Category Archives: happiness

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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True Happiness

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 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 in You.
AMEN

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His Grace Is Sufficient

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 used 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 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 instead of getting his request, God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you!” He asked for relief from a situation 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 Christians, 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 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 whatever 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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Emotional Healing

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 an encouragement in seeking God’s help. Why? Because God hears us. There are two types of trauma that bring 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. The better news is that He can help us. The authors of Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You, 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 He hears your cries. Rejoice He can heal your emotions!

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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Come To The Waters

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 heartfelt plea from God to every one of us. Given 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 lives 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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