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Archive for January, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.’ – Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.’”
Exodus 33:14-5, 18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The people of God had sinned. Moses was in the mountain, hearing from God, when God told him to go down from the mountain. This was because while Moses was with God, the people were rebelling against God by creating an idol and worshipping it. Moses pleaded with God to spare the people and God told him to take the people away. Moses knew better than to lead this people without God’s guidance so he asked for God’s presence to be with him. Even more, Moses asked God to show him His glory. Oh that we would seek out and depend upon the presence of God the same way Moses did! What a difference it would make in our life. In his book “Experiencing Healing Prayer”, Rick Richardson writes, “Do you long to be filled at the core of your being with more strength, more substance, more hope? You may feel urgent need of immediate help and practical steps. But I implore you to realize that knowing God, practicing God’s presence and seeking God’s life are more important to your healing than anything else in all the world.” C.S Lewis, in his book “Miracles” writes, “The presence of God is the most real thing we ever encounter.” Today, decide like Moses not to go any further, not to consider any new direction, without being conscious of the presence of God. Might we pray, “Lord, show me Your glory.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know so little about Your presence. All I know is I don’t want to take another step without really knowing You. Lord, help me become aware of Your presence. Reveal Yourself to me. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.”
Psalms 23:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
David wrote this famous Psalm from experience. As a young man, he spent his time shepherding a flock of sheep for his father. He knew the value of a shepherd to the flock. He also knew the value of knowing God. David writes that the shepherd provides all that the sheep need. God, like a shepherd, lets us rest in green meadows, leads us beside peaceful streams, renews our strength, and guides us along right paths. Even in the darkest times God is right there close by our side, comforting us. With God as our shepherd, David concludes that goodness and unfailing love will pursue us as long as we shall live. I love the concept of the shepherd; it is being a sheep that I struggle with. Perhaps that is because I am not a sheep. I am human, and being so, I struggle surrendering my will to God. But even still, His love cuts through my pride. His love compels me to live for Him. It wins and woos me to surrender myself to His control. I can trust Him. I can lean on Him. I can be my needy self and know that God desires to shepherd me. It brings Him great joy. Today, respond to His love. Let Him be your shepherd.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for all Your care. Thank You for all You provide and do for me. You are my Heavenly shepherd and I gladly live for You.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is so much more than a religion. It is a Holy calling. But contrary to so many images of religious zealots, we are not called to violence; we are called to a radical life of love. Jesus made this clear in His example and Paul in his teachings. We are His holy people and He has asked us to permeate our life with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And not just with each other. We are to love the world in the same way He does. We are to love the unlovely. We are to love the needy. We are to love those that despise us, those that use us, those that come against us. We are to love those that disagree with us, those that are different than us, those that hurt us. This is a calling and He who called us is able to empower us. It is His Holy Spirit that lives in us to do His good pleasure. So today, call upon God to help you live a life of love. “Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You have called me to be Your ambassador of love. I confess I cannot do this in my own power. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to see with Your eyes and to love with Your heart. Because of Jesus my Lord and Savior.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father.”’
Luke 15:17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It has only been recently that we have been able to understand why we are driven by so many hidden emotions. With the rise of the neurosciences we have come to know more about intrinsic memory. What has been hidden can now become integrated into who we are. We can take all the negative beliefs, lies and wounds that we have hidden from our past and bring them to God. He in turn can reveal to us the truth of who we really are in these memories and help us change the way we believe about life and our own self. This has been life changing for myself and the hundreds that I am teaching. Insight also changed the prodigal son. For whatever reason, he too was driven and decided to leave home and spend his life doing whatever he wanted to. No pleasure was out of the question. But like so many other there was a price to pay. Soon he found himself in desperate straits. It was at that point that Jesus said, “He finally came to His senses.” And I love what the son did next. Jesus said that he went home to his father. My friend, it is our Heavenly Father that can correct all our negative thinking. It is His love that can tell our hurting child inside us that all is well, we are loved. Our Father is waiting. He is happy to be with us, He longs to tell us the truth of who we are. Today, come to your senses. It is God who wants to forgive, to love, to heal, to set free. His grace is sufficient.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with so many needs. I am driven by so many emotions. I need You to correct my thinking, heal my memories and help me revision who I am. Father, I have come to my senses. I am coming to you. Help me see myself through Your eyes.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him.”
Psalms 91:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some days it seems as if doubt is waiting for me to wake up. I go to my chair to meditate and doubt and fear are sitting across from me arguing with everything I am reading. For example, in today’s passage the Psalmist wrote, “For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. – Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.” As I read these verses, thoughts of those I know, people who are terminally ill, those who have been abused, those suffering financially, begin racing through my mind. “God”, I think, “If others I know aren’t safe, how do I know I will be?” I wrestled all day with my thoughts and kept coming up with the same conclusion. I choose to believe that even though pain and suffering comes, God will always be with me. He will never abandon me. I was moved to look at Psalms 91 again and the second verse leapt out at me. “This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him.” My soul read it and a deep peace came over me. I say it with confidence, “God is my refuge, He is the safest place I know. He is my God and I choose to trust Him.” Today, put your faith in Him. He will be your refuge. He is indeed God. You can trust Him!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for my doubt and unbelief. Thank You for being my refuge, for being a safe place for me. You indeed are my God. Today, I choose to put my trust in You.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Romans 8:6 (NLT)
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10 (KJV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
For a long time I had wrestled with my glasses. They were bent, causing me headaches and resulting in having to move my head awkwardly to make the bi-focal lens work right. But hey, I could see okay and why take time out to get them fixed if I didn’t need to. “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” I was coping fine. Eventually, my reading was worse and I noticed signs starting to blur at far distances. I would move my glasses on my head and “cope” harder. Finally, my wife set up an appointment to get new glasses and I went in. I was embarrassed to realize that it had been over ten years since I last had an eye exam or new pair of glasses. As they tested my eyes, I was amazed at how much better I could see, how less my face tensed up as I didn’t have to “cope” with seeing. As I left, I could not help but think of how many issues in life I act the same way. I look at life through worn out glasses, learning to cope with inferior sight when all the time a new pair of glasses is waiting for me. Jesus said He came to give us extraordinary living. Paul wrote that we can choose to let the Holy Spirit control our mind. The result is not some half-baked coping, it is life and peace. Our own thinking is poor eye-sight at best. We need the direction of the Holy Spirit to give us the sight we really need. Today, give up coping and start living. Quit trying to make it on your own, just getting by. Start living with the life and peace God has for you. Give your mind to the Holy Spirit and let Him take control.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have tried to cope on my own. I say, “I will follow You”, but instead I rely on my own efforts. Forgive me, Lord. Today, I give You my mind and ask You to control my life. I am tired of coping. I want the life You have for me. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Matthew 7:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes I get it all backwards. I come to God and ask for something. Then for whatever reason, I have it in my head that I am unworthy of God’s graciousness that I end up doubting whether God would want to do anything good for me. However when I read this passage I realize it’s not about me! It’s about God. God is love and it is His love for me, not my worthiness, that needs to be my focus. And why not, even fathers who fail know what they should have done. And so we try, and as imperfect as we are, we know how to give gifts to our children. Jesus used this as His illustration pointing out that if we, in all of our limitations and sinfulness, know how to do good to our children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him? God loves you. He loves me and desires to give us what we need. All He wants us to do is ask. Today, rejoice in your heavenly Father’s love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your love. Forgive me when I let insecurities and lies lead me to a place of unbelief. Help me focus on Your love and rest in the fact that You feel I am intrinsically lovable. Thank You, my dear Father, for Your love.
AMEN

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