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How much money is enough? How can you tell if you are rich or poor? What role does money play in your walk with God – both now and in the life to come? Jesus gives the answers in this unforgettable message that will help you leave, follow and repeat. Find out how much money is dangerous so you don’t endanger your very life.
Thanksgiving is here once again, and with it THE NUDGE TO BE THANKFUL. Here are three tips on developing an attitude of gratitude for the other 364 days of the year (with a BONUS on the history of America’s Thanksgiving at the end of this post).
A grateful mindset won’t help you do all things in life – but it will absolutely help you do everything in life far better than a critical, judgmental, negative attitude. Don’t underestimate the negative impact that a poor attitude will have on your happiness, productivity, success and ability to enjoy God – and people. The alternative to an attitude of gratitude will undermine you – every single time. The Bible says “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Why? Because if you don’t, thoughts will take residence in your mind and heart that will undermine God’s best for you. When you miss God’s best, the rest is a slippery slope. Do not underestimate the power of an ungrateful life. It will hinder everything about you.
Life will kick the gratitude out of you IF YOU ARE NOT TENACIOUSLY INTENTIONAL . . .
An attitude of gratitude does not come automatically. It is developed with tenaciousintentionality.Yes, one’s upbringing definitely affects attitude – but each of us has a direct say in whether or not we want to develop our “gratitude reservoir” by either intentionally pouring into it or neglecting it. Why do you think the Bible commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)? Because being thankful is something most of us need to work on – until it becomes a positive habit. If being thankful were automatic, we wouldn’t be commanded to be thankful. Life will kick the gratitude out of you if you are not tenaciously intentional in developing and guarding it. Without intentionality, something else will take its place. If that happens, the next stage is for the bad attitude to wrap tentacles around everything in your life, choking off happiness, peace and so much more. Be intentional, tenacious and relentless in developing and guarding your attitude of gratitude. God knows our attitudes will be assaulted, which is why He tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances.”
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE will help you do everything in life far better than a critical, judgmental, negative attitude . . .
You have more control over what matters most than you realize. You can’t always change your circumstances, but you can almost always change your attitude amidst your circumstances. Right now, wherever you are and no matter what you’re facing, you have the choice to be or not to be, grateful – about something, someone. You alone pilot the ship of your own attitude. Don’t allow yourself to be robbed of the fruit gratitude will yield. When you trust God with the things you can’t change, and focus on what you can change – your attitude – everything about you will improve. An otherwise downward spiral stops. You have God’s Word on it. And when God gives His word, there’s always personal gain to pay attention and apply.
For this message, Pastor Mike mixed up two eggs, a quarter cup of water, 2/3 cup of oil and a box of dark chocolate brownie mix to illustrate the ingredients of a “justified” life. You can know the truth of what it’s like to be “just as if you never sinned.” Listen to this message and you’ll know the importance of a “justified” life, and how to experience it.
Old habits die hard – and this can be a beautiful thing. When it comes to your thirty-day revolution of setting aside special time with God every day, to enjoy Him, read the Bible and to put what you are learning into action, developing an old habit is a great goal. It all begins by developing a new habit. If you simply focus on developing the new habit of meeting with God daily, in a set time and place, you will have a high probability of creating an old habit – a great habit – one that will change everything about your life. But that’s not all. When you develop the habit of walking with God, not only will your life change, but so will the lives of the people around you. The ripple effects of your personal walk with God will reverberate into every life you touch. When you walk with God, you cannot help but become a positive agent of influence everywhere you go. You literally become a world-changer – and an eternity-shaper.
I grew up on a farm where we raised our own grass-fed cattle. Once you sink your teeth into a juicy, grass-fed steak, the sky parts, the sun shines down and the world becomes a beautiful place. You are wonderfully ruined, forever. From personal failure, I can tell you that a return to God’s Word after a long absence is like biting into a tender steak from grass-fed cattle after all you’ve been eating was fast-food hamburgers. Yes, for a time you allowed yourself to miss out, to be duped, thinking life had nothing better to offer. But it does! The same is true when we go through life apart from God’s Word. God has so much to offer than what we tend to settle for, beginning with Himself. It all begins with a steady diet of His Word, the Bible.
Likewise, on the same farm where I grew up we had apple trees that offered Golden Delicious apples the size of grapefruits. It seemed as if each one could yield nearly a glass of cider if pressed. I have yet to taste apples as juicy, delicious and satisfying as those found on our farm. You may not know better, and may think supermarket fruit is fine – but only if you’ve never been to an orchard. The nectar that bursts from an orchard peach can’t be found in what’s sold as “fruit” in a typical grocery store. Once you bite into an orchard jewel, it becomes the standard by which all other fruit is measured. Again, the sky parts, the sun shines down and the world becomes a beautiful place. Wonderfully ruined, your whole life takes on new meaning, purpose, passion and focus.
God’s Word offers far more! It’s the most delicious, revolutionizing food known to humanity – and you can have as much as you want, whenever you want! But so often we settle for far less than what we would taste if only we picked from the orchard of God’s Word – every single day. Yes, there are other books you could read for inspiration – but why not go to the Bible, the Source of inspiration, given by your Creator, Redeemer and Friend? Why not do so every single day, as a matter of priority? It will fill you up and overflow into everything about you. The Bible is God’s gift to you – to help you enjoy Him and live life in the overflow. When you walk with God, only then will you have the fullest life possible for His glory, your benefit, and the benefit of countless others.
To be sure, walking with God does not secure a trouble-free life. In fact, we are promised trouble as a direct result of following Christ (Matthew 5:11, 12). But consider this: you will have trouble in life whether you follow God or reject Him. Why not choose the kind of trouble that comes from following Him? When you have that kind of trouble you also have God’s provision, direction and peace. The worst thing in life is to have the kind of trouble that comes from rebellion against God. Those troubles are lonely, insurmountable and miserable. When you walk with God, you walk with God, cannot be overcome by anyone or anything (who is stronger than God?) and will be filled with supernatural peace (John 14:27). This is not a trouble-free peace, but it is literally God’s peace. Simply put, there is nothing like the peace of God.
God’s peace is a result of being in and walking with Him. Remember Philippians 4:6, 7. God and you make a majority. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” is Jesus’ promise to you, if you are His child (Hebrews 13:5). God’s peace is a gift, a fruit of walking with Him. When we get ahead of God or lag behind – when we don’t walk with Him – we miss what only comes when we keep in step with Him. Walking with God has benefits here and now, not only in the life to come.
When you begin to taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8), you will realize that nothing else is a substitute for a steady diet of knowing Him through His Word and putting it into action. God’s Word is delicious, nourishing, transforming and invigorating. It’s the spiritual equivalent of grass-fed steak, an orchard-picked peach and so much more.
Your new habit of meeting with God daily, for thirty days, will create an old, beautiful habit. This is precisely your aim. When you get into the habit of feasting on God’s Word, daily, for thirty days – and put it into action – and renew this decision every thirty days, the rest of your life will start falling into place. When you prioritize God this way, above everything else in life, you will see the fruit Jesus promises. It will be plentiful, juicy, delicious and eternal.
Don’t waste your days, because they will add up to years. Your life is happening, right now. The days of your life are your life. Get into the new habit of meeting with God every single day, through His Word, and you’ll develop a beautiful old habit that will revolutionize who you are and all you do. Remember Jesus’ promise: “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Forget about the years and focus on the days. Just thirty days at a time. The rest of life will take care of itself.
In this exclusive interview, funnyman Tim Hawkins is interviewed by Godfactor Founder and Grace Fellowship Lead Pastor, Michael Anthony. Tim not only has a killer sense of humor, but also a heart for God. In this exclusive interview, he shares how he keeps his walk with God fresh in the midst of a busy, challenging schedule. You’ll be encouraged, challenged and inspired.
Comedy has a deep side, and you can experience it here, with Tim Hawkins!
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