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Faith

TODAY’S VERSE
But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!”
I Kings 17:13-14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you do when your back is up against the wall? It is so easy to get trapped into a “scarcity” model of living. We are so afraid of running out, being alone and not having enough that we plan, connive, worry and protect ourself from any and all harm. On the surface this sounds suburban, smart, the right thing to do. However, if we really examine our behavior and attitudes, we will find out that we are full of worry. Worry is not faith. It is not believing that God really cares about our needs let alone do anything about it. The widow only had a handful of flour left and a little cooking oil when Elijah asked her to cook his meal first. But he asked with a promise. A promise of God that there will always be flour and olive oil left for her and her son. The Bible says she stepped out in faith and believed God. The question is, “Will you?” Today, trust God for all your needs.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, it is so easy to worry about my needs. Thank You for Your promise to love me and take care of me. Help me to live a life of faith and trust in You today.
AMEN

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Cry Out To God

TODAY’S VERSE
“Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.” – “Praise the LORD! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
Psalms 28:2, 7-8

TODAY’S THOUGHT
David knew what it was like to be tormented. He knew the pain that comes with great need. He experienced difficulties that had no escape, except by the mercy of an Almighty God. So David cried out to God for mercy and help. As David cried out to God, He became his strength and protection. David trusted God with all his heart and the result was a deep spiritual joy. You see, God did not take David out of his situation. David still faced his problems, but instead of facing his situation on his own, he turned to God for strength. God protected David like a shield. Do you have a story similar to David? Are there times when you need to cry out to God for His mercy? Rest assured He hears you. You, too, can end up praising God for He promises that He will be your strength. He will be your shield. You can trust Him with your situation. When you do, you will experience the deep joy that can only come from God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You today asking for Your mercy in my life. I thank You for hearing my cry and offering to be my strength and shield. I accept this promise and put all my trust in You. Thank You that I will not be disappointed. Fill my heart with a deep joy today so that I too will burst out with thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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The Gift

TODAY’S VERSE
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”
John 14:16

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Can you imagine someone knocking on your door and giving you a check for a hundred million dollars? Think of all you could do with that. How tragic would it be if you thanked the person, closed the door and put the check on your dresser top and never used it? Never helped anyone, never bettered your own situation. Instead, you live a meager existence, paycheck to paycheck, and die a pauper. We would shake our head and mutter, “What a shame to waste such a resource.” And yet, what must God the Father think of what we have done with the precious gift of His Holy Spirit? Jesus asked the Father to give us a counselor who will never leave us and lead us into all truth, and He has. You and I, when we became a child of God, received His Holy Spirit into our life and yet we barely know this third part of the Trinity. When have we ever asked the Holy Spirit to fill us, guide us or lead us into truth? We have been given spiritual gifts but do we know what they are or how they work? How much time have we spent contemplating how to cultivate the “fruit of the Spirit” in our life? God has indwelled us with the person of the Holy Spirit. Might we seek to understand more about this treasure that God has given us.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Forgive me for not knowing more about Him. Forgive me for not living in His power. Oh Holy Spirit, I ask that you would make me conscious of your presence in my life. Teach me, guide me, fill me and lead me into all truth. I give You control of my life and pray that You would produce Your fruit in my life and activate the spiritual gifts that You have given me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Your Calling

TODAY’S VERSE
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
II Thessalonians 1:11-12

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Did anyone ever ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Or have you ever taken a test to help you determine your passions and purpose in life? You could spend your whole life trying to find your purpose, that perfect job or the fulfillment of your childhood dream and never come close to what Paul was praying for the Christians in Thessalonica. What a magnificent prayer. The good news is that you can pray the same thing for yourself. God has called you to serve Him and you can pray with Paul, “that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” Can you imagine that? You see, this is God’s true desire for you, to use His power to help you fulfill every good purpose of yours. The result is that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in your life! So, what good purpose do you have today? What act prompted by your faith will you engage in today? Might He empower you by His grace to do all that He has called you to this day, so that He Himself will be glorified.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You that You can fulfill every good purpose of mine and every act prompted by my faith! What an exciting thought. Please help me understand what this really means in my life. Help me not to waste this precious life You have given me. Might I live it today for Your glory. In Jesus’name.
AMEN

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Stand Firm

TODAY’S VERSE
It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ.
II Corinthians 1:21 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Standing firm is a Biblical imperative. Paul tells us why in a letter he wrote to the Corinth Church. He writes, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” The good news is that God enables us to stand firm and Paul tells us how. He continues, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” Today, suit up and be strong in His mighty power!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Almighty God, help me to stand firm and be strong in You and Your mighty power. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Battle

TODAY’S VERSE
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
I Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We each have our battles. Life can be hard. Struggles can cause our faith to falter and we begin to live as those who have no hope at all. Paul knew what it was like to have troubles; he knew hardship and heartbreak. And so when he was finishing writing his letter to the church in Corinth, he gave them one final admonition. Like a coach before the final play of the game, Paul rallies the church and tells them to be on their guard. He wanted them to watch out for the spiritual battle. He told them to stand firm in their faith, being courageous and strong. The good news is they did not have to do this on their own. This same Paul reminds us in another letter he wrote that we can do all things through Christ who empowers us. Today, call out to God for His power and then be on your guard. Stand firm in your faith. Be courageous today and stay strong.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, You have said that I can do all things through You because You will empower me. Help me today to be on my guard against evil and temptation. Allow me to stand firm in my faith. Encourage me to be courageous in my behavior and to be strong in Your power.
AMEN

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Worship Him

TODAY’S VERSE
“Honor the LORD for his glory and strength. Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”
Psalms 29:1-2

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why do you think God has put you and I here on this earth? You could certainly build a case for loving others. The Apostle John told us that God is love, so loving others is most certainly on God’s agenda. Evangelism must be a priority as well. Jesus left us with the great commission to go and make disciples of all nations. Personal worship is another purpose God has created us for. We were made to praise Him. What a privilege is ours to bow down before the Almighty creator of the Universe and worship Him. David said to “Honor the Lord” and “To worship Him in the splendor of His holiness.” It is nearly impossible to fathom what it is like to be before God in all His splendor and majesty, but that is what we are invited to do. Take the mountain tops, the streams, sunsets, ocean views, canyons and any other majestic visuals images that you have been privileged to see and let it equal one drop of water. Now put that drop in the ocean and you will begin to see how our paltry earthly images compare to His splendor. So today, no matter where you are, stop and participate in one of the most sacred and special purposes of our human experience. Right this moment, praise Him for who He is. Thank Him for all He has done. Worship Him in all His glory. He has invited you to come and adore Him. Don’t take His invitation for granted. It is a rare gift from God Himself. Worship Him with all your heart, soul and mind.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come right now to worship You. Thank You for Your love for me. I bow before You this moment and adore You for all Your goodness. You are the true and living Almighty God and I praise You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Peace

TODAY’S VERSE
“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever had a crisis of faith? A time when you were so filled with grief, sorrow and anger that you didn’t know where God was? Most of us have wrestled with this passage. Sure, when things are good, its message is perfectly clear; but when you are in agony, you are tempted to say, “What is this passage talking about? Where is my peace of mind and heart?” It is then that I need to remind myself of the context in which Jesus said these words. Read the whole chapter and you will see that Jesus has just introduced Heaven, a whole other reality. It was a cosmic introduction to the blending of this world and the next. Jesus was getting ready to go back to His father. He was about ready to face an unbearable death and spiritual suffering that we cannot begin to imagine. He was only moments from when He, too, would say, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” And yet, with deep empathy Jesus tells us in the first verse of this chapter not to be troubled because He was about to prepare another reality for us. It was obvious His disciples did not understand, so He tells them that He is going to give us the Holy Spirit to comfort us and help us in this world until we reach the next. And then Jesus shares today’s verse, “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” He was right. The world cannot give us peace during our dark nights of the soul. Neither can religion. Only in blending this world and the next can we even begin to make any sense of our suffering here. Only in a larger reality can we find any peace in this dimension. Jesus came so we could live in both. I pray that today you will be able to have a glimpse of this world in light of the next and see that Jesus is the Lord of both. And may that reality begin a process of peace, even in your darkest hour.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, there are times when I ask, “Where is the peace in the darkest nights of the soul? Where is the comfort in such unbearable pain?” And yet, today I see that You who suffered such pain and anguish, have taken the harsh realities of this world and blended them with the next life. Please help my heart live in both realities. Help me today begin to experience the peace that You are talking about. In Jesus’name.
AMEN

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Thirst

TODAY’S VERSE
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a beautiful picture God is painting for us. Here is a woman who is coming to the well for water during the heat of the day. She must have been an outcast, for why else come alone during the hot time of the day? Why not come early in the cool of the morning with the other women? Regardless, she comes for water for her physical thirst and Jesus offers her water for her soul. Jesus touches her heart so she leaves the water at the well and runs and tells everyone in the village about Him. She had found what her soul really thirsted for. How about you? What do you need? Is it to be heard and understood? Is it to be affirmed or blessed? Do you want to be loved? Do you need to be forgiven? Perhaps you long to be included or to be chosen? Perhaps it is just to be safe? Whatever the longing of your heart, Jesus has the living water that can quench your thirst. His love for you is the living water you have been looking for. Come to Him today. Drink of His love, forgiveness, understanding, affirmation and blessing. When you do, you too will be telling everyone, “Come and see this Jesus who knows me and quenches the thirst of my soul.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You know the longings of my heart. You know my needs, my fears, my desires. I come to You today to be filled. Fill me with Your living water. Holy Spirit, come and quench the desires of my heart. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Confess

TODAY’S VERSE
“When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
Psalms 32:3-5

TODAY’S THOUGHT
David paints an accurate picture of someone who is under the hand of conviction. He wrote about the physical affect that guilt played on his body. But David did not allow it to stay that way. Instead, he confessed all his sins to God and experienced what John was talking about in I John 1:8-9, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” The result of David’s confession was the joy of knowing that all his guilt was gone. How about you? Are you burdened with some nagging issue that you need to talk to God about? Have you been consumed with bitterness, anger, fear or worry that you need to repent of? Is the guilt that has separated you from God affecting your thinking, behavior and health? If so, repent. Confess and ask God to cleanse you and set you free. He will forgive you. He will restore your body, mind and soul.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, instead of dealing with issues in the way I should, I let them build up until they are sins festering in my soul and body. Show me today where I need to confess. Point out areas in my life that need forgiveness. Help me to live the life of freedom that You desire for me. Help me break free from this bondage of guilt. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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