Category Archives: Maturity

Hang On

TODAY’S VERSE
The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:3-4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When we can’t, God can. This is the mystery. There is something about God’s timing. Just when you think you can’t make it one more step, He gives you the strength. Just when you can’t understand, He gives wisdom. How? James tells us how. He finishes today’s verse by writing, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God gives the wisdom we need. He provides the strength. He gives the ability to hang on. And as a result, our perseverance finishes its work, helping us mature in Christ. That is why Paul could share his testimony, writing, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” Today, might the same be true for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me today to persevere. Help me hang on. Give me the wisdom I need so even in my weakness; I can be strong in You. Thank You, Father.
AMEN

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Heal My Inner Self

TODAY’S VERSE
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
Psalms 27:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We live in a fallen world, and many of us suffer from an early childhood that has left us emotionally immature. It seems that we are constantly using negative ways to regulate our emotions. But we don’t have to be victims of our past. In His wisdom and grace, God has provided us with the ability to overcome childhood issues through new adult relationships with Him. Today, we don’t need to suffer from a painful past. We have the presence of the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of Christ, and the love of God the Father. As we spend time with God and develop a deep relationship, we will find ourselves creating a new and liberating bond with God. This healing relationship with the Father will renew our minds and heal the painful memories and consequent beliefs that lead us to despair. Today, come to God. Let Him hold you. Allow His love to do a deep work in you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your loving commitment to me. Thank You that You have not abandoned me but love me and hold me close to Your heart. Do a deep work in me. Heal me deep in my inner self and give me the joy and peace that only You can provide.
AMEN

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hope in god

TODAY’S VERSE
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
Psalms 39:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Hope is only as good as the person you hope in. Blind hope is not hoping; it is credulity, the state of willingness to believe in one or many people or things in the absence of reasonable proof or knowledge. We don’t just hope for hope’s sake. Our hope is not in a religion. It is not a creed or tradition. No, we believe in the one and only true God, the God who is there. A moral and loving God. The God of eternity with a much broader perspective on life than we could ever imagine. We come to our loving God and put our faith in Him, so when we need hope, we simply have to draw from our Spiritual experience and put our trust in Him. Today, join the Psalmist in his answer to the question, “Where do I put my hope?” Answer God by saying, “My hope is in you!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me when I doubt You. My worry is a testament to my lack of faith or trust I should have in You. Today, dear Lord, I come again and renew my hope in You. I reaffirm my faith and put my trust in Your love and almighty power. My hope is in You, my Lord, and my God.
AMEN

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Hard hearts

TODAY’S VERSE
For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.
Matthew 13:15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God wants His word to penetrate our very being. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and this includes the way we comprehend truth. Jesus took the writing of Isaiah and applied it to the people of His day. He warned them that their “eyes” were not seeing the truth, their “ears” were not comprehending the truth, and their “hearts” were not sensing the implications of the truth. It was a result of hardening themselves toward God. Turning away from Him, they ended up ignoring God’s truth. How often have we done the same thing? But it is not too late. It is through self-reflection, repentance, and being purposeful in believing in God’s word, that we can turn this around. Today, might God help you, and I read the word, hear the word and most of all, believe the word with our whole heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for the times I have hardened my heart toward You. Help me today to see Your word, hear Your word, and most of all apply Your word to my life. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Slipping

TODAY’S VERSE
I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported and cheer.
Psalms 94:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the “do-over.” Optimism comes from the ability to “bounce back’, to be resilient, and our God is the God of resilience. The author cried out that he was slipping. Have you ever felt that way? It’s like you are trying to climb out of a well, but the sides are slippery, and you keep sliding back down. The result of the authors slipping was a mind full of doubt. But even in his doubt, God was there. God’s unfailing love was able to support him. The comfort that came from God gave him renewed hope and cheer. God can do the same with you. Today, bring God your doubts. Bring Him your slippery situation. Let His love support you; let His comfort give you renewed hope and cheer.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I am slipping. Help me today. May Your love support me. May Your comfort renew my hope. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Overcoming

TODAY’S VERSE
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Ephesians 4:21-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day we make choices. Some choices, however, are more subtle than others. For example, the old saying, “Not to decide is to decide already.” Otherwise, if you need to make a choice and you do not say “yes” to it, then you have really chosen against it. It is like that with most of the things that we “lust” after. Lusting implies that we desire something that we cannot (or should not) have at that moment. The trouble, however, is not in the one time choice to lust. All of us struggle with occasional temptations. Instead, it is the rebound effect that gets us in trouble. You know, get close to something you know is wrong, withdraw and then rebound, getting closer the next time. It is like the proverbial frog that boils in water, never noticing that the water was gradually getting warmer and warmer. As time moves on, we eventually find ourselves in the grips of the thing we were trying to avoid. How much better to choose ahead of time not to trifle with those habits, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to trouble. We do this by being quick to repent when we slip and then asking the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes. If we throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life like we would a burning jacket, and instead, let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes, God can help us discern what temps us so we can determine ahead of time to set our limits and boundaries. Today, let us give our various temptations over to God and ask Him to help us overcome them.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Holy Spirit, You know that I struggle with temptation and lust and need Your help. Renew my thoughts and attitudes so I can live the way you want me to. Help me continue to say “no” and throw off those things that war against me. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Zeal

TODAY’S VERSE
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Romans 12:11 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As much as we want, we cannot live on last week’s provisions. Sooner or later, we need to do something to replace the food and water that we have already consumed. Paul knew that this was true of our spiritual life. We may have had a dramatic “born-again” experience, but sooner or later, the “honeymoon” wears off. We may have had a mountain top experience of worship and revival but soon we come back home. There needs to be more. We need consistent daily growth and maturity in our spiritual life. But maturing doesn’t come naturally. If we are going to grow in Christ, we must decide every day to be proactive. We must be zealous about our spiritual life. It is this zeal that causes us to pray, meditate, and worship. It is this zealous following of Jesus Christ that raises our spiritual fervor resulting in serving Him with abandonment. Today, determine not to be lacking in zeal about your spiritual life. Decide to do whatever it takes to keep your spiritual fervor, serving Him with all you have.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me live for You. Help me be zealous in all that You ask me to do. Help me know You, love You, worship You and serve You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit I pray! In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Anger

TODAY’S VERSE
And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
One of the pieces of evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in our life is “self-control”. And there is nothing harder to control than our anger. God originally created anger as a defense mechanism to protect us from life-threatening danger. But that is where the problems arise. The truth is that the majority of what we get angry at is not life-threatening at all, it only feels that way. Embarrassment, fear of consequences, inconvenience toward reaching a goal we feel is imperative; depending on what we are believing about ourselves, these seemingly common circumstances can trigger an anger response. Paul warns us about anger. He suggests that we control anger before it controls us. He wrote, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Today, get a grip on your anger. Consider what is really bothering you and give it to God. Make up your mind that anger will not get control of you. Instead, if anything is going to control you, let it be the Holy Spirit.  

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You don’t ask me to do anything that you won’t help me with. I am asking You today to help me with my anger. Holy Spirit, help me control my anger and not give any foothold to Satan.
AMEN

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Humble Yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I Peter 5:5-7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We are complex beings. Behind our behavior is a labyrinth of beliefs, assumptions and attitudes. For example, if we have a need, you would think we would automatically ask God for help. But instead, we get proud and see our need as a sign of weakness. People ask us “How are you?” and we say, “Fine!” Somehow we believe that having a need and asking for help would reduce our self-image. And so we fight to protect it. The Bible calls this kind of thinking “pride”. Peter writes: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” God knows our needs and He delights in our coming to Him. Peter verifies this when he writes, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Today, don’t let pride get in your way. Humble yourself and come to Christ with all your needs and He will care for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my needs. You are God Almighty and have promised that I can cast all my anxieties on You because You genuinely care for me. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. Thank You for Your gracious provision.
AMEN

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Every thought

TODAY’S VERSE
We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to let our thoughts get away from us. Worry, fear, anger, a whole host of emotions can send our thoughts into a downward spiral. Before you know it, we are heading toward dire consequences. Instead, we need to make a habit of bringing our thoughts to Christ. Paul knew all about this. Imagine waking up in prison day after day for doing no moral wrong. How about being shipwrecked on an island or suffering excruciating wounds from being beaten within an inch of your life. Day after day, Paul was cold, hungry, tired, and falsely accused. And yet, through all of this, he knew how to discipline his thinking. Paul knew that he was in a spiritual battle, and he came to God and renewed his mind every day! He said it this way, “We live in the world, but we do not fight in the same way the world fights. We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” Today, don’t let your thoughts get away from you. Capture those thoughts and emotions that will take you down the wrong path and bring them to Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I ask You to fill my mind with Your truth. I submit my thinking to You and Your word. Help me capture every rogue thought and make it obey You. I give You my mind; guide me I pray.
AMEN

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