Understanding His Love For Me

TODAY’S VERSE
“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”
II Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Because of our need to be loved and the shortage of the kind of love we so desperately need, we often lead our hearts in places that will never bring real satisfaction. We try to find what our heart needs but we are like the song that says we are “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Instead, Paul suggests that we let the Lord lead our heart. When we trust God with our heart, He will lead us where we will find everything we need for lasting joy and peace. That is why Paul is praying that God will lead our heart into a full understanding of the love of God. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how our life would change if we really understood how much God loved us? Paul did. He is praying that God would lead our hearts into a full understanding of the love of God that results in a full “expression” of His love and the patient endurance that comes from trusting in that love. Do we want to live a life of love? Do we want to have the peace that comes from patient endurance? If so, we need to pray with Paul that God will lead our heart into a full understanding of His love for us. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, lead my heart today to a better understanding of how much You love me. I pray that my life will exemplify Your love and the patient endurance that comes from being secure in You.
AMEN

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Love As Jesus Did

TODAY’S VERSE
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
Luke 6:27-31(NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
In today’s passage, Jesus set a whole new standard for moral behavior. That is why He starts this part of His sermon on the Mount by saying, “If you are willing to listen.” Our Lord knows how hard it is to follow what He is suggesting. But what makes this teaching even more amazing is Jesus did not just teach this, He lived it! This was not a political speech with moral platitudes given in order to get our votes. This was a mandate for those that He was calling to follow Him in His own lifestyle. If we are to follow Jesus, we must love as He loved. When asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus said, ‘“You must 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”’. So it is no wonder that Jesus taught us to love our enemies! To do good to those who hate us. To bless those that curse us. To pray for those who hurt us. And to turn the other cheek. These are ways to truly love others. Jesus said it best, “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” So today, let us love others the way Jesus has commanded us to.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me love with Your love. Help me see others with Your eyes. Help me be filled with Your compassion, guided by Your Holy Spirit, used as an instrument of Your peace. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Contentment

TODAY’S VERSE
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
These have always been hard verses for me to live. Paul was able to write them with confidence because he poured out his life as a sacrifice for Christ. I look at my life and see so much to improve on. Today, I met someone who exemplified these words in a powerful way. Her name is Onix. She is in her mid-forties and has been in a wheelchair most of her life. She did not let that stop her from graduating from Moody Bible Institute and becoming a youth leader instructor and gifted Sunday School teacher. She has always been a vibrant witness for Christ. For the last five years she has needed the help of a ventilator and has been bed-bound with only partial use of her hands. She taught herself how to talk so she could continue to witness for Christ. A few years ago she started to paint using her mouth to hold the brush. She glows as she talks about what she has learned about God through this and the opportunities she has to share her faith. Her faith is contagious. Her attitude is amazing. I pray that I will be able to pattern my life after her faith. Today, let us thank God for our circumstances. Let us live out the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for complaining. Forgive me for my lack of faith. Help me live content in the fact that I am Your child and You know all about me and my circumstances. Help me to see life through your eyes and trust Your never ending love for me.
AMEN

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Restoration

TODAY’S VERSE
“He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.”
I Peter 5:10-11 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
It is easy to get tired. You know, just plain worn out. Life seems to come at us so hard. There is never enough time to get everything we need done. Is it a wonder that we feel like we live in a pressure cooker? Jesus invited all of us who are under a heavy burden to come to Him. He promised that He would give us rest. Peter heard Him say it! And now Peter writes to us promising that this same Jesus will restore, support and strengthen us. Peter promises us that Jesus will place us on a firm foundation because all power belongs to Him. Today, let this same Jesus comfort you. Let Him come into your situation and give you support and strength. Lean on Him. Share with Him. Give Him all your burdens. Remember, “All power belongs to Him forever!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with all my burdens. Help me, comfort me. I lean on You dear Lord. I need Your strength and support. Thank You for all Your provisions. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Come To The Waters

TODAY’S VERSE
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”
Isaiah 55:1-2

TODAY’S MESSAGE
What an invitation. What an opportunity. What a heart felt plea from God to each and every one of us. Given a free will, we can choose what we do with our lives. We can decide who we want to follow. We can choose to fill our life with things that will never satisfy. But God loves us so much He pleads with us to wake up, to consider our priorities and choose life. In an allegory, God calls every person who is thirsty deep in their soul, to come and drink His waters of spirituality. He can quench our thirst. Knowing that we are spiritually bankrupt, He says buy what our soul needs from Him and charge it to His account. And then in what I think is a deep cry out to our materialist society, God says, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” God loves you and desires that you live your life in His abundant grace. Come to Him today. Take all that your soul needs. Feast on His love and care for you. Let your soul learn of Him and grow. Come today, to His waters and never thirst again.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You that I can come to You today and drink of Your love, mercy and grace. Thank You for loving me unconditionally so that I will never thirst again. My soul delights in You.
AMEN

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No Fear

TODAY’S VERSE
Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear.
Psalms 118:4-6 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
How much of your time is spent in fear? Not much you say. Okay, how much of your time is spent in defending or protecting yourself? How many thoughts are spent planning and plotting every detail of your life in order to make everything seem just right. Why? Because you fear that others may think poorly of you. One way or another, fear plays a large part in our life. In today’s passage the Psalmist has found an answer for his fear. When he was in distress he prayed to God and God set him free. Because of God’s loving intervention the author no longer feared. Rather, he meditated on God’s love and learned to trust in that love. Isn’t that what you and I need to do? Today, when fear comes to us, let us do what the Psalmist did. Let’s pray to God and let Him answer us. He will, because His love endures forever.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me overcome my fears. Instead of being fearful, help me to trust in Your faithful love. I give my life to You and ask You to guide me, protect me and set me free from the bondage of fear. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Listen To God

TODAY’S VERSE
“‘I am the LORD your God. – But you have not listened to me.”
Judges 6:10 (NLT)

“And Samuel replied, ‘Speak, your servant is listening.’”
I Samuel 3:10

TODAY’S MESSAGE
“You have not listened to me.” You would think if God spoke, people would listen and obey. But do we? How many times have we turned our back on what His word has to say? How many times have we ignored the conviction of the Holy Spirit? How many times have we bent the meaning of the Scriptures into our own will? There is a dedication and discipline to listening to God. There is a passion tempered with conviction that results in obeying Him. Part of listening is repenting when we know we have ignored Him. Part of listening is remembering the past and trusting Him with the present. The biggest part of listening is “listening.” Reading His word, spending time with God, meditating on what He has to say, all of this creates a real and vibrant relationship. Relating to God in this way, knowing His unconditional love for us and learning to love Him in return is the best way to keep our hearts ready to listen to Him. Might our prayer be like that of Samuel, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for speaking to me so many times. Forgive me for the times I did not listen. Help me to seek Your wisdom. Help me to read Your word and to meditate on it. Most of all, might the prayer of my heart be, “Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.”
AMEN

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Work Toward Peace

TODAY’S VERSE
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
Ephesians 4:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Everyone wants peace but so few are willing to work on it. Paul writes out a formula for peace that if practiced, would revolutionize the church. First, he asks us to be humble and gentle. It is amazing how much hurt can be dished out under the guise of humility. So Paul adds to be gentle. He continues by writing that we should be patient making allowances for each other’s faults. But how can we do this? He says we do it out of love. Remember, love covers a multitude of sins. Finally, if peace is our real goal, we need to make every effort to keep ourselves united in the Spirit. To Paul, peace was not an option, but a reality to be insisted on. How hard do you work for peace at home, church or work? What if everyone did?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Prince of Peace, please forgive me. I don’t make peace my desire. I would rather be right. I would rather be in control. I would rather fight for my self interests. I have such a hard time trusting that if I yield myself to peace everything will work out. Forgive me. Please help me follow You and Your commitment to peace.
AMEN

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Receive Him

TODAY’S VERSE
“But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”
Romans 3:21-25 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
How can we be made right with a Holy and perfect God? How could we ever begin to think that we could have a relationship with God Almighty? Paul wrestled with these very issues and then wrote down some very good news. Based on his knowledge of Scriptures and his personal experience, he was led by God to write down a clear explanation of how be right with God. He writes, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” All of us have missed the mark of God’s standard of perfection so God came up with a plan of substitution. He would offer His own Son, Jesus, the perfect one as our sacrifice. Again Paul writes, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.” God offers us the free gift of salvation, but we must take it. It isn’t good enough to know about it, or have parents who believe it, we must make a cognitive choice to realize our own need and see Jesus as the solution. Paul elaborates, “People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” Personally accepting Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins is your only hope of forgiveness and personal relationship with God. Today, if you haven’t already, come to God on His terms. Enter a relationship with Him by thanking Him for the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins because of what Jesus did on the cross for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I have done wrong and am in desperate need for forgiveness. I want to know You personally and become Your child. Thank You for the death of Your son Jesus on the cross for me. Come into my heart and be my ruler. I accept Jesus as the sacrifice for my sins. Thank You for forgiving me and making me Your child. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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He Will Answer

TODAY’S VERSE
“I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.”
Psalms 17:6-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Some things only God can do. That is why we need to come to Him. When we do, we need to put our faith in His ability to answer our prayer. In his book, “Living From The Heart”, Dr. James Wilder elaborates, “God is the only one who can ultimately save us, sanctify us and deliver us from evil. –  When we let God do His work, things happen rather perfectly. But when we presumptuously take over His territory, things tend to crumble all so quickly.” Today, like David, may we pray to God because we know He will answer. If we do, He will show us “His unfailing love in wonderful ways.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your unfailing love. You have shown me it is so many ways. Today, I bring you my needs and all my cares. I come to You because I know You will answer. You grace is amazing, Your love never ending, Your power all sufficient.
AMEN

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