Lies

TODAY’S VERSE
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Does it seem hard to believe some of the Scriptures? We read today’s passage and if we listen closely, we can hear an inner dialog start to deny whether it is true or not. It may be, “Why should God help me?” “God didn’t help me last time.” It could be a muffle sound from a deeper level saying, “I don’t deserve His help.” “It will never work out.” These are lies that keep us from believing the truth of God’s love for us. I wish I could simply say, “Hey, stop believing a lie and believe the truth” and everything will work out. But it isn’t that easy. You see, lies often serve a purpose and until the need for the lie is taken care of, we will keep lying to ourself. If I am hurting because of a trauma I experienced, then simply pointing out the lies I believe will not change anything. I need Jesus to help heal the pain from my trauma, then I will be free to destroy the lie. We need to get beyond the lie that God will never help me and ask, “What happened that I feel that way?” Bring that pain to God, ask Him to heal your pain and then you will find the ability to believe the truth.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am often hampered by lies I choose to believe instead of believing Your word. I have wounds, hurts, scars that have left me believing the wrong things. I need you to heal me. Lord, come visit my pain. Speak truth to my heart. Heal me. Set me free to believe the truth of Your love for me. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Unity

TODAY’S VERSE
“I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:23 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Unity is supposed to be the trademark of the Church. It is our community, love and fellowship for all believers is what should draw people to Christ. This was Jesus’ desire. He prayed that we would be one like He and His Father were one. He said, “May they (that’s the church) be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” What changes could we make in our own corner of the world, if each church would work together to meet the needs of those around us? We have so much in common. We have the Bible, God the Father, Jesus His son and the Holy Spirit. We have similar thoughts, feelings, and objectives too, but we never are intentional about reaching out. Instead we create our “Country Clubs Churches” where similarity, status and exclusiveness are our trademarks. How many churches today still refer to themselves by the nationality that founded them a hundred years ago? How many churches have congregations that match the cultural diversity of their community? Can you imagine if church would start to resemble restaurants and malls where people come and congregate together. This would send a tremendous message to the world. And the church needs this kind of diverse yet unified message if we are going to reach the world. Today, may Jesus’ prayer be ours. “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I have not reached out to other churches in love. I have not fellowshipped with other believers. I have not been active in pursuing relationships with those from different backgrounds as mine. Forgive me for not seeking unity. Help me to strive to bring Your message to the world through a unified church.
AMEN

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Pleasing God or Trusting God?

TODAY’S VERSE
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
In their book “True Faced” the authors pose this following scenario. “As we’re walking down life’s road, we arrive at a tall pole with signs pointing in two different directions. The marker leading to the left simply says Pleasing God. The one leading to the right reads Trusting God. It’s hard to choose one over the other, because both roads have a good feel to them. There is no third road. We must choose one.” At first glance it seems obvious to me. I want to “please God” more than anything. I want to bring Him joy and thank Him for everything He does. Or at least that is where my mind starts. In truth, who is “pleasing God” really about? Is it really about God and how much I want to thank Him by pleasing Him? Or is it really about me and how I want to make God happy with my behavior? The real answer is we should take the “trusting God” fork in the road. Why? Because with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we already please God. Paul reminds us that we are saved by God’s grace, not by any of our own works. No behavior on our part could ever please God the way His own grace does. God loves us and we don’t need to earn it by “pleasing” Him. Instead, when we really realize what grace is all about, we will want to trust Him fully. When that happens, it will be our praise and adoration that pleases Him, not our vain efforts to gain His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for all the love and grace You have given me. It is so hard for me to understand that I don’t have to earn Your love in order to please You. Instead, You already love me. You are already pleased with me. Thank You, Father, all the grace You have given me.

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Love The Giver More Than The Gifts

TODAY’S VERSE
“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.’” – “At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, ‘Are you also going to leave?’”
Matthew 6:26-27, 66-67 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Sometimes we don’t get it. Our priorities get all mixed up. Like many of Jesus’ disciples, we follow Him for the food and miracles. We have the offer of a deep relationship with God and yet we would rather have the blessings than the blesser. The truth is, it takes maturity to really understand all that we have in God. After all the time they spent together, Jesus still had to ask His disciples, “Are you also going to leave?” In his book, “The Pressures Off”, Dr. Larry Crabb writes, “Until we develop a taste for God, we prefer a better life of blessings from God over a better hope of intimacy with Him.” But what happens when blessings don’t come? What happens when the job we wanted doesn’t pan out, when sickness interrupts our plans, our children don’t act the way we think they should? When our eyes are on our circumstances and not our creator, it is easy to get discouraged. We can lose hope and become bitter. Why, because we have worshipped the gifts and not the giver, the blessings and not the blesser. Today, we need to renew our love for God. Knowing Him is the real blessing. We need to love God, who alone is our source of our joy. No matter what circumstances come our way, as we develop a relationship with God and truly love Him, we will find true peace and joy in life. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me love You today more than ever. Help me seek You more than Your blessings. Help me understand Your love for me and the incredible joy that is mine as I follow You.
AMEN

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Your Spiritual Gifts

TODAY’S VERSE
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”
Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Are you aware that God has given you certain passions and abilities to use for His glory? God has given every believer at least one spiritual gift for doing His will in this world. And then His Holy Spirit nudges you to use it through a strong desire to serve Him in a way that seems to make sense for you. Paul gives examples like serving, teaching, giving and leadership. So if different people all see a need, like helping the homeless in the community, He could motivate one to serve food at a shelter, another to teach at a job readiness class, another to give of their income to provide for the needed shelter and yet another to lead a church to get involved. Each person reacted to the same problem through the way God motivated them, using the gifts he blessed them with. Today, ask God to reveal to you the different ways you could serve Him. He has given you spiritual gifts and will show you when and where to use them. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You have given me spiritual gifts. Help me learn everything I can about them and help me use them for your glory.
AMEN

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Surrender

TODAY’S VERSE
“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God.”
Romans 6:12-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Sometimes we emphasize the wrong thing. We try to stop the darkness instead of turning on the light. We punish negative behavior and never reward what is done right. We save our money so tightly that we don’t spend money on great opportunities that come our way. It seems that Paul was going to do the same thing. He writes, “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.” Now how hard is that? How joyful will that experience be? Don’t get me wrong, Paul is completely right! We must watch sin in our life. We dare not get loose with our life and live out sinful whims. But there is a better way. Paul finishes his thoughts by saying, “Instead, give yourselves completely to God.” How much better is that? There is real wisdom here, a real balance. If we give our self completely to God, will He not help us with the sin issue? Won’t the Holy Spirit guide us and direct us toward a righteous life? It is like the old saying, “Love God and do as you please.” If we truly love God we will only do what honors Him. So today, let’s combat sin in our life in a different way. Let’s resist sin by giving our self and everything we do and think today, completely to God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You today and completely surrender to Your control. Guide me, direct me, help me live the way You want me to. I give myself completely to You.
AMEN

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Heartburn

TODAY’S VERSE
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32 (NIV)

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
When was the last time you really experienced the presence of God? I mean more than just head knowledge but a time you really felt His presence? You see, we were meant to know God, not just know about Him. Isn’t that the way it should be with someone you love? Isn’t real love more than a “head” knowledge? Love was meant to be experienced, not just studied. It’s the same with God. Stop and close your eyes, focus on a time you really felt the presence of God. When you get that image, relive it again in your mind. Do you remember what it was like? Did your heart burn within you? Paul prays that you will grasp how high and deep His love is toward you. If that doesn’t warm you up, what will? We were meant to experience God or as Paul says it, “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” I pray that today you will be conscious of His presence and have a deep and meaningful relationship with Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I long to know You in a more deep and intimate way. Guide me into Your presence. Reveal more of Yourself to me. I pray that I may really grasp all the love You have for me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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God Has A Purpose For You

TODAY’S VERSE
“I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me.”
Psalms 57:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
So many times in life we find ourself looking for significance. What is my purpose? Why am I here? Does my life really matter? We see the vastness of the universe and wonder, “Can I really matter that much?” The good news is that God is keenly aware of who you are. The answer to the questions above is a resounding, “Yes!” You do matter, God does care and you are significant. Like the Psalmist, when we feel overwhelmed, when we doubt whether we matter, we can cry out to God who will fulfill His purpose for us. Did you get that? God has a purpose for you and He will fulfill it. Because of His purpose for you, God is committed to do whatever it takes to fulfill that purpose even if it means sending help from Heaven itself to help you. So today rejoice in your significance. God loves you. God is vitally interested in you. God will fulfill His purpose for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You have created me and know me intimately. Thank You for creating me for a purpose. I pray that You will give me the wisdom to know Your purpose for me and the courage to live it out. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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We Are Children of God

TODAY’S VERSE
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
I John 3:1 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
It is really hard to get our mind around some concepts like infinity, predestination and omnipresence. There are things about God that will take us all eternity to understand. “God’s love for us” was never supposed to be one of them. John emphatically tells us that God’s love for us is proven in the fact that God calls us His children. John even punctuates the fact with the phrase, “And that is what we are!” Can you imagine what our life would be like if we really believed that? How different would work be if we went to our job with the full assurance that we are a child of God? How would our family operate if we really believed that everyone under our roof was seriously God’s child? How different would we approach the challenges that come our way? The truth is most of us wrestle with the concept of being God’s child. We have no clue as to what it means or how it should affect our life. Today this can change. Ask God to help you really grasp what it means to be His child. Ask Him to help you really understand the depths of the love He has lavished on you. It will change your life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I pray that my life would be a living testimony that You have lavished Your love on me by making me Your child. Might everything I think, say and do today be shaped by this glorious fact. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Telling Others

TODAY’S VERSE
“I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign LORD. I will tell everyone that you alone are just. O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.”
Psalms 71:15-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
It’s hard to keep quiet about something you really love. Imagine trying to be quiet about your favorite food, sports team, or hobby. If you were picked for a prestigious job or were asked to spend time with a famous celebrity, everyone would soon find out about it. And yet, isn’t it strange that we call the God of the universe our Father, have all our sins forgiven by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in us, yet find ourself going day after day, week after week, month after month never talking about it? Perhaps we need to examine our faith to see if it is real? Maybe we need to examine where God is in our list of priorities? Could it be we need to spend more time getting to know God better? In today’s passage the Psalmist is telling everyone about God. All day long he is proclaiming God’s love and power and the wonderful things He is doing. Today, pray and ask God to give you the same joy and zeal in your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am so easily distracted with everything in this world that I often forget all that you mean to me. Forgive me. Thank You for all You have done for me. Thank You for Your salvation and all Your provisions. I praise You, Lord, and will tell others of all Your goodness.
AMEN

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