Archive for September, 2012

Love

Friday, September 28th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”
Luke 6:36 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus was our example. For over two thousand years people have heard the story of His amazing Love. Jesus commanded that we needed to be loving, full of compassion, mercy and pity for a lost and broken world just like He and His heavenly Father were. Love is more that a duty, it is our calling. It is the result of knowing Christ. It is the byproduct of being filled with the Holy Spirit. St. Paul defined this kind of love when he wrote, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” Today, ask Christ to fill you with that kind of love and compassion. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to live a life of love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am helpless to live the life of love you have called me to without Your help. Fill me with Your Spirit. Convict me, forgive me, empower me to love the way You love.
AMEN

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Courage To Pray

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“So your servant has found courage to pray to you.”
1 Chronicles 17:25 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever needed courage to pray? I have. Praying is all about courage. It is looking at your situation and saying, “I will exercise my faith and trust that God is all that He says He is and that He will answer my prayer.” Praying is courage because you are trusting God and giving up your right to try to do everything on your own. It is courage, because it would be easier to run and hide instead of facing your situation and trusting God. It is courage, because you are full of doubts about His love, your worthiness, His power, your faith. What if your trust God and nothing happens? What will others think? What would you think? The truth is that trusting God and praying is a risk worth taking. So today, when you are stuck, frustrated, afraid or confused, be like David and find the courage to pray.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I believe, help my unbelief! Give me hope and faith so when struggles come, I will stop and have the courage to pray to You.
AMEN

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Every Thought

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to let our thoughts get away from us. Worry, fear, anger, a whole host of emotions can send our thoughts into a downward spiral. Before you know it, we are heading toward dire consequences. Instead, we need to make a habit of bringing our thoughts to Christ. Paul knew all about this. Imagine waking up in prison day after day for doing no moral wrong. How about being shipwrecked on an island or suffering with excruciating wounds from being beaten within an inch of your life. Day after day Paul was cold, hungry, tired, and falsely accused. And yet, through all of this, he knew how to discipline his thinking. Paul knew that he was in a spiritual battle and he came to God and renewed his mind every day! He said it this way, “We live in the world, but we do not fight in the same way the world fights. We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” Today, don’t let your thoughts get away from you. Capture those thoughts and emotions that will take you down the wrong path and bring them to Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I ask You to fill my mind with Your truth. I submit my thinking to You and Your word. Help me capture every rogue thought and make it obey You. I give You my mind; guide me I pray.
AMEN

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Humble Yourself

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
I Peter 5:5-7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We are complex beings. Behind our behavior is a labyrinth of beliefs, assumptions and attitudes. For example, if we have a need, you would think we would automatically ask God for help. But instead, we get proud and see our need as a sign of weakness. People ask us “How are you?” and we say, “Fine!” Somehow we believe that having a need and asking for help would reduce our self image. And so we fight to protect it. The Bible calls this kind of thinking “pride”. Peter writes: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” God knows our needs and He delights in our coming to Him. Peter verifies this when he writes, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Today, don’t let pride get in your way. Humble yourself and come to Christ with all your needs and He will care for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my needs. You are God Almighty and have promised that I can cast all my anxieties on You because You genuinely care for me. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. Thank You for Your gracious provision.
AMEN

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Sing

Monday, September 24th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.”
Psalms 40:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can tell people about God or we can tell them about the God that has made a difference in our life! As we come to know Christ the more He will put a song in our heart. A song, like the Psalmist says, that will cause people to see what God has done and amaze them. More that that, they will trust in God for their own needs. This is what happened to the small town where a woman came to a well that Jesus was at. After she met Jesus and He gave her hope, she ran home and told everyone, “Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.” The Bible records that the many of the people came from the town to meet Jesus. Many trusted in Him as their Savior. People today are dying for lack of a genuine song, a song that will meet the deepest needs of their soul. God has called you and I to sing. When we do, other people just like us, will put their trust in the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for the song You have put in my heart. Help me sing! Help me share with others all the wonderful things You have done for me.
AMEN

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Joy

Friday, September 21st, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. – I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
John 15:9-12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We were born for joy! So often we think joy is the result of our circumstances. If we behave, if we are lucky, if everything works out right, then there will be joy. But joy goes much deeper than that. Events and circumstances can make us happy or sad, but can they give us true long lasting joy? The kind of joy that isn’t dependent on what we do? No. But Jesus can. Listen to the words that He says to you, “I have loved you like my Father loves me.” And that love was from the time He chose to create you. Unconditional, irrevocable, love from God Himself. Today, let the thought of God’s love poured out for you on the cross of Calvary bring wonder. Let the image of almighty God looking at you with pleasure, love and acceptance warm your heart. Hear the words of Jesus, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy!” Today, let His joy overflow in your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, overflow my heart with Your joy. The joy that comes from knowing that You love me. From believing that there is nothing I could ever do to earn or lose your love. You love me because You chose to. It is finished and I am left with deep, deep joy.
AMEN

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Hear His Voice

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:2-3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus said to those around Him, “believe in God, believe also in me”. But he never intended our belief in Him to be exclusive from following Him. God has promised to instruct us, teaching us the way to go, but we have to go, we have to follow. Jesus used the parable about sheep and their shepherd. The sheep respond to the voice of their shepherd and follow him. Likewise, we can say we believe in Jesus but the real proof is doing what He says. Today, listen to His voice and follow Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for teaching me. I believe in You so please help me do what You say. Give me the courage and strength to follow You.
AMEN

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Anger

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
One of the evidences of the fruit of the Spirit in our life is “self-control”. And there is nothing harder to control than our anger. God originally created anger as a defense mechanism to protect us from life threatening danger. Unfortunately, today “danger” has been watered down. Now the majority of what we get angry at is not life threatening at all. Instead we are protecting ourself from embarrassment, inconvenience, consequences or someone stopping us from doing things our own way. We even get mad at God when He dares to go against what seems right in our eyes. Paul warns us about anger. He suggests that we control anger before it controls us. He wrote, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Today, get a grip on your anger. Make up your mind that anger will not get control of you. Instead, if anything is going to control you, let it be the Holy Spirit.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You don’t ask me to do anything that you won’t help me with. I am asking You today to help me with my anger. Holy Spirit, help me control my anger and not give any foothold to Satan.
AMEN

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Meditating On God

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wing.”
Psalms 63:5-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What brings you joy? What makes you sing and praise? What do you spend time thinking about? There are a lot of things that you could answer. Certainly the love of someone can cause you to act this way. A sense of deep purpose can cause a similar passion within you. A national championship after a long grueling season has had this kind of effect on millions of people. Here is the question though. Does God have this effect on you? It is possible to know all about God, all about worship, ritual and doctrine and not truly be passionate about Him? How can we, if we don’t have a deep relationship with Him? To me, the part of this passage that makes all the difference in the world is not “praising with songs of joy”, or “sing for joy in the shadow of your wing”. No, it is, “I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.” If we want to really know God, then we must take time to meditate and sit in His presence. We need to shut everything else out and get to know God and hear His voice. When we do this, we will be able to say with David, “You satisfy me more than the richest feast, I will praise you with songs of joy!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You today longing to know You. As I spend time with You, I pray that You would reveal Yourself to me. Help me worship and praise You in Spirit and in truth.
AMEN

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Contentment

Monday, September 17th, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”’
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some things are better than gold! Who of us hasn’t dreamed of being rich beyond our imagination? It is the dream that is portrayed over and over again on television, in the movies and the pages of books throughout the world. Money, fame, power; these seem to be the things that so many strive for. And yet today’s passage proclaims loud and clear just the opposite. It tells us to live our lives “free from the love of money and be content with what we have.” Why would the author suggest that? Why would anyone write something so contrary to human reasoning unless it is true or he has something better to offer? In this case the author of Hebrews has both. He was telling the truth. When all is said and done, contentment, peace, joy and love are the true treasures of life. Money can help with this, but the “love of money” is something else. It is an addiction, an unreasonable, irrational obsession with something that gives false hope. Drugs never satisfy long-term, neither will the love of money. When will you ever have enough? When will you ever be able to say “no” to the irrational obsession that the love of money creates? So what does the author suggest we really seek after? Jesus Himself. It is Jesus who promises to never leave us, to never forsake us. He is the one who can really fill our heart with love, give us the purpose, peace and satisfaction that we were created for. It is Jesus that your soul is looking for. Today, turn to Him. Bring your longings to Jesus and let Him begin to satisfy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, thank You for loving me. Thank You that You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank You for giving me everything I need to be content in this world. I accept You as the Lord of my life and dedicate myself to following You.
AMEN

SIDENOTE:
Jesus culture sings a song, “All I need is you!” It really ties in with this devotional today

Be blessed

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