Trusting In His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
“But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” – In your unfailing love, rescue me.”
Psalms 31:14, 16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Accepting salvation is an act of faith. It is the result of God’s love for mankind. We accept His sacrifice for us but that doesn’t mean we really have accepted His love. It is possible to cry out to God for mercy and never experience deep in your heart that you are loved. We believe He loves us, we just can’t grasp it. It is a low feeling of self worth that cannot sense the deep love that Christ has for us.  In the book “True Faced” the authors write, “When we on the basis of trust receive God’s perfect love for us, it pushes away our fear and teaches us to embrace the love that heals our wounds. – Trusting God frees our hearts to experience his safe, constant, intimate sufficiency. – When we receive love, when we are loved, we feel fulfilled. Love completely satisfies our longings, ambitions, and potential. God, the ultimate fulfiller, invites us to trust Him.” Today trust God when He says He loves you and let His unconditional love sink deep into your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your salvation. Help me trust You and accept deep in my heart the true love You have for me.
AMEN

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Spiritual Wisdom

TODAY’S VERSE
I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.”
Ephesians 1:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many things we could ask for in life, but I think Paul listed two of the most important. He was praying for the Ephesians Church that God would give them “spiritual wisdom and insight”. Imagine what you could do with that if you had it? With Spiritual wisdom and insight you could better discern God’s will in certain matters. The Holy Spirit could speak to you about your behavior, thoughts and feelings helping you make needed adjustments and changes. What about the deeper truths about God and His word? Spiritual wisdom and insight would be a key unlocking God’s treasury of knowledge. There is so much to know and experience in the spiritual realm. Today ask God to give you spiritual wisdom and insight. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and lead you day by day.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how I need Your wisdom. How I need Your insight. Lead me today to Your truth. Guide me, direct me, help me grow in my knowledge of You.
AMEN

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Peace

TODAY’S VERSE
“Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”
Psalms 34:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Who said peace is easy? Anyone can be at peace when there aren’t any enemies. Peace can be maintained with the right amount of isolation. If we can just stay away from people, we could make it. But what if we are the trouble maker? What if we stir up everything because we want things our way? David said that we were to turn away from evil. If we want peace, then we have to let go of our selfish ambitions. Instead, we are admonished to do good to others. And when peace alludes us, we are to search for it. We need to seek for it like we would a buried treasure. Peace is priceless and worth searching for. Finally, we are to work hard at maintaining the peace that we do have. This means turning the other cheek, preferring others over our own self, doing to others in the way we want to be treated. It means praying for peace. Seeking God and asking for His wisdom, understanding and courage. God is love. He is all about peace. Today, seek peace with all your heart, work hard at it.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You desire us to be at peace. Help me today to be at peace with You and all those around me.
AMEN

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Calling

TODAY’S VERSE
“This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 1:1 (NLT)

“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 THOUGHT
If you were writing to the church in Ephesus how would you introduce your self? “This letter is from me, chosen by the will of God to be – what? This is a question we must all ask but instead we end up asking, “What is my purpose? Why am I on this earth?” These are important questions to ask our self, but have more to do with our vocation, than spiritual calling. Now your career is significant and it certainly a big part of who you are, but here we see Paul talking about a spiritual calling more than he was a vocation. In Romans, Paul writes about the different spiritual gifts and how God has given each of us at least one. How about you? Which of the spiritual gifts helps you define your spiritual calling? Imagine if we started thinking in these terms? Ron called to be merciful for Christ. Susan, chosen by God to be a discerner for God. Mark, called to be a prophet for Jesus. God has called you to serve Him. Today follow the words of Paul to Timothy, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for calling me. You have created me and given me spiritual gifts. He me discern what they are and use them for You.
AMEN

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Take Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
“I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart.”
Psalms 34:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all have choices to make. We have all had times when we have come up against seemingly helpless situations. It is what we do with that helplessness that counts. Dr. Martin Seligman coined the phrase “Learned helplessness” when he was referring to one of the major reasons for depression. He said that when we get discouraged over and over again, we start to “learn” to be helpless. We give up hope. David gives us another choice. He said that all those who are helpless should “take heart”. He meant to take pause and check deep within yourself and find hope. Find that faith in God and muster up the courage to believe that God cares and will see you through. Interestingly enough, later in his life Seligman did more research and coined the phrase, “Learned optimism.” He concluded that if we can learn to be helpless, we can learn to be optimistic. Perhaps he read the Psalms. The truth is we have a choice. Today, when things seem to be overwhelming, if you find yourself getting discouraged, take heart, trust in God and have faith. He will see you through.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me today to trust You. Help me overcome any discouragement by taking heart and putting my hope in You.
AMEN

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Love Sincerely

TODAY’S VERSE
“Love must be sincere.”
Romans 12:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Pharisees had their own system of religion. They strived to be God’s servant but were a hundred miles off. We say to ourselves, “We would never do that!” After all Christianity is about love, not rules and regulations and yet we can be just as self absorbed about how we should love than the Pharisees ever were. We need to love God in certain ways. We create rules about the different kinds of people we should and shouldn’t love and fall into a “religious” lifestyle. Should of, could of, must; pretty soon we end up with a system instead of a lifestyle. Paul was telling the Romans that their love must be sincere. Dr. Benner in his book, “Desiring God’s Will” writes, “To really receive love – to become love we must be prepared to surrender the keys of the kingdom of self. Intuitively we believe the lie that the route to personal freedom and fulfillment is through self-assertion and self-determination – through grasping and control. The way that has its roots in the nature of the Father God whose name is Love is totally different. We become love only by surrender and self-sacrifice.” Sincere love is not about rules and regulations, it is about living for God everyday and following Him as He leads us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you for Your Holy Spirit. I trust that You will lead me everyday in the way of love. Guide me in the freedom of trusting You and living out sincere love with complete surrender.
AMEN

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His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ.
Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to know about the love of Christ, it is another thing to experience it. Paul says that God’s love is wide, long, high and deep and that would take God’s own power to understand its vastness. We cannot even begin to understand God’s love by ourself. But experience it? That is Paul’s prayer, that we would experience the love of Christ. In the book, “True Faced” the authors write that we are ready to experience God’s love, “when we have the desire to be loved by Him”. And one of the best ways to find that desire is to admit to God that we have needs. When we admit we have needs, it gives us the opportunity to trust God with them, letting God love us, on His terms not ours. It is coming to God with this openness, trust and faith that allows His power to help us understand and experience the greatness of His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You admitting that I have great needs. I need Your love, I need Your power, I need Your Holy Spirit, I need Your direction. Father, I am so needy, but today I ask You to meet my needs on Your terms not mine. I desire to be loved by You dear Father and choose to trust that You will help me understand Your love in deep and meaningful ways.
AMEN

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Friendship

TODAY’S VERSE
“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The more I study the scriptures, the more I study human behavior, the more I am convinced that we need healthy relationships. Our brains, our capacity for joy, our spirituality all function best when we are in healthy authentic relationships with God and others. Have you ever noticed the difference you experience when some one graces you with a social smile compared to someone who looks you in the eyes and communicates a real empathy? Friendship is real. With friendship, we can be real. Jesus said to His disciples, “I have called you friends.” He wants to be the same with you! Today, focus on being a friend with God and others. Be real, be authentic, build trust and empathy. True joy comes with relationships.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to build true friendships with You and others. Give me the love, courage and strength to do this, I pray.
AMEN

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See With The Eyes Of Jesus

TODAY’S VERSE
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
Matthew 9:36-38 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus saw the crowds and when He did, He was filled with compassion. He healed, taught, loved and cast out demons. Now it is our turn. “Ask”, He said, “the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” He has asked us to go in His name and minister to others. We do this by doing what He did. It says, “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion.” Our commission is to see people with the eyes of Jesus. Dr. David Benner, in his book, “Sacred Companions” writes, “Seeing the other person through the eyes of Christ – this is my prayer as I seek to relate to people I encounter in daily life. For when I see them through the eyes of Christ, I see their worth and dignity. I also see what they can become, not simply what they are. And if I am really willing to see them as God sees them, I see Jesus in them; I see them as imagers of the God who was fully represented in Jesus.” When we see what Jesus saw, we too will be moved with compassion. Today, ask Christ to show you what He sees.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, You saw people and were moved with compassion. Help me see people through Your eyes. Help me love with Your love. Minister through me I pray.
AMEN

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Unbelief

TODAY’S VERSE
“And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.’ And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.”
Matthew 13:57-58 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
There is doubt, then there is unbelief. Doubt comes from many different places. It could be feeling of not being loved that would cause a person to doubt whether God would love them or not. An unanswered prayer could cause someone to doubt the next time they go to pray for God’s intervention. There are many variables that can cause us to doubt God’s ability or desire to work on our behalf. This is where faith and hope come in. Then there is unbelief. Most of the time unbelief comes from our presuppositions, traditions or allegiance to an ideology or group. The Pharisees had their own beliefs and nothing could cause then to reconsider Jesus. So did those in Jesus’ own home town. He came back home and all the talk of Jesus being the Messiah was too much for them to bare. You see they had their religious and political vision of who the Messiah would be and it certainly wasn’t the Jewish boy who grew up down the street. Matthew says they were “deeply offended and refused to believe in Him.” The result was tragic. They missed the biggest blessing of their life. Jesus had transformed towns and villages all throughout the region by teaching and healing. His own home town could have used His touch, but instead they had beliefs that got in the way. Today, ask yourself, “What keeps me from trusting in Jesus?” If it is doubt, talk to God about it. Ask Him for the faith and hope that you need. If however, it is hardcore unbelief, ask God to expose traditions and false doctrines that get in your way of believing in Him. Bring them to Christ and trade them in for faith.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I believe, but help my unbelief. Help me let go of anything that stands in the way of my faith in You. Help me grow in my understanding and trust in You more and more.
AMEN

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