Message: “Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self” – Mike Zizolfo

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

 

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DEVOTIONAL:

If judging others were an Olympic Sport, there’d be millions of gold medalists sitting in churches every Sunday. There’s something about our human nature that makes it so much easier to hear a message and immediately think of someone else who needs to hear it while blithely ignoring the parts that speak directly to us. We’re quick to see the sin in another’s life, but slow to acknowledge our own. 

Joshua tells the people “Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Note he doesn’t say, “Go tell your friends and family all the things they’re doing wrong…” no, he tells them to sanctify themselves. In order for God to do great things for His children, they need to do a gut check – ask “What in my life is out of alignment with God’s will and purpose for my life?” You are not responsible for anyone else’s actions or attitude –not your spouse, not even your children – we all must give account for ourselves. 

When difficult times come – and they will – instead of falling into the trap of self-pity, ask yourself, “What is God trying to teach me through this? What does He want me to understand about myself, about life, about the nature of God?” When we choose self-pity instead of self-reflection, we miss all that God wants to give us in those moments. Learn to receive the blessing of the valley because life isn’t all mountaintop experiences. In fact, the valley is where things grow. Don’t wait until you’re out of the valley to serve Him – look around you and know that God has a purpose for you at this moment. Ask Him to reveal it, then embrace it. 

When you cling to what’s around you as if it were your lifeline, you’ve placed your trust in what is temporary, not what’s eternal. Isaiah reminds us, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Holding on to your “stuff,” whether that’s a toxic relationship, material goods, or the need for fame and power, means that God has to pry them out of your closed first rather than gently taking them from an open hand. Which one do you think is going to hurt more?

Finally, check your heart. What atmosphere are you cultivating in your spirit? What are you expecting God to do in your life? Ask yourself, “What am I supposed to learn at this moment? What is God telling me to let go of and what is He telling me to reach for?”

REFLECTION:

Ask yourself: 

·      Am I focused on my goals, objectives and accomplishments or am I paying attention to my inner-man and God’s command to grow in love, humility and living for the glory of God?

·      Am I open to what God is trying to teach me in the season of life I am in?

·      Am I a good steward of my time, money, and the gifts and talents given to me?

·      Am I surrounding myself with the people who can bring me to the next level of His purpose?

In this season of life, what has been life-giving? What has been life-draining? What is God telling you to release and what is He calling you to embrace? 

What things are presently occupying your mind and heart? What are the possibilities God is laying before you? What is holding you back?

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