TODAY’S VERSE Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. Romans 4:10, 20-21(NLT)
TODAY’S THOUGHT If there was ever a model for living the Christian life, it is Abraham. Look again at today’s verses. There is no better way to exemplify how we are to live. Abraham lived with an incredible relationship with God. He was totally immersed in faith. He did everything with God in mind. Look at what Paul writes, “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise.” More than that, Paul writes that Abraham was “fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” Just like you and I, Abraham, had choices to make every day. And he chose to trust God. He decided that he would put his faith and hope in Jehovah. What about you? Who are you going to trust? Who will you hope in? Who will you be counting on to do what He has promised? Today, choose to trust God in all you do. Put your faith and hope in Him.
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, thank You for Your power and majesty. Thank You for Your love for me. Today I choose to put all my hope, trust, and faith in You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans? Isaiah 51:12 (NLT)
TODAY’S THOUGHT What is the opposite of “love”? Our first answer would no doubt be “hate.” I use to think so. However, the longer I live, the more I believe “fear” is the opposite of love. True, if I am going to “act” the opposite of love, it would be to hate. But if I am going to “live” the opposite of love, it would be to live in fear! Fear keeps me from love’s reality. Fear tells me that the promises of love are nothing but lies. Fear chooses to doubt love’s sincerity. Worse, it doubts the lover. When I choose to believe fear, it means I have chosen not to believe God. He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And yet I act as if we are abandoned, all alone with God nowhere in sight. I need to start seeing God as God. How about you? Do you live in the reality of His love? He is the one who comforts you. He is the one who will never leave you. He is the one who will never stop loving you. Today, believe it, rejoice in it, live as if it is true. It is.
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, I confess I live much of my life in quiet desperation. Fear is always challenging my belief in Your love for me. Today, I renounce that fear. I rebuke it in Jesus’ name and choose to believe in Your love for me. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. Galatians 6:1 (NLT)
TODAY’S THOUGHT We all do wrong and need help sometimes. But why is it, those of us who are forgiven so much, can be so stubborn when it comes to understanding someone else’s sin? Where is the restoration? Where is the grace? Paul sees this lack of love in the church and instructs us to restore a person by being gentle and humble. In the classic book, “Truefaced” the authors write, “One of the greatest gifts we can offer another person is a safe place to fail.” How true is that? Indeed, that is what Christ has done for us. The authors also write, “Grace frees Christians to see others as saints who sin, rather than sinners striving to be saints.” Yes, we should praise God that He has saved us and forgiven us of all our sins, but we should also remember that we are saved by “grace” and are called to live by grace as well. Today, let us offer grace to those that need it in the same proportion that God has given it to us.
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, thank You for Your grace. Help me to be gentle and humble and extend that same grace to those around me. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. Psalms 59:16 (NLT)
TODAY’S THOUGHT A flower doesn’t have a choice. Every morning, its beauty gives glory to God. The sunset, mountain vista, and ocean waves all give praise to God without pause or consternation. But not so with us. We must make a choice. And as honored as God is by the glory of this world’s natural creation, how much more joy it must bring Him when we make praise and worship a free choice of our will. David made it his choice. He decided that he would sing of God’s power. He made it a point to sing of God’s unfailing love every morning, even when he was under great duress. He writes, “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” Today, what will you sing? What will you say to Him who is your refuge? You have a choice, choose to praise and worship Him.
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, how I thank You for all You have done for me. I come now to worship You for all Your love. I praise You for mighty power. You alone are worthy of all my honor. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Mark 3:4-5 (NIV)
TODAY’S THOUGHT How did the church ever become a country club? When did we decide it was a place to simply “Grow in the Lord” and not be a vibrant, loving witness for those outside our front doors? When did we give up the mission work to the “missionaries” and decide not to be the light of the world right in our back yard? Not many things made our Lord angry, but this was one of them. Don’t stand in the way of Him ministering to someone in need. What is so sad is that the Pharisees could have been a help. With their standing in the community, they could have gone out and compelled people to come and meet the Messiah. What an impact they could have had on the world, but they were not able to get past their traditional views. Somehow, God-loving people different then they, people that did not live the same kind of life as they did was an offense. They did not see God’s love for the whole world and the mission Jesus was on. How about us? Do we reach out to those outside our church? Today, let us check our beliefs against the scriptures. Let’s compare our love for people with that of our Lord Jesus. We are His disciples. Let’s follow His words when he shared about the Good Samaritan and told us to, “Go and do likewise.”
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, help me love people. Open my eyes, open my heart that I may reach out to others the way You would. Work in, and through me, I pray. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5 (NIV)
TODAY’S THOUGHT Today’s verse is talking about hope. But it is more than a simple, “I hope so.” No, Paul is talking about a hope that does not disappoint. How many times do you experience that? We have all had times when we hoped, hoped for that job, hoped that our child would not rebel, hoped that we would be able to escape inevitable consequences. A half-hearted hope with little belief behind it. But that is not the hope Paul is talking about. Paul is not just hoping; he is referring to a “persevering hope,” a hope that keeps going until it produces trust and confidence in God’s abiding love for us. Paul writes, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Yes, in this world, we suffer. We make mistakes, and we live with other people’s mistakes. But through perseverance, we have hope. A hope that doesn’t go away that does not disappoint. Today, trust God. Persevere. It will lead you into an unquenchable hope.
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, how many times have I hoped, but things didn’t seem to work out? It is so hard, Lord, to hang on. And yet You ask me to persevere. So here I am, Lord. I will hope. I will get back up and hope again. I know You are real, and You will never leave me or forsake me. So, my King Jesus, I choose You. I choose You and Your love for me. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him. Psalms 62:8 (NLT)
TODAY’S THOUGHT Ever have anyone tell you, “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me about it.” You know, you are distressed, you come to a friend, and they can tell something is wrong. They ask you, “What is it?” and you say, “Nothing.” They want to help but can’t because you won’t engage with them. You won’t share what is bothering you. Isn’t that how we treat God? Sure we believe “in” Him, we just don’t believe Him. He says that He is all-loving and all-powerful. He says that we should cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. He promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. Even if our mother forsakes us, He says, “I will never forget you.” And yet we don’t take the time to share our concerns with Him. He is not our confidant. We don’t “pour out our heart to Him.” Isn’t it time to change? Doesn’t your heart long for a close, loving relationship with God? You can have it. It’s yours if you want it. Today, begin a new fresh relationship with God. Pour out your heart To God, He is waiting.
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, I confess that I hurry through life and don’t take the time to pour out my heart to You. I do so much on my own. But Lord, I want that to change. I long for a deeper walk with You. Help me today to trust You more. Help me sense Your loving presence and share with You from the depths of my heart. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE Let everyone stand in awe of him. Psalms 33:8 (NLT)
TODAY’S THOUGHT Have you ever been blown away by something? Watching Michael Jordon doing a dunk, the sunset in Hawaii, Isaac Stern playing Beethoven’s Sonata in C Minor on his violin, the Rocky Mountains; these are just a few things that can inspire. But the Psalmist writes of something much more significant than any mountain majesty. He writes of the majesty that created the mountain. He shares, “The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.” His conclusion was, “Let the whole world fear the LORD.” What about you? When is the last time you stopped and stood in awe of God? When have you let your mind go and just bask in His greatness, His power, and His infiniteness? No one can do it for you. The good news is, it’s easier than you think. Just stop. Close your eyes and whisper, “How mighty You are, dear God.” Let it sink in and add, “I stand in awe of You, almighty Lord.” Then wait—muse on Him. Pause and let the majesty of God flood your soul. He is awesome. He is mighty. Today, stand in awe of Him.
TODAY’S PRAYER Dear Father, You are mighty! You are glorious. You are worthy of all my praise. To You be the glory! I stand in awe of You. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. Romans 5:20 (NIV)
TODAY’S THOUGHT God’s grace is amazing. Paul knew this, so he wrote, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Paul explains that grace has set us so free in Christ that we are no longer slaves to sin. In “True Faced” the authors write, “The environment of grace provides me with truth, acceptance, healing, safety, perspective, freedom, and the power that I did not before know; these realities are foundational to resolving my sin issues.” You see, God’s grace is more than forgiveness. It is the availability of God’s power to help us mature. He forgives us and then helps us live for Him. Today, don’t run and hide from God. Talk to Him about sin issues in your life. Though you are overwhelmed, He will forgive you. He will help you. His grace is greater than your sin.
TODAY’S PRAYER Father, thank You for the death and resurrection of Your son Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Guide me, direct me, work with me, and by Your grace, help resolve the sin issues in my life. AMEN
TODAY’S VERSE If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. Matthew 5:46-47 (NLT)
TODAY’S THOUGHT It is a lot easier to love those that love you. But Jesus wasn’t satisfied with that. He wants us to love those that don’t love us in return. This is harder than it seems. Paul expresses what love is. He writes, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” I have a hard time loving those that love me this way, so what chance do I have loving those that I don’t particularly care for? The truth is, I can’t. Loving the way God does must come from God. If you and I desire to live the way God wants us to, then we need His power, His strength, and His Holy Spirit filling us and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in our life. Today let God live His love through you.
TODAY’S PRAYER Dear Jesus, I want to love others the way You did, but I need Your help. It is so hard to love those that don’t love me. I need Your power. Give me the strength to love the way You would have me. AMEN