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Archive for the ‘Mercy’ Category

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
Every 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, 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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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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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 I 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 into other people that they may truly find the encouragement that they need.
AMEN

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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 in involved in our life, 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 everyday, to do something that will help me mature in You.
AMEN

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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 encouragement in seeking God’s help. Why? Because God hears us. In the book, “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You” the authors talk of two types of trauma that brings 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 and He can help us. The authors 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 His grace and power that is able to heal your emotions. It is there for you as you bring your pain to Him. Be encouraged the LORD hears your cries.

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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TODAY’S VERSE
I come to your altar, O LORD, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glorious presence dwells.
Psalms 26:6-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
David knew what it was to worship God. Even as royalty, as busy as he was, as complicated as his life was, he did not forget to spend personal time with God. He remembered what it was to be a shepherd out in the fields worshipping God with songs and praise. Years later David would write today’s passage sharing about the same worship. He writes, “I come to your altar, O LORD, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glorious presence dwells.” It is easy to get in a rut learning all about God but never spending time knowing Him. It is great to love Bible study. Who doesn’t love an inspiring sermon. It challenges us to live for God. But in all the learning, in all the doing, we also need to love Him. We need to love spending time worshipping and praising Him. Today, spend time in His presence. Come to His altar and spend time in praise and communion with Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I love Your word. I love serving You. But in all my haste, I must confess, I often forget to love You. I haven’t spent the time in Your presence. I haven’t taken enough time to worship You. Forgive me Lord. Today may I begin to worship You and love spending time in Your presence.
AMEN

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Receive Him

TODAY’S VERSE
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”
Romans 3:22-25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How can we be made right with a Holy and perfect God? How could we ever begin to think that we could have a relationship with God Almighty? Paul wrestled with these very issues and then wrote down some very good news. Based on his knowledge of Scriptures and his personal experience, he was led by God to write down a clear explanation of how be right with God. He writes, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” All of us have missed the mark of God’s standard of perfection so God came up with a plan of substitution. He would offer His own Son, Jesus, the perfect one as our sacrifice. Again Paul writes, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.” God offers us the free gift of salvation, but we must take it. It isn’t good enough to know about it, or have parents who believe it, we must make a cognitive choice to realize our own need and see Jesus as the solution. Paul elaborates, “People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” Personally accepting Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins is your only hope of forgiveness and personal relationship with God. Today, if you haven’t already, come to God on His terms. Enter a relationship with Him by thanking Him for the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of your sins because of what Jesus did on the cross for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I have done wrong and am in desperate need for forgiveness. I want to know You personally and become Your child. Thank You for the death of Your son Jesus on the cross for me. Come into my heart and be my ruler. I accept Jesus as the sacrifice for my sins. Thank You for forgiving me and making me Your child. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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