Category Archives: Behavior

Bondage Of Sin

TODAY’S VERSE
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 7:24-25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
A part of our human condition is our propensity toward sin. Paul shared that this fight between good and evil made him miserable. He explains, “The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” How true is that? Cravings, habits, emotional stress can lead to all kinds of sin. Fear, worry, insecurity creates an atmosphere where misbehavior grows. Anger, ignorance, prejudice, hatred can lead us into relational strife and discord. Paul asked the right question, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” More importantly, he gave the right answer when he wrote, “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” The truth is we are powerless to handle our sinful nature by ourselves. We need to turn our will and life over to Christ. He came to forgive us and set us free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, my sin has me baffled. I need You to free me from this bondage of sin in my life. Come Jesus, forgive me and help me live the life You have called me to.
AMEN

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Mind Control

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.
Romans 8:12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How often we feel trapped. We try and try and still give in to sinful desires. Cravings, habits, negative behavior, painful emotions have us running in circles. And then Paul comes and says we don’t have any obligation to do what our sinful nature urges us to do. What a prospect, but how? He gives the secret when he writes, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” If you know Christ, you have the Spirit of God in you. Today, make it your obligation to follow God and ask the Holy Spirit to control your mind.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Spirit, control my mind today and help me think and do those things that please You.
AMEN

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Search My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalms 139:23-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to give in to sinful behavior. You know the kind that you participate in and later think, “What was I doing?” Hopefully, God will convict us, and we can repent of it lest it becomes a sinful habit. But what about the behavior we don’t even pay attention to? Lust, greed, jealously, anger, slander, lying are just a few examples. Sadly we can go through a whole day and not even think anything about it. We turn a deaf ear to any conscience. We don’t notice a twinge in our heart saying, “This is wrong.” This is when we need the Lord’s help the most. David knew this, so he invited the Lord to do an inventory of his heart. He prays and asks the Lord to search his heart and point out everything that offends Him. Why? So he could clear his conscience and get back on God’s path of everlasting life. What about you? When was the last time you asked the Lord to take an inventory of your heart? Today, come to God and pray what David prayed. The good news is that this same David also wrote about God, “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, search me, O God, and know my heart. Point out anything in me that offends you, Lord, and help me repent. Forgive me, I pray. In Jesus’ name and because of His sacrifice.
AMEN

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Drifting

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t let me drift toward evil.
Psalms 141:4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Drifting. It can take you by surprise. You think you are heading in the right direction, but suddenly you are somewhere you don’t want to be. You could be crossing a large lake in a canoe and think you are heading toward your destination, but the boat’s drift will take you way off course. There are only two cures. The first is to not drift in the first place. This is what the Psalmist asked God to help him with. Stay away from things that take you in the wrong direction. Get rid of anything that starts you to waiver. The second is to re-correct your course. When you feel yourself drifting, you correct yourself and move back toward your destination. The scriptures, prayer, meditation, good Christian fellowship all help us re-correct our path. Today, check your bearings. Where are you spiritually? What can you do to get back on course? What can you do to stop from drifting?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, help me not drift away from You. Help me continually re-correct my course.
AMEN

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Transformed

TODAY’S VERSE
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Humans have lived in this world for a long time. Being adaptive creatures, we conform to the environment we live in. How many things do we do every day out of habit? Habits that are nothing more than conforming behavior to what we learned in the world. What automatic thoughts, assumptions, beliefs do we subscribe to because we have conformed to the surroundings we live in? To be transformed means to change our nature or character. That is what Christ wants to do with our life. He desires that we become more like Him, so He transforms our minds. He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide this whole process. Soon our thinking, values, beliefs, assumptions begin to align with the mind of Christ. This can happen to you. Today, quit conforming to the world’s values and ask God to transform you by renewing your mind.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, forgive me for conforming to the thinking of this world. Today come in the power of the Holy Spirit and transform my mind so I can be more like You.
AMEN

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Representing Heaven

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 14:17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We often quote Jesus in what is referred to as the “Lord’s Prayer” when He said, “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Have you ever wondered what He meant? Paul sheds some light on the way our behavior should represent Heaven. He writes that the Kingdom of God is unlike earth, where we pay so much attention to physical and materialistic values, but rather it is about living a life of goodness, peace, and joy. A heavenly life on earth is led by the Holy Spirit and embodies the fruit that the Spirit produces. These fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you live out these Heavenly values.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I pray that you will help me live out the heavenly calling You have on my life. Help me live the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
AMEN

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Wait

TODAY’S VERSE
The Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Romans 15:4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so hard to wait. When we are full of panic, anger, or dread, a minute can seem like an eternity. We want to do something. When a situation drags on and on, we begin to wonder, “Will it ever end?” We start to run out of patience, but the good news is that God is there. In every situation, He can give us hope and encouragement if we wait for it. Without God, waiting is the hard part. But with God it is a totally different experience. Isaiah assures us, “They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Paul also adds to our reason to wait on God with a beautiful benediction, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Today wait patiently on the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father God, the source of hope, please fill me completely with joy and peace as I trust in You. Help me overflow with confident hope through the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Your Spiritual Gift

TODAY’S VERSE
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.
Romans 12:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Are you using your spiritual gifts? Do you know what yours are? We don’t talk much about them. But Paul does. Here in Romans 12, Paul addresses that when God gives us a Spiritual gift, we need to use it to our best ability. He writes, “So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Paul shares that each of us has a spiritual gift that we can serve God with. Today, ask God to show you yours. Ask Him to use it in your life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, show me my Spiritual Gift and help me use it for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

For a FREE Spiritual Gifts Inventory that I have written, go to http://www.empowerministry.org/gifts

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Maturity

TODAY’S VERSE
Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger.
I Corinthians 1:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to see a baby behaving like a baby but totally inappropriate for an adult. An assumed maturity should come with age, but sadly, this is not always the case. Emotionally we can be stuck in “arrested development.” Spiritually Paul says we can be stuck in infancy. Instead of growing at a reasonable rate in our faith, we become more nominal. In the letter to the Galatians, Paul writes, “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” This is the growth God desires. He promises if we abide in Him and He in us, we will bear much fruit. Today, make it your goal to grow in Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I want to grow in my faith. I want to grow in my knowledge of Christ. I want to grow in my relationship with You. Help me I pray.
AMEN

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Maturity Is A Journey

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. – Romans 8:12-13

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Maturity is a journey. When we think we have matured in one area, we move to another challenge in life that stretches us more. We are in the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. Maturity can be difficult, but we don’t give up! The good news is that Paul tells us that we do not have an obligation to do what our sinful nature urges us to do. Now, it doesn’t always feel that way. Cravings, temptations, habits run deep. But today we have a choice! We have a choice to say, “No.” We have the choice to “stop.” We have a choice not to be dominated by our sinful nature. Paul wrote, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” So today, repent; say no; stop! You have a choice. Ask the Spirit of God to direct your mind and behavior.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Father. I struggle with maturity. I need Your help. I need the power of Your Holy Spirit to put to death my sinful nature. I come and ask You to forgive me, fill me, and empower me. In the name of Jesus.
AMEN

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