Archive for December, 2011

Surrender

Friday, December 30th, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God.”
Romans 6:12-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we emphasize the wrong thing. We try to stop the darkness instead of turning on the light. We punish negative behavior and never reward what is done right. We save our money so tightly that we don’t spend money on great opportunities that come our way. It seems that Paul was going to do the same thing. He writes, “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.” Now how hard is that? How joyful will that experience be? Don’t get me wrong, Paul is completely right! We must watch sin in our life. We dare not get loose with our life and live out sinful whims. But there is a better way. Paul finishes his thoughts by saying, “Instead, give yourselves completely to God.” How much better is that? There is real wisdom here, a real balance. If we give our self completely to God, will He not help us with the sin issue? Won’t the Holy Spirit guide us and direct us toward a righteous life? It is like the old saying, “Love God and do as you please.” If we truly love God we will only do what honors Him. So today, let’s combat sin in our life in a different way. Let’s resist sin by giving our self and everything we do and think today, completely to God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You today and completely surrender to Your control. Guide me, direct me, help me live the way You want me to. I give myself completely to You.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I give myself completely to God
Quiet yourself for a moment and consider how much do you really surrender yourself to God? Visualize God coming to you and saying, “Give your life completely to me.” What is your first feeling? Is it apprehension? Is it fear? Is it anger or mistrust? Be honest. God already knows. Tell Him about it. Tell Him how you feel and ask for His help. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in such a way that you better understand Him and yourself. Spend a quiet moment with Him and when you are ready, by faith affirm, “I give myself completely to God.”

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Warm Your Heart

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When was the last time you really experienced the presence of God? I mean more than just head knowledge but a time you really felt His presence? You see, we were meant to know God, not just know about Him. Isn’t that the way it should be with someone you love? Isn’t real love more than a “head” knowledge? Love was meant to be experienced, not just studied. It’s the same with God. Stop and close your eyes, focus on a time you really felt the presence of God. When you get that image, relive it again in your mind. Do you remember what it was like? Did your heart burn within you? Paul writes, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” He says that knowing God’s love surpasses knowledge. If that doesn’t warm you up, what will? We were meant to experience God or as Paul says it, “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” I pray that today you will be conscious of His presence and have a deep and meaningful relationship with Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I long to know You in a more deep and intimate way. Guide me into Your presence. Reveal more of Yourself to me. I pray that I may really grasp all the love You have for me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I experience the love of God
Sit quietly and think of a time when you felt the presence of God. Perhaps it was in church, or while vacationing in natures beauty. Perhaps it was an answer to prayer or a realization of truth. Was it a devotional time and God spoke to you? Fix your mind on that experience and sense what it felt like. As you begin to recall the experience let it seep into the present moment. Invite God to make His presence known to you now. Welcome Him, focus on His love for you. As you meditate on His love let Him warm your heart and surpass your knowledge. Affirm, “I experience the love of God.”

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You Have A Purpose

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me.”
Psalms 57:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So many times in life we find ourself looking for significance. What is my purpose? Why am I here? Does my life really matter? We see the vastness of the universe and wonder, “Can I really matter that much?” The good news is that God is keenly aware of who you are. The answer to the questions above is a resounding, “Yes!” You do matter, God does care and you are very significant. Like the Psalmist, when we feel overwhelmed, when we doubt whether we matter or not, we can cry out to God, the same God who said that He will fulfill His purpose for you. Did you get that? God has a purpose for you and He will fulfill it. And God is committed to do whatever it takes to fulfill that purpose, even if it means sending help from Heaven itself to help you. So today rejoice in your significance. God loves you. God is vitally interested in you. God will fulfill His purpose for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You have created me and know me intimately. Thank You for creating me for a purpose. I pray that You will give me the wisdom to know that purpose and the courage to live it out. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Your High Calling

Monday, December 26th, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
We search for purpose and significance. We strive to secure a meaningful job or vocation. But in reality, there is no higher calling on earth than being God’s child and imitating Him by living a life filled with love. This is the ultimate purpose that God has called each one of us to. Today, do what Paul says to do. Fill your day with the love of Christ and follow His example in everything you do.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You that You have made me Your child. I thank You that You have given me the most important job on earth, which is to live a life filled with love. I admit I can’t do this without You. I need Your Holy Spirit to help me live a life of love today. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

TODAY’VISUALIZATION & MEDITIATION
I will imitate Christ
Picture yourself following Jesus around. He has asked you to. He said to be like Him and you can sense His Holy Spirit helping you. See yourself full of joy and wonder as He guides you, gives you instruction and helps you live for Him. Affirm today, “I will imitate Christ!”

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New Thinking Habits

Monday, December 26th, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
It is so easy to let our thoughts run away from us. You know, the inward chatter that goes on all day. The voice when you get up in the morning, the musing on the drive to work, the stewing over events on the way home. Inner thoughts are powerful. They create emotions, which in turn, cause actions. Paul is saying that we have to take ownership of our inner dialog. It is so easy to be negative, anxious, angry, doubtful, bitter or carnal in our thinking. Instead, we need to be responsible for what we think and deliberately focus on true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praise worthy thoughts. What a difference this discipline would bring to our life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You my thought life. I want You to be Lord of both my conscious and unconscious part of my being. You know my thought process. You know my habitual thinking patterns. I bring them to You. I ask that You help me today begin a habit of focusing on true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praise worthy thoughts.  In Jesus’ name. AMEN

TODAY’VISUALIZATION & MEDITIATION
God is helping me change the way I think
Today do what Paul has asked us to do. Spend a few moments visualizing yourself correcting negative attitudes and instead see yourself thinking on each of the attributes Paul lists. Spend time on each one. Think on what is true – honorable – right – pure – lovely – admirable – excellent – worthy of praise. Sense God helping you to change the way you think.

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More Than A Father

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
Galatians 4:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
What a tender thought. Paul was very deliberate in using “Abba Father.” This is a more affectionate term that simply saying “Father.” The real translation of  “Abba Father” is “Daddy!” Imagine, God invites us to call Him our affectionate Father, “Daddy.” Can you say that? Have you thought of Him that way? Paul says that as God’s children, He has given us His Spirit and the job of the Spirit is to help us fall more and more in love with the Father until we can call Him “Daddy.” Will you let Him do that? Will you begin to meditate, to really stop and consider that He is your loving Father? Imagine His deep love for you. Imagine you coming into His presence, calling Him “Daddy”. Ask God to help you know this reality deep in your heart. After all, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I want to call you “Daddy”. I hear it in my head, but it isn’t quite in my heart. I invite You, Holy Spirit, to speak to my heart, to help me feel the Father’s love, to know the Father’s love. Prompt me, Holy Spirit, to call God, “Dear Father, Dear Daddy.” AMEN

TODAY’VISUALIZATION & MEDITIATION
God is my heavenly loving father
Today, see God as a loving, kind, benevolent Father. Sense His love for you. Feel His care, concern and divine protection over you. He is your Father. Hear Him say, “I love you! I am so proud of you! I am glad that you are my child!” Affirm out loud, “God is my Heavenly Father.”

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Here Am I

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’”
Matthew 9:35-38 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Matthew gives us a glimpse into the ministry of Jesus. He heals a paralyzed man, raises a dead girl and gives sight to two men. He is exhausted feeling cramped in by all the throngs of people coming to Him for help. And yet, after all this, Jesus goes from town to town teaching, preaching and healing every disease and sickness. But then there is a dramatic shift in strategy – Jesus sees all the people harassed, helpless and needing help and then tells His disciples to pray that God would send you and I to help Him do His work. I wonder if we see the significance of Jesus’ request? He is saying that He did not come here to help and heal everyone by Himself. He came to redeem mankind, begin the process of helping mankind find the way, truth and life and then commissions you and I to take His power and ministry to the rest of the world. He has empowered you and I to aid Him in bringing His message of salvation and healing to a desperate world. The world where you and I live out our existence. Might our response be like Isaiah when he wrote, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I thank You for Your tireless mission of love that reached out to me. Today, I hear Your voice saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go?” How else can I respond to Your love but say, “Lord Jesus, I want to join You in Your work. Here am I. Send me!”

TODAY’VISUALIZATION & MEDITIATION
I will serve God
Today picture Jesus after a long hard day of ministry finding you on the road as He is going to retire for the evening. He is looking for others to join Him in ministry and He looks at you and says, “Will you live for me? Will you serve others and love them as I do?” Feel the seriousness of what Jesus is asking. Let His call build up in your heart and then say, “Jesus, here I am, I will serve you!”

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I Will Not Fear

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalms 27:1 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Sometimes we just need to answer the questions. It may seem that the answers should be obvious. “Who should I fear?” It should  be rhetorical, but so often our eyes are blinded to the truth. I remember seeing a little boy who thought he was lost, start screaming. He cried hysterically and yet his father was only a few feet away. Thinking he was alone the little child was overcome with the fear of abandonment. Because of his fear he cried hysterically, so much so that he could not see his father right in front of him. It wasn’t until the dad picked him up and hugged him for a few moments that the boy took comfort in his father’s arms. Fear is like that. When we fear, it blocks out all other reality. God is with us, He is our light and salvation, and yet we act as if we are lost in utter darkness. We are in the stronghold of God’s love and yet fear blinds us from the reality of our salvation. Is this your reality? What is it that you fear? Rebuke it right now. Look into the eyes of Jesus, let His light penetrate your mind and heart. Let Him be your stronghold. Arise and walk in peace.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I admit that I let my emotions overwhelm me. I do not allow myself to fully understand what it means that You are my light, salvation and stronghold. Forgive me Lord. I want Your peace. I want Your joy. I want to know You more fully. Even today let me experience Your presence in my life. I ask You to make me fully aware of Your love and power. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’VISUALIZATION & MEDITIATION
I will not fear
Fear is a mighty emotion. Today see yourself in fear. Picture you coming to God with it and asking for His peace and joy. Sense His strength, His power and His desire to help you. As you give Him your fear, you can feel His presence and peace come over you. With confidence you affirm, “I will not fear!”

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Worship Him

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”
Psalms 27:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Have you ever went somewhere and hated to leave? Have you ever enjoyed something so much that you did not want it to stop? Is there anything in your life that has become that “one thing”? This is what David felt about his relationship with God. If we had to choose a word to describe David, it would be  “worshipper.” David really loved God. He was sold out to Jehovah. So much so that if he had to choose just “one thing,” it would be to worship God all the time. What about you? What role does the worship of God play in your life? Is it just an hour of church on Sunday? That wasn’t enough for David. If he could, he would have stayed in the Temple of God worshipping all the time! The good news is that we don’t have to go to a Temple to worship God. We are the temple. Our body is His temple and our heart is an altar for worship. We can stop anytime, anywhere and gaze upon His beauty in the quietness of our own soul. Bring your praise and adoration to Him in your own temple throughout the day and night. Let loving God and living for Him become your “one thing.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I admit I have been preoccupied with so many things that worshipping You has taken a back seat in my life. I am so sorry. I do love You. I really do want to get my priorities right. Help me know and love You more and more until worshipping You becomes the “one thing” in my life. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

TODAY’S VISUALIZATION & MEDITIATION
I will mediate on God and all that He is
Picture yourself like David in the temple. Quiet yourself and “gaze” upon His beauty. See Him with your heart. Focus on His love, His power and His majesty.  Let the presence of God fill you as you sit quietly and worship Him. How beautiful, how kind, how loving, how mighty, how compassionate, how understanding God is. Affirm, “I will mediate on God and all that He is.”

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Perfect Peace

Monday, December 19th, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Perfect peace. I have a hard time comprehending that. Perfect peace. I take a deep relaxing breath just thinking about it. That is what God is promising us if we trust in Him. Why? Because He is trustworthy! He can be trusted. But trusting is more than just saying we trust Him. Isaiah qualifies the kind of trust we need to have perfect peace. It is the trust that keeps our thoughts fixed on God. Fixed on His love. Fixed on His compassion. Fixed on His grace. Fixed on His provision. Fixed on His promises. Fixed on His almighty power. Today, let’s experience that perfect peace. We can start right now by fixing our thoughts on Him and keeping them there throughout the day.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I desire Your perfect peace! Please help me trust in You by focusing my attention on You and all that You will provide to get me through this day. Please, Lord, when my thoughts wander and peace starts to flee, nudge me and help me to refocus on You again. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I will focus on God with all my heart
Take a deep breath and see yourself alone with all the time in the world. No deadlines, no pressures, no responsibilities. You have the time so you begin to focus on God. You let Him fill your mind. You think of His love, His peace, His purposes for you. You begin to see His power, His might, His infiniteness. As you think on Him you begin to sense a peace and joy. You sense His love for you and you want more. You want more of God so you focus on Him again. Today let this be a taste. Let this be the beginning of focused attention on God.

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