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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Today's Verse : Philippians 2:14-16

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life. — Philippians 2:14-16

Thought

Stars. They've always been a source of constant hope for God's people. "Your descendants will be like the stars," God told Abraham. "When I see the stars, what is man that you are mindful of him?" the Psalms ask. The Wisemen from the East followed a star to Jesus. Luke reminds us that Jesus was a star of morning light come to us from heaven to shine on those in darkness. And now, we're stars. God's points of light in the dark sky of the universe. So let's make today a day where our light shines God's glory to a dark world around us.

Prayer

Almighty God, the incredible expanse of your universe, with its billions of stars, exceeds my limited comprehension. But I thank you for calling me to be a place of light in the dark world around me and I pledge to shine your light today in the lives of all those I might. Through the name of the Bright and Morning Star 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 Philippians 2:14-16

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Today's Verse : Galatians 5:16

Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. — Galatians 5:16

Thought

I don't want you to think about an orange rhinoceros flying with blue wings. Now quit. I don't want you to think about it anymore. You know there is no such thing as an orange rhino that flies, much less one that flies on blue wings. Oh course the point is simple: the more we try to not do something, the more we focus on it and insure we do what we are not supposed to do. That's why the gift of the Holy Spirit is so important. He enables and empowers us to move beyond our sin — not by focusing on it and refusing it, but by enriching us and "distracting" us with the important things of God.

Prayer

Abba Father, I thank you so much for your Holy Spirit that lives in me and is now interceding with you for me. Please fill me with your Spirit so that my life more nearly reflects your will and focuses on your concerns. Through Jesus, who poured out your Spirit upon me at my baptism, 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 Galatians 5:16

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Today's Verse : Psalm 118:5-6

In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? — Psalm 118:5-6

Thought

The beginning of the year has been a trying time for people I care about. Maybe it's been that way for you or those you love. My prayer for you, and for them, is that they may know the comfort of God's presence. Whether it's the popular little poem "Footprints" or the familiar "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me," the presence of the Lord is absolutely vital to standing up against our anguish! The Lord does long to be with us, especially at those moments when we feel most alone. He told us that by experiencing anguish, alone, by himself on the cross.

Prayer

I am thankful, O God, that you refused to be God from a safe distance. Because you came and felt what it was like to be abandoned, forsaken, and alone, I know I can trust that I will never be forsaken by you. Please give me a clearer sense of your presence with me in my life today, I pray through Jesus. 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 Psalm 118:5-6

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Today's Verse : 1 John 4:20-21

If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." — 1 John 4:20-21

Thought

Love! The word can mean anything. Many in the Christian community have tried to define it by a dictionary or lexicon, not realizing the key word for love, agape, is defined by action. Before Christians got a hold of agape, it meant the same thing our word today does: just about anything! But if you read 1 John, you see what love is by what God does. God demonstrates his love. He asks us to do the same for our brothers and sisters. Love must be more than talk; it must be genuinely demonstrated in action!

Prayer

Precious Father, you have so graciously shared your love with me. I must confess, in my heart I intend to love others as you do, but my intentions often get washed away with "busy-ness" or timidity. Father, through your Spirit, prompt me to show my love to others in actions rather than just thought and talk. Through Jesus, your greatest demonstration of love 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 1 John 4:20-21

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Today's Verse : Galatians 3:26-29

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. — Galatians 3:26-29

Thought

One. Basic, simple, and easy to understand. When we become Christians through faith and baptism into Christ, we are made one with all other Christians around the world. Race, gender, and social status are gone. All that's left is One, the One, Jesus. Our lives are his and thus are connected to each other. Our destination is the same, heaven. Our family is the church. No barriers. No closed doors. We are one.

Prayer

Abba Father, thank you for adopting me into your family. May we be one on earth now, as we will be when we are all together around your throne in heaven. I pray for unity among all those who call upon your name and share your Spirit so the world may know there is a solution to conflict, strife and division. Through Jesus our Savior, 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 Galatians 3:26-29

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Today's Verse : 1 Peter 1:15-16

Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." — 1 Peter 1:15-16

Thought

"Holy" is one of those words we generally associate with the "stained glass ghetto" — a word only "church folks" use. That may be true, but it's still a great concept. Every kid knows that you don't eat hot dogs and potato chips on china. Mom's china is reserved for "special company" or "special occasions." Hot dogs are for paper plates and every day, china is for special events. When God is calling us to be holy, he's calling us to be china — something special just for him, and as Peter emphasizes, just like him.

Prayer

Holy Lord, God Almighty, I come before you knowing how great the distance is between your holiness and my commonness. I thank you for making me holy through the sacrifice of Jesus and by sending your Holy Spirit to live inside of me. Please receive my life today as a holy offering to you. I pray in the name of Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith. 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 1 Peter 1:15-16

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Today's Verse : Matthew 6:19-20

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:19-20

Thought

Where do you hide your heart? What we most value is where we will find our heart. So it is an important question. You see, we can treasure riches, control, security, and relationships. Jesus reminds us that it is only by turning loose of the things that most of us keep as our treasures that we find what is truly treasure indeed.

Prayer

Majestic Father, I pray that out of the riches of your grace, you may help me find my treasure in you and nothing else. Today, I want to offer you all that I am and have, so that my life will be lived for your glory. In the name of Jesus, my example and treasure 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 6:19-20

 
© 1998-2018, Heartlight Inc.