Category Archives: Spirituality

Experiencing His Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night, my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Psalms 16:7, 8 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
There is one prayer that has made all the difference in my life. It is one I pray over and over again. It is a form of discipline, for if I don’t pray this prayer, I will not keep my spiritual vitality. The prayer is simple and yet powerful. It is, “Lord, make me conscious of Your presence.” Being conscious of God’s presence makes all the difference in the world. Because David was conscious of the fact that God was always with him, right beside him, he was not shaken during life’s struggles. Instead, God guided him and instructed his heart at night. How about you and I? What if today we were conscious of God right next to us? What if we knew that He was in the same room we were? What if we sensed that He heard our thoughts and prayers and would answer the questions we have? What if we experienced His comforting presence when we are under pressure? What if we knew He was present to help us when we had that extremely difficult task to do? God is. God is always with us. Let us be conscious of His presence in all that we do today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, thank You for being with me constantly. Please make me aware of Your presence today. Help me to see how relevant You are to my life. Help me really know that You are always with me, in fact, right beside me. Father, open my eyes to see You, my ears to hear You and my heart to sense Your very presence.
AMEN

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Filled With God’s Knowledge

TODAY’S VERSE
We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Being filled with the knowledge of God is crucial to our Christian experience. But how does this happen? How are we filled with the knowledge of God? We gain knowledge as read His word for understanding and quiet ourselves listening to God. Dallas Willard in his book Hearing God shares, “So our union with God – His presence with us, in which our aloneness is banished and the meaning and full purpose of human existence is realized – consists chiefly in a conversational relationship with God while we are each consistently and deeply engaged as His friend and co-laborer in the affairs of the kingdom of Heaven.” This is what Paul is talking about. We listen to God, muse on His word and practice His presence as we go about living for Him. When we do, He will give us wisdom and knowledge, the fruit of good works and all the strength and power we need. Does it get any better than that?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, is it true? Can I really be filled with your knowledge and wisdom? Can my life bear good works? Can I really have Your strength and power in my life? This is what I desire. Please help me, Lord, with the discipline I need to quietly spend time listening to You and reading Your word. Help me experience Your presence. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Near

TODAY’S VERSE
As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
Matthew 10:7,8 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus did the will of His father. He told His disciples to do the same thing. He gives us the same commission. Jesus said it best in John 14:10, 12: “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.” Today you and I have been called to be about the same Father’s business. We have been asked to go to the world and cry out, “The Kingdom of God is near!” We go in His power and do His will. We go in His love and heal the broken-hearted. We go in His provision and give to those in need. He has called us to do greater things. Today, let’s be like Jesus and let the Heavenly Father live and do His work through us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I pray that Your Kingdom would be evident in my life today. Guide me, lead me, show me what You would have me do. Give me the courage and faith to trust You for mighty things and to be obedient to what You ask of me. I pray that I would honor You in all that I do today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Don’t Lose Your Soul

TODAY’S VERSE
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
Matthew 16:26

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus asked a question that has challenged people for centuries. His question has never been more relevant than it is today. He asked, “What will we benefit if we gain the whole world but lose our soul?” Isn’t gaining the whole world what everyone seems to be striving for? Never in the history of man has it been harder to be content. The pressures of this world are amplified through print, television, movies, and internet. The convergence of media and information has escalated the speed of trends, fads, and popularity making us even more susceptible to manipulation. We need to look certain ways, have certain things, go to certain schools, live in certain places. And if we cannot make it, then our children must. The words of Jesus stand in contrast to the media hype. They warn us to stop the madness! Jesus points out the fact that there is so much more in life than just the physical trappings and the praise of men. We have a soul! In this world we live for 70, 80 years or so. Our soul, however, lives forever. This is the beginning of who we really are. God created more than your life, He created your essence. That essence is the real you, it is the soul. It never dies. It is eternal. You don’t want to lose it to the next world. Jesus is an expert on the soul. Study what He has to say. Get to know Him, then live for Him. Jesus asked it. One way or another, you must answer. “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I must admit I have jumped onto a treadmill. I am running and running but not going anywhere. I look for significance, but it is nowhere to be found. I can feel my soul slipping away. Help me today to see myself the way You see me. Help me to see myself as a living, breathing soul that You love and have created. Help me know You in a personal, intimate way. Help me find my true significance in You.
In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Search My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalms 139:23-24 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The Bible says that David “was a man after God’s heart.” What a tribute. Contrary to what we might think, this was not because David was perfect. He knew how easy he could fall into sin. He remembered how God had to wake him up from an immoral stupor through the rebuke of Nathan the Prophet. If anyone could have created the slogan “No perfect people allowed,” it was David. David had to give up the “perception of perfection” in order to renew a close relationship with God. When God convicted David of wrongdoing, David repented, asking God to have mercy on him. In order to stay in a close relationship with God, David decided to allow God to speak to him about his behavior. He prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” How about you? Do you feel far from God? Who moved? What is stopping you from coming back? Is it pride? Is it anger? Is it the false notion that you don’t need to? Let us join David in becoming a person after God’s heart, not through the false ambition of perfection, but through the daily, honest and open relationship with God that allows Him to search us, point out what we are doing wrong and then lead us along the path of following Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to you today and pray what David prayed so long ago, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
AMEN

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No Deal

TODAY’S VERSE
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When it comes to seeking God’s will, we often fall into the role of Monty Hall on the old TV game show, “Let’s Make a Deal.” Larry Crabb in his book The Pressures Off shares how we try to negotiate the Lord’s will. He writes, “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 blessing over the “better hope” of God’s presence.” His advice was, “Seek only the blessing of His presence, and you’ll know what to do.” David says that the secret to God’s will is to trust in Him with all our heart and to seek His will in all we do. When we do, David says that God will show us what to do. Larry Crabb in his book The PAPA Prayer writes, “Know God so well that the deepest desire of His heart actually becomes the deepest desire of ours. That frees us to ask God for what we really want with the confidence that He’ll move heaven and earth to grant our requests because what we want now matches what He wants.” We don’t need to make a deal with God. We don’t need to try to balance a scale to get our way. We need to know Him. We need to spend time in His presence. As we do, He will direct us, He will guide our path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess, I have sought Your blessings more than I have sought You. I have spent time seeking Your blessing more than Your presence. Lord, I want to know You. I want to seek You with all my heart. Please show me how. Please draw me to Yourself through the power and love of Your Holy Spirit. Dear God, take my life, take my mind, take my will. I want only You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Be Like Elijah

TODAY’S VERSE
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
James 5:17-18

TODAY’S COMMENT
I love the way James starts his example of Elijah and his miraculous prayer life. He says, “Elijah was a man just like us.” No wonder we feel pressure to be a super saint. You know, go to church with the halo just right and “S” on our chest. But that was not the point James was trying to make. James was really saying, “There are no perfect people needed to get God’s work done!” I am sure that the image of Elijah that James had in his mind wasn’t just the praying for rain to stop and start again; not just the fire coming from heaven to consume the altar; not just the flour and oil continuing to be supplied to the widow and her son; nor was it just the image of Elijah asking God to raise the widow’s son from the dead. I am sure that James also remembered the fact that Elijah was afraid of Jezebel’s threat to kill him and he ran, fleeing for his life. He knew that Elijah became exhausted and sat down under a tree and prayed that he would die. James knew that Elijah was a person just like you and I. Elijah had emotions that could lead to despair. He had depression, doubt, and fear. Like us, Elijah exercised doubt and faith; fear and courage, advance and defeat. But James also saw God work through Elijah’s life and prayers. God used Elijah even with his imperfections. God can do the same for you and I. We do not have to be perfect. We do not have to pretend to be something we are not. We can be like Elijah, real with God about our deepest feelings and fears. God will meet us where we are and give us the strength to live for Him. Be real with God today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you for the example of Elijah. What a wonderful testimony of Your grace. How You took this person who could be so courageous one moment and so afraid the next and used him for Your glory. Father, use my life. I give it to You in all its complexity and contradictions. Thank You that I do not have to be perfect, just available. Use me for Your glory, I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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