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Archive for June, 2010

TODAY’S VERSE
“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
Luke 15:21-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame can keep us from the party. Here we have a beautiful story told by Jesus. It is about a young man who disgraces his family, leaves home and squanders all his inheritance. Finally, he has no friends, no family and no future. He is feeding pigs for a farmer and is tempted to eat the pig’s food. Full of shame, he decides to go home. He rehearses his remorse in the form of a speech but when his dad sees him way off in the distance, the father runs toward him. Shame kept the son from running. Shame kept him from an embrace. Shame gave a speech of defeat and disownment. But grace gave the son a robe. Grace put a ring on his finger. Grace put sandals on his feet. Grace gave him back his life again. Grace threw a party. The son could not deny his fathers grace. Don’t let shame rob you of your Father’s grace. Everyday God has a party just for you. Isn’t it time you went?
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for rejoicing over me. Forgive me for not celebrating. Forgive me for being so wrapped up in myself. Today, I accept Your loving grace and forgiveness. Today, I come to the party You are having for me.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”
I Samuel 14:6

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all have our wars to fight. Saul and his 600 men were trying to defeat the mighty Philistine army with thousands of soldiers. It was a bitter war. Saul and his 600 men were pinned down and trapped. Saul’s son, Jonathan, summoned his armor bearer and felt that they should go and fight the army. His famous battle cry was, “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” With faith, Jonathon and his armor bearer went to the Philistine outpost and took on twenty soldiers. Then something miraculous happened. The Philistines’ vast army in the camp became confused, panicked and afraid. God added an earthquake and all the army fled, being chased by the Israelites.  In the midst of difficult times, we need to be reminded that, “Nothing can hinder the Lord.” When the odds seem overwhelmingly against us, we must remember, “He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” Today, count on the Lord. Let Him help you in your own private conflict. He can win the battle!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my personal battles. You know how overwhelmed I can get. Lord, I know that nothing can hinder You. You can indeed give me personal victory whether I have many resources or only a few! Today I submit myself and my situation to You and ask that You would provide for me in miraculous ways. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God – Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 8:10-14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We have all heard stories about those that went through severe trial leaving them deeply hurt, dejected and wavering in their faith. Who of us would judge someone in such a tragic situation? Rather we pray and ask God to make Himself real to them in their time of sorrow. Yet what is far more common is the ordinary story of tens of thousands of Christians who, growing up in the faith, buy into the American dream, give in to materialism and become nominal in their faith. God warns us to be careful, very careful that when things go good that we do not forget Him. How could that happen you ask? Moses says it when we eat and are satisfied, build fine houses, settle down, earn income and end up becoming proud. We start to believe that it is our ability, our skills, our intelligence, our savvy that has produced all that we have. We fail to give God glory and soon our heart grows cold toward Spiritual things. There is hope for the wounded heart to be healed, but what hope is there for the callous, dried up heart? The only hope is to repent! Give God back His glory which you have stolen. Fall down before Him and praise Him for all that you have. Ask Him to renew your heart, to open your eyes to His goodness and give back all that you have to Him for His use. Make Him the Lord of your income and possessions. When you do, you will find that materialism will lose its hold on your heart and your soul will be free and alive with the love of God.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, to think that I have created my own income, am master of my own possessions and the sole reason for my own success is to rob you of your glory. Forgive me when I forget that You are the giver of all good things. I give you back all that I have. Be Lord of everything I am and own. Help me to live my life for you and to give you praise and glory for every blessing you give me.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
Psalms 16:8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As a child I was afraid of going down to the basement by myself. It was dark and creepy. Yet that is where my mom stored the canned vegetables. And everyday after school my mother would ask me to go and get a can and bring it upstairs. Once, after my brother turned off all the lights on me, I was really frightened. My father, who arrived home as I was expressing my panic and fear, asked what the trouble was. I explained to him my concern about the basement. He took me downstairs and had mom turn out the lights. I grabbed his hand, and after a few moments relaxed, realizing he was actually holding mine. He walked with me through the basement explaining to me that there was nothing to worry about. What a difference his presence made. What a relief to know that this giant of a man was beside me and that I had nothing to fear. David knew about darkness. He was a lonely shepherd, out many nights taking care of the sheep. But he knew the secret to overcoming the fear of the dark. He wrote, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
Today you can have that same assurance. Acknowledge His presence. Spend time with Him and allow Him to guide you throughout this day. He truly is right beside you. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank you that you are with me. Help me today to be keenly aware of your presence. Guide me, direct me and make me conscious that you are always at my side.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.”
Psalms 103:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the fact that God reveals Himself to us. He revealed His love to Moses and the children of Israel. Paul writes to the Church, “And 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, though it is too great to understand fully.” God revealed His love to David. Look at what he writes, “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. He is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” Today, might your heart be ready to receive all that God wants to reveal to you. 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.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, reveal Your love to me. Help me know the heights and depths of Your compassion. Help me grasp the greatness of Your mercy and forgiveness. Move in my heart I pray and help me know You more.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love synergy. That is the result of different entities working together to create a bigger response than they could by themselves. Have you ever been to a “candle light sing”, when at the end of the service one candle is lit and one by one each candle in the auditorium sends forth its illumination? What a beautiful site. How amazing that one little candle can be part of such brightness. This is the effect Jesus had in mind when He said that we were the “light of the world”. He was leaving this world and with the power of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives we would each shine our own light. Together we would become the light of the world. Dallas Willard in his book “Hearing God” writes, “Those who receive the grace of God’s saving companionship in His word are by that very fact also fitted to show humankind how to live.  Collectively the ‘called out’ people of God, the church is empowered to stand up for wandering humanity to see. When faced with starvation, crime, economic disasters and difficulties, disease, loneliness, alienation and war, the church should be, because it alone could be, the certified authority on how to live to which the world looks for answers.” We are called to be the light where we are. Today, come to Him, bring Him your candle; let Him light it for you and then light up your corner of the world. I’ll light mine. If everyone reading this devotional would let Christ light their light, someone is bound to be effected. There are people all around us dying to come out of the darkness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, speak to me, ignite my heart and then help me shine that light today. Help me share the light that I have with those hurting in utter darkness so they too can live in the light of your love and glory.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:26

TODAY’S THOUGHT
One of the great roles of the Holy Spirit in our life is that of a counselor. Some translations us the word comforter. The Holy Spirit is able to give us insight, wisdom and peace by directly communing with our inner being. He is able to speak truth to us. The Holy Spirit is the inward expression of God and is able to encourage and give us assurance and hope. But how do we become comfortable with the comforter? How do we avail ourself of this wonderful part of God? It is like any other relationship; it takes time. We need to take the time to attune ourself to God and ask Him to speak to us through the Holy Spirit. As we read the Bible, spend time in prayer, begin to ask questions we will find ourself drawn to God and listening to His sweet voice through the power of His Holy Spirit. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I pray that You will speak to me through Your Holy Spirit. Guide me, direct my path, counsel me in all that I need and do. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
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