Verse of the Day – Genesis 2:24

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. — Genesis 2:24

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

We are different! God makes us male and female so we can be complements of each other. Each is made in God’s image. God’s intention is that a husband and wife find their primary human relationship with the other. They still honor their parents, but their home is with each other. Their two lives become one. In this context of lifetime security, they share in the intimate knowledge of each other sexually — becoming “one flesh.” This relationship is to be enjoyed (Proverbs 5), protected (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8), and celebrated (Song of Solomon) for life (Matthew 19:6).

My Prayer…

Holy and Almighty Father, please bless me with strength to live with integrity and purity in today’s sexually charged world. Please use your Spirit and your Word to instruct, correct, and convict me as I seek to discover your truth for my relationships and celebrate your will for my sexuality. 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.

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© 1998-2016, 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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The Forward Look

When the great Dutch painter Rembrandt died unexpectedly at age 63, an unfinished painting was found on his easel. It focuses on Simeon’s emotion in holding the baby Jesus when He was brought to the temple in Jerusalem, 40 days after His birth. Yet the background and normal detail remain unfinished. Some art experts believe that Rembrandt knew the end of his life was near and—like Simeon—was ready to “be dismissed” (Luke 2:29).

The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon (v. 25), so it was no coincidence that he was in the temple when Mary and Joseph presented their firstborn son to God. Simeon, who had been looking for the promised Messiah, took the baby in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (vv. 29-32).

Simeon was not longing for the glory days of Israel’s history, but was looking ahead for the promised Messiah, who would come to redeem all nations.

Like Simeon, we can have an expectant, forward look in life because we know that one day we will see the Lord.

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Verse of the Day – Acts 2:23

“[Jesus] was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” — Acts 2:23

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

When we think of the Cross, two words we must never associate with it are the words “tragic accident.” Peter makes very clear that two separate streams of power converged at the cross. Evil had its way and brought the Son of God to the Cross. God had his plan and he allowed the cross to happen to redeem us. The Cross was no accident. What hell had intended as our ultimate defeat, God used to bring us redemption and triumph. The best and worst of all things collided. Of course the Cross wasn’t the ultimate answer in this battle; the empty tomb and the resurrected Lord are. We are the victorious recipients of this grace, paid at such an agonizing cost, administered in such a cruel manner by our greatest adversary, and secured by Jesus’ triumph over the grave.

My Prayer…

Holy God, thank you for having a plan in place that insures that my sins can be forgiven and my future with you is secured. Thank you for paying the price for that plan to work. Thank you for triumphing over the wickedness of hell and the work of evil people. I love you so much for all you are and all you have done for me. 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.

© 1998-2016, 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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A Better View

As a child, I loved to climb trees. The higher I climbed, the more I could see. Occasionally, in search of a better view, I might inch out along a branch until I felt it bend under my weight. Not surprisingly, my tree-climbing days are over. I suppose it isn’t very safe—or dignified.

Zacchaeus, a wealthy man, set aside his dignity (and perhaps ignored his safety) when he climbed a tree one day in Jericho. Jesus was traveling through the city, and Zacchaeus wanted to get a look at Him. However, “because he was short he could not see over the crowd” (Luke 19:3). Fortunately, those things did not stop him from seeing and even talking with Christ. Zacchaeus’s plan worked! And when he met Jesus, his life was changed forever. “Salvation has come to this house,” Jesus said (v. 9).

We too can be prevented from seeing Jesus. Pride can blind us from seeing Him as the Wonderful Counselor. Anxiety keeps us from knowing Him as the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Hunger for status and stuff can prevent us from seeing Him as the true source of satisfaction—the Bread of Life (John 6:48).

What are you willing to do to get a better view of Jesus? Any sincere effort to get closer to Him will have a good result. God rewards people who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6).

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Verse of the Day – Isaiah 2:22

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? — Isaiah 2:22

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

God will humble the arrogant. He has a day designated to do this. But, until that day dawns, God’s Kingdom people must live knowing that even the apparently powerful but ungodly will be brought to ruin. We shouldn’t trust in human power; it can evaporate like dew in the morning sunshine. Human power is limited by death. When the breath of a tyrant is gone, so is his power. Once the life of an evil person is over, all that is left is the evil. Our trust must be in Yahweh Sabbaoth, the Lord God of heaven’s armies. Anything else is a dim, small, and distorted reflection of the real thing.

My Prayer…

Abba Father, forgive me for those times that I have relied on my own savvy, my own wits, and my own insight to life. Forgive me for not trusting in your deliverance and for relying on underhanded ways and improper partners. Please cleanse me and create in me a pure heart and an unquenchable passion for 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.

Heartlight is proud to promote Compassion International.

© 1998-2016, 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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Be Still

Years ago I responded to letters within a couple of weeks and kept my correspondents happy. Then came the fax machine, and they seemed content with receiving a response within a couple of days. Today, with email, instant messaging, and mobile phones, a response is expected the same day!

“Be still, and know that I am God.” In this familiar verse from Psalm 46 I read two commands of equal importance. First, we must be still, something that modern life conspires against. In this hectic, buzzing world, even a few moments of quiet do not come naturally to us. And stillness prepares us for the second command: “Know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” In the midst of a world that colludes to suppress, not exalt, God, how do I carve out time and allow Him to nourish my inner life?

“Prayer,” writes Patricia Hampl, “is a habit of attention brought to bear on all that is.” Ah, prayer . . . a habit of attention. Be still and know. The first step in prayer is to acknowledge or to “know” that God is God. And in that attention, that focus, all else comes into focus. Prayer allows us to admit our failures, weaknesses, and limitations to the One who responds to human vulnerability with infinite mercy.

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