Don’t Give Up Doing Good

TODAY’S VERSE
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is hard work doing good. It seems like there is always a shortcut, a reason to delay, an easier way. It is easier to complain than to fix something. It is easier to quit than to go the extra mile. We find ourselves asking, “If this is so good, why is it so hard?” Besides, there is no way you will ever get paid for all you are doing; most of the time your efforts will go unrewarded. And yet we do good because it is the right thing to do. It is His will; it is what Jesus would do. Nobody knew this more that the Apostle Paul. He pens these words for our encouragement, “Don’t get tired of doing good! You will reap a harvest of blessing, just don’t give up!” What good are you doing? What have you started but need to get back to? Are you discouraged? Do you feel like giving up? Talk to God about it today. Let Him know. Ask Him for strength and joy. Ask Him to give you a glimpse of the possibilities and then get back up and continue on. You will see the end, there will be a blessing, don’t give up.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know where I am at. You know the good I am trying to do. You know my struggle. I cannot see the end. I need Your help. I need Your strength. I recommit myself today to doing the good that You have called me to do. Lord, I want to see the harvest of blessing.  In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Mountain Movers

TODAY’S VERSE
I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.
Mark 11:23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I find myself really stumbling over this verse. Why would Jesus say such a thing? How could Jesus possibly want us to believe this? And then I think of it from His point of view. Jesus had no doubt in what He was saying. He knew that His Father God had sent Him here to provide Salvation and heal the sick, wounded and dying. He knew it would take supernatural power to do all that God had on His agenda. He also knew how important signs and wonders were to those who considering following Him. So in teaching His disciples how to do Kingdom work He encouraged them to believe God for great things. And we see this lived out in the book of Acts. Jesus died, rose again from the grave and ascended into heaven leaving His Holy Spirit to empower all His followers. Their commission was to go and begin the church. And they did. They were mighty mountain movers. God used their faith, love and generosity in mighty ways to bring the Gospel to all those who would listen. Today God wants to use you as His witness. People all around you have mountains that need moving. They don’t know what to do. They need the mighty touch of God. Let God use your faith, love and generosity to move mountains today. Believe Him for great and mighty things.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, there are so many mountains to move. So many seemly unmovable obstacles in my life and those around me. I need You. I need Your mighty power. Please fill me with faith, love and generosity so that Your power will flow through me and be a blessing to others.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Colossians 3:13

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Forgiveness is at the root of Christianity. It is the cornerstone of our beliefs. Christ came so we could be forgiven of all our sins. So is it any surprise that forgiveness is the basis of a healthy human existence? No one gets through life unscathed. All of us have to forgive someone at one time or another. And it can be very difficult. But we need to understand that the consequences of unforgiveness can be worse than the offense we need to forgive. Sickness, mental illness, stress, poor life choices can all be the result of a bitter, unforgiving spirit. Are you hurt, bitter, angry, gripped by the inability to forgive? Leanne Payne in her book Listening Prayer says, “We do not forgive evil. We hate evil. But we find the grace to forgive those in the grip of evil, those who did the evil against us.” According to Neil Anderson in his book Bondage Breaker, “Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened. Rather it is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s wrongdoing; it is acknowledging the hurt and hate.” When you do, something deeply spiritual happens. God is able to suddenly help you see His deep love and forgiveness for you and His Holy Spirit gives you the ability to forgive, even when you don’t feel like it. He will help you make the choice to forgive. Set yourself free; choose to forgive today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgiving those that have hurt me is hard. Bring to my mind today those that I need to forgive. Then help me, by Your grace, to be honest about my hurt and hate and deliberately choose to forgive them, just as You deliberately died on the cross and forgave me. Set me free from the bondage of unforgiveness. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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No Condemnation

TODAY’S VERSE
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to forgive someone else, but it can be difficult to forgive ourself? How do we get rid of a guilty conscience? When we feel convicted, we repent, ask forgiveness and accept the forgiveness. At least that is how it is suppose to work. But for many, it doesn’t stop there. Instead, there is a nagging condemnation , an ugly worthlessness, a sense of hopelessness that we can never be loved, let alone forgiven. A shame that is so hard to overcome that our soul becomes numb.  My friend let me assure you, God does not use shame. He does not condemn. Lift up your head; go ahead, lift up your head and look into the eyes of Jesus. You will see nothing but unconditional love for you. Hear these words of Paul today. Let them resound deep into your heart, breathe them in: “There is no condemnation for those that belong to Christ Jesus.” Know today that you are forgiven, you are loved. So forgive yourself, be healed, be free from any false guilt. Accept His unconditional love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I quit trying to earn Your love. I let go of all the thoughts, all the negative self images, all the nagging doubts and condemnation that is stopping me from accepting Your unconditional love. Instead, as I sit here, fill me with Your forgiveness. Overwhelm me with the joy You have over me. I thank You that You are not ashamed of me and that I am precious in Your sight. Today, I wash myself clean in Your grace, forgiveness and love. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Choices

TODAY’S VERSE
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:4-6
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Hebrews 1:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many choices to make in life. How are we to integrate our faith into making major life decisions? First, we see in this passage, that we are to “trust in the Lord with all our heart.” This is more than head knowledge, it is experiential knowledge. This “knowing” has gone past our brain into our experience so that it finally resides in our inner being. It is not a “blind faith,” it is what the author of Hebrews calls “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” It is out of our relationship with God that we “seek His will in all we do” and God is faithful to lead us and show us which path to take.  What is it that you need help with? What is it that you need to decide? Seek God’s help today. Pray over the issue at hand. Seek counsel, apply wisdom, pray much and then allow Him to guide you. Let Him work in your heart and mind. He promises He will.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, some decisions are so hard. I find myself so many times baffled at what to do. Situations where I have dug myself into a hole, consequences of other people’s sins, circumstances beyond my control – all of these have often left me rocking. Father, help me trust in You with all my heart today. Increase my faith. Impart Your wisdom to me and lead me in the way I should go. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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To Do Today

TODAY’S VERSE
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Not sure what to do today? Don’t know which direction to go in or where to start? In today’s passage Paul has given us a tremendous “to do” list. In fact, he is emphatic about our doing it. He uses the words “always”, “continually” and “in all circumstances.” Look at what he says we should do. “Be joyful always!” We think of joy as an emotion but, in fact, many times joy is an act of the will. We can choose to see the glass half full, the trip almost finished, hope right around the corner. We can choose hope and experience the presence of Christ in our life which will result in joy!  Paul then says, “Pray continually.” Prayer is more than an occasional ritual. It is the communication that comes out of a vibrant, authentic relationship. It is a conversation with the living God that goes on all day. God really is with us and we talk to Him continually. Finally Paul writes, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Giving thanks is that expression of gratitude we give to God when we decide to give Him the glory for the good around us and trust Him with the bad. When things go right, we praise Him and when we are not sure about our circumstances and are upset, it is the voice of reason that says, “I thank you, God, that you are trustworthy.” Today add to your list of these important  things to do: be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, above all else today, I choose to be joyful. I also commit myself to pray throughout the day as things come to my mind. And Father, today I will deliberately be conscious of giving You thanks in all my circumstances. Help me to this end. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Doing God’s Will

TODAY’S VERSE
“The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.”
John 14:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is a mystery. God has created us in such a marvelous way. He allows us to develop a unique personality and then infuses us with His Holy Spirit so we can partner with Him in His work. What a privilege; what a joy to be part of God’s very plan and movement in this world. That is what Jesus did. He acted out what the Heavenly Father orchestrated in Him. But how? How can we do the work of our Father? Jesus, in this same passage, gave us two ways. First He said, “Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” The Godhead set up the same mechanism that Jesus used. Jesus believed in the Father and wanted to do His will and the Father let it happen. We too, if we believe, Jesus says, will do even greater things than He did. How? Through asking for things that bring glory to Jesus. This is the Father’s will, to use you and I to bring glory to Jesus through acts of service and ministry. The Father wants to affect the world through you and I. The second way is through being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is in us and works through us to do the work of God the Father. This is God’s own Spirit alive in us. What grace, what power, what a joy to be able to say with Jesus, “The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me and does His work through me!” Today, may the living God live and work through us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me, I pray that You would live Your will in and through me. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Anxiety Or Peace?

TODAY’S VERSE
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
I Peter 5:7
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As hard as we try, we can’t control everything. Circumstances happen, situations arise, consequences catch up with us. Anxiety or peace? Because of God, we do have a choice. God makes all the difference in the world! Peter tells us to cast all our cares on God. I love the imagery. You throw something light — you cast something heavy. We are to take our heavy load of worry and anxiety, use all our strength and faith and cast it onto Jesus. Let Him take it. Why? Because He cares for us. Why? Because He is able to keep us in perfect peace. Isaiah shared the secret to peace. He said to fix our thoughts on God and trust Him. What is it that you are worried about today? Cast it onto Jesus. Trust Him with it. Fix your thoughts on His love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You that I can cast all my cares on You. I thank You that You care for me and that You are able to keep me in perfect peace. Take my situation; I trust You with it. I choose to take my focus off my worries and fears and put it on You and Your love. Give me Your peace today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Word And Power

TODAY’S VERSE
“Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”
Mark 12:24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How clearer can it get? In one sentence Jesus identified the problem most of us have with our Christian experience. Are we doubting God? Cynical about life?  Lack of faith? Frustration with circumstances? Sin having reign in our life? It could be that we are guilty of the same problems the Sadducees, religious leaders, had. Jesus said that they did not know the scriptures or the power of God. Knowing the Bible is crucial to our Christian life. Paul wrote to Timothy that “all scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” And it is the power of God that we depend on to get us through this life. Again Paul wrote, “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. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.” Today, let us come to God and begin to know His word. Let us begin to believe in His power. Otherwise, as Jesus implied, we will be making a serious mistake.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, forgive me for I have doubted Your power and have not spent enough time in Your word. Help me to know You and Your word more. Help me to increase my faith and put my trust in both Your word and power.
AMEN

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Make Every Effort

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

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Can you imagine if everyone in the church would take these words to heart? What a witness of God’s love we would be. Paul is sharing how we should behave as a church. He writes that we are to always be humble, gentle and patient with each other. This is not easy. That is why he says that we need to make allowance for each other’s faults and to make “every” effort to be united and bound together in peace.
How about today? Who is it that bothers you? Who gets under your skin? When you catch yourself talking bad about someone, who is it? What commitment can you make to be humble, gentle and patient with that person? What efforts can you put forth in the next week to keep yourself united with them in the Spirit? This is where it needs to start. May God grant you the courage and strength you will need today to step up and make every effort to be united and at peace.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I desire be to humble, gentle and patient with those that bother me. Help me focus on Your love so I can make allowances for the faults of others. Help me, Lord, to make every effort to be united in the Spirit, binding myself with others with the bonds of peace. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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