Jesus is our center!

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Phil Ware

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Jesus is our center! He is the hub around which we turn. Rather than trying to add on to the truth of Jesus, we must learn to accept it and trust it in child-like faith. But that child-like faith must be nourished and grown. As Jesus remains our central focus and our hearts remain thankful to God for his grace, we will that our faith is strengthened and that Jesus is more real than ever.


Holy and Righteous God, please give me eyes to see evil and avoid it. Please give me wisdom to know deceptive and false teaching when it is placed before me. Empower me to live a thankful life of holiness so that I can live in Jesus to your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Gift

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

As a child, I loved to receive gifts. In such a simple time of life, a gift meant I was loved. I didn’t worry about the significance or hidden message in a gift. I wasn’t concerned about the “strings attached” to the gift. It was just a gift — a free expression of love I didn’t deserve, given to me by someone who truly cared for me. Isn’t it great to get to be God’s child and receive his gift and know we can receive it as a child?!


Thank you, generous Father, for the gift of grace, the gift of faith, the gift of salvation, and most of all, the gift of Jesus. I know I can never repay these gifts, but I look forward to saying “Thank you!” through my lifestyle now and I look forward to continuing to say “Thank you!” through all eternity. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

~ Phil Ware

Verse of the Day – 2/2/12

From inside the fish Jonah prayed … “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.”
Jonah 2:1-2 (NIV)

Phil Ware

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Jonah was disobedient, rebellious, and selfish. He had run from the Lord. He had shunned the Lord’s command. He had endangered the lives of those on the ship where he had tried to hide. Yet even in the middle of his rebellion, God heard his cry and delivered him. If you are in rebellion, if you are seeking to hide some secret and all-consuming sin, please know the Lord wants to ransom and redeem you! Things won’t be easy, but coming back to the Lord means ultimate redemption and deliverance.


Holy and righteous Father, please forgive me for the times that I am in rebellion to your will. Help me to recognize those times and give me the strength to avoid those temptations. In your grace, dear Father, please not only help me to live as you want me to live but also lead me to someone else who needs to know of your grace and redemption. Please use me to help them escape from their bondage to sin and shame. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.



Verse of the Day – January 24, 2012

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you
before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to
the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and
forevermore! Amen.
— Jude 1:24-25

What a great cluster of truths are found in this one prayer of
blessing. Our eyes are first drawn to what God can do for us —
prevent us from falling and present us before his glorious presence
in joyful perfection. But on closer inspection, our hearts are
drawn to the description of our incredible God: the one who is
able, the only God, our Savior, the one who lives in glory and
majesty and power and authority, the one who has communicated to us
through Jesus our Lord, and the one who exists before all ages and
who is alive now and who will be forevermore. Our blessings as
God’s children are incredible, but the reason why they are is that
our God is beyond incredible, awesome, and wonderful. Our words
cannot do him justice. Our brightest insights cannot comprehend the
glory he has. Yet despite his grandeur, he loves you and me in our
finite mortality!

Awesome and Holy Lord Most High, thank you for not only being
God, but for loving me and showing yourself to me in the face of
Jesus. I look forward to standing in your presence, enjoying your
shared perfection, and praising your glory with the angels. Please
accept my limited and human praise until the day my words are
unchained from their mortality and my imperfections are swallowed
up in your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Verse of the Day – Let’s not let generosity and concern for those less fortunate be a once a year thing!

When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf,
do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless
and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the
work of your hands.
— Deuteronomy 24:19

This is clearly a passage old Scrooge hadn’t seen! God has
always set aside a provision for the poor. In this time of the year
when many people the world over take special time to look after those
who are less fortunate, let’s open our date books and schedule a
week to dedicate time for special generosity in May and in August
to go with a heart committed to be generous all the time. Let’s not
let generosity and concern for those less fortunate be a once a
year thing!

For all of your wonderful gifts of kindness and grace, I thank
you, dear Father and God. Please stir my heart to care for others
as you do. Please help me keep that spirit of concern alive all
year long and not just around Christmas time. In Jesus’ name I ask
this. Amen.

Verse of the Day – November 30

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with
    — Psalm 69:30

   When was the last time you sang praises to God outside a church
or devotional service? Why not open up the Psalms and find several
verses that reflect your own praise and thanks to God and give them
a tune — your own tune! God doesn’t care if your spiritual gift is
music or not; he’s just listening for your heart to be full of joy
as you share your praise and thanksgiving with him.

   O gracious Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, forgive
me for relegating my thanksgiving and praise to special days and
special places. I praise you for creating your human children with
the capacity to celebrate goodness, to rejoice in your creation,
and to have the capacity for praise and thanksgiving. Thank you for
making our world so full of reasons to offer thanks to you, our
Abba Father and Creator. As you continually fill me with your
Spirit, may my heart overflow with songs of praise and words of
thanksgiving. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen.

Verse of the Day – November 28 – Do everything without complaining or arguing

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may
become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a
crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in
the universe.
— Philippians 2:14-15

“Don’t complain or argue!” We don’t normally associate these
things with purity and blamelessness. Paul was extraordinarily
close to the Philippians and knew them well. He knew their
weaknesses and shortcomings. He also knew the destructive power
that complaining and arguing have on the life of an otherwise
vibrant community of Christians. Let’s heed his warning today, as
we see church after church taken under by the negative and cynical
spirit that pervades modern culture.

Forgive me and cleanse me, O God, from my argumentative spirit.
Please empower me with your Spirit to use my speech only to bless
and to build up, never to tear down or discourage. In Jesus’ name I
pray. Amen.

Verse of the Day 11/11/11

1 Peter 3: 3-4

3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—

arranging the hair,

wearing gold,

or putting on fine apparel—

4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart,

with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,

which is very precious in the sight of God.

Verse of the Day – November 10, 2011

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the
dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my
blessing on your descendants.
— Isaiah 44:3

Growing up in West Texas in part of my early years, I certainly
know what “thirsty land” truly is. The black dirt shrinks, leaving
deep cracks in the ground. All the grass turns yellow, then brown,
and then dies. A wisp of breeze stirs swirls of dust over the
barren land. When the downpour finally comes, the “thirsty land”
swallows voluminous amounts of water as the rain runs off the wet
surface and finds its way into the deep cracks left from the
drought. The ground swells, the grass comes back to life, and life
is replenished. In a barren spiritual wasteland, God’s Holy Spirit
pours out his blessing, brings times of refreshment, and
replenishes our thirsty hearts.

Generous and loving Father, thank you for so many blessings you
have poured into my life. Most of all, dear Father, thank you for
the blessing of your presence, your strength, your grace, and your
refreshment given to me through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I
thank you. Amen.

Verse of the Day – November 9

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things
beyond our understanding.
— Job 37:5

How does God help us know his will? Clearly God has given us the
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to help us understand the
Scriptures. What about more subtle and less defined ways? Most of
us have had a “cluster of divine coincidences” (several events in
close proximity to prayer): a friend calls/writes at just the right
time; we read an article or hear a sermon that has a comment or two
directed at just the area of our concern or confusion; several
songs in worship convict us in the area on which we are seeking the
Lord’s guidance; or we simply feel a pull on our conscience that
helps us discern right from wrong in a difficult situation. God
really means it when he says that if we will pray for wisdom
without doubting he’ll give it to us and that if we are truly
seeking him we will find him. His voice does thunder in marvelous

Holy God, please help me discern your will about several
important matters in my life. I don’t want to make my decisions
based on my limited human wisdom. Please lead me by your Spirit in
the direction you want me to go and use me to bring you glory and
praise. Thank you for caring about my life enough to show me your
way more clearly. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.