It’s a New Day: The Choice Is Yours – FaithGateway

It’s a New Day: The Choice Is Yours

Max Lucado
Max Lucado

1 day ago

The choice is yours

It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice.

Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.

I choose love. No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy. I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace. I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience. I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite Him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose kindness. I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I choose goodness. I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.

I choose faithfulness. Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I choose gentleness. Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I choose self-control. I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful-ness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

This devotion is excerpted with permission from Let the Journey Begin by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson.

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Your Turn

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Max Lucado

Max Lucado

More than 100 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

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11 May, 2017 09:45

What to Do Before You Snap

by Joyce Meyer

Today we live in a fast-paced society that seems to be placing more and more demands on us with each passing year. People are hurrying everywhere, and they’re often rude and short-tempered. Many people are experiencing financial stress, marital stress and the stress of raising children. There’s often mental and physical stress on the job caused by overwork. Many times this type of lifestyle causes health problems—adding even more stress.

The word stress was originally an engineering term that referred to the amount of force a beam or other physical support could bear without collapsing. Today the dictionary’s definition of stress includes “mental, emotional, or physical tension; strain, distress.” This is a condition most of us are all too familiar with. Almost everyone is under some kind of stress—it’s a normal part of everyday life.


God created our bodies to withstand a certain amount of daily pressure, so when we push ourselves beyond our limitations, we begin to experience problems. Are you pushing yourself too hard? Many people live in a perpetual state of overload—always on the verge of collapse. They keep stretching themselves to the limit like a rubber band…until one day they snap.

A rubber band has an amazing ability to be stretched to its maximum length and then return to its precise original form, but how many times can it do that without weakening or breaking?

Let’s say you’re working around the house and break a rubber band while trying to stretch it around something. You can’t find another rubber band, so you try to fix the broken one by tying the ends together. Sometimes in our daily lives, we stretch ourselves beyond our capacity, and we snap like the rubber band. We think we’ve fixed the problem by simply tying the ends back together. But soon we fall into the same behavior that caused us to break down in the first place.

When a rubber band you’ve tied breaks again, it usually breaks in a different spot. So you tie the ends together in another knot. In our daily lives, when we keep stretching, breaking and “tying the ends back together,” we begin to feel as though we’re tied up in knots—inside and out!

The solution seems simple—get rid of those things that cause stress. That may work for awhile, but it’s not the final solution. It’s impossible to totally eliminate all the stress from our lives. Our only answer is to adjust our perspective and change the way we respond to the inevitable stresses of everyday life. Over time with repeated exposure to stress, our lives begin to resemble that worn-out rubber band. Exhaustion—both physical and emotional—begins to take its toll. When stress depletes our bodies, our immune system weakens, and sickness (even depression) can set in.

Ignoring God’s laws and His ordained limits for our lives will ultimately cause burnout. You simply can’t continue to overwork your mind, emotions and body without eventually paying the price. Who sets the pace in your life? Do you let the pressures and stresses of everyday life drive you toward burnout? Are you stressed from trying to keep up with everyone else? Are you living under the stress of competition and comparison? Are you a perfectionist with unrealistic goals?

I believe we can live stress free even though we live in a stress-filled world, but it might require some radical decision making. If your life has become a rubber band all tied up in knots, it’s obvious that a change needs to take place. Begin to adjust your perspective to match God’s. Seek His peace and His pace for your life. Respect your body. Treat good health as a priceless gift. Don’t waste the energy God has given you on stress. Save it for living and enjoying life!

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After Reading This I Felt Joy

Keep Calm and Laugh

by Joyce Meyer

Take a moment and think about how you’ve been approaching life. Do you find yourself just trying to make it through the day? If you’re honest with yourself, can you even remember the last time you had a good laugh? Well, I want you to know that the joy of the Lord can ease any emotional and physical pain and bring you a new level of satisfaction in life.

Laughter is the outward evidence of inward joy, and it is proven to make you feel better. I once heard someone say that laughter is like internal jogging, and I think that is so true. Laughter improves emotional and mental heath, it lifts our spirits, and it dispels worry. It’s almost impossible to be anxious and laugh at the same time. This is why we would be wise to express joy in laughter every chance we get.


God has given us the ability to laugh for a reason. It may seem like a little thing, but laughter is vitally important in the battle against stress, anxiety, fear and worry. It’s a tool from God that benefits you in so many ways. That’s why the Word of God says:

Then our mouths filled with laughter, and our tongues with singing. Then they said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them. (Psalm 126:2)

He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing. (Job 8:21 NKJV)

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

The Bible says that a happy heart is a good medicine because laughter lifts your spirits, improves your mental, emotional and physical health, and de-stresses your mind. And (here is the best part) . . . it costs nothing. You’ve got a proven, God-given weapon against stress that is free of charge and that you can use at any time, day or night.

Maybe you haven’t laughed — I mean really laughed — in a very long time. If that is the case, it’s probably causing much of the stress you are experiencing today. You will find that you feel better all over after a hearty laugh. Sometimes I feel clean and refreshed after a good laugh. If I am tired and weary from dealing with life’s issues, I often feel like my soul is a dusty closet — stale and in need of fresh air. But when I take the opportunity to have a really good laugh, it seems to “air my soul out,” refreshing me and lifting the load off my tired mind.

You may be thinking, Well, Joyce, I don’t have anything to laugh about! Many times I don’t either, but when you do make the time, you’ll be amazed at how different you will begin to view your job, your family, your relationships, yourself and even your walk with God. You’ll become a person whose first response to stressful situations is faith not fear, joy not sorrow. You’ll be a person like Freddie…

One day the schoolteacher scolded young Freddie, by saying, “Freddie, you mustn’t laugh out loud in the school room.” Freddie responded respectfully by saying, “Sorry, teacher. I didn’t mean to. I was smiling and my smile busted.”

That’s my prayer for you. My prayer is that no matter what you are going through in life that you will remember the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). That you’ll have a smile on your face no matter how intimidating the incident, how stressful the situation or how discouraging the dilemma. And when things get tough, or when you feel like giving up, I pray that your smile would bust. We don’t laugh about our problems, but thankfully, we can laugh as we trust God to take care of them.

24 April, 2017 12:11

The Written Word
by Joyce Meyer

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
—Psalm 119:105

The Bible is written as a personal letter to you. God speaks to you, ministers to your needs, and directs you in the way you should go in His written Word. He tells you what you should do and how you should live.

It is a mistake to think we can hear clearly from God without spending time in the Word. Knowing the written Word protects you from deception. Listening for God’s voice without being dedicated to spending time in the Word on a regular basis opens you up to hearing voices that are not from God. There may be times when God speaks something to you that is outside a specific chapter and verse of the Bible, but it will always be in agreement with His Word.

Tonight, spend time reading a portion of God’s personal letter to you and allow Him to speak to your heart. God’s Word is one of the most precious gifts we have. Treasure it.

From the book Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2004 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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19 April, 2017 18:40

Avoid Worldly Competition
by Joyce Meyer

Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another. —Galatians 5:26

According to the world’s system, the best place to be is ahead of everyone else. Popular thinking would say that we should try to get to the top no matter who we have to hurt on the way up. But the Bible teaches us that there is no such thing as real peace until we are delivered from the need to compete with others.

Even in what is supposed to be considered “fun games,” we often see competition get so out of balance that people end up arguing and hating one another rather than simply relaxing and having a good time together. Naturally, human beings don’t play games to lose; everyone is going to do his best. But when a person cannot enjoy a game unless he is winning, he definitely has a problem—possibly a deep-rooted one that is causing other problems in many areas of his life.

We should definitely do our best on the job; there is nothing wrong with wanting to do well and advance in our chosen professions. But I encourage you to remember that promotion for the believer comes from God and not from man. You and I don’t need to play worldly games to get ahead. God will give us favor with Him and with others if we will do things His way (see Proverbs 3:3-4).

What God does for you or for me may not be what He does for someone else, but we must remember what Jesus said to Peter, “Don’t be concerned about what I choose to do with someone else—you follow Me” (see John 21:22).

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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18 April, 2017 11:34

Break Free from Other People’s Expectations
by Joyce Meyer

Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages). —Hebrews 13:8

Studies show that 10 percent of people will never like you. This means we won’t have a perfect record with everyone and we should celebrate who we are. A person who knows how to do this does not allow the moods of other people to alter theirs.

A story is told of a Quaker man who knew how to live independently as the valued person God had created Him to be. One night as he was walking down the street with a friend he stopped at a newsstand to purchase an evening paper. The storekeeper was very sour, rude, and unfriendly. The Quaker man treated him with respect and was quite kind in his dealing with him. He paid for his paper, and he and his friend continued to walk down the street. The friend said to the Quaker, “How could you be so cordial to him with the terrible way he was treating you?” The Quaker man replied, “Oh, he is always that way; why should I let him determine how I am going to act?”

This is one of the amazing traits we see in Jesus. He was the same all the time. He changed people; they did not change Him.

When an unhappy person is unsuccessful in making you unhappy, they begin to respect and admire you. They see your Christianity is something real, and they may be interested in hearing what you have to say.

Even people who seek to control you will disrespect you if you allow them to do it. I encourage you to be your own person. Do what God expects you to do and don’t live under the tyranny of other people’s expectations.

Trust in Him: Don’t let others determine who you are or what you do. Don’t put your trust in the opinions of people. Stay confident in who God’s called you to be!

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2012 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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17 April, 2017 15:18

Help Hurting People
by Joyce Meyer

He who despises his neighbor sins [against God, his fellowman, and himself], but happy (blessed and fortunate) is he who is kind and merciful to the poor. —Proverbs 14:21

Helping the poor and those who are less fortunate than we are is not only a nice thing to do, but according to the Bible, it is our responsibility. God cares deeply for the poor and needy and seems to have a special place in His heart for the widow and the orphan because they are alone and unable to meet all their needs. God gives us hearts of compassion, but when needs arise we can’t close our hearts—we need to open our hearts and our hands wide to help the poor.

When we give to the poor, the Bible says that we lend to the Lord. Anything we give to help hurting people, God will always return many times over. Not only will He meet our needs, but our joy will increase as a result of giving in love. I urge you to share what you have with those who are less fortunate than you are.

Power Thought: I am always merciful and generous to the poor.

From the book the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2013 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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4 April, 2017 10:42

Getting Off to a Good Start
by Joyce Meyer

Then the Lord said to me,” Arise, begin your journey…”
—Deuteronomy 10:11 NKJV

One way to love yourself is to keep your physical body in shape, and one of the best ways to do that is to be committed to some kind of exercise. I often say the toughest part of a new exercise program is getting started. Following are some extremely simple ways to begin exercise programs that stick.

1. A Daily Walk. Something as simple as walking thirty minutes every day is very beneficial for your health. Do what’s manageable, not what leaves you gasping!

2. Indoor Exercise. You can exercise in the privacy of your own home using a video, or you can take an exercise class.

3. Strength Training. Strengthening your muscles can be done quickly and at home, without any special machines. Sit-ups, push-ups, or lifting simple weights doesn’t take long or cost much, but these things are good for you!

4. Running or Biking. Running and biking are good options, but riding a bicycle is easier on your joints than running.

5. Swimming. Swimming provides a good, gentle cardiovascular workout and works many muscle groups at once.

Start slowly, do your best, and keep it up. Soon you’ll find yourself in better shape!

Love Yourself Today: Take care of your physical body through regular exercise, and do something to get yourself off to a good start today.

From the book Love Out Loud by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

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27 March, 2017 16:00

No one can do it all, all at once. – Karen Ehman

Welcome to the Bible Study of the Week newsletter, where each week we bring you a new and different Bible study and access to the entire first video session for free! If you enjoyed the original 12 Women of the Bible study, which came out five years ago and has been used by women’s ministries around the world, you’re going to love the all-new 12 More Women of the Bible – with video teachings from some of your favorite Bible instructors: Margaret Feinberg, Lisa Harper, Courtney Joseph, Bianca Olthoff, Chrystal Evans Hurst, and more! This first session with Karen Ehman looks at the Proverbs 31 woman, asking the question, “Did she really do it all… all at once?” and encouraging us to “stop letting comparisons be the boss of you.” Enjoy the video!

The Proverbs 31 Woman: How Not to Do It All
by Karen Ehman, from Twelve More Women of the Bible

Key Scripture: Proverbs 31:10-31

Meeting the Proverbs 31 Woman

This woman is unreal! Literally. All of the other women you will meet in this twelve-session study are captured in a real place and time. Each of their stories comes from a particular context and setting in biblical history.

But not the woman portrayed in Proverbs 31. While she may be based on an actual person, the collection of her qualities and attributes are gathered from a lifetime of experiences and lessons learned. is chapter in Proverbs is not grounded on one moment in time. The portrait painted is a highlight reel, a “best of” collection, a top ten list.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is an ideal meant to inspire you to noble living, passionate leadership, humble service, compassionate care, and authentic faith. She is not meant to discourage you by setting the bar too high. Instead, she is a picture of beauty, grace, kindness, industry, and passion for life, meant to give you hope and inspiration. As you read about this woman of noble character, listen for the whisper of the Holy Spirit. God inspired these words to give you something to strive toward — a vision of who you can be. God loves you as you are, but he also calls you to keep growing into the woman you long to be. Let the Proverbs 31 Woman be your example.


Picture perfect! It is an old saying that continues to cut at our heart and soul. When we view another person and see a snapshot frozen in time, we actually believe the image in front of us tells the whole story. It might be a Christmas picture of a family where everyone is smiling, well dressed, and apparently quite in love with each other. Everyone is delighted to be there, and peace is etched on every face. at is what the picture seems to convey.

Snap! There it is… a perfect family, couple, or life.

In recent years, this picture-perfect life has been expanded from one yearly snapshot to weekly or daily posts on social media. These images become a highlight reel of only the best experiences, the most exciting adventures, the most precious moments, and the happiest happenings. When we see these images, we might forget that any life can look glorious if we push the button at exactly the right moment, delete the pictures that did not turn out well, post only the highlights, and bury the mess and pain that surround these digital moments frozen in time.

At first glance, a couple named Carlos and Maria appeared to have such a picture-perfect life. They had a nice home, new cars, and smiles from ear to ear. A couple of times a year, they would host a party at their home and invite friends, neighbors, and church leaders over. It was a guaranteed afternoon of food, games, and laughter. No one knew that when the party was over, the house grew very silent. Maria and Carlos would both retreat to neutral ground and do their best to get along.

Suzette also seemed to have a picture-perfect existence. She loved life, people, and Jesus most of all. She had lots of friends and possessed a heart to serve those in need. Her voice was beautiful, and everyone at church felt drawn into the presence of Jesus when they heard her sing on the worship team. Her joy was real and deep, but so was her loneliness and depression. She let the joy shine for others to see, but she kept the dark days to herself.

Picture-perfect lives, marriages, and families exist only in fantasy. Real lives are a ruggedly beautiful mosaic made of laughter and tears, victory and defeat, confidence and worry, songs and laments, and a host of other highs and lows. This is true in our lives today and equally true of the people who lived in the days the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

Talk About It

Discussion questions…

• Tell a fun story about a picture time with your family that was particularly challenging. How did the picture finally turn out (or not turn out)?

• Tell about a character in the Bible you really appreciate. How is his or her story a combination of both wonderful strengths and honest human struggle?

All of us could have a unique poem written about us. —Karen Ehman

Your Turn

Be sure to visit the blog to watch the video with Karen Ehman, get the rest of the study questions and notes, then share your thoughts on the Proverbs 31 Woman. Are you inspired by her or have you held her picture-perfect life in contempt? What have you learned from Karen’s teaching?

Don’t Miss This Special Offer on Two Amazing Bible Studies

Save 40% off each resource material for the Twelve More Women of the Bible Study

Study Guide Regular Price: $12.99
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About the Twelve More Women of the Bible Study

In this 12-session video Bible study (DVD/digital video sold separately), some of today’s best-loved authors look at the spiritual lessons learned from twelve women in the Bible and what they mean for you today. You will look at these women’s successes and failures, see how they drew near to God in the midst of trials, and learn how they overcame rejection and disappointment. Their stories will inspire you to persevere through difficult times and find joy in the hope that Jesus has provided.

You’ll study the lives of . . .

• The Proverbs 31 Woman: How Not to Do It All – Karen Ehman • Deborah: Fight Like a Girl – Bianca Juárez Olthoff
• The Shulamite Woman: We Had God at Hello – Lisa Harper • Ruth: Staying Focused in a World of Distractions – Chrystal Evans Hurst • Puah and Shiphrah: How to Fight Your Fears – Margaret Feinberg • Esther: Letting God Be in Control – Courtney Joseph
• Priscilla: Living a Life of Blessed Ordinary – Karen Ehman • Mary and Martha: Finding Life in Death – Bianca Juárez Olthoff • The Bent Woman: We’ve Got God’s Complete Attention – Lisa Harper
• The Woman with the Issue of Blood: When Persistence Pays Off – Chrystal Evans Hurst • Elizabeth: How to Win the Waiting Game – Margaret Feinberg • Anna: How to Live a Life Devoted to God – Courtney Joseph

Learn more about this study…

Twelve More Women of the Bible Study Guide
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Twelve More Women of the Bible DVD
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Twelve More Women of the Bible Study Guide and DVD
Regular Price: $39.99
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Plus, save 40% off each resource material for the original Twelve Women of the Bible Study

About the Twelve Women of the Bible Study

In this twelve-session small group Bible study, Twelve Women of the Bible, Lysa TerKuerst, Elisa Morgan, Jeanne Stevens and other leaders look at the spiritual lessons learned from twelve biblical women and what they mean for your life today.

You’ll discover lessons from each of these women that will help you persevere through the circumstances you are facing today. Learn how to:

Apply biblical lessons to their own modern-day struggles
Live through their failures as well as successes
Draw near to God in a world filled with trials
Find lasting contentment
Overcome rejection and insecurity
This Participant Guide features discussion questions, background information on each character, space to write down thoughts, a helpful Leader’s Guide, and much more. Sessions include: Sessions include:

Eve: Finding Lasting Contentment in the Truth – Lysa TerKeurst Rebekah: Breaking Free of Feminine Stereotypes – Jonalyn Fincher Leah – Overcoming Rejection and Insecurity – Naomi Zacharias Hannah: Surrendering in Waiting – Amena Brown
Abigail – Dealing with Confrontation in Relationships
Gomer: Learning to Accept Unconditional Love – Jeanne Stevens Mary, Mother of Jesus: Moving from Comfort to Courage – Jeanne Stevens Mary Magdalene: Transforming from Outcast to Follower – Jonalyn Fincher Mary of Bethany: Putting Our Faith into Action – Elisa Morgan Martha: Finding Our Identity in Jesus – Amena Brown
The Woman at the Well: Turning Our Messes into Messages – Lysa TerKuerst
The Syrophoenician Woman: Approaching God with Persistency and Boldness – Naomi Zacharias

Twelve Women of the Bible DVD
Regular Price:$38.99
Sale Price: $23.39
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Twelve Women of the Bible Study Guide
Regular Price: $12.99
Sale Price: $7.79
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Twelve Women of the Bible Study Guide and DVD
Regular Price: $34.99
Sale Price: $20.99
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Learn more about this study…

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