Category Archives: understanding

Harmony

TODAY’S VERSE
So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
Romans 14:19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You would think that the church would be a place where each person is building the other up, but it’s not always the case. We can hurt each other, just like any other social group. Apathy, jealousy, gossip, anger, and bitterness often run rampant in the church. That is why Paul said to “aim” for harmony and to “try” to build each other up. We do that by submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we do, the Holy Spirit produces in us His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This enables us to build each other up in ways that will result in harmony. So today, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, mold you, and use you and let us aim for harmony and begin to build each other up.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Spirit, I invite You to produce Your fruit in my life. I want to live in harmony with others and help build them up. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Listen To God

TODAY’S VERSE
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to hear someone and not listen to a word they are saying. We get so engrossed into what we are doing that we half listen. How many times are we that way with God? We get up in the morning and barely say, “Hi” to Jesus and then bust out the door. We may spend some time reading and offering up prayer requests, but do we listen to God? God wants a relationship; He desires to communicate with us. He has answers to questions like, “Lord, what do You want to say to me?” “Jesus, what do you want me to do today?” There is a whole new spiritual experience waiting for us if we just stop to listen. Today, spend time with God, and your ears too will hear a word, a word from God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I need a word from You. Help me today to stop and listen. I come and say with Samuel, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
AMEN

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What Do You See?

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you see? A lot of it depends on what you are looking through. Each of us comes to the Scriptures with different lenses. We see through our experiences, beliefs, senses, and personality. So although scripture is true, we may have a skewed view of it. For example, in today’s verse, what do you believe? When you close your eyes, do you see God as a mighty one who will save you? Or do you have some doubts as to His ability or desire? Do you see God as rejoicing over you with gladness? Is He exulting over you with loud singing? Is He ecstatic in His love for you? Or do you have a hard time feeling like a recipient of that kind of attention from God? Finally, can you picture God quieting you with His love? Does the very thought of God bring peace to your heart? God’s word is true, but unless you read it and challenge your emotional thinking, you will not align your real beliefs with God’s. Today, ask God to help make His word clear to you and start to see what He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, as I read Your word, help me to see what You really want me to see and to believe it with all of my heart. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Thoughts

TODAY’S VERSE
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The battle is in our minds. Truth versus lies. False assumptions verses God’s promises. Negative predictions versus faith. Roots of bitterness, jealously, fear, and shame versus the mind of Christ. And though all these strongholds can be overcome by God’s power, how much better if we never let negative thinking get that far. We can if we follow Paul’s advice. He asks us to “demolish arguments and every pretense that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” A stronghold begins with a simple negative thought. Then, instead of renouncing it, we make a subtle agreement with it. “God doesn’t care.” “I can’t do it.” We start to generalize using words like “never, always, and every.” Oh, not a stronghold yet, but if we don’t disagree with the thought, what are we really doing? Soon we begin to ruminate and start to build on the negativity. Before you know it, we have created a full-blown story. We have “set ourselves up against the knowledge of God.” God wants us to renounce and correct negative unbiblical thinking. Today, commit your mind to God. Let His Holy Spirit work with your thinking and bring it into alignment with His word.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your presence in my life. I commit my thinking to you. Holy Spirit rule in my mind. Help me know and believe Your truth so I can make all my thoughts obedient to Christ.
AMEN

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Thanks

TODAY’S VERSE
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalms 100:4 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easier to give thanks to God when everything is going well than it is when we have conflict and trouble in our life. When there is sickness, discouragement, failure, misunderstandings; when all seems to be lost, how can we give thanks? From a human viewpoint, we experience anxiety, depression or despair. However, knowing Jesus we are blessed with a Heavenly vantage. Paul says it this way, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Paul saw through the filter of God’s power, grace, mercy, peace, and love. The Psalmist invites us to have an ever-present attitude of praise. He said to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. And so today, with all there is to worry about, with all your needs, frustrations and concerns, turn to God. And as you do, give Him thanks and praise because He cares for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You thanks for who You are. I give You thanks for Your grace, mercy, peace, and love in my life. I give You thanks for making me Your child and promising to never leave me or forsake me. I praise You and thank You in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Fully Persuaded

TODAY’S VERSE
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:20-21 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Being fully persuaded makes all the difference in the world. Our faith is only as good as our belief in the object of our faith. If we don’t have a relationship with God, how are we going to really trust Him? How are we going to be fully persuaded that He can do the things He promised? A second-hand faith passed down from your parents won’t do. A nominal, Sunday only, Christianity will not produce the evidence you need to put your trust in God. Abraham was fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He said because He knew who God was. You can have that kind of relationship with God. He invites you to know Him. He has provided the Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you into a deep relationship with the Father. Start today, by committing yourself to a process of knowing God better. Begin to pray for specific requests and watch as God answers them. As He does, you will learn about His character, His desires, His will. It is this experiential knowledge that teaches you that God has the power to do what He has promised. This will cause you to pray for more mighty acts of God with more faith. Little by little as God reveals Himself you too will become fully persuaded.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, help me step out in faith today. As I trust You and You reveal Your power and Your majesty to me, help me to trust You more. Build faith in me until I am fully persuaded that You have the power to do all that You have promised. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN
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Help Me Know The Truth

TODAY’S VERSE
Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
Psalms 119:29

TODAY’S THOUGHT
As humans, we are separated from other creatures in the fact that we are cognitive. We have thoughts. Therein lays our problem. Just because we have a thought, doesn’t mean it is true. Our thoughts can be influenced, manipulated or misled. We can be sincere in our thoughts but be sincerely wrong. David prays that God would keep him from lying to himself. We need the same prayer. Jesus said that Satan is a deceiver and a liar. It is his purpose to trip us up through a web of deceit. I am sorry to say, but I often don’t need any help from Satan. I do fine with deceiving my own self. So many negative and pessimistic thoughts. Negative things I believe about myself, about others, about life and even God! Instead, I need to ask God for discernment and wisdom in knowing and living the truth. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” As we seek the truth of every situation we are in, God will lead us. How about you? Are you living in the truth or have you set yourself up with a web of deceit? Confess it to God. Repent and choose to live in the truth. When you do, He will set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, you know how easy it is for me to be deceived. You know how easily I deceive myself. Please help me today. Help me discern the truth and then live it out in my life.
AMEN

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An Authentic Life

TODAY’S VERSE
You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God.
I Peter 2: 9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God cares about the way we live. Why? Because of the evidence that others see about God. Many people will never read the Bible but they will read our lives. They may not hear about the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, but they will know the Gospel according to you! You see, Peter wrote that you are part of a chosen people. You are a Royal Priest of Almighty God. You are part of a Holy Nation. Because of this, you have the privilege and the responsibility, to represent your King. You are to show others the goodness of God by the way you live. It is your life that silences the skeptics that would bring dishonor to God. So, do you have to be perfect? If so, does this mean that you make a mask and fake your good behavior? No, people are not looking for pretense or phoniness. They want to see an honest, real and authentic life. A life where you admit when you are wrong. Where you fall, but get up and try again. Where your faith is weak but you surrender to the love of God anyways. God chose you. Now it is your turn. Choose to live for Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for choosing me. Thank You for making me a Royal Priest, a chosen person, part of a Holy nation. Help me to live accordingly. I cannot do it by myself. I need Your help, help me I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Wisdom and Understanding

TODAY’S VERSE
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Colossians 1:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What an exciting prospect. Paul was asking God to fill the Colossians with the “knowledge of His will”. But it wasn’t some instantaneous filling. It wasn’t an “insight” pulled out of thin air. Paul said that the knowledge of God’s will was the result of spiritual wisdom and understanding. What do you wonder about? What about your future has you stymied? What direction are you in need of? You could ask God to simply give you His will, but according to this passage you really need to ask God to impart to you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Why? Because God’s will is not that simple. Most times it is not a single answer that we need. Rather it is a series of answers. “Go this way” will not suffice. It is more like a long distant trip. You have to navigate across many highways making many decisions about direction along the way. God’s wisdom and understanding give us the ability to discern each step. Today ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will by giving you all the spiritual wisdom and understanding you need. You can begin to pursue that wisdom and understanding through, prayer, meditation and studying the word of God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father thank You that You can make Your will abundantly clear to me through spiritual wisdom and understanding. Help me today as I meditate, pray and read Your word to get all the wisdom and understanding that I need.
AMEN

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Understanding His Love For Me

TODAY’S VERSE
May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
II Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Because of our need to be loved and the shortage of love we so desperately need, we often lead our hearts in places that will never bring satisfaction. We are like the song suggests, “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Instead, Paul suggests that we let the Lord lead our heart. When we trust God with our heart, He will lead us where we will find everything we need for lasting joy and peace. That is why Paul is praying that God will lead our heart into a full understanding of the love of God. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how our life would change if we really understood how much God loved us? Paul did. He is praying that God would lead our hearts into an experiential understanding of the love of God that results in a full “expression” of His love and patient endurance. Do we want to live a life of love? Do we want to have the peace that comes from patient endurance? If so, pray with Paul that God will lead your heart into a full understanding of His love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, lead my heart today to a better understanding of how much You love me. I pray that my life will exemplify Your love and the patient endurance that comes from being secure in You.
AMEN

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