VotD: August 2, 2013

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Verse

“The Spirit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me. The Lord has appointed me for a special purpose. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to repair broken hearts, and to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison, ‘Be free from your imprisonment!’ He has sent me to announce the year of jubilee, the season of the Eternal’s favor: for our enemies it will be a day of God’s wrath; for those who mourn it will be a time of comfort.”

— Isaiah 61:1-2

Thoughts

Jesus read this passage at a synagogue in Nazareth to describe his ministry (see Luke 4). He came to preach good news, to bind up, to bring deliverance, to offer release, to proclaim grace, and to offer comfort. If Jesus has sent us into the world as the Father sent him (John 20:21-23), shouldn’t we be going the same?

Prayer

Through the power and wisdom of your Spirit, who longs to powerfully work in me, please open my eyes, dear LORD, to help me see those you put in my path with whom you want me to share your grace, deliverance, and comfort. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen.

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VotD: August 1, 2013

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I know it’s late, but here it is!

Verse

“Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.”

— Romans 8:1-2

Thoughts

“You are mine! My righteousness and glory are yours! Enter into your Father’s eternal reward!” If we are in Christ, we don’t face judgment, only welcome, with God our Father! His Spirit lives in us. His grace has set us free from the power of sin and death. His Son has paid the price for our sins. We are children of God!

Prayer

I praise you, loving and gracious Father, for your mercy and grace. Your steadfast and redeeming love never ceases. Your mercies are endless. Your love is new and fresh every morning as your Spirit fills my life and your hope revives me to face another day. Thank you! In Jesus’ name I praise you. Amen.

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VotD: July 31, 2013

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Verse

“You are my shelter, O Eternal One — my soul’s sanctuary! Shield me from shame; rescue me by your righteousness.”

— Psalm 31:1

Thoughts

When all the clutter is stripped away, what is your real hope? When you push aside the diplomas, awards, accolades, and honors, what is the basis of your significance? Only one source for hope and only one basis of significance is trustworthy. Only One — the LORD God — endures forever! Only our Father in heaven guarantees that our life is significant. So let’s place our hope in the LORD and have him be our refuge!

Prayer

O LORD, God and Redeemer of our Fathers, Keeper of your many promises, thank you for allowing me to place my hope, my future, and my significance in your hands. Give me the courage and the confidence to know that you will not let me be put to shame, but will share with me your righteousness on that day I stand in your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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VotD: July 30, 2013

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Verse

“If you judge other people, then you will find that you, too, are being judged. Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.”

— Matthew 7:1-2

Thoughts

Are you judgmental? Do you assume you can judge the intent of another person’s heart? Are you critical and negative about the actions of others? Jesus wants us all to realize that we cannot know the motivations of someone’s heart. When we are unfairly harsh or bitingly critical in our judgment of others, we are setting the standard by which God will judge us. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to exchange God’s grace for my unreasonable harshness. I’m going work harder at viewing others with mercy and grace.

Prayer

Dear God, please forgive me for being unfairly harsh and critical in my assessment of others. Thank you for being so rich and free with your mercy and grace lavished on me in Jesus. Please help me to be more gracious and merciful in the way I assess the intent and motivation of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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VotD: July 29, 2013

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Verse

“His wrath, you see, is fleeting, but His grace lasts a lifetime. The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.”

— Psalm 30:5

Thoughts

God is the God of all comfort (see 2 Cor. 1). Even when he deals harshly with our sin and rebellion, it is for our good. It will last only a short while and then it gives way to rejoicing. If you are in a time of discipline or facing the cruel consequences of sin, please don’t give up. Morning will come, and on that dawn will come God’s grace. It’s more than worth the wait!

Prayer

Father, please bless your children who are facing hardships and difficulty. Please help them endure through “the night” so that when your dawn comes, they can experience the great rejoicing that lies ahead. Please bless the following people, dear Lord, and help the find your joy…. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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VotD: July 28, 2013

Verse

“For the highest God above, who is and always will be, the only One who is holy has this to say: I live in the high and holy place, yet I am with the low, the weak, and the humble. I renew their vitality and revive their strength.”

– Isaiah 57:15

Thoughts

Jesus’ coming to earth is not inconsistent with the God who reveals himself in the Old Testament. God is high and holy. God is righteous and majestic. However, God loves people, especially people who come to him knowing that they need his love and grace. To those who seek him with passion and reverence, God brings revival that touches the spirit and heart.

Prayer

Holy and Righteous Father, thank you for loving me and coming to save me in Jesus. Father, I do come humbly to you asking that you fill me with your Spirit in a more powerful way and revive my heart and stir my spirit to work for your glory in my life today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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VotD | July 27, 2013

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Verse

“Why is it that you see the dust in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but you can’t see what is in your own eye? Don’t ignore the wooden plank in your eye, while you criticize the speck of dust in your brother’s eyelashes. That type of criticism and judgement is a sham! Remove the plank from your own eye, and then perhaps you will be able to see clearly how to help your brother flush out his sawdust.”
– Matthew 7:3-5

Thoughts

Finding fault in someone else is so easy for most of us. Finding fault in ourselves is much trickier. Jesus reminds us that we must deal with the shortcomings and sins in our own lives before we start telling others how to live. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? But we all know it isn’t.

Prayer

Father, please forgive me when I am severe, harsh, and judgmental toward others. I know there are problems in my own life that need the work of your Holy Spirit. I confess that there are routine sins that I find myself excusing more and more. Please, dear LORD, forgive my sin and empower me to move beyond it. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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