Category Archives: Grace

Rescue Me

TODAY’S VERSE
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.– What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15, 24-25 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have we found ourselves in this dilemma? We sit in the aftermath of some mess we have just created and wonder, “How in the world did I get here?” Paul knew what it felt like to utterly fail at trying to change his behavior. Who can’t relate to this passage? At the end of the day, we have all felt like the “wretched man” that Paul is writing about. Dr. William Backus, in his book, “Learning To Tell Myself The Truth” explains it this way, “The sinfulness of human nature, man’s deepest spiritual disorder, involves a quarrel with God. Springing from this rift are underlying false beliefs about God and His attitude toward us (Spiritual misbeliefs), which in turn lead to untruthful thoughts, thoughts that affect our feelings and behavior and created difficulties in our relationship with others.” Out of these core misbeliefs, come all sorts of evil. But Paul doesn’t stop there. He asks, “Who will rescue me?” Then he gives a resounding answer, “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Backus says it this way, “The reality of sin and its effects in our daily lives is not the final word. As Christians, we have the ultimate good news, the key to a healthier spiritual core.” Today, come to Christ for cleansing. Accept His total forgiveness. Ask Him to point out any Spiritual lies that are dragging you down. Throw off “wretched man” thinking and accept His grace, love, and forgiveness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know my temptations, struggles, and failures. I confess I have believed lies about You that I need to get rid of. Help me know what they are and begin my inner cleansing. Thank You that Jesus Christ has rescued me.
AMEN

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Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Temptation. Who has not felt its sting? Who has not been knocked in the gut and brought to their knees by this cancer of our soul? What keeps us in such bondage is the mistaken belief that temptations are “out there”. We see them as external enemies sneaking around waiting to ambush us. Now it is true that we have an enemy of our very soul, the devil, and he does seek to devour us. However, James shares that the root of our temptations come from within us. James says that “temptations come from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.” We can blame the magazine publisher or the movie producer but it is our own lust, our own unmet needs or misguided thinking that has caused us to dwell on pornography. It is our own misbeliefs and internal dialog that keeps us coming back to drugs so we can self medicate. That is why Paul makes it clear that God is the one that must help us. He writes, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” What God’s grace does not prevent, because of our own humanness, God’s grace forgives. The Apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Today, let Jesus untie the ropes that bind you. Like Peter, get up from the cell you are in. You are free! You have been liberated. Hear the words of Jesus, “Arise and sin no more.” “My son, my daughter, go, your sins have been forgiven you!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear liberator of my soul, I bring you my shackles. Take them. I bring you the key to my heart, unlock it. Heal me from the inside. Defeat my misguided thoughts, cast down the enemy of my soul. I look to you, who knows me better than I know myself. By your power, in your grace, because of your mercy, free me, forgive me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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Compassion

TODAY’S VERSE

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Matthew 9:36-38 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

Everyone has a story. Everyone hurts sometimes. If not now, wait. It is a hurting world. This is what Jesus saw. He saw the crowds, harassed and helpless. He compared them to lost sheep without a shepherd to protect them. And when He saw them, He had compassion. Why? Because He was God incarnate! God in the flesh. All you have to do, to understand why Jesus reacted the way He did, is to read the Old Testament. God Jehovah had compassion for the poor and needy. Even in Proverbs, Solomon gives us instructions to help those in need. He writes, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” We are to defend the rights of the poor and needy. But you ask, “What can I do?” It starts with your willing heart. From your heart, it moves to your eyes. Next, it moves to your head, then to your hands and feet. If you are willing to be used on behalf of the needy and ask God to help you help others, His love takes over. His compassion will be more than you could ever begin to contain. His miracles on behalf of the needy will be more than you can keep up with. God loves His human race, but He ordained His church to be His hands and feet. When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he called his disciples for help. He is still calling! What will you do?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Father, there are so many needs, so many hurting and dying. Use me today, right here, right now, to make a difference in someone’s life. Help me see with Your eyes, love with Your heart and move with Your power. In Jesus’ Name.

AMEN

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No Shame

TODAY’S VERSE
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame and guilt have so many of us in bondage. If it is not actual shame, it is the fear of being shamed. Yet this is not the way of life God has chosen for us. David knew this. In today’s passage, David is appealing to God to forgive him. He came to Him with complete abandonment, crying out for mercy, asking God to cleanse him from all his sin. He was counting on God’s unfailing love and compassion. Likewise, we come to God, through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, asking that all our sins be forgiven. But do we really believe that happens? Are we really forgiven? We need to get to that same place of trust that David was in. We need to know and experience the freedom that comes from the forgiveness of Christ. David accepted himself as clean. Will you? Live in His forgiveness today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I refuse to believe that You are ashamed of me or that you will abandon me because of my transgressions. I confess my sin and accept the death of Christ on the Cross as the substitution for my wrongdoings. Help me Lord rise, not in arrogance, but humility, knowing that I am cleansed and accepted by Your unconditional love. I choose to accept myself as forgiven and not ashamed. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Unconditional Love

TODAY’S VERSE
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
John 15:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I have had Christians chide me for my passion over the unconditional love of God. What about the Holiness of God, the part of God that hates sin? Yes, I understand that God is Holy and that we are sinners and He doesn’t have to love us at all – but He does. He chooses to. He sees my sin and then He sees the sacrifice of His son. Jesus Himself said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” How much does the Holy Father love His only begotten? Can we fathom it? And Jesus makes only one request. That we understand it? That we rationalize it? That we argue over it? No, He asks us to remain in His love. Like myself, Brennan Manning taught for years about the love of God without personally understanding its depths. Manning speaks of his own awakening in his book, Abba’s Child. He writes, “I finally felt all the words I have written and spoken about stubborn, unrelenting love. That morning I understood that the words are but straw compared to the reality. I leaped from simply being the teacher of God’s love to becoming Abba’s delight.” What do you need to understand? Do you need to earn His love or do you realize you already have it? Today, make it a reality in your life. Accept the unconditional love God has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, dear Father. How long have I felt unworthy of your affection? How long have I strived to try to win Your approval? But today I quit. Today I quit trying to earn Your love. Today I surrender. I surrender to Your word and accept the love that You freely have for me. Thank you, Father, for Your unconditional love.
AMEN

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Power For Your Weaknesses

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 12:8-10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all have different skills and abilities. Some are natural, some are learned but most are honed through experiences. Good experiences and bad help us mature and add to our personal development. From our experiences, we can reach out and help others. Paul was going through bad circumstances and God told him that He would provide all the grace Paul would need. Paul could then testify to others how God’s grace was all he needed. Thornton Wilder, in “The Angel That Troubled the Waters” writes about a Physician who wanted to be healed but God did not heal him. Instead, an Angel came and said this to the Doctor, “Without your wounds where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.” Christ wants to allow His power to be used through your weaknesses. Bring your weakness and troubles to Him today and begin helping others in the way Christ helps you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my struggles, my weaknesses, and my human frailty. I come to You and ask for Your grace to give me all I need to be a wounded healer. Help me relate how Your grace has been sufficient for me. May your power be manifested in my weaknesses today.
AMEN

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I Am Slipping

TODAY’S VERSE
I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Psalms 94:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever slipped? I have. It is a helpless feeling. Your legs fly up and your body comes down without warning. Once I slipped off a tree limb and landed many feet below on the ground. There were scratches down the side of my body from the many branches that I hit on my descent. Slipping out of control can be a terrifying experience. But there can be more fearful slips. Ever have the fear of abandonment or rejection that leads to anxiety so bad that you felt your heart would beat out of your chest? You feel like you’re going down a long winding chute picking up speed leading directly to annihilation. It is a fear of non-being, leaving you in terror, trying anything to bring relief. The Psalmist knew what it felt like. He cried, “I am slipping!” The good news is God can help you down from those mental and emotional cliffs that you are hanging on to by a thread. As difficult as it may seem, as terrifying you may think the outcome could be, God is with you to help and comfort. He will help you find a way. The Psalmist was in a dilemma. It was sheer horror that made him cry out to God, “My foot is slipping!” But when he did, God’s unfailing, better said, His never-failing love, supported him. When his anxiety was so high, when doubts filled his mind so much that he could not stand it, God consoled him, bringing real joy deep to his soul. God will do the same for you. Bring Him your fear, your anxiety, your terror. Bring Him to the spot where you are slipping. Reach up your hand and He will grab you. He will hold you with His strong arm. He will put your feet in a safe place.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am slipping. Please come to my aid. Catch me, hold me, help me find better footing. I need Your consolation. I need Your never-failing love. I need Your help. Guide me, comfort me, rescue me, in the name of Jesus I pray.
AMEN

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