Daily Bible Reading: Lamentations 3:23; Matthew 16:25; Ephesians 2:10

The Bible says that God’s mercies are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23). Right now I proclaim these mercies over you! Won’t you take a few seconds to by faith receive them? Just say, “Lord, I receive Your mercies — brand-new ones — right now!”

In the same way you are receiving these new mercies, I am receiving them too. Praise the Lord, we can receive new mercies each day, because His Word says that His mercy endures forever! We must believe the Word of God in humility and trust, just as a little child believes his loving parent. When we do, we can experience the benefits of the Word, because the same verse that declares His daily mercies also says, “…Great is thy faithfulness”!

It’s important to glean everything from the Word we can and to grow in grace and in our personal knowledge of God. It’s equally important to realize that our growth is not just for ourselves, but for others.

Perhaps you feel stuck in life or stagnant in your usefulness to others. This often happens when we’ve fallen prey to the “if-only” mentality that thinks:

  • If only I had done that differently, my life would be better.
  • If only I didn’t have this problem, I could do more.
  • If only So-and-so treated me better, I would be a better person.
  • If only I didn’t have so much to do all the time, I would be happy.

If you’ve been caught in this “if-only” trap, I urge you to stop this kind of thinking in its tracks in your mind, lest it become a stronghold that remains with you and holds you in bondage. You can take control of your thoughts!

May I let you in on a little secret? One way to take back your thoughts and free your mind from the plague of “if onlys” is by thinking about someone else’s needs instead of just your own. Subscribe to Denise’s 28-Day Journey Email Devotionals! It’s true. Thinking about how we can bless others — how we can pray for them or minister to them in some way — will set us free from the false circular reasoning that fills our heart and life with regret, doubt, unbelief, and hopelessness. Yet how often do we think only about ourselves?
It’s sad, but we’ve actually been trained to think this way about ourselves — about how we feel, what we need, what we desire, and so forth. Yet this pervasive attitude is so deceiving, because true joy and happiness lie in thinking of others.

Jesus said that whoever wants to preserve his life must give it away (seeMatthew 16:25). And I can tell you through personal experience that we really can escape thoughts of self-absorption by focusing our mind on the Lord and on others.

Maybe you’ve never succumbed to embracing a “me” mentality. You daily receive God’s “new mercies” and you refuse thoughts of “if only” concerning mistakes and regrets of the past. That’s good, but every one of us is challenged by a “me” mindset from time to time. We must make a choice to deal with it God’s way and in so doing experience the joy and freedom of trusting Him and serving others.

Perhaps as you’re reading this, you realize that over time, you’ve given place to a self-focused type of attitude. If so, I encourage you to think for a moment about the opportunities you have each day to practice giving your life away instead of sinking further into the despair that self-focus brings. No matter how difficult things may seem in your life right now, I promise you that there is a world out there with greater needs than your needs or mine. You can find the joy that comes through serving — whether through praying for others, sharing an encouraging word, or giving of your time or material resources.

Can we pray for you today? Is there some situation you need to share with someone else instead of standing in faith about it alone? God has a “new mercy” for you and a plan for your life that involves making a difference in the lives of others. Please contact us — we want to be your prayer partner!

In His great love,

Denise Renner

Denise Renner