What Do You Treasure?

TODAY’S VERSE
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:20-21

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get our priorities mixed up. It seems that people are judged by the money they earn and the things they acquire. Even criminals are honored if they have the “rich and famous” lifestyle. Fame and fortune are the goals that we aspire to. The issue isn’t whether “riches” are good or bad. The issue is that there is something more important than our materialism. There is a spiritual reality that we need to be concerned about. Jesus told us to store “spiritual” treasures in heaven. David wrote, “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God.” Why is this important? Because what we treasure is a reflection of what we are inside. If we treasure God, it is because He has the affection of our heart. If we boast in the Lord, it is because we are pleased with our relationship with Him. Do we want to have a deeper, more satisfying relationship with God? Then we need to seek Him like we would gold. Go after Him like a lost treasure. Make Him the most valuable part of our life and our heart will follow.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to treasure You more than gold. I want to love You more than my possessions. Help me to know You. Help me to experience Your love. Help me love You more and more until I understand the valuable treasure Your love really is. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Meditation

TODAY’S VERSE
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to fall into a negative thinking. It is simple as a cue, response, and reward. The negative beliefs we have causes predictions which send us into alarm mode. We try to escape these painful emotions but the truth is we need to change what we believe. We must ask God to take over our mind, emotions, and will. We need to allow Him to be the master of all we think and do. The great news is we can start today. We can come to God and start to meditate on what He wants us to believe. We can bring Him all our emotions and thoughts. We can be honest with Him and then let Him be honest with us. As we do, He will begin to affect our behavior. Today, ask God to invade your mind and guide your meditation. Pray with David, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know what goes on in my mind. You know how I can become so unspiritual in my thought life. Help me, Lord! Correct my thinking. I pray that today the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart will be pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Pray

TODAY’S VERSE
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and prayed, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”
I Chronicles 17:16

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is more to prayer than simply asking God for something. It is not wrong to ask, but there is more to prayer than making requests. God desires a relationship with us. It is said of David that he was a man “after God’s own heart.” He had a relationship with God unlike any other. Today’s verse says that David went in and sat before the Lord.” It is easy to miss how amazing this really is. Think about it. This was almighty Jehovah! Only the priests were allowed into the Holy Place before the Lord and they had to purify themselves, make a sacrifice, and go in and stand in reverence before the Lord of Hosts. Here is David. Does he purify himself? No, he had pure motives. Did he bring a sacrifice? No, he had a humble and contrite heart. Did he stand before the Lord? No, notice he “went in and sat before the Lord!” How great is that? This is what Christ came for. His death was the payment for our sins so we could come before God and pray. But notice how David prayed. Did he ask for something? No, he started to relate to God. He shared his heart. He asked God a question. What a model for us to follow. You can come to God and sit before Him. Tell Him what is on your heart. Tell Him how you feel. Ask Him questions. Praise Him for His goodness in your life. Picture Him there with you and let Him penetrate your heart with His love. Then love Him back. Today start a relationship with God. When you do, praying will take on a whole new meaning.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I don’t want to simply pray. Lead me in a conversation with You. Help me be honest and share how I am feeling. Help me to sense Your presence. More than anything else in the world, I want a relationship with You that is real and vibrant. Lord, let it start right now. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Delight

TODAY’S VERSE
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalms 37:4

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God cares about our plans and desires. He cares about our dreams and aspirations. David knew this and prayed that God would grant our heart’s desires and make all our plans succeed. But he also knew that we are fickle, immature and many times unspiritual. Can you imagine God granting every selfish and immature desire we have had? What would happen if God allowed our envy, jealous and lustful desires to come true? What about vengeance, isn’t that a desire of the heart? That is why in today’s verse we read the “rest of the story.” David says that our first goal should be to delight ourself in the Lord, then we will get the desire of our heart. What he was implying was, if we truly love God our desires will line up with His. So today, start to delight in God. Really delight in Him. Love Him, get to know Him, worship Him. Start to delight in what He thinks and desires for your life. If you do, you will align your desires with His and He will give them to you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, help me delight in You today. Might You be my source of joy, passion and purpose. Help my plans and desires line up with Your goals for my life. I commit my life to You and trust You to guide me day by day. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Loved By God

TODAY’S VERSE
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for your alienation from God. When you came to God and repented of your rebellion to Him and accepted His gift of eternal life, you became His child. You were what Jesus called “born-again!” This started you on a brand new life as a Christian, with a fresh relationship with God Almighty. As God’s child, the Bible is clear on the fact that you are loved by Him. This is the cornerstone of our Christian experience. Paul states it very clearly. He was emphatic that nothing can ever separate you from God’s love. In his book Abba’s Child Brennan Manning writes, “God created us for union with Himself: This is the original purpose of our lives. And God is defined as love (I John 4:16). Living in the awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us.” If you believe nothing else today, believe this: God loves you! If you experience nothing else today, experience this: God loves you! If you let nothing else today bring you joy deep into your soul, get joy from this: God loves you! Nothing, nothing, nothing will ever be able to separate you from the love that God has for you!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your love. And I thank You that You promised that nothing will ever separate me from Your love. I accept Your love today and pray that I would live from a heart of gratitude and joy that I am Your beloved. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Burden

Burden

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some days are harder than others. There are so many things that can get us down. Long hours at work, strained relationships, financial difficulties, medical conditions, emotional stress and family responsibilities are just a few of the pressures that can overburden us. Jesus knew the human condition. All around Him was human suffering. He worked tirelessly to help those that were sick and oppressed. More importantly, He left behind a system to replace His efforts and to expand His influence. He gave us the church, sent the Holy Spirit and took His rightful place at the right hand of the Father. The church works on His behalf to equip us, the Holy Spirit indwells us in order to guide and comfort us and Jesus Himself intercedes for us with the Father. So when Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” He meant it. What burden do you have? What is weighing you down? Bring it to Jesus. He will comfort you, He will guide you, He will give you rest.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I bring to You my burdens. You know my situation. I cannot make it without You. Comfort my heart today. Guide me. Give me strength. Help me carry on. I give You my burdens; please give me Your rest.
In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Faith, Hope, and Love

TODAY’S VERSE
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
I Thessalonians 1:2-3

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is more than a belief system; it is a way of life, a tour of duty. When we became a Christian, we enlisted in the service of Jesus Christ. There is a spiritual battle in the world. Poverty, injustice, abuse, and hatred are all part of the human suffering going on around us. Depression, divorce, drug abuse, and psychosomatic disease are an epidemic. It is in this world that God has created us to be His ambassadors of love like the church in Thessalonica. Paul was blown away by their seriousness and dedication. He thanked God for their faith, love, and hope and committed himself to pray for them. But it wasn’t what we would consider “faith, love, and hope.” Listen to what Paul wrote. He said, “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope.” When is the last time we did something because of faith in a mighty working God? When did we labor in love? When have we had to endure hanging on to nothing else but hope? That is what it is to serve Jesus. You take the responsibility seriously. You involve yourself in the life of others. You step out, way over your head and know that only faith in God can get results. You take on situations that try your love beyond reason. It is hard, hard work. And when nothing else seems to be working, God comes through and you are inspired to get up and do it all again because there is hope. We live in a hurting world. We have the answer. May we follow the example of the Thessalonians.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, give me faith to live for You today. Help me love today the way You want me to. Fill my heart with hope so it spills over onto everyone I come in contact with. Lead me on, dear Jesus.
AMEN

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Bless Me Lord

TODAY’S VERSE
Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: ‘May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.’ Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.
Numbers 6:22-27

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You probably recognize these verses as a Doxology that is given at the end of a worship service. It was given to Moses by God Himself so he could bless the children of Israel. I pray the same for you today: May you have the assurance that God will bless you and protect you. May you sense the smile of God deep in your heart and experience His graciousness to you. May the very favor of God Almighty fill you with strength. May you know how much He loves you and wants to give you all the peace you will need to get you through this day. Today know this, God Himself loves you and will bless you!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, who am I that You would bless me? And yet, You have said that it is Your desire to do so. So, Lord, bless me today. Bless me till my heart overflows with the realization that I am Yours and You are mine! Thank you, dear Father. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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How The Father Loves You

TODAY’S VERSE
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!
I John 3:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I don’t know how John could have contained himself when he wrote this verse. It has to be one of the most celebratory verses in the entire Bible. John understood the significance of being a child of God and implores us to understand it, too. With the excitement of a child on Christmas morning, John exclaims, “See how very much our Father loves us!” Can you see it? There are four points to notice. First, “how very much.” God’s love for us is unfathomable. John wants us to see and examine the concept that God loves us very much, and to really believe it. Second, is the phrase, “our.” John is getting personal. He isn’t talking about a God beyond our grasp, an impersonal Deity. Rather John is saying that this is “our” Father, which leads to the third point. God is our “Father.” Not a dysfunctional or absentee parent. He is our loving, faithful and trustworthy Father. Finally, John shares with us that this Father, who calls us His children, also “loves us” very much. Knowing this should change everything. When you love someone loves you, you trust them. You want to be with them. You want to share in their life. Today, I pray that you will grasp with the Apostle John, how wonderful it is to know that the Father loves you. Rest assured, you have been called “Child of God” and this is what you are!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for loving me and making me Your child. What a privilege to know You! What a joy to be Yours! May Your love fill my heart and guide my thoughts today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The real litmus test of our faith is in the way we love others. We can talk all we want about how loving we are, but the real proof is in our actions. If God’s love is a motivating force in our life, then helping others is going to be a natural by-product. Christians have lost much of their witness because we have not loved others to the best of our ability. We are God’s ambassadors. If we are going to represent Him in this world, then we need to be able to be compassionate toward those that He brings across our path. John says it best, “let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” Ask God to bring someone across your path today that you can help.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You have blessed me with so much. Help me be compassionate to those that You bring across my path. Might there be no doubt that Your love dwells in me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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