Category Archives: Justice

Work Hard Toward Peace

TODAY’S VERSE
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Ephesians 4:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Everyone wants peace but so few are willing to work on it. Paul writes out a formula for peace that if practiced, would revolutionize the church. First, he asks us to be humble and gentle. It is amazing how much hurt can be dished out under the guise of humility. So, Paul adds to be gentle. He continues by writing that we should be patient making allowances for each other’s faults. But how can we do this? He says we do it out of love. Remember, love, covers a multitude of sins. Finally, if peace is our real goal, then we need to make every effort to keep ourselves united in the Spirit. To Paul, peace was not an option, but a reality to be insisted on. How hard do you work for peace at home, church or work? What if everyone did?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Prince of Peace, please forgive me. I have not made peace my desire. I would rather be right. I would rather be in control. I would rather fight for my self-interests. I have such a hard time trusting you. Forgive me. Please help me follow You and Your commitment to peace.
AMEN

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Love As Jesus Loves

TODAY’S VERSE

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
Luke 6:27-31 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

In today’s passage, Jesus sets a whole new standard for moral behavior. That is why He starts this part of His sermon on the Mount by saying, “If you are willing to listen.” Our Lord knows how hard it is to follow what He is suggesting. But what makes this teaching even more amazing is Jesus did not just teach this, He lived it! This was not a political speech with moral platitudes given in order to win our votes. This was a mandate for those that He was calling to follow Him in His own lifestyle. If we are to follow Jesus, we must love the way He taught us. When Jesus taught about love, He went much farther than the Shema which commanded the Israelites to, “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” He went much farther than, “loving your neighbor as yourself”’. In today’s passage, He said to, bless those that curse us and to pray for those who hurt us and to turn the other cheek when hit. These are ways to truly love others. Today, let us love others the way Jesus has commanded us to.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me love with Your love. Help me see others with Your eyes. Help me be filled with Your compassion, guided by Your Holy Spirit, used as an instrument of Your peace. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Help Those In Need

TODAY’S VERSE
There should be no poor among you – do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward them. Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need.- Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.
Deuteronomy 15:4, 7, 8, 11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Lord cares about those that are poor. It is true that Jesus said we will always have the poor with us, but He never said to leave them that way. God knew that there would be circumstances that would make some poor and destitute, so He created a system that would make up for life’s struggles and troubles. He told those that have plenty not to be hard-hearted toward those that are poor but rather loan them money so they could provide for their family. How often have we been hard-hearted toward those that are homeless or destitute? Have we been quick to judge and say that it is their fault that they are in need and not deserving of our assistance? Do we turn our back and hang on to our wallets? This is not God’s desire. Instead, God told His people, “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.” We are to be salt and light to a lost and dying world. This includes helping those around us who are less fortunate, find a way out of poverty. Today, ask God to help you be more generous to those in need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to see those that are in need around me through Your eyes of compassion. I pray that You will guide and direct me in being
more generous to those you bring my way.
AMEN

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Live In Peace

TODAY’S VERSE
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Romans 12:16-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God wants us to live in peace with others. This is easier said than done. Yet as God’s ambassadors, it is imperative that we really try. Ken Sande, the author of “The Peacemaker” writes, “Something significant happens when you decide to follow God’s instructions for relationships, especially His insights on conflict. When you focus on Him and His ways, you do more than cope. When you choose to study and act on God’s plan in every area of your existence, you’re living for His glory. – When you glorify God by doing relationships according to His plan, you’re allowing God to reign in your life. You’re enjoying a powerful connection that alters your whole life. And it’s far more than personal. You’re also giving everyone around you a reason to respect and praise God’s fame.” Conflicts will come, but today choose God’s way of dealing with them. Turn it over to Him. Do as Paul writes, “Live in harmony, don’t be proud, don’t think you know it all, don’t repay evil with evil and do all you can to be at peace with everyone.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need Your help with relationships. I get so frustrated. I need Your Holy Spirit to guide me and help me love others the way You do. Help me, guide me and empower me I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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God Is Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. – This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
I John 4:7-8, 10-12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We cannot separate Christianity from its roots found deep in love. It was in love that we were created. It is in love that our sins are forgiven. It is in love that we are to live for Jesus. In his book “Surrender To Love” Dr. David G. Benner writes, “Christianity is the world’s great love religion. The Christian God comes to us as love, in love, and for love. The Christian God woos us with love and works our transformation through love. – Only love can soften a hard heart. Only love can renew trust after it has been shattered. Only love can inspire acts of genuine self-sacrifice. Only love can free us from the tyrannizing effects of fear. There is nothing more important in life than learning to love and be loved. Jesus elevated love as the goal of spiritual transformation.” How about you? Have you surrendered to God’s love? Have you accepted His free gift of salvation and His unconditional love He has for you? If not, surrender today. Give Christ your heart. Let His love wash over your soul and renew you from the inside out. God is love and He loves you. Live in that love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You indeed are love. It is your essence. Your love is pure and powerful and You have set Your affection on me. Thank You for Your love. I accept it and want to live every moment in the keen awareness that You love me. Help me to that end. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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We Need To Walk The Talk

TODAY’S VERSE
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
James 2:14-18

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a world in such need, but we are so busy we don’t see it. We are so inwardly focused, so concerned about our own welfare, we don’t stop to help others. That is not the way of Christ! Our churches should be making huge differences in our communities, but we don’t. Often we are trying to be the best church in the community. But the author, Eric Swanson challenges us and says that instead, we should try to be the best church for and with the community. That is Christ’s way. When will this change? It can change TODAY if you and I decide to do something. Today, we can make a difference in someone’s life if we just open our eyes and hearts. We can encourage others in our church to make a difference. May God help us to “walk our talk.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, help me see other peoples’ needs with Your eyes. Bring someone into my life today who needs help. Give me the mercy to stop, the wisdom to know what to do and then the love to do it. Thank You, God, for all You have done for me; help me do for others.
AMEN

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Love Is More Than A Four-Letter Word

TODAY’S VERSE
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
I read this list of love’s attributes and I feel so inadequate. I am guilty of using the word love so insincerely, not even close to its true meaning. Love is more than a four-letter word. I use the same word to describe both my attitude toward a sports team or favorite dessert and my devotion toward my spouse or God. Love is more than saying, “I love you.” More than a romantic feeling, love demands my doing something. It is more walk than talk. It’s the kind of love the world is dying for. Today, I invite you to join me. Let’s read the list of love’s attributes over again and make it our goal today to love those around us in this radical Christ-like manner. With His help, you and I can love the way Christ would have us love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, loving the way You love is not easy. I cannot do it by myself. I ask You to help me today love those around me with the patience, kindness, sacrifice, and dedication that You love me with. Thank You for Your love; help me to love others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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