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Here's the Truth

Every year, people make New Year's Resolutions. Their vows run the gamut - from improving their bodies and financial situations ... to launching a business and strengthening their marriages. But, this year, I challenge each of us to work on the secret areas of our lives... the corners of our hearts... the concealed habits... and the questionable motives that only God (and us) can see.

Are You Afraid of Being Hurt?

Vulnerability can be scary. After all, who wants to be hurt, or have someone take advantage of them? -- But agape love, God's kind of love, requires vulnerability. When done for the right reasons, vulnerability shows strength -- not weakness. Only a strong person could have the confidence needed to give unguarded love (when it's possible that their kindness, affection, and transparency might not be reciprocated).

When it comes to discouraging you, the Devil will use any strategy. And that includes using the people who you love and admire the most. But your calling is not based on a person's opinion of you. So don't lose heart! Hold your head up and keep charging forward.

God has a way of giving us assignments that, technically, we’re unqualified for. But, don’t be discouraged by your limitations. Look beyond them, because your limitations allow God’s power to shine greatly through you.

Consider the Consequences

When people think about “sowing and reaping,” they often think about money. But this biblical concept applies to every area of our lives. For instance, if we sow unforgiveness and selfishness into our relationships, we’ll reap those things back. And if we consume harmful foods and forfeit exercise, we’ll acquire unhealthy bodies. In essence, there are consequences to everything that we do (and don’t do). Nothing in our lives happens by chance. 

Our Darkest Hour

It’s easy to trust God when everything is going well. After all, who wouldn’t have confidence in someone who gives them exactly what they want –– when they want it? But, the fact is, God doesn’t work that way! Instead, He gives us exactly what we need –– when He decides we’re ready for it.

Winning vs. Losing

One of the hardest things in life is allowing someone to "win" a disagreement — especially when we’re convinced that we're right. The Word of God teaches, however, that "losing" in the eyes of the world can mean "winning" in the eyes of God.

Without a doubt, some of us are facing challenging times. But, we can remain uplifted by meditating on "the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly" (Philippians 4:8, Message Bible).

You Define It

Do you know that God won't allow anyone to define your destiny – without your permission? Yet, many people allow the low expectations of others to hold them back. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, Jabez's story teaches a profound lesson: How we define ourselves trumps how others (even our parents) define us.

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