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Archive for July, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

I no longer call you servants, because servants do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends. John 15:15 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

What do you call yourself? When you are under stress, when you have made a mistake, when you are alone and the inner chatter starts, what names do you hear? Stupid, unlovable, mistake, no good, useless? Unfortunately for many of us there is a long litany of negative shameful names that we reserve for ourself. But just because you call yourself those names doesn’t make it so. It is much more definitive to hear what God calls you. In today’s verse God calls you His friend. In other passages He has called you His beloved, His child and His worksmanship. Add to that the many times He has called you forgiven, justified, member of Christ’s body, a saint, a Holy one, redeemed, complete in Christ, anointed, citizen of heaven, reborn, transformed, salt of the earth, chosen, filled with the Spirit, God’s temple, servant of God, minister of reconciliation and God’s coworker. There are many more, but the real question is this – “Who are you going to believe, your inner twisted chatter or God?” Today, trust what God has called you. Truly, you are His friend!

TODAY’S PRAYER

Father, too many times I have called myself hurtful, shameful and negative names. Thank you for not agreeing with me. Today, I want to believe you. I want to believe all the good and beautiful names You have called me. Thank You Lord! I give you my deepest gratitude. Forever your Friend.   AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

Worry. We can spend a lot of time doing exactly that. And yet Jesus Himself pointed out the futility of this misspent energy. He asked, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Instead the author of Proverbs gives us a better option. He suggests that we “Trust in the Lord with all our heart.” This is more than a mental assent. It is a heartfelt commitment to put all our fears and worries in His hand. We put it to rest. Then the author says not to depend on our own understanding. This is easier said than done. We want to depend on our own thinking, our own logic, but God is saying, “Trust me, let go.” Finally we are told to seek God’s will and He will show us which path to take. Today, when you are tempted to worry, fear starts to take over your emotions, stop and trust God. Let go of your own thinking and seek His will. He promises He will get you through.

TODAY’S PRAYER

Father, I am so prone to worry and fear. Today, I will trust in you. I will forsake my own understanding and seek your will. Direct my path I pray.

AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Honor the LORD for his glory and strength. Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”
Psalms 29:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We pray. We read the scriptures. We try to live for Christ. We serve in various ministries. These are all ways of expressing our level of commitment and love for God. But what God desires more than anything is our worship. You see it is easy to become dutiful to God, to be involved every night of the week at Church and yet not have a worshipful spirit. Somehow God becomes a taskmaster, Christianity becomes a tradition and our service becomes a passionless striving. This is why we must worship. Worship opens our hearts to consider all that God is. It awakens our senses and spirit to experience God in what David calls, “the splendor of His Holiness.” We were made to worship Him. We come to Him in awe of all He is. When we consider His love, majesty, power, mercy, grace, provision, salvation, forgiveness and Holiness and we cannot help but praise Him. We cannot stop from expressing our gratitude. When we worship Him in “spirit and truth” we become truly alive. Today, stop and worship God. Even if just for a moment right now, express to God your gratitude, devotion and love. Worship Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how far my heart can get from You. Please forgive me. Right now I come and worship You. I want to honor You for all You are. I worship You for all Your holiness, power, love, majesty, kindness, forgiveness, grace and mercy in my life. I Praise You dear God. I come now with love and adoration. I worship You.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.”
Psalms 27:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes the best way to overcome something is to replace it with the opposite. David decided to do this with fear. When he was surrounded by a mighty invading army he had a choice to make. He could go with the normal response of fear or he could replace fear with confidence in God’s love. It was the love that he had for God and the love he knew God had for him that allowed him to exercise confidence. The Bible says, “perfect love casts out fear.” Add to perfect love an all powerful God and you have a real confidence maker. Today, when stress comes into your life, when you are tempted to become overwhelmed, put your trust in God. Step out in faith and let confidence in Him take over.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Thank You Father, that You are trustworthy. You are all powerful and all loving. I come to you today and lay my fears at Your feet. Give me the confidence to completely trust in You.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.”
Psalms 26:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What are you aware of? Everyday you and I are the object of God’s unconditional love and yet do we really live as if we are aware of it? King David did. He wrote, “I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.” It is much like a baby. A new born spends its first year of life being aware of its mother’s face, voice and presence. After thousands of positive interactions with the mother, the baby experiences “emotional object constancy”. This means that the baby’s capacity for love and acceptance has expanded enough that the baby begins to live with the awareness of the mother’s love, even when she isn’t present. It was this way with David. You can imagine him as a Shepherd, basking in the beauty of God’s presence, meditating on God’s word, writing psalms like “The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need.” David was building up his capacity for God’s love and acceptance. Is it no wonder he could later write, “I am always aware of your unfailing love.” Today, begin a habit of  spending time with God. Attune yourself with His Spirit and how much He loves you. Soon you will build your capacity and emotional constancy. Then you too will be constantly aware of His great love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me know You and Your love for me, better and better so the reality of Your unfailing love for me will be a permanent part of my conscious experience.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD. The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray.”
Psalms 25:7-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How merciful God is. He could look at our behavior and condemn us. He could read our mind and reject us. He could exact a thousand different punishments for all that we have done. Instead He has chosen to see us through the eyes of His unfailing love. It is so hard to imagine what that really means. It is so foreign to the way we operate. We hold grudges, seek revenge, or at least try to get even. But not God. He does not give up on us. He sees us desperately in need of His grace. And even when we are unlovely, thoroughly lost because of our willful disobedience, He shows us the way back. What makes this so tragic is that we don’t really believe it. We still think we need to wear the mask of our false self. You know, the self that thinks it earns God’s approval. The self that tries to please God through vain attempts at righteousness. Today throw the mask away. You don’t need it. God sees you through His unfailing love and He loves what He sees. Today accept His love and let Him direct your path.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your unfailing love. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for showing me the proper path to go on when I go astray. Guide me and direct me today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”
Ephesians 4:21-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Everyday we make choices. Some choices however are more subtle than others. For example, the old saying, “Not to decide is to decide already.” Otherwise, if you need to make a choice and you do not say “yes” to it, then you have really chosen against it. It is like that with most of the things that we “lust” after. Lusting implies that we are desiring something that we cannot (or should not) have at that moment. The trouble, however, is not in the one time choice to lust. All of us struggle with occasional temptations. Rather, it is the rebound effect that gets us in trouble. You know, get close to something you know is wrong, withdrawal and then rebound getting closer the next time. It is like the proverbial frog that boils in water never noticing that the water was gradually getting warmer and warmer. As time moves on we eventually find ourself in the grips of the thing we were trying not to lust after. How much better to choose ahead of time not to trifle with those habits, thoughts and behaviors that lead to trouble. We do this by being quick to repent when we slip and then asking the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes. When this happens God can help us discern what temps us so we can determine ahead of time to set our limits and boundaries. Today, let us give our various temptations over to God and ask Him to help us overcome them.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Holy Spirit, You know that I struggle with temptation and lust and need Your help. Renew my thoughts and attitudes so I can live the way you want me to. Help me continue to say “no” and put away those things that war against me. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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