Verse of the Day – Acts 2:17

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Acts 2:17

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

As those living in the last days, each believer — young and old, male and female — must be Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered to give his or her personal testimony to the grace of God given us in Jesus Christ. As Jesus prayed for us before his death (John 17:20-23), we must be united across the gender barriers and across the age barriers and across the racial barriers if the world is to truly know that God sent his Son as Savior of the world!

My Prayer…

God of all nations, please break down the barriers that divide us and that blunt the wonderful message of your grace. Pour out your Spirit upon us and convict us of our prejudice and selfishness, and replace it with your transcending love. Forgive us, forgive me, when my own shortsightedness and selfishness interferes with the world seeing a united Church proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior. 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.


© 1998-2019, 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. | Privacy Policy

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Victory Parade

In 2016 when the Chicago Cubs baseball team won the World Series, for the first time in more than a century, five million people lined the parade route and gathered at a downtown rally to celebrate the championship.

Victory parades are not a modern invention. A famous ancient parade was the Roman Triumph, in which victorious generals led a procession of their armies and captives through crowded streets.

Such parade imagery was likely in Paul’s mind when he wrote to the Corinthian church thanking God for leading believers “as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession” (2 Corinthians 2:14). I find it fascinating that in this imagery, followers of Christ are the captives. However, as believers we’re not forced to participate, but are willing “captives,” willingly part of the parade led by the victorious, resurrected Christ. As Christians, we celebrate that through Christ’s victory, He is building His kingdom and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

When we talk about Jesus’s victory on the cross and the freedom it gives believers we help spread the “aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14). And whether people find the aroma to be the pleasing reassurance of salvation or the odor of their defeat, this unseen but powerful fragrance is present everywhere we go.

As we follow Christ, we declare His resurrection victory, the victory that makes salvation available to the world.

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Verse of the Day – Judges 2:7

The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.

Judges 2:7

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Each generation must have its own first-hand faith. Transforming faith takes more than receiving a godly heritage and stories of the past deeds of God. It requires a fresh experience of God’s mighty presence!

My Prayer…

Holy God, help me pass down my faith in you, and my love for you, to my children and to other young believers. More than that, Abba Father, help them experience your mighty power and great deeds personally through ministry and sacrificial service. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus! Amen.

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


© 1998-2019, 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. | Privacy Policy

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Precious

“My precious . . .” First portrayed in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the image of the emaciated creature Gollum in his maniacal obsession with the “precious” “ring of power” has become an iconic one today—for greed, obsession, even insanity.

It’s also a troublingly relatable image. In his tormented love-hate relationship with both the ring and with himself, Gollum’s voice echoes the hunger in our own hearts. Whether it’s directed at one thing in particular, or just a vague longing for “more,” we’re sure that once we finally get our own “precious,” we’ll be satisfied. But instead, what we thought would make us whole leaves us feeling even emptier than before.

There’s a better way to live. As David expresses in Psalm 16, when the longings in our hearts threaten to send us on a desperate, futile quest for satisfaction (v. 4), we can remember to turn to God for refuge (v. 1), reminding ourselves that apart from Him we have nothing (v. 4).

And as our eyes stop looking for satisfaction “out there” to gaze instead on God’s beauty (v. 8), we find ourselves finally tasting true contentment—a life of basking in the “joy [of God’s] presence,” walking with Him each moment in “the way of life”—now and forever (v. 11 nlt).

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Verse of the Day – 1 Timothy 5:3

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.

1 Timothy 5:3

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Practical loving concern for those who are powerless and forgotten is rooted in the heart of God and championed in Old Testament Law. One of the first internal problems the early church urgently and positively dealt with was prejudice and neglect of the Greek speaking widows in Jerusalem. It was important to God and to them! Paul further reminds us that we better have the same concern for widows today! (Notice that James extends that same concern for both widows and orphans! James 1:27)

My Prayer…

Forgive me, loving Father, for I sometimes get so lost in my own opportunities and problems that I don’t look around and check on those in my church family who need my help much less those in need who are not Christians. Touch me with your Spirit so that I may better hear, see, and respond to their needs. Thank you for your concern for all people, and please use me as one of your tools of concern to bless those in need. In the precious 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.


© 1998-2019, 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. | Privacy Policy

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Out of the Trap

The Venus flytrap was first discovered in a small area of sandy wetlands not far from our home in North Carolina. These plants are fascinating to watch because they are carnivorous.

Venus flytraps release a sweet-smelling nectar into colorful traps that resemble open flowers. When an insect crawls inside, triggering sensors along the outer rim, the trap clamps shut in less than a second—capturing its victim. The trap then closes further and emits enzymes that consume its prey over time, giving the plant nutrients not provided by the sandy soil.

God’s Word tells of another trap that can capture unexpectedly. The apostle Paul warned his protégé Timothy: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” And “some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:9–10).

Money and material things may promise happiness, but when they take first place in our lives, we walk on dangerous ground. We avoid this trap by living with thankful, humble hearts focused on God’s goodness to us through Jesus: “godliness with contentment is great gain” (v. 6).

The transient things of this world never satisfy like God can. True, lasting contentment is found only through our relationship with Him.

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