Daily Hope with Rick Warren – Radical Gratitude

Radical Gratitude
by Rick Warren

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Thanksgiving is not supposed to be a day that we celebrate once a year. It is to be a spiritual habit of the radical believer. The more deeply you understand God’s love, the more grateful you’re going to be.

So what does it mean to be radically grateful?

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NIV). That’s radical gratitude. In all circumstances give thanks, because it’s God’s will for you.

You can thank God in every circumstance because God is in control. He can bring good out of evil. He can turn around the stupid mistakes you make. No matter what happens, God isn’t going to stop loving you. There are a hundred things to be thankful for in any circumstance, even when the circumstances stink.

Radical gratitude — being thankful in all circumstances — is God’s will because it creates fellowship.

What do I mean by that? Gratitude always builds deeper relationships between you and other people and between you and God.

Whoever you want to get closer to, start expressing gratitude to that person. If you’ve moved away from your husband or your wife, you need to start doing what you did when you were dating: Express gratitude. Write little notes of kindness and encouragement. Make calls or text during the day, just to tell him or her that you’re thankful. Do the things you did at first. The reason you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling is because you stopped doing the things that created that lovin’ feeling early on, and you take each other for granted.

Do you want to build your small group? Don’t just go to small group. During the week, text them, email them, call them, write them. Say, “I’m grateful for you, and here’s why.” You’ll find that the more grateful you are for your group, the more your group will bond.

The Bible tells us to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). As you build others up, you’ll find that God builds into your life as well through your deep relationships with him and others.

 

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Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria – The Way to Enter

The Way to Enter
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
(Psalm 100:4, NKJV)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

What a wonderful privilege we have to enter boldly to His throne of grace. We serve a personal God who desires a relationship with us. We have access to Him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! But notice that today’s verse tells us that we shouldn’t just come any old way to God. We shouldn’t come empty-handed to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. What do we have to give that’s worthy of Almighty God? Our praise. Our thanksgiving. Our worship. We are to enter His gates with an offering of adoration from our hearts because He is so worthy!

We have to understand, praise isn’t just about singing songs on Sunday mornings. Praise is the expression of gratefulness to Father God for who He is and all that He has done. Praise gets God’s attention. Praise is a powerful tool in the life of the believer because God inhabits our praises! When we enter His presence the right way, He enters our circumstances; and when God shows up, the enemy must flee! Today, enter into His gates with thanksgiving and open the door for Him to move on your behalf!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, You alone are worthy of my praise. Today I declare that You are good, and Your mercy endures forever! Have Your way in me by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I honor You today and submit every area of my life to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

 

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Are You Begging Him or Thanking Him? by Joel Osteen

Are You Begging Him or Thanking Him?

Posted by Joel Osteen on 11/29/2013

When our son Jonathan got his driver’s license a couple of years ago, we bought him a used car. A few months after he got that car, Alexandra, at age thirteen, came up to me and said, “Daddy, when I get my driver’s license are you going to buy me a car?” She wanted to get this on the record early on. I said, “Yes, Alexandra. I’m going to buy you a car.” She said, “You promise?” I said, “I promise.”
Do you know that since the day I gave her my word she has not asked me one time to buy her that car? She is totally convinced that I will do what I said. So much so, that she talks about that car as if it’s already hers. She has no doubt that car is coming. But how would I feel as a father if she came up every day and said, “Daddy, please get me that car. Daddy, I’m begging you. When I get my driver’s license please get me a car.”
It would make me feel badly. I would say, “Alexandra, don’t you believe what I said? You don’t have to keep asking me. You certainly don’t have to beg me. Just believe that I’ll do what I said.”
This is how God must feel when we ask Him again and again for the same thing. When we beg Him, God says, “Don’t you trust Me? Don’t you have the confidence that I will do what I promised?”
When Alexandra goes around talking about that car she wants, dreaming about what color it’s going to be, excited about what’s in her future; that brings a smile to my face. From time to time she’ll come up and put her arm around me, long blonde hair, blue eyes as beautiful as can be and she’ll thank me for that car that is to come. She’ll tell me how much she loves me and how proud she is to be my daughter. When she does that I think, “Do you want one car or do you want two?”
The point is this: Thanking does a whole lot more than begging. When you’re constantly giving God thanks, telling Him how much you love Him, how great He is, how proud you are to be His child, it causes God to want to go out of His way to be good to you. But if we go around thinking, “Oh, man. Life’s hard. God, can’t You see I’m struggling? God, I’m asking You, I’m begging You, God. Just help me get through this.” That doesn’t get God’s attention. Praise gets His attention. Thanking Him in advance for the answer. Acting like it’s on the way. That’s what brings promises to pass!
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).

 

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Daily Hope with Rick Warren – Be Slow To Speak

Be Slow To Speak
by Rick Warren

“Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 (NLT)

When you’re trying to reconcile with someone, don’t listen for the problem or the issue. Listen for the hurt beneath their complaint, their issue, or their anger.

Hurt people hurt people. Healthy people don’t hurt other people. Holy people don’t hurt other people. Happy people don’t hurt other people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about marriage or the market place or the Middle East. When people are hurting, they lash out at others.

People around the world are dying for respect. When you treat people with dignity, the anger dissipates quickly, whether it’s with nations or businesses or churches or ethnic groups or your own family. You treat people with respect.

What is the greatest way to show people respect? Listen to them, and look them in the eye. In a peace conference, you need to stop and listen to what’s beneath the words they’re saying. What is the hurt they’re expressing?

James 1:19 tells us how to do this: “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (NLT). God gave you two ears and one mouth. He wants you to listen twice as much as you speak. But we get in a hurry. What you need to do is try to understand the perspective of other people. Don’t just look at the situation from your point of view. St. Francis of Assisi said, “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”

You’re going to have a hundred chances this week to put this verse into practice. Don’t miss an opportunity to show respect to someone by listening to his or her hurt. Then, you can work toward reconciliation.

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Daily Hope with Rick Warren – Reconciliation Comes Before Worship

Reconciliation Comes Before Worship
by Rick Warren

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT)

Some people say, “Time heals everything.” No, it doesn’t! Time heals nothing. The only way to resolve conflict is to face it.

When you love somebody, you level with that person. We call this a peace conference — a sit down, face-to-face meeting.

You may say, “OK, fine. When they come to me, then I will face it.”

No! God expects you to take the first step. He expects you to be the peacemaker. You make the first move. It doesn’t matter if you are the offended one or the offender. God says it’s always your move.

Matthew 5:23-24 says, “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God” (NLT).

Reconciliation takes priority over worship. You need to get your relationships right and then come back and worship God.

Here are some suggestions on how to do a peace conference:

  1. Choose the right time. The best time is when both of you are at your best. Wait until you’re both rested and ready.
  1. Choose the right place. Don’t do it in a restaurant where you’ll be interrupted. Don’t do it when the kids are hanging around.
  1. Pray before the meeting. You always talk to God before you talk to the person you’ve got the conflict with.
  1. Come with a positive attitude. Come ready to reconcile and compromise.

Why should you do this? Why should you take the initiative?

First, Jesus tells you to do it. Second, your worship is worthless if you’re in the middle of conflict. Third, God won’t hear your prayers until you’ve reconciled with others and him. That one may surprise you. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:7, “Husbands must give honor to your wives. If you don’t treat her as you should your prayers will not be heard.”

This verse is for people in any relationship. God wants you to get your relationships right. He wants you to offer forgiveness. Then, you can have a right relationship with God.

 

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Colossians 3:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

17 And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

 

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Colossians 2:6-7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.

Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

 

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