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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Focus on Reconciliation, not Resolution BY RICK WARREN — JULY 30, Wednesday

“There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV)
When you have conflict in your life, focus on reconciliation, not resolution. There’s a big difference in those two words. Reconciliation means re-establishing the relationship. Resolution means resolving every issue.
Resolution probably isn’t going to happen, because you’re never going to agree on some things. Nobody on this planet agrees with you about everything, so you’re never going to have resolution on all your issues.
Can you have a loving relationship without agreeing on everything? Of course you can. If you learn to disagree without being disagreeable, that’s called wisdom. If you learn to walk hand-in-hand without having to see eye-to-eye, that’s called wisdom.
One of the greatest things you can do with your life is be a bridge builder, not a wall builder. You are most like Jesus Christ when you are reconciling people. You are most like Jesus when you’re building bridges, not walls. That’s exactly what Jesus came to do! He’s the great reconciler. God sent Jesus to Earth to reconcile us because we are in conflict with God.
But you cannot make peace with other people until you make peace with God. And maybe that’s part of the problem — you’re not at peace with yourself because you’re not at peace with God. First you’ve got to make peace with God. Then you get the peace of God.
That’s the starting point: You need to get peace in your heart by letting the Prince of Peace inside.
Would you pray this to God in your heart?
“God, you know the conflict in my life. I’m tired of it, and I want to make peace. I want to have your peace in my life so I can offer peace to others. So I accept your peace today. I open my life to you as best as I know how. Fill my life with love, not anger, and with patience, joy, and peace. Come in and fill every area of my life with your peace, and help me to be a bridge builder and not a wall builder. Help me to take the initiative and not wait on that other person. Help me to find the right time and place, and then help me to have the courage to confess my part of the conflict and to be humble. Instead of attacking the person, help me attack the problem. Help me to consider the other person’s perspective. Help me to speak the truth, fix the problem and not the blame, and to focus on reconciliation instead of resolving all the disagreements. I ask this in your name. Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer today, write me at Rick@RickWarren.org. And to learn more about finding your destiny by following Jesus go to RickWarren.org, and click on the “Know God” tab. There’s a video and a guide explaining what it means to trust your life to Jesus.

You Don't Have to Fall Kenneth Copeland Ministries daily devotional 30 July Wednesday

– 2 Peter 1:10
You shall never fall. When you think about it, that's a startling statement, isn't it? Most of us have been tripped up by the devil so many times we don't like to think about it.
But the Word of God says it doesn't have to be that way. He says there's something that can keep us on our feet. What is it? Diligence.
If you haven't already, you need to realize how important diligence is. You need to face the fact that you simply can't live a life of victory without it.
You can't stand strong on the Word of God and not pick your Bible up during the week. Sunday morning alone isn't going to get the job done. Yet most believers try to get by on that. That's precisely why we have thousands of churches all over the world filled with born-again people who don't have enough faith to blow their hats off. No diligence.
I remember several years ago when I ministered to a lady who was healed of cancer. She'd gotten into the Word, taken a stand of faith, and had been delivered. But several years later she called me and said, "Brother Copeland, I wish you'd pray for me. This cancer has come back on me again."
Right away I recalled the scripture the Lord had given us to stand on those years before: "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." So I said, "Get your Bible and let's go back to Isaiah 54:17."
In the background I could hear her whispering to someone else in the room, "Where's my Bible?" When I heard that, I almost cried out. I knew she wasn't going to make it. Why? No diligence.
Listen, this is a daily thing. The devil's out there 24 hours a day devising ways to make us fall. Jesus is on the throne 24 hours a day giving us power to resist him, and we need to be exercising our faith all the time.
If you're going to stand in the days ahead, you're going to need a lot more than Sunday school faith. You're going to need some full-grown, mountain-moving faith, and there's only one way to get that: By giving yourself to the Word more diligently than you ever have before.
Give diligence to make your calling and election sure; and no matter how slippery the situation gets, you won't have to fall!
Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-10

Don’t Settle Where You Are - Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 29 July Tuesday

“...No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
(1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God did not create you to live a little life with little dreams, little goals, little passion, little influence. God thinks big. He thinks abundance. He thinks expansive. He told the Israelites, “I am bringing you into a wide land, a spacious land flowing with milk and honey.” God has something bigger, something better, something more rewarding in front of you. Don’t get comfortable where you are. It’s easy to think, “Well, God’s blessed me. I’m happy. I’m healthy. I have no complaints.” That’s good to always be grateful. You should learn to be happy where you are, but don’t settle where you are. God never performs His greatest victories in the past. They’re always in the future.
Remember today, you haven’t touched the surface of what God has in store for you. He’s going to open doors you never dreamed would open. He’s going to bring talent out of you that you didn’t know you had! You’re going to see explosive blessings that thrust you to a new level. Keep praying, keep hoping, keep believing and don’t settle where you are. Embrace the blessing God has in store for your future!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for big dreams and visions for my life. I trust that You are taking me higher and leading me to increase, first in You, and then in my influence in the world around me. I refuse to settle and trust that You are at work in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fix the Problem, Not the Blame BY RICK WARREN — JULY 29, Tuesday

“You must also rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8 NIV)
You only have a certain amount of emotional energy. In a conversation where you’re trying to resolve conflict, you can either use that energy to fix the blame or you can use that energy to fix the problem. You don’t have enough energy to do both. So you’ve got to ask yourself what’s more important, to blame the other person or to resolve the conflict. Fix the problem, not the blame.
Every married couple needs some ground rules for fighting fair along with certain words you both agree not to use. There are some things you should never, ever say in a marriage — they become weapons of mass destruction.
During the Cold War, when the Soviet Union and the U.S. were at each other’s throats, the U.S. had thousands of intercontinental missiles aimed at the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had thousands of intercontinental missiles aimed at us, too. Even when we were at the worst point in the Cold War and there was enormous tension, both sides still had enough sanity to say, some weapons we just aren’t going to use because they’re “MAD” — mutually assured destruction. If you use yours, we’re going to use ours, and we’re going to destroy each other, and there won’t be anything. So even when we were on opposite sides of an issue, we could at least agree not to use those weapons.
There are some personal weapons of mass destruction that should never be used in your marriage, like threatening divorce or threatening to walk out or bringing up somebody’s parents. You have to agree that no matter how upset you are with each other, those words are off limits, because they destroy the relationship by tearing down trust.
The Bible is very specific about what’s out of bounds. Colossians 3:8 says, “You must also rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (NIV). Those are like weapons of mass destruction.
The reason we need to focus on fixing the problem and not the blame is because blaming is a form of judging, and only God has the right to judge. You’re not the judge. You can’t figure out anybody else’s motivation. You don’t know your own motivation most of the time! Only God knows. Let him be the judge.
Talk About It
  • What are the “weapons of mass destruction” in your relationship(s)?
  • Why is it important to set boundaries for “fighting fair” in a relationship?

Step Into the Light Kenneth Copeland Ministries daily devotional 29 July Tuesday

– Psalm 119:105
As long as you live by the Word of God, you never have to be in the dark again. You never have to remain in confusion about which path to take. You never have to grope blindly along, struggling to find your own way.
Isn't that great? Isn't it exciting to know that the Word of God will give you all the light you need every day of your life if you'll allow it to?
Build your faith in that Word and renew your commitment to it as you make this confession today:
"Father, in the Name of Jesus, I commit myself to walk in Your Word. I recognize that Your Word is integrity itself-- steadfast, sure, eternal--and I trust my life to its provisions.
"You have sent Your Word forth into my heart. I let it dwell in me richly in all wisdom. It does not depart out of my mouth; I meditate in it day and night so that I may diligently act on it. Your Word is an incorruptible seed, abiding in my spirit, and it's growing mightily in me now, producing Your nature, Your life.
"I thank You, Father, that Your Word is my counsel, my shield, my buckler, my powerful weapon in battle. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It makes my way straight before me, and I never stumble or fall for my steps are ordered by Your Word.
"I recognize the strategies and deceits of Satan and I put a stop to them by speaking Your Word out of my mouth in faith.
"I am confident, Father, that You are at work in me both to will and to do Your good pleasure. I exalt Your Word. I hold it in high esteem and give it first place in my life. I boldly and confidently say that my heart is fixed and established on the solid foundation--the living Word of God. Amen!"
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:89-105

God’s Dream for Your Life - Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 28 July Monday

“ ‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’ ”
(Isaiah 55:8, NLT)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
We all have dreams and goals. We do our best to stretch our faith and believe that one day, if we work hard enough, get the right breaks or meet the right people, we’ll see that dream come to pass. In our mind, that would be big. A great accomplishment. But, what’s big to us is not big to God. He created the universe. He spoke worlds into existence. God’s dream for your life is so much bigger than your own. See, we think ordinary; God thinks extraordinary!
Today, whatever you’re dreaming about, whatever you’re believing for, know that God’s dream for your life is far greater. He wants to supersize it. He’s an overflow God. Ephesians says, “God can do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond what we think.” Why don’t you take the limits off of God? You may not see a way, but God has a way. One touch of God’s favor can take you further than you could go on your own in a lifetime. Be open to God’s dream for your life and embrace the fullness of the blessing He has in store for you!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for loving me and having such a wonderful plan for my life. Help me to see the great things You have for me. Show me Your love today as I keep my heart and mind stayed on You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen                   

Monday, July 28, 2014

Courageous People Resolve Conflict BY RICK WARREN — JULY 28, Monday

“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)
Why does God want us to live at peace with everyone? Because unresolved conflict has three devastating effects in your life.
First, it blocks your fellowship with God. When you’re out of whack with others, you can’t be in harmony with God. When you’re distracted, when you’re in conflict with other people, you cannot have a clear connection with God. 1 John 4:20 says,“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar”(NLT).
Second, unresolved conflict hinders your prayers. Over and over again the Bible says that where there is conflict and sin and disharmony in your life, your prayers are blocked.
Third, unsolved conflict hinders your happiness. You cannot be happy and in conflict at the same time. When conflict comes in the front door, happiness goes out the back.
So, don’t you want to get rid of the conflict in your life? The starting point of resolving any conflict is to take the initiative. Don’t wait for others to come to you; go to them. You be the peacemaker.
Don’t ignore the conflict. Don’t deny the conflict. Don’t push the conflict under the carpet.
Have you heard the expression, “Time heals everything?” That’s a bunch of bologna. Time heals nothing! If time heals everything, you wouldn’t ever need to see the doctor.
Actually, time makes things worse. When you’ve got an open wound and you don’t deal with it, it festers. Anger turns to resentment, and resentment turns to bitterness.
The conflict is not going to resolve itself. You’ve got to intentionally deal with it.
Only courageous people resolve conflict. Maybe the most courageous thing you can do is face an issue that you’ve been ignoring for a long time in your marriage, or with your kids, or with your employees, or your boss, or whoever.
Where do you find the courage to face it? You get it from God.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and self discipline.” That means if you let God’s Spirit fill your life, you're going to be filled with power, love, and self-discipline. And God’s love overcomes fear.
When your love is greater than your fear, you’ll do things you’re afraid to do. That’s called courage. When you’re filled with God’s love, you’ll also be filled with love for that person who is irritating you or that person you’re in conflict with.
Talk About It
  • What are you pretending is not a problem in your relationships? Money? Trust? In-laws? Family? Children? Communication? Values? Work schedule?
  • What will you do today to take the initiative to resolve those conflicts?

We are winning Gloria Copeland Ministries 28 July Monday


– Numbers 14:9
Thousands of years ago, God told the children of Israel to go up and occupy the land that He had given them. He told them to take it, by force and without fear, from the ungodly ones who were dwelling there.
He's still saying that today. God is still trying to get us, as His people, to take the good land He's given us. He's still trying to get us to use the power He's given us to run the wicked one out.
You see, this earth doesn't belong to the devil. It belongs to God (Ps. 24:1). The devil has just moved in and taken control of things because we believers haven't stopped him.
That is our job, you know. Jesus took Satan's legal rights away from him on Resurrection morning. Then Jesus put us in charge of enforcing Satan's defeat. The Scripture says that Jesus is going to sit at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are made His footstool (Heb. 10:12-13). Do you know what that means? It means Jesus is waiting on us to kick the devil and his crew out of the affairs of this earth. He's waiting on us to carry out the victory He won at Calvary and occupy this land.
But just like Israel had to rise up physically to take the land of Canaan, you and I have to rise up in the Spirit if we're going to establish the dominion of God in the earth. We're going to have to get moving. We can't do it sitting down!
Listen, you may not know it, but we're at war. We're in a spiritual battle--and we're winning. In fact, if you realized what was already established in the spirit world, you'd laugh at the devil every time he showed his face.
So today if the devil has control of an area of your life or your church or your community, rise up in the Spirit through faith and prayer and the Word and start taking that territory back. Don't be afraid. His defense is departed from him. He has no weapon that can stand against you.
The Lord is with you. Rise up in the Name of Jesus and take back the land!
Scripture Reading: Exodus 14:10-31
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