Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: A Little at a Time

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If you’re like most people, you probably have a “to do” list somewhere nearby. It may not necessarily be written down on paper, but it may be somewhere in the back of your mind. I’ve found that we can easily get so busy in our minds thinking of all things we have to do that it can overwhelm us and zap our energy. Sometimes, our “to do” list, though full of good intentions, can actually distract us and keep us from God’s best.

God wants us to live in balance. In life, everything doesn’t happen all at once. All of our dreams, desires, and goals aren’t fulfilled instantly; it happens a little bit at a time. You grow one step at a time. You increase little by little. You strengthen your marriage a little bit at a time. You lose weight gradually over time. You get healthy one choice at a time. You pay your debt off a little at a time. Scripture tells us that, “With God, all things are possible” but notice that it doesn’t say, “With God, everything happens instantaneously.” Yes, we do serve a God of miracles. We should look for Him to act on our behalf but we should also do our part to be faithful. Proverbs 12:24 says, “the hand of the diligent will rule.” Hebrews 6:12 says that “through faith AND patience, we inherit His promises.”

Today, focus on living in balance. Learn to rest your mind. Get into the peace of God. The only step you have to focus on in life is the next one. Let Him lead and guide you in the way you should go. You don’t have to figure everything out today, you just have to take that next step; you just have to start making that little adjustment. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed but what you know you need to do in life. Just start doing a little bit at a time because before you know it, you will see those dreams and desires come to pass!

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT)

Bless you,

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(Source: Joel Osteen)

 

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Prayer

TODAY’S MARRIAGE PRAYER: Hope for a Troubled Marriage

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Dear Heavenly Father,

Can our marriage survive? Could it come back to life? Could those parts that we’ve lost be restored?

Looking to Your word, we know without a shadow of a doubt that You are sovereign. You hold the power of life and death in Your hands. Nothing is too difficult for You.

We read about Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones. By Your power and might, death rose to its feet. They became an exceeding great army.

You specialize in miracles. You replace the stench of death with life. You give hope where all hope is lost.

Breathe life into our marriage, Lord. Revive. Restore. Rebuild.

In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Note: If this prayer doesn’t pertain to you–if you aren’t struggling in your own marriage–please stand in the gap for those who are. Many are hurting around us. They need our prayers.

And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord. – Ezekiel 37:13-14

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(Source: Today’s Marriage Prayer)

Bless you,

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Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Prove God Through Your Giving

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“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” (Malachi 3:10 NIV)

The Bible says there’s only one way you can prove God: through giving, specifically through tithing.

Malachi 3:9-10 says, “‘You are under a curse — your whole nation — because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it’” (NIV).

I’ll never forget the first time I let God test my faith about giving. I was 19 years old, in college, and in debt. I owed my school $500 that was due at the end of the month. I owed 10 bucks to a friend. And all I had was $50 in the bank. I knew I couldn’t pay my debts, so I thought, “God says to put him to the test. I may as well try it.”

So I took the $50 out of the bank and decided I was going to send it to a Christian organization; it didn’t really matter which one. I chose the American Bible Society, which prints Bibles and gives them away. I included a little note that said, “Whoever opens this letter, would you pray for me? I’m a poor, starving college student, and I’ve got some personal debts I need to pay off. I’m just trusting God that when I put him first in my life that he’ll meet all my needs. Please pray!” I didn’t know what was going to happen.

About three weeks later I got invited to speak at a church for a weekend youth event. On Sunday the pastor said, “We took up an offering for you, Rick.” I was really just there to help and had a great time. I never thought about getting paid! I waited until I was back at the dorm to open it. Inside was $561. I gave the college $500. I gave my friend $10. And I took the $51 and gave it back to God as a tithe. I was still poor, but I wasn’t in debt!

Since then, I’ve done this hundreds of times. I’ve done it with millions of dollars. For 31 years I’ve been playing a game with God where he says, “Rick, you give to me, and I’ll give to you, and we’ll see who wins.” And I have lost that game every time.

You say you trust God with your salvation and your forgiveness and your freedom and your future in Heaven, but do you trust him with your finances? If not, what’s the logic of that?

You have to decide: Do you trust God to keep his promises?

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: How Can You Store Up Treasure in Heaven?

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“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 NIV)

You are going to enjoy forever what you invest in Heaven, and you invest in Heaven every time you use money for good.

Yesterday we talked about investing in eternity by using your money to grow your character, encourage fellowship in the Body of Christ, and serve others in need. There are two more funds that you should invest in so that you can yield eternal dividends in Heaven.

  1. The fourth of God’s investment funds is the Global Fund. This is when you use your money to share the Good News and bring people to Jesus. Luke 16:9 says, “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (NIV). A lot of people have no idea what this verse means. Is it saying that you can buy friends? Not at all. It means that God wants you to invest in things that help get people into Heaven so that when you get to Heaven, they will welcome you there. It’s the greatest investment of your life. Is anybody going to be in Heaven because of you?
  2. The last investment fund is God’s Treasury Fund. When you give money to God as an act of worship, that’s called the Treasury Fund. God makes a promise in Proverbs 3:9: “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (TLB). A tithe is when you give the first 10 percent of your income to God. Anything given above a tithe is called an offering. You can’t really give God anything, because he already owns it all. But think about the allowance you got as a child. If you went out and bought a birthday present for your mom, you’re really using her money. Does that mean she would like the gift any less? No! Because she cares more about the thought and the love behind the gift. God feels the same way about your giving.

The Bible says that wherever our treasure is, our heart will also be there. If what’s most important to you are the things of this earth, then every day you are moving further and further away from your treasure. Because every day you are here on Earth, you’ve got one less day here on Earth. You’re moving further and further away from the things you’re going to leave behind.

But, if you’re investing in God’s funds and using your money to serve God’s purposes, then you’re storing up treasure in Heaven every day. You’re getting closer and closer to your treasure instead of further and further away.

Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Pray this aloud or in your heart today: “Dear God, forgive me for all that I’ve spent on things that aren’t going to last. I want to start investing in Heaven. I want to invest in these godly funds. I want to use my money the way you want me to use it. Today I commit to using my money to grow my character and grow in spiritual strength, wisdom, and knowledge and become all that you want me to be. Help me to see ways that I can use what you have given to me to strengthen relationships and show love to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to invest in eternity by using my money to serve others. I want to learn to be generous. I want to be a blessing to others. And I want to use my money to bring people to you. I want people to be in Heaven because I gave. I want to spread the Gospel through my acts of service. And Father, I want to show where my treasure is by investing in eternity through my gifts and offerings to you. I want to honor you by giving you the first part of all my income. I want to give up my lust for money so that the Almighty himself will be my treasure. Help me to remember that I’m not a fool to give up what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Prayer

TODAY’S MARRIAGE PRAYER: Choosing Joy Over Sorrow

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Dear Heavenly Father,

Choosing joy—it’s a decision that we make every day. Some days it’s easy, but some days it takes everything that we have just to muster a smile.

When we bring a sense of joy into our marriage we invest in our future. It changes the atmosphere in our home, and it impacts each other.

Help us to grab hold of joy. Fill us to overflowing with peace so that we might share in our joy together.

As we pray for our marriage today, we also remember others around us who struggle with depression and battle anxiety.

We stand in the gap for them, Lord. We know it’s not simply a matter of feigning a smile or shaking it off. This is a real struggle for many who want nothing more than to let go of the pain.

Bring healing to each and every one who is suffering. Release the chains that bind them, lift the darkness that weighs heavy upon them. Remind them how loved and how cherished they are.

In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Note: If this is a personal battle in your home, stand in the gap for each other. Be patient and kind. Fervently pray for this weight to be lifted.

I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. – Psalm 40:1-3

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(Source: Today’s Marriage Prayer)

Bless you,

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Bible Study

BIBLE STUDY: THE PEACE OF GOD

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The Peace of God Verses

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

2 Peter 1:2

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:13

… Be at peace among yourselves.

Ephesians 5:1

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

Ephesians 2:14

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

1 Corinthians 14:33

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

Romans 16:20

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Luke 1:79

To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

God Bless.

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Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Generosity Leads to Joy

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“There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” (Acts 20:35b TEV)

You make a living by what you get. You leave a legacy by what you give.

Jesus said in Acts 20:35, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving” (TEV). I’ve always loved that verse because it’s so honest. Does Jesus say there’s no happiness in receiving? No. There is happiness in receiving. But Jesus says there’s more happiness in giving.

That’s the exact opposite of the way the world thinks. Most of the world thinks there’s more happiness in getting. But Jesus does not think like the world. He knows that you are most like him when you are giving, and that produces joy.

When people visit Saddleback Church, they notice that it’s a joyful church. Do you know why? Because it’s a generous church. People love to give! And when we’re generous, it results in joy. It feels good to give.

Do you want your family to be more joyful? Then be more generous as a family. Do you want to be a more joyful person? Then be more generous as a person.

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: What Would People Say Your Priorities Are

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“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 NIV)

The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21 NIV).

So where is your heart today? It’s simple, really. It’s wherever you put your money. Some of you, your heart is in your home, because that’s where you put your money. Maybe your heart’s in your boat. Or your cabin. Or that car you love.

Wherever you put your money, that’s where your heart is going to go. Do you want to get interested in the Coca-Cola Company? Buy some stock. The moment you buy some stock, you’re going to be very interested in the stock price of Coca-Cola. If your treasure is not there, you couldn’t care less about Coca-Cola stock.

Where you put your money and your time reveals your priorities. You can say you love Jesus, but if you don’t spend any time with him, then you don’t love him as much as you think you do. You say you love your kids, but do you spend time with your kids? No? Then you don’t really love them the way you think you do. You can say you love to be in shape, but do you work out? No? Then you don’t really love being in shape.

The point is, it’s not about what you say. Here’s how you know what’s really important to people: Look at their calendar, and look at their bank statement. The way we spend our time and the way we spend our money says what’s really important to us.

You can say, “This is really important to me,” but if you don’t spend time on it and you don’t spend money on it, your heart isn’t really there.

When you give to God, guess where your heart goes? It goes toward God. It draws you closer. It’s an act of worship.

Where is your treasure?

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)