Category Archives: discipleship

Eyes Open

TODAY’S VERSE
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber – The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
Psalms 121:2, 3, 7, 8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I once saw a little boy crying hysterically, afraid that he was abandoned by his father in a large crowd of people. I remember thinking how odd because his father was standing right next to him. Something had frightened the son and, in his despair, he closed his eyes. As he cried, with his eyes shut, he was not aware of his father’s presence. It was not until the father picked the child up that he opened his eyes and returned to joy. How often are we like that little child? Something frightens us. It could be a confrontation, an anxious thought or worst, some dread of things to come. When our mind gets in that state, faith seems to go out the window. It is as if we stepped out of the presence of God, when in reality what we did was shut our eyes. The Psalmist decided to go into his day with eyes wide open. He writes, “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble!” He then affirms his faith by believing, “The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Today open your eyes. Wipe away your tears. Look up, the Lord is here! He will watch over you and keep you from harm. Put your trust in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, make me conscious of Your presence so I will put my faith in Your precious promises. The promise that You will watch over me and protect me. The promise that You will keep me from harm. Help me today, to open my eyes to Your power and love.
AMEN

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New Reality

TODAY’S VERSE
Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
I Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to miss the reality of what Christ has done for us. We get so caught up in our everyday living. Our habits, thoughts, emotions constantly remind us of our humanness. However, Paul shares that there is another reality. There is a new you! It was created in Christ when you were born again. Born again as in a “new” creature. So what is this new creature? It is royalty, a new child of God. Not made with flesh and blood like you were in your mother’s womb, but rather born again in the Spiritual realm. God took you, with your own self-will and sinfulness and made you right with Him. He created you this time, pure and holy and most of all He has freed you from the power of sin. It is hard to believe but you don’t have to strive to be right with God. You don’t have to earn God’s love. When Christ died on the Cross you received His free gift of salvation. He freed you from sin that very moment. He made you over again, pure and holy. He canceled all records of your wrongdoing and made you right with Him. Today, live in this freedom. Look into the mirror of God’s love and see what He sees.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love and forgiveness. Thank You for freeing me from sin. Thank You for Your salvation and for making me pure and Holy in Your sight.
AMEN

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Compassion

TODAY’S VERSE
He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the godly. The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.”
Psalms 146:6-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How the Church has distorted the purpose of God in this world. We have made it all about us. It is our worship of God, it the discipleship of our own, it is care of our people, our buildings and our programs that take top priority. Now, obviously, we are to worship Him. Certainly, God inhabits the praise of His people. We must disciple those who have come to faith in Christ. Christ Himself told us to go and make “disciples” of all nations. Finally, we must take care of the resources God has given us to use. But we have an incomplete picture of God’s purpose if we never consider the compassion He has toward those that are needy. We read many times in the gospels where Jesus was moved with compassion and then He ministered in power. Likewise, we are woefully short of God’s purpose for the church and scarce on His power, if we are not moved with compassion toward those that are outside our four walls. The question is, will we join God in all of His work? God has called you and me to follow Him, let us follow Him, by helping those around us that so desperately need our help.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me see the needs of others the way You do. Help me to respond in a way that honors you. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Made For Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
Psalms 97:12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Christian life was meant to be a life of joy. God created us for joy. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain or suffering. There will be, but like a child who cries when it hurts itself, soon returns to joy in the loving and compassionate understanding of its mother, we too find joy in the loving arms of our Father God. It is this relationship with our creator, this love bond that He puts in our hearts through the presence of the Holy Spirit that returns us again and again to joy. That is why David could say, “Be glad in the Lord.” It is the knowledge that God is glad to be with us, that we are loved beyond measure that allows us to come to His altar singing a song of thanksgiving. It is this relationship of complete forgiveness and unconditional love and acceptance by God that has us telling others of His wonders. So today, know that you have a God that loves you more than you will ever know. Bask in the warmth of this realization so when your way gets difficult and you experience deep pain, you will be able to experience God’s loving presence and return to the joy you were created for.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for creating me for joy. Thank You for Your unconditional love that fills my heart and causes me, no matter what, to return to joy over and over again.
AMEN

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Seek Him First

TODAY’S VERSE
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (NASB)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It’s easy for us to assume what God’s will is instead of asking Him for it. The truth is that God’s ways are not always our ways. Jesus said to seek His kingdom and righteousness before anything else. So if we want to live out God’s will in our life, then we must seek God first. A quarterback has the same goal as his coach. They both want to win the game. But the Coach is better versed in the game. He has more experience and a more comprehensive view of the whole game. If the quarterback is going to do his best, he needs to work in harmony with the coach. How much more should we align our behavior and attitudes with God Almighty? A hurtful situation, a wayward son, a sudden illness, a loss of a job. Life has many twists and turns. When they come, stop and seek God. Let Him know your thoughts, your apprehensions, your fears, and frustrations. Come to Him, seek Him first and He will direct your path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I do “my own thing” so many times. I do not take the time to know your will. I just assume that what I am doing is the “right” thing. Forgive me. Help me to stop when I am tempted to run in a certain direction. Help me to seek You first.
AMEN

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Blessing or Blesser?

TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”’
Luke 17:17-19 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to seek the blessing more than the blesser. There were ten lepers all with the same putrefying disease. All with the same hopeless situation. Unless. Unless the Jesus that they heard about could really do miracles. Unless this Jesus was as compassionate as everyone said He was. They came to seek a blessing and as Jesus came down the road, a blessing they received. All ten were healed. But only one gave thanks to the blesser. He was the one that was touched in his body and his soul. He is the one that stopped to worship and give thanks. The nine came to get a blessing, the tenth met the blesser. How different are we? Is it possible that we have gotten so used to our faith that we are running on auto-pilot? We get our daily dose of blessing and go down the road as if nothing significant has happened. But let something go wrong. Then what do we scramble for? We cry out again like the leper for a blessing. But, it is not a blessing that we need. It is the blesser. It is Jesus, who loves us, that we need to seek. We need to come to Him and let Him know our situation and then commune with Him and let Him guide us. He is what our soul requires. Today, let us commit our situation to God and come to Him, seeking the blesser, not the blessing. He is the blessing.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for being more worried about blessings than worship. Forgive me for taking You for granted. You are what my life needs. You are the blessing. Today, I choose to seek Your fellowship more than anything else. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Know Him

TODAY’S VERSE
May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
II Peter 1:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Are you growing in your knowledge of Jesus Christ? Have you been spending time reading the Bible to know what He wants you to do? Have you examined His life so you can follow His example? Do you know how He feels about you? Do you see life, with all its people and situations, with the eyes of Christ? God’s design was that you have more than a superficial knowledge of Christ. It is His desire that you grow in what you know and experience of Christ. That you will understand more and more about the unending grace that He has for you. As you do, you will have more peace in your life. Today, spend time and get to know Christ better. Learn about Him as you learn from Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, help me to know You better. Help me learn more about Your desires and passions. Help me know Your love, grace, and peace. Teach me, guide me, instruct me I pray. Help me grow more and more in You.
AMEN

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