Category Archives: Backslidden

Which Way Do I Go?

TODAY’S VERSE
Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
Psalms 77:19-20 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life’s pathways are not always smooth. There are many times when the terrain is rough at best. What do we do then? Thank God He is the one who promised to get us through to the other side. In today’s passage, we see that God was able to lead the Israelites through what seemed to be an impossible pathway. The Jews had left Egypt and were heading to the promised land when they ran smack into the Red Sea. I am sure that many of the people wondered what kind of path God had led them on. But the scriptures are clear; God had led them on a road that went through the Red Sea, a path that ran through the mighty waters. It was a road no one but God knew was there. He offers the same to us. He is the great shepherd. He is the one who can make our crooked paths straight. He is the one who turned the Red Sea into dry ground. So, what terrain are you on? What is your path like? Is it steep, full of sharp rocks, high cliffs, and loose footing? Does it take you through dark forests and thorny underbrush? There was a song we sung as little children that you can take comfort in. It said, “My God knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.” Today, choose to trust God. Follow Him. He has a path you know nothing about. He is the Great Shepherd; He will get you home.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know the journey I am on. You know the path I am following. Please guide me, Lord. Help me know which way to go. You are the Great Shepherd, be my shepherd today I pray.
AMEN

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God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.”
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our God is the God of second chances and more. Here is Peter coming to Jesus. He asks what he thinks is a very serious question. “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Peter was going out on a limb. Seven times is a lot of forgiveness. But Jesus responded in a way only God could. He said to Peter, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Forgiving someone seven times is incredible but the grace of God is so much more than we can comprehend. Peter heard about it that day but later he experienced it. Three times Peter denied Christ and he was forgiven. Three times Jesus had to tell Peter to “feed my sheep” until Peter fully understood his mission. Finally, in the book of Acts, three times God had to show Peter the vision of a blanket with non-kosher food on it, telling him to go ahead and eat the food. This was illustrating to Peter that God loved the gentiles and that Peter was to go and share the gospel with them. God was patient with Peter. How has He been patient with you? What has He forgiven you of? Where has God exercised grace in your life? Today, appreciate the extraordinary grace of God in your life. Truly He is the God of grace a God of many chances.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace. How patient You are with me. How forgiving You are. How wonderful has Your love and mercy been to me. Thank You for forgiving me more than seven times seventy.
AMEN

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Where Are You Walking?

TODAY’S VERSE
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. — For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:1-2, 10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Not all walking is the same. There is a stroll down the beach on a beautiful sunny day. Is there anything better than hearing the waves slap the shore, the sounds of birds above and feeling the warm sun on your face? How about a hike down a mountain path? Beautiful horizons, breathtaking waterfalls, and exotic foliage as you walk back to the valley below. But then there is the walk from the car into the hospital after you have received news of a loved one who has been admitted. Or the terrifying walk into a courtroom as you face a legal battle. Or how about a walk looking for somewhere warm to sleep when you are homeless, living out in the streets. Not all walks are the same. Paul is writing about the contrast in two different types of walk. The first walk Paul talks about is a death walk. Walking through each day spiritually dead because of our own disobedience and sins, obeying the devil the commander of this world. The second walk Paul talks about is the walk of purpose and meaning. Paul writes that this is living as if we really believed we are the personal workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works. This is walking through life with a meaning, a purpose and a mission greater than ourselves. Where are you walking? You have a choice. You don’t have to go down the walk of death. Today, choose life. Choose to follow Christ and walk with Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me walk with You. You know the times I have wandered down dead-end streets and alleys and ended up spiritually bankrupt. Help me walk today in the kind of life You created me for. I choose to follow You.
AMEN

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Wake Up

TODAY’S VERSE
Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.
Acts 12:8-9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Peter was being set free from prison by an angel and did not even know it. He thought he was dreaming. Isn’t that a lot like us? Jesus came along and said that if we hold to His teachings, we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. What truth? The truth found in what Jesus taught. He taught that we could have a relationship with Him; that He would love us unconditionally; He would give us peace that passes all our understanding; He would forgive us of all our sins; and that He came to give us an abundant life. What promises, what a spiritual reality, and yet, like Peter, our walk gives us away. Peter was walking in a trance. He did not realize he was being set free. How many mornings do we awaken only to walk in a spiritual stupor, go to work and live out our day as if God did not even exist? How many days have we spent defeated, far from the reality of victory that Jesus promises? Thankfully, Peter came to senses, woke up and realized that he was indeed free from jail. We need to do the same thing. We need to wake up! It is time to get the sleeping dust out of our eyes and wake up to the tremendous Spiritual reality that God has for us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to know what it is to be Spiritually free, free from all that is holding me down, that is chaining me in bondage. Wake me up, Father, that I may see the reality of the freedom You have given me in Christ Jesus my Lord.
AMEN

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Rescue Me

TODAY’S VERSE
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.– What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15, 24-25 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have we found ourselves in this dilemma? We sit in the aftermath of some mess we have just created and wonder, “How in the world did I get here?” Paul knew what it felt like to utterly fail at trying to change his behavior. Who can’t relate to this passage? At the end of the day, we have all felt like the “wretched man” that Paul is writing about. Dr. William Backus, in his book, “Learning To Tell Myself The Truth” explains it this way, “The sinfulness of human nature, man’s deepest spiritual disorder, involves a quarrel with God. Springing from this rift are underlying false beliefs about God and His attitude toward us (Spiritual misbeliefs), which in turn lead to untruthful thoughts, thoughts that affect our feelings and behavior and created difficulties in our relationship with others.” Out of these core misbeliefs, come all sorts of evil. But Paul doesn’t stop there. He asks, “Who will rescue me?” Then he gives a resounding answer, “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Backus says it this way, “The reality of sin and its effects in our daily lives is not the final word. As Christians, we have the ultimate good news, the key to a healthier spiritual core.” Today, come to Christ for cleansing. Accept His total forgiveness. Ask Him to point out any Spiritual lies that are dragging you down. Throw off “wretched man” thinking and accept His grace, love, and forgiveness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know my temptations, struggles, and failures. I confess I have believed lies about You that I need to get rid of. Help me know what they are and begin my inner cleansing. Thank You that Jesus Christ has rescued me.
AMEN

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I Am Slipping

TODAY’S VERSE
I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Psalms 94:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever slipped? I have. It is a helpless feeling. Your legs fly up and your body comes down without warning. Once I slipped off a tree limb and landed many feet below on the ground. There were scratches down the side of my body from the many branches that I hit on my descent. Slipping out of control can be a terrifying experience. But there can be more fearful slips. Ever have the fear of abandonment or rejection that leads to anxiety so bad that you felt your heart would beat out of your chest? You feel like you’re going down a long winding chute picking up speed leading directly to annihilation. It is a fear of non-being, leaving you in terror, trying anything to bring relief. The Psalmist knew what it felt like. He cried, “I am slipping!” The good news is God can help you down from those mental and emotional cliffs that you are hanging on to by a thread. As difficult as it may seem, as terrifying you may think the outcome could be, God is with you to help and comfort. He will help you find a way. The Psalmist was in a dilemma. It was sheer horror that made him cry out to God, “My foot is slipping!” But when he did, God’s unfailing, better said, His never-failing love, supported him. When his anxiety was so high, when doubts filled his mind so much that he could not stand it, God consoled him, bringing real joy deep to his soul. God will do the same for you. Bring Him your fear, your anxiety, your terror. Bring Him to the spot where you are slipping. Reach up your hand and He will grab you. He will hold you with His strong arm. He will put your feet in a safe place.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am slipping. Please come to my aid. Catch me, hold me, help me find better footing. I need Your consolation. I need Your never-failing love. I need Your help. Guide me, comfort me, rescue me, in the name of Jesus I pray.
AMEN

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Don’t Condemn Yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I.”
John 8:10-11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the account of Jesus listening to the men who wanted to stone a woman to death for committing adultery. Jesus instructed them, “the one without any sin should throw the first stone.” One by one each man left until only the woman and Jesus remained. Jesus asked, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” The woman stood there, no doubt astonished and said, “No Lord.” Then Jesus said those words of extreme freedom, “Neither do I.” Paul brings the point home after explaining our human condition of doing things that we don’t want to and not doing those that we should. He shouts this victory cry, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Hallelujah! That should be enough to set anyone free. Or at least you would think so. However, it is not always, others that accuse us. It is our inner voice that has picked up the stone. It is the internal dialog of guilt, shame, remorse, worthlessness that is pelting us, leaving us bloody and beaten. You see, we can be free from the condemnation of those around us. We can believe, in our mind, that Jesus has forgiven us, but if we do not deal with the inner conflict, the lifelong attitudes of low self-worth, we are not free from the pain of condemnation. We must take an inventory, exercise self-compassion and one by one watch all our internal accusers leave. Each one, unqualified to condemn us, until there are none left and then Jesus can say to us, “Where are your accusers?” And we can lift our heart in deep gratitude and say, “There are none!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I thank You that You have forgiven me for my sins. However, there are attitudes inside my heart that constantly condemn me. They are full of shame, guilt, and legalism, tying me up and keeping me from experiencing the freedom You have given me. Today, help me renounce these inner condemnations and celebrate your forgiveness. Help me live in the reality of Your love.
AMEN

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