Time Flies

I’m sitting at Starbucks and a lady walks in with an 8 month old baby. The guy next to me (an old retired guy playing video games on his iPad) must know her somehow, or he’s seen her (he seems like a regular). Asks how things are going. They exchange small talk. She says, ,”Can you believe he’s 8 months old already?” to which the man replies, “Time flies.”

My mind goes back to when my oldest son was 8 months old. In 18 days he’ll be 18. I can vividly remember him being 8 months old and can recall so many incredible memories in the 17 and a half years that have transpired since those days when he was my baby boy.

Now I’m holding back tears at Starbucks as I think about how much he’s grown and how proud I am of him. Life is such a mystery. We don’t realize what it really means to make the days count.

Fast forward in my brain to when I’m the old guy playing video games at the coffee shop and someone walks in with an 8 month old. My almost 18 year old will probably be almost my age. It’s probably not that far away, but you better believe I’m going to make the most of the time I have between now and then.

Bible Verses About God’s Will for My Life

Throughout my years of working with young people, one of the most often discussed questions is, “How to find god’s will for my life.”

Many middle school, high school, and college students who desire to follow God’s word are seeking God’s guidance for their lives, and they are usually asking those around them how to find it out to find God’s plan. Unfortunately, we adults can’t often help young people understand God’s will because we struggle with it ourselves. There are a lot of questions that come to mind the more you walk through life. In good times and difficult times, going to God’s Word is the first step to find the peace of God that passes all understanding.

So in this brief blog post, I want us to focus on God’s guidance in the Bible to find out what it says about God’s will for His people. I want to do more than just give you a list of verses because I really want to help you find the will of the lord for you as a child of god. So let’s take a look at these scripture references together and see what they say about God’s will. See the verses below (italicized) and my commentary on them.

Encouraging Bible Verses about God’s Will

God’s purposes stand forever. Proverbs 33:11 says, “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” – something that this verse tells me is that God is working throughout all generations. The spirit of God is working in the world whether I think He is or not. It might be a little thing to recognize, but as you seek God’s will, you can be confident that His purpose will stand forever (even in hard times).

Those who do God’s will live forever.

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or anything in the world.If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Doing God’s will is important. It is directly opposed to the love of the world. Love God more than the world. Seek Him because He is eternal.

God’s Will is that He be glorified.

1 Peter 2:13-15 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (King James Version).

In submitting to others, God will be praised, which is His will and results in silencing ignorance and foolishness.

Bible Verses to Help You Find the Will of God

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of god, 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.

Be willing to give God yourself. Worship Him with all of your life. Avoid this world’s patterns and allow Him to transform your mind (by the renewal of your mind). As you get closer to His mind, you will know what is His will.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t trust only your own understanding. Seek after God’s will (which is why you’re on this post, right?). He is faithful to show you His will.

Proverbs 15:22 tells us: For lack of counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.

Ask trusted people (who are also seeking God’s will) for advice, especially when you think you may have an idea of what you should do (See below).

Bible Verses to Help You Do the Will of God

Hebrews 13:20-21 – Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

God will equip you to do His will.

Psalm 90:17 – May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands.

God will point you in the right direction and establish the work of your hands. 

Practical Steps to Find the Will of God

  1. Walk in His Ways. The best ways to actually find the will of God for the unknown parts of your life is to follow Him in the known parts of your life. What I mean by that is taking one step of obedience (by obeying the Bible) and then taking the next step as God shows it to you. You and I don’t have to have it all figured out, but a Biblical principle is that we need to be obedient in the little things in order to be able to obey in the bigger things.
  2. Pray. You don’t have to have it all figured out, but praying is a good first step. A simple prayer to pray is, “O Lord, what do you want me to do.” I made a video about this prayer that I believe will change your life.
  3. Ask counsel. Those Christians around you will help guide you into the truth. Ask church leaders, mentors, and those around you to help you find the right thing to do. God has given us a community of believers to help us when we don’t know what to do.
  4. Present yourself to Him and allow Him to transform your mind.
  5. Seek Him. Call on the name of the lord. He will show you his good purpose for your life. Seek Him and his Kingdom (like it says in Matthew 6:33 – Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you).

I hope these verses help you and your kids as you seek God’s will for your life.

Best Marriage Devotional for Christian Couples

Best Marriage Devotional

God’s Word is the foundation of a christian marriage. Or at least it should be.

Married couples who want to honor God and have a strong marriage must seek biblical wisdom through individual daily prayers and regular devotional times. But besides individual daily devotions, one of the best ways to have a successful marriage and foster a lifelong love is to spend couple time seeking god’s design for marriage, praying together and studying the Word of God.

I know what you’re thinking…what about busy couples who don’t have time for quiet times together? Or maybe you’re thinking that these sound like good things, but that you already have a healthy marriage. I do believe that many marriage relationships can be successful without spending a long time studying the Bible together, but if you’re looking to get on the same page about important topics such as parenting, finances, or other topics, studying the Bible together can be a great marriage resource.

One obstacle many couples face when seeking to spend time together in God’s Word is the large number of couples devotionals on the market. There are many that give fresh insight into how to have a happy marriage, and we don’t have time or space to talk about them all in this article, but I want to give you a few that might be great for your marriage, and then I want to give you an important tip on implementing these and moving towards a love story that seeks to follow the Holy Spirit even in a crazy stage of life.

Best Marriage Devotionals

Instead of reviewing a ton of devotionals, I’m just going to talk about what I believe are four of the best devotionals on the market at this time. You can search on Amazon for more, but I know these four are great for christian couples. (By the way, the links below are affiliate links, meaning if you click and buy one, I get a small percentage of the sale.)

The Meaning of Marriage: A Couple’s Devotional: A Year of Daily Devotions by Timothy Keller and Kathy Keller – In these daily devotional readings, the Kellers draw on years of marriage (they’ve been married for over 43 years) as well as biblical insights to help both husband and wife with their spiritual growth. This book could easily be used for a year of devotions, and it helps with Bible studies and practical tips to improve your marriage and have a better relationship.

Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples by Gary Thomas – This book gives weekly couples devotions for those who are newly married or who have been married for a while now. This devotional is a wonderful way to get started spending time together and seeking God’s purpose for your marriage. Since it’s only once a week, this might be a great way to begin spending time in God’s Word as a couple.

The Love Dare Day by Day: This devotional is an extension of the original book and builds on the Scriptural principles of the love dare. It includes weekly dares and daily readings. The premise of the love dare is unconditional love, and the idea is very practical and would work for couples who are seeking practical ways to implement God’s Word in their everyday lives.

A Couple’s Guide to a Growing Marriage: A Bible Study by Gary Chapman is a devotional designed to help couples grow together instead of growing apart. It focuses on these things: Invite God into the details of your life and marriage, listen in ways that deepen intimacy and friendship, understand your spouse and be understood, keep your love fresh and mutually engaging, and manage conflict constructively, not destructively. These principles are important if we are to live out God’s purpose for our marriages.

BONUS TIP: If you struggle with implementing daily devotions with your spouse: Pick a time frame. You don’t have to try to do this every day for the rest of your life. One of the great things about a challenge like The Love Dare is that it is simply a 40-day challenge. You could potentially challenge each other to simply have devotions every day for a month or on Sunday evening or even just one day per month. No matter what you do, I’m sure you’ll find that a thriving marriage has a strong foundation in God’s Word.

What devotionals have you read with your spouse? What’s an obstacle that you face when it comes to spending time together in God’s Word? Let me know in the comments below.


You Don’t Have to “Be Triggered” By Others

I overheard a conversation today where the person was describing a situation in which they were “being triggered” by someone 😡. They responded by getting in a fight and are now going through a lot of consequences of their actions. As they sat there explaining their current situation and all of the things they are going through as a result of this one incident, I thought about “being triggered.”

There are a lot of things that people do or say to us simply to get a response from us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of responding to a negative or instigating comment with one of our own.

I’m guilty. I’ve done it.

But it’s not something we “have to do.” The girl describing the situation made it seem like she had no other choice but to fight back (and, consequently, get the police called on her).

It doesn’t have to be this way.

One of the things I want my kids to understand is that they do not have to “get triggered” by what someone else says or does. Someone else’s negative actions or words do not have to start a spiraling effect where one responds aggressively because they are “triggered.” In fact, the Bible teaches the opposite. The Bible says that a gentle answer turns away anger. We don’t have to respond the way we selfishly want to respond.

My kids need to learn that they can respond with self-control even though the rest of the world says they ought to be triggered or respond either violently or at least confrontationally. A fruit of the Spirit is gentleness and self-control. If we, as God’s children, could just respond to those “triggering incidents” with gentleness and self-control, we would live much better lives and reflect God’s glory to those around us.

This is what I want my kids (and me) to learn, remember, and practice.

Christmas Humility

I recently had the incredible opportunity to preach at Gulfcoast Fellowship in Palm Harbor, FL, (it’s available on Facebook). I preached from Philippians 2, and during the week as I was meditating on the passage, I wrote this: 

“Even if Jesus would have been born to extraordinary fanfare in the most extravagant palace to the most powerful ruler in the modern world, the simple act of the incarnation would have been more humble than the most humble act you or I could ever imagine.”

I invite you to read that phrase again and just sit in it for a minute. 

The reality is that Christmas is the beginning of the ultimate act of humility, which is summed up in “the Christ hymn” in Philippians 2:5-11.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God has called us to be humble like Christ. He has proven over and over again that “Humble obedience is exalted by God.”

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that exalts self-promotion.

Our kids are not wired to put others ahead of themselves. Let’s be honest, neither are we. However, it is the way of God to put others ahead of ourselves and be humble. Thinking not only of our own interests, but also of the interests of others.

Imagine what the world would be like in 10 years if we instilled humility in our kids and a sense of helping others. Something I want for my kids is that they will be humble people who seek to help others. 

As always, the best way for my kids to become people who are humble and seeking others’ interests is for me to model that in my own life and to show them what it’s like to be that kind of person. 

As we continue in the advent season and seek to lead our families well, my prayer is that I can be an example of humility and obedience to my children.

I want them to see me serving others. I want them to see in me the same mind that was in Christ Jesus, and I ultimately want them to have that as well, putting others above themselves.

As you run around this last week of Christmas craziness, let me encourage you to put others ahead of yourself and lead your kids to be like Jesus in humility. 


Summer Bucket List for Families

In this video I talk about five principles that will give your family’s summer activities list some clarity.

All the summer bucket list videos and posts make me jealous! The activities might be fun, but before you plan your summer, think through these five principles.