Friday

Do the "Impossible"

Love your enemy, do good to those who hurt you
God asks the "impossible" - calling us beyond ourselves and our strength to actions that require His strength. 

Look at the "impossible" commands in Romans 12:14-21:
  • Bless those who persecute you.
  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
  • If your enemy is hungry, feed him...
  • Overcome evil with good.
Has someone hurt you deeply? Has someone lied about you or caused you loss? Has someone purposely benefited from your misfortune?

Take time today to bless that person. 

It's always appropriate to bless them by praying for them. 

Sometimes God may ask us to do more - helping with a need or doing an act of kindness.

We answer to a higher power and He gives us strength to overcome evil with good. We may never overcome the evil in our enemy's heart, but we can surely overcome the evil feelings we have for him in our own heart.

Thursday

Aggressive Renewal

Romans 12:1-2, 2 Cor. 10:5, Phil. 4:8
The renewal process that begins when we follow Christ is a process that continues daily. 

If we aren't renewing our minds, we're conforming to the influences of the world around us.

Renewal is as an aggressive, proactive process--demolishing and taking captive:

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

To renew our minds we must concentrate on things that are "excellent and praiseworthy" (Philippians 4:8) creating a Biblical world view. It's not simply putting a positive spin on life; it's putting a godly spin on life.

Beliefs firmly rooted and nurtured in our minds affect our lifestyle and give us a deeper discernment of God's "good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2).

How are you renewing your mind today?

Wednesday

5 Requirements of Prayer

5 Requirements for Effective Prayer, praying with faith, praying God's wil
Prayer is both simple and complex. 

1. It requires faith:
Matthew 21:22: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

2. It's requires being right with God:
John 15:7: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

3. It requires right motives:
James 4:3: When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4. It requires a clean conscience:
1 John 3:21-22: Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

5. Perhaps the best summary of prayer is 1 John 5:14-15:
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

What a wonderful privilege to take our concerns to the Lord.

praying with faith, praying God's will

Tuesday

Lousy Lovers

Philippians 1:9-11, Lousy Lovers, We need God to teach us how to love
Without God's help, we're lousy lovers, and I'm not just talking about romantic love. I'm talking about love for friends, children, parents, siblings, and God Himself.

In Philippians 1:9-11 Paul prays that the Philippians will gain knowledge and insight to live well and love well.

Genuine love isn't automatic--it means thinking of others first, working through problems even when things get messy, seeing things from the perspective of others, being committed and proactive.To have this type of love, we need knowledge and insight that only God can give.

Philippians repeatedly tells us to REJOICE--today let's rejoice that God wants to help us live and love well. And let's ask Him to help us with specific relationships that need improvement.
© copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011
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All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.