Are You Using Your Spiritual Gift?

TODAY’S VERSE
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6-8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Can a carpenter build a house without tools? Can a farmer plant a field without seed? Can a professional athlete compete without the necessary skills? Why is it we feel we can serve God to our fullest, do all that He has for us to do, see mighty deeds done in His name if we do not use the spiritual gifts He has given us? Look at the church today. What’s missing? Is there healing, miracles, a sense of God speaking to us? Is there great faith, Godly knowledge or wisdom? Are we seeing great and mighty things done in the name of Jesus? Is injustice stopped, the sick healed, the poor rescued? If these deeds sound more at home in a fairy tale than our church, perhaps we need to start using our spiritual gifts. God never expected us to do His work on our own. He sent the Holy Spirit to equip us, empower us and give us gifts to be used. God wrote through Paul that concerning spiritual gifts, He did not want us ignorant. Might we learn more about our own spiritual gifts today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know that You gave me the Holy Spirit to equip me for Your service. I also know that You said that You give all Christians a spiritual gift. Help me know what my spiritual gifts are. Help me use them so I can do the work You called me to do in the fullness of Your power. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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He Is Here With Me

TODAY’S VERSE
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
Psalm 139:7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
A friend of mine, Jim, had to go and see a potential employer. What could be wrong? He thought he had the job. Now what? He fretted all day and on his way to the plant, he remembered part of a doxology that he had come to love. It says, He (God) goes before you to show you the way. He thought to himself, “God is already there!” He received peace and everything worked out. A dear friend of mine, Pastor Howard Hoekstra has been saying the same doxology for over 30 years. It goes like this. “As you go forth from this place today, may you know that the living Christ goes with you. He goes before you to show you the way. Behind you to encourage you, alongside you to befriend you. He is above you to watch over you and, inside of you to give you His power, both now and forever more.” David knew the reality of God’s presence. He wrote, “If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Today, what fears do you have? What is worrying you? Let us quit acting like God doesn’t know. He has gone before us. He is already there!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I am so thankful that nothing will ever separate me from You. No matter what my circumstance I thank You that You are already there.
AMEN

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Do You Really Know Him?

TODAY’S VERSE
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
II Peter 1:2-3 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Do you know Christ? I don’t mean “know of Christ”, but do you know Christ to the point that knowing Him deeply influences your life? Look at today’s verses. Peter is saying that we will experience an abundant amount of grace and peace through our knowledge of Christ. He then goes on to say that our knowledge of Christ will set loose the power of God and give us everything we need for life and godliness. I love that phrase, “EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS!” Some things? Almost everything? No, everything we need for life! This is no small claim. Peter is saying that our knowledge of Christ is crucial to everything we need in life. So what does knowledge mean? Peter was using the Greek word that means a full knowledge, a deep participation by the knower in the object known so that it powerfully influences him or her. This is more than an acquaintance or a casual relationship. It is a passion to know, really know, God. It is a hunger for His word, a longing to spend time in His presence, an openness to dialog freely with Him and listen for His voice. There is so much to gain by knowing Him, really knowing Him. You can start to know Him more today. He is waiting for you to try.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I confess my lack of spiritual knowledge. I have not taken the time I should to really know You. I haven’t been real with You nor have I let You be real with me. But today, I want to start. I want to know You, really know You. I want to hear Your voice. I want to sense Your presence in my life. I want Your scriptures to come alive in my mind. Father, I want to know You as Father. Help me know You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Baby Steps

TODAY’S VERSE
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you bought the lie? Do you sit around wishing there was something you could do about your spiritual life? Do you feel helpless to live the kind of life that Christ has asked you to? Well, there is good news! You and I do not have to be a victim of satanic attacks or the pull of our old nature. God in His word has suggested a better way. He tells us to make every effort to “add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” Every effort, I can live with that. Every effort means that we really try. It acknowledges that there may be set-backs but that is okay. Get up and make every effort again! That is what Peter means when he writes that we need to possess these qualities in increasing measure. He is talking about baby steps. We make every effort, fall down, get up and make every effort again. When we do, look at the hope, look at what God promises. He says if we make every effort to increase our faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love in baby steps, that it will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our Christian walk. Today, you can claim this promise for yourself. Don’t buy the lie. You can live for God today. You can make a difference, one baby step at a time.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I want to live for You, but I acknowledge that I keep tripping up. Help me take my faith and add to it goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love in baby steps. Holy Spirit, convict me, guide me and give me the discipline to begin living for You today. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Help Me, Help Others

TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus cared for the poor. Look at what Matthew writes, “He went through all the towns and villages teaching, preaching and healing every disease and sickness.” But it wasn’t enough. Jesus knew
His time was ending. He saw the need of His creation and He cried out that we would appeal to the Father to send more people to do the same work. Viv Grigg in his book Companion to the Poor has said it better than anyone I have ever read, “There is a drum-beat beating in my head day after day, a beat that impels me forward into long hours of discipline and constant work. It is the cry of those saved from their sins, only to be entangled again by that same sin – by the tentacles of their poverty, drawing them down, down, down till they are totally lost to this earth. We must work and direct our undivided energy and unflagging zeal to provide economic stability for these, our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must avoid being so busy working among the slum people that we forget to deal with the problems of the slums themselves. The biblical response to poverty caused by sin is to preach the gospel to the sinner, but the Biblical response to sin caused by poverty is to destroy the curse of poverty.” Might we do both! Jesus did.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, I see Your compassion and I am humbled. Forgive me; I have not cared like I should. I haven’t been that involved in helping those in need. I want to make a difference but how? What do You want me to do? Speak to me; show me, Lord. Even today, help me see the need around me through Your eyes. Then help me act on what You show me. In Jesus’ name.
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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Happy New Year!

TODAY’S VERSE
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
II Corinthians 5:17

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God is the God of the do-over. He is the champion of the new start. He causes us to be born again and then renewed day by day. Every morning we wake to new opportunities. And now we come to a new year. God takes new beginnings seriously. Before they left Egypt, often before battles the Lord would have the people consecrate themselves. Joshua told the people before crossing the Jordan River, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” Consecration means to dedicate yourself, your mind, heart, soul, and body to God for His service. It is a conscious decision to go ahead with Him as the Lord of your life. Here we are at the beginning of 2019. May we consecrate ourselves to Him. It is a new year. A new beginning. Let us go forward in hope, faith for the Lord Himself will do wonders among us.

God bless you. May your 2019 be filled with the joy and peace of our Lord
Ron Ovitt

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for this new year. Forgetting that which is past I am going to press forward. I consecrate myself and my life to You Lord. Bless this year I pray. Please do mighty wonders in my life this year I pray. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Scriptural Inspiration For Your Daily Journey