Messages of the Moment

                               rick warren

                                Rev. Rick Warren

SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR SERVING GOD
by Rick Warren

“Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God’s Spirit” – 1 Corinthians 2:14 (TEV)

*** *** *** ***

You can’t earn your spiritual gifts or deserve them – that’s why they are called gifts! They’re an expression of God’s grace to you: “Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us” – Ephesians 4:7 CEV.

Nor do you get to choose which gifts you’d like to have. Paul explains that God determines that, “It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have” – 1 Corinthians 12:11 NLT.

Because God loves variety, and he wants us to be special, there’s no one single gift given to everyone, and no individual receives all the gifts. If you had them all, you’d have no need of anyone else, and that would defeat one of God’s purposes – to teach us to depend on each other.

Your spiritual gifts were not given for your own benefit but for the benefit of others, just as other people were given gifts for your benefit. The Bible says, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church” – 1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT. When we use our gifts together, we all benefit. If others don’t use their gifts, you get cheated, but if you don’t use your gifts, they get cheated. This is why God wants us to discover and develop our spiritual gifts.

Whenever we forget these basic truths about gifts, it always causes trouble in the church. Two common problems are “gift-envy” and “gift-projection.”

  • Gift-envy occurs when we compare our gifts to others, feel dissatisfied with what God gave us, and become resentful or jealous of how God uses others.
  • Gift-projection happens when you expect everyone else to have your gifts, do what you’re called to do, and feel as passionate about it as you do. The Bible says, “There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving” – 1 Corinthians 12:5 NLT.

Sometimes spiritual gifts are overemphasized to the neglect of the other factors that God uses to shape you for service. So keep in mind, your gifts reveal one part of God’s will for your ministry, but not all of it.

                                           PICT0001

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Message of the Moment

                            rick warren

                             Rev. Rick Warren

WHEN THE FUTURE SEEMS UNCERTAIN
by Rick Warren

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans … to give you a future and a hope … You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest” – Jeremiah 29:11, 13 (LB)

*** *** *** ***

No matter what the pollsters, pundits, and prognosticators claim, no one can accurately predict all that is going to happen in the next year, let alone the next few days or weeks. Our best forecasts are just educated guesses.

Change is not only increasing in speed and intensity, but also in unpredictability. How can anyone succeed when the future is so uncertain?

The Bible suggests three timeless principles for facing an uncertain future:

1. Set goals according to God’s direction. It’s foolish to make plans without first consulting God. He’s the only one who does know the future – and he’s eager to guide you through it.

The Bible says, “We may make our plans, but God has the last word” (Proverbs 16:1 GNT). In other words, planning without praying is presumption. Start by praying, “God, what do you want me to do in 2009?”

2. Live one day at a time. While you can plan for tomorrow, you can’t live it until it arrives. Most people spend so much time regretting the past and worrying about the future, they have no time to enjoy today!

John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Decide to make the most of each moment this year. Jesus said, “Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” – Matthew 6:34 LB.

3. Don’t procrastinate. Do it now! “Don’t boast about what you’re going to do tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day may bring forth” – Proverbs 27:1.

Procrastinating is a subtle trap. It wastes today by postponing things until tomorrow. You promise yourself that you’ll do it “one of these days.” But “one of these days” is usually “none of these days.”

What did you plan to get done last year that you didn’t do? When do you intend to start working on it?

                                         parc hall 5

Message of the Moment

                              rick warren

                                 Rev. Rick Warren

WHO WAS SO DEPRESSED HE ASKED GOD TO TAKE HIS LIFE?

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” – Jeremiah 29:11 MSG

Here’s a Bible trivia quiz: Can you name any of three men who became so depressed that each of them asked God to take his life?

Answer: Moses, Elijah, and Jonah.

Each of them got depressed, but for different reasons; depression is always a symptom of a deeper problem.

Like a warning light on your car, depression is meant to get your attention; it shouts something is wrong! The real problem is not how you feel, but the cause of those feelings. Here are three of the most common causes of depression.

1. Fatigue (Moses’ problem): When you try to maintain a hectic pace week after week in spite of physical and emotional exhaustion, you set yourself up for depression. Or, if you try to play God, attempting to control everything and everyone around you, depression will eventually catch up with you. In Moses’ case, the solution was to learn to delegate – Numbers 11:10–17.

2. Fear (Elijah’s problem): Whenever you swallow your anxieties, your body keeps score. Instead of focusing on your depression, ask, “What is it that I’m afraid of? What’s got me worried?” Resolve the worry and your blues will vanish, if that’s the cause. In Elijah’s situation, the antidote was to trust God to handle things out of his control – Kings 19:1–18.

3. Frustration (Jonah’s problem): When you don’t see a purpose behind the events of your life, when it all seems so arbitrary or hopeless or unfair, then depression strikes.

Life without meaning and significance is depressing. That’s why God’s solution to Jonah’s depression was to help him see the bigger picture. Perspective is a powerful cure. When Jonah finally understood God’s purpose for his life, his depression faded.

Does life sometimes seem like an endless rat race to you? Ask God to open your eyes and help you see his purpose for your life. God, who made you, has this to say about you: “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for” – Jeremiah 29:11 TEV.

                                         scar 3

Messages of the Moment

                                   rick warren

                                    Rev. Rick Warren

HOW GOD BUILDS YOUR FAITH: DELAY

by Rick Warren  

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” – Habakkuk 2:3 LB. 

Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith.

In Habakkuk 2, God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.”

In this step of faith-building you will most likely start asking the question, “When, Lord? When are You going to answer my prayer?”

And we hate to wait. We don’t like to wait in a doctor’s office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.

Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn’t? It’s so irritating! You’re ready, but God isn’t. God wants to work on you before He works on the project. Every believer must go through the University of Learning to Wait (ULW). Some of us are still working on our degrees from ULW!

• Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.
• Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn’t have a child until he was 99.
• God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of 400 years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert 40 years.
• Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.
• God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.

We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for 30 years in the carpenter’s shop before setting out on his public ministry.

Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn that His timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God’s delay never destroys His purpose.

A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between “no” and “not yet,” and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, “No,” but He is saying, “Not yet.”

                                            front-boat

Messages of the Moment

                                             rev-ernest-anderson

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

THE SECRET TO MANAGING FRUSTRATIONS

by Rick Warren

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience…” – Proverbs 19:11 NIV.

It’s amazing how fifteen minor frustrations at the office can add up to one big, bad attitude by the time you head for home. Frustrations come in three varieties:

1. Interruptions: Unexpected visitors or phone calls when you have a deadline to meet or something important requires your attention. Our best plans are often interrupted.
2. Inconveniences: While interruptions are usually from people, inconveniences are usually situations involving things: the copy machine breaks down, traffic jams up, or you can’t find what you need when you need it.
3. Irritations: Long delays, unreliable people, playing telephone tag, catching a cold, obnoxious clients, etc.

But the truth is you can’t eliminate these. No doubt you’ll face all three varieties this week, but you can keep them from stressing you out.

What’s the secret of managing your frustrations?

Don’t resist it, but don’t overreact or blow up. Don’t resent it; don’t internalize you anger. Don’t resign to it; don’t have a pity-party.

Instead, reduce it. Treat it as insignificant. Put the frustration into proper perspective. It’s just a minor setback, a part of living, no big deal! It’s certainly not worth a heart attack. Follow these rules for stress management:

RULE #1: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
RULE #2: Realize it’s all small stuff!

The Bible says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience…”- Proverbs 19:11 NIV. The only way we can see all stuff as small stuff is to view it from God’s perspective. When I am in tune with God, I remember he has everything under control even though I don’t! So I don’t have to sweat it: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” – Galatians 5:22-23 NIV.

Pray this prayer: “Lord, help me to be filled with your love, joy, and peace; so that when I’m squeezed and pressured it is your love, joy, and peace that spill out of me.”

                                           sea-view1

Messages of the Moment

                                           uganda-649

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

HOW TO DEVELOP SELF-DISCIPLINE
by Rick Warren

“God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NCV)

                                             *** *** *** ***

God wants you to develop a self-discipline that pushes you to do things, even as others are giving up.

Over the years, I’ve observed six key expressions of self-discipline:

People with self-discipline master their moods. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. People who do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it accomplish most of what gets done in the world! “A man without self-control is as defenceless as a city with broken-down walls” – Proverbs 25:28 LB.

People with self-discipline watch their words. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths. “He who guards his lips guards his life” – Proverbs 13:3 NIV.

People with self-discipline restrain their reactions. How much can you take before you lose your cool? “If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it” – Proverbs 19:11 GNT.

People with self-discipline stick to their schedule. If you don’t determine how you will spend your time you can be sure that others will decide for you! “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility … Make the best use of your time” – Ephesians 5:15–16 PH.

People with self-discipline manage their money. They learn to live on less than what they make and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went! “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” – Proverbs 21:20 LB.

People with self-discipline maintain their health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements. “Every one of you should learn to control his body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect” – 1 Thessalonians 4:4 PH.

The disciplines you establish today will determine your success tomorrow. But it takes more than just willpower for lasting self-discipline. It takes a power greater than yourself: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and self-control” – 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT/NCV.

The more I accept God’s control over my life, the more self-control he gives me!

                                             autumn-leaves

Messages from Rick Warren

                                            rev-ernest-anderson

                                   Rev. E. Anderson

BEING WISE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

by Rick Warren 

In our Devotionals series, Pastor Rick Warren discusses the Bible passages that inspire him the most. Today’s Devotional is based on this passage

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favouritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” – James 3:17-18 NLT.

Every person you know is unique. Each one is a complex blend of background, temperament, and giftedness. Yet, these differences are often the root of relational conflict. Uniqueness poses all kinds of communication problems—so often we simply don’t understand each other! We may use the same words but with very different meaning.

We’re wise when we recognize and value the differences in people. Our uniqueness requires that we use wisdom in order to relate to others in customized ways, rather than relating to everyone with the same, rigid style, as if everyone will think and respond the same way.

The Bible tells us the characteristics of genuine wisdom: “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness” – James 3:17-18 LB.

From these verses we learn six ways to be wise when we relate to others. If I am biblically wise…

1. I will not compromise my integrity (wisdom is pure). I’ll be honest with you. I’ll keep my promises and commitments to you.

2. I will not antagonize your anger (wisdom is peace-loving). I’ll work at maintaining harmony. I won’t push your hot buttons.

3. I will not minimize your feelings (wisdom is courteous). I may not feel as you do, but I won’t ignore or ridicule how you feel.

4. I will not criticize your suggestions (wisdom allows discussion). I can disagree with you without being disagreeable.

5. I will not emphasize your mistakes (wisdom is full of mercy). Instead of rubbing it in, I’ll rub it out.

6. I will not disguise my motivations (wisdom is wholehearted and sincere). I’ll be authentic with you. I won’t con or manipulate you.

                                             rock-sea

Message of the Moment

                                              uganda-649

                                         Rev. E. Anderson

HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICT
by Rick Warren

“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” – James 1:19 (NLT)

*** *** *** ***

I’ll tell you how to deal with conflict quickly, but you’re not going to like it. The solution to conflict resolution is one word: confrontation.

If you’re going to resolve conflict, you must confront. But, you don’t have to confront in anger. In fact, you should try not to confront in anger. Lovingly go to the person and, then speaking the truth in love, deal with the problem immediately.

Very few of us enjoy confrontation. The only people who really do are troublemakers who seem to delight in confrontation. They love to go to people and say, “You’re blowing it!” That’s their thrill.

Because it’s risky and uncomfortable, most people don’t like confrontation, but it’s the only way to resolve conflict.

What’s the best way to confront? James 1:19 teaches three rules for confrontation. Everyone should be:

  • Quick to listen,
  • Slow to speak, and
  • Slow to become angry.

If you’re quick to listen and if you’re slow to speak, you’ll automatically be slow to anger.

What are you listening for? You are listening for the hurt in that person. Hurting people always hurt other people. When someone is being a jerk, more than likely it’s because that person is hurting. When you understand their hurt a bit, you have a better understanding of why they do what they do, and you’re a little more patient with them.

Understanding always brings patience. When we don’t understand things, we’re impatient. When we understand them, we’re much more patient.

                                               jerusalem-041

Messages by Rick Warren

                                   ernes1

                                  Rev. E. Anderson

GOD’S FINANCIAL PROVISION: ASK HIM FOR HELP

by Rick Warren

“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus” – Philippians 4:19 MSG.

There is an amazing, incredible, and all-encompassing promise in Philippians 4:19 (NIV) regarding provision: “…God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Note the first two words: “God will…” It doesn’t say, “He might meet your needs,” it says, “He will meet your needs.” It’s written as a fact; God is staking His character and His reputation on it.

Then the Bible says, “God will meet all…” It doesn’t say, “I’ll meet some of your needs.” It says “all.”

Now, understand that it doesn’t say, “I’ll meet all your greeds.” There’s a big difference between needs and wants. As a parent, do you give your kids everything they want? I hope you don’t. You don’t do that because you love them. And your heavenly Father loves you. He’s not going to give you everything you want because if He did, you’d be spoiled to death.

He won’t give us everything we want, but he will give us everything we need. Then why do you have financial needs? Did God fail? Did he lie? Did he exaggerate?

No! With every promise, there is a premise—there are conditions and requirements. When God makes a promise, he says, “I’ll do my part and you do your part.” God’s financial wisdom is clearly laid out for us in His Word. Although the Bible discusses many aspects of financial health—including principles of saving, spending, giving, investing, and stewardship—over the next few days we’re going to look at five specific conditions for financial stability.

First, ask for His help. Jesus says, “Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy” (John 16:24 NLT). Here’s a good rule: Before you pay for it, pray for it. Give God a chance to provide before you go out and charge it. You probably depend more on your charge card than you do on Jesus Christ.

Why does God want me to ask? So He can give.
Why does He want to give? So I can receive.
Why does He want me to receive? So I’ll be full of joy.
Why does He want me to be full of joy? It’s a great advertisement for Jesus Christ. Joyful Christians are a positive testimony.

                                             web-22-018

Messages of the Moment

                                            ernest-024

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

HOW TO DEVELOP SELF-DISCIPLINE
by Rick Warren

“God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NCV)

                                             *** *** *** ***

God wants you to develop a self-discipline that pushes you to do things, even as others are giving up.

Over the years, I’ve observed six key expressions of self-discipline:

People with self-discipline master their moods. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. People who do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it accomplish most of what gets done in the world! “A man without self-control is as defenceless as a city with broken-down walls” – Proverbs 25:28 LB.

People with self-discipline watch their words. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths. “He who guards his lips guards his life” – Proverbs 13:3 NIV.

People with self-discipline restrain their reactions. How much can you take before you lose your cool? “If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it” – Proverbs 19:11 GNT.

People with self-discipline stick to their schedule. If you don’t determine how you will spend your time you can be sure that others will decide for you! “Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility … Make the best use of your time” – Ephesians 5:15–16 PH.

People with self-discipline manage their money. They learn to live on less than what they make and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went! “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” – Proverbs 21:20 LB.

People with self-discipline maintain their health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements. “Every one of you should learn to control his body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect” – 1 Thessalonians 4:4 PH.

The disciplines you establish today will determine your success tomorrow. But it takes more than just willpower for lasting self-discipline. It takes a power greater than yourself: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and self-control” – 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT/NCV.

The more I accept God’s control over my life, the more self-control he gives me!

                                        variety 036

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