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SUSTENANCE

Sustaining a healthy life! - (days 14 to 22)


How to Live in God


DAY FOURTEEN - THOUGHTS OF HIM

"We use our powerful God tools for...fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ"

2 Corinthians 10:5 The Message

So you want to go deeper with God? You want to live His way and you want to be shaped by Him? In deciding to go God's way you have choices to make. One of the most important choices you face, hundreds of times each day, is what to do with the stuff that runs around your mind. God wants you to bring your thoughts under control. He wants your minds focused on Him, not on bad, negative stuff that will eventually harm you. When you find yourself thinking badly about others or wandering into fantasy day -dreams, just get self- controlled! Say to yourself that it's wrong, make you thoughts obedient to what is right. God has given you the power to resist bad behavior in your head. Just because no else knows doesn't make it OK. God knows and going more deeply into a relationship with Him means getting your thought life cleaned up. Thoughts quickly and easily become a habit and they overtake your life and affect the way you behave. If your mind is fixed on God, His word and good things He will overtake your life and affect the person you are.

Going Deeper: Read Philippians 4:4-9. It'll give you an idea what to think about!

Prayer: If there are thoughts in you that you know God isn't pleased about, ask for His forgiveness. Determine to take control. Find bible verse that will help you resist temptations. Ask God for His strength and spend time telling Him you love Him.


DAY FIFTEEN - FOCUS ON GOD

"Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God"

Romans 12:2 The Message

Take a long hard look at your life. Where is your attention most of the time? TV, videos, magazines, cars, music, food, drink, women/men, the people you feel angry with? When you are on your own, where do you go to in your head? God says that we're to STOP, slow down, take control. BE AWARE of what is going on in your mind. Don't switch off and dream. Be responsible. The Bible says in Pro ffb verbs 23:7 that whatever a man thinks, he becomes (see Amplified Bible). As you feed on thoughts, turning them over in your mind, they get digested into your heart and then become part of your personality. That is why God tells us to meditate on scripture. Meditate means to think about, to 'chew' it over. If you remember verses of the Bible then God's word will become a part of you, it will give you power and it will change you. This really is so important if you want to go deeper with God. So get your mind onto God, give His word time, 'chew' on some Bible verses and see how God will strengthen you and help you through today.

Going Deeper: Read Romans 12:2 again and memorize it. Repeat it out loud to yourself. When you have time, repeat it to yourself and concentrate on what it means.

Prayer: Fix your attention on God. Fill your mind with pictures and thoughts of Him.


DAY SIXTEEN - WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH

"It's your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words"

Matthew 12:34 The Message

Have you ever thought about what comes out of your mouth? We use thousands of words every day and most of the time we just speak without thinking. Your words give away a lot of what is going on in your heart. If you've got rubbish in your heart then rubbish will come out of your mouth. If your heart is full of anger, you will talk angry and lose your temper easily. Words are very powerful and they will make a lot of difference in your relationship with God and with other people. Do you find yourself praising God one moment and shouting at someone the next? Why is that? Because God is in the process of cleaning out the rubbish in your heart. Past hurts, bad relationships, awful experiences, they all create anger, frustration, bitterness and hate within you. No one can deal with these things alone but God can. He wants to hold you, listen to you and get right deep down into the pain in your heart and bring healing there instead. It's not your fault, but you now have the choice to let God come in and clean up your heart, your mouth and your whole life.

Going Deeper: Read James 3:1-12. It is all about how powerful our words are.

Prayer: Focus your mind on God. Put on some worship, relax and spend time with Him. Ask Him to reveal to you stuff He wants to clean out of your heart. ( You may want to ask your leaders to chat and pray with you over some issues).


DAY SEVENTEEN - TAMING YOUR TONGUE

"A Word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything - or destroy it"

James 3:6 The Message

I said yesterday how powerful words are - your mouth exposes so much of what is going on in your heart. But speaking isn't something you have no control over. You have a choice every time you open your mouth. You can control what you say. God is changing you but you have the choice to say good things to the people around you or negative, crushing things. Words are so powerful that they can really destroy someone inside. In Proverbs 12:18 the Bible says that 'Reckless words pierce like a sword.' Think about a time that words have hurt you. They really wound don't they? Now think of some of the flippant ways you speak to people and how you may have hurt others. You have a choice to keep quiet or to say encouraging things to people. Don't get into gossip. God sees what goes on and He can't use you if you don't get disciplined over what you say. God needs sensitive people; sensitive to Him and sensitive to others. So, watch what you say, clean up ffb your mouth and let God put encouraging words in your heart.

Going Deeper: Read Ephesians 4:29-32. it emphasizes what I've just said!

Prayer: If you struggle with bad language and gossip then determine to change with God's help. Get closer to God by spending time being with Him.


DAY EIGHTEEN - AT HOME WITH HIS WORD

"If you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon."

John 15:7 The Message

What does Jesus mean in that verse by ' if my words are at home in you'? I believe we are to be so familiar with Jesus' words that they're not strange or unusual to us but we feel comfortable with them. Where do we find Jesus' word? In the Bible! It is all God's word to us. So how at home do you feel in the Bible? Do you go to it every day for guidance, comfort and help? God intends for us to use the Bible every day to learn more about Him, so it ought to have lots of room in our lives. He says that if we know the Word, whatever we ask He will listen to and act upon. Our prayers become so much stronger when we use the Bible as well. It is full of instruction on getting deeper with God, so read it and let it get 'at home' in you.

Going Deeper: Read John 15:1-17, all about being 'at home' with God,

Prayer: Put on some music, get worshipping God. You are perfectly safe and secure with Him. Tell him how that feels.


DAY NINETEEN - ASK FOR HELP

"If you don't know what you are doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get His help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it".

James 1:5 The Message

How often do you struggle through a day, fall into bed and then remember God? Most of us lead such busy lives that we don't give God a thought until the end of the day. You know God wants to help you with everything you do throughout the day. He wants to be there for you, helping you with difficult situations. He wants to give you a hand with school/college work, or help you deal with your work colleges or your boss. God has all the wisdom of the world in Him. He created it, so don't you think he might want to give you a bit of it too? BUT, God only gives as we ask, He doesn't force stuff into us or on us. So why not take a look at how you start each day. Are you always in a rush? disorganized? just making it through? Or do you take time to chat to God, give Him your day and let Him help you through. It's a good way to begin every day and you may find things start to run a little more smoothly.

Going Deeper: Read Proverbs 3:1-10 all about the wisdom that God gives.

Prayer: Chat to God about a good plan for you spending more time with Him. If you always pray for 5 minutes then make it 10 today. Time spent with God is never wasted.


DAY TWENTY - IF YOU WANT TO GET WISE

"I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run you will not stumble."

Proverbs 4: 11-12 N.I.V Bible

You know being wise has nothing to do with being intellectual, having qualifications is good but it doesn't make you wise in Godly things. God sees wisdom as Him helping you through the situations you find yourself in everyday. Wisdom has to do with you being responsible in treating other people with respect, honoring your parents, your teachers and those people who help you. It is bein ffb g responsible in handling your money, looking after your body well and eating healthily. If you read the rest of Proverbs 4 you'll see it says Gods word is full of wisdom and that if you pay attention to what He says then you will find help for all of the things I've mentioned above and a whole lot more. As Christians, God wants us to take responsibility for our lives. He has given us a brain to think and make decisions and we must be responsible for the way we chose to live our lives. So do you want to be full of God's wisdom? Start by reading the bible more, find out how God does stuff and talk to Him about it. He's there listening and waiting to give you the answers.

Going Deeper: Read James 3:13-18, it is all about living wisely, Really think about what you are reading.

Prayer: Using the passage in James 3 substitute the word 'you' for your own name. Use it as a prayer and to examine your life in God's eyes.


DAY TWENTY-ONE - THE CHOICE IS YOURS

"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day who you will serve"

Joshua 24:15 N.I.V. Bible

Being a Christian isn't plain sailing, there are many choices to be made and you have to go on choosing that God is the One you are going to serve. Everybody has to choose and most people choose to put themselves first and they find meaning and significance in the things they own, the money they earn or in being successful or famous. None of those things are bad in themselves but they must not rule you or become your reason to live. God has so many more permanent good things to give you. Sometimes the choice gets hard and there will be things God wants you to sacrifice, so that He can use you and work through you. You may be facing choices today. There may be things God is asking you to give up, people He would prefer you not to be so influenced by, music He is asking you to stop listening to. Sometimes we can't understand God's reason for 'disciplining' us and discipline isn't easy, but if you choose God's way He will see to it that you are blessed loads more than if you ignore Him. We all need instruction and correction in our lives so don't fight against God's will for you. He does it because He loves you.

Going Deeper: Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 about how God wants you to live in a way that pleases Him.

Prayer: Get alone before God and decide to go His way. Let go of some of the stuff He has been telling you to give up. Now just seek His face and His peace.


DAY TWENTY-TWO - GOD WANTS TO USE YOU

"Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to His guests for their blessing" 2 Timothy 2: 20 The Message

Do you believe God wants to do great things through you? Most Christians think that they are not the type of person God can REALLY use in a big way. So they settle for second best in what they do for God, instead of getting into all that God has for them. This passage in 2 Timothy is talking about us all being ready, so that at any time God can call us forward to do something special for Him. You wouldn't use a rubbish bin to serve food to guests in your house would you? Well God wants you cleaned up, emptied out, and ready for serving blessings to the church and your friends who don't know God yet. Don't be content to be the rubbish bin full of junk from the world. God can use you and He wants to use you. You will not become a silver plate instantly because God is in the process of changing your character so that He can fill you with Himself. So work with God to c 512 lear out all of the rubbish so that you can become a 'Glory carrier'.

Going Deeper: Read the whole passage in 2 Timothy 2:15-26. It's about doing your best for God.

Prayer: Talk to God about what He wants you to do. Have a 'faith' picture of yourself as you listen to God telling you His plan for your life.
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