Verses of the Day — 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

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Hey guys!

Today’s verses read, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

On June 28th, 1991, in Las Vegas, Colorado viewers witnessed the greatest show of strength and endurance many of them have probably still ever seen. On this day, “Iron” Mike Tyson and Donovan “Razor” Ruddock faced each other in a well-anticipated rematch. In the previous match, Mike Tyson pummeled Donovan so hard that the referee finally had to call the match. However, in this new match, Ruddock was not going to take that. Even though he lost, he endured until the end and the match didn’t have to be called. They fought out all 12 rounds and Mike Tyson only won based on the judges’ decision. So, what’s so interesting about this match? Well, in the third round, Ruddock was actually grounded with a broken jaw. Now, I know some of y’all might be thinking, “But I thought they fought all 12 rounds?” Well, that’s exactly right! And THAT’S what’s so interesting about this match. Donovan “Razor” Ruddock suffered a broken jaw in the third round of the match, but he still endured to the end and actually finished stronger than he started. This is an awesome show of staying power, but in the church these days, this kind of endurance is rarely seen. One of the problems with the church today is that we quit on God. And we quit on God because we’re not using the right weapons. We have to stop using physical weapons and start using spiritual weapons because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds”

In our text, we can see that there is a clear difference between us and unbelievers. The unbelievers are vying for a crown that’s going to wither away and die. Theirs won’t last. But we as Christians are striving for a crown that will last forever. Isn’t that a blessing? We don’t have to waste our time trying to get something that won’t last. We get to spend our time and energy on something that will last. And that’s not a waste. But it only works out this way if we actually make our goal the heavenly crown. A lot of Christians today have the wrong goals. They’re trying to please man and do things for man’s glory and leaving God by the wayside. But God tells us in His word that this is not right. The Bible says that our focus should be on things above and not on worldly things (Colossians 3:2). Listen to that again. Our focus should be on things above and not on worldly things. Focus. The definition of focus is a main purpose or interest. Striving towards God has to be our purpose! We have to be interested in God and not interested in the world. Once we get to that point, we can begin growing in Christ.

~Xena Callaham

Do better. Think better. Be better.

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Verse of the Day — Romans 14:13

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Hey guys!

Today’s verse reads, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

In this chapter, Paul starts out by talking about faith. He says that we must learn to accept each other and our differences in faith because God has accepted all of us. He states that everything a person does or thinks, they do it unto the Lord because none of us walks alone in life. Paul says that whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord and this is why Jesus came back, to be the Lord of both the living and the dead. Paul questions what kind of sense it makes for us to judge one another when we all have to  stand before God’s judgement. He then asserts that nothing is in and of itself unclean, but it is made unclean by a person’s thinking. Paul asks that we not do anything but what leads to peace and mutual edification. He uses the metaphor of food to say that eating or drinking anything that causes a brother or sister to fall is wrong, though no food itself is unclean. Paul ends by basically telling us to keep our mouth shut in general as he says to keep our thoughts on these things to ourselves.

Now. To our verse. The first thing we get is a very clear commandment. Stop judging each other! Paul makes a good point when he implicates what sense is there in judging one another when God’s going to judge us all? And there is no judgment greater than God’s so anything we try to do by judging one another is basically saying that God’s judgement is inadequate or that we can do it better. And boy is that untrue. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. Judging others is something we’ve been doing our whole lives. It’s something we don’t even realize we are doing sometimes. Even when we compare ourselves to someone else we are judging them. But, I believe the next part of the verse is inspiring enough to give incentive to try our very best to stop judging others.

Paul says “Make up your mind”! No one else can do it for us! This is something we have to do on our own. This makes it even better. God will bless us all the more if we decide this on our own. We must make up our minds not to do anything to cause our brothers and sisters to fall. How inspiring is that? To have that goal? To aspire to be blameless. To aspire to be that great of a person. I think that’s a wonderful goal to have and I want each of you to take on this goal. I will do it too and post my progress.

~Xena Callaham

Do better. Think better. Be better.

Verse of the Day — 1 Corinthians 2:9

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Hey guys! 

Today’s verse reads, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Today’s verse is simple for encouragement. The only thing to take away from this verse is purely what it says, so make this a verse that you memorize.

In this chapter, Paul begins by telling the Corinthians that he did not come to them acting all high and mighty and preaching using fancy words. He says that he came very humble and weak and the only thing he knew was about God and his power. For this, Paul was grateful so the Corinthians’ faith might rest on God’s power rather than man’s wisdom. Paul then clarifies that they do, however, speak a message of elderly wisdom. Then he starts talking about the Spirit. Paul says that the Spirit knows all things, even things of God. He says that we have the Spirit so that we may have some understanding of the things of God. Paul talks about how people without the Spirit consider the words that we speak that come from the Spirit to be foolishness because they do not have the discernment that only the Spirit gives. Paul ends by telling us that we have the mind of Christ 🙂

So, God has a mystery prize for us! How exciting is that? And the only thing we have to do to get the prize is to love Him. That makes me happy, because it is easy to love God. I say this because He does so many good things for us and He loves us unconditionally. To know that you have someone who wants you to be the best you that you can be and that continually puts things in your path so that you may achieve that…how could you not love them?

Something that I would like to point out is that God has already prepared these things for us. Past tense. There is nothing that we have to worry about because God has already provided for us everything that we need. The blessings that we receive from God are unknown to us because they are so great! It’s so amazing that God knows us so well that He gives us something to look forward to. He knows that life here on Earth can be hard at times and sometimes we may just feel like quitting. But He gave us something to look forward to and that is amazing.

~Xena Callaham

Do better. Think better. Be better.

Verse of the Day — Psalms 32:5

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Hey guys!

Today’s verse reads, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

In this chapter, David says that blessed is he whose sins are forgiven and in whose spirit there is no deceit. He tells of how when he didn’t tell his sins, the Lord’s hand was heavy upon him. David calls the Lord his hiding place and he is certain that the Lord will protect him. He ends by telling the righteous to rejoice in the Lord and sing.

This verse is very connected to what I was talking about yesterday when I talked about forgiveness, so for more on this subject, check out yesterday’s post.

The main thing I want to point out from this verse is that David did not try and cover up his sins. A lot of the time, we are so ashamed of the things that we have done that we try and pretend like they never happened. We “move on” though in reality, we are still stuck in the same place because we refuse to deal with what we have done. We forget that God’s forgiveness is perfect and we think that if we just don’t acknowledge the sin, that it will go away. However, in this chapter David lets us know that this is not so. He lets us know that the Lord was harder on him when he did not confess his sins than when he did. And it was only when David confessed that the Lord forgave him.

So, we must keep this verse in mind. As long as we confess our sins, we will be healed and forgiven. And only then will we truly be able to move on and become better in the Lord.

~Xena Callaham

Do better. Think better. Be better.

John 3:17

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“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

This is another verse that continually blesses me.

It’s good to be reminded sometimes that Jesus came to save us and not to condemn us. For me, this is especially important. I always get bogged down thinking that God is like humans. A lot of people that I have encountered in my short time on this earth have just put me down and held my transgressions against me. Because of this, it’s been extremely easy for me to think that all people and even God is like that. But our God is not like that. Our God forgives completely. God’s forgiveness and mercies are new each day no matter what we do. This has been the biggest blessing to me because trying to become a better person has not been easy for me, but I know that God will finish the good work that He started in me because the Bible tells me so. I hope that my testimony will be a blessing to everyone to whom I tell it.

Revelation 21:4

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“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”

This verse makes me want to cry (in a good way!) because it is so beautiful. This verse signifies the immense and complete hope that we have in Christ. This verse states that God is going to wipe away the tears of His people! Imagine the God of the entire world comforting you and wiping away your tears…what could be a better feeling? The comfort that God brings just from His word is unlike anything man can give to you. So, to actually be in His presence which would already be fulfilling in itself, would just be an emotional overflow in the very best way.

No more death — No more grieving from the passing of loved ones because we will already be in heaven with them.

Neither sorrow — All sufferings will be washed away

Nor crying — There will only be happiness

Neither shall there be any pain — Have you ever just had pain in your body? A constant pain? Imagine it gone…

For the former things are passed away — Everything bad that you have ever done or that has ever happened to you…even all the good things, all gone and replaced with better days.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this verse with you guys because it blesses me every time I read it.

Verses of the Day — Colossians 1:13-14

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Hey guys!

Today’s verses read, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians is a great place to start if you are seeking to learn more about who God is and what that means in terms of who we are. In this chapter, Paul is thanking God for the people in the church of Colossae because of their love and hope. He tells them that he has never stopped praying for them. He then takes the time to describe the Son and talks about how the people are now reconciled for God’s purpose. Paul ends by talking about his own labor’s in the church.

I love these two verses because they show how powerful God is. Let’s talk about the words “dominion of darkness”. That’s powerful. In this instance, dominion is used to mean “an often oppressive force”. This means that God saving us from this is not something to be taken lightly. The Bible says that we were slaves to sin, which is the darkness that the verse speaks of (Romans 6:20). The fact that God can save us from that shows His great power and gives us reassurance that His dominion is good and greater than any other. This part of the verse also speaks to the light that God is and that we must shine out from within ourselves. Because God’s light is so powerful, it was able to defeat the darkness. We also have that light because we are adopted children of God. This means that we should not be afraid of any darkness or sin because God has already given us the ability to conquer it.

The verse says that God rescued us and brought us to a new place in the kingdom of His son. This shows His care for us. The word “rescue” has connotations of grace, love, and care all of which God has for us. He loved us enough to rescue us and bring us under the wing of His son in whom we have redemption. Rescuing someone from death…if that’s not love, I don’t know what is! 

Redemption is another important word in this text. It indicates a release from not only the doom of sin, but also the guilt of sin. With God’s forgiveness, we have no need to feel guilty from the bad things we have done. His forgiveness is complete, so we can simply move on and be better people. In our world today, complete redemption is rare if not impossible to find. This speaks to the perfection of God. He is not like humans.

So, how can we use these two verses in our daily lives? We just have to remember that God rescued us and that in His son we have complete liberation from the guilt and doom of sin. If we keep those two things in mind, we will have the peace that God is always willing to give us, if we just tap into it. Not only will we have peace, but we will become better people, because when you don’t have guilt weighing you down, you are free to start doing the right thing. I hope this helps all of us become better Christians.

~Xena Callaham

Do better. Think better. Be better.