Category Archives: Hope

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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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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Get Out Of The Boat

TODAY’S VERSE
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Matthew 14:27 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever been afraid? I mean afraid for your life? If so, you know how Jesus’ disciples felt. Jesus sent them on ahead in the boat while He went to the mountain to pray. Now even though many of the disciples were experienced fishermen, they had a healthy respect for the “Abyss”. There were many legends about “the deep” as it was referred to. It was where sea creatures lived, where ships were crushed by waves, where ghosts terrorized those foolish enough to be caught in a storm. Many went into the deep part of the sea never to return. This was different than fishing along the shore. As it were, the disciples were in the middle of the sea when the storm came. Matthew writes, “the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.” Finally, at three in the morning, as they were rowing and not getting anywhere, Jesus came walking to them on the water. At first, this only added to their fear. They thought it was a ghost. But then Jesus said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter believed Him and jumped into the water to be with Jesus. Better with Jesus than to stay in the boat. Peter was walking on the water like Jesus but when the waves kept jostling him he took his eyes off Him. Unfortunately, He focused on the waves around him and began to sink. Jesus ended up saving him and as they both got into the boat, the wind and waves immediately calmed down. What an incredible lesson. Today, if the storms of this life start to rock your boat, if terror attacks your heart, if all seems lost, hear Christ’s words, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You that when the storms of this life are terrorizing me and I begin to fear, You come and seek me. You are the one who comes to me and says, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Help me to get out of the boat and keep my eyes on You.
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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God’s Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
Psalms 27:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get in a rut and seek second best. It can be that way in our Christian experience. We get trapped seeking the “results” of knowing “about” God instead of joy and peace of “knowing” God. We turn our Christian walk into ritual, behaviors, and experiences that bring us some sort of security that all is well, instead of knowing Him and the peace that He can give. Larry Crabb in his book “The Pressure’s Off” writes, “You, therefore, live with uncertainty and pressure, and you demand to know the way to live that will make your life work as you want. You maneuver; you do not trust. You negotiate; you do not worship. You analyze and interpret to gain control over what happens; you do not depend. You seek the better life of God’s blessings over the better hope of God’s presence.” Today might we seek to know and enjoy God’s presence over anything else.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have sought Your blessings more than Your presence. I have sought what I can gain from knowing about You instead of knowing You. Help me, Father, Your presence is the blessing I seek.
AMEN

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