Tag Archives: life

Remain In Him

TODAY’S VERSE
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christianity is a way of life. It is so much more than church on Sunday and a few “quiet times.” God cares about our every moment. Our emotions, our thoughts, our actions. There is not a second in the day that God is not aware of us. He desires that we think that way about Him. He wants us to have a relationship with Him that is 24/7. In his book, “Walking With God,” John Eldredge writes about key central issues in Christianity. He believes that the heart is central to the Christian life and that we are invited into a conversational intimacy with God. This is what Jesus was talking about. We remain in Him with our heart not our head. He remains in us as we are involved with Him in conversational intimacy. It is a deep relationship, one that demands that we attune ourself to Him. He is there. And as we remain in Him and He remains is us, we will produce the spiritual fruit that we were born to produce. Why? He made us that way. Jesus said it right. He said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Jesus, I realize that apart from You I can do nothing. Forgive me for cutting myself off from the deep intimacy that You desire. Revive my heart, I pray. Bring life back to my soul and help me remain in You. In Your matchless name I pray.
AMEN

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More Than Conquerors

TODAY’S VERSE
“In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”
Romans 8:37 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life can get hard. There are so many days that I wake up and I can hardly conquer brushing my teeth, let alone all the battles I have lined up for the day. How can I possibly win the difficulties I am facing? And yet Paul writes, “Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” Paul answers, “No despite all these things”; despite all these struggles and difficulties, what? Despite all that life can dish out, “in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” But this isn’t simply getting a victory in a negative circumstance. No, Paul says that we are more than a conqueror. It is more than coming out on top of a difficulty. It is living with the realization that we are His child no matter what our circumstances. We are more than a conqueror, we are His ambassador.  We have been chosen by God to live for Him and are part of His family. Today, when problems come up, when it seems that everything is going wrong, remember that Christ has given you everything you need to be a conqueror. But more than a conqueror, He has called you to be His beloved child, an heir with Christ, set free with His blood and given power by His resurrection.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for making me more than a conqueror over all the difficulties I go through. Thank You for loving me and giving me everything I need to live for You. Help me believe this Father and live in it’s reality today.
AMEN

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Free

TODAY’S VERSE
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you.”
Romans 8:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some phrases have the power to change everything about the way we live. Today’s verse has that ability. Paul is saying that when we came to Christ, we became a child of God and were indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Not just any Spirit but our Almighty God’s Spirit. And when that happened, the power of this life-giving Holy Spirit freed us. The Holy Spirit frees us from eternal death, condemnation and the power of sin in our life. We are free from our own selfishness and the bondages and strongholds we find ourselves in. God’s mighty Spirit frees us from temptation, emotional distress and the pain of our past. The loving and compassionate Spirit intercedes for us, freeing us from shame and guilt. The indwelling Holy Spirit frees from the limitations others have put on us, frees us to rise above our circumstances and become all that He created us to be. Through the filling of the Holy Spirit, we are free to live the life He has called us to. So today, acknowledge your new birth right. Invite the power of the life-giving Holy Spirit to control your life. He will, and when He does, you will be free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, how I praise You for Your indwelling Holy Spirit in my life. I ask to be filled and controlled by the Spirit. Fill me, free me, guide me and direct me I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Keep It Simple

TODAY’S VERSE
“Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:32-33

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can really complicate life, can’t we? There are so many motivations that keep us crazy with demands. There are so many things that we think we must do. We have lost all sense of simplicity. Jesus comes along and would say to us, “Stop the insanity! Stop filling your life with false needs and let Me fulfill your real need.” You see, Jesus knows the “one-thing.” He knows what is really important and He offers it to all His followers. He said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” The real secret to this life is found in the next. If we want success in this life, then we need to live in His Kingdom, instead of our own. We need to live in this world with heaven’s priority. God really does love you. Trust Him, live for Him and He promises that He will give you everything you need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know my name. You know who I am. You also know my needs. Thank You, Father, that You promised that if I seek Your Kingdom above everything else, You will give me everything I need. So I come to You now, Father, and ask that You would help me live for you. I entrust my needs to You. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Follow Jesus

TODAY’S VERSE
“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
I have run well over ten thousand miles in my lifetime. Most of those miles were times of solitude, just me and the Lord. Much of it was spent in prayer praying for my family and friends. I love running. But racing was different. Races would stretch over miles of terrain that I knew nothing about. The pace would be faster and distance often a stretch. It was all about endurance. And just as the author of Hebrews suggests I would pick out a runner ahead of me and pace myself. I would watch their moves, mimic their stride and picture myself being able to do what they were doing. But here we are talking about life. It is the ultimate challenge. It is an arduous journey needing all the mental and spiritual strength we can get. And in order to run it with the endurance needed, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. He knows the way. He has the pace. We allow ourself to mimic His race, to do what He does and being the champion that He is, He will get us safely to the finish line. Today, run with Jesus, let Him lead your way.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord Jesus, I am so glad that I don’t have to run through life alone. I am so thankful that You are my Savior and that You are committed to getting me through this race of life. Help me keep my eyes on You.
AMEN

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Grumbling

TODAY’S VERSE
“And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.”
I Corinthians 10:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life can be hard. Not everything works out the way we plan. That is why God created us with the capacity for resilience. By faith, we can return to joy from negative emotions. But returning to joy is a choice. Sadly, instead of joy, many times we choose to grumble. Grumbling is different than simple negative emotions. Sadness, disappointment, even anger can be natural reactions to difficult situations, and with time spent in reflection, we can find our way back to joy. But grumbling is different. Grumbling, unchecked, becomes a bitter root that destroys faith, hope and joy. It grows and festers, blaming, attacking and rebelling against any and everything that would be cause for its pain. Grumbling eventually attacks the very sovereignty of God Himself. It is an offense to Him. So today, let us check ourselves. Are we letting anger and frustration get the best of us? Are we blaming and complaining? Is it possible that we are spending more and more time grumbling? If so, let us heed the warning of Paul and stop. Let’s not let grumbling get the best of us.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for complaining. Forgive me for my critical spirit. I have let these lead me into grumbling against You. I am wrong for lifting my voice against You and ask Your forgiveness. Instead, Father, help me return to joy.
AMEN

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Thriving In The House Of God

TODAY’S VERSE
“But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.”
Psalms 52:8-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Not all planting environments are the same. Amount of sunlight, average temperatures, availability of water and soil composition can have a dramatic effect on the growth of a plant. This is why David uses the illustration of an olive tree growing in the house of God. Because of a Godly environment, David is saying the olive tree, which is symbolic of you and I, thrives. This is not just existing but living life to the fullest. What David is really saying is when we live in the presence of God, we do more than just grow spiritually, we thrive. The result of thriving in the presence of God is praise and trusting Him. So, what can you do to create a environment that makes you conscious of the presence of God in your life? What can you do to make your spiritual life thrive? You can start as David did by praising God and always trusting in His unfailing love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I come to praise You today for Your unfailing love. I trust Your leadership to guide me and help me grow in Your presence. I desire to be like the olive tree that thrives in your house.
AMEN

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Stop Coping

TODAY’S VERSE
“Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Romans 8:6 (NLT)
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10 (KJV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
For a long time I had wrestled with my glasses. They were bent, causing me headaches and resulting in having to move my head awkwardly to make the bi-focal lens work right. But hey, I could see okay and why take time out to get them fixed if I didn’t need to. “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” I was coping fine. Eventually, my reading was worse and I noticed signs starting to blur at far distances. I would move my glasses on my head and “cope” harder. Finally, my wife set up an appointment to get new glasses and I went in. I was embarrassed to realize that it had been over ten years since I last had an eye exam or new pair of glasses. As they tested my eyes, I was amazed at how much better I could see, how less my face tensed up as I didn’t have to “cope” with seeing. As I left, I could not help but think of how many issues in life I act the same way. I look at life through worn out glasses, learning to cope with inferior sight when all the time a new pair of glasses is waiting for me. Jesus said He came to give us extraordinary living. Paul wrote that we can choose to let the Holy Spirit control our mind. The result is not some half-baked coping, it is life and peace. Our own thinking is poor eye-sight at best. We need the direction of the Holy Spirit to give us the sight we really need. Today, give up coping and start living. Quit trying to make it on your own, just getting by. Start living with the life and peace God has for you. Give your mind to the Holy Spirit and let Him take control.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have tried to cope on my own. I say, “I will follow You”, but instead I rely on my own efforts. Forgive me, Lord. Today, I give You my mind and ask You to control my life. I am tired of coping. I want the life You have for me. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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How Is Your Heart?

TODAY’S VERSE
“He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, ‘Hold out your hand.’ So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!”
Mark 3:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It must have been something horrible! What in the whole galaxy could cause God to be angry and sad at the same time? God had a divine plan, a holy purpose. He would send Himself, in the person of His Son Jesus, to earth and redeem man, bringing them into a loving relationship with Himself. Ironically, it was mankind that could in the way. Jesus was bringing the good news to man and confirming it with “signs and wonders” all the while the religious zealots were opposing Him at every turn. Isn’t that like us? Those of us who know so much about God end up knowing so little. And so Jesus found Himself angry and deeply saddened. Why? Because their hearts were hard. The metaphor is poignant. A heart that is hard like stone has no life in it. It is not able to fulfill the purpose for which it was created. You can lose a leg, an arm, an eye and still live a significant life, but without a heart there is no life. So what do we have? Is our heart pumping faith, hope, love and grace into every fiber of our being or has the beating stopped? Today, come to our Holy Heart Surgeon. Let Him do an open heart procedure and restore you to the life you were meant to have.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, take my heart and mold it into a heart that is used for you. Keep me alive in my faith, hope and love. Might You be praised and glorified in all I do and say.
AMEN

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No Burden

TODAY’S VERSE
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love this passage. The Lord bids us to come and rest. How different is that? It is the complete opposite of striving. You know striving to “earn” God’s love, or worst “keep it” as if God is some fickle tyrant. Nothing could be farther from the heart of God. Jesus knew we would be weary and carry heavy burdens. It is part of living in this world. But He never meant that living for God would be the cause of the burden. No, He said if we would take His teachings and live them, we would find rest for our soul. In “Desiring God’s Will” Dr. David Benner writes, “Hearing the invitation, everything within me wants to draw near and receive the gift of love that Jesus represents – not out of obligation but out of a soul-aching desire. And each time I do, my heart is slowly but progressively more aligned with the heart of God – God’s desires becoming my desires and God’s will becoming my will.” So today, quit trying to earn His love. You already have it. Don’t strive to please Him so He won’t abandon You, He will never leave you. Today, rest in His love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for all the times I strive under rules and regulations trying to earn Your love. Forgive me for making a mockery out of Your unconditional love for me. Thank You that your love is not a burden. Thank You that Your teaching shows me how to get rest for my soul. Give me that rest today I pray.
AMEN

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 Do You Know What Your Spiritual Gifts Are?
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