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VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

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Post  Admin on Sat 16 Apr 2011, 5:06 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

April 15, 2011

VERSE:
Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if
revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then
honor.
-- Romans 13:7


THOUGHT:
Wouldn't it be nice for God to let us off the hook at tax time?
But he is calling us to his character, to be good, honest, and
holy. In a world that is fallen and needs redemption, we must learn
to live in it as God's children, but not possessed by it. So we
honor our responsibilities and commitments to others because in
doing so, we honor our Father.


PRAYER:
Holy God, bless my government that it may more wisely use the
taxes it collects from my fellow citizens and me. Please help me
show respect and honor today, so that my obedience to your will may
be personal and public, as well as private. In Jesus' name I pray.
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Post  Admin on Fri 15 Apr 2011, 4:04 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 14, 2011

VERSE:
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is
your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then
vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we
will live and do this or that."
-- James 4:14


THOUGHT:
"If the Lord wills!" Do you do short term and long range
planning? I do. But my planning always has an invisible asterisk:
"If Lord, this is your will and your timing." I don't know about
you, but God has shown me time and again that if I will be open to
him, his timing is always better than my planning. Does that mean I
quit planning? Nope. I just plan with prayer, asking for wisdom and
the Holy Spirit to help me find God's timing to know and do his
will (James 1:5-6 & Ephesians 5:15-18). Life is too short to not
plan with prayer and to not walk led by the Spirit!


PRAYER:
Not my will, Father, but yours be done this day, and all the
days of my life. In Jesus' holy name I ask it. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Apr 2011, 11:06 am

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

April 13, 2011

VERSE:
Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.
-- Psalm 144:4


THOUGHT:
Time is so precious -- time with our families, our children, our
parents, our friends, as well as our brothers and sisters in
Christ. How do you invest your time? Where do you invest it? You
know, it's really more valuable than the money we invest. Once it's
gone, it can't be reclaimed. So as you begin each day, ask God that
you will be able to "know the time," to see it for what it is and
to use it for its greatest good. Time passes quickly, and like the
shadows of early evening, it's not long before it is absorbed into
the gathering darkness of night.


PRAYER:
Eternal God, please give me the wisdom to use the time given me
today to do what is best, right, good, and profitable. I want to
invest my time in what is truly enduring. Please help me use my
time to influence and to bless all those with whom I interact so
that they are brought closer to you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Apr 2011, 11:35 am

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 12, 2011

VERSE:
Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps
the LORD God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.
-- Amos 5:15


THOUGHT:
While we teach our children that we must not hate people, we
also must teach them to loathe injustice, evil, prejudice, and the
mistreatment of the weak. Amos reminded Israel that God demands
justice be administered fairly for both rich and poor, resident and
alien. Their repeated refusals of God's will in these areas brought
destruction upon their land despite their apparent affluence and
power in Amos' day.


PRAYER:
Holy God, I know you are furious at the injustice in so many
lands and are enraged at the ethnic hatred setting our world
ablaze. Please make your people, your Church, a place of justice,
equity, compassion, love, racial healing, and hope. Please begin in
my heart and with my hands to build this better world. In Jesus'
name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Tue 12 Apr 2011, 12:18 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 11, 2011

VERSE:
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality,
however, is found in Christ.
-- Colossians 2:17


THOUGHT:
In the world of religious ideas, Paul reminds the Colossian
Christians that while the shiny religions around them may sound
good and may better fit their desired lifestyle, these religions
are only a shadow of what God offers us in Jesus. In Jesus, we have
reality: spiritual reality and human reality. God has become one of
us in Jesus so we could be one with him. What is real is what we
find in Jesus.


PRAYER:
Give me focus, O Lord, to follow your Son with all my heart. I
know so many other religious ideas are out there, but I also know
that only Jesus showed how much you love me by dying for me and
saving me from sin and death. I want to not only trust him and
follow him, but I also want my character to be conformed to his. In
the name of the only true Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Apr 2011, 12:50 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 10, 2011

VERSE:
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to
live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith
as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
-- Colossians 2:6


THOUGHT:
"New and improved!" That's the key marketing tag to re-introduce
an older product that has fallen out of the public perception. Make
a few changes, then re-market the old product. Paul wants the
Colossians to know that Jesus does not need to be "new and
improved." Instead, they need to follow him as Lord just as they
did when they first became Christians. That is our need, too. Our
lives need to be rooted and nurtured in Christ Jesus as Lord, full
of thankfulness for God's incredible gift of grace in his Son.


PRAYER:
Loving Father and Almighty God, thank you for the gift of your
grace given to me in Jesus Christ. Forgive me when I get fascinated
by what is simply new or when wanderlust hits and I want something
novel. Please make my walk with Jesus fresh each day. Strengthen my
appreciation that his lordship in my life will help me face the
difficult circumstances along the way and greet the exciting new
opportunities each day with joy, strength, hope, and power. In
Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Apr 2011, 9:40 am

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

April 9, 2011

VERSE:
The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from
the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
-- Psalm 50:1


THOUGHT:
Some speak of Mother Nature, but the Scripture speaks of The
Mighty One, God the LORD, who controls our universe and sustains
our world. He speaks and they do his bidding. This is the LORD who
listens to our prayers and who acts for our well-being. He is the
God who sustained his people and sent Jesus to fulfill his
promises. He is the God who will bring us home. We can have
confidence in our future with him!


PRAYER:
Almighty God, Ruler of the Universe, you are incomparable. I
cannot even begin to imagine your glory and power. Nevertheless, I
know, God, that you are not only all powerful, but you are also
near. Please be near some special friends for whom I pray today ...
In Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Apr 2011, 11:40 am

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 8, 2011

VERSE:
O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your
faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
-- Psalm 143:1


THOUGHT:
Some days are just plain tough! Those we care about are hurting.
Our plans are falling through. Our prayers seem to bounce off the
ceiling and fall at our feet. We cry out to God - sometimes in
anger, sometimes in desperation, but especially for mercy. We need
relief! We need hope! We need the Father to respond.


PRAYER:
Faithful and righteous God, loving Father, please come to my
aide and bring me relief from my struggles with sin, with disease,
with discouragement, with friends who are untrue, and with enemies
who work for my humiliation and destruction. I need your help. I
need your mercy. O, dear Father, I need to know your presence and
power in my life today. In Jesus' sweet name I pray. Amen.




TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 7, 2011

VERSE:
Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God
Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.
-- Amos 5:14


THOUGHT:
What do you seek out of today? Do you seek good? Or will you
pursue evil by nursing a grudge, spreading some gossip, or feeding
a lust? God longs to be with us, and he has promised to never leave
us. But where God goes, his character, his righteousness, and his
goodness are sure to follow!


PRAYER:
Good and loving Father, thank you for showing me what goodness
looks like by sending Jesus. Thank you for filling me with your
Spirit so I can produce your good spiritual fruit. Thank you for
putting me within the Body of Christ, your people, so I can have
opportunities to do good deeds for those in need of care. But deep
down, Father, I recognize that you alone are truly good. Help me as
I seek you, your character, and your goodness in my life. In Jesus'
name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Apr 2011, 10:56 am

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 6, 2011

VERSE:
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world,
to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
-- 1 Peter 2:11


THOUGHT:
This world is not our destination; it is our journey! There are
many things here that can distract us from our goal and destroy our
desire to complete our journey. These sinful desires actually are
at war with us. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can
say "NO!" and live with confidence and character before our world
that is trapped in darkness and so desperately needs God's light.


PRAYER:
Forgive me, holy God, for my failure with sin. Empower me,
almighty God, so that I may grow ever closer to your character and
holiness. Help me, loving God, to live a holy life that is
attractive to my friends, family, and neighbors, so they may come
to glorify you by living your life, too. In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen.
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Apr 2011, 12:23 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 5, 2011

VERSE:
I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
-- Psalm 55:16-17


THOUGHT:
Wow, this Psalm of confidence in God suddenly has a much more
powerful ring to it after remembering the resurrection of Christ!
God does save us. God does listen to our voices. We can be sure he
both hears and acts to bring salvation for us. The only question is
whether we call out to God evening, morning and noon trusting in
his response?


PRAYER:
Abba Father, I have burdens on my heart about things in my own
life that need your grace and power. Please hear my voice and my
heart as I share these concerns with you ... In addition, dear
Father, please place your loving touch on the following people for
whom I'm concerned ... Thank you for hearing me and saving me. In
the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Apr 2011, 12:12 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

April 4, 2011

VERSE:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples
were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus
came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he
said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were
overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
-- John 20:19


THOUGHT:
"Overjoyed" would be an understatement! After having every dream
shattered, now they share the unspeakable joy of seeing what was
not possible and experiencing what was unthinkable. The power
available to them is now unlimited and their future is without
boundary. Jesus, their Teacher, is Lord of all and their future is
in his hands.


PRAYER:
I praise you, O mighty God, for raising Jesus from the dead and
for the assurance that I will one day be with you and with all
those who love you. Thank you for doing what is not possible and
giving me faith in what is unimaginable. Please use this power to
conform my character to your will and to the example of Christ. In
Christ Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Apr 2011, 3:40 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

April 3, 2011

VERSE:
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus.
Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared
the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away.
He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited
Jesus at night.
-- John 19:38-39


THOUGHT:
The power of the Cross is demonstrated in the lives of these two
men, neither of whom showed himself fully to be a disciple of Jesus
in his ministry. Now in his death, they make sure he is given a
proper burial, making themselves unclean for the Passover and
proving themselves loyal to the Lord at the worst time for them to
do so. The Cross touched them when nothing else could, just as it
has touched us!


PRAYER:
Righteous Father, I know the cross was a brutal symbol of being
cursed. Yet to me it is as precious as it is brutal and it is as
beautiful as it was hideous. Through the Cross, you saved me from
my sin and showed how much you loved me. Thank you! Please use my
life in some small way to glorify you and your indescribable gift
at Calvary. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Apr 2011, 4:28 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
April 2, 2011

VERSE:
Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had
often met there with his disciples.
-- John 18:2


THOUGHT:
Judas knew where to find Jesus during this intense period of
religious preparation. It was no secret that Jesus would be with
his disciples in the garden praying together. If we had someone who
wanted to betray us, where would that person tell our enemies to
find us? Would they know where we would go to be in prayer?
Interesting questions aren't they? Can you imagine a better
complement than our enemies knowing that they could find us in the
place of prayer?


PRAYER:
Forgive me, Father, for not joining you more faithfully in the
precious time of prayer. I confess that I get busy, distracted, and
even disinterested in my prayer time with you. I am sorry. I am not
sure why I have to approach this blessing as a discipline. I pray
for your Spirit to create a burning in my heart that calls me
joyfully to this grace of prayer. Your presence and concern truly
are my sustaining hope. Thank you for always listening even when
I've been neglectful, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Apr 2011, 2:40 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

March 31, 2011

VERSE:
"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is
what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your
feet, you also should wash one another's feet."
-- John 13:15-16


THOUGHT:
Before Jesus went to the cross, he showed his disciples what it
means to live in a cross-centered community: he took the position
of a household slave and washed his disciples' feet. He did it
knowing they would run from him, disown him, betray him, and deny
him. Incredible! But he also says that I'm to do it, too. "You
can't say you love me," Jesus is saying, "if you won't love those I
suffered and died for!" (See 1 John 3:14-18 & 4:7-12.)


PRAYER:
O God, I want to be like my Teacher and your Son. I renounce my
self-seeking ways so that I can genuinely serve your children, even
those who may not be kind to me. Please give me the strength,
courage, and patience to live up to these convictions and more
perfectly reflect the character of Christ. In the name of Jesus, my
Lord, I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Thu 31 Mar 2011, 11:29 am

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 30, 2011

VERSE:
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who
believes in me should stay in darkness.
-- John 12:46


THOUGHT:
One of the great stories in the Gospel of John is Nicodemus. He
came to Jesus at night and Jesus told him that those who love the
truth come to the light. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus even
though he was ridiculed for it. Then, at the worst possible time
politically and religiously, he showed himself as Jesus' disciple:
he took the broken and dead body of Jesus and helped Joseph of
Arimathea place him in a tomb. Nicodemus didn't stay in the
darkness. Neither should we. Jesus is the light of the world; if
our light cannot be found in him, how deep is our darkness!


PRAYER:
Father, I want to walk in the light with you. The darkness of
Calvary did not extinguish the light in Jesus; it made it burn more
brightly for me. At the cross, I see your love for me. At the
cross, I realize that Jesus took my sins away. At the cross, I see
Jesus' love for both you and me perfected. Thank you, Father for
your gracious salvation. Thank you, Jesus for your incredible
sacrifice. In the name Jesus, your perfect Lamb I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Wed 30 Mar 2011, 4:43 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 29, 2011

VERSE:
When he [Judas] was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man
glorified and God is glorified in him."
-- John 13:31


THOUGHT:
In the powerful old hymn "Beneath the Cross of Jesus," we sing
"my glory all the cross." That was genuinely true of Jesus. While
other human leaders try to find glory in all sorts of ways, Jesus'
path to glory was the cross, because he was not after acclaim, but
wanted to obey and glorify the Father! When Judas left the Last
Supper, the final stages of the process were set in motion that
would bring Jesus to the horrors of Calvary. But rather than seeing
the cross as his degradation, it was his way of glorifying God.


PRAYER:
Dear Lord, please forgive me for seeking the approval and
recognition of others. Forgive me for being so self-centered.
Forgive me for thinking of my glory and not yours. Forgive me when
I have trampled on the hearts of others because I was so busy
gaining attention for myself. Jesus' example in the last week of
his life shocks me back to reality and helps me realize that true
greatness is found in serving you, completely, no matter the cost.
In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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Post  Admin on Tue 29 Mar 2011, 1:46 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 28, 2011

VERSE:
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and
testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray
me."
-- John 13:21


THOUGHT:
I can still remember my friend saying it in church one Sunday:
"We think so badly of old Judas for betraying the Lord for 30
pieces of silver, but how many times do we betray him for nothing?"
Ouch! What makes this so difficult for us to bear is Jesus' anguish
knowing one of his own would betray him. Let's make every effort
and call upon God's strength so that such betrayal can never be
true of us! And if it ever is, let's make sure we run toward his
grace with an honest desire to escape sin and come back to him!


PRAYER:
Jesus, I am sorry for the times I have broken your heart with my
rebellion and neglect. Father God, I apologize for my lack of
passion and zeal for your Son's sacrifice that saved me from sin
and death. I want to live more vibrantly for Jesus so others may
see him and come to know him. It is in his precious and holy name I
pray. Amen.

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Post  Admin on Mon 28 Mar 2011, 5:10 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 27, 2011

VERSE:
He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to
present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from
accusation.
-- Colossians 1:22


THOUGHT:
"Christians aren't perfect; they're just forgiven." We know we
are not perfect. We know our weaknesses, inadequacies, sinfulness,
pettiness, immaturity, cowardice ... But Jesus demonstrated his
love for us on the Cross as he offered his body and shed his blood.
His sacrifice means that God looks at us as "perfect." Jesus'
sacrifice means we are holy, without blemish, and without
chargeable offense in God's presence! Jesus' perfect sacrifice has
brought us perfect reconciliation with God!


PRAYER:
Forgive me, Almighty God, for my sins. I get sick of them and
frustrated with my own inability to completely overcome them.
Strengthen me, dear Father, so that I will have more fortitude and
courage to face temptation victoriously. Thank you, God of glory,
for sharing your perfection and glory with me by sending Jesus. I
praise you O God, my Rock and my Redeemer, for you have made me
your child! In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sun 27 Mar 2011, 5:07 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT

March 26, 2011

VERSE:
...while we wait for the blessed hope -- the glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us
to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people
that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
-- Titus 2:13-14


THOUGHT:
Some of the most basic and elevated statements about Jesus are
made in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. These letters are devoted to help
ministers mature churches in difficult places. They are incredibly
practical, but also are rooted in the work of Jesus, his divinity,
and his faithfulness. We are waiting for the Faithful One! We trust
that he will come for us because of what he sacrificed to redeem
us. While we wait, we honor his mission by being a people eager to
do what is good, showing in our lives that he is our Lord.


PRAYER:
O God, I find myself waiting for Jesus. Because he is coming for
me, I know my life has direction and meaning even on those days
that are long, hard, and seemingly fruitless. Fire my heart to wait
longingly for Jesus' glorious appearing and stir my desires to want
what is only good and holy. I want to see you! But, dear Lord, I
also long to be like you! In the glorious name of Jesus I pray.
Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sat 26 Mar 2011, 6:57 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 25, 2011

VERSE:
Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the
LORD, and he will deliver you.
-- Proverbs 20:22


THOUGHT:
Revenge is Satan's way of destroying both the innocent and the
offender. Once vengeance becomes the motivation, the wounded party
can suddenly be swept up in rage and hatred. This poison spreads to
everything the vengeful person touches. On earth, we can see that
we will never find perfect and complete justice, no matter the
"goodness" of the judicial system in place at the time. But God
will not only bring justice; he will deliver us: deliver us from
the hands of the oppressor and deliver us from the poison of
hatred.


PRAYER:
Forgiving Lord, God of all justice and steadfast love, I ask you
to be at work in the justice system of my land. Make it more
equitable and true. Expose those who buy and sell justice and
remove them from power. Deal with the violent and the oppressor
with your hand. Please Lord, by the power of your Spirit, stir me
to forgive others and to wait on your justice. Guard me from the
poison of an unforgiving and vengeful heart. May my attitude,
behavior, and response to those who wrong me help lead them to know
your Son as their Savior. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Fri 25 Mar 2011, 10:32 am

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 24, 2011

VERSE:
May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O
Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame
because of me, O God of Israel.
-- Psalm 69:6


THOUGHT:
What a beautiful prayer for any Christian! In a world that is so
self-absorbed, isn't it refreshing to be reminded of the powerful
impact for good and bad that we can have? Let's not only be
reminded of the devastating impact of our hypocrisy and rebellion,
let's also pray that our failures will not be destructive to the
Kingdom's increase nor to our brothers and sisters in Christ as
they seek to serve and honor the Lord!


PRAYER:
O gracious and mighty God, I do not want to sin. I know it is
rebellion against you and it breaks your heart. I do not want to
sin because I know it diminishes me and makes me even more
vulnerable to Satan's attacks in the future. I don't want to sin
and bring disgrace upon your cause O God. And Father, I don't want
to sin and be the cause of those seeking you to stumble. Please
forgive my sins, but please Father, strengthen me and help me not
stumble in my time of temptation. In the name of the one who
conquered temptation and sin, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Thu 24 Mar 2011, 12:34 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 23, 2011

VERSE:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds
because of your evil behavior.
-- Colossians 1:21


THOUGHT:
So many people reject God because of the things they do not want
to give up for him. They may couch it in an intellectual argument,
but quite often they do not want to surrender their will to God
because it will mean giving up something they love that is in
conflict with the character of God. Many evangelists know that
intellectual arguments seldom will win this kind of person to the
truth. Instead, they must come to know Jesus and his sacrificial
love for them before they are able to realize that God's demand for
holiness in them is because he is their ally, not their enemy.


PRAYER:
Holy and almighty God, I praise you for your love and holiness.
Thank you for demonstrating both by sending Jesus to save me. I
regret the times that I saw your desire for holiness to be too
demanding or harsh. I thank you for loving me enough to not only
save me in Jesus, but also to call me to a holy life under your
protection and care. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Wed 23 Mar 2011, 10:57 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 22, 2011

VERSE:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the
mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
-- Psalm 46:1-2


THOUGHT:
God is not only our protector; he is our helper. Even when our
world seems to be crashing around us, he is there. He will deliver
us from death or deliver us through death. He will deliver us from
evil or he will deliver us to overcome evil. Our task is to trust
that in the midst of our earthquakes and tidal waves that we are
not alone and not abandoned.


PRAYER:
Holy God, I pray for those today who are in the middle of life's
earthquakes. You know those for whom I am concerned. You know I
care about their struggles which are too big for me to mitigate and
too painful for me to truly bring comfort. I ask you now to bless
them, be with them, and please deliver them quickly. You are our
only true hope and Jesus is our only sure redeemer. In the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.


Tozer Devotional
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Concentrating on Things that Really Matter

In the Christian life also we find this pattern repeated: a few important things and a world of burdensome but unimportant ones. The Spirit-taught Christian must look past the multiplicity of incidental things and find the few that really matter. And let it be repeated for our encouragement, they are few in number and surprisingly easy to identify. The Scriptures make perfectly clear what they are: the fact of God, the Person and work of Christ, faith and obedience, hope and love. These along with a few more constitute the essence of the truth which we must know and love. Christ summed up the moral law as love to God and man. Salvation He made to rest upon faith in God and in the One whom He had sent. Paul simplified the wonders of the spiritual life in the words, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." The temptation to forget the few spiritual essentials and to go wandering off after unimportant things is very strong, especially to Christians of a certain curious type of mind. Such persons find the great majors of the faith of our fathers altogether too tame for them. Their souls loathe that light bread; their appetites crave the gamy tang of fresh-killed meat. They take great pride in their reputation as being mighty hunters before the Lord, and any time we look out we may see them returning from the chase with some new mystery hanging limply over their shoulder. Usually the game they bring down is something on which there is a biblical closed season. Some vague hint in the Scriptures, some obscure verse about which the translators disagree, some marginal note for which there is not much scholarly authority: these are their favorite meat. They are especially skillful at propounding notions which have never been a part of the Christian heritage of truth. Their enthusiasm mounts with the uncertainty of their position, and their dogmatism grows firmer in proportion to the mystery which surrounds their subject.

Verse
always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 2 Timothy 3:7

Thought
Seizing upon minor issues and becoming engrossed in details can be an excuse for failure to live the unmistakable truth.

Prayer
O God, You are the Light. The closer I come to You the more clearly the dark holes of my heart are exposed. Shine on me and burn away the dross. For Christ's sake.
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 Mar 2011, 11:50 am


TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 21, 2011

VERSE:
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
-- Proverbs 8:13


THOUGHT:
When we have a deep and reverential respect for our holy God, we
are going to love what he loves and hate what he hates. We need to
realize, however, that the word "hate" is used very carefully in
Scripture. This strong verb is not used often, and when it is used
with God as the subject, the object of God's hatred needs to be
noticed. God hates evil, which in this case is defined as pride,
arrogance, evil behavior, and vile speech. These are things that
Christians not only avoid, but they also loathe. God wants his
people to be people of character -- people of humility, moral
behavior, and helpful speech.


PRAYER:
O holy and righteous Father, forgive me of my pride and
self-interest. Forgive me for my arrogance and deceptive tongue.
Remake me by your Spirit to be holy in word and deed, compassionate
toward those in need, and freed from evil. To you, O LORD, be the
glory in my life and in your Church, forever and ever. In Jesus'
name. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Mon 21 Mar 2011, 3:31 pm

TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT
March 20, 2011

VERSE:
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and
through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on
earth or things in heaven, by making peace with his blood, shed on
the cross.
-- Colossians 1:19-20


THOUGHT:
How do you comprehend both the majesty and the sacrifice of
Jesus? We've been looking at our Lord's identity all this month and
still we find ourselves amazed, delighted, bewildered, and blessed
by his glorious and humble character. The main thing, however, is
that he made peace between a perfect heaven and a flawed humanity.
He made this peace at horrific cost, the shedding of his own blood
on the torture tree at Calvary. He did this with all of God's
pleasure and nature in himself. He did this because of our sin. He
did this because of love.


PRAYER:
O Father, I am sorry that it took such a great sacrifice to
atone for my sin. I am thankful that you loved so much that you
would pay the price for that sacrifice. I praise you for bridging
the distance that I could not cover that my sin created between you
and me. May you be as pleased with me today and see my life as a
praise for your costly grace. In Jesus' name I thank you. Amen.
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