Comfort

TODAY’S VERSE
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all live with stress. There is pressure from all sides. Relationships, finances, health, how do we get any relief? Where can we go to get help? Paul knew. He wrote, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” Paul knew about God’s compassion. He also knew God’s comfort. Often it is hard to find comfort in difficult situations. Will God answer our prayer? Will we find the answer we seek? Will He act supernaturally on our behalf? We don’t know all the variables, we have a limited grasp of the situation and we can’t always explain the way things turn out, but we can count on one thing. God will comfort us! He will, in His great compassion, visit us and bring comfort to our heart that is supernatural. More than that, God will orchestrate many of His followers to comfort us as well. That is His plan. When we are comforted by His grace and mercy, God wants us to go and comfort others that He brings our way. We are to comfort others in the same way we were helped. Today, bring your burdens to the Lord. Let Him comfort you. And when He does, go with the same compassion He had and comfort someone else.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I pray that You, in all Your compassion, would comfort me in my struggles. And as You do, I ask that You bring people into my life that I could comfort in return. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Grace, Love, and Fellowship

TODAY’S VERSE
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
II Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a wonderful God we have. He could have set creation in motion and ignored the human species. He could have given up on mankind with all the rebellion and rejection we have given Him. Instead, God has made us the object of His affection, the crown jewels of His creation. And as a Triune God, He has purposely given us everything we need to have a relationship with Him. As God the Son, He has given us grace through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As God the Father, He is love, so He shares His own nature with us. As God the Spirit, He fellowships with us in a way that is compatible with the way we think and feel. Grace, love, and fellowship. Today, spend time with God and find out all He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I thank You that You have manifested Yourself in ways that I can know and understand. Thank You for Your love, grace, and fellowship through Father, Son and Spirit.
AMEN

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Renewed

TODAY’S VERSE
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Colossians 3:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul starts this passage by writing, “But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.” What a list. And how many times have we tried to do this? The only way we can successfully get rid of these negative characteristics is by getting rid of our old sinful nature. However, the best way to “put off” our old nature is to focus on “putting on” the new! But how? By getting to know our creator God and become more like Him. God has put in us the capacity to know Him. His Holy Spirit inside us guides us and as we attune our self with Him, the renewing of our mind takes place. Today, spend time with God. Get to know Him, experience His presence and His immense love for you. Let Him speak to your heart. As you do, you will experience yourself becoming renewed.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to know You more. I want to experience Your presence more. I want to be renewed more and more so I can be like You.
AMEN

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A Clear Conscience

TODAY’S VERSE
Cling to your faith in Christ and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
I Timothy 1:19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If we want to live a joyful Christian life, then we need to keep our conscience clear. We have a large propensity toward rationalizing away our attitudes and behavior. We will do anything to keep from feeling guilt over something we have done. We bury any negative emotions and before you know it our conscience has been seared. But the truth is we end up paying a toll for our lack of repentance. Like the person in today’s passage, our faith becomes shipwrecked. This isn’t what God intended. He made us to enjoy His grace. Christ is the perfect sacrifice for our sins and His blood shed on Calvary has made it possible to have our conscience clear for all of eternity. All He asks is that we repent, confess our sins to Him and accept His forgiveness and unconditional love. What is it that has alienated you from God? Today, bring it to God. Confess it and ask His forgiveness. For your own sake, keep your conscience clear.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father help me keep my conscience clear with You. Convict me of sin and by Your grace, lead me to repentance. Thank You, that when I confess my sins, You are faithful and willing to forgive me of every transgression.
AMEN

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My Purpose

TODAY’S VERSE
I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
Psalms 57:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I can understand God’s purpose for Michael the Archangel. I understand when God chooses a Moses, Abraham or David to do His will. I can comprehend Jesus picking twelve disciples to follow Him and God choosing Paul to be a great missionary. What completely mystifies me, however, is that God has a purpose for me! Not only does God have a purpose for me, His purpose is to fulfill that purpose. Now you try. Read today’s passage and put yourself in the picture. God will fulfill His purpose for you! Can you get a sense of what that means? Perhaps you are thinking, “I’m nobody special.” Sorry but God thinks you are! “I don’t have special skills.” You have exactly what God wants you to have. “I have done too many wrong things.” God’s grace is greater than all your wrongdoing. “I can’t do anything out of the ordinary.” All God asks you to do is show up and be willing to live for Him. He will do the rest. Stop and hear God saying to you, “I am so glad I created you! I am so excited about you living out your purpose.” Today, surrender yourself to Him. Purpose in your heart to live out the purpose He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I surrender my life to You. Use me, live through me. Guide me and help me fulfill Your purpose for my life.
AMEN

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God Is Thinking Of You!

TODAY’S VERSE
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Psalms 139:17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a mood David was in! You can hear the enthusiasm in his words. He is full of appreciation and amazement. Could he get any more excited about God? He got it! He understood that the Almighty God of the universe was aware of him. More than aware, God was constantly thinking about him. More than just thinking, David said that God’s thoughts about him were precious! Have you come to that same awareness David had? Have you stopped to consider how much God thinks about you? Today, meditate on the fact that God is keenly aware of you. You are precious to Him. In fact, if you tried to add up all the thoughts God has about you, you would never be able to do it! And here is the amazing part, every day you wake up God is still with you; He is still having precious thoughts about you. Today, live joyfully in this awareness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for all Your precious thoughts about me. I thank You for caring and being there for me. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Overcomer

Overcomer

TODAY’S VERSE
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
I John 4:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The early church was persecuted for their faith. Many were ostracized from society, living in poverty and starvation. Others were imprisoned. Many martyred for their faith. But ironically, this persecution caused the church to flourish. It forced them to band together and have a bond of love that the world has never seen again. It was an infectious witness to those around them. Instead, what was more of a spiritual challenge for the church was Satan’s battle for their mind. It was an all-out assault on the truth of the Gospel. During the time this passage was written there many people challenging the core of Christianity. There were some who said that the death of Jesus was not enough that we still had to obey the Jewish law. Others said that Christ was not the real Messiah, or Christ was not the real Son of God. Today it is the same story. Neil Anderson, in his book, “Bondage Breaker” reminds us that our battle with Satan is not a power struggle but a truth encounter. Satan comes to us as the father of lies. We are assaulted by one lie after another. Doubts and half-truths constantly attack our mind. But we need not despair. Why? Because John wrote that we are from God and have overcome all these falsehoods and lies of Satan. How is that so? Because Christ in you is greater than Satan and his spirits of deception that is in the world. Today, when lies, doubts, and half-truths come your way, resist them. Tell them to flee from your mind and focus on the greater thing, the truth of Christ and His love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Thank You, Lord, for Your strength and power. Thank You for protecting me. But also, Lord, thank You for Your truth and the fact that You are greater than Satan and his lies. Lord fill me with Your truth.
AMEN

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Offering

TODAY’S VERSE
Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.
Psalms 141:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many things you can do with your life. You have skills, knowledge, and experiences that afford you many different and unique occupational opportunities. However, there is one vocation that God has put in the heart of all who follow Him. It does not require skill, special knowledge, certain aptitudes or pedigree. It only requires a heart that loves God. He has called you to be a Priest. You have been given the sacred privilege to come before God in humble adoration. Dressed in a robe, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Himself, you stand before God forgiven and accepted as His child. There you are before God, your prayers received by Him as an incense offering, bringing Him extreme pleasure. As you praise Him, your hands reach up to Him in a Holy embrace, received as an offering of love and praise. There is nothing God desires more. No offering has ever been so precious to God as your adoration, praise, and prayers. Come today as God’s Priest and offer Him your love. Come into His presence, love Him, talk to Him, adore Him – it is your sacred privilege.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come before You now with a humble heart. Hear my prayers. Receive them as a sacred offering. I lift up my hands to You in love and adoration. Please accept my praise as a Holy sacrifice to You in all Your majesty. I worship You today as my Lord and my God.
AMEN

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Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

TODAY’S VERSE
I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.
Psalms 142:1-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever felt overwhelmed? I talk to people every day that feel that way. Divorce, hunger, disease, addictions, homelessness, debt, trauma, every day people come to our church for help. And it should be that way. The church is God’s representative on earth. We should be telling everyone that God deeply cares about their personal affairs. David knew this. He was overwhelmed with life and all the challenges it had for him, yet he knew he could turn to the Lord. He cried out to God and pleaded for mercy. And God listened. Jeremiah attests to this. In Lamentations 3:22-24 Jeremiah writes, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” What an overwhelming truth. God’s faithful love NEVER ends, and His mercies NEVER cease. I can’t even begin to get my brain around that. And the beauty is, every morning I wake up, God is there, with all His love and mercy waiting for me. Today, when you need to, cry out to God. Pour out your complaints to Him. Tell Him all about your troubles. He has a brand-new days’ worth of mercy and love waiting for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am so glad I can come before You and share all my burdens. I am so grateful for Your mercy and faithfulness. Thank You that they never cease but are new every morning. Praise You, Lord.
AMEN

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Oblivious To God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
From his abundance, we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every time I visit Southern California, I am overwhelmed by the number of people I meet there that seem to be oblivious to the fact that they live in paradise. All around them are the mountains, sun, and surf but they don’t see it. All they see is the everyday struggles of life. It is like that with God’s grace. We can get so bogged down with life that we don’t see all the grace that God has brought into our life. Not so with the Apostle John. Instead, John starts out his Gospel with an overwhelming appreciation for the grace that God has for us. He writes that we have all received grace from God manifested in “one gracious blessing after another.” He introduces this manifesto of grace in contrast to the Law that was given through Moses. Moses gave us the law but Jesus gave us God’s grace. This grace was manifested in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness toward us through the death and resurrection of Christ. What about you? How is your life? Are you experiencing God’s, unfailing love? Are you aware of His many blessings? Do you appreciate His faithfulness toward you? Or have you been like the person walking a few miles from the beach, totally unaware of all its beauty and serenity? Today, stop and take the time to be conscious of God’s many blessings given to you. Rejoice in His wonderful grace and faithfulness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for taking Your love and faithfulness for granted. Thank You for Your unfailing love and grace toward me.
AMEN

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