Daily 800

Our First Line Of Defense

Crawling comes before walking. Planting comes before harvesting. Starting comes before completing. There is an order to things, and for followers of Jesus… Praying comes before doing. You and I often handle things backwards from how we should handle them by acting and then seeking God when we should seek God and then act. The best thing we can do to handle what we face in life is to seek our Heavenly Father before we do a thing more. We ask. He answers. We act. He assists. This is the only way to live happy, holy lives. Turning to Him shouldn’t be our last resort; it should be our first line of defense.

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Daily 798

God Has Written Our Stories

God has written our stories. We may not know how this chapter ends and the next one begins, but we trust that God knows exactly what He is doing in every scene of our lives. People aren’t always who they ought to be. Places aren’t always what we want them to be. Plot twists aren’t always what they seem to be. But God is writing a beautiful story for those who trust Jesus! We don’t know what comes with each new turn of the page, and it won’t always make sense to us, but it doesn’t have to. Because our faith is in the One who does know the happily-ever-after ending to our story. After all, He’s the One who wrote it.

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Daily 792

Jesus Governs Our Lives

Our hope is not in who sits in the Oval Office, but in Who sits on the throne in heaven. Our hope is not in who governs us on earth, but in Who reigns and rules over the entire universe. Our hope is not in what laws are passed, but in the One Who has written His law of love on our hearts. While politics, parties, programs and policies do have an impact upon our lives and our country, and we should take these things seriously, the optimism we have for everyday and eternal well-being does not rise and fall on one of us, but on Jesus, Who is God with us. This is where we pin our hope: Jesus governs our lives.

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Daily 790

Christian Love Has Two Parts

Christian love has two parts: affection and action. Love feels something on the inside. Love does something on the outside. These two parts work together in the lives of those who follow Jesus to help us relate to each other like Jesus relates to us. When we look at how His love for us is, we see how our love for others should be. To the degree that we anticipate and appreciate His care for us in seeking our good, we will reflect that same lovingkindness towards the people in our lives as we seek their good. Spurred on by His love, let us love today like Jesus … caring about others and caring for others.

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Daily 783

What Failure Is For

Do you know what your failure is for? It has a purpose, and that purpose is to help you succeed. Not just so you’ll try harder next time. Not just so you’ll be wiser next time. Not just so you’ll do better next time. But rather so you will rely more fully on Jesus next time. His strength. His guidance. His way. His plan. His timing. His help. The right response to failure is faith, for every person who turns to and trusts in Jesus will win in the end. Remember this when you find yourself coming up short: Futility and frustration are intended to move you away from self-reliance to Savior-reliance. And that move is always for the better.

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Daily 782

Jesus Is An Un-Doer Of Bad Done To You

Jesus is not only a doer of good to you, He is also an un-doer of bad done to you by people. They hurt your heart; He heals it. They distance themselves; He draws near. They sting you with their words; He soothes you with His. They overlook you; He pays attention. They cheat you; He blesses you. They intend you harm; He works it out for good. They judge your sins; He dies for them. We all do each other wrong, but Jesus begins to make things right in us when we turn to Him, and He will someday make things right in all of creation. Until then, let us seek His grace when others wrong us and when we wrong others.

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Daily 781

He Will Only Do Good To You

If there is one thing you can be sure of, it is this: people will hurt you. It may be accidental, or it may be intentional, but it will happen. There will be things said and left unsaid, things done and left undone, which bruise and break your heart and spirit. But there is a sweet-like-honey truth to overcome the bitter taste of how others treat you: Jesus is not like others. He is a friend who will never betray you, abandon you, disparage you, neglect you, exploit you, condemn you, harm you, mis-prioritize you, belittle you, mistreat you, lie to you, pretend with you, or withhold love from you. He will only do good to you.

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Daily 776

Live This Life In Light Of The One To Come

Living fully is not about having the most fun, experiencing the greatest pleasure, and doing the biggest good in this world as if this place is all there is. Instead, it’s about the eternal ripple your life can make when you use it for Jesus. That doesn’t mean you leave happiness and helpfulness behind; it means you find it in a more meaningful way. We are to be faithful witnesses for God in the everyday things of life that we’re doing on earth (from cookouts to workouts to hangouts) in such a way that we’ll be glad we did when we get to heaven. Enjoy blessings. Do good. Glorify God. Live this life in light of the one to come.

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Daily 775

Live Fully. Die Ready.

We don’t like to think about it. We don’t like to talk about it. But death is coming for us all. We may not be certain of the time of its arrival, but the certainty of its arrival is never in doubt. Instead of ignoring, downplaying, or fearing it, we should let its reality accomplish two essential and monumental things in our lives: be purposeful to experience life before death, and be prepared to experience life after death. Jesus makes both of these possible as we trust Him. He gives us grace so we can give ourselves to the things that matter most. In every step of faith, let us rely on Him to help us… Live fully. Die ready.

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Daily 773

Things Would Look Much Better

Remember this as you follow Jesus in faith: it’s not what happens to us that is of greatest importance, but rather the end result of what happens. Things often won’t go as we plan, things often won’t work out like we hope, and things often won’t be as simple or easy or comfy as we would like. But in the hands and plans of God, our struggles are not setbacks. They are stepping stones to the good result He has in mind. So… Don’t stop believing. Don’t stop proceeding. Something good is coming even if you don’t yet see it. Take heart! Things would look much better if we could see them not as they are, but as they will be.

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Daily 771

Reading And Responding Leads To Joy

For genuine, growing Christians, our relationship with Jesus increasingly influences how we live. As we turn to the Bible and turn its pages, we learn of His good plans for us, His gracious promises to us, and His guiding presence with us. Only when we regularly read and respond to the Bible can we be who we were made to be and do what we were made to do. That’s why it is essential that we… Read it. Pray it. Live it. Share it. If your ultimate aim in life is to be as happy as you can and bring as much honor to God as you can, there is no substitute for the nourishing, encouraging, strengthening, transforming Scriptures.

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