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thought for the morning

  • Daniel 9:26 - Evening Devotional for Jan. 16th
    "The Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself."—Daniel 9:26Evening ThoughtBlessed be his name, there was no cause of death in him. Neither original nor actual sin had defiled him, and therefore death had no claim upon him. No man could have taken his life from him justly, for he had done no man wrong, and no man could even have lain him by force unless he had been pleased to yield himself to die. But lo, one sins and another suffers. Justice was offended by us, but found its satisfaction in him. Rivers of tears, mountains of offerings, seas of the blood of bullocks, and hills of frankincense, could not have availed for the removal of sin; but Jesus was cut off for us, and the cause of wrath was cut off at once, for sin was put away for ever. Herein is wisdom, whereby substitution, the sure and speedy way of atonement, was devised! Herein is condescension, which brought Messiah, the Prince, to wear a crown of thorns, and die upon the cross! Herein is love, which led the Redeemer to lay down his life for his enemies! It is not enough, however, to admire the spectacle of the innocent bleeding for the guilty, we must make sure of our interest therein. The special object of the Messiah's death was the salvation of his church; have we a part and a lot among those for whom he gave his life a ransom? Did the Lord Jesus stand as our representative? Are we healed by his stripes? It will be a terrible thing indeed if we should come short of a portion in his sacrifice; it were better for us that we had never been born. Solemn as the question is, it is a joyful circumstance that it is one which may be answered clearly and without mistake. To all who believe on him the Lord Jesus is a present Saviour, and upon them all the blood of reconciliation has been sprinkled. Let all who trust in the merit of Messiah's death be joyful at every remembrance of him, and let their holy gratitude lead them to the fullest consecration to his cause. Ⓒ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Psalms 109:4 - Evening Devotional for Jan. 15th
    "But I give myself unto prayer."—Psalms 109:4Evening ThoughtLying tongues were busy against the reputation of David, but he did not defend himself; he moved the case into a higher court, and pleaded before the great King himself. Prayer is the safest method of replying to words of hatred. The Psalmist prayed in no cold-hearted manner, he gave himself to the exercise-threw his whole soul and heart into it-straining every sinew and muscle, as Jacob did when wrestling with the angel. Thus, and thus only, shall any of us speed at the throne of grace. As a shadow has no power because there is no substance in it, even so that supplication, in which a man's proper self is not thoroughly present in agonizing earnestness and vehement desire, is utterly ineffectual, for it lacks that which would give it force. "Fervent prayer," says an old divine, "like a cannon planted at the gates of heaven, makes them fly open." The common fault with the most of us is our readiness to yield to distractions. Our thoughts go roving hither and thither, and we make little progress towards our desired end. Like quicksilver our mind will not hold together, but rolls off this way and that. How great an evil this is! It injures us, and what is worse, it insults our God. What should we think of a petitioner, if, while having an audience with a prince, he should be playing with a feather or catching a fly? Continuance and perseverance are intended in the expression of our text. David did not cry once, and then relapse into silence; his holy clamour was continued till it brought down the blessing. Prayer must not be our chance work, but our daily business, our habit and vocation. As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer. We must be immersed in prayer as in our element, and so pray without ceasing. Lord, teach us so to pray that we may be more and more prevalent in supplication. Ⓒ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Matthew 14:30 - Evening Devotional for Jan. 14th
    "Beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."—Matthew 14:30Evening ThoughtSinking times are praying times with the Lord's servants. Peter neglected prayer at starting upon his venturous journey, but when he began to sink his danger made him a suppliant, and his cry though late was not too late. In our hours of bodily pain and mental anguish, we find ourselves as naturally driven to prayer as the wreck is driven upon the shore by the waves. The fox hies to its hole for protection; the bird flies to the wood for shelter; and even so the tried believer hastens to the mercy seat for safety. Heaven's great harbour of refuge is All-prayer; thousands of weather-beaten vessels have found a haven there, and the moment a storm comes on, it is wise for us to make for it with all sail. Short prayers are long enough. There were but three words in the petition which Peter gasped out, but they were sufficient for his purpose. Not length but strength is desirable. A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity. If our prayers had less of the tail feathers of pride and more wing they would be all the better. Verbiage is to devotion as chaff to the wheat. Precious things lie in small compass, and all that is real prayer in many a long address might have been uttered in a petition as short as that of Peter. Our extremities are the Lord's opportunities. Immediately a keen sense of danger forces an anxious cry from us the ear of Jesus hears, and with him ear and heart go together, and the hand does not long linger. At the last moment we appeal to our Master, but his swift hand makes up for our delays by instant and effectual action. Are we nearly engulfed by the boisterous waters of affliction? Let us then lift up our souls unto our Saviour, and we may rest assured that he will not suffer us to perish. When we can do nothing Jesus can do all things; let us enlist his powerful aid upon our side, and all will be well. Ⓒ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • 2 Kings 6:9 - Evening Devotional for Jan. 13th
    "The iron did swim."—2 Kings 6:9Evening ThoughtThe axe-head seemed hopelessly lost, and as it was borrowed, the honour of the prophetic band was likely to be imperilled, and so the name of their God to be compromised. Contrary to all expectation, the iron was made to mount from the depth of the stream and to swim; for things impossible with man are possible with God. I knew a man in Christ but a few years ago who was called to undertake a work far exceeding his strength. It appeared so difficult as to involve absurdity in the bare idea of attempting it. Yet he was called thereto, and his faith rose with the occasion; God honoured his faith, unlooked-for aid was sent, and the iron did swim. Another of the Lord's family was in grievous financial straits, he was able to meet all claims, and much more if he could have realized a certain portion of his estate, but he was overtaken with a sudden pressure; he sought for friends in vain, but faith led him to the unfailing Helper, and lo, the trouble was averted, his footsteps were enlarged, and the iron did swim. A third had a sorrowful case of depravity to deal with. He had taught, reproved, warned, invited, and interceded, but all in vain. Old Adam was too strong for young Melancthon, the stubborn spirit would not relent. Then came an agony of prayer, and before long a blessed answer was sent from heaven. The hard heart was broken, the iron did swim. Beloved reader, what is thy desperate case? What heavy matter hast thou in hand this evening? Bring it hither. The God of the prophets lives, and lives to help his saints. He will not suffer thee to lack any good thing. Believe thou in the Lord of hosts! Approach him pleading the name of Jesus, and the iron shall swim; thou too shalt see the finger of God working marvels for his people. According to thy faith be it unto thee, and yet again the iron shall swim. Ⓒ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Job 36:2 - Evening Devotional for Jan. 12th
    "I have yet to speak on God's behalf."—Job 36:2Evening ThoughtWe ought not to court publicity for our virtue, or notoriety for our zeal; but, at the same time, it is a sin to be always seeking to hide that which God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not to be a village in a valley, but "a city set upon a hill;" he is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all. Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one's self is doubtless modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified, and the keeping back of truth which is precious to ourselves is a sin against others and an offence against God. If you are of a nervous temperament and of retiring disposition, take care that you do not too much indulge this trembling propensity, lest you should be useless to the church. Seek in the name of him who was not ashamed of you to do some little violence to your feelings, and tell to others what Christ has told to you. If thou canst not speak with trumpet tongue, use the still small voice. If the pulpit must not be thy tribune, if the press may not carry on its wings thy words, yet say with Peter and John, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee." By Sychar's well talk to the Samaritan woman, if thou canst not on the mountain preach a sermon; utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not upon the exchange; in the midst of thine own household, if thou canst not in the midst of the great family of man. From the hidden springs within let sweetly flowing rivulets of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passer-by. Hide not thy talent; trade with it; and thou shalt bring in good interest to thy Lord and Master. To speak for God will be refreshing to ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honouring to the Saviour. Dumb children are an affliction to their parents. Lord, unloose all thy children's tongue. Ⓒ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Luke 22:32 - Evening Devotional for Jan. 11th
    "I have prayed for thee."—Luke 22:32Evening ThoughtHow encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer's never- ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, he pleads for us; and when we are not praying, he is advocating our cause, and by his supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter-"Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; but"-what? "But go and pray for yourself." That would be good advice, but it is not so written. Neither does he say, "But I will keep you watchful, and so you shall be preserved." That were a great blessing. No, it is, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." We little know what we owe to our Saviour's prayers. When we reach the hill-tops of heaven, and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God hath led us, how we shall praise him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon earth. How shall we thank him because he never held his peace, but day and night pointed to the wounds upon his hands, and carried our names upon his breastplate! Even before Satan had begun to tempt, Jesus had forestalled him and entered a plea in heaven. Mercy outruns malice. Mark, he does not say, "Satan hath desired to have you." He checks Satan even in his very desire, and nips it in the bud. He does not say, "But I have desired to pray for you." No, but "I have prayed for you: I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counterplea even before an accusation is made." O Jesus, what a comfort it is that thou hast pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence. Ⓒ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Job 19:26 - Evening Devotional for Jan. 10th
    "In my flesh shall I see God."—Job 19:26Evening ThoughtMark the subject of Job's devout anticipation "I shall see God." He does not say, "I shall see the saints"-though doubtless that will be untold felicity-but, "I shall see God." It is not-"I shall see the pearly gates, I shall behold the walls of jasper, I shall gaze upon the crowns of gold," but "I shall see God." This is the sum and substance of heaven, this is the joyful hope of all believers. It is their delight to see him now in the ordinances by faith. They love to behold him in communion and in prayer; but there in heaven they shall have an open and unclouded vision, and thus seeing "him as he is," shall be made completely like him. Likeness to God-what can we wish for more? And a sight of God-what can we desire better? Some read the passage, "Yet, I shall see God in my flesh," and find here an allusion to Christ, as the "Word made flesh," and that glorious beholding of him which shall be the splendour of the latter days. Whether so or not it is certain that Christ shall be the object of our eternal vision; nor shall we ever want any joy beyond that of seeing him. Think not that this will be a narrow sphere for the mind to dwell in. It is but one source of delight, but that source is infinite. All his attributes shall be subjects for contemplation, and as he is infinite under each aspect, there is no fear of exhaustion. His works, his gifts, his love to us, and his glory in all his purposes, and in all his actions, these shall make a theme which will be ever new. The patriarch looked forward to this sight of God as a personal enjoyment. "Whom mine eye shall behold, and not another." Take realizing views of heaven's bliss; think what it will be to you. "Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty." All earthly brightness fades and darkens as we gaze upon it, but here is a brightness which can never dim, a glory which can never fade-"I shall see God." Ⓒ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.

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daily wisdom

  • Today's Verse - Galatians 5:16
    Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.—Galatians 5:16Thoughts on Today's Verse...I don't want you to think about an orange rhinoceros flying with blue wings. Now quit. I don't want you to think about it anymore. You know there is no such thing as an orange rhino that flies, much less one that flies on blue wings. Oh course the point is simple: the more we try to not do something, the more we focus on it and insure we do what we are not supposed to do. That's why the gift of the Holy Spirit is so important. He enables and empowers us to move beyond our sin — not by focusing on it and refusing it, but by enriching us and "distracting" us with the important things of God.Video Commentary...ToGather Worship Guide | More ToGather VideosMy Prayer...Abba Father, I thank you so much for your Holy Spirit that lives in me and is now interceding with you for me. Please fill me with your Spirit so that my life more nearly reflects your will and focuses on your concerns. Through Jesus, who poured out your Spirit upon me at my baptism, I pray. Amen.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Today's Verse - John 8:31-32
    Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."—John 8:31-32Thoughts on Today's Verse...There are few things more coveted than freedom. People die for it. People pray for it. People strive for it. True freedom comes from knowing truth. Knowing truth ultimately comes by living in obedience to Jesus. Truth is not just something you think about or believe. Truth is something you do, you live. Jesus' teaching often ends with the exclamation: Blessed are you who do these things! Only by doing will we ever know the truth that liberates us.My Prayer...To the only true God be glory, honor, power and praise. Father I seek not only your presence in my daily life, but also your pleasure in the choices I make. Please teach me more of your truth as I pledge to live today in obedience to your word and your will. Through Jesus the living Word I pray. Amen.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Today's Verse - 1 John 4:20-21
    If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."—1 John 4:20-21Thoughts on Today's Verse...Love! The word can mean anything. Many in the Christian community have tried to define it by a dictionary or lexicon, not realizing the key word for love, agape, is defined by action. Before Christians got a hold of agape, it meant the same thing our word today does: just about anything! But if you read 1 John, you see what love is by what God does. God demonstrates his love. He asks us to do the same for our brothers and sisters. Love must be more than talk; it must be genuinely demonstrated in action!My Prayer...Precious Father, you have so graciously shared your love with me. I must confess, in my heart I intend to love others as you do, but my intentions often get washed away with "busy-ness" or timidity. Father, through your Spirit, prompt me to show my love to others in actions rather than just thought and talk. Through Jesus, your greatest demonstration of love I pray. Amen.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Today's Verse - 2 Corinthians 5:19-20
    God has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.—2 Corinthians 5:19-20Thoughts on Today's Verse...The price has been paid. The ransom is provided. God's judgment was averted, not because of anything we did to appease him, but by his own sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. If God has gone to such great lengths to reconcile us to himself and adopt us into his family, how can we refuse? We must not! Father God, we offer you our hearts!My Prayer...O Gracious God, I know my sin has broken your heart and offended your holiness. Words, therefore, cannot communicate my thankfulness to you. You were hurt by my sin and yet provided a sacrifice to redeem me from it and reconcile me back to you. I praise you for your grace, thank you for your love, and promise to share your mercy. Through Jesus my sacrifice I pray. Amen.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Today's Verse - Galatians 3:26-29
    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.—Galatians 3:26-29Thoughts on Today's Verse...One. Basic, simple, and easy to understand. When we become Christians through faith and baptism into Christ, we are made one with all other Christians around the world. Race, gender, and social status are gone. All that's left is One, the One, Jesus. Our lives are his and thus are connected to each other. Our destination is the same, heaven. Our family is the church. No barriers. No closed doors. We are one. My Prayer...Abba Father, thank you for adopting me into your family. May we be one on earth now, as we will be when we are all together around your throne in heaven. I pray for unity among all those who call upon your name and share your Spirit so the world may know there is a solution to conflict, strife and division. Through Jesus our Savior, I pray. Amen.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Today's Verse - Psalm 118:5-6
    In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?—Psalm 118:5-6Thoughts on Today's Verse...The beginning of the year has been a trying time for people I care about. Maybe it's been that way for you or those you love. My prayer for you, and for them, is that they may know the comfort of God's presence. Whether it's the popular little poem "Footprints" or the familiar "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me," the presence of the Lord is absolutely vital to standing up against our anguish! The Lord does long to be with us, especially at those moments when we feel most alone. He told us that by experiencing anguish, alone, by himself on the cross. My Prayer...I am thankful, O God, that you refused to be God from a safe distance. Because you came and felt what it was like to be abandoned, forsaken, and alone, I know I can trust that I will never be forsaken by you. Please give me a clearer sense of your presence with me in my life today, I pray through Jesus. Amen.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Today's Verse - 1 Peter 1:15-16
    Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."—1 Peter 1:15-16Thoughts on Today's Verse..."Holy" is one of those words we generally associate with the "stained glass ghetto" — a word only "church folks" use. That may be true, but it's still a great concept. Every kid knows that you don't eat hot dogs and potato chips on china. Mom's china is reserved for "special company" or "special occasions." Hot dogs are for paper plates and every day, china is for special events. When God is calling us to be holy, he's calling us to be china — something special just for him, and as Peter emphasizes, just like him.My Prayer...Holy Lord, God Almighty, I come before you knowing how great the distance is between your holiness and my commonness. I thank you for making me holy through the sacrifice of Jesus and by sending your Holy Spirit to live inside of me. Please receive my life today as a holy offering to you. I pray in the name of Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith. Amen.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

Quotemeal

  • Quote for Jan. 16th, 2022
    "Prayers never fall on deaf ears."—Author UnknownⒸ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Jan. 15th, 2022
    "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened."—C. S. LewisⒸ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Jan. 14th, 2022
    "God does not waste an ounce of our pain or a drop of our tears; suffering doesn't come our way for no reason, and He seems especially efficient at using what we endure to mold our character. If we are malleable, He takes our bumps and bruises and shapes them into something beautiful."—Frank PerettiⒸ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Jan. 13th, 2022
    "Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?"—HoraceⒸ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Jan. 12th, 2022
    "We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon."—Jimmy CarterⒸ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Jan. 11th, 2022
    "There was no "before" the beginning of our universe, because once upon a time there was no time."—John D. BarrowⒸ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Jan. 10th, 2022
    "Truth indeed rather alleviates than hurts, and will always bear up against falsehood, as oil does above water."—Miguel de CervantesⒸ 1996-2022 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.