Weekly Verses – January 11

MondayIf anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And he has given us this command:  Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
1 John 4:20-21
 New International Version THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE… Love!  The word can mean anything.  Many in the Christian community have tried to define it by a dictionary or lexicon, not realizing the key word for love, agape, is defined by action. Before Christians got a hold of agape, it meant the same thing our word today does:  just about anything!  But if you read 1 John, you see what love is by what God does. God demonstrates his love. He asks us to do the same for our brothers and sisters. Love must be more than talk, it must be genuinely demonstrated in action! MY PRAYER… Precious Father, you have so graciously shared your love with me.  I must confess, in my heart I intend to love others as you do, but my intentions often get washed away with “busy-ness” or timidity.  Father, through your Spirit, prompt me to show my love to others in actions rather than just thought and talk.  Through Jesus, your greatest demonstration of love I pray.  Amen. TuesdayJesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
John 8:31-32
New International Version THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE… There are few things more coveted than freedom.  People die for it.  People pray for it.  People strive for it.  True freedom comes from knowing truth.  Knowing truth only comes by living in obedience to Jesus.  Truth is not something you merely think about or believe. Truth is something you do, you live.  Jesus’ teaching always ends with the exclamation: Blessed are you who do these things!  Only by doing will we ever know the truth that liberates us. MY PRAYER… To the only true God be glory, honor, power, and praise. Father, I seek not only your presence in my daily life, but also your pleasure in the choices I make.  Please teach me more of your truth as I pledge to live today in obedience to your word and your will.  Through Jesus the living Word I pray. Amen. WednesdayLive by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Galatians 5:16
New International Version THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE… I want you to think about an orange rhinoceros flying with blue wings.  Now quit, I don’t want you to think about it anymore.  You know there is no such thing as an orange rhino that flies, much less one that flies on blue wings.  Oh course the point is simple:  the more we try to not do something, the more we focus on it and ensure we do what we are not supposed to do. That’s why the gift of the Holy Spirit is so important. He enables and empowers us to move beyond our sin — not by focusing on it and refusing it, but by enriching us and “distracting” us with the important things of God. MY PRAYER… Abba Father, I thank you so much for your Holy Spirit that lives in me and is now interceding with you for me.  Please fill me with your Spirit so that my life more nearly reflects your will and focuses on your concerns. Through Jesus, who poured out your Spirit upon me at my baptism, I pray.  Amen. ThursdayDo everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.
Philippians 2:14-16
New International Version THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE… Stars.  They’ve always been a source of constant hope for God’s people.  “Your descendants will be like the stars,” God told Abraham.  “When I see the stars, what is man that you are mindful of him?” the Psalms ask. The Wisemen from the East followed a star to Jesus.  Luke reminds us that Jesus was a bright star come to us from heaven to shine God’s light to those in darkness.  And now, we’re stars.  God’s points of light in the dark sky of the universe. So let’s make today a day where our light shines God’s glory to a dark world aroundus. MY PRAYER… Almighty God, the incredible expanse of your universe, with its billions of stars, exceeds my limited comprehension.  But I thank you for calling me to be a light in the dark world around me and I pledge to shine your light today in the lives of all those I can.  Through the name of the Bright and Morning Star Ipray.  Amen. FridayNo temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
New International Version THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE… TEMPTATION…  We’ve all been there.  Satan’s silver bullet designed just for our heart.  “No one will ever know, besides it won’t hurt anybody!”  some mysterious voice sounding like our own whispers inside our head.  Even if those two statements were true, and they never really are, it would matter because something inside of us caved in to what we knew was wrong.  One line of defense is to simply remind ourselves we are not alone in this temptation — others have faced it and conquered it, so we can too, by God’s help and the power of his Holy Spirit. MY PRAYER… Most Holy Father, guard my heart from temptation and my life from sin.  I want to serve you with wholehearted devotion. Forgive me for my past sin, and by your grace and through your word, strengthen me with your Holy Spirit so that I may overcome the temptations that Satan uses to separate me from you. Through my Protector and Redeemer I pray.  Amen. SaturdayIn everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the prophets
Matthew 7:12
New International Version THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE… The Golden Rule — golden because it’s genuine, lasting, and valuable.  Imagine how different our world would be if we practiced this principle — not just in our “church life” but in our daily life with our family, with our coworkers and employer, with the people we manage, with the folks on the freeway and in the neighborhoods where we drive, toward the waiters and waitresses who serve us.  What a wonderfully different world it would be if the Golden Rule were to be practiced.  I think I’ll start changing my world with it today!  How about you? MY PRAYER… Generous Father, you have blessed me with so many rich and wonderful gifts.  I can never repay you.  One thing I want you to know, dear Father, is that I especially appreciate the way you have treated me with grace and not with justice or judgment.  Give me the power to do the same with the people my life touches this week.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. SundayConsider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:2-3
New International Version THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE… “Hang in there!”  There are few traits more important than perseverance.  Most important accomplishments in life happen because of perseverance.  Most luck occurs when we’ve perservered long enough for the “magical moment” to come along.  Edison said it best, life’s greatest feats, the world’s greatest discoveries, his own most fantastic inventions were “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  “Hang in there!” and see the glory of God come through in you! MY PRAYER… Unchangeable and Unshakeable God, through the friends you have sent into my life and by the power of your gift, the Holy Spirit, help me to stand up under trial and prove my character true with perseverance when under fire.  Give my faith courage and endurance so that my life shows forth your enduring strength. Through him who remained faithul unto death, I pray.  Amen.

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