Impressing God From the Inside Out

We all know fashion is a big thing. How you look, how you present yourself, how you walk and how you talk is all designed to impress others.

What God is interested in is us impressing Him. We can take what He has given us—resources, good looks, talents, even our ability to relate to other people—and “kingdomize” it. In other words, He can stitch those things together and use them for eternal purposes.

Esther was a beautiful lady, she just hadn’t made a connection between her looks and God’s kingdom. God wanted to use the beauty He had given her to place her in a strategic role to protect God’s people for God’s glory and to be a tool for keeping God’s promises.

God’s not impressed with the external; He likes the internal to be beautiful. But, when the external can complement it and reflect the beauty on the inside, you then become useful to God, because He’s got a heart and soul He can use, and it’s in a person He can be proud of.

So, righteously impress others, but more importantly, impress God, because when God is impressed with you, you can be used for eternity and not just for a time. That will fade away. We get older, the clothes fade out, the money dries up, but a righteous man or woman who can be used by God, that pays eternal dividends.
Dr. Tony Evans

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God Said So

– God Said So –
What should we do when we face Satan’s lies, especially the lie that God’s Word cannot be true? In the desert, Jesus was faced with a legitimate need—the need to eat to sustain Himself. His need wasn’t wrong. Jesus had the power to do what was suggested, but to do it at the demand of Satan would have been satisfying Himself apart from God.
What proceeds out of God’s mouth must be our foundation for everything. It must be the foundation for counseling, for work, for our families and for our finances. God has given us His definitive Word, and His Word addresses everything that is relevant to us today. Christians who do not believe His Word and obey it do not see His power demonstrated today. God does not want us to pay homage to Him; He wants us to believe Him and act on faith. Faith believes God in the absence of empirical evidence.
In the Garden of Eden, Eve stumbled over this type of faith. She failed the test because she did not believe something she had never seen—death. When it’s difficult to believe God but we act in accordance with His words anyway, that’s faith. In short, faith is believing something is so, even when it is not so, that it might be so—simply because God said so.
Be encouraged,
Tony Evans

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The Hope of Surrender

THE HOPE OF SURRENDER
By: Dr. Tony Evans
(2 Corinthians 1:9)
Luke writes, “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52) We know very little about the years that Jesus spent growing into manhood. However, we can surmise that He grew emotionally, mentally, and physically. Like us, God’s Son had to develop, and we can imagine that while He was sinless, He learned how to live through the circumstances of life.
There are many people today who are suffering – not because they have sinned or resisted God, but because the Lord has chosen to develop their lives through difficulty and hardship. In the first chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul does not gloss over the fact that he suffered. At one point, he believed there was a strong possibility that he would die. However, God spared his life, and Paul was able to write about the hardships he faced with such hope that many who read his letters also declared faith in Jesus Christ.
God cannot mold and shape our lives unless we are willing to surrender and to be transparent before Him. These are prerequisites to experiencing a breakthrough in our trials and sufferings. We have no idea of the difficulties that Christ faced as a young man – the Gospels do not record them. Yet, we know that as an adult, He suffered and died on the cross for our sins so that we might have eternal life. He was not ashamed of the calling that God had given Him. Now, all glory is His, and He is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding in prayer for us each day.
Stop looking at the trials of your life with thoughts of regret and horror. Learn to rest in God’s care, and allow Him to work in your life to the fullest. When you do, you will discover that He has a tremendous blessing waiting for you. Not only will you grow to be like Him, you will be a testimony of His grace and hope to a troubled world.

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Relationship with God

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)

As you put God first in your life, make certain that what you do is rooted in relationship rather than in rules. Too frequently people will confuse structure for surrender. They cross off a list and think that they have put God first. When in actuality, if God is first, you don’t need a list because you will naturally seek Him, His heart, and His way in your own personal surrender out of love. Whenever religious activity trumps relationship, the victory of Christ is no longer experienced in the fullness it ought to be in the believer’s life.

One of the greatest dangers in our churches today is for religion to replace an intimate relationship with the Savior. By religion, I mean the external adherence to exercises, codes, or practices in the name of God yet apart from God. For example, if you go to church because it is the religious, or spiritual, thing to do rather than because you are motivated to spend time worshipping God, learning about Him, and experiencing Him, then that is religion. Religion is anything you do for God that does not stem out of a heart connected to God.

It’s not that there aren’t a lot of people doing a lot of excellent things. A lot of these same people attend church, help the hurting, or say all the correct spiritual platitudes. It’s just that they’ve missed the priority of the kingdom. They’ve missed the relational connection that comes through voluntary surrender. They have not made God first in their hearts. And then they wonder why they aren’t experiencing any victory, power, hope, and authority in their lives.

External observances—the rules of religion—can actually get in the way of a relationship. When you are motivated by relationship, surrender comes naturally.

REFLECTION: How is the difference in motivation between religion and relationship important? What did Jesus warn religious leaders that they knew the law, but their hearts were far from God (Matthew 15:1–8)? Have you found yourself drifting into a rule-based religion? Read Revelation 2:1–7.

Lord, You are my joy. You are my delight. Knowing You is my passion. Thank You for reminding me to put my focus on You and not on rituals that reflect religion.

For His Kingdom,

Tony Evans


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Be Meek-Be Happy

Be Meek—Be Happy

Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.

–Matthew 5:5

In His characteristic way Jesus was saying something quite shocking and revolutionary to His listener with these words, “Happy are the meek.” He was saying something quite the opposite of our modern concept of the way to happiness. We say, “Happy are the clever, for they shall inherit the admiration of their friends”; “Happy are the aggressive, for they shall inherit a career”; “Happy are the rich, for they shall inherit a world of friends and a house full of modern gadgets.” Jesus did not say, “Be meek and you shall inherit the earth.” He, more than anyone else, knew that meekness was a gift of God, a result of rebirth. Jesus was not issuing a command in this Beatitude nor saying, “You ought to be meek, that is the way to live.” No! He was saying that if we want to find the secret of happiness, that if we want to enjoy living, then “meekness” is a basic key.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

May I truly reflect Your meekness in my life, Lord.


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Only Jesus

Only Jesus

God . . . is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, even Christ our Lord.

–1 Corinthians 1:9 (TLB)

The question remains, “How can God be just-that is, true to Himself in nature and true to Himself in holiness—and yet justify the sinner?” Because each man had to bear his own sins, all mankind was excluded from helping, since each was contaminated with the same disease. The only solution was for an innocent party to volunteer to die physically and spiritually as a substitution before God. This innocent party would have to take man’s judgment, penalty, and death. But where was such an individual? Certainly, there was none on earth. There was only one possibility. God’s own Son was the only personality in the universe who had the capacity to bear in His own body the sins of the world. Only God’s Son was infinite and thus able to die for all. Jesus is the only way to Heaven.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

Lord Jesus, Lamb of God, in adoration I thank You for the love that made You willing to suffer and die on the cross for my sin.


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Dream Great Dreams

Dream Great Dreams

Be thou faithful unto death . . .

–Revelation 2:10

In our day much of the world believes little or nothing. People are broad but shallow. Agnosticism, anxiety, emptiness, meaninglessness, have gripped much of the world—and even the church. Our youth are desperately searching for a purpose and a meaning in their lives. They are searching for fulfillment which they are not finding in sex and drugs. By contrast, our Pilgrim forebears stand as shining examples of men who were narrow but deep, certain of what they believed, unswerving in their loyalty, and passionately dedicated to the God they trusted, and for whom they would willingly have died. I say to you, more than 350 years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed in the New World: Dream great dreams, embrace great principles, renew your hope, but above all, like them, believe in the Christ who alone can give total meaning and an ultimate goal to your life. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

May I always be faithful to my belief in You, Lord Jesus Christ. Where there is despair, use me to bring Your hope.


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Science and Faith

Science & Faith

He . . . has given you a full understanding of the truth.

–1 Corinthians 1:5 (TLB)

There is never any conflict between true science and our Christian faith. It is my own feeling that when all of the truth is known, it will be found that the Genesis story is a wonderfully accurate record of what took place when the world was created. This may be a telescoped record, giving only major points, but I believe it is scientifically accurate. To discard the Bible because we do not understand everything in it, or in the world, would be a foolish thing to do. Let me also suggest that teachers should confine themselves to those areas in which they are qualified. I have known unbelievers to attack the Christian faith through their teaching, even when they did not have the remotest idea of what true Christianity is. For instance, one does not send an art critic to write up a football game, or a sports writer to evaluate a painting. Ask God to give you the wisdom to keep things in their proper perspective, and—above all—faithfully read your Bible and pray every day. If you do, God will give you the faith and wisdom you need to meet any problem.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY

Father, each day as I read the Bible You reveal to me more of the reality of Your love and wisdom. I delight in Your Word!


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