Category Archives: conviction

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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Trust And Obey

TODAY’S VERSE
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt.
James 1:5-6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever had people you are close to making a decision, a decision about something you know a lot about, yet they never asked your opinion? Have you ever been asked your opinion and then totally ignored? Have you ever been asked to “weigh-in” on a decision only to have to “buy-in” to a decision you disagree with? It is hard when you are ignored or when decisions are made that you think should have been different. What about God? How does He feel about people who go through life never asking for His opinion on anything? How about people that pray a desperate request never really intending to listen? Or worst, what about those that ask God for wisdom and treat His answer as simply a “weigh-in” deciding later to ask God to “buy-in” to the decision they made contrary to what God suggested. Do you ask God for wisdom or do you go about your life without His opinion? If you do ask God for wisdom, do you listen to it or are you off to something else not really listening for an answer at all? Finally, if you do ask for wisdom and hear God’s voice, do you “obey” it or do you “weigh” it. James tells us to ask God for wisdom and then believe God will give it to us and not doubt His answer. Today, when you need wisdom, ask God, really ask Him. Then, listen to what He says. When you hear, follow His path. It is like the old Hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way. To be happy in Jesus, just trust and obey.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I don’t ask You for wisdom like I should. And when I have asked, I have often ignored You. Forgive me, Lord. I know I need Your wisdom for this life and I ask that You would give it to me. Then, Holy Spirit, guide me, direct me, empower me to do what Your wisdom dictates. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Compassion

TODAY’S VERSE

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Matthew 9:36-38 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

Everyone has a story. Everyone hurts sometimes. If not now, wait. It is a hurting world. This is what Jesus saw. He saw the crowds, harassed and helpless. He compared them to lost sheep without a shepherd to protect them. And when He saw them, He had compassion. Why? Because He was God incarnate! God in the flesh. All you have to do, to understand why Jesus reacted the way He did, is to read the Old Testament. God Jehovah had compassion for the poor and needy. Even in Proverbs, Solomon gives us instructions to help those in need. He writes, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” We are to defend the rights of the poor and needy. But you ask, “What can I do?” It starts with your willing heart. From your heart, it moves to your eyes. Next, it moves to your head, then to your hands and feet. If you are willing to be used on behalf of the needy and ask God to help you help others, His love takes over. His compassion will be more than you could ever begin to contain. His miracles on behalf of the needy will be more than you can keep up with. God loves His human race, but He ordained His church to be His hands and feet. When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he called his disciples for help. He is still calling! What will you do?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Father, there are so many needs, so many hurting and dying. Use me today, right here, right now, to make a difference in someone’s life. Help me see with Your eyes, love with Your heart and move with Your power. In Jesus’ Name.

AMEN

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No Shame

TODAY’S VERSE
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame and guilt have so many of us in bondage. If it is not actual shame, it is the fear of being shamed. Yet this is not the way of life God has chosen for us. David knew this. In today’s passage, David is appealing to God to forgive him. He came to Him with complete abandonment, crying out for mercy, asking God to cleanse him from all his sin. He was counting on God’s unfailing love and compassion. Likewise, we come to God, through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, asking that all our sins be forgiven. But do we really believe that happens? Are we really forgiven? We need to get to that same place of trust that David was in. We need to know and experience the freedom that comes from the forgiveness of Christ. David accepted himself as clean. Will you? Live in His forgiveness today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I refuse to believe that You are ashamed of me or that you will abandon me because of my transgressions. I confess my sin and accept the death of Christ on the Cross as the substitution for my wrongdoings. Help me Lord rise, not in arrogance, but humility, knowing that I am cleansed and accepted by Your unconditional love. I choose to accept myself as forgiven and not ashamed. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Our Real Self

TODAY’S VERSE
For to me, to live is Christ
Philippians 1:21

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul had found the secret to real living. He found his true authentic self when he found his life in Christ. It is not that he “lost” himself but that his true purpose and meaning for existence was “found” when he found Christ. There was no dichotomy in his life. There wasn’t a “church” personality on Sunday and a different one at work on Monday. Rather there was integration between his faith and his life. Dr. David Benner in his book “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes about our identity found in Christ. He writes, “There is, a way of being for each of us that is as natural and deeply congruent as the life of the tulip. Beneath the roles and masks lies a possibility of a self that is as unique as a snowflake. It is an originality that has existed since God first loved us into existence. Our true self-in-Christ is the only self that will support authenticity. It and it alone provides an identity that is eternal.” What about you? Have you dedicated your life to Christ in such a way that you have found your true authentic self? Can you say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ”? If not, why not surrender your heart to Him today? Ask Him to reveal to you, your true self in Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I admit, I have built my life the way I have seen fit. I have ignored the restlessness deep in my heart that cries out for You. Today, I choose to make You ruler of my life. Father, please help me. I want to say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ.”
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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Be Still Before Him

TODAY’S VERSE
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
Psalms 37:7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How much time do you spend meditating in the presence of God? That is to stop everything and spend time before Him. This is more difficult than it seems. It does not matter if you have read the Bible for four weeks or four decades, you may know all about God and still not spend much time experiencing Him. Your knowledge may be in your head never making it into your heart. You will never truly know what it means to love God without spending meditative time talking with and listening to God in His presence. That is like saying you love your spouse and yet you never spend any time together. God is interested in us knowing Him through Scriptures, but He also desires a relationship that only comes through “being” in His presence. Today, determine to know Him better. Choose some time where you can be in solitude with Him. Don’t let another day, week, month or year go by and not treasure God in your heart through time spent still before Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that one of the purposes You have for me in this life is to know You. Help me carve out the time it takes to be “still” before You. Help me learn to embrace Your presence and enjoy union with You in time spent together. I ask this in Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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