Category Archives: Authentic

Come And See

TODAY’S VERSE
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
John 1:46 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Philip was excited about meeting Jesus, so he finds Nathanael and says, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael then said, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” I love Philip’s answer. He says, “Come and see.” I find it very comforting that Jesus was born in a stable with animals around. That he came from a working family, raised in Nazareth, and yet none of this changed who He truly was. He knew who He was, so his past, environment, parentage, earthy status, rejection, nothing distracted Him from His mission. What about you? Is there something in your past, heritage, upbringing, status, or way others treated you hindering you from believing who you are? If you know Jesus as your Savior, then you are a child of God. Believe it, receive it, and don’t let anything, nothing rob you of your significance or mission for God on this earth. Know who You are. You are a royal child and servant of God. Don’t hold back. Go and invite others to, “come and see!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I thank You that You have made me Your child. Thank You that it is not based on status or merit or my earning it. Instead it is Your grace and mercy that have made me Your own. Help me to believe and receive Your great love for me so I can live out the mission You have for me. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

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Love mORE

TODAY’S VERSE
Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul was on to something. He knew what the church needed to do to thrive. They needed to love each other more and more. They needed to create an atmosphere of acceptance, love, and forgiveness. We need the same today. We need churches where we don’t wear masks; we don’t hide our true selves from each other. A place where we can admit our shortcomings because we know that our sins do not define us; instead, who we are in Christ does! In the book “The Cure,” the authors write that we put too much emphasis on “Sinning less!” They are quick to point out that this causes us to be phony, judgmental, and unloving. Instead, they eloquently write that we don’t have to “Sin less.” We need to “Love more!” They point out, “We can sin less and not love more. But if we love more, we will sin less!” The truth is we are forgiven. We don’t have to sin less. Instead Jesus wants us to love more! Read today’s verse again. If we follow what it says, we will love more! And if we love more, we will sin less!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to embrace the truth of your love for me. Help me to quit focusing on sinning less and more on loving more.
Amen

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Really Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.
Romans 12:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul starts in the twelfth chapter of Romans, pleading with us to serve God with all our hearts. He encourages us to present our lives as a “living” sacrifice. And then he writes, “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” He lists different abilities that God gives and asks us to act out on these gifts with everything we have. Whether it is prophesying, serving others, teaching, encouraging others, giving, leadership, or being kind, we are to exercise these gifts with abandonment. And then he comes to the most precious gift of all. One that each of us can do. One that each of us is called to. We cannot say we know God and ignore what Paul says next. He writes, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” Love is the most supernatural gift of all. Supernatural because we cannot love the way God wants us to without His help. All our efforts are pretending. It takes God’s supernatural presence to give us the strength, tenacity, and willpower to love as He does. We are His instruments of love, and as we “present our bodies a living sacrifice,” He will help us really love. Today, let’s stop pretending and start loving those God brings into our life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am such a poser. I pretend to love others and fall so short of the kind of love You want me to have. Please forgive me. Help me, Lord. Give me the strength I need to love others the way You do. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I can let Your love, love through me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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True Transformation

TODAY’S VERSE
Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Romans 12:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our Christian life is a renewal process. We should be constantly growing in our relationship with Christ. This life of transformation happens as we continuously renew our thinking through the power of the Holy Spirit. He has given us the Scriptures so we can grow in Him and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. But we must seek more than intellectual knowledge. We must let Him penetrate our mind and heart. Paul explains that true transformation also comes through experiential knowledge. He writes, “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. 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. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” We are made complete with the fullness of life and power as we experience His love. Today, let God renew your mind, thoughts, and attitudes through His word and His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, renew me, transform me, change me more into the image of Your Son.
AMEN

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Imitate God

TODAY’S VERSE
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us.
Ephesians 5:1,2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We tend to complicate things. We can take a simple message and make it complex. Isn’t that what we do with Christianity? We add our rules, traditions, and cultural nuances, and soon we have nothing that represents what Jesus had in mind. We end up worshipping in Country Clubs and live our self-centered lives as if Christ never existed. But that is not what Paul taught. He shared a simple message. One that cuts to the core of the way we should live. His straightforward message is that we should imitate God like a child does their parent. To make it more straightforward, Paul then writes, “We are to live a life that is full of love just like Christ did.” And why? Why should we live a life full of love? Because Christ loves us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us. It doesn’t get clearer than that. He loves you. He sacrificed Himself for you. Go and do likewise.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, help me imitate You in all I do. Help me to love others as You did and follow Your example of sacrifice for others.
AMEN

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Today

TODAY’S VERSE
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
Psalms 32:8 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we focus so much on tomorrow that we miss what God has for us today. How did it ever get to this? We are always on the go arriving at our destination yet ignoring the journey. We set goals way out in advance and fail to see what God has for us today. Fear and worry are like that. They rob us of our today, forcing us to focus on tomorrow with its perceived dilemma. Day after day, we hurry, and tomorrow never comes. It’s like hiking on a trail with a heavy bag, always looking down so you won’t trip on a root. Sadly, you get to the end of the trail and realize you never saw the beauty of the forest. God doesn’t want it this way. He wants a relationship with us. God wants us to fellowship with Him every day, living every day to its fullest. When we do, He promises that He will instruct us, teach us, and show us the way we should go. Every day is a different mission. Every day is a new exciting adventure. God is alive, and you are here. Look around. Take it all in. See all that God has for you. Today, go with God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for giving me this day. I surrender to You and want to live every moment of this day for You. Teach me, guide me, show me which way to go. Lord, I give You this day and will live it to its fullest for Your glory.
Amen

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Walk Our Talk

TODAY’S VERSE
But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues.
Psalms 78:36 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to give “lip service.” How often do we do it in our relationships? James writes, “Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” It is easy to praise God with our lips but dishonor Him with our lives. It is so easy to say, “We love you, Lord” and not do what He says. Today, examine your heart. If needed, repent and know that He will forgive you and give you the grace you need to serve Him with harmony between your lips and your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that there are so many times that I give you lip service only. I talk the talk but neglect to walk the walk. Forgive me for my hypocrisy. Holy Spirit, help me live as Jesus lived, in Spirit and in truth.
AMEN

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Quietness and Confidence

TODAY’S VERSE
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”
Isaiah 30:15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It seems like the last thing we want to do is slow down. We say we believe in God and want His direction in our lives, but we never stop to listen to Him. We go from event to event like unguided drones, on a mission but flying without direction. Isaiah wanted to make a point. He refers to God as the “Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel,” hoping that we would listen. And what is it that God says? He says that it is only in returning and resting in Him that we have any chance of making it in this life. He assures us that it is in quietness and the confidence from time spent with God that we get the strength we need for our journey. Don Postema, in his book “Space For God” shares that a person needs “silence if their words are to mean anything; reflection, if their actions are to have any significance; contemplation, if they are to see the world as it really is; prayer, if they are going to be conscious of God, if they are to ‘know God and enjoy God forever.’” Today, seek silence, reflection, contemplation, and prayer. Seek God, and you will find that in quietness with Him, you will find strength.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I come to You and quiet my heart. I need You. I need to hear Your voice. Help me find the strength I need as I seek to spend time with You in contemplation and prayer.
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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Faith, Hope, and Love

TODAY’S VERSE
We think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 1:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do people think of when they think of our life’s achievements? There are many good things we can do with our time, but not all are the best. God puts a premium on some goals more than others. In today’s verse, Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica, stressing the importance of their “faithful work, loving deeds, and enduring hope.” God has called us to love the world as He does. This means being faithful in loving others no matter how hard it is. It means filling our time in helping those around us all we can. Finally, loving the world means loving people, even when it is not easy and when there are not enough resources. Even when people reject the very love, we offer them. Today, when people think of us, might they think about our faithful work, loving deeds, and enduring hope.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord Jesus, help me live for You. Help me be faithful in my serving You. Help me be loving in all I do. Finally, give me the ability to endure because of my hope in You.
AMEN

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