Give Praise

TODAY’S VERSE
But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.
Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The story of Nehemiah in the Old Testament is about the redemption of God’s people. The people were scattered. They had disobeyed God, and He allowed calamity to come upon them. But in God’s timing, He called Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so the people could come back together as a nation. When they were done rebuilding the walls they had a great celebration. Nehemiah writes, “Standing on the stairs were the Levites—who called with loud voices to the LORD their God and said: “Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. – Our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love.” They celebrated God, who is forgiving, gracious, and compassionate. What do you celebrate about God? What is it about God that brings a smile to your face and joy in your heart? If you can’t think of anything, then think on this. God has never given up on you; He will never desert you; He is always slow to anger and will always keep His covenant of love with you. Today, take pause and give praise.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your gracious love toward me. Thank You for Your forgiveness and compassion. Thank You that You will never desert me but will keep your promise to always love me.
AMEN

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Doing God’s Will

TODAY’S VERSE
Do the will of God with all your heart.
Ephesians 6:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You can do something half-heartedly, or you can give your total self to it. You can participate in something out of sheer obedience or because you are deeply passionate about it. Paul was asking the church members to do God’s will, but not just do it, do it with all their hearts. In his book, “Knowing God’s Will” David Benner writes, “Only love was capable of empowering Jesus to choose God’s will over his own when faced with the agony of death. – Spiritual disciplines that emerge simply as acts of the will are likely to be self-serving and legalistic. What God desires is external actions that spring from inner longings for relationship and intimacy, for this is His desire for us. This was what the Father found in the heart of Jesus. And it is the motive that we can find in our life as we follow Jesus and live in His Spirit.” Today, ask God to birth in you a fresh desire to follow Him, deep love and intimacy with Him that directs the way you live. Today, “do the will of God with all your heart.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me know You more and more so that I develop a deeper love for You. Then enable all my actions to come from the love that you birth in my heart.
AMEN

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Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!
Matthew 26:41 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If ever we needed Jesus’ admonition, we need it today. Television, internet, media – all around us are temptations ready to take us out spiritually. Peter said it this way, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” So what do we do? Jesus said that we must live “in” the world, but we are not to be “of” the world. That is why He told us to watch and pray; He didn’t want us to fall into temptations. When Jesus said, “watch and pray,” He wasn’t suggesting a casual Christianity. He was biding us to follow Him in a life of vigilant spiritual discipline involving devotion, prayer, and consecration. Today, keep alert toward the many temptations surrounding you. Keep your eyes and heart on Jesus. Pray, spend time with God, and confess your sin when needed. Praise God; He is faithful, He is forgiving. He will give you all you need to live for Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how I want to live for You, but I can’t do it by myself. Because of the precious blood of You son, my Lord Jesus, forgive me, cleanse me, and empower me to live for You.
AMEN

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Your Heavenly Father

TODAY’S VERSE
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Romans 8:15-16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When we became a Christian, we were born-again. We received the Holy Spirit, becoming a child of God with the right to call God our Father. I don’t know which is more exciting, the fact that I am a child of God or that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me. The beautiful fact is that both are true. Do you believe this? Do you truly understand that God is your father? Do you fully comprehend that you are a child of God that is loved and cherished? If it hasn’t already, this truth can change your life. Why not let it? Today, breathe in the fact that you are a beloved child of God. Not just the Holy Almighty God, but your Heavenly Father. Know Him, love Him, talk to Him. The Spirit will testify to you, that indeed you are His child.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh my loving Father, thank You for making me Your child. Help me to know You, love You and live for You. I need You to guide my life.
AMEN

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Comfort

TODAY’S VERSE
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Comfort is only as good as the source of the comfort. The word comfort means to “come next to.” The best comfort comes from someone who has the power to comfort you. Like the police officer who says, “You are safe now.” The Doctor who says, “Your test came back negative, you will be okay.” Paul is encouraging the early church to be comforted because God is the source of our comfort. He writes, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles.” Are you troubled today? Come next to God and let Him comfort you. Are you weary and don’t know what to do? Move toward God, lean upon Him, and let Him wrap you in His arms. He will comfort you. Are you at the end of yourself, too frozen to move? Turn your head in His direction, whisper with your thoughts, and He will hear you. He is the merciful Father and the source of all comfort. Today, come next to Him and be comforted.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am coming next to You. I need Your arms; I need Your face, I need Your voice. Comfort me, dear merciful Father, of all comfort. Strengthen my arms, give courage to my legs, help lift my head up. Here I am, comfort me I pray.
AMEN

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Living For Jesus

TODAY’S VERSE
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Peter shared how we are to live. He writes, “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness.” This is living out our faith. This is experiencing Christ and allowing Him to live through us. He says it this way, “The more you grow in these qualities, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of Christ.” Your experiential knowledge of God will help you live for Him better. That’s because as you get to know Him, your personality, behavior, and desires will be more like His. His power, knowledge, and, most of all, His love will be exhibited in your life. Today, choose to know Him more so you can live for Him better.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me be more productive and useful in my knowledge of You and live the kind of life You want me to. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Divine Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant-I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
Psalms 73:21-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Lies, false assumptions and unfounded predictions can drive us to despair. The fear, anger, and sorrow they bring cause us to do questionable things. In today’s verse, the Psalmist was torn up inside. What he believed made him bitter, foolish, and even ignorant to God. However, when He came to his senses, he saw how bad he was before God and repented. Have you been there? You know, those times when you think God should have given up on you? But please, let it sink in, God doesn’t give up! The wonderful truth is that God forgave the Psalmist. God comforted, counseled, and continued to guide him. The love he experienced from God caused him to write one of the most beautiful verses ever written about God. “Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Today, might this same reality sink deep into your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, my heart cries, “Hallelujah, what a Savior!” I know I don’t always live the way I should. I know many days my attitude is all wrong. But today, I know You forgive me. I know that You will never abandon me. I know that You are committed to my maturity. Help me remember this as I live out this day.
AMEN

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He Is There

TODAY’S VERSE
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever been lost? Imagine if you were hiking, and all of a sudden, you realize you don’t know where you are? You have no map or compass and don’t know how to get to where you want to go—what a helpless feeling. So picture your joy when someone sees you and asks if they can help you. They take out a map, explain where you are, and show you the way to your destination. What a relief. Isn’t that how it is when we get emotionally lost? We are running from day-to-day. We over-react, panic, and without help, we eventually become emotionally frozen. How great then is our joy when we hear the words of our Lord, “You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We don’t have to wander in our emotional wilderness. We don’t have to remain lost in all our madness, God is here. He will listen, He will show us the way. He promises! We will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. Today, cry out to God, seek Him, He is there.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come today, crying out for You. I am seeking You, Lord, with all my heart. Hear my prayer, make Your presence known to me as You have promised. Guide me, lead me, comfort me with Your Holy Spirit I pray.
AMEN

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My High Priest

TODAY’S VERSE
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What you believe about God makes all the difference in the world. The author of Hebrews shares one of the most poignant views of God in all of Scripture. He uses the illustration of a High Priest that stands between God and us. But not a High Priest that has the same frailties as us. Instead, a High Priest that faced all the same testing as we do, but without sin. A High Priest that paid the price for our sins so we could come boldly to God the Father and receive His love and forgiveness. And who is this High Priest? It is Jesus. It is Jesus who has made it possible for us to know God. Possible to receive mercy and forgiveness. Possible to find God’s grace when we need it the most. So today, listen to the author of Hebrews and come boldly to Jesus. Come for His mercy. Come for His cleansing. Come for His forgiveness. Come for His grace. He is waiting.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, thank You for being my Great High Priest. Thank You for Your death on the cross. Thank You for forgiving me. I Praise and Worship You for all Your grace given to me.
AMEN

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Trust, Don’t Fear

TODAY’S VERSE
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have you tried to stop being afraid? Throughout the scriptures, God tells His people to “fear not.” Here though, Solomon tries a different approach. He says to “Trust in the Lord.” But not just a casual trust; he said to trust in the Lord with all your heart. It makes sense. If we are going to stop fearing, we must replace the fear with trust. That’s what Solomon meant. He said not to listen to our twisted logic, lies, and misconceptions that lead us to fear. Instead, we must trust God, submit our life to Him, lean on Him for sound direction, and He promises He will lead us. So today, don’t fear, instead, trust in the Lord. Bring your fears to Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for being there. Today, instead of fearing or leaning to my understanding, I will put my trust in You.
AMEN

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