Category: <span>thoughts by Rev. D. Forster</span>

When Suffering Strikes we Have a Choice

As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?” Hebrews 12:7 (NLT)

When suffering strikes we have a choice ? to give in to the suffering or to endure. To suffer seems unfair and unjust. But it can have purpose. In some cases, the suffering is there because God is trying to change our perspective and increase our trust in Him.

Discipline is a hard concept for an adult to comprehend. Children are supposed to be disciplined and the adults are to be the ones to do the disciplining. God doesn’t see it that way because He sees all of the redeemed as His children, no matter their age. If we weren’t His children, He wouldn’t bother to discipline us.

We are prone to walk down a wrong path, whether it is in ignorance, self-deception, or due to the influence of others. There are times we may walk down the wrong path on purpose. Yet in every instance, God wants to protect and teach us through the discipline of endurance.

Peter’s denial of Christ, while he waited outside as Jesus was interrogated, is an excellent example of this (Matthew 26:34-35,69-75). For Peter, in the moment of being questioned, the choice was an obvious one ? survive and deny. Once that rooster crowed though, Peter knew he had taken a path that God would never want him to take again. The time between the rooster crow and the breakfast on the beach when Jesus reinstates him to be a leader for the faithful was a time of reflection and maturity for Peter (John 21).

Discipline is hard to receive, especially when we believe we are in the right. Take a step back from your circumstances and listen for the “crow of the rooster.” When we come to terms with our broken humanity, we become stronger as children of God.

Lord, help me get past myself so I may understand your ways. I don’t want to sulk in the corner and justify my actions. I want to learn, and I want to grow. Love and teach me as my rightful father today and for the rest of my life. Amen.

By Daniel Forster
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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

fear boy couch

Fear of failure was once a stronghold in my life. It would come to affect my decision making, how I took criticism, and how I would deal with circumstances. I admit, I still deal with fear, just not with the stronghold of it anymore. Our God is bigger than our problems and mightier than our circumstances. With our faith in Him, fear is no longer a stronghold.

The story of David and Goliath is a story that almost everyone has heard. The reason it is so often told, is because it shows us how to overcome our fears. David had fears in his life, but he understood how his faith in God would always lead to a victory over those fears.

David was aware of his own abilities and strengths, knowing they came from God. Others however, did not see those abilities. They only saw his small size, what they thought they knew of him, and their own fears. David didn’t listen to their fears, take stock in their opinions, or allow himself to be affected by their harsh words. Instead he relied on God, refusing to let anyone else decide his fate.

Every day we will encounter giants in our lives. On some of those days the giants will act and look like Goliath. It is imperative to remember that it is not within “us” that we find the strength to face these giants. Only God can provide the peace, courage, and boldness that will lead us to victory.

A Call to Action:

What fears are you dealing with right now, and do they have a stronghold on your life? Read the full story of David and Goliath (1Samuel 17:1-51), as well as the story of Saul turning on David (1Samuel 17-22). Place all fears at the feet of our living God, and trust in Him.

By Daniel Forster

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When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.Psalm 94:19

Worry, stress, and anxiety are natural human emotions. They are the “cares” of our hearts. Too often, these “cares” are written off as non-important to God, or as works of the enemy. The truth, however, is that it is natural for humans to feel these emotions. These feelings coincide with our human nature, and in Scripture, God clearly acknowledges them as something we will struggle with.

David (who is the possible writer of this psalm) often dealt with anxiety and stress. When David was young, he was treated as much less significant that his other siblings, and for much of his life he had enemies threatening his life or his people. Rather than letting his emotions identify who he was in trying and anxiety-inducing situations, David found peace in God’s consolations. With this peace, David prevailed through trial after trial he faced in his lifetime.

Paul is another biblical character who faced multiple traumatic and stressful events in his life. Beaten and whipped to the brink of death, Paul is recorded, in the book of Acts, as singing praises to God while shackled in prison.

Paul wasn’t different than anyone else when it came to feeling the burdens of this life upon his heart. What set him apart was his unwavering faith in God’s promises. Paul knew God was consoling him by bringing peace and cheer to his soul. God offers you the same consolation today!

Lord, help me be able to look past my circumstances and find your consoling hand. Bring your peace to my soul, so I may face every trial of life while singing and praising your Holy Name. Amen.

By Daniel Forster
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weary, tired, man

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)

Are you heading into this week just flat out exhausted? Is there some great weight upon you that you just can’t seem to lift? Maybe there is something in your life that you have been dealing with for some time, and there seems to be no end in sight. Have no fear, for our God does not grow weary.

He knows exactly what you’re going through. Even though it may not be time to release you from this trial, He will give you strength to endure. If we try to handle these life moments on our own we grow weary and collapse under the pressure. Scripture says even the youth will faint, and young men fall exhausted. So what do we do?

We wait upon the Lord. We seek His face every moment of every day and He will lift us up. I know how hard this is to do in our fast food, 4G society. It is in our nature to look for instant relief. We seek to find the instant solution and why not? No one wants to suffer.

God will renew your strength until it is time for this trial to be over. In Him you will not fall, you will not grow weary. Will you still feel the pain of your journey? Yes. Will it still seem like the world is crashing in on you, it might, but in the arms of Jesus you will be held safe and strong until this storm passes.

Let us praise God! Let us sing songs glorifying His wonderful name! Even in your storm, let us sing Hallelujah, for He is with you. He is supporting you, and you know that your prayers will be answered in His time. The storm will not last forever, but the Love God has for you will last for all eternity. So when this storm does pass, His love will be right there showering down on you, blessings in abundance!

Thank You Jesus! Hallelujah! We Love you Lord! Thank You Jesus! Praise God! Amen

Question: Are you in the middle of a trial, or a storm of life that seems to have no end in sight? Is there something holding you back from letting Jesus be your life raft?

by Rev. Daniel Forster

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Prayer of response to God

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?
James 2: 14 (NLT)

Please read James 2:14-26. I read an amazing quote the other day, and I would like to share it with you in regards to this scripture.  “God blesses us because we respond to Him, not as a response to our good works.”

I posted this scripture because I see to often a trend that is misunderstood. Somehow, new believers have come under the impression that they must start doing good works, and that this will please God. That God will know they are not the same sinner they were before by their good works now.

As a body of Christ, I feel we have not really taught this very well. All to often we are happy to see an increase of volunteers without fully seeing where their hearts may be. All to often our new volunteers get burnt out or fall away, because they misunderstood how and why we do good works.

James writes here, “what good is faith without action?” This is a true, as true gets. Yet, we do not prove our faith by our actions. Our faith is in our belief, our surrendering of ourselves to Jesus. There is no proof, other than what God sees in our hearts. Our good deeds do not make us more faithful; our faith leads us into action.

Faith and true belief must be established first. If it is not, we are working from our flesh to perform these good works we are doing it without God. We are doing it to show others around us and to show God we can change…and folks, this is just not the way it is. We can’t change on our own. We can only change by the blood Jesus has shed for us, it is Him inside of us, that is leading us to change. Doing good works out of your faith in Christ is not a New Year’s resolution (something we can do on our own will power), it is a way of life.

Once we are in full faith, and belief, and trust in God, He will guide us towards the good works He would like us to do. I often feel a pull, or a tug, or even sometimes a push from His Holy Spirit in me, to do a good work. This is the response to God, and by which we as well as others around us are blessed by God.

Father, I pray today that we are working in response to You Lord. I pray that we are not working from our own strength or our own will, but that we are working as a result of You stirring in us a desire to do something. I pray that we are working by the power of Your Holy Spirit in us, that it is You doing the work, and us being a vessel of Your love. Help us as a body of Christ, Lord, to share this with other brothers and sisters. Let us not be so quick to accept new help without understanding where their hearts are. Let us take time to teach Your living word, so others may be strengthened by it, and it becomes alive in their lives as well as ours. We ask all of this in the mighty name Jesus, Amen

Question: Have you been living a works-based or faith-based life of salvation?

by Rev. Daniel Forster
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Dueteronomy 31:8 He will never forsake you. Devotional

When we think of our relationship with God, we often think of it from our end. This leads to us trying to prove we have a relationship with Him or to attempt to earn His love. But this was never intended by God, for we cannot earn His love. God’s Love is faithful even when our faith wavers.

We, like Gomer in the story of Hosea, are not faithful. We try so hard, and yet we can’t follow God perfectly. We turn so easily to other lovers in this world; but God is faithful. He is always there to take us back. He was there on the cross paying the price for our sins that we could not pay.

His word is true:
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.Deuteronomy 31:8

The next time you slip or find your heart wandering, remember that God is faithful and He desires intimacy with you. So turn to Him, trust in Him, and surrender all to Him. Who else in this world can we ever expect to be as faithful as God is to us?

Lord, thank You for being so faithful. Please heal my wandering heart. Strengthen my faith and make me steadfast in my pursuit of You. Amen.

by Rev. Daniel Forster


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Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make the kind of person You want me to be.

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

mountain top man listening

 

And Samuel said, ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.’

Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.’” (1 Samuel 15:22-24, ESV)

God is always speaking to us whether we hear Him speak directly to us, or in visions and dreams. God uses other people to speak to us from prophetic words and God uses His living word to speak to us. God is always speaking to us, so why is it so hard for us to hear Him all the time? For me personally, I get what I like to call Saul-itis. Never heard of it? Read 1 Samuel 15:22-24.

It is all too easy for us to sin, and then run to God and say we are sorry. It is all too easy for us to sin and directly disobey God out of fear of others. This is what happened to Saul. God gave him direct orders on what to do and how to do it, yet Saul continued to disobey God. He did what he felt was best or what the people thought was best. Remember Isaiah 55:9?

It is hard to be obedient to God for our sin always wants to get in the way. Praise God we have Jesus to forgive us for this sin. What happens though when we start to become like Saul, and our “I’m sorry’s” lose the repenting part – you know, the part where we are to turn from our sin. This is Saul-itis, where we directly disobey God, we don’t want to turn from our sin, and we put our own words and the words of people above the word of God.

So what do you do?

Repent. This is the first key step: repent. In all ways let yourself be convicted of the disobedience whether it makes sense to you or not. Truly want to turn from it, even if it means suffering or rejection from the world. Being obedient to God’s word, no matter how you hear Him, is pleasing to the Lord.

Father, I pray today that I see the parts of my life where I am not being obedient to your word. Lord let me repent of this today, truly want to turn from these sins, and seek only your face, and your presence. Father I surrender myself in all ways to you. I can’t do this alone Lord I need you. Forgive me Lord for my sins. Let me draw strength from you to stand on your solid rock, and to stand firm against the world. Lord we ask this today in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen

Question: Is there a part of your life where you are not following His word?

by Rev. Daniel Forster

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Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Ephesians 5:18-21 (ESV)

I will be the first to admit that I don’t have it all together. And I certainly don’t have my walk with Christ fully figured out. However, through my years of rebellion, new life in Christ, and growth in Christ, I have figured out a few things along the way. The first and most important one is that if I want to have successful relationships, especially within my family, I must be able to submit to others out of reverence for Christ.

Submitting to one another — or submitting to anything — is viewed by the world as a weak and unhealthy way to live your life. The world says be strong and independent, and look out for yourself first.

The problem with this worldly way of thinking? When it comes to family, there is “no ‘I’ in team.” If one member is independent from another, then there will only be division and discord. But when a family submits to one another, with Christ as the head of household, there’s unity, gratefulness, forgiveness, mercy, and joy.

A true mark of being a disciple in Christ is to live a life of submission. This doesn’t mean we become a doormat for our loved ones or for the society in which we live. But it does mean that in all things we submit our lives to His way — God’s way. When we surrender our lives to Him, we learn to submit to each other in Him, creating a very healthy and vibrant way of life.

Father, help me to want to submit my life to You in all areas, especially my family. Teach me to submit to others out of reverence for You. Help me to re-learn how You want me to live my life and to not be led by others or society. You are my first love, and I only want to live for You. Amen.

By Rev. Daniel Forster

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devotional

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

I was 22-years-old and I was living a nightmare. I was in the middle of a divorce, a custody battle, and my life as I knew it was coming to an end. No more white picket fence and the 2.5 kids (or so I thought). I was suffering, and every day felt like a battle that couldn’t be won.

What I couldn’t see then, and what I do see now, is that in those moments of absolute distress, I was beginning to learn and grow as a godly man. It would take another 15 years before I would surrender my life to Him. However, the foundation of Christ was set during those times of my divorce.

God was shaping me and He was molding me. I was a rebel and He was using afflictions of this life to bring me closer to Him. My suffering was producing endurance, and as Paul writes, from endurance comes character and hope.

What a gift this is from our Lord! He knows our nature and yet He still adores us. He sees our rebellion and yet His faithfulness knows no boundaries. He allows times of suffering, as a loving Father, in so that we may find our way into His loving arms.

Father. We cry out to You in our times of suffering and afflictions. We say heal and we say change. Lord, we only want what is in Your will. Let us see the gift that You give us in our times of suffering. Open our hearts to turn back to You, Lord. In Jesus name, AMEN!

By Rev. Daniel Forster

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Daily devotional Poem

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

God calls all of His children to repentance. This call is truly a gift, as it brings us closer to our Savior. When we repent, we receive His gifts of unlimited grace and mercy. And through this process, we learn to extend grace and mercy to others.

The idea of forgiveness and repentance was not a new concept in Jesus’ time. Ever since God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He has woven the concept of forgiveness and repentance into His law. The Day of Atonement was a testimony to this; it foreshadowed what Christ was to fulfill on the cross.

The gift of repentance has sadly taken a back seat in our modern society. So often we take His mercy and grace for granted. We don’t recognize their significance, that they are all-sufficient, glorious gifts, which need to be shared with the whole world.

My prayer for His children this season is that we will remember His call to repentance, so that the whole world may truly see the nature of God, the great I AM.

Father, forgive me. Forgive me for taking your mercy and grace for granted. Forgive me, for I am a sinner. I need You, Lord. I need Your mercy and grace. Hear my cries and fill me with the gift You’ve given me. Help me to share this gift with others, even my enemies. Father, I want to forgive others as You have forgiven me. All for Your glory, in the name of Christ Jesus, amen.

By Rev. Daniel Forster


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You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. ‘Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.’ 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NLT)

As a brand new believer, I remember walking into a public health station in downtown Baltimore to acquire health insurance for my son. The place was horrible. The smell of vomit, feces, and urine was thick in the air. It was like I had walked into a war zone.

My first reaction was to feel defeated and worthless; however, God breathed His Spirit into me and I began to remember who I belonged to. His light was alive in me and I could enter these front lines of the world to show His goodness, to be His light amongst the dark places.

Who we are in God is more important than who we are to anyone else in this world. We are His chosen people, and we are His very own. The enemy wants us, as God’s children, to walk through this world feeling defeated. The enemy wants us to forget who we are in Christ, what He has done for us, and how much of a treasure we truly are to Him.

So wherever God leads you today, be His light in the darkness. Remember who you are in Him and how He sees you, not how the world sees you.

Father, we come before You as broken children. Make us holy in You, Lord. Fill us with Your light in that we may be Your light to a very dark world that surrounds us. Fill us with Your mercy. Let us remember Lord who we are in You. Let us remember Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, to whom we belong to. We ask this in the mighty name of Christ Jesus, Amen.

Thought: Are there areas in your life where the devil is shouting defeat in your ear? Take these concerns to God and let Him remind you who you are in Him. Trust Him to transform your mind from how you see yourself into how He truly sees you.

By Rev. Daniel Forster

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And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” Ephesians 4:11-13 (HCSB)

Living for Christ can seem hard, even impractical at times. We tend to focus on what we can do to earn our way to God, rather than accepting His free gift of salvation and allowing Him to work through us.

When Christ died on the cross, He paid the price for our sins so that we would be free from sin and death. The barrier that separated humanity from God was literally torn; we no longer stand separated from Him. In fact, He has sent His Holy Spirit to live in us, guiding us to Him, showing us the heart of the Father.

The beautiful thing about committing to serving and obeying Jesus anytime, anywhere, at any cost, to do anything, is that He gives us what we need to live our lives for Him and for His glory. This includes being given gifts of a spiritual nature, such as prophecy or teaching, evangelism or pastoring. Consider what it would be like if each member of the body of Christ, His Church, actually recognized and used his or her gifts. Think of the depth of faith that would be realized, or how the church would be unified. Not to mention how God would be glorified!

This is how we are to live our lives practically for God: recognizing our gifts and how we can contribute to the body of Christ. Then we will be the light on a hill, the salt of the Earth.

Father, thank You for Your gift of salvation. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and let Your gifts come alive in me so that You may reach the lost and build up Your Church. For Your glory, honor and praise. Amen.

By Rev. Daniel Forster

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

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“…[You] have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Colossians 3:10-11 (HCSB)

The world looks at image in terms of popularity, appearance, and status quo. We as humans try so hard to fit in, be accepted, and look like we have it all together. But these images are just an illusion. The true image we represent is in the image of God Himself.

Half my life was spent as a people pleaser. I was always striving to gain the world’s acceptance and recognition. Not only was it exhausting, it was extremely unsatisfying as well. This world can’t give you a peace about who you are. Only God can. He says you were created in His image. In Christ you are born again, and you are renewed in His image. Only when we recognize this will we have peace about who we are.

Do you know what this means?

It means that your looks have nothing to do with your image. It means that the amount of money you make, or your status quo has nothing to do with who you really are. You are His child. You are His beloved, and your name is written upon His heart as He created you.

I don’t need my name in lights
I’m famous in my Father’s eyes
Make no mistake
He knows my name
I’m not living for applause
I’m already so adored.”

Francesca Battistelli

In Christ we are one with Him. There is nothing that defines us other than His light, His love, and the fruit of His Spirit.

Father, help us to stop seeking our image of who we are from this world around us, and to start believing what our image is in You. You breathed life into us, handpicked us, and molded us to be exactly who You wanted us to be. Let us rest in knowing who we are in You: loved, treasured, adored, and redeemed. Amen.

By Rev. Daniel Forster

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster

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Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (HCSB)

The word justice is thrown around so often today, it’s like a beach ball at a rock concert. But the amazing thing that we often forget is that the ultimate justice for the world has already been met. It has been satisfied! Christ is our justice, and in Him is our righteousness.

When I first gave my life to the Lord back in 2009 I understood this; sadly though, I lost my first love for a time. I thought I was justice, because justice lived in me. I tried so hard to accomplish a “successful” Christian life by following the rules, by adhering to all the Do’s and Dont’s.

But in walking along this path, I lost sight of what was truly important; I blurred the lines of justice. To act justly, to love, and to walk humbly is all accomplished by abiding in our Savior.

It is only in my intimate walk with Jesus when I see how much of a sinner I am. When I experience His grace and mercy in my life, I understand how justice has been met. The price of our sins has been paid for, and justice has been fulfilled. After all, this was His plan from the very beginning.

Father let us yearn for You and only You Lord. Let us humbly come to You as Your children. We want to always be in Your presence, just like when You walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. Let us remember Your justice, and never forget what You have done for us. Amen.

Thought: Do you take justice into your own hands, or do you rely on the One who is the definition of justice? Keep a tally of how many times throughout the week you have attempted to apply justice on your own terms rather than on His terms. Sit down at the end of the week with a repentant heart and lay these things before God. Ask for guidance and wisdom in how you can let Him be the justice in your life.

By Rev. Daniel Forster

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Everyone seeks comfort and mercy. We often seek it out through our earthly fathers and mothers. However loving and comforting they are, we soon find that what they have to give is just not enough to fill the void that’s deep in our souls.

Our Father in heaven, the great I AM, Creator of the entire universe, wants to fill that void in our hearts and souls. He is the creator of comfort, and it is His mercy that will wipe away every affliction that comes against us. He calls us to come before Him as children; to be comforted, to be healed, to wipe away our tears, fill us with strength, and shower us in His mercy.

Not only does He fill our void, but He also wants to work through us in filling the voids in others’ lives. Our Father will do anything to draw us into His very near and intimate presence; all through Christ Jesus.

Let’s take some time to get hungry for how much our Father in heaven wants us to spend every moment of our lives with Him. Let’s allow Him to wipe away every affliction with His mercy, and fill every void with His comfort.

Father, Abba (Daddy), help us to put aside our adult pride, as we come before You as your sons and daughters, humbly seeking Your comfort and mercy. We are so thankful that we are able to come into Your loving arms, sit at Your feet, and be filled with Your comfort. Thank You Jesus that it is by You that we are able to have a deep and intimate relationship with our Father in Heaven. In Your mighty and loving name, Amen.

Thought: Spend a few moments each day in His Word, soaking up all His fatherly characteristics and finding out how much He truly loves and cares for you.

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By Daniel Forster

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Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Rev. D. Forster