You Are God’s Desire

TODAY’S VERSE
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I am convinced, if we believed today’s verse with our whole heart, there would be no depression, no anxiety, no lasting emotional dysfunction. But it is hard to believe with a wounded heart. It is hard to stop and consider God’s love when we are in emotional pain. And so we go through life, like a person dying of poison, who has the antidote right in front of them but is too disoriented to take it. But please hear me; there is hope. I have found, with every person I have ever worked with, that there is a moment of clarity, where, if they listen, if they stop, if they consider the truth, it will set them free. And today, this is the truth about you – even before God made the world, He loved you! He decided long ago to make you His very own. Why? Because He wanted to! And even more, you bring God great pleasure! So today, rejoice. Embrace the truth; let it stir deep into your heart. You are God’s beloved. He has chosen to love you. And you, just as you are, bring Him great pleasure.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, dear Jesus. Open my eyes. Help me see. Help me believe; help me know deep in my heart how much You love me. You love me, and loving me brings You great pleasure. Thank You for this wonderful truth. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Today’s Mission

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all?
Mark 8: 17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In today’s passage, it seems that Jesus is rebuking His disciples for lacking faith in His provision. But as I thought more about Jesus’ reaction, I believe Jesus’ frustration goes much deeper than that. Sure, the disciples were worried about food, and Jesus was upset about their doubt, especially after He had just fed the masses that came to hear His teaching. But I don’t think it was worrying about food that frustrated Jesus. I think it was the lack of passion in the disciples that perplexed Him. Think about it, all around them; people were being healed, demons cast out, thousands were just fed miraculously. And yet, it seemed that the disciples were oblivious to the mission Jesus had. Their hearts were hard. They had eyes but did not see. They had ears but did not hear. If they did see and hear, I think they would have been begging Jesus to go to more towns! There were more people to reach. More people that needed the message of love. More that needed healing. Nothing would be able to stop them. But, like us, a new day was pressing in. Their needs, their plans, their concerns overshadowed Jesus’ agenda. What about you and me? What consumes us? What have we seen? What have we heard? What have we forgotten? Today, might we see with the eyes of Christ and move with His heart planted deep in our chest.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, Jesus, I confess I have had a front-row seat and somehow turn around and forget all the miracles You have done. I let Your power and goodness escape my mind and make decisions as if You did not exist. Forgive me. Today revive my heart. Fill me with Your Spirit that I might live for You.
AMEN

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Inner Strength

TODAY’S VERSE
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
Ephesians 3:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our inward journey significantly affects our outward one. How we live is dependent on how we think and feel. If we live in the truth, if we know that we are loved, if we have the resilience to bounce back from painful emotions, we will find our outward journey one of peace and joy, the abundant life Christ talked about. However, if we allow life with its trauma to sicken our inner life, we will find ourselves living with festering emotional wounds, lies, and dysfunctional behavior. Paul had the cure to an unhealthy inner life. He believed that God, with everything He is, wants to influence everything we are. Therefore, Paul prayed that we would allow the Holy Spirit’s unlimited resources to empower us and give us inner strength. He prayed that we would trust Christ and let Him live at home in our hearts. He prayed that we would let our roots grow deep down into God’s love. If we do these things through prayer, meditation, and reflection, Paul promises that God Himself will keep us Spiritually strong.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, please empower me with inner strength through Your Holy Spirit. Please make Your home in my heart and help my roots grow deep down into Your love. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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The Counselor

TODAY’S VERSE
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26

TODAY’S THOUGHT
One of the significant roles of the Holy Spirit in our life is that of a counselor. Some translations use the word comforter. The Holy Spirit can give us insight, wisdom, and peace by directly communing with our inner being. He is able to speak truth to us. The Holy Spirit is the inward expression of God and can encourage and give us assurance and hope. But how do we become comfortable with the comforter? How do we avail ourselves of this wonderful part of God? It is like any other relationship; it takes time. We need to take the time to attune ourselves to God and ask Him to speak to us through the Holy Spirit. As we read the Bible, spend time in prayer, begin to ask questions, and converse with God in us, we will find ourselves drawn to Him and listening to His sweet voice through the power of His Holy Spirit.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I pray that You will speak to me through Your Holy Spirit. Guide me, direct my path, counsel me in all that I need and do. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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Lord, Reveal Yourself to Me

TODAY’S VERSE
He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
Psalms 103:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the fact that God reveals Himself to us. He revealed His character to Moses and the children of Israel. God revealed Himself to David. Look at what David writes, “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. He is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry, and filled with unfailing love. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” Paul insists that God can reveal Himself to us. He writes, “And 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, though it is too great to understand fully.” Today, might you take the time and interest and allow God to reveal Himself to you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, reveal Yourself to me. Help me know the heights and depths of Your compassion. Help me grasp the greatness of Your mercy and forgiveness. Move in my heart, I pray, and help me know You more.
AMEN

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Don’t Miss The Party

TODAY’S VERSE
“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
Luke 15:21-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame can keep us from the party. Jesus told a story about a young man who leaves home, disgracing his family and squandering all his inheritance. The young man ended up with no friends, no family, and no future. He is feeding pigs for a farmer and is tempted to eat the pig’s food. Full of shame, he decides to go home. In his shame, he rehearses his remorse to give to his father in the form of a speech. He heads home, but when his dad sees him way off in the distance, the father runs toward him. Now shame kept the son from running toward the father. Shame kept him from embracing him. Shame gave a speech of defeat and disownment. Had shame had its way, the son would have become a servant. But the grace of the Father gave the son a robe. Grace put a ring on his finger. Grace put sandals on his feet. Grace gave him back his honor again. Grace threw a party. The son could not refuse his father’s grace. Don’t let shame rob you of your Father’s grace. Every day God has a party just for you. Isn’t it time you went?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for rejoicing over me. Forgive me for not celebrating. Forgive me for being so wrapped up in myself. Today, I accept Your loving grace and forgiveness. Today, I come to the party You are having for me.
AMEN

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Word and Power

TODAY’S VERSE

Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.

Mark 12:24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

How clearer can it get? In one sentence, Jesus identified the problem most of us have with our Christian experience. Are we doubting God? Cynical about life?  Lack of faith? Frustration with circumstances? Is sin having reign in our life? It could be that we are guilty of the same problems the Sadducees, the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, had. Jesus said that they did not know the scriptures or the power of God. Understanding the Bible is crucial to our Christian life. Paul wrote to Timothy that “all scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” We also need the power of God in our life. It is His power that gets us through this life. Paul wrote, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.” Today, let us set our minds to know both God’s word and His power. Otherwise, as Jesus implied, we will be making a grave mistake.

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Father, forgive me for having doubted Your power and have not spent enough time in Your word. Help me increase my faith and put my trust in both Your word and power.

AMEN

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Doing God’s Will

TODAY’S VERSE
The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.
John 14:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is a mystery. God has created us so we can partner with Him in His work. What a privilege; what a joy to be part of God’s very plan and movement in this world. That is what Jesus did. He acted out what the Heavenly Father orchestrated in Him and then told us how to do the same. He said, “Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” We will do even greater things than Jesus did as we ask for things that bring glory to the Father. Today, ask God to glorify Himself in your life, and may you continue the ministry of Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me, I pray that I would bring You glory in all that I do. I pray that You would live Your will in and through me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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Mountain Mover

TODAY’S VERSE
I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.
Mark 11:23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus wants us to put our trust in God’s mighty power. He was the perfect example. Jesus knew that His Father God had sent Him here to provide Salvation and heal the sick, wounded, and dying. He knew it would take supernatural power to do all that God had on His agenda. Jesus also knew how vital signs and wonders were to those who were considering following Him. So in teaching His disciples how to do Kingdom work, He encouraged them to believe God for great things. And we see this lived out in the book of Acts. Jesus died, rose again from the grave, and ascended into heaven, leaving His Holy Spirit to empower all His followers. Their commission was to go and begin the church. And they did. They were mighty mountain movers. God used their faith, love, and generosity in powerful ways to bring the Gospel to all those who would listen. Today God wants to do the same through you. People all around you have mountains that need moving. They don’t know what to do. They need a mighty touch of God. God has called you to use your faith, love, and generosity and trust God to move those mountains. Cast out doubt and exercise your faith. Believe Him for great and mighty things.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, there are so many mountains to move. So many seemly unmovable obstacles in my life and those around me. I need You. I need Your mighty power. Please fill me with faith, love, and generosity so that Your power will flow through me and be a blessing to others.
AMEN

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Stand On His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
He has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.
Colossians 1:22-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What you do with truth can make all the difference in the world. Truth is meant to be deeply believed. This is more than mental assent. Sacred truth, life-changing truth, is intended to be acted on. You must choose, commit and continue in the fact that He loves you, forgives you, and wants a wonderful relationship with you. Really knowing Christ’s love means you repent and rebound from any sin in your life. This life-altering truth enables you to be in His presence, praying and opening up to Him about your feelings. Today, begin to believe, really believe. Stand firmly on the truth that He loves you, forgives you, and has made you blameless in His sight.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, teach me to know, believe and live out the truth of Your love for me. Help the truth of your forgiveness and desire for my fellowship with You go deep into my heart. Help me stand firmly on the fact that, really love me.”
AMEN

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