APR 6 THE ACTUAL YOU

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. –Jeremiah 1:5

READ JEREMIAH 1:4-8

God is the only One who knows the real you. What do people see? Do they see you in your Sunday best with a smile? Do they see someone who follows the crowd? Someone who hides their faith? Someone who thinks you have it all together?

God knows and understands each of us individually. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, our hopes, and our fears. We can’t hide from God—we don’t have to. When we admit our weaknesses, we realize the need for Christ. Isaiah 40:30-31 tells us, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.

The world we live in celebrates fake self-images. Being fake shouldn’t be our goal, instead we need to shine for the Lord. Let others see Him in us. Philippians 1:6 tells us, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” You are a prince or princess of the King of kings—that is the real you when you belong to God.

REFLECT & PRAY 

 Father You're the only true God. The One who fully knows me and the One who unconditionally loves me still.

STAY SAFE...

APR 5 GOD'S PLAN

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. –Proverbs 16:3

READ PROVERBS 16:1-9

In the first Rocky movie, Rocky was asked why he pushed himself so hard to win. He said that if he won, he’d prove to the world that he wasn’t a bum. In his mind, winning wasn’t something to do, being a winner was someone he could become. He had been beaten down most of his life, and he believed he wasn’t smart. He believed that boxing was the only way that he could be a winner.

We live in a world where we work more and live less. Our work has become who we are and not what we do. Our identity is so tied up in our position that we forget who we are. Work often comes before our families and our friends. Succeeding and excelling becomes a high we chase after. The only problem is that we’re never satisfied.

We keep chasing after higher positions trying to prove to the world that we have value. We too want to prove that we’re not a bum.

What we do isn’t who we are, and our worth isn’t based on our position. Those we give our love and time to already see us as a winner. You’re never a bum.

REFLECT & PRAY 

Lord teach me to follow Your plan of success, not people’s. I pray for wisdom to know who I am and what am called to do in God’s plan.

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APR 4 YOU'RE IN POSITION

…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? –Esther 4:14 

READ ESTHER 4:5-16

We’ve all seen the red button icon before—You Are Here! Usually on a map or a GPS. Usually when we are trying to find directions. Directions to somewhere else. Directions away from where we currently are. Sometimes repositioning. Sometimes relocating. Sometimes running away. Sometimes frequently. Sometimes frantically. Sometimes pursuing greener grass.

At times like this have you ever thought that God already has you positioned where He wants you? Historically we often see God coming and meeting people where they are to encourage them to do the work He has for them. Moses, Rahab, David, Esther, most of Jesus’ disciples, Zacchaeus, and Saul (Paul).

Today, instead of looking for directions from God with directions to somewhere else, maybe we need to listen for instruction from God, instructions for what to do here where we are right now. Take the time to look around you and see if there are ministry opportunities that you may have not seen before. Be still and listen. God can and will use you right where you are. Don’t underestimate your current position.

You Are Here! And this may just be the best place for you. May we always remember to be quick to listen for instructions and learn to be content where God has placed us.

REFLECT & PRAY 

Thank God for placing you where He has you today and prepare yourself for the ministry He has for you

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APR 3 GRATEFUL HEART

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. –1 Thessalonians 5:18 

READ 1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-18

If you’ve ever been on a long car trip with children, you know how exhausting it can be. They often complain and whine about everything. Topping the list are statements or questions like: “Are we there yet? I’m hungry.

I have to go to the bathroom. I’m thirsty. I’m bored. Can I buy a new game on my tablet?” However, aren’t adults just as bad with our complaining about life?

Complaining isn’t caused by our circumstances; it is actually a sign of our ungrateful heart. When we complain about our job, we’re actually being ungrateful for it. Those who’ve been looking for work would be thrilled to have any job.

When we complain about our spouse, we’re forgetting about all the ways that they bless us, and we are ungrateful for all they do. If we take a moment to stop complaining and start finding things to be grateful for, we will be more thankful for what we have instead of complaining about what we don’t have.

Being grateful leaves little room for complaining, and it takes the focus off our selfishness. The next time you find yourself complaining, stop and find something to be grateful for. Remind yourself daily that complaining kept the children of Israel out of the Promised Land. Let this reminder help you make the choice not to whine today! After all, there’s no whining in Heaven. Why start here?

REFLECT & PRAY 

Father help me to see your blessings, and thank You for them. 

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APR 2 BE STILL

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:2-3

READ PSALM 46

Where is God when I need Him the most?

Probably every believer has struggled with that question at some time. Disappointments and discouragement come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes linger for a very long time. So, when sudden or continuing frustrations cause our plans to be interrupted (or scuttled altogether), we can wrongly conclude that God has abandoned us.

Maybe a sickness, a loss of relationship, or a dashed dream has you reeling. “Where is God now?” you wonder. Scripture assures us that the Lord certainly can do the miraculous, but it reminds us that God is also with us and at work when we can’t see or feel His presence at all. Our volatile emotions lie to us and cannot be trusted to give us an accurate indication of God’s love and concern. Instead, we must learn to filter our feelings and circumstances through His unchanging promises.

So if it seems like your problems are just too big to handle, resist the temptation to let defeat, discouragement, and disappointment drive you away from God. Instead, listen for the quiet voice of God, and make His presence your permanent dwelling place.

REFLECT & PRAY 

God, give me eyes to see Your presence in my confusing situation and the faith to believe You are with me. Jesus,  when nothing in my life says that You are with me, I choose to believe what You said instead of what I feel. Amen.

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APR 1 BLIND SPOTS

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor is not in vain. –1 Corinthians 15:58

READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-58

My car has a blind spot. The back right pillar blocks my vision when looking back to make a sharp right turn. An entire car can be blocked out of view. It’s dangerous; but because I know it’s there, I take precautions to avoid an accident.

We all have blind spots. There are things in our personalities and our behavior that everyone sees but us. It’s as if we are wearing blinders when it comes to our own faults, because we certainly don’t have any trouble seeing others’ weaknesses.

How courageous are we? Do we have the courage to ask God to reveal our blind spots to us? Not for condemnation or guilt, but for change. If we know that they’re there, we can take precautions to avoid repeating hurtful behaviors in the future. By recognizing, exposing, and facing those blind spots, we can break old patterns that keep us defeated. If the same old things keep happening, maybe it’s time for a new approach. Blind spots can be dangerous, but they don’t have to be fatal. Maybe today is a good day to overcome our blind spots; let’s embrace change.

REFLECT & PRAY 

Have the courage to ask the Lord to reveal your blinds spots to you. When God does reveal your blind spots, take action to change for the better.

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MAR 31 PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? –Mark 8:36 

READ MARK 8:34-38

We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people during imperfect times. There is a constant clamoring for bigger, better, and more expensive things. The current mindset in our world is that “I deserve a break today. I should have it my way. I deserve all the expensive things and toys.” The pursuit of those things is touted as our God-given right.

There’s only one problem—the only thing that all of us really want is to be loved. We can have it all on the outside, keep up with the Jones’, have the best of everything, but still feel empty inside. We often feel like Oliver Twist asking, “Please sir, may I have more?”

It’s not the stuff we want; things don’t bring lasting happiness. What we truly desire is to be loved, valued, and to know that we matter. We want love, not things. What does it mean for us to gain the whole world yet lose our soul? (See Mark 8:36.) It means to have never truly experienced love. May the cry of our hearts be heard, and may we seek the only One who can truly fulfill those cries for love. Lasting happiness comes from knowing the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), not from owning them ourselves. Things aren’t wrong unless they have us instead of us having them.

REFLECT & PRAY

Father, please help me to keep my priorities straight. Father, help me to seek first Your Kingdom, and everything else will fall into place.

STAY SAFE...