Category Archives: obedience

In His Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, we can come into the very presence of God and receive all the mercy, grace, and help we need, just when we need it most. What a significant truth this is! Amazingly, God allows us to spend time in His presence. What is even more amazing is how many of us don’t spend that precious time with Him. In his book “Experiencing Healing Prayer,” the author, Rick Richardson, writes, “My heart was receptive – As we walk the healing journey, no other single thing we can do, may have a greater impact than learning to listen to God. God’s voice is the healing voice, just as God’s presence is the healing presence. We must hear the voice of God reverberate in our soul, exposing the lies about our unlovability, worthlessness, or despair and speaking to us the truth. We must.” Christ has done everything needed so we can come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Today, do it! Listen to Him. Be confident that He desires to speak the truth of your lovability and worth to you and make you whole. When you do, you will find all the mercy, grace, and love you need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Thank You, dear Lord, for providing a way that I can come into Your presence. Thank You that Christ is my High Priest, and I can go boldy into Your presence. Thank you for the confidence I can have that You will give me all the mercy, grace, and help I need to make it through this day. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Press On

TODAY’S VERSE
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to live in the past. Remorse, grief, disappointment, bitterness, so many painful emotions can keep us in a state of limbo. Paul had regrets; he had persecuted Christians. Paul had disappointments and hardships, but he knew the secret to living with all of life’s ups and downs. He pressed on. He knew when the appropriate time came; it was time to forget. It was time to quit looking behind and trust God for the future. God doesn’t remain in the past, and neither should we. Today, what is keeping you in the past? What has you locked in painful emotions? Give it to God. Forget the past and look forward to what God has ahead. He is not finished with you yet!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have hung on to my past. Today, I surrender to You. I quit looking back with regret, sorrow, remorse, and bitterness and will look forward with anticipation, joy, and excitement toward what lies ahead. Today, I choose to trust You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Thoughts

TODAY’S VERSE
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The battle is in our minds. Truth versus lies. False assumptions verses God’s promises. Negative predictions versus faith. Roots of bitterness, jealously, fear, and shame versus the mind of Christ. And though all these strongholds can be overcome by God’s power, how much better if we never let negative thinking get that far. We can if we follow Paul’s advice. He asks us to “demolish arguments and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” A stronghold begins with a simple negative thought. Then, instead of renouncing it, we make a subtle agreement with it. “God doesn’t care.” “I can’t do it.” We start to generalize using words like “never, always, and every.” Oh, not a stronghold yet, but if we don’t disagree with the thought, what are we really doing? Soon we begin to ruminate and start to build on the negativity. Before you know it, we have created a full-blown story. We have “set ourselves up against the knowledge of God.” God wants us to renounce and correct negative unbiblical thinking. Today, commit your mind to God. Let His Holy Spirit work with your thinking and bring it into alignment with His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your presence in my life. I commit my thinking to you. Holy Spirit rule in my mind. Help me know and believe Your truth so I can make all my thoughts obedient to Christ.
AMEN

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Lord Jesus

TODAY’S VERSE
So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?
Luke 6:46 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a penetrating question. It is so easy to be a fan or spectator in almost anything today. With technology, we can learn about any topic we want. We can talk about our favorite sport, even have a “fantasy team” without ever playing a game. We can be a seemingly “expert” and know all about something and yet, have no practical experience at all. Jesus knew this. He had many followers that knew what He was teaching but had no interest in doing what He said. They did not see the significance of what He taught. They thought they could “follow” Jesus, even call Him “Lord” and not have to do what He said. Jesus called these “armchair” believers out, and He does the same today. James said it well when he wrote, “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”’ Jesus has called us to follow Him. Today, let’s not just call Him Lord, let’s live as if it is true.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, I have called You Lord, and yet many times I have not lived the way You want me to. Forgive me. Help me live under the influence of Your Holy Spirit and do what Your word tells me to.
AMEN

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Trust God With Your Life

TODAY’S VERSE
O LORD, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God!
Psalms 25:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus has called us to follow Him. More than church attendance and weekly worship, Jesus wants us to be His disciples. David knew what this meant. He came to Jehovah God and said. “O Lord, I give my life to you.” God would ask the same of us. And it takes faith. We are choosing to take the only life we have and say, “Here, God, I know You gave me this life, so I am giving it back, trusting that You have a plan for me. You know best, and I trust You.” That is what David did. God is asking the same of you. Today, trust Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I choose to give my life to You. I want You to be the Lord of all I am and do. I trust You, Lord, and Your unconditional love for me.
AMEN

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Go and Do the Same

TODAY’S VERSE
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Luke 10:36-37 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus said we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. So what are we thinking when we pass up people in need? Perhaps, “They deserve it.” “They did it to themselves”. “They will never change”. Or how about, “Someone else will take care of it.” The religious leaders thought they could be excused by asking, “Who is my neighbor?” But Jesus told them a story where a Samaritan stopped and helped a Jew that was hurting on the side of the road. He said, ‘“Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’” Jesus had a point to make. He looked at the crowd and asked, “Who do you think was acting as if the hurting man was his neighbor?” And here is the critical answer, “The one who showed him mercy!” Now we can go ahead and ignore the story. We can moralize and say it is a great story. But Jesus didn’t ask us what we thought about the story. Instead, He looked at the crowd and said, “Go and do the same.” It was the only time He said that phrase. Wouldn’t we do well to obey?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, guide me on my mission today. Help me love with Your love. Help me assist those in need that I come across on my journey today.
AMEN

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God Alone

TODAY’S VERSE
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalms 5:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It’s not God plus something else. That is what happened to the children of Israel. They turned from God toward idols. Oh, they kept their form of worship but added the superstition of other religions. They needed God, but to feel safe, they added idols. How about you? What are you trusting in? Is it your job? Your education? Your reputation? Do you trust in positive thinking or some other philosophy? Have you crowded out God for some other form of comfort? David came to God each morning. When he was troubled, he cried out to God, no one else, just God. And God heard his prayers. David trusted God only and waited patiently for Him. Today, you can do the same. He is trustworthy. His love for you is boundless, His mercy is endless, and His grace is sufficient for all your needs. God is in the waiting. Might you say with David, “I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You and You alone for all I need. Forgive me when I have turned to other things. I know better. You are sufficient. I know Your love for me is boundless. So today, I come, and I bring all my requests, hopes, and dreams and wait expectantly on You.
AMEN

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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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