Category Archives: discipleship

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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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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What Really Matters

TODAY’S VERSE
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 17:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to get our priorities mixed up, isn’t it? We tend to put life into a box full of rules, regulations, and standards by which to measure ourselves. We must look a certain way, think a certain way, achieve certain levels of accomplishments, acquire the right kind of accessories. Then we come up with all sorts of core beliefs that sustain these rules. For example, we may believe, deep in our hearts, that if we don’t accomplish a certain goal, we will not be liked. If we don’t drive the right kind of car or live in the right kind of community, people will think little of us. Of course, these thoughts alone don’t motivate us, it is the perceived “terrible” consequences such as rejection, abandonment, punishment or worst, annihilation that frightens us to death and drives us to succeed at any cost. However, these “terrible” results are only in our mind! We will not die if certain people do not like us. We are not a “loser” if we do not live in the “right” house. Instead, Paul points out what we should really strive for. We should strive to live a good righteous life. We should seek joy and peace through the Holy Spirit. These are the important things in life. And best of all, these are freely given to any person who asks. He will not turn us away. It is His will that you live righteously, full of peace and joy through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. What do you want? Begin today to seek the things that really matter. Follow God, He will not disappoint.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know what is really important. You know that I have bought so many lies about success and self-worth. I need Your help to know the truth. So, please Lord, help me live a life of goodness today. Give me the joy and peace which comes from Your Holy Spirit. Help me live today in a way that is pleasing to you.
AMEN

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Spiritual Growth

TODAY’S VERSE
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:9-10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is one thing about life you can count on. Life is not static. You are either living or you are dying. I have learned a lot about life from gardening. To have a good garden you must have a good balance of sun, water, and nutrients. You must also protect the plants by weeding and keeping away the bugs and animals that would destroy it. It is the same with your spiritual life. You must nurture and care for your own soul. You must protect yourself from spiritual forces that would destroy you. How? By letting God fill you with the knowledge of His will. He does that through Spiritual wisdom and understanding. As you seek God and learn more about Him, the more alive you will become. This will result in a life worth living, pleasing to God. Today, stop being static in your spiritual life and set your heart on gaining spiritual wisdom and understanding. Grow in your knowledge of God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me grow in You. Help me gain Spiritual wisdom and understanding as I read Your word and listen to Your Holy Spirit. Help me grow in my knowledge of You.
AMEN

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Live What You Know

TODAY’S VERSE
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
James 1:22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried to lose weight? There is no fast way to lose the pounds that you acquired over a long time. Now certainly, some ways are faster than others, but there is no way you will lose twenty pounds overnight. Knowing “how” to lose weight isn’t enough. Instead, you need to apply what you know, one day at a time, each and every day. Knowledge of the weight loss principles combined with the discipline needed to support your knowledge equals weight loss. James felt the same way with spirituality. There were all kinds of “spiritual” people in Jerusalem where James was head of the church. There were plenty of people learning about Christianity. But James wrote that you need to do more than just listen to the word of God. If learning doesn’t affect the way we live, then what good is it? It is like a weight loss program that you won’t follow. So what was James’ advice? It was simple, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” So today let’s take the word of God, that we already know in our hearts and apply it to everything we do.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, my mind is full of “knowledge” about Your word. Today, help me apply all that knowledge to everything I do. 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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