Archive for August, 2013

Grace

Friday, August 30th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.”
II Timothy 2:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Grace is a mighty force. It is God’s love, forgiveness, favor and power all rolled into one. Grace results from His mighty presence in your life. It is His faithful and wonderful awareness of you, that provides all you need, for all that He has asked you to do. That is why Paul could write to Timothy and say, “Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.” No matter what God had in store for Timothy, God’s grace provided all the strength he needed. Today, God’s grace is the same for you. So go ahead, be strong, be courageous, be blessed; His grace has all you need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for all the grace that You give me in Christ Jesus. Help me be aware of Your grace and live in the strength that it provides. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Christ’s Creed

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. – You will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”
Luke 6:27-28, 35-36 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are causes, and then there are causes! Jesus, in one simple discourse, defines what it means to be Christian. Christ lived and died by this creed. There has never been a greater cause than to follow Jesus in His love for mankind. And yet Jesus explains that it wasn’t His idea. He says if we love our enemies, if we love the unlovely, if we love those that curse us, hurt us and hate us, then we will be living like God the Father does. We are so shallow in our definition of love. We call it fellowship. We create country club churches where we love one another but the rest of humanity never sees a drop of our compassion. But Jesus railed against that selfish kind of love. He said, “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!” If we want to be His follower, if we want to be truly acting like our Father in Heaven then we must love others, even those who are our enemies! We must be compassionate toward all people, the way He is compassionate. Today, let God love the way He desires to love. Let Him love, even the undeserving, with your hands, your feet and your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, Your ways are not my ways. I need Your Holy Spirit to fill me and pour into me the great love that You have. Help me love the way You do. Help me be compassionate to others the way You have been toward me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Trust God

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE
“Trust in the LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are those times. You know, when everything around us seems to be falling apart. When nothing we do seems to be working. When even our prayers seem to be bouncing off the ceiling. It is days like this that we need to trust in God. Trust Him with all our heart. Trust in God even if everything points toward the opposite. Today’s passages says that we are not to depend on our own understanding. Instead, we need to trust His love for us and seek His will in all we do. Then God promises that He will show us which direction we should go. Today, give your situation to God. Trust Him with all Your heart and let Him direct Your path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with my situation. You know my needs. Help me trust in You and not depend on my own understanding. Direct my path today, I pray.
AMEN

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His Representative

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus.”
Colossians 3:17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We have choices. I wish it was as easy as becoming a Christian and from then on everything we do would be pleasing in His eyes. But it doesn’t happen that way. No more than getting married guarantees that everything we do represents what a good spouse should be like. Much of what we do is far from God’s desire. Yes, we make a choice to become a Christian and it sets our course. But then we must live it out everyday. But how? How do we live the way He wants us to? By maintaining a vibrant relationship with Him; being purposeful in the way we live; and being conscious of the love He has for us. This helps us make the daily choices we need to be His disciple. Today, may God give us the wisdom, courage and strength to live for Him so we can say with Paul, “Whatever I do or say, I do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me filter what I say and do so that my life will be pleasing to You. Guide me by Your word. Empower me through Your Holy Spirit I pray.
AMEN

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Be Amazed

Monday, August 26th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”’
Luke 4:36 (NIV)
“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”
Matthew 28:17(NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Are you amazed yet? Not everyone was. In today’s passage when people heard Jesus’ teaching, witnessed His miracles, sensed His immense love, they ended up saying, “What authority and power!” And before Jesus left the earth and said “All authority was given to me,” it says that some people worshiped. But it also states that some doubted. Isn’t that just like us? We worship and we doubt. We trust and we fear. We have hope and we despair. What can make the difference? What can take us from doubt to worship? Spending time with Him. It was those that were with Him, watching and listening, that experienced His power and His authority. Today, let yourself be amazed; spend time with Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I come today to be amazed. I want to know You, know Your love, know Your power. Open my eyes, open my heart to all that You are. I come and worship You.
AMEN

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Encouragement

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“So encourage each other and build each other up.”
I Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to get up and begin our day all self indulgent. After all, we have responsibilities, deadlines and pressures. Not to mention difficulties, struggles and concerns. Life is hard and it is every person for themselves. But that is not the way of Christ. Paul wrote, “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Christ thought of others. Even on the Cross, He encouraged the man on the cross next to Him. Likewise, we have a calling. A calling to encourage others. To get out of our own self and think of emotional needs of those around us. People need hope. Who will you encourage today?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me think of others more than I do myself. Help me love. Help me be an encourager. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Live For Him

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”
I Timothy 4:12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I remember as a young person how today’s passage shaped my life. It was exciting to be challenged to live like a believer should, even though I was young. God cared about my behavior. He did not discount me because I was young. He gave me everything I needed to live the life He wanted me to. Well, today, four decades later, God still cares about my behavior. I am not off the hook because I am older. I still need to live the way God wants me to. And how exciting to know that God still empowers me by and through His Holy Spirit. Today, let God help you be an example of what a believer should be in the way you talk, live, have faith, love and keep yourself pure.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for giving me everything I need in order to live for You. I pray that Your Holy Spirit will guide me and empower me to live, love, have faith and live pure in a way that pleases You.
AMEN

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Hope In Him

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“From the depths of despair, O LORD, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. – I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.”
Psalms 130: 1,2,5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Where would we be without hope and faith? And yet faith and hope by itself is not enough. We can have faith in the wrong thing. We can be hoping where there is no hope. But the Psalmist knew who he believed in. He knew the character and power of God, so when he was in his deepest despair, he would cry out to Him. He could count on God to hear him. He writes to Israel, “O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love.” It was God’s unfailing love that kept him going. It got him up in the morning and allowed him to put one foot in front of the other, even when he did not know where he was going. In his depths of despair, God’s love sustained him. Today, bring your needs to God. Call on Him for help. Count on Him to come through. Today, put your faith and hope in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I come and put my trust in You. I am counting on You, Lord, and Your unfailing love to sustain me. I have put my hope in You.
AMEN

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Filled With Love

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”
I Timothy 1:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What are you filled with? There is such a danger in our society to turn our Christian experience into an intellectual experience. We fill our head with facts, rules and knowledge about God. But Paul warns that there is more than knowledge. He wrote that, “some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions.” Instead we see that the goal of Paul’s teaching was more than giving us knowledge, it was to fill us with love. A love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience and a genuine faith. That is what good Bible teaching does. It purifies our heart and emotions, clears our conscience of all our sins and increases our faith. How exhilarating. How challenging. Today, might we know God’s word and have a grasp of its truth in a way that we become filled with love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me know Your word and sink deep in my heart making it pure, in my conscience making it clear and in my faith making it genuine resulting in a life full of love.
AMEN

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More Than Coping

Monday, August 19th, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.”
II Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So many times I feel a deep need in my heart. It may be a tugging, or anxiousness. Perhaps a tightness in my neck or shallow breathing. I may give out a deep sigh. If I stop to reflect, I may be able to get in touch with the thoughts and feelings going on. If I did, I may be able to apply today’s verse to my situation. But instead of seeking comfort from God, so many times I choose to cope or escape into other things. Isn’t this at the root of lust, cravings, our drive for success and other addictions? Isn’t this why we tend to procrastinate, over compensate, or just vegetate? We want comfort. We want to know that we are okay, loved and will never be abandoned. We want that primal feeling that all is well and people are happy to be with me. And so we search, seek and try to find comfort in all the wrong places. But Praise God, Paul gives us hope. He asks God to give us what we so desperately need. Read it and receive it today. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” Today receive His wonderful comfort and strength deep into your inner being.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I cannot find real comfort on my own. I cannot find the strength I need in myself or the other substitutes I use. I need You. I need Your comfort and strength. Come, oh Lord, and comfort my soul. Make me conscious of Your presence. Fill me with Your strength. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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