Category Archives: Encouragement

Blessings To you

TODAY’S VERSE
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
II Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Usually, after the worship service, a Pastor will give a benediction. It is a blessing pronounced upon the congregation. A blessing meant to help people have faith and hope in their Christian experience until they meet again. Of course, a benediction itself has no magical powers. It is not meant to be a magic chant. Rather, it is a pronouncement of God’s strength, provision, and ability to guide and protect us during our mission in this world. Paul wrote many wonderful benedictions. Being so far from the churches that he loved, he would write wonderful blessings in order to bring joy and hope in the Lord for all those he loved. In today’s passage, Paul is pronouncing a blessing of comfort and strength upon the church. Power and strength from God in every good thing that they will do and say. Does this sound like something you would want? Today, let God minister to your heart as you read and apply this benediction to your life. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love, grace, comfort, and hope. I pray that today You would comfort and strengthen me in every good thing I do and say.
AMEN

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What Do You Want?

TODAY’S VERSE
What do you want me to do for you?
Mark 10:49-51 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
This was one of the first passages I ever preached on. I was a teenager giving a gospel message. I remember still to this day the impact this simple passage had on me. Here was this blind man sitting by the road and he hears that Jesus was coming by. Nothing could shut him up. He started shouting out to Jesus. The disciples tried to make him quiet down, but Jesus tells them to bring the man to Him. I love what happens next. Jesus looks at him and says to the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man simply answers, “I want to see.” What appealed to me then as a teenager still appeals to me decades later. It was the sincerity of Jesus and the invitation to tell Him what the blind man wanted. This is the same Jesus that we pray to. It is the same heart of Christ that bids us come to Him. It is the same power available that asks such an open-ended question. Today, see Him passing your way. Take the time to sit before Him and answer His question, “What do you want me to do for you?”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, I thank You for coming my way today. I thank You that You care so much for me that You would ask me what I need from You. I come silently before You and share my request. – Thank You, Lord, for hearing the desire of my heart.
AMEN

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Peace To You

TODAY’S VERSE
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.
Psalms 4:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is God’s will that we live in peace. However, peace can be a relative term. Some would limit it to a “peaceful situation”. Yet many people live in a safe and friendly environment and still live in desperation. The kind of peace that the Bible emphasizes most is a state of mind. It is the inward peace that comes from knowing God is sovereign and that we can trust Him. It is the ability to delay gratification, solutions, answers or understanding and substitute it with hope, trust, and faith in God’s ultimate goodness and love for us. So today, choose peace. May peace fill your day and take you through the night.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I ask for You to flood my heart and my soul with Your peace. Today, may I sense You love and presence and rest myself in You.
AMEN

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The Joy Of His Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
You have given him the joy of being in your presence.
Psalms 21:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a gift. God has put the capacity to experience His presence in us. Like an antenna picks up the signal sent to it, God has given us His Holy Spirit, enabling us to experience Him. But no antenna in the world would pick up a signal if none were sent. This passage is more about God than us. It is God that sends His presence out to us. It is God that desires our fellowship. It is His grace that causes Him to seek us out. Does that grab you? Let me say it again, the God of the universe not only allows us an audience with Him but He also comes to us and seeks us out! And when we respond, we find out what David knew. There is extreme joy being in His presence.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for seeking me out. Thank You for allowing me to enjoy Your presence. I pray that I may experience the joy of Your presence more and more.
AMEN

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Don’t Be Weary

TODAY’S VERSE
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life can get hard. Feelings from inside, forces from outside – it can become overwhelming. David knew this and he was honest in his writings. Sure he eventually brings us into a trusting relationship with God, but not until he displays his raw emotion. He challenges his impression of God by asking, “O LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?” How many times have we been perplexed with our situations and have wanted to say the same thing? And yet somewhere deep in our heart, we know that there must be more. The more is in the wait. It is the “be still and know that I am God.” It is the process of renewal. Isaiah writes, “But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” He uses three glorious metaphors: a high soaring eagle, a person running without getting weary and a person on a long difficult walk and not faint. And how is it we can experience victory even in defeat, peace in turmoil or strength in a long weary journey? The author of Hebrews gives us the answer. He writes, “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Might today, you experience all the grace of our loving God that you need so you can rise up with the wings of an eagle and not be weary or faint.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need You. I need Your grace. I need Your renewal. Today I come to Your throne and wait on You. Be my strength, help me run and not be weary and walk and not faint. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ.
AMEN

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Joy and Quiet

TODAY’S VERSE
My heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. – You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalms 16:9, 11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We were made for rhythms of joy and quiet. David is a perfect example. His heart was full of joy and peaceful rest. But what was his secret? Was it his circumstances? Was it his wealth? Was it the adoration of thousands of followers? No, David’s joy and peace came from his enjoying God’s presence. It was in God’s presence that he felt love and grace that overwhelmed him with joy and reverent rest. It was this pleasure of living in God’s presence that allowed for David’s rhythm of joy and rest. You can experience the same. Today, spend time in God’s presence. Meditate on His love for you. Let His presence bring you the same joy and quiet that it gave David.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You now. I want to experience the joy and peace of Your presence.
AMEN

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Peace, Not control

Peace, Not Control

TODAY’S VERSE

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3

TODAY’S THOUGHT

Perfect peace. Just the thought of it calms my heart. It is a peace that comes from maturity. It is growing into a feeling of peace from knowing God in deep and intimate ways. I use to think the answer was controlling everything. If I could just control my circumstances I would have peace. I must avoid those things from the past that haunt me. I must keep appearances and not let anyone know the real me. I must worry and try to control the future so I am not a victim again. What a trap. And this lack of peace, this need for control brings all its friends to my front doorstep. Anger, bitterness, jealousy, loneliness, despair, and anxiety they all congregate waiting to get into my mind. How wrong I have been. The more I try to control the more I need to control. Instead with the peace from God in my heart, I no longer have to control. This is perfect peace. Today trust in God. Bring Him all your control issues. He knows your situation. He knows your past and future. Fix your thoughts on Him and His wonderful all providing love for you. Let Him give you a lasting, mature and perfect peace.

TODAY’S PRAYER

Father, I come to You now. I want to experience your peace. I give up control and turn my situation, my life over to You. In Jesus’ name.

AMEN

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