Category Archives: Thankfulness

He Knows My Name

TODAY’S VERSE
I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Isaiah 49:15-16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I am deeply moved every time I sing the worship song, “He Knows My Name.” It makes me think of today’s verse. The Israelites doubted the love of God, so Isaiah reminded them that even if a mother forgets her child, God will never forget them. Isaiah writes that our Lord has written our name on the palms of His hands. God knows my name? I am overwhelmed by the thought. How personal, how loving, how intimate. And yet I can’t help but wonder, “What else does God know about me?” He knows my situation. He knows my struggles. He knows my limitations. My fear and anxiety are no surprise to Him. He knows my anger and frustrations. He knows my weaknesses. He knows and loves me, but do I know Him? Do I? Do I know His name? Do I know Him as the God Most High, the God who sees, the all-sufficient One, the provider, and the Lord who heals? Do I know Him as my banner and my peace? Do I know Him as my creator, shepherd, and my righteousness? Today, take joy in knowing that the God above all other names knows yours.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for knowing and loving me. Thank You for knowing my name and caring so deeply for me. Help me know and love You more.
AMEN

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Empty Tomb

TODAY’S VERSE
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body.
Mark 16:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How you come to the tomb of Christ makes all the difference. Three days had passed since the death of Christ, and some of the women thought of anointing the body of Jesus. For whatever reason, they were not expecting Jesus to have risen from the dead. And neither were the disciples. How do we come to the tomb of Jesus? We come Sundays to church with our “spices” of worship, praising Him for His sacrificial death for us. But is that as far as we go? Is it possible that we come celebrating His death for our sins while forgetting His Resurrection for our life? Do we come to the tomb looking to anoint His body, forgetting that He has risen from the dead? We do, when we worship His sacrifice but deny His power. Paul wrote to the Ephesians about this very thing. He wrote, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Today, ask God to add to your worship experience the deep understanding of God’s incredible power, the power of the empty tomb.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, so many times I come to You as if You were still dead in the tomb. Yes, I believe in Your death and the sacrifice for my sins, but I so often forget the power of the resurrection in my life. Help me, Lord. Open my eyes that I may see You in all Your resurrection power.
AMEN

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Come Boldy To God

TODAY’S VERSE
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What an image. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.” I’ve seen people come boldly before. Boldly to receive an award. Boldly to receive their pay. Boldly to stand in front of a cheering crowd. But boldly to receive mercy? How ironic. I would think we would be called upon to be sheepish, reluctant, a posture of deep humility. Boldly before an Almighty God? Did I say, “Almighty”? Yes, but notice that the author of Hebrews said, “Gracious God.” And therein lies the beautiful mystery. Our God is Almighty enough to create a plan so He could be gracious and not contradict His own nature. It is Jesus, who died for our sins, that is now our High Priest, offering Himself as a sin offering for us. And we, we who are undeserving, sacrilegious, ungrateful, and guilty of sin, can now come boldly to His throne and receive His mercy and grace when we need it the most. Today, as humbling as it is, let us come boldly to His throne and receive His wonderful, loving mercy and grace. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, most gracious God and loving Savior. I come today boldly to receive Your mercy and grace. Thank You for loving me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Do You Hear?

TODAY’S VERSE
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Isaiah 40:28-29 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God was frustrated with His people. They had wandered far from Him. They would not listen to God, so He sent His prophet Isaiah to ask the people, “Have you never heard? Have you never understood?” We would do well to ask ourselves these same questions whenever we read God’s word. We get so busy, so inwardly focused, that even when we read His word, we do not hear. We do not understand. We don’t begin to fathom the ramifications of the tremendous promises He gives us. In today’s passage, God wanted to emphasize His patience, love, strength, and commitment toward those in need. The prophet writes, “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Unlike the Israelites, did you hear it? Did you understand? God is GOD! And God never grows weary of you. He wants to love and help you. He is never weak, not for a second! He fully understands where you are and wants to give you all the strength you will ever need to face the situation you are in. Today, might we hear His voice and understand His great love for us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father God, help me to hear You. Help me to understand the depths of Your love. Help me know Your truth. Guide me by Your Holy Spirit, I pray.
AMEN

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Christ’s Peace

TODAY’S VERSE
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love how the peace of Christ and thankfulness go together. Heartache, suffering, disappointment causes much pain. Paul knew this from being in prison, shipwrecked, starving, stoned, left for dead, and being hunted down like a criminal. And yet, through the peace of knowing Christ, Paul was able to give thanks. And why did giving thanks matter? Because giving thanks is the key to returning to joy from painful emotions and circumstances. It is handing over the steering wheel to someone else more capable than driving when we are under so much duress. And so today, give it all to Christ. Come to Him who can provide you with peace even when thanksgiving seems so far away. His peace will comfort. His peace will sustain. His peace will return you to joy and a thankful heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, it is hard to give thanks in all things. I need Your peace, that passes all understanding, to rule in my heart. Come in the power of Your Holy Spirit and fill me where I cannot fill myself. In Jesus Name, I give you thanks.
AMEN

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Never Give Up

TODAY’S VERSE
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.
Luke 18:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever had your back against the wall? There was a period in my life when I thought I would never get out of the horrible situation I was in. Emotionally, I was a mess. Financially, it was much worst. We had lost everything, and I could not find a job that paid what I needed. I had a wife and three boys, and it was everything I could do to put one foot in front of the other. But then there was God. I prayed while I waited for a way out. I would cry in despair when there was no answer and then pray again. How often, over the years it took to dig out, did I read today’s passage? Every time I did, I would pray and fight the feeling of giving up over and over again. I read where Jesus said, “Knock and keep knocking, ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking.” So I would pray some more. As life went on, some days better than others, there was one thing I knew. God had not forsaken me. His love was sufficient even in the worst of times. God never promised me wealth, a sublime life, but He did promise He would never leave me. I kept thinking of His life, walking from town to town, nowhere to lay His head, all the way to the cross. And He did it so I could pray to Him. He did it for you, too. I know many who are reading this are going through horrible struggles, perplexed and hurt. Today know this. Jesus was purposeful in what He said. He wanted us to know this one thing, pray and never give up.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, it is so hard sometimes. I just want to give up, but You said to pray and never give up. So, Lord, I will get up, I will show up, I will pray up, and I will never give up. Help me make it so. In Your name, dear Lord.
AMEN

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Perfect peace

TODAY’S VERSE
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every day is a new day. It is a do-over. That means that today you can choose to move toward peace. You do this by trusting God, trusting that no matter how you feel, no matter what the circumstances that God can still give you peace. He promises. Now peace may not take away the problems you are facing. Peace may not change any consequences you have or change the events of the past. But the peace that God offers passes our understanding. It keeps our hearts and mind. It supersedes our circumstances. It brings hope where there seems to be no hope. Today, come to God, fix your thoughts on Him, trust Him, and He will fill your heart with peace.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, you know my heart. You know my circumstances. You know my needs. I come to You today and am fixing my thoughts on You. I ask for Your peace to fill my heart and mind. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
AMEN

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Unfailing Love

TODAY’S VERSE
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD. The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
Psalms 25:7-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How merciful God is. He could look at our behavior and condemn us. He could read our minds and reject us. He could exact a thousand different punishments for all that we have done. Instead, He has chosen to see us through the eyes of His unfailing love. It is so hard to imagine what that means. It is so foreign to the way we operate. We hold grudges, seek revenge, or at least try to get even. But not God. He does not give up on us. He sees us desperately in need of His grace. And even when we are unlovely, thoroughly lost because of our willful disobedience, He shows us the way back. What makes this so tragic is that we don’t believe it. We still think we need to wear the mask of our false self. You know, the self that thinks it earns God’s approval. The self that tries to please God through vain attempts at righteousness. Today throw the mask away. You don’t need it. God sees you through His unfailing love, and He loves what He sees. Today accept His love and let Him direct your path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your unfailing love. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for showing me the proper path to go on when I go astray. Guide me and direct me today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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God Loves Me

TODAY’S VERSE
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
I John 4:10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is one thing to “say” you love someone. It is another to really love them. The real language of love is not found in some poetic phrases. The language of love is in our actions. Love needs to be a verb. So when I say, “God loves you!” I am referring to much more than some simple sentiment. I am referring to the fact that you are important to God. You are special to Him. Paul shares that “God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” When we are at our worst, when we are farthest from Him, His love for us is still there. God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sinfulness, so we could have a legitimate relationship with Him. So we could experience His love and begin to express our love back to Him. Have you received His love? Have you made it personal? If not, acknowledge the fact that He loves you today. Thank Him for providing a way for you to come before His Holiness, cleansed, forgiven, and as His child. Jesus said it best, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, God gave the right to become children of God.” Christmas is a special time when we reflect on the fact that Christ came to earth to sacrifice Himself for us. If you believe that He died on the cross for you, then receive His death as a substitute for you by acknowledging it as a fact and thanking Him for it today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have heard the words, “God loves me” before. Today I want to make it personal. I want You to know how thankful I am that You sent Jesus to be my substitute, so I could come before You, holy and blameless. So that I could be “born again” as Your child. Today, I receive these words into my heart, “God loves me!” Help me to really understand it and all the joy that it brings. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

The Christ who came to earth in the form of a baby became a man who became our Savior. May you truly know the love of God this Christmas day.

Merry Christmas
Ronald Ovitt

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Understanding His Love

TODAY’S VERSE
May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ.
Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Trying to experience the love of God is like trying to experience the ocean or a beautiful mountain vista. You can hear about it, see beautiful pictures, but nothing can replace being there first hand. Even then, it is impossible to take in all of the beauty and meaning in one visit. It takes time and experience to appreciate the magnitude and majesty of God’s nature. How much more to truly understand God Himself and His great love for us? This experiential knowledge only comes with time spent in His presence, experiencing His love first hand. As we come to God humbling ourselves and admitting our needs, He comes to us with His love and grace. It is spending time with God with openness, trust, and faith that allows us to truly experience and understand the greatness of His love. Today, may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You admitting that I need more understanding of Your love for me. Help me to experience it deep in my heart. Help me live in the full awareness of the love and grace You have for me.
AMEN

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