My Heart, Christ’s Home

TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
John 14:23

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a famous booklet called “My Heart, Christ’s Home” written by Robert Munger. The author used a house as a metaphor for our heart. He shares how excited we are to first let Christ into our heart. Like a home, we visit with Him in the living room, treating Him as our guest. We even offer Him a bedroom. However, most of us stop there and never take Him to our more hidden, personal rooms. Jesus never goes to the attic or searches our closets. After a while, we get busy with life and quit spending time with Him. Soon we ignore Christ, running out of the house in the morning, never even talking to Him.
The purpose of the book was to show us that knowing Christ is more than an occasional encounter. It is more than simply inviting Him into our heart. Knowing Christ is having intimate fellowship with Him. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would allow Christ to dwell in their hearts. This is where strength for our inner being comes from. John tells us that Christ is knocking on the door of our heart and wants to fellowship with us. Jesus told us that if we love Him, that He and His Father would come and make their home with us. Who lives in your heart today? Why not let Jesus in? Why not let Jesus visit every room. Give Him complete control of your life and access to all parts of your being. You can trust Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I want my heart to be Your home. Come visit and reside in my heart. Lord, go ahead and check out every room, every closet, even the basement. Be in complete charge of all I have and all I do. Be the ruler of my heart and make it Your home. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Don’t Lose Your Soul

TODAY’S VERSE
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
Matthew 16:26

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus asked a question that has challenged people for centuries. His question has never been more relevant than it is today. He asked, “What will we benefit if we gain the whole world but lose our soul?” Isn’t gaining the whole world what everyone seems to be striving for? Never in the history of man has it been harder to be content. The pressures of this world are amplified through print, television, movies, and internet. The convergence of media and information has escalated the speed of trends, fads, and popularity making us even more susceptible to manipulation. We need to look certain ways, have certain things, go to certain schools, live in certain places. And if we cannot make it, then our children must. The words of Jesus stand in contrast to the media hype. They warn us to stop the madness! Jesus points out the fact that there is so much more in life than just the physical trappings and the praise of men. We have a soul! In this world we live for 70, 80 years or so. Our soul, however, lives forever. This is the beginning of who we really are. God created more than your life, He created your essence. That essence is the real you, it is the soul. It never dies. It is eternal. You don’t want to lose it to the next world. Jesus is an expert on the soul. Study what He has to say. Get to know Him, then live for Him. Jesus asked it. One way or another, you must answer. “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I must admit I have jumped onto a treadmill. I am running and running but not going anywhere. I look for significance, but it is nowhere to be found. I can feel my soul slipping away. Help me today to see myself the way You see me. Help me to see myself as a living, breathing soul that You love and have created. Help me know You in a personal, intimate way. Help me find my true significance in You.
In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Be Strong and Courageous

TODAY’S VERSE
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We read the Biblical stories and we tend to feel that those in the scriptures are superhuman. The truth is, they were people just like you and me. If there is a difference, it is the fact that they heard from God and, in Joshua’s case, decided to believe what God said. God chose Joshua to replace Moses as leader of the Jewish nation and lead them into the promised land. But God knew the task ahead and he knew Joshua. He knew that Joshua was a normal person with passions, fears, and struggles. So, when God appointed Joshua as the leader, Moses met with him three times and told him to be strong and courageous. Then God called Joshua and Moses to appear before Him and personally told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” Can you imagine the impact that would have had on Joshua? To have Moses tell him three times and then meet with God face to face, and hear God tell him the same thing? But that was not enough. After Moses died, God personally called Joshua and spoke directly to him four more times. Each time God told Joshua to “be strong and courageous”. What did God know about Joshua that would cause Him to tell Joshua, directly and indirectly, eight times that he was to be strong and courageous? He no doubt knew that Joshua was a man just like you and me and that he needed to put his feeble faith in a supernatural God. That is what Joshua did and God delivered him and the Jewish nation into the promised land. What is it that you need courage for? What do you need strength for? Remember today what God reminded Joshua of eight times, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For I AM with you wherever you go.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, you know all about me. You know how I need You. Today You have told me, like You told Joshua, not to be afraid but to be strong and courageous. Oh, Father, tell me again and again until like Joshua, I get it. I bring You my fears and my doubts, for You promised that You are with me wherever I am. Please help me, to be strong and courageous. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.
Ephesians 5:1-2

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You have heard it said, “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” Have you ever watched a child imitate their father or mother? They are so serious. They pick up subtle nuances that we would never expect them to. They do not judge, they just act out what was acted out before them. This is what we have been asked to do. We are to imitate the love of Christ. We are to love the way He loved. Paul describes that kind of love. He says that love is patient, kind, not jealous, boastful, proud or rude. Love doesn’t demand its own way, is not irritable and doesn’t keep a record of wrongdoing. Love endures, doesn’t lose faith, never gives up and is always hopeful. If we want to imitate Christ, we must love. Might Christ help us imitate His love today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, help me to imitate You in everything I do. Help me especially love the way You love. Guide me, direct me, fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I can follow Your example with those I meet today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Precious Promises

TODAY’S VERSE
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
Psalms 138:2

Because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
II Peter 1:4

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If I were to create a secular society, one of my top rules would be “Keep your promises.” It is a building block of civil society. Is there anything more reassuring than a promise? Is there anything more demoralizing than a promise that is broken? In the spiritual realm, God is the promise keeper. Peter tells us that God has given us great and precious promises designed to help us be like Him. The Psalmist tells us that God’s promises are backed by all the honor of His name. But do you know what God has promised you? As you read the Scriptures you begin to realize that His word is full of promises. He has promised that He would never leave you or forsake you. He has promised that He went to Heaven to prepare a place for you. He has promised that nobody can take you from Him. I asked earlier if there is anything more demoralizing than a promise that is broken? The only thing I can think of is the sorrow that we must bring God when we live as if He never promised us anything. Is that how you live? You can change that. Start today and begin to read His word. As you do, journal all the promises you find that apply to yourself. You will be amazed. Then start to live as if they are true. You will be blessed!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You that You have given me many great and precious promises. Help me to learn more about them. Then help me to believe them and live my life accordingly. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN
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Quit Complaining and Get Moving

TODAY’S VERSE
As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’ But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!’” Exodus 14:10-15

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to complain. I think if we had steak for five days in a row we would probably complain! “What, steak again?” The Jews had fled Egypt, not because of some clever plan cloaked in the darkness of night, but because of the incredible miracles of God. Now God brought them to the edge of the Red Sea. Without faith, it looked like a dead end. It looked like an impossibility that they would ever escape. So they did what comes so naturally, they complained. Their conclusion said it all, “It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!” Moses tried to console them to no avail; so Moses did what he often did. He talked to God, face to face. God’s answer was swift and to the point, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” How about you? Do you find yourself complaining about the situation you find yourself in? Do you have a hard time looking through the “eyes of faith”? There is a time to cry out to God and there is a time to get moving. Which is it for you?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I find it so easy to complain. How I must grieve Your heart! Forgive me. I find it so hard to trust. I feel stuck. Help me, Lord. You know my situation. I can’t move without You. Have mercy on me! Give me a boost; hold Your rod up and part the seas. Help me get moving today and cross on dry ground. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Trust God In The Darkness

TODAY’S VERSE
I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness, I cannot hide from you. To you, the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
Psalms 139:7-12

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a difference in trusting God when things are going well and when everything seems to go all wrong. It can get so difficult. Sometimes we just end up in the dark. However, we are reminded by Isaiah that we can trust God in the darkness. Isaiah says even “without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.” David shares that we can never be anywhere that God is not present. He says that to God, the night shines as bright as day and that darkness and light are the same to him. Robert M. Cheyne wrote, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies! Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for you.” Neil Anderson has written many books on spiritual darkness and in his book Praying By the Power of the Spirit writes about his own time in darkness. He had to lean on his faith. He had to make a choice to “never doubt in the darkness what God has shown me in the light.”
Where are you today? Are you in the light? Praise God, soak it in. Be thankful, learn at the feet of Christ so you will have plenty to guide you in the dark. Are you in the dark today? Stop for a moment. Quiet yourself. Listen for His voice. He is there with you. Remember the light and walk in the darkness with the same faith. The light will come in the morning!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, it is so hard in the darkness. Thank You that nothing can separate me from Your love. Even here in the dark, You are with me. Help me to trust You. Help me not to doubt in the dark what you have shown me to be true in the light. Thank You, Lord, that even this will pass; light will come in the morning.
In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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True Light

TODAY’S VERSE
If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment.
Isaiah 50:10-11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When we are in the dark, we tend to think that any light will do. But that is not true. I started one night on a four-hour hike into a deep forest along a mountain trail. I had no choice, I had to go. But to my dismay, all I had was a flashlight with poor batteries. As the light failed, the walk ended up more like eight hours. You can’t tell me that the kind of light you have doesn’t make a difference. It was the hardest trek of my life because the light I had was no good. The prophet Isaiah is warning us that when it gets dark, we need trust in God, not our own light. How often can we become deceived by good sounding logic? Paul warns us that Satan comes to us masquerading as an angel of light! Today there are all kinds of self-help messages. While a lot of what is said is good, nothing can replace the light of God, His word and His presence. Spend time with Him. Use His light. Nothing else will light up your path like the light of Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, You said that You are the light of the world. Please come today and direct my path. Show me the way. Keep me from falling prey to a deceiving light and darkness. I commit myself and my journey to You.
AMEN

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Search My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalms 139:23-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Bible says that David “was a man after God’s heart.” What a tribute. Contrary to what we might think, this was not because David was perfect. He knew how easy he could fall into sin. He remembered how God had to wake him up from an immoral stupor through the rebuke of Nathan the Prophet. If anyone could have created the slogan “No perfect people allowed,” it was David. David had to give up the “perception of perfection” in order to renew a close relationship with God. When God convicted David of wrongdoing, David repented, asking God to have mercy on him. In order to stay in a close relationship with God, David decided to allow God to speak to him about his behavior. He prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” How about you? Do you feel far from God? Who moved? What is stopping you from coming back? Is it pride? Is it anger? Is it the false notion that you don’t need to? Let us join David in becoming a person after God’s heart, not through the false ambition of perfection, but through the daily, honest and open relationship with God that allows Him to search us, point out what we are doing wrong and then lead us along the path of following Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to you today and pray what David prayed so long ago, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
AMEN

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Peace, Love, and Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:23-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul knew how to end a letter. I can imagine him thinking, “What three things would my dear brothers and sisters in Christ need the most in the world? What would help them with any situation? What would give them the strength to carry on? What would be worth dying for? What would make life worth living?” This was more than the granting of three wishes. Paul prayed with the full knowledge that what he prayed could be our reality. He prayed that God would give you peace. He prayed that the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ would give you love. And finally, that God’s own grace would be on you for all eternity. Peace, love, and grace. What could you do with that today? How much would you keep for yourself? How much would you give away? So what do you do when someone offers you a gift? Today, might you take and be conscious of all the peace, love and grace God has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your peace, love, and grace that You have for me. I pray that today I might really begin to experience the effects of Your peace, love, and grace in all that I do. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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