Verse of the Day – Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Sometimes the most profound truths are very simple. The power to reach the world for Christ involves God’s might through the Holy Spirit, God’s plan of beginning where we are and reaching out to the world, and our willingness to tell others what God has done for us in Jesus.

My Prayer…

Father of all people, fill us with your powerful Holy Spirit, enable us to be effective in sharing our faith, and motivate us to reach our city, our region, and our world with the Gospel. I still believe, Father, that you desire to do in our day what happened long ago. Make your Name great. Exalt your holiness in the eyes of all people. Use me and the rest of your people to accomplish your will of reaching all nations with the Gospel of grace. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ 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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The Heart of Fasting

Hunger pangs gnawed at my nerves. My mentor had recommended fasting as a way to focus on God. But as the day wore on, I wondered: How did Jesus do this for forty days? I struggled to rely on the Holy Spirit for peace, strength, and patience. Especially patience.

If we are physically able, fasting can teach us the importance of our spiritual food. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Yet, as I learned firsthand, fasting on its own doesn’t necessarily draw us closer to God!

In fact, God once told His people through the prophet Zechariah that their practice of fasting was useless since it wasn’t leading to service for the poor. “Was it really for me that you fasted?” God asked pointedly (Zechariah 7:5).

God’s question revealed that the primary problem wasn’t their stomachs; it was their cold hearts. By continuing to serve themselves, they were failing to draw closer to God’s heart. So He urged them, “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor” (vv. 9-10).

Our goal in any spiritual discipline is to draw closer to Christ. As we grow in likeness to Him, we’ll gain a heart for those He loves.

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Verse of the Day – Psalm 79:9

Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.

Psalm 79:9

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

I am sure at times that God gets disgusted with our behavior and our lack of seeking after him. I’m sure there are moments when he acts to bless us only because we are his people and we wear his name. But when we cry out, confessing our sins and shortcomings, he is still our Savior. Even when we are not what we should be, God can act out of compassion and preserve the glory of his name.

My Prayer…

Holy and righteous God, our Savior and Abba Father, please forgive us for our sins, rebellion, failures, and duplicity. Deliver us, not just from the consequences of our sin, but also from the mediocrity that permeates our commitment to you. Set fire to your holy zeal in us to seek your glory and the glory of your name. You alone, O God, are our 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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Marvelously Unique

Human beings are not special—at least according to the London Zoo. In 2005, the zoo introduced a four-day exhibit: “Humans in Their Natural Environment.” The human “captives” were chosen through an online contest. To help visitors understand the humans, the zoo workers created a sign detailing their diet, habitat, and threats. According to the zoo’s spokesperson, the goal of the exhibit was to downplay the uniqueness of human beings. One participant in the exhibit seemed to agree. “When they see humans as animals, here, it kind of reminds them that we’re not that special.”

What a stark contrast to what the Bible says about human beings: God “fearfully and wonderfully” made us in “his image” (Psalm 139:14; Genesis 1:26–27).

David began Psalm 139 by celebrating God’s intimate knowledge of him (vv. 1–6) and His all-encompassing presence (vv. 7–12). Like a master weaver, God not only formed the intricacies of David’s internal and external features (vv. 13–14), but He also made him a living soul, giving spiritual life and the ability to intimately relate to God. Meditating on God’s handiwork, David responded in awe, wonder, and praise (v. 14).

Human beings are special. God created us with marvelous uniqueness and the awesome ability to have an intimate relationship with Him. Like David, we can praise Him because we are the workmanship of His loving hands.

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Verse of the Day – Philippians 1:4-5

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

Philippians 1:4-5

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Paul prayed with joy because the Philippians were partners with him, not just supporters. Through their financial help, prayers, and interest in his work, they truly shared in his ministry. They were partners! Let’s get interested in our congregations’ missions. Let’s pray and contribute to missions and get to know our missionaries. Let’s get to know our missionary partners all over the world!

My Prayer…

Father in heaven, I pray that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Please bless and empower the spread of your Kingdom. Protect and strengthen those with whom our church is partnered wherever they may be. Bless them with greater resources, maturity, and character. Help me to recognize and to do the things that I can do to support and encourage them. 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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Divine Escape

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mystery The Clocks features antagonists who commit a series of murders. Although their initial plot targeted a single victim, they found it necessary to take more lives in order to cover up the original crime. When confronted by Poirot, one of the conspirators confessed, lamenting, “It was only supposed to be the one murder.”

Like the schemers in the story, the chief priests and Pharisees of Jesus’s day formed a conspiracy of their own. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38–44), they called an emergency meeting and plotted to take His life (11:45–53). But they didn’t stop there. After Jesus rose from the dead, the religious leaders spread lies about what happened at the grave (Matthew 28:12–15). Then they began a campaign to silence Jesus’s followers (Acts 7:57–8:3). What started as a religious plot against one man for the “greater good” of the nation became a web of lies, deceit, and multiple casualties.

Sin plunges us down a road that often has no end in sight, but God always provides a way of escape. When Caiaphas the high priest said, “It is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish” (John 11:50) he didn’t understand the profound truth of his words. The chief priests’ and Pharisees’ conspiracy would help bring about the redemption of mankind.

Jesus saves us from sin’s vicious grip. Have you received the freedom He offers?

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