Category Archives: renewed

The Lord Bless You

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So often we put the emphasis on us “following” God when we would be better off “responding” to God. We worry so much about how to love God when we all we really need to do is truly understand His love for us. If we knew what today’s verse really meant, how could loving God ever be an issue? How could we ever be worried about following Him? But do we really believe that God desires to bless us and keep us? Do we see God as a loving God that turns His face toward us with such a focus that it is as if His face is shining right on us? It is this daunting attention from our loving God that causes us to love Him. It is this knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that His intention is to bless us and keep us, to be gracious with us, and give us peace that causes us to follow Him without reservation. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, said it best, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Today know that God has blessed you and kept you. Understand that He has turned His face toward you and has shined it upon you. Finally, receive the peace that comes from knowing His unconditional love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your awareness of me. Thank You for shining Your face on me. Thank You for turning Your face toward me and giving me peace. Today, Lord, help me live in this reality.
AMEN

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Sin Issues

TODAY’S VERSE
But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.
Romans 5:20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God’s grace is amazing. Paul knew this, so he wrote, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Paul explains that grace has set us so free in Christ that we are no longer slaves to sin. In “True Faced” the authors write, “The environment of grace provides me with truth, acceptance, healing, safety, perspective, freedom, and the power that I did not before know; these realities are foundational to resolving my sin issues.” You see, God’s grace is more than forgiveness. It is the availability of God’s power to help us mature. He forgives us and then helps us live for Him. Today, don’t run and hide from God. Talk to Him about sin issues in your life. Though you are overwhelmed, He will forgive you. He will help you. His grace is greater than your sin.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the death and resurrection of Your son Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Guide me, direct me, work with me, and by Your grace, help resolve the sin issues in my life.
AMEN

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Search Me

TODAY’S VERSE
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The truth will set us free. Free from bondage, free from negative thinking, free from poor choices. But the truth can be elusive. This is why we must call upon the Lord to help us be honest with ourselves. David did this. He asked God to search the deepest parts of his mind and heart and point out any offensive ways in him. Jeremiah in Lamentations encourages us to, “examine our ways and test them.” And when we ask God for help we can rest assured that He has our best in mind. His purpose isn’t to fail us, embarrass us, or send us back a grade. His desire is to encourage and motivate us, moving us toward maturity. What better way to mature than coming before God, examining our progress, and letting Him coach us through the power of His Word and the Holy Spirit. Today, let God examine your heart. Seek His direction and let Him lead your way.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, search me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
AMEN

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No Burden

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love this passage. The Lord bids us come and rest. How different is that? It is the complete opposite of striving. You know, striving to “earn” God’s love, or worst, “keep it” as if God is some fickle tyrant. Nothing could be farther from the heart of God. Jesus knew we would be weary and carry heavy burdens. It is part of living in this world. But He never meant that living for God would be the cause of the burden. No, He said if we would take His teachings and live them, we would find rest for our soul. In “Desiring God’s Will” Dr. David Benner writes, “Hearing the invitation, everything within me wants to draw near and receive the gift of love that Jesus represents – not out of obligation but out of a soul-aching desire. And each time I do, my heart is slowly but progressively more aligned with the heart of God – God’s desires becoming my desires and God’s will becoming my will.” So today, quit trying to earn His love. You already have it. Don’t strive to please Him so He won’t abandon You; he will never leave you. Today, rest in His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for not believing You. Forgive me for making a mockery out of Your unconditional love for me. Thank You that your love for me is real, I don’t have to earn it, it is not a burden. Help me rest in your love today.
AMEN

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He Is There

TODAY’S VERSE
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever been lost? Imagine if you were hiking, and all of a sudden, you realize you don’t know where you are? You have no map or compass and don’t know how to get to where you want to go—what a helpless feeling. So picture your joy when someone sees you and asks if they can help you. They take out a map, explain where you are, and show you the way to your destination. What a relief. Isn’t that how it is when we get emotionally lost? We are running from day-to-day. We over-react, panic, and without help, we eventually become emotionally frozen. How great then is our joy when we hear the words of our Lord, “You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We don’t have to wander in our emotional wilderness. We don’t have to remain lost in all our madness, God is here. He will listen, He will show us the way. He promises! We will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. Today, cry out to God, seek Him, He is there.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come today, crying out for You. I am seeking You, Lord, with all my heart. Hear my prayer, make Your presence known to me as You have promised. Guide me, lead me, comfort me with Your Holy Spirit I pray.
AMEN

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Do You Know God?

TODAY’S VERSE
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:28-29 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
At first glance, you can read today’s passage and think that the author is asking a rhetorical question. Who hasn’t heard that the Lord God of the Universe is the everlasting God, creator of the ends of the earth? If you were going to believe in a God, wouldn’t you want an all-powerful one? No doubt, you would desire God to be the everlasting creator who never tires and has an understanding that is beyond our comprehension. But to be complete in your belief of God, you would need to understand that God is also compassionate to those in need, giving strength to the weary and helping those that are weak. It is this mighty, merciful God that Isaiah is asking about. He asks, “Do you not know? Have you not heard?” Otherwise, have you let the reality of this magnificent God change your life? It is by hoping in the LORD that loves you, that you will renew your strength. Trusting the Almighty God who never tires of being merciful to you will cause you to soar on wings like eagles. Isaiah assures, you will run and not grow weary; you will walk and not be faint. Today put your faith and trust in our everlasting God, the creator of the earth, the God who never tires of being compassionate toward you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, how I praise You for who You are. You are everlasting, the creator of the earth. Thank You for caring for me and giving me strength.
AMEN

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Revive Your Heart

Revive Your Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!
Mark 3:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It must have been something horrible to cause God to be angry and sad at the same time. God had a divine plan, a holy purpose. He would send Himself, in the person of His Son Jesus, to earth and redeem man, bringing them into a loving relationship with Himself. Ironically, it was mankind that got in the way. Jesus was bringing the good news to man and confirming it with “signs and wonders” all the while the religious zealots were opposing Him at every turn. Isn’t that like us? Those of us who know so much about God end up knowing so little. And so Jesus found Himself angry and deeply saddened. Why? Because their hearts were hard. The metaphor is poignant. A heart that is hard like a stone has no life in it. It is not able to fulfill the purpose for which it was created. You can lose a leg, an arm, an eye, and still live a meaningful life, but without a heart, there is no life. So what do you have? Is your heart pumping faith, hope, love, and grace into every fiber of your being, or has the beating stopped? Today, come to our Holy Heart Surgeon. Let Him revive your heart and restore you to the life you were meant to have.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, take my heart and mold it into a heart that is used for you. Keep me alive in my faith, hope, and love. Might You be praised and glorified in all I do and say.
AMEN

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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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Coming To Our Senses

TODAY’S VERSE
When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father.”
Luke 15:17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It has only recently that we have understood why so many hidden emotions drive us. With the rise of the neurosciences, we have come to know more about intrinsic memory. What has been hidden can now become integrated into who we are. We can take all the negative beliefs, lies, and wounds that we have from our past and bring them to God. He, in turn, can reveal to us the truth of who we really are in these memories and help us change the way we believe about life and our self. This has been life-changing for me and the hundreds that I have taught. Insight also changed the prodigal son. For whatever reason, he too was driven and decided to leave home and spend his life doing whatever he wanted to. No pleasure was out of the question. But like so many others, there was a price to pay. Soon he found himself in desperate straits. It was at that point that Jesus said, “He finally came to His senses.” And I love what the son did next. Jesus said that he went home to his father. My friend, it is our Heavenly Father that can correct all our negative thinking. It is His love that can tell our hurting child inside us that all is well; we are loved. Our Father is waiting. He is happy to be with us; He longs to tell us the truth of who we are. Today, come to your senses. It is God who wants to forgive, to love, to heal, to set free. His grace is sufficient.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with so many needs. So many emotions drive me. I need You to correct my thinking, heal my memories, and help me re-envision who I am. Father, I have come to my senses. I am coming to you. Help me see myself through Your eyes.
AMEN

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Renew My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting
away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever been at the bedside of someone dying from a dreadful disease? It is tragic to watch someone’s body shut down. Over time they begin to waste away. But there is another form of wasting away that is just as tragic. It is the wasting away of our soul. If not careful, we can find our inward person end up in despair, confusion, and helplessness. Our body is but a container for who we are. Paul reminds us that even if we waste away physically, it is crucial that we don’t lose heart. How? By renewing ourselves inwardly day by day. Today, don’t spiritually waste away! Spend time with God, meditate on His word, let His promises soak deep into your soul, and replenish your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need You to renew my heart. Replenish my soul with Your word and Your love. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, I pray.
AMEN

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