The God Who Is There

TODAY’S VERSE
“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever sought after God? There are so many different things we seek after every day, some good, some not so good. But the one thing that will make all the difference in the world is seeking after God. God can meet the longing of your heart. He can satisfy your every need. The secret is seeking God with all your heart and soul. It cannot be a half hearted search, but rather a desperate longing, a deep commitment to know and love God. It is nothing less than a consecration of your life, passions and purpose. When you seek God in this way you will find Him. Start today. Ask God to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to make you aware of His presence. Spend time with Him. Meditate on His word and come to Him in prayer. When you do, you will find out that the Psalmist was right when he wrote, “you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to know You better. I need You and want to know You with all my heart and soul. I come today to seek an intimate relationship with You and ask that You will help me. Show me the way, guide me to Yourself. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S VISUALIZATION & MEDITATION
I seek to know God better
Our God is, “The God who is there.” He is tangible, weighty and has a presence. He promises if we seek Him, He will be found. Today, meditate on yourself looking for God like you would a friend. Picture yourself in a beautiful garden. You know Jesus is there, so you call for Him. You are calling out, “Jesus, I am looking for you.” In your minds eye, walk around the garden calling out for Him. You are not worried for you know He is there. It is just a matter of time before you and He  meet. Sure enough as you turn a corner, there He is. He turns around and is so happy to see you. You greet each other, like long lost friends. Rejoice in the feeling of His love. Sense His acceptance and the fact that He is there. 

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Believe

TODAY’S VERSE
“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”
Romans 5:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There comes a time when you must choose whether or not you are going to believe. There are many things that you can strive for in life. Many goals you can live for. Many lofty positions you can aspire to. But in all your striving there is one most important attribute you dare not ignore. God has created you to be more than a creation. He has created you to be His friend. Do you believe this? As hard as that can be to grasp, it is true. God will even help you understand it more fully  if you let Him. He gave you the Holy Spirit, to fill your heart with His love. So today you need to listen to His voice. Let today’s verse penetrate your heart. “So now you can rejoice in your wonderful new relationship with God because the Lord Jesus Christ has made you a friend of God.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, creator of all things, Almighty God, how thankful I am that You have called me Your friend. Holy Spirit, help me really understand what this means. Please fill my heart with the knowledge of your love. Help me to know and rejoice in this new relationship with You. Thank You for calling me Your friend.

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I am a friend of God!
We get many pictures of God in our mind but have you ever pictured the deep friendship that He desires to have with us? Today, use visualization and see God’s deep love for you. See yourself in a peaceful place as God approaches you. He calls you by name and looks at you lovingly in the face. Sense His love as His eyes penetrate deep into your heart. Take a deep breath and as you exhale say, “I am a friend of God.” Let the reality sink in. God is your friend and you are His.

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Holding On

TODAY’S VERSE
“Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Holding on. Have you ever felt like that’s all you can do? Things are out of control. You are not sure what to do? The question is, “What do you hang on to?” The author of Hebrews says that we should “hold firmly to the faith we profess.” But this is not some “blind” faith. Rather we hold on to a faith that is in a God who cares and empathizes with our situation. Jesus knows what it is to be human, to suffer, to be tempted, to be abandoned, beaten and killed. He also knows how to love unconditionally, to forgive every imaginable sin, to be tempted and not give in and to rise from the dead. Is it no wonder that the author gives one of the most incredible pieces of advice ever given? He writes, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence.” He is suggesting that you can come boldly right into the presence of God without worry of repercussion. And what will you get when you come right into the very presence of God? He promises that you will receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. So today, when you feel anxious or worried, hold on! If you find yourself alone and depressed, hold on! If everything you hear is negative and panic sets in, hold on! If you become angry and bitterness starts to fester, hold on! Hold on to His mercy and grace; they will never fail.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You and hold on today. I thank You that You are the great High Priest that never sinned but became the perfect sacrifice for my sin. I place my faith in You, dear Father, and come to Your throne of grace with confidence. Thank You for Your mercy and grace that is always there in my time of need.
AMEN

TODAY’S VISUALIZATION & MEDITATION
I hold on to the love of Jesus
Take a deep breath and as you let it out picture yourself in the presence of God. You are anxious, distressed and worried. You can feel the tension in your face and chest. Your breathing is shallow and your stomach is on edge. But, as you sit there you sense a change happening. The presence of God is overtaking your anxiousness. You hear God say, “Come, bring me your burden. Come give me your worries. I have all the grace and mercy you need.” You feel His love for you. You feel His peace flood your soul. Look and see yourself rise and come to him. You give Him your burden and He embraces you and gives you all the assurance you need. As you leave your burdens there, you hold on to the love of Jesus and are at peace.

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Give Away Your Hope

TODAY’S VERSE
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Hope is a precious commodity. You can live without a lot of things but it is hard to live this life without hope. Solomon wrote, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick!” How true that is. The opposite is true too. Hope makes the heart peaceful. Hope, in the resurrection power of Christ, enables us to overcome obstacles that hinder us. With hope in God’s love and faithfulness, we can look beyond adversity. But with hope, comes responsibility. It would be wrong to have a warehouse full of food and not let those that are starving have some. Likewise to have hope and not show others how to have the same hope, would be unconscionable. For that reason Peter tells us to, “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” So where is your hope today? Is it in the living God? Are you feeling secure even when the pressure is on? If so, ask God to bring people to you that will ask about your hope. And when He does, ask God to help you present to them the reason you have hope in Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the hope that I find in You. You are my hope and I want to tell others about You. Give me the courage and strength to give an answer to every person that asks me where my hope comes from.
AMEN

TODAY’S VISUALIZATION & MEDITATION
Christ gives me hope
Meditate on what it feels like to have hope. Let comfort and joy swell up in your heart. Sense your body relax as the thought of hope fills your being. In this hopeful state, picture yourself helping others become hopeful. See their faces turn from despair to peace and joy. Visualize one after another, people all needing hope being touched by your encouragement and love. Sense the joy that you have as God empowers you to share with others the reason that you are so hopeful.

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Quench Your Soul’s Thirst

TODAY’S VERSE
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Separation from God usually comes in two phases. First we start to stray. Little by little we start to forsake fellowship, fail to meditate in His word and spend less and less time in prayer. Good things take us from the more important. Urgent begins to replace the best. How subtle the path takes us. We end up farther and farther from home, away from the spiritual milieu that once fed our soul. Second we not only stray we actually find a new home. Jeremiah says not only do we forsake the spring of living water; we actually go out and dig our own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold any water. They look great on the outside but are empty on the inside. Where are you today? Are you straying farther and farther from God? Have you actually moved away and found other interests that take top priority in your life? Stop! Go no farther. Turn back. Come to your Heavenly Father today and ask Him to cleanse your heart and put a new thirst in your soul leading you back to the spring of living water.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for straying from You. I have forsaken Your living waters and have attempted to quench my own thirst. I admit that I am still thirsty. I know that only You can satisfy and I ask Lord that You would fill my cup today with Your life giving presence.
AMEN

TODAY’S VISUALIZATION & MEDITATION
Jesus quenches the thirst of my soul
Picture yourself in a dry arid place. Feel the heat, the warm air around you giving you an incredible thirst. Thirst. You want a drink of cold water so bad. Now picture an Oasis with Jesus waiting there for you. You approach and He gives you a tall class of cold water. Feel the coolness of the drink, feel the refreshing satisfaction as you quench your thirst. Now picture His love for you doing the same for your dry and thirsty soul. As you meditate on His compassion and concern you sense a deep joyous satisfaction in your heart.

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Forgive

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
Psalm 103:8-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If I had to pick one word to describe Christianity, it would be “forgiveness.” There is something about God’s love and forgiveness that is unique to Christianity. Jesus made it possible to really experience it. Read the verses again and then ask yourself, “Do I really believe that these verses apply to me?” This personalization is where change comes from. What you read in the Bible won’t change your life if you choose not to believe it. God says, “As high as the heavens are, so great is my love for you.” If you know Jesus as your Savior, then really know that your sins, yes all of them, are forever forgiven and forgotten.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross so that ALL my sins can be forgiven. Take my heart and draw me to Yourself even now. Surround me in Your love and forgiveness while I wait on You. Help me to really know and appreciate Your love and forgiveness, in all of its fullness, throughout this day. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
With God’s grace, I can forgive
Ask  God to bring to your mind, someone you need to forgive. Sense the struggle you are having in your heart. Feel the pain you are feeling and bring it to God. Let Him know your hurt. Express to Him your feelings. When you are ready, start to meditate on His love for you. His forgiveness of your sins. Sense a gratitude deep in your heart. See yourself extending the same grace to the person who has wronged you. Feel yourself forgiving them and feeling the freedom that it brings to you. Today, forgive the other person, the way you have been forgiven.

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Trust, Delight and Commit

TODAY’S VERSE
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
Psalms 37:3-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a spiritual rhythm in these three verses. It really speaks to the soul. It is like drinking a tall, cool glass of water after coming in from a steamy, hot day. Somehow trust, delight and commit seem to go together. Today, start with trusting God. Give everything over to Him. Let go, trust Him. Then stop and delight in Him. Feel His love. Let Him give you deep joy. Delight in His presence. Finally, bow before Him and commit everything to Him. Put your life in His hands. And you know what? He says He will give us the desires of our heart. It doesn’t get any better than this!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I come to You now and trust You with all my concerns, and worries. You are God and I give myself to You. I choose to delight in You. I ask You to fill me with a deep joy today. I want to love You with all my heart. I commit this day to You and all that will transpire. I commit myself joyfully into Your hands. Thank You that You have promised that if I trust, delight and commit, You will give me the desires of my heart. AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I am trusting and delighting in God
Use today’s thought as your visualization. See yourself trusting God, giving everything over to Him. Let go and trust Him. Next stop and delight in Him. Feel His love. Let Him give you deep joy. Now delight in His presence. See yourself sitting before God filled with joy. Finally, bow before Him and commit everything to Him. Watch as you put your life in His hands. Sense the deep pleasure and satisfaction as you trust and delight in Him.

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Overcoming Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
I Corinthians 10:13 (TMB)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life is hard. It is easy to be tempted to take the easy way out. Easy to complain. Easy to give up. But what a slippery slope we walk on. Lying, cheating, substances, gambling. These are the temptations we hear about the most. But what about the temptation to hate, become depressed or ungrateful? You see, we are all tempted to behave in a way we shouldn’t. What’s your temptation? Do you feel hopeless to overcome? Are you in total denial? Whatever your temptations are today, God knows and is waiting for you to come to Him for help. “He will never let you be pushed past your limit; He will always be there to help you come through.” Call on Him today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, You know the temptations I face. I have been in such denial. I have felt so helpless at times. I can’t do this life without You. I need Your help. Thank You for promising that You will always be there to help me come through. Oh my Heavenly Father, I wait on You to help me. Help me today. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ Your son, my Savior. AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
Christ helps me overcome temptation
Feel yourself in the clutches of a temptation. It is upon you. You feel powerless to overcome. But all of a sudden there is a new sensation. It is the presence of God. He has come to set you free. His Holy Spirit is present and wells up inside of you. Courage and strength burst from your heart and you say, “No!” You feel the power of God and again say, “No! Be gone!” You see Christ next to you, praying, fighting your fight. He puts His arm around you and helps you overcome. You shout out loud, “Christ helps me overcome temptation. Praise His name!”

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Remember

TODAY’S VERSE
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”
Psalms 103:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to complain. It was the curse of the Israelites. God had miraculously taken them from the hardships of slavery, ending with the crossing of the Red Sea on dry ground! Yet what happened just a few days later? They complained to God about the harsh circumstances of the wilderness, railing against God and saying that they would rather return to Egypt and be slaves again. I use to read this story in the Old Testament and judge them. But then I started to listen to my self. Oh my. How often do I complain? How critical does my spirit become? How quick am I to give up on something God has called me to? I find it easy to let bitterness become a deep root in my soul. Envy and jealousy easily begin to rot away at my joy. Thankfully David suggests a cure. The way to keep from complaining or being bitter and ungrateful is to keep remembering all the good things God has done. It is harder than it seems. We have a natural tendency to have critical thoughts. In order to overcome our critical tendencies, we must be purposeful in remembering God’s goodness, meditating on all that He has done for us, and praising Him from the depths of our being. May we never forget all the good things God has done for us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, how thankful I am for all you have done for me. Praise You God. Let all that is in me praise Your Holy name. Help me to never forget all the good things You have done for me.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I remember all the good God has done for me
Today, see yourself in a movie theater. You have come there to rejoice and praise God. It gets dark and a movie starts to play. It is a movie of all the good that God has done for and with you. See the memories as they flash on the screen. Sense the joy you feel as you see God come through on your behalf. Become conscious of how pleased God is as you praise Him. Today, let go of complaining and let praise come from your whole being.

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Remain In The Vine

TODAY’S VERSE
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Remain. What a word. In the context it means to be grafted in. Jesus used the illustration of a vine. God takes us, who are separated from Him, and makes us His own. We belong to Christ. We are grafted into His forever family. Grafting means that we get our identity from the vine. We are part of the vine now and bear the fruit of the vine. We also get our life source from the vine. Paul spoke about this relationship with Christ saying, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” But it is more than just being part of the vine. It is possible to be a dead branch and still be attached. Jesus also meant for us to stay or remain with Him to the end. It is living a life of faith that is dependent on Him every day after day. It is staying in a living connection with Christ, enduring to the very end. God has called us to a life of worship, fellowship and obedience to our Lord and Savior. If we do this, Jesus promises that we will bear much fruit. For what Christ said is true, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Today, remain in Him. 
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, it is so true, apart from you I can do nothing. In You I do live and have my being. Thank You for making Your own. Help me to remain connected, drawing my strength, hope and faith from You.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I will remain in Jesus
Jesus painted a beautiful word picture. Today visualize yourself being a branch connected to a vine. See how connected and dependent the branch in on the vine. Sense the life force, nourishment and vitality from the vine going through you. Next see yourself praying, talking to God, singing and worshiping. As you visualize yourself in the presence of God, feel the same life force, the same vitality and connectedness that you did with the vine. Sense how connected you are and that He is indeed your life force.

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