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Archive for October, 2011

TODAY’S VERSE
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God has a vested interest in our maturity. He has saved us from the penalty of our sins and has set us apart for His service. He in involved in our life, protecting, encouraging, teaching and guiding us. He has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to prepare us for His service with the ultimate goal of becoming “mature, attaining the fullness of Christ”. But will we follow? Will we listen? Will we do what it takes to mature in Christ? In his book, “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You”, Dr. James Wilder suggests that we have a role to play in our maturity in Christ. He writes, “Now the job of maturity is quite another matter. While God is certainly instrumental in guiding and blessing our maturation, it is our job, bestowed upon us way back in the garden, to mature. Maturity is not a spiritual gift nor is it a by-product of salvation. It is something we as Christians must work on our entire lives.” So what are you doing to mature in Christ? Are you feeding your soul on the word of God? Are you learning from teachers and preachers? Are you in fellowship with other Christians who hold you accountable for your growth in Christ? Are you spending time with God in prayer and meditation? Today, take some steps to mature in your spiritual life with Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me mature in You. Help me seek You more, know You more and love You more. Help me today, and everyday, to do something that will help me mature in You.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God is helping me mature
Quiet yourself before God and ask Him to point out areas of immaturity in your life. Wait on Him for an answer. As He brings examples of immaturity to your mind commit them to God. Visualize God helping you becoming more mature. Sense the leading of the Holy Spirit as He takes your sincere requests and brings people into your life to help you. See yourself becoming mature in those areas as you allow yourself to be helped by God and others that care and help nurture you in your spiritual growth. Thank God for His grace, mercy and love as you affirm, “God is helping me mature.”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Contentment is hard to come by in today’s society. Advertising spends billions of dollars a year trying to make us discontent. We have been programmed to want more, to judge others and ourselves by worldly standards. Lynne Twist, in her book, “The Soul of Money” writes, “We spend most of the days of our life hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of.” She continues, “We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don’t mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.” Paul had this attitude of sufficiency. It was the sufficiency he found in Christ. This same Christ that told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Paul’s attitude of sufficiency produced gratitude and contentment. Today, let us quit complaining and worrying and put our trust in Christ. His grace is sufficient for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me when I get so discontent. When I worry over scarcity and miss the fact that You and Your grace have all the sufficiency I would ever need. Help me find my contentment in You.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I am content with Christ and His grace
Today examine your life. Consider where you are, what you are doing, and how things are going. Ask yourself, “Am I content or am I complaining?” Next picture yourself with God. When you are with God all things seem insignificant in comparison. With God, where is the need for love? For security? For provisions? Christ is all sufficient. See yourself putting your faith in Him. Visualize yourself being happy and content with Christ as your Lord and Savior. Today affirm, “I am content with Christ and His grace.”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’”
Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Faith can move mountains. But how much faith? In today’s passage we are reminded that even the smallest amount of faith counts. It comforts me to see that Jesus was talking to people with very little faith and He wasn’t chiding them. Instead He loves them. He says, “Because you have just a little faith let me encourage you!” And then he uses the “mustard” seed as an illustration of how even a “little” faith can be used. He chose the mustard seed because it was one of the smallest seeds he could find. In another passage He said, “but when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree.” The seed was like a speck of dirt and yet Jesus insisted that even a little speck of faith can be used by God. He concludes, “Nothing will be impossible for you!” We need faith. When all seems hopeless we reach out in faith. When our back is up against the wall, we cry out in faith. When we are not sure what to do, we step out in faith. As we do, God will be there. Don’t be discouraged with little faith. Simply plant it in today’s soil like a mustard seed and let God do the rest.

TODAY’S PRAYER
God, You know how feeble my faith can be. I am so glad that You can take it and use it. As You do, please help my faith to grow that I may believe You for even greater things. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I have faith in God
Today, use Jesus’ metaphor. Picture a little seed of faith. You are going to trust God for a miracle in your life so you plant the seed in the ground. Visualize it growing. Feel the joy in your heart as your faith increases. Sense the expectation that God is present working on your behalf. As you see the tree grow from the little seed, visualize your own faith and belief in God grow too. Affirm today that, “I have faith in God!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”
Proverbs 12:25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day is full of choices. Over and over again we find ourselves at a fork in the road. Choices between faith or doubt; forgiveness or anger; right or wrong; yes or no; worry or trust. For many worry is their daily choice. Whether it is financial, relational or situational, they have dug themselves into a pit and can’t seem to get out. Life is lonely in the pit. Every day they try to get out but no one stops to help. That is what God has called you and I to do. Today’s passage says, “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” You and I have been charged to be an encourager. We too find ourselves at a fork in the road. We can ignore someone else’s pain or we can help them. We can stay busy minding our own business or we can stop to comfort someone else. We can judge, blame, condemn others for getting themselves in a mess or we can extend a hand. We can go our own way or we can encourage them both in word and action. Today commit yourself to be an encourager. Ask God to bring someone into your life you can minister to. As God has encouraged you, might you encourage others.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to encourage other people. Help me to be kind, considerate and to treat others in the way I want to be treated. Today might I speak Your grace and love into other people that they may truly find the encouragement that they need.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I will encourage others
Today visualize yourself helping those that come you way. See yourself encouraging them. Feel their relief as you empathize and listen to their situation. Sense God’s pleasure as you share His love with those who need your support.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”
I Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a spiritual reality that we need to be aware of. Peter warns us that we are in a spiritual battle and that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The good news is that God has given us everything for the victory. He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us, His word to teach us and His presence to protect us. As a result we can obey Peter when he tells us to be self-controlled and alert, to resist Satan standing firm in the faith. James tells us that if we “resist the devil”, the devil will flee from us. If we choose to ignore the spiritual battle we are in, it will only result in spiritual turmoil in our life. So, today let us resist the lies of Satan, stand firm in our faith in God and be victorious.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that the Spiritual battle we are in has already been won. Thank You that You have provided all I need for the victory. Help me today to stand firm on Your promises, to be self-controlled and alert and to resist the schemes of Satan.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God has given me spiritual victory
Today mediate on God giving you victory in your spiritual battle. See yourself dressed in the armor of God. You have your helmet of salvation protecting your head. You have your body covered with your armored suit. You are holding your shield in front of you and your sword is in the other hand. You are in a battle but you know you are not alone. Jesus is there with you and He is giving you His supernatural strength. He is empowering you so you are standing strong and are resisting the enemy. You are focused and under the control of the Holy Spirit. Today you know that God is in you and He has given you Spiritual victory.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every since Adam and Eve, mankind has been tempted to think that they could become a “god”. However, David Benner in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” makes a very interesting observation. He points out that in the Garden of Eden, it was not the act of trying to be like God that was a sin, it was the act of thinking they could be like God, without God. Yes we are commanded to be like Christ. We are to emulate the characteristics of God such as love, mercy and justice. But we are never told that we can do that without the help of God and His Holy Spirit. David Benner writes, “Adam and Eve wanted to be God without God, likeness that was based on independence rather than surrender. – What we get when we choose a way of being that is separate from God is the life of the false self. – The false self is the tragic result of trying to steal something from God that we did not have to steal. Had we dared to trust God’s goodness, we would have discovered that everything we could ever most deeply long for would be ours in God. Trying to gain more than the everything God offers, we end up with less than nothing. Rejecting God, we end up with a nest of lies and illusions. Displacing God, we become a god unto our self. We become a false self.” I am so glad Jesus came. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He came so we could know God. It is His truth, His life that enables us to be more like Him. Today, examine yourself. Are you following Christ and letting Him influence who you are, or are you busy creating your own life apart from God?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for all the times I have tried to set myself us as my own God. Today, I ask You to speak to my heart and help me get back on track with You. Guide me in everything I do so I will become the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I am valued by God
Picture you value and goodness in a sealed bottle. You are exactly what God wants you to be. He has created you, saved you and leads you daily by His Holy Spirit. He loves you unconditionally. But then envision where others have tried to give you a bottle that is empty of value. You see it and feel you need to perform, to connive, to do whatever it takes to refill the bottle with value. But nothing you do is enough. Everyday you wake up the bottle is empty again. Now picture Jesus taking the broken bottle and giving you back your original bottle that was stolen. You see God’s bottle and it is full. See how your worth and value is all full just the way God created you. Now you can affirm. “I am valued by God.”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel.”
Psalms 106:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a difference between a memory lapse and apathy. We can be sincere about something and forget a few details. However, if we show failure to show up, to be involved or care for details over and over again, then our sincerity is in doubt. It starts out with other things choking out passion, emotion, or excitement and leads into a lack of interest in or concern for things of God.  We see that the people of God allowed themselves to forget what God had done in the past. The lessons of faith that they should have incorporated into their life were never cultivated. It wasn’t long and they began to live as if God didn’t exist at all. What can we do to protect our soul from this spiritual apathy? How can we is to take deliberate steps in order preserve our Christian walk? The author of Psalms 119 shares how. He writes, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The reason he did not sin against God was because he hid God’s word deep in his heart. The “word” of God not only contained the law, it also contained stories, stories that revealed God’s character and His great love for us. It is your remembrance of His promises, the recalling the many miracles you have witnessed, the active reading the scriptures and spending time with God seeking His counsel that will keep you from falling. These spiritual disciplines will protect you when facing temptation. They will be your guide when you have hard decisions to make. May the remembrance of all He has done for you, give you the confidence you need to continue to follow Him. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to remember all You have done for me. Help me read Your word and plant it deep into my heart so it will guide me as I go through my day. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I will remember what God has done for me
Stop and meditate on all God has done for you. See God creating you and bringing you into this world. Think of all the ways God has provided for you. Meditate on all the provisions that God has gladly given you. Reflect on the abilities you have. All of the blessings you have received. Let your heart sense how good God has been toward you. You are blessed. Today affirm, “I will remember what God has done for me.”

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