• JUNE 3 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Tim. 4:7) If all this talk about fighting and violence and being a warrior bothers you, let me just say this: the virtue of strength is determined by how it’s used. If it’s used to love and to protect, it’s good. Unfortunately, it can also be used to inflict harm, and that’s not consistent with God’s character that we see reflected in the Bible. He calls us to fight for what’s right. Warriors are only as worthy as their cause. Someone without a cause from God is often just an angry person who doesn’t know where to direct their pent-up energy and aggression. A warrior with a cause from God directs that war-like energy in a direction for a greater cause. Until there’s something you’re willing to die for, you can’t truly live. You were created to fight for righteousness. Until you tap into that divine cause, you’ll be bored, destructive, and frustrated. Find something more. I thank God I get to live my divine cause. I honestly believe I’m on the front lines of the most important war: the one between heaven and hell. The kingdom of God versus the kingdom of darkness. My sword is drawn, and I’m willing to die for the cause to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. That’s not what I do, that’s who I am. It starts with my family, and it bleeds over to everything I do, anywhere I am. What are you fighting for? Power Lift Lord, I don’t always think of myself as a fighter, but with your power I’m willing to do battle—for you, your kingdom, and your people. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.
    1. JUNE 2 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. (1 Tim. 6:12 NLT) If you’re a follower of Jesus, then you’re also a fighter. In Exodus, we’re told: “The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name” (15:3, italics mine). So if we’re created in God’s image, then we, too, have this fighter inside us as part of our nature. This is not just a cultural, patriarchal thing. It’s a God thing—for all of us, both men and women—inherent to our Creator’s design. And don’t forget the greatest warrior who ever lived, Jesus. Surprised? Many of us imagine Christ based on pictures of him, all meek and mild, smiling as children gather at his feet with sheep grazing nearby. But if you look at his life, this picture is incomplete. The Son of God was not a divine doormat. He was overwhelmed with righteous anger, violently toppling the tables of the money-changers in his Father’s temple. He was the scandalous Messiah, willing to buck the Pharisees and their religious establishment. He is the fierce King of Kings whose eyes are like blazing fire and who wears a robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19:13). Jesus is both the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah, the Prince of Peace and the Risen Savior, overcoming sin and death once and for all. We must consider all of what the Bible tells us to fully appreciate God’s character and Jesus’ example. No doubt about it, Jesus was a fighter. And so are you. Power Lift Jesus, I want to be both gentle and defiant, meek as a lamb and fierce as a lion, just like you. Today I will fight whatever stands in the way of growing in my faith. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.
      1. JUNE 1 In [God’s] strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (Ps. 18:29 NLT) Almost everything worthwhile I’m doing today is a result of God helping me overcome a challenge, a problem, opposition, or my doubts. Years ago when I began serving in ministry, I worked for five years at a terrific church. My first year, however, the church board decided I was “too enthusiastic” and should be fired. My first year! I didn’t even make it to my one-year anniversary! It’s only because my senior pastor, Nick, stood up for me and convinced them to give me another chance that I’m still in ministry today. Not only did the church board have their reservations about me but so did my denominational leaders. After their screening process for ordination, the group said, “Craig, we’re not sure you’re called to ministry. Your ideas are just too . . . well, we’re just not sure you’d make a good pastor.” So they put me “on hold” for a year. I jumped through their hoops and was finally ordained, only to be declined to start a new church. But God continued to burden my heart for ministry and leadership, and he’s the reason I am where I am today. So for as long as I can remember, I’ve always believed that even if I come up to a wall that’s in my way, with my God, we’ll go over it, we’ll go under it, or we’ll put our heads down and go through it. Why? Because today’s verse says I can crush an army in God’s strength! What fight do you need to win? With God, all things are possible. This month is about fighting the good fight—and it starts right now. Power Lift Lord, nothing can stop me from doing what you want me to do! Today I will push through walls with a conquering attitude. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.
        1. MAY 31 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. (Ps. 119:165) I’ve shared several stories about being nervous, uncomfortable, and intimidated as I’ve stepped out in faith. But I want you to realize that as you grow in your faith, you will also experience more of God’s peace. The tendency to feel anxious may still pop up, but as you pray and rely on God’s power, you relax into the security of knowing he’s in control. You aren’t responsible for how other people respond when you share your testimony of what God’s done in your life. You just have to risk sharing it. And when you do, then you experience God’s presence sustaining you. As you know God’s peace more and more, then you can stay calm when he stretches you beyond your comfort zone, knowing your security rests with him. It sounds crazy, but sometimes when life gets more stressful, I sleep better because I know the situation is too big for me to handle. Therefore, I’m not even tempted to try and take control. I can trust in my Savior. And so can you. If we follow Jesus and obey God’s commands, then our feet will remain steadfast and sure. We will not stumble or fall victim to the many worries, fears, and anxieties that try to slow us down. Our peace is certain. Today don’t let anyone or anything rob you of the security you have in the Lord. Power Lift Dear God, you are my shepherd and I will not fear. Your peace gives me comfort, power, and strength. No one can steal my joy today. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.
          1. MAY 30 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Rom. 12:10 ESV) A while back, I treated myself to the sauna after working out at the gym. I had the place to myself until this younger guy walked in. From his facial expression, I could tell he was upset. We chatted casually, and then I said, “Hey man, it’s obvious you’re having a bad day, and I don’t want to pry, but if you want to talk, I’ll listen.” He opened up. He said he’d betrayed his wife and they’d got in a big fight. Fearing his marriage was over, he’d moved out the day before. He said, “I’ll never forget my three-year-old daughter, as I’m backing down the driveway crying, ‘Daddy don’t leave us, don’t leave us!’” At that moment, I realized I was exactly where God wanted me. Trying not to sound like a preacher, I said, “Forgive me if it sounds crazy, but I believe God wants me to tell you to go home and get on your knees, apologize, and start again. I believe God wants you to be the Daddy to that little girl and the husband to your wife.” The guy choked up and said, “I’m not a religious guy at all, but I think you’re right. I believe God sent you here to tell me to go home.” I wasn’t trying to jump into “pastor mode” and force him to pray and accept Christ there in the sauna; I just listened to God’s Spirit and relayed the message I heard. That’s what an ambassador does. When you’re willing to step out in faith, you will find all kinds of opportunities to represent God. Where is God calling you to be his representative today? Power Lift Lord, today I want to be attuned to the hearts of others so I can represent you and show them your love. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.
            1. Our POTENTIAL is God’s gift to us, and what we do with it is our gift to HIM. Maxwell, John C. 150 Essential Insights on Leadership. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2021. Print.
              1. MAY 29 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. (1 Cor. 2:13 ESV) Most weekends, I deliver a message to tens of thousands of people at all of our different Life. Church locations over satellite video. However, I rarely see more than several hundred people in one location at one time. If I saw them all at once, it would freak me out! The first time I ever spoke in front of tens of thousands of people in a huge stadium, I almost lost more than just my voice! Overwhelmed, I prayed, “Lord, help me to do this. I know I am your chosen instrument to carry your message to these people this day.” I felt like I had no right to be there whatsoever, but when I remembered that God had brought me there, then I could step out with authority. I’m not the best. I’m not a Bible scholar. But God has chosen and appointed me, and I take confidence in this truth. He has called me and I continue to fulfill that calling to the best of my ability. It’s not about being a flawless speaker; it’s about my faithfulness and what God wants to do through me. The same is true for you. Maybe it’s not speaking or preaching, but sooner or later he will stretch your boundaries beyond what’s comfortable and convenient. You’ll be tempted to bail because you’re scared or intimidated or unsure of yourself. That’s when you pray and remember it’s not up to you—it’s up to God in you. Power Lift As I continue to grow in my faith, Lord, don’t let me settle for a comfortable plateau or back away from scary opportunities. You are my authority and I am your ambassador wherever I go today. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.
                1. MAY 28 He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:19) At big banquets, dinners, and holidays, when it’s time to eat, someone will inevitably say, “Pastor Craig, would you bless the meal?” Now, I’m certainly happy to pray, but in these situations, I love to turn the tables. “I’d be glad to, but why don’t you pray a blessing on our meal?” Almost every time I say this, the other person protests, “Oh no, no, no! You’re the pastor and I’m just a regular Christian!” I love seeing people squirm! Maybe it’s because I squirmed for so long whenever God dragged me out of my comfort zone. And so I tell them that I may have more practice praying out loud but that my prayers are no better than theirs. All Christians are called to be Christ’s representatives here on earth. The message of reconciliation that God has committed to us means we can help other people get right with him. Each one of us is called to help others know who Christ is so they can be whole and made right with God. If you’re a follower of Jesus, then God has committed you to the message of reconciliation so that others may know him. It’s not easy stepping out in faith and talking about God with other people, but it’s part of who we are as we grow closer to him. Similar to praying in public, don’t worry about the “right words”—just speak from your heart. Power Lift Father, I get nervous telling others about you. Give me courage and boldness so that I can help others be reconciled to you through the gift of your Son, Jesus. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.
                  1. MAY 27 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5:20) Years ago, I was looking out my office window one afternoon when I saw at least thirty cars screech into the parking lot. Within moments, dozens of high school students gathered in a big circle around two muscular jocks who were obviously about to fight. Instinctively, I got really excited and ran through our office yelling, “Fight! Fight! Fight!” A friend and fellow pastor joined me, and the two of us couldn’t wait to get outside to watch these two kids beat the crud out of each other. Fueled by adrenaline and more testosterone than two middle-aged pastors should feel, we yelled, “Hit him, yeah! Harder!” However, a few seconds into the fight, we looked at each other. What were we thinking? We were grown-ups, we were Christians, and we were pastors! We weren’t supposed to be acting like spectators at a World Cagefighting title bout. We were supposed to be stopping the fight and restoring order! Finally, we both ran closer and shouted, “Break it up! Come on, guys, it’s over!” Now, before you judge me for watching too much ultimate fighting on late-night cable, I think this little incident clearly illustrates a problem that many of us seem to battle: spiritual amnesia. We forget that we no longer have to act like we used to act. We are new creatures as well as Christ’s ambassadors. We are peacemakers and reconcile others to God. Where is there relational tension surrounding you? What can you do today to help bring peace? Power Lift Sometimes I forget, Lord, that I’m no longer the person I used to be. Help me to act like your ambassador so that others may come to know you. Groeschel, Craig. Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017. Print.