Archive for April, 2016

No Deal

Friday, April 29th, 2016

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

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When it comes to seeking God’s will, we often fall into the role of Monty Hall on the old TV game show, “Let’s Make a Deal.” Larry Crabb in his book, “The Pressures Off” shares how we try to negotiate the Lord’s will. He writes, “You negotiate; you do not worship. You analyze and interpret to gain control over what happens; you do not depend. You seek the “better life” of God’s blessing over the “better hope” of God’s presence.” His advice was, “Seek only the blessing of His presence, and you’ll know what to do.” David says that the secret to God’s will is to trust in Him with all our heart and to seek His will in all we do. When we do, David says that God will show us what to do. Again Larry Crabb, this time in his book “The PAPA Prayer” writes, “We need to know God so well that the deepest desire of His heart actually becomes the deepest desire of ours. That frees us to ask God for what we really want with the confidence that He’ll move heaven and earth to grant our requests, because what we want now matches what He wants.” We don’t need to make a deal with God. We need to know Him. We need to spend time in His presence. As we do, He will direct us, He will guide our path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess, I have sought Your blessings more than I have sought You. I have spent time seeking Your blessing more than Your presence. Lord, I want to know You. I want to seek You with all my heart. Please show me how. Please draw me to Yourself through the power and love of Your Holy Spirit. Dear God, take my life, take my mind, take my will. I want only You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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He Is Worthy

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of His call.
II Thessalonians 1:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How do we live worthy of something we are so unworthy of? We can’t. We can’t earn His love, we can’t live a life that would ever be enough. The good news we don’t have to. Jesus paid for our redemption. Jesus made it possible for us to be called the children of God. God’s very own love brought us into existence and He has called us to live for Him. Instead, Paul prays that we would respond in a way that would be worthy of the precious life He has given us. A response that flows from a heart that knows how wonderful it is to be unconditionally loved. A heart full of praise, worship, adoration and gratitude that in turn loves others. We love Him, we love others because He indeed is worthy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord Jesus You are worthy of all my praise and worship. Today take my life as a living sacrifice and help me live for you. Truly You are worthy!
AMEN

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Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.”
Psalms 143:8, 10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is something about an isolated sandy beach along the ocean. Sitting on the sand listening to the ocean waves hit the shore. Sun caressing your face. A gentle breeze awakening your skin. Birds chirping in the background. You say to yourself, “Does it get any better than this?” Well, yes! David talks about a place that is much more satisfying. A place where the warmth of the sun pales in comparison. Where the sound of the ocean is replaced with the whisper of God. Where the gentle breeze is overshadowed by the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit. This place David is talking about is the very presence of God. He is sharing about his time with God in the morning. “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning” he writes. He shares about hearing God’s voice, sensing His love, learning His will, trusting His word and being led in which way to go. It really doesn’t get any better than that and it can be your experience today. You don’t need to drive anywhere, apply any sunscreen or walk barefoot on a hot sandy beach. You just need to be available. Call on God even now. Pray David’s prayer and might you come back to this peaceful place again and again.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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God As My Friend

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”
Exodus 33:11

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is an incredible concept that a God who created all the expanse of space; designed the most complicated systems; is beyond time and space; would create us, not as some impersonal piece of matter, but as a friend. A friend. We are fortunate if we go through life with four or five good friends. Jesus called His disciples friends. Why? Because He spent time with them. He knew them. He wants to do the same with us. If we are going to be a friend of God, then we must build a relationship. Going to church, fellowship, reciting creeds, reading about God these are good and indispensable for spiritual maturity but friendship with God comes by spending time with Him. It comes through conversation with Him. It comes through an exchange of feelings, thoughts, concerns and aspirations. Try today to carve out some time to be alone with God. Share with Him; tell Him you want His friendship. Listen to Him, wait for Him and enjoy His presence.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know You but I must admit, I don’t know You well. I know in my head that You love me but I haven’t sensed a friendship with You in my heart. I want to be Your friend. I want to know You in a much deeper and more personal way. Help me to that end. Guide me into a friendship with You, I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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You Are Loved

Monday, April 25th, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we are tempted to forget. Perhaps it is the darkness; life’s circumstances with its mystery that causes our lapse of memory. Could it be our haste, all the interruptions, deadlines and pressures of everyday life that crowds out our remembrance? Whatever the reason, today cast your eyes upon this treasure. Feast your senses on this thought, “The Lord, YOUR God, is with you!” Not only that, comfort yourself with the fact that “He is mighty to save you.” Let the joy radiate deep in your heart from knowing the fact that “He takes great delight in you!” But if that isn’t enough, if you still aren’t moved, meditate on this truth, “He will quiet you with His love.” Finally, use your imagination and picture the magnificent conclusion that Zephaniah offers, “God, our own Heavenly Father, is right this moment singing and rejoicing over you.” Today, believe it, it is true.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, my dear Lord and Father. Who am I that You would rejoice over me with singing? That you take delight in me is so much to comprehend. But You have said it and now I choose to believe it. Thank You, dear Father for Your love for me. Help me live today in the reality of these truths. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven’”.
Matthew 18:21-22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is interesting that Peter was the one that came to Jesus and asked, “How many times should we forgive another person?” Peter thought he was generous and asked, “Seven times?” But the answer that Jesus gave Peter was based on grace and mercy, not on merit or our puny benevolence. Jesus said, “Seventy times seven.” Peter learned to identify himself with Christ’s answer. When the crowd came to crucify Jesus, Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times. When he realized the wrong he committed, he went and “wept bitterly” over his sin. How awful Peter must have felt. When Jesus rose again, he went and found Peter. Jesus forgave Peter and told him three times to go and serve Him. And that’s what Peter did. He did not go and become self righteous. He did not go and think of himself as some sinless leader of the church. He did not set up a Country Club Church for members in good standing. No, Peter never lost sight of the fact he was just a forgiven fisherman, saved by the grace of God. And other people recognized it too. The book of Acts says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter and his followers carried a sign saying, “No perfect people allowed! We are just ordinary people forgiven of our sins.” Shouldn’t we do the same?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, thank You for all that You have forgiven in my life. Might I live filled with your Holy Spirit and in the fresh awareness that I am loved by You. Help me in turn to love and forgive others, so when they see me, they too will take note that I have been with You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Be Strong In The Lord

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
Ephesians 6:10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We need strength. There are so many circumstances in life that bring us to our knees – suffering with chronic pain, struggling to pay the bills, arguing with teenage children, feeling discouraged about our job or rocking from a ruined relationship. All of us have a story. None of us goes unscathed. But we do not have to bear our sorrows all alone and afraid. We don’t have to be helpless victims. Instead, Paul ends Ephesians with this word, “Finally, be strong.” Being strong is having a resilient attitude, a hopeful spirit, a resolve to never give up, to fight and to hang on. But how do we do this? How can we get the strength we need? Listen to how Paul finishes his verse. “Be strong in the LORD and in His mighty strength.” What a difference a few words can make. We can be strong in His strength. His strength is mighty. And today, His strength is your strength. Like a child is carried in the strength of his father’s arms, God will carry you. Today, be strong; but not in yourself. Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You told me to be strong, however I have tried to be strong in my own power not Yours. I confess that I need Your power. I cannot live the life You want me to by myself. Please forgive me and help me be strong in You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Faith

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Faith is such an important part of our spiritual walk. But faith in what? The author of Hebrews says that faith is “the confidence that what we HOPE for will happen.” What do you hope for? Jeremiah shares three great truths that you can put your faith in. The first truth is that God has plans for you, plans to give you hope and a future. What a promise. Have you claimed it? Doe that encourage your faith? The second fact is that when you call upon God and pray, God will listen! What a precious reality! God listens to you when you pray. The last truth is this: when you seek God with all your heart, He will be found! There are many goals and aspirations that you have had in life that for one reason or another, ended up being an elusive dream. But not with God. When you seek God with all your heart, He promises that you will find Him. Today stop and consider that God has plans for your life. His plans are to give you hope and a future.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have come today seeking You with all my heart and know that You are listening to me. I am so glad that I have found You, the true and living God. I claim today the fact that You have plans for me. Plans with hope and a future. Thank You, dear Father, that I can put my full confidence in that promise. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Perfect Love

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel.
Psalm 73:22-24 NIV

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We tend to have a bias that cause us to see ourself better than we are. We think we are smarter and better than reality will attest. We are always the exception. We’re the one that won’t suffer the consequences of our behavior. No wonder Paul told us, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.” Why all this pretense? Why can’t we be honest with ourself? Fear plays a huge part. We are afraid to be our real self. We know nothing of unconditional love. But Asaph, the person that wrote today’s verse, knew. He was able to admit to God how horrible he had been acting and at the same time experience the deep love that God had for Him. The Apostle John said it best when he wrote,’ Perfect love casts out all fear!” Today, open your eyes. You can go ahead and see yourself with all your flaws, all your needs, all your humanness. God does, and He still sent Christ to die for you. Accept and embrace His love for the real you today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for Your unconditional love for me. Thank You that You accept me for who I am. Help me to see myself the way You do. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Greatest Commandment

Monday, April 18th, 2016

TODAY’S VERSE
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.
Matthew 22:36-38

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to stay busy. With all there is to do with family, work and church we are loaded with responsibilities, duties and ministry. Everyday pressures mount and we find ourself running from one activity to another. Like a giant hamster wheel we go and go and yet we don’t get anywhere. Jesus knew this but not the Pharisees. All they knew was the law and all the activity it required. So they asked Jesus which commandment He thought was the greatest. They weren’t ready for how profound His answer would be. Jesus didn’t say that the greatest commandment involved ministry, family or career. He didn’t suggest tremendous feats or a myriad of activities. Instead, Jesus said, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” In her book Listening Prayer Leanne Payne writes, “Centering on the work of the Lord and the helping of others, can cloud our first duty of loving, glorifying and enjoying God always. As Oswald Chambers says, ‘The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.’ It is never ‘Do, do’ with the Lord, but ‘Be,be” and He will ‘do’ through you.” So today, let us be conscious of Him. Let us worship Him, love Him and spend time with Him. If we do, we will find that everything else will fall into place.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, help me love You today with my whole heart, soul and mind. Take my life; I give You complete control. I want to spend time with You, share my thoughts with You and hear from You today. Help me take charge of my schedule and all my busyness so that I can carve out the time I need to better worship You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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