Our Grand Purpose

TODAY’S VERSE
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We search for our place in this world. What is my purpose? Why am I here? How can I make sense of this life? These are questions that all of us ask. And then you come across today’s verse. What a succinct answer to our philosophical dilemma. What is our purpose? To love God, but not with some idealistic romantic sentimentality. Rather we are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind! This is a radical love that comes from deep inside of us. As He permeates our life, we find the inner resources to love Him even more. God has also created us with the purpose to love others as we do ourselves. What higher calling is there? What more lofty job description can be found than to be God’s ambassador of love? Someone once said, “Love God and do as you please.” At first it sounds like an oxymoron but upon reflection, if we love God, the way He has asked us to, we would not do anything that would contradict that love. That means when we love our family, we are loving God. When we work hard at work, we are loving God. When we are polite to that stranger, we are loving God. When we love our spouse, we are loving God. When we enjoy watching the sunset, we are loving God. Might we start today, loving God with our whole heart, soul, strength and mind, and love our neighbor as we do ourselves.    

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, help me right now become conscious of your love for me. Help me know your love so intimately, that every part of me becomes permeated with it. Then I will be able to love you with my whole heart, soul, strength and mind, and those around me like I love myself. Help me love you this way even today, through and in the power of your Holy Spirit.
AMEN

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Re-correct Your Course

TODAY’S VERSE
“But your sinful behavior has separated you from God.”
Isaiah 59:2

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you.”’
Luke 15:17-18

That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
Joel 2:12-13

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Attitudes and behavior. How easily they can get us off course. Left unchecked we can find ourselves far from where we wanted to be. It is like that in sail boating. You don’t get to the other side of the lake in a straight line. Storms, waves, the wind all send you off course. Instead, you have to constantly readjust your sails, re-correct your course, in order to reach your destination. In life it is our sinful behavior and attitudes that separate us from God. It was this way in the parable of the Prodigal son. It was the son who decided to leave home and rebel against the father. But there is hope. Jesus said that the son was at a low point, feeding the pigs and “then he came to his senses”. He thought of His fathers love and mercy and decided to go back home. God through the prophet Joel says that we can do the same thing. “Turn to me now”, God says, “while there is time”. Do you feel far from God today? Do you feel off course? Come to Him, come in repentance, come in true sorrow, ask for His forgiveness, ask Him to help you re-correct your course. When you do, listen to the promise Joel makes, “He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get anger and filled with unfailing love.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, you know my attitudes and behavior. You know how I have wandered off, far from you. But today Father, I have come to my senses. I want back. I thank you for your mercy and compassion, your forgiveness and unfailing love toward me and I choose to accept that love and forgiveness right now. I choose now, in the power and help of your Holy Spirit, to re-correct my course.
AMEN

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Powerful Possibilities

TODAY’S VERSE
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 1:19-20

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How would it change your life if you really understood the power God has for you? Can you imagine someone only living on $20,000 a year when they had a million dollars given to them and placed in their bank account? It would be foolishness to have a million dollars and never understand all that you could do with it. Yet what must God think, when He has deposited into our life account His incredible power, and we never avail our self of it, we only live on a fraction of what He has supplied us with? How different would our life be if we really begin to understand how He wants us to use His power? Pray today, that God would open your eyes to all that He wants to do in your life through His powerful possibilities.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, help me to understand all the power you have for my life. Help me see how I am a steward of that power, how you want to use Your power in and through my life. Please Lord, open my eyes to the possibilities your power can have for my life, then give me the faith today to use it. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Praise Him Today

TODAY’S VERSE
“I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.”
Psalms 145:1-5

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever praised the Lord? No, I mean really praised the Lord? It could have been a quiet, sweet praise that brought tears to your eyes. Perhaps it was a shout-out-loud, hand clapping, exuberance. If you haven’t been praising the Lord lately, today would be a great time to start. David said that he praised God everyday. Why? Because David knew that God was worthy of his praise! We too can praise God. Just start to think of all the goodness in your life. Think of all that you have. Think of those most precious to you. Think of the fact that today you are alive and as long as you are alive, God has a purpose for you. If that is not enough, think of the fact that God loves you unconditionally. He has forgiven you of all the wrong you have ever done through the sacrificial death of His son. Finally, think of how almighty God is. Think of how awesome He is. His wisdom, majesty, power and greatness are without limit. So what is stopping you? Right now, stop and praise the Lord. Tell Him how much you love Him. Tell Him how great and majestic He is and how thankful you are to have a relationship with Him. He is worthy of our praise.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Almighty, glorious, everlasting, majestic God. I come now to bow before you. I come to praise your Holy name. I come to lift up my voice from the depth of my soul and say, “Halleluiah”. I thank you for who you are and for what you have done in my life. I thank and praise you for all that I have and for all that I am. I thank you for your love for me, for your death on the cross for me, and for the gift of your Holy Spirit. I praise you God for your greatness. I praise you God and affirm how great you are. Truly you are worthy of all my praise.
AMEN

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Answered Prayers

TODAY’S VERSE
“We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.”
II Corinthians 1:11

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Prayer. How many times are we tempted to think that it doesn’t matter? How many times does it feel as if our prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, not affecting any outcome? Yet we see in today’s verse that Paul is saying, “You are helping us by praying for us.” Now Paul knew where the real credit belonged. He confesses that his confidence is in God who continues to rescue him, but he is quick to add that praying to God is that catalyst that often causes the power of God to prevail. God designed it that way. Our almighty, all knowing, all powerful God has chosen to allow His power to be used at the point of our involvement. He chose you and I to be His co-laborers, His agents in this world charged with the responsibility of invoking His power. After all, Jesus himself taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Paul said, “Many people will give thanks because God answered so many prayers for our safety!”
Let me ask you, “How many people will give thanks because you prayed on their behalf?” It’s not too late! Start praying today. Pray for your family, pray for your friends. Pray for those at work. Pray for your church. When you are done, pray some more. God desires our prayers. He desires to work out His will in harmony with our requests.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I feel like your disciples who asked you to teach them to pray. I am so ignorant, so inexperienced, so naïve about prayer. Holy Spirit, teach me, guide me, instruct me. Help me to know what to pray. Give me the faith to trust you. Today, embolden my heart to pray in a way that brings you glory and works on behalf of those that so desperately need your touch.
AMEN 

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God Will Rescue You

TODAY’S VERSE
“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.”
II Corinthians 1:8-10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes life gets so hard. You wonder how you will make it. And then you come to a passage of scripture like today’s and become encouraged deep down in your soul. Paul was overwhelmed beyond his ability to endure but through it he learned not to rely on himself but to rely on God. God who is so powerful that He can raise the dead! As a result Paul put all his confidence in God who he knew would rescue him again. What about you? Is there something that is wearing you down? Do you, or someone you love, need rescuing? If so, come to God today. Bring your situation to Him who is faithful. Place your confidence in Him and He will continue to rescue you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you that I can come to you with my deepest sorrow, my gravest situation and my greatest fears. I thank you that I can put my confidence in the fact that you will hear my prayers and rescue me. I commit myself to you today and will rely on you to provide all my needs. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Healed Healer

TODAY’S VERSE
“God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
II Corinthians 1:3-4

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the term “wounded healer.” It was coined by Henri Nouwen, in his book by the same name. It conjures up the image of a person that comes along side of someone and shares “healing” with great understanding, compassion and empathy. Why? Because they have been in the same situation. They share the same wounds and scars. They know the other person’s pain. But Paul is going a step farther than just being a wounded healer. He is suggesting that we be a “healed healer!”  There is great empathy and compassion in being wounded and helping another with their wound, but besides empathy and compassion there is hope, health and wholeness offered by a healed healer. Paul states that God is the merciful father and the source of all comfort. As we come to Him and receive comfort we are to go and give this same comfort to others. As God heals us we share that healing. Should we be full of empathy? Yes, much so. Should we be compassionate? Yes, we of all people. Should we be patient, kind and understanding? If we are not, then we have forgotten that it was by His grace that we were healed. When God comforts us, we are grateful, humbled and full of joy. Make His comfort complete, by going and comfort others in the same way. May we never forget His mercy. May we never forget to treat others in the same way He has treated us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, God of all comfort. Thank you for the many times you have comforted me. Forgive me for not being as compassionate and patient as I should toward others. Forgive me for forgetting how much you have done for me. Help me today to extend that same comfort to others that you have given to me. Help me love those that you bring into my path today in the same way that you love me. 
AMEN

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Ask For Wisdom

TODAY’S VERSE
“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Proverbs 2:1-6

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
James 1:5

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In I Kings the third chapter, God asks Solomon, David’s son and the new King of Israel, “What do you want?” Solomon gives an eloquent response and asks for wisdom. God was impressed and blessed Solomon beyond measure. I admire Solomon’s choice. He could have asked for riches, fame, land, skills, athletic ability, immortality, a myriad of choices were his to ask for, but he chose wisdom. He knew that with wisdom comes so much more. With wisdom comes knowledge and understanding. It is more precious than hidden treasure. The best news is that God will give it to us freely, if we ask for it in faith. What do you need wisdom about today? Is it a relationship, job situation, financial worry, medical choice or family issue? God hears your request. Search for wisdom, cry out for insight, seek for it and God will grant your request. Like James said, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear almighty, all wise God. I need your wisdom today. I need you to speak to me, to show me your way, to give me your knowledge and understanding. I cannot live the way you want me to without it. I want it more than riches, than fame, than success. Thank you that you said, if I need wisdom to ask you and you will give it to me. So Father, I come now, bowing before you, asking for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Thank you for hearing my prayer. I ask in the precious name of Jesus.
AMEN

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The Promiseland Is Waiting

TODAY’S VERSES
The LORD said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
Numbers 13:1-2

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.
Numbers 13:30-32

That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Numbers 14:1-4

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Attitudes can change everything. You know the story. Moses sent spies into the promise land to see what it was like. All twelve men saw the same thing but came back with different conclusions. Two saw possibilities born out of faith and hope in God’s love and power. The others saw defeat, death, dying and doom. The people believed the second story. Why is that? Why can we believe the death, dying and doom story so much easier than the land of milk and honey? What is it that keeps us from believing in the goodness of God? We don’t doubt whether He can do good, we doubt whether He wants to. Dallas Willard in his book, Hearing God, shares why even the miracles of Jesus could not convince some people of His love and Lordship. Willard writes, “Our preexisting ideas and assumptions are precisely what determine what we can see, hear or otherwise observe.” You see Caleb’s report could not change what the people already believed in their heart, that God did not really love them and they were better off taking care of themselves.
What do you think? Seeing a miracle won’t change it. A good report won’t change that deep down doubt. Only repentance and a relationship can. Repent of unbelief, doubt and fear and then spend time with God. Don’t quit, every day get to know Him, until you sense His concern and His deep passion and love for you. Come to Him today, ask Him to show you His love. He will. The promiseland is waiting.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, you know my heart. You know my doubts, fears, negative thoughts. I have had them all my life. I repent Lord. I want to believe. Help me correct my thinking. Help me know you more and more until my inner thoughts reflect the faith and love that you created me for. In Jesus name. AMEN

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How Do You Wait?

TODAY’S VERSE
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him”
Psalms 37:7

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Waiting can be hard, especially when we find ourselves in difficult situations. The trouble is what we add to waiting. It is wait plus fretting; wait plus stewing; wait plus conniving; wait plus brooding. Instead David adds God to the waiting. He says to be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. That means if we are going to add anything to waiting it should be wait plus faith; wait plus prayer; wait plus hope; wait plus the peace that passes all understanding. Is there something that you are having trouble waiting on? Are you fretting, stewing, conniving or brooding? If so, give it over to Jesus. Be still before Him and wait in faith, hope and peace.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, it is so hard to wait. Forgive me for fretting, stewing, conniving and brooding. Help me instead, to trust you. I surrender my situation to you. Today I will wait in faith, hope and peace. AMEN

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