Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, April 20, 2015

Today's Scripture

"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence." (2 Peter 1:3 NLT; suggested reading 2 Peter 1:3-11)

Thoughts for Today

How can we, who are far from perfect, live godly lives? Simple. We can't. Not on our own. Today's scriptures gives us the key. We can live a godly life "by his divine power." 

How do we receive this power? By coming to know Jesus. By receiving him as our personal Savior and inviting him to be Lord of our life. 
 
Peter goes on to say this:
 
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:4 NLT)
 
He has given us great promises that enable us to "escape the world's corruption caused by human desires." Why would he do this? Because of how great we are? No. Because of his glory and excellence. 

Consider this … 

Next Peter explains how we should respond to God's promises. 
 
Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8 NLT)
 
Persevere. Don't let setbacks stop you. Don't let circumstances discourage you. Patient endurance lays the pathway to growing in godliness. But we must persevere in his strength, not our own. Only then can we become all he has designed us to be . . . and accomplish all he has called us to do.

Prayer

Father, thank you for your promise that I can become more and more like Jesus. That I can conform to his image rather than the world's mold. Day by day help me grow and become more productive and useful, focused on accomplishing your purpose for my life. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character, it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.

  • It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
  • It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
  • It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
  • It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
  • It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
  • It helps prepare people to minister to others.
  • It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.

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, April 21, 2015

Today's Scripture

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (Jesus' words in Matthew 6:33 NLT; suggested reading Matthew 6:25-34)

Thoughts for Today

What does godliness look like? Of course, it means being like God in daily life. Holy . . . pure . . . loving . . . concerned for others. Living by God's standards rather than the world's. 

We can define godliness by dos and don'ts. We can define it by character traits. Another way to define godliness is "devotion to God above all else." Putting God first. Seeking the Kingdom of God above all else.

Consider this … 

Godliness is more than avoiding wrongdoing. Even good pursuits can fill our days, take our time, and draw us away from our devotion to God. Move us toward our goals instead of his. 
 
Consider the good things you are doing. Are they distracting you from your quiet times with Jesus? Are you getting caught up in meeting others' expectations above meeting his?
 
God wants us to devote ourselves to our spouse and children. To be diligent on our job. To be involved in ministry. To get physical exercise and enjoy times of fellowship. But even good pursuits, when they get out of balance, can keep us from growing in godliness. Busyness--no matter what good things we are doing--can be our downfall. 
 
Examine your priorities. Who or what is coming first? If it's anyone or anything other than God, it's time to make an adjustment. As you put him first, he will enable you to balance everything else and accomplish what he wants you to do. You can even be a better spouse or parent or minister. You can do better on your job or at school. Seek him first and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Prayer

Father, help me have an honest look at my priorities. Am I giving you first place in my life? Help me to seek you above all else. Then I know you'll help me with the rest. In Jesus' name . . .

 



These thoughts were drawn from …

Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character, it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.

  • It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
  • It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
  • It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
  • It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
  • It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
  • It helps prepare people to minister to others.
  • It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.

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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Today's Scripture

"But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
 
"Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness." (2 Peter 3:10-13 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

It's so easy to get caught up in the things this world values—things like possessions, popularity, power, bank accounts, and leisure—and let them extinguish our desire for holiness and the things of God.
 
Today's scripture reminds us how temporary this world is. We need to live in a way that reflects our knowledge of what is to come. The things the world values will be destroyed. We shouldn't build our lives around them. Instead, we should seek to live a godly and holy life. To make an eternal difference by sharing the love of Jesus with others.

Consider this … 

We need to focus on eternal pursuits. Righteousness. Godliness. Faith. Endurance. Love. "Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live."
 
Focus on preparing for the eternal. Focus on helping others get ready for the eternal. Everything else should pale in comparison.

Prayer

Father, I know I get caught up in the day-to-day busyness of life. I often place far too much importance on things that really won't matter in the long run. Please forgive me and help me live with an eternal perspective. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character, it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.

  • It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
  • It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
  • It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
  • It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
  • It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
  • It helps prepare people to minister to others.
  • It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today's Scripture

"Train yourself to be godly. 'Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.'" (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Athletes train. Training consumes the lives of would-be Olympians for years. All serious athletes participating in either individual or team sports train. They train to keep their bodies in shape and hone their skills. The training must be consistent throughout the years they participate in the sport. 

In today's scripture, Paul is training Timothy, a young pastor. This teaching is just as important for us today. Physical training is good . . . but far outweighed by the importance of training for godliness. Physical training can provide benefits for a season. Godly training promises benefits in this life and in the life to come. 

Consider this … 

Paul goes on to give these instructions to Timothy:
 
"Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them." (1 Timothy 4:12-13 NLT)
 
God offers us three resources to train us and enable us to pursue godliness: The Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God.
 
We need to spend regular time in God's Word to grow in our relationship with him and to better understand his character and pursue those godly traits for our own life. 
 
The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. (Psalm 19:7-8 NLT)
 
The Holy Spirit will guide us, teach us, and empower us to pursue godliness.
 
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. (Words of Jesus in John 14:26 NLT)
 
The people of God are your teammates. God calls us to encourage one another to good works.
 
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24 NLT)
 
Stay in training. Study God's Word. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Grow sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. And join with other followers of Christ, motivating one another to acts of love and good works . . . to godliness.

Prayer
 
Father, help me take my training for godliness more seriously. Help me know you better through your Word. Help me be sensitive—and obedient—to the leading of the Holy Spirit. And may my Christian friends and I motive one other to be more godly. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character, it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.

  • It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
  • It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
  • It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
  • It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
  • It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
  • It helps prepare people to minister to others.
  • It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.

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, April 24, 2015

Today's Scripture

"Never stop praying." (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Consistent prayer is a key to growing in godliness. God is willing and able to respond to our cries for help, but sadly we often turn to him only for the occasional crisis. 
 
We cannot grow in our walk with God if we don't talk to him! Imagine expecting to build a relationship with a person without ever speaking to him or her. Or perhaps just a casual hello now and then. And yet we do that with God. How can we get to know him that way? How can we learn to hear his voice?
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Consider this … 
 
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 Paul talks about the increase of ungodliness in the last days. 
 
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (NLT)
 
Look around. What do you see? Isn't this a perfect description of today's world?
 
What can we do? Grow in godliness. Use the three resources God gives us to make that possible: his Word, his Spirit, and his people. And never stop praying. God will help us make a difference in this hurting world—an eternal difference.

Prayer

Father, I commit to spending more time with you in prayer. More time in your Word. Help me be sensitive as the Holy Spirit leads. And may we, as believers, motivate one another to good works. Help me make an eternal difference in the lives of the lost and hurting. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character, it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.

  • It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
  • It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
  • It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
  • It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
  • It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
  • It helps prepare people to minister to others.
  • It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.

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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