Walking our Talk

Walking our Talk

So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. - Galatians 6:9 NLT 

pleasingothers

If you’re like most people, you seek the admiration of your neighbors, your coworkers, and your family members. But the eagerness to please others should never overshadow your eagerness to please God. And your desire to impress others should never cause you to compromise your beliefs or to defy your conscience. In short, you must be a “doer of the word” by putting God first. In other words, are you walking your talk of love, grace, peace, mercy and joy?

The words of Matthew 6:33 offer clear instructions for managing your day and your life: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (HCSB).

Each new day presents countless opportunities to put God in first place . . . or not. When you honor Him by living according to His commandments, you earn the abundance and peace that He promises. But, if you ignore God’s teachings, you’ll pay a price, perhaps a very great price indeed.

Would you like a time-tested formula for successful living? Here it is: Don’t just listen to God’s Word, live by it. Does this sound too simple? Perhaps it is simple, but it is also the only way to reap the marvelous riches that God has in store for you.

Ask yourself if your behavior has been radically changed by your unfolding relationship with God. If the answer to this question is unclear to you—or if the honest answer is a resounding no—think of a single step you can take, a positive change in your life, that will bring you closer to your Creator.

Although God causes all things to work together for good for His children, He still holds us accountable for our behavior. - Kay Arthur   

Either God’s Word keeps you from sin, or sin keeps you from God’s Word. - Corrie ten Boom

There may be no trumpet sound or loud applause when we make a right decision, just a calm sense of resolution and peace. – Gloria Gaither

The temptation of the age is to look good without being good. - Brennan Manning

If we have the true love of God in our hearts, we will show it in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it. We will show it in everything we say or do. - D. L. Moody

A Fit of Temper that Changed a Young Man’s Life

A Fit of Temper that Changed a Young Man’s Life

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. – James 3:17-18

hewatchesme.newlife

When Benjamin Carson was a teenager he had a terrible temper. One day he got into a scuffle with another youth, drew a knife, and stabbed at the other boy. The blade, however, caught on the boy’s belt buckle.

That fit of temper was a flashpoint experience for Carson. He went home and fell to his knees, praying for three hours for the Lord to take his temper away.

So, what happened to that young boy? Benjamin Carson retired last year as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, known all over the world for his surgical skills and care for his young patients.

But if God hadn’t prevented his blade from striking and Carson hadn’t conquered his fit of temper that day, hundreds of patients would’ve been deprived of this physician’s compassionate care and brilliant skills as a neurosurgeon.

Aren’t you glad God is in control? Aren’t you glad that His eyes are always on us, watching out for us. The hymn writer of old said it best when he wrote, “For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

I came to realize that if people could make me angry they could control me. Why should I give someone else such power over my life? – Dr. Benjamin Carson

Day 26 of Thanksgiving

“[Gratitude] turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –  Melody Beattie

30daysofthanks.26.newlife
 Each morning in the month of November we invite you to visit our website where you’ll  find a new quote or Scripture that we hope will lift your spirit and keep you tuned in to what Thanksgiving is all about—gratitude to God, along with a new image—a graphic or photo to coincide with it. View each day of thanks.

Freedom through Confession

Freedom Through Confession
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:5

confession_newlifeMost of us have the bad habit of rationalizing our sin and our errors. We all struggle with our consciences, with our goal to make peace within our own hearts.  In order to gain peace, you may deny what you’ve done, find excuses, or try to squirm out from under the responsibility and consequences of your wrongdoing. You may work hard to be “good” in order to compensate for your mistakes. Are you doing everything you can to even the score? Until you confess your faults, you’ll get nowhere.

God holds everyone accountable. We’re like people who’ve committed crimes but who refuse to accept the charges brought against them. You may have spent years constructing alibis, coming up with excuses, and trying to plea-bargain. But if you’re sincerely seeking spiritual renewal, now is the time to come clean. It’s time to admit what you know deep down inside to be true: “I’m guilty as charged.”

By speaking this truth, you stop fighting and admit that you’re wrong. Without confession, there’s no real freedom. And what a relief it is to finally release the burden of your lies and excuses by admitting them to God. This is the very reason Jesus came. Remember He died not because we were good people, but because we’d gone our own way. Come back to Him. When you do confess, you’ll regain internal peace, and your broken spirit will be renewed.

Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God. – Pope John Paul II

A soul does not benefit from the sacrament of confession if it is not humble. Pride keeps it in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery. – Saint Faustina

 

 

God’s Peace through Prayer

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7

god'speace.newlifeWe sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out. There are times when we’re caught off guard by life. We are suddenly faced with problems that can wipe out our joy in an instant. Our hearts are disquieted and our minds begin to race. When we are grappling with unsettling problems that come our way and cause us to worry, it’s time to run to God in prayer.

From his prison cell, Paul wrote this message: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand” (Philippians 4:6-7).
The psalmist wrote, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalm 100:4-5).
God’s gates are always open to us. He’s waiting for us, whenever we’re upset and in need of a friend. We’ll still feel the painful emotions. We don’t just hand them over to God and expect them to disappear. But we can experience God’s peace through prayer. Prayer is a useful tool to help us work through our problems. He will give us his peace, reminding us that he’s there with us. For this, we can be thankful.
A life bathed in prayer is the best antidote for worry.

Too Busy?

Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
PROVERBS 21:5 MSG

Has the hectic pace of life robbed you of the peace that might otherwise be yours through Jesus Christ? Are you one of those people who is simply too busy for your own good? If so, you’re doing everybody a disservice by heaping needless stresses upon yourself and your loved ones.

God offers you a peace that passes human understanding, but He won’t force His peace upon you; in order to experience it, you must slow down long enough to sense His presence and His love.

Today, as a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your world, invite Christ to preside over every aspect of your life. It’s the best way to live and the surest path to peace . . . today and forever.

Often our lives are strangled by things that don’t ultimately matter.   ~Grady Nutt

This is a day when we are so busy doing everything that we have no time to be anything. Even religiously we are so occupied with activities that we have no time to know God.   ~Vance Havner

Being busy, in and of itself, is not a sin. But being busy in an endless pursuit of things that leave us empty and hollow and broken inside—that cannot be pleasing to God.   ~Max Lucado

We often become mentally and spiritually barren because we’re so busy.   ~Franklin Graham


TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Lord, when the quickening pace of life leaves me  with little time for worship or for praise, help me to reorder  my priorities, and let me turn to Jesus for the peace that only He can give.  Amen

Finding Peace

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
JOHN 16:33 NKJV

Oftentimes, our outer struggles are simply manifestations of the inner conflict that we feel when we stray from God’s path. Jesus offers us peace, not as the world gives, but as He alone gives. Our challenge is to accept Christ’s peace into our hearts and then, as best we can, to share His peace with our neighbors. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we are transformed by His grace. We are then free to accept the spiritual abundance and peace that can be ours through the power of the risen Christ.

Have you found the genuine peace that can be yours through Jesus Christ? Or are you still rushing after the illusion of “peace and happiness” that the world promises but cannot deliver? Today, as a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your friends, claim the inner peace that is your spiritual birthright: the peace of Jesus Christ. It is offered freely; it has been paid for in full; it is yours for the asking. So ask. And then share.

Prayer guards hearts and minds and causes God to bring peace out of chaos.   ~Beth Moore

Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts.   ~Warren Wiersbe

When we do what is right, we have contentment, peace, and happiness.   ~Beverly Lahaye

Peace with God is where all peace begins.   ~Jim Gallery

To know God as He really is—in His essential nature and character—is to arrive at a citadel of peace that circumstances may storm, but can never capture.   ~Catherine Marshall

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, let me accept the peace and abundance that You offer through Your Son Jesus. You are the Giver of all things good, Father, and You give me peace when I draw close to You.
Help me to trust Your will, to follow Your commands, and to accept Your peace, today and forever. Amen

Make Peace With the Past

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
JOHN 14:27 KJV

Some of life’s greatest roadblocks are not the ones we see through the windshield; they are, instead, the roadblocks that seem to fill the rearview mirror. Because we are imperfect human beings who lack perfect control over our thoughts, we may allow ourselves to become “stuck” in the past—even though we know better. Instead of focusing our thoughts and energies on the opportunities of today, we may allow painful memories to fill our minds and sap our strength. We simply can’t seem to let go of our pain, so we relive it again and again . . . with predictably unfortunate consequences. Thankfully, God has other plans.

Philippians 3:13-14 instructs us to focus on the future, not the past: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NKJV). Yet for many of us, focusing on the future is difficult indeed. Why? Part of the problem has to do with forgiveness. When we find ourselves focusing too intently on the past, it’s a sure sign that we need to focus, instead, on a more urgent need: the need to forgive. No amount of anger or bitterness can change what happened yesterday. Tears can’t change the past; regrets can’t change it. Our worries won’t change the past, and neither will our complaints. Simply put, the past is, and always will be, the past. Forever.

Can you summon both the courage and the wisdom to accept your past and move on with your life? Can you accept the reality that yesterday—and all the yesterdays before it—are gone? And, can you entrust all those yesterdays to God? By God’s grace, you can.

So if you’ve endured a difficult past, learn from it, but don’t live in it. Instead, build your future on a firm foundation of trust and forgiveness: trust in your Heavenly Father, and forgiveness for all His children, including yourself.

If you are God’s child, you are no longer bound to your past or to what you were. You are a brand new creature in Christ Jesus.   ~Kay Arthur

TODAY’S PRAYER
Heavenly Father, free me from anger, resentment, and envy. When I am bitter, I cannot feel the peace that You intend for my life. Keep me mindful that forgiveness is Your commandment, and help me accept the past, treasure the present, and trust the future . . . to You. Amen

Nebudchadnessar's Pride

Steve Arterburn

Nebuchadnezzar was one of the greatest conquerors in the history of our world.  He came to dominate the people of many nations.  He possessed power, fame, and wealth.  At one point, he even considered himself to be a god.  But, like so many others, he lacked the one thing he needed the most: peace.  His insecurities wouldn’t allow him to be at peace with himself.  So how could he be at peace with others?  He was a man who was unhappy with himself and hostile toward the people around him.  Can you relate?

Nubuchadnezzar never truly discovered the peace that could’ve been found had he surrendered his life to God.  He did everything he could to maintain his power over others.  Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?  When they walked out of the fiery furnace unscathed, Nebuchadnezzar realized that he’d been thwarted by God.  He also saw that the three who surrendered their lives to God had far greater power at their disposal than even he had.  Despite his recognition of God’s power, however, the king’s pride continued to get the best of him.  

Nebuchadnezzar continued to brag about his greatness and claimed that he alone was responsible for the great city of Babylon.  He refused to recognize that all power’even his power’was granted by God.  Subsequently he never understood the blessing of peace that comes with surrendering to God.  Do you know this blessing of peace?

Praying for Others

Steve Arterburn

Here’s a great principle of prayer: You can do a great deal for people after you pray for them but little of lasting value until you pray for them.  

I don’t think I need to argue about the value of praying for your spouse, kids, and friends.  But sometimes in our busy culture it’s tough to clear your mind and get started.  So let’s look to a man who knew the value of prayer.  The apostle Paul begins many of his letters with a helpful pattern.  

If you look at his letter to the Philippians, for instance, you’ll see it begins with a blessing of grace and peace.  Grace is the reason for our salvation and peace is the result.  Paul then gives thanks for the Philippian believers.  Cherish the work that God’s doing in and through others.  Next Paul makes requests to aid the spiritual growth of his friends.  He wants them to grow in their love, knowledge, and understanding of Christ.  Last, Paul prays that they’d behave in a manner that honors God in light of coming judgment.  This isn’t a fear tactic but a reminder to live for the ultimate goal of heaven, not the short-term rewards of comfort and pleasure.  

God loves it when we come to him in prayer.  Will you select one person that God has placed on your heart, and write a prayer for them?  For help, look to Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Tour Israel with Steve Arterburn and New Life Ministries