Category Archives: conviction

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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Keeping Our Promises

TODAY’S VERSE
Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise.
I Samuel 1:23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We live in a world that doesn’t honor its word. This is especially true of a promise made with the wrong motives, a promise that is more like “let’s make a deal” than a serious commitment. Often we want something and will manipulate it with a promise to get it. Other times we try to avoid inevitable consequences using promises as currency to buy our way out of trouble. But this is not the way Jesus taught us. He said to make our “Yes” a “Yes” and our “No” a “No.” It is easy to fail at keeping our promises even when we have the best of intentions. There are so many distractions, so many important things vying for our attention that we can begin to serve the “urgent” at the expense of the promises we made. Integrity is key to the Christian life, and we need to repent when we stray from keeping our word. Today, let us keep our promises and commit ourselves to follow through on what we say we will do.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me keep my word. Help my “Yes” be a “Yes” and my “No” a “No.” Might I serve You by keeping my promises.
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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Emotions

TODAY’S VERSE
But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
Psalms 42:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If nothing else, we are full of emotions. You can’t get away from them. But the goal is not to avoid emotions; instead, we need to regulate them. That is letting God, in all His power, grace, and love, return us to deep joy and peace. Psalms 42 exemplifies this. Throughout the Psalm, the author shares deep emotional angst. But each time, the Psalmist ends up turning to God. “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” the author asks. But then the author writes, “I will put my hope in God!” Again, “Now I am deeply discouraged,” followed with a resounding, “but I will remember you.” Every day seemed to bring its emotional test, but the author is quick to note, “Each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.” Today, life will have its emotional challenges but don’t stop there. You have a choice. Give your heart to God. Talk to Him, share your story with Him and let His love for you, His concern, His opinion of you return you to joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my emotions. You know my ups and downs. You know my hurts, my frailty, my insecurities. So I come to You. I come and ask You to speak to me, comfort me, share with me the truth of Your deep love and care. And then, in Your tender mercy, return me to joy. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Trust

TODAY’S VERSE
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NTL)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes you just have to trust. You know what it’s like. You are sitting there and “bam” – the sky starts falling. You are caught off guard. Your head starts spinning, and you feel sick to your stomach. Gasping for breath, you start accessing your situation. For some, adrenalin starts to kick in, and you hang on for the ride. For others, you just go numb. Indecision, blocked from thinking, you sit there. You, too, are on a ride, even if it doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere. And that is when you have to trust. You’re thrown into an unwanted journey where you need your faith. It is a desperate time, and you can’t depend on our own understanding. Instead, you must seek His will, and God promises that He will show you which way to go. So today, hang on. God knows your situation. He knows and deeply cares. Come to Him. Quit trying to figure it out and trust. He is there. He will show you the way.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I surrender. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know which way to go. I will quit depending on my own understanding and will trust in You with all my heart. I need Your supernatural wisdom and guidance. Please show me which way to go. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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What Controls You?

TODAY’S VERSE
Either way, Christ’s love controls us.
II Corinthians 5:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We would like to think that we are free, that nothing controls us. And yet, it is not a question of whether or not we are controlled. It is what do we let control us? Influences, impulses, beliefs, assumptions, responsibilities, promises, obligations, emotions, addictions, spiritual forces, desires, dreams, aspirations, and a myriad of other things shape our behavior more than we would like to admit. However, we are not helpless. We are not a puppet. James suggests we are “unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” But today, we have a choice. We can come to Christ. We can choose to let His love guide and control us. We can allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and direct us. Today, let Christ’s deep, deep love for you permeate your thinking and actions and say with Paul, “Christ’s love controls me.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Christ, fill me with Your love. Let it permeate my very being until I am controlled by it.
AMEN

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Wait On Him

TODAY’S VERSE
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
Psalms 62:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it hard to wait on God? It is so much easier to fret and worry. Or to take matters into our own hands and do things our way.
Perhaps it is because we have an intellectual assent toward God instead of a heartfelt surrender to Him. We “know about” God but barely know Him. I love the fact that the Psalmist says, “Let all that I am wait quietly before the Lord.” There is a soulful sound to that phrase. A surrender of the heart, a heart that is expectant of those things that the Prophet Isaiah talked about when he wrote, “But those who wait on 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.” And so today, let us wait. Stop and commit yourself to Him. Trust Him. Surrender to Him and let Him renew your strength. Today, put your hope in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I come to You today with all that I am. I will wait before You, putting all my trust and hope in You. Renew my strength, lead me in the way I should go. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Unbelief

TODAY’S VERSE
Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.
Mark 6:51-52 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it so hard to believe? What is it about the supernatural that makes us so skeptical? Why is it we can experience a miracle one minute and doubt if God will help us in the next? The disciples had seen Jesus heal countless numbers of people. He just finished feeding thousands of people from a few loafs of bread and fish. And yet, when they were in a battle for their life on the sea, they are shocked that Jesus could (or perhaps would) stop the raging sea. When explaining this mystery Mark simply says that “Their hearts were too hard to take it in.” And therein lays the problem – their hearts, their felt beliefs, their deep-down gut-level feeling that things will be okay were not softened by a relational belief system. Their hearts didn’t know Jesus. They may have seen His power, but they did not see His heart! They weren’t convinced of His love for them. And neither are we. If we were, we would react differently to the storms we encounter. Instead, we too doubt, cower in fear or lash out in anger, all reactions to our confusion over who He is and what He wants to do. The good news is that today we can change that. We can begin to know Jesus better by spending time with Him. As we get to know His heart better, we will find ours start to soften.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, help me to know You better. I want to know Your heart, motives, and wisdom. Help me trust You in everything that comes my way.
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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