LIVING FREE EVERY DAY®
A Ministry of LivingFree.org

 

 

Monday, October 31, 2016

 

 

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE

 

"Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart." (Psalm 26:2 NLT)

 

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

 

Are you concerned about someone close to you? Perhaps you have a loved one with a life-controlling problem and you want more than anything to fix the problem, to help that special person. Life-controlling problems are not limited to substance abuse or gambling or pornography. They could be any behavior or relationship that has become a controlling force in their life.

 

This week we will not look at what the person who concerns you should do. Rather, let's look at some things you may need to prayerfully examine in your life to help you find more effective ways to live out your concern.

 

 

CONSIDER THIS . . .

 

Think about the person you are concerned about and trying to help. How is your role as a concerned person affecting important areas of your life? Consider the following and any other parts of your life that are being affected:
 

  • Your relationship with God
  • Your relationship with family and friends
  • Your health
  • Your job
  • Your recreation
  • Your finances
  • Your church involvement
  • Other significant areas of your life

 

Ask God to help you see the situation through his eyes. To test your motives and your heart. To see how your life is being affected. 

 

You cannot "fix" your loved one. In fact, you may do more harm than good by trying. God wants to work through your willing heart to help, but he does not want your life to be adversely affected in the process. Turn to Jesus. Ask him to enable you to see some more effective ways to show your concern. To help you trust in his strength and his love and submit to his plan.

 

PRAYER

 

Father, help me to honestly examine how my life is being affected by my loved one's problems and the ways I'm trying to help. Help me to trust fully in you and your ways. In Jesus' name . . . 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .


Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min.

 

 

This study is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

_________________________________________

 

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost but thought you may want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Visit us on Facebook!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

©Living Free 2016. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LIVING FREE EVERY DAY®
A Ministry of LivingFree.org

 

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

 

 

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE

 

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT)

 

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

 

If you are concerned about a person with a life-controlling problem, you have most likely experienced hurt, disappointment, and rejection from the one you care so much about. You probably sometimes feel as if there is no hope. The Bible has a great deal to say to us about the healing God wants to bring to us in our wounded condition. He offers us comfort and hope in Jesus. These are important truths to keep in our heart and mind. And as we understand them better and experience them more fully, God can use this comfort and hope to begin to heal some of our hurts.

 

As we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can take comfort from Jesus, our Shepherd, because he is close beside us and will protect us.

 

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 NLT)

 

God's love for us is unconditional. Unfailing. Take comfort in his love.

 

Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. (Psalm 119:76 NLT)

 

Take comfort in knowing that God's mercy begins afresh every morning. He is faithful.

 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness;  his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)

 

CONSIDER THIS . . .

 

No matter how much we've been hurt or how hopeless life seems, hope is always available when we turn to the right source. Meditate on these scriptures and others like them.

 

Place your hope in God the Father.

 

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. (Psalm 39:7 NLT)

 

Place your hope in Jesus. 

 

Christ gives me the strength to face anything. (Philippians 4:13 CEV)

 

Place your hope in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV)

 

Place your hope in the Word of God.

 

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. (Psalm 119:114 NLT)

 

PRAYER

 

Lord, thank you for the comfort and hope you give me. Forgive me when I depend on other things or people or even myself instead of you. In Jesus' name . . . 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .


Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min.

 

 

This study is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

_________________________________________

 

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost but thought you may want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Visit us on Facebook!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

©Living Free 2016. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LIVING FREE EVERY DAY®
A Ministry of LivingFree.org

 

 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

 

 

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE

 

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)

 

 

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

 

This week we've been looking at some ways to deal with the hurts that often come when we are concerned about someone we care about who has a life-controlling problem. We've discussed that healing comes through experiencing God's comfort and focusing on our hope in Christ . . . through prayer and open communication with God . . . and through the caring ministry of other Christians. Today and tomorrow we will talk about the healing that can come through the act of forgiveness. 

 

CONSIDER THIS . . .

 

You may feel you can never forgive the person who has disappointed you and hurt you deeply. How can I forgive someone who has done that? The better question may be how can we not forgive him or her when Jesus has forgiven us for so much more. We certainly do not deserve Jesus' forgiveness. And yet he gave his life to pay the penalty for our sin. He gives us forgiveness as a gift.

 

Matthew expressed this well with the parable of the unforgiving debtor in chapter 18, verses 21-35. Our debt to God is great, and he has forgiven us. We are to forgive the person who wrongs us (a much smaller debt) just as God has forgiven us. All through the Scriptures we find these two ideas connected: we need God's forgiveness, and we need to forgive. We are forgiven and need to be forgiving.

 

PRAYER

 

Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that because of his sacrifice, I have been forgiven. Help me never withhold forgiveness from someone who has hurt me. In Jesus' name . . .

 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .


Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min.

 

 

This study is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

_________________________________________

 

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost but thought you may want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Visit us on Facebook!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

©Living Free 2016. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LIVING FREE EVERY DAY®
A Ministry of LivingFree.org

 

 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

 

 

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE

 

"Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.

 

"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops." (James 5:13-18 NLT)

 

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

 

When we are hurt and frustrated by the actions and words of someone we care about, someone with a life-controlling problem whom we are trying to help, prayer is at the very heart of healing the hurt. In today's scripture, James offers insight about when and how to pray:

  • Pray when we are in trouble.
  • Pray when we are sick and call other mature Christians to pray for us.
  • Pray in faith; pray believing God will answer . . . and he will.
  • Pray for one other. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 
  • Pray earnestly; don't stop praying. God answers the prayers of men and women just like us.

 

CONSIDER THIS . . .

 

Notice that  James talks about things we can do, things others can do for us, and then what God will do.

 

What we can do:

  • Pray.
  • Ask the elders (mature Christians) to pray for us.
  • Confess our sins to one another.
  • Pray for one another.

What others can do for us:

  • Pray for our healing.
  • Bring us back to the truth.

What God will do:

  • Raise us up.
  • Make us well.
  • Forgive us.
  • Answer our prayers.

Remember, you are not alone. Allow God to heal the hurt. Allow him to guide you to truth.

 

PRAYER

 

Father, help me get my focus back on you. I know I need to stop dwelling on my hurts and frustrations. Help me be faithful in prayer and put my hope in you. May the Holy Spirit guide and comfort and strengthen me. In Jesus' name . . . 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .


Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min.

 

 

This study is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

_________________________________________

 

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost but thought you may want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Visit us on Facebook!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

©Living Free 2016. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LIVING FREE EVERY DAY®
A Ministry of LivingFree.org

 

 

Friday, November 4, 2016

 

 

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE

 

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)

 

 

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

 

Think for a moment about the hurting places in your life and some of the injuries you have experienced in your role as a concerned person. Have you responded with any of the bitterness, anger, or other behavior described in verse 31 of today's scripture? Have you been able to forgive your loved one for any pain he or she has brought to your life?

 

If not, begin right now by turning the bitterness over to God and asking him to help you forgive.

 

CONSIDER THIS . . .

 

Another area of forgiveness that gets to the heart of our role as concerned persons is our willingness to forgive ourselves. Verse 32 tells us that God has forgiven us—but we need to show ourselves the same kindness and compassion we are to show others.

 

Our tendency is to carry a lot of blame for our loved one's problem. But God says if we have confessed our sins, then he has forgiven them and made us clean and pure in his sight. Then those sins are behind us and forgotten. We need to acknowledge his forgiveness and not continue blaming ourselves. 

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

 

How about you? Are you carrying a load of blame? Have you forgiven yourself for any wrongs you may have done that have contributed to your loved one's problem? If you have confessed that sin, God sees you as righteous. You need to let it go. 

 

PRAYER

 

Father, I know you don't want me to condemn myself. I believe you have forgiven my sin. Help me to forgive myself as well as the one who hurt me. In Jesus' name . . .

 

 

_________________________________________________________

 

THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .


Concerned Persons: Because We Need Each Other by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min.

 

 

This study is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

_________________________________________

 

We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost but thought you may want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website. Thank you!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Visit us on Facebook!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

©Living Free 2016. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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