Do You Really Know Him?

TODAY’S VERSE
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
II Peter 1:2-3

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Do you know Christ? I don’t mean, “know of Christ”, but do you know Christ to the point that knowing Him deeply influences your life? Look at today’s verses. Peter is saying that we will experience an abundant amount of grace and peace through our knowledge of Christ. He then goes on to say that our knowledge of Christ will set loose the power of God and give us everything we need for life and godliness. I love that phrase, “EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS!”
Some things? Almost everything? No, everything we need for life! This is no small claim. Peter is saying that our knowledge of Christ is crucial to everything we need in life. So what does knowledge mean? Peter was using the Greek work that means a full knowledge, a deep participation by the knower in the object known so that it powerfully influences him or her. This is more than an acquaintance or a casual relationship. It is a passion to know, really know God. It is a hunger for His word, a longing to spend time in His presence, an openness to dialog freely with Him and listen for His voice. There is so much to gain by knowing Him, really knowing Him. You can start to know Him more today. He is waiting for you to try.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I confess my lack of Spiritual knowledge. I have not taken the time I should to really know you. I haven’t been real with you nor have I let you be real with me. But today I want to start. I want to know you, really know you. I want to hear your voice. I want to sense your presence in my life. I want your scriptures to come alive in my mind. Father, I want to know you as Father. Help me know you, I pray in Jesus name.
AMEN

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PEACE

TODAY’S VERSE
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Peace. It has many meanings. I heard a story of a man that commissioned a contest to see who could best paint a picture of peace. He would hang the entries in a gallery and let the townspeople vote on which picture best portrayed it. Beautiful painted sceneries with sunsets and ocean scenes draped across the gallery walls. Majestic mountains with beautiful colors were brought to the gallery and hung. Other painters submitted paintings of birds flying in the air, old people with peaceful smiles on their faces and children playing. People were hard pressed to decide which was more peaceful. Finally the day before voting a last entry was being hung. As people saw it, they didn’t quite understand why it was submitted. It was a picture of a turbulent river with a violent current smashing against the river canyon walls. Dark ominous clouds were overhead. Felled trees littered the river’s bank and the wind was bending a tree in the foreground. Then someone pointed out in the branch of the tree was a little bird. The bird was whistling, enjoying the spray of the river below. Not worried about the river the bird was in perfect peace. When the vote was finished everyone agreed that that was the most peaceful picture. Peace during peaceful times is one thing. Peace during life’s troubled, stormy times is another. May God keep us at perfect peace today, as our mind trusts in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I pray for your peace to fill my heart today. Thank you for your unfailing love for me. Thank you for being my Father. I choose to fix my thoughts on you today, to trust you and commit every worry into your capable hands.
AMEN

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Using Your Spiritual Gift

TODAY’S VERSE
“Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.
To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
I Corinthians 12:1, 8-11

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
Romans 12:6-8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Can a carpenter build a house without tools? Can a farmer plant a field
without seed? Can a professional athlete compete without the necessary skills? Why is it we feel we can serve God to our fullest, do all that He has for us to do, see mighty deeds done in His name, if we do not use the Spiritual Gifts He has given us? Look at the church today. What’s missing? Is there healing, miracles, a sense of God speaking to us? Is there great faith, Godly knowledge or wisdom? Are we seeing great and mighty things done in the name of Jesus? Is injustice stopped, the sick healed, the poor rescued? If these deeds sound more at home in a fairy tale than our church, perhaps we need to start using our Spiritual Gifts. God never expected us to do His work on our own. He sent the Holy Spirit to equip us, empower us and give us gifts to be used. God wrote through Paul that concerning Spiritual
Gifts, He did not want us ignorant. Might we learn more about our own
Spiritual Gifts today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that you gave me the Holy Spirit to equip me for your
service. I also know that you said that you give all Christians a Spiritual Gift. Help me know what my Spiritual Gifts are. Help me use them so I can do the work you called me to do in the fullness of your power.
AMEN 

Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
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Do Over

TODAY’S VERSE
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalms 51: 1-4, 10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have you wanted to do something over? “If I could just take back what I said”. “If I could take the test again.” “If I had one more chance!” In Golf it is the “mulligan”. In Monopoly it is the “Get out of jail” card. On Wheel of Fortune it is the “free spin”
How many times do we need a do over?
King David needed one.
He had committed adultery resulting in the woman becoming pregnant. To make it worst, he had her husband killed! God sent Nathan the Prophet to David to rebuke him. David came under severe guilt and repented. Instead of running from God, he ran toward God. He openly admitted his sins and asked God for forgiveness. He experienced the love of God and complete forgiveness. His behavior is a wonderful example for us. He depended on God’s unfailing love and look at what he asked for. Mercy, blotting out of his sins and cleansing his heart . David agreed with God, that he was guilty. But he also agreed with God, that His love is unfailing. Next was the “do over”. David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me!” Why not start over like David, today. Make David’s prayer your own.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Righteous Father. I know that you know all about me. You know my wrong doing. I agree with you that I am guilty of so many things. I come now to confess that I need your total forgiveness for all that I have done. I need a “do over”. Please create in me a pure heart. Please renew a right spirit in me. I come to you to start afresh right now. In Jesus name!
AMEN

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He Will Never Forget You

TODAY’S VERSE
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
Isaiah 49:1, 6, 15

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
Hebrews 13:5

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The union between a mother and her little child is incredible. I watched my daughter-in-law interact with our new six-week old granddaughter, doting over her. It was so tender. Our granddaughter laid there wiggling, smiling, making funny faces and squealing. I love the squeals! What an illustration. Like a mother’s love, God’s love for you is born out of creating you. God has formed you and has a unique love for you. But that is where the comparisons between God and a mother end. You see, it is possible for a mother to neglect her child. Incomprehensible as it may seem, a mother may even abandon and forget her child. But not God! He promises; though a mother may forget her child, I WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER FORGET YOU. How can you be sure? He has engraved your name on His hands. He has etched you into the very flesh of His hands, a place He will never forget. Today, choose to rest in this truth; He knows your name, He loves you, He will never leave you or forsake you.  

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank you that I can trust you. Help me with my doubts, fears and insecurities. Like a child, I reach out to you. Help me see your hands with my name, my very being, engraved in them reaching toward me. Thank you that I am safe in your love. Thank you that you promised that you will never forget me, leave me or forsake me.
AMEN

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I Can Only Imagine

TODAY’S VERSE
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I Corinthians 2:9

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Most of time our family has moved, my wife and I have worked together on finding a house. However when we moved to Georgia I was out there for two months before her. My son came with and we looked for homes. He found one on the MLS listing and went to meet the people. He called me at work and said that he found the house for us. He was right. It was love at first sight. It was rustic, in the woods had a lot of potential. Of course that meant it needed a lot of work. Somehow though, I could see the finished home in my minds eye. I was really excited and send my wife a rendering of what I proposed. I promised her that I would get the house fixed up. I kept my word. I put in trails, two ponds, bonus apartment, bird sanctuary, plumbing, electric work, deck and new floors. I painted, cleaned and put in gardens. I have never enjoyed a project more that that one. I really wanted my wife to love it like I did. Well, she fell in love with the house too. Now imagine what Jesus feels like. He said that He went to prepare a place for us. And what a place it must be! Paul says that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” As the popular Christian song says, “I can only imagine!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, I thank you that you have gone on ahead to prepare a place in eternity for me. I cannot imagine what you must have in store. I only know that you love me and no one can even begin to conceive how great it will be to spend eternity with you. Let me live today with eternity in mind. Thank you Lord Jesus.
AMEN

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All The Strength You Need

TODAY’S VERSES
“If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides.”
I Peter 4:11

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13

“I love you, O LORD, my strength.”
Psalms 18:1

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Strength is the energy that God gives us to complete a task. It is what helps us endure to the end. Strength is also what helps us resist negative forces. What better place to get strength than from God? He is able to provide all the strength we need to do what He calls us to do. Need to love someone who is unlovely? Ask Him for strength. Need to forgive someone who hurt you deeply? Ask Him for strength. Have to do something that seems impossible? Ask Him for strength. Is fear crippling you, depression strangling you? Ask Him for strength. Paul said, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” We can experience the same reality that Paul did. And when we do, we will be able to say with David, “I love you, O Lord, my strength!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Almighty God, I need your strength. I can’t live the life you want me to without it. Help me Father. Give me all the strength I need to do all that you ask me to do this day. I thank you for hearing this prayer. I will step out in faith and go forward in the power and strength of your might.
AMEN

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Staying On Course

TODAY’S VERSE
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
II Timothy 3:16

TODAY’S MESSAGE
God has not left us alone to wander through this world as helpless victims. He has given us His word to instruct and guide us. God does not wait until we make a mistake and then discard us. He has given us His word to rebuke and correct us. God does not leave us the way we are. He has given us His word to train us. Life is like a journey. There is a trail we can follow that will get us through the wilderness. Through His word, God shows us the trail to go on. His word also lets us know when we wander from the trail. The Bible also shows us how to get back on the trail again. Finally, the scriptures show us  how to stay on the trail and not wander off. Read His word. Make a part of your daily routine. Through it He will teach you everything you need to know about living this life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank you for your word. Please help me understand what the scriptures are saying. Help me apply it to my life. Holy Spirit, use the Bible and teach me, rebuke me, correct me and train me. Help me be the person you desire me to be.
AMEN

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Experiencing His Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
“I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
Psalms 16:7, 8

TODAY’S MESSAGE
There is one prayer that has made all the difference in my life. It is one I have to pray over and over again. It is a form of discipline, for if I don’t pray this prayer I will not keep my Spiritual vitality. The prayer is simple and yet powerful. It is, “Lord make me conscious of Your presence.” Being conscious of God’s presence makes all the difference in the world. Because David was conscious of the fact that God was always with him, right beside him, he was not shaken during life’s struggles. Instead God guided him and instructed his heart at night.
How about you and I? What if today we were conscious of God right next to us? What if we knew that He was in the same room we were? What if we sensed that He heard our thoughts and prayers and would to answer the questions we have? What if we experienced His comforting presence when we are under pressure? What if we knew He was present to hold our hand when we had that extremely difficult task to do? God is. God is always with us. Let us be conscious of His presence in all that we do today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, thank you for being with me constantly. Please make me aware of your presence today. Help me to see how relevant you are to my life. Help me experience your presence, to really know that you are always with me, in fact right beside me. Father, open my eyes to see you, my ears to hear you and my heart to sense your very presence.
In Jesus name.
AMEN

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A Solid Foundation

TODAY’S VERSE
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
II Timothy 2:15

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Matthew 7:24-25

TODAY’S MESSAGE
It matters what you build your life on. Both Jesus and Paul agreed, you need to build your life on the truth of the Bible. Not just knowing the truth, but living the truth. Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them in practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Paul wrote that we should be a, “workman that does not need to be ashamed, who correctly handles the word of truth.” If we want our life on firm ground then we need to be grounded in His word. We need to read the Bible, study it and then apply it to our life. We need to live what we read. When we do we will find that life will stand the tests of time.
TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, I want to live my life on solid ground. I want to be able to stand firm when I go through hard times. Help me to read your word and understand it’s meaning. Help me to live what you tell me to do. I want to be a workman that does not need to be ashamed, who correctly handles your word of truth!
AMEN

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