Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, February 27, 2017

Today's Scripture

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV)

Thoughts for Today

We all have setbacks and disappointments . . . and may need a fresh start. For some a fresh start means building a new foundation and life in Christ because of a destructive and disruptive past. A fresh start may mean a husband who needs more empathy and understanding to be more in tune with his wife's past setbacks. Without his help, the wife's pain could eventually spill over into the entire family system.
Those of us who were wounded in our childhood drag into marriage the same sack of problems and pain we carried as single adults. We may have been able to hide the baggage long enough to distract our spouse from noticing its size or power, but soon our wounds surface in our new marriage. (Paul Hegstrom, Broken Children, Grown-Up Pain, 87-88)
Whether we need to start over or just make an adjustment, the Lord wants to provide us with a fresh start no matter what the setback or disappointment or how long we have suffered from the pain. 

Consider this …

Do you need to make a fresh start? Your need may have been caused by something that happened years ago or just recently. It may involve a relationship, a lifestyle, a habit, a failure, abuse by someone . . . or any of a multitude of issues. Whatever the problem—and whether it began recently or years ago—Jesus wants to help you.

We must remember that making a fresh start is a process. A fresh start always involves trusting Jesus and walking with him. "Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me'" (John 14:6 NLT). Only through him can we find the strength and guidance to walk the process. With him, we can do all things. The apostle Paul said it this way: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

The process of making a fresh start can be a bumpy road. But with Jesus, you can do it.

Prayer

Lord, I really do need a fresh start. I know I need to put the past behind and move on, but I can't do that alone. I need your guidance and help. I do believe you are the only way, truth, and life. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you! 


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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Today's Scripture

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV)

Thoughts for Today

The prophet Jeremiah was no stranger to being in God's will, yet he had his share of suffering. He suffered not from making poor choices but from the hands of his own people and the oppression of the Babylonians.

Known as the weeping prophet, Jeremiah described his deep suffering in the book of Lamentations. In today's scripture he shows that our God provides hope and newness (or freshness) for every day.

Consider this …

Let's consider a few of the lessons we can learn from Jeremiah's example. First, he lived with hope, no matter how bad the circumstances or how much he was suffering at the hand of others. "I have hope." No matter what has happened in our past or what is going on in our life right now, we too can live with hope. Hope in the love, power, and faithfulness of God. 
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. (Psalm 9:9-10 NLT)
Jeremiah reminds us of God's compassions—that they never fail and are new every morning. Think about that! Every morning. Every morning we can awaken with renewed hope if we keep our eyes on Jesus.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3 NIV)
And Jeremiah recognized God's faithfulness. He knew God was with him. He knew God loved him. He knew God would never change . . . would always be with him.
Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]. (Hebrews 10:23 AMP)
No matter what you are dealing with, God will help you work through it. Keep your eyes on Jesus! Don't try to do this on your own. Lean on his strength and love. Awaken each morning with hope in him.

Prayer

Father, thank you for your compassion and faithfulness. Thank you that if I trust you and keep my eyes on Jesus, I can awaken each morning with hope. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you! 


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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Today's Scripture

"Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you." (Psalm 37:5 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

A fresh start involves repentance. It may be repentance for your part (if any) in what caused your setback. It may be repentance for unforgiveness and allowing yourself to be controlled by something that was done to you. Or it may be repentance for the way you have been living your life. But we can't start over if we aren't ready to make a change. 
If you have never received Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, that should be the first step to your fresh start. 
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:22-25 NLT)
If you are already a Christian but have sinned, Jesus is waiting with open arms to forgive you. "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness" (1 John 1:9 NLT).

Consider this …

Through Christ, a fresh start involves every aspect of our life. "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT).

This radical change is the experience of all who have received Christ as Savior. Whether you have just received Jesus Christ as your Savior or recently rededicated your life, a "new person" (fresh start) means you are a new creation, not in just one compartment of your life but in your entire being. His plan is to renew every area of your life—your family, employment, lifestyle, relationships. It is vital for you to place everything under his guidance and loving care.

Do you compartmentalize God . . . or is he involved in all facets of your life? Choose today to commit everything you do to him.

Prayer

Father, I know I've been holding back some areas of my life from you. Help me to commit everything I do and everything I am to you. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you! 


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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Today's Scripture

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

For a fresh start, we need to change our thinking. Today's scripture paints a beautiful picture of that process. Who does the transformation? God. How does he do it? By changing the way we think. That can happen only when we get to know him better by spending more time talking with him and meditating on the Bible. Then we will learn to know his will for us and better understand how much he loves us and cares about everything that concerns us.
As we make our fresh start, the Bible assures us that God's Word is faithful and trustworthy for life's issues.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT)

Consider this …

We are called to honor God. Anything we do that dishonors him in our relationships, attitudes, unforgiveness, bitterness, etc. is conforming to this world. As we honor God, a changed (renewed) mind will clean out the debris, junk, and impaired thinking.

Do you want a fresh start? Are you willing to spend more time talking—and listening—to God? Will you commit to knowing him better by spending some quality time in the Bible? Are you willing to let Jesus transform your mind so you can better understand his plan for you?

Your fresh start won't happen overnight. Remember, it's a process. But it's a process that can be successful if you put your trust in Jesus.

Prayer

Father, please help me change my thinking so it is molded by your Word and not the world. I commit to more quiet time with you. Help me know you better . . . trust you more . . . and walk the path you want for me. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you! 


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Friday, March 3, 2017

Today's Scripture

"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

What a comfort to know we have God's approval and help in overcoming the setbacks and disappointments of life. Wherever you are in your growth—spiritually and emotionally—you are a candidate for a fresh start. This old saying remains true: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to leave you the way you are. If you choose to honor Jesus in your fresh start, he will be with you every step of the journey.
H. Norman Wright asks an important question: "Are you a yesterday person?" We can be free of past disappointments by focusing on Jesus and abiding in his Word. God is able to help us-and he will. Paul wrote, "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT).

Consider this …

In today's scripture, the apostle Paul talks about moving on. At one time he had relentlessly persecuted believers in Christ. After becoming a follower of Christ, he suffered all manner of persecution and suffering. But he kept his focus on Jesus. He did not carry the baggage of the past with him. Instead he looked forward to what lay ahead, pressing on to accomplish all God had called him to do and then spending eternity with his Savior.

No matter what is in your past, you too can have a fresh start . . . if you'll walk the journey with Jesus.

Prayer

Lord, I've been stuck in the past in so many ways. Guilt. Anger. Unforgiveness. Forgive me for getting stuck there and help me get off to a fresh start. Like Paul, help me forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead as I take this journey with you. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you! 


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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