Category Archives: Love

Protect My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy for our hearts to wander. Temptation, disappointment, deferred hope, loss, heartache, lust, greed, anger, jealousy, Spiritual apathy, and isolation are just some of the ways that our hearts can become sinful and unbelieving. We must do all we can in order not to be deceived and lose heart. Paul shares three ways to protect our hearts. He writes, “Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” Fixing our thoughts on Jesus will keep us from “heart” failure. He will help keep our hearts at peace and joy. In Philippians, Paul writes, “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.” Here we see that the protection of our heart starts with our head. We need to fix our thoughts on Jesus and those things that build us up. In today’s verse, Paul gives another way to protect our hearts. He writes, “Encourage one another daily.” Isolation can be a “kiss of death” to our hearts. We get alone in our pity party, and soon we find ourselves self-feeling hopeless, alone, and unbelieving. Instead, we need to fellowship with others. Today, find a friend and share your thoughts. Let them encourage you, pray for you, and help you with your burden. You can then do the same for someone else. Whatever else you do today, protect your heart!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for the times I allow my heart to become sinful and unbelieving. Help me to fix my thoughts on Jesus and those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Help me to seek the fellowship of others that can, in turn, help me and encourage me. Lord, protect my heart, I pray. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Recipe For Life

TODAY’S VERSE
Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
II Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Salsa is only as good as its ingredients. Avocado, diced tomatoes, onion, the list of ingredients goes on. Mixing everything together, gathering chips, it was time to taste this masterpiece. As I took my first bite, I was dumbfounded as to how bland the taste was. Knowing the person who prepared the dish, I knew it had to be an error. Sure enough, upon reviewing the recipe, salt and lime juice were missing from the experience. What a difference two ingredients can make. By adding the two missing elements, the taste that the chef had initially been intended, was brought forth. Likewise, God has given us a recipe for life, and Peter encourages us to make every effort to include all the ingredients needed. We are to start with faith and add goodness. Next, add knowledge, self-control, and perseverance. Finally, we add the zest: Godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. These eight ingredients combine to give us the kind of life God desires for us. Peter ends his thoughts this way. “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Today, ask God to take these ingredients and help you add them, little by little, to your own life’s recipe.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me have the faith I need to live for You. With this faith in place, help me add, day by day, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, Godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. I pray this in Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Love As God loves

TODAY’S VERSE
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I John 4:8 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are a lot of ways we can try to show that we are Christian. We can go to church. We can attend religious programs. We can pray before meals. We can follow certain rituals. While these may be important, the real evidence that God is alive in our hearts is our love for other people. Over and over again, the Bible teaches that God is not interested in our outward appearances, our sacrifices or our religious ceremonies. He is interested in our loving behavior. Are we forgiving, just, loving, kind and benevolent toward our families and those around us? If not, then we need to take time and get to know God better. Knowing God is transformational knowledge. John said that if we don’t love, we don’t know God. In the book of James, we read, “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?” If the love of God is in our heart, then it will compel us to love. Paul shares this kind of love in I Corinthians 13. He writes, “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.” We say we know God but does our behavior back us up? If not perhaps we only know “about” God. Today, spend time with Him and let knowing Him translate into loving others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that my actions don’t always confirm my belief in You. You are love, and yet there have been many times that I have not loved others. Forgive me. Help me today to know you better so I will be filled with Your love and go out and love others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Romans 13:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can make following God complicated. We make up rules, regulations, and standards of behavior so we can measure our progress toward Spirituality. Yes, God gave us the ten commandments to guide the conduct of mankind, but it did not take man long to add hundreds of rules and regulations to them. Today, we have our own. Look a certain way. Listen to certain kinds of music. Exhibit certain acceptable behavior. While there is right and wrong, God does expect us to live holy and righteous with a bunch of man-made rules. There is a better way, one that covers all the bases. It is love. Jesus came to share the message with the whole world. When asked, “What is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul explains in Roman that the commandments are written to guide our behavior, and it can be summed up very simply. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Do you want to know what God wants you to do today? He wants you to love others. Do you know what God’s will is for your life? Love those he brings you in contact with. Today, if tempted with choices between good and bad or right and wrong, choose love. Love never fails.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, You are love! Give me the courage, strength, patience, and discipline to love the way You do.
AMEN

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The Grace, Love, and Fellowship of God

TODAY’S VERSE
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
II Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship with our Holy God’s Spirit. Does it get any better than this? The three keys to life, all found in our Christian experience. The grace of Jesus Christ. Grace, the ability of Christ to see us as we really are and because of His death on the cross, be able to extend unmerited favor upon us, forgiving us, cleansing us and making us whole. The love of God the Father. Love from the one who is love. Perfect love. Unconditional love. Unfathomable love. Unending love. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The comforter has come and He brings a fellowship sweeter than life itself. A deep relationship, teaching us of truth, judgment, and righteousness. A fellowship that results in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He guides us, protects us, comforts us, teaches us and leads us. Today you can avail yourself of all of this. This is the normal Christian experience that God desires you to have. Today, ask Him to make you keenly aware of the grace of Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to make it real, deep in your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me see and really understand, deep in my heart, what it means to be filled with the grace of Jesus, the love of the Father, and the fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I desire to know this in all its fullness. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Give Me Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalms 86:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Where do you find real joy? There are many things that can make us happy, but this is not the same thing. Joy is taking a delight something remarkably good or satisfying. David knew just where to find it. He found deep down lasting joy in the presence of God. He found it in his clear conscience, the result of God’s forgiveness. He found it in God’s unconditional love toward him. What about you? Have you found joy? If not, start today. Ask God to bring joy deep into your soul. Meditate on His word. Accept His forgiveness. Bask in the great love He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, bring joy to me today. Truly, I can say with David, “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.”
I lift my soul up to you and ask You to fill it with the joy only You can provide. In Jesus’ name
AMEN

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Created To Do Good

TODAY’S VERSE
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is amazing to study how the cells in the body all work together to survive as an organism. Insects work in hives all working in unison. Systems throughout the universe are in motion working in harmony. But then there is mankind. How dysfunctional can we get? It is every person for their own self. This is not God’s desire. God created humans to exist in a system that has each of us looking out for the interests of others. He created love to be our model of coexistence. As Christians, God created us in Christ to do good works. The author of Hebrews writes, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” And the world needs love in action. There are so many weary, hurting, broken, saddened, terrified people all around us. Every family has a story. So today volunteer. Just show up. Let God know that you will be willing to help someone and then be available. He will lead you. He will guide you to someone who needs your help. And you will be blessed, for there is nothing better than doing what you were created to do. After all, you have been called by God Himself to do good works, which He prepared in advance for you to do!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I know that You have created me to do good. I know that it is Your desire, yet I need You to guide me. Direct me to someone who needs what I have. Someone who will benefit from the way you have wired me. Guide me, then empower me to do the good that You have prepared in advance for me to do. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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