Creflo Dollar: From Hurt to Wholeness

From Hurt to Wholeness - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar Ministriesby: Creflo Dollar

In our everyday lives, we encounter individuals who project an image of wellness, but secretly, they are walking containers of deep-seated hurt. Are you among them?

Hurt desperately seeks to find entrance into the lives of men, women, and children in countless ways. For many, hurt has come in through an absentee father, an abusive mother, an unfaithful spouse, a slight, or something as simple as one unkind word. The varieties are unlimited! However, they all share a common orchestrator, Satan.

In the Garden of Eden, Satan came in as a serpent with the express purpose of moving Adam and Eve from their trust in God and in all He had spoken. Satan’s strategy was to deceive the minds of Adam and Eve. His entry point into their minds was through their emotions. Satan uses the same tactic today. It is his same m.o. (method of operation)—Satan attacking the minds of individuals through their feelings, which are governed by emotions.

Now God intentionally created emotions for mankind, and we know everything God created is for a goodly purpose. However, like all things that begin as good but are later perverted by the devil, hurt is a negative emotion. Hurt’s aim is to rob God’s beloved of all He says they can be and everything He says they can have.

Negative emotions will try to talk to you, and it is common for the hurt and emotionally wounded to listen to them. This only makes their situations worse, because emotions and feelings often fluctuate. They are a most untrustworthy source.

Some other misguided self-help attempts by those who have been hurt are:  hurting others to try to feel better, pretending the pain does not exist, hardening one’s heart, and forming relationships upon a foundation of hurt. All of these efforts are doomed to fail.

To deal with hurt successfully and to go forward in life, one must refuse to use pain as a point of reference. Determine to stop “bringing it up.” You can change! Do not believe the lies of the enemy—you are NOT powerless!

Moreover, you have been given authority over hurt, which covers attacks against your mind and emotions. The Bible says in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). This is not to say you will never stub a toe or bump a knee. It is saying, though, that for the Christian, there is a part of you that is protected from sin, hurt, and harm—even from Satan. It is your born-again spirit, the “real you.” According to Ephesians 1:13, our core being, our spirits, are sealed by the Holy Spirit when we accept Christ. Our responsibility is to renew our minds (our thought life) daily with the Word of God. As a result, emotional hurt must back off. Now healing can come in, and with it, wholeness!

In addition, to paraphrase Philippians 4:6 from the Message Bible, I encourage you to voice your feelings to God. Shape your hurt into prayers and praises to Him. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for your good, will settle your minds, your emotions—your world! It is wonderful when that happens—when Christ displaces worry, hurt, or any other negative emotion as the center of your life.

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: Discerning God’s Will for Us

Discerning God’s Will for Us - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar Ministriesby: Creflo Dollar

Life on this beautiful planet God made for us has endless possibilities, and it can be overwhelming if we don’t have a focus. When deciding how to pattern our lives, we can focus on what we want, what others want to impose on us, or what God has in mind for us. If we lack understanding on what His will is for our lives, we can go around in circles endlessly, never finding what we seek. But discerning God’s will is no mystery when we take a close look at His Word.

It’s a big world out there, and an even bigger universe. With a mindset of “I’ll do everything by myself,” it’s hard to know where to start. Most people have this way of thinking, and it brings them nothing but frustration and stress. When we study the Scriptures, learning the priorities that matter to God opens our mind and frees us from self-effort. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

We don’t have to live by someone else’s standards or make up the rules as we go, hoping we’re doing it right. The Bible is our blueprint for life, the guideline for every situation we find ourselves in, and the owner’s manual God wrote for us. The directions are all clearly spelled out on each page. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). God’s will is for us to be perfected and made righteous through Him, something we could never do on our own.

He wants us to be happy, successful, prosperous, victorious over any evil circumstances that can pop up unexpectedly, and strong enough to achieve our dreams. That seems like an awful lot to expect from life, and the thought of accomplishing this ourselves is a tall order. But God’s thoughts are favorable toward us. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV).

Things start looking pretty bright when we begin discovering God’s plans for us. When we earnestly ask Him for guidance on what path in life He wants us to take, He’ll answer through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit reveals God’s will, which is specific to each individual, and He cuts through confusion to bring clarity to our mind. “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). Following His lead is like watching an expert quickly piece together a jigsaw puzzle we could never complete without His help.

Most people go through life trying to compete with others, struggling to be noticed when they’re just a nameless face in a large crowd. But God, Who knew us even before we were born, sees each and every one of us as the unique individual He personally fashioned Himself. Once we realize His plan for us and bring ourselves into agreement with Him, what once perplexed us will make perfect sense. “Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees.  I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes” (Psalm 119:124, 125, NIV).  We succeed only when we depend on Him.

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: Communicating with God

Communicating with God - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar Ministriesby: Creflo Dollar

Life can be pretty challenging, and when we find ourselves in a difficult situation with no clue about what to do, we can handle it in one of two ways. We can either devise our own strategy and rely on our own perceived cleverness, or acknowledge that we need divine help. Situations can quickly spiral out of control at any time, and when we’re backed against a wall with no way out, the truly wise person realizes that God can pull us out of any predicament. When we’re in trouble, prayer is the only real solution.

Prayer is direct communication with God, but it’s something many people have not learned how to do properly. We’re taught to say our prayers at bedtime when we’re little, but it usually involves memorizing words and repeating them back on cue. Religion teaches us to pray at certain times, like on Sunday, and only about certain topics. God wants us to talk with Him constantly, share what’s in our hearts and on our minds, and keep those lines of communication open. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NKJV).

Whether we’re struggling or everything is fine, what’s important to God is an attitude of thanksgiving as we pray. When we think about everything He’s done, including sending His Son to give us access to heaven and transform our lives here on earth, it’s hard not to give thanks. God wants us to give Him every fear and negative emotion we have. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:4, 6, NKJV).

God loves us and wants to hear from us anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Whenever something is troubling us, He wants us to come to Him. There are no forbidden topics, and nothing is off-limits. Even when things are going great in our lives, God still loves to hear from us.

Some people feel like they must fit their prayers into a pre-specified formula before they’re accepted. Others want to put on a show with their loud public prayers. God wants to free us from all those expectations, which are simply religious trappings. “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:5-8).

The bottom line is that God wants to grant us what we request, in the same way a father wants to give his children what they ask for. When we trust Him enough to believe His Word, He’ll honor our prayers. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7, NIV). This is a promise from God!

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: The Great “I AM”

The Great "I AM” - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar Ministriesby: Creflo Dollar

When we were growing up, most of us heard other kids at one time or another bragging and boasting on the playground about being the best at something. Now that we’re adults, we look around and see that nothing has really changed. There’s always someone willing to declare loudly that “I am the greatest…” and we can fill in the blanks. But when we study the Bible there’s no doubt about Who really is the greatest.

We get an early glimpse of the great I AM when God tells Moses to go to the Pharaoh and command him to release His people. Pharaoh’s attitude was haughty and proud, and Moses was timid about delivering God’s message. He told God he wondered if the people would believe him, and God’s answer was quick and decisive. “And Moses said unto God, behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:13, 14). Pharaoh remained hard-hearted and wouldn’t budge, so God dealt with him and totally annihilated the king and his armies.

The world can knock our thought processes out of alignment and fool us into thinking that we only need our own self to succeed. We can become incredibly self-absorbed. But when we’re tempted to get arrogant and trash talk about how great we think we are, we need to remember Who gives us everything we have. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:1, 5, NKJV).

God is too big to fit into a box, and He can be many things to us. When Jesus began His earthly ministry, very few people recognized Who He really was or understood the meaning behind His messages. He perfectly embodied God’s love, and many of Jesus’ lessons taught the many facets of God’s nature. “Then said Jesus unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:7, 9, 11, 14).

Back then, these lessons were unfamiliar to anyone who didn’t know the ancient prophecies, but now everything falls into context. We’re humbled when we look at the magnitude and the scope of what Jesus did through His death and subsequent resurrection. The story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead never loses its power for me. “Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:23-26). Jesus’ question is a challenge—do you accept it?

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: Renewed in Christ

Renewed in Christ - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar Ministriesby: Creflo Dollar

Have you ever felt life had gotten so bad that you wanted to hit some kind of restart button? Sometimes we get mired and dragged down in problems that seem so big that we feel we’ll never be able to climb out of the hole we’re in. We’re heartsick because of a relationship that ended or discouraged because of marital problems or a devastating job loss, or we feel separated from God because of a sinful act. When we hit rock bottom and feel worn out mentally and spiritually, we can turn to Him for a refreshing.

Life can bruise and wound, leaving us feeling like we just want to move on and leave the painful past behind. On our own, it can seem impossible to get past the scars and bad memories. But when we’re at the end of our rope, God does the impossible. “Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:16, 18, 19). When God embraces us, He frees us and empowers us to let go of old hurts and move forward.

We can struggle with a problem for months, or even years, until we’re totally worn out. We lose hope and get discouraged, knowing that as hard as we try, we can’t improve the situation through our own efforts. Our spirits wilt and faint within us, but when we turn the problem over to God, we find new strength we didn’t have before. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).

We may think that there’s no overcoming our past, and it will always follow us. But no matter how badly our lives are messed up, when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, He comes to live in us. In God’s eyes, our past is gone and our old self vanishes forever! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When God looks at us, He no longer sees sin, but instead He sees Jesus.

There’s a definite connection between the mind and the heart, and what we think about and dwell on in our mind eventually moves down into our heart. God renews our mind when we read His Word and meditate on it. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:23, 24). God’s will is to mend our broken hearts and spirits with His love. When we desperately want to start over, we only have to go to Him!

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Dr. Creflo Dollar: Developing Trust in God

Developing Trust in God - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar MinistriesTrust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

When we trust in the Lord with all of our heart, we significantly decrease the number of serious mistakes that we make in our lives. Have you made decisions that later brought regret? That is called learning a lesson the hard way. Some people say such things as, “I need to learn from my own mistakes.” It is a wise person who can seek the Lord and avoid mistakes in life. Second Peter 1:10 says, “ … give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never fall.” This scripture lets us know that the heart of God is that we never fall. If that were not the case, then why would he make such a statement? Do people fall? Yes. Do they have to? No, they do not. Should they want to make their own mistakes (fall) so they can learn from them? No, of course not.

If we are going to minimize the number of serious mistakes in our lives, we must trust in the Lord with all our hearts and look to Him to direct our paths. It is very possible to consistently make wise decisions, but we must discipline ourselves to slow down long enough to seek God’s will for whatever it is we are considering. So how do we know what God is saying to us when we are seeking His will? We should follow peace. God will give us a peaceful spirit about taking that next step. If we do not have peace, then we should stand still and wait on the Lord.

In an earlier devotional study, we were reminded to not let fear dictate our decisions. The enemy loves it when fear drives us to get in a hurry to make a move, because that is his opportunity to trip us up. Have you ever noticed that most people who caused car wrecks were in a hurry to get somewhere? When we are in a hurry, our judgment is impaired. We fail to make good decisions. But when we drive patiently, we are less likely to cause an accident. We are relaxed and more aware of what other drivers are doing. Just the same, we can avoid terrible mistakes when we seek the face of God before making a decision. Spend this week in the presence of God. Seek His face and His desires. Delight yourself in Him and not only will He guide your steps (Proverbs 3:6), but He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). Be blessed.

- Creflo Dollar

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: Think On These Things

Think On These Things - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar Ministriesby: Creflo Dollar

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).

Daily Confession:

“I think only on things which are good and pure, perfect, lovely, and of good report, and I let no corrupt communication proceed out of my mouth.”

The way we think is the key to our feelings and our actions. Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, things that are full of virtue and things that are praise worthy.

Philippians 4:3-8 (The Message Bible) gives us the spiritual recipe on creating a fertile mind that will always yield fruit that is praiseworthy.

  1. Celebrate God all day, every day.
  2. Don’t fret or worry.
  3. Instead of worrying, pray.
  4. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers
  5. You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling and gracious – BE GRATEFUL
  6. Think on the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

Remember that Jesus came to give us life (ZOE, the God kind of Life) and life more abundantly (John 10:10). Celebrate Jesus everyday. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Think on Him. Think on the truth and things that are true. You don’t get consumed with things that fill the mind with worry when your mind is filled with truth. Focus on LIFE.

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: Choosing a Mate God’s way versus The World’s way (Part 2)

Choosing a Mate God's way versus The World's way (Part 2) - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar MinistriesIn today’s article let’s look at some more important questions that singles should ask about their potential marriage partner.

Consider these questions:

Does Your Prospective Mate Respect You?

Are your opinions respected? Men, are you dating someone who wants to make all the decisions and doesn’t respect your opinions at all? Is this person controlling and very needy, and unwilling to listen to anything you have to say? Ladies, do you have a man who will not even open the door for you, but he will open the door for others? Are you dating a man who will not pay attention to your opinions or feelings? If your potential mate doesn’t respect you before you are married, he or she most likely won’t respect you after you are married.

Are You Consulted in Decision Making?

Do not marry someone who will not consult you before making important decisions. If you do, once you are married, your mate will feel entitled to make major decisions such as purchasing a car, taking a trip, or making plans without first discussing them with you.

Is There a Mutual Submission Between the Two of You?

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:21 to submit ourselves—one to the other—in the fear of the Lord. That means a husband must submit himself to his wife, by obeying what God tells him to do as a husband, and a wife must submit herself to her husband, by obeying what God tells her. Marriage is about mutual submission.

Is He or She Truly Open to Your Input?

Are you in a relationship with someone who really does not want to hear what you have to say? You do not want to spend your life with a partner who makes you feel dumb or treats you as if you have nothing to contribute.

How Does Your Prospective Mate Treat Other People?

Have you seen this person interact with others? How does he or she act around other people? It is easy to pretend when the two of you are out alone, but you must observe your date’s treatment of others. How does he or she act in a group setting or with family and friends? How does he or she treat your family and friends?

Do You Know What He or She Struggles with in His or Her Personal Life?

You must date long enough to find out what this person struggles with, even if you have to ask. Don’t be afraid to put it out there. This is so important because you do not want to end up in a marriage with someone who is struggling with something that you were not aware of. For instance, suppose he or she has issues with pornography, homosexuality, or drug addiction. These are things you need to know long before you say “I do.”

Be on the lookout for part three of this life changing teaching on Choosing a mate God’s way vs. the world’s way. I believe that God is raising up singles who are going to be equipped to have success in every area of their lives!

God bless you!

-Creflo Dollar

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: How to choose the right mate (Part 1)

How to choose the right mate (Part 1) - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar MinistriesAbout two years ago, I started a teaching series on relationships. One Sunday during the series, I asked all the single people in our congregation to stand. I was shocked to see that most of the congregation stood up! I thought to myself, Why are so many of them still single? Why aren’t more of these men and women making a connection? These questions prompted me to teach on the subject of choosing a mate.

Enjoy these helpful steps that will help you choose the right “special someone.”

BE INFORMED

During the dating process is the time to find out all the information you need to make an informed decision. Here are some important questions to ask and get answers to while you are dating.

Is This Person a Christian?

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). I would not advise you to marry someone whose beliefs or moral values go against what you believe as a Christian.

You could be setting yourself up for a lot of strange things, and a yoke of bondage. Choose a Christian mate in order to facilitate true harmony in your relationship (2 Corinthians 6:15 AMP).

A woman once said to me, “Pastor, the Lord told me to marry my boyfriend. So I am getting ready to get married.” I said, “Praise the Lord.” The first question I asked her was, “Is he a Christian?” She said, “Well. . . .” I knew right then something was wrong. He was not a Christian, and yet she was saying the Lord told her to marry  him. I asked, “Why would God say to do one thing in His written Word and then tell you to do something else in a spoken word?” I basically told her that she had missed God because apparently her thinking was not lining up with His Word. As I continued to talk to her, I found that she was more concerned about having sex than seeking God’s will; therefore she was willing to compromise her values as a Christian.

Please understand, it is not wise to compromise your values to keep someone. Do not be so desperate that you cannot make a wise decision. Always be willing to walk away if you are put in a position where you have to compromise your Christian beliefs.

 

What Kind of Christian Is Your Choice?

These days it is not enough to simply ask if someone is a Christian. The Bible says a tree is known by the fruit that it bears. What kind of fruit does this person produce? We as Christians should bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23).

Does the Person Have a Commitment to Love and Obey God?

What is this person’s personal history? How does this person acknowledge the Word in his or her personal life? Is he or she a committed Christian?

Are the Two of You Spiritually Compatible?

The Word is spiritual. Therefore, you cannot get an understanding of your spiritual compatibility without first having a good amount of fellowship and communication regarding the Word. Are you compatible where prayer is concerned? Do you both like to pray? Do you pray together? Do you both agree it is important to read the Bible daily and get an understanding of God’s Word? Do you both agree that it is important to meditate on the Word? Do you both agree that it is important to live by the Word?

Do You Agree on the Major Doctrines of the Bible?

It is important to know what the major doctrines of the Bible are so that you can discover if you share the same beliefs. Take time to discuss the doctrines of baptism, the Trinity, righteousness, and faith. These are great topics to discuss on your dates. Resist the urge to get romantic too soon while dating. Instead, engage in lengthy conversations regarding very important issues that will have a positive or negative effect on your relationship. Remember, the brother or sister needs to pass your checklist first!

Be on the lookout for part two of this article. My prayer is that it will empower you for success!

God bless you.

-Creflo Dollar

Experience “Your World with Creflo Dollar”! Everyone faces challenges in life, and with every challenge we face, there is a solution. “Your World” is passionate about empowering our viewers for positive change through the Grace of God. We invite you to tune in weekly!

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Creflo Dollar: The Importance of Pleasing God

The Importance of Pleasing God - Creflo Dollar - Creflo Dollar Ministriesby: Creflo Dollar

As Believers, our goal in life should be to please God. There are many people who believe that God is pleased with their lives simply because they are born again. There is, however, a difference between God being pleased with you because you are His child and Him being pleased with you because of your behavior. We want to please God in every aspect of our lives, meaning not only do we want to be pleasing to Him because we accepted Jesus, but we want our conduct and character to please Him as well. The way we live our lives on this earth determines the rewards we will get in heaven. For this reason, we should be diligent about cultivating a lifestyle that truly pleases God.

God holds us to a higher standard of living because He has given us the grace, or supernatural ability, to carry it out. Grace was never designed to be a cover-up for sin, but rather a means of overcoming sin in all its forms. This grace is always marked by God’s enabling work within us to help us overcome our shortcomings. Because we have grace, we can please God through our behavior. We are no longer under the dominion of sin and do not have to give in to temptation when it shows up.

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. John 17:23 says, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Jesus said that the Father loves us as much as He loves Jesus! And yet, it is possible to displease God through our behavior and lifestyle. God’s pleasure with us is not unconditional, like His love is. We must make a decision to please God through our obedience to His Word, out of reverence and honor for Him. Our love for Him and appreciation for all He has done for us should move us to align our lives with His Word. When we do, we please Him.

Making a quality decision to please God has so many benefits. Besides the fact that pleasing God through our obedience to His Word positions us to receive the benefits of the blessing on this earth, it also ensures that we receive rewards when we get to heaven. We all will have to go before the Lord one day and give an account of the things we did in our bodies, while on the earth (2 Corinthians 5:10). For this reason, we must make sure that we build our lives upon the foundation of God’s Word and not the fashions of this world.

First Corinthians 3:12-15 says, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

The works that we do while we are alive will be brought before the judgment seat of Christ one day, and everything we did that had lasting, eternal value will cause us to reap eternal rewards in heaven. Likewise, the things that had no eternal value will not make it through the fire of God’s judgment. Many people will lose their eternal rewards because the things they did on the earth, while successful in the world’s eyes, did not please God.

What do you allow to define you—the Word of God, or the norms and values of this world? Are you more concerned with being celebrated in the world’s eyes rather than developing love, faith, and godly character? Are your motives coming from a place of wanting to please God or please yourself? These are questions all of us must ask ourselves as we examine our lives and the plans, purposes, and pursuits we have in life.

It is God’s will for every Christian to obtain the full spectrum of rewards He has for them, both on earth and in heaven. What we do with the Cross determines where we spend eternity, but how we live our lives determines how we spend eternity. The only way to live a life that is pleasing to God is through His grace, which enables us to live according to His Word. When we discover and fulfill His will for our lives, rather than pursue our own will, we please Him and set ourselves up to receive eternal rewards that will last forever.

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