Displaying Christian Sermons by tag: Rick Warren sermons 2023
Jesus Is Praying for You - Rick Warren Daily Devotional (April-07-2023). “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.” John 17:9-10 (NLT)
Did you know that Jesus is praying for you constantly? The Bible says over and over again that Jesus is praying for you all the time. “Wait a minute,” you might be thinking, “Isn’t Jesus God? How can he pray to himself?”
But think about it: You talk to yourself all the time! That’s because you are made in God’s image. Jesus is God; he’s part of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And he is talking to himself about you all the time. You are so precious to him. You are the object of his affection. Of course he is thinking about you and talking about you. He cares for you that much!
Even before Jesus died on the cross, he was praying for you. John 17:9-10 says, “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory” (NLT).
God is constantly hearing Jesus say, “Help him, Lord. Help her, Lord. Help them, Lord.” This is called interceding, and it means to advocate on behalf of somebody. Anytime you pray for someone else, that’s called intercession. You can intercede for others, and that’s what Jesus does for you.
Jesus Christ has been interceding for you every moment of your life. He can do that because he’s God. He doesn’t get confused. He doesn’t get overwhelmed. Your circumstances aren’t too much for him. He is your Advocate who sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, “who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:34 NKJV). That means that every time you stumble or sin, Jesus leans over and reminds the Father that he already paid for that one. It’s covered.
Because Jesus is interceding for you, you can pray a simple prayer anytime, even if you don’t know what else to pray. Just say, “Jesus, thank you for praying for me right now, because I’m really struggling.” You can pray to Jesus. You can pray in Jesus’ name. And you can find comfort in knowing that Jesus is always for you.
Talk It Over
- How does knowing Jesus is praying for you help your faith?
- Why can you trust Jesus even when things go wrong, knowing that he has been praying for you?
- Why is there power in praying “in Jesus’ name”?
Where will you spend eternity?
Your sins separate you from God. And it is only God’s grace that allows you back into a right relationship with him.
The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
If you’re ready to make peace with your Creator, then pray this prayer: “Dear Jesus, I don’t want my sin to separate me from you any longer. You have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I believe you when you say salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today, I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. “I want to live the way you created me to live and use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Envy Is a Sign That You Don’t Trust God - Rick Warren Daily Devotional (February-20-2023). “Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (TLB)
One of the signs that envy is in your heart and needs to be eliminated is that you constantly use this phrase: “It’s not fair.”
You know what that phrase sounds like: “It’s not fair that he gets to do that and I don’t!” “It’s not fair that it’s easy for her and not for me.” “It’s not fair that their kids got the award and mine didn’t.” “It’s not fair that they can afford that vacation and I can’t.”
Envy is actually a battle with God. You’re in a fight with God every time you envy. When you envy, you’re saying, “God, you blew it. You didn’t do it right. You didn’t have the brains enough to make me the way I ought to be. If you really loved me, you wouldn’t have made me me; you would have made me somebody else.”
And God says, “Huh? If I didn’t make you you, you wouldn’t exist!”
The problem is this: When you envy, you don’t trust God. You don’t believe that he has your best interest at heart. You don’t believe that he knows more than you do about what’s best for you.
You don’t have some things in life because God knows a reason that you shouldn’t have them. There are some talents God did not give you. There are some opportunities God does not give you. And there are some experiences in life you don’t get.
You can either shake your fist in anger—or trust God. God is smarter than you, and he knows better. Read that again: He knows better!
God has given each of us a race to run. You can’t run anybody else’s race, and no one else can run yours. You can either run the race God has given you, or you can make up your own race. Most people choose to make up their own race in life and then wonder why they hit dead ends.
Instead, God wants you to run the race that he has for you. He custom-designed a plan for your life. When you focus on God’s race, you won’t need to worry about the race everybody else is running. You won’t be bothered by the crowds that are cheering or jeering in the stands. You’re living for an audience of one: God.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us” (TLB). The more you understand your own call from God, the less you’ll be worried about what God has called other people to do.
Any time spent envying other people is wasted time. Just be who God made you to be!
Talk It Over
- How do you respond to a child who says, “That’s not fair”? What can you learn from your own response to that child?
- Do you trust that God knows what you need better than you know? Why or why not?
- What has God called you to do and be? What are you doing right now to run the race that he’s planned for you?
God Is Working for Your Good - Rick Warren Daily Devotional (February-10-2023). “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6 (NLT)
Even in the middle of your hurts, habits, and hang-ups, God is watching over you. King David says to God in Psalm 23:6, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life” (NLT).
When David says, “Surely your goodness will pursue me,” he’s not saying, “Surely only good things are going to happen to me.” David knew as well as anyone that bad things happen to good people. He had been abused and treated unfairly and was still a man who followed God’s heart. But he had also sinned terribly against people who had done no wrong to him.
David’s point is that, no matter how bad, evil, or difficult something seems—and no matter how much we mess things up—God will work it out for good. His goodness is pursuing us, no matter which way we turn. It’s one of God’s great promises that he’s given to believers: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
In everything that happens to us, God is working for our good—if we love God and are following his plans. This verse does not say that all things are good. But if you’re a believer, all things are working together for God’s plan and purposes, which are always good.
That means there is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately turn toward his purpose.
When you believe that, it changes how you view everything in your life—your relationships with God and other people, your past, your future, and whatever you are facing today. As you trust in God’s good work in your life, you will be able to face even your toughest challenges with confidence.
Seven Characteristics of Mercy - Rick Warren Daily Devotional (February-09-2023). “The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy.” James 3:17 (NLT)
Mercy is like a diamond; it is multifaceted. Today we’re going to look at seven facets of mercy. And I guarantee that learning how to be an agent of mercy will transform your relationships.
1. Mercy means being patient with people’s quirks.
The Bible says in James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy” (NLT). The wiser you become, the more patient and merciful you become.
2. Mercy means helping anyone around you who is hurting.
You cannot love your neighbor as yourself without being merciful. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it” (GNT).
3. Mercy means giving people a second chance.
When somebody hurts you, you normally want to get even or write that person off. But the Bible says, “Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others . . . Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ” (Ephesians 4:31-32 CEV).
4. Mercy means doing good to those who hurt you.
Mercy is giving people what they need, not what they deserve. Why should you do that? Because that’s what God does with you: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back . . . Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36 NIV).
5. Mercy means being kind to those who offend you.
You need to be more interested in winning people to Christ than in winning an argument. Jude 1:23 says, “Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives” (GW).
6. Mercy means building bridges of love to the unpopular.
This is what I call premeditated mercy, because you intentionally build friendships with people who don’t have friends or who are not accepted at work or in society.
When the Pharisees questioned why Jesus ate with tax collectors and other unpopular people, Jesus said, “‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Matthew 9:13 NLT).
7. Mercy means valuing relationships over rules.
Romans 13:10 says, “Love fulfills the requirements of God’s law” (NLT). If you want to show mercy, put people before policies. Put their needs before procedures. Put relationships before regulations. Choose love over law.
Talk It Over
- Why is it often easier to be more interested in winning arguments than in winning people to Christ?
- If mercy means valuing relationships over rules, what do you need to change about the way you interact with your coworkers? What about with your family members?
- This week, how can you intentionally show mercy to people around you who are hurting?
How Gratitude Can Change Your Life - Rick Warren Daily Devotional (February-06-2023). “In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing.” Philippians 2:14 (TLB)
If you want to move from an overwhelmed life to an overflowing life, there are three things you need to start doing and three things you need to stop doing.
Today we’ll look at the first pair: Start being grateful, and stop complaining. Studies have shown that gratitude produces chemicals in your brain—dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin—that make you feel peaceful and happy. An attitude of gratitude is something you can start the moment you wake up. Before you get out of bed, make a list of things you’re grateful for. For example, your list might say, “God, I’m grateful for air; I’m grateful for this bed; I’m grateful I’m not in danger.” Even if you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, the simple act of trying to be grateful will change your brain chemistry.
The Bible says, “In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing” (Philippians 2:14 TLB).
When you complain about something, how does that help you? If you complain about the weather, does it change the weather? If you complain about the way you look, does it change the way you look? If you complain about your spouse, your children, or your job, does it change any of those things? Complaining is a total waste of time. It’s stewing without doing. It’s worthless. Complaining will never make you feel better. Instead, God wants your life to “overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done” (Colossians 2:7 TLB).
Sometimes people will say to me, “You know, Pastor Rick, I just want to know God’s will. What does God want me to do in my relationship? What does he want me to do in my career? What does he want me to do in school?” “Always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 TLB). Why would God teach you step two when you haven’t done step one? If you want to know God’s will on who to marry, God wants you to do step one—always be thankful—and then you can move on to step two, then step three, and so on. If you want to live an overflowing life rather than an overwhelmed life, stop complaining, and start being grateful.
Talk It Over
- What is one thing you wouldn’t change about today? Add it to your gratitude list.
- When you are tempted to complain this week, think about a specific way God has been good to you. What difference do you think it will make?
- Who in your life are you grateful for? What is one way you can show them how you feel?
You can have the security of God’s unwavering love and unbreakable promises by trusting yourself to the Good Shepherd’s care.
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. Jesus, please come into my life and change my priorities, my values, my purpose, and my direction. Transform me into the person you want me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Trust Jesus One Day at a Time - Rick Warren Daily Devotional (January-02-2022). “Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NCV)
There are two days you should never worry about: yesterday and tomorrow. Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NCV). You can’t live in the past. You can’t live in the future. You can only live today.
Why should you only live one day at a time? First, when you worry about tomorrow’s problems, you miss the blessings of today. Second, you cannot solve tomorrow’s problems with today’s power. When tomorrow arrives, God will give you the power, perspective, grace, and wisdom you need.
When I was a kid, I didn’t worry about anything I needed in my life. Instead, I just went to my dad or mom and told them what I needed. I was never once concerned about how they were going to meet our needs because they took on that responsibility. God wants you to be the same way with him. Matthew 6:30 says, “If God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you?” (TLB)
When you worry, you assume responsibility that God never intended for you to have. You may be worrying today about a lot of things that are really God’s responsibility. In fact, every time you worry, it’s a warning that you’re playing God and that you believe it all depends on you. You’re acting like you don’t have a heavenly Father who will feed and lead and meet your needs.
The Bible does not say, “Give us this day our weekly bread.” It says, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 ESV). God wants you to depend on him one day at a time. He will provide everything you need—for today. Because he is a good God, you can trust that you will lack nothing. It’s okay to plan for tomorrow. But don’t worry about it! Trust God for each day as it comes.
Talk It Over
- Spend five to 10 minutes today reciting and meditating on Psalm 23. What other Scripture passages would be helpful to remember when you start to worry?
- What are you worrying about from your past that you need to surrender to God?
- What are you worrying about in the future that you need to trust God for today?
If you haven’t trusted Jesus with your life, why wait any longer? Pray this prayer: “Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven and you will accept me into your eternal home in Heaven one day. I’m so grateful that I do not have to earn or work for my salvation. It is a gift from God, through your sacrifice on the Cross.
“I confess my sin, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you are my Savior. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I want to depend on you instead of worrying about my past and future. I commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
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