Archive for August, 2014

Stand In Awe Of God

Friday, August 29th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“Let everyone stand in awe of him.”
Psalms 33:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever been blown away by something? Watching Michael Jordon doing a dunk, the sunset in Hawaii, Isaac Stern playing Beethoven’s Sonata in C Minor on his violin, the Rocky Mountains; these are just a few things that can inspire. But the Psalmist writes of something much greater than any mountain majesty. He writes of the majesty that created the mountain. He shares, “The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.” His conclusion was, “Let the whole world fear the LORD.” What about you? When is the last time you stopped and stood in awe of God? When have you let your mind go and just bask in His greatness, His power and His infiniteness? No one can do it for you. The good news is, it’s easier than you think. Just stop. Close your eyes and whisper, “How mighty You are, dear God.” Let it sink in and add, “I stand in awe of You, almighty Lord.” Then wait. Muse on Him. Pause and let the majesty of God flood your soul. Meditate; He is awesome, He is mighty. Today, stand in awe of Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I stand in awe of You. You are mighty! You are glorious. You are worthy of all my praise. To You be the glory, I stand in awe of You.
AMEN

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Pour Out Your Heart

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him.”
Psalms 62:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Ever have anyone tell you, “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me about it.” You know, you are distressed, you come to a friend and they can tell something is wrong. They ask you, “What is it?” and you say, “Nothing.” They want to help but can’t because you won’t engage with them. You won’t share what is bothering you. Isn’t that how we treat God? Sure we believe “in” Him, we just don’t believe Him. He says that He is all loving and all powerful. He says that we should cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. He promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. Even if our mother forsakes us, He says, “I will never forget you.” And yet we don’t take the time to share our concerns with Him. He is not our confidant. We don’t “pour out our heart to Him.” Isn’t it time to change? Doesn’t your heart long for a close, loving relationship with God? You can have it. It’s yours if you want it. Today, begin a new fresh relationship with God. Come to Him. Trust Him. Spend time with God and pour out your heart. He is waiting.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I hurry through life and don’t take the time to pour out my heart to You. I do so much on my own. But Lord, I want that to change. I long for a deeper walk with You. Help me today to trust You more. Help me sense Your loving presence and share with You from the depths of my heart.
AMEN

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Persevere

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Romans 5:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Today’s verse is talking about hope. But it is more than a simple, “I hope so.” No, Paul is talking about a hope that does not disappoint. How many times do you experience that? We have all had times when we hoped, hoped for that job, hoped that our child would not rebel, hoped that we would be able to escape certain consequences. A half-hearted hope with little belief behind it. But that is not the hope Paul is talking about. Paul is not just hoping so, he is referring to a “persevering hope”, a hope that keeps going until it produces a trust and confidence in God’s abiding love for us. Paul writes, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Yes, in this world we suffer. We make mistakes, and we live with other people’s mistakes. But through perseverance we have hope. A hope that doesn’t go away, that does not disappoint. Today, trust God. Persevere. It will lead you into an unquenchable hope.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how many times have I hoped but things didn’t seem to work out? It is so hard, dear Father, to hang on. And yet You ask me to persevere. So here I am, Lord. I will hope, I will get back up and hope again. I know You are real and You will never leave me or forsake me. So, my King Jesus, I choose You. I choose You and Your love for me. Your hope that will not disappoint.
AMEN

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Loving Others

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”
Mark 3:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How did the church ever become a country club? When did we decide it was a place to simply “Grow in the Lord” and not be a vibrant, loving witness for those outside our front doors? When did we give up the mission work to the “missionaries” and decide not to be the light of the world right in our back yard? Not many things made our Lord angry, but this was one of them. Don’t stand in the way of Him ministering to someone in need. What is so sad is that the Pharisees could have been a help. With their standing in the community, they could have gone out and compelled people to come and meet the Messiah. What an impact they could have had on the world, but they were not able to get past their traditional views. Somehow, God loving people different then them, people that did not live the same kind of life as they did was an offense. They did not see God’s love for the whole world and the mission Jesus was on. How about us? Do we reach out to those outside our church? Today, let us check our beliefs against the scriptures. Let’s compare our love for people with that of our Lord Jesus. We are His disciples. Let’s follow His words when he shared about the Good Samaritan and told us to, “Go and do likewise.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me love people. Open my eyes, open my heart that I may reach out to others the way You would. Work in and through me I pray.
AMEN

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Worship

Monday, August 25th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.”
Psalms 59:16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
A flower doesn’t have a choice. Every morning, its beauty gives glory to God. The sunset, mountain vista and ocean waves all give praise to God without pause or consternation. But not so with us. We must make a choice. And as honored as God is by the glory of this world’s natural creation how much more joy it must bring Him when we make praise and worship a free choice of our will. David made it his choice. He decided that he would sing of God’s power. He made it a point to sing of God’s unfailing love every morning even when he was under great duress. He writes, “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” Today, what will you sing? What will you say to Him who is your refuge? You have a choice, choose to praise and worship Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how I thank You for all You have done for me. I come now to worship You for all Your love. I praise You for mighty power. You alone are worthy of all my honor. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Restored

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.”
Galatians 6:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all sin and need help some time. But why is it, those of us who are forgiven so much, can be so stubborn when it comes to understanding someone else’s sin? Where is the restoration? Where is the grace? Paul sees this lack of love in the church and instructs us to restore a person by being gentle and humble. In the classic book, “Truefaced” the authors write, “One of the greatest gifts we can offer another person is a safe place to fail.” How true is that? Surely, that is what Christ has done for us. The authors also write, “Grace frees Christians to see others as saints who sin, rather than sinners striving to be saints.” Yes, we should praise God that He has saved us and forgiven us of all our sins, but we should also remember that we are saved by “grace” and are called to live by grace as well. Today, let us offer grace to those that need it in the same proportion that God has offered it to us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your grace. Help me to be gentle and humble and extend that same grace to those around me.
AMEN

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Hope

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Hope is looking at circumstances with desire, belief and trust. It is having confidence in what you believe is going to happen, will happen. The Bible is full of hope. Hope for God’s goodness. Hope in God’s love and mighty power. Hope in our eternal life with Him. We are to live in God’s glorious hope. And if we do, it makes sense that others would want to know about it. That is why Peter said that we should always be ready to give the reason for our hope to everyone who asks about it. However, this begs the question, “Is anyone asking us about our hope?” If not, perhaps it does not show. The truth is many who believe in Christ live their life no different than a person who doesn’t. Today, let us examine our hearts. Are we hopeful? Are we full of desire, trust and anticipation of what God is going to do today? If not, let’s repent. Today, ask God to fill your very being with hope, so others will ask you about it, and you can tell them the good news of Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for complaining, worry and the lack of hope that I so often display. Fill my heart with hope today, so I can be a witness and others would want to know more about You.
AMEN

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Love Not Fear

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans?”
Isaiah 51:12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What is the opposite of “love”? Our first answer would no doubt be “hate.” I use to think so. However, the longer I live, the more I believe “fear” is the opposite of love. True, if I am going to “act” the opposite of love, it would be to hate. But if I am going to “live” the opposite of love, it would be to live in fear! Fear keeps me from love’s reality. Fear tells me that the promises of love are nothing but lies. Fear chooses to doubt love’s sincerity. Worse, it doubts the lover. When I choose to believe fear, it means I have chosen not to believe God. He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And yet I act as if we are abandoned, all alone with God no where is sight. I need to start seeing God as God. How about you? Do you live in the reality of His love? He is the one who comforts. He is the one who will never leave you. He is the one who will never stop loving you. Today, believe it, rejoice in it, live as if it is true. It is.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess I live much of my life in quiet desperation. Fear is constantly challenging my belief in Your love for me. Today, I renounce that fear. I rebuke it in Jesus’ name and choose to believe in Your love for me.
AMEN

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Faith

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE 

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”
Romans 4:10, 20-21(NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If there was ever a model for living the Christian life, it is Abraham. Look again at today’s verses. There is no better way to exemplify how we are to live. Abraham lived in an incredible relationship with God. He was totally immersed in faith. He did everything with God in mind. Look at what Paul writes, “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise.” More than that, Paul writes that Abraham was “fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” Just like you and I, Abraham had choices to make every day. And he chose to trust God. He decided that he would put his faith and hope in Jehovah. What about you? Who are you going to trust? Who will you hope in? Who will you be counting on to do what He has promised? Today, choose to trust God in all you do. Put your faith and hope in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your power and majesty. Thank You for Your love for me. Today I choose to put all my hope, trust and faith in You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Grace

Monday, August 18th, 2014

TODAY’S VERSE

“For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am.”
I Corinthians 15:9-10 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul was called to be an Apostle, not because of his past but because of the grace of God. He knew he had persecuted the church and felt he was the “chief of all sinners,” but even though he felt he was unworthy to serve Christ, he also knew that God’s love overcame and forgave his past. We need to come to the same realization of what God’s grace has done for us. By God’s grace we have a personal relationship with God. By God’s grace we are forgiven of all our wrong doing. By God’s grace we are alive and living with a purpose. All of us have a story. All of us, in one way or another are totally unworthy of serving Christ, but then it is God’s grace that calls us. Today, believe what Paul did. Serve God knowing, “But by the grace of God, I am what I am.” Thank God for His marvelous grace that He has so freely given us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for all the mercy, forgiveness, hope, peace, joy and love that is mine as a result of Your grace lavished upon me. I give You praise and thanks in the matchless name of Jesus.
AMEN

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