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  #271  
Old 10-18-2011, 04:10 PM
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For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
Galatians 5:14-15, NLT

When we are not motivated by love, we become critical of others. We stop looking for good in them and see only their faults. Soon the unity of believers is broken.

Have you talked behind someone's back? Have you focused on others' shortcomings instead of their strengths? Remind yourself of Jesus' command to love others as you love yourself. When you begin to feel critical of someone, make a list of that person's positive qualities. If there are problems that need to be addressed, it is better to confront in love than to gossip.
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  #272  
Old 10-18-2011, 04:22 PM
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  #273  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:50 AM
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The Bible describes Paul and Silas as being beaten, bound in chains and tossed into a filthy prison cell (Acts 16:23-34).

But they looked at the goodness of God instead of the impossibility of their circumstances and began to sing hymns of praise to God. The other inmates were listening, and in the midnight hour the earth shook and their chains were loosened.

Praise brings the power of God that will break limitations off your life!

You and I encounter people every day who are in some kind of chains, some kind of bondage or limitation. What are they hearing? What sound is coming from your life?

As Paul tells us, "Faith comes by hearing" (Romans 10:17). When you make praise a lifestyle, other people hear it. Your faith increases, and so does theirs. David said, "Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works"
(1 Chronicles 16:9).
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  #274  
Old 10-20-2011, 07:46 AM
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Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.
Galatians 5:25, NLT

God is interested in every part of our lives, not just the spiritual part. As we live by the Holy Spirit's power, we need to submit every aspect of our lives to God--emotional, physical, social, intellectual, vocational. Paul says that because we're saved, we should live like it!

The Holy Spirit is the source of your new life, so keep in step with his leading. Don't let anything or anyone else determine your values and standards in any area of your life.
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  #275  
Old 10-24-2011, 09:34 AM
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Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes--these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.
Ephesians 5:4, NLT

Obscenity and coarse joking are so common that we begin to take them for granted. Paul cautions, however, that improper language should have no place in the Christian's conversation because it does not reflect God's gracious presence in us.

How can we praise God and remind others of his goodness when we are speaking coarsely?
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  #276  
Old 10-26-2011, 11:57 AM
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Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
Ephesians 6:6-8, NLT

Paul's instructions encourage responsibility and integrity on the job. Christian employees should do their jobs as if Jesus Christ were their supervisor. And Christian employers should treat their employees fairly and with respect.

Can you be trusted to do your best, even when the boss is not around? Do you work hard and with enthusiasm? Do you treat your employees as people, not machines? Remember that no matter whom you work for, and no matter who works for you, the One you ultimately should want to please is your Father in heaven.
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  #277  
Old 10-27-2011, 10:58 AM
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Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 6:18, NLT

How can anyone pray on all occasions? One way is to make quick, brief prayers your habitual response to every situation you meet throughout the day. Another way is to order your life around God's desires and teachings so that your very life becomes a prayer.

You don't have to isolate yourself from other people and from daily work in order to pray constantly. You can make prayer your life and your life a prayer while living in a world that needs God's powerful influence. "Praying for all the saints" means praying for all believers in Christ; so pray for the Christians you know and for the church around the world.
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  #278  
Old 10-28-2011, 04:39 AM
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FXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever knowFXDRYDR has forgotten more about Harleys than you'll ever know
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  #279  
Old 10-29-2011, 08:02 AM
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And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6, NLT

Do you sometimes feel as though you aren't making progress in your spiritual life? When God starts a project, he completes it! As with the Philippians, God will help you grow in grace until he has completed his work in your life.

When you are discouraged, remember that God won't give up on you. He promises to finish the work he has begun. When you feel incomplete, unfinished, or distressed by your shortcomings, remember God's promise and provision. Don't let your present condition rob you of the joy of knowing Christ or keep you from growing closer to him.
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  #280  
Old 11-11-2011, 10:35 AM
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Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
Colossians 3:16, NLT

Thankful people can worship wholeheartedly. Gratitude opens our hearts to God's peace and enables us to put on love. Discontented people constantly calculate what's wrong with their lot in life.

To increase your thankfulness, take an inventory of all you have (including your relationships, memories, abilities, and family, as well as material possessions). Use the inventory for prayers of gratitude. On Sunday, before worship, quit rushing around; instead, take time to reflect on reasons for thanks. Declare Sunday as you "thanks, faith, and hope" day. Celebrate God's goodness to you, and ask in prayer for all your needs for the week ahead.
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  #281  
Old 11-16-2011, 01:47 PM
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Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, NLT

There is more to Christian living than simply loving other Christians. We must be responsible in all areas of life. Some of the Thessalonian Christians had adopted a life of idleness, depending on others for handouts. Some Greeks looked down on manual labor. So Paul told the Thessalonians to work hard and live a quiet life.

You can't be effective in sharing your faith with others if they don't respect you. Whatever you do, do it faithfully and be a positive force in society.
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  #282  
Old 12-13-2011, 07:12 AM
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And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. James 1:10-11, NLT

If wealth, power, and status mean nothing to God, why do we attribute so much importance to them and so much honor to those who possess them? Do your material possessions give you goals and your only reason for living? If they were gone, what would be left?

What you have in your heart, not your bank account, matters to God and endures for eternity.
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  #283  
Old 12-15-2011, 07:42 AM
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You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can't get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong--you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:2-3, NLT

James mentions the most common problems in prayer: not asking, asking for the wrong things, asking for the wrong reasons.

Do you talk to God at all? When you do, what do you talk about? Do you ask only to satisfy your desires? Do you seek God's approval for what you already plan to do? Your prayers will become powerful when you allow God to change your desires so that they perfectly correspond to his will for you.
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  #284  
Old 12-30-2011, 08:41 AM
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If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.
1 John 1:8, NLT

Here John was attacking the second claim of the false teachers: that people had no natural tendency toward sin, that they were "without sin,'' and that they were then incapable of sinning. This idea is at best self-deception and at worst a bald-faced lie. The false teachers refused to take sin seriously. They wanted to be considered Christians, but they saw no need to confess and repent. The death of Christ did not mean much to them because they didn't think they needed it. Instead of repenting and being purified by Christ's blood, they were encouraging sin among believers.

In this life we are always capable of sinning, so we should never let down our guard.
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  #285  
Old 01-08-2012, 06:46 AM
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But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. Exodus 1:12, NLT

The Egyptians tried to wear down the Hebrew people by forcing them into slavery and mistreating them. Instead, the Hebrews multiplied and grew stronger.

When we are burdened or mistreated, we may feel defeated. But our burdens can make us stronger and develop qualities in us that will prepare us for the future. We cannot be overcomers without troubles to overcome. Be true to God in the hard times because even the worst situations can make us better people.
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