Showing posts from February, 2019


for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. Proverbs 24:16 NIV


Failures > Filters  Wait… did you read that title right? I may not be a mathematician and I may or may not have had some less than satisfactory grades in school when it came to mathematics, but that title is correct. I always want to be progressing in my life, my relationships, my career, and most importantly my walk with God. It’s no surprise that we live in a world full of filters. We have rewired our own brains to believe that instead of embracing our failures and learning from them that we can simply put a filter on them. We become so used to pressing a button on a screen to hide our shortcomings that we forget how healthy it can be to fail.  When we start to develop a fear of failure and hide behind our filters we will almost certainly miss God’s calling on our lives. I’m a skateboarder. I have experienced failure more times than I can count. I have the scrapes, cuts, scars, and x-ray images as proof of my failures. While some people may perceive those failures negatively,


Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord ’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 NIV


Purpose > Performance Every devotional I write there always seems to be one topic that really hits home for me. This is that topic. I am a performance-driven person. I find such a joy in completing a task. Especially if it’s a task that is deemed to be impossible.  One thing I’ve learned as a leader is that if I spend my time trying to accomplish an impossible task that was never intended for me to solve, I can miss the purpose that God has for me in that situation. Hopefully somebody reading this can relate! I can focus in on one problem and completely forget about everything else that is going on in my life. I will put my family, friends, and even God “on hold” because I think an issue is only mine to solve. If the devil cannot destroy you, he will distract you. For me personally, the devil will build walls in my life, not to trap me, but to distract me. He will use my selfishness and pride in overcoming a task until I become deaf to the voice of God.  Instead of trying to


Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:9‭-‬10 NIV


Spiritual Investor > Worldly Consumer Do you remember the last big gift you bought for someone? What about the last gift you bought for yourself? I’m writing this devotional on the weekend of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. I am completely blown away by the photos and stories of people who stand in line for hours and literally fight other people for a television set.  When was the last time you spiritually invested in someone? I’m not talking about the short “I’ll pray for you” investment. You know, the investment where you say you’ll pray for someone and then you try to find five seconds during your day to squeeze it in? I’m talking about a spiritual investment where you’re laying hands on someone in prayer, where you’re mourning with someone who is mourning, where you give beyond your means because you have faith that God will provide. Can you imagine if we were excited, waited for hours in line, and fought other people to say “Jesus I know this per


With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. James 3:9‭-‬12 NIV


Heartfelt Words > Hateful Words I read a quote one time that said “Character is how you act when no one else is around.” That’s a crazy thought right? With social media we’re so used to putting a filter on our lives to make ourselves look more impressive to everyone else. Think about the words you say around your friends at church. Now think about the words you say when you’re alone and you stub your toe on the coffee table. Jesus says in the Bible that “..the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart..” (Matthew 15:18)  It’s easy for us to choose words to fool our friends, but Jesus knows every corner of our heart. We’re often given the opportunity to share words that can speak life or speak death. One of the biggest challenges for me when I first became a believer was becoming quick to listen and slow to speak. It was always easy for me to give my opinion and find fault in other people’s plans or goals. Instead, I learned that sometimes less is more.  The


What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 1 Corinthians 14:26 NIV

REAFFIRM FROM RESTORATION: Day 1 ( A New reading plan)

 Worship > Entertainment What kind of church do you go to? Is it a traditional church with robes and an organ or is it a more modern church with an auditorium, big screens, and flashy lights? A lot of churches are trying to find ways to make church fun. I grew up going to a very traditional church, so I find value in those roots, but I also love being able to be a part of an upbeat, Jesus-loving, stranger-welcoming, fun-seeking church. It doesn’t matter if you wear a three piece suit or your favorite pair of Yeezys and some skinny jeans to church, we can still fall into the trap of church entertainment. Instead of being a part of the church, praying with the church, and serving at the church we can believe the lie that the church is made specifically to feed our needs alone. We show up on Sunday (probably a little late), grab our coffee, listen to worship, try to pay attention to the twenty minute sermon, and pray that next week the pastor doesn’t go over twenty minutes. Instea

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 10 verse 1 & 2

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8 NIV

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 10 (last day)

The Best Is Yet to Come No matter who you are … No matter what gifts and talents God’s given you, or the degree to which you’ve developed them … No matter the accomplishments, achievements, or degree of success you’ve already experienced in life … God still has  more  for you. There’s still something to be and do. His very best lies ahead of you. How can I be sure of that? Because if you’re in right relationship with God, what eventually lies ahead for you is eternal life in heaven. You have absolutely no concept of how fantastic heaven is. You may think you know, but anything you know is only a small fraction—if even that—of the way it really is. You have no concept of what it’s going to be like to live in the near presence of God and to have eternity to do all He might ask you to do. As a person with a finite mind and body, you can’t begin to fathom what it’ll be like to live forever in an unlimited mind and body. You may have experienced great love here on this earth, b

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 9 verses 1 & 2

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV (WRITTEN IN RED) This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8 NIV


The Ongoing Pursuit As you begin to pursue your God-given potential, you’ll face immediate challenges in your first steps along this journey toward your eternal destiny. You’ll also face the ongoing, daily challenge of maintaining steadfast growth. I strongly encourage you to do two things:  First , broaden your input, even as you focus your output. Second , accept only the opportunities you know for certain are God’s plan for you. The Lord intends for you to keep learning and having new, godly experiences all your life. The more you fulfill your potential, the more you’ll have a need for input, which includes knowledge and wisdom from others and wisdom that comes from experience and application.  I’d never encourage you to pursue or receive anything that’s contrary to purity or God’s commands. But I strongly encourage you to expand your horizons. Be open to new ways to express your gifts or to serve others. Recognize that you can draw insights from many areas of informati

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 8 verse

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”  Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”  “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.   “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those


Essential #7: Taking God-Approved Risks   If you’re going to pursue your God-given potential, you’re going to find yourself in situations and face opportunities that will require decisions and actions. Some of those decisions and actions may appear risky to you. Your potential is the sum of all possibilities that God has for your life. And the truth is, you’ve absolutely no way to comprehend all of the possibilities that an all-wise, all-knowing, infinite God sees. You cannot know with your finite mind and your limited perspective all that He knows. A significant amount of risk is involved in trusting God in all things, relationships, choices, and decisions. Risk, after all, is part of the very nature of faith: Putting our belief in God whom we can’t see but still experience. Putting our faith in His promise to work all things to our benefit, even if we can’t understand what must occur to get us from where we are to where we hope to be. Putting our faith in the love of God t

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 7 verses 1 - 4

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19 NIV So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, John 11:6 NIV When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:43‭-‬44 NIV Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NIV


Essential #6: A Balanced Schedule Do you talk with God about your schedule? Or do you hurl yourself into an almost frantic routine each day? Do you rush from place to place and chore to chore, thinking that in all of your busyness you’re accomplishing real work or establishing real relationships? The truth is, a balanced schedule is structured according to the purpose that God has established for your life.  In looking to Jesus as our example, He controlled His schedule according to the Father’s plan. His schedule did not rule Him. Furthermore, Christ approached His schedule in three ways that are particularly relevant to us today: Jesus never attempted to justify His schedule or make excuses for any aspect of it. He didn’t say, as many people do today, “I just needed to get away,” or “Please forgive me, but I just don’t have time to …” Jesus lived His entire life without relying on the approval of other people. He sought only to please His heavenly Father and do what God to

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 6 verses 1 - 3

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24‭-‬25 NIV As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV


Essential #5: Right Relationships As you follow the path toward fulfilling your God-given potential, you’ll discover rather quickly that you don’t walk it alone. You’ll not arrive at the fullness of your potential without getting and giving help along the way. No one lives in isolation. All of us have and need relationships. They determine to a great extent how successful and joyful we are. Our relationships make it possible for us to pursue various goals and engage in various activities. And they play a key role in helping us overcome adversities and hardships. All of the previous topics we’ve covered in this reading plan relate to the way you interact with people. The lives of others, in turn, impact your understanding of what it means to live in a forgiven, intimate, pure relationship with God and His children. Through our relationships, we learn what it means to have a clear mind, what it means to have and use your natural and ministry-motivated gifts, and what it means to

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 5 verses 1 - 3

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 1 Corinthians 6:12‭-‬14 NIV Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19‭-‬20 NIV Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV


Essential #4: A Healthy Body You cannot reach your full potential, fulfill the purpose God has for your life, or even make a good effort toward pursuing these, when you’re not right physically. Yet no factor seems to be more overlooked when it comes to your God-given potential. A healthy body is critical to the preparation and execution of the various activities and ministry opportunities the Lord gives you. You  need  a healthy body to fulfill your eternal destiny and achieve God’s best for you. We tend to think of ourselves as having body, soul, and spirit. Our bodies relate to other people and the world around us. Our souls relate to our personhood. And our spirits relate to God. When your body, soul, and spirit are strong and fully committed to the Lord, you can take dominion over certain aspects of the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms. Good health is absolutely necessary for the following: Mental focus Enthusiasm Clear thinking Motivation Perseverance to co

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 4 verses 1 & 2

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4‭-‬8 NIV For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV


Essential #3: Using Your Gifts Your Creator has gifted you in unique and wonderful ways. He’s crafted you with particular abilities and talents. When you develop your God-given attributes and use them to serve other people in love, great things can be accomplished. But if you try to function apart from your talents, or if you attempt to use your abilities in ways God didn’t intend, you’re headed for a life filled with anxiety, frustration, and failure. If you’re going to reach your full potential in life, you must gain an awareness of what the Lord has given you. You must seek to know, develop, and then find God-approved ways to use your God-given talents. The gifts and talents the Father designed for you were bestowed upon you at birth. A true natural gift is present in a person all his life. I cannot begin to tell you all the natural gifts that are part of human beings. But I can encourage you in this: There are thousands upon thousands of natural gifts, many of which are vari

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 3 verses 1 & 2

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5‭-‬8 NIV for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:20 NIV


Essential #2: A Clear Mind The key to having a clear mind is to seek an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We must desire to know and become like Him. He must be our Savior and our Role Model. The apostle Paul declared in Philippians 2:5-8: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Jesus had a very clear understanding of who He was and why He was on the earth. Our Savior regarded Himself as a servant. He humbled Himself before God and was obedient to all of the commands and leading of our heavenly Father. That’s God’s profile for you. If you want to have the mind of Christ, you must see yourself as His servant on earth. The Bible calls u

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 2 verses 1 - 3

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV Blessed are the pure in heart,  for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV


Essential #1: A Clean Heart This reading plan presents seven essentials related to the pursuit of your God-given potential & His purpose for your life. But only one absolute essential relates to your eternal potential:  You must have a clean heart. And by “heart,” I’m referring to your spirit—the place deep within where you relate to God and experience His presence. Why is a clean heart necessary? Simply because you were born with a “bent” away from God. That’s true for every person. All of us are born with a sinful nature—with a focus on self and self-gratification. Every baby clearly demonstrates this from its first breath with cries related to human, physical needs: Feed me! Change me! Hold me!  In the spiritual realm, we’re also born with a focus on ourselves. We want what we want when we want it. We want—and expect—the world to revolve around us. And we want to determine our own destiny and gain control over everything within our grasp.  God sent His only Son, Jes

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 1 verses 1 & 2

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4‭-‬5 NIV your kingdom come,  your will be done,  on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 NIV (WRITTEN IN RED)

PASSION & PURPOSE: Day 1 (New reading plan)

Don’t Settle for Less Are you excited about your life? Or do you feel as if you’re merely existing, drifting along from day to day without any sense of purpose or direction? Through the years, I’ve met countless people who’re living what I call a “settled-for-life.” Somewhere along their journey, they became complacent and content in their circumstances. They settled for what they believed was adequate or satisfactory instead of exerting the effort and work necessary to living a life that’s truly excellent and outstanding. The truth is, it’s easy to find ourselves settled and complacent in life. And there are many reasons we can feel stuck, discouraged, or adrift; lose our enthusiasm for life; and forfeit our hope, sense of purpose, and peace. In my opinion, the foremost reasons are because many people have lost sight of who God made them to be and what He designed them to do. As a result, countless people are not actively, intentionally, and purposefully pursuing what the Fat


Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the

SOUL DETOX: Day 35 (Last Day)

If you're hurting all the time, you can't help hurting other people, but if you will do what it takes to Biblically manage toxic relationships, then you can be strong and share the love of God to people who need to know Him. Strive to manage the toxic relationships in your life, and more importantly, strive to make sure you aren't being the toxic one in your relationships. What are some things you can to do to build healthier relationships in your life?

SOUL DETOX: verse 3

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord ’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

SOUL DETOX: verse 2

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”  Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”  And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14‭-‬18 NIV

SOUL DETOX: verse 1

Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.  We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality


Even though it may not be easy, your toxic relationship may grow to such a dangerous point that you may have to end it. Today you will read more from God's Word about why it is sometimes necessary to end a toxic relationship, and examples of toxic relationships that ended. Why do you think we tend to have more toxic relationships in our lives instead of healthy ones?


Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.  The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notic


Another way to handle toxic relationships is to end them. The Bible is full of examples of people who cut off their toxic relationships such as Joseph and Potiphar's wife in Genesis 39. In what types of circumstances do you feel it would be necessary to end a toxic relationship?


From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.  Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”  Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life  will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person acc


Matthew 16 shows us that one way to manage toxic relationships is to set healthy boundaries in the way Jesus did with Peter. You might need to tell that person that you won't let them talk to you or treat you in a toxic way, or you may simply need to tell them that you are just not going to go to a toxic place in your relationship with them. What types of healthy boundaries do you need establish in your relationships? How will you go about setting those boundaries?


See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.  Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.  Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is


There are three common types of toxic relationships: negative, controlling, and the tempters. Chances are you have experienced all three of these toxic relationships in your life. Chances are that you have been toxic to someone else in one of these three ways. Do as God's Word says and don't let yourself be deceived and led astray by toxic relationships. More importantly, don't be toxic to others because you will lead them astray. What types of toxic relationships do you currently have more of in your life?


Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”  In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instrument


The right people will build you up and lead you towards Christ, but if you are around the wrong people they can be very toxic. They can hurt your soul. They can hurt your relationships. They can lead you into temptation. They can drag you down. They can very easily take you away from God's best. In what ways have toxic relationships polluted your life and your relationship with God?

SOUL DETOX: Day 29 verse

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all


The people in your life can be one of the most important spiritual assets or be one of your worst curses. Those relationships that are a curse to you are toxic. This week you learn from God's Word about the dangers of toxic relationships and the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. "Bad company corrupts good character." Describe a time when you experienced this warning in your life. What did you learn from your experience?


All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves. These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food a


When it comes to cultural toxins, the bottom line is that we must flee from sin and the things that can cause us to sin. Instead, we must strive for a life of purity. Strive for the things that matter to God and not for the things that matter to others. What things do you need to start focusing on that will help you draw closer to Christ?


But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.  They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.  You, however, know all about my teaching, my


When we interpret everything according to God's Word and the purity of His truth, we will realize there are a lot of things people are doing that really don't draw us closer to God. This is why it's important that we test everything according to God's Word because the Bible contains absolute truth. God's Word should be our guide. Why do you think it is so difficult to filter out cultural toxins in today's society?

SOUL DETOX: verse 2

The earth is the Lord ’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;  for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.  Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord ? Who may stand in his holy place?  The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.  They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. , Psalm 24:1‭-‬6 NIV

SOUL DETOX: verse 1

but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.  Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Thessalonians 5:21‭-‬28 NIV


How do you deal with cultural toxins when you encounter them? You test them by asking these questions: 1.) Am I being entertained by sin? 2.) Is this pleasing to God? and 3.) Does this lure me away from Christ? What are some things you can do to completely remove cultural toxins from your life?

SOUL DETOX: verse 2

Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”  And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17‭-‬18 NIV

SOUL DETOX: verse 1

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 1 Corinthians 6:12‭-‬14 NIV


It's very easy to get trapped by cultural toxins because it's easy to rationalize them in our head. Most of us have probably had the following thought: what may be dangerous for you may not be dangerous for me. God's Word says something different. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6 that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. What standards are you using to filter out cultural toxins in your life? How well do you think your standards match God's?

SOUL DETOX: verse 3

(THIS IS WRITTEN IN RED) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes  so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.   “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.   “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If yo

SOUL DETOX: verse 2

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV

SOUL DETOX: verse 1

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6‭-‬8 NIV


When it comes to cultural toxins, a little bit of poison can go a long way. As a result, it's important that we strive to cleanse those toxins from our system before they do long-lasting damage to our lives. Name a cultural toxin that started out in your life as something small, but grew into something larger. How has that growing toxin polluted you?


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is t


The toxic lie so many of us believe is because everyone else does it, it's okay for us and won't harm us. The truth is just because everyone else does it, doesn't mean that it's right for us spiritually. How have you seen toxic influences in your life affect your relationship with God and others?