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Archive for the ‘Courage’ Category

TODAY’S VERSE
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As Christ followers we have a Holy purpose! We are part of a Holy Mission. Evil forces have invaded the earth’s domain leaving mankind in darkness. Yet God, in His mercy, has called you and I to bring the light to the world. Each of us to the part of the world He has put us in. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. – Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Perhaps all this sounds over the top. Something you would see in a “Lord of the Rings” type epic. But the reality in this world is that most people are in a spiritual battle, struggling with sin or its effects, spending their time in spiritual darkness. Imagine being in utter darkness when all of a sudden someone comes by offering you eternal light. Being in blindness now you can see. That is the mission of the light bearer. People are searching for light to illuminate their soul and God has asked us simply to shine the light. Live out our inward reality where other people can see it. Love others the way Christ loves us. Lay out our platter of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, so others can partake. Jobs are great, careers wonderful. If you have a vocation you are blessed, but you will never find a higher calling than bearing the light. Today, might God allow you to shine His light in every area of darkness you come in contact with.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for shining Your light into my dark world. Help me not forget. Today, help me carry Your light and shine it on all those in darkness around me.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
I John 2:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many different ways to treat our sin. We can blame others for our actions. We can deny that what we have done is wrong. We can project those very things we do onto others. We can choose to ignore our behavior or better yet rationalize why we did what we did. There are other options. We can feel shame. We can feel helpless and get deeply depressed. We can choose to be bitter or give up and say, “It’s no use, that’s the way I am.” But thank God there is yet another way. John shared it with us. He says if we sin, we can come to Christ, who will go to God the Father on our behalf. He is the one who can assure us of forgiveness. He is the one who can comfort us. He is the one who can give us the strength to get up and start over. He is the one who can say to our accuser, “Be gone! Leave my child alone!” Today, if you have something bothering your conscience, if you feel burdened, bring it to Jesus. Confess it to Him and them let Him wash it way. Let Him clean your heart and free your soul. Let Him give you a peace and joy that is greater than all of your sins. Hear Him say, “You are forgiven.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you for convicting me of sin. Thank you that I can come to You, confess my sin and know that the blood of Your son Jesus totally cleanses me. Thank You for complete forgiveness. Thank You for new direction and giving me a fresh start. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
I Peter 5:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If someone offered to take all your anxieties away from you would you take them up on the offer? Or would anxiety, by its own nature, cause you to worry that the person would not be able to take care of your situation? Ironically, you would end up with a whole new set of worries! So what do you do when Peter tells you to give all your worries and cares to God? If you are like most Christians you just hold on to them. Sure you pray. You even begin to trust Him, but as soon as anything happens, you go back to holding on to your worries and cares all over again. The truth is that giving your cares to God takes faith. The author of Hebrews says if you have true faith, then it would necessitate that you believe God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. That is what Peter meant when he said to cast all your cares on Christ. God exists and He will “reward” your faith in Him by caring for you. Can you imagine that? Next time you worry, start with the thought that God deeply cares for you! He cares for you with all the resources of His mighty power and wisdom to use on your behalf. With that in mind, start today giving Him all your cares.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how I worry and carry many concerns with me. Forgive me for my lack of faith. I know You reward those that come to You in faith, so I come now in faith believing that You care for me. I choose to give all my worries to You. I know You are all powerful, wise and loving, so I trust You with all the outcomes of this step of faith. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus replied, ‘My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.'” – “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. John 12:35-36, (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Hiking in the darkness is vastly different than hiking in the daytime. Once on a primitive hiking trip I had to walk an injured person out of the woods to a hospital to get stitched up. It took most of the day. In order to catch up with the rest of the group we hiked back on the trail during the night. Unfortunately, with so much use, my flashlight became very dim. What a hike! Roots, holes in the trail, cliffs, animals, ravines, what would be difficult to navigate in daylight became unbearable in the dark. Slowly, using what light we had, we eventually made it back to base camp. How? By focusing on the light! You see, in that ten square feet ahead of me I could see where I was going. It didn’t matter that thousands of acres was in darkness, I only needed to see the ten feet in front of me. Even though our flashlight was dim, no matter how hard it tried, the darkness could not penetrate the light I had. In today’s passage Jesus told us to, “Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you.” The darkness of sin, doubt, despair and confusion are always trying to trip us up so we have a choice to make. We can focus on the darkness or we can turn the light on! The majority of difficulty and darkness we will encounter in life will be a truth encounter. We will have a choice to make. Focus on all the lies and doubts that will attack us or to focus on the truth of God’s word. Jesus said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” Paul says it this way in his letter to the Ephesians, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” Might we decide to turn the light of faith, His word and prayer on, living in the joy of knowing Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how dark my world can become. Help me to remember to turn on the light of faith, prayer and Your word so I can navigate the trail You have in front of me today. I will move forward today, step by step, with faith, focusing on the light You give me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
According to your faith will it be done to you.
Matthew 9:29 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we get the picture that faith is some lame ridiculous kind of thinking. You know, sort of believing that getting the longer part of a wishbone will grant you a wish. That is not faith. That is superstition. The key to faith is not the faith itself but what the faith is in. We believe in the God of the universe. We have put our faith in Him and His love, wisdom and power. What better place to put it? Besides His attributes, we put our faith in His promises. God’s promises are true and we can place our trust in what He says. So what is troubling you today? What are you in need of? What situation has you stressed? Bring it to God. Talk to Him about your needs and desires. Apply God’s promises to your situation and then commit yourself to Him. Step out in faith and trust Him. Hear the words of Jesus for your life today, “According to your faith will it be done to you.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love. Guide and direct me this day. . Help me today to put my complete faith and trust in You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord.
Deuteronomy 11:16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Self deception is at the root of many of our problems. Not only do we lie to all those around us, but more often we lie to ourselves. How often do we mask what is really bothering us? We pretend to love when we are bitter and wounded. We act brave when we are afraid. Dr. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes,
“At some point in childhood we all make the powerful discovery that we can manipulate the truth about ourselves. Initially it often takes the form of a simple lie – frequently a denial of having done something. But of more importance to the development of the false self is the discovery that our ability to hide isn’t limited to what we say or don’t say. We learn to pretend. We discover the art of packaging our self. – Our masks have become our reality, and we have become our lies. In short, we have lost authenticity and adopted an identity based on illusion.” You see God loves the real you! He knows your fears, your rage, your brokenness and He is waiting for you to give it to Him. There is nothing about the real you He cannot redeem! It is only when you let your heart be deceived and create a false self that you turn away from the Lord. Today, come to God as you are. Let Him touch the real you. Tell Him what you feel, what your think, what you have hidden from everyone else. When you do, you will find Him accepting, loving and able to set you free from all your fears of self exposure. Come to Him, the truth will set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have hidden my true self from You and everyone one else. Fear, shame, anger, guilt, disgust – so many emotions keep me from living the truth. I have tried so hard to be what everyone else has wanted and somewhere I have lost my way. Please, in Your love, gently peal back my veneer and bring me into Your light. Help me take off my masks and see myself as You see me. Help me embrace all of me as You lovingly embrace me even now. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’”
Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Faith can move mountains. But how much faith? In today’s passage we are reminded that even the smallest amount of faith counts. It comforts me to see that Jesus was talking to people with very little faith and He wasn’t chiding them. Instead He loves them. He says, “Because you have just a little faith let me encourage you!” And then he uses the “mustard” seed as an illustration of how even a “little” faith can be used. He chose the mustard seed because it was one of the smallest seeds he could find. In another passage He said, “but when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree.” The seed was like a speck of dirt and yet Jesus insisted that even a little speck of faith can be used by God. He concludes, “Nothing will be impossible for you!” We need faith. When all seems hopeless we reach out in faith. When our back is up against the wall, we cry out in faith. When we are not sure what to do, we step out in faith. As we do, God will be there. Don’t be discouraged with little faith. Simply plant it in today’s soil like a mustard seed and let God do the rest.

TODAY’S PRAYER
God, You know how feeble my faith can be. I am so glad that You can take it and use it. As You do, please help my faith to grow that I may believe You for even greater things. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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