Sunday, November 24, 2013

Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/25/2013)...

Greatest man in history, named Jesus. Had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime.. Yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT) Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/22/2013)...

“I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. It would make him more appreciative of sight and the joys of sound.”
- Helen Keller

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT) Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/21/2013)...

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read." 
~ Mark Twain

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NLT) Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/20/2013)...

"Death stung himself to death when he stung Christ." 
~ William Romaine 

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (NLT) But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 
   Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ” 
   For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
   So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ezekiel 16:46-52 (NLT).,,

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/19/2013)...

QUOTE (NLT) The city of Sodom, a symbol of total corruption, was completely destroyed by God for its wickedness (Genesis 19:24, 25). Samaria, the capital of what had been the northern kingdom (Israel), was despised and rejected by the Jews in Judah. To be called a sister of Samaria and Sodom was bad enough, but to be called more wicked than they were meant that Judah's sins were an unspeakable abomination and that its doom was inevitable. The reason it was considered worse was not necessarily that Judah's sins were worse but that Judah knew better. In that light, we who live in an age when God's message is made clear to us through the Bible are worse than Judah if we continue in sin (see Matthew 11:20-24).

It is easy to judge and condemn Sodom, especially for its terrible sexual sins. Ezekiel reminded Judah, however, that Sodom was destroyed because of its pride, laziness, gluttony, and unconcern for the poor and needy. It is easy to be selective in what we consider gross sin. If we do not commit such horrible sins as adultery, homosexuality, stealing, and murder, we may think we are living good enough lives. But what about sins like pride, laziness, gluttony, and indifference to the needy? These sins may not be as shocking to you as the others, but they are also forbidden by God.

TEXT - Ezekiel 16:46-52 (NLT) Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters in the north. Your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters in the south. But you have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters. Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen. “Even Samaria did not commit half your sins. You have done far more detestable things than your sisters ever did. They seem righteous compared to you. Shame on you! Your sins are so terrible that you make your sisters seem righteous, even virtuous. 

TEXT - 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT) You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/18/2013)...

"...Instead, we’d rather believe that faith is a stick and God is a piƱata, and if we swing hard enough, health and wealth will come pouring down upon us. We don’t want to hear that we have to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” and so we keep buying books and listening to teachers who promise to give us a map showing us how to walk around the valley of the shadow of death. We don’t want to embrace suffering. We want to avoid it."
~ Mark Driscoll

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (NLT) But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. 
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:10-17 NLT)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

James 1:19-27 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING 11/15/2013)...

Karl Marx said that "Religion is the opiate (drug) of the people." What he meant was that religion puts folk in a spiritual and social state of drowsiness, and allows others to have control over them. However, it is not religion that drugs people, but sin. True religion empowers one to be alert to the destructiveness of sin and righteousness of God. 

James 1:19-27 (NLT) 19  Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20  Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21  So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. 
22  But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25  But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 
26  If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Colossians 1:11-14 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/14/2013)...

"Don't put a period where God has put a comma. He is not done with you. No matter your age, you are a work in progress—and He is still working."

Colossians 1:11-14 (NLT) We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Proverbs 26:17-23 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/13/2013)...

"Don't make trouble for yourself."
~ David Frauenshuh

Proverbs 26:17-23 (NLT) Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears. Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.

Monday, November 11, 2013

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/12/2013)...

"I know where I've come from. I know why I'm here. I know where I'm going. Do you?" 
- Billy Graham in "The Cross"

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT) As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

James 1:2-4, 12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/11/2013)...

“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” —Winston Churchill

James 1:2-4, 12 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/8/2013)...

"One day I was sitting on the banks of a river. I took from the water a round stone and I broke it. Inside it was perfectly dry. That stone had been lying in the water for a long time but the water had not penetrated it. Then I thought that the same thing happened to [people] in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity but Christianity has not penetrated, does not live within them."
- Sandhu Singh (Indian Christ-follower)

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NLT) So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/7/2013)...

"If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Jim Rohn

NOTE...the following verses record a promise God made to Israel during their seventy year captivity. Such encouraging words are certainly applicable to Christ-followers today...

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

James 3:13-18 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/6/2013)...

"Envy is one of the great enemies of active spirituality.  It keeps us from loving our neighbours, from functioning with others in community, and from affirming people's unique worth.  It also steals contentment from the heart.  Is there anything or anyone you are envious of?"
- Chuck Swindoll

James 3:13-18 (NLT) If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Romans 13:1-7 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/5/2013)...

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

Romans 13:1-7 (NLT) Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. 
Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-31 (NLT)...

FROM TODAY'S READING (11/4/2013)...

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her."
- Max Lucado

Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-31 (NLT) Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. 
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. 
Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” 
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. 
Reward her for all she has done. 
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.