Anticipation

TODAY’S VERSE
I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love.
Psalms 119:124 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Anticipation. It makes a difference in the way we think and behave. If we anticipate rejection, ridicule and anger from someone, we might behave in a certain way. If we anticipate someone’s indifference, avoidance or abandonment, we would react differently. It begs the question, how would we behave if we anticipated God’s unfailing love to who we are and what we do? His unconditional love changes everything, but only if you believe it. Today, mediate on the fact that God wants to deal with you in His unfailing love. Let it affect the way you live.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for Your unfailing love for me. Help me to really understand it so I will anticipate Your loving reaction to me and live accordingly. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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That People Would Know God

TODAY’S VERSE
“O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
I Kings 18:36-37

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Elijah challenged 450 Baal worshippers to a contest. Elijah and the Priests of Baal would put up two altars complete with offerings and whichever, Baal or Jehovah, would call down fire from Heaven onto the sacrifice was the real God. Elijah was confident that it would be Jehovah because he was doing what Jehovah commanded him to do. Today our faith in God is on trial more than ever before. God has given us commands too. Not a command to call fire down from Heaven but to live our Christian life out in front of the world. Why should we love others? Why should we care? Why should we live a life exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Because, like Elijah, we are servants of the Most High and we are to do what He has commanded us to. God’s great compassion is exhibited through our lives. As we love others, in the name of Christ, they see the love He has for them. How can we do anything else? We who were snatched from our sinfulness, brokenness and alienation from God, how could we not love others and pray for them to know God in the same way we do? Elijah cries out to God in a broken voice and says, “Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Do our hearts weep over those that do not know Him? Do we live our life so that others would see our life and recognize the Savior’s influence? Oh that God’s holy fire would fall from the sky today through our acts of love and kindness. Might He receive the Glory and might people turn to Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, like Elijah, I come to the altar of sacrifice. Might You use me today to love, to sacrifice, and care for those in need. Might others see my life today and come to know You, the true and living God. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Good Things

TODAY’S VERSE
You have done many good things for me, LORD, just as you promised.
Psalms 119:65 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many good things has God done for us? Is it possible that we haven’t noticed? Could we be like spoiled children who are raised in affluence and take everything for granted? True they may know nothing about the value of the dollar, but how tragic if we know nothing about God’s goodness toward us. Are you aware of God’s kindness, grace, forgiveness, and mercy toward you? Do you recognize
His provision? Your health, shelter, safety, the very air you breathe; these are gifts from God. Are you conscience of His presence? He has given you the Holy Spirit to guide you, comfort you and teach you. Today, STOP and consider all the many good things God has done for you and thank Him. He is worthy of all your praise.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for all the many good things You have done for me, just as you promised.
AMEN

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Repent

TODAY’S VERSE
But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.
Luke 22:32 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny Him. He knew who Peter was. He knew Peter was human and struggled in the same way that you do. So what did Jesus do? He pleaded in prayer for him! He prayed that Peter would not become so discouraged that he would give up. Instead Jesus desired that Peter would repent and turn back to God. And then in renewed faith, Peter would go and help others. This same Jesus comes to you. He knows your life. He knows your struggles and He is pleading in prayer for you. He wants you to repent and turn back to Him. Jesus doesn’t define you by your past, your faults, your weaknesses or your sins. Neither should you! You are deeply loved by God and His death and resurrection has taken away all your sins. This is good news. This is grace. Today believe it, accept it and go strengthen others with God’s grace in the same way He has strengthened you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, thank You for pleading in prayer for me. Thank You for Your loving kindness toward me, for Your death and resurrection and Your forgiveness of all my sins. Help me to share this truth with others so they will be strengthened too.
AMEN

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Perfect Love

TODAY’S VERSE
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
I John 4:18 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Fear is hard to conquer. It puts us on high alert and all of our focus is zeroed in on the object of our fear. Our stomach flitters, our blood pressure rises, we can feel the panic. Even when the panic stops we obsess. It takes us prisoner. What can we do? How do we find relief? We find it in His love. Not just any love. It is His perfect love. When you switch your focus from fear to His love for you, fear loses it power. Why? Because His love for you is relentless, unquenchable, unstoppable, never failing, never ending and immeasurable. It is tender, full of mercy and kindness. It is forgiving and understanding. It is unconditional. He is the big Father that walks into the room. He is the one who we run to and our fears dissipate. Today, when fear comes, switch your focus. Turn from fear to God’s love. His love for You will cast out your fear.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for Your love. It never fails so today help me turn to it again and again. Every time fear comes Lord, help me focus on You and Your perfect love for me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Boast About This

TODAY’S VERSE
“This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.”
Jeremiah 9:23-24. (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We are taught as a child not to be proud. But what about an earnest, heartfelt joy, welling up inside ourself that has to express its appreciation for what we have? What of expressing our sincere appreciation and wonder at something so extraordinary, so surreal, that it defies us to keep our silence? There is such a boasting. It is a deep, holy appreciation for what God has done for us. The Lord told Jeremiah to tell the people not to boast in human wisdom, human strength or in materialism. These are nothing to boast about; they pale in comparison to what God has for us. If we are going to boast in anything, then here is what God says we should boast about: “Let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness.” How can we hold such a truth inside? How can we stop from sharing with others what a tremendous privilege it is to know the Lord God of the universe? That this same God has given us the privilege to call Him, “Lord of our life”? It is the same God who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness that calls us His children. It is He that we affectionately call Father. Today, rejoice in the fact that our Almighty God loves you. Go boast in this and when you tell others, tell them that He loves them too!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you that I can boast about the fact that You love me and that I know You. Thank you so much. Help me really understand the unbelievable privilege that is mine, so that I boast about Your amazing love to others and they will desire the same for themselves. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Give What You Have

TODAY’S VERSE
Peter said, ‘I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!'”
Acts 3:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
A man was crippled sitting by the Temple Gate and was asking for money. When the Apostles Peter and John came by, the man asked them for money. Instead of giving the man money, Peter was moved by God to pronounce a healing for the man. He said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” I believe that God has called you and I to respond to those in need in a similar way. We are to give to those in need what we have. What was it that Peter had? First, we see that Peter had obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It was God that orchestrated the healing. He nudged Peter to do this act of kindness and Peter obeyed. Second, we see that Peter had faith. Pronouncing the command of “get up and walk” was an act of faith. Peter trusted God to do what He had told him to do. Third, we see that Peter had authority. Peter commanded the man to be healed because Christ gave him the authority to act on His behalf. Today, you may be challenged to help others. If you are like Peter and your pockets are empty, do not despair. Give them what you do have. Give them love, hope, kindness, mercy, grace and life. Command a blessing upon them in the name of Jesus. You are an ambassador of Christ; go forward in obedience, faith and authority.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to be used by You to help others. Please guide me by Your Holy Spirit. Show me what You want me to do and then help me be obedient and have the faith to act in the authority. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Forgive Me

TODAY’S VERSE
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.”
Psalms 51:3-4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There comes a time when we need to agree with God and own up to our sinfulness. We can try to skirt around the issue, blame others, make excuses but at the end of the day, it is our sins that have separated us and God. Jeremiah tried to tell the Israelites this. They had wandered far from God by making unholy alliances with other nations and worshiping their idols. God brought ruin to Israel and Jeremiah let them know that they brought the persecution on themselves. King David had his own sins to deal with and God sent him the Prophet Nathan to show him the error of his ways. David repented and agreed with God about the evil that he did. David, however, did not let everything end there. David knew God and that he could count on His compassion. That is why the rest of today’s passage is such an encouragement. David cries out to God, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” He ends by writing, “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Make this your heart’s theme today. Is there something between you and God? If so, come to God with a broken and repentant heart. Confess your sins to Him and He will blot them out of existence.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I have often wandered far from you. I come to You today and ask You to have mercy on me according to Your unfailing love. According to Your great compassion forgive me and cleanse me from all my sins. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Feed On The Word

TODAY’S VERSE
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalms 119:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When I was an intern I had to help a child learn to eat. They could not do it them self so over and over I would try to help them with the simplest of movements. Now that person couldn’t help them self but how sad is it when a person who knows how to eat chooses, for complex reasons, not to eat. Paul was just as concerned with the Christians in Corinth. He wrote, “I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready.” The Psalmist says that we need to digest the word of God, hide it in our heart, if we are going to be healthy spiritually and not sin against Him. We need to feed our self spiritually in order to live the life Christ has called us to. Today, spend time with God. Feed yourself on His word. Let the Holy Spirit nourish you and give you spiritual strength.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, help me to feed on Your word. Nourish my soul through the power of the Holy Spirit. Help me grow into spiritual maturity.
In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Sing

TODAY’S VERSE
Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly.
Psalm 118:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You can tell a lot about a person by the songs they sing. Sad songs, songs with no hope, nothing but the blues, these come from a heart that isn’t experiencing the joy of the Lord. What do you sing? The Psalmist sang songs of joy and victory. Why? He wrote, “The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!” He encourages us to, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” He was full of assurance when he wrote, “The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” The good news is that God has done the same things for you. His strong arm is for you. His faithful love is for you. The Lord is for you. Today, consider all the Lord has done. Consider His great love and affection for you. Like the Psalmist let your heart sing songs of joy and victory.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, let me see Your goodness. Help me experience victory in the trials of life. Fill my heart with joy so I can sing songs about You.
AMEN

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