Category Archives: Restoration

A Way Of Escape

TODAY’S VERSE
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
I Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How subtle sin can be. We begin to wander from the things of God, and soon our life starts to take a different course. Most people that end in some sort of addiction or negative situation never intended to get there. They didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I will go down a road that will ruin my life.” No, it was small little navigations that got them to the foreign shore. Likewise, in the life of a Christian, we don’t wake up one day and say, “I will be far from God.” It starts with missed opportunities of fellowship, lack of discipline in prayer, Bible study and mediation, weekdays between church services without Christian influence. Little by little, we become more and more like the world around us and trade our Christian experience for a mask we wear on Sunday. What can we do? Thank God for the reality of what Paul shares in today’s passage. Paul reminds us that the temptations that you and I face every day are the same as everyone else’s, but God is faithful and will show us a way out. On every descent away from God, there is a window of sanity. There is an opportunity to repent, to turn around, to come back to God. The prodigal son found it. Peter found it. God enables us to “come to our self,” to come to our senses, and He does provide a way out. Today, if you find yourself far from where God wants you, ask yourself, “Who moved?” God didn’t. He loves you; turn around, there is a way of escape.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, it is so easy to wander from You. Forgive me. Help me to escape today from all that entraps me. Help me break away from all that has taken my heart from You. I come to You now, dear Lord. I want to follow You.
AMEN

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Making Sense

TODAY’S VERSE
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
Luke 15:17-20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
“When he came to his senses.” It’s that quick. You can be struggling for years, and then there is a moment of clarity, an “aha” moment, a spiritual awakening. Like the tumblers of a lock falling in place, your mind is clear, and the truth is opened right before your eyes. It is a God moment. A combination of awareness, conviction, holy discontent, and a sensation that “now is the time.” The scales have tipped. There is more to gain from changing than staying the same. The prodigal son saw that there was more to gain from going home than staying in the pigpen. How about us? When is it going to make more sense to fellowship with God than the world? When will we understand that there is much more satisfaction in following Christ’s plan for our life than our own? When will we believe that He does love us unconditionally and that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less? These are the realizations that change a life. Have you made them yet?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, today I have come to my senses and realize the love You have for me. I choose to live for You and surrender all that I have for Your use. You are the Lord God Almighty, and I have come to realize that living for You makes all the sense in the world. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Soften Your Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns.”
Jeremiah 4:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried planting vegetables in a patch of weeds? I did once, and it was a disaster. Instead of breaking up the soil and getting rid of the weeds, I had heard that laying plastic down and cutting a slit for the seeds was easier. It made sense to me. So I planted the seeds and thought the plastic would stop the weeds. Perhaps that would have been true if I used black plastic. But I used clear! Hello! Without knowing it, I created a greenhouse for weeds! So much for my shortcut. Barely a vegetable survived. How much better had I plowed the row, planted the seeds, and then systematically take out the weeds? This is what God wants us to do with our hearts. We are to take our spiritually hardened hearts and break up the soil. We do this by letting God’s word humble us, teach us, correct us, and guide us. Through His Spirit, God takes out the weeds that have grown in our hearts. When we allow this, God then replaces the weeds with the fruit of the Spirit. Is your heart hardened toward the things of God? Soften it today through prayer, a humble attitude, and His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You my heart. I ask You to break up the hardened ground and pull out all the weeds. Take the seeds of your word and create the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
AMEN

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Strength Of My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalms 73:26 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Asaph, the author of this Psalm, was a bitter man. He was envious of the wealthy and upset at his demise. He was consumed at what he thought was unfair about life. But then he came to his senses. He writes, “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant”. How many have we times have we felt the same way? But who says life is fair?” Where in the Bible does it say everything in life is going to be grand? Where does it say that we will be spared from pain and heartache? Fortunately, Asaph awoke from his bitterness with the realization of what really mattered. He wrote, “Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.” Asaph realized what was the most important thing in life. He said it all in today’s passage, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” It is the strength of the heart that comes from knowing God that matters. Paul said it this way, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Our circumstances may crumble, our bodies fail, our enthusiasm all but gone, yet God will never, never, never leave us or forsake us. The strength of our heart from His abiding presence will remain with us forever.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to truly understand what it is to have You as the strength of my heart. Help me treasure Your relationship above all else. Thank You for loving me and being my strength forever.
AMEN

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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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Restore Me

TODAY’S VERSE
Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
Psalms 80:3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Children of Israel had abandoned God. They turned their back on God and began to worship Idols. God was angry at their betrayal. But a few of the people cried out to God. They repented and pleaded with God for mercy. Three times in this Psalm the author cries, “Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” And God did. He has done the same for me. How many times have I turned my back on God with unbelief, doubt, fear and even apathy? How many times have I wandered far from God, pursuing other objects of affection, ignoring the love He has for me? And yet, God loved me when I was farthest from Him? I snarled at His hand of affection, yet He reached down to me again. Likewise, God hears your cries. He is waiting for you to call out to Him. He loves to answer the prayer of repentance. Might your prayer be today, “Turn me again to Yourself, Oh God; make Your face shine upon me that I might be saved.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, restore my soul to You. Forgive me for the times I have wandered far away from You and have mercy upon me today. Shine Your face upon me that I might sense Your love, mercy, and forgiveness. Lead me back to You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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