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Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

TODAY’S VERSE
Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
I Peter 3:8-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Isn’t funny how we can spend so much time trying to figure out the “will of God” is for our life when so much of it is right in front of us? Peter wrote to the church, “Here is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it!” And what is it that God wants us to do? He wants His church to be of one mind. He wants us to sympathize with each other and to love each other as brothers and sisters. If we are to do His will we must be tenderhearted toward others and be humble. We cannot repay evil for evil and feel we are following Him. Neither can we retaliate with insults when people insult us. If we are going to do His will we need to pay those that hurt us back with a blessing. Simply said, if we are going to live out the will of God we must love. We must love! John wrote it this way, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Today ask God to help you live out His will for your life. Ask Him to help you love others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for showing me Your will for my life. Help me to love others, really love them the way You do. Help me behave toward others the way You would have me to. Empower me Lord through Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
I John 2:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are many different ways to treat our sin. We can blame others for our actions. We can deny that what we have done is wrong. We can project those very things we do onto others. We can choose to ignore our behavior or better yet rationalize why we did what we did. There are other options. We can feel shame. We can feel helpless and get deeply depressed. We can choose to be bitter or give up and say, “It’s no use, that’s the way I am.” But thank God there is yet another way. John shared it with us. He says if we sin, we can come to Christ, who will go to God the Father on our behalf. He is the one who can assure us of forgiveness. He is the one who can comfort us. He is the one who can give us the strength to get up and start over. He is the one who can say to our accuser, “Be gone! Leave my child alone!” Today, if you have something bothering your conscience, if you feel burdened, bring it to Jesus. Confess it to Him and them let Him wash it way. Let Him clean your heart and free your soul. Let Him give you a peace and joy that is greater than all of your sins. Hear Him say, “You are forgiven.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you for convicting me of sin. Thank you that I can come to You, confess my sin and know that the blood of Your son Jesus totally cleanses me. Thank You for complete forgiveness. Thank You for new direction and giving me a fresh start. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
I Peter 5:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If someone offered to take all your anxieties away from you would you take them up on the offer? Or would anxiety, by its own nature, cause you to worry that the person would not be able to take care of your situation? Ironically, you would end up with a whole new set of worries! So what do you do when Peter tells you to give all your worries and cares to God? If you are like most Christians you just hold on to them. Sure you pray. You even begin to trust Him, but as soon as anything happens, you go back to holding on to your worries and cares all over again. The truth is that giving your cares to God takes faith. The author of Hebrews says if you have true faith, then it would necessitate that you believe God exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. That is what Peter meant when he said to cast all your cares on Christ. God exists and He will “reward” your faith in Him by caring for you. Can you imagine that? Next time you worry, start with the thought that God deeply cares for you! He cares for you with all the resources of His mighty power and wisdom to use on your behalf. With that in mind, start today giving Him all your cares.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how I worry and carry many concerns with me. Forgive me for my lack of faith. I know You reward those that come to You in faith, so I come now in faith believing that You care for me. I choose to give all my worries to You. I know You are all powerful, wise and loving, so I trust You with all the outcomes of this step of faith. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Psalms 1:1-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We spend so much of our time looking for happiness. We are searching for that one thing that will solve all our problems and bring us into a constant state of contentment. How many times have we thought, “If I just win the Lotto?”; “If I had a certain job”; “If I just looked different”. Fill in your own blank. We seem to look everywhere for lasting joy and yet it is right in front of us. In the very first chapter of Psalms, David writes about the secret to joy. He says it’s not found in the counsel of the ungodly, but rather real joy comes when we delight in God’s word and meditate on what He says. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” writes, “Everything that is false about us arises from our belief that our deepest happiness will come from living life our way, not God’s way. Although we may say we want to trust God and surrender to his will, deep down we doubt that God is really capable of securing our happiness.” Is that how you feel? What is your reaction when you read, “But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do?” Do you believe God will bless you and give you deep joy by living according to His word or do you doubt that God is really capable of securing your happiness? You can’t believe both. Today, choose to follow God’s word and begin to meditate on it and apply it to your life. As you do, you will find joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your word. I ask that you would teach me and guide me through reading and meditating on what Your Holy word has to say. Help me find happiness, joy and true meaning as I come to You.
AMEN

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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 ourself. 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 heart. 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 like Jesus did. Fill me with a Supernatural love I pray.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I never get use to God’s grace! Grace is God’s “unmerited favor” toward us who believe. In other words, He lavishes His love on you and me for no other reason than He “wants to”. His love is a perfect love. God’s grace is His purposeful manifestation of perfect love toward us. Paul came upon a tremendous burden in his life and he sought relief from God but he ended up getting so much more. He received grace from God that was sufficient to meet his every need. Gerald May, in his classic book, “Addiction and Grace” writes, “Grace is the invincible advocate of freedom and the absolute expression of perfect love. – For Christian’s, grace is the dynamic outpouring of God’s loving nature that flows into and through creation in an endless self-offering of healing, love, illumination, and reconciliation. It is a gift that we are free to ignore, reject, ask for, or simply accept. And it is a gift that is often given in spite of our intentions and errors. At such times, when grace is so clearly given unrequested, uninvited, even undeserved, there can be no authentic response but gratitude and awe.” Today may you be conscious of His grace toward you. May you sense it in His attention, mercy, peace, strength and love He directs toward you. Today, might you truly hope in this, His grace will indeed be sufficient for what ever will come your way.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how amazing is Your grace! Thank You that no matter what comes my way today, You promised that Your grace toward me will be sufficient enough to see me through. I praise You for your grace of love, of forgiveness, of mercy, of peace, of joy, of strength and of provision. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord.
Deuteronomy 11:16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Self deception is at the root of many of our problems. Not only do we lie to all those around us, but more often we lie to ourselves. How often do we mask what is really bothering us? We pretend to love when we are bitter and wounded. We act brave when we are afraid. Dr. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes,
“At some point in childhood we all make the powerful discovery that we can manipulate the truth about ourselves. Initially it often takes the form of a simple lie – frequently a denial of having done something. But of more importance to the development of the false self is the discovery that our ability to hide isn’t limited to what we say or don’t say. We learn to pretend. We discover the art of packaging our self. – Our masks have become our reality, and we have become our lies. In short, we have lost authenticity and adopted an identity based on illusion.” You see God loves the real you! He knows your fears, your rage, your brokenness and He is waiting for you to give it to Him. There is nothing about the real you He cannot redeem! It is only when you let your heart be deceived and create a false self that you turn away from the Lord. Today, come to God as you are. Let Him touch the real you. Tell Him what you feel, what your think, what you have hidden from everyone else. When you do, you will find Him accepting, loving and able to set you free from all your fears of self exposure. Come to Him, the truth will set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have hidden my true self from You and everyone one else. Fear, shame, anger, guilt, disgust – so many emotions keep me from living the truth. I have tried so hard to be what everyone else has wanted and somewhere I have lost my way. Please, in Your love, gently peal back my veneer and bring me into Your light. Help me take off my masks and see myself as You see me. Help me embrace all of me as You lovingly embrace me even now. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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