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April 24

1 Peter 1:18-19

You know that is was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Thoughts on today's verse

If value is determined by price, we are incredibly valuable. God took the most precious treasure of heaven to buy us out of sin and death and adopt us into his family. Silver and gold pale in comparison to that value.

Prayer:

Holy God, may I live today constantly aware of my inestimable value to you. May my words, thoughts and actions be permeated with a sense of worth. Not so that I may seem important but so that I may live in holiness and honor to your precious gift to me. Through him I pray. Amen.


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April 23

Romans 14:11
It is written, "As surely as I live," says the Lord, "every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God."

Thoughts on today's verse

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." "Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!" Yes, every knee will bow. But ours already do. We live in anticipation of the day when all peoples will bow before our King. Until that day, let's do all we can to make sure they do so in joy and not on that day in fear!

Prayer:

Father, I thank you for saving me. May my anticipation of the day of Jesus' victory move me to be your agent of reconciliation so others are ready for that day and will welcome it with joy. Gives me eyes to see those who need to come to Jesus today. Through him I pray. Amen.'

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April 20

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thoughts on today's verse

Victory! Ultimate Victory!! If you don't have the answer for life's biggest test, death, then you have no victory. The Super Bowl and World Series are played every year. The champion is a victor for only one year. But a Christian is a champion forever because of Jesus. A Christian has victory over death.

Prayer:

Thank you God for giving me victory in Jesus Christ. Make his will triumphant in my daily struggles with sin. Through my Triumphant King I ask it. Amen.

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April 6

1 John 3:16

This is how we know love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Thoughts on today's verse

What does it mean to lay down our lives for our brothers? Sounds pretty extravagant, but the next verse in 1 John 3 reminds us that most often it's very simple: if we have a brother or sister in Christ with needs, we give up what we have to fill that need!

Prayer:

Lord God Almighty, I am convicted by your sacrifice and ask for eyes to see and grace to act when my brothers and sisters are in need. Through the name of Jesus I ask this. Amen.

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February 25

Matthew 22:37-39

Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Thoughts on today's verse

Some things are just not very complicated. Living for Jesus can be boiled down to two principles: love God with everything I am and have, and love others and treat them as I would like to be treated. Not too hard to understand. I guess it's living it that is the challenge!

Prayer:

O Living and only True God. Please accept the work of my hands, the words of my mouth, the moments of my rest, and the love of my heart as my worship to you this day. I pray that it is pleasing and refreshing to you. Through your only Son I pray. Amen.

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February 23

Ephesians 2:4-5

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.

Thoughts on today's verse

I cannot think of anything I'd prefer the Holy God to be rich in than mercy. I know my failures, shortcomings, sins, and transgressions. Without his mercy to pardon, and without his grace to send Jesus to pardon at first, I would be lost and without God. Now, because of his rich mercy, my life is tied to Jesus' future and not the one I earned for myself.

Prayer:

Father of all grace and mercy, thank you. Thank you for being God like you are God. Thank you for extending grace when I have not deserved it. Thank you for giving mercy when I most needed it. Thank you for giving life when I thought my life was doomed and hopeless. May my wealth be found in mercy and grace much more than money and gold. Help me be more like you. Through my older brother, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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February 20

Proverbs 17:9

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Thoughts on today's verse

"It's just a little harmless gossip." The Wise Teacher reminds us that gossip is neither little nor harmless. Its consequences are huge and its damage horrible. Instead, it is much better to be a peacemaker and an offense-mender.

Prayer:

Father of Glory, I confess that I am often more a peace lover than a peacemaker. Give me the character not to repeat gossip, but instead have the wisdom and strength to be an offense-mender. Through the Prince of Peace I pray. Amen.

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February 18

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

Weariness is a part of life. Weariness is a part of ministry. Weariness is definitely something that overtakes us when we set our hearts on doing good for others. The wonderful blessing of God, however, is that he will renew us and sustain us and rekindle us. He does it through the encouraging word of a friend. He does it through his presence in us, the Holy Spirit. He does it through songs that lift our hearts. He does it through Scripture and prayer. So while our bodies and spirits may bet weary, let's not let our hands fall idle. If we will serve with faithfulness, discipline, and integrity, God's grace will empower us to do what he has called us to do.

My Prayer...

Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that I sometimes find myself weary and discouraged in my service to you and to others. Please convict me, dear Father, when I've neglected sleep, exercise, or good eating habits and empower me as I seek to correct those problems in my life. Gently humble me in those times when I neglect my spiritual nourishment. I want to actively and effectively serve you, dear Father, all the days of my life. In Jesus' name I ask this. Amen.

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February 15

1 John 4:10

This is love: not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Thoughts on today's verse

He loved us first! He offered his Son to save us regardless of our decision to believe or ignore his grace. We are given the ability to accept or reject the death of his Son as the sacrifice for our sins. The only condition, as 1 John 2:1-2 emphasizes, is that we realize that he died for everyone else in the world, too!

Prayer:

Precious King, God Almighty, why you should love me and send Jesus to die for me I will never fully understand. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your sacrifice for my sins. Thank you, Jesus, for coming to save me. I pray in your name and by your intercession. Amen.


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February 12

1 Corinthians 13:6-7

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Thoughts on today's verse

Always love - pretty tall order and pretty tough stuff. Only God is "always." But then Christians are fueled to a always love through the Holy Spirit! Check out the promised source of "always" love in Romans 5:5.

Prayer:

Sweet and Glorious God on High, I humble myself before you, recognizing your boundless power to love, the incredible need for love in the lives of those around me, and my limited ability to love. Please pour your Holy Spirit into my heart and fill me with the power to love as you do, always. In Jesus' sweet name I pray. Amen.

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February 10

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Thoughts on today's verse

Love - in the week before Valentine's Day we want to remember the real meaning of love. Without the motivation and expression of love, all "Christian" activities are more "activity" than Christian. Love is the expression of Christ's character and presence in our lives through deeds done for others.

Prayer:

Loving Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your demonstration of love in Jesus. Help me to love as he did - selflessly, sacrificially, and consistently, so others may know of your love through my actions. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

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February 9

Matthew 5:43-45

[Jesus said,] "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."

Thoughts on today's verse

We often talk about the privileges of being a child of God - forgiveness, salvation, a future in heaven with him, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and ultimate victory when Christ comes. One of the greatest privileges we get, however, is the opportunity to act toward those who dislike and hate us in a way that reflects the character of God himself. Anyone can return hate for hate, but it takes a child of God to return a blessing and a prayer for their enemies.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for loving me when I was still an enemy to you. Thank you for risking the death of your Son to offer me the chance to accept or reject your love. As you have promised, please pour your love into my heart so I may love even my enemies as you have loved me. Through Jesus, the gift of your love, I pray. Amen.'


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February 6

Proverbs 21:21

He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor.

Thoughts on today's verse

Isn't it funny that when we set off to find happiness or joy or significance or meaning, we seldom find it. Instead, when we offer to serve others and give ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord and His work, it is then that we find what we most need.

Prayer:

O Giver of every good and perfect gift, I ask today that You give me a chance to serve you and others in a way which shows your kingdom and its glory. If in the process You choose to meet the needs in my own heart, then I thank You. This I pray through your servant Jesus. Amen.

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February 5

Psalms 33:4-5

The word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Thoughts on today's verse

God is faithful. We can trust his promises to be kept and his purposes to be good. How do we know? The sunrise each morning is a reminder that the Father of heaven and earth is at work keeping his universe in working order. If it is true in nature, it is true in the spiritual realm as well. Greet each sunrise as a reminder of God's faithfulness.

Prayer:

O Magnificent and Majestic Creator, I greet today as your gift and a reminder of your faithfulness. Each day the sun rises I anticipate the day you honor your promise to send your Son back to bring us home to you. Give me a keen sense today of your faithful presence. I pray this through him in whom all your promises find their fulfillment. Amen.'

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February 1

Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Thoughts on today's verse

So many times Satan seduces us into a flat, 2 dimensional Christianity - going to church and doing good deeds. But God calls us to a three dimensional faith. He wants us to love him with all of our being in all of our actions and with all of our might.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I honor you as God Almighty. I appreciate you for all your kindness and blessings lavished upon me. I love you because you first loved me in Jesus. My heart's desire today is to demonstrate my love for you in all I do, and love and say. Through Jesus. Amen.

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January 31

Psalms 86:5

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call on you.

Thoughts on today's verse

Forgiveness is such a sweet blessing. But God does more than forgive! He cleanses and forgets. His love is not metered out or carefully rationed. He pours it out upon us if we genuinely seek him as our God and Father.

Prayer:

O Precious Father, I call to you wanting you to know how important your love and forgiveness are in my life. Thank you for sending Jesus to show your love and pay the debt of my sin. Help me to live today as your child: may others see my joy and my passion, to you glory. Through my Savior I pray. Amen.




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January 29

Mark 9:35

Sitting down, Jesus called the twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

Thoughts on today's verse

Last? Nobody likes to be last. We have a hard enough time settling for second place, much less last place. Jesus reverses the rank. The person who is most important to him is not the person seeking the status and notoriety. The most important person is like Jesus himself: willing to give up rank and status and importance to serve. For Jesus, last means first in service and first in the eyes of God.

Prayer:

Magnificent God my Savior, you have made the world wonderful for me and have given your Son to redeem me. How can I ever thank you or repay you for your grace and kindness. Today help me see those you want me to serve with grace and kindness as I try to be more like you. This I pray in the name of the one who washed his disciples' feet. Amen.

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January 28

John 4:24

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Thoughts on today's verse

Genuine worship is a gift. Since God is spirit, since he is holy, we cannot fully approach him without the gift and blessing of his Holy Spirit. As Christians who received his Spirit when we were baptized into Christ and born of God, we can now speak to him and worship him Spirit to Spirit.

Prayer:

Abba Father, by the gift of your Spirit I come to you as your child. Thank you so much for giving me your Spirit so that I can approach you with confidence and know you hear the concerns of my heart. Please accept the worship of my heart, of my words, and of my actions. May the things I do today bring you glory. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.'



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January 25

Philippians 4:8

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.

Thoughts on today's verse

Our actions follow our thoughts like a heat-seeking missile follows the exhaust of a jet fighter's engine. So in a day when so much around us trains us to find the negative in life, we must aggressively think and pursue the character, the qualities, and the things of God's goodness.

Prayer:

Holy and Magnificent God, thank you for being better than anything my world can offer me. Thank you for calling me to a higher standard than the world accepts. Thank you for giving me the promise of a better future than any human can imagine. Thank you for giving me a high calling. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen.

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January 24

Galatians 6:1

If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

Thoughts on today's verse

In a day when intervening in someone's life is no longer politically and socially correct, these verses ring out like a gunshot on a still night. Sin is still real and is just as deadly as ever. Yet because we fear being branded judgmental, we let many who are trapped by sin go to their spiritual death. The call is for nonjudgmental intervention -- we recognize the gravity of the sin and the need of the sinner, without feeling arrogant in our righteousness. "There but for the grace of God go I."

Prayer:

Father, forgive my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me. But Father, also help my heart to be gripped by the gravity of sin's effects and to be stirred into action by those whom it has trapped. Through Jesus, who came to rescue me from my sin, I pray. Amen

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January 23

James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Thoughts on today's verse

Wisdom is that illusive quality we respect in others and find so difficult to develop in ourselves. Yet God promises it to those who really ask. But remember the secret of ASKing -- asking, seeking, and knocking. Or better yet, check out Proverbs 2. Wisdom is ours only if we seek it above all other possessions and value it above all other diversions. God longs to impart it, but there is something about wisdom that demands we value it before we can receive it.

Prayer:

Gracious giver of all good gifts, please bless me with wisdom today. Let me reflect your will and live for your glory in all my decisions. Let your Kingdom guide my heart as I make my choices and have your Spirit lead me in your ways. I confess, Father, that I cannot guide my own steps without your help. So grant me wisdom this day. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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January 22

Matthew 7:7-8

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Thoughts on today's verse

Ask! So often we're afraid to ask for help because we have to admit we don't have the answers. Seek! Effort and interest and perseverance are necessary and that's sometimes hard. Knock! But God wants us to use the A.S.K. principle and bring our hearts before him. So let's not whine, complain, desire, and want. Let's A.S.K. our Father and seek his glory.

Prayer:

Waiting Father, I am sorry that so often you hear only my whines, complaints, and concerns. You have been so generous with your love. Help me to keep my heart set on you and your will today as I ask you to minister to the things on my heart. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.

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January 20

James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Thoughts on today's verse

"Hang in there!" There are few traits more important than perseverance. Most important accomplishments in life happen because of perseverance. Most luck occurs when we've perservered long enough for the "magical moment" to come along. Edison said it best, life's greatest feats, the world's greatest discoveries, his own most fantastic inventions were "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." "Hang in there!" and see the glory of God come through in you!

Prayer:

Unchangeable and Unshakeable God, through the friends you have sent into my life and by the power of your gift, the Holy Spirit, help me to stand up under trial and prove my character true with perseverance when under fire. Give my faith courage and endurance so that my life shows forth your enduring strength. Through him who remained faithul unto death, I pray. Amen.

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January 19

Matthew 7:12

In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the prophets.

Thoughts on today's verse

The Golden Rule -- golden because it's genuine, lasting, and valuable. Imagine how different our world would be if we practiced this principle -- not just in our "church life" but in our daily life with our family, with our coworkers and employer, with the people we manage, with the folks on the freeway and in the neighborhoods where we drive, toward the waiters and waitresses who serve us. What a wonderfully different world it would be if the Golden Rule were to be practiced. I think I'll start changing my world with it today! How about you?

Prayer:

Generous Father, you have blessed me with so many rich and wonderful gifts. I can never repay you. One thing I want you to know, dear Father, is that I especially appreciate the way you have treated me with grace and not with justice or judgment. Give me the power to do the same with the people my life touches this week. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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January 17

Philippians 2:14-16

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.

Thoughts on today's verse

Stars. They've always been a source of constant hope for God's people. "Your descendants will be like the stars," God told Abraham. "When I see the stars, what is man that you are mindful of him?" the Psalms ask. The Wisemen from the East followed a star to Jesus. Luke reminds us that Jesus was a bright star come to us from heaven to shine God's light to those in darkness. And now, we're stars. God's points of light in the dark sky of the universe. So let's make today a day where our light shines God's glory to a dark world around us.

Prayer:

Almighty God, the incredible expanse of your universe, with its billions of stars, exceeds my limited comprehension. But I thank you for calling me to be a light in the dark world around me and I pledge to shine your light today in the lives of all those I can. Through the name of the Bright and Morning Star I pray. Amen.

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January 16

Galatians 5:16

Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Thoughts on today's verse

I want you to think about an orange rhinoceros flying with blue wings. Now quit, I don't want you to think about it anymore. You know there is no such thing as an orange rhino that flies, much less one that flies on blue wings. Oh course the point is simple: the more we try to not do something, the more we focus on it and ensure we do what we are not supposed to do. That's why the gift of the Holy Spirit is so important. He enables and empowers us to move beyond our sin -- not by focusing on it and refusing it, but by enriching us and "distracting" us with the important things of God.

Prayer:

Abba Father, I thank you so much for your Holy Spirit that lives in me and is now interceding with you for me. Please fill me with your Spirit so that my life more nearly reflects your will and focuses on your concerns. Through Jesus, who poured out your Spirit upon me at my baptism, I pray. Amen.


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January 14

1 John 4:20-21

If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."

Thoughts on today's verse

Love! The word can mean anything. Many in the Christian community have tried to define it by a dictionary or lexicon, not realizing the key word for love, agape, is defined by action. Before Christians got a hold of agape, it meant the same thing our word today does: just about anything! But if you read 1 John, you see what love is by what God does. God demonstrates his love. He asks us to do the same for our brothers and sisters. Love must be more than talk, it must be genuinely demonstrated in action!

Prayer:

Precious Father, you have so graciously shared your love with me. I must confess, in my heart I intend to love others as you do, but my intentions often get washed away with "busy-ness" or timidity. Father, through your Spirit, prompt me to show my love to others in actions rather than just thought and talk. Through Jesus, your greatest demonstration of love I pray. Amen.

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January 13

2 Corinthians 5:19-20

God has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Thoughts on today's verse

The price has been paid. The ransom is provided. God's judgment was averted, not because of anything we did to appease him, but by his own sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. If God has gone to such great lengths to reconcile us to himself and adopt us into his family, how can we refuse? We must not! Father God, we offer you our hearts!

Prayer:

O Gracious God, I know my sin has broken your heart and offended your holiness. Words, therefore, cannot communicate my thankfulness to you. You were hurt by my sin and yet provided a sacrifice to redeem me from it and reconcile me to you. I praise you for your grace, thank you for your love, and promise to share your mercy. Through Jesus my sacrifice I pray. Amen.


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January 11

Psalms 118:5-6

In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Thoughts on today's verse

The beginning of the year has been a trying time for people I care about. Maybe it's been that way for you or those you love. My prayer for you, and for them, is that they may know the comfort of God's presence. Whether it's the popular little poem "Footprints" or the familiar "Yea though I walk through the shadow of death, thou art with me," the presence of the Lord is absolutely vital to standing up against our anguish! The Lord does long to be with us, especially at those moments when we feel most alone. He told us that by experiencing it himself at the cross.

Prayer:

I am thankful, O God, that you refused to be God from a safe distance. Because you came and felt what it was like to be abandoned, forsaken, and alone, I know I can trust that I will never be forsaken by you. Please give me a clearer sense of your presence with me in my life today, I pray through Jesus. Amen.


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January 9

Matthew 6:19-20

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Thoughts on today's verse

Where do you hide your heart? What we most value is where we will find our heart. So it is an important question. You see, we can treasure riches, control, security, relationships, and even church. Jesus comes to remind us that it is only by turning loose of the things that most of us keep as our treasures that we find what is truly treasure.

Prayer:

Majestic Father, I pray that out of the riches of your grace, you may help me find my treasure in you and nothing else. Today, I want to offer you all that I am and have to your glory. Through Jesus my example and Savior I pray. Amen.

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January 8

Amos 5:14-15

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.

Thoughts on today's verse

A whole bunch of folks claim that God is on their side. In reality, that's not important at all. The real question is whether we are on God's side! That's determined more by what we seek and do rather than what we say and believe. God longs to be with us, but he will not sacrifice his character to extend us cheap grace, a grace that does not call us to be like him. He's looking for believers who put their character where their mouth is.

Prayer:

Most Holy God. Your righteousness and holiness are beyond me and my ability to attain. Yet I long, dear Father, to be more like you in every way humanly possible. Let me know of your presence with me as I seek you and your character in my life. Through Jesus the Righteous One I pray. Amen.


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January 7

Ephesians 5:1-2

Be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Thoughts on today's verse

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If we are to sincerely flatter God by being like him, imitation may be the most costly form of flattery as well. You see, love for God is never something that occurs just in our minds or our hearts. Love is something we do for another -- it is action. John said in 1 John 4 that we must love in both our deeds and our words. Love means to give ourselves up -- what we want, our rights, our desires -- to honor God and serve others. This is a kind of love that can change the world, or a marriage, or a family.

Prayer:

Abba Father, I will never fully understand how you could love me so much that you would allow your son to die for me as my sacrifice. Please help me love others sacrificially. I know the power to do this is not within me, so please pour your love into my heart so that I may share that love with others. Through Jesus, my brother and my sacrifice, I pray. Amen.


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January 6

1 Peter 1:13

Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Thoughts on today's verse

When Jesus came the first time, he came to reveal God (John 1:18). As wonderful, powerful, and gracious as he was in his earthly ministry, it did not fully reveal Jesus our Lord. Our hope is tied to his return. When he comes this time, he won't come to reveal God, but to reveal himself -- the conquering Lord, the Rider on the white horse. Every knee will bow. And we will see him as he really and fully is, Immanuel in power and grace. With this as our hope, we can be ready for active service to our king as people who live their lives under his leadership and control.

Prayer:

O Almighty God, I long for the day when I get to see Jesus face to face coming with the angels in power. Until that time, fasten my heart in hope to the glory Jesus will share with me on that day, and please empower me to liv! e as one who knows that victory is mine in Jesus. Jesus, through your powerful name I pray. Amen.'

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January 5

Isaiah 1:16-17

Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless.

Thoughts on today's verse

Do you find it easy to replace service to those in need with religious rituals? I know I do! But God wants us to not get so caught up in talking about him and celebrating his deeds, that we forget we're supposed to care for others like he does. Whether it is Jesus defining his ministry in Luke 4:18-19 or James talking about the kind of piety that pleases God (1:26-27), we must realize true faith is treating others as God would. Today's verse defines what God does and asks us to live the same.

Prayer:

O Great God of all comfort, open my eyes today to see those who need your love and give me the attentiveness, time, and compassion to serve them. May Jesus' work be seen in my life today. Amen.


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January 4

Micah 6:8

[God] has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Thoughts on today's verse

God's desires for us are not hard to discern. He wants to bless us with salvation. The incredible gift of his Son is powerful testimony to this truth. But salvation from sin and death is not something he wants to happen in our lives only once. He wants our lives to daily reflect his salvation and to share it with others. We should act justly and pursue mercy in our relationships, and honor him with our worship from a humble heart.

Prayer:

Almighty and compassionate Father, as I embrace this New Year, help my eyes see what your heart sees. Teach me to hate sin and be merciful to the repentant. Teach me to know truth and act fairly, while hating abuse and exploitation. Through your Spirit, stir me to reflect on the great distance between your holy majesty and my inconsistent character. Make me more your child, I pray, in Jesus name. Amen.


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January 3

Titus 2:11-12

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.

Thoughts on today's verse

In a world that has no absolutes, in a world in search of moral standards, salvation by the costly grace of God beckons us to change our lifestyle in response to God's grace. Anyone who receives grace and refuses to pursue righteousness demonstrates his/her ignorance or hardness of heart. In our day, in our time, to be saved means to pursue righteousness -- not so that we may earn our salvation, but so that God's saving grace will not be fruitless in us.

Prayer:

Holy Father, I confess that I live in a confusing time. Satan is always distorting the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral. Because you have been so gracious with me, may my life today reflect the righteousness you gave me through Jesus. "May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart, be pleasing in your sight, my Rock and my Redeemer." Through Jesus, my atoning sacrifice I pray. Amen.

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Excellent!

Thank God in all things!


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January 2

Psalms 90:12

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Thoughts on today's verse

So often we look up and time has passed us by. The things we promised ourselves we'd accomplish and the deeds we told others we'd do get left undone. Before we know it, days have become weeks, and weeks months, and months years. We find ourselves unable to do what we once assumed we could do any time we want. We must ask the Spirit of God to help us see and seize the opportunities the LORD places in our path.

Prayer:

Father, I confess that so often I leave undone what needs to be done. Please help me see your plans in each of my days and live in a way which not only honors you, but also blesses those you want me to reach. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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