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Archive for May, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE
“I come to your altar, O LORD, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders.”
Psalms 26:6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Christian life was meant to be a life of joy. God created us for joy. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain or suffering. There will be, but like a child who cries when it hurts itself, soon returns to joy in the loving and compassionate understanding of it’s mother, we too find joy in the loving arms of our Father God. It is this relationship with our creator, this love bond that He puts in our hearts through the presence of the Holy Spirit that returns us again and again to joy. That is why David could say, “Be glad in the Lord.” It is the knowing that God is glad to be with us, that we are loved beyond measure that allows us come to His altar singing a song of thanksgiving. It is this relationship of complete forgiveness and unconditional love and acceptance by God that has us telling others of His wonders. So today, know that you have a God that loves you more than you will ever know. Bask in the warmth of this realization so when your way gets difficult and you experience deep pain, you will be able to experience God’s loving presence and return to the joy you were created for.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for creating me for joy. Thank You for Your unconditional love that fills my heart and causes me, no matter what, to return to joy over and over again.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I return to joy from painful emotions
See yourself in a quandary. Your emotions are escalating. You start to feel overwhelmed. But today you have a choice. You choose to trust God and commit yourself to Him. You choose to return to joy from your painful emotions.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33 (NASB)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You would think as Christians we would put God’s will above our own. But instead we often find ourself putting our own desires first. We start by assuming God’s will is the same as ours and forget to ask God what He thinks. The trouble with that logic is that God’s ways are not always our ways. But if we want to live for Him then we must seek His face. We need to seek Him and His Kingdom in order to know His will. Jesus said to seek His kingdom and righteousness before anything else. If we want to live out God’s will in our life, then we must seek God. A quarterback has the same goal as his coach. They both want to win the game. But the Coach is better versed in the total  game. He has more experience and a more comprehensive view of what is going on. If the quarterback is going to do his best, he needs to work in harmony with the coach. How much more should we align our behavior and attitudes with God Almighty? A hurtful situation, a wayward son, a sudden illness, a loss of a job. Life has many twists and turns. When they come, and they will, stop and seek God’s face. Let Him know your thoughts, your apprehensions, your fears and frustrations. Come to Him, seek Him first and He will direct your path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I do “my own thing” so many times. I do not take the time to know your will. I just assume that what I am doing is the “right” thing. Forgive me. Help me to stop when I am tempted to run in a certain direction. Help me to seek You first. Help me to share with You my inward thoughts and feelings so You can show me Your will.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I will seek God’s Kingdom first
Sit and visualize God’s Kingdom. Imagine living in His presence. Sense His peace and love filling the air. Feel His justice and mighty power. See yourself living here and now with the full knowledge of what God’s Kingdom is like. Feel how that will make a huge difference in the way you live. Affirm, “I will seek God’s Kingdom first!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”’
Luke 17:17-19 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to seek the blessing more than the blesser. Here were ten lepers all with the same putrefying disease. All with the same hopeless situation. Unless. Unless the Jesus that they heard about could really do miracles. Unless this Jesus was as compassionate as everyone said He was. They came to seek a blessing and as Jesus came down the road, a blessing they received. All ten were healed. But only one gave thanks to the blesser. He was the one that was touched in his body and his soul. He is the one that stopped to worship and give thanks. The nine came to get a blessing, the tenth met the blesser. How different are we? Is it possible that we have gotten so use to our faith that we are running on auto-pilot? We get our daily dose of blessing and go down the road as if nothing significant has happened. But let something go wrong. Then what do we scramble for? We cry out again like the leper for a blessing. But, it is not a blessing that we need. It is the blesser. It is Jesus, who loves us, that we need to seek. We need to come to Him and let Him know our situation and then commune with Him and let Him guide us. He is what our soul requires. Today, let us commit our situation to God and come to Him, seeking the blesser not the blessing. Knowing Him is the blessing.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for being more worried about blessings than worship. Forgive me for taking You for granted. You are what my life needs. You are the blessing. Today, I choose to seek Your fellowship more than anything else. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I seek to know God
Quiet yourself now in the presence of Jesus. Worship Him. Meditate on His goodness. Contemplate His love. Imagine  His mighty power. Invite Him to speak to you. Ask Him to make you aware of His presence. Feel Him alive in your heart. Affirm, “I seek to know God!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
II Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Need. That is certainly a relative word. We have taken the word “need” and have turned it into everything from a wish list to a whim. Larry Crabb addresses this in his book, “The Pressure’s Off.” He writes about what we really need. He writes, “Nothing wrong with desiring safe airplane flights and warm marriages and a decent income. But none of these things, none of our hopes for a “Better Life of Blessings”, represents God’s priority agenda—We need only to be safe from any power that opposes God’s agenda for our lifes.” And what is that agenda that we need? Crabb shares the three needs that God wants for us; radical forgiveness, supernatural love and spiritual might. The good news is that God is able to grant you these same needs through His grace. Imagine, all of the forgiveness, love and might that you will need in order to be involved in His good work is yours for the asking. Today, might we lay aside those “other needs” that we think are so important and ask God to meet our real needs of forgiveness, love and spiritual might.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need You and Your spiritual provisions of forgiveness, love and spiritual might more than anything else in the world. Help meet my real needs today. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God provides me with forgiveness, love and spiritual might
See yourself in great need. At first you think it is money, fame and possessions that will fill your soul. You ask God for help but you sense that there is more that you need. He speaks to you and you can feel that your heart is really seeking spiritual satisfaction. You open your heart and He fills it with forgiveness, love and spiritual might.

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
Galatians 6:2 (NASB) 
 
TODAY’S THOUGHT
If I was asked to describe Christianity using only one word, I would choose the word, “love”. John tells us that God is love. It is His love that makes mercy and grace possible. Is it no wonder then, if we are really going to fulfill what Christ wants us to do, we must bear each other’s burdens? Bearing a burden means to take that burden on as if it was your own. We are called to help the wounded, love the hurting and to do whatever it takes to help those that are overburdened. If we don’t, who will? Who else is called to do this? It is this love of Christ, lived out by us in community, that is the mark of true Christianity. And if community is going to work, then each of us must prefer others to ourselves. We must put the needs of others above ourself. Jesus set the example. His whole life exemplified sacrificial love. So must ours. Today, ask God to help you sense when someone needs help. Ask Him to help you bear their burden.  

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am so grateful that You have borne every one of my burdens. Give me a heart like yours and the filling of Your Spirit so I might love in the way You have loved me.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
I help others with their burdens
Imagine yourself as the Good Samaritan. You are walking down the road and come to someone in desperate need. Sense his pain. Feel empathy and God’s love deep in your heart. Visualize God assisting you in helping the person. Sense God’s pleasure. Affirm, “I help others with their burdens.”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“O LORD, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised.”
Psalms 119:169 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many things that we need in life, but perhaps one of the most important is discernment. Things are seldom the way they appear. How important is it then to know the mind of God when we are in various situations? Solomon told us in Proverbs that we need to seek for wisdom. We need to go after it like we would golden treasure. James writes that if we lack wisdom all we need to do is ask God for it. What a gift. What love that God would not leave us here clueless! The Psalmist asks God to “give me the discerning mind you promised.” God promised, are you asking? Today, stop and seek the wisdom of God. Ask Him for discernment in all you do.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how I need Your wisdom. How I need Your understanding. I desire Your discernment to see me through this day. Thank You for Your love and the promise that You will give me the discerning mind you promised.
AMEN 

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
God gives me discernment
Picture yourself in a difficult situation. You need wisdom and discernment. Feel the tension mount. Sense panic grip your heart. What do you do? Visualize yourself praying and see God come to you and give you discernment. Feel the peace that comes with understanding. Sense the joy as you follow His lead. Affirm, “God gives me discernment!”

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TODAY’S VERSE
“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber… The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
Psalms 121:2, 3, 7, 8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I once saw a child crying hysterically, afraid that he was abandoned by his father in a large crowd of people. I remember thinking how odd, because his father was standing right next to him. Something had frightened the son and in his despair, he closed his eyes. As he cried, with his eyes shut, he was not aware of his father’s presence. It was not until the father picked the child up that he opened his eyes and returned to joy. How often are we like that little child? Something frightens us. It could be a confrontation, an anxious thought or worst, some dread of things to come. When our mind gets in that state, faith seems to go out the window. It is as if we stepped out of the presence of God, when in reality what we did was shut our eyes. The Psalmist decided to go into his day with eyes wide open. He writes, “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble!”  He then affirms his faith by believing, “The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Today open your eyes. Wipe away your tears. Look up, the Lord is here! He will watch over you and keep you from harm. Put your trust in Him.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, make me conscious of Your presence so I will put my faith in Your precious promises. The promise that You will watch over me and protect me. The promise that You will keep me from harm. Help me today, to put my full trust in You and open my eyes to Your power and love.
AMEN

TODAY’S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION
My help comes from the Lord
Picture yourself with the Lord at your side. Troubles come and you close your eyes. Fearing that you have been abandoned, you panic and ask, “Where is God?” Suddenly you hear His voice saying, “I am here!” You sense His present and begin to calm. You realize He was there all the time. You affirm, “My help comes from the Lord!”

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