Category Archives: Maturity

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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What Really Matters

TODAY’S VERSE
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 17:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to get our priorities mixed up, isn’t it? We tend to put life into a box full of rules, regulations, and standards by which to measure ourselves. We must look a certain way, think a certain way, achieve certain levels of accomplishments, acquire the right kind of accessories. Then we come up with all sorts of core beliefs that sustain these rules. For example, we may believe, deep in our hearts, that if we don’t accomplish a certain goal, we will not be liked. If we don’t drive the right kind of car or live in the right kind of community, people will think little of us. Of course, these thoughts alone don’t motivate us, it is the perceived “terrible” consequences such as rejection, abandonment, punishment or worst, annihilation that frightens us to death and drives us to succeed at any cost. However, these “terrible” results are only in our mind! We will not die if certain people do not like us. We are not a “loser” if we do not live in the “right” house. Instead, Paul points out what we should really strive for. We should strive to live a good righteous life. We should seek joy and peace through the Holy Spirit. These are the important things in life. And best of all, these are freely given to any person who asks. He will not turn us away. It is His will that you live righteously, full of peace and joy through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. What do you want? Begin today to seek the things that really matter. Follow God, He will not disappoint.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know what is really important. You know that I have bought so many lies about success and self-worth. I need Your help to know the truth. So, please Lord, help me live a life of goodness today. Give me the joy and peace which comes from Your Holy Spirit. Help me live today in a way that is pleasing to you.
AMEN

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