Category Archives: discipleship

Be Filled With The Spirit

TODAY’S VERSE
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:15-18 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you really know about the Holy Spirit? We can go to church for years, go to Bible studies and small groups and yet never really learn much about the Holy Spirit and its relevance to our life. Sure, we know we have been given the Holy Spirit but we never take advantage of the relationship that we could have. But we cannot afford to be passive any longer. We were not meant to function without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Paul says we should be “filled” with the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? The key is in comparison to being drunk on wine. There is only one way to get drunk. You get drunk by being “filled” with alcohol until the amount that you consume has you under its influence. This is not a casual drink that is in moderation. This is in excess of where you become drunk. So what is he saying about our life in the Spirit? Paul is saying that we should have the same insatiable appetite for the guidance and fellowship of the Holy Spirit that a person does that chooses to get drunk on wine. When we meditate on God’s word, pray and commune with the Holy Spirit, we will begin to be “filled” or “under the influence” of the Holy Spirit’s leading in our daily living. It is interesting, however, that the tense is not a “one-time” filling, but actually means “be filled and keep on being filled.” You do not get drunk on wine once for the rest of your life. The effect of the wine soon dissipates. To continually be drunk you have to continually drink the wine. Although the Holy Spirit does not leave us, in order to stay “filled” or influenced by the Holy Spirit, we need to continually stay in communication and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it time that we experience all that being filled with the Spirit has to offer us?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Spirit, please forgive me for ignoring Your presence in my life. I ask You to guide me, lead me, commune with me and fill me so that I am completely influenced by Your presence. I invite You to take control of my life. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Joy and Compassion

TODAY’S VERSE
How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands. – They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.
Psalms 112:1, 4-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God intended us for joy. And the Psalmist shows how to be that way. In his example of a joyful person, the author attributes joy to certain behavioral characteristics. He writes, “They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.” This is similar to what Jesus told us. He was asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus answered saying, “The most important one, is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Tim Hughes, in his song, “God of Justice” writes it this way, “God of Justice, Savior to all – Came to rescue the weak and the poor, Chose to serve and not be served – Jesus, You have called us, Freely we’ve received, Now freely we will give – We must go, Live to feed the hungry, Stand beside the broken, We must go, Stepping forward keep us from just singing, Move us into action, We must go – To act justly everyday, Loving mercy in every way, Walking humbly before You God – You have shown us, what You require, Freely we’ve received, Now freely we will give – Fill us up and send us out.” And He does, He sends us out with joy!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to see others the way You do. Help me to see the joy in loving You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and in loving others in the way I want to be loved. Lord, fill me up with Your love and Your joy and send me out.
AMEN

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Walk In the Light

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! Winding up the mountain, roots form the large trees crossing 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, even with dim light, we could see the four or five feet ahead of me. It didn’t matter that thousands of acres were in darkness, I only needed to see the five 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! 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. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Supernatural Love

TODAY’S VERSE
He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.
Colossians 1:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We get so used to hearing that we are supposed to love others that we think we need to do it by ourselves. But in today’s verse, we get a glimpse of where the real power comes from. God’s Spirit in us strives to guide us, teach us and create a love for others in our hearts. Why should that be so surprising? After all the Apostle John reminds us that God is not only the source of love, He is love. It is God Himself manifested in His Spirit in us that moves us to love. Jesus modeled this God-driven kind of love. John writes, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” So today, love others. But don’t do it in your own power. Ask God to give you a Spirit-led love for those around you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Holy Spirit of God, reach deep into my heart and birth in me a love for others that only You can produce. I want to love as Jesus did. Fill me with a Supernatural love I pray.
AMEN

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Don’t Forget

Don’t Forget

TODAY’S VERSE
But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel.
Psalms 106:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a difference between memory lapse and apathy. We can be sincere about something and forget a few details. However, if we fail to show up, to be involved or care for details over and over again, then our sincerity is in doubt. It can be this way with Christ. It starts out with other things choking out our passion, emotion, or excitement about Christ and then leads into a lack of interest in or concern for things of God. The people of God allowed themselves to forget what God had done in the past. The lessons of faith that they should have incorporated into their lives were never cultivated. It wasn’t long and they began to live as if God didn’t exist at all. What can you do to protect your soul from this spiritual apathy? How can you take deliberate steps in order to preserve your Christian walk? You do it by being disciplined in your spirituality. It is your remembrance of His promises, the recalling the many miracles you have witnessed, the active reading of the scriptures and spending time with God seeking His counsel that will keep you from falling. These spiritual disciplines will protect you when facing temptation. They will be your guide when you have hard decisions to make. May the remembrance of all He has done for you, give you the confidence you need to continue to follow Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to remember all You have done for me so I will seek Your counsel and allow You to guide me as I go through this day. AMEN

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False God

TODAY’S VERSE
“You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Ever since Adam and Eve, mankind has been tempted to think that they could become a “god”. However, David Benner in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” makes a very interesting observation. He points out that in the Garden of Eden, it was not the act of trying to be like God that was a sin. It was the act of thinking they could be like God, without God. Truth is we are commanded to be like Christ. We are to emulate the characteristics of God such as love, mercy, and justice. But we are never told that we can do that without the help of God and His Holy Spirit. David Benner writes, “Adam and Eve wanted to be God without God, a likeness that was based on independence rather than surrender. – What we get when we choose a way of being that is separate from God is the life of the false self. – The false self is the tragic result of trying to steal something from God that we did not have to steal. Had we dared to trust God’s goodness, we would have discovered that everything we could ever most deeply long for would be ours in God. Trying to gain more than the everything God offers, we end up with less than nothing. Rejecting God, we end up with a nest of lies and illusions. Displacing God, we become a god unto our self. We become a false self.” I am so glad Jesus came. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He came so we could know God. It is His truth, His life that enables us to be more like Him. Today, examine yourself. Are you following Christ and letting Him influence who you are, or are you busy creating your own life apart from God?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for all the times I have tried to set myself up as my own God. Today, I ask You to speak to my heart and help me get back on track with You. Guide me in everything I do so I will become the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Encourage Others

TODAY’S VERSE
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Proverbs 12:25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day is full of choices. So often we find ourselves at a fork in the road. Choices between faith or doubt; forgiveness or anger; right or wrong; yes or no; worry or trust. For many worry is their daily choice. Whether it is financial, relational or situational, they have dug themselves into a pit and can’t seem to get out. Life is lonely in the pit. Every day they try to get out, but no one stops to help. That is what God has called you and me to do. Today’s passage says, “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” You and I have been charged to be an encourager. We too find ourselves at a fork in the road. We can ignore someone else’s pain, or we can help them. We can stay busy minding our own business or we can stop to comfort someone else. We can judge, blame, condemn others for getting themselves in a mess or we can extend a hand. We can go our own way, or we can encourage them both in word and action. Today commit yourself to be an encourager. Ask God to bring someone into your life you can minister to. As God has encouraged you, might you encourage others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father help me to encourage other people. Help me to be kind, considerate and to treat others in the way I want to be treated. Today might I speak Your grace and love to other people that they may find the encouragement they need.
AMEN

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