Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: There’s an Inheritance Waiting for You

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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

“For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.” (Romans 8:16-17 NLT, second edition)

If you were the son or the daughter of Bill Gates, it would probably stand to reason that you were going to receive a large inheritance.

But you have a father that is wealthier than Bill Gates. Your heavenly Father has prepared an inheritance for you as one of his children. The Bible says in Romans 8:16-17, “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory” (NLT, second edition).

That is one of the most amazing verses in the entire Bible. Everything that God has given to his Son Jesus Christ he’s given to you also. You’re going to share in his glory. That is limitless! In Heaven, you will have unlimited access to the unlimited resources of God, because God created you to be his child. But you must choose to be his child by asking him to accept you into his family.

Everybody is created by God, but not everybody’s a child of God. You have to choose him and say, “Lord, I put my trust in you. I accept what you did for me on the cross. I believe in you, and I want to love you and trust you.” When you do that, you become a child of God, and you’re going to have an inheritance one day.

Any parents are going to want to know that their child is responsible before they give the inheritance. Oftentimes parents test their children in small amounts before they are given a larger amount. The same is true with you spiritually. This life is your test. God is testing you to see what you do with little amounts before he trusts you with more in eternity. He’s watching what you do with that little bit of talent to see whether you’re going to be responsible enough to get greater talents in Heaven. He’s testing you to see how you handle the little bit of wealth he’s given you. How do you handle the relationships he’s given you? How do you handle the little opportunities he gives you?

If you’re doing well with it, guess what? The Bible says you will be trusted with more in Heaven: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones” (Luke 16:10a).

What are you doing with what you’ve been given?

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

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Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: God Is Real, No Matter How You Feel

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“The Lord has hidden Himself from His people, but I trust Him and place my hope in Him” (Isaiah 8:17 TEV).

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life—when He has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant.

Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk. In your friendship with God, you won’t always feel close to Him.

Philip Yancey has wisely noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other” (Reaching for the Invisible God, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000; 242).

That’s when worship gets difficult.

To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation—times when it feels as if He has abandoned or forgotten you—when He feels a million miles away. St. John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness, doubt, and estrangement from God as “the dark night of the soul.” Henri Nouwen called them “the ministry of absence.” A. W. Tozer called them “the ministry of the night.” Others refer to “the winter of the heart.”

Besides Jesus, David probably had the closest friendship with God of anyone. God took pleasure in calling him “a man after My own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Yet David frequently complained of God’s apparent absence:

• “Lord, why are You standing aloof and far away? Why do You hide when I need You the most?” (Psalm 10:1 LB).

• “Why have You forsaken me? Why do You remain so distant? Why do You ignore my cries for help?” (Psalm 22:1 NLT).

• “Why have You abandoned me?” (Psalm 43:2 TEV; see also Psalm 44:23 TEV; Psalm 88:14 MSG; Psalm 89:49 LB).

Of course, God hadn’t really left David, and He doesn’t leave you. He has promised repeatedly, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 37:28; John 14:16–18; Hebrews 13:5).

Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: The Power to Keep Going

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“God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished.” (Philippians 1:6a NLT)

The Bible tells us that God always finishes what he starts: “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished” (Philippians 1:6a NLT). It doesn’t say, “God might finish it.” It doesn’t say, “God hopes to finish it.” It says God will finish it. What does that mean?

It means if you have really given your life to Jesus Christ, if you’ve opened yourself up to God and said, “Christ, be number one in my life,” you are going to make it to Heaven. There’s no doubt about it. Case closed. Done deal. You are going to make it across the finish line, because it doesn’t depend upon your performance; it depends upon God’s sustaining grace. The only question is how you finish the race. You know as well as I do that some people finish a race poorly while other people finish a race well.

I don’t want you to just get into Heaven. I don’t want you to just get across the finish line. I want to help you finish the race of life well. I want you to enjoy life, the abundant life, to figure out what God made you for and then do it.

How can you be sure you’re going to finish the race of life? Because of God’s sustaining grace. God doesn’t want to just save you. He wants to sustain you through life. He wants you to make it.

What is sustaining grace?

Sustaining grace is the power to keep on going when you feel like giving up. It’s the power to do the right thing when you don’t feel like doing the right thing.

There are many pitfalls in the marathon race of life. But regardless of what you go through, no matter what you face this year, you can count on God’s sustaining grace.

“My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (1 Peter 5:12b).

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Do You Know God’s Unique Role For You?

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“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT, second edition)

God has a unique role for you to play in his family.

This is your ministry, and God has gifted you for your assignment: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT, second edition).

Your local fellowship is the place God designed for you to discover, develop, and use your gifts. You may also have a wider ministry, but that is in addition to your service in a local church. Jesus has not promised to build your ministry; he has promised to build his Church.

You will share in Christ’s mission in the world. When Jesus walked the earth, God worked through the physical body of Christ; today he uses his spiritual Body. The Church is God’s instrument on Earth.

We are not just to model God’s love by loving each other; we are to carry it together to the rest of the world. This is an incredible privilege we have been given together.

As members of Christ’s Body, we are his hands, his feet, his eyes, and his heart. He works through us in the world. We each have a contribution to make.

Paul tells us, “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing”(Ephesians 2:10 MSG).

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Good Decisions Always Agree with God’s Word

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“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

When you need to make a decision, the first and ideal test is this: “Is my decision in harmony with God’s Word?”

You have to decide what’s going to be your ultimate authority in life. It really boils down to two choices: God’s Word or the world. Are you going to base your decisions on what God says or what other people say?

If you base your life on popular opinion, you’re always going to be out of date, because it changes every day. What was “in” yesterday will not be “in” today and what’s “in” today will not be “in” tomorrow. If you base your life on popular culture, political correctness, or opinion polls, you do not have principles to live by. That’s called a shifting foundation!

On the other hand, if you base your life on God’s Word, the truth never changes. Truth is always true. So if God says something was wrong 10,000 years ago, it was also wrong 500 years ago, it’s wrong today, and it will be wrong 1,000 years from today. I don’t care what opinion polls or political correctness or the media says. If God says it’s wrong, it’s wrong. It always has been, and it always will be. If God says it’s right, it will always be right. That is a solid foundation!

God has set up the universe with certain laws— physical, moral, and spiritual. God built the universe around these laws not because he’s capricious but because they’re all for your benefit. When you cooperate with the principles in this universe, you succeed. If you reject, rebel, disobey, and ignore God’s principles, you’re the one who gets hurt. You don’t ever break God’s laws. They break you! If I go up on top of a building and jump off, I don’t break the law of gravity. It breaks me. The same is true with moral laws and spiritual laws. You cannot just thumb your nose at God and get away with it. There’s inevitably a reckoning. Any time you violate God’s principles, you’re asking for trouble.

With all this in mind, you can be confident in your decision. If God says it’s OK, then you do it. If God says “no,” then you don’t do it.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105 NIV).

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Bless you,

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Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Financial Blessing Requires Careful Planning

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“Plan carefully and you will have plenty.”(Proverbs 21:5a TEV)

If you want to be financially strong, you need to start writing down what you spend until you know where it’s all going. This is the principle of accounting. You’ve got to keep track of your finances!

Proverbs 21:5 says, “Plan carefully and you will have plenty” (TEV). If you don’t have plenty, you’re not planning carefully. You don’t have anybody to blame but yourself.

You may say, “But I had this emergency!” Everybody has emergencies. Everybody gets laid off or has unexpected expenses. The difference between the people who make it through and those who don’t is how they planned for those emergencies. If you don’t expect them, of course you’re going to be devastated by them.

Have you ever made it to the end of the month and wondered, “Where did all my money go?” Ignorance of your financial condition plus easy credit equals disaster. You’ve heard that phrase, “Money talks.” It does not. It just walks away quietly, and it doesn’t tell you where it’s going. So you have to keep good records so you know where your money is going.

Here are four things you need to keep good records of: what you own, what you owe, what you earn, and where it’s going. There are several ways to budget, and you need to figure out which one is best for you. You need to get online, get into your bank, get to your accountant’s office, get into your books — whatever it takes to get on track and understand your money so that it works for you and not against you.

Proverbs 23:5 says, “Your money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and flown away like an eagle” (TEV). That’s a pretty descriptive picture. If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s just going to fly away like an eagle.

Fortunately, the U.S. government is kind enough to remind us by putting an eagle on every dollar bill. So every time you look at that bill, let it be a reminder that it’s going to fly away unless you tell it where to go.

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Grace · Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: God’s Grace Is for Everybody

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“The promise is not only for those people that live under the law of Moses. It is for anyone who lives with faith like Abraham.” (Romans 4:16 ICB)

No matter who you are and no matter what you’ve done, God loves you, and he wants you to come home to him. He wants to shower his grace on you. He wants to throw a party for you when you return.

The Bible says in Romans 4:16, “The promise is not only for those people that live under the law of Moses. It is for anyone who lives with faith like Abraham” (ICB).

Who are the people who “live under the law of Moses”? The Jewish people, the nation of Israel, lived under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament. This verse is saying that God’s grace is available not just to Jews who live under the Law of Moses. It is available to everybody with faith.

That’s good news! God’s grace is not just for Jewish people. It’s for all of us. All of us can come to God in the same way: through faith in the grace of God through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Does “everybody” include short people? Yes. Does it mean rich people and poor people? Yes. Does it include politicians and blue-collar workers? Yes. Does it include people from every ethnic background? Yes. Does that mean people from every country in the world? Yes!

It means everybody. Everybody! God’s grace is available to you.

You can’t understand what it means to have a relationship with God without understanding grace. Without grace, you don’t have any relationship with God. It is the heart of Christianity. It is the heart of following Christ and being a believer. Remember: No matter what you’ve done and no matter who you are, God’s grace is available to you.

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME:Three Realities of Heaven

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“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” (Colossians 3:1 NLT, second edition)           

We have many misconceptions about what Heaven is like. You won’t be an angel. You won’t have wings. You’re not going to be a little chubby cherub, wear a white robe, or float on clouds.

To me, that would be Hell. I can’t think of anything more boring than being in a colorless place and having to play a harp!

We need a right view of Heaven — not Hollywood’s view. The Bible says in Colossians 3:1, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (NLT, second edition).

So what does the Bible say about these “realities of Heaven”?

  1. It’s where God lives and rules. The Bible calls Heaven “the dwelling place of God,” “the house of God,” and “the city of God.” It’s not only where God lives but also where he rules. Jesus calls Heaven “the Kingdom of God” or “the Kingdom of Heaven” 31 times.
  2. It is a real place. Heaven isn’t a state of mind, a state of being, or a disembodied condition where you’ll float around without a body. In fact, the Bible says in Heaven there will be streets, trees, water, and homes. Many Scriptures allude to the fact that animals are there. You’ll have a physical body in Heaven, too. Matthew 6:20 says we’re storing up treasures for ourselves in Heaven. You can’t store up treasures in a place that isn’t real.
  3. It is designed for you and me. God didn’t design Heaven for himself. He designed it for us. When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about Heaven. The Bible says God made the entire universe because he wanted a family with whom to spend eternity. Heaven is the place he’s designing for his family. We weren’t meant to live on Earth. You and I were made for Heaven!

Heaven is an amazing place. The Bible says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9b NLT).

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

Motivate Me · Motivation · Rick Warren

MOTIVATE ME: Sow Generously to Reap Generously

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“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NIV)

When it comes to your giving, there are two principles you need to remember, and they’re based on 2 Corinthians 9:6-8: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (NIV).

This is the principle of harvest: What you sow, you’re going to reap — for good or for bad. Whatever you plant, that’s what you’re going to get back. That’s true about money, but it’s true about everything else. If you sow criticism, people are going to criticize you. If you sow gossip, guess what? Others are going to gossip about you. If you plant resentment, people are going to resent you.

Whatever you need more of, give it away, and you’ll get more back. Do you need more energy? Then you have to exercise. Do you need more affirmation in your life? Give it away. Start affirming other people.

If you take a kernel of corn and plant it in the ground, do you get one kernel back? No! I’ve actually planted corn in my yard before. When you plant one kernel in the ground, you don’t get one kernel back. You get a stalk with a bunch of ears and thousands of kernels. When you plant an avocado pit, it grows a tree. Do you get one avocado back? No. You get hundreds back. You always get back more than you put in.

The second principle is that there’s always a delay between planting and harvest. When you plant a seed in the ground, do you get an ear of corn the next day? Of course not. You plant in one season, and you harvest in another. The same is true in giving. You give to other people. You give to God. You give your life away, but do you reap the results the next day? No. There is a season of waiting before God gives you the harvest. Why? He’s testing your faith to see if you’ll trust him while there’s a delay between planting and harvesting.

While you’re waiting and planting, you can trust that God will provide grace so that “having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

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Bless you,

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(Source: Rick Warren)

 

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)