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Friday, October 31, 2014

Change Requires Making Choices BY RICK WARREN — OCTOBER 31, Friday

“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT)
It’s not enough to want to change. It’s not enough to desire to change. It’s not even enough to say, “I have a dream of changing.” Dreams are worthless unless you wake up and actually act on them. You’re not going to change the defects in your life until you choose to change.
How are you going to be different in six months? Are you going to be emotionally stronger? Are you going to be mentally sharper? Are you going to be physically healthier? Are you going to be spiritually deeper?
It isn’t going to happen automatically. You aren’t just going to get healthier by accident in any category of your life. A lot of times we think we’re waiting on God to change us. You’re not waiting on God. God is waiting on you.
There is no growth in your life without change. And there is no change without loss. You’ve got to let go of some old stuff. And there is no loss without pain.
Some of you are stuck right now because you haven’t learned how to let go. That’s a choice. Ephesians 4:22 says, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception” (NLT).
You might say that your defects are biological or sociological. Some of them are from your circumstances or your chromosomes. But it doesn’t really matter where they come from. You need to deal with it. Genetics explains your inclinations, but it doesn’t excuse your sin.
Here’s the good news: Once you become a believer, you have a new power in you that is greater than those old tendencies. That power is the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 2:12-13 says, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose”(NIV).
Does that mean you are supposed to be afraid of God? Of course not! Be afraid that you’ll miss God’s best and waste your life. Be afraid that you will go your entire life and never know God’s purpose.
The secret to changing your life is not willpower. It’s God giving you the will and the power through the Holy Spirit to do what needs to be done.
Talk About It
  • What do you think it means to “work out” your salvation?
  • How have you experienced the Holy Spirit’s power in your life?

Don't Play Dead Gloria Copeland Ministries daily devotional 31 October Friday

– Matthew 11:12
The Amplified Bible says, "A share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion."
I want you to get violent today. Yes, violent, determined, zealous. I want you to get so committed to the things of God that you'll withstand any attempt to take them away from you.
Too many believers these days are like the Israelites. They're wandering around in a wilderness of defeat because there's an enemy in the Promised Land. They're being robbed of their rightful inheritance because they're afraid to fight him. They keep hoping that somehow they'll find a way in without using force. But they won't! You have to make demands where Satan and his associates are concerned.
When God sent the Israelites into Canaan, He said, "Send the armed men to go before you." They were to go up armed--ready for the fight. He knew they'd have to fight to take the land. He never promised them that they wouldn't. What He promised them was they'd win every time.
The same is true for you. You can't just lie down and play dead when you're dealing with the devil. He's not going to let go of any area of your life--of your health or your finances or anything else--without a fight. He's not going to give it up unless you force him.
Quit sitting there in the wilderness. Quit sitting there while the devil steals the blessings of God out from under you. You have God's permission and His power and His ability to take the land. Get violent enough to do something about it...today!
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 31:1-8

A Different Spirit - Joel Osteen Ministries daily devtional 30 October Friday

“But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.”
(Numbers 14:24, NASB)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
One time in scripture, Moses sent 12 men to spy out the Promised Land. The people of Israel were camped right next door and excited about possessing the land. But after 40 days, ten of the men came back with a negative report. They said, “Moses, there are giants in the land, and we’ll never defeat them.” That negative report spread throughout the rest of the camp, and the people began to murmur and complain.
But one of the spies named Caleb said, “Moses, we are well able to defeat these people. Let us go up at once and take the land!”
It’s interesting that they all saw the same land, the same circumstances, yet they had totally different views. How could their reports be so opposite? Here’s how: Caleb had a different spirit. He saw things with a different perspective. Others were focused on the giants, but Caleb was focused on his God. The people who complained never actually made it into the Promised Land, but Caleb did. He accompanied a new generation that chose the blessing of God.
Today, you can choose to have a different spirit. Don’t listen to what everyone else says; listen to what God says. Choose to believe His Word, choose to obey Him, and He will lead you into your promised land!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, today I choose to tune out the negative voices of the world. I choose to trust in You even when no one else around me will. I thank You for the good things You are doing in my life and trust that You will fulfill every promise You’ve made to me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Change Requires Learning the Truth BY RICK WARREN — OCTOBER 30, Thursday

“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT)
You will never change the things in your life that you know are defective unless you learn the truth. Change requires learning the truth.
Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NLT). You’re not going to be free until you know the truth. The secret to personal change is not a pill, program, or process. It’s not therapy, a book, or a seminar. It’s not positive thinking or psychology. The proof of personal change is found in the truth. You have to know and face the truth about yourself, God, and your relationships before you can change.
Behind every self-defeating behavior in your life is a lie you’re believing. If you’re deeply in debt right now, it’s because you believed some lies. You thought, “I can just keep charging it forever and get away with it.” Oh really? “I have to have this house.” Oh really? Do you really have to have it? Is it true? Can you prove it?
We lie to ourselves all the time. But you have to know and face the truth if you’re going to change.
Jesus said the truth will set you free. But first it makes you miserable! It makes you miserable as long as you deny it. The moment that you are honest with the truth about you and everything else in life, then it starts to set you free.
Who is the truth? Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Not “I have it.” Not “I point the way.” Not “I teach it.” He said, “I’m it. I am the truth.”
You can trust his Word. His Word is the Bible.
The Bible is good for four things: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).
The Bible is like a path. It shows us where to walk and how to stay on the path. It shows us when we get off the path and how to get back on the path. When you use God’s Word to show you where and how you should walk, it will give you the instruction and knowledge you need to change your life.
Talk About It
  • What is it in your life that you’re pretending isn’t a problem but needs to change?
  • How are you doing at equipping yourself through study of the Bible?

It's Your Decision Kenneth Copeland Ministries daily devotional 30 October THursday

– Mark 5:22-24
I wonder when God is going to do something about this problem! Have you ever asked that question? If so, you may be surprised to find out that the answer depends 100 percent on you.
There's an incident in Mark 5 that will show you what I mean. Jesus had just gotten out of a boat and people were pressing all around Him, "thronging Him," it says. They had Him shoved up against the shoreline when suddenly there came a man moving through that crowd to get to Jesus.
Throwing himself at Jesus' feet, Mark records, he prays and beseeches Him greatly, saying, "My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her... and she shall live."
Think about this situation for a moment. Here's a man that's politically on the level of the mayor of the city. But he's so doggedly determined to get to Jesus that he fights his way through the crowd and clears out enough room to fall at Jesus' feet. He's made a decision--and when he gets to Jesus, he says exactly what it is: Lay your hands on her and she shall live.
Let me ask you something: Who do you think is directing the ministry of Jesus here? This one man! A man who's made a decision. When he speaks that decision out, Jesus doesn't say anything. He just stops what He's doing, turns around and follows him.
In a crowd of literally thousands, the faith decision of one man is directing the actions of Jesus.
What does that mean to you? It means that if you're sitting around waiting for Jesus to decide to heal you... for Jesus to decide to help you...for Jesus to decide to prosper you and give you victory...you're in for a long wait. Because that's not Jesus' decision.
It's yours.
Scripture Reading: Mark 5:21-24,35-43