About Devotions

Mon, August 20, 2018

Boundaries

Genesis 1:28 (NIV) – God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

You were made in God’s image and created for responsibility, but there are limits. Sometimes we take on things that God never intended us to take on--and that can lead to burnout. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we need to set mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries so that we can live with an emotionally healthy spirituality that reflects God’s character and divine order in the universe. Are you taking on more than God intends for you? Learn more in our Boundaries study group beginning Mondays in September.

Tue, August 21, 2018

Burdens

Galatians 6:2,5 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…for each one should carry his own load.

The Greek word for “burden” means excess burdens that weigh us down like crushing boulders. Often people have burdens that are too heavy for them to bear alone. They need help from us in times of crisis or tragedy. In contrast, verse 5 tells us that each person has responsibilities that comprise their own particular “load.” The Greek word for “load” means cargo or the burden of daily toil. These loads are like knapsacks that we are expected to carry on our own: attitudes, behaviors, and responsibilities that God has given each one of us, even though it takes effort. Problems arise when people act as if boulders are daily loads, and refuse help, or as if daily loads are boulders they shouldn’t have to carry. The result is perpetual pain or irresponsibility. Invite the Holy Spirit to give you discernment between the two loads and how well you are managing them.

Wed, August 22, 2018

Guard Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) – Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Boundaries are easy to see in the physical world: fences, walls, and hedges. They convey the same message: This is where my property begins and ends. The property owner is legally responsible for what happens there, not non-owners. In the spiritual world, boundaries are just as real, but often harder to see. Yet, we must recognize them as ever-present realities that define our souls and help us guard and maintain it. Carefully examine what you will and won’t allow into your life. Ask the Lord to help you guard your heart.

Thu, August 23, 2018

God’s Light

I John 1:5 (NLT) – This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all.

The concept of boundaries comes from the very nature of God. He tells us who He is and who He is not. He limits what He will allow in His “yard.” He confronts sin and allows consequences for behavior. He guards His “house” and will not allow evil things to go on there. In the same way He gave us personal responsibility within limits. He wants us to be responsible stewards over the life He has given us. For that to happen we must develop boundaries. God’s Word shows us how to do that—where to set them and how to maintain them within our marriages, our families, and in other relationships. God’s light guides us to an emotionally healthy life.

Fri, August 24, 2018

Clear Communication

James 5:12b – Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.

The most basic boundary setting word is “no.” Being clear about your “no” and your “yes” is a theme that runs throughout the Bible. Many passages urge us to say no to others’ sinful treatment of us. It is a confrontational word: “No, that behavior is not okay. I will not participate in that.” It is an important word in setting limits on abuse. Sometimes people feel that if they say no to someone they will endanger their relationship with that person, so they passively comply but inwardly resent. Sometimes a person may pressure you to do something; other times the pressure comes from your own sense of what you “should” do. If you cannot say no, you have lost control of your “property” and are not enjoying the fruit of self-control. Your words define your boundaries for others when you clearly communicate your feelings, intentions, or dislikes. Communicate clearly. Don’t be afraid of the word “no.” (To learn more, join us in our Masterclass with guest teacher Susan Townsend Holt, sister of Boundaries co-author, John Townsend.)

Sat, August 25, 2018

The Truth

Galatians 6:7b - …A man reaps what he sows.

Satan is the great distorter of reality. He tempted Eve to question God’s boundaries and His truth and the results were disastrous. Realizing the truth of God’s unchangeable reality helps us define ourselves in relation to Him. There is always safety in the truth, whether it be knowing God’s truth or knowing the truth about yourself. When He says that we will reap what we sow, we either define ourselves in relation to that reality or continue to get injured if we go against it. We get to choose! Living in accord with God’s truth always makes for a better life. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts (Ps. 119:45).