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April 15, 2014
“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NCV)
Father in Heaven,
I need You in my life. Forgive me for going my own way without acknowledging You. Thank you that You sent Jesus to die for my sins. Thank you that You forgive me. Cleanse my heart and come into my life today. Please help me to grasp Your ways so I can walk securely in them even in insecure places. I need Your perspective in my life.
Guide me in Your truth, Lord God. Help me to make time to read my Bible. Thank you that Your Word will guide me as a beacon and a light.
You are my Savior, my Rescuer and my Redeemer. Thank you that it is You alone who restores and renews my spirit and brings meaning to my life.
Today I put my trust in You. Thank you that You will give me the hope and help and peace I need in my journey through life. Thank you that You are my Savior.
In Jesus’ strong name I pray, amen.
Print out this prayer, date it and record “I have decided to follow Jesus today”. If this is the first time you have prayed to receive Christ, we’d love to hear about it! Use this form to let us know and we’ll put you in touch with a coach who can answer any questions.
April 14, 2014
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’” John 20:19
The women, Peter, and John found Jesus’ tomb empty. They dashed back through the dusty Jerusalem streets to where the other disciples waited. “It’s empty. Really. He is not there!”
Yet, instead of rejoicing, the disciples become overwhelmed. Scripture says they locked themselves away in fear. Maybe they were afraid the Romans would think they stole the body or they felt guilty for deserting their Lord. Suddenly, Jesus who was once dead, stood in their midst. Their gasps must have sucked the air from the room!
People who are burdened with guilt are often afraid of encountering Jesus. They cower, expecting Him to examine them with a holy magnifying glass. How can they ever be good enough?
The same can be true after you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Have you struggled with feeling unworthy to be used by Jesus? Maybe you felt inadequately equipped to do His will. Many people in the Bible felt that way—Moses, Jonah, and Peter for example.
Un-confessed sin may have you cowering in a corner, feeling unworthy to be in His presence. That is your old nature whispering into your heart, not God. Jesus wants to be with you. That is why he died and rose again.
Read the second half of John 20:19 again. “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” Wherever you are Jesus is always there to meet you. Through His love for you, He offers you peace, not fear and forgiveness, not condemnation. Rejoice! Your Lord is present.
Dearest Lord, please forgive us when we try to shut you out of our lives. Instead, let us return to you to receive your mercy and your grace. Then, equip us to go forth and seek out other fearful souls to tell them how you met us where we are, and will do the same for them. Amen.
If you have been hiding something from Jesus, open yourself to Him now and confess it so He can offer you His peace. Practice spiritual breathing.
April 13, 2014
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’” John 4:10
Grace often comes as a surprise when we are least expecting it. There was a woman who went to draw water at a well. It was around noon…the hottest part of the day. She wasn’t looking for anything, just going about her day, doing her duty as she always had. She had no idea someone was waiting for her. She could not have guessed the surprise she was about to encounter.
“Draw me water,” Jesus asked. He had been sitting there, tired and thirsty from his day of traveling.
Shocked and a bit startled, she wondered how he could ask this of her? She was a woman, and a Samaritan woman whom the Jews despised. Asking for water would make him ceremonially unclean.
Jesus told her that he could give her “living water” so that she would never thirst again. He baffled her once more. Jesus then revealed she had had five husbands and was living with one whom she was not married to. He caught her attention a third time.
Grace was waiting for her that day. Grace was sitting there, eager to give her a glimpse, a taste of something beyond her circumstances. Grace wanted to encounter her in a way only it could… to touch her beyond her physical needs and heal her eternally.
Perhaps Jesus knew there was a longing in her heart that she hadn’t yet expressed. She needed redemption; someone to rescue her from the turmoil of her life. We know she was touched in a powerful way because the accounts show that because of her story, many Samaritans came to believe in Jesus as their Savior.
Where do you need to see grace today?
Father God, thank you for Your grace so unexpected, so undeserved…a true gift enveloped with eternal love. Thank you for capturing us with grace in moments we least expect. Open my eyes to see how You continue to want to show me who You are so I may extend your gift of grace to others. Amen
As the Samaritan woman did, we can share our story of how we have encountered Jesus. Let us never fail to speak of His goodness and kindness in our lives so that others may also be touched by the grace of God. Some time this week start a spiritual conversation.
April 10, 2014
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” John 11:25-26 (NKJV)
What brought others to the cross? Love. Duty. Anger. Curiosity. Doubting. Mocking.
What brings you to the cross? Love? Gratitude? Duty? Anger? Doubt? Pride? Mocking?
Do you come weeping in pain, sorrow, or loss? Emptied of hopes and dreams? Feeling lost in your circumstances?
Without the cross, there would be no Garden of Easter Gladness to lift you up, to wipe away your tears, to remove your grave clothes of fear and depression. Walk that trail from the cross to Easter’s Garden of resurrection. See your Savior Jesus standing there, waiting for you.
He compassionately whispers your name and says, “Do not wear the grave-clothes stained with the tears of grief. Come into my garden of beauty and I will give you the robe of Easter’s resurrection gladness. Take my hand and let me lead you along the path to life everlasting. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I gave my life that you might live eternally with me.”
Jesus brings us hope of resurrection as on that first Easter morn. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NKJV)
Do you believe this? What brings you to the cross?
Father, Help me to experience the salvation and forgiveness of the cross, the power of the resurrection, and embrace the risen life in a new way this Easter season. Amen
Is there a hurt or disappointment that you are holding on to today? Place it at the foot of the cross. Accept the balm that Jesus so freely offers. Remember, God gives second chances.
April 9, 2014
“Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!’” Matthew 20:17-19
No doubt the crowds were pressing in from all sides as they walked the dusty streets on the way to Jerusalem. Jesus was with His most devoted followers, His disciples. But He was also teaching and healing people along the way. It would have been noisy among all those people, so Jesus took the Twelve aside because he had something important to tell them.
Jesus’ disciples had yet to understand what Jesus’ ministry really entailed. So far, they had seen His power in the miracles He performed. They knew God had given Jesus the authority to heal people and forgive sins. And yet they did not understand that Christ would set aside His equality with God to become, “obedient to death–even death on a cross!”(Phil. 2:6-8)
Today, Jesus still lovingly takes his followers aside, through His word and through the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants us to know, just like the first disciples, what He has accomplished for us. He wants us to know that He died and rose to life so that we would not die in our sins! He made a way for us to be reconciled to God the Father, and have new life in Him!
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that You humbled Yourself unto death, so that we will not die in our sins, but can have new life in You! Thank you for revealing Your perfect plan of salvation through the Bible, and through the Holy Spirit, so that can be reconciled to God the Father. Amen
How is the Lord Jesus speaking to as He takes you aside today, teaching you through His word, and in prayer? Is He calling you to repent of sin? To surrender to His will? To seek Him first? To trust Him in difficulty? We would love to hear how Jesus is speaking to your heart today. (If you would prefer to talk to someone privately, contact a coach.)
April 8, 2014
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5
As we realize how vast, and BIG, how far beyond our understanding God is, we may need reminding that He really wants to be in personal relationship with us.
The God of Heaven sent His Son, Jesus, to span the gulf between His vastness and our sinful, unworthy selves. He waits for us to issue the invitation to make our hearts His dwelling place.
As He declares over you, “I AM GOD”! He brings it up close and personal.
“YOUR Savior.” In essence He is saying, “I am here to show you my way right where you walk; to teach you and to use my truth to guide you as you focus on me in this day. Let your confident expectation be in ME all day long. Keep your eyes in today and do not run ahead into tomorrow. I will walk with you and save you from despair and destruction, from a frantic life and even from yourself.”
When we open our hearts and lives to this very personal Savior He gives an overwhelming confident expectation in EACH day as we arise to say, “You are God, my Savior”!
Sit for a moment and repeat that great truth. Let it soak into your being.
“You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long!”
Thank you Lord God, that You have saved me and I can be confident all day as You walk with me, guiding my way. Amen.
Ask God to show you where He is at work around you.
Resource: What is God up to?
About the author: www.gailrodgers.ca
April 5, 2014
God believes in aliens. http://thelife.com/dailydevotions/identified-as-israel #LifeDevo
See what God has to say about the Gentiles in the Old Testament by checking out one of these handy study guides!
“‘So you shall divide it by lot for an inheritance among yourselves and among the aliens who stay in their midst, who bring forth sons in your midst. And they shall be to you as the native-born among the sons of Israel; they shall be allotted an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.’” Ezekiel 47:22 ESV
Often when we read the Old Testament we tend to think that all the promises and prophecies written in it were only for the Israelites. We are told that it was the old covenant and does not pertain to us anymore, but when we carefully sift through passages such as this one, we are able to reveal hidden treasures, promises given to us Gentiles as well!
God speaks to Ezekiel and tells him about the future promise for Israel- that of the millenial reign and a future filled with hope and peace for Israel, and these “aliens” as well. Who are the aliens that have attached themselves to the Israelites? All of the non-Jews, the Gentiles, who will accept Christ as their Lord. This is a promise that we will be treated exactly as if we were God’s original chosen people. Not only do we get to receive this undeserved honor, we have an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel!
When we accept Christ as Savior we are given the same rights and privileges given to God’s chosen people, the Israelites. We can celebrate all that God has done for us and confidently say we are also cared for and loved just as much as the Israelites. We are not cast offs, but God’s chosen people, adopted through salvation, and written about repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, as testimony to God’s deep and unfailing love for us.
Take heart in this passage and dwell upon God’s promise to you!
Dear Lord, Thank you for the sacrifice of Christ for us, for allowing us to be part of Your chosen people. Amen.
Sift through Old Testament passages that speak about the future hope for the Gentiles. Find a reference Bible to help you cross-reference those passages and revel in the love of God!
Have you ever doubted God’s love for you? Have you ever wondered if the Israelites received special treatment above Gentiles?
April 4, 2014
How did I not know? http://thelife.com/dailydevotions/is-it-possible #LifeDevo
Read The Voice of Jesus by Gordon T. Smith
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
The risen Christ dwells within me. Seriously? Is it possible that the God of the Universe would make Himself so vulnerable as to live on earth, die a human death and be raised to life? And then, because I believe in and follow Christ, choose to have his Spirit live within me? If all of this is so, what difference does that astonishing truth make in my life?
In his book, The Voice of Jesus, Gordon Smith says that, “True consolation, the work of the Spirit of God, will result in a life of holiness, service and generosity in response to the call of Christ.” He is referring to the opportunity I have to listen to the whisper of the Spirit for direction and counsel on how to live. When I tune my ears to voice of the One who dwells within, the One who conquered death on my behalf, the natural outflow ought to be one of a changed perspective, meeting the needs of others and giving abundantly from His generous overflow.
I find myself asking the question a friend posed to me recently. Am I choosing pragmatism or holiness in life’s uncomfortable decisions? Do I obey God’s directives from Scripture and the nudging of the Spirit of the Living God who resides in me? I want to tune my heart to His voice so I can live a changed life.
Lord, thank you that your Spirit lives within in me and wants to change me to be more like you. Please help my heart to hear and my will to obey your direction. Amen.
Journal about times the Spirit has spoken to you and the resulting outcome.
April 3, 2014
“But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” I John 2:1-2
Many churches observe the season of Lent for the six weeks before Easter. In the early church, it became a time of discernment and confession of sins for those wanting to be baptized. The ceremony took place on Easter in celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection. Soon, Lent became a time for all Christians to reexamine their hearts, weed out any sinful desires or thoughts, and rededicate themselves to the Risen Lord.
During Lent, some Christians abstain from something they enjoy, like chocolate or a favorite TV show. But the true purpose of this inward-turning time is to establish a good habit to replace a bad one. Christians are to look at our sins full on, remove them, and leave them at the cross.
Perhaps Lent can be viewed as a spiritual spring-cleaning. Open the blinds, shake off the dust and clean away the grime. Let the fresh air of mercy in so His light will shine into the corners of your heart again. Remove whatever has been keeping you from fully embracing His grace. Relearn how wonderful His mercy can be. Reconnect with His word. Rejoice in your salvation.
Dearest Father, you sent your Son to hang on the cross and take on our sins so we can have eternal life in Your presence. Let us honestly remove those sins we carry and lay them at His feet so when Easter comes, we can truly rejoice and proclaim without any hindrances that, “The Lord is risen indeed.” Amen.
Is there any spiritual spring-cleaning you need to do this Lent? Honestly sweep away what may have been separating you from fully receiving Jesus’ blessings. If you would like someone to pray with you today, send in a request.