Verse of the Day – John 6:66

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. — John 6:66

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

This verse haunts me. Not just because of the three numbers in the reference, but because it is a great reminder that many folks simply gave up following Jesus when things became hard to understand. When he shattered their preconceived notions of religious things, when he confronted them about their motives, they went away. What will I do when things get difficult in my discipleship and I can’t figure out all the answers to what is going on? I hope, I pray, I trust that I will follow until the way and the will of the Lord become more clear!

My Prayer…

Awesome God, I confess openly that I cannot begin to understand all the complexities of your will and the way you work in our world. But Father, when I’m confused, please bring people into my life who will help me hang on to my faith until the confusion passes. And today, dear Father, please use me to help bless someone who is struggling with his or her faith. In Jesus’ name I ask it. 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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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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Coming Alongside

When my sister Carole was diagnosed with breast cancer, our family worried. That diagnosis, with its surgeries and treatments, caused us to fear for her well-being, which drove our family to prayer on her behalf. Over the ensuing months, Carole’s updates were honest about the challenges. But we all celebrated when the report came back that the surgery and treatments had been successful. Carole was on the road to recovery!

Then, less than a year later, my sister Linda faced the same battle. Immediately, Carole came alongside Linda, helping her understand what to expect and how to prepare for what she would face. Carole’s experience had equipped her to walk with Linda through her own trial.

This is what Paul calls for in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, where we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t waste anything. Our struggles not only give us an opportunity to experience His comfort, but they also open the door for us to share that comfort with others in their struggles.

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Verse of the Day – Mark 9:30-31

Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” — Mark 9:30-31

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

We often seek to attract large crowds to our churches, crusades, and rallies. Jesus also ministered to large crowds. But his strongest teaching on discipleship occurs away from the crowds, when he is alone with his disciples. What the crowds are able to accept is not enough to call mature disciples to that next level in their walk with the Savior. So Jesus withdrew for intensive teaching with a small group of committed disciples so he could mature them and make them ready for future challenges.

My Prayer…

Holy God, please bless the people in my Bible study group and all those everywhere that are seeking to follow you no matter the cost. Please lead me to a small group of believers with whom I can share my life and through whom you will challenge me to grow in my surrender to the Lordship of Christ. 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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Turn It Off

When our kids were young, we took a trip to northern Wisconsin to visit my grandparents. They didn’t get very good reception on their television, but TV wasn’t much of a priority with them. After I had seen our son Scott fiddling with the TV set for a while, he asked with frustration, “What do you do if you can get only one channel and you don’t like what’s on that one?”

“Try turning it off, ” I said with a smile. Not exactly the advice he was hoping for. It’s even more difficult to do now, especially when there are so many devices that entertain, inform, and distract us.

Sometimes we do need to just turn it all off and rest our minds for a little while; we simply need to “unplug.” Jesus often drew aside for a time—especially when He wanted to take time to pray (Matt. 14:13). He encouraged the disciples to step away as well—even for a brief time (Mark 6:31). That kind of solitude and time for reflection is beneficial for each of us. In those moments we are able to draw near to God.

Follow the example and wisdom of Christ. Get away by yourself and “rest a while.” It will be good for your body, mind, and spirit.

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Verse of the Day – Jeremiah 31:25

I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. — Jeremiah 31:25

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

In the overwhelming, hair-raising, and depressing prophecies of Jeremiah, God repeatedly told his people he would destroy them for their obstinate and hardened hearts. Yet in the middle of these powerful and scorching warnings, God also slips in passages that soar with hope and grace. Can you think of anything more reassuring than God’s promise to “refresh the weary and satisfy the faint”? For seventy years, that’s all Israel had — God’s promise. But when the time came, God made good on his word. I believe he will do the same with us today!

My Prayer…

Great Shepherd, I am tired and weary. Please refresh my Spirit and my body. Please help me find satisfaction in the abundance you have already so graciously shared with me. To you belongs all glory, honor, strength and power. I joyously submit myself in faith, waiting for the rest and satisfaction you have promised. 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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It’s What We Do

My father was critically injured when he took a bullet in the leg as a second lieutenant leading his men on Hill 609 in North Africa during World War II. Dad was never again 100 percent physically. I was born several years after this, and when I was young I didn’t even know he had been wounded. I found out later when someone told me. Although he felt constant pain in his leg, my dad never complained about it, and he never used it as an excuse for not providing for our family.

My parents loved the Savior and raised us to love, trust, and serve Him. Through good times and bad, they simply trusted God, worked hard, and loved us unconditionally. Proverbs 14:26 says that “Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge” (niv). My dad did that for our family. No matter what difficulties he faced, he provided a safe place for us spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

We parents can provide a safe haven for our families with the help of our perfect heavenly Father, whose love for His children is deep and eternal.

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