Tag Archives: love of Christ

Loved By God

TODAY’S VERSE
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for your alienation from God. When you came to God and repented of your rebellion to Him and accepted His gift of eternal life, you became His child. You were what Jesus called, “born-again!” This started you on a brand new life as a Christian, with a fresh relationship with God Almighty. As God’s child, the Bible is clear on the fact that you are loved by Him. This is the cornerstone of our Christian experience. Paul states it very clearly. He was emphatic that nothing can ever separate you from God’s love. In his book, “Abba’s Child”, Brennan Manning writes, “God created us for union with Himself: This is the original purpose of our lives. And God is defined as love (I John 4:16). Living in the awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us.” If you believe nothing else today, believe this: God loves you! If you experience nothing else today, experience this: God loves you! If you let nothing else today bring you joy deep into your soul, get joy from this: God loves you! Nothing, nothing, nothing will ever be able to separate you from the love that God has for you!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your love. And I thank You that You promised that nothing will ever separate me from Your love. I accept Your love today and pray that I would live from a heart of gratitude and joy that I am Your beloved.
AMEN

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Alive

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When asked, a group of people who suffered with addictions, gave the answer to what they “felt” just before they gave into the craving of their addiction. What was the trigger, what was the deep painful impulse that was driving them? Some of the answers were, “worthlessness, lost, disconnection, lack of existence, invisible, bad, evil, void, abandoned, alone, powerless, wrong, not breathing, non being, humiliated, ashamed and unloved.” Then the same group was asked to visualize taking the drug and verbalize what the drug did for them. What was the promise, what was the relief? They wrote:
“self discovery, focus for my life, meaning, surrender, will, acceptance by group, feeling of being alive, freedom, acceptance of desire, living in the moment.” Now here is the catch. Although the desire for positive meaning is real, the lie is that drugs do not give them the solution. It only mocks it. It is like the song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” It is God that gives the “breath of life.” Jesus provides real meaning. The healing power of God and Christian fellowship is the answer to our deepest pain! God has created us for life. We are not supposed to go around feeling like a non-being. Instead Paul prays that we would have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Christ’s love for us is. It is in experiencing God’s love for us that we are made complete with all the “fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Today, let the love of Christ breathe life deep into your soul and make you alive.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I want to live, really live. Help me find true meaning and purpose in Your love for me. Fill me with Your life-giving breath. Fill me with Your Spirit and make me more alive today than I have ever been.
AMEN

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Help Others

TODAY’S VERSE
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”
Galatians 6:1-2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So much of the sin in our life is due to our emotions. We get upset, worried, stressed and the emotional pain starts to build up. Instead of regulating our emotion and return to a more joyful or peaceful state of  mind, we let our anger, rage, depression, or sadness take over our behavior. This leads us to sin. The solution is found in our relationship with God and other close friends. It is the love, support and comfort that is able to tame our sinful behavior. It is in these deep relationships that we learn how to return to joy. Paul says that we should gently and humbly help a person return to sanity and stop their negative behavior. How? By sharing their burdens and pain. In using a kind word, a listening ear and a prayerful heart, your sincere help will keep a person from acting out on their negative emotions. Your empathy and love will help keep them from committing deep relational sins. Today ask God to help you share in someone else’s burden and restore them to a place of peace and joy.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me be there for other people. Help me share their burdens and gently bring them back to You. Thank You for Your grace and mercy extended to me. Help me do the same to others. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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God’s Forgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
“The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
Psalms 103:8-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
King David had an acute understanding of the love of God. It is as if he could see the very heart of Jehovah Himself. David, who knew sin so well, knew the forgiver of sin better. He who struggled with sinful passions in such profound ways, was also set free by the miraculous compassion and mercy of God. Listen to what he writes. “The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. – He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. – His unfailing love for us is as high as the heavens. – He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Finally he writes, “The Lord is like a tender and compassionate father.” Who could write such beautiful words? Who could so eloquently write about God’s forgiveness other than someone who knew first hand, the love of the Father. David knew God. God offers the same experience to us. Today, meditate on God’s mercy, compassion and love. Let the words of the Psalm radiate brightly in your heart and make them your own. And may the realization of your own forgiveness be imprinted deeply on your mind just as it was on David’s.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, how I thank You for Your compassion. How I praise You for my forgiveness. How I glorify You for Your unfailing love to me. Thank You for not giving me what I deserve but being merciful and removing all my sins from me. In Your precious name I pray.
AMEN

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Your Deepest Cares

TODAY’S VERSE
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
I Peter 5:7 (AMP)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it we feel we need to minimize our pain? Where did we get the idea that we would become a burden to God? How did we come to believe that it is unspiritual to admit that we have been a victim of something awful? Abuse, violence, the death of a loved one, divorce, a bad accident, incarceration, war. God cares when we have suffered as the result of something being done to us. And God cares when we have suffered from trauma as the result of something not happening. When love, safety and security from those we trust is missing, we get trauma in the form of abandonment, unfaithfulness, embezzlement, betrayal, gossip or neglect. And to pretend that we are not affected and everything is fine is to only add to the already damage left in trauma’s wake. It is not spiritual to “tough it out.” It is spiritual to be healed. Peter is pleading with us to cast all of our cares onto Jesus. His whole book speaks about the suffering of Jesus and how He understands our suffering. And here Peter assures us that Jesus “cares for you.” He cares for you with deep affection. Today, bring your pain to Jesus. Tell Him about your trauma. Ask Him to give you strength, forgiveness, peace and a deep understanding of love. Ask Him to heal your broken heart; heal your deep wounds of grief and anger. Bring the whole of your cares. Cast them on Him and leave them there.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You. I come to You with all my burden, all my cares. You know my pain. You know my suffering. I bring it all to You. Heal my hurts. Heal my heart. Return me to joy, I pray.
AMEN

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No Shame

TODAY’S VERSE
“But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”
Psalms 3:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame. You know the drill. You drop your head and roll it down and away, as your shoulders slump and you let out a deep sigh. You talk, but it is without eye contact, constantly fighting looking down and away again. It is worst than a feeling of guilt. With guilt you can confess your wrong doing. Shame is deeper. It isn’t about “doing”, it’s about “being”. How do you repent of being something you are so ashamed of? How can you renew something that is so broken, so damaged, so worthless? Shame, more than an emotion, is a deeply worn brain map, a trait, a feeling that you are totally unworthy. But then there is God. God who comes and lifts up our head and whispers deep into our soul, “Don’t call what I have created worthless.” God, whose love for us can soften the calloused skin around our heart and begin to birth new life. God who bestows glory on us. He is the shame slayer. Today, let Him lift your head. And when He does, gaze into His face. Feel the glory He has given you. Let it radiate deep into your soul and believe. Believe you are loved. Believe that you were created for His glory and that your shame is a lie, a false belief, a shame given to you by others. Let Him tenderly lift your head and take away your shame.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I have felt such a deep sense of shame. I bring it to you today and ask You to banish it. Lift up my head and let me see Your face. Let Your deep love penetrate my heart and set me free. Today, let me see myself the way You do. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Love your Enemies

TODAY’S VERSE
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.”
Luke 6:35 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes I forget how radical the teachings of Jesus really are. When I am tempted to be benevolent to someone that doesn’t seem deserving, when I am considering forgiving someone who has offended me, when I am accepting someone into my inner community whose background is troubled, I begin to get second doubts. Others start to question what I am doing and my anxiety begins to rise. And then I come to Jesus. I read a passage like today’s and I begin to understand that I don’t even begin to understand. I see the depth of God’s love and I am so far removed. I am so short of what He demanded. Love my enemies? More than that, do good to them? What radical living is this? Being kind to those who are unthankful and wicked? This is what He has done for me, but He is God. How can I love the way He does? It starts by believing what He said to do. To commit myself to be like He was, and with the help of His Holy Spirit, He will begin to love others through me. His ways will become my ways. Today, decide to love the unlovely. Be kind to those who are unkind. Be patient with those that invade your space. Christ is our example, we are called by His name and empowered by His Spirit.
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your high standards when it comes to love. Where would I be without it? Surely You have loved me with abandonment. Help me to go and radically love others.
AMEN

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Ambassador For Christ

TODAY’S VERSE
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
II Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What a privilege. We become many things in our lifetime. Child, spouse, parent, student, employee are among our many roles. We grow up get a job, career and if it works out, a vocation. But nothing in life is more noble than being called to be an ambassador for Christ. It is a calling because Christ purposely chose you and I to serve Him. It is through us that Christ cries to the world, “Come back to God!” And how is all this possible? Paul’s answers that by stating that we have become “a new person”. He writes, “The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.” So today, consider your life. See it the way God does. He sees you as His beloved Child and His ambassador. Share this same good news with others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for saving me. Thank You for making me Your child and giving me the privilege of being Your ambassador in this world. Help me fulfill this calling through the power of Your Holy Spirit.
AMEN

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Real Worship

TODAY’S VERSE
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want – Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”
Isaiah 58:6-7 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What would God say about us at eleven o’clock on Sunday? You know, when we meet to worship. We sing our praise songs, we listen to the preaching, and we pass the offering plates. And then we go home, back to our own business, until we do it all over again a week later. All the while just miles from the front door of our church there are hundreds if not thousands of people hurting. Some hungry, some depressed, some broke, some addicted, some suicidal, some sleeping in their car. These all have families who are also hurting because of their plight. How many fathers and mothers are broken hearted over the plight of their children? How many children suffer because of the plight of their parents? And yet we worship. And then drive right by on our way home. When is the church going to listen to Jesus when He said, “Go into all the world?” not “Come into my house.” Surely we worship God in song and praise. Yes, we must feed on the preaching of His word. But not at the expense of ignoring what God really wants! Jesus said it best when he said, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’” Today, worship God by loving those hurting all around you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for only worshiping in Your house and not worshipping in Your world. Forgive me for ignoring the worship that you receive when I help those in need. Help me share my food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Help me give clothes to those who need them, and my not hide from relatives who need my help.
AMEN

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Inner Strength

TODAY’S VERSE
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. – And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. – Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:16, 18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S MESSAGE
How many times a day could you use strength? We are pulled in every direction and live under a lot of stress. Life can be difficult and so many times we feels so weak to do anything about it. Paul knew what weakness was. He knew what struggles and trial were like and so he prayed for the church in Ephesus to have the same thing that got him through each day. He prayed that God would use His own Spirit to empower each one of the people with inner strength. Not just any inner strength. Not some false hope build on some slogan or certain steps to follow. No, Paul was encouraging you and I to build our inner-strength on knowing “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is.” It is knowing this great love that God has for us that makes us complete. It is knowing God’s love in a deep and personal way that give us all the fullness of life and power that He has available for us. Today come to God. Ask Him to reveal to you how truly great His love for you really is. As He does, you will experience all the inner strength you need
 
TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, give me the inner-strength that comes from understanding Your great love for me. Help me draw upon all the power that You have available for me this day. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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