in life. I turn from no hope to new hope. I turn from frustration to freedom. I turn from darkness to light. I turn from hell to heaven. I turn from hatred to love. I also change the way that I think about God. He’s not mad at me; I’m deeply flawed, but I’m deeply loved. I change the way I think about you, I change the way I think about my kids, and I change the way I think about my wife. I change the way I think about the world, I change the way I think about the economy, and I change the way I think about my past, my present, and my future. So being renewed in your mind means more than changing the way you think about God and Jesus; it also means you change the way you think about your own defects. The Bible tells us, “Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 AMP).

Talk About It
What do you think of when you hear the word “repentance”?
Where in your life do you need to take the first step of changing the way you think?
We discussed turning from guilt to forgiveness, from purposelessness to purpose in life, from no hope to new hope. What type of “mental U-turn” do you most need in your life?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:46 pm

“We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV).

God created us to live in heaven with him for eternity. Heaven is our home, not Earth. That’s why we sometimes experience discontentment and dissatisfaction in life. We’re not completely happy here because we’re not supposed to be! Otherwise, we might think we can live without God. He created us to long for something much better — a home is heaven with him. A fish would never be happy living on land, because it was made for water. An eagle could never feel satisfied if it wasn’t allowed to fly. You will never feel completely satisfied on Earth, because you were made for more. You will have happy moments here, but nothing compared with what God has planned for you. This is also why some of God’s promises seem unfulfilled, some prayers seem unanswered, and some circumstances seem unfair. But this is not the end of the story. Realizing that life on Earth is just temporary should radically alter your values. Eternal values, not temporal ones, should be the deciding factor for your decisions. As C. S. Lewis observed, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.” The Bible tells us to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV).

Talk About It
What are the things that will last in your life?
How does an eternal perspective change everyday aspects of life like goals and plans, schedules, and relationships?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2330
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:48 pm

“You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5 GW).

God says that you are a priest. Depending on your background, that may be scary or confusing. Peter is saying that the two benefits that priests have are now available to everyone who is a believer.

In the Old Testament, priests did two things:

They had the right, privilege, and responsibility to go directly to God. They could pray and talk to God, worship, and fellowship with God. Everybody else had to go through a priest.
The priest had the privilege and responsibility of representing God to the people and ministering to the needs of other people (serving).
Those are the very two things that are true of you when you become a believer.

The Bible says that when Jesus died on the cross, there was a veil in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies, where God’s Spirit was, from where man was. Only priests could go behind that veil once a year. When Jesus died on the cross, God ripped that veil — about 70 feet — from top to bottom, symbolizing that there no longer was a barrier.

You now have direct access to God. You don’t have to pray through anybody else. You don’t have to confess through anybody else. You don’t have to fellowship with God through anybody else. Read your Bible, talk with the Lord, and fellowship directly with him.

You have also been gifted for ministry to serve other people. Every Christian is a minister — not a pastor, but a minister. Anytime you use your talents and gifts to help others, you are ministering.

“He saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9 TLB). Why did God save you? So you could serve him. A non-serving Christian is a contradiction.

How do you know what your ministry is? Look at your talents, gifts, and abilities. When you use those talents and gifts to help other people, that’s called ministry — nothing fancy or scary about it. It’s just helping others. Can you be a priest in a sales office? You bet you can. Can you be a priest as an accountant? Of course. Driving a truck? Sure. Anytime you’re helping other people in God’s name, you’re ministering.


Talk About It
How are you using your gifts and abilities to serve God and others?
How have you grown closer to Jesus through other believers’ ministry and service to you?
How do you make the most of your status as a priest? Do you take full advantage of your direct access to God?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:19 am

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT).

Taking a stand for God won’t just impact you and those you care about in this life. It’ll have an eternal impact. When you’re afraid to speak up for God in your everyday life, that’s natural and normal. But it’s also temporary. That fear will just stay with you for a few moments. The benefits to courageously speaking out for God will stay with you for trillions and trillions and trillions of years. Jesus says this in the Sermon on the Mount: “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matthew 5:11-12 NLT). Notice that these verses don’t say you’re blessed if people put you down because you’re being obnoxious. I hear many people who complain about being persecuted for being a Christian when actually they’re put down because they’re just not being nice to others. You get no credit for that. But if you’re persecuted for humbly speaking up for truth, Jesus says you can be happy. Why? God will reward you in heaven. When you get to heaven, I want you to have a lot of rewards. I want you to be rewarded because you had the courage to stand up at work and say, “I am a believer in Christ. I know not everybody agrees with this, but he’s changed my life and I’m so grateful. I don’t serve him out of duty; I serve him out of love. I’m just so grateful. My past has been forgiven, I have a purpose for living, I have a home in heaven.” When you get condemned, persecuted, and teased for doing that, Jesus says you’re in good company. People have done that to God’s witnesses and prophets for ages and ages. It’s part of the deal. Darkness can’t stand the light. Evil can’t stand goodness. But when that happens, Jesus says, “Don’t worry about it. You’ll be rewarded for your courage in heaven.”

Talk About It
How does it help you handle persecution knowing that God will reward you in eternity for your faithfulness?
How does the faithful witness of believers through the ages help you stand strong amid harassment by others for your faith?
What’s one way God is calling you to demonstrate courage and speak out for him despite inevitable criticism?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2330
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:22 am

Bible Study Verses
Deuteronomy 8:6-7
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land -a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills. (NIV)

Thoughts
The land is flat and the woods are thick in northeast Maine. I was hunting with Tim, a buddy of mine. We stayed near a railroad bed and saw plenty of deer tracks. One day I decided to get off the tracks and go into the woods to see if I could push anything across to Tim. I was about 200 yd into the woods when I lost my sense of the direction I needed to return. I wandered around shouting, but the thick brush absorbed my voice. Finally, I heard a faint voice shouting back, and I headed toward that voice.

Whether living in dense woods, a desert wilderness or by mountain streams, we all live in a moral wilderness. The Bible is the voice of God that gives us direction through that moral wilderness. He has chosen to speak to us in this way and without His voice we have little hope of staying on track.
(Steve S)

Action Point
Lots of people say they'd like to hear the voice of God, but they aren't listening in the place He has chosen to speak. Let the Bible test whatever direction you choose to go in life. You can always depend on Him to speak to you through it and show you how to stay on track with Him.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:32 am

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV).

When Jesus said, “I am the light of the world,” he was defining himself. He was saying, “I know who I am.” At least 18 times in the Bible, Jesus said, “I am” and then gave a description. He described himself as the door, the bread of life, the way, the truth, the resurrection, and the life. Over and over, he defined himself. Jesus knew who he was (and still is), and as a result, he was not under pressure. This is the principle of identity. As long as you are unsure of your identity, you’re going to be pressured to fit into other people’s molds. They will manipulate you. They will try to make you into what they think you ought to be, rather than what God made you to be. One of the major causes of stress comes from trying to be somebody you’re not. When you are fearful that someone’s going to find out what you’re really like and that you might not be able to keep up the façade, it causes stress. The only way you can counterbalance outside external pressures is to have an internal sense of satisfaction about who you are and who God made you to be. You discover who you are by knowing whose you are. The Bible says that you were created by God. You are deeply loved by him. You are accepted as you are. He has a plan for your life. Until you settle this issue of identity, you will be insecure and you will be pressured by stress. You cannot serve other people until you settle this issue. Jesus constantly did things that surprised everybody else. He put himself below others and served them. None of the disciples would have ever thought to wash each other’s feet in the Upper Room because of their insecurity. But Jesus always served from a position of strength. He knew who and whose he was, so it didn’t matter that he lowered himself to serve them. Service comes from self-esteem. Until you overcome your insecurity and feel good about yourself, you won’t feel like helping anyone else. Be secure in who you are and whose you are so that you can effectively serve others.

Talk About It
What are the differences between what the world and others say about you and what you believe God says about you?
What does it mean to serve from a position of strength?
Why do we serve more effectively when we are secure in our identity in Christ?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:33 pm

Bible Study Verse
Psalms 91: 5
Fear nothing-not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day. (Message)

Thoughts
In the movie, 300, the enemy, the Persian Empire, tries to provoke fear into the outnumbered 300 by saying, "Our archers are so many, our arrows will block out the sun."

I love the response of one of the 300, with laughter he responds, "Then today we fight in the shade!"

What a manly, fear nothing attitude. I want to always have a quick fear nothing response that honors my God, a response that makes HIM bigger and provokes courage into those around me.
(Wes W)

Action Point
I can more readily relate to wolves and arrows as an outdoorsman. But God is promising so much more in this story. Not just harm from the outside, but also the inside, pestilence, disease, plague and disaster. Psalms 91:7 reminds us, "Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you," (Message). Verse 10 declares, "Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door," (Message).
I'm choosing to believe God's promises and speak them out over my wife and grandchildren, even my tent. Verse 10 "Harm can't get through the door," (Message). It's just a choice. I'm making to speak faith building words of strength and encouragement.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:42 pm

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT).

God loves you so much that he sent Jesus on a mission of love with a message of love. The Bible doesn’t say God has love; it says God is love. Love is his nature; God is love. God created the entire universe. He created this planet; he created the human race. Then he created you because he loves you. It could be said the reason you’re alive is because God created you as an object of his love. God made you so he could love you and so that you could love him. God’s love for you is the reason your heart’s beating right now; it’s the reason you’re breathing. God’s Good News is that he loves you on your good days as much as he loves you on your bad days. He loves you when you can feel his love, and he loves you when you can’t seem to feel his love. He loves you whether or not you think you deserve his love. There is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you. You could try, but you simply can’t do it — because his love for you is based upon his character and not on anything you do or say or feel. God loves you so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus, into this world, “so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT). When Jesus stretched his arms out as wide as the cross, he was saying, “I love you this much! I love you so much it hurts. I love you so much I’ll die for you so that I won’t have to live without you.” God’s love surpasses all human knowledge, and it is difficult for any of us to grasp the width and length and height and depth of God’s love for each one of us (see Ephesians 3:17-19).

Talk About It
Since God is love, how is his love part of your relationships? How do you express his love in your relationships?
What have you done that you struggle to believe doesn’t keep God from loving you?
How important do you think it is to feel God’s love, especially on your bad or rough days?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:50 am

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

One of the great fears we all face is the fear of the future. We fear for the futures of our families, our friends, our jobs, our communities — and everything else in between.

It’s natural. We’re not in control. But that realization should drive us to trust God more deeply.

We might not be in control of our future, but God is. He created the whole universe. If he wanted to, the Lord could just snap it out of existence in a moment. Yet he is working his plan in history. He is moving history to a climax, a destiny. One day Jesus Christ will come back to Earth. Nothing will stop that. Just as he is working in history to move events toward that day, he will work in your life for a purpose, too — if you’ll let him.

The Bible says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

God’s Word doesn’t say that everything is good. It also doesn’t say that God causes everything. He doesn’t cause war. He doesn’t cause cancer. He doesn’t cause rape, abortion, abuse, or molestation. He doesn’t cause evil. We do that. God gives us the freedom to choose. Evil is the price of that freedom.

But the Bible does say that God causes everything to work together for good. He can take the -, evil, and bad decisions I’ve made in my life and use them for good if I’ll trust him. Romans 8:28 isn’t a promise for everyone, though. It’s for “those who love God.” It’s for those who trust God and say, “Here, Lord, you take all the broken pieces of my life and put them together.”

This is why when I read the headlines each day, I don’t worry. Sure, there are a lot of problems in the world today, but God is still in control. God is still moving history to a climax. And God is still moving his people toward his best for them. One day God will work everything out for his purpose.

Because God is in control, we can trust him with everything — including the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives.

Talk About It
How will knowing that God is in control help you to trust him better?
How have you seen God take a bad decision and make something good out of it?
What’s one fear of the future that you can hand over to God today?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:59 am

We know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love …. because God’s perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:16, 18 NCV).

I’ve talked to thousands of people about why they don’t fully trust God. Usually it’s one of three things: People are afraid that if they give their lives fully to God, they’ll lose their freedom, they’ll lose their fun, and God will turn them into some kind of religious fanatic.

None of that sounds inviting.

The bottom line is, people are afraid. Yet God has an answer for our fear of trusting him. The Bible says, “We know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love …. because God’s perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:16, 18 NCV).

God loves you. You were created as an act of God’s love. Over and over in the Bible, God makes this clear. God thought you up and created you to love you and to let you love him. The greatest expression of God’s love is Jesus. God came to Earth in the form of a human being to show us what he is really like. He then showed us how much he loved us by dying on the cross.

The cross tells us once and for all that we can fully trust God. We can trust him with our lives because he gave his Son’s life for us.

If God is telling the truth in his Word that he loves you, you know he won’t take away your freedom or your fun or turn you into a fanatic.

God isn’t a cosmic killjoy. He’s your heavenly Father.

The more you know God, the more you trust him — and the less you’re afraid of him.

Talk About It
What scares you the most about fully trusting God?
How have you seen fear get in the way of someone else’s faith in God?
Why do you think understanding the love of God helps you trust him more?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2330
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
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City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,174
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:01 pm

“Trust the LORD with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the LORD in all you do, and he will give you success” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NCV).

For most of us, the reason we don’t trust God fully with our lives is because we really don’t know him. We usually don’t trust people we don’t know. The same is true with God. That’s why God wants you to know the real him — not a fake version you’ve learned from popular culture. There are many popular myths about who God is that simply aren’t true. For example, some believe he’s like: A cosmic cop: He’s the big, bad policeman in the sky looking to catch us doing something wrong. The celestial Santa Claus: He’s just there to give gifts. He smiles, nods, and never really pays attention to the naughty list. The grand, old man: He’s the old, old god who isn’t that different from you. He has his own failures and faults. But he doesn’t have any of the answers. The Force: Like in the popular science-fiction series “Star Wars,” God is an impersonal force that we can bend to our own will. If I thought God was like any of those popular misconceptions, I wouldn’t trust him either. But he’s not. The Bible paints an entirely different picture of the character of God. The truth is, God is infinitely worthy of your trust because no being in the universe is as capable to influence the world around you as he is. The Bible says, “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” (Psalm 54:4 NIV). God has the power (and the desire) to sustain and help you through whatever you’re going through. He wants to give you his best for your life — and he is uniquely able to help you get there. He is the creator of the universe. He literally has all the resources in the universe that he can mobilize on your behalf as you seek to follow him. But the key is, you must trust him. The Bible says, “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NCV). You can trust God with everything you are because he is able to help you succeed if you do. That doesn’t mean that God will give you all the money, fame, or power you want. But if you trust him, God will help you succeed in what he has called you to do and be.

Talk About It
Which of the misconceptions about God do you think is the most common among your friends and family? How about society?
How would someone’s life change if they had a proper understanding of what God is like?
What is one area of your life where you need to begin to fully trust God?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2330
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,174
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:03 pm

Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them (Psalm 115:8 GW).

I mentioned in yesterday’s devotional that everyone trusts in something. We can even make good things — like our marriages, our families, or even our ministries in the church — into idols.

But trusting in things other than God can have devastating effects upon our lives. If we think who we’re with or what we do will make us totally fulfilled, we’re setting ourselves up for deep disappointment. The Bible reminds us of this in Jeremiah when he says, “Those who make idols are disillusioned” (Jeremiah 10:14 GNT).

But we do it all the time with our careers, relationships, and bank accounts. We act as if those created things give us meaning in life.

And when we do that, we’re just setting ourselves up for failure. The Bible says, “The poor, deluded fool … trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask: ‘Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?’” (Isaiah 44:20 NLT)

Oh, yes, those idols are lies. Sadly, idols don’t just stop after they’ve disappointed us, though. Eventually, they enslave us, too.

The Bible says, “Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them” (Psalm 115:8 GW). Whatever you value the most in life, you’re going to become like. If you value money, you’ll eventually become a materialist. If you value pleasure, you’ll become a hedonist. If you value works, you’ll become a pragmatist. If you value above all else Jesus Christ, you’ll become a Christian.

So if putting something else first in our lives warps us, why do we do it?

We want a god we can control. We want to be able to manage him. If we make money our god, we feel as if we can control it. If we make other people our gods, we set out to control them. It makes us feel better.

But we can’t control God. He says, “Don’t reduce me. Don’t try to fit me into your lifestyle. Don’t try to control me.

Talk About It
How have you seen other people set up idols in their lives that eventually dominated them?
How can even healthy things become idols in our lives?
What do you need to let go of your control of so that it is not an idol in your life?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2330
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,174
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:05 pm

Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them (Psalm 115:8 GW).

I mentioned in yesterday’s devotional that everyone trusts in something. We can even make good things — like our marriages, our families, or even our ministries in the church — into idols.

But trusting in things other than God can have devastating effects upon our lives. If we think who we’re with or what we do will make us totally fulfilled, we’re setting ourselves up for deep disappointment. The Bible reminds us of this in Jeremiah when he says, “Those who make idols are disillusioned” (Jeremiah 10:14 GNT).

But we do it all the time with our careers, relationships, and bank accounts. We act as if those created things give us meaning in life.

And when we do that, we’re just setting ourselves up for failure. The Bible says, “The poor, deluded fool … trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask: ‘Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?’” (Isaiah 44:20 NLT)

Oh, yes, those idols are lies. Sadly, idols don’t just stop after they’ve disappointed us, though. Eventually, they enslave us, too.

The Bible says, “Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them” (Psalm 115:8 GW). Whatever you value the most in life, you’re going to become like. If you value money, you’ll eventually become a materialist. If you value pleasure, you’ll become a hedonist. If you value works, you’ll become a pragmatist. If you value above all else Jesus Christ, you’ll become a Christian.

So if putting something else first in our lives warps us, why do we do it?

We want a god we can control. We want to be able to manage him. If we make money our god, we feel as if we can control it. If we make other people our gods, we set out to control them. It makes us feel better.

But we can’t control God. He says, “Don’t reduce me. Don’t try to fit me into your lifestyle. Don’t try to control me.

Talk About It
How have you seen other people set up idols in their lives that eventually dominated them?
How can even healthy things become idols in our lives?
What do you need to let go of your control of so that it is not an idol in your life?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2330
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,174
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:08 pm

If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God” (Ecclesiastes 5:19 GNT).

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17 that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (NIV). That’s the kind of God we serve. He gave us the world for our enjoyment! But here’s the problem: We’re so busy getting more that we don’t enjoy what we’ve got. One of my favorite things to do is watch the sunrise from the slope in our yard. I put a deck chair out there almost 20 years ago. I think I bought it at Target, so it’s not expensive. It’s faded, and a couple of its slats are broken. I love to sit in that ratty, old chair and watch the sun come up. It gives me great pleasure! Would I have any more joy watching the sunrise if I were sitting in a diamond-encrusted Barcalounger instead of a ratty chair from Target? No. It would not increase my joy one bit. In fact, there is an advantage to not having a diamond-encrusted Barcalounger. It’s better to have a ratty chair on the slope. Why? Because nobody steals it! You need to ask yourself, “What am I not enjoying right now?” Most of us get into what I call “when and then” thinking — “When this happens, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get a boyfriend, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get married, then I’ll be happy.” “When I have kids, then I’ll be happy.” “When my kids go off to school, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get married again, then I’ll be happy.” You are as happy as you choose to be. Happiness is a choice! If you’re not happy now, you’re not going to be happy later. I could take you to some of the worst places in the world and show you two people living right next door to each other. One is miserable, and one is happy. Why? Happiness has nothing to do with your circumstances. It has everything to do with your attitude. If you’re not happy living on what you’re living on right now, I can guarantee you that you’re not going to be happy with any more. Because you’re always going to want a little bit more. Happiness is a choice. Choose to enjoy what God has given you right now for your enjoyment!

Talk About It
What has God blessed you with that you have not been enjoying to the fullest?
What have you been waiting on to be happy?
If happiness is a choice, why do people choose to be unhappy?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell


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