Archive for Verse of the Day and Devotional

Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/17/2022

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Verse of the Day

November 17th, 2022

Scripture

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body… – Ephesians 1:22-23 NIV

Devotion

According to our verses for today, there are two things that God the Father has done for the benefit of the church. He has appointed Jesus Christ to be the head over everything and He has placed all things under His feet.

What does it mean that Jesus Christ has been appointed to be the head over everything? In virtue of His victory on the cross, Jesus sat down at the right hand of “the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 1:3) and from their rules over all things in the created order. He rules over everything in the spiritual realm of the created order, including the angelic hosts. He rules over everything in the material realm of the created order as well, including the physical universe, the plant realm, the animal realm, and the human realm. Most notably in this context, within the human realm Jesus has been placed as the head of the church, which is His body.

What does it mean that all things have been placed under the feet of Jesus Christ? In virtue of His victory on the cross, God placed all the enemies of Christ and His church under Christ’s feet. In ancient times, conquerors would place their feet on the necks of those they conquered as a symbol of the conquest. That’s why Joshua had his chief men place their feet on the necks of the kings they conquered (Joshua 10:24). The Apostle Paul is alluding to that practice here as well as to Psalm 110:1: “The LORD says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'” Although Paul knew there were battles still to be fought, (1 Corinthians 15:25-27), he also knew that Christ’s victory gave him essential control over Satan, demons, and the people they influence.

Thus, everything in the created order is under the control of Jesus Christ and, in particular, His enemies in the created order have been ignominiously placed under His feet.

God did all this for the benefit of the church. How does this benefit the church? Since Jesus is in control, nothing within the created order, especially the enemies, will be able to thwart the mission of the church.

That’s why your part in Christ’s prophecy, that we will be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, is being fulfilled day by day (Acts 1:8).

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/10/2022

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Verse of the Day

November 10th, 2022

Scripture

“I have some very good news for you—news that will make everyone happy. Today your Savior was born… He is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11 ERV

Devotion

These days we often hear about how to share the Good News, also known as evangelism. In Matthew 28։16-20 we have the Great Commission that tells us we should go to people and share the Good News, or the Gospel.

But what is the Gospel?

First, the Gospel is the Good News about the birth of our Savior.

Hundreds of years ago, the prophets in the Old Testament spoke about the coming Messiah, the Son of God. The Angel of God told Mary, then Joseph about the birth of Jesus. Our Savior was born by the Holy Spirit, and He would be named Jesus. He would save His people from their sins.

The Word of God clearly says that our sins were like a wall between us and God. The Apostle Paul says, “All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness” (Romans 3:23). Sin caused three types of death: eternal, physical, and spiritual.

But God, who is a loving Father, had a solution. He sent His only Son to save the people who believe in Jesus Christ from eternal death. As it is written in John 3:16, “Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost but have eternal life.” This verse is the central verse of the Good News. Salvation is the result of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

Second, the Gospel is the restoration of our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God is restored through Christ. Because of Jesus Christ, the wall which was between human and God, was destroyed. Now, we can come to Him through Jesus if we accept Him as our Savior and God.

What a wonderful opportunity to come to God through Jesus, and how wonderful is the news of Christ’s birth!

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/3/2022

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Verse of the Day

November 3rd, 2022

Scripture

Then Mary said, “I praise the Lord with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior.” – Luke 1:46-47 ERV

Devotion

Can you imagine? A young woman just heard from an angel that she will be pregnant without the intimacy of a man but through the Spirit. Oh, and there is more: the baby will be holy and is called the Son of God. How does that not shake up your world?

First, this is a major event in history as the grand redemption plan of God, Creator of everything, unfolds. His Son became a human. In Philippians 2 we read that the Son gave up everything, even His place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form.

Second, we have the story of Mary becoming part of God’s redemptive plan. She responded in humility and was willing to lay aside her own life and interest. Her ability is the work of the Holy Spirit, she humbly acknowledges that the Lord’s words are reliable and true. In the next verse, she refers to herself as “his lowly servant” (v. 48).

God is my Savior. This is the foundation of a life in humble service. All kinds of things can shake up our world, we have seen so much of that lately. But like Mary, we can respond in humility. I am very happy because God is my Savior. In Christ, you and I are saved. Through the Spirit, we are able servants, laying down our own will and interest in any situation.

Think humbly, the way Christ Jesus thought! (Philippians 2:5)

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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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Verse of the Day and Devotional 10/27/2022

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Verse of the Day

October 27th, 2022

Scripture

Then Mary said, “I praise the Lord with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior.” – Luke 1:46-47 ERV

Devotion

Can you imagine? A young woman just heard from an angel that she will be pregnant without the intimacy of a man but through the Spirit. Oh, and there is more: the baby will be holy and is called the Son of God. How does that not shake up your world?

First, this is a major event in history as the grand redemption plan of God, Creator of everything, unfolds. His Son became a human. In Philippians 2 we read that the Son gave up everything, even His place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form.

Second, we have the story of Mary becoming part of God’s redemptive plan. She responded in humility and was willing to lay aside her own life and interest. Her ability is the work of the Holy Spirit, she humbly acknowledges that the Lord’s words are reliable and true. In the next verse, she refers to herself as “his lowly servant” (v. 48).

God is my Savior. This is the foundation of a life in humble service. All kinds of things can shake up our world, we have seen so much of that lately. But like Mary, we can respond in humility. I am very happy because God is my Savior. In Christ, you and I are saved. Through the Spirit, we are able servants, laying down our own will and interest in any situation.

Think humbly, the way Christ Jesus thought! (Philippians 2:5)

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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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Verse of the Day and Devotional 10/20/2022

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Verse of the Day

October 20th, 2022

Scripture

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Devotion

There are times when the task before us seems overwhelming. There are times when the fear that we won’t be able to make it gets a grip on us and won’t let us go. We look within for something, anything, that will propel us forward through the brick wall that we have come up against, but we find nothing there that can help. The ideas have dried up. The energy has evaporated. And the whole enterprise is in danger of coming to a screeching halt.

“Don’t be afraid,” Isaiah reassures us. We are not alone. The Lord is there and has been there all along. We forgot about that for a while, but now we are reminded of it. We need not be discouraged. We may not be able to find a way forward, but the Lord is with us and He is God. Nothing is too hard for Him. He can find the way where there is no way. He can give us the idea that will make all the difference in the world.

God can also strengthen us. The fear and the anxiety have sapped us of our strength, but the Lord can renew our strength. Just by Him being there with us we are encouraged and the encouragement lifts up our spirits and revives our physical resources. What we thought was going to take forever now takes off and the end is already in sight. With the help of the Lord, we can make it after all.

And God can take us all the way to the end of the matter. He will rejoice with us at the finish line and hoist us up above His head with His victorious right hand, like an athlete who hoists up the hero of the game and carries him off the field. He will rejoice in our victory, but we will only be able to remember what He has done for us.

You have forgotten for a while that the Lord is with you. Now you have been reminded. Take heart today, for the way forward is about to be revealed to you.

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 10/13/2022

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Verse of the Day

October 13th, 2022

Scripture

The Lord God says, “I myself will be their Shepherd. I will search for my sheep and take care of them. 12 If a shepherd is with his sheep when they begin to wander away, he will go searching for them. In the same way I will search for my sheep. I will save them and bring them back from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.” – Ezekiel 34:11-12 ERV

Devotion

The birth of Christ gives hope for us to move from tyranny to God’s kingdom. Christmas is the universal message of future restoration. It is the prophetic celebration of the coming kingdom of God. I think that in order for this kingdom to be actualized, there should be a removal of corrupt governance (34:1-10). We are living in a time of leadership that lacks quality and integrity. There are moral and spiritual failures everywhere. I believe the Lord is personally concerned when His people are governed under greed, oppression, and injustice.

There should be a restoration of God’s order (34:11-22). The shepherds have failed the flock. The leaders have failed the people. The comfort we have is that God is on our side. The God we serve calls us, provides for us, and leads us in kindness towards His character. Christmas rings clearly when He says, “I myself will search for my sheep and look after them…so will I look after my sheep” (34:11-12). Christmas is a message of hope for the restoration of God’s order.

And when order is restored, I believe there will be a reign of peace (34:23-31). In reassuring us of the restoration of order, God continues to shower us with His blessings. And those blessings include a new servant leader (34:23-24). A leader of David’s line. This is the Messiah, Christ, the Son of the living God. His task is that of caring, being a prince over us, ruling over our lives. He is the King who cares, and the King who leads. Christmas is the time to experience His care of love and sovereign rule in our hearts. These two verses teach us that the Messiah is both the servant and the prince. This gives us the term servant leadership.

We will also be blessed with full and perfect peace (34:25-29). A covenant of peace means a covenant in which there will be wholeness and harmony. It is shalom, the absence of any strife. Christmas is the season of shalom, which is the welfare of all God’s creation, and the enjoyment of all joyful freedom from conflict in all the relationships between the humanity and nature, and with God. The Messiah, Christ was born in order that we can live and experience safety and security (34:25, 27, 28). This is the full and perfect peace.

And we will be blessed with a full restoration of the covenant relationship (34:25, 30-31). Christ enters special relationship with us as we invite Him into our lives. The crescendo of Christmas message and purpose is that we know that He is God because we are in relationship with Him. We become one with God. Christmas is God coming to people and dwelling with them. Christmas is a season of seeing Christ as a Shepherd of our souls, always leading us with love and care.

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 10/6/2022

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Verse of the Day

October 6th, 2022

Scripture

And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11 ESV

Devotion

Interestingly, the first people to visit and present gifts to Jesus were the wise men from the East. They were very courageous and generous in their giving. They traveled hundreds of miles and gave their utmost devotion to worship the son of God. Instead of returning to Herod as he had ordered, they were obedient to God when they returned home. These gifts may have helped Joseph and Mary make quick travel to save Jesus from those who were plotting to take His life.

The message of Christmas is that God gave His only beloved Son to us, which is the biggest and the grandest gift to humankind. Christmas will hold much significance in our lives if we can open our treasures and give our best to Him, because nothing that we spend for Him will ever be in vain.

The Bible encourages us that if anyone gives even a cup of cold water in His name will certainly not be in vain. It could be your time, talents, or perhaps even your money to make Jesus known to those who desperately need Him. A widow living in abject poverty gave her only mite as a gift to God. Mary broke her alabaster box and anointed Jesus with the oil inside. It does not matter how little we have. When we offer what we do have, God will bless it for His glory.

What will you give Him this Christmas and in the new year?

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 9/29/2022

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Verse of the Day

September 29th, 2022

Scripture

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. – Luke 2:19 ESV

Devotion

The birth of Christ is the most amazing occurrence in all of history. Not only for the miracle of the birth, but the impact this birth had on the world and history. It began with an 85-mile journey, a five- or six-day trip, to the city of Bethlehem for a required census. Joseph most likely walking, and Mary perhaps riding sidesaddle on a donkey. Swollen and achy from pregnancy and nearing birth, we imagine she felt every rut and jolt from the weathered and well-traveled dirt road.

Arriving in Bethlehem, they most likely faded into the mass of travelers also reporting for the census. There were no rooms left at the inn. All booked, no vacancy. It’s late. Joseph and Mary are exhausted and desperate as the contractions begin, so they take shelter near where the animals are kept. The birth soon begins. No epidural, no hospital, no sedative to ease the pain. We imagine Mary’s moans and cries piercing the stable and night air. Pushing with all her strength, the Messiah arrives! Born into a trauma-filled world from a common Jewish girl, and then the first cries of the Divine! “For unto us a child is born…”(Isaiah 9:6). Joseph and an exhausted Mary are in awe and wonder, treasuring this moment and all that led up to it from the Immaculate conception, the promise of a Savior fulfilled.

There was no notice of this royal birth. No congratulations from heads of states and provinces. There’s no record that angels were present. It was only the mice and fleas and grunts and groans from the host of animals in the stable who witnessed this amazing and glorious occurrence.

Heaven took notice though. Angels rejoiced, perhaps the captives stirred, a star proudly displayed itself in the night skies of the desert marking the birthplace of the Savior of the world. An announcement went forth to some shepherds in their field who traveled to this place to wonder and worship to see the Savior.

On the surface, the majesty of the birth of Christ is absurd. Born of a virgin, in an animal barn, in poverty to a commoner Jewish girl, the circumstances cast doubt on any claims of majesty. It was absurd to an unbelieving world, but not to those who saw this event. The shepherds, the first evangelists of the Gospel age, went back to their sheep telling everyone along the way and glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen. Those who heard were also astonished (Luke 2:18-20).

Mary responded as she “treasured up all these things” that happened. She reflected deeply on the significance of the birth of her child and kept it all in her thoughts. She “pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). We imagine her mulling it all over, seeking understanding while cradling her newborn, gazing into the eyes of her baby boy and accepting the call in her heart to mother and nurture her child all the days of His life.

In 2 Timothy 4:8, the apostle Paul speaks to the believer’s great reward of the crown of righteousness to all those who love and look forward to the promise of our Lord’s return. I hope your heart is in that place. And in the meantime, let us treasure and ponder the first appearing of our Lord as Paul testifies in 1 Timothy 1:10. Our last enemy, death, was defeated forevermore in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. “Oh death where is your sting, Oh grave, where is your victory” (1 Corinthians 15:56).

When was the last time you truly took time and treasured all that brought you to your salvation? When was the last time you pondered what the birth of Christ means to you? Does His peace that surpasses all understanding truly rule your heart today? Let us all make abundant room in our hearts for Jesus this day and all He did for us in defeating death.

Today, treasure, ponder, and embrace Him with open arms and with the grace to be still and know He is God and the Savior of the world.

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 9/8/2022

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Verse of the Day

September 8th, 2022

Scripture

For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV

Devotion

At a point in eternity past, Creator God said, “Let there be light,” (Genesis 1:3) and the darkness surrounding the world was pierced with the blaze of light that, at first glistened on top of the waves of a watery surface, but in time penetrated the very crevices of its land masses. We are told of this in Scripture, and in the process, we give ready assent, but if we could have seen the event take place, we would have stood in amazement and awe at the creative majesty of God. And now, light is taken for granted, and we grumble and yearn for it on dark and gloomy days.

The apostle Paul continually reminds the church through his letters that mankind’s heart was plunged into a darkness so deep that, left in that condition, there is no way of understanding who God is, or what God is like (2 Corinthians 4:4). Not until the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” is revealed to us, can we see the very image of God!

Christians, we, who have seen the Christ through Scripture, the very image of God Himself, we should be glad! We should be rejoicing, for at a point in human history God again pierced the universe from His throne in the heavenlies with a light that enters into the darkness of the soul and illuminates us to see and know Him for all of eternity. Our knowledge of God is not dependent upon our comprehension of exactly how that light came, only to believe He has come for us! “Unto us a child is born! To us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). His coming gives us the opportunity to walk in the “light of life” (John 8:12) and avoid stumbling in the darkness of our soul which leads to a wasted life and tragic eternity.

This Christmas season, take time to earnestly gaze into the face of Jesus as we see Him revealed in Scripture. Honestly allow the “light of the world” to penetrate your heart, revealing both the dark crevices of sin that need to be rooted from our souls, but also the “fruit” where spiritual light has cultivated growth for His glory. This is really the essential opportunity on the top of our to-do list this season.

By Bill Niblette, Ph.D., Bible League Staff, Pennsylvania

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 9/1/2022

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Verse of the Day

September 1st, 2022

Scripture

“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” – Revelation 1:8 NLT
 

Devotion

What does it mean that the Lord God is the Alpha and Omega? The first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet symbolize that He is the ultimate source and origin of every created reality and that He has determined the end or goal towards which every created reality moves through time.

First, He is the one who was. Before the foundation of the created order, the Lord God was. Everything that exists has Him as its ultimate cause and explanation. He set up the created order and thereby determined the fundamental nature and purpose of all things. Whatever created thing exists must do so within the framework He has established every created thing, and every created thing is ultimately dependent upon Him for its very existence.

Second, He is the one who is. The Lord God not only established the created order, He also continues to be involved with it. This is the Lord God’s providence. He did not just create everything and then cease to be involved with what He created. Everything is dependent upon Him. If He ceased to be involved, the whole created order would cease to exist. By His providential concern He continues to uphold, oversee, and govern all created reality.

Finally, He is the one who is still to come. Just as the Lord God continues to uphold, oversee, and govern all created reality through His divine providence in the present, so likewise He will do so in the future. Everything within the created order is moving through time in accordance with His plans and purposes into the future that He has determined. His divine providence, as a result, determines the end or goal towards which everything is moving.

The Lord God is the Almighty One. He is the all-powerful, uncreated reality upon which every created reality depends for its very nature and existence. He is the divine reality before whom every human being is responsible and accountable. Ultimately, you cannot evade Him or ignore Him. If you try, you do so at your own peril.

Today, take a moment and stand in awe of the majesty and glory of the Almighty One, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

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