Verse of the Day – 2 Thessalonians 1:3

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.

2 Thessalonians 1:3

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

When was the last time you found a new brother or sister in Christ and told that precious person all the things they were doing right? Don’t you think that’s too long, and that you should let them know today? Let’s be more committed to encouraging and affirming others who are in Christ as well as giving thanks to God for them.

My Prayer…

Saving Shepherd of lost souls, thank you for the new Christians in our church and in my life. Bless them and protect them from the Evil One and use us, your children and their brothers and sisters, to be there to help and encourage them on their journey to perfection in Christ. In the holy name of Christ Jesus, my Lord. 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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Alert Circles

African gazelles instinctively form “alert circles” while resting on the savannah. They gather in groups with each animal facing outward in a slightly different direction. This enables them to scan the horizon a full 360 degrees and to communicate about approaching dangers or opportunities.

Instead of looking out only for themselves, the members of the group take care of one another. This is also God’s wisdom for followers of Jesus. The Bible encourages us, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:24–25).

Christians were never intended to go it alone, explains the writer of Hebrews. Together we are stronger. We are able to “[encourage] one another” (v. 25), to “comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4), and to help each other stay alert to the efforts of our enemy the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

The goal of our care for each other is so much more than survival. It is to make us like Jesus: loving and effective servants of God in this world—people who together look forward confidently to the hope of His coming kingdom. All of us need encouragement, and God will help us help each other as together we draw near to Him in love.

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Verse of the Day – 2 Timothy 1:3

I [Paul] thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you [Timothy] in my prayers.

2 Timothy 1:3

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Paul is near the end of his life, facing persecution in a horrible prison. Many of the young men whom he had mentored have left the faith or have turned against him. How can he give thanks? Paul speaks of his confidence in his own victorious future with Jesus and in his son in the faith, Timothy. What makes this special is that he communicates it to Timothy. He’s not content to just give thanks to God in prayer! He also tells Timothy how precious he is in this letter. When was the last time you sent a note of thanks to the people you appreciate, letting them know they give you reason to rejoice before the throne of God?

My Prayer…

Matchless Father of all grace, thank you! Thank you for every spiritual blessing I have in Christ. Thank you today for the special people who are such a blessing to me in my walk of faith…(take a minute and just say their names before the Father). Help me grow in my ability to show my appreciation and approval of these precious people, so that they can know what a blessing they are to me. In Jesus’ name I thank you. 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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True Friends

In middle school, I had a “sometimes friend.” We were “buddies” at our small church (where I was nearly the only girl her age), and we occasionally hung out together outside of school. But in school, it was a different story. If she met me by herself, she might say hello; but only if no one else was around. Realizing this, I rarely tried to gain her attention within school walls. I knew the limits of our friendship.

We’ve probably all experienced the pain of disappointingly one-sided or narrow friendships. But there’s another kind of friendship—one that extends beyond all boundaries. It’s the kind of friendship we have with kindred spirits who are committed to sharing life’s journey with us.

David and Jonathan were such friends. Jonathan was “one in spirit” with David and loved him “as himself” (1 Samuel 18:1–3). Although Jonathan would have been next in line to rule after his father Saul’s death, he was loyal to David, God’s chosen replacement. Jonathan even helped David to evade two of Saul’s plots to kill him (19:1–6; 20:1–42).

Despite all odds, Jonathan and David remained friends—pointing to the truth of Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times.” Their loyal and faithful friendship also gives us a glimpse of the loving relationship God has with us (John 3:16; 15:15). Through friendships like theirs, our understanding of God’s love is deepened. 

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Verse of the Day – Romans 8:37

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Romans 8:37

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Are we really conquerors despite “trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword”? Yes! That is the ultimate Christian assurance. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ. The Evil One and his allies can kill our bodies, ruin our finances, wrack our bodies with pain, and seek to destroy our relationships. However, the Evil One cannot have our hearts when they are surrendered to Jesus. And when our hearts belong to Jesus, so does our future! The empty tomb of Jesus assures us that our future with him is glorious, victorious, and unending.

My Prayer…

Give me eyes to see, O God, and a heart to believe that Jesus’ victory over death is my victory, too! I don’t want to be derailed from my hope, faith, and love by the difficulties of life. Instead, I want to be a living testimony to your power, victory, and grace. In Jesus’ name, and for his glory, I live and 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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Our Blessings, His Love

In 2015, a woman discarded her deceased husband’s computer at a recycling center, a logical decision since the computer had been made in 1976. But more important than when it had been made was who made it. It was one of 200 computers hand built by Apple founder Steve Jobs, and was worth an estimated quarter of a million dollars! Sometimes knowing the true worth of something means knowing who made it.

Knowing that it’s God who made us shows us how valuable we are to Him (Genesis 1:27). Psalm 136 catalogs key moments from His people—ancient Israel: how they had been freed from captivity in Egypt (vv. 11–12), journeyed through the wilderness (v. 16), and were given a new home in Canaan (vv. 21–22). But each time a moment of Israel’s history is mentioned, it’s paired with this repeated refrain: “His love endures forever.” This refrain reminded the people of Israel that their experiences weren’t random historical events. Each moment had been orchestrated by God, and were a reflection of His enduring love for those He had made.

Far too often, I allow moments of God at work and His kind ways to simply pass by, failing to recognize that every perfect gift comes from my heavenly Father (James 1:17) who made me and loves me. May you and I learn to connect every blessing in our lives to God’s enduring love for us

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Verse of the Day – 2 Corinthians 2:14

Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

2 Corinthians 2:14

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

What do you smell like today? Is that question too personal? Not to God! Paul says we are warriors returning from conquest with the smell of victory incense permeating our presence. To those who see us and know us, this aroma points them to God and his victory over our wills and his victory for us over death. We are God’s conquest and conquerors. Let’s live surrendered to his will, displaying his grace and victory in our lives.

My Prayer…

Thank you, O LORD God Almighty, for your incredible victory over sin and death. Thank you even more for conquering my rebellious heart and for blessing me with your incomparable grace. Despite the challenges, difficulties, and pains in life, dear LORD, please help me live my life as a victory march as I journey home to you. In Jesus’ mighty and holy 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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It’s Up to God

Nate and Sherilyn enjoyed their stop at an omakase restaurant while visiting New York City. Omakase is a Japanese word that translates, “I will leave it up to you,” which means customers at such restaurants let the chef choose their meal. Even though it was their first time to try this type of cuisine and it sounded risky, they loved the food the chef chose and prepared for them.

That idea could carry over to our attitude toward God with our prayer requests: “I will leave it up to You.” The disciples saw that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places” to pray (Luke 5:16), so they asked Him one day to teach them how to pray. He told them to ask for their daily needs, forgiveness, and the way out of temptation. Part of His response also suggested an attitude of surrender: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

We can pour out our needs to God because He wants to hear what’s on our hearts— and He delights to give. But being human and finite, we don’t always know what’s best, so it only makes sense to ask with a humble spirit, in submission to Him. We can leave the answer to Him, confident that He’s trustworthy and will choose to prepare what’s good for us. 

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Verse of the Day – Isaiah 44:3

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 44:3

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Growing up in West Texas in part of my early years, I certainly know what “thirsty land” truly is. The black dirt shrinks, leaving deep cracks in the ground. All the grass turns yellow, then brown, and then dies. A wisp of breeze stirs swirls of dust over the barren land. When the downpour finally comes, the “thirsty land” swallows voluminous amounts of water as the rain runs off the wet surface and finds its way into the deep cracks of the drought. The ground swells, the grass comes back to life, and life is replenished. In a barren spiritual wasteland, God’s Holy Spirit pours out his blessing, brings times of refreshment, and replenishes our thirsty hearts.

My Prayer…

Generous and loving Father, thank you for so many blessings you have poured into my life. Most of all, dear Father, thank you for the blessing of your presence, your strength, your grace, and your refreshment given to me through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I thank you. 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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Lava in Paradise

All is quiet, save for slowly stretching tentacles of hissing lava nipping at the edges of the tropical foliage. Residents, fearful for their homes, stand grim-faced yet amazed. Most days they call this “paradise.” On this day, however, the fiery fissures in Hawaii’s Puna district reminded everyone that God forged these islands via untamable volcanic power.

The ancient Israelites encountered an untamable power too. When King David recaptured the ark of the covenant (2 Samuel 6:1–4), a celebration broke out (v. 5)—until a man died suddenly when he grabbed hold of the ark to steady it (vv. 6–7).

This may tempt us to think of God as being as capricious as a volcano, just as likely to create as He is to destroy. However, it helps to remember that God had given Israel specific instructions for how to handle the things set apart for worshiping Him (see Numbers 4). Israel had the privilege of drawing near to God, but His presence was too overwhelming for them to approach Him carelessly.

Hebrews 12 recalls a mountain “burning with fire,” where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. That mountain terrified everyone (vv. 18–21). But the writer contrasts that scene with this: “You have come to . . . Jesus the mediator of a new covenant” (vv. 22–24). Jesus—God’s very Son—made the way for us to draw near to His untamable yet loving Father.

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