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Archive for June, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What we think can dictate the way we feel. Then our feelings effect our thinking and so the spiral goes. So much of what we think at a rudiment level is false. Often what we worry about, the self talk we have, how we view ourself, our core beliefs about life, are based on lies, half-truths or erroneous assumptions. They enter our minds in stealth mode and before we know it, we are feeling down. These lies go unchallenged and cause all sorts of havoc in our lives. Paul says that there is a better way. He says to pray. Talk to God about our thoughts, expose them to the light of the Holy Spirit. He is able to guard our hearts and minds. William Backus in his book, “Learning To Tell Myself The Truth” shares “Feelings follow your thoughts. Untruthful, negative thoughts lead to unpleasant feelings of anxiety, depression or frustration, while truthful, positive thoughts create corresponding pleasant and upbeat feelings.—Your feelings can serve as an alarm to remind you to question your thoughts and beliefs. Are they negative or positive? Are they true or false? Once you’ve begun to identify the underlying thoughts and beliefs, you are on your way to healing, wholeness, and happiness.” Today begin to follow Paul’s advice. When negative feelings come, “fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my inner person. You hear my self talk better than I do. By the power of the Holy Spirit please alert me to my negative thinking and help me fix my thoughts on what is true. Help me think with my faith in Your love and power, not with my feelings. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I fix my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable
The way we correct our thinking is through focus. Focused attention on what we feel and what we are thinking. Focus on what God says in His word. Focus on the presence of God and His love for us. Today, spend a few minutes focusing on today’s affirmation. Repeat it three times slowly, thinking of each word. Let your mind focus on what it means to you. Focus on God’s presence and His help in keeping you focused. Today shut out the interference and practice focused attention.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalms 37:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you desire? In his book “Desire” John Eldredge shares how we often confuse our “heart’s desires” with pleasures. His concern is that we have replaced deep seated needs of our soul with short term pleasures. Pleasure has become a false God, an idol. He writes, “Wal-Mart is open twenty-four hours a day now, with a dozen restaurants nearby. Next door, a multiplex theater with thirty seven screens. Or stay home – we have more than a hundred channels on the TV. Then there are computer games and the internet. We’ve discovered gourmet coffee, gourmet jelly beans and popcorn. We’ve nearly perfected our little pleasures. But they are all imposters—every one. We are so taken by the dizzying array of choices, we never have to stop and take a good look at what we are doing.” He then brings up an interesting point. “Pleasure isn’t nearly so much about satisfying our desires as it is about anesthetizing ourselves. Think about the relief your pleasures provide: Is your desire truly and deeply satisfied, or does the relief come more through the temporary absence of desire?”  You see, God knows the desires of your heart. He knows what you are lacking and He has promised that if you delight yourself in Him and His ways, He will give you what you really need. No worldly pleasure can do that. Today delight yourself in God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, only You can really satisfy the desires I have deep in my heart. Only You know me intimately and have a plan for my life. Forgive me for having my idols of pleasure. I renounce them and will delight myself in you. Thank You that You will give me the desires of my heart.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God gives me the desires of my heart
Today spend a few minutes in quiet reflection on your hearts desires. When have you really done that before? It is extremely important so quiet yourself and ask God to help you discern your inner thoughts. Pray, Lord what are my heart’s desires? What does my soul really yearn for? As thoughts come to mind, visualize yourself knowing God in deep and intimate ways. See yourself delighting in knowing Him. Sense the deep pleasure you have in your relationship with God. Finally, picture yourself having the deep desires of your heart as you live for Him. Say out loud with conviction, “God gives me the desires of my heart.”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.”
Acts 6:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If given a choice, which would you rather be filled with? God’s grace or God’s power? At first, it seemed obvious that I would choose God’s power. His mighty power is able to do more than we could ever imagine. With this power, Stephen did amazing miracles and signs among the people. Oh God, fill me with Your power! But upon second thought, what good is the power of God without His grace? His grace is what guides the power. It is His grace that forgives, sets free, that loves. It is very possible to have God’s power in my life and without His grace, not use it for His glory. However, if I were really filled with God’s almighty grace, I am convinced His power would follow. Grace is the power of God to change lives. Grace is the power of love. Grace is the vessel that God’s power chooses to flow through. So today let us pray that God would fill us with His grace so that His power will work through us in amazing miracles and signs.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Jesus, fill me with Your grace. Not a small part of me, all of me. Help me be completely led by Your grace. Because of Your grace I pray that Your power would flow through me to those in need. Lord, You did it in the early church. Bring revival again today. Rain down your grace and power I pray. Begin it in me.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I desire God’s grace and power to be manifested in my life
Visualize yourself in the loving presence of God. As you sit there you can sense His kindness. Next you feel his acceptance. This is followed by His empathy and complete understanding of who you are. His forgiveness and deep love for you begin to invade your awareness and you sense yourself beginning to really understand God’s grace. As you begin to get a grasp on what grace is, you find yourself wanting more. “More grace God”, you cry out. God hears and He pours His grace into you grace and soon you are full. You feel satiated and are overwhelmed with a sense of purpose and meaning. You must give His grace away. As you do you begin to feel God’s power, you are amazed at the way God begins to reach out to others through you. His grace and power are alive in your life and mighty miracles are happening. You cry out to God, “More God, fill me more with your grace and power.  

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.”
Psalms 86:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Where do you find real joy? There are many things that can make us happy, but this is not the same thing. According to the dictionary, joy is, “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.” And David knew where to find it. He found deep down lasting joy in the presence of God. He found it in his clear conscious, the result of God’s forgiveness. He found it in God’s unconditional love toward him. What about you? Have you found joy? If not, start today. Ask God to bring joy deep into your soul. Meditate on His word. Accept His forgiveness. Bask in the great love He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, bring joy to me today. Truly, I can say with David, “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.”
I lift my soul up to you and ask You to fill it with the joy only You can provide. In Jesus’ name
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God’s constant love and forgiveness gives me joy
Think of a time when you were God made you genuinely happy. Allow yourself to dwell on it for a moment. Name that experience. Next think of a time in the last week where you did not experience God’s presence, a situation where you were not full of joy. As you think of this experience, recall the named happy experience and transfer those same happy feelings onto your recent memory where you did not experience God’s presence. As you return to joy from your negative situation, slow it down and really experience it. See that it is God’s love, forgiveness and grace that is bringing you the new joy. Worship Him as you allow His joy to flood your heart.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How serious are you about Jesus Christ? How committed are you to living the kind of life He asks you to? It is easy to “talk” about following Jesus but living for Him is another story. He hasn’t asked us to join a club. There was never a request to just become a “member.” Following Jesus is not a hobby. Rather, Christ asks us to be His disciple. Actually, more than a disciple, we are called to be His disciple on a mission. A mission to spread His word and love to everyone we can. The author of Hebrews illustrates this with the metaphor of an athlete. He writes that we have to strip ourselves of those things that prevent us from running our race. And when we run we must run it with endurance. But what really makes the difference, what really motivates us to keep our course, is focus. We focus on the love of Jesus. The love He has for us and the love we have for Him. He was the one who started us on this journey and He will see us through. Rick Renner, in his book, “365 Days of Power” shares a confession of dedication. Today make this your confession. “I declare by faith that I am more deeply in love with Jesus Christ today than at any previous moment in my life. My affection for Him is so deep that I will never turn back to the life from which I’ve been delivered. I have no relational obligations greater than the sense of obligation that I feel for Jesus Christ. He saved me, redeemed me, delivered me, and changed me—and I vow to serve Him for the rest of my life! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You have heard my confession. I thank You for the call You have on my life. Help me today, to focus on You and the mission of love You have me on. Loosen everything from me that prohibits me from living the way You want me to. Help me run the race You have put me in, with endurance, keeping my eyes on You.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
It is my desire to serve Jesus
Paul used a metaphor of a runner in a race. Picture yourself getting ready to run a race. You have changed from bulky dress clothes to a racing outfit. You have the right shoes. You are changing your state of mind from all that is going on around you to a clear concise focus of being a consummate runner. Your body is ready. Your mind is ready. You are a runner. Now take that same focus and picture yourself dedicating yourself to being Christ’s disciple on a mission of loving others. Feel the intensity. Sense your mind coming into alignment. See your priorities begin to shift. Picture yourself stripping off whatever is hindering you from living for Him. On your mark. Feel yourself grasping the concept. Get set. Sense your heart answering Christ’s call on your life. GO! Picture yourself a disciple of Christ, living for Him.  

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TODAY’S VERSE
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
This is one of the most powerful prayers in the Bible. It takes a few reads to even begin to capture its meaning. In the prayer there are three forces at work that create tremendous results in our life if we avail ourselves of it. First, it is God Himself, the source of hope. Second, it is putting our trust in God. Third, it is the power of the Holy Spirit. When we align our belief with who God really is, when we completely trust in Him, the result is an incredible hope. Not an ordinary hope, but a supernatural hope that results in God completely filling us with joy and peace. It is a confident hope that can only come through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit alive in our heart. This power is ours, so let us pray today, like Paul did long ago, that God, the source of all hope, will fill us completely with joy and peace.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, You are the source of all hope. You work in me through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray today that You will completely fill me with Your joy and Your peace. In the name of Jesus.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God Fills Me With Joy And Peace
Picture yourself sitting in a quiet place. You invite God to make His presence known to you. As you wait you begin to experience that God is there. Start to sense Him as the God of all hope. Let hope start to invade your mind. As you do, feel peace and joy begin to manifest themselves in your body and mind. Feel yourself being filled with peace and joy. Let the power of the Holy Spirit do a mighty work in you.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Proverbs 23:7
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Solomon was warning his readers that what a person says isn’t always the same as what motivates them. He concluded that what a person really thinks in his heart or inner thoughts, is his true motive. The same is true of us. What we think in our inner self, what we say in our self talk when nobody is around, is what really shapes us. This is why Paul talked about the inner dialog so much. In today’s passage he tells us to focus our thoughts on those qualities that God would have us focus on, those positive thoughts that reflect His presence in our life. He says to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. But it is not enough just to enter good thoughts, we need to battle those feelings, thoughts and core beliefs that are contrary to God and His word. He writes in II Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Today, slow down and listen to what you are really thinking. Listen to your inner voice, your feelings and self talk. This is where the battle for who we really are is won or lost. As attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, motives or predictions are discovered, check to see if they align up to Biblical standards. If not, talk to God about it. Confess and renounce “every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Today, ask God to change you from the inside out.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know who I really am. You know who I need to be. Please expose my hidden self to me so I can apply Your word to my thinking and be the person You want me to be.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I let God help shape my thoughts
Many of our inner thoughts come from the interpretations of traumatic events in our life. If we recall an event where we have a negative thought about ourself or life in general, we can allow God to come into that memory and tell us the truth of that event. Picture God coming into a negative event in your past and helping you correct your interpretation of that incident. Let Him change the negative interpretations, predictions and beliefs in your heart.

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