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Sunday, April 19, 2015

How To Trust God for Your Big Dream BY RICK WARREN — APRIL 19, Sunday

“Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more …. When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had?’” (Genesis 37:5, 10a NIV)
If you want to make it in a career, you have to show audacity. Audacity is the courage to think big, to show initiative, and to take risks for a dream while facing the possibility of failure.
In Genesis 37, we read the story of Joseph, who had a dream so incredible, so audacious that nobody in the world believed him. He dreamed that one day he would be a great leader and all his brothers would bow down to him. 
Was it the truth? Yes. Was the dream from God? Yes. Was it fulfilled? Yes. Was Joseph a little crazy to tell his brothers? Yes. 
Joseph had an audacious dream. When he shared it with his family, “they hated him all the more …. When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had?’” (Genesis 37:5b, 10a NIV)
You’re going to have to step out in faith — even when it doesn’t make sense, even when people ridicule you, even when you’re afraid, even when the odds are against you. If God puts a dream in your heart, he will honor you when you step out in faith to do it.
I have a letter from the publisher of Zondervan, saying that my book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” was terrible and that it would never sell. He went through the book and pointed out all the things he thought were wrong and why it wouldn’t sell: Nobody reads 40 chapters. It didn’t have enough stories in it. It had too much Scripture in it. It’s too choppy. I wrote him back and told him I believed this is the way I had been directed by God to do it, and he didn’t have to publish it.
I basically held the line, and they said they still wanted to publish it. Don’t you think they’re glad they did? Sometimes you just have to go with a little bit of audacity because you believe in what God has told you to do.
Joseph made one audacious decision after another in faith. As a result, he got the promotion of a lifetime — he eventually became a great leader and ruled over all of Egypt.
Where do you need to be audacious? Where do you need to trust God? Where do you need to step out in faith? Where do you need to think big? Where do you need to take initiative? Where do you need to take risks?
Click here to play today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick.
Talk It Over
  • What would you have to do to show audacity in your job?
  • Do you think you have to be arrogant to be audacious? Why or why not?
  • How do you want God to use you? What do you want to accomplish in your life? How will you have to be audacious to accomplish those things?

Be of Good Cheer Kenneth Copeland Ministries daily devotional 19 April Sunday

And now I exhort you to be of good cheer.
Acts 27:22
What do you do when you’re in a really perilous situation?
If you’re like I used to be, you cry out to God in desperation. One afternoon when I was squalling to God about something, He interrupted me and said, Kenneth, did you know I don’t hear the cry of My children when they cry out in desperation?
“What?” I said. “I thought You did.”
He said, No, I hear the desperation cry of a sinner because that’s all he can cry about. But once you get born again, son, you ought to be crying out of faith. I hear the faith cry.
What is a faith cry? It’s calling things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17). It’s what the Bible means when it says, “…Let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10).
The Apostle Paul knew how to use the faith cry. That’s why, in Acts 27, he exhorted the men on that battered, sinking ship to “be of good cheer.” He was telling them to start acting by faith. Can’t you imagine what those sailors thought when he said that?Listen to that stupid preacher. We’re sinking and he says be of good cheer. We’ve thrown everything we have overboard and he says be of good cheer.
You may feel just like those sailors did, right now. You may feel like your ship’s going down. You may feel like crying out in desperation. But don’t do it. Instead, do what Paul said and be of good cheer!
Cry out to God in faith and say, “Lord, I’m not going to panic. I’m not going to despair. I’m going to be of good cheer because Your Word says You’ll deliver me from this situation” (Psalm 34:19).
Then start being cheerful. It may take more determination than anything you’ve ever done before, but God will give you the strength to do it. He’ll give you the power to be cheerful in the middle of the most ungodly darkness the devil can bring up.
Instead of crying out in desperation, take a faith stand. Sing and rejoice and praise God for your deliverance. Be of good cheer and you can be sure God will bring you through the storm just fine!
Scripture Reading:
Philippians 4:4-9

Appointed Favor - Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 18 April Saturday

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
(Ephesians 2:10, NASB)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God has already prepared paths for you to take in your future! When God laid out the plan for your life, He lined up the right people, the right circumstances, and the right breaks. In your future, He’s already released favor, supernatural opportunities, and divine connections. The breaks you need in life have already been preordained to come across your path. If you will stay in faith and go out each day and be a person of excellence, you’ll walk into these appointments of favor. It will be just as if you stumbled into God’s blessings!
When you really understand this principle, you’ll begin to get excited about the opportunities in every single day! You’ll have a spring in your step as you think about what blessing is coming next. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week! Keep expecting. Keep believing. Stay focused on the fact that God has already released into your future everything you need to fulfill your destiny. Start declaring seasons of increase over your life. Declare that favor is on you and opportunities are coming. Then, get ready to move forward in the favor and blessing God has ordered for you!
Father, thank You for setting up a good life for me. Thank You for ordering blessings for my future. Help me to know Your ways so that I can walk with You in the paths You have for me all the days of my life in Jesus name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen                   

Troubles Won’t Last - Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 17 April Friday

“Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
(2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
In this life, God warns that we will have trials and tribulations. The good news is that He also promises to deliver us from them all! Now, He doesn’t necessarily say that He will deliver us instantly, or the way we expect, or on our schedule. It can be tempting to get discouraged when things don’t happen the way you expect. But when you feel like trouble is surrounding you, that’s when you have to dig your heels in and say, “I’m not giving up because God promised me victory!”
If you are going through a dark time today, keep moving through it! Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. That difficulty didn’t come to stay, it came to pass. Your job is to stay in faith and keep praising and thanking Him for delivering you. Set your hope in Him, stir up your faith, and keep believing because soon you will see the victory God has prepared for you!
Father, thank You for giving me the strength to overcome every obstacle I face in life. I set my mind on You. I set my hope on Your love knowing that You are paving the way to victory all the days of my life in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How to Face Your Fears and Indecision BY RICK WARREN — APRIL 18, Saturday

“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)
The root of all indecision is fear. We all have different kinds of fears. We’re afraid we’ll make mistakes and embarrass ourselves. We’re afraid that we won’t be able to finish what we’ve started. We’re afraid we’re not good enough.
One of the fears that keeps us from making decisions is the fear of disapproval. Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety” (TLB). The moment you start worrying about what other people think, it’s over, because fear of disapproval is always worse than disapproval.
So how do you get rid of a fear? There’s only one way: Face it, and move against it. You do the thing you fear the most! At some point you’ve got to stop aiming and pull the trigger.
The only antidote to fear is faith. You have to step out in faith. You’ve got to trust God and start moving. 
In every major decision we’ve had to make at Saddleback Church, I was scared. But I did it anyway.
Courage is not the absence of fear; courage is moving ahead in spite of your fear. If you’re not afraid, you don’t need courage. Courage comes because you’re scared to death but you also believe it’s what God wants you to do, so you do it anyway.
Proverbs 3:5-6 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”(NCV).
God supports those who move in faith. So here’s the question you need to ask: Where do you need to trust God? You haven’t really trusted him until you’ve attempted something you can’t do on your own power.
I don’t know what decision you need to make, but you need to prepare for it and then step out in faith. Why? Because your choices determine your character and your destiny. Commit yourself to the Lord, and he will give you the wisdom and courage to make the decision that will bring you closer to who he made you to be.
Click here to play today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick.
Talk It Over
  • How have your fears kept you from moving forward in life?
  • It there a decision you need to make that requires you to trust God? What step of faith do you believe he is telling you to take?
  • What do you think it means to commit your decisions to the Lord?

Throw Open the Door Kenneth Copeland Ministries daily devotional 18 April Saturday

Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money [in].... And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites.... And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them...this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Mark 12:41-44
Have you ever wanted to get God’s attention? You can, you know. There’s a certain kind of boldness, a certain kind of faith in giving that will get His attention every time. You can see that in Mark 12.
Read that chapter and just imagine the situation it describes. Jesus was sitting by the treasury watching as people put in their offerings. Don’t you know there were some sanctimonious displays going on with Him there watching? There was bound to be plenty of pharisaical robe swishing as those wealthy leaders walked up to put in their gifts that day.
Right in the middle of it all, this poor widow walked up and threw in her offering. I can just see her in my mind’s eye. I can hear her say to herself, “By the eternal Almighty God that liveth, I’ve had enough of this poverty. I’m fed up with having nothing but want. I may just be a poor widow now, but I’m not going to be a poor widow anymore. I’m going to be a broke widow if God doesn’t do something here because I’m giving Him everything I’ve got!”
Then, wham! She threw that last little dab of money she had into the offering.
Do you know what? That got Jesus’ attention. He said, “Listen, everyone. I want to talk to you about this woman,” and He started to preach.
What moved Jesus wasn’t just the fact that she gave. It was how she gave. She gave in faith—not in fear. She didn’t stop and calculate what she didn’t have and say, “Boy, if I do this, tomorrow I won’t eat.” She just boldly threw in all she had, expecting God to take care of her in return.
You and I need to catch hold of that same attitude. We need to start holding our offerings up to the Lord in confidence, throwing them boldly into His service, expecting His blessings in return.
If you have a need right now, get God’s attention by giving with boldness like that widow woman did. Throw open the door of your household by throwing everything you have at Jesus. Let God know that He is your source. Before long, the abundance of God will come pouring in!
Scripture Reading:
Mark 12:28-44