Devotional 6.26.2019

From Passion & Purpose by Charlies Stanley from Bible.com
 
Essential #4: A Healthy Body
 
You cannot reach your full potential, fulfill the purpose God has for your life, or even make a good effort toward pursuing these, when you’re not right physically. Yet no factor seems to be more overlooked when it comes to your God-given potential.
A healthy body is critical to the preparation and execution of the various activities and ministry opportunities the Lord gives you. You need a healthy body to fulfill your eternal destiny and achieve God’s best for you.
We tend to think of ourselves as having body, soul, and spirit. Our bodies relate to other people and the world around us. Our souls relate to our personhood. And our spirits relate to God. When your body, soul, and spirit are strong and fully committed to the Lord, you can take dominion over certain aspects of the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms.
Good health is absolutely necessary for the following:
Mental focus
Enthusiasm
Clear thinking
Motivation
Perseverance to complete a task
Quick response in times of danger, emergency, or crisis
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, also made it clear that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You live in your body, but you’re more than flesh and bone. The inner self—soul and spirit—lives on after the physical body dies. While believers live on this earth as His creations, our bodies are simultaneously indwelled by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16). You’re not only a vessel for your soul and spirit but also for the Spirit’s presence and power. In this way, your physical self is a holy entity, devoted to worship. Your body is a temple of God’s presence. Paul’s ringing message throughout all of his writings is this: I am in Christ, and Christ is in me.
Paul also mentions that given that the Holy Spirit has made you His temple on earth, you are to “glorify God” in your body and your spirit. You should treat your physical body with the same respect you have for your eternal spirit. According to Paul, each of us has a responsibility as a Christian to make certain that behaviors associated with our physical bodies bring honor to God.
What you do with your body is an act of praise to God. Therefore, anything you do to hurt or damage your body will prevent or limit you from fully honoring the Lord, making yourself freely available for service to Him, fulfilling your purpose, and reaching your full potential.
 
‘You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.’ 1 Corinthians 6:12-14 https://my.bible.com/bible/116/1CO.6.12-14
‘You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.’
1 Corinthians 6:12-14
 
‘Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.’
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
 

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Devotional 6.17.2019

From Passion & Purpose – Charles Stanley, www.bible.com  Essential #3: Using Your Gifts   Your Creator has gifted you in unique and wonderful ways. He’s crafted you with particular abilities and talents. When you develop your God-given attributes and use them to serve other people in love, great things can be accomplished. But if you try to function apart from your talents, or if you attempt to use your abilities in ways God didn’t intend, you’re headed for a life filled with anxiety, frustration, and failure.   If you’re going to reach your full potential in life, you must gain an awareness of what the Lord has given you. You must seek to know, develop, and then find God-approved ways to use your God-given talents.   The gifts and talents the Father designed for you were bestowed upon you at birth. A true natural gift is present in a person all his life. I cannot begin to tell you all the natural gifts that are part of human beings. But I can encourage you in this: There are thousands upon thousands of natural gifts, many of which are variations within some of the general gift categories below:

    • Aptitudes

 

    • Intelligence

 

    • Intuitive Ability

 

    • Emotions

 

    • Talent in a Particular Area of Work or Performance

 

    • Interests

 

    • Likes and Dislikes



In addition to the gifts noted above, God has also given every person the following:



    • Capacity

 

    • Propensities

 

    • Aspirations

 

    • Personality

 

    • Free Will

 

    • A Measure of Faith

 

    • A Conscience

 

    • Communication Ability 

 

    • A Network of Relationships

 

    • A Generation and A Location



In addition to the natural gifts God gave you at your creation, you also received what I call motivational gifts to prepare you for and prompt you to ministry in the body of Christ. These gifts are released after you receive Jesus as your Savior and begin to follow Him as your Lord.

 

The apostle Paul identified seven motivational gifts that we’re called to use in ministry or service within the body of Christ:



    • Prophesying—Proclaiming God’s Word

 

    • Ministering—Serving and helping to meet a need in someone else’s life

 

    • Teaching—Presenting information and principles from God’s Word

 

    • Exhorting—Intense encouragement to live out the Christian life

 

    • Giving—Expressions of time, treasure, and talent marked by generosity and faithfulness

 

    • Leading—Administering, organizing, or leading others

 

    • Showing Mercy—Expressions of kindness that point to God’s lovingkindness and His free offer of forgiveness made possible through Christ



No person can teach you how to fully blend all of the gifts the Lord has placed and released in you by the power of His Holy Spirit. Only God Himself can teach you everything you need to know about your giftedness. Only the Holy Spirit can do the work of shaping and coordinating all areas of your life so that they brightly reflect the light of the Lord. Take some time to consider the lists above, prayerfully asking the Father to reveal to you how He’s gifted you and how you can use your gifts and talents to fulfill the purpose He has for you on this earth.

Never forget your potential lies in the arena of your God-given giftedness. The very building blocks of your potential will always be the gifts He’s given you (Eph. 2:10).
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. – Romans 12:4-8
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10
 

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Devotional 6.10.2019

From Passion and Purpose by Charles Stanley
used from bible.com
 
Essential #2: A Clear Mind
The key to having a clear mind is to seek an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We must desire to know and become like Him. He must be our Savior and our Role Model. The apostle Paul declared in Philippians 2:5-8:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
 
Jesus had a very clear understanding of who He was and why He was on the earth. Our Savior regarded Himself as a servant. He humbled Himself before God and was obedient to all of the commands and leading of our heavenly Father.
 
That’s God’s profile for you. If you want to have the mind of Christ, you must see yourself as His servant on earth. The Bible calls us to be an ambassador and a bondservant for Christ (Eph. 6:20). You do what God leads you to do. He gives the directives and you obey.
 
If you want to have a clear mind—the mind of Christ—as you seek to fulfill God’s purpose for your life, you must …

Determine in advance that you will obey. If you want to have the mind of Christ, you must determine to obey God’s commandments.
 
Let God’s Word program or reprogram your mind. You can’t reach your God-given potential if you allow anything other than God and His Word to define your world, you as a human being, or what’s wise to take into your life.
 
Reprogram false teaching. As you read God’s Word and take it into your heart and mind, the Lord will use truth to drive out error, lies, and falsehoods. He’ll minimize or erase all thought patterns that are unproductive and replace them with new ways of thinking that are beneficial.
 
Seek the truth for yourself. God won’t infuse you with His Word by “divine injection.” You must take charge of your understanding and open the Word of God daily. Read it and study it. Then believe it, and apply it to your life.

You can have a clear mind, a mind that’s focused on Christ. As you pursue your passion and the purpose God has for your life, choose to make the Father’s perspective your perspective … and make His thoughts your thoughts.
 
‘You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.’

Philippians 2:5-8
https://my.bible.com/bible/116/PHP.2.5-8
‘You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.’
Philippians 2:5-8
 
‘I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.’
Ephesians 6:20
 

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Devotional 6.3.2019

From Passion and Purpose by Charles Stanley
used from bible.com
 

This reading plan presents seven essentials related to the pursuit of your God-given potential & His purpose for your life. But only one absolute essential relates to your eternal potential:  You must have a clean heart. And by “heart,” I’m referring to your spirit—the place deep within where you relate to God and experience His presence. Why is a clean heart necessary? Simply because you were born with a “bent” away from God. That’s true for every person. All of us are born with a sinful nature—with a focus on self and self-gratification. Every baby clearly demonstrates this from its first breath with cries related to human, physical needs: Feed me! Change me! Hold me!  In the spiritual realm, we’re also born with a focus on ourselves. We want what we want when we want it. We want—and expect—the world to revolve around us. And we want to determine our own destiny and gain control over everything within our grasp.  God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to die a substitutionary, atoning death for us so that we might experience a change in our spiritual nature. The person who receives the sacrifice of Christ and believes in Him as Savior has a new “bent.” The Bible says that person is now a new spiritual creation, one who’s fully a part of the Father’s immediate family (2 Cor. 5:17) and who instantly receives the Holy Spirit to dwell within him and enable him to desire a new way of living. This person then enters the ongoing process wherein his mind is renewed, redirected to walk the Lord’s path, refocused in his desires, and reenergized to fulfill His purposes. It’s at this point the Holy Spirit begins to unlock and unleash the fullness of the person’s potential, unfolding before him all he’s created to be and to do, helping him to succeed at accomplishing God’s purpose for his life. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” (Matt. 5:8). God’s Word teaches us that those with a pure, clean heart shall see God—not necessarily in visions or great spiritual exploits, but as He works in and through our own lives. Those with clean hearts will begin to grow in their understanding that God’s working all things to their ultimate good—changing circumstances, bringing about unexpected events that produce unimagined benefit, and orchestrating relationships so that God’s Word goes forth with greater power and more impact (Rom. 8:28). Do you want to see more of the Father’s work in your life as you live out your purpose, reaching your full potential? Then begin by pursuing, desiring, and seeking a clean, pure heart. 2 Corinthians 5:17 New Living Translation (NLT) 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  Matthew 5:8 New Living Translation (NLT) God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.  Romans 8:28 New Living Translation (NLT) 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.        

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Weekly Devotional

From Passion and Purpose by Charles Stanley
used from bible.com
 
Don’t Settle for Less  
 
Ephesians 2:4-5:  4 But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Matthew 6:10: Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

Are you excited about your life? Or do you feel as if you’re merely existing, drifting along from day to day without any sense of purpose or direction? Through the years, I’ve met countless people who’re living what I call a “settled-for-life.” Somewhere along their journey, they became complacent and content in their circumstances. They settled for what they believed was adequate or satisfactory instead of exerting the effort and work necessary to living a life that’s truly excellent and outstanding. The truth is, it’s easy to find ourselves settled and complacent in life. And there are many reasons we can feel stuck, discouraged, or adrift; lose our enthusiasm for life; and forfeit our hope, sense of purpose, and peace. In my opinion, the foremost reasons are because many people have lost sight of who God made them to be and what He designed them to do. As a result, countless people are not actively, intentionally, and purposefully pursuing what the Father has planned for them. If you truly want to pursue your purpose and reach your full potential in life, then you must face up to these two truths: Truth #1: God has placed more within you than you realize. Truth #2: You likely have settled for the life you’re living now. You must remember that your heavenly Father sees you through the eyes of love and forgiveness (Eph. 2:4-5). He sees where you are, but He also sees the person He made you to be. God sees all the awesome potential and possibilities He’s created you to fulfill. If you’re willing to discover and align yourself with His plan and purpose for you, He’ll bless you more than you could ever imagine and open doors of opportunity you never dreamed possible. He’ll restore the joy, peace, and hope you’ve lost and show you the path to the accomplishment He wants in your life. And He promises to bless you with life at its very best. God has placed you in this time and your current location to allow you to maximize your role in establishing His will “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). If you’ve ever wondered why you’re on this earth, understand that God has placed you here as a unique person with a unique mission aimed at establishing and extending His kingdom—and your potential lies securely and completely in that purpose. The question is, do you truly believe it? And more importantly …are you ready to get started?


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