Category Archives: obedience

Be On Guard

TODAY’S VERSE
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
I Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We each have our battles. Life can be hard. Struggles can cause our faith to falter, and we begin to live as those who have no hope at all. Paul knew what it was like to have troubles; he knew hardship and heartbreak. And so, when he was finishing writing his letter to the church in Corinth, he gave them one final admonition. Like a coach before the final play of the game, Paul rallies the church and tells them to be on their guard. He wanted them to watch out for the spiritual battle. He told them to stand firm in their faith, being courageous and strong. The good news is they did not have to do this on their own. This same Paul reminds us in another letter he wrote that we can do all things through Christ who empowers us. Today, call out to God for His power, and then be on your guard. Stand firm in your faith. Be courageous today and stay strong.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, You have said that I can do all things through You because You will empower me. Help me today to be on my guard against evil and temptation. Allow me to stand firm in my faith. Encourage me to be courageous in my behavior and to be strong in Your power.
AMEN

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Keep Doing Right

TODAY’S VERSE
So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.
I Peter 4:19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Suffering is never easy. It is bad enough when it is the result of our own doing. But it is even more difficult to handle when we are suffering and haven’t done anything wrong. What do we do? It seems so unfair. Our first inclination is to get angry or perhaps give up. Maybe it is to compromise what we believe, so the pressure goes away. Peter knew what suffering for righteousness sake was. He and the early Christians suffered much persecution. So Peter wrote to the Christians and what he wrote applies to us today. He said to “keep on doing what is right.” Don’t compromise. Don’t give up. Don’t get revenge. Instead, Peter admonishes us to “trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” Today, trust God, commit your way to Him, and do right. God will not fail you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, You know my situation. Help me to trust You, Lord. Help me to continue to do right. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Wait On Him

TODAY’S VERSE
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
Psalms 62:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it hard to wait on God? It is so much easier to fret and worry. Or to take matters into our own hands and do things our way.
Perhaps it is because we have an intellectual assent toward God instead of a heartfelt surrender to Him. We “know about” God but barely know Him. I love the fact that the Psalmist says, “Let all that I am wait quietly before the Lord.” There is a soulful sound to that phrase. A surrender of the heart, a heart that is expectant of those things that the Prophet Isaiah talked about when he wrote, “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” And so today, let us wait. Stop and commit yourself to Him. Trust Him. Surrender to Him and let Him renew your strength. Today, put your hope in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I come to You today with all that I am. I will wait before You, putting all my trust and hope in You. Renew my strength, lead me in the way I should go. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Doing God’s Will

TODAY’S VERSE
The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.
John 14:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is a mystery. God has created us so we can partner with Him in His work. What a privilege; what a joy to be part of God’s very plan and movement in this world. That is what Jesus did. He acted out what the Heavenly Father orchestrated in Him and then told us how to do the same. He said, “Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” We will do even greater things than Jesus did as we ask for things that bring glory to the Father. Today, ask God to glorify Himself in your life, and may you continue the ministry of Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me, I pray that I would bring You glory in all that I do. I pray that You would live Your will in and through me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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How Shall We Live

TODAY’S VERSE
And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God.
Titus 2:12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul gives excellent instruction to Titus. In it, we are told to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. Paul tells us to live with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God instead. It is interesting. Have you ever noticed how we don’t need any instructions on how to turn to godless living and sinful pleasures? It is part of our natural disposition. Our brokenness, our striving for recognition, or our escape from emotional pain, drives us toward godless solutions and pleasures. How then can we overcome such temptation, such natural tendencies for self-gratification? Thankfully Paul finishes his thoughts with a wonderful truth, one that we can depend on. Paul writes about the secret to Godly living, “He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” The secret is Jesus. He came to cleanse us, free us and assist us with living for Him. Today, give your life to Him. Let Him be the source of your victorious living.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, how I thank You and praise You for freeing me from sin and cleansing me from its stain on my life. Thank You for Your assistance in helping me live the life You have called me to live. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

hope in god

TODAY’S VERSE
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
Psalms 39:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Hope is only as good as the person you hope in. Blind hope is not hoping; it is credulity, the state of willingness to believe in one or many people or things in the absence of reasonable proof or knowledge. We don’t just hope for hope’s sake. Our hope is not in a religion. It is not a creed or tradition. No, we believe in the one and only true God, the God who is there. A moral and loving God. The God of eternity with a much broader perspective on life than we could ever imagine. We come to our loving God and put our faith in Him, so when we need hope, we simply have to draw from our Spiritual experience and put our trust in Him. Today, join the Psalmist in his answer to the question, “Where do I put my hope?” Answer God by saying, “My hope is in you!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me when I doubt You. My worry is a testament to my lack of faith or trust I should have in You. Today, dear Lord, I come again and renew my hope in You. I reaffirm my faith and put my trust in Your love and almighty power. My hope is in You, my Lord, and my God.
AMEN

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Overcoming

TODAY’S VERSE
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Ephesians 4:21-23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day we make choices. Some choices, however, are more subtle than others. For example, the old saying, “Not to decide is to decide already.” Otherwise, if you need to make a choice and you do not say “yes” to it, then you have really chosen against it. It is like that with most of the things that we “lust” after. Lusting implies that we desire something that we cannot (or should not) have at that moment. The trouble, however, is not in the one time choice to lust. All of us struggle with occasional temptations. Instead, it is the rebound effect that gets us in trouble. You know, get close to something you know is wrong, withdraw and then rebound, getting closer the next time. It is like the proverbial frog that boils in water, never noticing that the water was gradually getting warmer and warmer. As time moves on, we eventually find ourselves in the grips of the thing we were trying to avoid. How much better to choose ahead of time not to trifle with those habits, thoughts, and behaviors that lead to trouble. We do this by being quick to repent when we slip and then asking the Holy Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes. If we throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life like we would a burning jacket, and instead, let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes, God can help us discern what temps us so we can determine ahead of time to set our limits and boundaries. Today, let us give our various temptations over to God and ask Him to help us overcome them.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Holy Spirit, You know that I struggle with temptation and lust and need Your help. Renew my thoughts and attitudes so I can live the way you want me to. Help me continue to say “no” and throw off those things that war against me. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Confidence

TODAY’S VERSE
Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.
Psalms 27:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes the best way to overcome something is to replace it with the opposite. David decided to do this with fear. When he was surrounded by a mighty invading army, he had a choice to make. He could go with the normal response of fear, or he could replace fear with confidence in God’s love. It was the love that he had for God and the love he knew God had for him that allowed him to exercise confidence. The Bible says, “perfect love casts out fear.” Add to perfect love an all-powerful God, and you have a real confidence maker. Today, when stress comes into your life, when you are tempted to become overwhelmed, put your trust in God. Step out in faith and let confidence in Him take over.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Thank You, Father, that You are trustworthy. You are all-powerful and all-loving. I come to you today and lay my fears at Your feet. Give me the confidence to completely trust in You.
AMEN

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Self control

TODAY’S VERSE
So think clearly and exercise self-control.- Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.
I Peter 1:13-14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to fall prey to our own desires and lusts. I know if I am not careful, I will spend time doing things that are not in my best interest. Peter is encouraging us to live a better way. Now that we know Christ we don’t have to slip back into our old habits. We can count on God to help us with new desires. As we read the scriptures, spend time with God in prayer, and keep our conscience clear, He will renew our mind. He will help us “think clearly and exercise self-control”. It is this thinking clearly, this deliberately focused attention on God and His power, His strength, His love for us, that helps us align our thinking with His. It is this deliberate focus and yielding to the indwelling Holy Spirit that helps us exercise the self-control that is crucial to living our lives the way He wants us to. Today, let’s think clearly. Let’s focus on God and His will for our life, then we will exercise our self-control in living this day for Him. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me think clearly today. Help me exercise the self-control that You desire for me. I don’t want to slip back into my old ways. I want to live for You. Help me to this end I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN 

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Believe and Follow

TODAY’S VERSE
But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
John 10:2-3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus said to those around Him, “believe in God, believe also in me”. This, “believe in me” implies action. Jesus never intended belief to be exclusive from following Him. God has promised to instruct us, teaching us the way to go, but we have to go, we have to follow. Jesus used the parable about sheep and their shepherd. The sheep don’t just hear the voice of their shepherd, they respond by following him. Likewise, we can say we believe in Jesus but the real proof is in our actions. Today, listen to His voice and follow Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I believe in You. Help me hear Your voice and follow You.
AMEN

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