Category Archives: Integrity

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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Trust And Obey

TODAY’S VERSE
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt.
James 1:5-6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever had people you are close to making a decision, a decision about something you know a lot about, yet they never asked your opinion? Have you ever been asked your opinion and then totally ignored? Have you ever been asked to “weigh-in” on a decision only to have to “buy-in” to a decision you disagree with? It is hard when you are ignored or when decisions are made that you think should have been different. What about God? How does He feel about people who go through life never asking for His opinion on anything? How about people that pray a desperate request never really intending to listen? Or worst, what about those that ask God for wisdom and treat His answer as simply a “weigh-in” deciding later to ask God to “buy-in” to the decision they made contrary to what God suggested. Do you ask God for wisdom or do you go about your life without His opinion? If you do ask God for wisdom, do you listen to it or are you off to something else not really listening for an answer at all? Finally, if you do ask for wisdom and hear God’s voice, do you “obey” it or do you “weigh” it. James tells us to ask God for wisdom and then believe God will give it to us and not doubt His answer. Today, when you need wisdom, ask God, really ask Him. Then, listen to what He says. When you hear, follow His path. It is like the old Hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way. To be happy in Jesus, just trust and obey.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I don’t ask You for wisdom like I should. And when I have asked, I have often ignored You. Forgive me, Lord. I know I need Your wisdom for this life and I ask that You would give it to me. Then, Holy Spirit, guide me, direct me, empower me to do what Your wisdom dictates. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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The War Is Over

TODAY’S VERSE
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
Romans 6:6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Out in the remote posts of the Pacific where the word had not reached the soldiers that World War II was over, battles still went on. How many lost their lives after the war had already been won? It is this way in our battle with sin. Paul comes along and writes that our sinful selves have been put to death with Christ. Yet, we act as if it applies to everyone else but us. The battle is over but the news hasn’t reached our heart yet. When we became a Christian, we were emancipated from being a slave to sin. We were set free from the power of sin. Do we sin? Yes. But do we have to be under its control? No. We have been set free. Yet we act like a prisoner of war still living in our cell, oblivious to the good news. So, what is stopping us from living free from the sin that is holding us down? Today hear the good news, “Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.” Arise, the battle is won, you are free!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to really understand the freedom You have given me in Christ. Help me understand what it really means to be free from the power of sin. Help me today live in this new awareness, that my old sinful self is crucified with Christ.
AMEN

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Wisdom

TODAY’S VERSE
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.- But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
James 3:13, 17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We usually think of wisdom in terms of knowledge or the ability to solve a mystery. However, James describes something much more comprehensive. It is “relational” wisdom. The wisdom that God desires includes morality, prudence, humility, gentleness, love, mercy, and good deeds. It seems that God is more interested in how we apply what we know, especially in the way that we relate to others. You can be intellectually right, yet morally wrong in the way you use your knowledge. To be right, yet arrogant, unloving and proud is not real wisdom. Might God grant us the understanding that real wisdom is, “peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I ask for your wisdom in all that I do. With that wisdom, please help me be gentle, humble, loving and merciful.
AMEN

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Throw It Off

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul uses the analogy of running a race to describe the Christian life. He paints a picture of a poor runner who has come to the starting blocks with a large heavy weight tied to him and chains wrapped around his legs. There is no way this runner is going to finish the race, let alone win. Instead, Paul suggests that the runner first throw off everything that hinders them. That could be events, habits, environments, attitudes, anything that “triggers” the desire to do things that Christ would not want us to do, or prevent us from doing what we should. We need to throw off anything that leads us toward Spiritual apathy or complacency. In their book “True Faced” the authors point out that in reality there are two kinds of sins. These are sins that we commit resulting in guilt and sins that are committed against us resulting in hurt. Both of these “sins” can trip us up. If we allow guilt to grow, it will spread like cancer in our Spirit. If we allow hurt to go unchecked, it can fester into sadness, anger, fear, malice, bitterness and many other negative attitudes. We need to deal with the sin in our life — both those that we commit and those committed against us. Then we can run the race. Today let us consider our own life. Are we running the race that God has called us to? If not, what is weighing us down? What is entangling us? Pray today that God would help you throw it off.

TODAY’S PRAYER:
Father, You know that I need to run in this race of life. I confess that I have let burdens weigh me down. I have let sins, both that I have committed and those committed against me, trip me up. Help me, Lord, throw off these things. Help me run today, free from all these issues that hinder me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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An Authentic Life

TODAY’S VERSE
You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God.
I Peter 2: 9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God cares about the way we live. Why? Because of the evidence that others see about God. Many people will never read the Bible but they will read our lives. They may not hear about the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, but they will know the Gospel according to you! You see, Peter wrote that you are part of a chosen people. You are a Royal Priest of Almighty God. You are part of a Holy Nation. Because of this, you have the privilege and the responsibility, to represent your King. You are to show others the goodness of God by the way you live. It is your life that silences the skeptics that would bring dishonor to God. So, do you have to be perfect? If so, does this mean that you make a mask and fake your good behavior? No, people are not looking for pretense or phoniness. They want to see an honest, real and authentic life. A life where you admit when you are wrong. Where you fall, but get up and try again. Where your faith is weak but you surrender to the love of God anyways. God chose you. Now it is your turn. Choose to live for Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for choosing me. Thank You for making me a Royal Priest, a chosen person, part of a Holy nation. Help me to live accordingly. I cannot do it by myself. I need Your help, help me I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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