Category Archives: Grace

Making Sense

TODAY’S VERSE
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
Luke 15:17-20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“When he came to his senses.” It’s that quick. You can be struggling for years, and then there is a moment of clarity, an “aha” moment, a spiritual awakening. Like the tumblers of a lock falling in place, your mind is clear, and the truth is opened right before your eyes. It is a God moment. A combination of awareness, conviction, holy discontent, and a sensation that “now is the time.” The scales have tipped. There is more to gain from changing than staying the same. The prodigal son saw that there was more to gain from going home than staying in the pigpen. How about us? When is it going to make more sense to fellowship with God than the world? When will we understand that there is much more satisfaction in following Christ’s plan for our life than our own? When will we believe that He does love us unconditionally and that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less? These are the realizations that change a life. Have you made them yet?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I have come to my senses and realize the love You have for me. I choose to live for You and surrender all that I have for Your use. You are the Lord God Almighty, and I have come to realize that living for You makes all the sense in the world. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Protect My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy for our hearts to wander. Temptation, disappointment, deferred hope, loss, heartache, lust, greed, anger, jealousy, Spiritual apathy, and isolation are just some of the ways that our hearts can become sinful and unbelieving. We must do all we can in order not to be deceived and lose heart. Paul shares three ways to protect our hearts. He writes, “Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” Fixing our thoughts on Jesus will keep us from “heart” failure. He will help keep our hearts at peace and joy. In Philippians, Paul writes, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Here we see that the protection of our heart starts with our head. We need to fix our thoughts on Jesus and those things that build us up. In today’s verse, Paul gives another way to protect our hearts. He writes, “Encourage one another daily.” Isolation can be a “kiss of death” to our hearts. We get alone in our pity party, and soon we find ourselves self-feeling hopeless, alone, and unbelieving. Instead, we need to fellowship with others. Today, find a friend and share your thoughts. Let them encourage you, pray for you, and help you with your burden. You can then do the same for someone else. Whatever else you do today, protect your heart!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for the times I allow my heart to become sinful and unbelieving. Help me to fix my thoughts on Jesus and those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Help me to seek the fellowship of others that can, in turn, help me and encourage me. Lord, protect my heart, I pray. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Jesus Prays For You

TODAY’S VERSE
Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
Luke 22:31-32 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is true. We do have a spiritual enemy. He does desire to destroy us. And yes, we do sin. We do fall short of how God desires us to behave. But praise God, that is not where today’s passage ends. In one of the sincerest verses in the Bible, Jesus turns to Simon Peter and says, “but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” What an epic moment. God, manifested in the very flesh of Jesus, calls Simon by name, looks him in the eye, and tells him that He is praying for him so that his faith may not fail. And the great truth is that He does the same for us! The Apostle John tells us that when we sin, when we are under spiritual attack, Jesus is our Advocate; that is, He speaks to God the Father in our defense. Now, we have a choice to make. We can ignore what Jesus says, or we can believe Him. Think about it. If we really believe that Jesus is praying for us, that He is interceding for us, it would change the way we live. Ours would be a life full of gratitude for what God has done. Peace, because of His presence. Courage, because of the confidence we have in Him. And what does He ask for in return? Listen to what He said to Peter. “Strengthen your brothers.” Today, live conscious of God’s love and protection. Hear Jesus praying for you by name, and don’t let your faith fail. Instead, walk in victory! And with renewed strength and faith, go strengthen others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I am so glad that You are greater than the enemy of my soul. You are all-powerful, all-loving, and all-wise. Thank You for interceding for me with Your prayers of grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Help me today, go strengthen others, with the same love You have for me.
AMEN

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His Grace Is Enough

TODAY’S VERSE
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
II Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes it is hard to hang on. Tragic news, delayed answers, unfulfilled dreams, disappointing outcomes; it is easy to get discouraged. But God knows what we are going through. He invites us to share our cares with Him. We can call upon God’s great love, goodness, and mercy to sustain us. Even Jesus knew what it was to throw Himself at the mercy of God. When facing His eminent torturous death, He cried out to His father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” And though He died, God’s grace never left Him. The Father took the cup of death from Him when He rose from the dead. What is it you need relief from? What has you down and discouraged? What is it that seems so overwhelming? Bring it to Jesus. Lay your burden at the foot of the cross and hear Jesus say to you, what He said to Paul, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Might you find His grace enough for you today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that no matter what my circumstances, You promise that Your grace will be sufficient for me. Your wisdom will guide me. Your love will embrace me and draw me to Your side. I choose to live my life today in that reality. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Holding On

TODAY’S VERSE
Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Holding on. Have you ever felt like that’s all you can do? Things are out of control. You are not sure what to do? The question is, “What do you hang on to?” The author of Hebrews says that we should “hold firmly to the faith we profess.” But this is not some “blind” faith. Instead, we hold on to a faith that is in a God who cares and empathizes with our situation. Jesus knows what it is to be human, to suffer, to be tempted, to be abandoned, beaten, and killed. He also knows how to love unconditionally, to forgive every imaginable sin, to be tempted and not give in, and to rise from the dead. Is it no wonder that the author gives one of the most incredible pieces of advice ever given? He writes, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence.” He is suggesting that you can come boldly right into the presence of God without the worry of repercussion. And what will you get when you enter right into the very presence of God? He promises that you will receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. So today, when you feel anxious or worried, hold on! If you find yourself alone and depressed, hold on! If everything you hear is negative and panic sets in, hold on! If you become angry and bitterness starts to fester, hold on! Hold on to His mercy and grace; they will never fail.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You and hold on today. I thank You that You are the great High Priest that never sinned but became the perfect sacrifice for my sin. I place my faith in You, dear Father, and come to Your throne of grace with confidence. Thank You for Your mercy and grace that is always there in my time of need.
AMEN

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Forgive Yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! — Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 7:24-25, 8:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
No condemnation. That was something hard for me to understand. For whatever reason, I wrestled with God’s love and acceptance. It was easier to condemn myself than to feel forgiven. Just recently I was leading a group in a “forgiveness” exercise. As we were making a list of those who have offended us, I mentioned that one person we may need to forgive is ourselves. During the meditation time, I reflected on things I have regretted. Things I had done or not done. Things I had sought forgiveness for from those I offended. There I sat, still feeling a sense of guilt and shame. But at that moment, the Holy Spirit prompted me to “forgive myself”. With deep conviction, I told God how sorry I was for each offense and then began the process of “forgiving myself”. One by one, I decided to take myself off the hook, to let go of the guilt and shame and accept the forgiveness, not that I deserved, but that is offered freely to those in Christ Jesus. How about you? Are there things that you need to forgive yourself for? Things that you have long since asked forgiveness for, but still plague you? Today let yourself off the hook. Quit defining yourself by things God has already forgotten. Forgive yourself the way Christ does. “There is now no condemnation”. Christ believes that about you. Will you?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your amazing love, mercy, and grace. I thank You that there is no condemnation to those that know You as Savior.
I thank You for the forgiveness that You have extended to me. Help me to extend the same forgiveness to myself. In Jesus Name’.
AMEN

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Fear Not

TODAY’S VERSE
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:1-2

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get overwhelmed by life’s struggles. We begin to worry and lose our focus. We become overwhelmed and reach out in inappropriate ways to relieve the stress we have built up in our minds. Anxiety and worry are like that. Even though the majority of what we worry about will never happen, we obsess on the negative and soon are out of control with fear. But God has a better way. Instead of worry and fear, we can choose to trust Him. Isaiah tells us to “fear not” because God has redeemed us and summoned us by name. We do not need to fear because God offers us a deep personal relationship with Him. He promises us that when we “pass through the waters,” He will be with us. God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us! So today when you start to worry, when you start to feel things are out of control, remember that God has not left you. He has not forsaken you. When you feel the pressures of the day build up stress and you are tempted to give up, remember He knows you by name, you are His. He has promised that when you go through difficulties, He will be with you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me not to fear. Help me not to worry. Instead, help me to remember that You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank You that You know me by name and that no matter what I go through today, You will be with me.
AMEN
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