Category Archives: Integrity

Love mORE

TODAY’S VERSE
Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul was on to something. He knew what the church needed to do to thrive. They needed to love each other more and more. They needed to create an atmosphere of acceptance, love, and forgiveness. We need the same today. We need churches where we don’t wear masks; we don’t hide our true selves from each other. A place where we can admit our shortcomings because we know that our sins do not define us; instead, who we are in Christ does! In the book “The Cure,” the authors write that we put too much emphasis on “Sinning less!” They are quick to point out that this causes us to be phony, judgmental, and unloving. Instead, they eloquently write that we don’t have to “Sin less.” We need to “Love more!” They point out, “We can sin less and not love more. But if we love more, we will sin less!” The truth is we are forgiven. We don’t have to sin less. Instead Jesus wants us to love more! Read today’s verse again. If we follow what it says, we will love more! And if we love more, we will sin less!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to embrace the truth of your love for me. Help me to quit focusing on sinning less and more on loving more.
Amen

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Live Like Jesus

TODAY’S VERSE
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Philippians 2:3-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The world is looking for Jesus. The truth is that people love what Jesus stood for and how He lived His life. It is the way we, the church, live that turns them away from Christianity. Paul knew this. It was the love and grace of Jesus that consumed him, so he knew if we were going to make an impact in the world at all, if anyone around us were going to come to Jesus, then it would have to be through an accurate portrayal of the person we name our self after. If we are Christians, Paul says that we “must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” And what was this attitude? It was an attitude of love and selflessness. Paul said it this way, “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Today, let us humble ourselves and live as Jesus would. Might He live in and through us so much that people would have to take a second look, mistaking our love for the Lord Himself.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, help me to live the way You would. Help me have the same attitude that You do. Help me live for You so much that those around me will be compelled to know You as I do.
AMEN

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Humble Yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I Peter 5:5-7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We are complex beings. Behind our behavior is a labyrinth of beliefs, assumptions and attitudes. For example, if we have a need, you would think we would automatically ask God for help. But instead, we get proud and see our need as a sign of weakness. People ask us “How are you?” and we say, “Fine!” Somehow we believe that having a need and asking for help would reduce our self-image. And so we fight to protect it. The Bible calls this kind of thinking “pride”. Peter writes: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” God knows our needs and He delights in our coming to Him. Peter verifies this when he writes, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Today, don’t let pride get in your way. Humble yourself and come to Christ with all your needs and He will care for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my needs. You are God Almighty and have promised that I can cast all my anxieties on You because You genuinely care for me. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. Thank You for Your gracious provision.
AMEN

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Extend Grace To Others

TODAY’S VERSE
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.
Galatians 6:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all do wrong and need help sometimes. But why is it, those of us who are forgiven so much, can be so stubborn when it comes to understanding someone else’s sin? Where is the restoration? Where is the grace? Paul sees this lack of love in the church and instructs us to restore a person by being gentle and humble. In the classic book, “Truefaced” the authors write, “One of the greatest gifts we can offer another person is a safe place to fail.” How true is that? Indeed, that is what Christ has done for us. The authors also write, “Grace frees Christians to see others as saints who sin, rather than sinners striving to be saints.” Yes, we should praise God that He has saved us and forgiven us of all our sins, but we should also remember that we are saved by “grace” and are called to live by grace as well. Today, let us offer grace to those that need it in the same proportion that God has given it to us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your grace. Help me to be gentle and humble and extend that same grace to those around me.
AMEN

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Hypocrite

TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus replied, ‘You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce.'”
Mark 7:6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
According to Webster, a hypocrite is “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings, puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion.” None of us start out trying to be a hypocrite, but if not careful, it can happen. What starts as a beautiful relationship with Christ somewhere along the way becomes a religion. We begin to believe that God would love us more if we behaved in certain ways and slowly go from a relationship of grace to a system of works. We end up spending more time knowing about God and less time knowing Him. Our Christianity becomes more about church and less about discipleship. We “talk” about Jesus instead “walking” with Him. Jesus said it this way, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Today be real with God. Come to Him, seeking to know Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in new and refreshing ways. Live in the reality of His grace and fellowship and love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, search my heart. Help me to know where I have wandered from You. Forgive me for any hypocrisy and help me to live in the full awareness of Your love and grace.
AMEN

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Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.
I Corinthians 8:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Knowing the word of God is very important. Peter tells us to, “Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” But we can know all about God and still not be a loving person. And without love, the Church will not be what God desires it to be. Paul lets us know this in no uncertain terms. He writes. “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” Today, let’s not just know God; let’s commit ourselves to love others the way He does.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am so glad that I know You. Help me also to love the way You want me to.
AMEN

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Sincere Help

TODAY’S VERSE
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So much of the sin in our life is due to our emotions. We get upset, worried, stressed, and emotional pain starts to build up. This leads us to sin. The solution is found in relationships. Relationships with God and other close friends give us the love, support, and comfort that can tame our sinful behavior. It is in these deep relationships that Paul encourages you to gently and humbly help a person return to sanity and stop their negative behavior. How? By sharing their burdens and pain. In using a kind word, a listening ear, and a prayerful heart, your sincere help will keep a person from acting out on their negative emotions. Your empathy and love will help keep them from committing grave relational sins. Today ask God to help you share in someone else’s burden and restore them to a place of peace and joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me be there for other people. Help me share their burdens and gently bring them back to You. Thank You for Your grace and mercy extended to me. Help me do the same to others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Humble Before God

TODAY’S VERSE
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?
Isaiah 40:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can get so haughty before God. We complain, second guess, doubt, question, and offer God suggestions on how to rule our little part of the world. We are so finite, and yet we come against the infinite and throw our intellect in His face. Who are we that we think we can advise God? This is the question Isaiah is forced to ask the children of God. Children of God? You would think that they would know better. Who better to know the mighty power of God? Who better to know God’s infinite wisdom? Who better to know the unfathomable love of the Father’s love? But, who better to take God for granted? And that is what they did. Sadly, that is what we do too. Are we not His children? How often have we raised our fist to God? How often have we doubted His word? Who are we that we think God needs to check in with us before He does something? Who are we that we think He needs us to tell Him what to do? And yet, though we get proud and rebellious, God still loves us. God still calls us His children longing to fellowship with us. He is waiting to have us humbly love Him in return.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for my pride and arrogance. I have so often raised my fist to You. Forgive me, Lord. I cannot begin to fathom You in all Your majesty. I cannot understand all Your wisdom or power. Who Am I that You would allow me to be Your child? And yet I am! How I praise You. Please help me live for You today. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Get Rid Of Anger

TODAY’S VERSE
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil.
Psalm 37:7-8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In life, you will always find situations that will make you angry. It is what you do next that makes a difference. Many who have acted out their anger justify it by saying that it was “righteous indignation.” But I don’t see righteous indignation listed by Paul as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Instead, God encourages us to react differently. In today’s passage, we are told to be still before God and wait patiently for Him. We are to stop fretting, refrain from anger, and turn from wrath. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians that we are to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice. Paul admonishes us to be compassionate and forgiving toward each other like Christ is to us! Today, when pressures mount up, when there is a misunderstanding when you feel like there is no way out, don’t let anger take over. Get rid of the bitterness, rage, and anger that consumes you. It is a habit that needs to be broken. Instead, pause, take a deep breath, lift up a prayer and ask God to help you react in a more Godly fashion. Do what Paul suggests. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving toward those that have made you mad. Why? Because Christ has already done the same for you!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how anger comes so easily for me. You know how I struggle to let you control my life, especially in negative situations. Forgive me. Help me trade my anger for compassion, my bitterness for forgiveness, my rage for love. Help me live the way You would have me live. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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What Are You Thinking?

TODAY’S VERSE
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.
Philippians 4:8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What are you thinking? What we think about is what really shapes us. Paul wrote about our inner dialog. In today’s passage, he tells us to focus our thoughts on those thoughts that true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Paul also tells us to do battle with those feelings, thoughts and core beliefs that are contrary to God and His word. He writes, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Today, slow down and listen to what you are really thinking. Listen to your inner voice, your feelings, and self-talk. This is where the battle for who we really are is won or lost. As attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, motives or predictions are discovered, check to see if they align up to Biblical standards. If not, talk to God about it. Confess and renounce those thoughts, making them obedient to Christ. Today, ask God to change you from the inside out.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, please expose my hidden self to me so I can apply Your word to my thinking and be the person You want me to be.
AMEN

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