A Life of Hope

The fact that you’re standing here today with breath in your lungs testifies that God has a plan and purpose for you on this earth.

The fact that you’re standing here today with breath in your lungs testifies that God has a plan and purpose for you on this earth. Jesus wants you to live with bold confidence in His promises and humble dependence on His voice. He plans to transform you into a woman of purpose and lead you to places you could never otherwise go apart from Him.

What’s so beautiful about our call is that God knows full well whom He’s getting when He calls us.

In his book Holy Ambition, Chip Ingram reflects on the people God loves to use:

God has chosen very regular, ordinary, common people just like you and me to accomplish the biggest events in all of human history. He used a teenage girl to bring His Son into this planet. He used a blue-collar worker to raise Him from childhood and teach Him about a life of integrity and worship. He used common fishermen to lay the foundation for the greatest revolution that has ever touched the world. And God wants to use you and God wants to use me in the same ways.

God’s will for you is your best-case scenario. I marvel at how He lovingly takes our broken pieces, our tangled-up fears, our worst mistakes, and creates a mosaic of beauty that impacts the world.

Consider the desires in your heart. Pay attention to stories that stir up your passions. Dare to believe that He wants to use the gifts He’s imparted to you. He’s the one who put desires in you that He might fulfill His purposes for you. He can even use the worst things you’ve ever done, or the worst things that have ever happened to you, to change the world through you. He desires to transform you into a humble, bold, healed, and confident woman who trusts Jesus with her every breath.

What kind of life did God promise us? Not an easy one. But a powerful, world-changing, redemptive, miraculous life that overcomes hardship, defies the odds, defeats the giants, and conquers fears.

If we take God at His word, He’ll take us places and work through us in ways that will cause others who knew us when, to step back, shake their heads, and say, “There has to be a God in heaven; no way could she have accomplished those things or become that person on her own.”

Jesus promised us an abundant life, which in essence involves copious amounts of fruitfulness, lavish amounts of love, abundant supplies of strength and courage, and profuse amounts of generosity. Jesus came to give us life. Satan came to steal it from us, to kill our dreams and our passion, and destroy every hint of God-inspired sparkle and verve within us (see John 10:10).

Jesus also promised that during our time on earth, we’d encounter hardship, trials, and tribulations (see John 16:33). We’ll be misjudged, mistreated, and misunderstood. Satan will do everything he can to take us out. But here comes another promise: Overwhelming victory is ours in Christ Jesus (see Romans 8:37)!

Search the Scriptures yourself and you’ll see verse after verse that speaks to our calling—our purpose—and of God’s faithfulness to His promises. Perhaps the most compelling verse for me when it comes to our pre-ordained purpose on earth is Ephesians 2:10: “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” (NLT).

Do you actually believe that God wants to use you? That He has a beautiful assignment just for you? Are you ready to grab hold of God’s promises right here, right now, no matter what your circumstances may be telling you? Will you dare to believe that God is working in you today to get you where you need to go tomorrow?

God is for you and loves the idea of using you for His great glory. You have a divine appointment to live an overabundant, more-than-fruitful life. Will you trust Him enough to look up and give Him your yes? I pray you will.

Jesus created you with a very specific purpose in mind. To live the powerful, significant life assigned to you by God, you must—with God at your side—confront the bullies of fear, insecurity, and inferiority. You must be gritty enough to walk by faith, be tenacious enough to grab hold of His promises and never let go, and be humble enough to admit that you need Him every single hour. He beckons you toward a battle, but you stand on the winning side.

Look for Him in your circumstances and you’ll find Him there. May you dare to dream with God! You don’t need to look to other women and long for their lives and callings. You don’t need to be captivated by your fears.

No one and nothing can deter you from your calling—not your obstacles, not the woman you constantly compare yourself to, and not even your past sins and missteps. Only unbelief can keep you chained to mediocrity and a less-than life. Will you trust Jesus and begin to move forward in faith? You have this one life to live. What will you do with what Christ has offered you? Will you spend your energy trying to present well, save face, and pretend you’re not insecure? Or will you get real, face down your fears, and embrace the God-confident, significant life you were made for?

Do you know that the devil sees your potential with greater clarity than you do? That’s why he works overtime to keep you from seeing who you really are in Christ. Lord willing, this book will teach you how to fight, how to stand, and how to move forward into the purposes God planned for you long ago. You’ll learn how to trust God’s timing and better discern His voice as you take each promised step on your journey.

May God open your eyes to all He has imparted to you! I dare you to dream with God and walk out His stunning purpose for you.

As a beautifully loved woman of God, you need only to look to Him who leads you joyfully with triumph.

Adapted from Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson

Trade paper ISBN 9780764210662 / ebook ISBN 9781441261137

Used by permission of Bethany House Publishers.

Family Talk Night Light for Parents

Duration: 365 days

FAITH TALK

“I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Matthew 8:10

In the blink of an eye, you will be hugging your children good-bye and sending them off to college, to a first job, or even to start a family of their own. They’ll bring along a few reminders of home on their new adventure—perhaps a favorite pillow or teddy bear. Will they also take a firm understanding of how faith has made a difference in your life?

It’s easy for Christian parents to assume that their beliefs have been successfully passed on to their children. If the kids attend church, participate in church youth activities, and read the Bible occasionally, all appears to be well—and these are certainly good signs. But as my (JCD’s) father once pointed out to me in a letter, “the greatest delusion is to suppose that our children will be devout Christians simply because their parents have been.”

Have you asked your kids lately about what their faith means to them? Have you revealed specifically how Jesus has helped you through times of struggle and doubt? We urge you to talk with your children about Him, to pray for and with them, and to make these special moments a family priority. May I suggest that you do it now, while there is still time?

BEFORE YOU SAY GOOD NIGHT…

What do you honestly know about your children’s personal faith?

How much time do they spend weekly in God’s Word?

Are you comfortable sharing your beliefs with your kids?

Lord, time rushes by so quickly. It always seems as though there is more to do than we could ever get done. But please, Lord, help us not to take our children’s relationship with You for granted! Help us to take the time—make the time—to speak to them about what matters most for eternity. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pergamum: Built Satan’s Throne – Revelation 2:12-17

Imagine trying to worship Jesus in a city that bowed before their political leaders and even made your success in business connected with worshiping idolatrous statues of false gods. This is the challenge the believers at Pergamum faced near the end of the first century. Jesus planted a church in a city where Satan, himself, was enthroned. Pergamum was the center of the Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor, and Jesus planted a church in this city to counter evil with His grace. “The only way to live a godly life is to build high walls around your church and family.” Many believers adopt this isolationist mentality, but the risen Christ planted a church at the foot of Satan throne—in the heart of the city where the Imperial Cult flexed its muscles. Take some time to read Revelation 2:12-17 and learn about the Church of Pergamum: The Church Built at Satan’s Throne.

For more from Dave Wyrtzen, visit TruthEncounter.com.

The Biblical Way – October 2


Read Matthew 5

In today’s reading:

Temptations through Satan; The beatitudes; the Sermon on the Mount; believers compared to salt and light; the apostles are called Jesus talks about the law, divorce, oaths, tithing, and fasting

A fter His baptism in the Jordan River, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4: 1). First, the devil suggested an easy way, to gratify Himself, in which Jesus could satisfy His hunger (by crying out to the lust of the flesh). But Jesus, knowing that obedience to the Word must be the basis for all decisions, quoted the Scriptures, saying: “It is written: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes out of the mouth of God.” (4: 4; Deuteronomy 8: 3). The words “be tempted” are also used as “examine or test.” Such tests are necessary parts of our lives, for they reveal our true character.And after fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came to him and said: If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread ” (Matthew 4: 2-3). The abilities that God has given us must be used for His glory and His honor.

Satan’s second temptation: “He brought him to the holy city, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple” (4: 5). Satan suggested that Jesus jump to the place where the people were gathered and present Himself as the superhuman Messiah (crying out for the pride of life). Satan quoted the Scriptures to back up this temptation, telling him: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written: He will command His angels concerning You, and in their hands they will hold You, so that You will not stumble over Your foot on a stone ” (4: 6; Psalm 91: 11-12). The devil often appears very religious in quoting Scripture, but he only quotes the portion that suits his plan. Jesus then said to him: “It is also written: You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Matthew 4: 7).

In his last temptation to seduce Jesus to sin: «Again the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and said: All this I will give you, if I prostrate myself worship ” (4: 8-9). The devil again suggested another easy way by which Jesus could avoid the pain and suffering of the cross and still be able to rule “all the kingdoms of the world . ” Even a failure would only have made Jesus a sinner. When we allow one failure, it almost always leads to another, and so on. Jesus answered him: “Go, Satan, for it is written: The Lord your God shall you worship, and Him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4: 8-10).

Thought for today:The poor in spirit are rich in the spiritual blessings of God. willing to give the Lord our time and our tithes.

Memory Verse of the Week: James 1:17