Tuesday, August 19, 2014

“One key to failure is to try to please everyone.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 39). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Have you found yet that trying to please everyone is an impossible situation?  You just can’t do it. 

As a Pastor I knew I was in trouble when I tried to preach sermons that everyone would like.  And the music was a major hassle.  No way could I please everyone.  Have you found that even striving to please yourself can be a problem?  I mean what I want right now can change in an hour.  My mood changes and there I am. 

Rick says, “Many people are driven by the need for approval. They allow the expectations of parents or spouses or children or teachers or friends to control their lives. Many adults are still trying to earn the approval of unpleasable parents. Others are driven by peer pressure, always worried by what others might think. Unfortunately, those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.”

Jesus knew that this would be a problem.  He said in Matthew 6: 24 (NLT), “No one can serve two masters.”   And you can’t.

And then Rick says, “Being controlled by the opinions of others is a guaranteed way to miss God’s purposes for your life.”  And there is the key.  When you find God’s purpose for your life and you strive to do it you will then find tremendous freedom.

That is another of the tremendous benefits of having a relationship with Christ.  He gives you a purpose, a reason to get up every morning.   Even at 67 I am still living out His purpose for my life.  And that makes life worth living.

So what is your purpose?

Monday, August 18, 2014

“When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 117). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

So many really understand what that means.  Worry is a big part of their lives.  And Rick then says, “When you think about God’s Word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation.”

And you might say, “Where did that come from?  Are you talking about worry or are you focusing on meditation?”  And the answer is meditation and here is the reason.

A relationship with God is a very important thing to have.  It will make all the difference in your life.  It will help you with all those worries that you seem to be spending a lot of time on.  And Rick says, “It is impossible to be God’s friend apart from knowing what he says. You can’t love God unless you know him, and you can’t know him without knowing his Word.”  

Now you may not be able to spend all day studying the Bible but you can stop and recall a verse that you read earlier and think on it.  Meditate on it.  Think about how it lets you know more about God.  Think about how it will help you in the situation that you are going through, that you are worrying about. 

David in Psalm 119: 97 (NIV) said, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.”

Meditation is simply focus thinking.  And you know how to do that if you worry.  Think about how much less time you would spend worrying if you meditated on God’s Word.

Then Rick said, “Friends share secrets, and God will share his secrets with you if you develop the habit of thinking about his Word throughout the day.”  And that will go a long way in knowing how to handle those things that you are worried about. 

Wouldn’t you like God to share some of His secrets with you?

Friday, August 15, 2014

“Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 96). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

What is there about you that you don’t like?  Another way to put it is, if you could change anything about the way you look what would it be?

Now if you are a normal teenager it would be almost everything but many don’t outgrow that attitude.  They don’t like themselves.

Of course there are some things that you can change.  I want to weigh under 200 lbs. so I am doing something about that but I’m having trouble at getting taller. 

God says in Isaiah 45:9 (CEV), "You have no right to argue with your Creator.  You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter.  The clay doesn't ask, 'Why di you make me this way?'"

But we seem to want to do that all the time.  We want to argue with the Creator about something in the way we look.  But what if He has a purpose behind how you look?  What difference would that make in your acceptance of the way you were made?

And that to me is one of the great benefits of believing in a wise and sovereign God who created you and who has a plan and a purpose for your life and who really, really loves you.  If and when we accept that as a fact our life takes on a whole different meaning.  In other words that is really good news.

One of the first parts of that plan is that He wants to have a relationship with you.  That is His desire but He leaves the choice of you having that relationship up to you.  He wants to be my friend and all the benefits of having that friendship is up to me.  It starts with asking Him to become my best friend.  I did that and He is.  

So why not accept Him as your friend and also accept yourself as He created you?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

“Fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?  (p. 38). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

There are so many different types of emotions that hold us back from living out our potential and without a doubt fear is one of them.  I am right now at a point in my life that I am stepping out from my world of security into a new world of adventure and there is some fear involved in it.  But my excitement and challenge is overpowering my fear.

Rick says, “Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.”    Even at 67 God is not finished with my life.

The Bible in 1 John 4:18 (MSG) says, “Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life — fear of death, fear of judgment — is one not yet fully formed in love.” 

I want to be driven by God’s love and purpose not fear.  Because of His love for me I know I can trust Him to be there when I follow Him.  He is out ahead preparing the way.  That is why I am in Hollywood today.  I now see why He has led us to California.  He has been preparing us for this time in our life for 25 years. Life is exciting.  

What about you?  What is driving you?  Fear or love?   

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

“Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?  (p. 38). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Have you found that out yet?  As Rick says, “Your past is past! Nothing will change it. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake, learn from it, and then let it go.”

Job 5:2 (TEV) in the Old Testament in the Bible says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.”  But people do it all the time.

I know it is so easy to hold on to your hurt.  I mean, “You really don’t know what they did to me.”  And your right, I don’t.  But God does and He can do something about it.  Just give it to Him. 

“Here, God.  This is controlling me and it is messing me up.  I am tired of the emotional energy that this is taking up in my life.  All I do is think about it.  And it is affecting all of my other relationships.  It is messing them up.  So would you teach what there is fr me to learn from the situation and free me from the bitterness that is inside me?  I’m giving it to you to take care of it not only in me but in the other person.  Thank You for listening to me and relieving my bitterness and helping me to learn from it.  In Your name I pray.  Amen.”

Why not pray that prayer right now?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 37). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

But so many people are.  But Rick says, “God’s purpose is not limited by your past. He turned a murderer named Moses into a leader and a coward named Gideon into a courageous hero, and he can do amazing things with the rest of your life, too. God specializes in giving people a fresh start.”

Psalm 32:1 in the Living Bible says, ““What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! … What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.”

David the writer of this Psalm knew what he was talking about.  He had really messed up.  He had killed a man and then taken the dead man’s wife as his own but he confessed his sin and God cleared his record. 

I don’t know if there is something in your life that is holding you back.  Just confess it to God and He will take the guilt away.  Your past is past and you don’t have to live with the quilt.  That is an amazing thing to realize today.

Yes we do have a past but as he says, “We don’t have to be prisoners of it.”  That is such good news.

Why don’t you confess whatever it is to God and let Him clear your record today?

Monday, August 11, 2014

“Our memories are not enemies of forgiveness. Memories are simply memories.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Locations 2101-2102). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

He then says, “What we do with them determines their impact. Our memories are opportunities to renew our minds to what we know is true. Our memories are opportunities to rejoice in our own forgiveness. Truly forgiving does not always entail truly forgetting. If you will renew your mind, painful memories can become reminders of God’s goodness and grace and healing power in your life. What were once negative memories can become a source of joy as you experience the healing power of the Father.”

Isn’t that great?  An experience that the Enemy has set up to hurt us the rest of our life can be turned into an opportunity to once again see how great God is and how He can make such a difference in our life.  Please don’t waist the opportunity.  Let God heal that negative memory and give you joy.  

So why not start today?