Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Attitude of Christ

Comment: Our goal should be to emulate the attitude of Christ. As king, he had the right to have it all, but humbled himself and died the death of a criminal, without cause.

The next time we feel as if we are entitled to something or believe our feelings have been wronged, we should remember the magnitude of sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. He humbled himself as an example for us to follow. We should do our best to emulate his attitude.

 Verse:  Philippians 2

3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
 6 Though he was God,[a]
      he did not think of equality with God
      as something to cling to.
 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b];
      he took the humble position of a slave[c]
      and was born as a human being.
   When he appeared in human form,[d]
    8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
      and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
      and gave him the name above all other names,
 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rejoice in the Lord Always

Comment: It's a very hard task to realize the full extent of peace that God can bring. One thing is for certain, a decision to meditate on the positive can help. Often, this might be a very tough choice, but prayer can provide a quick and simple vehicle in every circumstance.

Verse: Philippians 4

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.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Born of the Spirit

Comment: Even the most "educated" can fail to understand the simple truth of God's mercy, love, and path to salvation. We should make sure we don't consider ourselves among the most "educated", but among the most "ready" to receive and seek out the power of God's spirit.

Verse: John 3

  1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.[b] 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.[c] 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You[d] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
 10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man[e] has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.[f]
 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[g]

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hear My Prayer...

Comment: The Lord stands ready to hear our prayers and provide comfort. His intervention will come, but not based on our time table. We must not be ashamed to cry out for help, and continue to place complete trust in the power of God's mercy and love.

Verse: Psalms 86

1 Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
      answer me, for I need your help.
 2 Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
      Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
      You are my God.
 3 Be merciful to me, O Lord,
      for I am calling on you constantly.
 4 Give me happiness, O Lord,
      for I give myself to you.
 5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
      so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
 6 Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
      hear my urgent cry.
 7 I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble,
      and you will answer me.
8 No pagan god is like you, O Lord.
      None can do what you do!
 9 All the nations you made
      will come and bow before you, Lord;
      they will praise your holy name.
 10 For you are great and perform wonderful deeds.
      You alone are God.
 11 Teach me your ways, O Lord,
      that I may live according to your truth!
   Grant me purity of heart,
      so that I may honor you.
 12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
      I will give glory to your name forever,
 13 for your love for me is very great.
      You have rescued me from the depths of death.[a]
 14 O God, insolent people rise up against me;
      a violent gang is trying to kill me.
      You mean nothing to them.
 15 But you, O Lord,
      are a God of compassion and mercy,
   slow to get angry
      and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
 16 Look down and have mercy on me.
      Give your strength to your servant;
      save me, the son of your servant.
 17 Send me a sign of your favor.
      Then those who hate me will be put to shame,
      for you, O Lord, help and comfort me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Standing Strong


Sometimes we reach points in our lives when all seems well. At such times we need to continue to do all we can to rely on God's grace. We are warned that we will face many challenges, but that God is faithful to provide a way out so that we are able to endure.

Verse: I Corinthians 10

12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Understanding Intervention


We are instructed to stop before entering an argument, to conserve our anger, and forgive. Many times the easier path leads down the wrong direction. We should try our best to gain a better understanding of how the power of God's love is focused on mercy and forgiveness. We should do our best to emulate the more difficult but more rewarding path.

Verse: Proverbs 17: 9 - 14.

9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
      but dwelling on it separates close friends.
 10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding
      than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.
 11 Evil people are eager for rebellion,
      but they will be severely punished.
 12 It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
      than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.
 13 If you repay good with evil,
      evil will never leave your house.
 14 Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,
      so stop before a dispute breaks out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forgive and Confess...

Commentary: How often do we confess our shortcomings to the Lord and ask for forgiveness? There is no doubt that we often fail to live up to God's standards. We are fortunate that He stands ready to forgive, welcome us, and provide unending mercy.

Verse: Daniel 9:4-9

 4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
   “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. 5 But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. 6 We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.
 7 “Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you. 8 O Lord, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. 9 But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't Wither...

Commentary: God promises that we will continue to grow and produce fruit as long as we remain  committed to His promises and His word. Each day we should ask what can we do to remain nourished.

Verse: John 15

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Commentary: There is nothing we can do to earn salvation on our own. Our best bet is to submit ourselves to the will of God, so that His love can turn our multitude of shortcomings into a masterpiece.

Verse: Ephesians 2:8-10

4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.