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Archive for the ‘understanding’ Category

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
Every 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, 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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TODAY’S VERSE
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God has a vested interest in our maturity. He has saved us from the penalty of our sins and has set us apart for His service. He in involved in our life, protecting, encouraging, teaching and guiding us. He has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to prepare us for His service with the ultimate goal of becoming “mature, attaining the fullness of Christ”. But will we follow? Will we listen? Will we do what it takes to mature in Christ? In his book, “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You”, Dr. James Wilder suggests that we have a role to play in our maturity in Christ. He writes, “Now the job of maturity is quite another matter. While God is certainly instrumental in guiding and blessing our maturation, it is our job, bestowed upon us way back in the garden, to mature. Maturity is not a spiritual gift nor is it a by-product of salvation. It is something we as Christians must work on our entire lives.” So what are you doing to mature in Christ? Are you feeding your soul on the word of God? Are you learning from teachers and preachers? Are you in fellowship with other Christians who hold you accountable for your growth in Christ? Are you spending time with God in prayer and meditation? Today, take some steps to mature in your spiritual life with Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me mature in You. Help me seek You more, know You more and love You more. Help me today, and everyday, to do something that will help me mature in You.
AMEN

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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 the 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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TODAY’S VERSE
So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. 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
Do you desire to live a way that will always honor and please God? Do you want to produce every kind of good fruit with your life? These are high and lofty goals that Paul wrote for the church. These are goals that you and I need for our lives. But how? How do we achieve such spirituality? We do what Paul did. We pray and we don’t stop praying that God would give us a complete knowledge of His will and that we would know God better and better as we gain in spiritual wisdom and understanding. It is through knowing God in this deep and intimate way that we will live the life He desires for us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, please give me a more complete knowledge of Your will for my life so I can live for you better and better. It is my desire to live a life that will always honor and please You, so I ask that You will give a more complete knowledge of Your will and help me gain in spiritual wisdom and understanding.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me.
Psalms 57:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I have a purpose? Is my life significant?” You see the vastness of the universe and wonder, “Can I really matter that much?” The answer to the questions above is a resounding, “Yes!” You do matter, you have a purpose and you are very significant. Like the Psalmist, when we feel overwhelmed, when we doubt whether we matter or not, we can cry out to God, the same God who said that He will fulfill His purpose for you. Did you get that? God has a purpose for you and He will fulfill it. And God is committed to do whatever it takes to fulfill that purpose, even if it means sending help from Heaven itself to help you. So today rejoice in your significance. God loves you. He will fulfill His purpose for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for creating me for a purpose. I pray that You will give me the wisdom to know that purpose and the courage to live it out. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Are you aware that God has given you certain passions and abilities to use for His glory? God has given every believer at least one spiritual gift for doing His will in this world. And then His Holy Spirit nudges you to use it through a strong desire to serve Him in a way that seems to make sense for you. Paul gives examples like serving, teaching, giving and leadership. So, if different people all see a need, like helping the homeless in the community, He could motivate one to serve food at a shelter, another to teach at a job readiness class, another to give of their income to provide for the needed shelter and yet another to lead a church to get involved. Each person reacted to the same problem through the way God motivated them, using the gifts he blessed them with. Today, ask God to reveal to you the different ways you could
serve Him. He has given you spiritual gifts and will show you when and where to use them.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You have given me spiritual gifts. Help me learn everything I can about them and help me use them for your glory.
AMEN

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TODAY’S VERSE
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.
Ephesians 5:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We spend so much of our life looking for a cause to believe in. Something that we can excel in by using our gifts and passions. Something that will give our life significance. And yet, as we search for that certain mission, the answer lays right before us. Paul writes, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.” What better cause is there? What could give us so many options and allow us to use our own giftedness and passion? What could possibly give more significance to our life than loving the way Christ did? There are so many people that need love. There are so many people that your presence in their life would make all the difference in the world. Paul said it this way in I Corinthians 13. “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” Today, ask God to help you love those that He leads you to.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me live a life filled with love. Thank You for Jesus who loves me so much. Might I follow His example in loving others.
AMEN

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