Category Archives: repentance

No Revenge

TODAY’S VERSE
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.
Romans 12:19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Revenge. What a toxic emotion. What a deceptive motive. It is so easy to slip into this deadly trap. It starts with a wound. Perhaps a deep hurt, humiliation or betrayal. Life isn’t fair, but this is just too much! Soon our wound festers and anger becomes an obsession. But what makes revenge so deceptive is that we don’t have to murder someone to get revenge. Instead, we feel justified in slandering the person, shunning them, campaigning against something they are doing or a million other ways of getting nasty. But this is not revenge. It is getting even, or giving them what they deserve, or settling the score. No, it is revenge. It is hard not to go there. What can we do? Paul shares the only thing we can do. Let go. Give it to God. Let Him take over your case. The author of Hebrews was serious when he wrote, “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Today, follow that advice. Let God search your heart and then pull out any bitter root that has taken ground in your emotions. Don’t let a wound fester into something worse.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, search my heart. Show me any toxic bitterness I may have. Show me any attitude or behavior of revenge. Forgive me and help me change my attitude. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness.
Psalms 130:3-4 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to keep a record of sins. How many times have we found ourselves caught up in bitterness over someone’s repeated offenses against us? How many times should we continue to forgive? Jesus addressed that very question when Peter asked Him how many times we should forgive someone. Peter in a magnanimous gesture suggests seven times, but Jesus said seven times seventy was more like it. The truth is God’s love is greater than we can imagine. David was trying to make that point in this passage. He was amazed at the fact that God was totally justified in keeping a record of all our wrongs but chooses not to. Instead, what does God do? He offers forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful healer. Is there something weighing heavy on your heart? Is there a secret sin or something from the past you need to repent of? Today, bring it to God. The God who does not keep a ledger of your wrongdoings but instead offers complete forgiveness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for not keeping a record of my wrongs. Instead, I bring my sins to You and ask You to forgive me and set me free. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Really Knowing God

TODAY’S VERSE
I know the greatness of the Lord.
Psalms 135:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried to describe the Grand Canyon to someone who hasn’t been there? Pictures help. Your descriptions can get them excited. However, nothing can beat being there. Until they stand on one of the rims and look across the grand expanse for themselves, they will not know its majesty. It is the same way with today’s passage. David writes, “I know the greatness of the Lord.” This was a first-hand, observational knowledge. He knew the greatest of the Lord because He had seen the Lord in action. This was experiential knowledge. He knew the greatness of the Lord because he spent quiet time with Him. This was relational knowledge. David knew the Lord! Because of this, he stepped out in faith trusting God for all his needs. Today, don’t just settle for head knowledge about God. Stop and know the greatness of the Lord!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to know You. Help me know Your greatness. Might Your Holy Spirit lead me into a deeper knowledge of You.
AMEN

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A Clear Conscience

TODAY’S VERSE
Cling to your faith in Christ and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
I Timothy 1:19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
If we want to live a joyful Christian life, then we need to keep our conscience clear. We have a large propensity toward rationalizing away our attitudes and behavior. We will do anything to keep from feeling guilt over something we have done. We bury any negative emotions and before you know it our conscience has been seared. But the truth is we end up paying a toll for our lack of repentance. Like the person in today’s passage, our faith becomes shipwrecked. This isn’t what God intended. He made us to enjoy His grace. Christ is the perfect sacrifice for our sins and His blood shed on Calvary has made it possible to have our conscience clear for all of eternity. All He asks is that we repent, confess our sins to Him and accept His forgiveness and unconditional love. What is it that has alienated you from God? Today, bring it to God. Confess it and ask His forgiveness. For your own sake, keep your conscience clear.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father help me keep my conscience clear with You. Convict me of sin and by Your grace, lead me to repentance. Thank You, that when I confess my sins, You are faithful and willing to forgive me of every transgression.
AMEN

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Oblivious To God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
From his abundance, we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every time I visit Southern California, I am overwhelmed by the number of people I meet there that seem to be oblivious to the fact that they live in paradise. All around them are the mountains, sun, and surf but they don’t see it. All they see is the everyday struggles of life. It is like that with God’s grace. We can get so bogged down with life that we don’t see all the grace that God has brought into our life. Not so with the Apostle John. Instead, John starts out his Gospel with an overwhelming appreciation for the grace that God has for us. He writes that we have all received grace from God manifested in “one gracious blessing after another.” He introduces this manifesto of grace in contrast to the Law that was given through Moses. Moses gave us the law but Jesus gave us God’s grace. This grace was manifested in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness toward us through the death and resurrection of Christ. What about you? How is your life? Are you experiencing God’s, unfailing love? Are you aware of His many blessings? Do you appreciate His faithfulness toward you? Or have you been like the person walking a few miles from the beach, totally unaware of all its beauty and serenity? Today, stop and take the time to be conscious of God’s many blessings given to you. Rejoice in His wonderful grace and faithfulness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for taking Your love and faithfulness for granted. Thank You for Your unfailing love and grace toward me.
AMEN

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Don’t Be Deceived

TODAY’S VERSE
You say, “I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
Revelation 3:17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to deceive ourselves. Look at the Pharisees. They thought they were doing everything God required of them to be holy and yet Jesus constantly pointed out how far they missed the target of true Holiness. It was that way with the church in Laodicea. In Revelations, it says they were rich and had many things and felt they didn’t need a thing. However, God pointed out to them that they were deceived. In reality, they were spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. What about us? How can avoid becoming deceived? We must spend time with God. We open ourselves to hear His voice, read His word and spend time in introspection. We humble ourselves before God, spend time with Him and listen to His leading. When we do, He will guide us. He will correct us. He will help us discern what we need to change. Today, ask God to make you aware of your spiritual condition. Might we pray what David prayed, “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.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me be honest with myself and with You. Help me see if there is any offensive way in me and then lead me in a more spiritual path. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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My Own Eye

TODAY’S VERSE
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First, get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Matthew 7:3-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I don’t agree with everything Freud wrote. There is, however, one of his observations that I think has some truth to it. Freud wrote about “projection,” the action of pointing out faults in others that we have our self.” Have you ever caught yourself criticizing someone and suddenly realize that you exhibit the same behavior? Jesus warned us about pointing out other people’s faults and ignoring our own. He said not to point out the little failings in other people while we have huge issues to deal with in our own life. He mastered the use of hyperbole with the comparison of a speck in another person’s eye while we have this huge beam in our own. How funny this must have sounded to His audience, yet how true! We so often take offense at other’s shortcomings when we have glaring inconsistencies in our own life. Today, let us examine our self. Let us come before God and ask Him to point out our own “sins” and deal with them before we worry about someone else’s behavior.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for judging others. Help me to bring myself to you and allow Your Holy Spirit to work on my behavior. Lord, make me more like You.
AMEN

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