Verse of the Day – Leviticus 19:32

Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:32

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

In an age where respect is little known and even less practiced, showing honor for those who are older is often overlooked. Yet in this place, by the LORD’s own word, showing respect for the elderly ranks right up there with reverencing God. But then we shouldn’t be surprised, since God made honoring parents the very first commandment (in the Ten Commandments — Exodus 20) directed at our relationship with others — the first four commandments were directed at our relationship with him!

My Prayer…

Holy and Eternal God, thank you for my parents in the flesh and in the faith. Please give those who have been my spiritual mentors a special blessing. Without their guidance, I’m not sure where I would have ended up. Help me as I grow older to not only mature, but to also gain the character that will be needed by those whom you have placed before me to influence. May we, young and old alike, restore dignity and respect to our relationships before you in our generation. 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

from Verse of the Day https://ift.tt/2O2E4Fi
via IFTTT

Unity

In 1722 a small group of Moravian Christians, who lived in what is now the Czech Republic, found refuge from persecution on the estate of a generous German count. Within four years more than 300 people came. But instead of an ideal community for persecuted refugees, the settlement became filled with discord. Different perspectives on Christianity brought division. What they did next may seem like a small choice, but it launched an incredible revival: They began to focus on what they agreed on rather than on what they disagreed on. The result was unity.

The apostle Paul strongly encouraged the believers in the church in Ephesus to live in unity. Sin would always bring strife, pursuit of selfish desires, and dissonance in relationships. But as those who were made “alive with Christ” the Ephesians were called to live out their new identity in practical ways (Ephesians 2:5). Primarily, they were to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (4:3).

This unity is not just simple camaraderie achieved through human strength. We are to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (4:2). From a human perspective, it’s impossible to act in this way. We cannot reach unity through our own power but through God’s perfect power “that is at work within us” (3:20). 

from Our Daily Bread https://ift.tt/2ZZPP6B
via IFTTT

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.


© 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

from Verse of the Day https://ift.tt/2ZWgyki
via IFTTT

Whatever the Cost

The film Paul, Apostle of Christ takes an unflinching look at persecution in the early days of the church. Even the movie’s minor characters reveal how dangerous it was to follow Jesus. Consider these roles listed in the credits: Beaten Woman; Beaten Man; Christian Victims 1, 2, and 3.

Identifying with Christ often came at a high cost. And in much of the world, it’s still dangerous to follow Jesus. Many in the church today can relate to that kind of persecution. Some of us, however, may feel “persecuted” prematurely—outraged any time our faith is mocked or we suspect we were passed over for a promotion because of our beliefs.

Obviously, there’s a colossal difference between sacrificing social status and sacrificing our lives. Realistically, though, self-interest, financial stability, and social acceptance have always been intense human motivators. We see this in the actions of some of Jesus’s earliest converts. The apostle John reports that, mere days before Jesus’s crucifixion, although most Israelites were still rejecting Him (John 12:37), many “even among the leaders believed” (v. 42). However, “They would not openly acknowledge their faith . . . for they loved human praise more than praise from God” (vv. 42–43).

Today we still face societal pressures (and worse) to keep our faith in Christ hidden. Whatever the cost, let’s stand together as a people who seek God’s approval more than human praise.

from Our Daily Bread https://ift.tt/2ZXodiv
via IFTTT

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.


© 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

from Verse of the Day https://ift.tt/2NYjyFK
via IFTTT

Whatever We Do

In Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis confessed he came to Christianity at the age of thirty-three, “kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape.” Despite Lewis’s own personal resistance, his shortcomings, and the obstacles he faced, the Lord transformed him into a courageous and creative apologist. Lewis proclaimed God’s truth and love through writing powerful essays and novels that are still being read, studied, and shared more than fifty-five years after his death. His life reflected his belief that a person is “never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”

As we make plans and follow dreams, God can purify our motives and empower us to devote whatever we do to Him (Proverbs 16:1-3). From the most ordinary tasks to the greatest challenges, we can live for the glory of our almighty Maker, who “works out everything to its proper end” (v. 4). Every action, every word, and every thought can become an expression of heartfelt worship, a sacrificial gift to honor our Lord, as He watches over us (v. 7).

God cannot be limited by our limitations, our reservations, or our tendencies to settle or dream small. As we choose to live for Him—dedicated to and dependent on Him—He will bring about His plans for us. Whatever we do can be done with Him, for Him, and only because of Him.

from Our Daily Bread https://ift.tt/2Q2DjhN
via IFTTT

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.


© 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

from Verse of the Day https://ift.tt/2ZRFJVb
via IFTTT

Tongue Tamers

In West with the Night, author Beryl Markham detailed her work with Camciscan, a feisty stallion she was tasked with taming. She’d met her match with Camciscan. No matter what strategy she employed, she could never fully tame the proud stallion, chalking up only one victory over his stubborn will.

How many of us feel this way in the battle to tame our tongues? While James likens the tongue to the bit in a horse’s mouth or a ship’s rudder (James 3:3–4), he also laments, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (v. 10).

So, how can we win the battle over the tongue? The apostle Paul offers tongue-taming advice. The first involves speaking only the truth (Ephesians 4:25). This is not a license to be painfully blunt, however. Paul follows up with “do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up” (v. 29). We can also take out the trash: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (v. 31). Is this easy? Not if we attempt to do it on our own. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit who helps us as we rely on Him.

As Markham learned, consistency with Camciscan was needed in the battle of wills. Such is the case in the taming of the tongue.

from Our Daily Bread https://ift.tt/34Gu2zc
via IFTTT

Verse of the Day – Psalm 10:14

You, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

Psalm 10:14

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

God abhors those who take advantage of people who are powerless, who are going through a series of difficulties, or who are in compromising situations. Those who exploit the needy, week, poor, or disadvantaged must know that God sees their actions and will hold them accountable. Those who are in distress must keep their faith in God, trusting that he sees, cares, and will send his help at the right time. Those of us who fit neither category need to be working for the deliverance and blessing of those who are facing difficulties and hardships.

My Prayer…

Gracious God, please bless several people I know who are in times of real distress and heartbreak. Please use me to minister to them. But please, dear Father, fill them with your Spirit so they will have the strength and courage necessary to endure. Bless them with deliverance that is clearly from you, so that all will know your grace and give glory to 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.


© 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

from Verse of the Day https://ift.tt/2I28t2q
via IFTTT

Better Than Ever

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a spectacular building. Its architecture is spellbinding, and its stained-glass windows and splendid interior features are breathtaking. But after centuries of standing sentry over the Paris landscape, it is falling apart. Time and pollution have taken their toll, and it is time for this glorious structure to be repaired.

So the people who love this eight-century-old landmark are coming to its rescue. In a recent year, the French government set aside more than six million dollars to help restore the church. Its supporting flying buttresses must be shored up. Many of its exterior stonework needs to be replaced. And the roof needs work. The money will be well spent, because for many this ancient cathedral stands as symbol of hope.

What’s true of buildings is also true of us. Our bodies, like this old church, will eventually look a bit worse for wear! But as the apostle Paul explains, there’s good news: while we might gradually lose the physical vibrancy of youth, the core of who we are—our spiritual being—can be continually renewing and growing (2 Corinthians 4:16).

          As “we make it our goal to please [the Lord]” (2 Corinthians 5:10), relying on the Holy Spirit to fill and transform us (Ephesians 5:18, 2 Corinthians 3:18), our spiritual growth need never stop—no matter what our “building” looks like.

from Our Daily Bread https://ift.tt/2N9441M
via IFTTT