Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
Mark 11:25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Forgiveness can be difficult. It is hard to forgive some of the offenses against us. But we must remember that forgiveness is a very important part of our spirituality. We go to church, we pray, we read the scriptures. This is all good, but Jesus is making it clear, the true test for real Christianity is to forgive others. That is because all of Christianity is built on forgiveness. Where would we be without the forgiveness of Christ? In “Steps To Freedom In Christ”, Neil Anderson shares the following six important elements to forgiveness. 1. Forgiveness is not forgetting rather forgetting is a long-term by-product of forgiveness. 2. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision of the will. 3. Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin. 4. We forgive from our heart, not our head. 5. Forgiveness is choosing not to hold someone’s sin against him or her anymore. 6. Finally, do not wait until you feel like forgiving. If you do, you will never get there. Instead, make a hard choice to forgive those that you are bitter toward. Let go of all the unforgiveness that is eating you up inside. Today, let God help you forgive.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, You know the pain I harbor in my heart. Forgiveness seems so far from my grasp, yet I know that You have commanded me to forgive. Help me to forgive those who have offended me as You have so graciously forgiven me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Remember

TODAY’S VERSE
Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.
Hebrews 10:32 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to lose our confident trust in God. We get so wound up in our present situation that we forget God has been faithful over and over again. This is why the author of Hebrews warns us to remember what God has done in the past. He says to “Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.” Remember how you were full of joy over your salvation? Think back to the early years when you took God at His word and trusted Him for mighty things. What has changed? Has God? No! Perhaps you have become more cynical. Perhaps you chalk off your early years as idealism and today you are more realistic about God’s involvement in your affairs? But beware, the author of Hebrews also wrote, “Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord.” God is as alive today as He was when you first met Him. It is our cynicism that has changed. Instead, have patience and endurance. Put your faith in the God who is faithful to you. Trust Him today and continue to do His will.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to remember all that You have done for me. Help me to remember Your faithfulness. Help me trust You more today.
AMEN

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Just Today

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 that we have. We plan, connive and obsess all about things that will probably never happen. Instead, God 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, He will focus on tomorrow. He wants us to experience Him and all His love for us, today. So live as if this is a “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 its 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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Mercy

Mercy

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 (Jesus) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus listens with 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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God’s Grace

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 anymore than You do right now. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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His Power

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 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 continue to read we see that we are not alone in this spiritual battle. No, the verse says, “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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