Verse of the Day – Romans 15:5

“May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus.”

Romans 15:5 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: How about those folks that just absolutely rub you the wrong way? They seem to be everywhere these days, but then again, maybe that’s just me. I’m so thankful that we can depend on God for equipping us with the diligence and encouragement we need to live in kindness and compassion with those who view or live their lives in ways that are opposed to the ways we find most peaceful. I’m sure Jesus encountered many who would have fit that description. He would have been patient with and had compassion on them. That type of treatment is contrary to our initial nature, but God can bless us with those attributes and characteristics that will please Him in dealing with others. This is especially poignant for me, especially this week as I have been dealing with mental/emotional distress. I share these things so we all know that we aren’t alone, not because I’m wanting attention, but I would appreciate your prayers. 

Prayer for today: Today, I pray that God would grant us His peace in every situation so we would be able to have compassion on and see the goodness in others, despite how they make us feel. That we would resolve ourselves to having a life focused centrally on Jesus Christ and that every word and action we take would be for the glory of God. 

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope…

Verse of the Day – Proverbs 11:25

“A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water.”

Proverbs 11:25 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Are we giving just to get or are we giving so we can bless others? The NRSV translation leaves a bit to be desired for this verse in my opinion. A couple of other translations translate like this: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” The word picture that I get with this chapter and verse is a pitcher of water. The one who gives reluctantly or just enough, their pitcher is nearly full, but not quite full. The generous person has to have a water basin underneath the pitcher because of the overflow. That pitcher is continually poured into and the abundance just flows over the edges. Given the context of what Solomon has been teaching, he is talking about matters of the heart and of righteousness, not financial matters. So, are we trying to get enough of God to fill our own heart, or are we seeking God and hoping for an overflow of His presence so that the abundance can be poured out on others? I know that I am hoping for the latter. 

Prayer for today: Today, I pray that we would seek God generously and with expectation that He would fill us to overflowing with His presence and His grace and that we would give generously to all who would receive. Also, I pray that if you feel like we are lacking in the presence of God, that we would reach out so you can be encouraged. 

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful… 

Verse of the Day – 2 John 1:6

“And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning – you must walk in it.”

2 John 1:6 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Saying the words “I love you” and showing the words “I love You” can have a totally different effect on people. Before I surrendered my life to Christ, I used to get so frustrated when people would tell me that God loves me. The words didn’t really mean anything to me at the time because I hadn’t fully realized that truth. In addition, I had all of the typical thoughts and questions like, “if God loves me, then why did these bad things happen.” Thankfully, I am able to hear those words and it means a lot to me. That being said, I’m more of a “show me” type person. Say whatever you would like, but I am usually watching the actions to see if they match up with the words. John, the beloved disciple, is writing to the church and giving instruction on what it means to love others. Think of it as “love in action.” It is quite simple to say yet costs us everything. We must simply walk according to [God’s] commandments. Taking the context of verse 5 into consideration, it reads like this, “Let us love one another. This is love. You must walk in it.” We fulfill the commandments when we love God and love others properly. So, I ask myself these questions, “Do my actions match my words? Does my life reflect a complete surrender to Christ? Am I loving properly by living out this love in action?” 

Prayer for today: I pray that we wouldn’t forget to love. Love all of those around us including ourselves. I pray that we would receive the grace we need to forgive ourselves for our shortfalls so we can receive love from God and others purely. That we would be the hands and feet of Jesus, showing and sharing love wherever God takes us. 

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you spirit, brothers and sisters…

Verse of the Day – Philippians 2:11

“and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:11 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. At some point, everyone will have that realization. I am writing with a very heavy heart as I just learned that a friend of mine took his final labored breaths this morning. He was a devoted follower of Christ, husband, father, and had just become a grandfather. His last post on Facebook was a link to a worship song called Kiss the Son. I know that he is worshipping at the feet of Jesus. He boldly confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord in his daily life. I don’t write these things to scare or to coerce. Only to be transparent in that life is what we make it. My desire is that when my time on earth is done, I will hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” May we choose to boldly serve Him and confess His name while we are still here on this earth. There are so many others that need to hear and see and know that God is love.

Prayer for today: I pray that we hug our loved ones and that we would make the most of every opportunity to share the love of God with all who will hear. 

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

May our confession be that we are weak, but that God is SO very strong…

Verse of the – Romans 8:31

“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”

Romans 8:31 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: In this passage, vs 28 says, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” The apostle Paul is writing to the church in Rome and trying to unify the church (both Jewish Christians and Gentiles). That brings up a question. Who is called to God’s purposes? All of humankind. He created us all and Jesus died for all with the hope that we would choose Him back. To me, this creates an abundance of hope because even while we were sinners, Jesus died for our sins. God is truly for us. 

Prayer for today: I pray that we would find our hope and our identity in Him who has created us in His own image. That we would daily choose to serve God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. I pray that we would be able to see the good that God has done in and through us and that we would boldly share with others those things He has done.  

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

God is for you and is with you…

Verse of the Day – Psalms 59:16

“But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress.” Psalms 59:16 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Have you ever heard someone or a group singing in a place where the song just lingers for a while? They can sing a note and it just seems to echo a bit. It is breath-taking. David would have been hiding out in caves trying to stay safe from King Saul. So, I could imagine that as he was singing in the caves, it might have echoed a good bit. David was praising God and thanking Him for being his protector and sustainer, singing out loud. I’m sure it would be difficult to feel alone while singing His praises. Now, we have the Holy Spirit who is always with us. Let’s not hold back with our praises and singing. No matter what situations we might be facing, but use the breath that God has given us for today to praise His name. 

Prayer for today: I pray that we would worship our heavenly Father. That we would take every opportunity to give thanks and praise Him who has made a way for us to be in a right-relationship with Him. I pray that we would know that even when we are by ourselves, we are never, ever alone, for our God is always with us. 

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

May God always be our fortress and our refuge…

Verse of the Day – Proverbs 17:17

“A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.”

Proverbs 17:17 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Wise words from King Solomon. A true friend is there through it all. I’m sure we all have had our fill of people that we thought were our friends, but when we needed a true friend, they were nowhere to be found. Perhaps we have been that friend before as well. Thankfully, there is grace for all. We can be the type of friend that we all need, not confusing being a friend with just being friendly.

Prayer for today: I pray that we would be the friend that is mentioned in Proverbs 18:24, that “sticks closer than a brother/sister.” That we would take on the heart of Christ for our friends and for those outside of our circle of friends. I pray that we would do all we can to encourage each other each and every day and spur one another on in our relationships with Christ.

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

May the heart and mind of Christ be forefront in our hearts and minds…

Verse of the Day – Matthew 6:7-8

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6:7-8 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Have you ever had an experience where you begin praying and words just won’t come out, whether it is because of overwhelming emotion or just not sure how to put the words together. Our Father knows what is in our hearts, but the purpose of prayer is to communicate. Perhaps the “Gentiles” prayed from a head knowledge on top of wanting to be heard by others. Our heads have a limited amount of knowledge, but God speaks the heart. Through our hearts, He gives so much more knowledge and wisdom. It is in our souls that the Holy Spirit dwells. It’s almost as if the Holy Spirit resonates in our hearts as to what to pray. As if the Holy Spirit in us is communicating to God the Father. When you pray, don’t worry if you can’t find the words or are overwhelmed by tears. The Holy Spirit prays in groans that we cannot understand. In fact, Romans 8:26-27 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Prayer for today: I pray that we would seek the heart of God when we pray. That we would practice asking the Father what He desires to hear from His children. I pray that we would experience the Holy Spirit groaning on our behalf and that our heavenly Father would hear the selfless prayers of His little ones.

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

God’s grace and peace be with you always…

Verse of the Day – Micah 6:8

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah 6:8 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: I often get the impression from all of the media outlets (news, social, etc.) that verses such as this are lost on this world. When I read this verse and see the world (church folks included) and I see how we are treating each other, it just breaks my heart. There is so much pride and hate spewing from our collective mouths. Maybe it comes from thinking we have the “right” to express our thoughts and feelings. Perhaps it boils down to the idea that we think we know better. There is only One who is wise. Much to our dismay, it is not us. If we have called upon the name of Jesus Christ to save us, we have given up our citizenship in the world and are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Shouldn’t we speak with kindness and compassion in our words? Shouldn’t we consider others, whether they believe in God or not, as Christ considers them? Let us seek humility and kindness. Justice will come at the hand of God the Father. Let us not stand in the way of others coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Prayer for today: I pray that we will outwardly reflect to others the internal change that God has and is making in us. That we would be slow to speak unless it is to encourage and otherwise share the gospel of grace and love. I pray that in unsettling times as we are living in, that we are not overwhelmed by the present darkness, but choose to be a light and that God would allow us to shine brightly.

If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.

May God’s compassion and kindness dwell in our hearts…