Category Archives: Maturity

Integrity

TODAY’S VERSE
Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. ‘Come and sleep with me,’ she demanded. But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”
Genesis 39:6-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How do you say “integrity”? This story of Joseph is a wonderful illustration of a person living with morals, faith, and self-control. Here came a situation that many would find tempting. After all who would report him? Wasn’t he second in command only to Potiphar himself? And wasn’t she a consenting adult? Besides, he knew that she had a wicked temper and the result of refusing her could be perilous. Who could blame him if he gave in to her desires? But his logic and faith were pure. He knew he was trusted and did not want to betray that trust. That was important to him. However, there was more. He told Potiphar’s wife, “How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” He saw such a betrayal to Potiphar not only morally reprehensible but as an affront to God. Today we live in a morally bankrupt culture. But God has called us to follow Him. And what He has called us to, He will enable us to do. He has given us His word to guide us and His Holy Spirit to empower us. Yes, we sin, but when we repent God forgives us and gives us grace to do better. So today choose how you will live. Determine to follow God. Make it your desire to live out the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we do, God promises that we will not live out the desires of the flesh.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to live out the fruit of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to make the right choices today, just like Joseph did in his time. Help me to take the high road and to trust You with the outcome. Guide me and help me live for You. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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The Real Me

TODAY’S VERSE
But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord.
Deuteronomy 11:16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Self-deception is at the root of many of our problems. Not only do we lie to all those around us, but more often we lie to ourselves. How often do we ask what is really bothering us? We pretend to love when we are bitter and wounded. We act brave when we are afraid. Dr. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes,
“At some point in childhood, we all make the powerful discovery that we can manipulate the truth about ourselves. Initially, it often takes the form of a simple lie – frequently a denial of having done something. But of more importance to the development of the false self is the discovery that our ability to hide isn’t limited to what we say or don’t say. We learn to pretend. We discover the art of packaging our self. – Our masks have become our reality, and we have become our lies. In short, we have lost authenticity and adopted an identity based on illusion.” You see God loves the real you! He knows your fears, your rage, your brokenness and He is waiting for you to give it to Him. There is nothing about the real you that He cannot redeem! It is only when you let your heart be deceived and create a false self that you turn away from the Lord. Today, come to God as you are. Let Him touch the real you. Tell Him what you feel, what you think, what you have hidden from everyone else. When you do, you will find Him accepting, loving and able to set you free from all your fears of self-exposure. Come to Him, the truth will set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have hidden my true self from You and everyone else. Fear, shame, anger, guilt, disgust – so many emotions keep me from living the truth. I have tried so hard to be what everyone else has wanted and somewhere I have lost my way. Please, in Your love, gently peel back my veneer and bring me into Your light. Help me take off my masks and see myself as You see me. Help me embrace all of me as You lovingly embrace me even now. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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False God

TODAY’S VERSE
“You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Ever since Adam and Eve, mankind has been tempted to think that they could become a “god”. However, David Benner in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” makes a very interesting observation. He points out that in the Garden of Eden, it was not the act of trying to be like God that was a sin. It was the act of thinking they could be like God, without God. Truth is we are commanded to be like Christ. We are to emulate the characteristics of God such as love, mercy, and justice. But we are never told that we can do that without the help of God and His Holy Spirit. David Benner writes, “Adam and Eve wanted to be God without God, a likeness that was based on independence rather than surrender. – What we get when we choose a way of being that is separate from God is the life of the false self. – The false self is the tragic result of trying to steal something from God that we did not have to steal. Had we dared to trust God’s goodness, we would have discovered that everything we could ever most deeply long for would be ours in God. Trying to gain more than the everything God offers, we end up with less than nothing. Rejecting God, we end up with a nest of lies and illusions. Displacing God, we become a god unto our self. We become a false self.” I am so glad Jesus came. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He came so we could know God. It is His truth, His life that enables us to be more like Him. Today, examine yourself. Are you following Christ and letting Him influence who you are, or are you busy creating your own life apart from God?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for all the times I have tried to set myself up as my own God. Today, I ask You to speak to my heart and help me get back on track with You. Guide me in everything I do so I will become the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Spiritual Victory

TODAY’S VERSE
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.
I Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a spiritual reality that we need to be aware of. Peter warns us that we are in a battle and that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The good news is that God has given us everything for the victory. He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us, His word to teach us and His presence to protect us. As a result, we can obey Peter when he tells us to be self-controlled and alert, to resist Satan standing firm in the faith. James tells us that if we “resist the devil”, the devil will flee from us. So, today let us resist the lies of Satan, stand firm in our faith in God and be victorious.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that the Spiritual battle we are in has already been won. Thank You that You have provided all I need for the victory. Help me today to stand firm on Your promises, to be self-controlled and alert and to resist the schemes of Satan.
AMEN

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Encourage Others

TODAY’S VERSE
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Proverbs 12:25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day is full of choices. So often we find ourselves at a fork in the road. Choices between faith or doubt; forgiveness or anger; right or wrong; yes or no; worry or trust. For many worry is their daily choice. Whether it is financial, relational or situational, they have dug themselves into a pit and can’t seem to get out. Life is lonely in the pit. Every day they try to get out, but no one stops to help. That is what God has called you and me to do. Today’s passage says, “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” You and I have been charged to be an encourager. We too find ourselves at a fork in the road. We can ignore someone else’s pain, or we can help them. We can stay busy minding our own business or we can stop to comfort someone else. We can judge, blame, condemn others for getting themselves in a mess or we can extend a hand. We can go our own way, or we can encourage them both in word and action. Today commit yourself to be an encourager. Ask God to bring someone into your life you can minister to. As God has encouraged you, might you encourage others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father help me to encourage other people. Help me to be kind, considerate and to treat others in the way I want to be treated. Today might I speak Your grace and love to other people that they may find the encouragement they need.
AMEN

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Christian Maturity

TODAY’S VERSE
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God has a vested interest in our maturity. He has saved us from the penalty of our sins and has set us apart for His service. He is involved in our lives, protecting, encouraging, teaching and guiding us. He has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to prepare us for His service with the ultimate goal of becoming “mature, attaining the fullness of Christ”. But will we follow? Will we listen? Will we do what it takes to mature in Christ? In his book, “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You”, Dr. James Wilder suggests that we have a role to play in our maturity in Christ. He writes, “Now the job of maturity is quite another matter. While God is certainly instrumental in guiding and blessing our maturation, it is our job, bestowed upon us way back in the garden, to mature. Maturity is not a spiritual gift nor is it a by-product of salvation. It is something we as Christians must work on our entire lives.” So what are you doing to mature in Christ? Are you feeding your soul on the word of God? Are you learning from teachers and preachers? Are you in fellowship with other Christians who hold you accountable for your growth in Christ? Are you spending time with God in prayer and meditation? Today, take some steps to mature in your spiritual life with Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me mature in You. Help me seek You more, know You more and love You more. Help me today, and every day, to do something that will help me mature in You.
AMEN

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Emotional Healing

TODAY’S VERSE
Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” – “Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the LORD hears the cries of the needy.
Psalms 69: 1-3, 32-33 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all go through struggles and hard times. Life is not fair. There are times of sadness, despair, and regret. The Psalmist paints a picture of someone trapped in an emotional downward spiral. Everything seems overwhelming and yet, in the end, they were able to say that there is an encouragement in seeking God’s help. Why? Because God hears us. There are two types of trauma that bring the kind of despair that we read in today’s passage. There is the trauma of “not getting what we need” and then there is the trauma of “getting something that we should have never received.” The first is the result of neglect and abandonment, the second from abuse. But the good news is that God hears us in our despair. The better news is that He can help us. The authors of Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You, write, “Life brings each of us inescapable traumas that block maturity. God’s redemptive activity comes to us in two ways: He brings healing to our traumas and adopts us into His family. Both ways boost us through our blocks to maturity, along the way to wholeness. With these boosts, we will be able to live from the hearts He gave us, our true identities will emerge, and our relationships with family and community will be characterized by joy.” Today, praise God for He hears your cries. Rejoice He can heal your emotions!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for hearing my cries. Thank You for Your desire to heal me from my traumas. Thank You for making me part of Your family where I can experience the love and fellowship that will bring me into maturity. I commit myself to You for my complete healing. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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