Happiness Is…

Posted on November 6, 2012 by Sharon

Think about the last time you were really happy. Why were you so happy? Write a few phrases or draw pictures that describe how you felt.

READ ISAIAH 55:12-13 in your Bible. Consider these phrases about the happiness that will come to pass for God’s people:

“You will . . . go out with joy”

“[You will be] peacefully guided”

“The mountains and hills will break into singing before you.”

“The trees of the field will clap their hands.”

THINK ABOUT IT

It might be hard to imagine an ecstatic tree clapping its hands, but God is making a point about the whole atmosphere of the world bursting with elation and unencumbered excitement. This is the kind of bliss that explodes in the hearts of those who have followed God and are experiencing His blessings. Day after day He keeps His promises to us, and one day all His promises will be fulfilled.

JOURNAL

Do you remember a time when God came through for you and it filled you with joy? How have you experienced God’s work, whether in your life or in someone else’s? If you’re going through a rough time, what do you hope that God will do? Write it all down here.

TAKE ACTION

Pray through your notes. Whether you have experienced blessing or difficulty, practice an attitude of gratitude. If you’re seeking God’s help through a difficult time, ask Him to move in powerful ways.


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Perspective

Posted on October 30, 2012 by Sharon

Read Isaiah 55:8-9 in your Bible. As you read, consider what these verses tell you about how God’s thinking process is different from your own. Think about how His thoughts are different from ours.

Perspective.God’s perspective on life and the universe is much greater than ours, which is one very important reason why He doesn’t act like we do.

JOURNAL

Evaluate your life and the things you’re dealing with right now in light of these verses. Then, record your thoughts in your journal. Ask yourself: How can I see things from God’s perspective? Can I see His purpose? How could what I’m facing today be a part of God’s plan for my future?

TAKE ACTION

The certain thing about God’s words is that they are productive. Take some time to meditate upon them or memorize them today. What steps will you take this week to make Scripture a vital part of each day of your life?


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Humble Yourself Before The Lord

Posted on July 12, 2010 by Melissa

Ridgecrest Summer CampsWHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? Is there a person in your life whom you greatly admire or respect? Think about those people you would put at the top of your list of people you look up to. Perhaps it’s your counselor or another staff person. Why do you value them so highly? What qualities or characteristics do they possess that propel them to the top of your list?

Read Isaiah 66:1-2 and focus on verse 2b.
According to this passage, what belongs to God?
Who did God say made “all these things?”
Why is it important to recognize God as the Creator in control of this world?

What are some ways you recognize God as Creator? What are some things in your life you need to let Him have control over?
According to verse 2, what does God value in a person?

Think about your life. Would you make God’s list of people He looks favorably on based on these criteria? Why or why not?
What does it mean to be humble and submissive?
Do these words describe you? Explain.

Remember that list of people you look up to that you made earlier? Think about the characteristics and qualities you said you valued in those people. Now, understand from today’s Scripture passage that God also has qualities and characteristics He wants people to possess. And when we possess those characteristics, His Word says He looks upon us favorably. But what He values in us isn’t anything we can achieve through wealth, success, or popularity. God wants humility and submissiveness. God simply values a humble and broken spirit, a believer who isn’t proud but rather understands his or her limitations and allows God to work. God calls us to surrender to Him—to allow Him into our lives, give Him control, trust Him, and yield to Him, letting Him work in and through our lives. Are you the kind of person God desires you to be?


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God Doesn’t Like Fakers

Posted on March 8, 2010 by Melissa

I DON’T LIKE PEOPLE WHO act like something or someone they aren’t. Most people call them fakers; the Bible calls them hypocrites. You see it all the time. You know people who try to be something they aren’t. They’re always trying to impress everyone or somehow be better than everyone else. You don’t really like to be around that kind of person. It feels tiring and pointless.

And when you’re absolutely honest with yourself, you’ve been that person at least once in your life.

Read Isaiah 29:13-16 and focus on verse 13.
 
What did God not like about the way the people were worshiping Him?
 
Think over the phrases God used, like “man-made rules” and “lip service.” What do those mean? How have you seen them play out in your life?
 
What are the results when people offer lip service to God?
 
What do these verses teach you about God’s attitude toward worship?
 
What are you allowing to distract you from truly worshiping God?

When God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to the Israelites, He didn’t have a lot of good things to say. He told them that they’d made worshiping Him into something meaningless. They did all the right things, but their hearts weren’t in the right place. Outwardly, they looked like perfect followers of God, but it was all fake. They’d watered down faith into a long list of rules. They said all the right things but didn’t mean them.

God doesn’t want us to be fakers—not in our lives or in our worship to Him. But many times, we’re guilty of just that. We can’t see God work if our worship is focused on us and not on Him. He wants us to come to Him with absolute honesty, without hidden motives. He wants to have a relationship with us through Jesus—not watch us follow a long list of rules. Be real with God. Come to Him with honesty when things are going well and when they’re not. Worship Him with every moment of your life, when it’s easy and when it’s not. It’s what He wants.


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