Latest Thoughts of the Day
2 Timothy 2:1
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

The grace of God in this verse is the desire and power to do the will of God. In this grace we grow, we deepen, we expand, we shine. But doing so involves our will. We have as much grace as we trust God for. Trusting Him for today’s challenge makes us stronger to trust Him for tomorrow’s. This growth occurs as we look to Christ Jesus for forgiveness and for power to live for Him.
Lord, help us this day to grow in the desire and power to do the will of God. May today’s challenge help us grow in grace, that we might face each new day’s challenge in a way that brings glory to You. You command us to grow, and then you supply what You have commanded. Thank You.
1 Timothy 4:9
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance

Paul has spoken about physical training and godliness, assuring us that godliness is of the greater value. And this is a trustworthy saying. But if “trustworthy’ means worthy of our trust, that applies to everything that God has given us in the Bible. And as to “full acceptance”, every word of God deserves the same. Perhaps this is a good attitude with which to approach every word of God from the Scriptures. “This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of our full acceptance.!” We are led to think of the wonderful blessing of the Word of God, which is always dependable, always significant, always acceptable to us, whenever we read or hear. Lord, let these words characterize our attitude when we open and close Your Word. What you reveal is trustworthy and worthy of full acceptance, for Jesus’ sake.
2 Thessalonians 3:15
Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Laziness is not necessarily a sin, but it certainly is a bad testimony. It is not like the Lord Jesus. It is not like Paul. When a brother in Christ is a bad testimony in an area like this, we mustn’t treat him as an unbeliever, but there is not the warm acceptance of fellowship that we are to have for those who are seeking to serve Jesus with their lives. It is a delicate balance. Don’t reject the person as an unbeliever, but somehow make it clear that his behavior is not what it ought to be. Paul felt the same awkwardness in 2 Corinthians, when he hardly knew how to speak to some. With Paul, we feel the awkwardness. Lord, help us help our brothers to want to live for You.
1 Thessalonians 2:18
For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul did, again and again--but Satan stopped us.

Paul knows that it was not the will of God for him to see the Thessalonians at this time, but he also knows that the means used to stop him were not good. The Devil wreaks what havoc he can, and is very busy to hinder everything that could potentially be good. The big part of our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. Satan will hinder us when he can, and it is his influence that has hindered Paul at this time. We don’t have to say that a thing is good just because its ultimate result in our lives is good. We can lay blame where it belongs, and still trust in the God who works all things after His own will.
Colossians 3:6
Because of these things the wrath of God is coming.

Paul tells us about the wrath of God coming as a result of living as this world lives in order to encourage us in our avoiding these things, to the glory of God. He is not threatening us with the wrath of God. Paul is reminding us of how much God hates the behavior of people all around us in this world. We don’t want to do those things, and it does matter. Impulses still exist in us that prompt us to fit in with the world, morally, but it is never a good things, and those who do not take this seriously will perish. Lord, help us not to be such. Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil! Lord, help us this day to avoid the things You hate and pursue what you love.
Philippians 4:1
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

Trusting in Christ to work in us, remembering our citizenship in Heaven, eagerly awaiting our Savior, that is how we should stand firm. Not “grin and bear it”. Not, “by the skin of our teeth”. Not “stiff upper lip”. Our standing firm is positive, focused, and hopeful, looking unto Jesus and trusting in Him. That is how we should stand firm in the Lord. And what a display of affection Paul shows as he exhorts us! “Brothers”, “dear friends” , his “joy and crown”, whom he “loves and longs for”. If we are that much loved, we really want to live up to his hopes for us. Lord Jesus, You long for us the same way, and we respond with joy.
Ephesians 4:7
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

Paul is speaking of empowerment from on high to desire and do the will of God. If we have any desire and power at all, it is from God. If we excel in love and power, to God be all the glory. If we barely move forward at all, we look to Him who giveth more grace. Let us not look down on believers who are weak and timid. Rather, pray that they will abound in grace. If fellow believers shine way brighter that we do, let us praise God and seek from Him more grace. May He apportion to us a greater measure, and may we know wonderful victory as we walk in Him! We need to be thankful for what we see of grace in others, and ever seeking more for ourselves.
Galatians 5:8
That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

Paul is dealing with false teachers that have reduced following Jesus to obeying the rules they emphasize. If we do what they say, it is for their approval, not God’s. If men’s favor is more important than God’s we have run in vain, and we are not Christians at all. If the teaching we hear does not move us to a sincere love and service of Jesus Christ, it is not Jesus Christ who is guiding us. This is a solid basis from which we may evaluate exhortations to live for God. Not just what is the teaching, but who is teaching us? Jesus goes before us and leads. Jesus makes us willing in the day of His power. His commandments are not grievous. Lord Jesus, help us to discern Your voice in every teacher.

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