Latest Thoughts of the Day
Philemon 14
1/27/2020
But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced.

There would have been a simple way to deal with Onesimus—realize that in the end Philemon would agree to have him help Paul, and assume it was all right to keep him around. But this would involve something less that a whole-hearted involvement of Philemon in the ministry of Paul. Philemon would be left out of it, even though the main contribution would be his. This would not be right. And it would not teach what Paul sees must be taught. Philemon must come to terms with the cultural struggle with slavery. How does forgiveness upset the cultural norm? Lord, how must we stand against the cultural norm when we live consistently with what we believe? How can our choices give glory to Jesus?
Titus 3:4
1/26/2020
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things that we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

What motivated God to save us was His mercy—a compassionate desire to help those who could not help themselves. Our experience of being saved involved a kind of washing that took away the pollution of our sin and a revitalization that gave us an inward desire to be holy. We feel clean, and we desire from the heart to please God. What it took on God’s part to accomplish this, and what occurred in our lives to transform us was all part of the wonderful package of Salvation. Every part is from, through, and for God. We enter in with joy when we embrace Jesus.
II Timothy 4:11
1/26/2020
Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry/

It is wonderful how Mark has won his way back into a place of real usefulness, after a very bad beginning. Mark had really failed Saul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey, giving them the unnecessary problem of getting him back home part way through. Paul saw it as desertion on Mark’s part, and would not let Mark accompany them on their next journey. It caused a real falling-out between Barnabas and Saul, accompanied by embarrassment among the members of the sending church. But Barnabas had helped rescue Mark, and the final result was that he was useful to the Apostle. Thank You, Lord, that You are able to work restoration to those who fail, and make us useful again in the hands of Jesus.

I Timothy 6:10
1/25/2020
for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Money itself has potential to bless others every bit as much as it has power to curse. It is a tool that can be used as much for good as for evil. But if we come under its power and begin to love the power that it gives us, our affections will make shipwreck of our souls. Paul saw it happen in the lives of personal friends who had been wonderfully used of God, but had ruined everything by their abandoning the faith and giving their hearts to this world. And money always deceives. It cannot bring the happiness it promises. Satisfaction is always just out of reach. Lord, help us to find our satisfaction entirely in Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 3::7
1/24/2020
For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,...

In another place Paul defends the right of an Apostle to be supported financially by those to whom he ministers, but he made it a point in Thessalonica to work for his bread in his own marketable trade. He could detect a lazy streak in certain members of the church, and he knew that laziness on the part of some would take advantage of Christian charity in the hearts of others. Christians should not mooch. Lord, You have shown us that the place of blessing for a Christian lies not in receiving, but it giving. In giving we are like Jesus. Being served is the opposite of His character. Deliver us from living for ourselves. Enable us in everything to reflect the image of our Lord Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:17
1/23/2020
...pray continually...

Paul is calling us to an attitude of prayer that should undergird our whole life. There can be a yearning dependence upon God that springs up in specific requests whenever any need arises. We can be habitually looking to God for guidance when we encounter any new challenge. A sudden danger can trigger a quick appeal heavenward. Brother Lawrence called it “The Practice of the Presence of God.” We are warranted in pursuing such a thing, since in God we live and move and have our being. Paul says that He is never far from any of us. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always!” The attitude of yearning heavenward is always the appropriate one for us in the presence of God. Lord, help us to develop the kind of God-consciousness that produces continual prayer. Help us to live our lives close to Jesus.
Colossians 4:7
1/22/2020
Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant n the Lord.

Tychicus was committed in love to Paul as a brother in Christ in a tender relationship of appreciation and encouragement. Minister of Christ was the next level of his loyalty. This commitment is actually a check and balance to what we feel to be family ties. More important than our love for one another is our commitment to love and serve Jesus. Having these two qualities, we are freed truly to work together with other Christians as a fellow-minister. These things are not levels of commitment, but concentric circles of commitment that strengthen and establish one another in our walk with God. Lord, help us that we might maintain connection with fellow Christians that involve genuine love, commitment to Christ, and mutual service of Jesus.

Colossians 4:7
1/22/2020
Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant n the Lord.

Tychicus was committed in love to Paul as a brother in Christ in a tender relationship of appreciation and encouragement. Minister of Christ was the next level of his loyalty. This commitment is actually a check and balance to what we feel to be family ties. More important than our love for one another is our commitment to love and serve Jesus. Having these two qualities, we are freed truly to work together with other Christians as a fellow-minister. These things are not levels of commitment, but concentric circles of commitment that strengthen and establish one another in our walk with God. Lord, help us that we might maintain connection with fellow Christians that involve genuine love, commitment to Christ, and mutual service of Jesus.

Philippians 4:12
1/21/2020
I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Paul learned what he needed to know to face with confidence the life God had for him. Dramatic ups and downs were a part of the suffering ordained for Saul of Tarsus at the very beginning of his ministry; but it would be well for us to learn this lesson, too. We are entirely too quick to complain when our usual sources of supply are interrupted. We are very prone to fret when things do not go our way. Lord, establish us in contentment. Help us to embrace with peace the changes that are sure to come. Help us deny ourselves and truly live for Jesus.
Ephesians 6:13
1/20/2020
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

As to the day of evil, which is able to knock you for a loop, it is not “if”, but “when”. Jesus reminds us, “In this world you will have tribulation.” We need to think about what protection we will need, and we need to secure it for future use. Paul describes a complete armor, because the things that bring us down will attack us at several possible points. We need to know the Bible, to think clearly, to be on our guard, to remain engaged in the struggle. Just standing our ground will be a significant accomplishment. God’s purpose for us is meant to involve a struggle. Help us in all these things, Lord Jesus!




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