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Monday
Feb132017

Remember Your First Love

February is the month of love, and whether single, married, or somewhere in between, every Christian has a love story to celebrate. But in today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy for Christians to put their relationship with God on the back burner. Here are a few elements to incorporate in your life to help spark that romance with your First Love once again.

L ook to Him 

When Jesus was on the earth, He said that He only did what He saw the Father do (John 5:19). The Son of God patterned His life after keeping His focus on the Father. Are you overwhelmed with stress? Look to Him for your rest and peace (John 14:27). Are you trapped in a dead-end job and don’t know where to turn next? Look to Him as your way-maker and liberty (Deut. 31:8). Do you want to take the family on a vacation but can’t fit it into the budget? Look to God as your provider (Phil. 4:19). You’ll find in every circumstance, as you turn to Him, that He has kept His eyes faithfully on you.

O vercome Obstacles 

The bride in Song of Solomon (symbolic of the bride of Christ, the church) speaks to her beloved, “Take us [catch] the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes” (Song 2:15, brackets added). In the New Testament, Jesus echoes the problem with these same “foxes” when He teaches about how “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of [desires for] other things entering in, choke the word” (Mark 4:19, brackets added). Ask God to reveal any areas in your life that drain your energy and distract you from developing your relationship with Him.

V alue Him

The American Heritage Dictionary defines value as “to regard highly; esteem.” When you place value on God first in all areas, it reminds your heart of whom your source really is. The Bible specifically talks about valuing God in a couple of areas. Giving is one of these areas. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). Tithing and giving are acts of worship and show that you place value on God as your provider. Another area of valuing God is through your obedience. John 14:15 says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Make it a practice in your life to immediately obey the Word of God. First Samuel 15:22 says that obedience is better than sacrifice. So, let God’s Word be your safeguard. Following it will keep your heart soft toward Him and make it easier to hear Him.

E mbrace His Presence 

More important than your outward behavior is your heart. The first step to embracing His presence is to spend time with Him. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When pursuing God with your time, it’s not just about reading the Bible; it’s understanding that you are spending time with Him and opening up your heart to let Him speak to you. Pick a verse that really speaks to you and go take a stroll. As you walk, meditate on that verse and on His goodness. You will be amazed at the things He will reveal to you as you spend time with Him and develop your relationship
with Him.

Remember your First Love this February. His heart is always for you, even if you’ve wandered away from the closeness of that relationship. As you turn your affections back to Him, you’ll find He never left.

Feel free to share with us how this post spoke to you. We love to hear
from you!

Monday
Feb062017

What’s Keeping You from God’s Best?


While standing outside Wal-Mart, waiting for cars to stop so I could get back to my vehicle, I felt it before I saw it. With the thumping, window-rattling bass coming from the car speakers, it was impossible not to feel the car coming. Loud, profanity-laden music filled the air. Feeling somewhat intimidated and not a little old, I watched the young driver and his equally young passengers roar by and settle in a parking spot.

As a part of the evangelism team at my church, I had just come from an event. Outreach was at the forefront of my mind. But let’s be realistic, I thought. Most believers wouldn’t consider this an opportune time to share their faith in Christ.

And I was certainly one of them.

Some of the usual thoughts flooded my mind: Why would those kids be interested in what you have to say? They’re young and have other things on their minds. Wait for a better opportunity.

Finding an opening in traffic, I made a beeline for my car. Suddenly another thought surfaced: Wait a minute. This is a perfect time to get out of your comfort zone.

Recently I had been making a determined effort to fight fear in my life. I knew of its limiting influence, and I didn’t want to be held back by it. So, I’d made a habit of putting myself in uncomfortable situations—like evangelism outreaches—to fight against those limits. The Word says that we are subject to whatever we fear (Heb. 2:15). So, wherever fear rules in our lives, wherever it’s allowed or tolerated, that fear is calling the shots. It’s establishing boundaries and limitations and keeping us from God-given opportunities and blessings.

While reading Andrew’s new book, Living in God’s Best, I couldn’t help noticing how well his words lined up with my resolve. He says,

“Are you praying for different results? Are you hoping for everything to change, yet you’re afraid to do anything differently? Maybe you love security too much that you won’t take a chance. You’d rather be secure and miserable than make a change. You’d rather stay a slave in Egypt, eating leeks and garlic, than follow God out through the wilderness toward your promised land. Are you on the edge looking in but afraid to enter because it might mean having to fight some giant? Get up and go take your land!”

This was the case with the armies of Israel who faced the Philistine champion Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. Because the soldiers were afraid of Goliath’s size and his taunts, none of them would stand up to him. Because of fear, they were being kept out of the land that God had promised them.

Changing directions mid-parking lot, I approached the suped-up car. The driver immediately turned down his music. All four kids listened as I shared Christ with them. I was a little surprised when I didn’t get any resistance. The “field” was definitely white with harvest. I’m so glad I pushed past the fear because all of them prayed to receive Him as their Savior!

Have you been wondering why your life isn’t exciting? Are you ready to believe for something bigger? As Andrew says, if your life isn’t supernatural, then it’s superficial. It’s time to lift up your eyes and pursue what’s yours. Don’t settle for less—start living in God’s best!

Please leave a comment below if this has blessed you.

Monday
Jan302017

True Intentions

A while back, a friend from church invited me to go to a popular Christian concert with her. I was a busy mom and didn’t go out often, so the idea of spending an evening in downtown Chicago seemed like fun. On the night of the concert, through casual conversation, I discovered that my friend had originally made plans with someone else for this concert. But when that person couldn’t make it, she invited me. However, that was not what my friend told me. She made it sound like I was the one she wanted to go with.

As I got to know her better, I realized that my friend treated other people the same way. She was not always honest about her true intentions. As you can imagine, it made me hesitant to want to be around her. Without realizing it, she was pushing love away from her life.

When I moved to Colorado, I got a phone message from her, telling me she missed me and would love to bring her kids to visit my family and me. Initially the idea of seeing someone from my old church excited me. But because of what had happened between us before, I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps she didn’t really care to see us. Maybe she simply wanted a place to stay near the mountains so she could give her family a nice vacation without spending a lot of money.

It may seem harsh, but I never returned her phone call.

The funny thing is, if she had been more honest with me in the past, we could have developed a true friendship. In a similar way, our intentions affect how we receive from God. Sometimes we limit His best in our lives because our motives aren’t pure.

Andrew’s How to Receive God’s Best teaching explains that our motives are more important than our actions. We can be doing good things but with wrong intentions. When we allow things like pride, selfishness, greed, or fear to motivate us, we’re not walking in love.

Andrew says that we sometimes wait to do what’s right until something negative shows up to motivate us. We’re so used to this negative motivation that we can’t let go of it. Some people do the right thing only because they’re afraid they’ll get caught or punished if they don’t.

Fear of punishment is a wrong motivation, and it brings torment. First John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

If we have been serving God or people out of fear, we haven’t been made perfect in love. Love will motivate us to do much more. And it doesn’t have negative side effects!

Fix your heart to live in God’s best. Don’t let wrong motives steal God’s blessing from you. Instead, let love be the fire that purifies those motives. Remember, we love Him (and others) because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). When we truly understand that His blessing and His love have no end, we won’t feel like we have to manipulate anyone or anything to make something happen. Learn how to activate the blessing and overcome any wrong thinking that limits you.

Today you can preorder Andrew’s newest book Living in God’s Best: Don’t Settle for Less. This hardcover book releases on February 21, but today is the first day for preorders. You can order directly from Amazon. For more information, call the AWM Helpline: 719-635-1111. Don’t settle for less!

Have you had a similar experience? Are you preordering Andrew’s book? Comment below. We’d love to hear from you!