Category Archives: desire

Desire

TODAY’S VERSE
Then they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. – They shouted out their oath of loyalty to the LORD with trumpets blaring and rams’ horns sounding. All in Judah were happy about this covenant, for they had entered into it with all their heart. They earnestly sought after God, and they found him.
2 Chronicles 15:12, 14-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Desire is a critical factor in our walk with God. In today’s passage, we see how excited the Hebrews were about living for God. They entered into a covenant to know God with all their heart and soul. That is how God wants us to desire Him. He wants us to long for His fellowship. He wants us to desire Him above everything else. And the exciting fact is that it is God himself that helps us with our desires. In “Desiring God’s Will,” David Brenner writes, “Hunger for God will not go unanswered, because it is a gift from God. Our longing is already an answer from our heart as it is stirred by God’s Spirit. No one who seeks God fails to find God, because she or he is already found by God. In seeking we are found. In longing we express God’s desire, God’s longing evoking our own.” John wrote, “We love him, because he first loved us.” How marvelous, how mysterious. We desire God because He desires us. Today, joyfully set your heart toward Him. Desire His fellowship, desire His love, desire His Lordship.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I desire to seek You with all my heart. I desire to know You, to love You and to live for You. Help me to this end I pray.
AMEN

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Alive

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When asked, a group of people who suffered from addictions answered what they “felt” just before they gave in to the craving of their addiction. What was the trigger? What was the deep painful impulse that was driving them? Some of the answers were “worthlessness, lost, disconnection, lack of existence, invisible, bad, evil, void, abandoned, alone, powerless, wrong, not breathing, non-being, humiliated, ashamed and unloved.” Then the same group was asked to visualize taking the drug and verbalize what the drug did for them. What was the promise, what was the relief? They wrote:
“self-discovery, focus for my life, meaning, surrender, will, acceptance by the group, feeling of being alive, freedom, acceptance of desire, living in the moment.” Now here is the catch. Although the desire for positive meaning is real, the lie is that drugs are the solution. It is like the song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” It is God that gives the “breath of life.” Jesus provides real meaning. The healing power of God and Christian fellowship is the answer to our deepest pain! God has created us for life. We are not supposed to go around feeling like a non-being. Instead, Paul prays that we would have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Christ’s love for us is. It is in experiencing God’s love for us that we are made complete with all the “fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Today, let the love of Christ breathe life deep into your soul and make you alive.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to live, really live. Help me find true meaning and purpose in Your love for me. Fill me with Your life-giving breath. Fill me with Your Spirit and make me more alive today than I have ever been.
AMEN

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Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Temptation. Who has not felt its sting? Who has not been knocked in the gut and brought to their knees by this cancer of our soul? What keeps us in such bondage is the mistaken belief that temptations are “out there”. We see them as external enemies sneaking around waiting to ambush us. Now it is true that we have an enemy of our very soul, the devil, and he does seek to devour us. However, James shares that the root of our temptations come from within us. James says that “temptations come from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.” We can blame the magazine publisher or the movie producer but it is our own lust, our own unmet needs or misguided thinking that has caused us to dwell on pornography. It is our own misbeliefs and internal dialog that keeps us coming back to drugs so we can self medicate. That is why Paul makes it clear that God is the one that must help us. He writes, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” What God’s grace does not prevent, because of our own humanness, God’s grace forgives. The Apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Today, let Jesus untie the ropes that bind you. Like Peter, get up from the cell you are in. You are free! You have been liberated. Hear the words of Jesus, “Arise and sin no more.” “My son, my daughter, go, your sins have been forgiven you!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear liberator of my soul, I bring you my shackles. Take them. I bring you the key to my heart, unlock it. Heal me from the inside. Defeat my misguided thoughts, cast down the enemy of my soul. I look to you, who knows me better than I know myself. By your power, in your grace, because of your mercy, free me, forgive me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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Lord, Do It Again

TODAY’S VERSE
LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known.
Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What if we read what God did in Acts and prayed the prayer that Habakkuk prayed? What do you think would happen to the church today? We read in the book of Acts where God did mighty miracles. People were moved by God to share all they have with others. God was speaking through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, resulting in people all around the world being saved. Oh, when we read Acts and all that God did in the early church might our hearts react like Habakkuk’s did in his day. Might we join him in saying, “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day; in our time make them known.” Might this be the prayer of our heart until the day God brings revival.

TODAY’S PRAYER
LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of all you have done in the past. I pray, O LORD, please do the same in our day; in our time make your mighty power known. Along with Your power, use me and use Your church to bring Your love to a lost and dying world.
AMEN

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The Real Me

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 ask 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 that 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 you 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 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 peel 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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A Little Faith Counts

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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Trade Fear For Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” In my distress, I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear.
Psalms 118:4-6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How much of your time is spent in fear? For many of us, it is hard to know. Why? Because fear has become our normal! Perhaps if we asked ourselves, “How much of my time is spent planning and plotting every detail of my life in order to make everything seem just right? Could we have a fear that others may think poorly of us? How much of our day is spend in negativity, obsessing about what could go wrong? One way or another, fear plays a large part in our life. In today’s passage, the Psalmist has found an answer to his fear. When he was in distress he prayed to God and God set him free. Because of God’s loving intervention, the author no longer feared. Rather, he meditated on God’s love and learned to trust in that love. Isn’t that what you and I need to do? Today, when fear comes to us, let us do what the Psalmist did. Let’s pray to God and let Him answer us. He will because His love endures forever.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me overcome my fears. Instead of being fearful, help me to trust in Your faithful love. I give my life to You and ask You to guide me, protect me and set me free from the bondage of fear. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Love The Giver More Than The Gifts

TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.” – At this point, many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
John 6:26, 66-67 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we don’t get it. Our priorities get all mixed up. Like many who followed Jesus, we follow Him for the food and miracles. We want His blessings. We have the offer of a deep relationship with God but instead, we seek the blessings. But what happens when blessings don’t come? What happens when the job we wanted doesn’t pan out, when sickness interrupts our plans, our children don’t act the way we think they should? When our eyes are on our circumstances and not our creator, it is easy to get discouraged. We can lose hope and become bitter. Why, because we have worshipped the gifts and not the giver, the blessings and not the blesser. Today, we need to renew our love for God. Knowing Him is the real blessing. We need to love God, who alone is the source of our joy. No matter what circumstances come our way, as we develop a relationship with God and truly love Him, we will find true peace and joy in life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me love You today more than ever. Help me seek You more than Your blessings. Help me understand Your love for me and the incredible joy that is mine when I follow You.
AMEN

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Complete Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:11 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God created us for joy! And where does joy come from? Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you.” What was it that He told us that would give us joy? The answer lies in the preceding verse. It says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Jesus said that His joy would be in us and that our joy would be complete as a direct result of the love He and our heavenly Father has for us. Our joy comes from knowing this love in a personal way. It comes from the fact that God is very, very glad to be with us. As the Psalmist suggests, we can come into God’s presence with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise! Why? Because He loves us unconditionally and has bonded with us in a way that gives us true, deep down joy. Today, don’t accept some mediocre joy. Instead, meditate on the love that God has for you and let it move you deep in your soul. Today, ask God to fill you with joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for creating me for joy. Help me to know the extent of Your love and how happy You are to call me Your own so that my joy will be full.
AMEN

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My Purpose

TODAY’S VERSE
I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
Psalms 57:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I can understand God’s purpose for Michael the Archangel. I understand when God chooses a Moses, Abraham or David to do His will. I can comprehend Jesus picking twelve disciples to follow Him and God choosing Paul to be a great missionary. What completely mystifies me, however, is that God has a purpose for me! Not only does God have a purpose for me, His purpose is to fulfill that purpose. Now you try. Read today’s passage and put yourself in the picture. God will fulfill His purpose for you! Can you get a sense of what that means? Perhaps you are thinking, “I’m nobody special.” Sorry but God thinks you are! “I don’t have special skills.” You have exactly what God wants you to have. “I have done too many wrong things.” God’s grace is greater than all your wrongdoing. “I can’t do anything out of the ordinary.” All God asks you to do is show up and be willing to live for Him. He will do the rest. Stop and hear God saying to you, “I am so glad I created you! I am so excited about you living out your purpose.” Today, surrender yourself to Him. Purpose in your heart to live out the purpose He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I surrender my life to You. Use me, live through me. Guide me and help me fulfill Your purpose for my life.
AMEN

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