I Am New

The Work-a-holic
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship" (Romans 8:15).

Living a balanced life is evidence of a Spirit-led life. People work long hours for many reasons which can lead to significant problems in our lives.

One reason people over work is that they often think they must work longer hours to keep up with their workload. This is often the surface reason people give to the question of working long hours. Like any compulsive behavior, there is usually something beneath this behavior. As a former workaholic myself, I can tell you the root of overworking is often 1) a fear of loss, and 2) a need for self-acceptance created by performance.

The fear of loss issue can be a fear of what will happen if we don't work long hours. A fear that there may not be enough money if I don't work long hours can drive us to overwork. Often an inaccurate view of what is enough makes us drive ourselves to greater levels of achievement, believing a financial reward will insure us against potential financial disaster. This usually operates at a subconscious level. When one operates at this level you often find those around them will feel shamed if they do not work at the same level and can be intimidated by the unspoken or spoken directive that long hours are required. This leads to a whole new set of problems.

The second reason people work long hours is their need to gain self-acceptance and esteem from their jobs. It is rewarding to see something come from our efforts. However, when we begin to be driven to work, it becomes an unhealthy condition. We are looking to gain self-esteem needs from our performance instead of being secure in our position in Christ.

So, in order to avoid work becoming an idol and a compulsive behavior, we must maintain a balance that provides time to spend quality time with the Lord, our families and fellow believers. Sometimes the greatest exercise of faith is to work only forty hours a week. This insures that the outcome of our work is dependent upon God, nor our self-effort.

Today's Prayer

"You have received of us how you ought to walk and to please God, so you would abound more and more. For you know the commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1 Thess. 4:1-3). Dear Father in Heaven, Thank you for giving me your Word as a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet. Please forgive me when I am "hard-headed" and do not follow your commandments. I want to do your will, which I understand is based on your Word. Sometimes it is difficult to live under the authority of certain people. Human nature makes me want to rebel, but your Word instructs me to obey those in authority, as long as that obedience is not in direct conflict to your Word. Please give me the strength to obey and do what is right. Please bless me when I do this and walk in a way that is pleasing to you. Thank you in the name of Jesus, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman

When God Says “No”
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Most of us have broken dreams, but they just happen to be different ones. Yesterday I brought you along on one of mine … the dream to be a mommy to a houseful of children. Thank you for joining me again as we continue. While this may not have been your particular struggle, the pain of broken dreams and the hope that God wants to give is still the same.

For years, my son Steven, continued to pray that God would give us another “Jaynes baby.” He prayed it every night. When he was about five-years-old, I thought it was time to tell him to stop. But how do you tell a child to stop praying a prayer? This was something God was going to have to do because I did not know how.

One day, Steven and I were sitting at his miniature table eating our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when he looked up at me and said, “Mommy, have you ever thought maybe God wants you to have only one Jaynes baby?”

You can imagine my shock at this statement coming out of the blue from a near five-year-old. Once I regained my composure I answered. “Well, yes, I have thought that maybe that is the case. If it is, I am so thankful, because He has given me all I ever hoped for in a child wrapped up in one package - YOU!”

Then he cocked his little head like a robin and continued, “Well, what I think we ought to do is to keep praying until you’re too old to have one. Then we’ll know that was His answer.”

What a great idea! Steven had no idea how old “too old” was, but he did know that God could do anything. If His answer was “no,” he didn’t have a problem with that. I told Steven “no” many times and he knew “no” did not mean, “I don’t love you.” “No” meant “no” because I was his parent and knew what was best for him. I was the one having trouble with God telling me “no.”

There was a song Steven used to sing that went:

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do.
The mountains are His,
The valleys are His,
The stars are His handiwork too.
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

The Lord taught me a great lesson that day. Through Steven’s childlike faith, I saw an example of the attitude of trust that I should have toward my heavenly Father who loves me and knows what’s best, even when the answer is “no.” After all, if God said yes to every request, then He wouldn’t be God at all…we would.

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, help me to accept when you say “no” with the trust that You know what is best for me. Help me to become a woman that doesn’t ask “Why me,” but rather “What now.” Thank You for taking the pieces of my broken dreams and making them into something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn
When something seemingly bad happens in your life, do you tend to ask, “Why me?”

Here’s something I want you to practice: Try asking “What now?” Think of a broken dream in your life. In your mind’s eye, place it at Jesus’ feet. Now look up at Him and ask, “What would you have me to do now?”

I can’t wait to hear what He tells you! However, it might be quite some time before He answers. For me, it took one year from the time I asked Him the question, until He revealed His plan. In the meantime, get ready! The best is yet to come!

Has God taken you on a different path than you ever dreamed? Let’s share at www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s new book, 5 Dreams of Every Woman and How God Wants to Fulfill Them(a new revised version of her previous book, Dreams of a Woman). This book is for every woman whose life hasn’t turned out like she dreamed it would…and I think that includes most of us. Can you risk the hope that God still has dreams for your life? That He hasn’t forgotten you? Place your hand firmly in His--take a deep breath, and begin the exciting journey to a place you thought you’d never find: the dream God planned for you all along. Let’s dare to dream again!

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P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Jason Gray - I Am New

Now I won't deny
The worst you could say about me
But I'm not defined
By mistakes that I've made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new
I am new

Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
'Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

Too long I have lived
In the shadows of shame
Believing that there
Was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn't see me the way that I do
He doesn't see me the way that I do

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
Dead to the old man
I'm coming alive
I am new

Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

This is who we are now

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