Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, September 21, 2015

Today's Scripture

Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined. For the Christian, low self-esteem (inferiority) is an oxymoron. Why? As Christians, we are called and privileged to lead a God-centered life rather than a self-centered life.

The Bible encourages us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. (Romans 12:3 NLT)

The Bible also commands us to look out not only for our own interests but also for the interests of others.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT)

But . . . nowhere in the Bible are we told to put ourselves down. In fact, just the opposite.  Today's scripture makes it clear that Jesus expects us to love ourselves. "Love your neighbor as yourself" (emphasis added).

Consider this …

Although we are to love ourselves and the way God made us, many of us struggle with feelings of inferiority. Bob Moorehead in the "Inferiority" chapter of Counsel Yourself & Others from the Bible lists seven common causes of inferiority feelings (pp. 192-194):

  • Less than ideal physical stature and appearance
  • Academic limitations
  • Vocational and economic factors
  • Negative comparisons made by one's parents
  • Poor health
  • Criticism of others
  • Satanic oppression

Do you struggle with any of these feelings? This week we will discuss how to begin seeing ourselves as God does. To have the kind of self esteem author Don Matzat describes as "Christ-esteem."

Prayer

Father, your Word tells me I should have good self-esteem based on who I am in Christ. Help me see myself as you do and overcome these feelings of inferiority. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. 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, September 22, 2015

Today's Scripture

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. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

God calls us to lead a God-centered life rather than a self-centered one. What a privilege that is! Living a God-centered life brings self-esteem rather than self-centeredness.

Robert Frost in his famous poem "The Road Not Taken" tells about taking the "road less traveled" and how that makes all the difference. Below are some of the characteristics of a self-centered life . . . and a God-centered one. Which road do you think Frost would consider the "road less traveled"?

Consider this …

Self-Centered

  • Focusing life on self
  • Being proud of self and personal accomplishments
  • Placing confidence in self rather than God
  • Depending on self and one's own abilities
  • Affirming self
  • Seeking to be acceptable to the world and its ways
  • Looking at circumstances from a human perspective
  • Living a selfish and ordinary life

God-Centered

  • Being confident in God
  • Depending on God and his ability and provision
  • Focusing life on God and his activity
  • Being humble before God--seeing oneself as God does
  • Affirming God's work within self
  • Seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness
  • Living a holy and godly life

Which road are you taking?

Prayer

Father, I see some of these self-centered traits in myself. Please forgive me and help me center every area of my life in you. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. 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, September 24, 2015

Today's Scripture

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

You are God's creation! He designed you with marvelous workmanship. He created you for a purpose and has a special plan for your life.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:13-16 NLT)

He created you in his image and breathed life into you.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 NLT)

For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4 NLT)

He has shaped each of us into a special and unique vessel.

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. (Isaiah 64:8 NLT)

Consider this …

God gives each of us a priceless opportunity to become part of his family here on earth and to live with him in heaven . . . forever. If you want to know more about how to do that, please read more.

Here are some of the many scriptures that answer the Christian believer's question "Who am I?" If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, these scriptures describe you.

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NLT)

“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT)

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (1 John 4:4 NLT)

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)

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. (Romans 8:17 NLT)
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT)

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT)

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden." (Words of Jesus in Matthew 5:14 NLT)

This is just the beginning. There are so many scriptures throughout the Bible that tell us who we are in Christ. If we believe them, how can we possibly feel bad about ourselves? Study these scriptures and others like them. Meditate on them. Know who you are in Christ!

Prayer

Father, how can I thank you for all you have done for me? Thank you for creating me in your image. Thank you for making me a new person in Christ. Thank you that you have forgiven me for everything and clothed me in the righteousness of your Son. Thank you that I belong to your family and am a joint heir with Christ. Help me focus on all these marvelous truths. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. 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, September 23, 2015

Today's Scripture

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Yesterday we discussed the road less traveled. Today we will take another look at two roads. Which one do you think is less traveled? Which one best represents the road you are traveling? Think about why.

None of us want to feel inferior. We all want to belong and contribute—to feel good about ourselves. Keeping this goal in mind, think about this road:

  • When my needs are not met, I feel . . . inferior.
  • When I feel inferior, I get . . . discouraged.
  • When I'm discouraged, I . . . misbehave.
  • My misbehavior may cause me to . . . act aggressively in ways that hurt me or avoid doing what is good for me.

Do you identify with any of these feelings?

Consider this …

Now let's look at the other road.

  • When I make truthful, healthy choices, I . . . behave.
  • When I behave, I feel . . . encouraged.
  • When I am encouraged, I experience . . . self-esteem.
  • When I experience self-esteem, I also . . . belong and contribute.

For the rest of the week, we will look at scriptures that will help us follow this second road.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3 NLT)

Prayer

Father, help me refocus on Jesus in every area of my life. Help me walk in truth and make right choices, choices that will help me belong and contribute. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. 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, September 25, 2015

Today's Scripture

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

In addition to giving us seven causes of inferiority feelings, Bob Moorehead in Counsel Yourself & Others from the Bible (pp. 194-199) also gives us six steps of counsel from God's Word to help combat inferiority:

  • First, realize you are in good company! Although many biblical characters struggled with low self-esteem, God used them in great ways.
  • Understand your sense of well-being is not derived from what you have but from who you are in Christ.
  • Remember, God uses ordinary people in extraordinary ways.
  • Remember, our goal is to please God, not man.
  • Recognize that whatever we accomplish, we do so by God's strength.
  • Let Christ live his life through you.

Are you willing to let Christ live his life through you?

Consider this …

It's all about Jesus. Is your life focused on you . . . or on him? Are you depending on yourself . . . or on him? As you focus more and more on him, you will gain peace and a sense of well-being and security. Here are just a few of the many scriptures that will remind you of his promises.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NLT)

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NLT)

The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? (Psalm 118:6 NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NLT)
 

Prayer

Father, help me trust you and not myself. Help me live for you and not myself. Help me remember that I am special . . . not because of anything I have or haven't done but because of what Jesus did for me. Because you designed me and have a good plan for my life. Because you love me. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. 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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