Come Boldly To God

TODAY’S VERSE
Since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.
Hebrews 10:21-22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In the Old Testament, it was the High Priest that offered sacrifices to God for the forgiveness of the sins of Israel. Each year the High Priest would go through the ceremony waiting upon God to see if indeed the sacrifice would be accepted. Then Jesus came. God sent His own Son, Jesus, to be the new Great High Priest. It was His blood, shed on the cross, that paid for our sins once and for all. No more annual ritual. It was finished when Christ died and rose again from the dead. Jesus opened the door for us to have a deep and personal relationship with God. In today’s passage, it says, “Since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” Have you ever stopped to consider what this really means? It means that you have a personal invitation from God to come right into His presence anytime that you want. Today, don’t just read His word. Don’t just pray. Today, come boldly to God’s throne and enjoy His presence. He has forgiven your sins and is waiting for you to come and know Him, fellowship with Him, worship Him and live for Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the sacrifice of Your only son, Jesus, making it possible to forgive all my sins. Thank You that I now can come right into your presence. Help me, Lord, to know You better. Help me today to fully understand Your love for me. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Help Me Know The Truth

TODAY’S VERSE
Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
Psalms 119:29

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As humans, we are separated from other creatures in the fact that we are cognitive. We have thoughts. Therein lays our problem. Just because we have a thought, doesn’t mean it is true. Our thoughts can be influenced, manipulated or misled. We can be sincere in our thoughts but be sincerely wrong. David prays that God would keep him from lying to himself. We need the same prayer. Jesus said that Satan is a deceiver and a liar. It is his purpose to trip us up through a web of deceit. I am sorry to say, but I often don’t need any help from Satan. I do fine with deceiving my own self. So many negative and pessimistic thoughts. Negative things I believe about myself, about others, about life and even God! Instead, I need to ask God for discernment and wisdom in knowing and living the truth. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” As we seek the truth of every situation we are in, God will lead us. How about you? Are you living in the truth or have you set yourself up with a web of deceit? Confess it to God. Repent and choose to live in the truth. When you do, He will set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, you know how easy it is for me to be deceived. You know how easily I deceive myself. Please help me today. Help me discern the truth and then live it out in my life.
AMEN

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Which Way Do I Go?

TODAY’S VERSE
Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
Psalms 77:19-20 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life’s pathways are not always smooth. There are many times when the terrain is rough at best. What do we do then? Thank God He is the one who promised to get us through to the other side. In today’s passage, we see that God was able to lead the Israelites through what seemed to be an impossible pathway. The Jews had left Egypt and were heading to the promised land when they ran smack into the Red Sea. I am sure that many of the people wondered what kind of path God had led them on. But the scriptures are clear; God had led them on a road that went through the Red Sea, a path that ran through the mighty waters. It was a road no one but God knew was there. He offers the same to us. He is the great shepherd. He is the one who can make our crooked paths straight. He is the one who turned the Red Sea into dry ground. So, what terrain are you on? What is your path like? Is it steep, full of sharp rocks, high cliffs, and loose footing? Does it take you through dark forests and thorny underbrush? There was a song we sung as little children that you can take comfort in. It said, “My God knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.” Today, choose to trust God. Follow Him. He has a path you know nothing about. He is the Great Shepherd; He will get you home.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know the journey I am on. You know the path I am following. Please guide me, Lord. Help me know which way to go. You are the Great Shepherd, be my shepherd today I pray.
AMEN

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Say, “No” To Anxiety

TODAY’S VERSE
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Anxiety can ruin a day. Most of our anxiety centers around something terrible we think will happen. Of course, this would make anyone anxious; but the truth is that most of the time the terrible things we think will happen, don’t! That is the dilemma. We believe so many lies. No wonder Jesus said that the truth would set us free. So what is our definition of terrible? Basically, it is something that we think will be more than we could ever endure. It is a frightful dread. It is beyond human endurance, worst than anything we can imagine. According to William Backus in his book, “Telling Yourself the Truth,” there are four areas of anxiety. They are Fear of losing someone’s love. Fear of making someone angry or upset. Fear of public embarrassment. Fear of pain and death. Now Jesus comes along and says, “Don’t let your heart be troubled.” Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about ANYTHING!” Backus suggests that you can minimize your fears until you see them for what they are, lies, and do not be anxious. So, today realize that you have a choice and choose not to be anxious. Today believe the truth that you can trust God and choose not to be anxious. Today when anxiety comes, know that the terrible dread that it conjures up is a lie and follow Paul’s instruction, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You my anxious heart. Forgive me for believing so many lies. Help me change my core beliefs and bring them in line with Your word. Today I choose faith and bring all my anxieties to You.
AMEN

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Tender Mercy

TODAY’S VERSE
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How great it is that we can come before an Almighty and Holy God, totally unworthy, full of sin and rebellion and yet experience such love, mercy, and forgiveness. David knew this. After getting a married woman pregnant and then purposely having her husband killed in battle, David came to the realization of how far he had wandered from God. He then comes to God in repentance praying, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” And that is exactly what he experienced. God was gracious to him. God forgave him and had mercy upon him. Isaiah knew about this kind of love as well. He paints a word picture illustrating God’s mercy toward us. He writes “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” How gentle we would have to be, not to break a reed that was already bent? How careful would we have to be, not to totally extinguish a smoldering wick that has already lost its flame? Isn’t it good to know that this is God’s attitude of mercy and grace toward us? Doesn’t it bring joy to your heart to know that you can take anything you have done or have not done and confess it to Him and experience His tender mercy? Today, might the words of Jeremiah, in Lamentations 3:22-23, fill your heart with joy and peace. He wrote, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to you today, with all my sins and wrongdoings and give them to You. I thank You for Your tender mercy. I thank You for Your forgiveness and compassion toward me. God, I understand that it because of Your great love that I am not consumed. Truly, Your compassions never fail, they are new every morning.
AMEN

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Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Romans 13:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can make following God complicated. We make up rules, regulations, and standards of behavior so we can measure our progress toward Spirituality. Yes, God gave us the ten commandments to guide the conduct of mankind, but it did not take man long to add hundreds of rules and regulations to them. Today, we have our own. Look a certain way. Listen to certain kinds of music. Exhibit certain acceptable behavior. While there is right and wrong, God does expect us to live holy and righteous with a bunch of man-made rules. There is a better way, one that covers all the bases. It is love. Jesus came to share the message with the whole world. When asked, “What is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul explains in Roman that the commandments are written to guide our behavior, and it can be summed up very simply. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Do you want to know what God wants you to do today? He wants you to love others. Do you know what God’s will is for your life? Love those he brings you in contact with. Today, if tempted with choices between good and bad or right and wrong, choose love. Love never fails.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, You are love! Give me the courage, strength, patience, and discipline to love the way You do.
AMEN

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His Grace Is Sufficient

TODAY’S VERSE 
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT 
We all go through the valleys. There are times of disappointment, sorrow, anxiety, stress, and suffering. To those who are addicted, have lost loved ones, are suffering from chronic pain, have incapacitating disease, are going through financial hardships, have been abused, have broken relationships, are lonely, confused or have a mental illness, what do we do with faith? How do we believe in the face of such discouragement and doubt? Where is God in all of this? But then we must also ask, “What is faith for?” Maybe that is why Jesus came born in a manger, not a palace. That He was “acquainted with grief a man of sorrows”. That He had “nowhere to lay His head.” That in the Garden He would fall down in prayer and say, “Father, if it is your will, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless your will, not mine, be done.” Or on the cross, He would cry to His Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Perhaps Jesus’ exemplified the normal Christian experience? Perhaps that is why Paul quoted God as saying, “My grace is sufficient for you”, and he concluded that “God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.” Today, when you go through all you go through, may God fill your heart with the peace, hope, and faith that only God’s grace can give you.

TODAY’S PRAYER 
Father, there are times that I don’t understand what is going on. Times when I get discouraged and start to doubt. But, I also know that these are the times I experience Your mercy and grace at a deeper level. When I am drawn by Your Spirit to a new realm of intimacy with You. Lord give me the faith, courage, and strength I need for today’s journey. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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