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Archive for April, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
At first this just seems like a benediction that you hear after church on Sunday. A nice platitude to give you some hope throughout the week. But when you stop to really read this passage it is a tremendous reality that you need to really consider. Why? Because, believing this passage can change your life. It starts out stating that God wants to bless and keep you. What a wonderful reality. You can come to God knowing that it is His full intent to bless you. But then the author adds a very personal twist. He is saying that God wants to make His face shine upon you. This means that God Almighty is fully aware of you and is turning His face deliberately toward you so you can make full contact with Him. What an invitation. Today, right now, God has turned His face toward you. His goal is to be gracious toward you and give you peace. He is looking, will you look back? Stop now, experience the presence of the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You have taken such a personal interest in me. I want to know You better. Please be gracious toward me, help me experience Your face shining upon me, and give me peace.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION 
I experience the peace of God
Take a moment and meditate on today’s verse. Think of the words, “The Lord bless you and keep you.” Feel the safety and security that He gives you. See His face shining upon you. Sense His graciousness toward you. God is turning His face toward You. Let that image fill your heart. Experience His peace.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!  You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.”
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our choices can make all the difference in the world. We are constantly taking in data, predicting and weighing options. We make so many different selections each day we cannot keep count. However, some choices are more important that others. Vanilla or chocolate ice cream may not effect your world one little bit. But moral or legal issues can alter your life. The friends you select, the things you choose to do to please others, all these have ways of influencing our lives. Who you are going to marry has a lot to do with the rest of your life. College and career decisions are important milestones. But the one choice that guides all others is whether or not you choose to follow God. Moses calls it “choosing life”. And like many major choices, they are only as good as the thousands of little choices you make to support your decision. You can decide to cross an ocean in a sail boat, but it is the daily choices you make in re-correcting your course that gets you to the other shore. In the marriage ceremony we ask the groom, “Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking every other, keep to her only, so long as you both shall live?” He can say, “I do” but it is only as good as him getting up everyday and saying, “I will!” Moses said that you can choose life by making a choice to love God, obey Him and committing yourself firmly to Him. Today choose to follow God in all you do because “choosing to follow God is the key to your life.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I choose You. I choose to live for You. I choose to follow you in all that I do. Guide me, direct me. Give me the strength to do this, in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION 
I choose to follow God
Visualize yourself at a pivotal place in your journey. You have to decide what to do. They are diverse directions so the choice is serious. See yourself asking God for help. Sense His presence. You feel a peace as He gives you wisdom. You hear Him say, “Walk this way” and decide to follow Him. With joy you affirm, “I choose to follow God!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2 (NIV)

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
II Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I was involved an incident involving a theft and while I was talking to the policeman he said, “Reverend, you’re in the forgiveness business, not me. I don’t believe people can change, I don’t believe in rehabilitation. A leopard does not change his spots.” Well, that’s not the THOUGHT of today’s passage. God is the God of change. He is the author of sanctification, a process of making us more and more into His likeness. Paul tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Paul’s own testimony is that he was inwardly being changed and renewed day by day. But do we believe it? How many of us believe in God and yet secretly believe the policeman’s theory that we are hopelessly lost, unable to change any of our spots? The truth is that many neuroscientists are starting to have more faith in man’s ability to change than Christians. Today’s research touts how brain plasticity allows new neuropathways to be created at any time in our life. Books like, “The Brain That Changes Itself” or “Change Your Brain Change Yourself” speak of how “Fearfully and wonderfully” we are made. God, the great creator, is also the re-creator. Today, present your whole self to Him. Ask Him to renew your mind day by day

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am so thankful that You do not feel I am stuck in a rut. You believe in me and have a wonderful plan for my life. I commit myself to You and ask that You would renew me day by day and make me more like You.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION 
God is renewing my mind
Picture yourself giving God your mind asking Him to make you more like Him. Sense the Holy Spirit moving in your heart. See God use the scriptures to guide your thoughts. Feel God leading your conscience into righteous behavior. Affirm, “God is renewing my mind!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness.”
Psalms 130:3-4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to keep a record of sins. How many times have we found ourselves caught up in bitterness over someone’s repeated offences against us? How many times should we continue to forgive? Jesus addressed that very question when Peter asked Him how many times we should forgive someone. Peter in a magnanimous gesture suggests seven times, but Jesus said seven times seventy was more like it. The truth is God’s love is greater than we can imagine. David was trying to make that point in this passage. He was amazed at the fact that God was totally justified in keeping record of all our wrongs but chooses not to. Instead, what does God do? He offers forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful healer. Is there something weighing heavy on your heart? Is there a secret sin or something from the past you need to repent of? Today, bring it to God. The God who does not keep a ledger of your wrongdoings but instead offers complete forgiveness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for not keeping a record of my wrongs. Instead, I bring my sins to You and ask You to forgive me and set me free. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION 
God forgives all my wrongdoing
Picture God keeping track of all your wrongdoing. Feel the weight of all your guilt and shame. Sense the hopelessness, the despair as you stand before God. But then you see Jesus come. He offers His sacrifice for the ledger of your wrongdoing. The ledger is thrown away, gone forever. Joy fills your heart as you realize that you are forgiven and your sins forgotten. You praise God with a loud shout and affirm, “God forgives all my wrongdoing!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”
Psalms 25:4-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are so many paths to choose from. Wouldn’t it be nice if we just had to make one turn and never had to ask for directions again? But that isn’t going to happen. Life has too many variables and we were given a free will in order to choose our behavior. The good news is we are not alone. We don’t have to make decisions all on our own. As a mighty warrior and later as King, David had to make many decisions. Although he had the right to decide whatever he wanted to, David knew that having God’s guidance was the only way to make good decisions. He prayed that God would show him the right path. He asked God to be specific and point out the way he should go. So God did, by teaching David truth. As David meditated on God’s word and character, he would end up putting more trust in God. This trust would result in hope and direction. Today, you have many different directions you could take. Stop and commit your journey to Him. Ask God to guide you and direct you in all you do and say. Put your trust in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I commit this day to You. You know all the decisions ahead of me. Grant me wisdom and show me the paths I should take. I put my hope and trust in You. Guide me I pray.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I let God direct my path
See yourself coming to a crossroad. You are not sure which way to go. Fear begins to grip your hear. Confusion sets in and you do not know what to do. In desperation you cry out to God and He hears you. He guides you and you sense a relief. As you follow His direction you begin to feel peace. God is in control and you are happy to let Him lead. You affirm, “I let God direct my path!” 

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TODAY’S VERSE
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
John 15:11 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God created us for joy! And where does joy come from?  Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you.” What was it that He told us? The answer lies in the preceding verse.  It says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Jesus said that His joy would be in us and that our joy would be complete as a direct result of the love He and our heavenly Father have for us. Our joy comes from knowing this love in a personal way. It comes from the fact that God is very, very glad to be with us. As the Psalmist suggests, we can come into God’s presence with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise! Why? Because He loves us unconditionally and has bonded with us in a way that gives us true, deep down joy. Today, don’t accept some mediocre joy. Instead, meditate on the love that God has for you and let it move you deep in your soul. Today, ask God to fill you with joy. Might your joy be full!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for creating me for joy. Help me to know the extent of Your love and how happy You are to call me Your own so that my joy will be full.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
Jesus gives me a deep joy
Picture yourself empty of any joy. Tired, depressed coming to God for your joy to be complete. As you sit there you cry out to Jesus to give you joy. As you yield to Him you sense His presence. You begin to change your focus from yourself to Him. You feel the Holy Spirit awakening your heart and joy begins to fill your mind. Sense your burdens begin to diminish. You meditate on His faithful love for you and more joy floods you soul. You affirm, “Jesus gives me a deep, deep joy!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD gives his people strength.”
Psalms 28:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Strength is a mighty gift to have from God. With strength you can have many options. You can have strength to make it through a tough time. Strength to accomplish a difficult task. Strength to overcome overwhelming circumstances. Strength when all else has failed. Strength to be patient and wait on the Lord. Strength to tear down strongholds. Strength to get through another day. Strength to outlast a temptation. Strength to give it another try. Strength to accept grace. Strength to face your deepest fears. Strength to start over. Strength to admit when your wrong. Strength to accept your weakness. Strength to trust in God. Today, God has all the strength you need. It’s yours for the asking.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how I thank You that You give Your people strength. You know my needs. You know where I am weak and where I need You. Give me all the strength I need for today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God gives me the strength I need
Picture yourself becoming weary, depressed and discouraged. You feel the weight of your burden, but you remember, “God promises to give me strength.” See yourself crying out to Him. You call out to God by faith and He hears your cry. In His mercy He gives you strength. Affirm, “God gives me the strength I need!”

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