Category Archives: Discernment

Amazing Unbelief

TODAY’S VERSE
He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
Mark 6: 5-6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
This passage has always challenged me. Why couldn’t Jesus do miracles in His home town? Obviously, in His own power, Jesus could have done any miracle He chose to, but that is not the way God wants it to work. Our Father wants us to join Him in His work in this world. It is our faith and recognition of His love that works in tandem with His power. So when Jesus was faced with this crippling unbelief, only a few were healed. What is shocking is that the people He grew up with should have known that Jesus was the Son of God. Instead, their lack of faith was so bad that Jesus was utterly amazed. Their unbelief shocked Him. But let’s not be too quick to judge. Is it possible that we, too, have taken Him for granted? Could it be that we also find ourselves doubting His power? Oh, that our lack of faith would never cause surprise to the heart of God. Today, might we consider our own life. Let us examine our hearts and ask God to birth in us a fresh wind, a new fire, and an amazing faith.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for my unbelief. Forgive me for my doubt. Forgive me for taking You for granted—today, birth in me a fresh wind, a new fire, and an amazing faith.
AMEN

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Hypocrite

TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus replied, ‘You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce.'”
Mark 7:6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
According to Webster, a hypocrite is “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings, puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion.” None of us start out trying to be a hypocrite, but if not careful, it can happen. What starts as a beautiful relationship with Christ somewhere along the way becomes a religion. We begin to believe that God would love us more if we behaved in certain ways and slowly go from a relationship of grace to a system of works. We end up spending more time knowing about God and less time knowing Him. Our Christianity becomes more about church and less about discipleship. We “talk” about Jesus instead “walking” with Him. Jesus said it this way, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Today be real with God. Come to Him, seeking to know Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in new and refreshing ways. Live in the reality of His grace and fellowship and love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, search my heart. Help me to know where I have wandered from You. Forgive me for any hypocrisy and help me to live in the full awareness of Your love and grace.
AMEN

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Wisdom

TODAY’S VERSE
Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. – For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:2-3, 6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a difference wisdom and understanding can make. How many times have we forged on ahead into a disaster because we did not seek God for insight? Solomon knew about the value of God’s wisdom more than any man that ever lived. He was asked specifically by God to request anything that he wanted, and what did he ask for? Money? A long life? Fame? No, he asked for wisdom. He knew that with wisdom, everything else in life would come. Solomon then asks us to do the same. He writes, “Seek wisdom and understanding.” And where should we seek? Solomon writes, “The Lord grants wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Today, let us be wise, by seeking His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I cannot make it without Your guidance. Give me the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that I so desperately need. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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A Simple Thing

TODAY’S VERSE
This is what the LORD says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! You will see neither wind nor rain, says the LORD, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. But this is only a simple thing for the LORD.
2 Kings 3:16-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the faith of Elisha. He is telling everyone that God is going to do this mighty miracle. God was going to fill a desert with water, but He was going to do it without rain! And then Elisha adds, “But this is only a simple thing for the Lord.” Why are we so amazed by this kind of faith? Why do we so often vacillate between our own faith and unbelief? Most of the time, when I have doubts, it is because I do not know what the will of God will be in a given situation. I seem to lack confidence in how to pray. Other times it is simply a lack of faith. I need to remember what Elisha knew; miracles are not too hard for God. So how should you pray? You need to pray as God leads you. Elisha was close to God, and it was God’s Spirit that came upon him and led him to believe. Deep communion with God will do the same for you. You should get direction from God and then ask Him for mighty things He has shown you, having the assurance that nothing is too hard for God. So if a miracle does not happen, let it be due to the sovereignty of God, not because you did not believe or never asked. Today, seek God’s face in all matters and pray in faith believing. Answering prayer is a simple thing for the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your mighty miracles. Help me to trust in You. Help me to commune with You and really know Your heart so I can pray in faith believing.
AMEN

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Stop Coping, Start Living!

TODAY’S VERSE
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 (KJV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
For a long time, I had wrestled with my glasses. They were bent, causing me headaches and resulting in having to move my head awkwardly to make the bi-focal lens work right. But hey, I could see okay. I was coping fine. Eventually, my reading was worse, and I noticed signs starting to blur at far distances so I would move my glasses on my head and “cope” harder. Finally, I went in to get a new pair of glasses. I was embarrassed to realize that it had been over ten years since I last had an eye exam or a new pair of glasses. When the new glasses came, I was amazed at how much better I could see how less my face tensed up as I didn’t have to “cope” with seeing. Afterward, I couldn’t help but wonder how many issues I look at through worn out glasses, learning to cope with inferior sight when all the time a new pair of glasses is waiting for me? Jesus said He came to give us extraordinary living, not some half-baked coping. He offers life and peace. Our thinking is poor eye-sight at best. We need the direction of the Holy Spirit to give us the sight we need. Today, give up coping and start living. Quit trying to make it on your own, just getting by. Start living with the life and peace God has for you. Give your mind to the Holy Spirit and let Him take control.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have tried to cope on my own. I say, “I will follow You,” but instead, I rely on my efforts. Forgive me, Lord. Today, I give You all of me and ask You to control my life. I am tired of coping. I want the life You have for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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I Want To See

TODAY’S VERSE
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”
Mark 10:51 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“I want to see.” That may be an obvious answer for a blind person who is asked by Jesus, “What do you want me to do for you?” Sight is a precious gift that we quickly take for granted. But as I read this, I thought, I too need to ask for sight. Not physical but spiritual. I am so blind to the things of God. The cry of my heart is, “I want to see.” I want to see, like the servant of Elisha, who was afraid of the enemy armies until Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The Bible says, “The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” He saw reality with spiritual eyes. I also want to see the way Paul prayed we should see. He wrote, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Today when God asks you, “What do you want me to do for you,” answer, “Help me to see.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me with my spiritual blindness. Open my eyes Lord, that I may see what you want me to see.
AMEN

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Listen To God

TODAY’S VERSE
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to hear someone and not listen to a word they are saying. We get so engrossed into what we are doing that we half listen. How many times are we that way with God? We get up in the morning and barely say, “Hi” to Jesus and then bust out the door. We may spend some time reading and offering up prayer requests, but do we listen to God? God wants a relationship; He desires to communicate with us. He has answers to questions like, “Lord, what do You want to say to me?” “Jesus, what do you want me to do today?” There is a whole new spiritual experience waiting for us if we just stop to listen. Today, spend time with God, and your ears too will hear a word, a word from God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need a word from You. Help me today to stop and listen. I come and say with Samuel, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
AMEN

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Promised Land

TODAY’S VERSE
The people refused to enter the promised land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD.
Psalms 106:24-25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There was a place full of peace and joy. It was the promised land, a land of “milk and honey.” It represented His presence, blessing, and provision. However, the people “refused to enter.” Why? They refused to believe that God would care for them. We would like to think this only applied to the Israelites, but the truth is, we often feel the same way. A friend dies, we lose our job, misfortune is at our door, and all of a sudden, God seems distance, His promises shallow. We begin to grumble, and the promised land begins to vanish. But just because we feel a certain way and begin to think negative thoughts doesn’t mean we have to continue that way. We have a choice. We can repent and take responsibility for our thoughts, renounce negative thinking, and pronounce God’s truth. Today, choose faith. Put doubt, fear, anger, grumbling behind you. Choose to trust in God’s love and His promise to care for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for grumbling. Forgive me for my lack of faith and doubt. Help me today to trust in You and believe Your promise to care for me.
AMEN

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Press On

TODAY’S VERSE
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to live in the past. Remorse, grief, disappointment, bitterness, so many painful emotions can keep us in a state of limbo. Paul had regrets; he had persecuted Christians. Paul had disappointments and hardships, but he knew the secret to living with all of life’s ups and downs. He pressed on. He knew when the appropriate time came; it was time to forget. It was time to quit looking behind and trust God for the future. God doesn’t remain in the past, and neither should we. Today, what is keeping you in the past? What has you locked in painful emotions? Give it to God. Forget the past and look forward to what God has ahead. He is not finished with you yet!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have hung on to my past. Today, I surrender to You. I quit looking back with regret, sorrow, remorse, and bitterness and will look forward with anticipation, joy, and excitement toward what lies ahead. Today, I choose to trust You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Thoughts

TODAY’S VERSE
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The battle is in our minds. Truth versus lies. False assumptions verses God’s promises. Negative predictions versus faith. Roots of bitterness, jealously, fear, and shame versus the mind of Christ. And though all these strongholds can be overcome by God’s power, how much better if we never let negative thinking get that far. We can if we follow Paul’s advice. He asks us to “demolish arguments and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” A stronghold begins with a simple negative thought. Then, instead of renouncing it, we make a subtle agreement with it. “God doesn’t care.” “I can’t do it.” We start to generalize using words like “never, always, and every.” Oh, not a stronghold yet, but if we don’t disagree with the thought, what are we really doing? Soon we begin to ruminate and start to build on the negativity. Before you know it, we have created a full-blown story. We have “set ourselves up against the knowledge of God.” God wants us to renounce and correct negative unbiblical thinking. Today, commit your mind to God. Let His Holy Spirit work with your thinking and bring it into alignment with His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your presence in my life. I commit my thinking to you. Holy Spirit rule in my mind. Help me know and believe Your truth so I can make all my thoughts obedient to Christ.
AMEN

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