Sunday, 31st January 2021

Ephesians 4:23 – Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Change requires new thinking. In order to change, we must learn the truth and start making good choices, but we also must change the way we think.

We’ve talked about this before: The battle for sin starts in your mind, not in your behavior. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act. If you want to change the way you act, you start by changing the way you think. In addition, if you want to change the way you feel, you must start with the way you think.

Think – Feel – Act

You can’t fight your way into a feeling. You must change the way you think about your kids, about your husband, about your wife, and that will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act.

The battle for sin, the battle to deal with those defects in your life that you don’t like, starts in your mind. If you want to change anything in your behavior or anything in your emotions, you start with your thoughts and your attitude.

The renewal of your mind is related to the word repentance. Repentance is about changing your mind, learning to think differently. When I repent, I turn from guilt to forgiveness, from purposelessness to purposefulness, from no hope to new hope, from frustration to freedom, from darkness to light, from hell to heaven. I turn from hatred to love.

I also change the way I think about God. He’s not mad at me. I’m deeply flawed, but I’m deeply loved. I change the way I think about others, the way I think about the world, the way I think about the economy, and I change the way I think about my past, my present, and my future.

So being renewed in your mind means more than changing the way you think about God and Jesus; it also means you change the way you think about your own defects.


Saturday, 30th January 2021

Ephesians 4:2 – Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.

Change requires making choices. It’s not enough to dream of changing. It’s not enough to desire change. In order for you to change, you will need to make a decision. You must choose to change.

Change is intentional: Are you going to be better a year from now? Are you going to be healthier, stronger, and more mature? Are you going to be happier? Are you going to be less in debt? Are you going to be more like God wants you to be?

I can tell you the answer right now: It will only happen if you choose to change, because it isn’t going to happen accidentally. You need to think ahead to where you need to be at the end of this year and where you need to be in three years, six years, and a decade from now. I want you to be better in 10 years than you are today, but you won’t be unless you choose to be.

Change requires a choice.

A lot of times we think we’re waiting on God to change us. No, you are not waiting on God. Rather, God is waiting on you! He’s waiting on you to say, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to make these changes.”

We have to make intentional choices in order to grow. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss, and there is no loss without pain. If you are going to grow, you will have to change, and change means you let go of some old things and grab hold of some new things.

Perhaps you are stuck in the middle, and you’re going down because you haven’t let go of the old patterns, the old habits, and the old ways of thinking. You have to let go of your old ways.

The Bible says, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life” (Ephesians 4:22). In other words, let it go.

Those old habits, those old hurts, those old patterns, those old sins in your life, let them go. The Bible says to throw them off and trust that God is working in you “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).



Friday, 29th January 2021

Ephesians 4:21 – You have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him.

The secret to personal change is not willpower. The secret is to know and face the truth. You must know and face the truth about yourself, your relationships, and your own nature.

Nothing will change in your life until you know and face the truth about your weaknesses, your relationships, your successes and failures, and your past and future. Nothing changes until you know and face the truth that is found in Jesus Christ.

Behind every self-defeating habit in your life is a lie that you believe. What about the things you say to yourself about yourself? Is the way you think about your past, your future or about some event the truth, or is the truth what God says about it?

The Bible teaches that personal change starts with truth. It is the truth that sets you free. Jesus is the truth, he will always tell you the truth. His Word is the truth. The Bible is his Word, the Bible is truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

What you hear on television or read in books isn’t always going to help you, because it’s not always the truth. But what God tells you is always going to be the truth. God’s Word shows you how to get back to the life you were created to live, and then it shows you how to stay on God’s path.

This is why it is so important for you to have a daily quiet time in the Word of God: Change requires learning the truth. Nothing will change until you get the truth into your heart. As long as you build your life on a foundation of lies, misconceptions, deceptions, or half-truths, you will never change. But when you face the truth and respond to the truth, you will begin to see change in your life.


Thursday, 28th January 2021

1 Samuel 17:47 – “Everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

Before David faced Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, he actually had to fight four other giants. They weren’t physical giants, but they were giants in his mind.

You are far more likely to have to face those giants than a Goliath, but they can be just as big and intimidating and they can keep you from becoming who God wants you to be and fulfilling the dream that God has put in your heart.

The first giant in facing your dream is delay. No dream is fulfilled instantly. God gives you the dream on one day, but He doesn’t fulfill it the next day. It may be years before you see the fulfillment of your life dream. There is always a waiting period.

In David’s case, after Samuel anointed him as king, his Dad Jesse told him to get back to tending the sheep!

When God’s plan contradicts man’s plan, there’s going to be a delay. Sometimes even the people who love you the most may try to hold you back. But God is faithful, and he will complete His work in you in His time.

The second giant you may face is discouragement. Goliath created a climate of fear in Israel, and everybody was convinced they were going to lose the battle.

Who are you listening to that says it can’t be done? Who is putting down your dream, saying it won’t ever happen? Sometimes you just need a fresh voice that says, “this guy is nothing. We can take him down.”

The third giant standing in your way is disapproval. In David’s case, his own brother questioned his motives and disapproved of him going after Goliath.

When God gives you a dream that other people are afraid of and you go for it anyway, you will be misjudged, and misunderstood. You have to decide what matters more to you: the approval of other people or the approval of God.

The fourth giant you may have to face is doubt. Nobody was a greater expert on war than King Saul, and he told David he was crazy for thinking a boy could fight a warrior like Goliath.

Maybe the expert is saying you can’t do it, either. That’s enough to make you start doubting yourself. But the expert can be wrong. In David’s case, King Saul was wrong.

There’s no dream to big for God to fulfill it. He is faithful and He will complete His work in you in His time.


Wednesday, 27th January 2021

1 Samuel 17:45 – But David told the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword, spear, and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel’s army, the one you’ve insulted.

How do you defeat the giants that are standing between you and your dreams? If you want to be a person of great faith with a great dream and a great life work, do the very things that David did to defeat the giants of delay, discouragement, disapproval, and doubt.

1. Remember how God has helped you in the past.
David says in 1 Samuel 17:37, “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”.

When you remember the ways that God has helped you in the past, it gives you confidence for the future.

2. Use the tools God has given you.
“Then Saul gave David his own armor . . . ‘I can’t go in these,’ he protested to Saul. ‘I’m not used to them.’ So David took them off again. He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag” (1 Samuel 17:38-40).

Don’t wait for something you don’t have; money, education, or connections. Use the tools God has already given you to face your giants with confidence.

3. Ignore the negative comments.
“David was seriously worried, for in their bitter grief for their children, his men began talking of killing him. But David took strength from the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6).

When you encourage yourself in the Lord, it’s not just a positive mental attitude. There is a bedrock trust in God’s grace, provision, security, and power.

4. Expect God to help you for His glory.
David stormed the battlefield, shouting, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands . . . and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (1 Samuel 17:46).

I made this decision some years back: “God, I’m not the smartest guy, the best educated, or the most talented. But I’m going to trust you. And I will do anything, anytime, anywhere in faith, even when it doesn’t make sense to me.” And what an adventure my life has been!

God will use anybody who will trust Him and expect to be used by Him, not because of who you are but because it brings Him glory.


Tuesday, 26th January 2021

Isaiah 54:10 – Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

If you don’t feel loved, you’re certainly not going to offer love to anybody else. You need to remind yourself every day what God thinks about you, not what the world thinks or what you think about yourself.

Here are four things God thinks about you.

1. You’re completely accepted.
We spend much of our lives trying to earn acceptance from our parents, peers, those we envy, and even total strangers. But, “Jesus made us acceptable to God” (Titus 3:7). What Jesus did on the cross made you completely acceptable to God, no matter what you’ve done.

2. You’re unconditionally loved.
God doesn’t say, “I love you if . . .” or “ I love you because . . .” He says, “I love you”. You can’t make God stop loving you, because His love is not based on what you do but on who He is. Isaiah 54:10 says, “The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end”.

3. You’re totally forgiven.
Because Jesus died on the cross and gave his life as a payment for your sins, you are totally forgiven when you accept the gift of forgiveness from God. Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus”. God doesn’t rehearse your sins, He releases them.

4. You’re extremely valuable.
There are two things that create value: who the owner is and what somebody’s willing to pay for it.

You are a child of God and “have been bought and paid for by Christ” (1 Corinthians 7:23). Jesus Christ paid for you with his life. That’s how valuable you are.

When you remember that you are accepted, loved, forgiven, and valuable to the Creator of the universe, you will be better equipped to show that love to others and build deeper relationships.


Monday, 25th January 2021

1 Peter 4:2 – From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires.

What are human desires? They’re your emotions and your affections. Once you become a Christ-follower, your life should be controlled by God’s will, not by how you feel.

Let me share with you three questions to ask yourself about your emotions when you’re trying to figure out how to deal with how you feel:

1. “What’s the real reason I’m feeling this way?” Maybe the answer is fear or worry. Maybe it relates to something your dad said to you years ago. Someone else says something similar, and even though it’s been years, that person becomes the target of all your pent up anger.

2. “Is it true?” Is what you’re feeling at that moment true? Is it in line with biblical teachings? In 1 Kings 19, Elijah was threatened by Jezebel and he got so discouraged that he even wanted to die. He went to God and complained, “God, I’m the only one in the entire nation of Israel left serving you (v10).” And God told him, He had reserved 7,000 people in Israel whose knees had not bowed to Baal (v18).

So what God was saying is, “I’ve got all these people who are still serving me! You’re acting like you’re the only one trying to do the right thing in the whole world! No. That’s not true.”

3. “Is what I’m feeling helping me or hurting me?” Will you get what you want by continuing to feel this way? A lot of feelings we have seem natural, but they’re actually self-defeating.

When you ask yourself these three questions and honestly answer them, you get a better grip on why you feel the way you do and what you need to do to help the situation.
That’s called managing your emotions.