Press On

TODAY’S VERSE
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to live in the past. Remorse, grief, disappointment, bitterness, so many painful emotions can keep us in a state of limbo. Paul had regrets; he had persecuted Christians. Paul had disappointments and hardships, but he knew the secret to living with all of life’s ups and downs. He pressed on. He knew when the appropriate time came; it was time to forget. It was time to quit looking behind and trust God for the future. God doesn’t remain in the past, and neither should we. Today, what is keeping you in the past? What has you locked in painful emotions? Give it to God. Forget the past and look forward to what God has ahead. He is not finished with you yet!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have hung on to my past. Today, I surrender to You. I quit looking back with regret, sorrow, remorse, and bitterness and will look forward with anticipation, joy, and excitement toward what lies ahead. Today, I choose to trust You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Strength and Song

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!
Psalms 118:14-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the two words, “strength” and “song” together. They go hand in hand; His strength, our song. Here is the Psalmist. He had seen God’s strength move on his behalf resulting in a great victory, and his heart bursts out in singing. That’s because sometimes words alone are not enough. Our soul must express itself in melody. And yet, how many times do we fail to respond to all that God has done for us? Remember the ten lepers that Jesus healed? Only one came back to give thanks. Can you imagine? Forget a victory in battle. Their body, full of putrefying skin, had just been miraculously healed! Yet nine out of the ten that were healed did not even say, “Thanks.” And sadly, Jesus noticed. He asked the one who returned, “Where are the other nine?” Unfortunately, we do the same today. Where are our praising hearts? Where are the songs of our souls that lift to the heavens in adoration for all that He has done for us? We have no excuse. We have been so blessed. Today let’s raise our voices in praise for all His strength on our behalf.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, my heart sings in praise and adoration for all You have done for me. You are the Almighty and all-loving God who has saved me for all eternity. I thank You and praise Your Holy name.
AMEN

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An Open Door

TODAY’S VERSE
Open for me the gates where the righteous enter and I will go in and thank the Lord. These gates lead to the presence of the Lord, and the godly enter there.
Psalms 118:19-20 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
An open door can make all the difference in the world. How many times have you sought solutions, answers, or any form of direction, and nothing seems to appear? If only something would open up. And all the while, God is there bidding us come to Him and find the truth. But it’s not good enough to just have an invitation or an open door. You must go in. The Psalmist understood this. He cried out to God to open the gates into His presence, and when God did, he entered. He entered into the presence of God and fellowshipped with Him. For us, every day is an opportunity to enter into the sweet presence of God. But it’s our choice. We can walk by or enter the door. Today choose to stop and spend time with God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for opening the door for me to fellowship with You. Lead me into Your presence, so I might know You more.
AMEN

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God’s Word

TODAY’S VERSE
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalms 119:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Insight, inspiration, hope, wisdom, confidence, direction, correction all this and more is found in God’s word. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to take the scriptures and make them relevant to our life. The Psalmist experienced this living word and knew if He would learn it, meditate on it and let it affect who he was, that it would result in the kind of behavior that was pleasing to God. Today, we can have the same experience. Spend time in God’s word. Meditate on it. Listen to what God has to say and let His word sink deep into your heart. If you do, you will be able to say with the Psalmist, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, as I read Your word, help it sink deep into my heart. Help me hear You and understand how You want me to live. Inspire me, guide me, and empower me by Your word I pray.
AMEN

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Comfort Me

TODAY’S VERSE
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Comfort. How often we long for it. It is one of our greatest needs. Every day has its challenges. We find ourselves on an emotional roller coaster constantly in need to regulate our emotions. We try all types of solutions but to no avail. Only real comfort soothes us, consoles our breaking heart, reassuring us that all will be okay. Only comfort supports and encourages us in the face of conflict. Only comfort gives us relief in affliction and lasting consolation to our weary soul. But comfort is only as good as the comforter. It is no comfort when a dying man says, “Try my medicine.” A person who is lost is no comfort to someone else seeking directions. In today’s verse, we find that it is God who is our “merciful Father and source of all comfort.” It is God that comforts us in all our troubles. It is God and His love for us that returns us to joy. It is knowing Him, in all His majesty, that gives us hope and assurance. It is knowing that we are the objects of His unfailing love that makes Him the source of all our comfort. And with this comfort, we, in turn, can comfort others. Today, come to God. Bring all your burdens to Him. Give Him your emotions and let Him comfort you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am in great need of Your comfort. Only You can satisfy. Only Your love can bring what my soul needs. Comfort me, I pray. In Jesus name.
AMEN

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Thoughts

TODAY’S VERSE
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The battle is in our minds. Truth versus lies. False assumptions verses God’s promises. Negative predictions versus faith. Roots of bitterness, jealously, fear, and shame versus the mind of Christ. And though all these strongholds can be overcome by God’s power, how much better if we never let negative thinking get that far. We can if we follow Paul’s advice. He asks us to “demolish arguments and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” A stronghold begins with a simple negative thought. Then, instead of renouncing it, we make a subtle agreement with it. “God doesn’t care.” “I can’t do it.” We start to generalize using words like “never, always, and every.” Oh, not a stronghold yet, but if we don’t disagree with the thought, what are we really doing? Soon we begin to ruminate and start to build on the negativity. Before you know it, we have created a full-blown story. We have “set ourselves up against the knowledge of God.” God wants us to renounce and correct negative unbiblical thinking. Today, commit your mind to God. Let His Holy Spirit work with your thinking and bring it into alignment with His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your presence in my life. I commit my thinking to you. Holy Spirit rule in my mind. Help me know and believe Your truth so I can make all my thoughts obedient to Christ.
AMEN

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God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.”
II Corinthians 2:5-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God’s grace. It’s what I love about Christianity. When I have so much to be forgiven, God in His mercy forgives me. When I am so far from what God expects, He still guides me, corrects me, and restores my soul. Grace is the free gift of God. So why is it, when I receive so much grace from God, I find it hard to give to others? The church in Corinth expelled a person from their fellowship because of a grievous sin. But instead of banishing him forever, Paul encourages the church to extend him grace by forgiving and comforting him. But the truth is I find it hard to forgive those that have offended me. It is difficult to give grace to someone I think doesn’t deserve it. But isn’t that what grace is all about? You see, my grace isn’t much, but God’s grace is. Sometimes it comes down to the question, “Whose grace am I going to give, mine or Christ’s?” Today, let’s give the same grace to others that God has given us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, Your sweet grace, totally undeserved, has been given freely to me. Help me offer that same grace to others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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