Tag Archives: love of God

I Will Be With You

TODAY’S VERSE
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When God says, “I will be with you,” it is not a religious phrase, it is a reality that brings us comfort, strength, and hope. When there was a famine in the land, God told Isaac to stay in the land for “I will be with you”. When Jacob was in danger, God told him to return to his homeland and said, “I will be with you”. When God commissioned Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, Moses shared how he felt that he was incompetent. God said to do it anyway because “I will be with you”. When God asked Joshua to take over for Moses and lead the people into the Promised Land, He told Joshua, “As I was with Moses so I will be with you.” God asked Gideon to lead His people into battle and Gideon was afraid and asked God, “How can I rescue Israel?” God said, “I will be with you.” When Jesus was leaving earth to return to God’s right hand and commissioned the church to make disciples, He promised, “I will be with you always.” Life has its trials. God has commissioned you and me to serve Him. The tasks may be difficult. We may face trials, temptations, and struggles but take comfort in this, even today, God is with you. He will never, never, never leave you or forsake you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your ever-abiding presence. Thank You for the comfort I find in the fact that You are with me. Today, make me keenly aware that nothing can separate me from You. Help my heart be filled with faith in the reality that You will never leave me or forsake me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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What Controls you?

TODAY’S VERSE
“Either way, Christ’s love controls us.”
II Corinthians 5:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We would like to think that we are free, that nothing controls us. And yet, it is not a question of whether or not we are controlled. It is what do we let control us? Influences, impulses, beliefs, assumptions, responsibilities, promises, obligations, emotions, medications, addictions, spiritual forces, desires, dreams, aspirations and a myriad of other things shape our behavior more than we would like to admit. However, we are not helpless. We are not a puppet. We do not have to be like James suggests, “unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” Instead, we can come to Christ. We can choose to let His love guide and control us. We can allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and direct us each and every day. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the soul penetrating love of Christ influencing us, we will be able to live our life for Christ. By submitting to the love of Christ, we really do find our freedom. Today, choose to live for Christ and let His deep, deep love for you permeate your thinking and actions. Then you can say with Paul, “Christ’s love controls me.” 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Christ, fill me with Your love. Let it permeate my very being, deep into my heart until I am controlled by it. Help me to love as You love and to live my life today in a way that is pleasing to You.
AMEN

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God As My Friend

TODAY’S VERSE
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:13-15
“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”
Exodus 33:11
“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.”
James 2:23

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is an incredible concept that a God who created all the expanse of space; designed the most complicated systems; is beyond time and space; would create us, not as some impersonal piece of matter, but as a friend. A friend. We are fortunate if we go through life with four or five good friends. Jesus called His disciples friends. Why? Because He spent time with them. He knew them. He wants to do the same with us. If we are going to be a friend of God, then we must build a relationship. That doesn’t happen by just going to church. We need to fellowship, worship and hear the word of God but it is not enough. It doesn’t come by reciting creeds, as good as they are. It doesn’t come by reading about God, although this certainly gives us context. It doesn’t come by simply reading the Bible, although this is an indispensable part of relating to God. Friendship with God comes by spending time with Him. It comes through conversation with Him. It comes through an exchange of feelings, thoughts, concerns and aspirations. Try today to carve out some time to be alone with God. Share with Him; tell Him you want His friendship. Listen to Him, wait for Him and enjoy His presence.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I know You and am known by You. We pass in life’s circumstances, but I must admit, I don’t know You well. I know in my head that You love me but I haven’t sensed a friendship with You in my heart. I want to be Your friend. I want to know You in a much deeper and more personal way. Help me to that end. Guide me into a friendship with You, I pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Do We Live Like We Are Forgiven?

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’”.
Matthew 18:21-22

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is interesting that Peter was the one that came to Jesus and asked, “How many times should we forgive another person?” Peter thought he was generous and asked, “Seven times?” But the answer that Jesus gave Peter was based on grace and mercy, not on merit or our puny benevolence. Jesus said, “Seventy times seven.” Peter learned to identify himself with Christ’s answer. When the crowd came to crucify Jesus, Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times. When he realized the wrong he committed, he went and “wept bitterly” over his sin. How awful Peter must have felt. When Jesus rose again, he went and found Peter. Jesus forgave Peter and told him three times to go and serve Him. And that’s what Peter did. He did not go and become self righteous. He did not go and think of himself as some sinless leader of the church. He did not set up a Country Club Church for members in good standing. No, Peter never lost sight of the fact he was just a forgiven fisherman, saved by the grace of God. And other people recognized it too. The book of Acts says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Peter and his followers carried a sign saying, “No perfect people allowed! We are just ordinary people forgiven of our sins.” Shouldn’t we do the same?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, thank You for all that You have forgiven in my life. Might I live filled with your Holy Spirit and in the fresh awareness that I am loved by You. Help me in turn to love and forgive others, so when they see me, they too will take note that I have been with You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN
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Help The Needy

TODAY’S VERSE
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him.”
Isaiah 58:6-7

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The children of Israel had forgotten that God had them here on this earth to be His representatives, to show people the way to God. They were to love people and share the importance of knowing Jehovah. Instead, they thought that they had somehow “deserved” the status that they had as the “Children of God.” They began to act as if they were “gods” unto themselves. When God favors us with certain status or vocations, we can easily fall into a trap of thinking that we achieved the status and vocation by our own merits. This leads to pride and arrogance. This is what God pointed out to the Israelites. They were fasting and God was not listening to their pomp and circumstance. Instead, God wanted equality, justice and love among all people. The prophet Isaiah asked, “What is it that God has required of each of us?” He answered with a sobering indictment, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him.” God wants us to serve others. He has called us to be His representatives of love. Most of us live such a privileged life. Let’s do all we can to give back to those in need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You take the plight of the poor seriously. You hate injustice and love mercy. Help me to love others the way You do. Help me live my true calling, as a productive steward working for the well-being of others in need. Show me today, Lord, how I can make a difference. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Unimaginable Reality

TODAY’S VERSE
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!”
Ephesians 3:20-21

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love my imagination. At night I would sit and make up stories for my boys. We would go away to far away places, do things we could never do in this life and be with characters from another world. Every night was an adventure. But at the end of the day, it was just imagination. There was no reality. But what if? I have always been a dreamer. I see what others would consider impossibilities and start to wonder what it would be like if it came to pass? But all my dreams, visions, imaginations pale in comparison to what God has in store for you and I. In today’s passage Paul is giving glory to God. But not the God we normally think of. No, he is giving glory to a God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” What? More than I can imagine? No. Immeasurably more than I can imagine! I don’t know where to begin. What could Paul be thinking of? I can’t put my arms around it, but I know this. If you and I would start to believe that God could, and more importantly, wants to do a fraction of what we could imagine, let alone what we can’t imagine, it would change our life. Why not start today? Ask God for something “unimaginable” to pray for. Ask Him to give you a dream, a vision, and an unimaginable prayer for your life. He will fulfill it according to His power that is at work within you!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I don’t know where to begin. You said You can do more than I can imagine according to Your power that is within me. So Father, I ask You to show me what to pray. What unimaginable prayer do You want me to believe You for? Speak to my heart, I pray. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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Christ’s Love

TODAY’S VERSE
“Christ’s love controls us.”
II Corinthians 5:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can let a lot of things control us. Fear, anger, lust, greed, pride are just a few emotions vying for the control of our heart. Negative emotions are powerful motivators. Regulating them is a full time job. But Paul knew the secret to returning to joy from negative emotions. He let the love of God fill his thoughts. He called upon the love of Christ for mercy and grace. Surrendering to Christ brought him peace and hope. This love of Christ is able to the same for you. Today, you can choose what will control you. Choose Christ. 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Christ, pour out Your love upon me. Fill me, guide me, direct me. Make me so conscious of Your love that I am under its control. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Light Your Corner Of The World

TODAY’S VERSE

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love synergy. That is the result of different entities working together to create a bigger response than they could by themselves. Have you ever been to a “candle light sing,” when at the end of the service one candle is lit and one by one each candle in the auditorium sends forth its illumination? What a beautiful sight. How amazing that one little candle can be part of such brightness. This is the effect Jesus had in mind when He said that we were the “light of the world.” He was leaving this world and with the power of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives, we would each shine our own light. Together we would become the light of the world. Dallas Willard in his book Hearing God writes, “Those who receive the grace of God’s saving companionship in His word are by that very fact also fitted to show humankind how to live.  Collectively the ‘called out’ people of God, the church is empowered to stand up for wandering humanity to see. When faced with starvation, crime, economic disasters and difficulties, disease, loneliness, alienation and war, the church should be, because it alone could be, the certified authority on how to live to which the world looks for answers.” We are called to be the light where we are. Today, come to Him, bring Him your candle; let Him light it for you and then light up your corner of the world. I’ll light mine. If everyone reading this devotional would let Christ light their life, someone is bound to be effected. There are people all around us dying to come out of the darkness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, speak to me, ignite my heart and then help me shine that light today. Help me share the light that I have with those hurting in utter darkness so they, too, can live in the light of Your love and glory.  In Jesus’ name. AMEN

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A Relationship With God

TODAY’S VERSE
“Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and prayed, ‘Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?’”
I Chronicles 17:16

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is more to prayer than simply asking God for something. God desires a relationship with us. It is said of David that he was a man “after God’s own heart.” He had a relationship with God unlike any other. Today’s verse is proof. Notice what it says, “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord.” Think about it. This was almighty Jehovah. Only the Priests were allowed into the Holy Place before the Lord. They were to purify themselves, make a sacrifice, and go in and stand in reverence before the Lord of Hosts. Here is David. Does he purify himself? No, he had pure motives. Did he bring a sacrifice? No, he had a humble and contrite heart. Did he stand before the Lord? No, notice he, “went in and sat before the Lord!” How great is that? This is what Christ came for. His death was the payment for our sins so we could come before God and pray. But notice how David prayed. Did he ask for something? No, he started to relate to God. He shared his heart. He asked God a question. What a model for us to follow. You can come to God today and sit before Him. You can simply tell Him what is on your heart. Tell Him how you feel. Ask Him questions. Praise Him for His goodness in your life. Spend time with Him letting Him penetrate your heart with His love. Then love Him back. Today, work on your relationship with God. When you do, praying will take on a whole new meaning.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to sense Your presence. Help me see You, hear you, feel You. More than anything else in the world, I want a relationship with You that is real and vibrant. Lord, let it start right now. I pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ.
AMEN

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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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