Category Archives: renewed

Come Boldly To God

TODAY’S VERSE
Since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.
Hebrews 10:21-22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In the Old Testament, it was the High Priest that offered sacrifices to God for the forgiveness of the sins of Israel. Each year the High Priest would go through the ceremony waiting upon God to see if indeed the sacrifice would be accepted. Then Jesus came. God sent His own Son, Jesus, to be the new Great High Priest. It was His blood, shed on the cross, that paid for our sins once and for all. No more annual ritual. It was finished when Christ died and rose again from the dead. Jesus opened the door for us to have a deep and personal relationship with God. In today’s passage, it says, “Since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” Have you ever stopped to consider what this really means? It means that you have a personal invitation from God to come right into His presence anytime that you want. Today, don’t just read His word. Don’t just pray. Today, come boldly to God’s throne and enjoy His presence. He has forgiven your sins and is waiting for you to come and know Him, fellowship with Him, worship Him and live for Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the sacrifice of Your only son, Jesus, making it possible to forgive all my sins. Thank You that I now can come right into your presence. Help me, Lord, to know You better. Help me today to fully understand Your love for me. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Tender Mercy

TODAY’S VERSE
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How great it is that we can come before an Almighty and Holy God, totally unworthy, full of sin and rebellion and yet experience such love, mercy, and forgiveness. David knew this. After getting a married woman pregnant and then purposely having her husband killed in battle, David came to the realization of how far he had wandered from God. He then comes to God in repentance praying, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” And that is exactly what he experienced. God was gracious to him. God forgave him and had mercy upon him. Isaiah knew about this kind of love as well. He paints a word picture illustrating God’s mercy toward us. He writes “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” How gentle we would have to be, not to break a reed that was already bent? How careful would we have to be, not to totally extinguish a smoldering wick that has already lost its flame? Isn’t it good to know that this is God’s attitude of mercy and grace toward us? Doesn’t it bring joy to your heart to know that you can take anything you have done or have not done and confess it to Him and experience His tender mercy? Today, might the words of Jeremiah, in Lamentations 3:22-23, fill your heart with joy and peace. He wrote, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to you today, with all my sins and wrongdoings and give them to You. I thank You for Your tender mercy. I thank You for Your forgiveness and compassion toward me. God, I understand that it because of Your great love that I am not consumed. Truly, Your compassions never fail, they are new every morning.
AMEN

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Denial

TODAY’S VERSE
Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.
Matthew 26:74-75 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How hard it must have been for Peter to face the fact that he had denied Christ. It was obvious that he did not want to. He was sincere when he assured Jesus that he would not desert Him in His time of need. He loved Christ, but like so many of us, good intentions were not good enough. He ended up denying he knew Christ. But I must be honest, I too have denied. I have denied Christ in my selfishness. I have denied Him in my lack of faith. I have denied Him in my lack of witness. I have denied Him in my lack of giving. This is why Paul encourages us to grow in Christ. We need to participate in a process of growth so we learn from the past. This is what Christ allowed Peter to do. He did not chide Peter for his denial. He did not excommunicate him or shun him. Rather, He made it a goal to see Peter after His resurrection and specifically re-engage him into ministry. He cooked breakfast and took Peter aside. He did not say, “Why not tell us all, Peter, how you claimed you would never deny me and then three times in one night you told people you did not even know me.” Instead, Jesus asked Peter three times, perhaps once for each time he denied, “Peter do you love me?” When Peter answered and was lovingly re-engaged with the Lord, Jesus sent him out to “feed my sheep.” Today, don’t let the guilt of past denials stop you from re-engaging with Jesus. Confess your sin and accept His forgiveness. He loves you and is waiting for you to serve Him again.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I often deny You. I deny You in my talk, in my behavior, in my thought life. I ask Your forgiveness. Cleanse me and help me to live for You in a way that is pleasing to You.
AMEN

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God’s Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
Psalms 27:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get in a rut and seek second best. It can be that way in our Christian experience. We get trapped seeking the “results” of knowing “about” God instead of joy and peace of “knowing” God. We turn our Christian walk into ritual, behaviors, and experiences that bring us some sort of security that all is well, instead of knowing Him and the peace that He can give. Larry Crabb in his book “The Pressure’s Off” writes, “You, therefore, live with uncertainty and pressure, and you demand to know the way to live that will make your life work as you want. You maneuver; you do not trust. You negotiate; you do not worship. You analyze and interpret to gain control over what happens; you do not depend. You seek the better life of God’s blessings over the better hope of God’s presence.” Today might we seek to know and enjoy God’s presence over anything else.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have sought Your blessings more than Your presence. I have sought what I can gain from knowing about You instead of knowing You. Help me, Father, Your presence is the blessing I seek.
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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Come To The Waters

TODAY’S VERSE
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What an invitation. What an opportunity. What a heartfelt plea from God to every one of us. Given free will, we can choose what we do with our lives. We can decide who we want to follow. We can choose to fill our lives with things that will never satisfy. But God loves us so much that He pleads with us to wake up, to consider our priorities and choose life. In an allegory, God calls every person who is thirsty deep in their soul, to come and drink His waters of spirituality. He can quench our thirst. Knowing that we are spiritually bankrupt, He says buy what our soul needs from Him and charge it to His account. And then in what I think is a deep cry out to our materialist society, God says, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” God loves you and desires that you live your life in His abundant grace. Come to Him today. Take all that your soul needs. Feast on His love and care for you. Let your soul learn of Him and grow. Come today, to His waters and never thirst again.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You that I can come to You today and drink of Your love, mercy, and grace. Thank You for loving me unconditionally so that I will never thirst again. My soul delights in You.
AMEN

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Restoration

TODAY’S VERSE
He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.
I Peter 5:10-11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get tired. You know, just plain worn out. Life seems to come at us so hard. There is never enough time to get everything we need done. Is it a wonder that we feel as if we live in a pressure cooker? Jesus invited all of us who are under a heavy burden to come to Him. He promised that He would give us rest. Peter heard Him say it! And now Peter writes to us promising that this same Jesus will restore, support and strengthen us. Peter promises us that Jesus will place us on a firm foundation because all power belongs to Him. Today, let this same Jesus comfort you. Let Him come into your situation and give you support and strength. Lean on Him. Share with Him. Give Him all your burdens. Remember, “All power belongs to Him forever!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with all my burdens. Help me, comfort me. I lean on You Dear Lord. I need Your strength and support. Thank You for all Your provisions. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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