Today’s Verse: Hebrews 10:39

We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

— Hebrews 10:39

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

I love this description of God’s people that precedes “the faith Hall of Fame” (Hebrews 11). When you look at God’s people over the centuries, they are not a bunch of wimps, crybabies, and cowards. Yes, they do have their bad moments. But all in all, they are not those who quit on their quest. They are those whose faith has endured and found God’s great victory of salvation. This verse excites me because the Holy Spirit does not say “we can be those who don’t shrink back,” instead he is confident in us, our endurance and our faithfulness. We’re not “shrinkers,” we’re believers!

My Prayer…

Thank you, Mighty God, for your confidence in me. With your help, I won’t be a “shrinker.” I will stand for your truth, your character, and your will even if those around me do not. I believe you have great things ahead for your people, so I refuse to shrink back. Please empower me with your Spirit so that I can more completely serve you with confidence and integrity. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: Psalm 56:4

In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

— Psalm 56:4

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

When all is said and done, there really isn’t a whole lot we can trust. Most of us have been hurt at one time or another by a friend who has betrayed our trust. The world economy is volatile and things can turn sour in just a few days. The weather shifts and changes by the hour. But in our world of change, in our heartbreak and disappointment, there is one constant. We can trust God. We don’t have to fear change. He is our anchor that holds in the strongest storms. He is our strength in our worst battles. His word and his promises speak of good things for us. We don’t have to be afraid, we can trust in him.

My Prayer…

Almighty Father, my Deliverer and Strength, with your help and presence I will not fear the days ahead. I praise you for sustaining your people in Israel through history. I praise you for preserving your Word, the Scriptures, through persecutions and purges. I praise you and will not be afraid because my life and my future are in your hands. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: Psalm 139:9-10

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

— Psalm 139:9-10

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

I guess for those who find themselves in places they shouldn't be, the abiding presence of God might be a bit terrifying. But I find great comfort in knowing that no matter where I go, from the moment of my conception to the day of my death, God is always there. He is there to guide me and sustain me. Even when I'm in places I am not supposed to be, doing things I am not supposed to do, he is still there. I can turn to him in repentance and receive his grace. I can turn to him in need and receive his strength. I can turn to him and know I am not alone.

My Prayer...

Thank you, Father, for loving me and personally knowing me. Thank you for the assurance that I won't have to face a day without you. Thank you for the comfort of knowing that I will never face my sorrows alone. Thank you for being the strength that sustains me when I don't have the strength to go on. Thank you that when tomorrow dawns, I will be with you no matter what happens during the night. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: Philippians 4:13

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

— Philippians 4:13

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

What's the basis of our happiness? If it's our outward circumstances, we're all in trouble because sooner or later, these aren't going to be too good. Paul said he had learned the secret to living above life's circumstances. That secret was Jesus Christ. Jesus was his assurance that no matter how difficult our problems might be, they were not permanent. No matter how hard life was, Jesus would give him the strength to persevere. Paul is just as sure that Jesus will do this for you and me!

My Prayer...

God of glory and might, thank you for the stories of your great power in the Bible. They give me courage and hope when I face my problems. I believe Jesus can deliver me, sustain me, and uphold me through my difficulties today. Please forgive me for those times when I didn't turn to you and honestly talk to you about my struggles. O LORD, I need the strength, the comfort, and the presence of Christ today. In the name of my Savior Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:16

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

— 2 Corinthians 4:16

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

While we joke about growing older, the challenges of aging are tough. We realize our mortality. Our bodies can betray us. We can't do what we once could do. As Christians, we know that our aging actually brings us closer to home and to the time when Jesus gives us immortal bodies not subject to decay. God can help us use these physical realities to be heavenly reminders of what is important. With the help of his Spirit, we can be transformed to be more like our Savior and to be more ready for our heavenly home!

My Prayer...

Almighty God, I confess that I like getting older less and less, the older I get. I am thankful, however, that each day older I get, the closer I am to coming home to you. Please help me not to become cynical, negative, or bitter as I grow older. Instead, please renew me and use me to bless others who need to find their way home to you. In Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: John 13:34

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

— John 13:34

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Wow, that’s a tall order to fill, isn’t it! Jesus has just washed the feet of his disciples. Over the next few hours, Judas will betray him with a kiss, Peter will deny him three times, and the other 10 disciples will forsake and leave him to die alone. Yet he still washed their feet knowing they would do this. He still goes to the cross for them while knowing they will abandon him. I’m not sure that I can love like that… yet. However, with the Holy Spirit’s help, I will make a renewed commitment to love others who have hurt and disappointed me. I will also seek to mend relationships where I have hurt and disappointed others.

My Prayer…

Faithful Father, thank you for your never ending love. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit and pour love into my heart so I can love others as Jesus has loved me. I need your help to love those who have disappointed and hurt me. O God, I don’t want my bitterness or resentment to keep someone from serving you and knowing Jesus’ grace. In the name of my loving Savior I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

— Romans 12:10

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

We are to be devoted to one another. We are to honor one another. And the basis of this loving devotion and honor is found in one central truth: Because God is our Father, we are one family. We are siblings in God's Kingdom. Our relationship is eternal and built on God's grace to us and our grace expressed to each other.

My Prayer...

Shepherd of my soul, thank you for making me part of your family. Thank you for the wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who have blessed my life over the years. Thank you for their support and encouragement. Please use me to bless others in your family as these precious people have blessed and honored me. In the name of Jesus, your Son and my older brother, I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: Joshua 1:14-15

You are to help your brothers until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.

— Joshua 1:14-15

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

I find it so easy to think of my needs and my safety first. I don't want to be selfish, but when it comes to making decisions about the investment of my time, it's so easy for me to see things only from MY perspective. But with God's people, it's a "we" and "us" perspective that is important, not a "me" and "mine" perspective. The Eastern tribes of Israel had reached their Promised Land. But they were not to quit the fight and settle there until all God's people were safely in their homeland. The same is true for us in God's Kingdom today. We are to look not only to our needs, but also to those of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

My Prayer...

Loving Father, please give me a more gracious and generous heart so that I might better demonstrate your love to a struggling brother or sister in Christ today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: Galatians 5:6

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

— Galatians 5:6

Thoughts on Today's Verse...

What matters most? Priorities are key in our everyday lives if we are to be successful and productive. This is equally true in our discipleship. We want to concentrate on what is key, essential, and most important. Paul reminds us what is essential: Faith showing itself in loving actions. Faith that does not show itself in loving and helpful action is dead (James 2). Jesus wants our faith to express itself in vibrant and loving service.

My Prayer...

Almighty God, please forgive me for the times I have lost sight of what is essential and focused on what is peripheral. Please forgive me for the times when my interests and concerns were more important to me than loving service to others. Please give me eyes to see the people you would have me serve today so others may know Jesus' love. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today’s Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:5

For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

— 2 Corinthians 4:5
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
Our message is not ourselves. Jesus is Lord. One day all of creation will acknowledge and praise him. But for the people around us to praise Jesus today, they need to see him alive in us. We serve others in Jesus’ name. We are his body — his hands of compassion, his heart of mercy, and his voice of tenderness. So let’s lift up Jesus — not just by telling others about him, but serving others as his presence in the world.

My Prayer…

God of grace, thank you for the privilege of sharing your love with others. Thank you for saving me FROM my sin. Thank you for saving me FOR service to bless others for Jesus’ sake. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.