Day 3: Live the Good Life
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
How can you obtain the things that make for a life filled with peace, material necessities and right relationships? Think positive not negative, unselfish not self-centered, creative not destructive, kindly not hateful. With the right attitude and actions, you'll have everything you need for the good life.
Send a prayer request asking God to help you live your best life. Caring volunteers will stand with you in prayer.
By Keri Wyatt Kent
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28–30 (MSG)
One of the most dangerous words in the English language is the word yes. Many of us grew up learning to try to make people happy—in the name of unselfishness, we took care of everyone except ourselves. We said yes indiscriminately. The word yes seems so nice. And sometimes it is the appropriate response.
We think it is more generous, nicer, even more Christian to say yes. However, every time we say yes to one thing, we have said no to an infinite number of other possibilities. So we have to choose carefully what we say yes and no to.
A few years ago, I had said “yes” too many times. I had speaking engagements three out of four weekends for several months in a row. When I described my travel schedule to people, I actually would tear up in frustration. I needed a rest.
Frederick Buechner writes, “When you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.” So I did. And I realized I was tired and burned out. I needed to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, to say yes sometimes, but also to say no sometimes, even to good things, in order to say yes to Jesus, to keeping company with Him. I began to see that living freely and lightly requires me to say no, so that I can say yes to Jesus.
Faith Step: Reread today’s verses. Which word or phrase resonates with you? Spend some time journaling about how you feel. What is one thing you can say no to, so that you can say yes to Jesus?
This devotion is excerpted from Mornings with Jesus 2013.
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
A Time to Think
Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God; and so there's no room left for worry thoughts.
–Howard Chandler Christy, artist
A Time to Act
Remember your faith is the best answer to anxiety.
A Time to Pray
Lord when I am full of fear and worry help me to take my eyes off of myself and to focus on You.
Breathing Prayer: Devotions for Anxiety
When anxiety’s got you in its grip, it’s hard to avoid worrying. But there's a technique that can help. I call it “breathing prayer.”
By Julia Attaway, New York, New York
Can we talk anxiety? You know what I mean: that roiling inner whirlwind, the blinding, gut-wrenching, confusion-making state of being that takes over our hearts and minds from time to time. When anxiety’s got you in its grip, it’s hard to avoid worrying about tomorrow. It’s difficult to adopt a Jeremiah 29:11 attitude. Sometimes it seems all we can do is shove our fears heavenward and hope God takes them away. I think there’s a better way.
Anxiety works on a very primitive level. It has a physical component which we can counteract by applying a physical remedy. Several years ago I learned that there’s actually a right way to breathe to reduce anxiety and stress. The Harvard Health Blog calls it breath control. The technique has certain similarities with prayerful meditation, and since it’s completely compatible with faith, I personally call it “breathing prayer.”
Try this: Close your eyes and inhale slowly, imagining pulling the Spirit in so fully that it fills every pore of your body. Make sure your stomach expands; you want to be pregnant with peace. Exhale slowly through your nose.
You can pray while you do this (though if you’re anxious when you start, you probably won’t think of it until after a few breaths, when your head starts to clear). Simple prayers work best:
If you practice when you’re not in the throes of wild anxiety, it will be easier to pray this way when you are. But “breathing prayer” is a good addition to any regular prayer time. Anything that clears the head and calms the body frees us up to hear God better. And that’s what prayer is all about.
Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
A Time to Think
Darkness cannot put out the Light. It can only make God brighter.
A Time to Act
View your problems with a spiritual perspective.
A Time to Pray
Thank you, Lord, for the tremendous difference You make in our lives.
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