Category Archives: Authentic

What Really Matters

TODAY’S VERSE
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 17:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to get our priorities mixed up, isn’t it? We tend to put life into a box full of rules, regulations, and standards by which to measure ourselves. We must look a certain way, think a certain way, achieve certain levels of accomplishments, acquire the right kind of accessories. Then we come up with all sorts of core beliefs that sustain these rules. For example, we may believe, deep in our hearts, that if we don’t accomplish a certain goal, we will not be liked. If we don’t drive the right kind of car or live in the right kind of community, people will think little of us. Of course, these thoughts alone don’t motivate us, it is the perceived “terrible” consequences such as rejection, abandonment, punishment or worst, annihilation that frightens us to death and drives us to succeed at any cost. However, these “terrible” results are only in our mind! We will not die if certain people do not like us. We are not a “loser” if we do not live in the “right” house. Instead, Paul points out what we should really strive for. We should strive to live a good righteous life. We should seek joy and peace through the Holy Spirit. These are the important things in life. And best of all, these are freely given to any person who asks. He will not turn us away. It is His will that you live righteously, full of peace and joy through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. What do you want? Begin today to seek the things that really matter. Follow God, He will not disappoint.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know what is really important. You know that I have bought so many lies about success and self-worth. I need Your help to know the truth. So, please Lord, help me live a life of goodness today. Give me the joy and peace which comes from Your Holy Spirit. Help me live today in a way that is pleasing to you.
AMEN

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Who Is Jesus?

TODAY’S VERSE
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:13-16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you really believe about Jesus? That is the real question. You can have all sorts of “head knowledge”, you can quote the creeds and catechisms, but if you don’t have that everyday “I’m going to trust You because I know You love me” kind of knowledge, you really don’t know who Christ is. There were all kinds of speculation about the nature of Jesus. Some thought He was a prophet, others thought He was John the Baptist or Elijah, but Peter knew who Jesus really was. Peter answered without hesitation and said that Jesus was indeed the Christ the son of the living God. Peter had a complete view of who Christ was. Do you? Julian of Norwich wrote, “Some of us believe that God is almighty and can do everything; and that he is all-wise and may do everything; but that He is all love and will do everything – there we draw back.” You see, it is one thing to believe God can do everything, another to believe He may, but it is a whole other level of knowledge to say that God loves me and will do everything. Today, make your knowledge complete. He is the Christ, the son of the living God! Trust in Him with your whole heart. Believe in His deep love for you with faith, trusting Him in all things.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You that You are almighty and can do everything. I praise You for the fact that You are all-wise and may do all things. But most of all Father, I worship You today, believing that You love me unconditionally and will do all things according to that love.
AMEN

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Live What You Know

TODAY’S VERSE
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
James 1:22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried to lose weight? There is no fast way to lose the pounds that you acquired over a long time. Now certainly, some ways are faster than others, but there is no way you will lose twenty pounds overnight. Knowing “how” to lose weight isn’t enough. Instead, you need to apply what you know, one day at a time, each and every day. Knowledge of the weight loss principles combined with the discipline needed to support your knowledge equals weight loss. James felt the same way with spirituality. There were all kinds of “spiritual” people in Jerusalem where James was head of the church. There were plenty of people learning about Christianity. But James wrote that you need to do more than just listen to the word of God. If learning doesn’t affect the way we live, then what good is it? It is like a weight loss program that you won’t follow. So what was James’ advice? It was simple, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” So today let’s take the word of God, that we already know in our hearts and apply it to everything we do.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, my mind is full of “knowledge” about Your word. Today, help me apply all that knowledge to everything I do. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Our Real Self

TODAY’S VERSE
For to me, to live is Christ
Philippians 1:21

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul had found the secret to real living. He found his true authentic self when he found his life in Christ. It is not that he “lost” himself but that his true purpose and meaning for existence was “found” when he found Christ. There was no dichotomy in his life. There wasn’t a “church” personality on Sunday and a different one at work on Monday. Rather there was integration between his faith and his life. Dr. David Benner in his book “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes about our identity found in Christ. He writes, “There is, a way of being for each of us that is as natural and deeply congruent as the life of the tulip. Beneath the roles and masks lies a possibility of a self that is as unique as a snowflake. It is an originality that has existed since God first loved us into existence. Our true self-in-Christ is the only self that will support authenticity. It and it alone provides an identity that is eternal.” What about you? Have you dedicated your life to Christ in such a way that you have found your true authentic self? Can you say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ”? If not, why not surrender your heart to Him today? Ask Him to reveal to you, your true self in Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I admit, I have built my life the way I have seen fit. I have ignored the restlessness deep in my heart that cries out for You. Today, I choose to make You ruler of my life. Father, please help me. I want to say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ.”
AMEN

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All Your Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever really sought after something? Really longed to find it? When it is important to us, it is amazing to see how serious we can get. This is how God wants us to seek Him. He spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah, admonishing us that the only way we would really find Him was when we seek Him with our whole heart. Notice, Jeremiah did not say, “when you seek him with your whole intellect.” It is not knowing “about” God; it is about “knowing God” in a deep and intimate way. God is saying that if you would get passionate about Him, then you will begin to find Him. How intent are you on knowing God? Begin today by seeking Him with your whole heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You today. I really do want to know You. I want to have a deep intimate relationship with You. Help me discipline myself to take the time to know You. Take the time to hear You. Take the time to tell You my thoughts, hopes, and dreams. To share with You my fears, apprehensions, and doubts. As I seek You with all my heart, I pray that You would reveal more and more of Yourself to me.
AMEN

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Throw It Off

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul uses the analogy of running a race to describe the Christian life. He paints a picture of a poor runner who has come to the starting blocks with a large heavy weight tied to him and chains wrapped around his legs. There is no way this runner is going to finish the race, let alone win. Instead, Paul suggests that the runner first throw off everything that hinders them. That could be events, habits, environments, attitudes, anything that “triggers” the desire to do things that Christ would not want us to do, or prevent us from doing what we should. We need to throw off anything that leads us toward Spiritual apathy or complacency. In their book “True Faced” the authors point out that in reality there are two kinds of sins. These are sins that we commit resulting in guilt and sins that are committed against us resulting in hurt. Both of these “sins” can trip us up. If we allow guilt to grow, it will spread like cancer in our Spirit. If we allow hurt to go unchecked, it can fester into sadness, anger, fear, malice, bitterness and many other negative attitudes. We need to deal with the sin in our life — both those that we commit and those committed against us. Then we can run the race. Today let us consider our own life. Are we running the race that God has called us to? If not, what is weighing us down? What is entangling us? Pray today that God would help you throw it off.

TODAY’S PRAYER:
Father, You know that I need to run in this race of life. I confess that I have let burdens weigh me down. I have let sins, both that I have committed and those committed against me, trip me up. Help me, Lord, throw off these things. Help me run today, free from all these issues that hinder me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
So now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
I Peter 1:22 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Love is the direct result of knowing Christ. He paid a terrible price that we could have our sins forgiven. And what does God ask for in return? Does he ask us to swim across the ocean? Walk across the longest desert? Climb the highest mountain? No, He asks that we love one another. Why would this be so important? Because Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” It shows that our faith is real. The power of the Holy Spirit alive in our heart is never more noticeable than when we are loving another person. Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? Is He the Lord of your life? If so, let the world know how true it is, by sincerely loving those people around you. Love them deeply with all your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your grace and mercy in my life. Help me love those people that you have put into my life. Might my sincere love help them recognize that You are alive. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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