Category Archives: obedience

Trust And Obey

TODAY’S VERSE
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt.
James 1:5-6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever had people you are close to making a decision, a decision about something you know a lot about, yet they never asked your opinion? Have you ever been asked your opinion and then totally ignored? Have you ever been asked to “weigh-in” on a decision only to have to “buy-in” to a decision you disagree with? It is hard when you are ignored or when decisions are made that you think should have been different. What about God? How does He feel about people who go through life never asking for His opinion on anything? How about people that pray a desperate request never really intending to listen? Or worst, what about those that ask God for wisdom and treat His answer as simply a “weigh-in” deciding later to ask God to “buy-in” to the decision they made contrary to what God suggested. Do you ask God for wisdom or do you go about your life without His opinion? If you do ask God for wisdom, do you listen to it or are you off to something else not really listening for an answer at all? Finally, if you do ask for wisdom and hear God’s voice, do you “obey” it or do you “weigh” it. James tells us to ask God for wisdom and then believe God will give it to us and not doubt His answer. Today, when you need wisdom, ask God, really ask Him. Then, listen to what He says. When you hear, follow His path. It is like the old Hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way. To be happy in Jesus, just trust and obey.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I don’t ask You for wisdom like I should. And when I have asked, I have often ignored You. Forgive me, Lord. I know I need Your wisdom for this life and I ask that You would give it to me. Then, Holy Spirit, guide me, direct me, empower me to do what Your wisdom dictates. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Temptation

TODAY’S VERSE
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Temptation. Who has not felt its sting? Who has not been knocked in the gut and brought to their knees by this cancer of our soul? What keeps us in such bondage is the mistaken belief that temptations are “out there”. We see them as external enemies sneaking around waiting to ambush us. Now it is true that we have an enemy of our very soul, the devil, and he does seek to devour us. However, James shares that the root of our temptations come from within us. James says that “temptations come from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.” We can blame the magazine publisher or the movie producer but it is our own lust, our own unmet needs or misguided thinking that has caused us to dwell on pornography. It is our own misbeliefs and internal dialog that keeps us coming back to drugs so we can self medicate. That is why Paul makes it clear that God is the one that must help us. He writes, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” What God’s grace does not prevent, because of our own humanness, God’s grace forgives. The Apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Today, let Jesus untie the ropes that bind you. Like Peter, get up from the cell you are in. You are free! You have been liberated. Hear the words of Jesus, “Arise and sin no more.” “My son, my daughter, go, your sins have been forgiven you!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear liberator of my soul, I bring you my shackles. Take them. I bring you the key to my heart, unlock it. Heal me from the inside. Defeat my misguided thoughts, cast down the enemy of my soul. I look to you, who knows me better than I know myself. By your power, in your grace, because of your mercy, free me, forgive me. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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Spiritual Growth

TODAY’S VERSE
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:9-10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is one thing about life you can count on. Life is not static. You are either living or you are dying. I have learned a lot about life from gardening. To have a good garden you must have a good balance of sun, water, and nutrients. You must also protect the plants by weeding and keeping away the bugs and animals that would destroy it. It is the same with your spiritual life. You must nurture and care for your own soul. You must protect yourself from spiritual forces that would destroy you. How? By letting God fill you with the knowledge of His will. He does that through Spiritual wisdom and understanding. As you seek God and learn more about Him, the more alive you will become. This will result in a life worth living, pleasing to God. Today, stop being static in your spiritual life and set your heart on gaining spiritual wisdom and understanding. Grow in your knowledge of God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me grow in You. Help me gain Spiritual wisdom and understanding as I read Your word and listen to Your Holy Spirit. Help me grow in my knowledge of You.
AMEN

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Throw It Off

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul uses the analogy of running a race to describe the Christian life. He paints a picture of a poor runner who has come to the starting blocks with a large heavy weight tied to him and chains wrapped around his legs. There is no way this runner is going to finish the race, let alone win. Instead, Paul suggests that the runner first throw off everything that hinders them. That could be events, habits, environments, attitudes, anything that “triggers” the desire to do things that Christ would not want us to do, or prevent us from doing what we should. We need to throw off anything that leads us toward Spiritual apathy or complacency. In their book “True Faced” the authors point out that in reality there are two kinds of sins. These are sins that we commit resulting in guilt and sins that are committed against us resulting in hurt. Both of these “sins” can trip us up. If we allow guilt to grow, it will spread like cancer in our Spirit. If we allow hurt to go unchecked, it can fester into sadness, anger, fear, malice, bitterness and many other negative attitudes. We need to deal with the sin in our life — both those that we commit and those committed against us. Then we can run the race. Today let us consider our own life. Are we running the race that God has called us to? If not, what is weighing us down? What is entangling us? Pray today that God would help you throw it off.

TODAY’S PRAYER:
Father, You know that I need to run in this race of life. I confess that I have let burdens weigh me down. I have let sins, both that I have committed and those committed against me, trip me up. Help me, Lord, throw off these things. Help me run today, free from all these issues that hinder me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Integrity

TODAY’S VERSE
Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. ‘Come and sleep with me,’ she demanded. But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”
Genesis 39:6-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How do you say “integrity”? This story of Joseph is a wonderful illustration of a person living with morals, faith, and self-control. Here came a situation that many would find tempting. After all who would report him? Wasn’t he second in command only to Potiphar himself? And wasn’t she a consenting adult? Besides, he knew that she had a wicked temper and the result of refusing her could be perilous. Who could blame him if he gave in to her desires? But his logic and faith were pure. He knew he was trusted and did not want to betray that trust. That was important to him. However, there was more. He told Potiphar’s wife, “How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” He saw such a betrayal to Potiphar not only morally reprehensible but as an affront to God. Today we live in a morally bankrupt culture. But God has called us to follow Him. And what He has called us to, He will enable us to do. He has given us His word to guide us and His Holy Spirit to empower us. Yes, we sin, but when we repent God forgives us and gives us grace to do better. So today choose how you will live. Determine to follow God. Make it your desire to live out the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we do, God promises that we will not live out the desires of the flesh.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to live out the fruit of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to make the right choices today, just like Joseph did in his time. Help me to take the high road and to trust You with the outcome. Guide me and help me live for You. I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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The Real Me

TODAY’S VERSE
But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord.
Deuteronomy 11:16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Self-deception is at the root of many of our problems. Not only do we lie to all those around us, but more often we lie to ourselves. How often do we ask what is really bothering us? We pretend to love when we are bitter and wounded. We act brave when we are afraid. Dr. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes,
“At some point in childhood, we all make the powerful discovery that we can manipulate the truth about ourselves. Initially, it often takes the form of a simple lie – frequently a denial of having done something. But of more importance to the development of the false self is the discovery that our ability to hide isn’t limited to what we say or don’t say. We learn to pretend. We discover the art of packaging our self. – Our masks have become our reality, and we have become our lies. In short, we have lost authenticity and adopted an identity based on illusion.” You see God loves the real you! He knows your fears, your rage, your brokenness and He is waiting for you to give it to Him. There is nothing about the real you that He cannot redeem! It is only when you let your heart be deceived and create a false self that you turn away from the Lord. Today, come to God as you are. Let Him touch the real you. Tell Him what you feel, what you think, what you have hidden from everyone else. When you do, you will find Him accepting, loving and able to set you free from all your fears of self-exposure. Come to Him, the truth will set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have hidden my true self from You and everyone else. Fear, shame, anger, guilt, disgust – so many emotions keep me from living the truth. I have tried so hard to be what everyone else has wanted and somewhere I have lost my way. Please, in Your love, gently peel back my veneer and bring me into Your light. Help me take off my masks and see myself as You see me. Help me embrace all of me as You lovingly embrace me even now. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Supernatural Love

TODAY’S VERSE
He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.
Colossians 1:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We get so used to hearing that we are supposed to love others that we think we need to do it by ourselves. But in today’s verse, we get a glimpse of where the real power comes from. God’s Spirit in us strives to guide us, teach us and create a love for others in our hearts. Why should that be so surprising? After all the Apostle John reminds us that God is not only the source of love, He is love. It is God Himself manifested in His Spirit in us that moves us to love. Jesus modeled this God-driven kind of love. John writes, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” So today, love others. But don’t do it in your own power. Ask God to give you a Spirit-led love for those around you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Holy Spirit of God, reach deep into my heart and birth in me a love for others that only You can produce. I want to love as Jesus did. Fill me with a Supernatural love I pray.
AMEN

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