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Archive for May, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is hope and then there is HOPE. At first it would seem that the difference would be the degree of our trust in Him. Little trust, little hope. Large trust, large hope. But as we read today’s verse we see it is not trust that makes the difference as much as what we have our trust in. Hope comes from the fact that we trust in the magnificence of God. Paul says that God is the source of our hope and that it is God that completely fills us with joy and peace. It is God that gives us His Holy Spirit whose power causes us to overflow with a confident hope. So today put your trust in Almighty God, the God of all power, the God of all love and let Him fill you completely with joy, peace and hope.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I pray that You would fill me completely with joy, peace and hope through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help me overflow with a confident hope in You and Your love for me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Romans 12:1 (NLT)
“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”
Ephesians 4:23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our Christian life is a renewal process. We should be constantly growing in our relationship with Christ. This life of transformation happens as we constantly renew our thinking through the power of the Holy Spirit. He has given us the Scriptures so we can grow in Him and be transformed by the renewing of our mind. But we must seek more than simply intellectual knowledge. We must let Him penetrate our mind and heart. The Pharisees had a great knowledge of the scriptures but weren’t transformed in their heart. Paul explains that true transformation also comes through experiential knowledge. He writes, “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” We are made complete with fullness of life and power as we experience His love. Today, let God renew your mind, thoughts and attitudes through His word and His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, renew me, transform me, change me more into the image of Your Son. Holy Spirit, teach me and renew my mind. Lord Jesus, make Your home in my heart. Help me be all You want me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.”
Romans 12:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul starts in the twelfth chapter of Romans pleading with us to serve God with all our hearts. He encourages us to present our lives as a “living” sacrifice. And then he writes, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” He lists different abilities that God gives and asks us to act out on these gifts with everything we have. Whether it is prophesy, serving others, teaching, encouraging others, giving, leadership or being kind, we are to exercise these gifts with abandonment. And then he comes to the most precious gift of all. One that each of us can do. One that each of us is called to. We cannot say we know God and ignore what Paul says next. He writes, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” Love is the most supernatural gift of all. Supernatural because we cannot really love the way God wants us to without His help. All our efforts are pretending. It takes God’s supernatural presence to give us the strength, tenacity, and will power to love like He does. We are His instruments of love and as we “present our bodies a living sacrifice,” He will help us really love. Today, let’s stop pretending and start loving those God brings into our life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am such a poser. I pretend to love others and fall so short of the kind of love You want me to have. Please forgive me. Help me, Lord. Give me the strength I need to love others the way You do. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I can let Your love, love through me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Christ’s love controls us.”
II Corinthians 5:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can let a lot of things control us. Fear, anger, lust, greed, pride are just a few emotions vying for the control of our heart. Painful emotions are powerful motivators. Regulating them is a full time job. But Paul knew the secret to returning to joy from agonizing emotions. He let the love of God fill his thoughts. He called upon the love of Christ for mercy and grace. Surrendering to Christ brought him peace and hope. This love of Christ is able to the same for you. Today, you can choose what will control you. Choose Christ’s love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Christ, pour out Your love upon me. Fill me, guide me, direct me. Make me so conscious of Your love that I am under its control. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is a way of life. It is so much more than church on Sunday and a few “quiet times.” God cares about our every moment. Our emotions, our thoughts, our actions. In his book, “Walking With God,” John Eldredge writes about our heart being central to the Christian life and that we are invited into a conversational intimacy with God. This is what Jesus was talking about. We remain in Him with our heart not our head. He remains in us as we are involved with Him in intimate conversation. It is a deep relationship, one that demands that we focus on Him. He is there. And as we remain in Him and He remains is us, we will produce the spiritual fruit that we were born to produce. Why? Because He made us that way! That is why Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, I realize that apart from You I can do nothing. Forgive me for cutting myself off from the deep intimacy that You desire. Revive my heart, I pray. Bring life back to my soul and help me remain in You. In Your matchless name I pray.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
Isaiah 49:15-16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I am deeply moved every time I sing the worship song, “He Knows My Name”. It makes me think of today’s verse. The Israelites doubted the love of God and Isaiah reminded them that even if a mother forgets her own child, He will never forget them. In fact, Isaiah writes that our Lord has written our name on the palms of His hands. God knows my name? I am overwhelmed by the thought. How personal, how loving, how intimate. And yet I can’t help but wonder, “What else does God know about me?” He knows my situation. He knows my struggles. He knows my limitations. My fear and anxiety is no surprise to Him. He knows my anger and frustrations. He knows my weaknesses. He knows and loves me, but do I know Him? Do I? Do I know His name? Do I know Him as the God Most High, the God who sees, the all-sufficient one, the provider and the Lord who heals? Do I know Him as my banner and my peace? Do I know Him as my creator, shepherd and my righteousness? Today, take joy in knowing that the God above all other names knows yours.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for knowing and loving me. Thank You for knowing my name and caring so deeply for me. Help me know and love You more.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”
John 15:11-12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We were meant for joy. Instead we settle for comfort. We look everywhere for it. It is at the root of addictions, greed and many of our emotional issues. We look for comfort because we do not have joy. There’s a difference. Now the Holy Spirit is the comforter. We need to be comforted but comfort is just the beginning. After comfort God wants us to return to joy from our negative emotions. Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! It is love that gives us joy and remaining in this love, even after negative emotions, that returns us to joy. Our joy comes through loving relationships, both with God and those He brings into our life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, fill me with Your joy. The joy that comes through the deep and loving relationships I can have with You and those that You bring into my life. Help my joy overflow. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

___________________________________________

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