Category Archives: Mercy

Love

TODAY’S VERSE
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Matthew 7:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes I get it all backward. I come to God with a need asking Him for help. Then for whatever reason, the thought comes to me that I am unworthy of God’s graciousness. This shame causes me to doubt whether God would want to do anything good for me. It takes all my faith away. However, when I read this passage, I realize it’s not about me! It’s about God. God is love, and it is His love for me, not my worthiness, that needs to be my focus. And why not? Even fathers, as imperfect as we are, know how to give gifts to our children. Jesus used this as His illustration pointing out that if we, in all of our limitations and sinfulness, know how to do good to our children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him? God loves you. He loves you and desires to provide you with what you need. All He wants you to do is ask. Today, ask. Ask without shame or doubt. Your heavenly Father adores you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your love. Forgive me when I let insecurities and lies lead me to a place of unbelief. Help me focus on Your love and rest in the fact that I am intrinsically lovable. Thank You, dear Father, for making me that way and giving me so many wonderful gifts.
AMEN

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Supernatural Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is so much more than a religion. It is a Holy calling. But contrary to so many images of religious zealots, we are not called to violence; we are called to a radical life of love. Jesus made this clear in His example, and the Apostle Paul did in his teachings. We are God’s holy people, and He has asked us to permeate our life with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. And not just with each other. We are to love the world in the same way He does. We are to love the unlovely. We are to love the needy. We are to love those that despise us, those that use us, those that come against us. We are to love those that disagree with us, those that are different than us, those that hurt us. This is a calling, and He who called us can empower us to do it. It is His Holy Spirit that lives in us to do His good pleasure. So today, call upon God to help you live a life of love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You have called me to be Your ambassador of love. I confess I cannot do this in my power. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me to see with Your eyes and to love with Your heart. Because of Jesus, my Lord, and Savior.
AMEN

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Heavenly Shepherd

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
Psalms 23:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
David wrote this famous Psalm about God being our Heavenly Shepherd from experience. As a young man, he spent his time shepherding a flock of sheep for his father. He knew the value of a shepherd to the flock. He also knew the importance of knowing God. David knew that the shepherd provides all that the sheep need. He even knew that God, like a shepherd, lets us rest in green meadows, leads us beside peaceful streams, renews our strength, and guides us along the right path. Even in the darkest times, God is right there close by our side, comforting us. With God as our shepherd, David concludes that goodness and unfailing love will pursue us as long as we shall live. I love the concept of the shepherd; it is being a sheep that I struggle with. I struggle to surrender my will to God. But as my shepherd, God’s love cuts through my pride. His love compels me to live for Him. My Heavenly Shepherd’s love wins and woos my heart, helping me to surrender myself to His control. I can trust Him. I can lean on Him. I can be my needy self and know that God will care for me. Today, let God shepherd you. Commit yourself to Him and His loving care.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for all Your care. Thank You for all You provide and do for me. You are my Heavenly Shepherd and I will gladly live for You.
AMEN

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Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.
I Corinthians 8:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Knowing the word of God is very important. Peter tells us to, “Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” But we can know all about God and still not be a loving person. And without love, the Church will not be what God desires it to be. Paul lets us know this in no uncertain terms. He writes. “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” Today, let’s not just know God; let’s commit ourselves to love others the way He does.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am so glad that I know You. Help me also to love the way You want me to.
AMEN

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Love In Action

TODAY’S VERSE
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Now here is a list to live by. We like to think of love as a noun. Some pretty valentine cards or songs we remember from our high school days. But love is a verb. It is love “in action.” Paul gives us a list that is unmistakable. Paul writes that love is patient, kind, not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love does not demand its own way and does not get irritable or keep a record of wrong. Love is not happy with injustice but rejoices in the truth. Finally, love has staying power. It never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and has endurance. Can you imagine what the world would be like if all of us would live by Paul’s definition of love? Today, let’s change our little part of the world. Let’s practice this kind of “love in action” wherever we go.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You are love, and by the power of Your Holy Spirit, You can help me love. Give me the courage, strength, and desire to love the way You do. Today, help me exemplify love in action.
AMEN

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Shame and Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
II Thessalonians 2:15-17 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame and grace are perhaps the two of the most potent words in molding and shaping our beliefs about ourselves. Shame keeps us from accepting all the love God has for us. Grace invites us to embrace it. Lewis Smedes, in his book, “Shame and Grace,” writes, “The feeling of shame is about our very selves – not about something we did or said but about what we are. It tells us that we are unworthy. Totally. It is not a few seams in the garment of our selves need stitching; the whole fabric is frayed. We feel we are unacceptable.” How do we overcome such devastating feelings? How can we ever shake such deep emotion? Only through God’s grace. Paul says that it is God who loves us and by His grace gives us encouragement and hope. His grace encourages our hearts and strengthens us. Smedes writes, “Grace overcomes shame by simply accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our ugliness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being. We are given what we have longed for in every nook and nuance of every relationship.” Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Are you listening? Today, read this devotional again and believe. God’s grace says it all. You are loved.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, Father, melt my heart. Open me and pour your grace deep into my soul. I believe, but today help my unbelief. Lord, I renounce my shame and accept your unconditional love. Flood my being with the joy of Your grace I pray.
AMEN

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God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.”
II Corinthians 2:5-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God’s grace. It’s what I love about Christianity. When I have so much to be forgiven, God in His mercy forgives me. When I am so far from what God expects, He still guides me, corrects me, and restores my soul. Grace is the free gift of God. So why is it, when I receive so much grace from God, I find it hard to give to others? The church in Corinth expelled a person from their fellowship because of a grievous sin. But instead of banishing him forever, Paul encourages the church to extend him grace by forgiving and comforting him. But the truth is I find it hard to forgive those that have offended me. It is difficult to give grace to someone I think doesn’t deserve it. But isn’t that what grace is all about? You see, my grace isn’t much, but God’s grace is. Sometimes it comes down to the question, “Whose grace am I going to give, mine or Christ’s?” Today, let’s give the same grace to others that God has given us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, Your sweet grace, totally undeserved, has been given freely to me. Help me offer that same grace to others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Truly Forgiven

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalms 103:8-12

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Bible is clear that it is our sins that have separated us from God. It is equally clear that Christ’s death and resurrection have paid the penalty for our sins. The Psalmist assures us that God will not deal with us according to our sins. He insists that God doesn’t even remember our sins! Then why do so many of us still feel separated from Him? It is false guilt, fear of rejection, a disbelief that we are unconditionally loved by God, that keeps us full of fear and doubt. These and many other thoughts keep us from basking in the love of God. But the Apostle John insists, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” John’s attitude was firm! He was sure of God’s forgiveness, and so should we. Today we can rise and declare our position in Christ. Because of what Christ has done, you and I can look our inner critic in the eye and say, “No more! You cannot accuse me, abuse me, call me names, belittle me, and shame me! I have confessed and have been forgiven, and I REFUSE to believe the lie that I am no good, shameful, unlovable, unforgiven, damaged goods, or rejected because of my past experiences. Today, I PRONOUNCE the fact that I am forgiven and unconditionally loved by God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I know I have sinned and confess my participation. I am sorry and repent from ever doing them. I thank You that You have forgiven them all! I accept the fact that I am totally forgiven and loved by You! In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Your Deepest Cares

TODAY’S VERSE
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
I Peter 5:7 (AMP)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it we feel we need to minimize our pain? Where did we get the idea that we would become a burden to God? How did we come to believe that it is unspiritual to admit that we have been a victim of something awful? Abuse, violence, the death of a loved one, divorce, an unfortunate accident, incarceration, war. God cares when we have suffered as a result of something being done to us. And God cares when we have suffered from trauma as the result of something not happening. When love, safety, and security from those we trust are missing, we get trauma in the form of abandonment, unfaithfulness, embezzlement, betrayal, gossip, or neglect. And to pretend that we are not affected, and everything is okay is to only add to the damage that is already left in trauma’s wake. It is not spiritual to “tough it out.” It is spiritual to be healed. Peter is pleading with us to cast all of our cares onto Jesus. His whole book speaks about the suffering of Jesus and how He understands our suffering. And here, Peter assures us that Jesus “cares for you.” He cares for you with deep affection. Today, bring your pain to Jesus. Tell Him about your trauma. Ask Him to give you strength, forgiveness, peace, and a deep understanding of love. Ask Him to heal your broken heart; heal your deep wounds of grief and anger. Bring all of your cares. Cast them on Him and leave them there.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You. I come to You with all my burden, all my cares. You know my pain. You know my suffering. I bring it all to You. Heal my hurts. Heal my heart. Return me to joy, I pray.
AMEN

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More Than A Conqueror

TODAY’S VERSE
In all things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life can get hard. There are so many days that I wake up, and I can hardly conquer brushing my teeth, let alone all the battles I have lined up for the day. How can I possibly win the difficulties I am facing? And yet Paul writes, “Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” Paul answers, “No, despite all these things.” What things? Despite all these struggles and difficulties, we go through. Despite all that, life can dish out. Paul assures us, “in all things; we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Yes, we are more than getting a victory, more than being a conqueror, we are His loved child no matter what the circumstances! Today, when problems come up, when it seems that everything is going wrong, remember that Christ has given you everything you need to be more than a conqueror. He has called you to be His beloved child, an heir with Christ, set free with His blood and given power by His resurrection

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for making me more than a conqueror over all the difficulties I go through. Thank You for loving me and giving me everything I need to live for You. Help me believe this Father and live in its reality today.
AMEN

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