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Change your Mind, Change your Life 

- Devotions + Declarations

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Every day we encourage you to read the full chapter of Proverbs that lines up with the day, e.g. on January 1st, read Proverbs chapter one. Below is also a key scripture to focus on and a devotional thought to read.

Also included below is a daily declaration for you to declare over your life. Repeat the ones from all the previous days too - e.g. on day 3, declare the declarations from day 1, 2 and 3.

As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

- Proverbs 27:17

Day Twenty Eight: Stay Soft - not Weak

There was a little boy watching a snail make it’s way slowly along the path.

 

Intrigued he reached down and touched the snail’s ‘feelers’ and the snail promptly retracted back into it’s shell.

 

He waited until the snail came out from the shell and did the same thing again. Same result.

 

He did this several times until eventually the snail retreated and stayed in it’s shell.

 

We can act in a similar way at times. Someone touches on a sensitive spot and we retreat behind a ‘shell’.  If it happens too often masks can go up and hearts can harden so that no-one can get in.

 

The problem however is that we can end up shutting the wrong people out, and that can include God Himself.

 

The Bible tells us to guard our heart but not to harden our heart.

 

The word ‘reverent’ in our proverb is translated ‘tenderhearted’ in the Message Bible and is associated with happiness or blessing.

 

The most important thing we can do in life is to keep our hearts open to God - that is the starting point.

 

Nobody can truly love out of a hard heart

 

Nobody can truly receive love with a hard heart

 

Nobody can truly experience real life with a hard heart.

 

Paul a disciple of Jesus wrote a letter to some Christians in the city of Corinth; - ‘Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life’. (2Cor 6:11 MSG)

 

That’s God’s intention for all of us but not if we stay in a shell.

 

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

DECLARATION 22: I declare I will live a generous life.

DECLARATION 23: I declare I will live by truth.

DECLARATION 24: I declare I will put my priorities in the right order.

DECLARATION 25: I declare I will keep a guard on the door of my heart.

DECLARATION 26: I declare I will embrace responsibility.

DECLARATION 27: I declare I will allow the right people to speak into my life.

DECLARATION 28: I declare I will keep my heart open to God.

As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

- Proverbs 27:17

Day Twenty Seven: Stay Sharp

I can remember being quite fascinated watching our local butcher sharpening his knives using a ‘sharpening steel’ rod. As he expertly ran steel against steel the knife would remain sharp and cut through meat like butter.

 

The key to the knife being sharpened is that the substance on the sharpening surface must be harder than the material being sharpened.

 

In a similar way, true friends can sharpen one another so they become stronger.

 

All of us are on a journey and none of us have ‘arrived’ when it comes to maturity and understanding. However God places people in our lives who can help us on that journey - we just need to recognise who they are.

 

Human nature can tend at times to gravitate to people who will agree with and encourage, but not challenge us.

 

The difficulty with that is that we all have ‘blind spots’. For example when driving a vehicle we can think we see everything in our mirrors or through the windscreen.

 

However you may be able to identify with attempting to change lanes only to have your passenger call out ‘watch out’ at the last minute.

 

They saw something you could not see and you quickly pull back into your lane. You would be grateful they saw what you could not see.

 

In order to expose our blind spots and to be ‘sharpened’ on our journey it helps to be open to having good friends and mentors speak into our lives.

 

At times it might feel like steel against steel - even abrasive - but as we remain open to, and accept the wisdom and insight of others, we will grow.

 

Who do you give permission to speak into your life?

 

Today could be a good day to give the right person that permission.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

DECLARATION 22: I declare I will live a generous life.

DECLARATION 23: I declare I will live by truth.

DECLARATION 24: I declare I will put my priorities in the right order.

DECLARATION 25: I declare I will keep a guard on the door of my heart.

DECLARATION 26: I declare I will embrace responsibility.

DECLARATION 27: I declare I will allow the right people to speak into my life.

The lazy man says, "There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!"

- Proverbs 26:13

Day Twenty Six: Take Responsibility

The teacher asked his student ‘Where is your homework?’ to which the student replied ‘I lost it fighting this kid who said you weren’t the best teacher in the school’

 

Do you think the teacher believed that??

 

I am sure that every teacher or employer has heard all the excuses imaginable as to why homework wasn't done or someone didn’t come to work - a lion in the street probably wasn’t one of them.

 

It’s one thing to have a legitimate reason for not doing something but making excuses for ourselves never helps us to grow.

 

If you want to grow as a person, one of the most effective ways of achieving growth is to take responsibility in life.

 

It appears at times we live in a culture of blame. There are those who blame their situation on everything from their upbringing to - ’The Devil made me do it’.

 

Bethany Hamilton started surfing when she was just a child. At age 13, an almost-deadly shark attack resulted in her losing her left arm. She was back on her surfboard one month later, and two years after that, she won first place in the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National (Surfing) Championships.

 

Bethany could have used the loss of a limb as an excuse to opt out of life but instead took responsibility to overcome what appeared to be a huge disadvantage. Also a committed Christian, Bethany is now a role model to thousands.

 

Taking responsibility in life will definitely stretch any of us and the ‘stretch’ can be very uncomfortable at times but it will cause us to learn and to grow if we let it.

 

It will expand your thinking and ability to be one of the responsible influencers our world so desperately needs.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

DECLARATION 22: I declare I will live a generous life.

DECLARATION 23: I declare I will live by truth.

DECLARATION 24: I declare I will put my priorities in the right order.

DECLARATION 25: I declare I will keep a guard on the door of my heart.

DECLARATION 26: I declare I will embrace responsibility.

Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.

- Proverbs 25:28

Day Twenty Five: Protect Your Walls

It is rather disconcerting to come home after being out and realising on pulling into the driveway that the garage door has been left wide open all day and the door into the house unlocked.

 

The possibility is that someone could have simply walked into the house and stolen whatever they wanted.

 

One of the reasons we have doors and locks on our homes is to regulate what comes into our homes.

 

There are some things that need to be kept out. We don’t allow every stray animal to wander through, and we certainly do not want thieves to rob us of our possessions or cause our families harm.

 

When it comes to our personal lives it is very important to know what to let in and what to keep out.

 

The proverb likens having self control or the ability to rule over our own spirit, to doors into our lives.

 

I can lock up all the doors and windows of my house to keep thieves and vandals out, but if I do not guard my heart I can be robbed of far more important things.

 

The Bible tells me to keep/guard my heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) 

 

During a day there can be many random ‘stray’ thoughts that want to wander through your life. It may be destructive words someone spoke to you. It could be wrong desires that seem to ‘come in’ and want to control you.

 

Whatever those thing may be, we have the ability with God’s help, to exercise self control and shut the door to things we do not want rampaging around our ‘house’.

 

Today is a good day to decide what you want or don’t want to come into your house and life.

 

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

DECLARATION 22: I declare I will live a generous life.

DECLARATION 23: I declare I will live by truth.

DECLARATION 24: I declare I will put my priorities in the right order.

DECLARATION 25: I declare I will keep a guard on the door of my heart.

Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.

- Proverbs 24:27

Day Twenty Four: Priorities

According to various sources the average adult makes about 35,000 choices per day.

 

Whether that figure is true for you or not, the fact is that we are faced with many choices daily, from what to have for breakfast, to how I will approach my work today.

 

Those choices will very much reflect what our priorities are in life.

 

Whatever your goals are in life, goals and priorities need to be closely aligned in order to see those goals achieved

 

I remember panicking in a year 12 exam, realising that even though my desire was to at least pass year 12, my priorities leading up to the exams fell short of achieving that desire. Study had not been a priority.

 

The proverb makes the point that before the worker can build himself a comfortable house he had better prioritise where the income is coming from first.

 

The problem with priorities is they don’t always look inviting even though we know they are important.

 

The question comes back to; ‘What outcome do I want in my life?’

 

Putting off until tomorrow what should be done today is a common trait in those who don’t identify life’s priorities.

 

In this ‘Change your mind, Change your life’ series we are encouraging each person toward wholeness in body soul and spirit.

 

If I want a healthy body I will need to prioritise healthy eating and exercise.

 

If I want a healthy spiritual life I will need to prioritise relationship with God.

 

You could add other things e.g. I if want a healthy marriage I will need to prioritise how I treat my spouse.

Today could be a good day to identify what you need to prioritise to see the outcome you desire.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

DECLARATION 22: I declare I will live a generous life.

DECLARATION 23: I declare I will live by truth.

DECLARATION 24: I declare I will put my priorities in the right order.

Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

- Proverbs 23:23

Day Twenty Three: The Truth Will Set You Free

 

Ps James MacPherson preached a message a while ago called ‘How to think in a world that’s lost it’s mind’.

 

One of the points he made was that society has very often ‘become convinced by pithy slogans rather than sound arguments’

 

In other words what sounds good becomes more popular than what is good or is truth.

 

For example all the advertising in the world can tell me how great a product is and all the reasons I should buy it. Many people will go out and buy the product because of the advertising.

 

However I like to go to the reviews of the product because those people who have bought it and tested it independently are more likely to tell me the truth about how good or bad the product is.

 

Jesus said the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

 

When we believe a lie or false advertising or follow a crowd because something ‘sounds’ good, we can end up somewhere other than where we wanted to be - the illusion shattered.

 

There are some things we cannot afford to be wrong about in life.

 

In 1980, atheist and award-winning investigative journalist Lee Strobel applied his journalistic and legal skills to attempt to disprove his wife Leslie's newfound Christian faith.

 

He had believed all the atheistic arguments but to his credit in diligently researching the evidence found the truth of who Jesus is for himself.

 

The truth changed his life forever.

 

You could read the ‘reviews’ of millions of Christians from around the world who will tell of how they came to a realisation of that same truth and now walk in freedom.

Let truth shape your life for the future.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

DECLARATION 22: I declare I will live a generous life.

DECLARATION 23: I declare I will live by truth.

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.

- Proverbs 22:9

Day Twenty Two: Generosity is worth it

I wonder what comes to mind when you think of the words skinflint, miser, tightwad or penny-pinching?

 

The image you see is probably not one of a person who is enjoying life but rather a person who tends to be mean spirited and certainly not someone you would ask a favour from.

 

That person probably has a tendency to think that the more they give away, the less they will have for themselves.

 

Even from a mathematical point of view that would appear logical.

 

However God’s principles for a blessed life are quite the opposite.

 

In fact He goes so far as to tell us ‘The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself’  Proverbs 11:25 

 

Some of the happiest people in life are those who are bighearted, generous people who give willingly of their time, talent and treasure yet they do it wisely.

 

One of the tests of how much we are controlled by ‘what we have’ is when the opportunity comes to give it away.

 

A rich young man who was very good at doing the right thing came to Jesus one day, however when Jesus asked him to give (be generous), he went away sad.

 

For all of his right living he was not living in a place of freedom.

 

Learning to be generous will create in you a freedom that you can’t know until you try it.

 

You will be blessed and others will be blessed around you.

 

Remember ‘God so loved (us) that He GAVE.. all that He had’ so we might experience freedom.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

DECLARATION 22: I declare I will live a generous life.

He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

Proverbs 21:17  

He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness and honour

- Proverbs 21:21

Day Twenty One: Purpose

 

There was a program on TV a number of years ago which followed the lives of young adults who had been born into very wealthy families.

 

Virtually whatever they wanted they could afford, with very little responsibility attached.

 

It would possibly seem like the dream situation to some, however the overall impression was that many of those people were living lives that had no direction or purpose, and were in fact dissatisfied even with what they had.

 

The problem with pursuing pleasure for the sake of pleasure as a goal in life is that eventually it comes up very empty.

 

There is a much better way to live.

 

Architects, designers or engineers do not design things that have no purpose.

 

It could be a building, or a logo for a company, or the latest motor vehicle, but each one of these has a purpose.

 

Why should it be any different when it comes to the magnificent creation that you are? You are not randomly designed for no purpose. You are not an accident of nature.

 

Jesus said that He wants to give us life and not just life but overflowing life.

 

Much of the ‘life’ people are searching for is only found when we realise our purpose for living.  That purpose begins with knowing our creator.

 

It is through knowing Him that we begin to realise He has created each one of us uniquely to make a difference in our world and in the lives of those around us.

 

Today is a good day to explore your purpose for living and fulfil what you were created for.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

DECLARATION 21: I declare I am made for a purpose.

Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?

- Proverbs 20:6

Day Twenty: Faithfulness

There are some things you really cannot put a value on.

 

We put a dollar value on so many things - houses, cars, jewellery - but the things that really matter are not able to be valued in that way.

 

The qualities in life that are the most important are what we would call ‘priceless’.

 

Faithfulness is one of those qualities!!

 

We can bring all kinds of things ‘to the table’ such as talent, ability and giftedness, but without faithfulness those things become meaningless.

 

An employer might hire the most talented and skilled person in his profession but if that person is not faithful with what the boss gives him, he is of very little value to the business.

 

However Jesus made the point that faithfulness brings it’s own reward and begins with the seemingly small things. Luke 19:17

 

I watched my Grandfather who was a farmer, sow crops faithfully year in and year out.

 

There were seasons when there was little or no rain and there were seasons when there was not a lot to sow. However as he faithfully sowed what he had, harvests came and he established a very prosperous property.

 

Each one of us have things in our lives that may at times appear small or insignificant, but if we faithfully make the most of whatever we have - there is the promise of reward.

 

Today is a good opportunity to look at what you ‘have in your hands’ rather than what you don’t.

 

The next step is appreciate what you have.

 

Then have an expectancy that as you are faithful with those things your harvest will come.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

DECLARATION 20: I declare I will be faithful with what I have been given.

There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the LORD's counsel—that will stand.

- Proverbs 19:21

Day Nineteen: Stay Flexible

One of the most flexible trees on the planet is the palm tree.

 

After a cyclone has devastated an area very often the only trees left are the palms trees because they will bend in the wind but not break.

 

They will bend over and then bounce back again, whereas the trees that are more inflexible are more likely to break off in the wind.

 

A quote I have heard a few times recently is ‘Blessed are the flexible for they will not be broken’.

 

As I look back over my life I realise that the way my life has turned out is probably quite different to the way I thought it might look.

 

Being flexible in life doesn’t mean our final destination changes but the way we get there might change.

 

A sailor on a sailing vessel will be very familiar with the ability to ‘tack’ in order  to arrive at his destination.

 

What this means is that when the wind is not favourable to chart a direct course, the sailor will catch the wind and sail a ‘zig zag’ course to eventually  get to his destination.

 

Effectively this means that most of the time he is actually ‘off course’ yet all the while sailing closer to where he wants to go.

 

If inflexible logic took over and he decided to stubbornly point the boat directly at his desired destination he would go nowhere.

 

Something we need to learn to do in life is catch the winds of change and know that often God is in the change even though it may not look like it.

 

It is easier to be flexible if I trust that my steps are directed by the Lord, but much more difficult to let go if I don’t trust His direction in my life.

 

Today is a good day to recognise winds of change and be flexible.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

DECLARATION 19: I declare I will be flexible and trust God to direct my steps.

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
- Proverbs 18:1

Day Eighteen: Better Together

 

There are no two people on the planet who are identical. Even ‘identical’ twins are not identical in every way.

 

Therefore our world consists of people who not only look different, but also have different personalities and temperaments, which means we all interact with others uniquely.

 

One person may be very outgoing and the classic ‘people person’, while another may prefer their own company and keep more to themselves.

 

Regardless of how we naturally interact we still need other people in our lives.

 

We were not created to live in isolation like the proverbial ‘hermit’, in fact the Bible says God sets the solitary in families  (Psalm 68:6)

 

Before the days of GPS and google maps a fairly common scenario would be a husband and wife going out for a drive and they can’t find what they are looking for.  

 

Wife says to husband ‘Why don’t you stop and ask someone?’ at which point husband just keeps driving and only asks someone as a last resort - too proud to admit he needs someone else to help.

 

Our journey as an Impact family is definitely not a ‘one man band’. We see the value of walking together because we are better together.

 

Consider for a moment how God’s mathematics works. His promise in Leviticus 26:7-8 is ‘You will chase your enemies … Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight.’

 

The logical equation would say if 5 chase a hundred then 100 would only chase 2000, but the power of unity results in a very dynamic outcome.

 

If you are trying to go it alone and are having trouble chasing just five, today is a good day to ask someone to walk with you.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

DECLARATION 18: I declare that we are better together.

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
- Proverbs 17:22

Day Seventeen: Good Medicine

About 25 years ago, Norman Cousins, editor of the respected literary magazine Saturday Review in New York City, was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, an incurable and fatal spinal column illness of unknown cause.

He tried all sorts of alternative remedies, including Vitamin B-17, large doses of Vitamin C and several others, with little or no effect on his condition.

 

So, one day, against the advice of his doctors, he left the hospital and closeted himself in his apartment for one month doing what he enjoyed most—reading humorous stories and jokes, watching comedy movies and reading his favourite comic books.

 

He did nothing but laugh and laugh each day for one whole month. He also wrote original jokes which he would read aloud to himself then laugh like crazy. He noticed that every time he laughed, his pain was eased.

 

At the end of one month, Cousins returned to the hospital for a checkup. To the surprise of the medical staff who examined him, they found no trace of the dreaded disease. He was completely cured!

 

Doctors today acknowledge there is a direct link between attitude and our health. Yet God told us this in proverbs centuries before.

 

Anger, unforgiveness, bitterness and worry are all widely acknowledged as attitudes that will have a detrimental affect on our health.

 

However the Bible also tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) so we realise that true joy comes from knowing Him.

 

To a large extent we choose the attitude we will adopt every day.

 

Don’t let the stresses of life dictate your attitude.

 

Nick Vujicic a Christian, who was born without arms or legs said this;

 

‘Whether your life is happy or not is your own choice. Many people think I can't live a normal life. I could choose to believe that and give up trying…I choose to be happy. I am happy because I am always thankful’

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

DECLARATION 17: I declare that I will face life with a thankful attitude.

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
- Proverbs 16:18-19

Day Sixteen: Humilty - Controlled strength

 

The Bible tells us (Numbers 12:3) that Moses was the meekest (most humble) man in all the earth.

 

Yet Moses was the leader of a nation of millions. He faced a hostile tyrant called Pharaoh and was instrumental in leading a nation of slaves out of captivity to a place of freedom.

 

The world around us may tend to think of a humble person as one who just bows to the circumstances and gets over run by life.

 

Christians are often portrayed in movies as insipid, weak, joyless ’preachers’ who are against everything.

 

However the Greek ‘praus' for “meek” (humble) means controlled strength, a suppleness like that of an athlete.

 

It is also a picture of a magnificent stallion that has been ‘broken’ able to carry it’s rider into battle i.e. strength under control.

 

William Wilberforce campaigned tirelessly as a politician in England in the 1700’s for the abolition of slavery. For 40 years he faced relentless personal attacks and hostility but by 1833 over 700,000 slaves had been set free.

 

Wilberforce became a totally committed Christian who had submitted his strength and ability as a politician to God. His life became a picture of strength under God’s control - a humble man who achieved great things.

 

There is a promise that if we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He will exalt us in due time  (1 Peter 5:6).

 

All of your God given strengths and abilities have a purpose to make a difference in your world.

 

The potential to impact your world is enormous as you recognise where your strength comes from.

 

Submit everything to Him and be amazed at what He can do through you.

 

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.

DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.

DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.

DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.

DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.

DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.

DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

DECLARATION 16: I declare I will humble myself under God’s hand.

The way of life winds upward for the wise, That he may turn away from hell below.
- Proverbs 15:24

Day Fifteen: Onward and Upward

There is a mountain road in China called ‘Big Gate Road’ or ‘The Avenue Toward Heaven’ that consists of 99 hairpin turns.

It takes 10km of navigating the road to climb just 1100 metres.

There may be times in your life’s journey that you feel like you are going around and around the same mountain. You may be facing an ongoing situation that doesn't appear to change.

This proverb however tells us that when we put our lives into God’s hands and follow Him, the road of life leads upward.

It may seem that we are seeing the same thing over and over again but with every twist and turn know that we are learning and growing and getting nearer to our destination.

The Bible tells us that ‘all things works together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28)

In ‘the moment’ we cannot always see progress, in fact it may even appear we are going the wrong way.  It would certainly appear that way on some of the turns up that mountain in China.

However when you look back from where you have come you can see that you have made progress and are moving closer to the top.

In our society we get used to having instant communication, instant downloads of resources - we don’t even have to go to the shop, we can order online.

We would love to have a high speed elevator to get us to our destination instantly, but growth and maturity are a process which by the way, is well worth it.

Also, the mountain climb has some magnificent views on the way unless totally distracted by the bends.

Take time to appreciate the scenery on your journey to the top - life is not just bends in the road it is a journey leading upward.

 



DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.
DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.
DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.
DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.
DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.
DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.
DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.
DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.
DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.
DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.
DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.
DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.
DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.
DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem.
DECLARATION 15: I declare that my life is moving upward.

Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.

- Proverbs 14:4

Day Fourteen: Choose your focus

Imagine if babies were born nappy trained, able to feed themselves, able to talk - in effect, a grown up in a tiny body???

 

Reality says that does not happen and will not happen.

 

Our Impact family is seeing a number of new babies coming into the world and there is a lot of joy associated with every birth.

 

However with the joy of a new birth comes the other ‘joy’ of changing dirty nappies, cleaning up messes and other normal baby stuff.

 

The proverb we have just read basically says ‘If you want a clean stable don’t get any oxen’.  OR If you want a ‘poo-free’ life, don’t have babies.

 

Where do we get the idea that fruitfulness is without mess?

 

Whenever you birth something new, when you make changes in life to progress further, when you determine to follow Jesus all the way, you can be sure there will be some ‘mess’ associated.

 

However new parents don’t focus on the mess, they focus on the new life that has come into their lives. They focus on the first smile, the first word, the first steps and get excited about the growth that is taking place.

 

The messy stuff is just accepted as part of the journey.

 

We can learn from this in the way we approach life and accept that there will be some messes, but the key is to focus on the way forward instead of the mess.

 

What we focus on will very much determine who we become and ultimately the direction we take toward our future.

 

Today is a good day to focus on and be excited about what God is doing in you and through you, knowing He is for you every step of the way.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.
DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.
DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.
DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.
DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.
DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.
DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.
DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.
DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

DECLARATION 14: I declare I will focus on the prize not the problem

He who walks with the wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

- Proverbs 13:20

Day Thirteen: Choose well who you walk with

 

 

Many parents will be able to identify with a child coming home and noticing a shift in behaviour or language at which point Mum or Dad asks ‘Who have you been hanging around with?’

 

The point? Who kids hang around with can have an influence on their behaviour.

 

However this doesn’t just apply to kids - it just as true for adults.

 

Now it is true that Jesus said we are to love our enemies and we definitely need to be friendly and accepting of people.

 

However who we consistently choose to spend our time with, and who we walk closely with will affect who we become.

 

In Acts 4:13 people were amazed at the disciples Peter and John and ‘realised they had been with Jesus’. Who they hung out with profoundly affected their lives and they became more and more like Jesus.

 

If you were to live in another country for a period of years - even though you may not recognise it - when you return home people will notice a change in your accent.

 

Who you choose to walk with will affect behaviour, speech, attitudes, growth and your ability to accomplish what God has called you to.

 

Billy Graham is without doubt one of the most successful evangelists the world has seen.

 

Part of the reason for his longevity and fruitfulness of ministry has been who he had chosen to walk with for decades.

 

One of his team said said ‘fellowship, laughter and prayer were part of what kept them united. They would eat together, take walks together and plan together’. The team stayed together for decades and saw millions saved.

 

Do you want to be wise? Today is a good day to choose the right people to walk with.

DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.
DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.
DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.
DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.
DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.
DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.
DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.
DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.
DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

DECLARATION 13: I declare I will choose to walk with the wise.

A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man's hands will be rendered to him.

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health

Proverbs 12:14,18

Day Twelve: Words have Power

Isn’t it interesting how well we can remember words that were spoken over us even as far back as childhood days.

 

There are words that have ‘stuck’ with some people for decades and still to this day stir up either positive or negative emotions when they think of them.

 

Whether we like it or not, words spoken create something as they are declared. Prov 18:21 says Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

 

Therefore it is so important that we think before we speak.

 

I am sure all of us at some time have regretted words that ‘just came out’ of our mouths and we instantly wished we could take them back. Trouble is they can't be taken back’.

 

That means at times it is best not to say anything.

 

Now we may say words occasionally we regret, but it is worth considering the question ‘What pattern of words come consistently from my mouth?’

 

Are they positive, faith filled, encouraging words or can they tend to negative, critical or discouraging?

 

Words spoken not only affect others but they have a profound impact on who we are personally.

 

For example if a habit pattern develops saying ‘I can’t’, ‘If only’, ‘Why me?’, ‘I always mess up’…, it will affect our ability to overcome in life.

 

On the other hand declaring what God has said about us will radically affect our ability to grow in God and overcome. As Paul said ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’.

 

If there are words that still ‘haunt’ you from the past whether yesterday or 30 years ago?

 

Today would be a good day to drown them out with words of life and truth.



DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.
DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.
DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.
DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.
DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.
DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.
DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.
DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.
DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

DECLARATION 12: I declare I will speak words of faith and life.

The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.

Proverbs 11:3, 10

Day Eleven: Integrity

It has always been interesting to me that some people in society who ‘live like the devil’ still expect that people in authority should be honest and of good character.

 

Some time ago a person came to me who did not agree with my Christian convictions and had gotten into a situation where he needed help.

 

Instead of going to ‘friends’ and acquaintances’ he came to me and said ‘I need someone I can trust’.

 

Never underestimate the value of being a person of character and integrity.

 

You may even feel like you are not doing much practically, but when you walk in integrity you are like a lighthouse in a stormy world.

 

It is very true that ‘people watch people’. We all draw conclusions about others as we watch them, and others watch you and draw conclusions about you.

 

Don’t worry, none of us will walk this journey perfectly, but when we walk consistently in integrity others will notice, and although they may not agree with you, will recognise they can trust you.

 

There are those in our community who are looking for a ‘safe’ place and that place we recognise ultimately is in Jesus. However before they find Him they may need to find a safe place in you and from there they may find Him.

 

Psalm 1 compares the Godly to trees whose leaves do not wither and are fruitful.

 

A strong tree can be a place of shelter and a safe haven from a storm.

 

Today you can be that place for someone as you walk in integrity.



DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.
DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.
DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.
DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.
DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.
DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.
DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.
DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.
DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

DECLARATION 11: I declare I will choose to live with integrity.

He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.
- Proverbs 10:4-5

Day Ten: Diligence pays off

My brother is a bricklayer and some years ago he had a young lad come out with him on ‘work experience’.

The lad had obviously asked for the privilege of getting some ‘on the job’ experience and practical training.

However on the first day he was asked to wheel a wheelbarrow of cement from the mixer to which he replied; ‘I don’t have to do that - I know my rights’.

Needless to say his ‘work experience’ was very short-lived.

In a world that often focuses very much on a sense of entitlement and knowing our ‘rights’, we can lose sight of the fact that we have been created to be productive.

Advertising will often promote ‘shortcuts’ to results and that can include anything from diets to lotteries. Statistics tell us however that the majority of lottery winners do not end up happier in life - many lose it all.

Truth is, anything worthwhile pursuing in life will take some level of diligence and often hard work.

Crops do not sow themselves, the dishes do not automatically get done and in case you hadn’t noticed muscles do not automatically strengthen if you do nothing.

God created the heavens and the earth over a six day period and then the Bible says He rested. So even God works. But at the end He surveyed His work and He saw that ‘It was good - in fact very good’. (Gen 1:25)

When you are consistently diligent with what God gives you - time, talent and treasure - there is reward that comes.

Along with reward however is a sense of purpose, a sense of achievement and you can look back and ‘see that it is good’.



DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.
DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.
DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.
DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.
DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.
DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.
DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.
DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.
DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

DECLARATION 10: I declare I will be diligent with my time, talent and treasure.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding
- Proverbs 9:10

Day Nine: Keep it simple

How often do we make simple things complicated?

One of the most frustrating tasks can be the assembly of a flat pack which has ‘instructions’ written by someone with a very poor grasp of (in our case), the English language.

What was meant to be a simple task just got very complicated because of poor instructions.

If you look closely at the words of Jesus you will find that His instructions for living are not complicated.

In fact they were at times so simple the religious people of the day didn’t get them, because they loved complicating things with rules and regulations.

It is very easy to over analyse, overthink or over theologise to the point that we lose sight of the simple truths of what God intends for us.

Human nature often says however ‘Surely there must be more to it than that’.

Yet one day Jesus brought what appeared to be a complicated argument down to ‘Love God and love people’.

That simple phrase, He went on to say, covers ALL of of the the law and the prophets.

What we do realise however is that just because something is simple does not mean it is always easy.

Loving people is a simple instruction but we are all aware it is not always ‘easy’ to do that. The good news is that we have been given all of the grace we need to do exactly that.

The old ‘Nike’ motto was ‘Just do it!!’

Instead of over analysing and complicating things, today is a good day to take what Jesus says and ‘Just Do It’.



DECLARATION 1: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.
DECLARATION 2: I declare God’s understanding is coming to me.
DECLARATION 3: I declare God is directing my paths.
DECLARATION 4: I declare God has a purpose for my life.
DECLARATION 5: I declare God is a good God who provides.
DECLARATION 6: I declare God is illuminating my path.
DECLARATION 7: I declare I will treasure God's commands.
DECLARATION 8: I declare my treasure is eternal.
DECLARATION 9: I declare I will take God at His word.

For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
- Proverbs 8:11

Day Eight: What is it you treasure?

I once heard a commentator on economics theorise that if all the wealth in the world was divided equally, within a few years most of those who had wealth previously would have it back and those who didn’t would lose it.

 

Regardless of whether this would be true for everyone, the thinking behind the statement is;- those with the wisdom in this area will use that wisdom to regain what they lost. Those who don’t have the wisdom will lose what they have just been given.

 

Rubies may look stunning and money is very helpful in providing for daily needs, even for kingdom purposes, but true treasure is not actually found in those things.

 

The old comic book character Scrooge McDuck had a money bin full of money, but was miserable.

 

The true treasure is in the wisdom God gives us to use those things wisely rather than be used by them.

 

True treasure is more often than not found in the things that are unseen.

 

You can’t take love to the bank and deposit it - but it will absolutely make a difference in the lives of those you give it to.

 

You can’t put wisdom in a can and ‘cash it in’ somewhere - but it will be a blessing to those you share it with.

 

How do you put a value on honesty, integrity, compassion, character, faithfulness and faith?

 

Apostle Paul writes 2 Corinthians 4:18  … we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.. the things unseen are eternal

 

If you want to do a valuation of your ‘assets’ there is a good question you can ask yourself  i.e. ‘How will this make a difference for eternity and what kind of legacy will I leave behind?’

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

Declaration Day Two: I declare God's understanding is coming to me.

Declaration Day Three: I declare God is directing my paths.

Declaration Day Four: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

Declaration Day Five: I declare God is a good God who provides.

Declaration Day Six: I declare God is illuminating my path.

Declaration Day Seven: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

Declaration Day Eight: I declare my treasure is eternal.

My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye.
- Proverbs 7:1-2

Day Seven: What do you desire?

As you read through this particular proverb, the consequences of making bad decisions becomes obvious.

 

Growing up you may have heard an adult say ‘Don’t touch the stove - it’s hot and you might burn yourself’.

 

In a similar way that’s what much of this proverb says - ‘Don’t do that or you will get burned’.

 

While understanding those consequences is good, it can be counterproductive to focus only on why I should not do something.

 

If the focus is only on what I can’t do, life becomes about rules and what I am missing out on. That will just be hard work.

 

A better question to ask is why I should do something, and that brings us back to a deeper question which is - ‘What consequences or outcomes do I want in my life?’

 

In our Impact gyms there are many people who are focusing on particular personal goals for their physical well being.

 

And yes, the desire to be fit and healthy will mean avoiding certain foods or habits, but the majority of the focus is on doing the right exercises, eating the right food and having the right mindset.

 

Do you desire life? Do you desire abundant life as Jesus put it?

 

Today may be a good day not to focus too much on the the ‘Why not?’ questions, but instead on the ‘Reasons why I should’ statements’.

 

For example ‘I want to be fit therefore I will exercise my body’, I want to be healthier so I will eat healthier meals’, I want to LIVE!! so I will follow God’s instruction for my life’ (Proverbs 7:2)

 

Psalm 37:4 tells me that when I delight myself in the Lord He will give me the desires of my heart.

 

Simply put - a focus on Godly principles produces life giving results.

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

Declaration Day Two: I declare God's understanding is coming to me.

Declaration Day Three: I declare God is directing my paths.

Declaration Day Four: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

Declaration Day Five: I declare God is a good God who provides.

Declaration Day Six: I declare God is illuminating my path.

Declaration Day Seven: I declare I will treasure God's commands.

My son, keep your father's command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you. For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,

- Proverbs 6:20-23

Day Six: Light of the World

We can all probably identify with getting up in the middle of the night when it is so dark you can't see where you are going.

 

The sense of disorientation, uncertainty, even anxiousness is worse if you are staying in an unfamiliar house.

 

There is always great relief when you find a light switch, turn on the light, and you can see where you are.

 

Too many people walk through life as though they are walking in the dark and they don’t know how to turn on the light.

 

Jesus however said ‘I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness' .  

 

I have an LED torch in our pantry and if the power goes out, I know where to find that torch.

 

In our spiritual life we need to know where the light source is.

 

When I feel disoriented or confused or can’t see the way forward I need to know where to go to find light for my situation.

 

Never underestimate the light available to us when we go to the word of God - the Bible - and let it illuminate our path.

 

Just as electricity powers a light bulb, the Holy Spirit will illuminate the Word of God to us as we open it up and prayerfully meditate on it.

 

It’s like going to the light switch in a dark room and declaring ‘I will not live in darkness but I will walk in light’.

 

Today is a good day to let the light of God’s word shine into your life.

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

Declaration Day Two: I declare God's understanding is coming to me.

Declaration Day Three: I declare God is directing my paths.

Declaration Day Four: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

Declaration Day Five: I declare God is a good God who provides.

Declaration Day Six: I declare God is illuminating my path.

Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well.
- Proverbs 5:15

Day Five: The grass is not always greener

I remember as a kid standing in a green wheat paddock on my grandparents’ farm.

As I looked across the fence to the crop next door it looked like a much better crop.

However when I climbed over the fence and looked back, the crop I just came from looked better, in fact the one I had just moved to looked pretty sparse.

The nature of temptation is to cause us to not appreciate what we have and to put something in front of us that ‘looks’ better, but is not legitimate.

Temptation will always look better, easier, quicker and ‘apparently’ more desirable, but pursuing it comes with ‘a sting in the tail’.

Even that insignificant venture into the neighbour’s property as a kid made me feel a bit guilty for being in his crop.

There is a legitimate God given desire to live a blessed life and that blessing is found in God’s way and in His timing.

Blessing that comes legitimately will always be exactly that - a blessing - with no guilt attached.

The fact is all of us will be tempted with something at some time. What I do with that temptation is what will determine my future.

Something we can all do to deal with temptation is to learn to appreciate what God has already given us.  

1Timothy 6:6  … godliness with contentment is great gain.

Today is a good day to look at what you already have with fresh eyes and appreciate that God will always give you His best.

You don’t have to look somewhere else for it. Contentment is found in Him and what He gives us.

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

Declaration Day Two: I declare God's understanding is coming to me.

Declaration Day Three: I declare God is directing my paths.

Declaration Day Four: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

Declaration Day Five: I declare God is a good God who provides.

Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
- Proverbs 4:25-27

Day Four: Avoid Deadly Distractions

Something that has become not only a fining offence but a potential death trap is to be distracted by a mobile phone while driving.

 

Too many accidents resulting in injury or death have occurred because of this deadly distraction.

 

When setting out for a particular destination the intention is always to arrive safely at the place we want to go, so it is vital we keep our eyes on the road.

 

So too all of us would like to have the life God intended for us to have, to walk the path chosen for us, and to arrive safely at our eternal destination.

 

The wisdom we have just read tells us we are to keep looking straight ahead to the path God has set before us.

 

We have so many good things available to us in life and we live in a world where we are presented with all kinds of options we could pursue - both good and bad.

 

The question however is ‘ Where do I want to be at the end of the journey?’.

 

When I am in the driver’s seat, I cannot afford to be distracted by looking intently at the wonderful scenery that is out the side window.

 

Sometimes the ‘good’ can be the enemy of the best.

 

For example the phone is not the ‘enemy’, only when it is used at the wrong time and has become a distraction. In fact you can pull over to the side of the road briefly, use it safely and it does not distract you from the journey.

 

We all have the ability to choose what will become a distraction. The important question we have to ask is ‘Will this get me to my destination in life or distract me, even derail me?’

 

What will you choose today?

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

Declaration Day Two: I declare God's understanding is coming to me.

Declaration Day Three: I declare God is directing my paths.

Declaration Day Four: I declare God has a purpose for my life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 
- Proverbs 3:5-8

Day Three: No Plan B

In life we sometimes talk about having a ‘Plan A’ and a ‘Plan B’.

 

For example at an outdoor wedding it is probably a good idea to have plan B in case the weather turns cold and wet.

 

When it comes to the wedding vows the only plan most couples have in mind is that they are committed to the plan to live life together ‘until death do us part’.

 

However we now have instances where some couples marry with a prenuptial  agreement already in place. In other words, there is a ‘Plan A’ to be married for life, but ‘Plan B’ is also ready to go in case it doesn’t work out’.

 

In effect that means there is not a 100% commitment to work at plan A.

 

Proverbs 3:5-8 gives us a plan for life which is ‘To Trust in the Lord with all your heart, to acknowledge Him in all your ways and to fear the Lord’

 

We could refer to this as Plan A which is God’s intention for us. If we have a Plan B as a backup it could look like;-  ‘To lean on my own understanding and to be wise in my own eyes’.

 

I wonder how many times we have reverted back to plan B.

 

If God’s plan is Plan A for our lives, having a plan B will always limit your commitment to God’s plan A.

 

Committing to only God’s plan will keep you focused because it takes away the options.

 

You may have heard the phrase ‘To burn your bridges behind you’. The phrase comes from an old military strategy where an advancing army would deliberately burn bridges behind them so it took away the option of retreat.

 

Today may be a time to ‘burn’ some bridges (plan B) and commit to going forward in God’s plans for my life.

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

Declaration Day Two: I declare God's understanding is coming to me.

Declaration Day Three: I declare God is directing my paths.

turning your ear to wisdom, and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight, and cry aloud for understanding, 
- Proverbs 2:2-3

Day Two: Pursue Understanding

Someone once made a comment regarding my faith and trust in God, declaring that I had somehow been ‘brainwashed’.

 

The implication was that to become a Christian we needed to throw our brains out and not think for ourselves.

 

However God has created us with the ability to think and to reason and has indeed given to us a spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)

 

Proverbs 2:2-3 tells us that we can have the understanding and discernment we need for every area of life.

 

People find themselves in all kinds of trouble when they fail to understand why they should or should not act in certain ways.

 

A young man was complaining one day about his lack of friends. ‘No-one is friendly to me’, he complained.

 

The wise man he was complaining to responded; ‘Have you been friendly?’

 

The young man had a ‘lightbulb’ moment where he understood why he was having difficulty.

 

To his credit he changed his approach, was more friendly, and made friends.

 

Proverbs 18:24 says a man who has friends must show himself to be friendly

 

From time to time we all need ‘lightbulb’ moments where we understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’, but to truly receive understanding we must also be intentional about it.

 

The words ‘apply’, ‘seek after’, ‘cry out for’ understanding are all active not passive.

 

God will give us the understanding we need for marriage, work, relationships, finance, life… but it is also up to us to desire, ask for, and pursue it.

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.

Declaration Day Two: I declare God's understanding is coming to me.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

- Proverbs 1:7-8

Day One: Wisdom To Change Your Life

Do you remember a time when growing up, you did not listen to instruction from a wise person and it did not end well?

 

Like the teenager who decides to buy his first car based solely on how it looks, and Dad, a seasoned mechanic advises it may not be the best decision. The teenager goes ahead anyway and a few weeks later needs a tow truck because it has broken down.

 

The choices we make in life will definitely determine what our future looks like. Therefore those choices need to be based on wisdom if we want to experience the future God has planned for us.

 

The book of proverbs is filled with the wisdom and instruction of our heavenly Father and you can be sure that instruction is always for our benefit. He really does want the best for you!!.

 

Just as the manufacturer of a product issues an instruction manual to get the most of that product our heavenly Father has given us a ‘manual for life’.

 

The joke has often been that guys aren’t good at reading the instructions before assembling a DIY project from IKEA.

 

There can also be times that we may not be so good at reading or heeding the ‘instructions for life’ so readily available in God’s word.

 

However it is not just about hearing instruction, it is also about applying that instruction to our everyday lives.

 

If we can do that, our lives will be established on solid ground and will weather the storms of life, and experience the blessing of God. (Matthew 7:24)

 

At the beginning of this devotional series you have the opportunity to decide to receive instruction from our Father who knows best.  And having decided, it can then help to declare it because you are then committing to a course of action.

Declaration Day One: I declare God's wisdom and instruction is guiding my life.