I cannot recommend this book enough. It. is. awesome!
From New Morning Mercies, by Paul Tripp, May 18th
Change is not found in defending our righteousness, but in admitting our weakness and crying for help. I wish I could say that this is not my struggle. I wish I could say that Continue Reading…
The gospel provides rest from all of our burdens, anxieties and fears because the gospel is founded upon the character of God. This is the God, the great I AM, the sustainer of all things, ruler over the entire universe and everything else.
The gospel says that God is taking what is broken beyond our ability to fix and fixing it; the gospel is God taking our sinfully dead hearts and bringing them back to life through the life, death, resurrection and reign of Christ. Continue Reading…
This sounds basic but many people read a devotional written by someone else. There might be a verse or passage in the beginning or end of the devotional but the bulk of the material comes from the author. Now there is nothing wrong with reading devotionals written by human authors. Two of my favorites are Paul Tripp and John Piper. However, nothing is better than just reading a passage out of your own Bible. I’m sure these two authors would encourage you to read more the Word than their own words.
2. Study for Yourself.
Pouring over the Scriptures yourself is life giving. Some people are literally afraid to read the Bible because they might not understand it all. God has written the Bible in such a way that anyone can understand its basic meaning. The Scriptures contain God’s grace to you, and you do not want to miss out on receiving it.
3. Listen to God.
I’ve never heard God speak in an audible voice to me but He has given me his Word, the Bible. God wants to speak to you and His best medium is through the Bible. When you prayerfully go through the Scriptures you will begin to experience and hear God speaking truth into your life, He will speak comforting words to your hurting heart and He will give you wisdom to make difficult decisions.
The Lord wants to hear from you as well. Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart to God. All your thoughts, emotions, struggles, hardships, joys, pains, thanksgivings and praise. God wants to hear it all. I love praying the Scriptures back to God for myself and for others. To keep me focused while I pray I write in a journal.
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
Money has always been an issue for me. I have never made a great deal of money, but at the same time, I’ve never Continue Reading…
Today is a great day to recount the grace and mercies of God over the past year.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2
Throughout the Bible, especially in the Psalms, we see the authors of Scripture looking back on what God has done in their lives. God is active and constantly at work on us, transforming us into the image of His Son, Jesus. This is a great time to reflect on our year and to thank God for His steadfast love and faithfulness. Even if you went through a serious crisis this year I would imagine that you saw the hand of God in your life. So I encourage you to take a few moments and chronicle some key events that happened and give God the glory for them. When I do this, I just get out my journal and my calendar. I go through month by month using my calendar to remind me what happened, what I did, who I met with, etc. Below are some questions to get you thinking.
I also want to encourage you to think about your life in four key areas: spiritual, emotional, physical and relational. Not that you would compartmentalize these areas, but that you would consider them as four major parts of your life that impact the whole of your life.
- What were some highs and lows?
- What did you do that you really enjoyed doing?
- What did you do that you really did not enjoy doing?
- Who did you spend time with that you really liked?
- What acts of service or mercy did you do? Did you like it?
- Did you learn to do something new this year?
- What material possessions did you acquire? What impact did they have on your life?
- What were some major themes you saw God working on in your life?
- What did you read this year? Did it change or impact your life in some way?
- Did you accomplish any goals that you set for yourself this year?
- What are you thankful for from this past year?
- Do you feel like you spent quality time with your family?
- Where did you go on vacation? Was it a good time with your family?
- Did you date your spouse this year? Any overnights?
- Did you have an exercise plan this past year?
- Did you smash any idols this year?
- Who did you spend time with this year that was encouraging to you? Challenging to you?
- What ways were you involved in church/Kingdom work? Was it challenging? Do you feel like you were using your God given gifts?
- What Scripture did you read or study this year that had a profound impact on your life?
- Where has the gospel been at work changing your life?
Looking ahead to 2016…
- What spiritual disciplines are you going to create?
- What friends are you going to invest in?
- How are you going to cultivate the relationships with your family?
- What God honoring things are you going to do for yourself this year?
- What steps are you going to take to stay in shape physically and stay healthy?
All for Jesus,