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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Truth

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.
Ephesians 6:13-14 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is interesting that when God chose to warn us about Spiritual Warfare and described the armor of God, the first piece He told us of was the “belt of truth.” Truth is crucial to have spiritual victory. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” More and more information is being dumped on us all the time. It is impossible to keep up with all the new information. If not careful we will become spectators of the truth. We will choose truth without a real allegiance. We will lose the reverence for truth. Worse, albeit subtle, we will believe two opposites are true at the same time. So when I am in church, I will sing like I truly believe (And I may truly believe) but on Monday I live at work as if God never existed at all. I deny Christ as any authority in my life. Today we must recommit ourselves to the truth. We must dig into the word of God, ask God to speak to us and hold on to the truth as if our lives depended on it. Let us put on the armor of God and stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around our waist.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know I am in a spiritual battle and need to know, believe and live the truth. Help guide me to be strong in Your mighty truth as I pray, meditate and follow Your lead.
AMEN

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God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.”
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our God is the God of second chances and more. Here is Peter coming to Jesus. He asks what he thinks is a very serious question. “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Peter was going out on a limb. Seven times is a lot of forgiveness. But Jesus responded in a way only God could. He said to Peter, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Forgiving someone seven times is incredible but the grace of God is so much more than we can comprehend. Peter heard about it that day but later he experienced it. Three times Peter denied Christ and he was forgiven. Three times Jesus had to tell Peter to “feed my sheep” until Peter fully understood his mission. Finally, in the book of Acts, three times God had to show Peter the vision of a blanket with non-kosher food on it, telling him to go ahead and eat the food. This was illustrating to Peter that God loved the gentiles and that Peter was to go and share the gospel with them. God was patient with Peter. How has He been patient with you? What has He forgiven you of? Where has God exercised grace in your life? Today, appreciate the extraordinary grace of God in your life. Truly He is the God of grace a God of many chances.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace. How patient You are with me. How forgiving You are. How wonderful has Your love and mercy been to me. Thank You for forgiving me more than seven times seventy.
AMEN

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The Grace, Love, and Fellowship of God

TODAY’S VERSE
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
II Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship with our Holy God’s Spirit. Does it get any better than this? The three keys to life, all found in our Christian experience. The grace of Jesus Christ. Grace, the ability of Christ to see us as we really are and because of His death on the cross, be able to extend unmerited favor upon us, forgiving us, cleansing us and making us whole. The love of God the Father. Love from the one who is love. Perfect love. Unconditional love. Unfathomable love. Unending love. The fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The comforter has come and He brings a fellowship sweeter than life itself. A deep relationship, teaching us of truth, judgment, and righteousness. A fellowship that results in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He guides us, protects us, comforts us, teaches us and leads us. Today you can avail yourself of all of this. This is the normal Christian experience that God desires you to have. Today, ask Him to make you keenly aware of the grace of Christ, the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to make it real, deep in your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me see and really understand, deep in my heart, what it means to be filled with the grace of Jesus, the love of the Father, and the fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I desire to know this in all its fullness. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Where Are You Walking?

TODAY’S VERSE
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. — For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:1-2, 10

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Not all walking is the same. There is a stroll down the beach on a beautiful sunny day. Is there anything better than hearing the waves slap the shore, the sounds of birds above and feeling the warm sun on your face? How about a hike down a mountain path? Beautiful horizons, breathtaking waterfalls, and exotic foliage as you walk back to the valley below. But then there is the walk from the car into the hospital after you have received news of a loved one who has been admitted. Or the terrifying walk into a courtroom as you face a legal battle. Or how about a walk looking for somewhere warm to sleep when you are homeless, living out in the streets. Not all walks are the same. Paul is writing about the contrast in two different types of walk. The first walk Paul talks about is a death walk. Walking through each day spiritually dead because of our own disobedience and sins, obeying the devil the commander of this world. The second walk Paul talks about is the walk of purpose and meaning. Paul writes that this is living as if we really believed we are the personal workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works. This is walking through life with a meaning, a purpose and a mission greater than ourselves. Where are you walking? You have a choice. You don’t have to go down the walk of death. Today, choose life. Choose to follow Christ and walk with Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me walk with You. You know the times I have wandered down dead-end streets and alleys and ended up spiritually bankrupt. Help me walk today in the kind of life You created me for. I choose to follow You.
AMEN

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What Are You Thinking?

TODAY’S VERSE
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What are you thinking? What we think about is what really shapes us. Paul wrote about our inner dialog. In today’s passage, he tells us to focus our thoughts on those thoughts that true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Paul also tells us to do battle with those feelings, thoughts and core beliefs that are contrary to God and His word. He writes, “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.” Today, slow down and listen to what you are really thinking. Listen to your inner voice, your feelings, and self-talk. This is where the battle for who we really are is won or lost. As attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, motives or predictions are discovered, check to see if they align up to Biblical standards. If not, talk to God about it. Confess and renounce those thoughts, making them obedient to Christ. Today, ask God to change you from the inside out.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, please expose my hidden self to me so I can apply Your word to my thinking and be the person You want me to be.
AMEN

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Focus

TODAY’S VERSE
Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How serious are you about Jesus Christ? How committed are you to living the kind of life He asks you to? It is easy to “talk” about following Jesus but living for Him is another story. He hasn’t asked us to join a club. We were never asked to just become a “member.” Following Jesus is not a hobby or spectator sport. Rather, Christ asks us to be His disciple. We are called to be a disciple with a mission to spread His word and love to everyone we can. The author of Hebrews illustrates this with the metaphor of an athlete. He writes that we have to strip ourselves of those things that prevent us from running our race. And when we run we must run it with endurance. But what really makes the difference, what really motivates us to keep our course, is focus. We focus on the love of Jesus. The love He has for us and the love we have for Him. He was the one who started us on this journey and He will see us through. Rick Renner, in his book, “365 Days of Power” shares a confession of dedication. Today make this your confession. “I declare by faith that I am more deeply in love with Jesus Christ today than at any previous moment in my life. My affection for Him is so deep that I will never turn back to the life from which I’ve been delivered. I have no relational obligations greater than the sense of obligation that I feel for Jesus Christ. He saved me, redeemed me, delivered me, and changed me—and I vow to serve Him for the rest of my life! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You have heard my confession. I thank You for the call You have on my life. Help me today, to focus on You and the mission of love You have me on. Loosen everything from me that prohibits me from living the way You want me to. Help me run the race You have put me in, with endurance, keeping my eyes on You.
AMEN

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Scriptural Inspiration For Your Daily Journey