Category Archives: Peace

Love

TODAY’S VERSE
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
Matthew 7:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes I get it all backward. I come to God with a need asking Him for help. Then for whatever reason, the thought comes to me that I am unworthy of God’s graciousness. This shame causes me to doubt whether God would want to do anything good for me. It takes all my faith away. However, when I read this passage, I realize it’s not about me! It’s about God. God is love, and it is His love for me, not my worthiness, that needs to be my focus. And why not? Even fathers, as imperfect as we are, know how to give gifts to our children. Jesus used this as His illustration pointing out that if we, in all of our limitations and sinfulness, know how to do good to our children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him? God loves you. He loves you and desires to provide you with what you need. All He wants you to do is ask. Today, ask. Ask without shame or doubt. Your heavenly Father adores you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your love. Forgive me when I let insecurities and lies lead me to a place of unbelief. Help me focus on Your love and rest in the fact that I am intrinsically lovable. Thank You, dear Father, for making me that way and giving me so many wonderful gifts.
AMEN

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God’s Love

TODAY’S VERSE
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There are two ways to look at today’s passage. The first is the most obvious. God in His omnipresence is everywhere you go and nothing can separate you from Him or His love for you. It is God-dependent. God has taken on the challenge always to love you no matter what outward circumstances you may be in. And He can do this because, as John writes, “God is love.” But there is another reality that is hidden in today’s verse. That is your own “inward state awareness of God’s love.” As you mature, you assimilate your circumstances and influences around you. You allow them to create in you an inner state of being. It is like a person who has a loving caregiver knows, even when they are separated for long lengths of time, they are still loved by that person. The love was just as real in the person’s absence as in their presence. This is because, over time, the consistency of the love of their caregiver had become part of their inner state of being. How much more can this be true of God? God has created you with the ability to know His love. Know it in such a profound way that even in dire circumstances, you can experience His loving presence. As you fellowship with God and get to know His heart, His love will create in you a trusting confident state of mind. You will be convinced that what Paul said is true. Nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your deep love for me. Thank You for allowing me the privilege of knowing You and having Your love become a part of my very being. Help me to trust in that love.
AMEN

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Shame and Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
II Thessalonians 2:15-17 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame and grace are perhaps the two of the most potent words in molding and shaping our beliefs about ourselves. Shame keeps us from accepting all the love God has for us. Grace invites us to embrace it. Lewis Smedes, in his book, “Shame and Grace,” writes, “The feeling of shame is about our very selves – not about something we did or said but about what we are. It tells us that we are unworthy. Totally. It is not a few seams in the garment of our selves need stitching; the whole fabric is frayed. We feel we are unacceptable.” How do we overcome such devastating feelings? How can we ever shake such deep emotion? Only through God’s grace. Paul says that it is God who loves us and by His grace gives us encouragement and hope. His grace encourages our hearts and strengthens us. Smedes writes, “Grace overcomes shame by simply accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our ugliness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being. We are given what we have longed for in every nook and nuance of every relationship.” Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Are you listening? Today, read this devotional again and believe. God’s grace says it all. You are loved.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, Father, melt my heart. Open me and pour your grace deep into my soul. I believe, but today help my unbelief. Lord, I renounce my shame and accept your unconditional love. Flood my being with the joy of Your grace I pray.
AMEN

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Strength and Song

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!
Psalms 118:14-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the two words, “strength” and “song” together. They go hand in hand; His strength, our song. Here is the Psalmist. He had seen God’s strength move on his behalf resulting in a great victory, and his heart bursts out in singing. That’s because sometimes words alone are not enough. Our soul must express itself in melody. And yet, how many times do we fail to respond to all that God has done for us? Remember the ten lepers that Jesus healed? Only one came back to give thanks. Can you imagine? Forget a victory in battle. Their body, full of putrefying skin, had just been miraculously healed! Yet nine out of the ten that were healed did not even say, “Thanks.” And sadly, Jesus noticed. He asked the one who returned, “Where are the other nine?” Unfortunately, we do the same today. Where are our praising hearts? Where are the songs of our souls that lift to the heavens in adoration for all that He has done for us? We have no excuse. We have been so blessed. Today let’s raise our voices in praise for all His strength on our behalf.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, my heart sings in praise and adoration for all You have done for me. You are the Almighty and all-loving God who has saved me for all eternity. I thank You and praise Your Holy name.
AMEN

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Your Deepest Cares

TODAY’S VERSE
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
I Peter 5:7 (AMP)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it we feel we need to minimize our pain? Where did we get the idea that we would become a burden to God? How did we come to believe that it is unspiritual to admit that we have been a victim of something awful? Abuse, violence, the death of a loved one, divorce, an unfortunate accident, incarceration, war. God cares when we have suffered as a result of something being done to us. And God cares when we have suffered from trauma as the result of something not happening. When love, safety, and security from those we trust are missing, we get trauma in the form of abandonment, unfaithfulness, embezzlement, betrayal, gossip, or neglect. And to pretend that we are not affected, and everything is okay is to only add to the damage that is already left in trauma’s wake. It is not spiritual to “tough it out.” It is spiritual to be healed. Peter is pleading with us to cast all of our cares onto Jesus. His whole book speaks about the suffering of Jesus and how He understands our suffering. And here, Peter assures us that Jesus “cares for you.” He cares for you with deep affection. Today, bring your pain to Jesus. Tell Him about your trauma. Ask Him to give you strength, forgiveness, peace, and a deep understanding of love. Ask Him to heal your broken heart; heal your deep wounds of grief and anger. Bring all of your cares. Cast them on Him and leave them there.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You. I come to You with all my burden, all my cares. You know my pain. You know my suffering. I bring it all to You. Heal my hurts. Heal my heart. Return me to joy, I pray.
AMEN

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Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
Psalms 34:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is an epidemic of shame. Why is it that we who have been called by Christ, we who have had our sins forgiven, we who have been lavished with the love of God Himself, still struggle with shame? What happened? Who lied to us? What has led to this pervasive feeling of worthlessness? Guilt, I understand. I have sinned and in need of forgiveness. But how do we find forgiveness for shame? How do we correct that insidious feeling of something so utterly broken? Shame, it is a lie from Hell itself. It takes what God has created and defames it. But today it can stop! Today you can choose joy. Today you can look into the face of our loving Savior and believe what He believes about you. You can replace the lie of shame with the truth of His love. You are His joy. You are His creation, and He looks at you with unconditional love. Today, let the truth of God’s love change you. Don’t go any farther until you believe. Gaze upon God and His love for you until your face becomes radiant with joy. So radiant that no shadow of shame dares to ever darken your face again. May it be so.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father. I need Your grace. I need the transforming power of Your love to fill me. Help me gaze upon Your face and see Your love for me. I surrender my feelings of shame and ask You to replace them with joy.
AMEN

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More Than A Conqueror

TODAY’S VERSE
In all things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life can get hard. There are so many days that I wake up, and I can hardly conquer brushing my teeth, let alone all the battles I have lined up for the day. How can I possibly win the difficulties I am facing? And yet Paul writes, “Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” Paul answers, “No, despite all these things.” What things? Despite all these struggles and difficulties, we go through. Despite all that, life can dish out. Paul assures us, “in all things; we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Yes, we are more than getting a victory, more than being a conqueror, we are His loved child no matter what the circumstances! Today, when problems come up, when it seems that everything is going wrong, remember that Christ has given you everything you need to be more than a conqueror. He has called you to be His beloved child, an heir with Christ, set free with His blood and given power by His resurrection

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for making me more than a conqueror over all the difficulties I go through. Thank You for loving me and giving me everything I need to live for You. Help me believe this Father and live in its reality today.
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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Fear Not

TODAY’S VERSE
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:1-2

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get overwhelmed by life’s struggles. We begin to worry and lose our focus. We become overwhelmed and reach out in inappropriate ways to relieve the stress we have built up in our minds. Anxiety and worry are like that. Even though the majority of what we worry about will never happen, we obsess on the negative and soon are out of control with fear. But God has a better way. Instead of worry and fear, we can choose to trust Him. Isaiah tells us to “fear not” because God has redeemed us and summoned us by name. We do not need to fear because God offers us a deep personal relationship with Him. He promises us that when we “pass through the waters,” He will be with us. God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us! So today when you start to worry, when you start to feel things are out of control, remember that God has not left you. He has not forsaken you. When you feel the pressures of the day build up stress and you are tempted to give up, remember He knows you by name, you are His. He has promised that when you go through difficulties, He will be with you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me not to fear. Help me not to worry. Instead, help me to remember that You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank You that You know me by name and that no matter what I go through today, You will be with me.
AMEN
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Get Rid Of Anger

TODAY’S VERSE
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil.
Psalm 37:7-8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In life, you will always find situations that will make you angry. It is what you do next that makes a difference. Many who have acted out their anger justify it by saying that it was “righteous indignation.” But I don’t see righteous indignation listed by Paul as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Instead, God encourages us to react differently. In today’s passage, we are told to be still before God and wait patiently for Him. We are to stop fretting, refrain from anger, and turn from wrath. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians that we are to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice. Paul admonishes us to be compassionate and forgiving toward each other like Christ is to us! Today, when pressures mount up, when there is a misunderstanding when you feel like there is no way out, don’t let anger take over. Get rid of the bitterness, rage, and anger that consumes you. It is a habit that needs to be broken. Instead, pause, take a deep breath, lift up a prayer and ask God to help you react in a more Godly fashion. Do what Paul suggests. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving toward those that have made you mad. Why? Because Christ has already done the same for you!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how anger comes so easily for me. You know how I struggle to let you control my life, especially in negative situations. Forgive me. Help me trade my anger for compassion, my bitterness for forgiveness, my rage for love. Help me live the way You would have me live. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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