Category Archives: Love

God As My Friend

TODAY’S VERSE
Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:13-15

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is an incredible concept that a God who created all the expanse of space; designed the most complicated systems; is beyond time and space; would create us, not as some impersonal piece of matter, but as a friend. A friend! We are fortunate if we go through life with four or five good friends. Jesus called His disciples friends. Why? Because He spent time with them. He knew them. He wants to do the same with us. If we are going to be a friend of God, then we must build a relationship. That doesn’t happen by just going to church. We need to fellowship, worship and hear the word of God but that’s good, but it is not enough. It doesn’t come by reciting creeds, as good as they are. It doesn’t come by reading about God, although this certainly gives us context. It doesn’t come by simply reading the Bible, although this is an indispensable part of relating to God. Friendship with God comes by spending time with Him. It comes through conversation with Him. It comes through an exchange of feelings, thoughts, concerns, and aspirations. Try today to carve out some time to be alone with God. Share with Him; tell Him you want His friendship. Listen to Him, wait for Him and enjoy His presence.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know about You. I pray to you, but I must admit, I don’t know You well. I know in my head that You love me, but I haven’t sensed a friendship with You in my heart. I want to be Your friend. I want to know You in a much deeper and more personal way. Help me to that end. Guide me into a friendship with You, I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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You Are Loved

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD, your God, is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we are tempted to forget God’s goodness. Perhaps it is the darkness; life’s circumstances with its mystery that causes our lapse of memory. Could it be our haste, all the interruptions, deadlines and pressures of everyday life that crowds out our remembrance? Whatever the reason, today cast your eyes upon this treasure. Feast your senses on this thought, “The Lord, YOUR God, is with you!” Not only that, comfort yourself with the fact that “He is mighty to save you.” Let the joy radiate deep in your heart from knowing the fact that “He takes great delight in you!” But if that isn’t enough, if you still aren’t moved, meditate on this truth, “He will quiet you with His love.” Finally, use your imagination and picture the magnificent conclusion that Zephaniah offers, “God, our own Heavenly Father, is right this moment singing and rejoicing over you.” Today, believe it, it is true.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, my dear Lord and Father. Who am I that You would rejoice over me with singing? That you take delight in me is so much to comprehend. But You have said it and now I choose to believe it. Thank You, dear Father for Your love for me. Help me live today in the reality of these truths. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven’”.
Matthew 18:21-22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is interesting that Peter was the one that came to Jesus and asked, “How many times should we forgive another person?” Peter thought he was generous and asked, “Seven times?” But the answer that Jesus gave Peter was based on grace and mercy, not on merit or our puny benevolence. Jesus said, “Seventy times seven.” Peter learned to identify himself with Christ’s answer. When the crowd came to crucify Jesus, Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times. When he realized the wrong he committed, he went and “wept bitterly” over his sin. How awful Peter must have felt. When Jesus rose again, he went and found Peter. Jesus forgave Peter and told him three times to go and serve Him. And that’s what Peter did. Peter never lost sight of the fact he was just a forgiven fisherman, saved by the grace of God. And other people recognized it too. The book of Acts says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter was keenly aware that He was forgiven and loved by God. He made his goal to tell everyone that they could be as well. Shouldn’t we do the same?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, thank You for all that You have forgiven in my life. Might I live filled with your Holy Spirit and in the fresh awareness that I am loved by You. Help me in turn love and share the good news with others. I pray that when they see me, they too will take note that I have been with You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Love God

TODAY’S VERSE
When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home, even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”
Luke 15:17-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to “love” what we can get from God more than God. It is easier to “love” God when things are going according to our preconceived idea of a “happy life” than it is when things go crazy. In his book The Papa Prayer, Larry Crabb points out that in the story of the Prodigal Son, the son decides to return home, not because of his love for his father but because he wanted what his father could provide. The truth is that the son knew that the hired servants lived better than he was living at the time so he went home to be provided for. It is interesting to note that in the speech the Prodigal Son gave to his father, that he never once told his father that he loved him. What about us? Do we love God or do we really love what He provides? As long as things are great or at least status quo, God is deserving of our love. But what happens when things turn sour, or there is conflict in our life? Today, love God. Just love Him. Tell Him so. Love Him because He is! Love Him not to get but just because you want to.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today, I just want to love You. I want to love You for who You are. Help me to examine my heart and repent of a consumer mentality that comes to You for what I can get. Forgive me for attaching strings to my love. Holy Spirit, guide me into a deeper love for the Triune God today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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First Love

TODAY’S VERSE
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
Revelation 2:2, 4-5

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Remember when you first came to Christ? You were aware of your need. You were humbled by His love, appreciative of His sacrifice for you. You wanted to help everyone else know Him. What happened? How did we allow our intimate relationship with Christ to become a ritual? When did we trade our freedom? When did we forsake our joy? Have we traded our relationship with Christ for a religion? Have we given up grace for rules and regulations? Have we traded the mission of the church for membership in a country club? Paul wrote the church in Colossians, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” He asked them to continue to live in Christ just like they did the first day they tasted of salvation. The first day the Spirit of God was born in their heart, the first time the tears from God’s forgiveness stained their cheeks. John warned the church in Ephesus that even though they worked hard and persevered, they had lost their first love. He admonished them to repent and return to doing the things that they did at first. Oh, that we would never forget the wonder that God loves us. Today, examine your heart. Do you feel far from God? Who moved? Go back to the place you met Christ. Rededicate your heart to Him. Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, take me back to the time I first knew You. Renew the joy in my soul. Reignite the fire that burned in my heart. Help me to remember and to live this day in the fresh awareness of Your love and forgiveness.
In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Jealousy and Selfish Ambition

TODAY’S VERSE
If you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
James 3:14-16

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a plague in our world. It is the root of wars, poverty, hatred and injustice. In our everyday life it is what causes arguments, hurt feelings, disappointment and ungodly behavior. James calls this plague “jealousy and selfish ambition.” He goes further to call it “unspiritual and demonic behavior” and assures us that wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and evil of every kind. Does this mean that it wrong to have ambition? Is it wrong to desire goals? “No!” Where wrong comes in is when our desires and ambitions are independent of God. We listen to the world and start to desire fame and fortune. We create goals that we think will lead us to the place we need to be and nothing better get in our way. The cure for this jealousy and selfish ambition is to develop a relationship with Christ. Talk to Him. Ask Him to help you create goals that will honor Him. When you do, you can also leave the results to Him. You are already accepted by Him and loved unconditionally. When you start to believe that, there will be no room in your heart for cheap imitations. There will be no reason for jealousy or selfish ambition.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for taking my eyes off of You and setting up my own kingdom. I know that jealousy and selfish ambition have been prevalent in my life. I renounce these attitudes and ask that You would show me Your will for my life. Help me be content and live a life pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Beside You

TODAY’S VERSE
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Psalms 16:8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As a child I was afraid of going down to the basement by myself. It was dark and creepy. Yet, that is where my mom stored the canned vegetables. And everyday after school my mother would ask me to go and get a can and bring it upstairs. Once, after my brother turned off all the lights on me, I was really frightened. My father, who arrived home as I was expressing my panic and fear, asked what the trouble was. I explained to him my concern about the basement. He took me downstairs and had mom turn out the lights. I grabbed his hand and relaxed as I realized he was actually holding mine. He walked with me through the basement explaining to me that there was nothing to worry about. What a difference his presence made. What a relief to know that this giant of a man was beside me and that I had nothing to fear. David knew about darkness. He was a lonely shepherd, out many nights taking care of the sheep. But he knew the secret to overcoming the fear of the dark. He wrote, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” Today, you can have that same assurance. Acknowledge His presence. Spend time with Him and allow Him to guide you throughout this day. He truly is right beside you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You that You are with me. Help me today to be keenly aware of Your presence. Guide me, direct me and make me conscious that You are always at my side. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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