Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30, 2012

Mark 13:31 NIV

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Encouraging Words...

It is such a blessing to know that our God has always been and always will be. In today's world where so many things are here today and gone tomorrow being a part of eternity is refreshing and freeing. It is also refreshing and freeing to know that His church can be found today practicing its faith in many ways just as it did when it was established nearly 2,000 years ago.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012

Psalm 56:3-4 NASB

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

Encouraging Words...

We are so blessed to have our Lord as the One whom we can put our trust in. In Him we do not need to fear anyone or anything. Through Him we can live our lives without fear of what man may try to do to us.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

James 2:17 NASB

Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

Personal Challenge...

Faith is such a critical part of the Christian journey, but is not the end all. Our faith comes from God and draws us to Him, but it is the works that we do from within that faith that refines us on our journey. We must be living our lives for Him through the work that we do for Him.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22, 2012

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NASB

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

Personal Challenge...

We are commanded to be on the alert, stand firm and to be strong...but that is all to be tempered and done in love. Love for God and love for our fellow mankind. I think that we all too often believe that we must be aggressive and overbearing in the way that we present Christ to those around us. This is not the case. We are to do all that we do in love...and that means everything.

Note: photo provided by

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012

Acts 21:13 NASB

Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Personal Challenge...

Oh, to be as strong and courageous as Paul. Knowing full well what his fate was going to be if he went back to Jerusalem he still went...for the sake of his Lord and Savior. Is the day coming where we who claim to follow Christ will have to make this same decision? Will I be able to be as committed as Paul was? My prayer is that by the grace of God I would.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

John 3:30 NASB

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Personal Challenge...

One of the hardest things to remember every day, throughout the day, is that it is not about me! I so often forget and begin to wonder when things will go my way. If I can remember to focus on Christ and what He wants of me then I will also begin to focus on others and what their needs are. Won't that make life so much different?

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012

Proverbs 4:23 NASB

Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.

Personal Challenge...

How we live our life all comes down to the state of our heart. Here we are told to guard our heart, to protect it, because our heart drives who we are and how we act.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012

Psalm 71:5 NLT

O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O LORD, from childhood.

Encouraging Words...

What more can I say? It is indeed wonderful to have lived a life since my childhood with my Lord as my hope.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012

Titus 3:1-2 NASB

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

Personal Challenge...

As we enter into the final, and often aggressive, stage of the election season it becomes all the more important for those of us who claim to be followers of Christ to be reminded of our role within our society. We are commanded to live our lives in subjection to our leaders and authorities. Elsewhere in the scripture we are reminded that our leaders are in positions of authority by God's appointment. We can follow the process available to us to elect new leaders, and we should do so in an informed and prayerful way, but we are still expected to respect those in authority. This may be challenging when we believe the current leaders are not what we think they should be, but this like so many other "opportunities"in life, become part of our journey of theosis, to be like Christ.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012

Ephesians 4:29 NASB

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Personal Challenge...

It is so easy to get caught up in the vernacular of the day and to start speaking in a way that cuts little microscopic slices in those around us. It has become the norm, what we in our home often call the "Jerry Seinfeld" way of talking to people. We often read a verse like this and say that it doesn't apply to me because I don't tear people down. Even if we just do little cuts and digs we are still slicing away at someones person. The scriptures tells us to have no unwholesome word proceed from our mouths. Something that I need to watch continually so that I can be building up those whom God has put into my life.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012

Acts 4:19-20 NASB

But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard.”

Personal Challenge...
Peter and John hand to make that decision, that decision that can be the hardest in anyone's life, to stand up for their faith when they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the would be challenged and condemned for their faith. My prayer is that I would be able to speak as they did whenever that challenge confronts me someday. My desire is to be as bold as Peter and John every day of my life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9, 2012

Matthew 10:28 NASB

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Personal Challenge...

Have you ever found yourself at that place in life where you are so concerned about your welfare, your life, that you compromise on your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Or worse yet, so concerned about the image that you might make with your friends, acquaintances or family that you back down on your representation of your life as a Christian. How easy it is for us to forget that it is our Lord who is the sustainer of our life, the provider of all that we have, the One who deserves all of our worship. Even if we are in a situation where our life could be taken from us only God holds our eternity in His hands. Stand up for Him at all times. Glorify Him in all things. Be bold and courageous for Him.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8, 2012

Psalm 55:16-17 NIV

But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

Encouraging Words...

Our Lord, my Lord, promises to reach out to me in the midst of my distress and save me. He hears my voice and responds. Do you notice though that there is the expectation that I will be calling out to Him, not just once in a while, but evening, morning, and noon. I don't just turn to Him in times of need, but at all times. Only then will I know His voice.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2, 2012

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NASB

Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

Personal Challenge...

The expectation is simple...however the execution is a lifelong journey. This is what we call theosis, living a life that is constantly being refined by the grace of our Lord so that we can be molded into His image. The steps of this journey are outlined in this command to Israel, it is our responsibility and should be our desire to follow these steps.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012

1 Peter 2:1-3   NASB

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Personal Challenge...

Have you ever found yourself having a difficult time "studying" the scriptures? I have often heard the excuse that the enemy is thwarting one from reading the scriptures. Even though this is true maybe it is more that we are attempting too hard to study and not just spend time reading them. Maybe there is something to how this verse describes this as longing for the pure milk of the word, not slicing into a thick steak. Maybe it is time to spend more time just reading God's word and let the Holy Spirit be the one that impresses the teaching upon you.