Category Archives: Love

No Condemnation

TODAY’S VERSE
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to forgive someone else. How do we forgive ourself? How do we get rid of a guilty conscience? Conviction is one thing. We need conviction. The job of the Holy Spirit is to help us live the life that God created us for. Jesus said that He had to leave the earth. His job of dying for our sins would be over but then the Holy Spirit would come and convict of sin, righteousness and judgment. When we feel convicted, we repent, ask forgiveness and accept the forgiveness. At least that is how it is suppose to work. But for many it doesn’t stop there. Instead there is a nagging condemnation. An ugly worthlessness, a sense of hopelessness that we can never be loved, let alone forgiven. A shame that is so hard to overcome that our soul becomes numb.
My friend, let me assure you, God does not use shame. He does not condemn. Lift up your head, go ahead, lift up your head and look into the eyes of Jesus. You will see nothing but unconditional love for you. Hear these words of Paul today, let them resound deep into your heart, breathe them in; “There is no condemnation for those that belong to Christ Jesus.” Know today that you are forgiven, you are loved. So forgive yourself, be healed, be free from any false guilt. Accept His unconditional love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I quit trying to earn your love. I let go of all the thoughts, all the negative self images, all the nagging doubts and condemnation that is stopping me from accepting your unconditional love. Instead, as I sit here, fill me with your forgiveness. Overwhelm me with the joy you have over me. I thank you that you are not ashamed of me and that I am precious in your sight. Today I wash myself clean in your grace, forgiveness and love. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Don’t Give Up Doing Good

TODAY’S VERSE
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Galatians 6:9

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is hard work doing good. It seems like there is always a shortcut, a reason to delay, an easier way. It is easier to complain than to fix something. It is easier to quit than to go the extra mile. We find ourselves asking, “If this is so good, why is it so hard?” Besides, there is no way you will ever get paid for all you are doing, most of the time your efforts will go unrewarded. And yet we do good because it is the right thing to do. It is His will, it is what Jesus would do. Nobody knew this more that the Apostle Paul. So he pens these words for our encouragement, “Don’t get tired of doing good! You will reap a harvest of blessing, just don’t give up!”
What good are you doing? What have you started but need to get back to? Are you discouraged? Do you feel like giving up? Talk to God about it today. Let Him know. Ask Him for strength and joy. Ask Him to give you a glimpse of the possibilities and then get back up and continue on. You will see the end, there will be a blessing, don’t give up.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, you know where I am at. You know the good I am trying to do. You know my struggle. I cannot see the end. I need your help. I need your strength. I recommit myself today to doing the good that you have called me to do. Lord, I want to see the harvest of blessing.
AMEN

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This Day

TODAY’S VERSE
“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalms 118:24, 29

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In most cases there is always a choice. Even if there is no other way out of a situation you still can choose how you react to the inevitability of the event. Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Here we have a whole range of Godly reactions to our situation. Add to that list, faith, hope and prayer and how else can we react, than what the Psalmist suggests, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”? I know how hard life can be. I know there are difficulties, horrific situations and sometimes a seemingly hopeless situation, but God has made this day. This day. Today is yours. What you do with it may have human limitations, may have the deck stacked against it, but know this, nothing, nothing, nothing can take you out of the love that God has for you and you can rejoice and be glad in this day. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know I have a choice. Today I choose you. I choose to rejoice and be glad in this day. Give me this day my daily bread. Lead me this day and keep me from falling to temptation. Dear Father, this is a day you have made, with your strength, I will rejoice and be glad in it.
AMEN

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As His Child, We Bear His Name

TODAY’S VERSE
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.”
Ephesians 5:1-2

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The story goes that a young boy was brought before Alexander the Great for stealing a horse. Alexander saw how young he was and heard his story and decided he would be lenient. Getting ready to release him, Alexander asked the young boy, “What is your name?” He replied, “Alexander, sir.” Alexander the Great was furious and asked him again, “What is your name?” The boy, this time with fear in his voice said, “Alexander, sir.” In anger, Alexander the Great threw the boy to the ground pointed at him and said, “Boy, change your conduct, or change your name.”
I wonder, are we a good representative of the name of Christ, or would the cause of Christ be better served if we did not call our self a Christian? Being His child is a privilege and an honor. In order not to bring any reproach to His name our goal should be to live a life of love just like He did. How can we be a good representative of His name today? 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I know that I bear your name and haven’t imitated you the way that I should. I haven’t been the best representative of who you are. Help me live out your love in everything I do today, so your name will get the glory and honor it deserves.
AMEN
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Open My Eyes

TODAY’S VERSE
“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
II Kings 6:13-17

TODAY’S THOUGHT
This a great Biblical story. The King of Aram was at war with Israel and every time they made a military move, God told Elisha who told the Israelites. It was so bad that the King of Aram though he had a spy in their midst. They told him, “No, Elisha is telling the Israelites our plans.” So the King was angry and asked his armies to go get Elisha. Elisha’s servant saw them and was scared to death. But Elisha saw a heavenly reality that made all the difference in the world. He was at peace and asked God to give the servant the same perspective. The Lord opened his eyes to the heavenly reality of their situation.

Can you imagine how he must have felt? It would be like a person who was raised in the deep jungle seeing America for the first time. Can you imagine him trying to explain to his people what America was like? Telephones, video, automobiles, restaurants, airplanes. How different the two worlds are. Yet what do we know of heaven? What do we know of God’s power available to us? What do we know of His infinite riches and power toward us who believe? It made all the difference when the servant saw the heavenly resources there on his behalf. Would it make a difference in your day today if you knew more about the Heavenly reality waiting to bust in on yours? I pray for you what Elisha prayed, “May God open your eyes so you may see.” Might we pray what Jesus taught us to pray, “Oh God, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess, I spend much of my time blind to your presence. Blind to your power. Blind to your heavenly reality all around me.  Please open my eyes that I may see all that you have for me today. Help me to see You and all of your vast love and resources you have available for my life. Open my eyes today, that I might get a glimpse of your presence. In the matchless name of Jesus.
AMEN

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Trust In His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
“Let all who fear the LORD repeat: ‘His faithful love endures forever.’
In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me.”
Psalms 118:4-7

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a marvelous passage. Our faith is in a God who knows. Our faith is in a God who is able. Our faith is in a God who cares. Our faith is in a God whose love endures forever!
A tragic situation faced our family. My middle son was in critical condition after being hit by a car. My youngest son was shook to the core and that night before he went to sleep asked me to pray with him. I prayed with all my heart. Afterward, as I was leaving he asked me, “That won’t really make a difference, will it?” I know he believed but he was as fearful as I was. I looked at him and said, “Yes, I believe it makes a difference. I always pray for God’s power. I ask for His power, but I trust in His love.” Like the Psalmist we too can pray in our distress and the Lord, He will answer. The Lord is for you, you can trust in His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I don’t know everything that is going on. I can’t see the future. I know I often waiver in my faith. But Lord, I know in my distress I can call upon you. Help me with those special burdens I am carrying. Most of all, help me today to really trust in your love.
AMEN

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Our Grand Purpose

TODAY’S VERSE
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We search for our place in this world. What is my purpose? Why am I here? How can I make sense of this life? These are questions that all of us ask. And then you come across today’s verse. What a succinct answer to our philosophical dilemma. What is our purpose? To love God, but not with some idealistic romantic sentimentality. Rather we are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind! This is a radical love that comes from deep inside of us. As He permeates our life, we find the inner resources to love Him even more. God has also created us with the purpose to love others as we do ourselves. What higher calling is there? What more lofty job description can be found than to be God’s ambassador of love? Someone once said, “Love God and do as you please.” At first it sounds like an oxymoron but upon reflection, if we love God, the way He has asked us to, we would not do anything that would contradict that love. That means when we love our family, we are loving God. When we work hard at work, we are loving God. When we are polite to that stranger, we are loving God. When we love our spouse, we are loving God. When we enjoy watching the sunset, we are loving God. Might we start today, loving God with our whole heart, soul, strength and mind, and love our neighbor as we do ourselves.    

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Heavenly Father, help me right now become conscious of your love for me. Help me know your love so intimately, that every part of me becomes permeated with it. Then I will be able to love you with my whole heart, soul, strength and mind, and those around me like I love myself. Help me love you this way even today, through and in the power of your Holy Spirit.
AMEN

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Re-correct Your Course

TODAY’S VERSE
“But your sinful behavior has separated you from God.”
Isaiah 59:2

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you.”’
Luke 15:17-18

That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
Joel 2:12-13

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Attitudes and behavior. How easily they can get us off course. Left unchecked we can find ourselves far from where we wanted to be. It is like that in sail boating. You don’t get to the other side of the lake in a straight line. Storms, waves, the wind all send you off course. Instead, you have to constantly readjust your sails, re-correct your course, in order to reach your destination. In life it is our sinful behavior and attitudes that separate us from God. It was this way in the parable of the Prodigal son. It was the son who decided to leave home and rebel against the father. But there is hope. Jesus said that the son was at a low point, feeding the pigs and “then he came to his senses”. He thought of His fathers love and mercy and decided to go back home. God through the prophet Joel says that we can do the same thing. “Turn to me now”, God says, “while there is time”. Do you feel far from God today? Do you feel off course? Come to Him, come in repentance, come in true sorrow, ask for His forgiveness, ask Him to help you re-correct your course. When you do, listen to the promise Joel makes, “He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get anger and filled with unfailing love.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, you know my attitudes and behavior. You know how I have wandered off, far from you. But today Father, I have come to my senses. I want back. I thank you for your mercy and compassion, your forgiveness and unfailing love toward me and I choose to accept that love and forgiveness right now. I choose now, in the power and help of your Holy Spirit, to re-correct my course.
AMEN

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The Promiseland Is Waiting

TODAY’S VERSES
The LORD said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
Numbers 13:1-2

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.
Numbers 13:30-32

That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Numbers 14:1-4

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Attitudes can change everything. You know the story. Moses sent spies into the promise land to see what it was like. All twelve men saw the same thing but came back with different conclusions. Two saw possibilities born out of faith and hope in God’s love and power. The others saw defeat, death, dying and doom. The people believed the second story. Why is that? Why can we believe the death, dying and doom story so much easier than the land of milk and honey? What is it that keeps us from believing in the goodness of God? We don’t doubt whether He can do good, we doubt whether He wants to. Dallas Willard in his book, Hearing God, shares why even the miracles of Jesus could not convince some people of His love and Lordship. Willard writes, “Our preexisting ideas and assumptions are precisely what determine what we can see, hear or otherwise observe.” You see Caleb’s report could not change what the people already believed in their heart, that God did not really love them and they were better off taking care of themselves.
What do you think? Seeing a miracle won’t change it. A good report won’t change that deep down doubt. Only repentance and a relationship can. Repent of unbelief, doubt and fear and then spend time with God. Don’t quit, every day get to know Him, until you sense His concern and His deep passion and love for you. Come to Him today, ask Him to show you His love. He will. The promiseland is waiting.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, you know my heart. You know my doubts, fears, negative thoughts. I have had them all my life. I repent Lord. I want to believe. Help me correct my thinking. Help me know you more and more until my inner thoughts reflect the faith and love that you created me for. In Jesus name. AMEN

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He Will Intercede

TODAY’S VERSE
“Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
Hebrews 7:25

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
Romans 8:26

TODAY’S MESSAGE
Have you ever had anyone intercede for you? You know when you are in situation and you need something and because of the circumstances someone else is a better choice to represent your needs. Perhaps a lawyer, customer service representative, a trusted friend or medical professional? When they are qualified and earnest it is a beautiful thing to watch. When they are inept or insincere, watch out!
Now here we are, trying to live our life, one person amongst billions of others. We have great needs, not only in this life but in the life ahead. We need help but who will help us? Who can understand our plight? Who would care enough for us to do something? Who would have the power to effect any change? Thank God the Father for His son Jesus and His Holy Spirit. They are the ones interceding for us. Jesus intercedes for our sins with His own blood and the Holy Spirit intercedes for our weaknesses and needs in this life. Even when we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit passionately groans and pleads our case to God the Father. What compassion, what mercy. Even now confess to Jesus your deepest needs. Come to Him with your hidden secrets, your most perplexing problems, your most heinous sins. He will intercede, and when He does He will bring peace and deep joy to your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you as I am, desperate and needy for your touch. I need your help. You know my situation. I need you and your Holy Spirit to intercede for me to God the father. To Him, who can do all things. To Him, who is all love and all power. Dear Jesus, I give you my life. I give you today. Guide me, direct me, fill me with your peace and power. I pray this in your name, Lord Jesus.
AMEN 

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