Roots

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
Ephesians 3:17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Roots are crucial to the health of a plant. It is the way that plants get water and nourishment. Jesus used plants and roots as a metaphor for our spiritual life. He pointed out that “where” you put your roots can make all the difference in the world. Jesus shared about the futility of sowing seed on a path where the roots can’t grow. This represents the evil one stealing away the truth from our heart. He says some seed falls on a rocky area where the roots grow quickly but shallow and the plant soon dies. This represents a lack of commitment where spiritual fervor doesn’t last long. Finally, Jesus shared about the seed that falls in the weeds where the competition for the roots steals away nourishment. This represents the cares of this world or lure of wealth taking us away from our walk with Christ. Instead, Jesus said that we need to plant the seed on the good ground. In Ephesians, Paul is praying for the church, that we would let our roots grow deep into the love that Christ has for us. How do we do this? By opening our heart to Christ’s influence and trusting in Him. If we want to mature in Christ, then we must spend time in good soil. We need to pray, read His word and meditate in His presence. Where are your roots? Are emotional issues leaving your faith malnourished? Are the cares of this world choking you out? Come to Jesus –let your roots go down deep into His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, too many of my roots have been shallow. I have not let my roots go down deep into Your love. My commitment has wavered. I’ve let the cares of this world choke me out. Help me today begin to go deeper with You. Feed me, nourish my soul, I pray. Help me know You more, hear You more, love You more. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Inner Strength

TODAY’S VERSE
I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Ephesians 3:14-16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the prayers that Paul prayed. His prayers give great insight into the will of God for His children. I believe that Paul models in his prayers what we can pray for ourselves. So, what is Paul saying we can ask God for in this prayer? According to Paul, we can ask God to empower us with inner strength from His unlimited resources! Inner strength. What would it feel like to be empowered with inner strength? How would that change your day today? If you had inner strength, what would you do differently? I believe God wants to empower you with strength and He certainly has the resources to do it. Do you have the faith to ask? Why not join Paul and ask God to use His glorious, unlimited resources to empower you with inner strength today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, Creator of everything in heaven and on earth, I pray today that from your glorious, unlimited resources, You would empower me with inner strength through Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Be Real

TODAY’S VERSE
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:8-9

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why would John write, “If we claim we have no sin”? Who would ever claim that? Who in their right mind would think that they do not sin? The truth is that those of us in the church are close to doing that very thing. We come to a point where we feel we need to try and hide any “sins” that we may have. There seems to be fear of humiliation or a shame that comes with “falling from Grace” so we tend to put on a super spiritual mask. This makes it hard for us to be honest and open with each other. Perhaps John’s message today would be something like, “There are no perfect people in the church, so don’t pretend you are without sin. Go ahead and confess to God and each other. Christ is faithful to forgive you.” We need to come to God and confess our sins, admit our needs and get the help we need. It is in sharing our struggles and helping each other that we experience true Christianity. Then we help others in the way we were helped. This is what people are looking for. They will think, “Finally, someone who is real! Someone who knows what I am going through and can help me.” The sooner the community knows that there are no perfect people allowed at church, the sooner they will feel comfortable enough to come. They, too, can experience the same grace, love and forgiveness that we feel.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my situation. You know my shortcomings. Help me keep it real with You. Help me confess my sins so that I might experience Your freedom and forgiveness. And then, Father, help me help others, in the same way You have helped me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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No Deal

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. Larry Crabb in his book The PAPA Prayer writes, “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 don’t need to try to balance a scale to get our way. 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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Does It Get Any Better Than This?

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. 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 this! This 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

TODAY’S VERSE
Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:13-15

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. That doesn’t happen by just going to church. We need to fellowship, worship and hear the word of God but that’s good, but it is not enough. It doesn’t come by reciting creeds, as good as they are. It doesn’t come by reading about God, although this certainly gives us context. It doesn’t come by simply reading the Bible, although this is an indispensable part of relating to God. 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 about You. I pray to 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

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 God’s goodness. 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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Scriptural Inspiration For Your Daily Journey