Morning Minute 17th-28th August 2021

Day 11

Other Notes: Hope you liked this 3rd devotional from Rick Warren on faith, parts of it spoke to me every day. We are going to move to a new 7-day journey on Decision Making, something that will benefit us all…

Devotional Point 4 today:

Jesus offers the only hope that is eternal. And it is a hope that will never disappoint.

Scripture 4 today:

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

For the most part we have been taught to focus on the seen, and even dismiss the unseen, but that is not God’s way. His plan is worked through what is unseen through normal vision. This is the starting point for faith, fixing our vision on the unseen. To do this takes an incredible amount of focus and effort, it is not a natural thing. No point in even discussion g most things with the people who do not have the Holy Spirit in their lives, because they have no means to get to the power it takes to view the unseen…

Question for the day:

1. What does putting your hope in Jesus look like during an uncertain time? When I am focused on the “unseen”, I am not distracted by the seen, and not put off by any of it…

2. How can you help others rely on their hope in Christ? Help them with the unseen stuff that Elijah showed us

3. What are some examples of eternal matters we can focus on when faced with troubles? The troubles behind the trouble makers in our lives…

Day 10

Devotional Point 4 today:

God desires mercy over judgment. 

Scripture 4 today:

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James‬ ‭2:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

2 things I really resonated with today: 1-You can disagree with someone without being disagreeable; and 2- everyone is accountable to God. That means they aren’t accountable to you… The world we live in is quicker to condemn by the day, we can and need to set ourselves apart from that world…

Question for the day:

  • Have you found yourself expecting an unbeliever to act like a believer? What was the relational outcome? I seem to have that expectation all the time, just need to reset my expectations.
  • What does telling the truth with gentleness look like? Not much evidence of it in the world we live in…
  • How does the following verse relate to today’s devotional? “Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:12-13 NIV). It needs to be our life…
  • What are some ways you can disagree with someone without being disagreeable? Start out by voicing respect for their opinion and keep it on that level.

Day 7

What are you talking about? Good question, the subject of today’s devotional…

Devotional Point 4 today:
…Your words demonstrate your heart’s condition…

Scripture 4 today:
“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭141:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

The historical context of this Psalm is quite important. David was quite the senior statesman at this point, and was being drawn into a relationship with some pretty nasty guys. And although this prayer is one of general utility, it was very specific to his circumstances at the time. Our hearts can wander “off line” without any effort on our parts, and require diligence to keep them focused on that He wants for us. One of the best ways to do this is to not be in the tempting situation in the first place.

Question for the day:
1. What do your words reflect about the condition of your heart? Almost everything…
2. How have you been encouraged by kind, comforting words someone has spoken to you? It has not happened very often, but it has made a b it difference when it did…
3. What habits can you practice that reflect God’s heart-changing efforts? Just constant reflection…

Day 6

Devotional Point 4 today:

…one of the greatest destroyers of relationships is an uncontrolled tongue…

Scripture 4 today:

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

There are few sins committed or things gone wrong were the tongue is not involved. All of the mistakes I have made, and there have been many, have usually started with the tongue. And ironically end up finishing with the tongue… So, possibly the main evidence of a life transformed is the contents of the tongue. It is not a matter of being careful about what you say, none of us is smart enough to be that careful, we need total transformation in our hearts, because what we say 99% of the time comes straight from the heart…

Question for the day:

1. What are some words you can use to build others up? How can I help you…

2. What is one way you can remind yourself to be encouraging when you’re tempted to be critical? They are having something g big in their lives to cause them to act this way…

3. Why is gossip so destructive? Make an “exit” plan for how you can avoid participating in gossip. First it is not true, and second it causes questions of character…

Day 5

Devotional Point 4 today:

…God is always working behind the scenes…

Scripture 4 today:

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” ‭‭James‬ ‭5:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Patience is necessary because it is so unnatural, particularly for me… For the most part we in the West live in a world that demands everything from us “right now”, and therefore we demand of everyone else a big “right now”. But that is not God’s plan, He wants my heart, he wants a relationship with me,  for which it takes as long as it takes. Relationships, when they grow, expand from what they were into new shapes and dimensions that most of us have not planned for. So, the patience comes in the change of the nature and size of the relationship…

Question for the day:

1. What have you been waiting on God to do in your life? What do you think he might be waiting on you to do in the meantime? I have been waiting a long time, 9 years now to be able to see my daughter who was taken from me in terrible circumstances. I believe that God will restore this in His time.

2. In what ways can you prepare yourself while you wait for God to work? Stay in the Word…

3. How do you want to grow and mature through the circumstances during the pandemic? How are you doing the work that will help you accomplish those goals? I have become much more focused on my time with Him every day…

Day 4

Critical factor lacking in almost all of the binary Christianity that we have grown up with: patience… We see something that needs to be done, and we know God’s promises for getting it done, and then it does not get done on our timetable. So then what? Well that is where patience and endurance and perseverance come in. Notes for today:

Devotional Point 4 today:
If you choose to let God handle it when someone hurts you, he sees it—and he will bless you.

Scripture 4 today:
“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” ‭‭James‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:
We have all been subjected to a Christianity of binary issues. If someone is sick, they need to be healed. if they weren’t a Christian they need to accept Christ and “all is new”. Which is sort of right, but not fully. Perseverance and endurance happen when the Christianity we live is non-binary. The healing doesn’t take place right away, the relationships don’t change right away, that which should change doesn’t. So, how do you learn to live with it without accepting it? Easier said than done… Two ways forward: focus on the truth, the promises, and the integrity of God’s word. Pray, pray, and pray some more…

Question for the day:
1- In what relationships have you found it most difficult to practice patience during the pandemic? Ones where there is a false acceptance of what God is trying to do through the pandemic. Churches who are returning to the “same old” was as before…
2- How do you treasure eternal rewards more than earthly rewards? How is your answer revealed in the choices you make when you’re hurt or criticized? You learn to get by all of them, it all still hurst, but you get by them…
3- How does patience help create healthy relationships? You learn to accept what can’t be changed right away, and focus on the long term…

Day 3

Devotional Point 4 today:

Pointing the finger will never resolve conflict.

Scripture 4 today:

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection 4 today:

Matthew Henry said that “a good man desires to know the worst of himself”. When you know how much God loves you, there is no fear in finding out our deepest resentments and hidden angers, He has already forgiven them. No point in hiding them, why would you, he has already dealt with them…  That of course doesn’t stop us from hiding the truth, it was what we grew up with for the most part, no matter your mistake, we were taught, don’t let anyone find out what you did wrong… But that is not God’s way, not should it be ours…

Question for the day:

– In what personal conflict do you need God to give you a clear picture of your responsibility? Have you asked God for that yet? I have a number of areas over the last 15 years where this has been the case, He has redeemed me fro each of them.

– Psalm 139:24 refers to “the way everlasting”—what do you think that is? The way everlasting is the way of His total forgiveness for all that I have done and thought wrongly

– Why is it so important to pray Psalm 139:23-24, especially before you have a difficult conversation? Got to keep centered on who we are and what God has done…

Day 2

Devotional Point 4 today:

Only Jesus can change my perspective—and yours.

Scripture 4 today:

“not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

.NIV

Reflection 4 today:

The clamoring to be heard today is pretty outrageous. An incredile number of people just demand to be heard, that is what is behind our current “cancel culture” where we just delete anyone who we disagree with. We nuke them right out of our field of vision. I see more and more of that in the “Christian” world. if we don’t like what they are saying, nuke-em… We, however are called to a different standard, a standard of listening and understanding. It is only when people feel understood do they listen and try to un derstand…

Question for the day:

1- How do you want someone to respond when you are trying to get them to understand what you’re saying? Do you do the same for others? This is probably one of the main changes the Holy Spirit has made in me in the last 10 years…

2- Do you find yourself thinking about what you’re going to say next instead of truly listening to someone? Why can this be such a strong temptation? I maintain that most people don’t listen to anything, they just wait their turn to speak, that never works…

3- If you truly care more about the person you’re talking to than getting your point across, how might you change the way you have conversations? Rick gave a few examples here about how to do this, just need to start there…

Day1

Join us on this next step of the Journey with Rick Warren looking further in to the issue of faith. My notes from today…

Devotional Point 4 today
What’s the ultimate certainty? Jesus is going to come back…

Scripture 4 today:
“Be patient like those farmers and don’t give up. The Lord will soon be here” James‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭CEV

Reflection 4 today:
Clearly we are much closer today to this then at the time when James was writing this. And our concept of the idea of “Near” is quite a bit different from God’s. We know that with him 1000 years is as a day and vice versa. However, it has been 2000 years since James wrote this and there are a number of other “signs“ about Jesus coming back. So, we have to get on with our “farming“ regardless of how soon it is. We need to do the same thing today and every day even if He comes this afternoon. After all, it is all about what is on our hearts…

Question for the day:
1- What does it mean to live with the expectation of Jesus’ return? Certain He clears out any fears that we might have about what the “end game” is all about.
2- Does knowing that God is in control of history give you comfort and confidence? Why or why not? Personally, it gives me a great deal of comfort because it makes clear what the end will look like and how things ultimately work.
3- In what situation do you need to remember that God is in control? How have you seen him at work already in that area? The pandemic has been the great levellel of the world as we know it. We have seen him do thousands of things that we had no idea could happen.

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