Category Archives: Maturity

Heal Me

TODAY’S VERSE
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.
Mark 2:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus was in town. This group of men knew what that meant. They ran and got their paralyzed friend put him on a cot and came to the Savior. They heard that He could heal the sick, so they stepped out in faith. When they got to the house where Jesus was, they couldn’t get in. Undaunted, they cut a hole in the roof and lowered their friend into the room where Jesus was. Jesus was amazed at their faith, so He said, “My child, your sins are forgiven?” Why did He say that? Didn’t Jesus see that the man was paralyzed? Of course, He did. But Jesus saw another kind of paralysis, the kind that cripples the soul. Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven” because that is His first priority. In order to prove He could forgive sins, Jesus also said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” Today, what has you paralyzed? Is it fear, anger, or debt? Perhaps it’s a crippling sin. Whatever it is, bring it to Jesus. Come to Him by faith and let Him minister to you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, You know the needs I have. I come to You and ask for supernatural power to work in me. Help me, heal me, make me whole.
AMEN

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Real Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When Paul decided to write about love, he didn’t mix words. He starts by telling us to quit being phony and really love each other. We are to hate what is wrong and do good. We are to have a real genuine affection for each other and not fake it. We are to delight in honoring each other! This kind of love Paul is writing about is not lazy. It serves others. And what is love without encouragement? Paul, who knew real hardships, modeled encouraging love and asked us to do the same. Love helps us to rejoice in hope, be patient in trouble, and pray when things aren’t going our way. Finally, when those we are supposed to love are in need, then love insists that we help them. Love is eager to practice hospitality. Today, let’s commit ourselves to real love, the love Paul is writing about. Let us love those around us the way Christ would love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, help me love the way You love. Help me love with action, not just words.
AMEN

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Transform Me

TODAY’S VERSE
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When we become Christian, God begins a transformation in our life. His goal is to transform us into all He created us to be. He does this by renewing our minds. This is more than changing the way we think. It is also changing the way we feel. It includes those sensations that send us into mood swings or addictive behavior. God wants to change our negative beliefs and restructure our irrational thoughts. But how? How can God do this? He does this through His Holy Spirit. As we study His word, spend time in prayer listening to God, He will renew our mind. As we also spend time in fellowship with other believers and seek the counsel of other Godly men and women, He will transform us. It is through this continuous process that we mature into the person He wants us to be. Today, give yourself to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Submit yourself to the process of change and let Him transform you through the renewing of your mind.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need Your help in making me into the person You want me to be. Come Holy Spirit; I give You my mind, my emotions, and my will. Guide me, lead me and transform me I pray.
AMEN

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Are You Free?

TODAY’S VERSE
And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you.
Romans 8:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some phrases have the power to change everything about the way we live. Today’s verse has that ability. Paul is saying that when we came to Christ, we became a child of God and were indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Not just any Spirit but our Almighty God’s Spirit. And when that happened, the power of this life-giving Holy Spirit freed us. The Holy Spirit frees us from eternal death, condemnation, and the power of sin in our life. We are free from our selfishness and the bondages and strongholds we find ourselves in. God’s mighty Spirit frees us from temptation, emotional distress and the pain of our past. The loving and compassionate Spirit intercedes for us, freeing us from shame and guilt. The indwelling Holy Spirit frees from the limitations others have put on us, frees us to rise above our circumstances and become all that He created us to be. Through the filling of the Holy Spirit, we are free to live the life He has called us to. So today, acknowledge your new birthright. Invite the power of the life-giving Holy Spirit to control your life. He will, and when He does, you will be free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, how I praise You for Your indwelling Holy Spirit in my life. I ask to be filled and controlled by the Spirit. Fill me, free me, guide me, and direct me, I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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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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Two Sins

TODAY’S VERSE
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Separation from God usually comes in two phases. First, we start to stray. Little by little, we start to forsake fellowship, fail to meditate in His word and spend less and less time in prayer. Good things take us from the more important. Urgent begins to replace the best. How subtle the path is. We end up farther and farther away from the spiritual milieu that once fed our soul. Second, we not only stray we actually find a new home. Jeremiah says not only do we forsake the spring of living water; we actually go out and dig our own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold any water. They look great on the outside but are empty on the inside. Where are you today? Are you straying farther and farther from God? Have you actually moved away and found other interests that take top priority in your life? Stop! Go no farther. Turn back. Come to your Heavenly Father today and ask Him to cleanse your heart and put a new thirst in your soul leading you back to His spring of living water.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for straying from You. I have forsaken Your living waters and have attempted to quench my own thirst. I admit that I am still thirsty. I know that only You can satisfy, and I ask Lord that You would fill my cup today with Your life-giving presence.
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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Strength Of My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalms 73:26 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Asaph, the author of this Psalm, was a bitter man. He was envious of the wealthy and upset at his demise. He was consumed at what he thought was unfair about life. But then he came to his senses. He writes, “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant”. How many have we times have we felt the same way? But who says life is fair?” Where in the Bible does it say everything in life is going to be grand? Where does it say that we will be spared from pain and heartache? Fortunately, Asaph awoke from his bitterness with the realization of what really mattered. He wrote, “Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.” Asaph realized what was the most important thing in life. He said it all in today’s passage, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” It is the strength of the heart that comes from knowing God that matters. Paul said it this way, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Our circumstances may crumble, our bodies fail, our enthusiasm all but gone, yet God will never, never, never leave us or forsake us. The strength of our heart from His abiding presence will remain with us forever.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to truly understand what it is to have You as the strength of my heart. Help me treasure Your relationship above all else. Thank You for loving me and being my strength forever.
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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