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Whatever you sow you will inevitably

Dishonesty in Your Finances reap. The principle of sowing and


Never Pays Off reaping is a powerful reminder of the
importance of being honest with
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 1, 2020
finances.
“The Lord demands fairness in Sometimes the pressure to get ahead
every business deal” (Proverbs —or just the pressure to keep up—is
16:11 TLB). so overwhelming that we, even as
believers, are tempted to compromise
Did you realize God has a lot to say our ethics and maybe do a little
about dishonesty? shading of the truth to make a buck.
“The Lord demands fairness in every Maybe we overvalue an item, or
business deal” (Proverbs 16:11 TLB). maybe we just don’t tell somebody
“Better to be poor and honest than what’s wrong with something when
rich and dishonest” (Proverbs 19:1). we’re selling it to them, or maybe we
take a deduction on the taxes that
“What do you benefit if you gain the really isn’t there. Maybe we just don’t
whole world but lose your own tell the truth in a situation.
soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NLT).
God has said that he will meet your
If you want God’s blessing on your needs if you ask for his help and
finances, you’ve got to be honest. You maintain your integrity. You don’t have
can’t rip people off! to be dishonest to get ahead. You
don’t have to get ahead—period!
The Bible also says, “The Lord’s
blessing brings wealth, and no sorrow You only need to choose to be
comes with it” (Proverbs 10:22 NCV). obedient day by day. God sees your
Have you ever known someone who heart and your actions, and he will
made money dishonestly, and it just bless you when you choose to honor
brought them trouble? That’s always him in your finances.
the outcome of profit made
dishonestly. Remember: You will reap Talk It Over
what you sow. If you are dishonest
 You may not make business
with others, it will be returned to you.
deals every day in your work. But
If you think you haven’t been caught,
what are some small ways you
the clock is still ticking. No one can
can show integrity in your
mock God and get away with it.
finances?
 Why is it important to have
accountability as a Christian?
 How does it help to keep a
long-term, eternal perspective
when making responsible
choices with your finances?
own Son to die for you, doesn’t he
love you enough to take care of your
You’re Not a Spiritual bills? If he solved your biggest
Orphan problem when he saved you, doesn’t
any other problem seem minor by
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 2, 2020
comparison?
“[God] gives food to those who Here’s the bottom line: Are you going
trust him; he never forgets his to believe God to do what he says he
promises” (Psalm 111:5 TLB). will do? He has promised to give you
what you need if you give him first
As kids, we often go to a parent when place in your life. Are you going to
we have a need for money. If you did believe him enough to do what he tells
that as a kid, you probably didn’t you to do as evidence of that faith?
wonder where your mom or dad would
find the money. You just knew it was Psalm 34 talks about being delivered
their job. Parents make money, and from our fears when we seek the
kids spend it. Lord. When you have fears about your
Many people act like spiritual orphans finances, it’s because you’ve forgotten
and forget they have a heavenly who God is and what he’s promised to
Father: “Your heavenly Father already do.
knows perfectly well that you need
[food and clothes], and he will give If you’re serious about being set free
them to you if you give him first place from financial fears, you must make
in your life and live as he wants you daily choices to obey God and trust
to” (Matthew 6:32-33 TLB). him to provide for you. He’s laid it out.
Now he’s waiting for you to follow the
Nothing in all creation worries except premise to his promise and seek him
human beings. Everything else trusts first in your finances.
the Creator to care for their needs.
Talk It Over
Worry is really just a form of atheism.
Every time you worry, you’re acting  What is your biggest fear about
like an atheist. You’re saying, “It all your finances? Do you believe
depends on me.” Worry is a warning that God can help you with that
light that you doubt the love of God. fear? Why or why not?
 What are some promises from
Psalm 111:5 says, “[God] gives food God’s Word that you can
to those who trust him; he never remember when you start to
forgets his promises” (TLB). The Bible worry about money?
tells us that God sent Jesus Christ to
 What one step can you take
die on the cross for you to pay for
today to be obedient in your
your salvation.
finances and show God that you
trust him to provide for you?

If God loves you enough to send his


Leave a Great Example wanted the example of their labor.
Instead of a Big Inheritance They understood that you can’t
appreciate what you don’t work for.
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 3, 2020 Inherited wealth tends to breed
irresponsibility.
“We leave this world just as we
entered it—with nothing. In spite of Nobody had more to leave his family
all our work there is nothing we than King Solomon in the Old
can take with us” (Ecclesiastes Testament. He acquired more wealth
5:15 GNT). than almost anyone else in history. He
left everything to his son—his wealth,
Have you ever heard about the death his rule, his power, his treasures. But
of a wealthy person and thought, “I it ruined his son’s life. Rehoboam was
wonder how much they left behind”? a moral washout who couldn’t handle
Here’s a little secret: They left it all! what he hadn’t worked for himself.
Ecclesiastes 5:15 says, “We leave It is not a sin to want to make more
this world just as we entered it—with money. It is not wise, however, to
nothing. In spite of all our work there stockpile more money than you need
is nothing we can take with us” (GNT). so that you can leave it to somebody
who may not be able to handle it.
If you don’t get any credit for your
wealth when you get to heaven and Instead, learn to use your money
you’re going to leave it all behind, wisely now. Spend the money you
then what is the purpose of amassing have—whether it’s a little or a lot—on
it here on earth? getting more people into heaven.
Rather than leaving your children a
Some might say they intend to leave large inheritance that they won’t know
their fortune to their kids. But studies how to handle, leave them an
have shown that most of the time, example of generosity. When you do,
inherited wealth does more damage you’ll be making an investment for
than good to the next generation. eternity.
A few years ago Inc. magazine Talk It Over
published an article about whether
parents should pass their money on to  How can you leave an example
the next generation. They interviewed of generosity even if you don’t
children of entrepreneurs, many of have much money?
whom said they would prefer their  What is one way that you can
parents leave them the knowledge of invest in eternity today
how to get money rather than the  What is the difference between
money itself. stockpiling and saving?

In other words, they didn’t want the Serving God or Money?


result of their parents’ labor. They
at the center of my life.” That was a
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 4, 2020
turning point—that was when he
started investing in eternity.
“No one can serve two masters . . .
You cannot serve both God and If somebody drew a box and asked
money” (Luke 16:13 NIV). what’s in the center of your life, what
would you say? Would you place a
If God told you to give something cross or dollar sign inside the box?
away right now and you said, “God, I Would your bank statement support
could give anything else away, but not your answer? You can say something
that,” then you don’t own that thing—it holds first place in your life, but the
owns you. God will test what’s really way you spend your time and money
first in your life by asking you to give reveals the truth.
away the very thing you’re holding
most tightly. There are two key choices in your life
when it comes to your finances: who
Luke 16:13 says, “No one can serve will be your master and where you will
two masters . . . You cannot serve put your money—eternity or here and
both God and money” (NIV). now.
You’ve got to decide whom or what “Store up riches for yourselves in
you’re going to serve, and your giving heaven, where moths and rust cannot
will reflect your decision. If God is destroy, and robbers cannot break in
Lord of your life, then he should be and steal. For your heart will always
Lord of your wallet, too. be where your riches are” (Matthew
There once was a wealthy man who 6:20-21 GNT).
gave to Christian causes far above his God doesn’t need your money. He
tithe. He said he met with a financial wants what it represents: your heart.
planner years ago. After they had You can show God that he has your
talked for a while, the financial planner whole heart by surrendering control of
took a sheet of paper and drew a box, your money to him and committing to
and outside of it he put a dollar sign give what he tells you to give in
representing money and a cross service to him and others.
representing Christ. He said, “I hear
two things vying for your attention. I This devotional © 2020 by Rick
can’t help you plan your life until you Warren. All rights reserved. Used by
tell me which of these things you want permission.
in the center of that box, which
represents your life.”

The wealthy man thought about it a Talk It Over


moment and then said, “I want Christ
 What do you want at the center regardless of where you’ve been,” or
of your “box”? How would that “She loves you no matter what you’ve
require you to make some done”? Do you want to be
changes in your life? remembered for how much you
 What can you start doing today owned or accomplished, or do you
so that your giving reflects who want to be remembered for how well
or what you want your master to you loved?
be?
 How does knowing God God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will
doesn’t need your money affect teach and enable you to love others.
your attitude about tithing? But to become extraordinary at it, you
need to practice it over and over
 Why do we often hold on to
again. It may feel awkward at first as
money so tightly?
you learn to love with a greater
capacity than is humanly possible,
To Be Good at Loving Others, relying on the powerful and
You Have to Practice supernatural love of God to work
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 5, 2020 through you. But the more you love
like this, the better you will become at
“Dear friends, let us continue to loving unconditionally.
love one another, for love comes
from God. Anyone who loves is a The Bible says in 1 John 4:7 that love
child of God and knows God” (1 comes from God. When you practice
John 4:7 NLT). and commit to loving others like Jesus
loves you, they will take notice and
Love is a skill. If you struggle to love will be drawn to God.
well, here’s some good news: Love is
learned! That means the more you This devotional © 2020 by Rick
practice, the better you will become at Warren. All rights reserved. Used by
it. No matter how you’ve loved or permission.
been loved in the past, you can
Talk It Over
become amazing at loving others.
In fact, God wants you to be become  Think of someone you know
a master at this skill. He wouldn’t tell who loves others well. What
you to love others if he wasn’t going to marks the way that person treats
help you to do just that. others in everyday interactions?
Yet many people never learn how to  How did Jesus show his love
love. for others? How can you do the
same?

Do you want to be known as a person


of extraordinary love? When people
speak of how you love others, do you  If love is a skill, it must be
want them to say, “He loves you practiced. What are some
specific ways you can practice relationships. Being energetic makes
loving others this week? a big difference!
God offers you salvation. And
today is the day to accept it. What happens to your relationships
when you’re run-down? Things that
When you say, “Not yet” to God’s gift are usually small issues become big
of salvation, you’re actually saying no problems. You may be crankier,
to Christ. The Bible says in 2 defensive, or more critical when
Corinthians 6:2, “Right now God is you’re low on energy.
ready to welcome you. Today he is
ready to save you” (TLB). If you’re committed to becoming better
at loving others, develop habits that
How do you accept salvation? You refresh you physically. The Bible
turn away from yourself and toward teaches us many principles for health,
God. You trust Christ to come into but the three most basic are proper
your life, forgive your sins, and make rest, a balanced diet, and regular
you who he wants you to be. exercise.

If you’re ready to accept God’s Rest. Psalm 127:2 says, “It is


salvation, you can pray a prayer like senseless for you to work so hard
this: from early morning until late at
night . . . for God wants his loved
Jesus, I want to know you personally. ones to get their proper rest” (TLB). If
Thank you for dying on the cross for you are too tired to love your kids,
my sins. I open the door of my life and your spouse, or a roommate, then
receive you as my Savior and Lord. your problem is first physical, not
Thank you for forgiving me of my sins spiritual. It’s amazing how much better
and giving me eternal life. Take things look after a good night’s sleep.
control of my life. Make me the kind of
person you want me to be. Balanced diet. The Bible says, “You
made my body, Lord; now give me
Are You Too Tired to Love sense to heed your laws” (Psalm
Others Well? 119:73 TLB). God provides wonderful
delights for us to enjoy and savor. We
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 6, 2020
are meant to enjoy food! But he has
also given us wisdom to know what
“You made my body, Lord; now and how much is good to put in our
give me sense to heed your body—and what is not. We just need
laws” (Psalm 119:73 TLB). to do it.

It’s hard to love when you’re tired. Regular exercise. “God has bought
That’s right: Your physical condition you with a great price. So use every
has a strong impact on your part of your body to give glory back to
God” (1 Corinthians 6:20 TLB). To BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 7, 2020
overcome fatigue, you must commit to
regular exercise. Study after study “Being cheerful keeps you
shows that exercise doesn’t deplete healthy” (Proverbs 17:22 GNT).
your energy. It actually increases your
energy. When you need to be physically
recharged, your body gives you
God never meant for you to go various signs. If your stomach growls,
through life exhausted. When you’re it’s time to eat. If your eyelids get
too tired to love others well, take a heavy, it’s time to sleep.
good look at how much you’re resting, We tend to notice those signs, but we
what you’re eating, and how often you often overlook the other signs that say
exercise. Then make better—and we need emotional recharging, such
often more difficult—choices to take as a sense of being overwhelmed, a
care of yourself. short fuse, an impatient outburst, or
avoiding people. You also have no
You and those you love will only desire to love people when your
benefit in the long run. emotional tank is running low.

This devotional © 2020 by Rick To keep on loving well and doing the
Warren. All rights reserved. Used by things God’s called you to do, keep
permission. your emotional tank full. How do you
do that?
Talk It Over
First, get some time alone. Even
 What things in your life often Jesus withdrew from crowds when he
take precedence over getting needed to recharge himself
enough rest? Are those things emotionally. Mark 6:31 says, “Then
more important than your health? Jesus suggested, ‘Let’s get away
 In what ways has God already from the crowds for a while and rest.’
given you wisdom about your For so many people were coming and
diet that you have not followed? going that they scarcely had time to
 If you think you’re too tired to eat” (TLB). People who are available
exercise, what will it take to get all the time aren’t really fully available
your energy back? Are you unless they set aside time to rest.
willing to try a simple exercise
like walking 30 minutes daily for
the next few days to see how it
makes you feel?

Then figure out what activities


recreate energy in your life and
Emotional Health Leads to recharge you. Each one of us has
different things that recharge us
Healthy Relationships
because we’re all made differently. It
may be hobbies, a sport, a craft, or BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 8, 2020
games for you. Find out what
recharges you emotionally, and then “Physical training is good, but
make time for it. training for godliness is much
better, promising benefits in this
Jesus was the most intensive, life and in the life to come” (1
ministry-oriented person who ever Timothy 4:8 NLT).
lived, yet the Bible says, “The Son of
Man came, enjoying life” (Matthew We’ve been learning about how loving
11:19 PHILLIPS). You weren’t made others the way God wants requires
to be exhausted all the time. You were developing habits that keep you
made to be more like Jesus. physically, emotionally, and spiritually
renewed.
Finally, develop the habit of laughter. The Bible says real love “always
The Bible says, “Being cheerful keeps protects, always trusts, always hopes,
you healthy” (Proverbs 17:22 GNT). always perseveres. Love never
Laughter increases the number of T- fails” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8 NIV). You
cells in your body, which raises your can’t love people that way without
immunity and releases endorphins in God’s help. And you don’t have that
your brain. Laughter is good for your kind of power when you’re running on
health! It’s God’s gift to you that empty spiritually.
doesn’t just make you enjoy life more;
it also helps you love others well. Watch for signs that you may be
headed for spiritual burnout. For
Talk It Over instance, it may seem nothing (such
as loving someone else) is worth the
 What signs in your life tell you effort, or maybe you start blaming
that you need to be emotionally God for your problems. This isn’t
recharged? unique to you; many of the Bible’s
 How does your favorite activity great heroes, like David, Moses, and
recharge you emotionally? How Abraham, did the same things when
have you made time in your they were in burnout stages.
schedule for that activity?
 What would need to change
about your schedule and your
priorities for you to be able to
have more time alone?

You maintain spiritual fitness in the


same way you stay physically fit: by
being intentional and
The Most Important Habit for disciplined. “Physical training is good,
Spiritual Fitness but training for godliness is much
better, promising benefits in this life
and in the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8  Do you feel like you’ll ever be
NLT). able to love others with the kind
of love the Bible describes in 1
No discipline is more important in Corinthians 13? Why or why not?
developing spiritual fitness than Why wait any longer to trust
spending regular, daily time with God. Jesus?
Nothing will help your life more than If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and
time spent alone with God, where you committed to following him, why wait
let him talk to you through the Bible any longer? If you’re ready to make a
and you talk to him through prayer. decision to believe in Jesus Christ as
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:16 your Savior and Lord, pray this prayer:
that even if outwardly your body
suffers wear and tear, inwardly you “Dear Jesus, you have promised that
can be spiritually renewed by if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever
spending time alone with God. This done wrong will be forgiven, I will
can take just 10 minutes in your living learn the purpose of my life, and you
room chair before your day starts. will accept me into your eternal home
in heaven one day. I confess my sin,
You need that time alone with God and I believe that you are my Savior. I
because the quality of your trust you when you say that salvation
relationship with God determines the comes by grace, through faith, and
quality of every other relationship you not by anything I do. I receive you into
have. my life as my Lord. I want to use the
rest of my life to serve you instead of
Human love will wear out. But to love
serving myself. I commit my life to you
more like Jesus, make your quiet time
and ask you, to save me and accept
the number one priority in your day.
me into your family. In your name I
When you do, your relationships will
pray. Amen.”
be transformed by the power of God’s
love through you.

Talk It Over

 How does your calendar or


daily routine reflect whether or
not your quiet time is the priority
in your life?

 In what ways have you seen Lasting Love Extends Grace


your relationships affected by the BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 9, 2020
amount of time you’ve spent
praying and studying God’s “Always be humble and gentle. Be
Word? patient with each other, making
allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love” (Ephesians treats you. Romans 15:7
4:2 NLT). says, “Accept each other just as
Christ has accepted you” (NLT).
No relationship will survive without When you accept others as they are,
grace. You’ve got to cut people some looking past their faults for the sake of
slack! You’ve got to let things go. love, that’s extending grace.
The Bible says, “Love patiently
accepts all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7 Talk It Over
NCV). In the original Greek, this
literally means “covered with a roof.”  Why is it often hardest to
Would you buy a house without a forgive the people we love the
roof? Of course not. You’d have no most?
protection from wind and rain. A roof  Think of a relationship in your
covers and protects your home. life that is broken or where grace
is needed/needs to be given.
In the same way, biblical love covers Have you been waiting on the
a relationship and lets some things other person to apologize? How
slide. It doesn’t haul people into can you take a step to show that
account for every mistake they make. person grace?
You need a roof on your relationship
because people damage pretty easily, Tell It Like It Could Be
and we need the kind of love that
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 10, 2020
extends grace.

Why is grace essential to “Love . . . always looks for the


relationships? best” (1 Corinthians 13:7 The
Message).
The Bible says in Romans 3:10 that
no one always does what is right. When you have high expectations of
Nobody gets it right 100 percent of the someone, you don’t tell it like it is. You
time. It’s never just one person’s fault. tell it like it could be. You believe in
There’s always a responsibility on what God wants to do in and through
both sides. It takes two people to that person, and you affirm God’s
disagree! purpose for them.

We have to learn to extend grace to


each other, because forgiveness is a An excellent example of how this
two-way street. We cannot receive works is a story from Bruce Wilkinson,
what we’re unwilling to give to other an author and teacher. Years ago he
people. was a new professor at Multnomah
University, and at the first faculty
You build strong relationships by meeting, he received his class
treating other people the way God assignments. Another professor saw
his sheet and said, “Bruce, you’ve Lasting love is full of hope.
been given two of the section A
classes. They’re the brightest Talk It Over
students in the university. They’re
really engaged and a joy to teach.  Are you struggling to expect
You’re fortunate to have section A the best from someone in your
students in your first year.” life? If so, how can you begin to
change your expectations?
Bruce discovered that to be true—he  How do you feel when you
absolutely loved teaching those kids. know someone like your spouse
They were so much more fun to teach or your boss expects great things
than the other classes. They were from you?
smarter and asked better questions.  What kind of expectations do
you think God has of you?
At the end of the year, Bruce told his
department supervisor, “Man, I sure Don’t Give Up on Lasting
hope I get the section A classes again
next year!” The supervisor told him,
Love
“Bruce, there is no section A. We BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 11, 2020
canceled that program six years ago.”
“Love never gives up, never loses
When Bruce went back and checked faith, is always hopeful, and
his grade books, he found that those endures through every
“section A” classes may not have circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:7
been advanced placement, but they NLT).
got more A’s and wrote more
thoughtful term papers than his other Lasting love is persistent. It is
classes. Bruce realized that because determined. It is diligent. It is resolute.
he expected them to be better It endures the worst and is stubborn in
students, they rose to the challenge. its insistence to not give up on a
relationship.
Throughout your life, you will shape In fact, the purpose of a relationship is
the people around you by your not just to make you happy but also to
expectations of them. When you make you holy and teach you how to
expect the best from others, you are think of others more than you think of
reflecting the lasting love of Jesus. yourself. You will learn certain things
as you persevere through difficult
times that you would never learn any
other way.
The apostle Paul tells us that love When my wife and I got married, we
does not nag or perpetually bring up discovered that we were complete
past mistakes. The Bible says, “Love . opposites. We started arguing on our
. . always looks for the best” (1 wedding night, and from there it just
Corinthians 13:7 The Message). got worse. We loved each other, but
Lasting love is forward-looking. It’s we did not get along.
optimistic.
But we had made a vow, and we
decided divorce was not an option.
We said, “We’re going to make this
thing work if it kills us,” and it nearly Love Looks, and Love Listens
did! We got counseling, even though BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 12, 2020
we were broke. We sacrificed so that
we could honor our commitment to “Accept one another, then, just as
each other. We grew up. We Christ accepted you, in order to
struggled for the first two years of our bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7
marriage, but we’re better for it today. NIV).
Maybe you need to hear this today: What God does for you, he wants you
Don’t give up. Keep on. Persevere. Be to do for other people.
stubborn! Don’t let go of God’s gift of God accepts you unconditionally. That
lasting love because you have to work doesn’t mean he approves of
for it. It will always be worth the fight. everything you do, but he accepts
you, no matter what you’ve done. And
Learning to love is the single greatest
God says he wants you to act similarly
lesson in life. It is why God put you on
toward everybody in your life.
this planet. But it’s not always easy—
and it’s just plain hard to love some The highest form of love is focused
people. attention. One of the ways you
demonstrate acceptance to other
There really isn’t a “secret” to lasting
people is to look at them and listen to
love. The key, however, is to let God’s
them. When you look someone in the
love flow through you. Philippians 2:5
eye, you’re declaring that they matter
says, “You must have the same
to you.
attitude that Christ Jesus had” (NLT).
Human love wears out. That’s why Love looks, and love listens. When
you need Jesus’ love in you so you somebody comes in and drops
can offer lasting love to others. You something off at your desk, do you
first have to open your life to him; then say anything to them? When
he can love others through you. somebody serves you something at a
restaurant or a clerk helps you in a
Talk It Over
grocery store, do you look them in the
eye and say, “Thank you”? It may
 How have you had to be
seem like a small thing. But when you
persistent to maintain lasting love
give someone your attention, even for
in a relationship? How did your
just a moment, you are affirming their
relationship grow as a result?
value as a person and showing that
 Why do you think God wants
you accept them.
us to learn how to love, more
than any other lesson in life? The Bible says in Romans 15:1, “We
 What marks the kind of love must bear the ‘burden’ of being
Jesus has shown for you? How considerate of the doubts and fears of
can you learn to love more like others” (TLB).
him?
Acceptance means you listen to You are infinitely valuable to God.
others’ fears and doubts. We all have God created you. Jesus died for you.
them! When people have doubts God puts his Spirit within you. And
about God, you need to first listen and God wants you to be with him forever
show that it doesn’t change your love in eternity. That’s quite an investment
or acceptance. Why? Because this is God has made in you! He would not
how God loves us. When we doubt, have done that if you were not of the
God’s love does not change. When greatest worth to him.
we are fearful and unwilling to trust, There are two things that make
God still accepts us. This is how he something valuable. The first is who
wants us to love people. made it. There’s a huge difference in
the value of a Fabergé egg decorated
Loving like Jesus means you accept with diamonds and the eggs you dye
other people the way Jesus accepts at Easter with your kids.
you. And when his love flows through
you, it’s possible for you to love others “We are God’s masterpiece. He
unconditionally. has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he
Talk It Over planned for us long ago” (Ephesians
2:10 NLT). God doesn’t create junk.
 Think about someone who God created you, and you
easily irritates you or is hard to are good! Before you were born, God
love. How does it change your planned out your purpose and who he
attitude toward that person when wanted you to be. He does not make
you consider how much God mistakes.
loves you and that he has
accepted you? The value of something is also
 Why does making eye contact determined by what someone will pay
with someone make such a big for it.
difference in how that person
feels? How much is your house worth? It’s
 What doubts do you still have worth whatever anybody will offer.
about God? Do you believe that How much is a piece of art worth?
he accepts you even when you Only what somebody’s willing to pay
have doubts? for it.

How much are you worth? Jesus


Christ was willing to give his life: “He
Treat Every Person as God’s paid for you with the precious
lifeblood of Christ, the sinless,
Masterpiece
spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:19
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 13, 2020 TLB). If you ever doubt your worth,
just look at the cross. Jesus was
“Treat everyone you meet with willing to pay the ultimate price for
dignity” (1 Peter 2:17 The you. That’s how precious you are to
Message). him.
Jesus wants you to treat others as if and he has done everything
they have the same value as you— necessary to forgive our sins in Christ.
because they do. God created
everyone, and Jesus died for Even before the world was made, God
everyone. Every person in your life is was already planning in Christ to
precious to God, and he loves them forgive your sins. He knows every
unconditionally. wrong thing you’re going to do. None
of it surprises him! All the guilt that’s in
The way you love others will show your life, God made a plan to offer you
them just how valuable they are to forgiveness for it even before you
God. were born.

Talk It Over That’s why God can say


this: “Therefore, there is now no
 What changes about the way condemnation for those who are in
you see yourself when you Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).
understand just how valuable Condemnation is gone because of
you are to God? what Jesus Christ did for us—that
 Why is it difficult to sometimes means unconditional, complete,
see others as God’s consistent, eternal, by-grace
masterpiece? What will help you forgiveness in all of our lives. What a
keep a right view of others? relief! You don’t have to suffer or pay
 What does it mean to treat for your sins now or in eternity. It’s
others with dignity and respect? paid for by Jesus Christ. You are
forgiven if you accept that gift of
salvation from Jesus.
Forgiven People Forgive
Others Once you recognize that you’re
forgiven, you are then enabled and
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 14, 2020 strengthened to forgive other people.

“Make allowance for each other’s How do you do that? “Make


faults, and forgive anyone who allowance for each other’s faults, and
offends you. Remember, the Lord forgive anyone who offends you.
forgave you, so you must forgive Remember, the Lord forgave you, so
others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT). you must forgive others” (Colossians
3:13 NLT).
A lot of people think God carries
grudges. They picture God up in Take a good look at yourself, and you
heaven, waiting to zap them for may see ugliness, selfishness, and
anything they do wrong. sin. But the important thing is how
Here’s what God is really like: “I am God sees you. You are his creation, a
the God who forgives your sins, and I masterpiece designed to live for him
do this because of who I am. I will not and bless others.
hold your sins against you” (Isaiah
43:25 GNT). God wants to forgive, When you take a good look through
God’s eyes, you see the forgiveness
that only he can give. By accepting his Jesus believes you can do all these
forgiveness in your life, you’ll be able things because when you place your
to offer it to others. trust in him, his Spirit lives inside you.
He also wants you to help others
Talk It Over believe this about themselves. The
apostle Paul offered this
 To whom do you need to offer encouragement: “I want us to help
forgiveness today? each other with the faith we have.
 Is someone in your life hurting Your faith will help me, and my faith
because they are carrying will help you” (Romans 1:12 NCV).
around guilt? How can you share
hope by telling them that Jesus Each day you encounter people with
has covered their sin and offers low self-esteem. Everybody has
them the gift of forgiveness? insecurities. And many people are
 Why is it hard for us to accept repeatedly playing a tape in their mind
what we are not willing to give? of how someone said to them long
ago that they wouldn’t amount to
anything.
Believe in Others Like Jesus
Believes in You How can people reverse that curse?
You can help them start believing
BY RICK WARREN — FEBRUARY 15, 2020 what Jesus says about them instead
of believing what other people say.
“If you love someone, you will be
loyal to him no matter what the The Bible says in 1 Corinthians
cost. You will always believe in 13:7, “If you love someone, you will
him, always expect the best of him, be loyal to him no matter what the
and always stand your ground in cost. You will always believe in him,
defending him” (1 Corinthians 13:7 always expect the best of him, and
TLB). always stand your ground in
defending him” (TLB).
Jesus believes in you. There is plenty
of proof in the Bible! That’s what God wants you to do. He
“If you have faith as small as a wants you to show faith in others so
mustard seed, you can say to this they can believe what God says about
mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ them.
and it will move.’ Nothing will be
impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20 One of the best ways we do this in the
NIV). church is by being part of a small
group. When you have a really tough
“Everything is possible for one who week and you’re doubting and down
believes” (Mark 9:23 NIV). and discouraged, you need a group of
trusted people who will believe for
“If you have faith and don’t doubt, you you. And you can do the same for
can do things like this and much them. Followers of Jesus don’t just
more” (Matthew 21:21 TLB). believe in Christ. We also believe in
each other.
Your faith can help grow the faith of
others as you believe in them like
Jesus believes in you.

Talk It Over

 What insecurities have kept


you from believing in yourself like
Jesus believes in you?
 Why is it important for people
to see themselves the way God
sees them?
 How has your small group
helped you believe when you
thought you didn’t have enough
faith?