Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Only Natural...

Commentary: Everyday we confront aspects of our lives that need improvement. This is natural.

The challenge is to submit our will to the unnatural. We need help that only comes from God. Daily habits that set aside everything else but God, will help us get closer to Him, His word, and His will.

Scripture: Galations 5

 13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
 19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Best Gift

Commentary: The best gift that we can possibly give is love similar to God's love. It bears all burdens, forgets all wrongs, is not self-seeking, and rejoices in truth. This gift will help transform the lives of others and ourselves. It's a gift that has power, because it never fails.

Scripture: I Corinthians 13

1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Commentary: It is natural to be anxious about decisions in our lives. We are encouraged to let our request be known to God through prayer and with a humble spirit. The result will be a clearer picture of the best next steps, removing all doubt.

Scripture: Philippians 4: 4 - 9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Commentary: It is natural to ask questions when we don't understand. Often the answer we receive may take some time and reflection to comprehend.We should always know that God reveals himself not only through the demonstrated love of others, but also through His word. It is the primary source by which we can continue to discover the principles by which we find peace, sharing the simple message that God is love.

Scripture: John 14:22 - 27
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Your Gift

Commentary: We all have unique personal qualities that can be used to serve others. In doing so, our service has the capacity to demonstrate God's grace. Applying what we do best to help others might provide the easiest way to open the minds and hearts of many.

Scripture: 1 Peter 4

8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Fruit

Commentary: How many aspects of our lives bear qualities that are worth replicating? It's a humbling experience looking in the mirror and performing a self-examination of how to improve. We can take heart in the fact that God nurtures those aspects of our lives worth sharing, provided that we humble ourselves and allow Him to make us better.

Scripture: John 15: 1 - 8
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Commentary: It may sound a little odd to boast about the Lord. However, I bet after taking just a moment to consider all the areas in which you have been blessed - in spite of your circumstances - the easier it will become to boast and share in ways that are accessible to others the power of God's work in your life.

Scripture: Psalms 34: 1 - 7
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,  And delivers them.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jump for Joy

Commentary: We have so much to be thankful for, even in our most challenging circumstances. We are encouraged to come before the Lord joyfully, singing praises and giving thanks. Although there may be times when our mood says otherwise, take the time to keep perspective. There is a much bigger picture, which often requires that we humble our motives and ourselves.

Scripture: Psalms 100

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
       come before him with joyful songs.

 3 Know that the LORD is God.
       It is he who made us, and we are his [a] ;
       we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.

 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
       his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Health and Nourishment

Commentary: Who wouldn't want to be healthy and well nourished? We are encouraged to put our trust in Jesus and allow him to guide our decisions. The that our level of health and nourishment will feel as if it reaches down to the bone. Now that's gotta feel pretty good...

Scripture: Proverbs 3

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
       bind them around your neck,
       write them on the tablet of your heart.

 4 Then you will win favor and a good name
       in the sight of God and man.

 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
       and lean not on your own understanding;

 6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
       and he will make your paths straight. [a]

 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
       fear the LORD and shun evil.

 8 This will bring health to your body
       and nourishment to your bones.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Commentary: Often we go through situations that require endurance and trust in the power of God's love. We may not be able to fully comprehend the depth and extent of God's love, but one thing is certain. God's love endures forever.

Scripture:  Psalm 118: 1 - 14

 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
       his love endures forever.

 2 Let Israel say:
       "His love endures forever."

 3 Let the house of Aaron say:
       "His love endures forever."

 4 Let those who fear the LORD say:
       "His love endures forever."

 5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
       and he answered by setting me free.

 6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
       What can man do to me?

 7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
       I will look in triumph on my enemies.

 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
       than to trust in man.

 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
       than to trust in princes.

 10 All the nations surrounded me,
       but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

 11 They surrounded me on every side,
       but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

 12 They swarmed around me like bees,
       but they died out as quickly as burning thorns;
       in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

 13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
       but the LORD helped me.

 14 The LORD is my strength and my song;
       he has become my salvation.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Patterns

Commentary: We are encouraged to develop new patterns that begin by renewing our thoughts. We should find ways each day to reinforce new habits focused on grace, forgiveness, and mercy. These new habits may require sacrifice and letting go of areas in our life in which we feel most comfortable.

Scripture: Romans 12 

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Why Can't We Be Friends...

Commentary: The easiest way to demonstrate our friendship is by demonstrating the love of Christ towards others, no matter how difficult it might seem.

Scripture: John 15

 9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Power to Understand...

Commentary: We may not often associate the concept of power with love, but it takes power to humble our ambitions so that we might receive infinitely more from the Lord then we might ever comprehend.

Scripture: Ephesians 3, The Power of God's Love

18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Compassion and Kindness...

Commentary: What words best describe you? We are challenged to be kind, compassionate, humble, and patient. Even if these qualities may not come naturally for you, try your best. Reduce the amount of unnecessary activity in your life. You might be surprised how unexpectedly peace suddenly resides.

Scripture: Colossians 3

12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Monday, November 30, 2009

True Rest...

Commentary: Is your day focused on submitting to the will of the Lord? It is easy to remain focused on your own plans. In the end, your true rest and since of fulfillment will only come from the Lord.

Scripture: Psalms 127:1-2

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
         They labor in vain who build it;
         Unless the LORD guards the city,
         The watchman stays awake in vain.
 2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
         To sit up late,
         To eat the bread of sorrows;
         For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sing Praise...

Commentary: Do we really believe the Lord is great and mighty? Let's make the time to sing praises that recognize the tremendous depth of his understanding and love for us.

Scripture: Psalms 147, Joy and Praise

 1 Praise the LORD. [a]
       How good it is to sing praises to our God,
       how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
       he gathers the exiles of Israel.
 3 He heals the brokenhearted
       and binds up their wounds.
 4 He determines the number of the stars
       and calls them each by name.
 5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
       his understanding has no limit.
 6 The LORD sustains the humble
       but casts the wicked to the ground.
 7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
       make music to our God on the harp.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Find Rest...

Commentary: When is the last time you placed all of your cares in the hands of the Lord? He bears all burdens and makes them light. He wants to teach us how to receive the benefits of his gentle and humble heart.

Scripture: Matthew 11, Rest for the Weary

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Determining What's Best....

Commentary: Often we rely on the opinions of others, our priorities, or circumstances in trying to make the best decision. How often do we seek to develop greater love? Even in the midst of being imprisoned, the Apostle Paul constantly prayed for others, that their love might overflow and guide their decisions.

Scripture: Philippians 1, Love that Overflows

9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Greatest of All Time...

Commentary: If we are able to humble ourselves as a little child, we have the potential to become the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. As children of God, our significance is revealed in the celebration described in heaven for the saving of just one lost soul. God loves us so much that he is willing to risk the safety of us all in order to save just one. He seeks out and welcomes us home at all times. That's why...He is the greatest.

Scripture: Matthew 18, Parable of the Lost Sheep

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
 2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
 5"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
 7"Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.9And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
 10"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

 12"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Take Your Stand...

Commentary: Each day we face multiple opportunities to demonstrate our faith. We should stand firm and rely on the tools which God has given us. Often, instead of standing firm, we rely on our own strategies. Needless to say, our own strategies will not carry the day. For we are in the midst of a spiritual battle.

Scripture: Ephesians 6, The Full Armor of God

 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore 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. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Battle is Not Yours...

Commentary: Too often we waist energy fighting unnecessary battles. It takes wisdom and courage to stand still and wait for God. He always wins.

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 20, Learning a lesson from Jehoshaphat

15 He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.

Living by the Spirit

Thought for the Day: We experience the love of God by opening our hearts and humbling ourselves so that we might receive the Holy Spirit. Often the greatest challenge is finding enough courage to admit how much we rely on God to provide peace.

Scripture: Romans 5: 1 - 5, Faith Triumphs in Trouble

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.