Friday, May 21, 2010

A Better Person

Comment: We can always take refuge in the strength of the Lord. He is there to continually protect, comfort, and regenerate our outlook on life's possibilities. He can restore our joy, rebuild our lives, and strengthen our desire to become a better person. He can give us new hope, no matter the circumstance.

Verse: Psalm 71
 1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
       let me never be put to shame.
 2 Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;
       turn your ear to me and save me.
 3 Be my rock of refuge,
       to which I can always go;
       give the command to save me,
       for you are my rock and my fortress.
 4 Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
       from the grasp of evil and cruel men.
 5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,
       my confidence since my youth.
 6 From birth I have relied on you;
       you brought me forth from my mother's womb.
       I will ever praise you.
 7 I have become like a portent to many,
       but you are my strong refuge.
 8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
       declaring your splendor all day long.
 9 Do not cast me away when I am old;
       do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
 10 For my enemies speak against me;
       those who wait to kill me conspire together.
 11 They say, "God has forsaken him;
       pursue him and seize him,
       for no one will rescue him."
 12 Be not far from me, O God;
       come quickly, O my God, to help me.
 13 May my accusers perish in shame;
       may those who want to harm me
       be covered with scorn and disgrace.
 14 But as for me, I will always have hope;
       I will praise you more and more.
 15 My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
       of your salvation all day long,
       though I know not its measure.
 16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD;
       I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
 17 Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
       and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
 18 Even when I am old and gray,
       do not forsake me, O God,
       till I declare your power to the next generation,
       your might to all who are to come.
 19 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
       you who have done great things.
       Who, O God, is like you?
 20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
       you will restore my life again;
       from the depths of the earth
       you will again bring me up.
 21 You will increase my honor
       and comfort me once again.
 22 I will praise you with the harp
       for your faithfulness, O my God;
       I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
       O Holy One of Israel.
 23 My lips will shout for joy
       when I sing praise to you—
       I, whom you have redeemed.
 24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
       all day long,
       for those who wanted to harm me
       have been put to shame and confusion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Led by the Spirit

Comment: As Christians, we must rely on the Spirit, provided by God, to guide our decisions. Try as we might, without the Spirit, pleasing God is not possible. Our natural desires are "at war" with what God would have us pursue in our lives. It is the Spirit that intercedes on our behalf and lays claim to our place as God's children. The more our lives are guided by the Spirit, the greater access we have to the life and peace that it brings.

Verse: Romans 8:5 - 17.

 5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man[e] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind[f] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
 12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[g] And by him we cry, "Abba,[h] Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strong Tower

Comment: No matter the situation, the Lord is our strong tower.  There is more power in the simple mention of His name then we can comprehend.

Verse: Proverbs 18:10; 24

   10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
      The righteous run to it and are safe.

  24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[b]
      But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thoughtful Response

Comment: The ability for our words to demonstrate the love and patience of God will bring joy, life, and peace. In every situation, we should use words that are carefully designed to encourage others.

Verse: Proverbs 15:1-4; 28
 1 A gentle answer deflects anger,
      but harsh words make tempers flare.
 2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
      but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
 3 The Lord is watching everywhere,
      keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
 4 Gentle words are a tree of life;
      a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

28 The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;
      the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cast All Your Cares Upon Him

Commentary: Our greatest challenge is to truly put all of our trust in the Lord. It's so much easier just to trust God when we feel its convenient. What we should recognize is that every situation, every time, and every day is convenient. Bringing ourselves to this type of understanding often requires that we humble ourselves without thinking or rationalization.

Verse: 1 Peter 5:6-10

 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[c] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Comment: We are to be transformed for Christ by focusing on things that are not patterns of this world. This would truly be a difficult task if we relied on our own strategy and insight. We should always remember that transformation will only come through Christ and His power. It is through Him through which we can focus our best qualities.

Verse: Romans 12:1 - 8

 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.
 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.