Friday, September 30, 2016

God's Masterpiece



September 30

Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 2

Verse of the Day: Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.”

Ποίημα. The Greek word used here for “workmanship” is used only two times in the New Testament, both times by Paul. The word literally means that which has been made or a work. It is the word from which we get our English word “poem”. It indicates a masterpiece. In days past, a young person would be apprenticed to a Master craftsman. When they had finished their education under them they had to produce a piece of work that displayed their knowledge and skill (think Doctrinal Thesis). This was their “masterpiece.”

Here Paul tells us that we are God’s masterpiece. We are His crowning work through Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I display to the world around me a pleasing picture of Your masterful work done in me through Your grace and finished work of Your Son Jesus. I praise You for what You have finished in me. Amen.



Thursday, September 29, 2016

His Will Be Done



September 29

Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 1

Verse of the Day: Ephesians 1:9 – “making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him”

The mystery of His will. The word translated “mystery” in the NT it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the English word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit. In the ordinary sense, a "mystery" implies knowledge withheld; its Scriptural significance is truth revealed.

The Will of God had been hidden or obscure, but through Jesus Christ it has been manifested for all to see. In the preceding verses (7 and 8) Paul spells out what that Will is.

Prayer: Jesus, great Revealer of God and His Will, may I spend time with You today gaining insight and wisdom in Your will and purpose in my life. I seek to fulfill what You have purposed for me in this world. Amen.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Today is Unique



September 28

Daily Bible Reading: Galatians 6

Verse of the Day: Galatians 6:10 – “So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.”

As you read this today, consider this: today is unique, it has never happened before and it will never happen again. At midnight tonight it will cease to exist. Quietly, without fanfare, and completely. 

However, the hours between when you read this and the end of today are hours filled with opportunities and many possibilities. God wants you to live this day to the fullest. He wants you to have the abundance that He can give as we follow His leading.

We need to seek ways to serve, minister, and love not only our fellow believers today, but also the unbelievers God places in our path. Plan to let God surprise you with these opportunities today.

Prayer: Father, overwhelm me with the ways that I can serve my fellow human beings with Your Love and care. Amen.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Spirit or Flesh



September 27

Daily Bible Reading: Galatians 5

Verse of the Day: Galatians 5:16 – “But I say, Walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

The Spirit versus the flesh. We have all experienced it. We have witnessed the inner battle that we go through. With the flesh in control, we suffer through agitation, irritation, offenses, struggles, and comparisons. When the Spirit is in control, we have true release and relief. We have love that isn’t capricious, peace that stays with us, and joy that lasts.

While the Greek word σαρκος usually means the human body, Paul consistently uses it to mean the entire fallen being. Not just the external body but also the mind and soul. The unbeliever can only live in the flesh, but the believer can choose to live in the Spirit or the flesh. Paul continually reminds believers to live in the power of the Spirit and not the flesh.

Prayer: Precious Spirit of God, today I come to You admitting that I often fail and fall into following my flesh. I want to walk in the Spirit. I want to display Your power in my life, in all I think, say, and do. Amen.



Monday, September 26, 2016

The Fullness of Time



September 26

Daily Bible Reading: Galatians 4

Verse of the Day: Galatians 4:4 – 5 – “but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The “fullness of time” is the perfect time in history, the time that was appointed by God. The perfect time for Jesus to come into time and space and become human and die for us. The perfect time for the Seed of the woman to come (Gen, 3:15). 

Jesus was born under the law meaning that He was Jewish and subject to the Law. He was identified with mankind, the very ones He came to save. God bought us back from the slave market of sin and then not only bought us but also made us His adopted children. We are no longer slaves to sin, nor children under the tutor of the Law.

Prayer: Great and Glorious Father of Creation, I praise You that You planned from before You created time and space to provide my redemption and adoption. Hallelujah, amen!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Law the Tutor



September 25

Daily Bible Reading: Galatians 3

Verse of the Day: Galatians 3:24 – 25 – “So that the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

The Greek word for tutor used here (παιδαγωγος) carried the meaning of a guardian and guide of boys. Among the Greeks and the Romans the name was applied to trustworthy slaves who were charged with the duty of supervising the life and morals of boys belonging to the better class. The boys were not allowed so much as to step out of the house without them before arriving at the age of manhood. We might call this person a schoolmaster or teacher.

The law acted as an outward check of desires so that our conscience of sin is more acute. Since we can’t deal with our own sin, the Law guides us to Christ, our rescuer and Savior.

Prayer: Savior, thank You for the Law that made me see the need I have for You.



Saturday, September 24, 2016

No other way



September 24

Daily Bible Reading: Galatians 2

Verse of the Day: Galatians 2:19 – 21 – “For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. I do not make void the grace of God: for if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nought.”

Do you think God ever does anything useless? Would God waste time on anything not necessary? Well, Paul is making the argument here that if I could attain my own righteousness to a level acceptable by God (the Law), then God graciously sending His Son to die was a useless, unnecessary move. In fact, I could call it downright cruel.

Why sacrifice Your Only Son if there was any other way to accomplish our salvation.

Prayer: Merciful, Gracious Father, I believe that You sent Jesus to die for my sins upon that cruel Cross because I could attain righteousness in no other way. Thank You for Your Love.




Friday, September 23, 2016

Perverted Message



September 23

Daily Bible Reading: Galatians 1

Verse of the Day: Galatians 1:6 – 7 – “I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel: only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”

Paul was literally shocked at the soon desertion of the Galatian believers from the true gospel message that they had received at his hand. The word translated marvel here is the very first word in the Greek sentence showing the importance of the concept.

They had quickly defected from the gospel of salvation by God’s undeserved grace to another message. This second message was not the true message of salvation, and thus they were being led astray in what they believed.

Paul calls those presenting this other message perverters of the truth, and that they did not have a better alternative to offer.

Prayer: Merciful God in Heaven, may I only believe and trust in the true gospel, the truth of Salvation grace trough faith. Amen.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Probable Solution



September 22

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 13

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 13:14 – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

This is Paul’s benediction or concluding statement to the Corinthian believers. He invokes the blessing of the Triune God. He evokes grace from the Lord Jesus, love from God, and communion (or, fellowship) of the Holy Spirit.

At the end of this letter, Paul identifies the solution to many of their, and our, problems. The Holy Spirit who lived in each of the believers could empower them to live a righteous life. And, in addition, the Holy Spirit could reconcile them to each other. They could love and encourage each other, rather than fighting. 

We need God’s grace instead of our selfishness, God’s love in place of anger, and fellowship instead of conflict.

Prayer: Glorious God, I come to You on bended knee, I fail in being right with others.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Weakness made Strong



September 21

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 12

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 12:10 – “Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Paul says that he takes pleasure in being weak, being injured, in need, persecuted, and in distress. Not exactly what we would expect to hear from someone who has been through all that Paul has been through. 

Paul was doing some boasting here, “And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul’s weakness made it evident to others that it was not him, but the One who truly deserved the credit. Jesus.

Would I be willing to go through all that Paul went through so that Jesus would be magnified and glorified? Give it some thought today.

Prayer: Jesus, may I be used by You today.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Temporal Distress Brings Eternal Reward



September 20

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:16 – 33 

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 11:23 – “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft.”

Paul says that he speaks as one beside himself, in other words, a fool. Paul was hesitant to brag about his spiritual accomplishments because he knew it was only God who made his preaching and service effective. He was the instrument, God was the One who played the melody.

Following this verse through verse 29, Paul recites a long list of physical sufferings, long travels, toils, and weaknesses that he had encountered in the ministry that God granted him. He understood that temporal distresses bring eternal rewards. 

Prayer: Father, as I strive to serve, give me the grace and strength to bear up under the various trials and distresses that serving You in this sinful world will come upon me. I know that all that I suffer for You in this world is small compared to the riches of eternity. Amen.






Monday, September 19, 2016

Wrong Jesus



September 19

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1 – 15 

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 11:4 – “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.”

Paul was jealous of the Corinthians that they would remain true to what is true. He warns them against believing the wrong truths.

The another Jesus would be one that was a man and not God, or crucified but not risen. The different spirit was one of fear not faith, of bondage not freedom. And the different gospel would be one of law not grace, works not faith.

We can see why Paul was so strong on what he is saying. If anyone believes the wrong Jesus, spirit, or gospel they are lost and separated from God for all eternity. Paul wants his readers and us to look at our beliefs and ourselves closely. Are we in line with the Scriptures, or are we not following the true God?

Prayer: Spirit search my heart for truth. 



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Vertical War



September 18

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 10

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 10:4 – 5 – “(for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds); casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;”

We are in a daily battle. There is a grand war raging, and we are soldiers in it. The problem is that we spend too much time fighting a physical war while the battle is in the realm of the spiritual. 

Paul well understood that the real battle was not with those around him, but with the spiritual concepts and teachings. In our passage today he reminds us to get our eyes off the horizontal and place it on the vertical. We need to get away from the human viewpoint and face the eternal issues.

Prayer: Jesus, I spend too much time fighting the physical battles while I need to focus on the spiritual war against the souls of men. Help me focus on what is important.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

That's hilarious



September 17

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 9

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 9:7 – “Let each man do according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

Chapters 8 and 9 of this letter deal with giving. Paul doesn’t use gimmicks or devices to try to encourage the Church at Corinth in their giving. He gave them the example of the Macedonian believers and called his readers to follow it.

I love our verse above. Especially as you look at it in the Greek. The word translated cheerful (ιλαρον) is pronounced the same as our English word hilarious.

When was the last time that you gave so much that you felt hilarious about it? Too often we grumble and complain about giving. God, however, is looking down from Heaven watching for those who find it hilarious to be able to give.

Prayer: Spirit, touch my heart, mind, and life so that I can be one who gives in such abundance that I find it hilarious. Amen.






Friday, September 16, 2016

Generous Giving




September 16

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 8

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 8:1 – 2 – “Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God which hath been given in the churches of Macedonia; how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.”

The Greek word απλοτητος comes from the root word ἁπλοῦς meaning simple or generous. If the two notions are combined, they present the meaning of glad and generous giving to the mind of the Greek. Paul is the only New Testament writer to use this word. He used it to demonstrate and describe how that certain believers happily gave generous contributions to other believers who were undergoing hardships.

Do we give generously to fellow Christians struggling, or do we tend to think that maybe they are getting what they deserve? 

Prayer: Generous and Glorious Spirit, may I be one who will listen to the voice of God, and as He gave generously, give to my fellow believers in their times of need. Amen. 




Thursday, September 15, 2016

In God's Will




September 15

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 7

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 7:5 – 7 – “For even when we were come into Macedonia our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless he that comforteth the lowly, even God, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort wherewith he was comforted in you, while he told us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced yet more.”

Paul in this autobiographical book gives us a glimpse of all the suffering and difficulties that he encountered as an apostle of the Lord. Ministry is not always easy or smooth. Often we mistake the idea that if all is going well we are in the will of God, and if there are problems we are outside His will. Paul walked in the will of God and yet met with many struggles. 

If you are facing struggles today, make sure that there is nothing that you have done to bring them on. If you are where God wants you, He will see you through.

Prayer: Father, I want to be in Your Will.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In not Of




September 14

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 6:16 – 17 – “ And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing;
And I will receive you,”

Some have taken this verse out of context and ascribed to it the need for us to have no dealing with unbelievers. Paul was not encouraging isolation in this passage (consider 1 Cor.9:5-13) but discouraging compromise with the sinful beliefs, values, and practices of the world. He was urging them to maintain integrity in the world just as Christ displayed for us. Christ was involved in the lives of unbelievers without taking on any of their characteristics. That is what we should be doing.

Prayer: Holy Father, guide me in the way to be involved with family and neighbors who need to know Your Son as Savior. Guide me in being with them while maintaining a holy life.







Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Impeccable Christ



September 13

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 5

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”

The work of salvation is complete. There is nothing for me to do except accept that which Christ finished upon the Cross. Think about it as Jesus looking us in the eye saying, “I have paid your debt in full on the Cross. If you come to Me, I will give you perfect righteousness.”

The impeccability of Jesus deals with the question: could Jesus have sinned? While it is fundamentally agreed the Bible teaches that Jesus did not sin, there has historically been divided opinion as to whether or not He could have sinned. Because He was sinless, He could exchange our sinfulness for His sinlessness. What a blessing and privilege to be able to stand before God sinless, not by our works, but by Christ’s.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for the exchange You were willing to make so that I might become a part of the family of God and be able to stand clean before the Father. Amen.



Monday, September 12, 2016

Clay Pots



September 12

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 4

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 4:7 – 10 – “ But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves; we are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body.”

The Greek words οστρακινοις σκευεσιν translated earthen vessels in this passage literally means “clay pots.”

In ancient times people would put their valuable items in clay posts and bury them to preserve them. The Dead Sea Scrolls are some of those items stored in clay pots. As these treasures were encased in earthen vessels, so the indwelling Christ lives in our earthen bodies. 

Prayer: Spirit of the Living Christ, as You have taken up residence in my physical life today, You have changed my life for now and my soul for eternity. May I be worthy of encasing the Son of God in my life. Amen.



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Transformed and Reformed



September 11

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 3

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.”

God is committed to working out His purpose in us. He works in us, developing, rearranging, firming up, and deepening us to look and act like His Son Jesus Christ.

When we received Christ as our Savior, God began the sanctification process in us. In Romans 8:28 – 30, Paul told the Roman believers God’s process.

As we see God in His Word, it begins to mirror in us the form and beauty of Jesus. As we go through the gradual process of being changed, molded, transformed, we begin to walk and talk like Jesus. If we aren’t getting closer to Him and being like Him, we are the ones who are stopping the process. Let God have full control of your life today.

Prayer: Father, make me like Your Son in all my thoughts, actions, and desires. Amen.



Saturday, September 10, 2016

Restore them



September 10

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 2

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 2:6 – 8 – “Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the many; so that contrariwise ye should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you to confirm your love toward him.”

In the previous letter, Paul had admonished them on dealing with a fellow believer who was living in open sin. The church had taken a very relaxed attitude over it to the point that even unbelievers were talking about it. He pushed them to administer church discipline upon the person responsible.

In this letter, it appears as if the person had repented and sought to be restored to the fellowship of the church. Paul was trying to get them to see that the person no longer needed critics, he needed a place to find healing and refuge.

Prayer: Gracious and Forgiving God, help us to offer forgiveness and healing to those who have repented and come back to You.



Friday, September 9, 2016

Transparent Apostle



September 9

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 1

Verse of the Day: 2 Corinthians 1:1 – 2 – “ Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

This second letter to the church at Corinth could be considered the letter of a transparent Apostle. This is the most autobiographical letter that we have persevered from the Apostle Paul. Paul’s apostleship was under attack, so he writes in a very strong forceful style. Still, as we read his words, we see a man who has a tender heart toward God and a commitment to ministry. He is both steel and velvet in what he writes.

This letter covers crucial concerns for the church, instructions on the offering being collected, and a validation of Paul’s ministry.

Prayer: God, there are times that the ones around us may question what You have taught us. If we are truly listening to You, may we be strong and firm in our convictions. Amen.



Thursday, September 8, 2016

All In for Christ



September 8

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 16

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 16:13 – 14 – “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all that ye do be done in love.”

The word “watch” in the New Testament is often used in anticipation of a future event. The admonition to stand fast in the faith was appropriate because the Corinthian church was susceptible to false teaching. Quit you like men spoke to the need of mature bravery in the people. All of this was to be accomplished in love.

The real tests of courage are the inner ones that others cannot see. Remaining faithful when no one is looking. Enduring pain when the room is empty. Standing alone when you are misunderstood. Even when we feel that no one is around or looking, we have a Father in Heaven who sees all that we do. He sees deep inside of us, and even when we fail, He loves us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I be one who You can see a faithfulness, an endurance, a willingness to stand, all made possible by Your love. Count me all in for You.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

VICTORY!



September 7

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:33 – 58

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 15:55 – 58 – “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law: but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.”

What a great triumphant set of verses. Death is totally vanquished. The damage that Satan inflicted on Creation in the Garden of Eden has all been reversed for the believer through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we are changed at Christ’s return, we will never face the Spector of death again. We will be in a state of timeless, ageless existence. All will be grand, and we will never again face the trials or horrors of sin.

Prayer: Eternal Son of the Living God, what a grand and glorious future I am beholding in Your Word. I have a future beyond anything I can see or experience here. Hallelujah! Amen.



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Resurrection



September 6

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1 – 32

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 15:12 – “Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?”

The Scriptures often speaks of Christ’s resurrection (Greek αναστασις) from the dead. The term literally means a resurrection from out of the dead ones.

This 15th Chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians gives us a great deal of teaching on this vital topic. In verse 4 Paul shows that the Old Testament prophesied this event (Ps. 16:10). He gives judicial proof of the event, Christ being seen of over 500 at one time. Paul teaches that Christ’s resurrection is vital to the aspect of our salvation (v. 15:17).

Because Christ has conquered death, we no longer need to fear it (vv. 15:20-26). The last enemy has been conquered. The remainder of the chapter also deals with this important topic.

Prayer: Living Savior, we give praise and adoration for what You have accomplished, both on the cross and in Your Resurrection. Amen. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Order in the Church



September 5

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:21 – 40

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 14:26 – “What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”

Apparently, things had gotten out of hand at the Church of Corinth. Some believe this may have been a cacophony of sounds and events each time they assembled. It was confusing to many, and cumbersome to truly focus on worship of Jesus.

Paul reminds them that they assemble to worship Jesus and edify each other. Paul will remind them that “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace” (vs. 33). Psalm probably refers to their singing; teaching was sharing from the Old Testament or the Apostles lessons. The revelation was probably referring to the message delivered from God.

Prayer: Spirit of the Holy One, guide us as we gather to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus. May we meet in order and focus on Him alone. Give us the hearts to obey and learn of Him.



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Tongues



September 4

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1 – 20

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 14:1 – 2 – “Follow after love; yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”

One of the problems that the church at Corinth faced was the issue of “speaking in tongues.” It had apparently gotten out of context and out of hand. Paul now addresses this issue. The Greek word γλωσση means language, and thus a tongue. On the Day of Pentecost, the believers were given the ability to speak in languages that they did not know to be able to share the message of the gospel with visitors to Jerusalem. It was always a known language in its usage.

Paul will emphasize that the gift is used when there are those who can interpret what is said. If it is any value it must be an edifying action for those receiving it.

Prayer: Spirit, I do covet Your gifts, but I seek the most important one, Love. Grant me to use it in abundance daily. Amen.



Saturday, September 3, 2016

True Love



September 3

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 13:13 – “But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

There have been more songs and poems written about love than any other subject. It has set on fire and broken more hearts than any other passion. Of all these writings, this chapter in Corinthians carries the power of God in its description of what it is.

Paul’s description here is short, but very powerful. The word he chose in the Greek shows a love that is based upon the deliberate choice of the one loving and not the worthiness of the one being loved. It is different than the simple human emotion. It is a giving, a selfless, and an expect nothing-in-return kind of love. It is a picture of how we are to love, and a description of how that God loves us.

Prayer: All-loving Father, may the Spirit fill my heart with Your love until it overflows to those around me. May I seek to love as You have loved. May I find the truth of what love is and give it freely to those You place in my way. I thank You for Your unlimited love. Amen.



Friday, September 2, 2016

Spiritual Gifts



September 2

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 12:1 – “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”

We come to an interesting section of the letter. Paul is discussing the spiritual gifts, their types, and uses. The Greek word used here “των πνευματικων,” literally means “the spiritual things.”

These graciously given gifts were given by the Lord to various individuals in the church to edify the believers. Every member of the church has been given at least one gift (teaching, prophesying, exercising faith, etc.) to serve in their respective churches.

You might say that God has not given you a gift, but He says in His Word that He has. So, that means that you need to search Him and His Word to discover what the gift is and how to use it in your local body of believers.

Prayer: Spirit, open my eyes to see what You have gifted me with, and how I am to use that gift where I am. I want to be used by You in the Church that Christ died for. Amen.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cleansed before You



September 1

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:16 – 34

Verse of the Day: 1 Corinthians 11:28 – “But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.”

Paul is continuing to answer the questions that had been posed to him by the church at Corinth. In this part of chapter 11, he addresses the Lord’s Supper. In fact, he starts this section with a condemnation, “But in giving you this charge, I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better but for the worse” (vs. 17).

The place where the Lord’s Supper is practiced is not as significant as the condition of the hearts of those taking it. Before any of us takes the cup or bread, we should take the time to ask, “Is there anything between the Lord and me? Is my heart clean?” And if we can’t answer wholeheartedly yes, then we must make things right before we partake.

Prayer: Holy and Just Father, as I examine my heart, shine your light upon my thoughts, words, and actions. Am I truly clean and pure before You? Have I confessed and accepted Your cleansing and forgiveness today. Amen.



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