Category Archives: Backslidden

A Way Of Escape

TODAY’S VERSE
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
I Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How subtle sin can be. We begin to wander from the things of God, and soon our life starts to take a different course. Most people that end in some sort of addiction or negative situation never intended to get there. They didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I will go down a road that will ruin my life.” No, it was small little navigations that got them to the foreign shore. Likewise, in the life of a Christian, we don’t wake up one day and say, “I will be far from God.” It starts with missed opportunities of fellowship, lack of discipline in prayer, Bible study and mediation, weekdays between church services without Christian influence. Little by little, we become more and more like the world around us and trade our Christian experience for a mask we wear on Sunday. What can we do? Thank God for the reality of what Paul shares in today’s passage. Paul reminds us that the temptations that you and I face every day are the same as everyone else’s, but God is faithful and will show us a way out. On every descent away from God, there is a window of sanity. There is an opportunity to repent, to turn around, to come back to God. The prodigal son found it. Peter found it. God enables us to “come to our self,” to come to our senses, and He does provide a way out. Today, if you find yourself far from where God wants you, ask yourself, “Who moved?” God didn’t. He loves you; turn around, there is a way of escape.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, it is so easy to wander from You. Forgive me. Help me to escape today from all that entraps me. Help me break away from all that has taken my heart from You. I come to You now, dear Lord. I want to follow You.
AMEN

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Making Sense

TODAY’S VERSE
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
Luke 15:17-20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“When he came to his senses.” It’s that quick. You can be struggling for years, and then there is a moment of clarity, an “aha” moment, a spiritual awakening. Like the tumblers of a lock falling in place, your mind is clear, and the truth is opened right before your eyes. It is a God moment. A combination of awareness, conviction, holy discontent, and a sensation that “now is the time.” The scales have tipped. There is more to gain from changing than staying the same. The prodigal son saw that there was more to gain from going home than staying in the pigpen. How about us? When is it going to make more sense to fellowship with God than the world? When will we understand that there is much more satisfaction in following Christ’s plan for our life than our own? When will we believe that He does love us unconditionally and that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less? These are the realizations that change a life. Have you made them yet?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I have come to my senses and realize the love You have for me. I choose to live for You and surrender all that I have for Your use. You are the Lord God Almighty, and I have come to realize that living for You makes all the sense in the world. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Protect My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy for our hearts to wander. Temptation, disappointment, deferred hope, loss, heartache, lust, greed, anger, jealousy, Spiritual apathy, and isolation are just some of the ways that our hearts can become sinful and unbelieving. We must do all we can in order not to be deceived and lose heart. Paul shares three ways to protect our hearts. He writes, “Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” Fixing our thoughts on Jesus will keep us from “heart” failure. He will help keep our hearts at peace and joy. In Philippians, Paul writes, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Here we see that the protection of our heart starts with our head. We need to fix our thoughts on Jesus and those things that build us up. In today’s verse, Paul gives another way to protect our hearts. He writes, “Encourage one another daily.” Isolation can be a “kiss of death” to our hearts. We get alone in our pity party, and soon we find ourselves self-feeling hopeless, alone, and unbelieving. Instead, we need to fellowship with others. Today, find a friend and share your thoughts. Let them encourage you, pray for you, and help you with your burden. You can then do the same for someone else. Whatever else you do today, protect your heart!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for the times I allow my heart to become sinful and unbelieving. Help me to fix my thoughts on Jesus and those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Help me to seek the fellowship of others that can, in turn, help me and encourage me. Lord, protect my heart, I pray. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Two Sins

TODAY’S VERSE
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Separation from God usually comes in two phases. First, we start to stray. Little by little, we start to forsake fellowship, fail to meditate in His word and spend less and less time in prayer. Good things take us from the more important. Urgent begins to replace the best. How subtle the path is. We end up farther and farther away from the spiritual milieu that once fed our soul. Second, we not only stray we actually find a new home. Jeremiah says not only do we forsake the spring of living water; we actually go out and dig our own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold any water. They look great on the outside but are empty on the inside. Where are you today? Are you straying farther and farther from God? Have you actually moved away and found other interests that take top priority in your life? Stop! Go no farther. Turn back. Come to your Heavenly Father today and ask Him to cleanse your heart and put a new thirst in your soul leading you back to His spring of living water.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for straying from You. I have forsaken Your living waters and have attempted to quench my own thirst. I admit that I am still thirsty. I know that only You can satisfy, and I ask Lord that You would fill my cup today with Your life-giving presence.
AMEN

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Soften Your Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns.”
Jeremiah 4:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried planting vegetables in a patch of weeds? I did once, and it was a disaster. Instead of breaking up the soil and getting rid of the weeds, I had heard that laying plastic down and cutting a slit for the seeds was easier. It made sense to me. So I planted the seeds and thought the plastic would stop the weeds. Perhaps that would have been true if I used black plastic. But I used clear! Hello! Without knowing it, I created a greenhouse for weeds! So much for my shortcut. Barely a vegetable survived. How much better had I plowed the row, planted the seeds, and then systematically take out the weeds? This is what God wants us to do with our hearts. We are to take our spiritually hardened hearts and break up the soil. We do this by letting God’s word humble us, teach us, correct us, and guide us. Through His Spirit, God takes out the weeds that have grown in our hearts. When we allow this, God then replaces the weeds with the fruit of the Spirit. Is your heart hardened toward the things of God? Soften it today through prayer, a humble attitude, and His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You my heart. I ask You to break up the hardened ground and pull out all the weeds. Take the seeds of your word and create the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
AMEN

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Come

TODAY’S VERSE
“Come, follow me,’ Jesus said”
Matthew 4:19

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Come is one of the most beautiful words in the Bible. It is an offer to participate in something. An invitation to move in a certain direction. It is only as good as the person requesting you to come and the object which you are moving toward. Today God offers so much for you to partake of. He offers you the ultimate relationship with Himself and all that goes with it. What is it your soul desires? Come. What is it that you find missing in your life? Come. Are you weary? Come and find rest. Are you poor in Spirit? Come, take your inheritance. Is your heart thirsty? Come. Do you desire peace, joy, forgiveness, strength, hope, and love? Come. Today, hear the voice of the Lord. He is calling out to you. All you need to do is come.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You love me, and today I hear Your voice say, “Come.” So I come to You dear Lord with open arms and heart. I come to You in humility and anticipation to receive all that You have for me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Strength Of My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalms 73:26 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Asaph, the author of this Psalm, was a bitter man. He was envious of the wealthy and upset at his demise. He was consumed at what he thought was unfair about life. But then he came to his senses. He writes, “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant”. How many have we times have we felt the same way? But who says life is fair?” Where in the Bible does it say everything in life is going to be grand? Where does it say that we will be spared from pain and heartache? Fortunately, Asaph awoke from his bitterness with the realization of what really mattered. He wrote, “Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.” Asaph realized what was the most important thing in life. He said it all in today’s passage, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” It is the strength of the heart that comes from knowing God that matters. Paul said it this way, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Our circumstances may crumble, our bodies fail, our enthusiasm all but gone, yet God will never, never, never leave us or forsake us. The strength of our heart from His abiding presence will remain with us forever.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to truly understand what it is to have You as the strength of my heart. Help me treasure Your relationship above all else. Thank You for loving me and being my strength forever.
AMEN

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