Category Archives: obedience

Making Sense

TODAY’S VERSE
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
Luke 15:17-20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“When he came to his senses.” It’s that quick. You can be struggling for years, and then there is a moment of clarity, an “aha” moment, a spiritual awakening. Like the tumblers of a lock falling in place, your mind is clear, and the truth is opened right before your eyes. It is a God moment. A combination of awareness, conviction, holy discontent, and a sensation that “now is the time.” The scales have tipped. There is more to gain from changing than staying the same. The prodigal son saw that there was more to gain from going home than staying in the pigpen. How about us? When is it going to make more sense to fellowship with God than the world? When will we understand that there is much more satisfaction in following Christ’s plan for our life than our own? When will we believe that He does love us unconditionally and that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less? These are the realizations that change a life. Have you made them yet?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I have come to my senses and realize the love You have for me. I choose to live for You and surrender all that I have for Your use. You are the Lord God Almighty, and I have come to realize that living for You makes all the sense in the world. 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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Holding On

TODAY’S VERSE
Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Holding on. Have you ever felt like that’s all you can do? Things are out of control. You are not sure what to do? The question is, “What do you hang on to?” The author of Hebrews says that we should “hold firmly to the faith we profess.” But this is not some “blind” faith. Instead, we hold on to a faith that is in a God who cares and empathizes with our situation. Jesus knows what it is to be human, to suffer, to be tempted, to be abandoned, beaten, and killed. He also knows how to love unconditionally, to forgive every imaginable sin, to be tempted and not give in, and to rise from the dead. Is it no wonder that the author gives one of the most incredible pieces of advice ever given? He writes, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence.” He is suggesting that you can come boldly right into the presence of God without the worry of repercussion. And what will you get when you enter right into the very presence of God? He promises that you will receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. So today, when you feel anxious or worried, hold on! If you find yourself alone and depressed, hold on! If everything you hear is negative and panic sets in, hold on! If you become angry and bitterness starts to fester, hold on! Hold on to His mercy and grace; they will never fail.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You and hold on today. I thank You that You are the great High Priest that never sinned but became the perfect sacrifice for my sin. I place my faith in You, dear Father, and come to Your throne of grace with confidence. Thank You for Your mercy and grace that is always there in my time of need.
AMEN

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Soften Your Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns.”
Jeremiah 4:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried planting vegetables in a patch of weeds? I did once, and it was a disaster. Instead of breaking up the soil and getting rid of the weeds, I had heard that laying plastic down and cutting a slit for the seeds was easier. It made sense to me. So I planted the seeds and thought the plastic would stop the weeds. Perhaps that would have been true if I used black plastic. But I used clear! Hello! Without knowing it, I created a greenhouse for weeds! So much for my shortcut. Barely a vegetable survived. How much better had I plowed the row, planted the seeds, and then systematically take out the weeds? This is what God wants us to do with our hearts. We are to take our spiritually hardened hearts and break up the soil. We do this by letting God’s word humble us, teach us, correct us, and guide us. Through His Spirit, God takes out the weeds that have grown in our hearts. When we allow this, God then replaces the weeds with the fruit of the Spirit. Is your heart hardened toward the things of God? Soften it today through prayer, a humble attitude, and His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You my heart. I ask You to break up the hardened ground and pull out all the weeds. Take the seeds of your word and create the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
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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Love As God loves

TODAY’S VERSE
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I John 4:8 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are a lot of ways we can try to show that we are Christian. We can go to church. We can attend religious programs. We can pray before meals. We can follow certain rituals. While these may be important, the real evidence that God is alive in our hearts is our love for other people. Over and over again, the Bible teaches that God is not interested in our outward appearances, our sacrifices or our religious ceremonies. He is interested in our loving behavior. Are we forgiving, just, loving, kind and benevolent toward our families and those around us? If not, then we need to take time and get to know God better. Knowing God is transformational knowledge. John said that if we don’t love, we don’t know God. In the book of James, we read, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” If the love of God is in our heart, then it will compel us to love. Paul shares this kind of love in I Corinthians 13. He writes, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” We say we know God but does our behavior back us up? If not perhaps we only know “about” God. Today, spend time with Him and let knowing Him translate into loving others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that my actions don’t always confirm my belief in You. You are love, and yet there have been many times that I have not loved others. Forgive me. Help me today to know you better so I will be filled with Your love and go out and love others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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