Press on

TODAY’S VERSE
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
Philippians 3:13

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get stuck in the past. We waste so much energy thinking about the good old days and wishing it was here again. In some cases, we lament what has happened in the past and color our view of the future. This past year has been one of the most challenging years many of us have had. We look forward to midnight tonight and say good riddance. Paul says that we need to forget the past, let it go. Sure we can learn from it, but we don’t have to relive it. The past doesn’t have to define us. Paul next says that we are to look forward to what lies ahead. The word look forward means to reach for, to grasp, to press on. I like the concept of pressing on. So many times, we daydream of the future, we wish for a better tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. The idea of pressing on means we live our future one day at a time. We get through this day and then on to the next. The cumulation of the days is our future. God is the God of new beginnings. He is the God of hope. As we end 2020, we can look forward to 2021 with God’s promise that He is with us; He will never leave us or forsake us. Today, we don’t have to get stuck in the past. Instead, by faith and with joyful anticipation, we can look forward to what is ahead.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, as I sit here on the brink of a new year, I commit myself to You. I look forward to what lies ahead with joyful anticipation and entrust myself to You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

HAPPY NEW YEAR
Thank you for your participation with Moment In The Word this year. I trust that the daily devotion was of some comfort and encouragement during these uncertain times.
May God bless each of us as we approach this new year with faith, hope and trust in God and His love for us.

Ron Ovitt
Moment In The Word

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Overcoming

TODAY’S VERSE
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Ephesians 4:21-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day we make choices. Some choices, however, are more subtle than others. For example, the old saying, “Not to decide is to decide already.” Otherwise, if you need to make a choice and you do not say “yes” to it, then you have really chosen against it. It is like that with most of the things that we “lust” after. Lusting implies that we desire something that we cannot (or should not) have at that moment. The trouble, however, is not in the one time choice to lust. All of us struggle with occasional temptations. Instead, it is the rebound effect that gets us in trouble. You know, get close to something you know is wrong, withdraw and then rebound, getting closer the next time. It is like the proverbial frog that boils in water, never noticing that the water was gradually getting warmer and warmer. As time moves on, we eventually find ourselves in the grips of the thing we were trying to avoid. How much better to choose ahead of time not to trifle with those habits, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to trouble. We do this by being quick to repent when we slip and then asking the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes. If we throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life like we would a burning jacket, and instead, let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes, God can help us discern what temps us so we can determine ahead of time to set our limits and boundaries. Today, let us give our various temptations over to God and ask Him to help us overcome them.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Holy Spirit, You know that I struggle with temptation and lust and need Your help. Renew my thoughts and attitudes so I can live the way you want me to. Help me continue to say “no” and throw off those things that war against me. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Unfailing Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD. The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
Psalms 25:7-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How merciful God is. He could look at our behavior and condemn us. He could read our minds and reject us. He could exact a thousand different punishments for all that we have done. Instead, He has chosen to see us through the eyes of His unfailing love. It is so hard to imagine what that means. It is so foreign to the way we operate. We hold grudges, seek revenge, or at least try to get even. But not God. He does not give up on us. He sees us desperately in need of His grace. And even when we are unlovely, thoroughly lost because of our willful disobedience, He shows us the way back. What makes this so tragic is that we don’t believe it. We still think we need to wear the mask of our false self. You know, the self that thinks it earns God’s approval. The self that tries to please God through vain attempts at righteousness. Today throw the mask away. You don’t need it. God sees you through His unfailing love, and He loves what He sees. Today accept His love and let Him direct your path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your unfailing love. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for showing me the proper path to go on when I go astray. Guide me and direct me today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Constantly Aware Of God’s Love

TODAY’S VERSE
I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.
Psalms 26:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What are you aware of? Every day you and I are the object of God’s unconditional love, and yet do we really live as if we are aware of it? King David did. He wrote, “I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.” It is much like a baby. A newborn spends its first year of life being aware of its mother’s face, voice, and presence. After thousands of positive interactions with the mother, the baby experiences “emotional object constancy.” This means that the baby’s capacity for love and acceptance has expanded enough that the baby begins to live with the awareness of the mother’s love, even when she isn’t present. It was this way with David. You can imagine him as a Shepherd, basking in the beauty of God’s presence, meditating on God’s word, writing psalms like “The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need.” David was building up his capacity for the awareness of God’s love and acceptance. Is it no wonder he could later write, “I am always aware of your unfailing love.” Today, begin a habit of spending time with God. Attune yourself with His Spirit and how much He loves you. Soon you will build your capacity and emotional constancy. Then you, too, will be constantly aware of His great love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me know You and Your love for me, better and better, so the reality of Your unfailing love for me will be a permanent part of my conscious experience.
AMEN

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Confidence

TODAY’S VERSE
Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.
Psalms 27:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes the best way to overcome something is to replace it with the opposite. David decided to do this with fear. When he was surrounded by a mighty invading army, he had a choice to make. He could go with the normal response of fear, or he could replace fear with confidence in God’s love. It was the love that he had for God and the love he knew God had for him that allowed him to exercise confidence. The Bible says, “perfect love casts out fear.” Add to perfect love an all-powerful God, and you have a real confidence maker. Today, when stress comes into your life, when you are tempted to become overwhelmed, put your trust in God. Step out in faith and let confidence in Him take over.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Thank You, Father, that You are trustworthy. You are all-powerful and all-loving. I come to you today and lay my fears at Your feet. Give me the confidence to completely trust in You.
AMEN

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God Loves Me

TODAY’S VERSE
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
I John 4:10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to “say” you love someone. It is another to really love them. The real language of love is not found in some poetic phrases. The language of love is in our actions. Love needs to be a verb. So when I say, “God loves you!” I am referring to much more than some simple sentiment. I am referring to the fact that you are important to God. You are special to Him. Paul shares that “God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” When we are at our worst, when we are farthest from Him, His love for us is still there. God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sinfulness, so we could have a legitimate relationship with Him. So we could experience His love and begin to express our love back to Him. Have you received His love? Have you made it personal? If not, acknowledge the fact that He loves you today. Thank Him for providing a way for you to come before His Holiness, cleansed, forgiven, and as His child. Jesus said it best, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, God gave the right to become children of God.” Christmas is a special time when we reflect on the fact that Christ came to earth to sacrifice Himself for us. If you believe that He died on the cross for you, then receive His death as a substitute for you by acknowledging it as a fact and thanking Him for it today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have heard the words, “God loves me” before. Today I want to make it personal. I want You to know how thankful I am that You sent Jesus to be my substitute, so I could come before You, holy and blameless. So that I could be “born again” as Your child. Today, I receive these words into my heart, “God loves me!” Help me to really understand it and all the joy that it brings. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

The Christ who came to earth in the form of a baby became a man who became our Savior. May you truly know the love of God this Christmas day.

Merry Christmas
Ronald Ovitt

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Worship Him

TODAY’S VERSE
Honor the LORD for his glory and strength. Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
Psalms 29:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We pray. We read scriptures. We try to live for Christ. We serve in various ministries. These are all ways of expressing our level of commitment and love for God. But what God desires more than anything is our worship. You see, it is easy to become dutiful to God, to be involved every night of the week at Church, and yet not have a worshipful spirit. Somehow God becomes a taskmaster, Christianity becomes a tradition, and our service becomes a passionless striving. This is why we must worship. Worship opens our hearts to consider all that God is. It awakens our senses and spirit to experience God in what David calls “the splendor of His Holiness.” We were made to worship Him. We come to Him in awe of all He is. When we consider His love, majesty, power, mercy, grace, provision, salvation, forgiveness, and Holiness, and we cannot help but praise Him. We cannot stop expressing our gratitude. When we worship Him in “spirit and truth,” we become truly alive. Today, stop and worship God. Even if just for a moment right now, express to God your gratitude, devotion, and love. Worship Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how far my heart can get from You. Please forgive me. Right now, I come and worship You. I want to honor You for all You are. I worship You for all Your holiness, power, love, majesty, kindness, forgiveness, grace, and mercy in my life. I Praise You, dear God. I come now with love and adoration. I worship You.
AMEN

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Understanding His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ.
Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Trying to experience the love of God is like trying to experience the ocean or a beautiful mountain vista. You can hear about it, see beautiful pictures, but nothing can replace being there first hand. Even then, it is impossible to take in all of the beauty and meaning in one visit. It takes time and experience to appreciate the magnitude and majesty of God’s nature. How much more to truly understand God Himself and His great love for us? This experiential knowledge only comes with time spent in His presence, experiencing His love first hand. As we come to God humbling ourselves and admitting our needs, He comes to us with His love and grace. It is spending time with God with openness, trust, and faith that allows us to truly experience and understand the greatness of His love. Today, may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You admitting that I need more understanding of Your love for me. Help me to experience it deep in my heart. Help me live in the full awareness of the love and grace You have for me.
AMEN

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Take Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart.
Psalms 34:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all have choices to make. We have all had times when we have come up against seemingly helpless situations. It is what we do with that helplessness that counts. Dr. Martin Seligman coined the phrase “Learned Helplessness” when referring to one of the primary reasons for depression. He said that when we get discouraged over and over again, we start to “learn” to feel helpless. We give up hope. Thankfully, David gives us another choice. He said that all those who are helpless should “take heart.” This means to take a pause and check deep within yourself and find hope. Find that mustard seed of faith in God and believe that He cares and will see you through.
Interestingly enough, later in his life, Seligman coined the phrase, “Learned Optimism.” He concluded that if we can learn to be helpless, we can learn to be optimistic. Perhaps he read the Psalms. The truth is we have a choice. Today, when things seem to be overwhelming if you find yourself getting discouraged, take heart, trust in God, and have faith. He will see you through.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me today to trust You. Help me overcome any discouragement by taking heart and putting my hope in You.
AMEN

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Seek peace

TODAY’S VERSE
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
Psalms 34:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Who said peace is easy? Anyone can be at peace when there aren’t any problems. Instead, we need to work for it. We are to turn from evil and pursue peace. We need to let go of our selfish ambitions and do good to others. If peace alludes us, we are to search for it. Finally, we are to work hard at maintaining the peace that we do have. This means turning the other cheek, preferring others over our own self, doing to others in the way we want to be treated. It means praying for peace. It means seeking God and asking for His wisdom, understanding, and courage. Today, seek peace with all your heart, work hard at it.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You desire us to be at peace. Help me today to be at peace with You and all those around me.
AMEN

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