Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stretch Your Faith: Week 2

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV)

Our goal should be to manage our bodies, God's holy temple, the way He intended. Therefore, someday we will meet Him in heaven and hear him say,"Well done!"

I encourage you to define your goal this week to manage the body God's given you.  Define how that goal can please Him.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stretch Your Faith Class - Week 1

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV)

Paul tells Timothy in his letter, "I have finished well." To finish our races well, we train through Run for God/Red Sea Fitness or other running plans.  Youth pastor Jim Chapman,  author of  Finishing Well, says to honor God's gifts he has given us to manage, such as our body - God's Holy Temple, we train just like we do for a race. (Remember, your body is His and you are only the manager of that body while you are here on Earth. How well have we managed His Holy Temple?) 

Training involves stretching in your warm up, cool down, and many times in the middle of a long run.  In the same way, we need to train for our race through life.  We should be stretching our faith by speaking encouragement not only to ourselves but our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We stretch our faith by waiting for God's timing, not our own.  In addition, pastor Kyle Idleman, author of Not A Fan, says we have to committ to our race in EVERY AREA of our life to be a true follower of Christ. Jesus wants us to follow Him all the time, not just some of the time.  This requires training; it requires you to stretch your faith throughout your race of life.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Here is my devotion for today from Rick Warren:

When We Bless Others, God Takes Care of Our Needs 

Most Christians want to bless others through their gifts and resources. But more than a desire, God commands us to be a blessing to others because we have been blessed. 

As you look for ways to bless others, keep in mind the four laws of God’s blessing: 

1. Our blessings should flow to others.

The Bible teaches us that we are blessed not just so that we can feel good, not just so we can be happy and comfortable, but also so that we will bless others. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:2, “I will bless you ... and you will be a blessing” (NIV). This is the first law of blessing: It must flow outwardly. 

2. When we bless others, God takes care of our needs. 

God promises that if we will concentrate on blessing others, he’ll take care of our needs. There’s almost nothing that God won’t do for the person who really wants to help other people. In fact, God guarantees this blessing. In Luke 18:29-30, Jesus says, “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come” (NLT). 

When you care about helping other people, God assumes responsibility for your problems. And that’s a real blessing, for he’s much better at handling your difficulties than you are. 

3. Our blessings to others will come back on us. 

The more you bless other people and the more you help others, the more God blesses your life. Luke 6:38 tells us, “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back — given back with bonus and blessing” (MSG). You cannot out-give God. The more you try to bless other people in the world around you, the more God says, “I’m going to pour blessings out on you. We’ll play a little game here. Let’s see who will win. Let’s see who can give the most. The more you bless others, the more I’m going to bless you in return.” 

4. The more God blesses us, the more he expects us to help others. 

Jesus said it this way in Luke 12:48: “Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given” (GNT). 

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.