Monday, October 31, 2016

Three Lessons



October 31

Daily Bible Reading: Titus 1

Verse of the Day: Titus 1:4 – “to Titus, my true child after a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.”

This short letter is to Titus, a Greek who was converted under the ministry of Paul. He was an associate and helped on some of Paul’s missionary tours. Paul may have established a church on the island of Crete following his first imprisonment. He left Titus there to minister to the church (1:5) and set things in order. This is a short letter (only 46 verses) that contains a variety of theological topics. 

Look for three important lessons in this letter as you read it. First, deeds will either deny or defend our teaching. Second, grace elevates godliness, not cheapens it. And finally, God’s kindness should change the way that we act. See if you recognize them in the three chapters of this letter.

Prayer: Spirit of the Holy One, open my eyes that I may see the multitude of lessons You provide for me in Your Word. Give me understanding as I read and apply it.



Sunday, October 30, 2016

Be Ready



October 30

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 4

Verse of the Day: 2 Timothy 4:2 – “preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

Preach. Ah, that means a preacher, right? It is an admonition only to those who stand in the pulpit, doesn’t it?

Not fully. Paul is challenging his young student Timothy to be bold and ready to share at any moment. But the word translated preach in this passage can mean to publish or proclaim openly. It is not held only to those who we call Pastors. It is for all of us. We need to be ready at any moment to share the good news with anyone we come in contact with.

We need to be ready to take a stand, to be alert, to be prepared with the message of hope and salvation that the world needs. God can, and will, use us to be His mouth to those He places around us. Today, be ready, and watch what He will do.

Prayer: Father, I am standing ready and willing before You, use me as You see fit today. 



Saturday, October 29, 2016

God Breathed




October 29

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 3

Verse of the Day: 2 Timothy :16 – “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness:”

Paul uses a Greek term translated “inspired of God” in this place which is made up of two words – one translates as God and the other translates as breathed. This term θεοπνευστος is difficult to understand in our terms, it carries two concepts.

The first concept is that they are breathed out by God. This shows the divine origin of the words. The second is that God inspired (or inbreathed) the words. This gives us the picture that God is present in His Word. The Bible is not a simple library of books, it is a supernatural collection of truth from He who is Truth for all mankind. It will make us complete (verse 17) if we will just let it.

Prayer: Precious Living Word of God, Jesus, through Your Spirit speak life into my soul that I may be able to spread the truth of life to others that I come in contact with. Empower me with Your Spirit and Word to minister for You today. 



Friday, October 28, 2016

Careful Handling of the Truth



October 28

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 2

Verse of the Day: 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.”

It seems that our world today, in general, lacks biblical truth. It is not due to a lack of Bibles. What is lacking is people who carefully handle the Word of Truth.

We need more students of the Scriptures. We need people who study them to be sound in theology and interpretation of the Scriptures. And, this only comes from spending time in devoted study, not just a casual reading of the Bible. If we are careful in our approach to the Word, study it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and live what we learn, we will be able to teach without fear or shame.

Prayer: Most Holy God, Father of Creation, Giver of Eternal Life, may I take the time today to spend it with You and Your precious Word. I seek You to speak into my life, the life-giving words of Your Holy Scriptures. Teach me Your Truth, Your Promises, Your Plan, and Your Direction for my life as I speak teach for You.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

What kind of Spirit Fills you?




October 27

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 1

Verse of the Day: 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.”

σωφρονισμου. A Greek word that means an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control. Some translations use the words “sound mind” in this place. The Holy Spirit of God gives to believers spiritual gifts and then empowers us to use them. God’s Spirit does not give us a spirit of cowardice, but one that empowers us for the scope of ministry. 

It is by God’s Spirit that we have the strength or ability (power) to do the work of the ministry. It is by this same Spirit that we have the agape love that flows from God to do His work. And, because of this, He gives us the self-discipline necessary to minister in His name.

Today, prayerfully seek God to fill you with His Love, His Grace, His Mercy, His Power, His abilities to serve as He calls you.

Prayer: Holy Father, fill me, equip me, use me in Your service today. Guide me and direct me to walk and work in Your desired plan.




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Only the Gospel



October 26

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 6

Verse of the Day: 1 Timothy 6:20 – “O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto thee, turning away from the profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called;”

The Greek word παραθηκην translated committed in this verse is used only here and in 2 Timothy 1:12, 14. It is the word used for a deposit, a trust or thing consigned to one's faithful keeping. What Paul was calling upon Timothy to guard was the truths that Paul entrusted to him in this letter. He was to guard against the false knowledge (Gnosticism) that had infiltrated the Ephesian Church. This system of teaching taught that a person received salvation only when they had “knowledge” of deep spiritual mysteries. Paul tells Timothy plainly and directly to stay away from this teaching.

The gospel is plain, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

Prayer: Spirit, keep me focused on the truth, all the truth, and only the truth of the gospel message. Christ and Him alone.






Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Double Honor




October 25

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 5

Verse of the Day: 1 Timothy 5:17 – “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching.”

The primary function of the elders was to rule well. The word we have translated as honor (τιμης) carries a double meaning - he honor which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds, and also in writings outside of the New Testament the idea of financial remuneration. So, Paul’s statement of “double honor” can carry both of the connotations at the same time – respect for a job well done, and adequate pay for the work they do.

Do we pay this type of “honor” to our Pastors today? Do we respect them for the work they do (preaching and teaching), and do we pay them adequately for this work? Muse over this in your sphere of life today.

Prayer: Spirit of God, keep us in line with what You desire for our Pastors and their families. May we honor them doubly today. We lift them up in prayer and praise to You. 




Monday, October 24, 2016

Read, Encourage, Teach



October 24

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 4

Verse of the Day: 1 Timothy 4:13 – “Till I come, give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching.”

Paul here is encouraging Timothy in his role in the church at Ephesus. Paul has encouraged him to not let his youth deter him from fulfilling the call that God has placed upon his life.

Paul challenges him to hold fast to the things that are needed. Don’t neglect the [public] reading of the Scripture, this would be followed with exhortation (the encouragement to obey what was read), and also the formal teaching and instruction in the Word of God.

Paul urges Timothy throughout this letter (and in connection, all ministers of God’s Word, ordained or not) to be diligent in doing what God has called us to do.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, I come to You today asking for You to work in my life and heart so that I may go out and share Your Word with those in my sphere of influence in this world, May I encourage others with Your Word today. 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pray for Your Pastor



October 23

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 3

Verse of the Day: 1 Timothy 3:1 – “Faithful is the saying, If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.”

The Greek word used here for bishop is επισκοπης and means one who oversees. In the New Testament, this term is sometimes translated as Elders. 

Elders were responsible for the internal affairs of the New Testament Church. It appears from the context in other places (Acts 14; 20; Titus 1) that there was a plurality of men in positions of responsibility in any given congregational unit. 

After the New Testament times, it became the custom in the church to select one of these Elders and name him the bishop, like our present day role of the Pastor.

Paul says it is worthy position and goes on to describe the qualifications and in his letters, the responsibilities of these men.

Prayer: Father, today may I spend time in prayer for my Pastor and leaders in my local church assembly. I hold them up to You.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Praying for Everyone




October 22

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 2

Verse of the Day: 1 Timothy 2:1 – 4 – “I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men; for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Paul is now beginning to elaborate on what will build up the church. He says that supplications (personal needs), prayers, intercessions (praying for the needs of others), and thanksgivings (an attitude of gratitude and praise for what God has done) should be a part of the ministry of the church.

He says that these expressions of prayer must be made for all men (the term used here means male and female alike). Of all ranks in life. Why? Because it is God’s Will for everyone to come to Him.

Prayer: Today I will spend time with You, Father, in prayer for everyone You bring to my mind. I praise You for this special time. Amen.



Friday, October 21, 2016

To Timothy (and me too)



October 21

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 1

Verse of the Day: 1 Timothy 1:1 – 2 – “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Saviour, and Christ Jesus our hope; unto Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is the first of three letters that we commonly call the “Pastoral Letters” of Paul. This one, 2 Timothy, and Titus are written to give instructions on being a shepherd of God’s flock. Timothy was an understudy, a student of the Apostle Paul, and Paul left him at Ephesus to lead the fledgling church in that city.

Paul’s letter can be divided into three sections; chapter 1 is personal in encouragement and advice, chapters 2 and 3 speak to the ministry, and the remaining chapters speak to the one who ministers.

Prayer: Father, as we read this letter over the next few days, let us pray that God will help us to see truths that will encourage us and help us to encourage those who we know minister for Jesus Christ. Amen.





Thursday, October 20, 2016

Praying for you



October 20

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3

Verse of the Day: 2 Thessalonians 3:1 – “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified, even as also it is with you;”

Paul prayed often and fervently for many he had the privilege of working with. His letters are full of the reminders to the recipients that he was praying and remembering them before God.

Also, he frequently asked for them to remember him in prayer. And, when he does, the request is for the ability to continue to spread the Gospel and build the Kingdom of Christ.

Do you pray often for those you minister with and to? Do you spend time thanking God for them? And, in turn, do you request them to pray for you as you seek to build the Kingdom of God in your sphere of influence?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pause today and offer prayers of thanksgiving for ­___________. May You empower them to build Your Kingdom right where they are today. Amen.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Lawless One



October 19

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2

Verse of the Day: 2 Thessalonians 2:8 – “And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;”

The Greek word ανομος literally means “without law.” Thus, the word is depicting the man of rebellion who will be in contrast to Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ displays righteousness, is the One who personifies true righteousness, the “lawless one” will be the exact opposite. He will personify rebellion against God and all the He is. He will rebel against God’s righteous law.

Many see this as the one John calls the “Antichrist” (1 John 4:2,3) and the “beast” (Revelation 13:1). He will come in open defiance of the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, thus displaying and being the fulfillment of evil and opponent of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.

Prayer: Sovereign God, let me see through the teachings and leadings of the “lawless one.”


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Persevere



October 18 

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1 

Verse of the Day: 2 Thessalonians 1:4 – “so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which ye endure;” 

The word translated here as patience from the Greek (υπομονης) can also be translated as perseverance. It carries the connotation of a patient, steadfast waiting for, a patient enduring, a sustaining, and in the New Testament it is the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings. 

God is calling us to not lose heart because of the events of today. Some days will be tough, don’t quit. Stand firm. Be strong and seek to see it through. Ask God d today to put His protective shield around you, steadying you in all that you face. 

Prayer: Father, I seek to be a steady influence in the place where You have put me. I can only do this by holding to Your Hand, seeking to persevere no matter what comes up. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Will of God



October 17

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5

Verse of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 – “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward.”

Do you ever say, “I wish I knew what God’s Will is for me?” 

Different from other “gods” who appear to be arbitrary, mysterious, and changeable in what they want, Yahweh is consistent and very open. When we study God’s Word, we come to find His will portrayed to us in many places. Here is one place where the writer tells us this God’s Will for us, every one of us.

We are to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. When we apply this to our situations, we can be assured that we are in the very center of His Will, no matter what the circumstances. Consider Job in the Old Testament, he lived this in his life. Do we? If not, that may be why we struggle finding His Will.

Prayer: Precious Holy Spirit, bring constantly to my mind the reminder to rejoice, pray and give thanks each moment of the day. 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

When tears come



October 16

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4

Verse of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – “But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope.”

Death brings sorrow. I am a Chaplain with Hospice and a Disaster Relief team. Often in these encounters with people who have friends and loved ones who have died there are tears. Tears are a normal part of the grieving process. God designed it that way.

God never tells us not to grieve or not to cry. But, He does tell us that we do not have to grieve like those in the world who do not have any hope. As believers, we have a hope and an answer to our grief. We know Who holds what is beyond the grave. And in the midst of our tears and grief, knowing the One waiting will help to bring comfort in these times.

Prayer: God of all comfort, we come to You with our tears and grief. We come to You with empty hearts and hands, You take us in Your loving arms and hold us with Your comforting hands of grace and mercy. Amen.



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.



October 15

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3

Verse of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 3:11 – 13 – “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way unto you: and the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we also do toward you; to the end he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”

Paul here talks about the coming (Greek παρουσια) of Jesus Christ. The word used means presence, the coming, arrival, advent, and thus carries the meaning in the New Testament of the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God. The question today is simply this, Are you ready for His return?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know Your word tells of Your Second Coming. May I be ever ready for that event. Each day brings us one day closer to that great climatic revealing of You. I long to see You face-to-face. I long for Your Presence in all of it’s fullness. Come, Lord Jesus!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Walking the Walk



October 14

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2

Verse of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 2:13 – “to the end that ye should walk worthily of God, who calleth you into his own kingdom and glory.”

There is always room for improvement in this life. That is true in our Christian walk. Too often we can find ourselves (at least subconsciously) assuming that we have arrived. 

We need to heed Paul’s admonitions that we continue to grow in areas of love for each other. We need to be aware of our short-comings in our lives, our need to seek after a desire that our hearts be blameless in holiness.

And this walk is not only in our outward appearances before men, but in our very heart observed only by God. Until we stand in His Presence one day, we will never “have arrived.” So, constantly watch our walk, and tame our talk. Let Him take charge today.

Prayer: Righteous Father, I want to walk in a worthy manner before You. You have called me, saved me, and equipped me to walk the walk and talk the talk. I am Yours forever. 



Thursday, October 13, 2016

You are a Model



October 13

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1

Verse of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 1:2 – 3 – “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father;”

John Maxwell often talks about leadership being influence. The degree to which we influence others, we lead them.

Paul told the Thessalonian Church that he often gave thanks in prayer for them. Why? Because as he says here of their faith, love and hope. Later in verses 6 – 7 Paul states they became the model church for others to follow.

If we realize how important our modeling Christ in this world really is, we probably would change a lot of things we do. If so, then understand that we are the visual image of Christ that so many may see. Live like it.

Prayer: Jesus, I want to model You to others. I must spend time in Your presence daily. I must read the Bible and pray each day. Amen.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Grab that opportunity



October 12

Daily Bible Reading: Colossians 4

Verse of the Day: Colossians 4:2 – 6 – “Continue stedfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving; withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds; that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.”

Seize the day! Make the most of every opportunity! Be ready at all times! Be watchful! Be full of thanksgiving! Walk in wisdom!

As we spend time today moving about in our sphere of influence in the world (no matter how great or small it may be), God calls us to not let another day go by without taking action in the area that God has prompted you to do.

Prayer: Spirit of the Holy One, as I live my life today, may I make the most of every opportunity You place before me. May I have eyes wide-open looking for where You want me to work for You. Surprise me. Amen.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bring in th Umpire




October 11

Daily Bible Reading: Colossians 3

Verse of the Day: Colossians 3:15 – “ And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

The Greek word ειρηνη has a variety of meanings: tranquility, unity, harmony, and corresponds to the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם (shalom) that holds a primary meaning of wholeness. In the New Testament, it generally is used to denote a harmonious relationship between people. 

The Greek word for rule used here, βραβευετω means to act as an umpire or to be an arbitrator. So, the unifying, harmonious, wholeness of God work in our lives as an umpire when the concepts of anger, envy, and other such passions arise. 

Prayer: Father, I seek You to so live in my life that every time passions that are not in line with the reconciliation that You have produced in my life through Christ may be controlled. Look into my heart and any such passions that I am harboring today remove and cleanse my thoughts and intents. Amen.



Monday, October 10, 2016

The Fullness of God



October 10

Daily Bible Reading: Colossians 2

Verse of the Day: Colossians 2:9 – 10 – “ for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power:”

Here we see Paul speaking about the doctrine we call the Incarnation of Christ. This is the understanding that God entered time and space in bodily form. Jesus stepped out of heaven and into His Creation. Paul is refuting a Gnostic concept of the first century that God could not be physical, and if He was physical He couldn’t be God.

Because of Jesus, we have everything we need when we have accepted Him into our lives. We are made complete when Jesus comes in as our Savior and Lord. Many of Paul’s day thought that you needed special secret knowledge to be made complete. Paul stresses that when we receive Christ we become complete in all ways.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus came in the flesh to provide the fulfillment that I need in all areas of my life. I am so thankful that I have the fullness of Him.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Philosophy or Person?



October 9

Daily Bible Reading: Colossians 1

Verse of the Day: Colossians 1:28 – 29 – “whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ; whereunto I labor also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”

C.I. Scofield has been quoted as saying, “Pure Christianity lives between two dangers ever present: the danger it will evaporate into a philosophy … and the danger that it will freeze into a form.”

We are going to spend a few short days in this letter to the church at Colossae that Paul penned. It will help us to maneuver between these ever-present dangers. It can be our map and compass. This book seeks to focus our attention on Jesus as Lord of All and that He is adequate for all of life and its circumstances.

Prayer: Father as I read Your written Word, help me to continually see the Living Word … Jesus, Your precious Son. Help me to steer clear of the rocks of philosophical Christianity and the rapids of Christianity as a form without the Savior and Creator. Amen.



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Morally Excellent



October 8

Daily Bible Reading: Philippians 4

Verse of the Day: Philippians 4:8 – “ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

The Greek word αρετη translated virtue in this verse was used generously in Greek writings, but is actually rarely used in the New Testament. It appears only 5 times. It means (moral) goodness or excellence. Peter used it in 1 Peter 2:9 and is translated praises.

It generally is used of a person of excellence that is a quality only available from God. Only receiving the divine power to live and be morally excellent upon this earth. (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer: Father, I long to be a person who can be labeled as a person of virtue. I seek this quality in my life. I know from Your Word that this is only available from You. As one of your children, I pray and seek to be a person of virtue, of moral excellence in this world that I live in. Cleanse me, fill me, use me. Amen.



Friday, October 7, 2016

Joy in Daily Doses



October 7

Daily Bible Reading: Philippians 3

Verse of the Day: Philippians 3:13 – 14 – “Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Some days we may feel up, and then other days not so much. Sometimes this comes from our memory. We are all guilty for sin that we have committed. Paul could not undo all the things he had done, but he had learned on a daily (he uses the present tense form of the word in the Greek) basis to forget those things that have been forgiven by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

We need to move on. We need to strive to do what God is calling us to do. We are to seek Him, to serve Him, and to savor the joy that comes from our close personal relationship with Him.

Prayer: Father, I rest in Your Grace and Mercy today. May I draw close and bask in Your Joy. I thank You for this, Amen.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Unselfish People



October 6

Daily Bible Reading: Philippians 2

Verse of the Day: Philippians 2:3 – 4 – “doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.”

Have you ever noticed how that people who affect us the most are those who pay least attention to themselves. They constantly notice the needs of others and seek to reach out and help. They carry an honest concern for us.

These are the people who we rarely hear them say “I”’ “me”, “my”, or “mine”. They generally speak about “we”, “you”, etc. We often come across those who are selfish, and draw close to those who are unselfish. 

So, do we find people drawing close to us? Is it because we are unselfish, or self-centered? Ponder it today, and seek God for the right way to be with people.

Prayer: Jesus, I know that You gave all for me, now may I give for others. True joy comes from being unselfish and concerned for others. 



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!



October 5

Daily Bible Reading: Philippians 1

Verse of the Day: Philippians 1:25 – 26 – “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide, yea, and abide with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith; that your glorying may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.”

We come to one of my favorite letters in the New Testament, Philippians. This is a short letter (four chapters and only 104 verses), yet it resounds over and over with encouragement and challenges to be joyful in all circumstances.

As you read this short letter from Paul, we quickly learn that he is not sitting in a glamorous resort dining on prime steak. Paul is in a Roman prison. This is one of the four “Prison Epistles” that Paul penned. 

This is a vivid reminder to us that our joy is not in our circumstances or experiences, but in whom we know … Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Jesus, Joy of our Salvation, as I muse over the words of Paul these next few days, may I find the courage to be joyful no matter what I am going through. Amen.



Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Prayer!



October 4

Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 6

Verse of the Day: Ephesians 6:18 – “with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,”

The battle rages around us. We are caught up in it. What battle? The spiritual battle between God and Satan. We know who wins, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t faced with some major battles.

Paul in Ephesians 6 speaks of the Christian Armor that we are to put on. We must be equipped and aware daily of the fight for our faith. Notice in our verse today that Paul encourages us to pray. Pray in all seasons (all the time) while watching (being aware) continuously.

One of my mentors of the past always taught that nothing of eternal significance ever happened outside of prayer. The quest may be, “How much time do I devote to prayer each day?”

Prayer: Lord of Hosts, open my eyes to the importance of prayer in my life. Amen.



Monday, October 3, 2016

Time Management



October 3

Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 5

Verse of the Day: Ephesians 5:15 – 16 – “Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Are you too busy? Are you caught in the busyness trap? Not necessarily doing bad things, just too many things. I have to be careful in my life not to allow too many things to come between the Lord and me.

Being too busy is not a positive mark. It is not a friend but an enemy to what is best. Even when we are busy doing good things, it can be an evil, selfish, demanding force that demands our time, thoughts, and other things that we have no business surrendering up. God warns us in this passage that there is a wise and unwise use of our time.

Ever feel that you need more time? Maybe what you really need is to learn to use your time more wisely. Make that your goal today and every day that follows.

Prayer: Creator of Time, teach me to use my days wisely for You and Your goal for me. 






Sunday, October 2, 2016

Angry?



October 2

Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 4

Verse of the Day: Ephesians 4:26 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

Paul uses Psalm 4:4 to illustrate that all anger is not sinful. However, we must be careful that anger does not fester or continue too long. We might respond in a controlled anger to injustice and sin being careful not to be consumed with this anger. We need to seek out the opportunities to display Christ’s love to everyone.

Any anger that moves out of the realm of control, or that plans to hurt another person is sinful. Anger that leads to thoughts of revenge is sinful. As Christians, we are never to seek to extract justice or revenge. This is God’s realm. When we seek to do this we are putting ourselves in God’s place. God will not honor any feelings or plans like these.

Prayer: Gracious Father, I am so thankful that You do not treat me as I often treat others. Help me to remember how You forgive and behave toward me in my actions and words to others. Forgive me as I have sinned so often. 






Saturday, October 1, 2016

Way over the Top!



October 1

Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 3

Verse of the Day: Ephesians 3:20 – 21 – “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.”

I get chills every time I read these verses. Wow. This is a doxology or praise that Paul writes. Spend a little time camping out on what this says.

In the Greek we find the words literally state that He can do beyond measure, exceedingly beyond measure, over and above, more than is necessary, superadded. It is the Greek way of giving the highest superlative. That is not only dealing with what we ask, but what we might even think. Neither God’s love nor His power is limited by the human imagination.

Prayer: Superlative God, may I see your great Love and Power at work in my life today. May others see You through my imitating Jesus in all I say and do. I praise You today!



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