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Archive for November, 2012

TODAY’S VERSE

“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.”
Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The story of Nehemiah in the Old Testament is about the redemption of God’s people. The people were scattered. They had disobeyed God and he allowed calamity to come upon them. But in God’s timing, He called Nehemiah to rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem so the people could come back together as a nation. When they were done rebuilding the walls they had a great celebration. Nehemiah writes, “Standing on the stairs were the Levites—who called with loud voices to the LORD their God and said: “Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. – Our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love.” They celebrated God who is forgiving, gracious and compassionate. What do you celebrate about God? What is it about God that brings a smile to your face and a joy in your heart? If you can’t think of anything then think on this. God has never given up on you, He will never desert you, He is always slow to anger and will always keep His covenant of love with you. Today, take pause and give praise.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your gracious love toward me. Thank You for Your forgiveness and compassion. Thank You that You will never desert me but will keep your promise to always love me.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. – May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.”
II Peter 1:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love Peter’s faith in Christ. He went from a follower of Christ to a slave and apostle. And in his eyes, Jesus went from an itinerant Rabbi to Messiah to his Savior and Lord. What was his secret? How did he grow in his knowledge and experience of Christ? It was God’s grace. The very favor of God was given to him so he could grow in the Lord. The same is given to you. God has poured His knowledge into your mind and heart through the person of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because He has chosen to be gracious toward you. Grace is a gift of God to you. It is His unmerited divine assistance. Today, accept His assistance. Invite God to “give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father and Jesus our Lord, I need Your grace. I need Your Holy Spirit to help me grow in my knowledge of You. Help me, guide me, instruct me, I pray. May Your grace be alive in my heart.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love this passage. The Lord bids us to come and rest. How different is that? It is the complete opposite of striving. You know, striving to “earn” God’s love, or worst “keep it” as if God is some fickle tyrant. Nothing could be farther from the heart of God. Jesus knew we would be weary and carry heavy burdens. It is part of living in this world. But He never meant that living for God would be the cause of the burden. No, He said if we would take His teachings and live them, we would find rest for our soul. In “Desiring God’s Will” Dr. David Benner writes, “Hearing the invitation, everything within me wants to draw near and receive the gift of love that Jesus represents – not out of obligation but out of a soul-aching desire. And each time I do, my heart is slowly but progressively more aligned with the heart of God – God’s desires becoming my desires and God’s will becoming my will.” So today, quit trying to earn His love. You already have it. Don’t strive to please Him so He won’t abandon You, He will never leave you. Today, rest in His love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for all the times I strive under rules and regulations trying to earn Your love. Forgive me for making a mockery out of Your unconditional love for me. Thank You that your love is not a burden. Thank You that Your teaching shows me how to get rest for my soul. Give me that rest today I pray.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“You were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”
Colossians 1:21-22 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What you believe about yourself is key to the way you live. And what you believe God thinks about you can help the way you believe about yourself. That is why Paul wrote his letter to the Colossian church. He wanted them to know who they were. He starts out reminding them that they were the very enemies of God, separated by their evil thoughts and actions. But just as quick, he shares that God, through the death of Christ on the cross, has now accepted them as friends. This gives them the right to come into His very presence as a holy and blameless individual. In their book “TrueFaced” the authors say it this way, “As a maturing Christian, I no longer define myself by my sin or the sin committed against me, but by who God declared me to be.” And what has God declared about you? He has declared, because of Christ and your personal faith in Him, that you are His friend. Today, let this reality sink deep into your heart. Let it fill you with joy and peace as you live for Him. You are God’s friend!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for declaring me as Your friend. Thank You that through the death and resurrection of Christ, Your son, I am Your child, completely loved and forgiven of all my sins. Help me to live in this reality.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
Hebrews 11:1, 17-19 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How great is God’s patience toward us! How longsuffering He is with us. He knows how weak we are. He knows how scarred, bruised and weary we can get, and like a dog that is skittish with a new master, our faith weans in His presence. Our disappointments, fears and doubts keep us from trusting Him. And yet His love patiently waits. He knows that “confidence” and “assurance” is a growth process. In today’s passage is a tremendous testimony of Abraham’s faith. He trusted God even while he lifted his knife to sacrifice his only son. Yet this was the same man that almost gave up his wife’s fidelity when he told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister. Why? Because he was afraid, he did not trust God. He was the same man who had a child with his wife’s handmaiden. Why? Because he did not believe God would bring about the son that He had promised. Oh the love of God, to patiently show more of Himself over a lifetime to Abraham so he would grow in confidence and that his assurance of God’s faithfulness would increase. As a result it was recorded of Abraham for all the ages, “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead.” Today, do not despair; God is not finished with you yet. Get back up and let God grow in you a deep confidence and an absolute assurance.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father of Abraham, how I pray that you would grow in me a deep confidence and absolute assurance of You and Your love for me. I believe Lord, but help my unbelief. Increase my faith that I would be a living testimony of your power and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Romans 8:5-6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“What were you thinking?” Have you ever had anyone ask you that? Usually it’s after something goes wrong. There was a misjudgment and your thinking has been brought into question. Paul is suggesting that we need to be on guard about the way we think. What do we let dominate our mind? Paul suggests it is either the Spirit of God or our sinful nature. What a world of difference the two mindsets have on our life. The mind dominated with the sinful nature leads to sinful thinking and behavior. However, if we let the Spirit of God control our mind, we will find ourself doing things that please the Spirit. Today, say “No” to temptations and lust that will only lead you down the wrong road. Spend time thinking on God’s word. Pray and converse with God throughout the day. It is your mind; let the Spirit guide your thinking and you will find living for Him is what you were born for.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to live my life for You. Let Your Holy Spirit control my thinking. I give You my mind; guide me, direct me, lead me into Your will.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.”
Lamentations 3:40 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” These famous words were said by Jesus. Although He was referring to the truth of salvation, the larger application is true as well. Truth will set us free. Free from bondage, free from negative thinking, free from poor choices. But truth can be elusive. This is why we must call upon the Lord to help us be honest with ourself. David did this. He asked God to search the deepest parts of his mind and heart and lead him in the truth. Jeremiah in Lamentations encourages us to, “examine our ways and test them.” And God always has our best in mind. His purpose isn’t to fail us, embarrass us or send us back a grade. His desire is to encourage and motivate us, moving us toward maturity. What better way to mature than coming before God, examining our progress and letting Him coach us through the power of His word and the Holy Spirit. This is consistent with God’s will for our life. Jeremiah wrote it this way, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Today, let God examine your heart. Seek His direction and let Him develop the plans He has for your life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, search me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
AMEN

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