Week Twenty Two — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Captivity begins somewhere — 2 Kings 17: 5, 6


2 Kings 17: 5, 6 The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years.  In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria.  He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River in the town of the Medes.

Prayer:  Almighty God our Heavenly Father,  may you forgive us when we have loved the world and strayed from your loving presence.

Thought for the day:  As it is in the natural it is in the spiritual world:  you never know how good love is ’til it is gone.


Deuteronomy 7: 9, 10 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations for those who love him and keep his commandments.  But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

Prayer:  Lord God, you have proven true to your word in generation after generation.

Thought for the day:  In hindsight one finds trusting the Lord is the best thing one can do.


Deuteronomy 8: 10, 11  When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.  Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.

Thought for the day:  Lord God, for all the loving-kindness you have shown us we surely owe you our devotion.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “Count your many blessing.  Name them one by one.  See what God has done.”


Deuteronomy 11: 16, 17 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.  then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will  soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you.

Prayer:  Merciful God, may our hearts always be turned to you.

Thought for the day:  Small changes can become the seeds of life changing results.


Deuteronomy 11: 22, 23 If you careful observe all these commands I am giving you to follow — to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him — then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, in the power of your spirit may we faithfully serve as your ambassadors of good will.

Thought for the day:  Making friends or enemies is an art.


James 1: 16, 17 Don’t be deceived my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Prayer:  Lord God, for all the good in our lives we owe our thanks to you.

Thought for the day:  Mirrors reveal many things both good and bad.


Romans 6: 11, 12 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Prayer:  O Lord, may we so live that our worship of service pleases you.

Thought for the day:  At the close of the day ask yourself, “Today diid I make someone’s day?”


Assyrian lion hunt//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
photo: “Assyrian Lion Hunt” by Hornbeam arts on http://www.flickr.com


Week Twenty One — Verse by Verse Devotional — Babylonian Captivity — 2 Kings 25: 10, 11

Note: Today’s primary text for the week’s readings focuses on the captivity of Judah.  Some further study of captivity may follow in preparation for reading prophets of captivity.


2 Kings 25: 10, 11 The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem.  Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had gone over to the king of Babylon.

Prayer:  Lord God, in hours of uncertainty we turn to you in faith.

Thought for the day:  The creator knows.


Deuteronomy 28: 64, 65 Then the Lord will create you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other.  There you will worship other gods – gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.  Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot.  There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart.

Prayer:  Lord God, we would be faithful in our covenant relationship with you.

Thought for the day: A promise is only as good as the one who offers it.


Isaiah 55: 6, 7 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our god, for he will freely pardon.

Prayer:  Lord God, we set this day and hour aside to seek you in the midst of the turmoil of the world.

Thought for the day:  When bad news is breaking, you can still reach out to God.


Ezekiel 12: 10, 11 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:  This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and the whole house of Israel who are there.  Say to them, ‘I am a sign to you.’ “As I have done, so it will be done to them.  They will go into exile as captives.”

Prayer:  Lord God, as your prophet captured the attention of your people may your servants capture our attention today.

Thought for the day:  What are the prophets of this hour saying to us? To you?


Jeremiah 29: 10, 11 This is what the Lord says: “when seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Prayer:  Lord God, we rejoice that you would plan for our future blessing.

Thought for the day:  Why not open up a tax exempt spiritual savings bank of prayers for your loved ones today?


Ezra 1: 1, 2 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: “this is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “’The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for the way you keep your word again and again.

Thought for the day:  God’s messengers appear in many forms.


Matthew 24: 30, 31 At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn.  They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.  And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be ready for the ingathering of those who have accepted your Son.

Thought for the day:  Christ can set the prisoners free.

A – W – A – Y

Alliance with God through the covenant.  God gladly covenanted with Israel for their good.

Woes promised to those who disregard the covenant. The covenant with God had  positive and negative consequence — positive consequences for obedience, and negative consequences for disobedience.

Abandonment of God for the ways of the nations, the world. When the ways of the world became more attractive to Israel and Judah, they were lured into disobedience.

Yielding to God in captivity and in return restores the relationship God intended.  After suffering the consequences of their disobedience, God still had a plan for Israel.

Babylon Gate//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
photo: “Babylon Gate” by F. Tronchin on http://www.flickr.com

Week Twenty — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Ascension — Acts 1: 9, 10


Acts 1: 8, 9 But you will receive power when the Holy spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, for every precious moment you spent on earth revealing God to us we give our humble thanks.

Thought for the day: Forty days of sightings of the risen Lord give sufficient evidence of his resurrection.


Acts 7:56 “Look,” [Stephen] said, “I see heaven pen and the son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we do believe that you are at the right hand of God.

Thought for the day: It will be glorious to see our Savior in glory.


Daniel 7: 13, 14 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion was an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, if ever we have found you, we would never want to let you go.

Thought for the day: Even the prophets of old foresaw the exaltation of Jesus to God’s right side.


I Peter 3:22 [Jesus Christ] has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are worthy of our worship and our service.

Thought for the day: Not just anyone is honored by being asked to serve the Lord.



Hebrews 7:24, 25 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, how often we have been sustained by your intercession for us.

Thought for the day: Jesus is praying for you today.


John 15: 26, 27 When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you form the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out form the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Prayer: Lord, in the hours when we would seek your presence may your Spirit uphold us.

Thought for the day: The songwriter said, “No, never alone. He promised never to leave us. He will claim us for his own.”


Ephesians 4: 9, 10 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

Prayer: Lord God, we believe your Son who lowered himself to walk among us has always deserved to be at your side.

Thought for the day: As you become one with God in spirit, you prepare to enter God’s presence in heaven.

photo: “Ascension” by Fr Lawrence Lew O.P. on http://www.flickr.com

Week Nineteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Forty Days of Proof — John 20: 30, 31


John 20:30, 31 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Prayer:  Jesus, for all the resurrection signs given us in scriptures we give thanks.

Thought for the day:  Not more signs but belief in the signs given makes a world of difference


Luke 24:38, 29 He said to them, “why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?  Look at my hands and my feet.  It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we given thanks that you offered yourself to your doubting disciples as proof that you were alive.

Thought for the day:  The best person to find a counterfeit is someone who knows the real thing.


Matthew 12: 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you kept your promise to return in three days.

Thought for the day:  It was a Jewish belief that the third day marked the time when the body and the spirit were permanently separated.


Matthew 28:16,17 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we pray that we may learn from your disciples’ doubts that we have reason to believe.

Thought for the day:  The doubting of the disciples in no way jeopardized the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.


Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may you forgive our stubbornness to believe.

Thought for the day:  Unbelief may be the only thing that is stopping you from receiving a blessing.


Isaiah 53: 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Prayer:  Lord God, we rejoice that Jesus saw the light of life and bears the iniquities of many.

Thought for the day:  Not only was it prophesied that Jesus would rise, but it was prophesied that he would show mercy to those who had sinned against him.


I Corinthians 15: 6,7 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last o fall he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we rejoice with believers of old that you are alive evermore.

Thought for the day:  It is promised that those who believe shall see.

Christ Rises Triumphant//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
photo: “Christ Rises Triumphant” by Fr. Lawrence Lew OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Eighteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — A Tribute to Godly Women — Proverbs 31: 30, 31


Proverbs 31: 30, 31 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Prayer:  Lord God, for every honorable woman and godly mother we give you thanks this day.

Thought for the day:  A godly mother is a present to celebrate.


Ruth 1: 16, 17 Then Ruth replied [to Naomi], “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back form you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.

Prayer:  Lord God, we celebrate every woman and man who chooses the path of faith.

Thought for the day:  The choice to follow God is a choice to pass on from one generation to another.



Esther 4: 13, 14 He [Mordecai] sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

Prayer: Almighty God, Our Heavenly Father, we give thanks for placing women of faith just where they are needed.

Thought for the day:  God can use a person of faith right where you are.


Matthew 15: 26, 27 He [Jesus] replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall form their master’s table.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for all the mothers and saints who have prayed for the salvation of the children.

Thought for the day:  When was the last time you prayed for the salvation of a child?


I Corinthians 7:13, 14 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified though her believing husband.  Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

Prayer:  O Jesus, may the light of our faith shine brightly in our homes that our entire family may believe.

Thought for the day:  You are the sermon that your family hears and sees seven days a week.


Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we – husbands, wives, parents – bring the peace of godly living to our homes.

Thought for the day:  Peace at home is a glorious thing.


Ephesians 5: 25, 26 Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleaning her by the washing with water through the word.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, your unfailing and sacrificial love for the church gives us hope.

Thought for the day: God has never given up on family life and family love.

St Mary Magdalene mosaic//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Photo: “St. Mary Magdalene mosaic” by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Seventeen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Gospel of John — John 21: 12, 13


John 21: 12, 13 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”  None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, when miracles happen, we know you are at work in our lives.

Thought for the day:  Ask yourself what miraculous blessing have happened to you in the last twenty-four hours.


John 21: 5, 6 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.  He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Prayer: Lord God, obedience to the voice of your son brings blessings to us always.

Thought for the day: The rewards off acting on faith are tremendous.


Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

Prayer:  Almighty God, in matters great and small we would act in faith that we might see your blessings.

Thought for the day:  In the clear vision of hindsight we find that acting on faith in God leads us heavenward.


Luke 5: 5, 6 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so I will let down the nets.”  When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you generously reward our faith.

Thought for the day:  Today take time to count the blessings of abundance that God has given to you.


Isaiah 49:10 They will neither hunger nor thirst nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.  He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.

Prayer:  Almighty God, we thank you for the way you have provided for your children.

Thought for the day: The needs of the children of a good father are satisfied.


Psalm 107:8, 9 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfied the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Prayer:  Lord God, you are the giver of life each day that we arise.

Thought for the day:  Those who reside in food deserts – both tangible food deserts and spiritual food deserts – must go where the food is.


John 20: 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we give thanks for the evidences you offer of your resurrection that we might believe.

Thought for the day:  Biblical faith is faith with evidence.

The Disciples give Fish to the Risen Lord to Eat//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
photo: “The Disciples give Fish to the Risen Lord to Eat” by Lawrence OP on http://www.flickr.com

Week Sixteen — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — The Gospel of John — John 20: 19, 20


John 20:19, 20 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.  The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you bring peace to our spirits and our lives.

Thought for the day:  To be more like Jesus bring more peace.


John 20: 21, 22 Again Jesus, said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you have kept your promise to send us a comforter who is your holy spirit.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter said, “No, never alone.  He promised never to leave me alone.”


John 20: 23: If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we confess that if it were not for your forgiveness we would remain in our sin.

Thought for the day: Forgiveness is precious gift, and only the poor in spirit cannot afford to give forgiveness.


John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in your presence there is peace.

Thought for the day:  Prayer time is a peaceful time.


Acts 10:36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ who is lord of all.

Prayer: Almighty God, you have allowed us to share the good news of peace in Jesus.

Thought for the day:  Let the peaceful message of Jesus be a blessing to someone today.


Psalm 86:5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Prayer:  Almighty God, your great spirit of forgiveness is a blessing.

Thought for the day:  The ability to forgive is a godly trait.


Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may we find in your example of forgiveness our strength and inspiration.

Thought for the day:  Bearing grudges weakens the spirit.


Adult Bible Study – P – E — A – C – E

Predicament – The disciples were fearful for their lives without their Lord. V. 19

Entrance – Without opening the doors the resurrected Jesus enters the upper room. V. 19

Acclamation – Jesus greets the disciples with peace once and twice. Vs. 19, 21.

Commission – As Jesus was sent, Jesus now sends his disciples on the mission of peace. V. 21

Empowerment – An awesome responsibility is given to the disciples to forgive in Jesus’ name. v. 23
photo: “Resurrection” by Brian A. Fox on http://www.flickr.com