Faith

TODAY’S VERSE
How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.
James 2:18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to say we have faith in God. The test however is whether our faith is affecting our everyday living? Although the dictionary and most people treat faith as a noun, James is suggesting that faith is really a verb. Faith without action he says is dead. The faith that James is writing about isn’t something we “have” but something we “live.” Faith that we have, displays itself every once in a while, especially if something troubling happens. But the faith James is writing about is an everyday realization that God is with us and we are living for Him. It affects our actions. James asks a great question. If your life isn’t being lived out for Jesus in the way you love others, then is it really faith? Today, let’s not “have” faith. Let’s “live” it. May our faith bless all those around us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, forgive me for my dead faith. Help me really believe in you and live my life with a faith that is vibrant and blessing all those around me.
AMEN

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Peace

TODAY’S VERSE
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How are you effected by stress? We all have stress in our life. We have situations that get us down, emergencies that distract us and cause us to fret. Situations that anger us, others cause us grief. We become full of worry and anxiety. What are we to do? Isaiah has a word for us. It is as if God had him look ahead to today and says to us, “God will help you with all your stress. He will give you a peace that passes all understanding, if you do one thing. Keep your thoughts fixed on God.” What a precious promise. What love and concern for us. Today, stop and focus on the Lord. When stress comes keep your eyes on Him. You are not alone. He will keep you in peace.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father. Help me keep my mind on you. I ask You to keep my heart and my mind at peace today.
AMEN

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Promises

TODAY’S VERSE
Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise.
I Samuel 1:23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We live in a world that doesn’t honor its word. This is especially true of a promise that was made with the wrong motives; a promise that is more like “let’s make a deal” than it is a serious commitment. We either want something and will manipulate with a promise in order to get it; or we try to avoid certain consequences and use promises as currency to buy our way out of trouble. But this is not the way Jesus taught us. He said to make our “Yes” a “Yes” and our “No” a “No”. Yes, it is easy to fail at keeping our promises even when we have the best of intentions. There are so many distractions, so many important things vying for our attention that we can begin to serve the “urgent” at the expense of the promises we made. Integrity is key to the Christian life and we need to repent when we stray from keeping our word. Today, let us repent of our unkept promises and recommit ourself to follow through on what we say we will do.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me keep my word. Help my “Yes” be a “Yes” and my “No” a “No”. Might I serve You by keeping my promises.
AMEN

 

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His Masterpiece

TODAY’S VERSE
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is something very personal about God planning out your life before you were born. Can you imagine? God thought of you and decided He would create you. But not just an ordinary run of the mill creation. A masterpiece. But chances are you don’t believe that. For some it is much worse. You think that God made a mistake with your life. Who was it that sold you that lie? How is it that you think you are inferior, no good, broken, less than what you should be? My friend, God did not make a mistake with you. He knew exactly what He was doing and it doesn’t matter what you have done with your life, this doesn’t change – God has created you to do all the good things He planned for you long ago! Today, meditate on this, you are His workmanship. He is proud of what He has created in you. And when you start to understand that, you can begin all those good things He designed you to do.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for purposely creating me as a masterpiece. Help me really grasp the reality of how You delight in me. Help me understand how You have designed me for doing good and show me what it is You want me to do with my life. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Hang On

TODAY’S VERSE
The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:3-4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When we can’t, God can. This is the mystery. There is something about God’s timing. Just when you think you can’t make it one more step, He gives you the strength. Just when you can’t understand, He gives wisdom. How? James tells us how. He finishes today’s verse by writing, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God gives the wisdom we need. He provides the strength. He provides the ability to hang on. And as a result, our perseverance finishes its work, helping us mature in Christ. That is why Paul could share his own testimony writing, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” Today, might the same be true for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me today to persevere. Help me hang on. Give me the wisdom I need so even in my weakness I can be strong in You. Thank You Father.
AMEN

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I Love You Lord

TODAY’S VERSE
I love You, Lord.
Psalms 18:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As David mused on the fact that God was his rock, fortress, savior, shield, power that saved him and his place of safety, he was overwhelmed and cried out, “I love You, Lord.” When is the last time you told God that you loved Him? Sure, you have praised Him, worshipped, sang songs. But when was the last time your heart was overwhelmed and you cried out to God, “I love you, Lord!” He wants our heart. More than obedience, more than ritual, more than all the good we do. These are important, but they don’t replace telling God that you love Him. Today, stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, focus on God’s presence and tell Him you love Him. He is worthy of all our love. Sometimes you just need to say it.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, with all my heart, I love You!
Amen

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One True God

TODAY’S VERSE
Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots. Their land is full of idols.
Isaiah 2:7-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
This is one of the saddest passages in Scriptures. Think about it. Here is a picture of God’s people. They were blessed beyond belief. They had gold, silver, and more treasures than they could ever use. They had mighty armies. They had everything they could possibly want. And yet the passage says, “Their land is full of idols.” What was that about? How could they be so blessed by God and yet wander so far from Him? They wandered from God in the same way we do, one idol at a time. It comes in the form of small compromises in their spirituality. They didn’t give up their religion, instead they added to it. At least that is how they saw it. As they mingled with other nations, they began to let other influences creep in. Many, who were nominal in their allegiance to God, were easily swayed. Who said that a medium couldn’t speak for God? Who were they to say that the other prophets were wrong? Surely all roads led to a universal enlightenment and eventually to God Himself. Sound familiar? Today we have just as many influences. Our land is full of idols. Look around us. People are hungry for spirituality and there are all kinds of religions, mediums, magic, witches, spirit guides, mysticism, meditations and practices that try to fill that void. Examine your own heart. Are you dependent on the Holy Spirit and the word of God for your spiritual nourishment? Or have you let other influences creep into your spiritual life? Today, let us repent of any “idols” and live for and worship the one true God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for allowing other influences to come between me and You. You are the true and living God and there are no others. I come and pledge my worship and allegiance to You.
AMEN

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A New Start

TODAY’S VERSE
Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
Romans 6:4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
A new life. What would that be like? A do over. A get out of jail free card. What if you really could begin again? What would change? What would you do different? It seems so impossible, but Christ came to give us a new life. Jesus Himself used the word “born again” when describing those who decide to follow Him. Paul talks about how he was able to make it through all his struggles because his inner self was being renewed day by day. God knew us from the beginning of time and created us for His purposes and though our life may seem like one mistake after another, one wrong turn followed by another, God can change everything. This same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead, is the power He wants to use in helping you begin to live a new life. Today, come to Him. Surrender your life and ask Him to help you start afresh. He will. He will hear your prayer and give you the new chance you have been looking for. His love for you is boundless. His promise is sure. He promises that He will not reject your plea if you come to Him with a broken and repentant heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need a new start. I ask, dear Lord, that You use that same power that You used to raise Jesus from the dead to help me live a new life. I surrender to You and ask for Your help today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Light or Darkness

TODAY’S VERSE
Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
Matthew 6:22-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I have studied psychology all my life and I have never heard a truer statement than what Jesus said in this passage. How deceived we can become. We look at what we think is reality and all the time we are actually looking through filters. Anger, sadness, jealousy, fear, abandonment, hurt and a hundred other emotions, attitudes, perceptions and impressions skew our view of what is true. We think we are seeing in the light and all the time it is darkness. And Jesus warned us, “If the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” That is why He gave us the Holy Spirit and His word. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide, showing us the way. The word of God is our filter in which to see the world. Together they keep us in the light. Today, come to God. Ask Him to help you see the truth of your own situation. Ask Him to be your guide so that you will know which way to go. May His light penetrate your darkness and set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how I need You. I need Your light to penetrate my darkness. Guide me, lead me, show me the way to go, I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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God’s Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
Psalms 17:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God loves us in so many wonderful ways. Have you ever stopped to think of the different ways God loves you? What of His forgiveness, His grace and mercy? Have you pondered His provision, protection and promises? Have you stopped to thank Him for all that you have, all that you have done and all that you are? What of our hope, faith and love He freely gives us? There’s the fruit of the Spirit, the whole armor of God and spiritual gifts. Not to mention Christ’s death and resurrection. And what of the very life He gives us? Every breath we breathe, all the physical blessings that we take for granted. Finally, there is family, friends and wonderful fellowship with those we love. Today, take time to thank God for all the wonderful ways He loves you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for taking Your love for granted. How blinded, how self-centered I have been. Today, help me to see all the many wonderful ways You love me.
AMEN

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