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Post  Admin on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 5:00 pm

January 24

Today's Reading: Exodus 9; Matthew 15:21-39

Today's Thoughts: Listen to What You Hear
 
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Give ear and hear my voice, Listen and hear my speech. - Isaiah 28:23

Have you ever thought about the difference between hearing and listening? Did you know there was a difference? To "listen" means that we are paying attention to the sound, thoughtful and considerate attention to the sound. To "hear" refers to perceiving something with our ears, kind of like seeing with our ears. In life today there are literally thousands of noises a day that compete for our attention. There are so many different noises and sounds that most of us do not pay attention to most of them. The television can be on, the phone ringing, and everyone in my house talking at once and I can still tune most of it out. It is not that I am not hearing the noise, but I am not listening to it.

God gave us ears to hear the beauty of sound and He gave us the ability to listen so that the sound can be understood. When both hearing and listening work together, we have an understanding of the purpose of the sound. You can hear music but not listen to the words. When both music and lyrics are understood, the beauty and meaning of the whole song is revealed to you. You can hear the words of a person speaking to you, but if you truly listen to the person, you will better understand their heart and the meaning behind their words. The same principle holds true with God's Word. We can hear the Word preached, taught and read. We can read the Word ourselves and hear our own voices speak it. But, when we really listen to God's Word, then our understanding begins to change. So many times, people leave church after having heard a sermon and not remember anything about it. When we are listening and giving consideration to what we are hearing, we will leave thinking about what we just heard. The next step is to start talking back to God, asking Him to open up more of our understanding.

Take time today and think about how much you hear versus how much you listen. How much are you missing of what God has for you? Is He talking to you but you are not paying attention? Take your Bible and read today's chapter in Isaiah. Instead of just reading the words and hearing them in your head, pray the Holy Spirit will give you the power to listen and to understand the message God has for you. When the Word of God truly becomes His voice in your life, then your hearing and listening will open up a new world of understanding for you. Your life will change. But it all begins with understanding the difference between hearing and listening—start listening to God today.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 7:53 pm

January 23

Today's Reading: Exodus 16; Matthew 18:1-20

Today's Thoughts: Be Set Apart
 
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But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him. Psalm 4:3

Do you know that you are set apart by God and for God?  We are sanctified, set apart and made holy, because the Lord has set us apart from the ungodly. This sanctification starts to take place when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and are redeemed by His blood. It is a lifelong process and God's work within our life. We live in the world but are not to be of the world—we are to be set apart. Jesus prayed in John 17:17 that we would be sanctified by the truth, the Word of God. The Word of truth sets us apart from the world when we live by it and make it our daily bread. Even though as people we are all different and set apart from each other for various reasons, we are chosen by God to be set apart for Him. And sanctification is a process God uses to set us more and more apart from the world as we walk with Him daily. 

Are you living a life set apart and made holy - sanctified - by the Word of God? Did you know that the Lord has set you apart for Himself? Take time today and look up verses on being set apart and sanctified. We need to take this calling very seriously and learn what a sanctified life really looks like. Pray that the Lord will guide you and that His Holy Spirit will teach you how to live a life set apart from this world, even though you live in this world.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 Jan 2019, 11:28 pm

January 22

Today's Reading: Exodus 4; Matthew 14:22-36

Today's Thoughts: All That You Need


 
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Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? - Matthew 6:26

For some reason, my home has been chosen as the nesting place of several families of birds, particularly under the eaves of our house. I have never seen so many birds' nests lodged right above our windows and doors. As I walked out my back door the other day, I looked up at a bird nest just as the momma bird was flying away. The next thing I saw were three little bird mouths opened wide and waiting for their next meal. I was reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:26 in that the birds do not have to worry about their next meal because our heavenly Father feeds them.

Jesus then says to us: "Are you not of more value than they?" I must admit I have spent many days worrying about earthly needs. I have wasted precious time trying to figure out how to provide for the things I need, or my family needs, or the needs of someone else in my life. I was even tempted to somehow try and provide for those baby birds. Even as I stood there looking at their little mouths crying out for food, I knew the Lord was cautioning me not to get involved. To interrupt their nest could be a death sentence for them, not a rescue. I realized that when I try so hard to intervene in what God is trying to do in my own life, I often end up causing more harm than good.  I just need to trust Him and get out of His way. He will take care of all of my needs. We should act only when we know it is God moving us to act!

Take time and thank the Lord today for taking care of your needs. He already knows everything you want and need. Just as those baby birds are completely taken care of (even being sent to my welcoming house), our heavenly Father is taking care of us too. We are more valuable to the Lord than all of the birds of the air put together. If He cares for them, He will absolutely care for us!

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 1:38 pm

January 20

Today's Reading: Genesis 49; Matthew 13:31-58

Today's Thoughts: God means for Good

When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him." So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, "Before your father died he commanded, saying,  'Thus you shall say to Joseph: "I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you." ' Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.  Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, "Behold, we are your servants." Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.  Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. - Genesis 50:15-21

One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of Joseph. Joseph was one of twelve brothers, all born to Jacob (Israel). From these brothers came the nation of Israel, God's chosen people. God had a plan from the beginning to raise up a nation of His people, a people set apart to be holy and dedicated to Him. The fulfillment of God's plan of redemption, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would come from this line of people. But early on, attempts would be made to thwart this plan. One such attempt came in the life of Joseph. Jealousy and selfishness led his brothers to sell him to a foreign people where Joseph would eventually end up as a prisoner in Egypt. But God's hand was upon Joseph and through the years of his captivity he found much favor with his superiors, being entrusted ultimately with governing the land of Egypt.  But the day would come when the family would be reunited. How would Joseph receive his brothers who had done such an evil thing to him so many years earlier?

The brothers were afraid that Joseph would avenge their wrongdoing, but instead he forgave them. Verse 20 sums it up: what they meant for evil against Joseph, God meant for good so that many would be saved. God had a plan and that plan was carried out through Joseph. If Joseph had not been in Egypt, the famine that engulfed the land would have killed the entire family. Joseph was the one who would make sure there was enough grain to sustain the land. It was God's plan to spare this family. They were to become His chosen people. It was God's plan to use Joseph. It was God's plan to work for good the evil that Joseph had endured. For us today, God has a plan. Regardless of the evil that comes against us, God can work it together for good. Look to the Lord and ask Him to work all things together for good.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 11:17 pm

January 19

Today's Reading: Genesis 46; Matthew 13:1-30

Today's Thoughts: God’s Ways

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Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. - Psalms 119:5-6

This psalmist dealt with the same issues of guilt that we have today. When we consider all that God requires, His standard is too high. How is one to follow His ways when God's ways are perfect and we are not? Like the psalmist, we cry out, "Oh, I wish my ways were consistent in following and obeying You. Then I would feel better about myself."

The problem with thinking this way is that God wants us to be thankful for His provision and not think of ourselves any higher than we ought. Jesus provides us with all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). It is because of Jesus that we can have a relationship with the Father. When our shortcomings turn our focus to ourselves, we have guilt and condemnation. When our eyes are focused on Jesus, despite our shortcomings, we are thankful to Him. God wants us thankful. He already knows our shortcomings and knows the extent of our ability to sin, but He saved us anyway. And He loves us anyway.

Lately, everywhere I turn in the Bible, I am seeing that God desires a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. He wants me to sing to Him in gratitude for all He has done and is doing. The word sacrifice reminds us that giving Him thanks and praise is not easy when we are feeling guilty, angry, frustrated, depressed or miserable. But by praising Him during those times, it releases our faith to look to Him instead of to ourselves.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Fri 18 Jan 2019, 11:48 am

January 18

Today's Reading: Genesis 43; Matthew 12:24-50

Today's Thoughts: What’s in Your Heart?

So Judah and his brothers came to Joseph's house, and he was still there; and they fell before him on the ground. And Joseph said to them, "What deed is this you have done? Did you not know that such a man as I can certainly practice divination?" Then Judah said, "What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how shall we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; here we are, my lord's slaves, both we and he also with whom the cup was found." But he said, "Far be it from me that I should do so; the man in whose hand the cup was found, he shall be my slave. And as for you, go up in peace to your father." - Genesis 44:14-17

What kind of response do you think Joseph was looking for? He placed his cup into the pouch of his brother, Benjamin (the only brother that had the same mother). Did Joseph want to reveal his identity to Benjamin alone or was he testing the hearts of the brothers to see if they had changed after all of these years? Both Joseph and Benjamin were their father’s favorite children because they were born by the mother Jacob loved most. Favoritism does bring about jealousy, resentment and bitterness but the brothers were still responsible for their own behavior before God. After all these years, Joseph probably wondered what his other brothers thought of their actions in selling him. Did they regret it? Would they do it again? Were they treating Benjamin the same way?


 
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Now, that God had given Joseph the upper hand, Joseph patiently and wisely tested his brothers to discern what was in their hearts. Judah said, “God has found out the iniquity of your servants.” In other words, he was acknowledging that the brothers deserve to be treated as slaves for the sin they had been hiding all these years in selling Joseph as a slave.

Because God exists and He is just, what goes around, comes around. We truly do reap what we sow and these boys knew it firsthand. God is willing to forgive and we find Joseph acting like the God he trusts in. 

I pray that we all may have the heart of both types of men:

Joseph – being willing to forgive

The brothers – being willing to openly and honestly confess and repent for wrongdoing against God and others.

God tests our hearts because He wants us to know what is in them. He already knows and He is so gracious to forgive as soon as we are willing to confess.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 17 Jan 2019, 12:04 pm

January 17

Today's Reading: Genesis 41; Matthew 12:1-23

Today's Thoughts: Pray Without Ceasing

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Pray without ceasing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

How do we do that? Well, I studied prayer for a while as if it were a science. I read about men who were known to be prayer warriors. But I noticed that by the end of their lives, many of them said that the one regret they had was that they didn’t pray enough. Immediately I prayed, “Oh Lord, don’t let that happen to me. Do not let anyone quote me saying that. Teach me to pray without ceasing. Teach me to tap into Your heart at the mall as much as when I am in trouble or in pain. Teach me that You are listening at a rock concert as well as at the beach. Teach me to include You in everything and take nothing for granted. And oh Lord, teach me to thank You for it all.”

God has given us His Holy Spirit on earth and has a will for us that He wants fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven. So, what does it take to have God’s heart so much in mine that He can fulfill His will on earth as it is in heaven with me? Verses like “Ask and it will be given,” “Whatever you ask, it will be given,” allowed me permission to ask for everything. I realized that He was with me wherever I went. He just wanted to be included. He heard my words but knew the desires of my heart. He might not answer my words but He would fulfill the desire. And as time passed, I realized that He placed a lot of those desires in my heart just so He could fulfill them. The key was learning to pinpoint my true motivation. God looks at my heart and He weighs the thoughts and motives of the heart. If I was asking out of selfishness, He didn’t answer. If I told Him that I thought my motive was selfish, He answered. And He would answer those prayers just like I asked. So I got another piece in the puzzle. God rewards honesty.

I could not have learned these lessons without writing out my prayers.  Prayer Journaling helps to clarify your thoughts, intents and motives. Writing allows you to focus and really understand who you are and what you want before the Lord. We have prayer journals that have helped us. And we have instructional CDs to teach you how to get started. Our heart’s desire is that you may learn to pray God’s heart and for you to see heaven open up on earth as He uses you, for we serve an Awesome and Faithful God.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Wed 16 Jan 2019, 12:01 pm

January 16

Today's Reading: Genesis 39; Matthew 11

Today's Thoughts: John’s Doubts

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" - Matthew 11:2-3

John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1, he was prophesied as the messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah. He was the one anointed in his mother’s womb and filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41), and appointed by God to bear witness of Jesus, the Son of God. John the Baptist was the one who baptized Jesus and witnessed the Holy Spirit’s descent upon Him like a dove (John 1:32). This same John the Baptist is now wondering if this Jesus is the real Messiah. Should he look for someone else? What happened to John? What went wrong with his faith?

The Messiah was expected to come to earth and to set up His kingdom. Jesus, therefore, was the long-awaited King of the Jews. Everyone who believed in Him fully expected the prophecies of His earthly reign to be fulfilled in their day. But Jesus would answer John’s question showing a much different purpose for His coming than what John and the Jewish people expected. Jesus sent back the message that, “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). Jesus did not come the first time to set up His kingdom; He humbled Himself and died on a cross for our sins. He came as the final sacrifice. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. So John’s expectations were not met, thus, he began to question (or doubt) if Jesus was the true Messiah.

How often do we put Jesus in our box and look to Him to meet our expectations? What happens when Jesus does not meet us the way we think He should? It is in those moments that our faith is tested the most. As humans, we tend to have very short memories. We forget so quickly how real the Lord has been to us, only to experience those moments when we wonder if He was ever real at all. Pray that your faith is strengthened in times of testing. Pray that you do not forget all that Jesus has done in your life. Pray that you never doubt that He is the true Son of God.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 15 Jan 2019, 11:47 am

January 15

Today's Reading: Genesis 36; Matthew 10:21-42

Your Thoughts on Today’s Passage: A Believer’s Peace


 
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Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things where with one may edify another. - Romans 14:19

Today, believers and unbelievers alike are looking for peace. But how do we follow after the things of peace?  Since everyone is longing and searching for peace, let’s first define the difference between the peace of the unbeliever with the peace of the believer.

The unbeliever is looking for peace in the outer circumstances of their lives. “If only the world was a peaceful place to be, if only we had a leader that would establish peace, if only everyone else would be kind to one another….then we would have peace” are the hopes and thoughts of the unbelievers. So, they look for leaders who could bring this kind of peace to their environment. We all agree with this kind of thinking to some extent. Wouldn’t we all be happy with world peace and conflict free circumstances? But Jesus tells us that in this world you will have tribulation and the Bible teaches that the only leader who will bring world peace is the spirit of the antichrist. World peace cannot last under his reign for Satan is the master of division, destruction, disaster and death.

A believer’s peace is different. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you.” The kind of peace Jesus gives is peace of heart. Christians should have great peace knowing that they are unconditionally loved and that God has a purpose for them. There is great peace seeing prayers answered and understanding the things of God. As a believer begins to meditate upon the things of God, the peace they receive in their hearts starts training their minds to think differently. We start hearing praise songs going through our minds and thanking God for His lovingkindness and goodness towards us. Finally, this peace of Christ is lived out through the believers’ behaviors. Their attitude is not negative and they smile for no reason. They are focused but not self centered. And their behavior starts reflecting a trust in God that all things will work together for good because they love God and know God loves them. A believer understands that it is not about conflict-free circumstances that bring peace but about Jesus who brings peace in the midst of all kinds of circumstances. So, we follow after the things of peace leading us to follow the Author of perfect peace Himself.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Mon 14 Jan 2019, 10:17 pm

January 14

Today's Reading: Genesis 33:1-31; Matthew 10:1-20

Today's Thoughts: Renew Your Mind

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:1-2

Have you ever found yourself humming or singing a song that is in your mind but you are not sure where it came from? So often, I will walk out of a store with a familiar tune playing in my head. The same thing happens when we watch television. Images from movies and television shows repeatedly play over and over in our minds. The power of sound and visual imagery can dominate us and yet, in many ways, we are somewhat immune to their influence. The entire marketing industry knows that repetitive marketing slogans will lead us to desire and purchase them. Our minds are well-trained in the ways of the world.

As Christians, we need to be aware of the worldly influences that infiltrate our minds. Thoughts tend to build upon each other and that can lead us into ungodly habits and patterns. The devil will tell us that whatever is in our minds is just for us; no one will get hurt, and no one will ever know. But in time, out thoughts will begin to change our behaviors and ultimately, some of those hidden things in our minds will be exposed in our lives. We must guard against these influences from the start. We must be on the offensive at all times. The apostle Paul tells us that we are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our minds must be renewed daily, moment by moment, and this training begins by keeping certain things out. Make a conscious choice to avoid watching certain programs or movies. Turn off the noise in the car and replace it with music of praise and worship. We need to put things in our minds that glorify our Lord, for He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world.

Is it a sacrifice? Yes. We must present our bodies and minds to be a sacrifice unto God. The best part is that our sacrifice is greatly rewarded in the blessings that come from having a sound mind filled with peace and joy. Ask the Lord to help you today, and pray for His power to overcome the enticing activities of the world. Retrain your mind and your life will change.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 13 Jan 2019, 10:54 am

January 13

Today's Reading: Genesis 31; Matthew 9:18-38

Today's Thoughts: A Changed Heart

And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you." So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field, to his flock, and said to them, "I see your father's countenance, that it is not favorable toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me. And you know that with all my might I have served your father. Yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me.   Genesis 31:2-7

God is God and He can change the heart of people for your advantage. Jacob knew that despite all his efforts and hard work, Laban's heart was changing towards him. Jacob described it as "not favorable toward him as before." This would seem like an injustice to Jacob since he had worked for Laban who had deceived him and changed his wages unfairly 10 times. And through it all, Laban was completely blessed because of Jacob. However, for some strange reason, Laban's heart changed towards Jacob and his work. With the unfair treatment and Laban's change of heart, Jacob wanted to move on. Why? Because God wanted Jacob to leave and when leaving, God did not want Jacob to ever look back and regret his decision. So God allowed Laban to test Jacob unfairly and to cause Jacob to desire to leave.

Has this ever happened to you? It happens in all kinds of circumstances where people form close ties that are mutually beneficial. A person's heart can change towards a friend when they fear they are losing something of value, but God can change a heart simply for His purposes, even when the innocent one is treated unfairly. It is hard being the one who is mistreated because the heart of a friend has changed against you. But God knows your heart as well as the heart of your former friend.

If you are finding yourself in this place, completely trust in the Lord. Even though you might not have ever left, He still may change circumstances and hearts to get you to change. Some of us pray for years to have our circumstances change. For others of us, we are so surprised when God intervenes and changes a heart. But if you really examine your prayers, the change should not catch you off guard. God is good like that. You can trust Him. He knows where you need to be and He will perform miracles to get you there. 

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 13 Jan 2019, 12:16 am

January 12

Today's Reading: Genesis 29; Matthew 9:1-17

Today's Thoughts: Division

 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness….Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. - Genesis 1:4, 6-7

God is in the business of division. As in creation, He divided whatever was necessary in order to bring order. He divides light and darkness today also. That is why His people are in this world but not of it. God’s children are separated from the world as they are sanctified, or set apart, for the things of God. As Christians, we think of the Lord as One who wants to make “everything ok” or to bring peace to a given situation. However, the Lord Jesus clearly said that He came to divide.

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

If you have troubles with loved ones who don’t know the Lord, be at peace in the Lord. It is the work of the Lord in your life that has changed you so that you feel the division. Your love for your loved ones shouldn’t change, but your heart’s desire to see them come to Christ will set you apart or divide you from them. Keep praying, keep loving and keep your peace in Jesus. He didn’t give peace to the world but brought peace to you individually as He set you apart for Him.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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January 11

Today's Reading: Genesis 27; Matthew 8:18-34

Today's Thoughts: God’s Promise

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“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." - Genesis 28:15

Today's verse is a promise that God made to Jacob. As Jacob lay asleep, the Lord stood over him and reaffirmed the promise that He had given his father, Isaac, and his grandfather, Abraham. The Lord told Jacob of how his descendants would be as the dust of the earth, scattered in all directions and blessed to be in God's family. God kept His promise and the rest of the Old Testament tells the story of His people, a people known as the children of Israel. (Israel  was the new name given to Jacob by God.)

 The literal context of this verse is stated above but the spiritual context is applicable to us today. Did you know that the Lord has a promise for your life, even in this verse? How does something written so long ago become relevant to our lives now? Many people miss out on the Old Testament message because they see no relevance to our modern lives. But the Holy Spirit makes the message critically relevant to our lives right here and right now. The promise that God gave Jacob is also a promise that He gives us. Hebrews 13:5 says that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. For Jacob, God had given him a specific promise about the nation of Israel, a nation yet to be born at the time of the encounter. What promise has God given you, or do you know? For starters, He promises to never leave you and that He will be with you and keep you wherever you go. God promises to always be with you. What an awesome promise!

 Sometimes we just need to open the Bible and start reading. Maybe someone reading this right now needs to hear that God promises to always be with them. The Holy Spirit takes the Word of God and speaks to our hearts personally, a message just for us. The Bible is filled with stories and literal accounts of historical events, but in every story and every account, there is a personal message just for you. Please do not miss out on the spiritual message. You will find what you need if you seek for it: a promise, a confirmation, an answer. You will love the Bible stories, but when they become real to you in your life, and apply to you in some way today, your life will change and you will have an insatiable appetite for God's Word.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 10 Jan 2019, 3:37 pm

January 10

Today's Reading: Genesis 25; Matthew 8:1-17

Today's Thoughts: Chronicle Your Blessings

Then Moses said, "This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: 'Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.' " - Exodus 16:32
 
Do you ever forget things? Have you ever tried something out of the ordinary, maybe even silly, just to remember something of importance? Some people tie strings around their fingers, some write post-it notes and stick them in plain view, and others go so far as to take memory classes or use self-help tools for memory enhancement. Let’s face it, we all deal with memory lapses at times, and most of us have forgotten at least one thing we wished we had remembered.   

Think about how much information goes into our brains on a constant basis. We live in a world filled with constant stimuli with each piece fighting for a place of priority in our thoughts. Our days begin with so much to do that our organizers and calendars need more power. Sometimes I am amazed at just how soon I can forget something, regardless of the tactics, tools or tricks I might use to help me to not forget.

I am thankful that God understand, and He wants to help. The verses above demonstrate how important it was to the Lord that the children of Israel have a physical reminder of His faithfulness to them. The Lord instructed Moses on how to store the manna as a reminder of how He fed them in the wilderness for forty years. Sadly, as the Bible reveals their continuing story to us, these people would soon forget how good God was to them. But God did not want them to forget, and He does not want us to forget either. How do we remember the good things God does for us? There are so many awesome ways that the Lord demonstrates His love and faithfulness towards us such as: answered prayers, answers to prayers never prayed, surprise blessings, and all of those “must be a God-thing” events. How can we remember, especially when we find ourselves in a valley of darkness or a barren wilderness?

One of the best blessings in my life has been the habit of keeping a daily prayer journal. Writing out my prayers, my thoughts and feelings, and my personal evidence of God’s hand in my life has strengthened my faith and trust in Him. I can look back over past journals and read about the amazing times He intervened in my circumstances. A prayer journal becomes our personal testimony of how God has worked in our lives. Let’s commit ourselves to making this activity a habit and to keeping this daily journal as a testimony of how awesome our Lord and Savior is.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 11:17 am

January 9

Today's Reading: Genesis 23; Matthew 7

Today's Thoughts: Adopted by a Great God! 

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15

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I drove carpool today. Boy, the things I learn while having a few more junior high kids in the car are so valuable to me. I am also thankful because the kids are still at a point of listening to instruction if I say it clearly, simply and in as few words as possible.

Two of the boys are struggling with the same issue under different circumstances. Both of them feel that they are being misrepresented by their teachers and both are very disheartened by the teachers' decision in their matters. They both could clearly state the problem, the areas that they were at fault and why they feel that a different decision should be made. However, they both dealt with fear in speaking to their teachers about it. 

Many times, we find the same struggles in our prayer life with the Lord. We understand the issues at hand and even accept the blame and resulting consequence. But we don't know how to express how we feel about it to the Lord. As a result, we experience depression and frustration, waiting for time to play itself out.

God tells us that He is our Abba Father. He wants us to know that He is our Daddy, desiring to hear from us. He didn't create us to be robots, but His children who can reason with Him. He tells us to draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Our opinions matter to the Lord regardless of the poor choices we may have made to reach our situation. The Lord loves us and if we include Him in our struggles and frustrations, He works with us to get through the difficulties, sometime miraculously. If we don't share with Him and draw near, we will miss out on His intervention and in the nearness of His presence to walk through every part of life with Him. Do not fear; you have been adopted by a great God!

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 08 Jan 2019, 9:16 pm

January 8

Today's Reading: Genesis 20; Matthew 6:19-34

Today's Thoughts: Seek God First

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.   Matthew 6:33

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If you do not spend time with the Lord today, the devil will kill, steal and destroy any fruit of the Spirit. The most important thing that allows us to live a victorious Christian life seems to be the hardest thing to maintain on a consistent basis. We have to understand that the power of the Holy Spirit is released by abiding in the Word. If the devil can keep you from opening the Word, you will be ineffective and have little peace in knowing the will of God. The Lord wants to instruct you and keep you in the way you should go; but you must spend time with Him for Him to be able to lead you.

Repeatedly, the common excuse is that we are too busy. But by spending time with the Lord, He is then allowed in intervene in your life in such a way that gives you more time in your day. It is like tithing. You give and then you get. Time works the same way with the Lord.

No one was busier than Jesus. He had many things to do and many lessons to teach in a very short period of time. What did He do? Jesus made it a priority to spend time with the Father. He would rise early, before the dawn, just to pray. There was nothing that was more important than or as pressing as spending time with His Father. If Jesus needed to spend time alone with God, how much more do we need to spend time with Him? If the devil cannot make you bad, he will make you busy. Why? Because all those seemingly valuable things you are doing distracts you from the only thing that really matters for eternity. Even church-oriented events will not bear the fruit you are praying for without His counsel and His blessing.

Seek Him first - first thing in the morning, first before any plans are made and first in your thoughts and prayers. No other task can compare to finding God after seeking Him with your whole heart. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Mon 07 Jan 2019, 4:53 pm

January 7

Today's Reading: Genesis 18; Matthew 6:1-18

Today's Thoughts: Our Daily Bread

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Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

Today's verse is taken from what is commonly called the Lord's Prayer. When Jesus' disciples asked Him how to pray, He gave them this prayer as a model. Matthew 6 and Luke 11 record this prayer in its entirety. Like many people, I learned the Lord's Prayer as a child and I have prayed it thousands of times. But how many of us really think about what we are praying when we recite this prayer? How often do I ask for my daily bread?

I guess a better question might be: what exactly is "our daily bread?" Certainly our daily bread consists of those things that we need to survive, to live on. We need food, water, clothing and shelter. We need financial resources to get the things we need. So, we must pray that the Lord will meet those needs and give us our daily provisions. There is another type of "daily bread" that applies here as well - our spiritual bread. We cannot live abundant spiritual lives without a daily portion of God's Word. Learning to feed on His Word every day will give us the spiritual nourishment we need to live a victorious Christian life.

Ask the Lord today to give you His bread of life: to meet your physical needs here on earth, and to also meet your spiritual needs as you walk with Him. When you allow the Word of God to penetrate your heart and mind daily, you will be transformed. Make time for reading your Bible today and let the Lord feed you with His amazing Word. Start the transformation today.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 06 Jan 2019, 1:45 pm

January 6

Today's Reading: Genesis 16; Matthew 5:27-28

Today's Thoughts: Fall on your Face

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."  Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him. >Genesis 17:1-3 

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Notice what the last verse says: "Then Abram fell on his face." The Lord has appeared to Abram and has begun to speak to him. As soon as Abram hears the Lord, he falls on his face. It does not say that he knelt down or bowed to the ground. It says he "fell on his face." We are not told from the Scriptures how the Lord appeared to Abram or how He spoke to him, but we can assume that Abram recognized the appearance and voice of God Almighty. At that moment, Abram lost all composure. Then, God talked with him some more. As the chapter continues, God continues to speak to Abram. What an awesome experience to be in the presence of God!

How do you react to the presence of God? When was the last time you fell on your face before the Lord? Many Christians today have never heard the Lord speak to them and have no idea of what it means to be in God's presence. Just saying you heard the Lord speak at all can bring raised eyebrows and concerned looks from other believers. Does the Lord still speak to His people? Can we really be in His presence and know it is Him? The answers are yes and yes. Yes, we can fall on our faces in the presence of holy God and yes, He will talk to us. 

We wrote and taught a study called "Practicing the Presence of God," and in the study we included two sections on how to Practice the Presence of Hearing God's Voice. The response from Christians was enlightening and encouraging. Those who had never experienced an intimacy with the Lord learned how to worship and pray. Those who were not sure how to know if they were hearing God's voice learned how to find confirmation in the Word as well as other ways that God confirms His message to us. Most of all, we learned how to fall on our face in worship, how to come to His throne in reverence, and how to know His presence.

Today, find time to fall on your face and worship the Lord. Ask Him to speak to you through His Word and to confirm His message to you through His Spirit. Your day will be blessed and nothing else will matter as much as it once did.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple
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Post  Admin on Sat 05 Jan 2019, 1:02 pm

January 5

Today's Reading: Genesis 13; Matthew 5:1-26

Today's Thoughts: Glorify Our Father

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"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16  

I was meditating on this verse today and saw something different. Jesus has just finished teaching the beatitudes, "Blessed are the poor in spirit…. Blessed are those who mourn…. Blessed are the meek…." Then He summarizes this section by encouraging the believer to continue doing all those things that are making them poor in spirit, mournful, meek and persecuted because the prophets were treated the same way. This leads into being salt and light. Jesus is instructing the believer to remain salty and bright, to keep burning and stinging for Him. The transitions in the message flow beautifully and make perfect sense. However, when I would read Matthew 5:16, I wondered: "How would the ‘men' glorify the Father in heaven as a result of seeing the believers' good works? If these same men are the ones causing the believer to be poor in spirit, meek and persecuted, how can they be hurting the believer while glorifying God?"

Today, I realized that the believer is the one who is instructed to glorify the Father. We, as believers, are to remain faithful to continue on regardless of the reaction of the people. We are to remain diligent, to stay sharp and be alive in living for Jesus. We don't hide who we are or apologize for what we believe. We stand strong and continue. Not only will men see our good works which will bring glory to our heavenly Father, but also we glory in our heavenly Father that we are able to endure in His good works.

There will be times that others will also glorify the Lord because of your good works.  Jesus' ministry caused others to thank God. But we don't look at others for affirmation to know that the Lord is blessing… we look to God. We need to be faithful to things God has called us to do and leave the results with Him, as we glorify our Father who is in heaven.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Fri 04 Jan 2019, 6:58 pm

January 4

Today's Reading: Genesis 10; Matthew 4

Today's Thoughts: It's Just That Simple

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But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. - John 1:12 

The "He" and the "Him" in these verses is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He came to earth to save His people, but many of His own people rejected Him. For those who "received Him," Jesus gave them inheritance into the kingdom of God. All they had to do was "believe in His name." There was nothing else to do, not even their best religious works would be good enough to earn salvation. The same is true for us today as we have the Word of God to teach us about Jesus. The Gospel of John was written so that we would believe in Him, a simple message that requires simple faith. But is it really that simple? 

The short answer is "yes." It is just that simple. All anyone has to do to be saved and inherit eternal life with God in heaven is to believe in His Son Jesus and the work He did on the cross. If it is that easy, then why doesn't everyone believe? Jesus would compare the faith required of us to the faith of a child. He desires for all of us to have childlike faith. Why? Because children just believe. They trust without proof of purchase. They do not carry baggage from years of pain, mistrust and betrayal. They do not know what it means to be skeptical, cynical or illogical. But we do. We get hardened by the world and its imprints on our lives. And, unfortunately, some have been hurt by Christians themselves. Even those of us who are Christians, who believe in Jesus, walk around without any power to change. Where is the victory that overcomes the world? In everyday life, it is not so easy to believe in a God we cannot see or hear or touch. When the world takes our time and attention, we have an even harder time believing beyond what we are dealing with at the moment. 

If you feel overwhelmed with life, take a moment and set your eyes on Jesus. Ask Him to help you believe His promise to never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Ask Him to help you believe that He has a future and a hope for you.  (Jeremiah 29:11) Ask Jesus to fill you with His peace that He promised to leave with you (John 14:27). Stop trying to work it all out for yourself. And if you are having trouble believing, ask the Lord to help you even to believe (Mark 9:23-24). We spend so much time on other things; why not spend some of it with the Lord today?

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 03 Jan 2019, 2:04 pm

January 3

Today's Reading: Genesis 7; Matthew 3

Today's Thoughts: Press Into Him
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So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret. - Luke 5:1

Have you ever been in the presence of someone famous and had an opportunity to get close to them - close enough to touch them? Fans at concerts get as close as they can to the stage and others wait in lines for hours just to get a glimpse of someone they want to see in person. People in these situations will keep pressing in until they see or hear that special person they desperately want to meet. Jesus had become such a person of interest that many people came from miles around to see and hear Him speak. They "pressed about Him" to get as close as they could. Was it because He looked good or had a great voice? Was there something about Him physically that attracted people? This verse says that they came to "hear the word of God." When was the last time you pressed into church and sat as close as you could to the pastor just to hear the word of God?

When we fall in love with the word of God, we fall in love with the Lord. In that place of love, we cannot get close enough to Him. We find ourselves on our knees, on our faces and in our closets praying to see His face and hear His voice. We desire an intimacy that is so special and so personal that nothing else matters. James 4:8 says that if we draw near to God, then He will draw near to us. Press into Jesus today. Draw close to Him. Find a quiet place to be alone with Him and ask His Spirit to fill you with His love and presence. Open your Bible and start reading His Word. Soon you will understand why the multitude pressed about Him just to hear the word of God. Today, start your day off with a prayer to know Him more and do not stop pressing into Him. 

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Wed 02 Jan 2019, 9:38 pm

January 2

Today's Reading: Genesis 4; Matthew 2

Today's Thoughts: Master Your Anger

So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." Genesis 4:6-7

The classic story of Cain and Abel unfolds in Genesis chapter four. Two brothers (from the real first family) each presented the Lord with their offerings. Cain offered the Lord fruit and Abel offered a first-born from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel's offering but rejected Cain's. Cain became angry and jealous of his brother's favor with the Lord. Today's verses give us insight as to how the Lord responded to Cain's anger. In essence, He warned Cain to be careful because sin was lying in wait for him. The Lord was giving Cain a choice to let it go, try again and be accepted, or to give in and allow sin to control him. Cain chose the latter option, which resulted in him killing his brother Abel and running from the Lord for the rest of his life.  Sin did come to control him as the Lord warned!

Has anger ever led you to do things you would later regret? Has jealousy or envy stirred you to the point of sinning against someone close to you? These sins will eventually lead to destruction, unless we stop them from taking control of us. We must all take notice of the Lord's advice and beware of the sin that lies at our door. Sin leads to death if left to its own desires. If we allow sin to rule over us, then our actions will result in serious consequences. The Lord gives us this warning as a reminder that we "should rule over it." As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit who will make us aware of these dangers and will lead us away from dangerous temptations.  He will help us to "rule over sin."

No one is immune to the emotions involving jealousy, envy or covetousness. But even if we are tempted with them, we do not have to be ruled or mastered by them. When we find ourselves in a situation that stirs these types of feelings or thoughts, we must start praying immediately. We must confess our thoughts to the Lord and be honest with Him, then ask Him to help us to let go of them. When we turn those things over to the Lord, He will give us the strength through His Spirit to turn the tables and rule over them. Left on its own, sin destroys. Do not give in to its desires. Listen to the Lord and let Him be your Master.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 01 Jan 2019, 9:25 pm

January 1

Today's Reading: Genesis 1; Matthew 1

Today's Thoughts: Back to the Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:1-4


 
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Sometimes I need to go back to the beginning of the Bible to get a new perspective on things. The book of Genesis is a wonderful book filled with all kinds of new beginnings. From the creation of the universe to the beginnings of civilization, I am always blessed when I start reading Genesis. Let's look at the first four verses to see how they can give us a fresh and new perspective for today.

I love the first four words: "In the beginning God…." That says it all. Sometimes I just need to be reminded that God has always existed. It is hard to comprehend the concept that before "the beginning," there was God, but it is a truth that we can embrace with love and respect. He is God and there is none other. "God," as used in this passage, is the Hebrew word "Elohim," which is plural (meaning more than one). Elohim refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, existing since the beginning of creation. It brings great comfort in being reminded that God is all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present, from beginning to end (Alpha and Omega), while taking care of us in the middle too.

The next amazing part of these verses describes how God separated the light from the darkness. The earth was dark and had no form or substance. But God is light and in Him, there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God saw the darkness and knew that the whole earth needed His light. Thus, God brought forth His light for us. When we feel as though darkness surrounds us, we look upon Jesus and He is still bringing forth His light for us today. These verses remind us that God understands darkness and never intended for us to live in it. He created the light, separated the light from darkness, and said, "it was good."

When man sinned, darkness entered into our hearts and the light of God went out. God sent His Son, Jesus, to bring light into the world so that all who believe in Him might be saved from the eternal darkness. For those of us today who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we are filled with His eternal presence through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Everywhere we go, we shine His light. Isn't it great to go back to the beginning?

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Mon 31 Dec 2018, 12:18 pm

December 31

Today's Reading: Malachi 1; Revelation 22

Today's Thoughts: Honoring the Lord

"For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 2:7


 
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The magazines, newspapers and front page of the websites are filled with the most memorable events and significant people that have affected our lives in the past year.  We can look back over the last year and see certain markers that changed our course and shaped our lives individually. Now with the New Year here, we not only reflect on the past, but also attempt to set goals for the future.

While being in this frame of mind, I started my devotionals this morning reading the book of Malachi. Malachi has four chapters with themes that are easy to remember: mouth, marriage and money. God is rebuking His priests because of the words of their mouths, their attitudes toward their marriages and their motives toward money. The priests were to be an upright and holy group of men representing the Lord. Outwardly, the priests did carry on their functions and requirements. But inwardly, their hearts were far from the Lord.

Considering the past year, we have to take the time to reflect on what we did and why. “Were my motives pure? Did others look at my actions and wonder why I was different? Did I give my best to the Lord or did I justify my offerings in giving the leftovers? Did my attitude in my marriage honor the Lord? What kind of words did I speak? Did my mouth glorify Jesus and edify others around me?”

After examining my heart in asking these questions, I found myself in repentance. How can anyone be that good? But that’s not the point.  None of us will ever be sinless but each of us needs to be above reproach in our hearts before God. God does not hold our behaviors against us if our hearts remain right before Him. It’s when we think our behaviors justify our hearts that God rebukes us. The Lord is more than willing to work with a repentant heart.

In this New Year, be sure your heart is willing to be obedient. As you open your heart to confess, seek, yield and love the Lord, He will work with your behaviors that follow your yielded heart.  We all want the Lord to bless us this New Year. We all pray that His face may shine upon us and give us peace. No matter how short we fall, His mercies are new every morning and His desire is to bless us indeed.  As you reflect on the past and fix your eyes on the future, remember to consider the Lord. He has a plan for you as He watches over your coming and going, not only today but also for the this coming year.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Dec 2018, 1:47 pm

December 30

Today's Reading: Zechariah 13; Revelation 21

Today's Thoughts: Refined and Tested

This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, “They are my people, and they will say, The LORD is our God.”   Zechariah 13:9


 
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I read a verse like this and ask the Lord, “Why do the ones that you choose and love need to be refined and tested?” In some strange way, I look at love so much differently.

It is not natural in the flesh to look at my children and think that I willingly plan to discipline them. I often succumb to discipline when their actions are not socially acceptable, and it embarrasses me. I really want to believe that they don't need me to discipline them and that they'll grow out of their stage. I want to believe that I can show love by having the self control to not discipline them and patiently wait for them to grow up. This is what my flesh wants to believe, that this is absloutely wrong because Gos is perfect love and He does not think that way. So, I need to align myself up with Him: both as a parent and as a child of God.

God says in this verse that He brings His own people into the fire. It is in the fire that we are refined like silver and tested like gold. If He is comparing us to precious metals, then we have to assume that the fire is pretty hot! The Lord does this for our good. He wants us to call on His name and know that He will answer because we are His people. His people have to be trained, disciplined, tested and refined to think His thoughts and to live in His ways. Because our flesh is so strong, we resist His work and end up turning from the Lord or blaming Him. We accuse Him of not being loving or caring. We wonder why He isn’t answering our prayers or rescuing us from those hot circumstances, without realizing that He is the One who has placed us there.

God loves you. He is all powerful and can absolutely rescue you but He cares more about you than you can care about yourself. He needs you to change to be more like Him. Unfortunately that takes time in the fire. Trust Him because this is only for a season. For when you are trained, you will produce a harvest of righteousness and a deep peace knowing that He is your God.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sat 29 Dec 2018, 5:35 pm

December 29

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10

(printed in the Christian Examiner Newspaper’s December 2010 edition)

Is it only me or have you found that the more we look around, the more we see that people are struggling? My husband has frequently said that if you are not depressed, you are not paying attention. However, with the holiday season here, we do not want our Christmas cards to be the only place where love, joy and peace can be found. So, how can we possess those three little words at Christmas time when we cannot maintain those characteristics in everyday life?

I really believe that our anger, anxiety and depression are not only a result of our outward circumstances but a result of having a lack of margin in our lives. If we define boundaries as how closely we allow people or things to approach us, then margins are those imaginary lines of how far we are willing to extend ourselves. If someone crosses our personal space or boundaries, we become uncomfortable (and in extreme cases, violated). In contrast, we determine the parameters of our margins. When there is no margin, we have limited ability to cope with broken cars, crying kids or sick pets. Instead of scheduling in padded time for quality control, we find ourselves crying out for more time, better organizational skills and greater support. But what if we miraculously had the ability to schedule spare time, how would we fill it?

...
There is a saying, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy?”  For some, this statement is true. We can become so busy that we do not make time or even have time to give God a thought.  We rationalize, justify and make excuses that we are too busy to make the Lord a priority. Busyness looks like productivity and it makes us feel needed.  However, busyness is only blessed if we are about the Lord’s business. His business is defined in each of our lives differently but our perspectives should be the same.

By maintaining His perspective, it is not about the crises but how the Christ can move through each circumstance to give meaning and purpose.  Learning to talk to Him instead of yourself changes your perspective. When I find myself maxed out, I pray. When I find myself too tired to think, I pray. When I find myself too full from dinner to move, I pray. Prayer gives me the cushion I need to get a Sovereign viewpoint and to ask Him to move in everything and to move me to serve Him anywhere.

I am co-founder of Daily Disciples Ministries and a media company called Media 4 Women. Both keep me busy, and people ask me frequently, “How do you do it all?” I cannot say that I have always liked or even enjoyed being busy outside of the home. But I was challenged to move out of my comfort zone and not only increase my borders but to expand my margins when hearing Charles Spurgeon’s comment on Romans 13:10, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” He said, “No man can compass the ends of life by drawing a little line around himself upon the ground. No man can fulfill his calling as a Christian by seeking the welfare of his wife and family only, for these are only a sort of greater self.”

I have spent many days being busy only with shopping, laundry, vacation planning and house decorating.  In that season of life, I spent my energy in the things that were a continued extension of my greater self. I realized that being busy with family things only kept me loving and serving the things I already love. I do not need to be spirit led or dependent upon the Lord to love those who love me back.  However, adding a responsibility that helps to serve those outside my heart’s desire has allowed me to grow and love in a completely different way.

God is sovereign. He can do what He wants and He can bless whom He wants. Allowing the Lord to have free reign in my overly scheduled day gives me a peace and joy that blesses others in addition to me.  It really did come by reprioritizing the busyness.  “Busyness in His Business.” We can remain busy but are we really about His business or our own? This Christmas season, let’s not marginalize Christ but let Him expand our margins. He alone brought peace on earth through His presence and that same presence can reign in our hearts today. There is no greater present than the presence of the One who brought the gifts of love, joy and peace not only at Christmas, but for our everyday lives.

Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
Daily Disciples Ministries, Inc.
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