Category Archives: repentance

Be Free

TODAY’S VERSE

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.  He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

I John 2:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT

There are many different ways to treat our sins. We can blame others for our actions. We can deny that what we have done is wrong. We can project those very things we do onto others. We can choose to ignore our behavior or better yet rationalize why we did what we did. There are other options. We can feel shame. We can feel helpless and get deeply depressed. We can choose to be bitter or give up and say, “It’s no use, that’s the way I am.” But thank God there is yet another way. John shared it with us. He says if we sin, we can come to Christ, who will go to God the Father on our behalf. He is the one who can assure us of forgiveness. He is the one who can comfort us. He is the one who can give us the strength to get up and start over. He is the one who can say to our accuser, “Be gone! Leave my child alone!” Today, if you have something bothering your conscience, if you feel burdened, bring it to Jesus. Confess it to Him and then let Him wash it away. Let Him clean your heart and free your soul. Let Him give you peace and joy that is greater than all of your sins. Hear Him say, “You are forgiven.”
TODAY’S PRAYER

Father, thank you for convicting me of sin. Thank you that when I come to You, confess my sin, the blood of Your son Jesus totally cleanses me. Thank You for your complete forgiveness. Thank You for a new direction and for giving me a fresh start. In Jesus’ name.

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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Don’t Forget

Don’t Forget

TODAY’S VERSE
But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel.
Psalms 106:13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a difference between memory lapse and apathy. We can be sincere about something and forget a few details. However, if we fail to show up, to be involved or care for details over and over again, then our sincerity is in doubt. It can be this way with Christ. It starts out with other things choking out our passion, emotion, or excitement about Christ and then leads into a lack of interest in or concern for things of God. The people of God allowed themselves to forget what God had done in the past. The lessons of faith that they should have incorporated into their lives were never cultivated. It wasn’t long and they began to live as if God didn’t exist at all. What can you do to protect your soul from this spiritual apathy? How can you take deliberate steps in order to preserve your Christian walk? You do it by being disciplined in your spirituality. It is your remembrance of His promises, the recalling the many miracles you have witnessed, the active reading of the scriptures and spending time with God seeking His counsel that will keep you from falling. These spiritual disciplines will protect you when facing temptation. They will be your guide when you have hard decisions to make. May the remembrance of all He has done for you, give you the confidence you need to continue to follow Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to remember all You have done for me so I will seek Your counsel and allow You to guide me as I go through this day. AMEN

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False God

TODAY’S VERSE
“You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Ever since Adam and Eve, mankind has been tempted to think that they could become a “god”. However, David Benner in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” makes a very interesting observation. He points out that in the Garden of Eden, it was not the act of trying to be like God that was a sin. It was the act of thinking they could be like God, without God. Truth is we are commanded to be like Christ. We are to emulate the characteristics of God such as love, mercy, and justice. But we are never told that we can do that without the help of God and His Holy Spirit. David Benner writes, “Adam and Eve wanted to be God without God, a likeness that was based on independence rather than surrender. – What we get when we choose a way of being that is separate from God is the life of the false self. – The false self is the tragic result of trying to steal something from God that we did not have to steal. Had we dared to trust God’s goodness, we would have discovered that everything we could ever most deeply long for would be ours in God. Trying to gain more than the everything God offers, we end up with less than nothing. Rejecting God, we end up with a nest of lies and illusions. Displacing God, we become a god unto our self. We become a false self.” I am so glad Jesus came. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He came so we could know God. It is His truth, His life that enables us to be more like Him. Today, examine yourself. Are you following Christ and letting Him influence who you are, or are you busy creating your own life apart from God?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for all the times I have tried to set myself up as my own God. Today, I ask You to speak to my heart and help me get back on track with You. Guide me in everything I do so I will become the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Spiritual Victory

TODAY’S VERSE
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.
I Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a spiritual reality that we need to be aware of. Peter warns us that we are in a battle and that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The good news is that God has given us everything for the victory. He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us, His word to teach us and His presence to protect us. As a result, we can obey Peter when he tells us to be self-controlled and alert, to resist Satan standing firm in the faith. James tells us that if we “resist the devil”, the devil will flee from us. So, today let us resist the lies of Satan, stand firm in our faith in God and be victorious.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that the Spiritual battle we are in has already been won. Thank You that You have provided all I need for the victory. Help me today to stand firm on Your promises, to be self-controlled and alert and to resist the schemes of Satan.
AMEN

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Receive Him

TODAY’S VERSE
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”
Romans 3:21-25 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How can we be made right with a Holy and perfect God? How could we ever begin to think that we could have a relationship with God Almighty? Paul wrestled with these very issues and then wrote down some very good news. Based on his knowledge of Scriptures and his personal experience, he was led by God to write down a clear explanation of how to be right with God. He writes, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” All of us have missed the mark of God’s standard of perfection so God came up with a plan of substitution. He would offer His own Son, Jesus, the perfect one as our sacrifice. Again Paul writes, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.” God offers us the free gift of salvation, but we must take it. It isn’t good enough to know about it, or have parents who believe it, we must make a cognitive choice to realize our own need and see Jesus as the solution. Paul elaborates, “People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” Personally, accepting Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins is your only hope of forgiveness and personal relationship with God. Today, if you haven’t already, come to God on His terms. Enter a relationship with Him by thanking Him for the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of your sins because of what Jesus did on the cross for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that I have done wrong and am in desperate need of forgiveness. I want to know You personally and become Your child. Thank You for the death of Your son Jesus on the cross for me. Come into my heart and be my ruler. I accept Jesus as the sacrifice for my sins. Thank You for forgiving me and making me Your child. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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