Displaying Christian Sermons by tag: Dreams
Rick Warren (April-13-2023) Daily Devotional: Make Intentional Decisions as You Follow God’s Dream.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” - James 3:17 (NIV)
When God gives you a dream, you won’t just accidentally fulfill it. You have to be intentional in making several critical decisions that will help grow your faith and move you toward fulfilling the dream God created you to dream.
Here are two decisions that are necessary:
First, you need to invest. You have to decide to invest your time, your money, your reputation, and your energy in the things that will advance your pursuit of God’s dream.
In other words, you need to stop making excuses and take the plunge. This is when you say, “God, I’m not going to procrastinate any longer. I’m going to do what you’ve told me to do.”
Second, you need to let go of security. You can’t move forward in faith while holding on to the past.
A great picture of letting go of security is a trapeze artist. She swings out on one bar—but before she can grab the next bar and swing to the other side, she has to let go of that first bar. The bars are far enough apart that she can’t hold on to both at the same time. At some point she must let go of the security of the first bar. Then, for a split second, she is flying in midair, holding on to neither one.
Maybe you’ve never swung on a trapeze, but have you ever been at the point in your career when you’ve left one job and are looking for another, and there is nothing in between? It feels like you’re a hundred feet in the air with no net below.
But if you don’t let go of your old life and grab on to the vision God wants for you, then you’ll simply swing back in the old direction—only you won’t swing all the way back. You’ll just swing lower and lower until you finally stop, hanging there with only one way out: down.
Like the trapeze artist, you have to decide to let go of your security in order to take hold of your dream.
When you’re making critical decisions to follow God’s dream for you, it’s not about making quick decisions. It’s about making the right decisions. Quick decisions are easy—and usually wrong. It takes wisdom and time to make the right decision.
Where can you find wisdom? In James 1:5, we’re told to just ask God, and he’ll generously give his wisdom to anyone who is faithfully sincere in their request. And “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 NIV).
Talk It Over
- Why do you think God lets you decide how to live your life rather than making those decisions for you?
- What investment is God asking you to make today as you follow his dream for your life? Are you willing to make that investment?
- In what area of your life do you need to let go of security in order to grasp the dream God has for you? How will you respond?
The first step to living out God’s dream for your life is to commit your life to Christ. If you haven’t done that, would you pray this prayer?
“Dear God, I don’t understand it all, but there’s a hole in my heart that I realize only you can fill. I realize that I was made to be loved by you and to have a relationship with you. I ask that you forgive me of my sins. Today I want to step across the line and accept you as my Lord and Savior. I ask you to come into my life and my heart and replace my loneliness and my hurt with your love. I want to become a part of your family, the church, and start living out your dream for my life. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
What’s Your Cause? - Joel Osteen Daily Devotional (March-23-2023). Today's Scripture: Matthew 23:11, TLB “The more lowly your service to others, the greater you are. To be the greatest, be a servant.”
Today's Word. There should be something we’re involved in that’s bigger than ourselves. It’s good to have personal goals and dreams that we want to accomplish, but if you’re only focused on yourself, you won’t reach your highest potential. You were created to help someone else, to be a blessing, to lift and encourage those who are down, to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. You need to have a cause that you’re passionate about, some way that you can make the world a better place. It may be to volunteer at the women’s shelter, to mentor a young person, to do repairs for the elderly neighbors, to support great organizations, or to pay a single mom’s rent.
When you live cause-driven, you’ll get up early, make sacrifices, take risks, and show up when you have other things to do. Your attitude is, “I’m on a mission. Somebody needs what I have, somebody’s counting on me. I’m going to get involved and make a difference.” When you have a cause, you’ll pray bold prayers and believe for big things.
Prayer for Today. Father, thank You that I have something that someone else needs to make their life better. Help me to keep my eyes open for the causes and the people You bring me to serve and bless. I believe that I’m going to make a difference and that You are taking me higher. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Watch Troy Black - Isaiah Saldivar was in My Dream from God. God gave me a dream that involved Isaiah Saldivar, and He put a few things on my heart to share along with it.
Amir Tsarfati - Watch Sermon: Like Those Who Dream. "When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream" (Psalm 126:1). God uses dreams, sometimes to speak, to warn, or even to encourage. But there are also times when being like someone who dreams means you simply can't believe the incredible events you are witnessing. In his teaching, "Like Those Who Dream", Amir Tsarfati sees in this verse the miraculous nature of the return of Israel to the land. As the number of Jews moving to their homeland continues to increase each year, prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. It also reminds us that the clock is ticking down for the time of the Gentiles to end and for the Messiah to return for His church.
Rick Warren (November-16-2022) Daily Devotional: Why Your Dream Needs the Right Timing.
“There is a right time and a right way to do everything.” - Ecclesiastes 8:6 (GNT)
When God puts a dream in your heart, you don’t necessarily have to act on it right away. The Bible says, “There is a right time and a right way to do everything” (Ecclesiastes 8:6 GNT).
Pitchers understand the importance of timing in baseball. Every pitcher throws the same 5 ¼-ounce ball and stands the same 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate. But the difference between a pro pitcher and an amateur is timing. A pitcher’s timing can make or break them.
Another good example of timing is found in Nehemiah 2. Nehemiah knew timing could make or break his dream to rebuild Jerusalem. He could have made a grand entrance into town with trumpets and flags, announcing the reason for his arrival: “I’m here to save the day!”
Instead, Nehemiah stayed quiet for three days after arriving in Jerusalem. What was he doing those first three days? Since he was a man of prayer, there’s no doubt he was praying. He was also a planner, so he likely spent time watching, observing, listening, and learning.
The best example of timing is seen in the life of Jesus. His timing was perfect. He would often say things like, “It’s not my time yet.” He said this to his mother when she looked to him to do a miracle at a wedding. And he said this to his brothers when they wanted him to show himself to the world through the works he was doing.
And God waited thousands of years for just the right time to send his Son. The Bible says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (Galatians 4:4-5 NLT).
We don’t know why God sent Jesus when he did, but we know it was the right time to do what he wanted to do.
The same is true with the dreams God gives you. Trust in his timing. You may not see or understand his timing right now, but you can trust that his plan is perfect.
Talk It Over
- Have you ever seen a good idea ruined because of bad timing? What happened?
- In what areas of your life do you act impulsively? In what areas are you more patient?
- How does Jesus’ willingness to say, “It’s not my time yet,” encourage you to do things at the right time and in the right way?
Now is the time to put your trust in Jesus
God promised that for those who believe in Jesus, there is no condemnation. He sent Jesus to take away your sin. His death on the cross paid for every wrong you’ve ever done or will do. And by sacrificing himself, Jesus made it possible for you to have a relationship with God the Father.
The good news doesn’t stop there! God also raised Jesus from the dead, proving his power over sin and death. That makes it possible for you to spend eternity with him in heaven.
If you’re ready to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, start by praying this simple prayer: “Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe that he died for my sin and that you raised him to life. I want to trust him as my Savior and follow him as Lord, from this day forward. Please guide my life and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Rick Warren (November-15-2022) Daily Devotional: Four Steps to Enlist Support for Your Dream.
“They replied at once, ‘Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!’ So they began the good work.” Nehemiah 2:18 (NLT)
Learning how to enlist the support of others is an important part of following your God-given dream.
But how do you get others to help you with your dream? Nehemiah 2 offers four steps for bringing others on board to accomplish your dream.
Step 1: Do your research. Before you announce your dream to your family and friends, make sure you have all the information you need. You don’t want someone to ask a question you can’t answer because you didn’t get all the facts first.
Nehemiah knew this as he arrived in Jerusalem to begin working on his dream. He said, “I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart . . . I went . . . to inspect the broken walls and burned gates” (Nehemiah 2:12-13 NLT). Nehemiah didn’t depend on secondhand knowledge. He conducted his own research.
Step 2: Paint a picture of what needs to change. Before someone can see in their mind how something could be better, you have to create some discontent with the current situation. Why? Because when people live with a problem long enough, they often become apathetic and are okay to settle for less than the best.
When Nehemiah presented his plan to the people, he didn’t minimize their current living conditions. He said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire” (Nehemiah 2:17 NLT). He painted a picture of their current reality.
Step 3: Appeal to people’s hearts. We often assume that people base their choices on logic and reason, but most decisions are based on feelings. That’s why it’s important to use internal motivation when enlisting the support of others.
Nehemiah appealed to the people’s hearts when he said, “Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” (Nehemiah 2:17 NLT). This also appealed to their dignity, reminding them that they were God’s people and that, with God’s help, they didn’t have to live in disgrace and shame any longer. Nehemiah showed he had genuine concern for the people.
Step 4: Share your story to inspire others. People want to know what your dream means to you. They want to know what God is doing in your life. And when you tell people that you’re trusting in God, it motivates them to live by faith also.
Nehemiah shared a powerful story about how God was working in his life and in the plan he was sharing with them. He told the people “about how the gracious hand of God had been on [him]” (Nehemiah 2:18 NLT). Their response? The Bible says, “They replied at once, ‘Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!’ So they began the good work” (Nehemiah 2:18 NLT).
Open your eyes and see how God’s hand is already at work. Trust him to surround you with the support you need to fulfill your dream as you take these steps of faith.
Talk It Over
- You can expect God to do great things in your life when you enlist the help of others. How has this been true in your life?
- Has God placed a dream in your life that you need to reach out to others for help with? Which of Nehemiah's four steps do you need to start today?
- Think of a time you supported someone’s dream after they shared their story with you. Why were you inspired to help them?
Watch Troy Black - End Times Dream! The Holy Spirit just gave me a prophetic dream about Jesus' return and the end times.
Rick Warren (May-03-2023) Daily Devotional: Choose to Live Your Dreams | Daily Hope
“We are each responsible for our own conduct." - Galatians 6:5 (NLT)
People deal with their dreams in one of three ways: They accuse, they excuse, or they choose.
Accusers spend their entire lives blaming others for why they haven’t achieved their dreams. Excusers make excuses for why they are not living their dreams.
Choosers do what it takes to live their dreams.
The Bible says that you were created in the image of God. The ability to choose is the quintessential characteristic that separates people from animals. It’s one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. But since free choice means you’re equally able to make bad choices, it’s also your greatest curse.
Choosers take the responsibility for their choices and the direction of their lives. They don’t blame others or make excuses. The Bible says in Galatians 6:5, “We are each responsible for our own conduct” (NLT).
Instead of complaining that you haven’t achieved your dreams, take the responsibility for what hasn’t been done. Your good and bad choices have a far greater impact on your ability to achieve your dreams than any other factor.
I’ve met people who were given nothing in life but achieved far beyond their dreams. I’ve also met people who were given everything they needed and wanted on a silver platter and yet wasted their lives.
You can’t control your circumstances. But you can control how you respond to those circumstances.
Proverbs 22:13 says, “The lazy man is full of excuses” (TLB). Don’t be that person. Stop making excuses for your unrealized dreams.
Make the choice today to do something about the dreams God has given you.
Talk It Over
- Are you more tempted to be an “accuser” or an “excuser” when it comes to your unrealized dreams? Why?
- How do you discern whether a dream is from God?
- What one step can you take today to move closer to a long-held dream in your life?
Make a Choice for Christ
No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God offers you a second chance. He knows everything you’ve ever done wrong, every failure you’ve experienced, and he still loves you and cares for you.
He doesn’t expect you to earn your way into his good graces; you are saved by God’s gift of grace when you place your faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. If you are ready to accept God’s grace through Jesus, then pray this simple prayer:
"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe that he died for my sins and that you raised him to life. I want to trust him as my Savior and follow him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
What Are You Doing with Your Dream? - Rick Warren Daily Devotional (May-02-2023)
“Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good." Ephesians 5:15-16 (TLB)
Everyone has a dream. Maybe you’ve had it since you were a child. Maybe it came to you more recently. Desires, wishes, and ambitions are part of every person’s life. You may have hidden it deep inside of you, but, somewhere, you have a dream.
So, the question isn’t whether you have a dream. Rather, the question is this: What are you doing with your dream?
Most dreams never come true. It’s not that you’re not smart enough, not outgoing enough, or not spiritual enough. Usually, dreams don’t come true because you’re unwilling to take the necessary risks to reach them.
The Bible shares a sad one-sentence commentary about a king who failed to achieve an important ambition in his life: “[King] Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail—they were wrecked at Ezion Geber” (1 Kings 22:48 NIV).
While it’s a tragedy for your ship to never come in, it’s a greater tragedy for you to build a ship and never set sail. Imagine the energy and expense expended by King Jehoshaphat. He built an entire fleet of ships to go after the gold, and not one of them set sail. They never even got out of the harbor! Evidently a storm came up while these ships were still in the harbor; they slammed against the rocks and were destroyed.
Some people spend their whole lives waiting for their ship to come in. But God isn’t waiting for your ship to come in. He’s waiting for you to sail your ship out of the harbor.
I knew a man who for 30 years had a dream of starting a ministry. He talked about it, dreamed about it, and planned it. He spent a great deal of time on this dream, but he never took the risk to do anything more about it. He never got his ship out of the harbor. Eventually, the man died—and so did his dream.
The Bible’s antidote to that kind of tragic procrastination is as simple as an overdone catchphrase but excruciatingly difficult to apply at times: Just do it. The Bible says, “Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good” (Ephesians 5:15-16 TLB).
The Bible urges you to seize the moment and act now. Living with unfulfilled dreams is a tragedy. Ships aren’t made for the harbor. They’re made to set sail.
Are you ready to set sail?
Talk It Over
- For what dream have you planned but never taken action?
- What resources do you still need in order to make your dreams reality? What resources are already available to you through God’s provision?
- What opportunities do you need to make the most of today?