Archive for January, 2010

Overflow With Joy

Friday, January 29th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”
John 15:11-12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We were meant for joy. Instead we settle for comfort. We look everywhere for it. It is at the root of addictions, greed and many of our emotional issues. We look for comfort because we do not have joy. There’s a difference. God wants us to have more than comfort, He wants us to return to joy from our negative emotions. Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” This begs the question, what was it that Jesus said that would result in such joy? When we look, we see that Jesus told those listening, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” It is His love that gives us joy and remaining in His love, even after negative emotions, that returns us to joy. So how do we do this? How do we remain in His love? By following His commandment that He gave us in today’s passage. “Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” It is this simple: our joy will come through loving relationships, both with God and those He brings into our life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, fill me with Your joy. The joy that comes through the deep and loving relationships I can have with You and those that You bring into my life. Help my joy overflow. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Amazing Grace

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. II Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are so many variables in life. It is good to have dreams, to make plans and to choose paths; however, you and I know that things don’t always go the way we plan. Troubles happen. So what do we do when things seem to get all messed up? We’ve asked for wisdom, for guidance, but now it calls for something more. It calls for grace. According to Merriam-Webster grace means “unmerited divine assistance”. This was given to us when we asked Him to forgive us. It was totally unmerited. There was nothing we could do to deserve it. So in today’s verse, Paul is saying that God wants us to live life in the same way we received His forgiveness that is to live by relying on His unmerited divine assistance. Paul did. When nothing was going right, Paul kept asking God to move in certain directions. But God said, “No, you’re going to have to trust me; but don’t worry, my grace is going to get you through.” This is what hope is about. This is what faith is based on. This is the reality of our walk with Christ, no matter what we go through, God promises that His grace is all we need! Today, admit to God your need for His grace in your life. Humble yourself before Him, and acknowledge His desire to see you through this day.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need You in my life today. I need Your divine assistance. I need Your amazing grace. I know that I do not deserve it. You have lavishly poured Your love into my life and I praise You. Thank You for all that You have done for me. Thank You that today, Your grace is all I need to get me through. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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The One Thing

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“The one thing I ask of the LORD—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”
Psalms 27:4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What is your “one thing”? We all have one. It may not seem like it but we do. But, you say, “I haven’t chosen anything yet.” Sure you have. By not choosing, you chose mediocrity. You have traded your precious life for a half hearted attempt at living, when all the while, God was waiting to give you life, life at its fullness. This is what David knew. He knew God was the “one thing”, the meaning of life, the ultimate purpose, what Jesus called “the pearl of great price” that when a man found it, “he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” For David, that pearl was knowing God. He wanted to live in His presence, delight in Him and spend time meditating on all that He is. And God offers you the same thing. It is within your grasp. Today, choose the “one thing.” Choose to truly know God in all His wisdom, grace and love.  

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come today to ask for the “one thing.” I desire, Lord, to know You. I open my heart and ask You to fill it. Help me delight in Your presence. Help me meditate on all You are. I seek You, Lord, with all my heart. Be my “one thing” I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Living With Purpose

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.
Genesis 45:4-8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Joseph believed that God had a purpose for his life. He even had a dream with significance, However in the dream his family was bowing down to him. His family felt it was a vision of grandeur and were appalled at his seemingly arrogance. Because of the dream and the way his father favored him, his brothers were jealous of Joseph. In a rage they sold him to slave traders. For years, Joseph worked as a slave and even went to prison. But no matter what, everywhere he went, he believed God had a purpose for him. This deep belief carried him through each day. Finally, at the end of the story, there was a famine. God had led Joseph to become a great leader in Egypt where he stored up grain way ahead of the famine so when others were starving, Egypt was able to survive. Hearing that there was grain in Egypt, his brothers went to buy some. It was here that they were reunited with Joseph. When Joseph revealed himself, they were horrified. Joseph shared with them the key to his success, to his survival, to his extraordinary life. He believed that God was in charge and had a purpose for him. He said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”  Victor Frankl in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” shared about the ability of some people to survive the Concentration Camps of Nazi Germany when others did not. He concluded that those that seemed to have a purpose, a calling, a dream about their life had the will to live that helped them survive such severe atrocities. What about you? Come to God. He knows you. He loves you. He has a purpose for your life.  Make Him ruler of your existence and live for Him today. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank you that you have a divine purpose for my life. I have been called to serve you and ask you to guide me in the way I should go. Help me trust you today. Help me to have the faith that Joseph did in trusting you when the times were good and when they were bad.
AMEN

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Heal My Inner Self

Monday, January 25th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.”
Psalms 27:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We live in a fallen world and many of us suffer from early childhood trauma that has left us emotionally immature. It seems that we are constantly using negative ways to regulate our emotions. But we don’t have to be victims of our past. In His wisdom and grace, God has provided us with the ability to overcome childhood attachment issues through new adult relationships with Him. God designed us with the ability to bond with Him; whether it is in the moment of abandonment or decades later, when memories rise to the surface, He is able to hold us close and heal our broken hearts. Today, we don’t need to suffer from a painful past. We have the presence of the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of Christ and the love of God the Father. As we spend time with God and develop a deep relationship, we will find ourself creating a new and liberating bond with God. This healing relationship with the Father will renew our mind and heal the negative memories that lead us to despair. Today, come to God. Let Him hold you. Allow His love to do a deep work in you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your loving commitment to me. Thank You that You have not abandoned me but instead You love me and hold me close to Your heart. Do a deep work in me. Heal me deep in my inner self and give me the joy and peace that only You can give.
AMEN

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How Deep Is His Love?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.”
Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Unconditional love. What a thought; better yet, when we realize it, what a reality! God loves us with no strings attached. But do we really believe that? Brennan Manning, in his book “Abba’s Child,” challenges whether we do or not. He writes, “It is one thing to feel loved by God when our life is together and all our support systems are in place. But what happens when life falls through the cracks? What happens when we sin and fail, when our dreams shatter, when our investments crash, when we are regarded with suspicion? What happens when we come face-to-face with the human condition?” If we are honest with ourselves, we would probably begin to doubt whether God could love us. Why is that? Could it be that we want something to do with our own salvation? Is it the cross plus our worthiness? Is it His death plus all the good things we have done? We need to pray what Paul prayed, that we would have the power to understand how much He really loves us. Manning wrote it this way, “Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found in a book or heard in a sermon.” May you really begin to believe and experience this reality.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you for the fact that you love me unconditionally. Please give me the power to fully understand how deep Your love really is and the fact that it is a gift, not something I have to earn. Thank you for such an amazing truth. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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He Will Never Forsake You

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many promises in the Bible, but I think the one that is most precious to me is when He promises that He will never leave me or forsake me. It boggles my mind to think that God promises such a thing to me. I know that there are universes and solar systems. I know that there are billions of people. And with each person there are multitudes of situations that need God’s attention. And yet, He is God. In His sovereign magnificence He has declared that He will not leave me or forsake me. Never. What comfort. What hope. What joy it brings to my heart. No wonder this same author could conclude, “We can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear.’” Today, bring whatever struggles you have, whatever fears, whatever guilt, whatever sorrow and lay it before God. Then hear Him say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your wonderful promise that You will never leave me nor will You forsake me. Thank You for Your faithful love. Thank You for Your grace. Fill my heart with peace and joy, I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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The Holy Spirit

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. – For the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”
Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Today’s passage puts a whole new meaning to the phrase, “You are never alone.” It goes way beyond telling someone, “God loves you.” It goes straight to our deepest needs. Paul paints a picture of the Holy Spirit coming before God in deep, deep concern, groaning as He intercedes for us, pleading with God Almighty to move in our life according to His will. Stop for a minute. Try to grasp what is going on. Close your eyes and see if you can picture it. The Holy Spirit praying, pleading, groaning on your behalf. What love, what empathy, what compassion. What peace, what comfort, what love. And it changes everything. We are not alone. We don’t have to live as if everything depends on us. We can put all our trust in Him. Today, might we have a deep sense of gratitude and love for the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Might we be moved with a profound reverence and awe for our Heavenly Father who loves us in such an amazing way. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Holy Spirit, how I marvel at Your intercession for me. How humbled I am that You would act with such love for me. How deeply moved I am that You would pray and plead on my behalf. Thank You so much for all You do and are.
AMEN

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The Holy Spirit

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. – For the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”
Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Today’s passage puts a whole new meaning to the phrase, “You are never alone.” It goes way beyond telling someone, “God loves you.” It goes straight to our deepest needs. Paul paints a picture of the Holy Spirit coming before God in deep, deep concern, groaning as He intercedes for us, pleading with God Almighty to move in our life according to His will. Stop for a minute. Try to grasp what is going on. Close your eyes and see if you can picture it. The Holy Spirit praying, pleading, groaning on your behalf. What love, what empathy, what compassion. What peace, what comfort, what love. And it changes everything. We are not alone. We don’t have to live as if everything depends on us. We can put all our trust in Him. Today, might we have a deep sense of gratitude and love for the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Might we be moved with a profound reverence and awe for our Heavenly Father who loves us in such an amazing way. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Holy Spirit, how I marvel at Your intercession for me. How humbled I am that You would act with such love for me. How deeply moved I am that You would pray and plead on my behalf. Thank You so much for all You do and are.
AMEN

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What Do You Treasure?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God.”
Psalms 20:7

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:20-21

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get our priorities mixed up. It seems that people are judged by the money they earn and the things they acquire. Even criminals are honored if they have the “rich and famous” lifestyle. Fame and fortune are the goals that we aspire to. The issue isn’t whether “riches” are good or bad. The issue is that there is something more important than our materialism. There is a spiritual reality that we need to be concerned about. Jesus told us to store “spiritual” treasures in heaven. David said not to boast in our earthy positions and pleasures but to “boast in the Lord.” Why is this important? Because what we treasure is a reflection of what we are inside. If we treasure God, it is because He has the affection of our heart. If we boast in the Lord, it is because we are pleased with our relationship with Him. Do we want to have a deeper, more satisfying relationship with God? Seek Him like we would gold. Go after Him like a lost treasure. Make Him the most valuable part of our life and our heart with follow.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to treasure you more than gold. I want to love you more than my possessions. Help me to know you. Help me to experience your love. Help me love you more and more until I understand the valuable treasure your love really is.
AMEN

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