Make Me A Blessing

TODAY’S VERSE
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So many times we wonder what is required of us. We ask, “How does God want us to live. We see the answer in Jesus. Jesus was selfless, and an example of living one’s life for others. Paul, in asking us to follow Jesus’ example simply writes, “Share each other’s burdens.” How profound is that? God doesn’t make a bunch of demands on us. Simply to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbor as we do ourselves. Today as you go about your business, ask God who He wants you to help. Ask Him to help you share in someone else’s burden and assist them in any way you can. If you do, He will lead, He will provide, He will work through you to bless that person in need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
There is an old hymn that is a great prayer. “Make me a blessing, make me a blessing, out of my life may Jesus shine; Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray, make me a blessing to someone today.”
AMEN

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Be Free

TODAY’S VERSE

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.  He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

I John 2:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

There are many different ways to treat our sins. We can blame others for our actions. We can deny that what we have done is wrong. We can project those very things we do onto others. We can choose to ignore our behavior or better yet rationalize why we did what we did. There are other options. We can feel shame. We can feel helpless and get deeply depressed. We can choose to be bitter or give up and say, “It’s no use, that’s the way I am.” But thank God there is yet another way. John shared it with us. He says if we sin, we can come to Christ, who will go to God the Father on our behalf. He is the one who can assure us of forgiveness. He is the one who can comfort us. He is the one who can give us the strength to get up and start over. He is the one who can say to our accuser, “Be gone! Leave my child alone!” Today, if you have something bothering your conscience, if you feel burdened, bring it to Jesus. Confess it to Him and then let Him wash it away. Let Him clean your heart and free your soul. Let Him give you peace and joy that is greater than all of your sins. Hear Him say, “You are forgiven.”
TODAY’S PRAYER

Father, thank you for convicting me of sin. Thank you that when I come to You, confess my sin, the blood of Your son Jesus totally cleanses me. Thank You for your complete forgiveness. Thank You for a new direction and for giving me a fresh start. In Jesus’ name.

AMEN

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Bring God Great Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalms 147:11 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever wondered what God delights in? We know all about our own wants and desires. But God has desires too. The truth is that God delights in you and me. The Psalmist declares that the Lord delights in two things. First God delights when we deeply respect and revere Him. He is the creator of the universe. All power belongs to Him. Who are we that He would even care about us? Why would He ever consider us worthy to even utter His name? However, what I love about this verse is although God is delighted when we respect His majesty, He also delights when we put our hope in His unfailing love. This very God that deserves all our fear and respect delights in us putting all of our hope in His never-failing love. Do you want to make God happy today? It’s simple. Put your hope in the unfailing love He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You deserve all my respect. You are the almighty, all-powerful, all-wise God and I stand in awe of You. I also hope in You because of the great unfailing love You have for me. Thank you, Father, for Your love. Might my hope in Your never-failing love bring You all the delight that You deserve.
AMEN

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Be Filled With The Spirit

TODAY’S VERSE
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:15-18 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you really know about the Holy Spirit? We can go to church for years, go to Bible studies and small groups and yet never really learn much about the Holy Spirit and its relevance to our life. Sure, we know we have been given the Holy Spirit but we never take advantage of the relationship that we could have. But we cannot afford to be passive any longer. We were not meant to function without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Paul says we should be “filled” with the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? The key is in comparison to being drunk on wine. There is only one way to get drunk. You get drunk by being “filled” with alcohol until the amount that you consume has you under its influence. This is not a casual drink that is in moderation. This is in excess of where you become drunk. So what is he saying about our life in the Spirit? Paul is saying that we should have the same insatiable appetite for the guidance and fellowship of the Holy Spirit that a person does that chooses to get drunk on wine. When we meditate on God’s word, pray and commune with the Holy Spirit, we will begin to be “filled” or “under the influence” of the Holy Spirit’s leading in our daily living. It is interesting, however, that the tense is not a “one-time” filling, but actually means “be filled and keep on being filled.” You do not get drunk on wine once for the rest of your life. The effect of the wine soon dissipates. To continually be drunk you have to continually drink the wine. Although the Holy Spirit does not leave us, in order to stay “filled” or influenced by the Holy Spirit, we need to continually stay in communication and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it time that we experience all that being filled with the Spirit has to offer us?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Spirit, please forgive me for ignoring Your presence in my life. I ask You to guide me, lead me, commune with me and fill me so that I am completely influenced by Your presence. I invite You to take control of my life. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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He Cares For You

TODAY’S VERSE
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
I Peter 5:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If someone offered to take all your anxieties away from you would you take them up on the offer? Or would anxiety, by its own nature, cause you to worry that the person would not be able to take care of your situation? Ironically, you would end up with a whole new set of worries! So, what do you do when Peter tells you to give all your worries and cares to God? If you are like most Christians, you just hold on to them. Sure you pray. You even begin to trust Him, but as soon as anything happens, you go back to holding on to your worries and cares all over again. The truth is that giving your cares to God takes faith. The author of Hebrews says if you have true faith, then it would necessitate that you believe God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. That is what Peter meant when he said to cast all your cares on Christ. God exists and He will “reward” your faith in Him by caring for you. Can you imagine that? Next time you worry, start with the thought that God deeply cares for you! He cares for you with all the resources of His mighty power and wisdom to use on your behalf. Today, start giving Him all your cares.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how I worry and carry many concerns with me. Today, I choose to give all my worries to You. I know You are all-powerful, wise, and loving. You said that You care for me, so I trust You with all the outcomes of this step of faith. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus.
AMEN

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True Happiness

TODAY’S VERSE
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Psalms 1:1-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We spend so much of our time looking for happiness. We are searching for that one thing that will solve all our problems and bring us into a constant state of contentment. How many times have we thought, “If I just win the Lotto?”; “If I had a certain job”; “If I just looked different”. Fill in your own blank. We seem to look everywhere for lasting joy and yet it is right in front of us. In the very first chapter of Psalms, David writes about the secret to joy. He says it’s not found in the counsel of the ungodly, but rather real joy comes when we delight in God’s word and meditate on what He says. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” writes, “Everything that is false about us arises from our belief that our deepest happiness will come from living life our way, not God’s way. Although we may say we want to trust God and surrender to his will, deep down we doubt that God is really capable of securing our happiness.” Is that how you feel? What is your reaction when you read, “But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do?” Do you believe God will bless you and give you deep joy by living according to His word or do you doubt that God is really capable of securing your happiness? You can’t believe both. Today, choose to follow God’s word and begin to meditate on it and apply it to your life. As you do, you will find joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your word. I ask that you teach me and guide me through reading and meditating on what Your Holy Word has to say. Help me find happiness, joy and true meaning in You.
AMEN

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Integrity

TODAY’S VERSE
Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. ‘Come and sleep with me,’ she demanded. But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”
Genesis 39:6-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How do you say “integrity”? This story of Joseph is a wonderful illustration of a person living with morals, faith, and self-control. Here came a situation that many would find tempting. After all who would report him? Wasn’t he second in command only to Potiphar himself? And wasn’t she a consenting adult? Besides, he knew that she had a wicked temper and the result of refusing her could be perilous. Who could blame him if he gave in to her desires? But his logic and faith were pure. He knew he was trusted and did not want to betray that trust. That was important to him. However, there was more. He told Potiphar’s wife, “How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” He saw such a betrayal to Potiphar not only morally reprehensible but as an affront to God. Today we live in a morally bankrupt culture. But God has called us to follow Him. And what He has called us to, He will enable us to do. He has given us His word to guide us and His Holy Spirit to empower us. Yes, we sin, but when we repent God forgives us and gives us grace to do better. So today choose how you will live. Determine to follow God. Make it your desire to live out the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we do, God promises that we will not live out the desires of the flesh.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to live out the fruit of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to make the right choices today, just like Joseph did in his time. Help me to take the high road and to trust You with the outcome. Guide me and help me live for You. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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