Experiencing His Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
“I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”
Psalms 16:7, 8 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
There is one prayer that has made all the difference in my life. It is one I pray over and over again. It is a form of discipline, for if I don’t pray this prayer, I will not keep my spiritual vitality. The prayer is simple and yet powerful. It is, “Lord, make me conscious of Your presence.” Being conscious of God’s presence makes all the difference in the world. Because David was conscious of the fact that God was always with him, right beside him, he was not shaken during life’s struggles. Instead, God guided him and instructed his heart at night. How about you and I? What if today we were conscious of God right next to us? What if we knew that He was in the same room we were? What if we sensed that He heard our thoughts and prayers and would answer the questions we have? What if we experienced His comforting presence when we are under pressure? What if we knew He was present to hold our hand when we had that extremely difficult task to do? God is. God is always with us. Let us be conscious of His presence in all that we do today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, thank You for being with me constantly. Please make me aware of Your presence today. Help me to see how relevant You are to my life. Help me really know that You are always with me, in fact, right beside me. Father, open my eyes to see You, my ears to hear You and my heart to sense Your very presence.
AMEN

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Staying On Course

TODAY’S VERSE
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
II Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
God has not left us alone to wander through this world as helpless victims. He has given us His word to instruct and guide us. God does not wait until we make a mistake and then discard us. He has given us His word to rebuke and correct us. God does not leave us the way we are. He has given us His word to train us. Life is like a journey. There is a trail we can follow that will get us through the wilderness. Through His word, God shows us the trail to go on. His word also lets us know when we wander from the trail. The Bible shows us how to get back on the trail again. Finally, the scriptures show us how to stay on the trail and not wander off in the first place!. Read His word. Make it a part of your daily routine. Through it, He will teach you everything you need to know about living this life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your word. Please help me understand what the scriptures are saying. Help me apply it to my life. Holy Spirit, use the Bible and teach me, rebuke me, correct me and train me. Help me be the person You desire me to be. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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All The Strength You Need

TODAY’S VERSE
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Strength is the energy that God gives us to complete a task. It is what helps us endure to the end. Strength is also what helps us resist negative forces. What better place to get strength than from God! He is able to provide all the strength we need to do what He has called us to do. Need to love someone who is unlovely? Ask Him for strength. Need to forgive someone who hurt you deeply? Ask Him for strength. Have to do something that seems impossible? Ask Him for strength. Is fear crippling you, depression strangling you? Ask Him for strength. Paul said, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” We can experience the same reality that Paul did. How? Paul answered that in his letter to the Ephesians. He wrote, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”  Today, ask Him for strength.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Almighty God, I need Your strength. I can’t live the life You want me to without it. Help me, Father. Give me all the strength I need to do all that You ask me to do. Today strengthen me with Your power, through the Holy Spirit I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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I Can Only Imagine

TODAY’S VERSE
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Whenever we have moved, my wife and I have worked together on finding a house. However, when we moved to Georgia, I was out there for two months before her. My son came with me and we looked for homes. He found one on the MLS listing and went to meet the people. He called me at work and said that he found the house for us. He was right. It was love at first sight. It was rustic, in the woods and had a lot of potential. Of course, that meant it needed a lot of work. Somehow, though, I could see the finished home in my mind’s eye. I was really excited and sent my wife a rendering of what I proposed. I promised her that I would get the house fixed up. I kept my word. I put in trails, two ponds, bonus apartment, bird sanctuary, plumbing, electric work, deck and new floors. I painted, cleaned and put in gardens. I have never enjoyed a project more. I really wanted my wife to love it like I did. Well, she fell in love with the house, too. Now imagine what Jesus feels like. He said that He went to prepare a place for us. And what a place it must be! Paul says that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” As the popular Christian song says, “I can only imagine!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, I thank You that You have gone on ahead to prepare a place in eternity for me. I cannot imagine what You must have in store. I only know that You love me and no one can even begin to conceive how great it will be to spend eternity with You. Let me live today with eternity in mind. Thank You, Lord Jesus. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Good News

TODAY’S VERSE
“Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. – Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.”
Psalms 145:4, 6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Good news travels fast, spreading from one person to another. A bargain sale, a hit song, a good movie, a medicine that really works. People don’t have to beg us to tell them, we volunteer. We share what impacts us and is good for others. But what of God? Have we let Him impact our life? Is our relationship with Him worth telling others? God’s mighty works have always been on the tongues of men. Today He is still wondrous. The “good news” of Christ’s message is still good news today. He loves us unconditionally and gave His life on the cross that we might be forgiven of all our sins. He gives purpose and meaning and heals our broken hearts. He cares and provides for our needs. This is the message that we must proclaim: “God is alive and He loves mankind.” David said, “Let each generation tell.” Today it is our turn. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, thank You for all You are and what You have done for me. Thank You for Your love and forgiveness. Help me share Your good news with others that they, too, might share in Your goodness.
AMEN

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He Will Never Forget You

TODAY’S VERSE
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
Isaiah 49:15 (NIV)
“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The union between a mother and her little child is incredible. I watched my daughter-in-law interact with our new six-week old granddaughter, doting over her. It was so tender. Our granddaughter laid there wiggling, smiling, making funny faces and squealing. I love the squeals! What an illustration. Like a mother’s love, God’s love for you is born out of creating you. God has formed you and has a unique love for you. But that is where the comparisons between God and a mother end. You see, it is possible for a mother to neglect her child. Incomprehensible as it may seem, a mother may even abandon and forget her child. But not God! He promises; though a mother may forget her child, I WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER FORGET YOU. How can you be sure? He has engraved your name on His hands. He has etched you into the very flesh of His hands, a place He will never forget. Today, choose to rest in this truth; He knows your name, He loves you, He will never leave you or forsake you.  

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me with my doubts, fears and insecurities. Like a child, I reach out to You. Help me to see Your hands with my name, my very being, engraved in them. Thank You that I am safe in Your love. Thank You that You promised that You will never forget me, leave me or forsake me.
AMEN

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Do Over

TODAY’S VERSE
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  – Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalms 51: 1-2, 10 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have you wanted to do something over? “If I could just take back what I said.” “If I could take the test again.” “If I had one more chance!” In Golf it is the “mulligan.” In Monopoly it is the “Get out of jail” card. On Wheel of Fortune it is the “free spin.” How many times do we need a do over? King David needed one. He had committed adultery, resulting in the woman becoming pregnant To make it worse, he had her husband killed! God sent Nathan the Prophet to David to rebuke him. David came under severe guilt and repented. Instead of running from God, he ran toward God. He openly admitted his sins and asked God for forgiveness. What happened next was truly amazing. David experienced the love of God and the complete forgiveness of his sin. David depended on God’s unfailing love and asked for the seemingly impossible. He asked for mercy, the blotting out of his sins and the cleansing of his heart. David agreed with God, that he was guilty. But he also agreed with God, that God’s love is unfailing. So David could ask for a “do over.” David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me!” And God did. Why not start over like David, today? Make David’s prayer for mercy and cleansing your own.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Righteous Father, I know that You know all about me. You know my wrong doing. I agree with You that I am guilty of so many things. I come now to confess that I need Your total forgiveness for all that I have done. I ask for a “do over.” Please Lord, create in me a pure heart. Please, renew a right spirit in me. I come to You for a fresh start. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Meditate

TODAY’S VERSE
“I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.”
Psalms 145:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I am sitting one hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean. And yet, with all the activity that this vacation has had so far I have yet to spend twenty minutes in front of it’s mighty power. Tonight I walked out the door and down the path and within seconds I could hear the pounding of the waves on the shore. Standing along a guard rail, I looked down at the water coming in wave after wave and lets it’s reminder of God’s mighty love and power fill my heart. Tomorrow I plan on sitting on the sand and just being there soaking it in. How is it we can be so close to something and not take the time to capture it’s essence? David knew the answer. We major on the minors. We don’t take the time to contemplate and muse on the important things in life. David wrote, “I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.” David took the time to devote focused attention to God and His wonderful attributes. He took the time to pay attention to God. He dared to stop and reflect, to ponder on God’s almighty power, splendor and miracles. And when he did, he was a better man for it. You see focusing on God does not make God powerful, no more than my looking at the ocean makes it so majestic. It only allows us to see and know the mysteries of what has always been there. Today, don’t miss another moment. Don’t let another day go by without seeing and focusing on all that God is and all the love He has for you. He is majestic, He is full of glorious splendor and His miracles abound.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to know You and Your glorious splendor. Help me stop and meditate on You. Help me focus my attention, love and devotion toward You. Guide me into a deeper knowledge of You I pray.
AMEN

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Do You Really Know Him?

TODAY’S VERSE
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
II Peter 1:2-3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Do you know Christ? I don’t mean “know of Christ”, but do you know Christ to the point that knowing Him deeply influences your life? Look at today’s verses. Peter is saying that we will experience an abundant amount of grace and peace through our knowledge of Christ. He then goes on to say that our knowledge of Christ will set loose the power of God and give us everything we need for life and godliness. I love that phrase, “EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS!” Some things? Almost everything? No, everything we need for life! This is no small claim. Peter is saying that our knowledge of Christ is crucial to everything we need in life. So what does knowledge mean? Peter was using the Greek work that means a full knowledge, a deep participation by the knower in the object known so that it powerfully influences him or her. This is more than an acquaintance or a casual relationship. It is a passion to know, really know, God. It is a hunger for His word, a longing to spend time in His presence, an openness to dialog freely with Him and listen for His voice. There is so much to gain by knowing Him, really knowing Him. You can start to know Him more today. He is waiting for you to try.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I confess my lack of spiritual knowledge. I have not taken the time I should to really know You. I haven’t been real with You nor have I let You be real with me. But today, I want to start. I want to know You, really know You. I want to hear Your voice. I want to sense Your presence in my life. I want Your scriptures to come alive in my mind. Father, I want to know You as Father. Help me know You.  In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Baby Steps

TODAY’S VERSE
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
II Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you bought the lie? Do you sit around wishing there was something you could do about your spiritual life? Do you feel helpless to live the kind of life that Christ has asked you to? Well, there is good news! You and I do not have to be a victim of satanic attacks or the pull of our old nature. God in His word has suggested a better way. He tells us to make every effort to “add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” Every effort, I can live with that. Every effort means that we really try. It acknowledges that there may be set-backs but that is okay. Get up and make every effort again! That is what Peter means when he writes that we need to possess these qualities in increasing measure. He is talking about baby steps. We make every effort, fall down, get up and make every effort again. When we do, look at the hope, look at what God promises. He says if we make every effort to increase our faith, goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love in baby steps, that it will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our Christian walk. Today, you can claim this promise for yourself. Don’t buy the lie. You can live for God today. You can make a difference, one baby step at a time.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I want to live for You, but I acknowledge that I keep tripping up. Help me take my faith and add to it goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love in baby steps. Holy Spirit, convict me, guide me and give me the discipline to begin living for You today. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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