In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among then like beacom lights. (Philippians 2:14-15)
**Takeaway: In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing.
Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have.... Wherever there is jealousy or selfish ambition, there will be disorder and every other kind of evil. (Hebrews 13:5; James 3:16)
**Takeaway: Wherever there is jelousy or selfish ambition, there will be disorder and every other kind of evil.
I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with wverything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.... I came naked from my mother's womb and I shall have nothing when I die. The Lord gave me everything and they are his to take away. (Philippians 4:11-13; Job 1:21)
**Takeaway: The Lord gave me everything and they are his to take away.
Don't criticize and speak evil about each other, dear brothers. If you do, you will be fighting against God's law of loving one another, declaring it is wrong. But your job is not to decide whether this law is right or wrong, but to obey it. Only he who made the law can rightly judge among us.... So what right do you have to judge or criticize others? (James 4:11-12)
**Takeaway: What right do you have to judge or criticize others?
|WHEN YOU FEEL IMPATIENT|
Dear brothers who are waiting for the Lord's return, be patient, like a farmer who waits until the autumn for his precious harvest to ripen.... Job is an example of a man who continued to trust the Lord in sorrow; from his experiences we can see how the Lord in sorrow; from his experiences we can see how the Lord's plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy. (James 5:7,11)
**Takeaway: From Job's experiences we can see how the Lord's plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy.
When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.... May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and of the patience that comes from Christ. (Galatians 5:22, 2 Thessalonians 3:5)
**Takeaway: When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce....patience.
Is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in charcter, full and complete. (James 1:2-4)
**Takeaway: When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow.
Open the gates to everyone, for all may enter in who love the Lord. He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! (Isaiah 26:2-3)
**Takeaway: He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thooughts turn often to the Lord!
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us---they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high on matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us. (Romans 5:3-5)
**Takeaway: We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us learn to be patient.
Trust in the Lord.... Be delighted with the Lord.... Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him to act.... Don't fret and worry---it only leads to harm.... But all who humble themselves before the Lord shall be given every blessing and shall have wonderful peace. (Psalm 37:3-4, 7-8, 11)
**Takeaway: Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him to act. Don't fret and worry---it only leads to harm.
May God who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement help you to live in complete harmony with each other---each with the attitude of Christ toward the other. And then all of us can praise the Lord together with one voice, giving glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)
**Takeaway: May God who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement help you to live in complete harmony with each other.
|WHEN YOU FEEL BORED WITH LIFE|
The backslider gets bored with himself; the godly man's life is exciting.... Jesus explained:"My nourishment comes from doing the will of God who sent me." (Proverbs 14:14; John 4:34)
**Takeaway: The godly man's life is exciting.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.... a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.... He has made everything suitable for its time. (Ecclesiasted 3:1-2,4,11,NRSV)
**Takeaway: He has made everything suitable for its time.
We are anxious that you keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, so that you will get your full reward. Then, knowing what lies ahead for you, you won't become bored with being a Christian nor become spiritually dull and indifferent. (Hebrews 6:11-12)
**Takeaway: Keep right on loving others as long as life lasts; then you won't become bored with being a Christian nor spiritually dull or indifferent.
As for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face. (Psalm 17:15)
**Takeaway: Lord, my contentment is in knowing all is well between us.
The Lord himself is my inheritance, my prize. He is my food and drink, my highest joy!.... Heart, body, and soul are filled with joy.... You have let me experience the joys of life and the exquisite pleasures of your own eternal presence. (Psalm 16:5,9,11)
**Takeaway: The Lord himself is my inheritance, my prize, my highest joy!
Only good men enjoy life to the full. (Proverbs 2:21)
**Takeaway: Only good men enjoy life to the full.
Apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:25-26,NRSV)
**Takeaway: To the one who pleases him, God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy.
|WHEN YOU FEEL DISCOURAGED|
O God,... come quickly! Help!... I will keep on expecting you to help me. I praise you moreand more. I cannot count the times when you have fithfully rescued me.... Your power and goodness, Lord, reach to the highest heavens... Where is there another God like you? You have let me sink down deep in desperate problems. But you will bring me back to life again, up from the depths... You will give me greater honor than before and turn again and comfort me. (Psalm 71:12,14-15,19-21)
**Takeaway: I cannot count the times when you have faithfully rescued me.
Lord, you are my refuge! Don't let me down! Save me from my enemies, for you are just! Rescue me! Bend down your ear and listen to my plea and save me.... Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord! How good you are! Your love for us continues on forever. Who can ever list the glorious miacles of God? Who can ever praise him halp enough?... Blessed be everlasting. Let all the people say, "Amen!" Hallelujah! (Psalms 71:1-2; 106:1-2,48)
**Takeaway: Lord, you are my refuge.
Take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs, and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that those who follow you, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves, but become strong.... This is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.... I can do it only because Christ's mighty energy is at work within me. (Hebrews 12:12-13; Colossians 1:27,29)
**Takeaway: Christ's mighty energy is at work within me.
I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.... I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.... In You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.... O my God, be not far from me!... These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (Psalm 38:6,8-10,15,21; John 16:33, NKJV)
**Takeaway: Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels.... Your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.... The Lord will work out his plans for my life--for your lovingkindness, Lord, continues forever. (Psalm 138:1-3,8)
**Takeaway: The Lord will work out his plans for my life.
You are the God of my strength.... Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me.... Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me ? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 43:2-3,5, NKJV)
**Takeaway: Hope in God.
Bless the Lord who is my immovable Rock.... Bend down the heavens, Lord, and come. The mountains smoke beneath your touch. Let loose your lightning bolts, your arrows, Lord.... Reach down from heaven and rescue me; deliver me from deep waters.... I will sing you a new song, O God, with a ten-stringed harp. For you grant victory.... Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. (Psalm 144:1,5-7,9-10; John 14:1)
**Takeaway: Bless the Lord who is my immovable Rock.
|WHEN YOU FEEL RESENTFUL|
Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual mild, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. (1 Peter 2:1-2, NIV)
**Takeaway: Grow up in your salvation.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile. (Hebrews 12:14-15, NIV)
**Takeaway: See to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile.
The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being. (Proverbs 20:27, NIV)
**Takeaway: The lamp of the Lord searches out man's inmost being.