1 Corinthians 5:6-8


6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Job 19:25-27

Job 19:25-27  NIV

25 I know that my redeemer lives,

    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

26 And after my skin has been destroyed,

    yet in my flesh I will see God;

27 I myself will see him

    with my own eyes—I, and not another.

    How my heart yearns within me!

Lord, I choose to trust You today.  I may not understand everything that is going on in my life, but I understand that You are in control, You are working out Your will for my life, and You love me with an undying love.  I thank You that no matter what I go through, I don’t go through it alone, because You are with me every step of the way.  Be near me today, Lord.  I need You.  Amen.

Psalm 27:1-14

Psalm 27:1-14 TNIV

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 

2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 

3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 

4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. 

5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 

6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. 

7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. 

8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. 

9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 

10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. 

11 Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. 

13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Isaiah 45:5-6

Isaiah 45:5-6  NIV


5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;

    apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

    though you have not acknowledged me,

6 so that from the rising of the sun

    to the place of its setting

people may know there is none besides me.

    I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Proverbs 18:21

Proverbs 18:21 NIV

21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Mark 11:24

Mark 11:24 TNIV

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Praying Hands

Amos 6:3, 7

The Results of a Life Wasted

Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, who cause the seat of violence to come near… They shall now go captive as the first of the captives, and those who recline at banquets shall be removed.  Amos 6:3, 7

Jesus said that few people enter by the narrow gate, which leads to life, while many take the way of the wide gate, which leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13, 14).  Christ took the challenge of taking the narrow path.  He died painfully so we could live gainfully.

Living with Christ in us is the only way to live a life of purpose.  He came to demonstrate love and joy.  He said, “I came so your joy may be full” (John 15:11), and taught that this involves seeking first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).  This teaching is very similar to God’s command to Israel never to put anyone or anything ahead of Him (Exodus 20:3).  Colossians 1:18 says that “in all things” Christ is to “have the preeminence”; He is to be first in everything.  Even the very first words of Scripture point to God’s superiority, and thus, His secret to a blessed life: “In the beginning, God,” from which we can understand, “First – God!”  Throughout His Word, He continually reminds us of this foundational truth.

psalm 38 1 john 1 9

Those who spend their time and talents using any other priority system will eventually experience a wasted life.  Jesus warned people not to do this when He said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).  So how do we keep from living this wasted life?  By reordering our priorities according to God, the Creator of life, as He reveals Himself through His Word.

Remember why God leaves us on earth after He gives us salvation through Christ – for the purpose of conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).  God designed us to become like those we hang around, and He wants us to hang out, or fellowship, with Him.  He blesses those who do.  We must discipline ourselves to invest daily time with God.  Start by reading the Book of John over and over.  Marinate in the Book of Psalms.  Wear out 1 John 1:9!  Becoming Jesus’ devout disciple will result in a blessed purpose-filled life here on earth, and a rewarded life in heaven forever!  After our time on earth, will there be anything more important than God taking us in His arms and saying, “Well done, My child”?

Father, help me use my time and talents to represent You instead of my own desires, and to live each day with a focus on eternal, not worldly things.  Amen.

Bobby Joiner, Leesburg, GA

Ephesians 5:15-17

Ephesians 5:15-17 TNIV

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."


Proverbs 28:13

Proverbs 28:13 TNIV

"Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and renounce them find mercy."


Philippians 4:5

Philippians 4:5 TNIV

"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."


Ephesians 4:32

Ephesians 4:32 TNIV

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."


Colossians 3:15

Colossians 3:15 NIV

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.


Nehemiah 6:1-4

Nehemiah 6:1-4

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Enemy’s Plot


6 Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, 2 then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me. 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” 4 They sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way.

Message from Andy Stanley today:

Philippians 4:6, 7

When We Pray About Everything, God Answers

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6, 7

Don't Worry

What do you do when you worry?  Do you lose sleep?  Is your mind dominated by anxious thoughts?  Do you think of the worst possible scenarios that might occur?  Does your stress level go through the roof?  The Bible tells us that we should “be anxious for nothing.”  It seems that it’s easier to worry about our circumstances than to trust God with them.

The Bible assures Christians that when we pray, God hears us (1 John 5:15).  The difficult situations you encounter and problems you face do not come as a surprise to Him.  So when troubles come your way, instead of wasting your time in worry, invest some time in prayer.  Worry is a nasty weed that is killed only through prayer.  Prayer eliminates worry.  Remember, if you are God’s child, you’re in good hands.  Prayer reminds you that no matter what you face, God can handle it.  An old Jamaican proverb does a good job of summarizing the biblical view of worry and prayer.  It simply states, “If you’re going to pray, don’t worry; if you’re going to worry, don’t pray.”

Worry begins to dominate our lives when we take our eyes off God and focus on our circumstances.  In contrast, when we pray, we take our eyes off our circumstances and focus on God.  The promise found in today’s passage is comforting.  “The peace of God… will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  God’s answer is always peace when we trust Him.  The next time you start to feel anxious, turn to God in prayer and experience His peace filling your heart, leaving no room for worry.  

Dear Lord I pray that when problems come my way, my natural inclination will be to trust You instead of worrying.  I am blessed to know that every time I pray Your answer is peace.  I know there’s nothing that will come my way that You cannot handle.  Teach me to trust You, believe You, and depend on You in prayer.  Amen.

Dr. Jim Perdue, Millington, TN

Romans 12:19-21

Romans 12:19-21 NIV

19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Romans 5:3-4

Romans 5:3-4 NIV

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 5:3-4

Deuteronomy 6:5

5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV


Daniel 6:10, 11

Serving God Is a Choice

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When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home.  And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before God, as was his custom since early days.  Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.  Daniel 6:10, 11

Every day is filled with choices and decisions.  Some are small issues, such as what you will have for breakfast or what clothes you will wear.  There is another choice that confronts you daily, and it’s no trivial issue.  In fact, your decision on this issue will clarify all other choices you will make.  Here’s the question: will I or will I not acknowledge God by seeking Him in prayer today?

The Old Testament prophet Daniel is a towering personality in the Bible.  He is one of the very few of whom the Bible records no bad report.  God so favored Daniel that He entrusted him with the visions of the end of time and the return of Jesus Christ.  Why Daniel?  Because Daniel chose to be a man of prayer.  He kept daily appointments with God that resulted in God’s divine favor on his life.  Daniel’s success is really no secret.  He left his windows open for us to watch him!  The biblical account records Daniel kneeling to talk to God three times a day.  You may be thinking, I am just too busy to do that.  Remember Daniel’s vocation?  He was a high-ranking official in the Persian Empire.  Daniel was extremely busy, yet he chose each day to bow in God’s presence.

How deceived we are to view prayer as wasted time.  Prayer is actually a time-saver.  Think about it: instead of spending time in worry and turmoil, we can run to God in prayer and receive peace.  Will you choose this day to come into God’s presence?  It’s always the best choice when we get on our knees and seek God.  It’s the most significant choice we make all day.

Lord, what a privilege it is to come into Your presence in prayer throughout this day.  I thank You for hearing my praises and petitions.  You are worthy of all my praises, and You are able in all my petitions.  I bless Your strong name!  Amen.

Jeff Crook, Flowery Branch, GA