Category Archives: Daily Encouragement

Proverbs 6:16, 19

16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

 

When the Old Testament presents a number plus one, the last point is usually what the other points are about. Someone who purposely misrepresents facts and a person who causes divisions among the community of faith are in dangerous territory, because covert actions within the church are never seen in a good light. It’s time for the church to keep these behaviors from flourishing. May we preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Psalm 16:1-2

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

True security comes when God is the center of all that we think or do. The Psalmist knows that circumstances shift and people can come and go, yet it is God who keeps us safe in the midst of change. This could explain why God portrays Himself as jealous for us, for He is the only One who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Those who embrace this find a place of shelter from the storms of life.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Paul does not leave it up to us to define what living a life of love is. We may try to define it as having strong feelings for someone, or displaying passionate enthusiasm like we do at sports events, but Paul has a different standard. Love is based upon how Christ has loved us. Jesus Christ laid down His life so we could live for God, now we are called to lay our lives down for others. This is what it means to be an imitator of God.

James 5:19-20

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

It is unnerving when we understand that the sinner that James is referring to is a believer. It seems that to passively watch while other members of the household of faith drift from the gospel is not acceptable. We are called to engage with others in such a way that we are willing to leave the ninety nine to go after the one who strays, for God rejoices when his sheep are brought back.

John 4:10

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

The woman at the well only saw a stranger who seemed very forward, but Jesus saw a woman who was trying to quench her thirst for God by relationships with men. Jesus was offering her something better. We can try to satisfy our thirst with career, money, and a host of other things, but can we see the gift of God in Jesus Christ, and are we willing to approach Jesus in prayer and ask for a drink? Living water is waiting to quench the real thirst in our souls.

Exodus 2:5-6

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

The shocking thing about this story is that Moses was protected and raised by the very people who were massacring every newborn Hebrew boy they could find. The great deliverer of the Jews was nurtured by the Egyptians. Do you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances? Remember that God can use anything to bring about His purposes.

Galatians 1:3-5

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The word “rescue” implies that we are in crisis and need help. What does Christ rescue us from? Our sins and this present evil age. Our struggles are both internal and external; we struggle against our desire to rebel against God, and we are bombarded by a world that wants to pull us into its grasp. Yet God is greater than both, for Christ died to take our internal turmoil upon Himself and empower us through the Holy Spirit to flourish in this world.

2 Samuel 22:17-18

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

This was a song that David sang when he was delivered from King Saul, who was trying to kill David. A feeling of relief is throughout the song as David recounts that he could not deliver himself, but God saved him. Have you ever felt in waters so deep that you knew you couldn’t swim out of them? Take heart, for the same God who delivered David can rescue us. When you know that the opposition is far stronger than you are, let God take hold of you in your despair. He can and He will deliver you.

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

This passage is in the middle of Jesus teaching that He is the good shepherd. Shepherds in that day would build makeshift pens for the sheep to sleep in. If a thief wanted to try to steal sheep, they would have to scale the boundaries that the shepherd built. To keep this from happening, good shepherds would sleep in the doorway of the pen, ever alert to danger. The boundaries that Jesus sets up are not to make our lives dull and meaningless, but to repel the attacks of those who want to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus offers us life, and life to the fullest.

Nehemiah 2:4-5

The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven,

Nehemiah has been praying and preparing to ask the king for supplies and military protection to rebuild Jerusalem. Now comes the great moment. Notice that when the king presents the opportunity that Nehemiah has been waiting for, Nehemiah does not rush headlong forward-he says a silent prayer just before his answer. These prayers don’t have to be out loud or long, but the art of the internal prayer to God can keep us on track when opportunity opens itself to us.