Pastor Rick Warren: Leave a Legacy of Hospitality

Leave a Legacy of Hospitality
By Rick Warren

“Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24 NCV).

Awesome families teach their kids that they’re not the center of the universe. They teach their kids that God made them and shaped them for a mission. They model dedication, service, generosity, and prayer. Average families don’t do those things. Awesome families do.

I am the man that I am today first of all because of my parents. They instilled in me certain values to care about other people.
My parents were very, very poor, but they both had the gift of hospitality. They loved to give to others even though they didn’t have much. We lived out in the country, and my dad would plant an acre garden with all kinds of vegetables. There was no way our family could eat all that food, but he did it just so he could give it away, because he didn’t have any money to give away. So we always planted more and then gave it away to help other people who were in need.
Our home was constantly filled with other people. If people were in pain, they were at our house. If they were on the road, they were at our house. If they were going through a conflict, they were at our house. If they were a well-known Christian leader coming through town, they were at our house. One day my dad added up how many meals my mom had cooked for guests in our home in one year. It was over a thousand meals! I grew up learning an attitude of “give your life away” and that it’s not about me. It’s about helping other people.
That’s what awesome families do. They teach each other to show love and to do good deeds. Good deeds are called ministry. They are called service.
A good example of this is Cornelius’ family in the book of Acts: “He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2 NIV).
What a great legacy! Wouldn’t you like to have people writing that about you and your family one day?
Whether you have children or not, God wants you to leave a legacy like that. You’ll find people younger in age—or younger in the faith—all around you. Will you take the time to help others become what God has made them to be? Would you help them discover God’s mission for their life?
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How are you working toward leaving that kind of legacy?
If you don’t have children, who are the young people in your life whom you can encourage to live out their purpose and help others?
What keeps you from opening up your home to others?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Your Daily Prayer: A prayer to escape doubt

A Prayer to Escape Doubt – Your Daily Prayer – May 7

A Prayer to Escape Doubt
By Meg Bucher
“For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.” Ephesians 1:4 (NET)
“Are you ready?” I asked my daughter excitedly as we drove away from the school day and onto a new adventure.“Mommy …” she trailed off in amazement as the ballet company practice came into our line of sight. Nervous, but sure of her dream, she stretched and gazed upon the very thing she had envisioned herself doing so many times.

Our dreams are road maps to God’s growing process for our individual purpose. He chose us so specifically and specially to walk out into the world equipped with the ability He put in us, to spread His love in the way that only we can.
The word chose in the above verse is the Greek word, eklegomai, a verb that means “to choose, set apart, elect.” “It sometimes refers to decisions made by people …but can also signify the electing activity of God according to his divine purpose and grace.” -Mounce’s Complete Expository DirectoryDo we realize, when we walk out into a day filled with clouds of doubt, that the God of the universe is concerned about what we’re up to?

New beginnings, impossible dreams, and lists of un-qualifications can derail our walk towards the freedom and peace that He promises us. “Holy and unblemished.” He forgets our sin, gave us His son, and resides within us through His Holy Spirit. Yet we still have days strangled with doubt. Well aware of the inevitable imperfections that come along with being human, we let our struggles take the lead. But shortcomings were never meant to make us shortsighted in our view of who we are.
“It is not our own awareness that we are sinful people that first turns us toward God; rather, God in his mercy awakens that awareness within us.” NIV Quest Study Bible Notes
We are called to face our fears and risk the unknown to follow the dream that God has laid upon our hearts. Giving Him the lead enables us to discover how ready we are to walk into the next lesson of growth. Bravery and determination in the face of fear and doubt come not from the depths of our own hearts, but His within us. When we put our lives in His capable hands, we are able to view it from His perspective.
“God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him.” Ephesians 1:4 (VOICE)

When doubtful agendas cause us to forget who God has already said that we are, let’s pray for Peace to sweep in and take over.

Father,
Praise You for peace and purpose. You know every strain, thread and thought of our lives. The care and love that You put into the people we are is part of Your great and compassionate character. Let us remember that when our days threaten to fill up with doubt, You rain down hope and assurance that we are worthy, chosen, and free.
Thank You for the journey each life inevitably unfolds. There’s not enough time to witness all of the marvelous stories of courage and triumph that You have worked out in the lives that surround us and fill this world. Let stories of inspiration flood our hearts with assurance and love, sweeping doubt away. Let our hearts flow with the current of Your truth and the promises that You have laid throughout Scripture for us to see.
When we look out at the sunrise, may we welcome another day full of life and purpose. And as the sun sets, we pray to finish each day well, unassured of how many more will follow.
Thank you for setting us free from sin. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to be enslaved by lies and imperfections that Christ has already conquered on the cross.

Bless the dreams that You lay on our hearts. Help us to stay in tune with Your will. Align the ambitions of our hearts to Your plan. We know that Your plans for our lives are more than we can imagine or ask for. Praise You, Lord Jesus!
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Op-Ed: Proposals meant to sweeten progressive tax plan are a ruse

If you didn’t think Democrats in Springfield were serious before about adopting a progressive tax system, they proved this week they’ll do almost anything to help Gov. J.B. Pritzker pass his signature campaign promise.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Illinois News Network.

Pastor Rick Warren: God’s Love Frees You to Love Fearlessly

God’s Love Frees You to Love Fearlessly
by Rick Warren —

“Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it . . . shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love” (1 John 4:18 NLT).

When people experience conflict in relationships, it’s often a sign that somebody’s trying to control somebody else. What’s beneath that control? It’s fear. Insecurity causes us to try to control others or resist the control of others. When you’re so insecure that all you think about is what others think of you, it destroys your relationships and disables your life.

It’s an amazing dilemma we have as human beings: We long to be close, but we also fear being close. We long to have intimacy with others, but we’re also scared to death of it.
Insecurity prevents intimacy and destroys your relationships. You can’t get close to somebody if there’s fear in the relationship. If insecurity destroys relationships, then what builds them? Love! Love builds relationships.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it . . . shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love” (NLT). How does that work? How does love expel all fear?
Love takes the focus off of you and puts the focus on others. People ask me a lot of times, “Do you ever get nervous when you’re talking to a lot of people at Saddleback?” The answer is, “Of course!” But you know what makes the difference? I get the focus off of me and focus on the people in front of me instead. If I stood there thinking about what they thought of my hairstyle, I would have something to be afraid of, right? But the minute I start thinking about how much I love my church family and how we serve God together, all of a sudden, the fear is gone.
It’s the same in any relationship. Focusing on the other person gives you the power to throw fear out of your life.
So how do you find that power to focus on other people? You realize how much God loves you. The moment you begin to understand how much God loves you, you don’t have to prove yourself any more. You don’t have to spend your life trying to impress other people, because you already know that God loves you.
Do you know how freeing and enjoyable it is to live life that way? Your identity and self-worth are not caught up in what others might think of you. When you’re secure in your relationship with Christ, you’re no longer pressured by everybody else’s expectations. God’s love frees you to love others fearlessly.
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

What insecurities or fears keep you from opening your life and heart to someone, whether it’s a friend, spouse, or family member?
How does our culture keep us insecure in our relationships?
What do you think God believes about you? What does he see when he looks at you?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Impeachment is a bad strategy for Dems – but right now it’s the only one they’ve got

Rep. Al Green spilled the beans.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Your Daily Prayer: A prayer for when you don’t feel worthy of prayer

A Prayer for When You Don’t Feel Worthy of Prayer

By Liz Kanoy

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,” – Hebrews 4:16
God does not weigh your actions and set your sin on a scale to see if you’re worthy of approaching Him. If our sin level mattered, then no one would ever be worthy. But because of Jesus Christ, when God looks at us He sees His Son’s sinless life and innocent sacrifice. Therefore, because of the gospel we are free to approach God and communicate with Him.

When Isaiah was brought before the Lord (Isaiah 6), he fell down at his own unworthiness and could not look at God. Isaiah had no merit to earn God’s favor, but through a gift God made Isaiah righteous. Just as God removed Isaiah’s guilt with a burning coal, He removes your guilt with the blood of His Son. This gift is a one-time gift; you are made guiltless in God’s eyes. However, since those saved by Christ still live in a fallen world we will still fall prey to sin. But when we pray for forgiveness, it draws us away from sin and pulls us closer to God. And when we pray often, we think about sin less.

Don’t let sin keep you from prayer. If you haven’t prayed today, or in a while, take 5 minutes today and close your eyes – thank God for who He is and who He has made you to be. Ask Him to forgive any sin in your life, especially the sin that has been holding you back from Him. Let His love pour over you and refresh you.

Dear God,
You are worthy of all praise. You have given me life even though I am unworthy and undeserving. You have taken my sin and made me guiltless. But right now I don’t feel guiltless, and my shame has made me forget who you made me to be. You have made me your child and heir, and you have given me the greatest gift anyone could ask for—eternal life in your presence. But I have forgotten this in my sin; Lord please forgive this sin and grant me mercy. I do not deserve it, but I thank you that because of your Son’s sacrifice I am freely forgiven and loved. Please grant me your strength to resist this sin and other sins, and Holy Spirit please urge my soul to spend more time in prayer and praise because in your presence is where I truly belong.
In Your name Jesus,
Amen

Pastor Rick Warren: How to Live in Light of Eternity

By Rick Warren

“For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!” (2 Peter 1:3 TLB).

The vast majority of people pay no attention to eternity. They’re living for the here and now, which is a waste, because everything that’s “here and now” isn’t going to matter in five minutes, much less 50 years—and certainly not for eternity. If we stretched a rope from California to Tokyo, and that represented all of eternity, your life on Earth would be represented by less than one millimeter.

So how do you live in light of eternity? You live for God’s glory, because he’s going to share his glory with you in heaven.
The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:3, “For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!” (TLB).
You don’t get to choose what’s going to happen to you the rest of your life. But you do get to choose how you respond. You can face the future as a cynic, as a critic, as a pessimist, or as a doubter. You can face the future expecting the worst and experiencing the worst. You can face your future being ungracious to other people, and you can live for the glory of yourself.
Or you can face the future with gratitude, generosity, and graciousness and live for the glory of God. Which one do you think will make you happier? Which one do you think will make you more successful? Which one do you think will bring a smile to God and the reward of heaven?
Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (ESV).
We were created because God wants a family. He wants to spend eternity with his family. He wants to spend eternity with you and me! Heaven is one of the most important reasons Christians can be joyful—God has given us eternal life, and heaven will be amazing!
PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

In what ways does God use your time on Earth to prepare you for eternity?
How does being grateful and generous make you happier?
When you expect the worst in life, what does that say about what you believe about God?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Op-Ed: Toilet scam throws water on Pritzker’s ‘fair tax’

Another Illinois governor has drawn the attention of the feds.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Illinois News Network.

Why are the House Democrats out to get Attorney General Barr?

Democrats in Congress are so worried that the American people will find out what is NOT in the Mueller report that they will say and do almost anything.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

The Democrats can’t let go of their Big Lie about Trump

No doubt you’ve heard a Democrat or two declare that President Trump is a “threat to our democracy.” Joe Biden used his campaign launch to up the ante, saying that the 2020 election is a “battle for the soul” of America and warning that if Trump gets a second term, “he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.