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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Today's Verse : Matthew 2:4-6

When King Herod had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" — Matthew 2:4-6

Thought

"The first will be last and the last will be first." That's one of Jesus' favorite sayings. Isn't interesting that God said it long before he was born. Isn't interesting that those who knew the Scriptures, but didn't know Jesus, said it too! Isn't it interesting that Herod and Jesus lived it thirty years before Jesus would teach it? Isn't it interesting that Jesus gave us the Lord's Supper to remember that while Jesus died and shed his blood, on the first day of the week, Sunday, he rose? When it matters most, Jesus and his people will finish first!

Prayer

You, O Lord, are marvelous. You are God Almighty, the holy and majestic Creator. Yet you became the least so I can share in your glory. Please help me, O God, never to look down on someone else because they look like the least. I know, Father, that as I serve and love them, I'm serving and loving you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Today's Verse Illustrated

Illustration of Matthew 2:4-6

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Today's Verse : Galatians 4:4-5

When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. — Galatians 4:4-5

Thought

God waited till history reached his appointed time and sent Jesus. Just the right time — Roman rule, Jewish subordination, good roads, freedom, a degree of safety, a common trading language, cruel and barbaric punishment accompanied by religious infighting. In times such as these, he sent his Son to be a woman's son. He emptied his home so he could send a redeemer to our home. He did it so we could be his children — not pretend children, but real children, with full rights. So he could not only be God but so he could be Abba.

Prayer

Abba Father, even your name is precious to me. I gasp at how much it cost you to let me call you Abba. I don't understand such extravagant love, but I thank you for it. I know I don't deserve to call you Abba, but it sounds so right. Something inside resonates at the sound of Abba — Holy, Righteous, Almighty, Abba! While I know that I will never be a perfect child, I rest today in the confidence that I am your child and you claim me. Thank you in Jesus' name. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Today's Verse Illustrated

Illustration of Galatians 4:4-5

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Today's Verse : Isaiah 7:14

The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. — Isaiah 7:14

Thought

God is interested in us personally. So much so, that he personally gives us this sign. Because of Matthew's explanation of the meaning of the name Immanuel, we know what that sign was — Jesus coming to live as God with us. His presence is God's presence. His life is God's sign. The miracle of his conception is God's mystery and also his statement of grace for us.

Prayer

Holy and Almighty Lord who refuses to be the god who is detached and far away: I thank you for coming to live among us in Jesus. I thank you and praise you for your sacrifice and pain. I know this sign cost you greatly so please let my praise in prayer, song thought and life reflect my thanks to you in Jesus name. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Today's Verse Illustrated

Illustration of Isaiah 7:14

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Today's Verse : Deuteronomy 18:15

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like [Moses] from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. — Deuteronomy 18:15

Thought

Jesus is that prophet like Moses. He has come and taught us God's truth. He has taught us with his words recorded in the Gospels. He has taught us with his example, through the deeds he has done. He is teaching us through his abiding presence in us and through the Spirit he has given us. But he teaches us most effectively when we put into practice what he has said.

Prayer

El Shaddai, who thundered from Mount Sinai and gave your Law to your servant Moses, I believe you are still speaking today through Jesus. Help me not only hear his voice but listen to his message and life and put it into practice today. Gently correct and lead me in the way of obedience so that I may more perfectly glorify you with the worship of my daily life. Through the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Today's Verse Illustrated

Illustration of Deuteronomy 18:15

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Today's Verse : John 15:5,8

[Jesus said,] "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." — John 15:5,8

Thought

We take on Jesus' character (bear fruit) by remaining intimately connected to him. The distance between heaven and earth is not so great when heaven lives within us. In John 14, Jesus reminded us that if we will obey him, he will come and live in us and will reveal himself to us. So as we obey him, we know him better. His life becomes real in us.

Prayer

Precious Lord, I want to obey your word, your will, and your example. I want to obey you to honor you, to love you, and to know you. So please, help me better come to know you as I more closely walk in your steps. Help me to know what it means to live your life in my world. Because of Jesus' mighty name I pray and thank him as my Lord. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Today's Verse Illustrated

Illustration of John 15:5,8

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Today's Verse : John 14:6

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." — John 14:6

Thought

I don't want to be any more exclusive than Jesus. But I do want to hear his voice. He calls me to find the way to the Father through him. I must also know that others must know him to find their way to the Father, too. How can we not be more passionate about those around us who do not really know Jesus as their Savior, Redeemer, Brother, and Lord? How can the first four books of our New Testament lie unread?

Prayer

Holy God and Righteous Father, give me a passion for Jesus and a heart that knows him in word, deed, and concern. In the name of Jesus, your mighty Word, I pray. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Today's Verse Illustrated

Illustration of John 14:6

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Today's Verse : John 11:25

[Jesus said,] "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" — John 11:25

Thought

This is the most important question you will ever answer. Do you really believe this? Do you believe that when you died with Christ in baptism through faith, that you died the most significant death and that your physical death will not separate you from Jesus? All of life, even all of eternity for you, hangs on this one question.

Prayer

Almighty and Everlasting Father, I believe that because you have adopted me into your family, that death will never claim me. Help me live with new vigor and confidence knowing that Satan cannot have me and death cannot claim me because I am yours through Jesus, your Son and my Lord, risen from the dead. In the name of my precious Redeemer, I pray. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Today's Verse Illustrated

Illustration of John 11:25

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.