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Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

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
Every 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, 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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TODAY’S VERSE
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God has a vested interest in our maturity. He has saved us from the penalty of our sins and has set us apart for His service. He in involved in our life, protecting, encouraging, teaching and guiding us. He has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to prepare us for His service with the ultimate goal of becoming “mature, attaining the fullness of Christ”. But will we follow? Will we listen? Will we do what it takes to mature in Christ? In his book, “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You”, Dr. James Wilder suggests that we have a role to play in our maturity in Christ. He writes, “Now the job of maturity is quite another matter. While God is certainly instrumental in guiding and blessing our maturation, it is our job, bestowed upon us way back in the garden, to mature. Maturity is not a spiritual gift nor is it a by-product of salvation. It is something we as Christians must work on our entire lives.” So what are you doing to mature in Christ? Are you feeding your soul on the word of God? Are you learning from teachers and preachers? Are you in fellowship with other Christians who hold you accountable for your growth in Christ? Are you spending time with God in prayer and meditation? Today, take some steps to mature in your spiritual life with Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me mature in You. Help me seek You more, know You more and love You more. Help me today, and everyday, to do something that will help me mature in You.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” – “Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the LORD hears the cries of the needy.
Psalms 69: 1-3, 32-33 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all go through struggles and hard times. Life is not fair. There are times of sadness, despair and regret. The Psalmist paints a picture of someone trapped in an emotional downward spiral. Everything seems overwhelming and yet in the end they were able to say that there is encouragement in seeking God’s help. Why? Because God hears us. In the book, “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You” the authors talk of two types of trauma that brings the kind of despair that we read in today’s passage. There is the trauma of “not getting what we need” and then there is the trauma of “getting something that we should have never received.” The first is the result of neglect and abandonment, the second from abuse. But the good news is that God hears us in our despair and He can help us. The authors write, “Life brings each of us inescapable traumas that block maturity. God’s redemptive activity comes to us in two ways: He brings healing to our traumas, and adopts us into His family. Both ways boost us through our blocks to maturity, along the way to wholeness. With these boosts, we will be able to live from the hearts He gave us, our true identities will emerge, and our relationships with family and community will be characterized by joy.” Today, praise God for His grace and power that is able to heal your emotions. It is there for you as you bring your pain to Him. Be encouraged the LORD hears your cries.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for hearing my cries. Thank You for Your desire to heal me from my traumas. Thank You for making me part of Your family where I can experience the love and fellowship that will bring me into maturity. I commit myself to You for my complete healing. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Receive Him

TODAY’S VERSE
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”
Romans 3:22-25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How can we be made right with a Holy and perfect God? How could we ever begin to think that we could have a relationship with God Almighty? Paul wrestled with these very issues and then wrote down some very good news. Based on his knowledge of Scriptures and his personal experience, he was led by God to write down a clear explanation of how be right with God. He writes, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” All of us have missed the mark of God’s standard of perfection so God came up with a plan of substitution. He would offer His own Son, Jesus, the perfect one as our sacrifice. Again Paul writes, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.” God offers us the free gift of salvation, but we must take it. It isn’t good enough to know about it, or have parents who believe it, we must make a cognitive choice to realize our own need and see Jesus as the solution. Paul elaborates, “People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” Personally accepting Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins is your only hope of forgiveness and personal relationship with God. Today, if you haven’t already, come to God on His terms. Enter a relationship with Him by thanking Him for the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of your sins because of what Jesus did on the cross for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I have done wrong and am in desperate need for forgiveness. I want to know You personally and become Your child. Thank You for the death of Your son Jesus on the cross for me. Come into my heart and be my ruler. I accept Jesus as the sacrifice for my sins. Thank You for forgiving me and making me Your child. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear.
Psalms 118:4-6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How much of your time is spent in fear? Not much you say. Okay, how much of your time is spent in defending or protecting yourself? How many thoughts are spent planning and plotting every detail of your life in order to make everything seem just right. Why? Because you fear that others may think poorly of you. One way or another, fear plays a large part in our life. In today’s passage the Psalmist has found an answer for his fear. When he was in distress he prayed to God and God set him free. Because of God’s loving intervention the author no longer feared. Rather, he meditated on God’s love and learned to trust in that love. Isn’t that what you and I need to do? Today, when fear comes to us, let us do what the Psalmist did. Let’s pray to God and let Him answer us. He will, because His love endures forever.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me overcome my fears. Instead of being fearful, help me to trust in Your faithful love. I give my life to You and ask You to guide me, protect me and set me free from the bondage of fear. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What an invitation. What an opportunity. What a heart felt plea from God to every one of us. Given a free will, we can choose what we do with our lives. We can decide who we want to follow. We can choose to fill our life with things that will never satisfy. But God loves us so much that He pleads with us to wake up, to consider our priorities and choose life. In an allegory, God calls every person who is thirsty deep in their soul, to come and drink His waters of spirituality. He can quench our thirst. Knowing that we are spiritually bankrupt, He says buy what our soul needs from Him and charge it to His account. And then in what I think is a deep cry out to our materialist society, God says, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” God loves you and desires that you live your life in His abundant grace. Come to Him today. Take all that your soul needs. Feast on His love and care for you. Let your soul learn of Him and grow. Come today, to His waters and never thirst again.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You that I can come to You today and drink of Your love, mercy and grace. Thank You for loving me unconditionally so that I will never thirst again. My soul delights in You.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
Luke 6:27-31 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In today’s passage, Jesus set a whole new standard for moral behavior. That is why He starts this part of His sermon on the Mount by saying, “If you are willing to listen.” Our Lord knows how hard it is to follow what He is suggesting. But what makes this teaching even more amazing is Jesus did not just teach this, He lived it! This was not a political speech with moral platitudes given to win our votes. This was a mandate for those that He was calling to follow Him in His own lifestyle. If we are to follow Jesus, we must love the way He taught us. When Jesus taught about love, He went much farther than the Shema which commanded the Israelites to, “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” He went much farther than, “loving your neighbor as yourself”’. In today’s passage, He said to, bless those that curse us and to pray for those who hurt us and to turn the other cheek when hit. These are ways to truly love others. Today, let us love others the way Jesus has commanded us to.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me love with Your love. Help me see others with Your eyes. Help me be filled with Your compassion, guided by Your Holy Spirit, used as an instrument of Your peace. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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