Category Archives: happiness

Our Deepest Longings

TODAY’S VERSE
His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.
Acts 17:27-28 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God’s purpose has always been that we fellowship with Him. He has built us with what Anne Halley calls our “Core longings for love, security, understanding, purpose, significance, and belonging.” We all need to have these fulfilled. And we can when we fellowship with God. The people of Athens were searching for truth. They had a temple filled with a multitude of gods, and yet they asked Paul to come and share about Jesus. Paul’s message cut to the heart and exposed their deepest longings. He shared that in God we, “live and move and exist.” It is coming to God, fellowshipping in His presence, feeling safe enough to be vulnerable, and expose our lack of fulfillment that He can fill the deep core longings of our heart. We must come to God and move toward Him. When we do, He hears and meets our need for love, security, understanding, purpose, significance, and belonging. Today, come to Him, fellowship with Him. As Paul said, “He is not far from any one of us.” Bring Him the deep longings of your heart and find your place in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I come today and lay before You my deepest longings for love, security, understanding, purpose, significance, and belonging. Thank You that in Jesus Christ, all my longings are met. Come fill my heart and help me live, move and exist in You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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No Condemnation

TODAY’S VERSE
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It seems that we all have an “inner critic.” If we slowed down our thoughts, we would hear a constant flow of negative chatter berating us, feeding our low self-esteem, causing us to fear and doubt the unconditional love of God. Where does this cynical, ruthless and disrespectful voice come from? It comes from a variety of places. It could be a strict and legalistic upbringing. It could result from an inner belief that we are no good, someone who should constantly live in shame. Perhaps it is the result of false guilt that cannot accept that we are forgiven. It could come from the demonic forces that constantly accuse and challenge our spirituality. No one knew more about the inner critic than the Apostle Paul. Having just written, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Paul knew what it was to feel condemnation. He knew the depravity of his situation, and yet he could say unequivocally that it would be “Jesus Christ our Lord!” that would free him from his sense of sin and shame. Paul would then finish this chapter with this affirmation, “Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Today, don’t believe something about yourself that God doesn’t. Don’t wallow in the negative ranting of an inner critic. Instead, renounce the lie that you are no good and condemned and pronounce the truth, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, how I thank You that I am forgiven and accepted by You. Help me to know deep in my heart that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
AMEN

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Accepting his love

TODAY’S VERSE
But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” – In your unfailing love, rescue me.
Psalms 31:14, 16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Accepting salvation is an act of faith. It is the result of repenting and receiving Christ’s sacrifice for us. We accept His sacrifice for us, but that doesn’t mean we have totally accepted His love. It is possible for you to cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness of sins and yet never fully experience deep in your heart that you are unconditionally loved. You believe He loves you in your head, but you just can’t grasp it with your heart. Perhaps it is a low feeling of self-worth that cannot sense the supernatural love that Christ has for you. In the book “True Faced” the authors write, “When we on the basis of trust receive God’s perfect love for us, it pushes away our fear and teaches us to embrace the love that heals our wounds. – Trusting God frees our hearts to experience his safe, constant, intimate sufficiency. – When we receive love, when we are loved, we feel fulfilled. Love completely satisfies our longings, ambitions, and potential. God, the ultimate fulfiller, invites us to trust Him.” Today stop and trust God. Put your complete faith in the fact that when He says He loves you, He truly loves you! Let His unconditional love sink deep into your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your salvation. Help me go deeper. Help me trust You and accept deep in my heart the true love You have for me.
AMEN

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sing

TODAY’S VERSE
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.
Psalms 40:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can tell people about God, or we can share with them about the God that has made a difference in our life! As we experience the love and power of Christ, the more a song will well up inside our hearts! A song we cannot help but sing. A chorus, like the Psalmist, says, that will cause people to see what God has done in our life and amaze them. More than that, they, too, will trust in God for their own needs. This is what happened to the small town where the “woman at the well” lived. After her encounter with Jesus, her heart was so filled with hope that she ran home and told everyone. She said, “Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.” The Bible records that many of the people came from the town to meet Jesus. Many trusted in Him as their Savior. People today are dying for lack of a genuine song, a song that will meet the deepest needs of their soul. God has put you and me here on earth to sing about our experience with our King of Glory. When we do, other people, just like us, will put their trust in the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for the song You have put in my heart. Help me share with others all the wonderful things You have done for me.
AMEN

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No Burden

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love this passage. The Lord bids us come and rest. How different is that? It is the complete opposite of striving. You know, striving to “earn” God’s love, or worst, “keep it” as if God is some fickle tyrant. Nothing could be farther from the heart of God. Jesus knew we would be weary and carry heavy burdens. It is part of living in this world. But He never meant that living for God would be the cause of the burden. No, He said if we would take His teachings and live them, we would find rest for our soul. In “Desiring God’s Will” Dr. David Benner writes, “Hearing the invitation, everything within me wants to draw near and receive the gift of love that Jesus represents – not out of obligation but out of a soul-aching desire. And each time I do, my heart is slowly but progressively more aligned with the heart of God – God’s desires becoming my desires and God’s will becoming my will.” So today, quit trying to earn His love. You already have it. Don’t strive to please Him so He won’t abandon You; he will never leave you. Today, rest in His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for not believing You. Forgive me for making a mockery out of Your unconditional love for me. Thank You that your love for me is real, I don’t have to earn it, it is not a burden. Help me rest in your love today.
AMEN

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What Do You See?

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you see? A lot of it depends on what you are looking through. Each of us comes to the Scriptures with different lenses. We see through our experiences, beliefs, senses, and personality. So although scripture is true, we may have a skewed view of it. For example, in today’s verse, what do you believe? When you close your eyes, do you see God as a mighty one who will save you? Or do you have some doubts as to His ability or desire? Do you see God as rejoicing over you with gladness? Is He exulting over you with loud singing? Is He ecstatic in His love for you? Or do you have a hard time feeling like a recipient of that kind of attention from God? Finally, can you picture God quieting you with His love? Does the very thought of God bring peace to your heart? God’s word is true, but unless you read it and challenge your emotional thinking, you will not align your real beliefs with God’s. Today, ask God to help make His word clear to you and start to see what He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, as I read Your word, help me to see what You really want me to see and to believe it with all of my heart. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Object Oh His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the LORD your God. Yet the LORD chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you – Therefore, change your hearts and stop being stubborn. For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God.
Deuteronomy 10:14-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some times we just need to be reminded. We get so busy, so crazy, so wrapped up in our world, we forget; we forget about God. And then in His mercy, He lets us come across a passage like the one today, and it calls us back to what is real, back to Him, and His love for us. The author reminds us that even though God made all of the universe and everything in it, He chose you and me to be the object of His love. The God of gods, Lord of lords, the Great God, mighty and awesome, chose you and me to be the object of His love. To truly know this and believe it, changes everything. No wonder the author writes, “Change your heart and stop being stubborn.” Today, turn to God, acknowledge Him as Lord of your life, and thank Him for all His love, grace, and mercy toward you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord God, Almighty. I thank You for choosing me to be an object of Your love. Forgive me for taking that for granted. I come to You now and surrender my life to You, for You are the mighty and awesome God, worthy of all my praise and devotion.
AMEN

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Don’t Be An Imposter

TODAY’S VERSE
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:328-42 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to be busy with “God’s work” that we forget who we are working for. Question. What do you think God is more interested in, us or the work we do for Him? You must be careful. It is not wrong to be busy when you need to be. There are seasons of hard work. But why are you doing it? To earn God’s love? To keep up appearances? Because of what others might think if you don’t work at the church all the time? Brennan Manning calls this being an imposter. He writes about it in his book, “Abba’s Child”. “Imposters are preoccupied with acceptance and approval. Because of their suffocating need to please others, they cannot say no with the same confidence with which they say yes. And so they overextend themselves in people, projects, and causes, motivated not by personal commitment but by the fear of not living up to other’s expectations. – Living out of the false self creates a compulsive desire to present a perfect image to the public so that everybody will admire us and nobody will know us. The impostor’s life becomes a perpetual roller-coaster ride of elation and depression.” Mary chose to worship Christ. And though Martha’s hard work and devotion are commendable, this time she was filled with worries and cares. Jesus had to remind Martha that what Mary had chosen, that is to focus on the love that Christ has for us, is really the only thing Martha had to really do. If she did that, everything else would fall in place. Today, might we understand that we don’t have to earn the Lord’s love. Instead, we need to live as if we already have it. We do!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me serve You with a sincere heart. Forgive me for the many times I have been an imposter, just acting a part so I could win approval. Help me understand Your love for me in such a way that I would be a Martha with Mary’s insight.
AMEN

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Deeply Loved By God

TODAY’S VERSE
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
Psalms 103:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our belief in the love that God has for us is foundational to our Christian Faith. It has everything to do with our Christian walk. David Benner in his book “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes, “Neither knowing God nor knowing self can progress very far unless it begins with the knowledge of how deeply we are loved by God. Until we dare to believe that nothing can separate us from God’s love – nothing that we could do or fail to do, nor anything that could be done by anyone else to us – we remain in the elementary grades of the school of Christian transformation.—In order for our knowledge of God’s love to be truly transformational, it must become the basis of our identity. Our identity is who we experience ourselves to be—the I each of us carries within. An identity grounded in God would mean that when we think of who we are, the first thing that would come to mind is our status as someone who is deeply loved by God.” It is this kind of assurance that changes a person. It is this “Aha” awareness that changes the course of a life. It is this realization that gives us the courage to accept ourselves in Him and let go of who we think we have to be. David knew this. You can hear the joy in his voice, the childlike exuberance, as he writes, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” This is the kind of love, grace, and forgiveness that ignites a fire deep in our soul. Might this day begin with a fresh awareness of how precious you are to God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for Your amazing forgiveness. Help me not to take this for granted but instead help me find my true identity in the fact that I am someone who is deeply loved by You.
AMEN

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Help Me Rejoice

TODAY’S VERSE
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What qualifications do you put on happiness? So many times it seems as if we put conditions on whether or not we are going to rejoice. We must be liked. We must be successful. We have to have the right kind of car, house, clothes or social status before we can really find happiness. But what happens if those things that we feel are so important to “who we are” is taken away from us? What if we lose our job or a friendship tanks or we face bankruptcy? What if we are falsely accused of something or our friends turn on us? Then what happens to our peace, joy or happiness? Somehow Habakkuk found the secret. It was in his relationship with God. He was able to rejoice in Him no matter what. He had committed himself to God and when troubles began to brew, he was able to trade his commitment in for trust. Finally, when times were at its worst, his trust allowed him to return to joy from painful situations. This joy came from a deeply trusting relationship with God. Listen to what he said, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” This didn’t happen by accident. Habakkuk had a relationship with God that he could return to over and over again. Today begin with trust. Trust Him with everything you have and everything you need. Trust Him with today, tomorrow and the future. Then, when you need it, just like Habakkuk, your trust will help you return to joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to trust You in all things. Help me to put my hope in You. Help me to rejoice in You no matter what happens. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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