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September 14, 2015 at 07:02AM
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Verse of the Day – Romans 2:6-7

God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. — Romans 2:6-7

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

God not only seeks after us, he desires relationship with us — i.e., he longs for us to seek after him and after matters that are important to him. When we persistently seek his glory and honor by doing good, when we seek after eternal rather than temporal things, he is overjoyed to give us what he has always designed for us: eternal life with him. In other words, the seeking God is always looking for those seeking him!

My Prayer…

Abba Father, I thank you for loving me when I was lost and in sin. I thank you for not just loving me, but also seeking me by sending Jesus. Thank you for your justice that you met with your grace in your Son Jesus. I confess that I at times get distracted and upset with things that don’t really matter very much. Please bless me as I seek to discipline my heart and focus my desires on eternal things. As I seek your glory and honor in the way I conduct my life, it is reassuring that your desire to bless me with eternal life is even greater still. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

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© 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. Verseoftheday.com is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

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Words and Actions

The email from the student in my college writing class expressed urgency. It was the end of the semester, and he realized he needed a better grade to participate in sports. What could he do? He had missed some assignments, so I gave him two days to complete those papers and improve his grade. His response: “Thank you. I’ll do it.”

Two days—and the deadline—passed, and no papers appeared. He didn’t back up his words with action.

Jesus told about a young man who did something similar. The boy’s dad asked him to do some work in the vineyard. The son said, “I will, sir” (Matt. 21:30). But he was all talk and no action.

In commenting on this parable, Matthew Henry concluded: “Buds and blossoms are not fruit.” The buds and blossoms of our words, which breed anticipation of what we might do, are empty without the fruit of our follow-through. Jesus’ main application was to religious leaders who spoke of obedience yet refused to follow through with repentance. But the words apply to us as well. It is in following God “with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18)—not in making empty promises—that we honor our Lord and Savior.

Our actions in obeying God show Him more love, honor, and praise than any empty words we might say to try to appear good.

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Verse of the Day – 1 Kings 22:5

But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.” — 1 Kings 22:5

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

This verse is from the wonderful story of Micaiah the prophet. Jehoshaphat knew not to trust the counsel of false prophets. He was adamant that before they went into battle with anyone, God’s people needed to first seek the counsel of the Lord! This should also be our approach to life. So often we ask God to bless what we’ve already decided rather than spending time in prayer, fasting, and Scripture seeking our Father’s will. Let’s not rush our decisions. God has promised that he would lead us with his Spirit, let’s not rush the Spirit’s input, or even worse, ignore it and then ask God to bless us anyway!

My Prayer…

Holy and Almighty God, ruler of all nations and Sovereign over all creation, please guide my decisions as I seek your will and your glory. I want my life, my family, my work, and my ministry to be lived in your will. I want to be your servant and not seek my own way and my own glory. Thank you for sending your Spirit to help illuminate your Word and lead me and to equip and empower me to serve you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Heartlight is proud to promote Compassion International.

© 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. Verseoftheday.com is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

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God So Loved . . .

July 28, 2014, marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. In the British media many discussions and documentaries recalled the start of that 4-year conflict. Even the TV program Mr. Selfridge, which is based on an actual department store in London, included an episode set in 1914 that showed young male employees lining up to volunteer for the army. As I observed these portrayals of self-sacrifice, I felt a lump in my throat. The soldiers they depicted had been so young, so eager, and so unlikely to return from the horror of the trenches.

Although Jesus didn’t go off to war to defeat an earthly foe, He did go to the cross to defeat the ultimate enemy—sin and death. Jesus came to earth to demonstrate God’s love in action and to die a horrendous death so that we could be forgiven of our sins. And He was even prepared to forgive the men who flogged and crucified Him (Luke 23:34). He conquered death by His resurrection and now we can become part of God’s forever family (John 3:13-16).

Anniversaries and memorials remind us of important historical events and heroic deeds. The cross reminds us of the pain of Jesus’ death and the beauty of His sacrifice for our salvation.

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Verse of the Day – Nehemiah 9:5

Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. — Nehemiah 9:5

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

God loves to hear our praises and songs of adoration. He longs to hear us call him Abba Father and King of the Ages. But better than all the praise we can muster and higher than the highest sounds of angels is something higher still: the very name of God. Let’s make a commitment to revere and hold as holy the name of our glorious God!

My Prayer…

Almighty God, Father of compassion and Creator of the Universe, I praise you for exerting your will on our world. Now, dear Father, please make your will clearly demonstrable in my life as I seek to live for you so that your name will be exalted. In the holy name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Heartlight is proud to promote Compassion International.

© 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. Verseoftheday.com is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

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The Two Bears

Some years ago, my wife, Carolyn, and I spent a few days camping on the flanks of Mount Rainier in Washington State. When we were returning to our campsite one evening, we saw in the middle of a meadow two male bears boxing each other’s ears. We stopped to watch.

There was a hiker nearby, and I asked him what the conflict was about. “A young female,” he said.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“Oh, she left about 20 minutes ago,” he chuckled. Thus, I gathered, the conflict at this point was not about the female bear but about being the toughest bear.

Most fights aren’t about policy and principle, or about right and wrong; they’re almost always about pride. The wise man of Proverbs swings his axe at the root of the problem when he writes: “Pride leads to conflict” (13:10 nlt). Quarrels are fueled by pride, by needing to be right, by wanting our way, or by defending our turf or our egos.

On the other side, wisdom resides with the well-advised—those who listen and learn, those who allow themselves to be instructed. There is wisdom in those who humble themselves—those who set aside their own selfish ambition; who acknowledge the limits of their own understanding; who listen to the other person’s point of view; who allow their own ideas to be corrected. This is the wisdom from God that spreads peace wherever it goes.

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September 11, 2015 at 07:02PM
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