Week Forty-seven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Paul finds Joy in the Gospel — Philippians 3: 13, 14


Philippians 3: 13-14 Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, Son of God, we are eager to press toward the goal of life eternal with you.

Thought for the day:  Those who are confident value the contest of living daily.


Genesis 19:25, 26 Thus [God] overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities – and also the vegetation in the land.  But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Prayer:  Lord God, may you forgive us when our eyes and hearts have been turned away from you.

Thought for the day: Make sure your rear view mirror is an aid and not a distraction.


Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

Prayer:  Lord God, thank you for send Jesus to show us the way to life.

Thought for the day.  Fagan may have convinced the Artful Dodger that a life of crime was respectable, but he failed to convince Oliver Twist.


Matthew 16:24, 25 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, knowing that you loved us to the death we would follow you.

Thought for the day:  Psychologists use the marshmallow test to identify self-indulgent kids who gobble their marshmallows immediately and self-disciplined kids who reserve a marshmallow for later.


John 10:27, 28 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we offer our thanks to you for including us in your flock.

Thought for the day:  In a troubled world take time to give thanks for the hope God has given us in Christ Jesus.


Luke 9:61, 62 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, when we are prone to stray lead us back to the path of eternal life with you.

Thought for the day:  The old farmer needed no GPS to know that he had to look straight ahead to make a straight furrow.


Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Prayer:  Lord God, from generation to generation you have proven to be a promise keeper.  We believe you shall keep the promise of giving eternal life to Jesus’s followers.

Thought for the day:  Promise keepers don’t fill their word with exemptions.

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Week Forty-six — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Paul finds Joy in Philippians — Philippians 2: 12, 13


Philippians 2: 12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Prayer:  Lord God, with a sense of awe we offer our service to you that we might work out the salvation you have ordained for us.

Thought for the day:  The hymn writer said, “Work for the night is coming when man’s work is done.”


2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail test?

Prayer:  Lord God, as we search within, we truly can say if it were not for the blood of Jesus we would be without hope.

Thought for the day: The exam of salvation is one exam you dare not miss.


James 2:18 But someone will say, “you have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

Prayer: Jesus, may we your disciples walk the walk for you.

Thought for the day:  If actions speak louder than words, what are others hearing from you?


Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Prayer:  Lord God, in the strength of the spirit of Jesus may our good works bless your children.

Thought for the day:  The blessings of God are hand delivered, not drone delivered.


I Thessalonians 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, with the saints of old we would offer to you works of faith, labors of love, and endurance of hope.

Thought for the day:  In the presence of love service ceases to be a drudge.


Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Prayer:  Lord God, may the world see in us your precious only-begotten son.

Thought for the day:  The Jesus in you may be the only Jesus some persons will get to know.


John 14:23, 24 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Prayer: Jesus, Son of God, having known your love we would gladly obey you.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter asked, “Have you any room for Jesus, he who bore your load of sin?”

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Week Forty-five — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Paul finds joy in the Gospel — Philippians 1: 4,5


Philippians 1:4, 5 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

Prayer:  Jesus, Son of God, we find joy in the fellowship of the saints looking for your return.

Thought for the day:  You will know your part of a heavenly family reunion, when your family celebration of one another is without regret.


Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Prayer:  Knowing You, O God, and knowing your love gives us a joyful strength.

Thought:  Even in arm wrestling the winner is the one who finds the most joy in the contest.


I Thessalonians 2: 19, 20 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?  Is it not in you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in faith we join the saints who joyfully wait for you.

Thought for the day:  Your faith brings joy to others.


John 15: 10, 11 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your may be complete.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we in loving faithfulness never stray from your commands.

Thought for the day:  The obedient children bring joy to their family.


I Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, with great joy we offer thanks to you for the salvation you have given us.

Thought for the day:  Salvation is the gift that brings joy eternal.


Ephesians 1: 16, 17 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Prayer: Lord God, may your Spirit lead us to know you better.

Thought for the day:  Too many people insist that God remains an anonymous philanthropist.



Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Lord God, truly you have filled our lives with hope and love.

Thought for the day:  If you don’t need a saucer to catch the overflow of blessings in your life, you may have stopped allowing God to pour forth blessings on you.

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Week Forty-four — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Bible Stories of Suspense and Murder — 2 Kings 9: 36, 37


2 Kings 9: 36, 37 They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh.  Jezebel’s body will be like refuse on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’”

Prayer:  Almighty God, we look to you for justice, and we call to you for mercy.

Thought for the day:  God’s justice comes in God’s time.


I Kings 19:1,2 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had filled all the prophets with the sword.  So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life-like that of one of them.”

Prayer:  Lord God, from the ravings of the enemies we find our refuge in you.

Thought for the day: Even in the days of her captivity the faith of Corrie Ten Boom never wavered.


Leviticus 20:27 A man or a woman who is a medium or spirits among you must be put to death.  You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, we trust you and no other.

Thought for the day:  Spiritism is no child’s play.


2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in our homes and in our associations, we would uplift you as our Lord.

Thought for the day:  Free roving pets are not ashamed to bring home their fleas.


Proverbs 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Prayer:  Lord God, it is in the righteousness of Jesus that we make our petitions to you.

Thought for the day: For some acquaintances we would be wise to add to the seven steps that separate us.


Psalm 145: 18,19 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

Prayer:  Lord God, your very nearness is an answer to our heartfelt need for salvation.

Thought for the day:  Exposure to God-light lifts the spirit as exposure to the sun create natural vitamin D.


2 Peter 3: 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we be ever ready for the day of justice and mercy.

Thought for the day:  In the court of God mercy is abundant and justice is certain.


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Week Forty-three — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Bible Stories of Mystery and Suspense — 1 Kings 22: 37, 38


I Kings 22: 37, 38 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there.  They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the Lord had declared.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we heed the warnings you have given us.

Thought for the day:  Following the rules that are for our good is no mistake.


Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, may we be quick to heed your directions.

Thought for the day: Assembly time may be shortened, if you read the instructions first.


Lamentations 2:17 The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago.  He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.

Prayer:  Lord God, in our generation we have seen the blessings of your faithfulness.

Thought for the day:  Truth needs no refrigeration to avoid spoilage.


Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.

Prayer:  Almighty God, may we follow your will on earth as it is followed in heaven.

Thought for the day:  The God-centered life is a daily winning ticket.


Proverbs 16: 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

Prayer:  Lord God, we must trust you to right the wrongs of the world.

Thought for the day: The one who sees all is the one before whom all must stand.


Romans 12: 19, 20 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge, I will reply, “says the Lord.  On the contrary: If you enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on is head.”

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in this dark and troubled world may we show others your love.

Thought for the day:  To see your way out of darkness don’t add more darkness, add light.


2 Peter 1:20, 21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of scripture came about by the prophets’ own interpretation.  Fr prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  O Lord, may we heed the life giving word that leads in paths of righteousness.

Thought for the day:  One who has only the counsel of a pay-rolled prophet has been had.

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Week Forty-two — Verse by Verse Devotional — Bible Stories of Suspense and Murder — I Kings 22: 18,19


I Kings 21: 18, 19 “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules Samaria.  He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it.  Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says:  Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood – yes yours!”

Prayer:  Lord God, we find comfort in knowing that you do sit on high and do look low.

Thought for the day:  In God’s obituary there are no missing persons and no unsolved cases.


Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Prayer:  Almighty God, may we always find contentment in you and in the good gifts you give.

Thought for the day: The contented know the meaning of enough.


Proverbs 14: 30, 31 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.  He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God

Prayer: O God, with kindness toward all our fellow men and women we would honor you.

Thought for the day:  In the army of God there are medals for kindness.


Psalm 37:18, 19 the days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever.  In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

Prayer: Lord God, may we ever live blameless lives in your sight.

Thought for the day:  Your reputation with God is an eternal matter.


Isaiah 11:4 but with righteousness [the Messiah from Jesse’s linage] will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.  He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

Prayer:  Jesus, we give thanks for your everlasting care for the poor and needy of the earth.

Thought for the day: In the end wickedness shall not triumph.


Proverbs 22:28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.

Prayer:  Lord God, we honor the order you have placed in the world and in our families.

Thought for the day:  Even a 3-D printer cannot duplicate what’s irreplaceable in an heirloom.


Psalm 82:3, 4 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Prayer:  Lord God, you are the greatest defense attorney for the weak, the fatherless, the poor, and the oppressed.

Thought for the day: Truth is consistently defensible.


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Week Forty-one — Verse by Verse Series — Bible Stories of Suspense and Murder — Judges 12: 20,21


Judges 3: 20, 21 The Ehud approached [Eglon] while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.“ As the king rose from his seat, Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it in the king’s belly.

Prayer:  Lord God, in our generation may you raise up fearless leaders who speak and act for you.

Thought for the day: God’s leaders strike down oppression.


Judges 2:14 In his anger against Israel the Lord handed to raiders who plundered them.  He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.

Prayer: Lord God, may we ever be found faithful to you.

Thought for the day:  Every step away from God is a step closer to danger.


Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Prayer:  Almighty God, we are grateful for your dedication to your people.

Thought for the day: Only an eternal God can offer an eternal protection to God’ people.


Exodus 14: 13, 14

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

Prayer:  Lord God, we still ourselves that we may behold your mighty works.

Thought for the day:  Stilling ourselves is a mighty work.


Psalm 9: 9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Prayer:  Lord God, wrap us in the refuge of your loving-kindness.

Thought for the day: You’ll know you made the right decision, when you find yourself inside the castle as the drawbridge is raised.


Matthew 22:20, 21 and [Jesus] asked them, “Whose portrait is this?  And whose inscription?”  “Caesar’s,” they replied.  Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we follow your example may we offer a pleasing service to God.

Thought for the day:  Unlike the U. S. Treasury, God does accept payment in-kind.


Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, for your sacrifice we are forever in your debt.

Thought for the day:  Debts of love are never bitter debts.

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