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Archive for July, 2013

TODAY’S VERSE

“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
Luke 15:21-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame can keep us from the party. Jesus told a story about a young man who leaves home disgracing his family and squandering all his inheritance. The young man ended up with no friends, no family and no future. He is feeding pigs for a farmer and is tempted to eat the pig’s food. Full of shame, he decides to go home. In his shame he rehearses his remorse in the form of a speech to give to his father. He heads home but when his dad sees him way off in the distance, the father runs toward him. Now shame kept the son from running toward the father. Shame kept him from embracing him. Shame gave a speech of defeat and disownment. Had shame had its way the son would have become a servant. But the grace of the Father gave the son a robe. Grace put a ring on his finger. Grace put sandals on his feet. Grace gave him back his life again. Grace threw a party. The son could not deny his fathers grace. Don’t let shame rob you of your Father’s grace. Everyday God has a party just for you. Isn’t it time you went?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for rejoicing over me. Forgive me for not celebrating. Forgive me for being so wrapped up in myself. Today, I accept Your loving grace and forgiveness. Today, I come to the party You are having for me.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.”
Psalms 103:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the fact that God reveals Himself to us. He revealed His love to Moses and the children of Israel. Paul writes to the Church, “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.” God revealed His love to David. Look at what he writes, “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. He is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” Today, might your heart be ready to receive all that God wants to reveal to you. 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.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, reveal Your love to me. Help me know the heights and depths of Your compassion. Help me grasp the greatness of Your mercy and forgiveness. Move in my heart I pray and help me know You more.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
John 14:26

TODAY’S THOUGHT
One of the great roles of the Holy Spirit in our life is that of a counselor. Some translations us the word comforter. The Holy Spirit is able to give us insight, wisdom and peace by directly communing with our inner being. He is able to speak truth to us. The Holy Spirit is the inward expression of God and is able to encourage and give us assurance and hope. But how do we become comfortable with the comforter? How do we avail ourself of this wonderful part of God? It is like any other relationship; it takes time. We need to take the time to attune ourself to God and ask Him to speak to us through the Holy Spirit. As we read the Bible, spend time in prayer, begin to ask questions we will find ourself drawn to God and listening to His sweet voice through the power of His Holy Spirit.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I pray that You will speak to me through Your Holy Spirit. Guide me, direct my path, counsel me in all that I need and do. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Inner Strength

TODAY’S VERSE

“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.”
Ephesians 3:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our inward journey greatly affects our outward one. How we live is dependant on how we think and feel. If we live in the truth, if we know that we are loved, if we have the resilience to bounce back from painful emotions we will find our outward journey one of peace and joy, the abundant life Christ talked about. However, if we allow life with it’s trauma, to sicken our inner life, we will find ourself living with festering emotional wounds, lies and dysfunctional behavior. Paul had the cure to an unhealthy inner life. He believed that God, with everything He is, wants to influence everything we are. Therefore he prayed that we would allow the Holy Spirit’s unlimited resources to empower us and give us inner strength. He prayed that we would trust Christ and let Him live at home in our heart. He prayed that we would let our roots grow deep down into God’s love. If we do these things, Paul promises that God Himself will keep us Spiritually strong. Today, choose to discipline yourself and strengthen your inner self through prayer, meditation and reflection.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, please empower me with inner strength through Your Holy Spirit. Please make Your home in my heart and help my roots grow deep down into Your love. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Today’s Mission

Today’s Mission

TODAY’S VERSE
“Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’ Don’t you remember anything at all?”
Mark 8: 17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is a mystery but it seems God has placed His creation in cycles. The sun rises, the sun sets. The seasons come and go. We take a breath and it is followed by another. I eat today and tomorrow I must do it again. And so it goes with faith. We can’t live on yesterday’s manna. We must trust God to meet today’s needs and then do it all over again the next day. And so in today’s passage it seems that Jesus is rebuking His disciples for lacking faith in His provision. But as I thought more about Jesus’ reaction I think Jesus’ frustration goes much deeper than that. Sure the disciples were worrying about food, and Jesus found it appalling, especially after He had just fed the masses that came to hear His teaching. But it wasn’t the food that frustrated Jesus. I think it was the lack of passion in the disciples that perplexed Him. They were talking about bread. People were being healed, demons cast out, repentance preached. And yet it seemed that the disciples were oblivious to the mission Jesus had. Their hearts were hard. They had eyes but did not see. They had ears but did not hear. If they really did see and hear I think they would have been begging Jesus to go to more towns. There were more people to reach. More people that needed the message of love. More that needed healing. Heaven itself would not be able to stop them. But, like us, their new day was pressing in. Their needs, their plans, their concerns overshadowed Jesus’ agenda. What about you and I? What consumes us? What have we seen? What have we heard? What have we forgotten? Today, might we see with the eyes of Christ and move with His heart planted deep in our chest.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Jesus, I confess I have had a front row seat and somehow turn around and forget all the miracles You have done. I let Your power and goodness escape my mind and make decisions as if You did not exist. Forgive me. Today revive my heart. Fill me with Your Spirit that I might live for You.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I am convinced, if we would believe today’s verse with our whole heart, there would be no depression, no anxiety, no lasting emotional dysfunction. But it is hard to believe with a wounded heart. It is hard to stop and consider God’s love when we are in emotional pain. And so we go through life, like a person dying of poison, who has the antidote right in front of them, but is too disoriented to take it. But please hear me, there is hope. I have found, with every person I have ever worked with, there is a moment of clarity, where, if they listen, if they stop, if they consider the truth, it will set them free. And today, this is the truth about you – even before God made the world He loved you! He chose you to be His own child. He decided long ago to make you His very own. Why? Because He wanted to! And even more, you bring God great pleasure! So today, rejoice. Embrace the truth; let it stir deep into your heart. You are God’s beloved. He has chosen to love you. And you, just as you are, bring Him great pleasure.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, dear Jesus. Open my eyes. Help me see. Help me believe; help me know deep in my heart how much You love me. You love me and loving me brings You great pleasure. Thank You for this wonderful truth. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Be Still

Be Still

TODAY’S VERSE
“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It seems like the last thing we want to do is slow down. We say we believe in God and want His direction in our life but we never stop to listen to Him. We go from event to event like unguided drones, on a mission but flying without direction. Isaiah wanted to make a point. He refers to God as the “Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel” hoping that we would listen. And what is it that God says? He says that it is only in returning and resting in Him that we have any chance of making it in this life. He assures us that it is in quietness and the confidence from time spent with God that we get the strength we need for our journey. Don Postema in his book “Space For God” shares that a person needs “silence, if their words are to mean anything; reflection, if their actions are to have any significance; contemplation, if they are to see the world as it really is; prayer, if they are going to be conscious of God, if they are to ‘know God and enjoy God forever.’” Today, seek silence, reflection, contemplation and prayer. Seek God and you will find that in quietness with Him you will find strength.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I come to You and quiet my heart. I need You. I need to hear Your voice. Help me find the strength I need as I seek to spend time with You in contemplation and prayer.
AMEN

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