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Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Jeffrey never wanted to put anybody out. Instead of asking for help, he would straggle along on his own. Often, Jeffrey didn't get anything accomplished because he refused to impose on anyone else.
Sometimes, we act that way with God. We ask ourselves why God would be interested in helping us solve our problems. The thing is, God wants us to come to Him with our heartfelt needs. We have been invited to come before the throne of grace, and that includes with our diets. When we're honest, we'll admit that we need help, and there is no greater source of help than God.
Today's thought: Our hope to lose weight becomes reality when we put our trust in God.
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Philippians 3:8
A young man dreamed that he was standing before a table spread with a wide array of tantalizing foods. Beyond the table stood Jesus. The young man began eating the food, and he became completely engrossed in his consumption. When he finished, Jesus was gone, and he didn't know where to look to find Him.
Whenever we engage in gluttony of any kind, our attention is turned from Christ to our own selfish wants. There should be nothing more important in our lives than doing what is pleasing toGod. He wants us to be the best we can possibly be. Food, and our love of food, should always take a second place to our love of the Lord.
Today's thought: Eating pleases me; dieting pleases God!
And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Gwen hadn't seen Ed in almost five years. When they had last been together, she had been very overweight. She had struggled and fought to lose over the years, and she was quite proud of what she had accomplished. She could hardly wait to see his reaction. That was one of the best things about losing weight: seeing the faces of old friends who could hardly recognize you. The looks she got made the fight worthwhile. Their disbelief made Gwen feel she had performed a miracle. Good things truly did come to those who waited and stuck to their hope. God had blessed her a hundredfold.
Today's thought: What I lose today in weight will be gain in other ways tomorrow!
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. Proverbs 2:10-11, 20
Knowing what is right and doing what is right are completely different matters. Jessica knew she should lose weight, and she knew the Way to do that was to cut back on what she was eating. The problem was that she didn't want to give up any of the foods she loved. She just wasn't committed enough. A friend of hers told her that she had all the knowledge she needed in her head, but none of it was in her heart. The reason she couldn't stick to her diet was that she didn't want to lose weight badly enough. When we find ourselves lacking the proper desire, we need to turn to the Lord to ask His strength for doing what we know to be right.
Today's thought: Dieting is more than a matter of the mind. It's a matter of the heart!
In your patience possess ye your souls. Luke 21:19
Arlene asked the Lord for just a little more patience. She looked at the clock. She had eaten lunch just three hours before, and now her stomach was telling her to eat again. She knew she really couldn't need food again so soon. She concentrated all her attention on the project she was working on and repeated again and again that she wasn't hungry. Before she knew it, she was finishing the project, her hunger had died down, and it was almost five o'clock. Quickly, Arlene thanked God for helping her hang on awhile. It wasn't nearly as hard to get by with God giving her strength and support.
Today's thought: Decide to control your stomach instead of letting it control you!
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22
Christ has a powerful lesson for those who choose to diet. Dieting makes us different, and it is never easy to be different. Being Christians made the disciples different, and they had to suffer many things for their difference. People who are different are often excluded by others. Sometimes they are even abused and persecuted for their differences. There was only one reason the disciples were able to persevere in their faith, and that was the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. That same Spirit can give us the power to be different and the strength to persevere, even through a tough diet.
Today's thought: Jesus Christ helps everyone who chooses to be different!
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12
Christ allows us to declare a special kind of independence from the prison of obesity. Prisoners endure their captivity because they believe that they will one day find release. Through perseverance we earn the right to declare our independence from fat. God will stand with us as we fight for a healthier, more slender body. His Holy Spirit will help us withstand the temptations of rich, fattening foods, and He promises to bless our efforts to do what is right and good. Let us celebrate the freedom from flesh that God will help us achieve.
Today's thought: Faith in Christ can lead to freedom from fat!
We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope. Romans 5:3-4
The first week had been the toughest. Perry had paced back and forth past the refrigerator a thousand times. His hunger was so intense that it made him feel ill. He stuck with it a week, but he didn't lose much weight. He decided that he would diet at least one more week. Then it happened! A few pounds came off. Perry felt better. He felt more hopeful. The longer he dieted, the easier it got; especially when he could see some results.
Dieting is tough. It takes a lot of patience to wait for the first few results, but when they finally come, they offer us the hope we need to stick with it.
Today's thought: God gives us hope in order to cope!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Janet was tired of dieting. She had been at it for almost six months. She looked better and knew that she was doing the right thing. Taking the pounds off had been hard, but sometimes Janet felt that keeping them off was even harder. Thin people didn't understand that dieting wasn't just something to do to lose weight. For a person with weight problems, it had to be a way of life.
God knows that dieting is hard. He knows dieting can be a bore. More than that, He knows we need help to diet. Rely on God. He won't let you down.
Today's thought: I will take dieting one day at a time, one pound at a time!
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Tim always said that God really didn't help him much. The trouble was, Tim never did much for God, either. He rarely prayed, hardly went to church, and didn't even own a Bible. When someone suggested that Tim might go on a diet, he said dieting didn't do any good. Tim pursued a diet about as apathetically as he pursued God.
We will never succeed in anything unless we dedicate ourselvesbody, mind, and soulto achieving our goal. A deep and driving faith can be the perfect model for our diets. If we will strive to lose weight as much as we strive after God, He will bless our effort.
Today's thought: I'm giving everything I've got to losing weight!
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James 5:11
Gretchen wanted the job so badly. The doctor had told her she had to lose twenty pounds in order to pass the physical. Tina and Ann also had to lose weight to join the company. After a couple of weeks, Tina gave up. One week later, Ann folded, too. They both told Gretchen she was wasting her time. Gretchen didn't care. She held on, got her position, and never once regretted all she had to do to get it. She thanked the Lord that she had the strength to hold on when her friends had given up. Without His help, she never would have made it.
Today's thought: Job lost everything, and God blessed him greatly for what he suffered. If Job can endure, so can I!
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. 2 Peter 1:10
Beverly never let her Bible get very faraway from her. At the first tiny pang of hunger, she grabbed it and immersed herself in the Gospels. Feeding on the Word of God was much better for her than feeding her face, and it always took her mind off her hunger. God wouldn't let her fail. He gave her strength and commitment when she needed it the most. Her diet had helped make her a much stronger person spiritually. She had seen God's power to help her lose weight, and it had given her even more confidence in His power to do other things. Beverly knew that her diligence and perseverance came from God and nowhere else.
Today's thought: I am keeping God between me and the refrigerator!
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Jimmy was fascinated by the cocoon. He watched the caterpillar work on its new home for hours. Every day he came in to look at the cocoon. When the monarch butterfly finally emerged, Jimmy was delighted.
God works some amazing miracles in nature. It shouldn't be so hard to believe that He will work such miracles in the lives of His people. Losing weight might not seem like a miracle, but for those who straggle with their weight, it often feels as if only a miracle will suffice. If God can transform a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, He certainly can help us when all we want is to lose weight.
Today's thought: I am one of God's miracles, and He will help me be my best!
But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. 1 Corinthians 7:17
Karen got so angry. Her friend Angie had stared her diet at the same time Karen had begun. They had shopped together, eaten together, exercised together, but Angie had lost seven pounds more. It wasn't fair. What was the use of dieting when she couldn't lose weight as fast as her friend? She put forth the same effort but got less reward.
God has made each of His children differently. No two are exactly alike. We are called by God to do our best with what we are given. We may not have the same results on our diet that others have on theirs, but that's okay. God will bless us for what we do, and that's what really counts.
Today's thought: God will help me lose my weight without losing my mind!
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Granny wanted Ellen to lose weight. She used to offer her bribes all the time to encourage her. The problem was, no matter how much weight Ellen lost, her grandmother wanted her to lose more. There was just no pleasing her. Instead of helping Ellen lose weight, Granny just made her more frustrated and discouraged. It wasn't until Ellen decided she wanted to lose weight for herself that it really worked for her. She prayed for God's help, and He delivered. Doing it for Granny wasn't enough; doing it for God and herself made it all worthwhile.
Today's thought: The more I care, the less I weigh!
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Randy couldn't believe how tough Bob's dad was on Bob. What was even more amazing was that Bob didn't seem to mind. Randy would have gone crazy if his own father had demanded so much from him. Bob told him that his father was really a wonderful person and that he only wanted him to be the best person he could possibly be. Randy found it hard to believe, but one thing he did know: He sure wished he had as close a relationship with his own father as Bob had with his.
Our heavenly Father expects a lot from us. He wants us to be everything we can be. Though He's tough on us at times, He will always stand beside us to help us when we try to improve.
Today's thought: When we aren't tough enough on ourselves, God will be as tough as we need Him to be!
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Ron was one of the best contractors in the business. Every job he'd ever started, he'd completed to the client's satisfaction. He never left anything undone. His reputation was beyond reproach. No one ever had to worry when they had Ron working for them.
When we rely on God to help us with our dieting, we can rest assured that He will stick with us throughout the entire process. God does not give up. When He begins a job, He finishes it. We can have complete confidence in God. He will help us realize our goal.
Today's thought: With God's help, I can see this thing through to the end!
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:29
Gail couldn't believe how much her life was changing. All through college, Gail hadn't even set foot in a church. The only social situation she had been comfortable in was where food was involved. College had been lonely and unfulfilling, not to mention fattening. Just recently she had attended church with her new neighbor, and it was like coming home. She felt comfortable and accepted. Her newfound relationship with Jesus Christ gave her a different perspective on her life. She suddenly found a deep concern for her appearance and health. As God became more and more a part of her life, Gail vowed to become the best person she could possibly be.
Today's thought: God's might is greater than my appetite!
Excerpted from More Devotions for Dieters by Dan R. Dick. Copyright © 2000 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.