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Archive for March, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: ‘I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.”’
Isaiah 57:15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the poeticness of today’s passage. God the “high and lofty one, who lives in eternity.” What a fitting description. He is the Holy One! How worthy He is of our worship and praise. And yet in the same passage we hear Him say that He can live in the high and holy place with those who are not holy. It is not perfection that He is looking for. It is not holiness. He knows how far those are from our human condition. But there is one thing within our grasp. One thing that each of us can aspire to. We can be contrite, humble and repent. God’s love, through the sacrifice of Jesus, a love we cannot even begin to fathom, allows Him to, “restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.” Today, you can come into the very presence of the High and Lofty one, the one who lives in eternity. Bring your crushed spirit. Bring your failing heart. But with them bring humility and repentance and He will restore your soul.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear High and Lofty One. Dear Holy Father. How I thank You that You are God. That in Your majestic love You have allowed me to humble myself and know You. How I repent from my sin. How I bow with a contrite heart. How I accept the gift of Christ’s death on the Cross for me. You are the Holy One and how I praise You for Your love. Revive my heart with joy, I pray.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
The High and Lofty One, the Holy Father loves me
Today, meditate on our majestic Father. Picture Him as the High and Lofty One. Sense His might, His power, His awesomeness. And then visualize God looking for you. Not to punish you. Not to banish you. No, picture Him coming to know you, to love you, to help you, to restore you. See His great love for you and visualize yourself responding to Him in gratitude, humility and repentance. Enjoy your time together.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:4-5 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the word abide. It connotes a deep relationship. It’s more than a casual waiting. It is to dwell with or continue on a sojourn with somebody. In today’s passage Jesus is inviting us to an intimate fellowship with Him. He wants us to abide in Him and at the same time He wants to abide in us. It is this divine symbiosis that creates God’s fruit in our life. As we abide in Him, His life force abides in us. It is His Spirit and His power that produces His fruit. Now I can understand why we would want to abide in God, but what amazes me is that God is the prime mover. It is Jesus giving the invitation. God deeply desires this kind of relationship with us. Oh that we would take His invitation and open our hearts and begin to fellowship with Him. Today, choose to abide in Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, help me to abide in You. Help me to earnestly fellowship with You, to spend time in Your word and soak in Your fellowship. Help me to hear Your voice and to bear Your fruit. As well, dear Jesus, please come and abide in me.
AMEN
 
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I abide in Christ, Christ abides in me
What a visualization is ours today. Sit comfortably and invite the Holy Spirit to show you what it is like to abide in Christ. Let Him guide you into the presence of God. Soak in His love. Sense His grace and mercy. Feel His peace flood your soul. Abide in Christ and then ask Him to abide in you. Open your heart to Him and invite Him into a deep fellowship with You. Picture Christ accepting your invitation and coming to abide in you. Spend time enjoying His presence, thanking Him for your wonderful relationship.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.”’
Luke 11:1-2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is much to learn about praying. It seems so easy, “just talk to God”, but then why don’t we do it? Instead we act as if we are calling in a take-out order at a restaurant. Nothing really personal just putting in our request. Or we leave messages on the heavenly answering machine because we don’t expect God to “pick-up”. Where is the relationship? The disciples saw Jesus pray and they knew the impact it had on His ministry. They saw the relationship. Can you imagine how that must have been? It was enough that one of His disciples asked Jesus to show him how to pray. And what was the first thing Jesus modeled? He said, “Father”. Prayer for Jesus was about His relationship with His father. Larry Crabb in his book The Papa Prayer writes, “The chief purpose of prayer is to get to know God, to deepen our relationship with Him.” God wants a relationship with you! He created you for fellowship. Prayer is more than just a shopping list, more than simple confession, more than a one way conversation. It is a dialog, a relationship. It is you getting to know God and fellowshipping “with” Him not “at” Him. Might your prayer be today, “Dear Lord, teach me to pray.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to you now and ask you to teach me to pray! I want a real relationship with you. I want to know you and fellowship with you. I want to know your thoughts, your desires, your direction for my life. Help me relate to you throughout the day so prayer becomes second nature to me. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I partner with God in prayer
Today, picture yourself with Jesus. As He is near, look at Him and ask, “Jesus, please teach me to pray.” As you wait on God, feel your heart yearn for a deeper relationship with Him. As you sense His presence, talk to Him, share your thoughts, ask Him to share His thoughts with you. Be still, listen, share, fellowship with Him. As you do, He will do with you what He did with the disciples. He will teach you to pray.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness. All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.”
Acts 4:29-35 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Is there any wonder why the Church grew so mightily in the first century? Men and women who had known Jesus Christ, who had experienced mighty miracles and had seen Jesus rise from the dead, were now filled with the Holy Spirit. They were on a mission to share the glorious THOUGHT of God’s forgiveness and grace to everyone they could. How does today’s passage compare to your church or personal Christian experience? Erwin McManus in his book, “The Barbarian Way,” writes, “Somehow Christianity has become a non-mystical religion. It is about reasonable faith. If we believe the right things, we are orthodox. Frankly, whether we ever actually connect to God or experience His undeniable presence has become incidental if not irrelevant.” Sadly, what McManus is saying is true. Today let us repent of our “reasonable faith” and join those in Acts asking God to fill us with His Spirit and give us boldness in sharing about Christ. Let us ask God for His healing power and miraculous signs and wonders. Finally, let us share with those in need, be united in our hearts and mind and testify powerfully of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. May it be said of us that “God’s great blessing was upon them all.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive us for powerless orthodoxy. Forgive us for our lack of faith and sacrifice. We pray for a holy boldness in our church. We pray for Your miraculous hand to come upon us and do mighty works. We pray for unity of hearts and mind. Might the places we worship be shaken. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ
Today stop and meditate with a conviction in your heart. You have committed yourself to follow Christ with passion so now spend time visualizing what that means. Picture yourself living for Him. Sense His power alive in your life. Picture mighty things happening because of your faith and expectancy. Finish by asking God to make you visions come true. Go and live as a Disciple of Christ.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.”
Hebrews 10:22 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God desires fellowship with us. He created us to have an intimate and loving relationship with Him. In his book, “Walking With God”, John Eldredge shares, “Intimacy with God is the purpose of our lives. It is why God created man. Not simply to believe in him, though that is a good beginning. Not only to obey him, though that is a higher life still. God created us for intimate fellowship with himself, and in doing so he established the goal of our existence—to know him, love him, and live our lives in an intimate relationship with him.” Jesus, through His death on the cross, provided a way for intimacy with God. So much so, that the author of Hebrews invites us to “go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him.” We have been invited to really know God and share with Him our deepest thoughts, concerns, fears, desires and imaginations. And better yet, God wants to share His thoughts with us. What a glorious relationship we can have with God, but will you take time out of your schedule to spend with Him? Will you share with God from your heart? Will you quiet yourself in order to hear His voice? God has given you a heart to recognize Him, will you use it?    

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You have given me a heart to recognize You as Lord. Help me share my inner thoughts with You. Help me to know You and trust You and live my life in an intimate relationship with you.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I have a deep relationship with God
Quiet yourself before God. Meditate on the meaning of today’s verse, “Go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts, fully trusting Him.” Think of fully trusting Him. What does that feel like? Picture yourself like a child with a loving Father. Feel trust filling your heart. See yourself safe in His presence. Rest in His presence, develop a deeper relationship with Him.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Fear comes in different shapes and sizes. To be sure, there are full-blown phobias and crippling fears that can interrupt our life; but for most of us, fear is more insidious. Fears of rejection, insignificance, and abandonment may not interrupt our life but they can sure influence the way we think and act. You see, our thoughts, motives and behaviors are constantly shaped by either faith or fear. The Psalmist found the secret. He said that if we seek the Lord, He will deliver us from all our fears. Turn on the light of faith and the darkness of fear will dissipate. Decide to seek God today. Move away from fear, toward faith.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I want to trade my fears for faith. Today, when fear comes to my attention, I will seek You. I will seek You with all of my heart. Thank You that You promise to deliver me.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God delivers me from all my fears
Which is it, “I am afraid.” or “I am fearful?” The truth is, you are not your fears, you have fears. You can separate yourself from your fear and observe it. So today, meditate on Christ being there when you have a fear and picture yourself giving it to Him. Watch Him take your fear and experience your heart slowing down, your body loosening up and a peace returning to your soul. Picture your fear coming to you like a wave in the ocean coming to shore and as you give your fear to Christ watch it come to the shore and dissipate on the sand. Say aloud, “God delivers me from all my fears.”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 7:24-25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Perhaps one of the most universal and pervasive troubles that Christians face is the guilt that comes with sin in our life. We sin. No matter how long we have known Jesus, how much we have matured, how much we pray and read the Bible, we sin. And many times we feel like today’s verse, a wretched miserable person bound by sin. But therein lies the problem. We feel like a wretched person. We sense that God is surprised, outraged and ready to abandon us. But this is not the God of grace. Surely, God does not wink at sin. That is why Jesus had to die on the cross. But He doesn’t condemn us either. Paul finishes his thought on this subject by writing, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” The Apostle John settles the issue when he wrote, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Does this mean it doesn’t matter? Can we just do anything we want? No. Sin comes between us and God. It also has consequences of its own. We must repent, we must confess, but when we do, we must accept. We must accept His grace. So today, believe God. Believe that He loves you, He has forgiven you and He wants you to walk in the freedom and forgiveness of His grace. Thank God, the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, You know my heart. You know my life. I pray that You will help me live for You. Forgive me for my sins and help me live in the freedom of that forgiveness. Help me return to peace and joy after I have blown it. Help me believe that confession and repentance is all You require and that I can rejoice in Your unconditional love and grace.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I am forgiven and free in Christ
Today meditate on Christ’s complete forgiveness of all you have ever done. Picture Him looking at you and saying, “I forgive you!” Think of His unconditional love for you. Hear Him say, “I do not condemn you. I will not leave you or forsake you. I forgive you and empower you to live for me.” Let His love and forgiveness fill your heart and mind. Say out loud, “I am forgiven and free in Christ!”

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