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Archive for January, 2017

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever noticed how much time we spend on tomorrow? You know all those worries, fears and apprehensions. So we plan, connive and obsess all about things that will probably never happen. God however emphasizes that we should live for today. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told us to thank God for our “daily” bread. He also said not to worry about tomorrow but to put our focus on today. It was that way with God’s children in the wilderness. God gave them enough food for one day at a time. He told His people, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.” God provided what they needed for that day, and then they would have to trust Him for the next. God wants us to focus on today and He will focus on tomorrow. He wants us to experience Him and all His love for us, today. So live as if this is the “day that the Lord has made”. He has, you know. He has made this day just for you, so rejoice and be glad in it!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for this day. I pray that I may live it to it’s fullness. Help me discern your will for this day and to be obedient to do it. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Confession is good for the soul. If done right, it is a tremendous spiritual discipline. As a counselor and Pastor I have heard many “confessions” in the form of remorse, sadness, guilt and fear. As a person struggling with my own “sinful” nature I have had the blessing of confessing my own “sins that so easily beset me.” There is something about cleansing our heart that gives life. The Apostle John shares, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus listens with a never-ending love and forgives with His matchless grace. And yet, even with His forgiveness only seconds away, many of us end up with a false suspicion that we are unlovable, condemned and damaged goods. So we work harder and put on our “Christian” mask in order to assure that we make the mark. Where does that come from? From God? No. This false condemnation, poor sense of God’s love, comes from our own heart. Today, let go of that nagging doubt and self condemnation. God loves you. Period! He completely forgives you! It is finished. You have found mercy, don’t give it back. Keep it. Treasure it. Believe it. Hear Jesus say, “Go, your sins are forgiven, be whole!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my sins. I confess them to You. You know my struggles, my fears, the masks that I have put on. Help me believe you so I can put down this heavy burden of shame and condemnation and live in the freedom of your mercy. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you?
Galatians 3:5 (The THOUGHT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How is it we come humbly to Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and then later think that we have to earn His favor? Paul reminds us that Christ has lavishly provided us with His own presence and works things out in our lives that we could never do by ourselves. And He does it because He wants to! We live under the grace of God. We live because He has given us everything we need for the Godliness He requires. God has already changed us into His likeness. His Holy Spirit has given us His Spiritual DNA. All we have to do is grow in Him. Today, accept the fact that when you received Christ as your Savior, He became alive in your heart and there is nothing else you have to do to make that a reality. It already is. All you need to do now is to love and trust Him. Accept His deep, deep love for you and completely trust the fact that you are His child and He is pleased with you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the reality of Your love. Thank You that I can live in the full knowledge that there isn’t anything I need to do or could do to get You to love me any more than You do right now. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is no doubt, in this life we need to be strong! How many times are we gripped with uncertainty, fear and doubt? How often are we attacked by rouge thoughts that would take us captive and leave our souls barren? It seems no matter how weak can we get, we still have more room for weakness. But today’s passage says, “Finally, be strong.” And we try! But our strength just doesn’t seem to be enough. That is why I rejoice in the rest of the passage. When we read the rest we see that we are not alone in this spiritual battle. No, the verse reads, “Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” What a difference a few words can make. We are to be strong, but not in our own power. Rather we are to lean upon the generosity of our Lord Jesus Christ and His mighty power. Today, take a few moments and meditate on what “His power” really means. Consider what it can do, think about your life and how different it would be if indeed God unleashed His power in it. This is what He offers. He says, “Come today and use my power. Don’t try to do it on your own. Lean on me. I will give you my power to use so come, be strong in me!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today teach me about Your power. Show me how strong You are. Open my eyes to the possibilities before me as I choose to trust You and Your mighty power.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.
Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Choices can make all the difference in the world. Of course, not all choices are equal. It probably won’t matter much if you had meatloaf or fish for dinner. However, what you choose to commit your life to does. Jesus constantly challenged us about our commitments. He said that we can measure our commitments by looking at what we consider is important. “Where our treasures are, there will our heart be also.” So what do we have to choose today? Will you choose things that matter? Will serving God permeate the choices you make? Given other options will you choose God’s peace, joy and love? Make choices based on the things that God values. Today choose whom you will serve.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know that I don’t always make good choices, but today, I choose You. I choose to follow You. I pray that You will help me make the right choices.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE

As the Father has loved me, I also have loved you: abide in my love.
John 15:9 (DARBY)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Where do you abide? According to Merriam-Webster, “abide” means, to continue in a place, to sojourn. In this situation, Jesus is referring to continuing in a certain state of mind. This gives us a lot of choices. It is not uncommon to find ourselves having painful emotions like fear, anger, disgust, bitterness or doubt. But do we have to stay there? Are we choosing to abide in that emotional state? Instead, as Jesus abided in the love of the Heavenly Father, He invites us to do the same with His love. He offers His own life as an example. What a picture. You can feel the love bond that God the Father has with His son. And as you read about Jesus, you can sense that Jesus has the same kind of love for us. Is there a better place to abide? Is there a better place to call home than the loving arms of Jesus? Today, find your rest in Him. Find that peace that passes all understanding. Abide in Jesus and the incredible love He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love. Thank You that I can abide in Your love, experiencing all the peace, joy, and faith that comes with it. Help me abide there today.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way.
Colossians 1:10 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a fine line between doing good to earn someone’s affection and doing good because you already have it. Take God. He created us out of love. He has redeemed us out of love. We don’t have to earn His favor. It is through the acceptance of His finished work on the Cross that we become His child. From then on it is love and gratitude that should motivate us. But some of us have a hard time receiving that kind of unconditional love. What kind of marriage would it be if we had to constantly earn our spouse’s love? Wouldn’t it be a shame to have a spouse who loves you so much and yet, because you couldn’t receive that love, you constantly feel as if you must earn it? It is the same way with God. Yes, Paul asks us to “live a life worthy of the Lord” and to “live in a way that pleases God.” But nowhere does it intimate that we should live this way to earn His love. No, instead the Apostle John wrote that we should love God, because He first loved us. Today, rejoice in the love that the Father has for you. Love God because His love for you is secure.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love. Thank You that I don’t need to earn it. I don’t have to live under fear and condemnation, but rather I can simply enjoy Your favor. Help me to truly receive Your kindness and Your abiding love.
AMEN

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