Posts Tagged ‘devotional’


We are reading this book for our small group this year. It was on the best seller list for several months and I’ve personally have had a copy of it for years and never had the opportunity to read it. I have done the drivetime devotions for it and found it very inspiring. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback church wrote The Purpose Driven Life in 2002. It has changed many lives and I’m excited to read it with my church community to start off 2018.

Three Basic Life Questions

Why Am I Here?

Does my Life Matter?

What is my Purpose?

God’s Purpose for Us

  • We were planned for God’s pleasure
    • so your first purpose is to offer real worship.
  • We were formed for God’s family
    • so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship.
  • We were created to become like Christ,
    • so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship.
  • We were shaped for serving God
    • so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.
  • We were made for a mission
    • so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism.

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes

James 4:13-14

Life is short. Yet we don’t live like it is. We act like it’s all about us – that everything revolves around us. We go to funerals and we say things like – “he/she had a good life”. But do we really mean that? Can we really say that person lived their life fully for the Kingdom? We make life all about our goals and accomplishments. We treat relationships as they are disposable and don’t mend them. We spend our time making a name for ourselves and gathering attention to us. I like how the book describes how we make mini-kingdoms for ourselves. But do we think about how we can vanish from this world at any time? Years after your life is over, no one will probably care.

You know, I used to have a huge struggle with what people think about me. It’s still a struggle here and there, but God has really worked in this area of my life. I would please people, defend myself, brag about my accomplishments – anything to make myself look good to people. It makes me sick that this was how I spent most of ministry life. I’m not saying I didn’t do anything for God, but a lot of it was for my glory as well. God and I were this tag team. I no longer desire a life like this – I want to live a life worthy of God’s glory. I want an epic life that reflects God’s character and how amazing He is.

Last year I took a long look at my retirement savings and decided that I wasn’t putting enough into it to live off of when I retire. I decided to restructure my budget to put more money into it. Now I feel I’m in a better place for retirement if I stay on course and make it to my late 60’s. I laugh at this statement – If I make it to my 60’s. That’s just it – there’s no guarantee that I will make it to my 60’s. I could die today. And can I say that I lived my life fully for the Kingdom? These are the questions I want to continue to ask myself as I move forward in life.

It is better to go to a house of mourning
    than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
    the living should take this to heart.

Ecclesiastes 7:2

This part of the book really convicted me. It made me look at how busy I can make my life.

WORRY implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take of what’s happening in our lives. 

STRESS says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.

Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.

Why are we so quick to forget God? Who do we think we are?

Philippians 4:4 says to Rejoice in the Lord always. We are to obey God and follow His ways. He doesn’t expect us to change the world or try as hard as we can. We need to trust that He is in control and depend on Him.

Read Full Post »

  • – by Doug Fields

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

Ephesians 4:26-27 (RSV)

Some years ago, I asked my family to make a list of times when they’ve unjustly been the recipients of my anger. Thankfully, it was a pretty short list, no bigger than a phone book. I thought the list would actually be a lot bigger. Well, come to think about it, the phone book was just my wife’s list. The kids’ lists were so long, we had to go to Kinko’s to get more paper.

Seriously, there came a point when I became aware that I had an anger problem. I know I’m not alone in the struggle to control and express anger. Plenty of people have no idea what to do when they’re angry. Maybe this is you too. On the other hand, maybe you believe anger is something you should never feel. Good Christians don’t get angry—do they? So you stuff your anger deep inside you and never let it out. Either way, whenever we are angry and don’t express it appropriately, the anger comes back to hurt us.

I’ve since learned to deal with anger in more constructive and God-honoring ways. I’m not perfect, but I am making progress. If you’re stuck in anger, perhaps some of the steps I’ve learned along the way can help you as well.

Don’t deny anger. Make a conscious decision to call an irritation what it is. Something’s wrong. It’s okay to say that.

Delay anger. Put anger on hold. This gives you an opportunity to say to yourself, “I could be wrong here, so let me think this though.” This simple action requires a depth of maturity. This is where you need to slow the situation down to assess what’s really going on. Make a conscious choice to be patient.

Define anger, then deliver it to God. Like pulling back the covers on a lumpy bed to see what’s hiding underneath, ask yourself the simple question: “Why am I really angry?” Most people never ask this question, they just immediately react to the trigger of their anger. Take the time to reflect and define. Having identified your anger, talk to God about your hurt. The real reason for your anger is where God wants to meet you. Tell Him all about it, and ask Him for help.

Defuse the anger, then respond. The first three steps help to defuse your anger, but you still need to respond. Make it your goal to respond in a way that honors God and promotes peace by making the situation less harmful, potent, intense, just as you would—by physically removing a fuse from a bomb. Take to heart the words from the Scriptures, “A gentle answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1.) Whenever you do this, you are choosing to seek relationship peace.

Anger is a part of life, and requires a response. But, remember that whenever we feel angry, we have a choice. We can take the route that leads to pain, or the one that leads to peace. With God’s help we can choose peace!

Read Full Post »