Improve your life with insight from the Bible - 2018

Listen to God

When God warns you about something, it's best to listen!

Do the hard work you are called to do

You are called to do things that are hard and sometimes dangerous. You'll be at your best when you do them. When you don't, you might be so bored that you get into trouble.

Your best path leads to Jesus

People may tell you, after reading the Bible, that someone is unacceptable to God. They are wrong. Ruth is one example of someone unacceptable by the religious standards of the day but beloved by God.

Your past does not determine your future

Rahab the prostitute. That's how she is remembered, even today. But that was her past. It's not her present, and it's certainly not her future. Like Rahab, you can change.

The best route may surprise you

Sometimes people avoid the best route because it looks hard. They don't realize that other routes are just as hard as the best way to go.

You are part of two kingdoms

One kingdom will disappear. The other is eternal. Which one are you spending most of your time on?

Be thankful

When Jesus healed ten lepers, one lesson stands out: Jesus wants us to express thanks to God for the gifts we receive. Another important lesson is more hidden. The ten lepers did not receive what they wanted until they started doing what Jesus told them to do. The evidence that we're on the right path sometimes comes after we start down the path, not before.

Remember God's mercy to you

What you remember is important. When you remember what God has done for you in the past, it reminds you that you can praise God for all that will happen in your future.

To God, all are alive

Jesus says that, to God, all are alive. When you embrace that truth, it will change your life.

You are blessed through Abraham and Sarah

God promised Abraham and Sarah that through them all the families of earth would be blessed. That's quite a legacy!

How will you be remembered?

Some people lie - do not be deceived

What looks real is often manipulated, and it will get worse in the future. Your only hope - besides carefully checking facts - is to get close to God and let God guide you.

Jesus prophesied about you

Prophets see things that other people can't see (yet). One example Jesus and what he said about you.

Do greater works than Jesus

Jesus said something amazing: that people who believe in him will do greater works than he did.

Have mercy on everyone

Jesus makes it simple. You don't have to decide whether someone deserves mercy or not. Jesus wants you to show mercy to everyone, even if they are your enemy.

Achieve your goals

Once you've set good goals:
a) do the work, even when it's hard
b) take action even if you don't think you're ready
c) take action even if others don't think you're ready

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

If deeds of compassion don't move you, Jesus says the only sign you'll get is that of Jonah.

Have mercy for others, like God has mercy for you

Have mercy for others. Be like God, not like Jonah. (Jonah tried to run away rather than help people in trouble.)

After people die they wake up

Daniel learned in a vision that death is not the end. After people die, they wake up - sometimes to eternal life, sometimes to eternal shame.

Your prayers have immediate impact

The Bible reports something surprising: Your prayers have immediate impact, even though the results of your prayers may be hidden for a while.

Keep at it!

What you do matters. From time to time you may need to take a break to stay refreshed. But keep at it. The good you do can produce results centuries from now.

Bumbling toward greatness

Sometimes people think that their highest goal is to become a better - or even a great - version of themselves. But Jill discovered, while struggling for greatness, that she was surrounded by it - and that the greatness she really wanted was God's, not her own.

Don't covet

Your life will be much better if you don't desire things that belong to someone else. Don't desire your neighbor's job - or anything else that is your neighbor's.

Your past doesn't have to be your future

You can learn from your mistakes and from the mistakes of others. You can choose a new path that results in a new future.

Give God praise

Pride can cause you to worship yourself or your accomplishments instead of God. This can lead to disaster. The solution is to give praise to God for all of your life -- even when you don't feel like it.

Be steadfast in danger.

People who follow God will experience persecution. Be steadfast.

Ask God for what you need (God's kingdom is forever)

God can give you great abilities even if others think such abilities are not possible or that you are not ready for them.

Be faithful in small things.

Jesus says if you're faithful in small things (like Daniel was) you can be trusted with bigger things. Daniel shows that a great way to gain victory is to change your environment so it's easy to accomplish your goals.

You can have peace in any situation

You are involved in many conflicts, all the time. Some conflicts are visible, but many are not. Some conflicts are external; many are internal. Even though you are at war on many fronts, you can still have peace.

Don't quit half way

Don't quit half way when you're working on something worthwhile. On the other hand, if you're working on something that's not good, now is the time to stop.

Be courageous

Be brave, and stand up for people in danger.

Trust God's timing

It may feel like things aren't working out in your life, but you can trust God's timing.

Do your best with what you have

God is worthy of our best. So do your best with what you have. Then trust God's forgiveness and mercy.

Ask. Pray. Act.

When you hear bad news, it's helpful to ask for more information. Sometimes things aren't as bad as you're told. Other times they're worse. Ask for more information and talk to God about it before you take action.

Do not fear what others fear

People often fear things that are painful but that won't last. Sometimes these same people have no regard for things that matter and are eternal.

Get advice from trustworthy sources

People often get advice from people close at hand - neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives. But it's better to get advice from people who are trustworthy and know what they're talking about. In some cases, these will be the very friends and neighbors you have already been relying on. In other cases, it might be someone you would not have thought to ask, but someone who will give you better advice.

Contempt won't help your relationships

Some people deserve contempt. If you give them love instead, it will be better for you both, even if it is costly.

Christ is risen

Jesus healed the sick, accepted people that others rejected, forgave people that others wouldn't forgive, had mercy on people who were suffering, and performed dozens of other acts of compassion and mercy. But if people wouldn't accept those signs of God's love, he said the only sign they would get was the sign of Jonah.

God's humility may surprise you

This video starts with encouragement for people designing their own career paths. Then it looks at humility - modeled by Jesus, and recommended for his followers.

Ask God to keep you safe from evil

Jesus encourages you to ask God to keep you safe from evil. The Bible says the evil one desires to harm, kill and destroy.

Ask God to keep you safe from hidden dangers

When you are tempted to do something wrong, you will almost never see the full cost of the action. The price tag will be hidden. Ask God to keep you safe from hidden dangers, taking actions that are harmful to yourself and your community.

Forgive others. Be forgiven.

Forgiveness is not about justice. People who have wounded you may actually deserve punishment. You may have been deeply hurt. But when you forgive, you give them mercy instead of what they deserve.

Jesus says if you don't forgive them, you can't be forgiven yourself.

Ask God for your daily bread

God knows all you need today to be at your best. It's worth it to ask God for help.

God's kingdom is near

Jesus said God's kingdom is near when we heal the sick and do other works of mercy and compassion.

God's valentine to you

Jesus is God's valentine to you, a sign of how deeply God loves you.

Believe in Jesus

Jesus says God wants all who see Jesus to believe in him and have eternal life.

God is investing in you

Jesus says at the end of your life God will ask how you used the talents God gave you.

If you're stuck, fast and pray

Jesus says some situations can't be healed until someone fasts and prays.

On earth as in heaven

Jesus taught his followers to pray, "God, let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as in heaven." Then he showed his followers how to help. It's time for us to get more practice bringing God's kingdom to earth!

A non-parallel universe

God's kingdom has completely different values from those of most people and nations. Many of the things individuals highly value won't last past our lifetimes.