Latest Thoughts of the Day
I John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

How much to we put up with before we draw the line? At what point do we decide to stand on principle? How early in a conflict do we feel obligated to resist him for his own good? When must we stand up for the glory of Christ and stop denying ourselves? Jesus bore underserved abuse at the hands of those He loved even unto death. Being reviled, He reviled not again. Suffering, He offered no threats. How long are we willing to deny ourselves for the good of our brother? Sinful self jumps in early for many of us. We pretend that the glory of Christ requires us to stop being like the One who died for us, even Jesus.
II Peter 3:16
He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Peter regards the letters of Paul as Scripture, and acknowledges that they contain some things that are hard to comprehend. So it is with many things in the word of God. We are limited and we are sinful. We do not persevere in our pursuit of truth, but are content with generalities that turn truths into untruths. Lord, deliver us from our natural ignorance and instability, helping us to pursue through the difficulties a genuine knowledge of Truth. We desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord, being ready in every situation to speak truth. Help us by Your Spirit, Lord Jesus.

I Peter 3:16
Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be shamed of their slander.

Speaking maliciously about good behavior in Christ seems very common in our day, and being ashamed of their slander is hardly seen at all. That sense of the wrongness of such evil speaking is itself a gift of the Holy Spirit, so a part of our humble endurance of mistreatment, must be prayer for the souls of those who mistreat us. If God grant repentance, what He promises here in His word will come to pass. Lord, we ask You to move in such a way in our day. From the public evil speech of television commentators, to personal conflicts in families all around, convict men and women, boys and girls of the evil of their speech and bring them, one by one, to Jesus.
James 3:16
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Envy is a can of worms. I want something another person has, and it divides me from them, from other people and from myself. I am not happy with me, and I blame something outside myself, thinking that getting that thing will be the solution to my problem. What getting my way does to the circumstances and the lives of other people ceases to be any concern to me. It is a dreadful condition that reflects dissatisfaction with God and His dealings in my life, and has no limit with regard to the wickedness it can bring about. Lord, grant me a humble gratitude for what You are doing in my life. Help all my dealings first be with You. Let the mind be in me that was also in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 3:16
Who were they who heard and rebelled" Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?

It is possible to see with the eyes the evidence of Godís mighty power on behalf of His people, and still get distracted by our personal lusts and forget God altogether. The people Moses led out of Egypt were a frightening example. Our own desires can be bigger than everything else, and we can make choices that destroy our soul because of the drives of our body. The Apostle solemnly warns us and warmly appeals to us to take care that we not fall in just such a way. When a man stops believing God he is open to danger and destruction. What he chooses seems right to him, but in the end it leads to death. Lord, help us to keep in focus Your Word, desiring to walk closely with Jesus.
Philemon 16
---no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.

If a person has been converted by the Holy Spirit, has confessed and turned from his sin, we must accept him as a brother, however hard it is. The devil keeps reminding us of the wrong that was done. We know deep down that it is good and right for us to forgive and to receive back that person as a brother in Christ. But it is not easy. Paulís words make us squirm, but they are right. Lord, as we struggle with this, help us to remember Your doing the same thing for us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. You received us willingly in Christ Jesus.
Titus 1:16
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him the are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Paul warns Titus about a faction in the church that wants to turn people back to a legalism, even while they fail to live up to the standard they propagate. Their zeal for God is dishonest, their actions are not really obedient to Godís law, and nothing good whatever comes out of all their posturing. Paul says that both their minds and consciences are corrupted. Paul speaks strongly, but he challenges Titus to rebuke them strongly, hoping that they will repent and return to the truth as it is in Jesus. May the word of God rebuke us strongly, if in the end it restores us to a walk that is honest, useful and to the glory of God! Lord, help us to glorify our Lord Jesus!

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Is my reading of Scripture expanding my mind, as I learn more and more of God? Am I continually being convicted of my sin, that I may turn from it to serve God better? Does my reading of Scripture put me back on my feet, spiritually? Am I learning more and more what it is to build habits of holiness? These are the ends for which God has sent us His word. God has a work for me to do, but the first steps are the remaking of my person, that I may be a fit vessel for His Spirit, working in me to accomplish what I can for His Glory. Help me, Lord, in all that I am and all that I do, to build Your kingdom, giving glory to Jesus.

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