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Developing A Daily Devotional Habit (Introduction)

93137Target Point, Introduction   
   
Topic: Developing A Devotional Habit of Prayer
Author: Dick Eastman (adapted from his book, The Hour That Changes The World, (c)1978 Baker Book House, used by permission).

WELCOME!

You have signed up for an incredible topic. This topic will encourage you in developing an intimate relationship with the God of the universe. Just think, God created the universe within which we reside, but He desires to hold your hand, He desires to have an intimate relationship with YOU!!

Over these next 31 days, you will see a one-page devotional, each one building upon the previous day, all of which are designed to assist you in your growth in the area of prayer.

There are two attachments which we would like to encourage you to open and print out at this point (Just click their links in the definition below):

Attachment A: A page showing “Attachment A Prayer Clock” broken up into twelve segments. Print out perhaps even two of these, and place one by your Bible or near your favorite chair, and one in your car, or wherever else you might find it helpful for ready reference.

Attachment B: Three pages “listing each day’s subject” with space for you to make notes to yourself about that day’s topic, or thoughts that might come to you to do, or things that are meaningful to you personally as you progress along.

As you proceed over the next 31 days, be blessed, have fun, and grow in Christ!

Vince D’Acchioli
Founder/On Target Ministries

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
PRAYER-The Slender Nerve of Power
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Wired To Work 33

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 33 of 33   

 The Wired To Work Thirty-Day Action Plan

This thirty-day action plan has been designed to help develop a deeper relationship with God, a greater understanding of how and why He made you, and how to live a life that will make a difference.  It has been structured in a way that incorporates a precept-upon-precept approach. I am convinced that we need to introduce process driven strategies into our life if we are to realize real and sustained growth.

There are several ways in which this material can be used. It could be a daily reading incorporated into your devotional time—a weekly study—or used as a resource for your small group to work through. Here are some ideas for each:

Daily Reading

Keep this with your Bible and other devotional materials and make it a part of your daily reading. Require of yourself to do a further study on the subject by looking up other verses or ideas—perhaps with the help of a concordance or Bible dictionary. Make a note to yourself regarding what you intend to do differently in the action plan section and refer to it often.

Weekly Study

Because some of this material can be very challenging you may want to read a volume once a week in order to give yourself more time to process the life application issues. Enter a more in-depth time of study. List the new behaviors or actions you intend to enter into over the next week—be specific.

Small Group Resource

This action plan is a great resource for your small group to study and discuss during your scheduled meetings. You can all agree on what life application principle you each want to live out and then share the list with each other so that you can hold each member accountable. You may want to make strategic commitments along the way and give everyone permission to check on each other’s progress.

 

However you may choose to use this resource may God richly bless you in the process.

 CLICK HERE TO DOWMNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY  WTW30DAYplan

 

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Wired To Work 32

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A Final Word . . .

It may be that you, like so many, have come this far in your search for meaning and purpose and are still having difficulty believing God is real. You have taken this series and perhaps have found many of the things we have discussed interesting, but you still have your doubts. You are not abnormal. We live in a world today that says I’ll believe it when I see it. I want to suggest to you that just maybe you will see it WHEN you believe. This is what faith is all about, accepting something even when it does not square with some of our pre-conceived notions.

If the above pertains to you, please look for and order my book, Wired To Work. I believe it will help put many of your questions to rest. And, if you already have an abiding faith in the Lord Jesus, this book will help you too, as It focuses on building Christ-like people-not just Christ-sounding people. You can order the book by logging onto our web-site at www.otm.co or by calling 719-649-1000. And friend, please do not hesitate to write or e-mail me as to your questions or concerns. You can write Vince D’Acchioli, On Target Ministries, P.O. Box 1654, Monument, CO, 80132-1654. Or you can e-mail me at vince@otm.co.

Also, as you seek to know and understand more about the HOW and WHY of who we are in Christ, perhaps you have found that you are held back by a certain amount of fear in your life. Please be encouraged to continue knowing and growing by reading our series on Gaining Freedom From Fear found under TargetPoint Devotionals. Perhaps it will help you to further discover any roadblocks in your life.

It would greatly help us to hear from you. Your feed back is absolutely invaluable to us in hearing how this TargetPoint may have helped or strengthened you in some way. After all, that’s the point-the TargetPoint! If it is not helpful, it merely joins up with the stream and myriad of information that pounds our nation on a daily basis-from TV, to books, to the internet, and on and on.

Do you have any thoughts for improving our subject matter, our format, our presentation? Do you have a testimony of how a particular TargetPoint may have helped you? With your permission, we would publish your testimony and the blessing and assistance would certainly be multiplied to many others.

And finally, it’s important to tell you that our desire is to continue to offer the TargetPoint ministry FREE OF CHARGE. The reality is that the cost of developing and producing a single subject is $1200.00. If this has been helpful to you, perhaps you would like to sponsor the cost of a TargetPoint subject for $1200.00; or even a partial amount, translating to $37.50 per volume, or $262.50 for one week’s worth. If so, please contact us at 719-649-1000. You can use your credit card or send a check to On Target Ministries and memo it to TargetPoint. Or, just contact us at vince@otm.co and let us know of your desire to help.

PLEASE LOOK AT THE LAST TARGETPOINT IN THIS SERIES FOR OUR FREE THIRTY DAY ACTION PLAN FROM THE BOOK, WIRED TO WORK.

Thank you for your support and interest in reaching out to others and assisting in building up the body of Christ.

Vince D’Acchioli
Founder/On Target Ministries

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Wired To Work 30-Day Action Plan
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Stay Close To Me

Come near to God and He will come near to you.  James 4:8

Life Implication:
I want to end with the above verse that I have repeated several times throughout this series. It is the secret to life and understanding how an invisible God can love us like He does-the key to discovering His plan for our life-summed up in four powerful words…STAY CLOSE TO ME.

God would say to us today that the weapons of warfare and the armor of protection that will be required of us in the battle yet to come are so totally unconventional that we can’t even conceive of them with today’s mind. The key is to stay close to Him.

Life Application:
Twelve powerful words to draw us to conclusion:
I LOVE YOU (Your Name)
MY PLANS ARE GOOD
STAY CLOSE TO ME

If you remember nothing else about this exercise please commit these words to memory. I have them written down in several prominent locations as a constant reminder. My friend, the battle is heating up. God wants to use you. If you do not want to be a casualty, but rather a victorious warrior for God-heed His words and hold to His promises.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
A Final Word . . .
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Today’s Verse/Thought: My Plans Are Good

For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jer. 29:11

Life Implication:
This entire series has been about understanding HOW and WHY God made us. He made us for a purpose-He has a plan for your life. God says that His plan is to prosper you and not to harm you.

As amazing as this promise is, it will never be realized if you fail to apply it to your life. You cannot enter into God’s plan if you are wallowing around in the what-might-have-beens of life.

Life Application:
If you are stuck on past failures say to yourself what I am sure the Apostle Paul would say if he were here-GET OVER IT! Was there any number of course corrections in your life because you blew it along the way? You bet. Does that hinder God in any way from starting a new course-right now? No!

God is not limited by our past mistakes. Believe it or not-it’s your choice. The Father sent His son Jesus to die on a cross for you and me to once and for all draw a line in the sand that separates us from our past. He has said, MY PLANS ARE GOOD! Four powerful words…that begin right now!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Stay Close To Me
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Today’s Verse/Thought: I Love You (Your Name)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Life Implication:
As I close out this series I want to share three sets of four words. They are simple, but extremely profound. John 3:16 is the most quoted verse in the whole Bible. God loved us so much that He sacrificed His own Son. The biggest tragedy I can think of is to go through life never understanding how much God loves us.

Sometimes if we have difficulty understanding our heavenly Father’s love we put unnecessary pressure on earthly relationships. Today, many people suffer from what has been called a father vacuum. This is a condition that occurs as the result of either no relationship with our earthly dad-or a dysfunctional one. Unless you understand and appropriate God’s love you will never be able to overcome such tragic conditions.

Life Application:
Write your name in the space above and complete the most powerful four words in all of life. Now look at it-look again. Believe it-God is telling you how much He loves you. No matter where you’ve been-what you’ve done-you are precious to Him.

Keep in mind that He does not care what anyone else may think about you-He doesn’t even care what you think about you. He loves you with a love that goes so far beyond anything you can comprehend. Write those four words down and keep them with your daily devotional materials. Read them often and then tell Him how much they mean to you.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
My Plans Are Good
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Consistency-The Goal

Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.  Proverbs 4:25-26

Life Implication:
I love this verse. It is so powerful-FIX YOUR GAZE-the idea of vision. TAKE ONLY WAYS THAT ARE FIRM-the concept of stability. I am especially drawn to the words, MAKE LEVEL PATHS FOR YOUR FEET. Here we have the powerful picture of being on a LEVEL path. To me this represents consistency-or-avoiding life’s ups and downs.

The roller coaster of life will drag you down and wear you out. Many Christians want to live on a spiritual mountaintop all the time, but the inevitable valley of negative circumstances has a way of bringing us down. We need to discover ways to flatten out our journey in order to stay fresh for the long haul.

Life Application:
Are you just looking for the mountain peak experiences? No, you might say, I can’t seem to get out of the valley. Ask God to help you find that level path for your life. This is a great area to engage your accountability partners. I find that when I am open and transparent with others, they can often help me find that more consistent walk.

No one can live on the top of the mountain. The excitement and lack of oxygen will eventually destroy you. God loves to bring us there occasionally for our edification and perspective. You can see a lot from up there. Our reality, however, is on the plains. That is where God wants us to live. Get used to it. Pursue it. See it as a positive thing and look for God to do mighty things through you regardless of where you are.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
I Love You (Your Name)
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Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 27 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Accountable Relationships

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Gal. 6:1-3

Life Implication:
We all have burdens and tough stuff that we deal with in life. If we try to go-it-alone, oftentimes we succumb to the pressures of the world, the flesh, and the devil. We need each other. The above verse admonishes us to CARRY EACH OTHER’S BURDENS. I cannot carry your burden if I do not know what it is.

The devil does a good job with some of us-convincing us that we are the only one who thinks or behaves that way. It is a lie that is not easy to cast aside unless we are actively helping each other.

Life Application:
Find one or more persons right now with whom you can be accountable. Be careful not to mix gender, keep it-men with men-women with women. If you are not already in a small group or discipling relationship then ask God to bring someone to you to begin the process. After sharing your areas of need and struggle give them permission to ask you some difficult questions.

No matter how mature you are in your relationship with God-you will always need this kind of accountability in your life. The moment you think you have arrived-you no longer have need for accountability. Destruction lies ahead…you can count on it!

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Heb. 10:24

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Consistency-The Goal
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Being Like Christ, 4-The End In View

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right-let us strive on to finish the work we are in.  Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. president. Second Inaugural Address, 4 March 1865.

Life Implication:
In the game of golf I have noticed the meticulous attention that a golfer will give to every aspect of the course. They carefully take into consideration the lay of the land, the curves and firmness of the ground and the precise distance to the hole. This enables them to select just the right club for that all-important shot.

We need to understand the implications this model holds for us. A golfer always keeps the end in view. They know that sometimes you have to chip out from behind an obstacle and lose a stroke in order to achieve the greater gain. In life it is important for us to do the same. We need to keep the end in sight. What is the greater purpose?

Life Application:
If you calculate your life-course like a golfer calculates the green, you will find yourself making better decisions. Sometimes in relating to your spouse or child you need a putter-and you’ve got the driver out. And sometimes you will have to give some ground in order to realize the higher purpose.

Take a look at what lies in front of you. Be aware of the obstacles, but don’t let them overwhelm you. Remember that God wants you to see a greater purpose. Think about handling your challenge in light of how it will help you advance. Hold onto the vision. Ask God every day to show you which club to use. He will!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Accountable Relationships
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Being Like Christ, 3-Leaving The Comfort Zone

The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon. The land the LORD subdued before the people of Israel are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes, they said,  let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.  Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites,  Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from going over into the land the LORD has given them?  Numbers 32:1-7

Life Implication:
It is so tempting to get comfortable where we are and not want to step out. Especially when the consequences are uncertain. If we do not step out of our comfort zone two things will never occur: 1) Some of what God may want us to accomplish will not get done, and 2) We will not be stretched. God uses the challenges in life to grow us. If we sit still-we will not grow.

Life Application:
Determine not to let any lack of confidence in your own ability keep you from stepping out. Just like the example of Jesus feeding the five thousand using just a little boy with a few loaves and fish-He wants to do the same through us. That little boy knew he did not have enough. Neither do we. The miracle happens when we step out anyway. Jesus says I am looking for your obedience-not your ability. Remember-He is able.

Are there areas where you have been afraid to step out of your comfort zone? Take them to God in prayer and ask Him to show you what to do. Avoid the trap of thinking that says-who am I? What can one person do? Remember that if you want to grow you will have to be stretched. Making mistakes is part of the process.

Oswald Chambers says Never let the sense of past failure corrupt your new action.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Being Like Christ, 4-The End In View
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Being Like Christ, 2-Attitude Adjustment

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  Luke 6:27-28

Life Implication:
Jesus would not have told us to love our enemies if we were never going to have any. We all have enemies-sometimes we know them and sometimes we don’t. Enemies are those we do not like or agree with. Jesus says to love them.

One of the biggest reasons why Christians do not look any different from the rest of the world is because we fail to live up to this command. Jesus loved, and was able to see the potential in, everyone. He expects the same from us. The Bible tells us not to judge others. Having a wrong attitude toward those we do not like or agree with can have a detrimental affect on our own spiritual well being.

Life Application:
Do you find yourself telling demeaning or off-color jokes about others? Maybe they are political leaders or people you struggle with in life. As a believer in Jesus we cannot allow ourselves this liberty. Decide to rid yourself of all such slander.

Make a list of the people who may be your enemies. Next to each name list an action item-something you know you need to do. It might be asking someone to lunch and having a heart-to-heart talk with them. Perhaps you need to ask someone to forgive you for the way you have been thinking or the things you have said. Begin to pray for each of these people on your list. Ask God to show you how He would have you pray.

Proverbs 16:3 says that if we commit our WORKS (behavior) to the Lord-then our THOUGHTS (attitude) will be established. Having a healthy attitude about people is critical and requires us to be pro-active.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Being Like Christ, 3-Leaving the Comfort Zone
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Being Like Christ, 1-Behavior That Lights Up

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16

Life Implication:
The Bible makes it clear that we are called to be lights. It does not tell us to shine our light on people-but to allow our light to shine. When we shine our light others only see the glare. This is a clear call to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Remember the great painting of the Mona Lisa. I doubt you could describe what that frame looks like. The job of a good frame is not to draw attention to itself, but rather the precious content it is meant to display.

Are people seeing Jesus IN you-or are they seeing you-the frame? Unless Jesus’ nature is revealed in us we will have little foundation to speak with authority about Him. The big problem today with many Christians is that we just want to talk about Jesus. Often that is why our REAL witness is so weak. I call it sound-bite Christianity.

We cannot compromise. If we are followers of Christ then we must live exemplary lives. That means that we do not have the liberty to cheat or stretch the truth in any area. Anything less will virtually disqualify us from being worthy of witnessing for Him. The world is looking for the REAL deal. We must give it to them.

Life Application:
Examine your life. Are there areas where you are compromising? Make a list of what you will have to let go of in order to be all that Jesus wants. Pray and give those issues in your life to God. Make a commitment to rid yourself of all that hinders you.

Are you shining your light or letting it shine? Are you Imposing or Exposing your faith? Are you planting seeds or pulling weeds? Telling people about Jesus is only effective if we have earned their respect.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Being Like Christ, 2-Attitude Adjustment
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Lining Up the Factors, 4-What About Circumstances?

In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.  Eph. 1:11

Life Implication:
Ignoring our circumstances and venturing out in a new direction can often devastate our life and the lives of those around us. While it is true that God allows things to happen in our life-both good and bad-He is not necessarily the cause. God can redeem any situation-even the ones we stumble our way into.

It is very important that we carefully consider our circumstances before taking any kind of significant step. The fact that you may have just lost your job may not be a clear sign that God wants you to move to Africa and be a missionary. It may just be that you lost your job. This is why all four factors should be considered and not just one or two.

Life Application:
If you are noticing a pattern in the Word, if you are hearing His voice and your chosen counsel is affirming, then examine your circumstances. Ask yourself, where does God have me right now? How will your decisions affect others? Do you have the resources necessary to move out in the way you believe He is calling you?

Remember that when it comes to resources there is a fine line between faith and foolishness. Let me remind you again that God is a God of order. If He is calling you-then all four factors will line up. I have witnessed this in my own life and have yet to see it fail in others.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Being Like Christ, 1-Behavior That Lights Up
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Lining Up the Factors, 3-Affirming With Counsel

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.  Prov. 15:22

Life Implication:
There is nothing worse then going through life bent on having it your way. We need each other for advice and counsel. This is true in business, family situations, church and especially with regard to finding God’s plan for your life.

Unless what God is saying to you is being affirmed through wise, godly counsel-don’t move ahead!

Life Application:
Consider all of what God may be revealing to you through the Word, His voice and your circumstances and submit them to godly people who will pray and give you their advice. God is not a God of disorder. If it is Him then He will affirm it through others.

The key is to find mature believers who will pray and seek God on your behalf. Your job is to pray for that they receive clear and divine counsel from Him. Depending upon the magnitude of your decision I suggest involving at least three or four trustworthy believers or couples. Be sure not to include anyone who may be impacted by the outcome.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Lining Up The Factors, 4-What About Circumstances?
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Lining Up the Factors, 2-What Am I Hearing?

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.   Isa. 30:21

Life Implication:
Hearing God is essential to our moving on, yet it is one of the most difficult things to do. Our minds are so active that it is almost impossible to get quiet and sensitive enough to hear His voice.

If you are not hearing God-then don’t move forward-wait. I am not talking about an audible voice. God will usually whisper something to your heart and you will know it is Him because it will be something that your mind probably never would have thought of. At least that’s how it works for me.

Life Application:
Be still. Praise Him. Pray and ask Him to speak to you. Wait patiently to hear His voice. Pray and promise Him that you will not move forward until you do. Keep your paper and pen handy and jot down thoughts or ideas you feel might be coming from Him. Compare what you are hearing to what you are reading. See if there is a pattern.

As I mentioned before, though you may see a pattern, remember that this may be just one or two of the four factors. It’s not time to take action yet-read on…

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Lining Up the Factors, 3-Affirming with Counsel
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Today’s Verse/Thought:  Lining Up the Factors, 1-Is It In the Word?

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Life Implication:
There are four factors that need to line up before you can be sure that it is God who is calling you into a particular direction: 1) Are you reading it in the His Word? 2) Are you hearing it by His Spirit? 3) Is it being affirmed through wise, godly counsel? 4) And, is it consistent with current circumstances?

When God calls us to a certain direction or vision He will always reveal it to us through His Word. An excellent guideline is to remain still until a clear pattern becomes evident during your regular times of reading the bible.

Remember that Psalm 119:105 contains two promises. Not only will His Word be a lamp to your feet-illuminating your daily steps, but it will also become a light to your path-a bright light focused on the place where He is taking you. You will never see God’s vision for your life unless you are reading His Word.

Life Application:
Pray and read your bible every day. Ask God to reveal His plan to you through the written Word. Have a pen and paper handy and take note of anything you think may be jumping off the pages at you.

After some time go back over your notes or the places you may have underlined in your bible and see of there is a pattern there. I find this to be very helpful. If you may see a pattern remember that this is still just one of the four factors. Don’t step out yet-read on…

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Lining Up The Factors, 2-What Am I Hearing?
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Finding the Way-Vision

If you do not know where you are going-any road will take you there

Life Implication:
The Bible says in Proverbs, Where there is no VISION…the people perish. I like the NIV version that states, Where there is no REVELATION…the people cast off restraint.  In other words, if you do not know where you are going…any road will take you there.

I believe that most failure, whether business, marital or personal, can be traced back to a lack of vision. A lack of vision may just be the single biggest contributor to suicide. Every human being desperately needs a reason for being. This is what separates us from any other creature on earth.

Life Application:
Take stock of your life. Make a list of all your significant experiences. Think about your interests and write them down. Now, consider your passion-what moves you emotionally? Sometimes by reviewing these areas God begins to reveal a pattern. At the very least, go before Him with this information and ask Him what it all means.

The Lord will oftentimes allow us to experience significant events in life for a specific reason. Be patient. Hab. 2:3 says For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

Finally, be sure to line up the four factors outlined in the following volumes before you step out. These factors will clearly indicate whether you are following God’s vision or your own.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Lining Up The Factors, 1-Is It In The Word?
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Now That I Know-What Should I Do?

It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back-whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!  Mark 13:34-36

Life Implication:
The above verses make it clear that we are to WORK (our assigned task) and WATCH. In the process of discovering our purpose, we must also prepare ourselves. We must be alert to the world around us.

Most Christians today know very little about what is going on outside of their small circle. This can be very dangerous. As Christians we should make every effort to prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually for the rest of our journey.  Not doing so renders us irrelevant.

Life Application:
As you continue to find God’s purpose for your life, make yourself a student of the environment around you. Keep abreast of current affairs and know how the world around you thinks. Pick up reading material that will help you in this area.

You may want to use the web or your local Christian bookstore (authors like George Barna, Chuck Colson) to uncover additional sources of information. Position yourself to begin the all-important process of WATCHING. Remember, a successful soldier knows every aspect of the battlefield.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Finding the Way-Vision
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Today’s Verse/Thought: Unalterable Fact 3-He Wants Me to Know

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints…  Ephesians 1:18

Life Implication:
God’s greatest desire is for you and I to truly know Him, and then as a result, discover the wonderful plan He has for our life. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to be among those who never get it, who never discover God’s unique plan for their life.

Not living out His plan for your life is called existence. Existence can be ok-even fun, but when we do not choose God’s best I believe we miss something special. There is a tremendous sense of frustration associated with living life on a level less than His highest.

Life Application:
Every morning ask God to open a new opportunity or experience that will help you to live your life according to His plan. Ask Him to enlighten your heart and to help you see yourself through His eyes. Lord, when You look at me what do You see?

As we learned in Vol. 14, discovering your own specific gifts is critical to this process. After discovering your natural gifts, begin to ask God to develop and use those gifts within the settings He has placed you. Ask Him to take His vision for your life and begin to work it into your DNA.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Now That I Know-What Should I Do?
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Wired To Work 15

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 15 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Unalterable Fact 2-I Have Special Gifts

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…  Romans 12:4-6

Life Implication:
You are not the accidental evolution of pond scum. God has marvelously and uniquely fashioned you. You are special and have been given gifts by a loving God who is equipping you for a unique task.

Most people never discover their God-given gifts. In Romans we read about the seven natural or personal gifts that are given to all of us. Knowing which of these God has given you is critical to your understanding of how He wants to direct your life.

Life Application:
Ask God in prayer every day to help you discover your natural gifts. Sometimes our learned behavior or gifts blur our understanding of God’s natural gifting in us. (You can find a natural gifts test on our web-site. Just click here. Then take a few moments to fill the test out and review your results. You will be able to obtain printable results that will also give you vocational implications.  After you have completed the natural gift test, ask God to confirm the results. Look for opportunities to use your gifts. Sometimes in the exercising of your gifts God reveals His greater purpose.

Ask others what they think your gifts are and note their responses. Start with your family. Then go to those you work with, friends, neighbors and people in your church. Often others see us in ways we cannot.

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Unalterable Fact 3-He Wants Me to Know
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Wired To Work 14

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 14 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Unalterable Fact 1-He Knows Me and Has a Purpose

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.  Jeremiah 1:5

Life Implication:
Whether you know God or not you have likely sensed some sort of destiny or purpose for your life. We were created that way and God’s great desire is that some day we discover His perfect plan for us.

Not knowing His plan for our life leaves us to following the plans outlined by the world around us, or our own inclinations. This can often lead to a sense of frustration. Nothing is as important as knowing and living out our Creator’s purpose.

Life Application:
What God spoke to Jeremiah in the verse above is something that He wants to say to all of us. In Jeremiah’s case He was appointing him as a prophet. He has a plan for each one of us too.

If you are having difficulty discovering God’s plan for your life-you are not alone. Most people have a difficult time here. As we have already mentioned, getting close to God is the key to everything. Go to Him in prayer everyday and ask Him to specifically reveal His plan for your life. I can’t underscore enough the need to be specific. Be persistent and then sit back and watch for His response.

It might be a person He sends with a subtle message or idea. It could be an opportunity or circumstance that He sends your way. Look at everything that comes along-chance meetings-phone appointments-trips to the market, etc. as possible scenarios where God might be communicating something to you.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Unalterable Fact 2-I Have Special Gifts
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Wired To Work 13

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 13 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Coming Against The Forces At Work

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy… Luke 10:19

Life Implication:
There are four forces at work in our life all the time: The WORLD, our FLESH, the DEVIL and the LORD. It is the latter force (the Lord) that we want more of. Discerning the other three can at times be difficult. Once we have prayed for God’s will to be realized, we must then consider the forces that may be at work in a given situation. Not recognizing and praying against these negative forces can give them a place of power.

The Bible says that we have not because we ask not.  This is where we need to understand our responsibility. God is calling us to recognize and come against anything in our life that may be contrary to His will.

Life Application:
Because of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, you and I have been given the power and the authority to pray against the forces that may be at cross purposes with God’s will. What are those forces? The WORLD the FLESH and the DEVIL.

You and I can go before God with confidence and pray against these forces. Sometimes it is a matter of living in a fallen world where our environment, with it’s numerous diseases, are destroying us. Other times it is our flesh with its self-centered bent on satisfying it’s limitless desires. And then there is the devil. We must remember that the devil is real and he hates us. Go before God and pray aggressively against these forces in your situation. If you do this faithfully, you can then walk away from your prayer time with the confidence that you have done your part. Then relax and remember that He knows what is best.

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Unalterable Fact 1-He Knows Me and Has a Purpose
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Wired To Work 12

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 12 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Asking For His Will Above All Else

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  1 John 5:14

Life Implication:
We have all had experiences in life where we have asked for things that were not good for us and been refused. Perhaps it was a parent or guardian who was looking out for our best interest and knew that what we were asking for was either not possible or not something that would be healthy for us at the time.

Usually when we ask for something we have already made up our minds that it is worthy. Because of the presupposition that is now there, it is difficult to understand why we don’t get it. We feel rejected, but we must remember that it is our selfish attitude that may be in the way. We must also remember that God’s will is always better than our own.

Life Application:
When Jesus asked His Father to take this cup from Me, in Mark 14:36, He was considering the great pain He was about to endure for you and me on that cross. But, on the heels of that request He continued, yet not what I will, but what You will. In other words, not withstanding the pain here-the thing that is most important Lord, is Your will.

I wonder if we will be surprised some day to discover how many times we jumped in and just demanded that God answer our requests. Perhaps we wanted Him to heal in a certain situation and nothing happened. Keep in mind that God’s idea of broken is very different than ours. We can never presume to know what God may be doing in a given situation. Remember to always begin by asking for His will in a given matter. The next volume will deal with our privilege in prayer to come against the forces that may be at cross-purposes with His will.

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Coming Against the Forces at Work
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Wired To Work 11

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 11 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Seeking Him First…Not What I Want

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matt. 8:33

Life Implication:
How would you like it if your kids or others who are close to you only came to you when they wanted something? I know you have probably experienced that. How does that make you feel? Do you think that our heavenly Father would feel any different? The bible says that He is a jealous God who yearns for our attention and love.

Could it be that many of our requests go unanswered because we are asking in the wrong way? God loves us and knows what we need even before we ask. His real desire is for us to go to Him just because we love Him. If the only time you go to God is when you want something you will be greatly disappointed.

Life Application:
Seek the Giver of the gift-not the gift. Seek the face of God-not the hand of God. Try to remember the feelings you have when that little child or puppy or kitten crawls up in your lap just because they want to be near you. Now, do that with your heavenly Father. Just crawl up in His lap and begin to talk with Him. Tell Him how much you love Him and make every attempt to put your own needs on the back burner.

There have been times when I have done this and completely laid aside my own burdens, and God still heard my heart and responded to my unmentioned requests. I am convinced that if we approach God like this-He will answer. Does this mean that we should never ask? Of course not! It just means that we have to have a right heart. Before you go to God, get in the habit of asking yourself the question-what is my motive?

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Asking For His Will Above All Else
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Wired To Work 10

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 10 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Purposeful Prayer

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly.  Acts 4:31

Life Implication:
Prayer is the most wonderful privilege we have. It is communication with God. God responds to our prayers, and as He does, we develop the kind of progressive faith that brings us closer to Him. If you are not praying, your life will not work right. This is a fact. Prayer needs to become such a natural part of our life that it is like breathing. If you are a parent, you need to take that responsibility seriously and be praying for your kids every day.

Life Application:
Make a commitment right now to develop a healthy prayer habit. Determine when the best time of day would be. Some may be more alert in the morning. Others may find the evening to be more convenient.

Sit down and make a list of all of the things you would like to pray about. They will usually fall into categories like, family, friends, neighbors, vocational issues, etc. You may even want to separate your list into these categories.

Entries such as family members and major struggles and challenges you may want to carry across every day. Others could be on a once a week basis.

Once you have finished your list now is the time to divide it into manageable chunks. You can do this on your computer with a spreadsheet program or on a piece of paper. Write down the seven days of the week as column headings. Then break down your list into things that you will pray for on each of the days.

This exercise will help you focus on specific concerns each day. I find myself continually adding and subtracting requests. Don’t be intimidated by long lists, the longer the better. You will never run out of things to pray about, and before you know it, you will begin to see answers!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Seeking Him First…Not What I Want
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Wired To Work 9

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 9 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Reading the Word

Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Joshua 1:8

Life Implication:
The Bible makes it clear that we need to be reading the Word if we are going to be prosperous and successful. We must be careful not to equate what the Bible means as prosperous with earthly possessions or money. REAL prosperity comes in understanding the depths of God and ultimately what He wants for our life. Psalm 119:105 says that the Word of God will be a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. If we are not reading the Word we are not realizing the potential for God to illuminate our daily steps and shine His wonderful beacon on the end of our path.

Life Application:
There is a difference between READING God’s Word and STUDYING the Bible. With the use of a read through the Bible in a year scheduling system you will do just that-read through the Bible. This is a good habit to form in order to fill yourself up with God’s word.

When you read the Bible I suggest having a pen and paper at hand to record significant scripture verses that may awaken something in you. I like to underline them in my Bible and then go back later and re-read them.

STUDYING the Bible means that you are taking a verse, series of verses, or maybe a whole chapter or book and going more in-depth. You may want to separate your READING from your STUDY. If you are in a Bible study with others you may not sense a need to do more. In this case, I suggest that you pick a book and conduct a personal study with the use of your Bible dictionaries and concordances.

Finally, do not be discouraged if you find yourself reading a whole chapter and then not remembering what you just read. It is not uncommon. Just press on and read it anyway. Before you know it, you will have developed a long-lasting hunger for God’s Word. Remember what goes in will eventually come out

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Purposeful Prayer
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Wired To Work 8

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 8 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: The Power of Praise

The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; His love endures forever. Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud.  2 Chron. 5:13

Life Implication:
The above verse reminds us that God entered the temple as the direct result of His people praising Him. In the old covenant God would come into a physical place. The good news for us today is that God now resides in our heart. This incredible verse has so much more meaning today. As we praise Him, He comes into our very being.

There is a linkage between praising God and hearing His voice. Praise is mentioned in 319 verses in the bible. It is one of the most often mentioned ideas, yet one of the most misunderstood. God desires worship and praise more then any other thing we can do. He knows that the only way we can truly praise Him is to set ourselves aside…leaving room for Him to move into our lives. It creates a highway that leads to discovering His wonderful plans for us.

Praising God is the only way that we can overcome self and get closer to Him. In James 4:8 the bible says that if we draw near to God-He will draw near to us. Nothing brings us closer to God than praise. If we fail to develop an ongoing habit of praising God then we miss a major connection point with Him.

Life Application:
In the previous volume about quieting our minds we touched on this most important subject of praise. Let’s now endeavor to make praise a daily habit. Even before you begin your reading or prayer time-just start to praise Him. Praise is not difficult. Verbalize your love for Him. Tell Him what a good God He is and how much you appreciate knowing Him.

Open the book of Psalms and read aloud verses that praise the Lord. You could even try singing verses from the Psalm to Him. Remember that God doesn’t care how well you can carry a tune. He loves your praises-it is a sweet, sweet sound in His ear. After you praise Him for a while it is a good idea to just be quiet and listen for His voice. I find that He often talks to me just after I have spent time praising Him.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Reading the Word
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Wired To Work 7

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 7 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Having A Quiet Mind

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.  Rom. 8:6

Life Implication:
One of the most difficult challenges in life today is having a quiet mind. We live in a world that is sending out information so fast that it is impossible to keep up. The result of all of this is sometimes called information overload. Confusion often sets in as we attempt to process all of this data. The 21st century mind is packed with more ideas and thoughts than it can reasonably process. Because time is such an important commodity we find ourselves thinking about several different ideas all at the same time. A good example of this is trying to listen to someone while at the same time thinking about something else you have to do.

One of the major reasons why we do not hear from God has to do with our preoccupation with unrelated thoughts. If we cannot quiet our minds and hearts and get into a state of neutral we will never hear God.

Life Application:
Whenever I find myself unable to quiet my mind I simply begin to praise Him. Praise is not complicated. We will discuss it in greater detail later. For now, try this. Just begin to talk to God. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for being who He is and for all that He has done and is doing in your life.

Ask God directly to help you to quiet your mind and concentrate on Him. Tell Him how much you desire to hear His voice today.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
The Power Of Praise
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Wired To Work 6

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 6 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Finding A Quiet Place

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  Luke 6:12

Life Implication:
In the above verse, Jesus knew that it was not possible to have an intimate fellowship and communion with His Father without finding a quiet place. The same is true with us. We must have a place where we can be alone with God. A place where there are no worldly distractions. If you do not find a quiet place it will be almost impossible to concentrate on His Word, or pray and hear God speak to you.

Life Application:
Identify a place either in your home or somewhere where there is little chance that someone will interrupt you. Make sure that family members or others who may be around know and respect your privacy. If there are cell phones or other distractions, turn them off. Make it as comfortable as possible.

Next, place your devotional materials where you can easily and comfortably access them. I like to surround myself with dictionaries and various commentaries so that I can easily look things up. I also keep my laptop and Bible software handy and have downloaded many resources to my phone and tablet.

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Having A Quiet Mind
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Wired To Work 5

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 5 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Knowing God

Come near to God and He will come near to you.  James 4:8

Life Implication:
The secret to everything in life is a close personal relationship with God. You will never discover HOW and WHY God made you unless you are willing to get close to Him. Most of us stumble through life tripping over obstacles that we would not encounter were we to allow God to illuminate them. The reason why many do not go to God is because they really do not KNOW Him. Here is the formula: You will never RELY upon someone you do not TRUST, and you will never trust someone you do not KNOW. Truly knowing God is the secret to a happy, secure and fulfilled life.

Life Application:
In Mark 12:30 the Bible admonishes us to love the Lord with all of our HEART, SOUL, MIND and STRENGTH. Ask yourself right now if you are missing the mark here.

Realize that you can’t get to know someone who you are unwilling to spend time with. Decide today to get to know God. Make a commitment to spend time alone with Him every day. Be careful not to fall into the trap that says because I went to church today, or attended that Bible study, I have done my God-thing. You can’t develop intimacy in a crowd. You can’t REALLY get to know someone unless you get alone with them.

Get yourself a good Bible, devotional, (I like Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest) and a journal where you can write down what you believe God may be saying. Begin to use them every day.

I recommend you find a read through the Bible in a year program. It only takes fifteen to twenty minutes a day and takes you through the entire Scripture. Determine the time of day that you would like to spend with God and protect it diligently. Do not become legalistic. If you miss a day, don’t worry about it. Get back on track tomorrow.

The next nine volumes will help you to form some solid habits in this area. They will discuss the importance of reading the Word, PRAYING and PRAISING God.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Finding A Quiet Place
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Wired To Work 4

Wired-for-Work-BookTarget Point, Vol. 4 of 33   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Letting Go Of My Way

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  Matthew 10:29

Life Implication:
Probably the biggest single obstacle to getting close to God is our unwillingness to let Him into every part of our life. In Psalm 16:8 it says, I have set the Lord ALWAYS before me…  Because we live in a culture that teaches us that WHAT we do is an indicator of WHO we are, we have turned the I-can-do-it-myself mentality into an art form. Unless we are willing to admit our absolute poverty to do anything without God, and go to Him for everything, we will never have the kind of relationship with Him that we desire.

Life Application:
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-11 we find Paul complaining about his thorn or weakness. God tells him that His power is made perfect in weakness, a foreign concept, but one that we must grasp. Recognize today that you are weak and decide to let God into every aspect of your life.

Make it a habit to pray about everything, not just the big or overwhelming obstacles. Pray before making that phone call or attending that meeting. Our Lord loves us and would never consider something too mundane for Him to be involved.

Make a list of the areas in your life where you have felt the need to be in control. Talk about them with your spouse or another close friend or counselor. Make it a point of daily prayer to offer your will to God in exchange for His. Every time you are about to make a decision remember to quietly ask God for guidance.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Knowing God