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Archive for January, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder”
Luke 24:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There were reports that Jesus had risen from the dead and the disciples found it very disturbing. It was one thing to see Jesus raise Lazarus from a tomb, but Jesus from the crucifixion? He was so dead. His death so brutal, so hateful, and now they feared for their own lives. Perhaps the most disturbing was the “How?” questions echoing in their heads. “How could some one who loved so much, die so despised? How could someone so supernatural die so naturally? And so they did not believe. Even when Jesus “showed up” in the Upper Room, they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. We are the same way. We hear of a miracle, or witness one, and don’t we react with disbelief and wonder at the same time? Where did this unbelief come from? Who put Jesus in the same camp with Santa Claus? What? Santa isn’t true, so neither is God? Or it’s okay to believe in God, just not miracles? That’s like having a checking account without checks. Friends, we have to be more like the man who Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” The man turned to Jesus and said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Today, let’s choose to have less disbelief and more joy and wonder. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for my unbelief. Help me be filled with more joy and wonder at all You are and do. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I live in the joy and wonder of God
Joy and wonder. Think of a time when you were “blown away,” absolutely filled with joy and wonder. Let the moment come to you. When you think of it, bring the moment into full memory. Enter the memory. Turn the lights up and notice the scene. Look at the colors and textures. Add the sound. What do you hear? What is the temperature? Can you feel any air movement? Be fully present in the moment. Let your heart fill again with the joy and the wonder. As you relive that moment, cry out to God, “More, Dear Lord, more. I want to be filled with joy and wonder at all You do and are!” Wait on the Lord and enter a time of praise and worship. When you are through, go and live in His wonder.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“So get rid of all immoral behavior and all the wicked things you do. Humbly accept the word that God has placed in you. This word can save you. Do what God’s word says. Don’t merely listen to it, or you will fool yourselves.”
James 1:21-22 (GW)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
With today’s multitasking world it is hard to focus on anything for more than five minutes. Interruptions have become a fact of life. There are emergencies, just-in-time deadlines, and we make judgments on the fly and hope that they stick. Well, if we are going to make it spiritually, we have to be intentional. It isn’t good enough to hear the Bible, a verse here, a sermon there. We need to know the Word of God. And then, most importantly, we need to do it. Start today; make a commitment to study the Bible and apply it to your life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Spirit, I know that it is Your joy to help me learn the Word of God and apply it to my life. I invite You to be my teacher, guide and mentor. Please help me start today to make the Bible a priority in my life.  In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I do more than hear God’s word, I do it
The Holy Spirit is your teacher and He longs to take the Scriptures and plant them deep into your life. As you meditate say this affirmation out loud. I do more than hear God’s word, I do it. Visualize yourself reading the Bible and God revealing great and mighty truths to you about His love and purpose for your life. Sense the joy and peace you draw from this relationship and the deep sense of fulfillment you get from living out what you read in His word.

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TODAY’S VERSE
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul the Apostle was distraught. He had asked God three times to help alleviate a situation that was plaguing him. God did not alleviate the situation but God did promise Paul that, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Grace, what a word! It means God’s concern, His favor, His provision, His friendship, all this, without any merit on our own that would cause Him to act favorably toward us. It is from the depth of His unconditional love for us that He helps us in the inner person. He will do whatever it takes to get us through to the other side. His grace is sufficient for anything you bring to Him today. Will you accept it?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I come to You needy. Please make me conscious of Your grace to me today. I come with an empty cup and ask that You fill it today with Your grace. Let me drink of it. Let it go down deep into my soul until I can say with confidence, “Your grace is sufficient for me.” Thank you, Lord!  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God’s grace is sufficient for me!
Its not hard to imagine being in heavy chains. Chains that bind us, constrict our movement and weigh us down. You can picture yourself on your knees before God all bound up. Feel the heaviness, the turmoil –but STOP. See Jesus coming toward you. Lift up your head, see Him gaze into your eyes and rip the chains off you. His grace is sufficient. His grace is enough. Hear Him say, “Be free, my grace has set you free!” Rejoice in His grace.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“You have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.”
Psalms 56:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It makes a difference where you walk. I’ve hiked in many different terrains, in all kinds of weather but the hardest of all was along a mountain path in the dark. There is nothing more treacherous than walking along a cliff when it is slippery. Add to that the inability to see the edge of the cliff and the dangers ahead and you have a deadly combination. Some tried to make it in the rain and slipped down the side of the mountain. Life can be that way too. How many times does it feel we are on a slippery path in the dark? All around us is danger but we can’t see the path. David knew what that felt like. So he chose a different way. He cried out to God and God took him from the slippery path and brought him into His very own presence. You see, today we have a choice. We can do what David did. He decided to trust God and walk in His presence. He chose to walk in God’s life-giving light. You can too. Come to God today; He will stop you from slipping. You never have to walk in darkness again. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, how often I end up on a slippery path in the dark. Thank You for loving me and providing a way out. I come to You now and ask that You keep me from slipping. Help me today to walk in the awareness of Your presence, in Your life-giving light.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I live in God’s presence, in His life-giving light
Stop and picture yourself beginning to slip down a side of a mountain. You catch a branch and cry out for help. Jesus is there and reaches out to save you. Sense Him lifting you up and putting you on a beautiful bright path. It is the path of God’s presence. Take a deep breath and feel yourself in His life-giving light. Sense the peace and joy that surrounds you. Feel the warmth of His love. This is home; this is where God wants you to live. Affirm deep in your heart, “Today I will enjoy the life-giving light of His presence.”

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TODAY’S VERSE
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:19-23 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHTS
What we choose to dwell on impacts our thinking and eventually our actions. Jeremiah had plenty to lament about. God’s mission for him was difficult. He had to wander about the land with a thankless job. If he dwelled on it, he became bitter and downcast. Instead Jeremiah chose to think of God’s faithfulness and it lifted his spirits. He learned the secret to abundant living. He discovered how to have hope. He decided to meditate on the fact that we are not consumed! We are still living. God is not finished with us yet! His compassion toward us NEVER fails. His compassionate thoughts toward us are new every morning. He concludes that God’s faithfulness is great! When you start your day, what do you think about? What do you remember? Is your soul downcast or are you excited about God’s love for you? Today, choose to dwell on God’s great compassion and let it give you hope.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, forgive me for dwelling on the negative. I stop now to give You thanks. Thank You that this morning You had compassionate thoughts about me. Today You are thinking tender thoughts about me. Help me really believe that. Let it shape my thoughts today. Thank You for Your great faithfulness. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
Today I have hope
Think of a time when God gave you hope. Visualize the moment. Sense how it felt in your body, mind and spirit. Let the memory slowly bring you to that same emotion of hope. Once you are feeling the hope that God gave you in the past, bring it to the present. Picture God causing that same hope now. Think of how His compassions never fail. Think of how great His faithfulness is. Let hope rise in your heart. Affirm out loud, “Today I have hope!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’”
John 5:6

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus came to the Pool of Bethesda where many who were sick were hoping to get better. For 38 years this man was crippled, lying on his pallet, alone and not able to get into the fabled water. Thirty-eight years. Jesus comes along and instead of asking, “What do you want me to do?” He asks, “Do you want to get well?” The answer should be obvious, but is it? Perhaps the crippled man has long since given up. Perhaps he has tied his meaning and significance into being a victim. Maybe people kept telling him that he would never get better. What if bitterness has dug its roots deep into his soul? Getting well isn’t always an easy choice. Healing can stir up painful emotions. Sometimes it seems easier to stay in the pain we are in than try to change. How about you? What is hurting you? What is your disease? Is it bitterness, anger, depression, or shame? Are you living under financial distress? Are you enslaved to an addiction? Are you suffering with a failed relationship? Jesus is asking you, “Do you want to get well?” The Healer is at the door; what will your answer be?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, thank You for walking by me today. You know my needs and “Yes, Lord” I want to get well. I want to be everything You want me to be. Help me, heal me, Lord, I pray.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
Jesus makes me whole
As you quiet your heart, picture yourself at the Pool of Bethesda. You are sitting there and Jesus is coming by. He stops and is asking you, “What do you want changed?” As you visualize this scene ask yourself, “What is my condition? Quietly meditate asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you your own need. When you sense what you would like changed, hear Christ say, “Do you want to get well?” Tell Him your answer and ask Him to help you with your need.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.”
II Corinthians 7:5-6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is hard to make it a week without feeling hassled. Frustrations, aggravations, conflicts, and temptations seem to be at every turn. Paul the Apostle certainly knew what it was like. Listen to his language: “harassed at every turn – conflicts on the outside and fears within.” And yet Paul shares with all confidence that he was comforted by God. In fact, he calls God the “God who comforts the downcast.” No matter what we go through, we can go through it knowing that God is committed to our comfort. He understands, He cares, He comforts. And notice one of the ways God comforts. He uses people like you and me to comfort others. God used Titus to be a comfort to Paul.  Today, be comforted by God. Let your soul be at peace. But don’t stop there. Go and help comfort someone else. Be a Titus to someone who is in desperate need of help.   

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, comfort my heart today. Might I find peace, joy, patience and hope in Your love. Might I find all I need in the love You have for me. At the same time, Dear Father, help me comfort others the way You have comforted me.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God comforts me
As you come to God ask Him to show you any areas where you need comfort. Anxiety, fear, concern, anger, sorrow, shame. Let God bring it to your mind. As you sense what it is, visualize putting it in a box. Put it all in box and put the lid on it. Now take the box and bring it to Jesus. He is waiting. He wants to trade your box for comfort. He knows you and loves you. Give the box to Him and as you do let your body relax. Take a deep breath and say, “Comfort me Lord Jesus.” Relax and soak in God’s comfort. Ask Him, “More Lord, comfort me, give me peace deep in my heart.” Smile as you experience His presence and let His comfort fill your heart and mind.

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