Archive for January, 2013

Presence Of God

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.’ – Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.’”
Exodus 33:14-5, 18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The people of God had sinned. Moses was in the mountain, hearing from God, when God told him to go down from the mountain. This was because while Moses was with God, the people were rebelling against God by creating an idol and worshipping it. Moses pleaded with God to spare the people and God told him to take the people away. Moses knew better than to lead this people without God’s guidance so he asked for God’s presence to be with him. Even more, Moses asked God to show him His glory. Oh that we would seek out and depend upon the presence of God the same way Moses did! What a difference it would make in our life. In his book “Experiencing Healing Prayer”, Rick Richardson writes, “Do you long to be filled at the core of your being with more strength, more substance, more hope? You may feel urgent need of immediate help and practical steps. But I implore you to realize that knowing God, practicing God’s presence and seeking God’s life are more important to your healing than anything else in all the world.” C.S Lewis, in his book “Miracles” writes, “The presence of God is the most real thing we ever encounter.” Today, decide like Moses not to go any further, not to consider any new direction, without being conscious of the presence of God. Might we pray, “Lord, show me Your glory.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know so little about Your presence. All I know is I don’t want to take another step without really knowing You. Lord, help me become aware of Your presence. Reveal Yourself to me. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Heavenly Shepherd

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.”
Psalms 23:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
David wrote this famous Psalm from experience. As a young man, he spent his time shepherding a flock of sheep for his father. He knew the value of a shepherd to the flock. He also knew the value of knowing God. David writes that the shepherd provides all that the sheep need. God, like a shepherd, lets us rest in green meadows, leads us beside peaceful streams, renews our strength, and guides us along right paths. Even in the darkest times God is right there close by our side, comforting us. With God as our shepherd, David concludes that goodness and unfailing love will pursue us as long as we shall live. I love the concept of the shepherd; it is being a sheep that I struggle with. Perhaps that is because I am not a sheep. I am human, and being so, I struggle surrendering my will to God. But even still, His love cuts through my pride. His love compels me to live for Him. It wins and woos me to surrender myself to His control. I can trust Him. I can lean on Him. I can be my needy self and know that God desires to shepherd me. It brings Him great joy. Today, respond to His love. Let Him be your shepherd.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for all Your care. Thank You for all You provide and do for me. You are my Heavenly shepherd and I gladly live for You.
AMEN

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Supernatural Love

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is so much more than a religion. It is a Holy calling. But contrary to so many images of religious zealots, we are not called to violence; we are called to a radical life of love. Jesus made this clear in His example and Paul in his teachings. We are His holy people and He has asked us to permeate our life with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And not just with each other. We are to love the world in the same way He does. We are to love the unlovely. We are to love the needy. We are to love those that despise us, those that use us, those that come against us. We are to love those that disagree with us, those that are different than us, those that hurt us. This is a calling and He who called us is able to empower us. It is His Holy Spirit that lives in us to do His good pleasure. So today, call upon God to help you live a life of love. “Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You have called me to be Your ambassador of love. I confess I cannot do this in my own power. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to see with Your eyes and to love with Your heart. Because of Jesus my Lord and Savior.
AMEN

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Coming To Our Senses

Monday, January 28th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father.”’
Luke 15:17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It has only been recently that we have been able to understand why we are driven by so many hidden emotions. With the rise of the neurosciences we have come to know more about intrinsic memory. What has been hidden can now become integrated into who we are. We can take all the negative beliefs, lies and wounds that we have hidden from our past and bring them to God. He in turn can reveal to us the truth of who we really are in these memories and help us change the way we believe about life and our own self. This has been life changing for myself and the hundreds that I am teaching. Insight also changed the prodigal son. For whatever reason, he too was driven and decided to leave home and spend his life doing whatever he wanted to. No pleasure was out of the question. But like so many other there was a price to pay. Soon he found himself in desperate straits. It was at that point that Jesus said, “He finally came to His senses.” And I love what the son did next. Jesus said that he went home to his father. My friend, it is our Heavenly Father that can correct all our negative thinking. It is His love that can tell our hurting child inside us that all is well, we are loved. Our Father is waiting. He is happy to be with us, He longs to tell us the truth of who we are. Today, come to your senses. It is God who wants to forgive, to love, to heal, to set free. His grace is sufficient.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with so many needs. I am driven by so many emotions. I need You to correct my thinking, heal my memories and help me revision who I am. Father, I have come to my senses. I am coming to you. Help me see myself through Your eyes.
AMEN

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Trust God

Friday, January 25th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him.”
Psalms 91:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some days it seems as if doubt is waiting for me to wake up. I go to my chair to meditate and doubt and fear are sitting across from me arguing with everything I am reading. For example, in today’s passage the Psalmist wrote, “For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. – Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.” As I read these verses, thoughts of those I know, people who are terminally ill, those who have been abused, those suffering financially, begin racing through my mind. “God”, I think, “If others I know aren’t safe, how do I know I will be?” I wrestled all day with my thoughts and kept coming up with the same conclusion. I choose to believe that even though pain and suffering comes, God will always be with me. He will never abandon me. I was moved to look at Psalms 91 again and the second verse leapt out at me. “This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him.” My soul read it and a deep peace came over me. I say it with confidence, “God is my refuge, He is the safest place I know. He is my God and I choose to trust Him.” Today, put your faith in Him. He will be your refuge. He is indeed God. You can trust Him!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for my doubt and unbelief. Thank You for being my refuge, for being a safe place for me. You indeed are my God. Today, I choose to put my trust in You.
AMEN

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Stop Coping

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Romans 8:6 (NLT)
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10 (KJV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
For a long time I had wrestled with my glasses. They were bent, causing me headaches and resulting in having to move my head awkwardly to make the bi-focal lens work right. But hey, I could see okay and why take time out to get them fixed if I didn’t need to. “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” I was coping fine. Eventually, my reading was worse and I noticed signs starting to blur at far distances. I would move my glasses on my head and “cope” harder. Finally, my wife set up an appointment to get new glasses and I went in. I was embarrassed to realize that it had been over ten years since I last had an eye exam or new pair of glasses. As they tested my eyes, I was amazed at how much better I could see, how less my face tensed up as I didn’t have to “cope” with seeing. As I left, I could not help but think of how many issues in life I act the same way. I look at life through worn out glasses, learning to cope with inferior sight when all the time a new pair of glasses is waiting for me. Jesus said He came to give us extraordinary living. Paul wrote that we can choose to let the Holy Spirit control our mind. The result is not some half-baked coping, it is life and peace. Our own thinking is poor eye-sight at best. We need the direction of the Holy Spirit to give us the sight we really need. Today, give up coping and start living. Quit trying to make it on your own, just getting by. Start living with the life and peace God has for you. Give your mind to the Holy Spirit and let Him take control.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have tried to cope on my own. I say, “I will follow You”, but instead I rely on my own efforts. Forgive me, Lord. Today, I give You my mind and ask You to control my life. I am tired of coping. I want the life You have for me. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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His Love

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Matthew 7:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes I get it all backwards. I come to God and ask for something. Then for whatever reason, I have it in my head that I am unworthy of God’s graciousness that I end up doubting whether God would want to do anything good for me. However when I read this passage I realize it’s not about me! It’s about God. God is love and it is His love for me, not my worthiness, that needs to be my focus. And why not, even fathers who fail know what they should have done. And so we try, and as imperfect as we are, we know how to give gifts to our children. Jesus used this as His illustration pointing out that if we, in all of our limitations and sinfulness, know how to do good to our children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him? God loves you. He loves me and desires to give us what we need. All He wants us to do is ask. Today, rejoice in your heavenly Father’s love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your love. Forgive me when I let insecurities and lies lead me to a place of unbelief. Help me focus on Your love and rest in the fact that You feel I am intrinsically lovable. Thank You, my dear Father, for Your love.
AMEN

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Fellowship With Jesus

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“To you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus. – God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I Corinthians 1:2(NLT), 9 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When you wake up in the morning, who do you think you are? What purpose do you have for the day? You could say, “I’m a mother and need to get my children taken care of.” “I am an employee, and I need to get ready for work.” “A broker and I need to make money in the market today.” “A retiree and I need to volunteer at the hospital.” While all of these are noble and certainly are worthy of expression, Paul also challenges us to consider another reality that we have. Paul shares that you and I have every right to get up and say, “By God’s grace I am one of God’s holy people and I have been asked to fellowship with Christ today.” How would that affect the way you plan? What attitude would that give you? What joy would there be in your heart? You and I are a chosen people, chosen by God to live for Him. Jesus desires that we become consciously aware of His presence, actively involved in a dialog with Him. He wants to share in our joys and our sorrows, our victories and our defeats, our greatest pleasures and our most mundane tasks. Today, might we choose to fellowship with Him. Choose to include Him in your day. Share, pray, meditate, talk to Him. Today, might we really know what it means to be called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ our Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your invitation to fellowship with You. Help me to appreciate and fully understand what that means. Help me today to begin to fellowship with You in more deep and meaningful ways. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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In His Presence

Monday, January 21st, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, we can come into the very presence of God and receive all the mercy, grace and help we need, just when we need it most. What a significant truth this is! How amazing that God Almighty would let us spend time in His presence. What is more amazing is how many of us don’t spend the time with Him that He has given to us. In his book “Experiencing Healing Prayer” the author, Rick Richardson writes, “My heart was receptive – As we walk the healing journey, no other single thing we can do, may have greater impact that learning to listen to God. God’s voice is the healing voice, just as God’s presence is the healing presence. We must hear the voice of God reverberate in our soul, exposing the lies about our unlovability, worthlessness or despair and speaking the truth. We must.” Christ has done everything needed so we can come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Today, let us come into His presence and listen to Him. Let us be confident that He desires to speak truth to us and make us whole. Let us find the mercy, grace and help we need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Thank You, dear Lord, for providing a way that I can come into Your presence. Thank You that Christ is my High Priest and I can come boldy into Your presence. Thank you for the confidence I can have that You will give me all the mercy, grace and help I need to make it through this day. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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A Simple Thing

Friday, January 18th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“This is what the LORD says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! You will see neither wind nor rain, says the LORD, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. But this is only a simple thing for the LORD.”
2 Kings 3:16-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the faith of Elisha. He is telling everyone that God is going to do this mighty miracle. God was going to fill a desert with water but He was going to do it without rain! And then Elisha adds, “But this is only a simple thing for the Lord.” Why are we so amazed by this kind of faith? Why do we so often vacillate between faith and unbelief? Most of the time when I have doubt, it is because I do not know what the will of God will be in a given situation. I seem to lack confidence in how to pray. Other times it is simply a lack of faith. I need to be reminded what Elisha was trying to say; miracles are not too hard for God. So how should I pray? I think I need to pray as God leads me. Elisha was close to God and it was God’s Spirit that came upon him and led him to believe. Deep communion with God will do the same for me. I should be able to ask Him for mighty things and have the assurance that nothing is too hard for God. So if a miracle does not happen, let it be due to the sovereignty of God, not in fact that I did not believe or never asked. Today let us seek God’s face in all matters and pray in faith believing. Answering prayer is a simple thing for the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your mighty miracles. Help me to trust in You. Help me to see with Your eyes. Help me to commune with You and really know Your heart so I can pray in faith believing.
AMEN

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