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Proverbs 25:20 - Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day...

NIV Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
KJV As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

Sometimes quick answers are the worse thing to offer when people are going through a hard time.

In well meaning attempts to lift someone's spirits, we move too fast. It would seem ridiculous to visit someone who has just experienced major surgery and try to pull them out of the hospital bed to get them to exercise.

In the same way, sometimes people need the space to grieve for a while. To try to bypass a heavy heart can add more pain to the process. Sometimes the best thing that we can do is to weep when they weep, or just sit with them in silence. The comfort comes not in our cheerful songs, but our presence.

Today's Commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor Grace NYC

Discussion at:

Exodus 20:17 - You shall not covet...

NIV 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.
KJV Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

The word covet does not come up in everyday language much. But it certainly is a part of everyday life! The definition for coveting is: to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others. Behind this is a heart of ingratitude, selfishness and a belief that God has somehow withheld something from us. "I sure wish I had one of those... or, "why isn't my spouse more like them...or, "why do I have to stay in this job...?"

Wanting what we don't have displays that we are not satisfied with God's provision in our life. "I deserve better than this!" And, "I know what I need better than God does." When we believe that God is infinitely good, and we remember that he alone is sovereign, we can set all coveting aside. Another way of translating this command would be, "Be satisfied with what your generous God has given you!"

Today's Commentary by:
Caesar Kalinowski, Pastor Soma Communities

Discussion at:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in all circumstances...

NIV Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
KJV In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

If we want to know the will of God for our lives here is one clue: Give thanks in all circumstances.

One might say, "How could I give thanks? You don't know my circumstances. I have absolutely no reason to give thanks for what happened to me." But in not giving thanks we relegate ourselves to the tyranny of a broken and fallen world.

The Bible speaks of a fallen creation that needs rescue. Giving thanks reminds us and aligns us with God's rescue plan for our lives.

Today's Commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, Grace NYC

Discussion at:

1 Timothy 6:18-19 - Be generous and willing to share

NIV Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
KJV That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

When God the Father sent his only Son to earth on a rescue mission, he gave to us generously-the best that he had! We too are to live generous lives, being "rich in good deeds".

By sharing what God has given us for his glory, we can store away treasures in heaven. Life that is truly life is a life lived giving and displaying God's infinite generosity to the world. This is what we were created to do!

Discussion at:

1 Timothy 6:6-8 - For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it...

NIV But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
KJV But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Do we believe that we have a good God who knows exactly what we truly need? (need not want) Or are we discontent, continually feeling the need to provide a little more for ourselves?

Contentment is born out of faith in our hearts. We can trust in God's goodness and provision over our own today.

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Psalm 73:25 - Whom have I in heaven but You?

NIV Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
KJV Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

"God is most glorified in you, when you are most satisfied in Him -- in the midst of loss not prosperity." - John Piper

Sunday Tangle Video: John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

Discussion at:

Hebrews 12:28 - Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken...

NIV Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
KJV Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

The Scripture is clear that God has a fierce love for us. So fierce that He will shake anything that tries to compete with Him.

Why do many of our plans come into opposition? Could it be from the One who will not allow the deceit of success to carry us away from Him? This is not to say that God is against success - He wants to bless His children. But He knows where false worship will lead us and will shake everything until even success takes it's place under His majesty and glory. He will bring us back to the first commandment to have no other gods but Him.

Today's commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, Grace NYC

Discussion at:

Philippians 2:3-4 - In humility consider others better than yourselves

NIV Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
KJV Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

The enemy of harmony and unity is selfish ambition. It quickly divides us.

Paul is not saying that we should have an inferiority complex or belittle our own abilities. Rather, Christian love puts others above selfish ambition.

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Job 36:22 - Who is a teacher like Him?

NIV God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like Him?
KJV Behold, God exalteth by his power: who teacheth like him?

Job's friend Elihu advises Job not to challenge God, but rather to magnify and praise Him regardless of Job's present situation.

There is no one who teaches God. He is sovereign in who He is and all that He does.

Discussion at:

Psalm 34:1 - His praise will always be on my lips

NIV I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
KJV I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

The psalmist's resolve is to praise God in every situation and under every circumstance. Is this verse, David is giving praise to God for protection and deliverance from his enemies.

Do you praise Him during times of trial as well as times of deliverance?

Discuss at:

Proverbs 19:17 - He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD

NIV He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward him for what he has done.
KJV He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

It's important to remember that when we give to those in need, we are also giving to God! Our heavenly Father notices every act of kindness. He sees every need that you help meet. Nothing goes unnoticed.

And when we show love and compassion to others, Jesus Christ shines through. In fact, Jesus says that others will know we are His disciples by our love (John 13:35).

Next time you have the opportunity to give, remember that you are ultimately giving to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. So give generously! And know that you will be rewarded for your kindness.

Compassion :: Sponsor a Child :: Ways to Give

Galatians 6:2 - In this way you will fulfill the law of Christ...

NIV Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
KJV Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

"Burdens" are extra heavy loads, which here represent difficulties or problems that we struggle with. "Bear" (KJV) connotes carrying something with endurance.

Supporting or carrying someone's weight requires being actively involved with your brother or sister, not supporting from afar.

Actively encouraging those of the household of faith can mean praying, bringing food, holding one's hand during a trial, or just actively listening and encouraging.

The Lord actively supports us during our times of need. Follow His example -- who can you support in their time of need?

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Revelation 22:17 - Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come...

NIV The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
KJV And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:17 - Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come...The final chapter of the Bible contains an open invitation for salvation. The plea is urgent and the gift offered freely to all who desire to have their thirsty souls quenched.

Related Video: "Come to Christ, He is Mighty to Save" - by Paul Washer

Discussion at:

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day the LORD has made

NIV This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
KJV This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

How did you start your day this morning? Did you awaken with joy? Are you refreshed knowing that today is a gift from the Lord?

Or are you dragging? Just barely making it with complaint after complaint? The weather... the kids... the.. job.... so many burdens to bear.

There are many things that HE prepared in advance for you to do. Be glad of the gift and serve Him today with joy.

What does this verse mean to you? Discuss at:

Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another

NIV Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
KJV And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Being kind to one another means being generous, empathetic, friendly, benevolent, and gentle. A tenderhearted person is empathetic and loving toward all. Our Savior possessed all these qualities.

We are to open our hearts to others. We are instructed to forgive as Christ forgave us. Not forgiving your brother causes anger and bitterness to dwell in your heart.

Love, joy and tenderness cannot overflow from a bitter heart.

What does this verse mean to you? Discuss at:

Romans 8:38-39 - nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord

NIV For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
KJV For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Absolutely nothing can separate us from God's love. The author of Romans, Paul, was searching for words to describe God's love for us and concluded that nothing in all creation, in Heaven or on Earth, can tear us away from the love of God.

If God is for us, and nothing can separate us from Him, then our security in Him is absolute. Live your life knowing you have the unwavering love of the almighty God.

Discuss at:

Proverbs 8:10-11 - For wisdom is more precious than rubies

NIV Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
KJV Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

Wisdom is to be desired above diamonds, rubies, money, status, or any material possession we desire.

Wisdom yields benefits that go far beyond material comfort and convenience. For it leads us to truth and glorifies God with our lives. Seek wisdom, pray for it and desire it.

Discuss at:

James 1:5-6 - If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God

NIV If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
KJV If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Doubting means "to be divided in one's mind" or "to debate." The term describes a divided allegiance, an uncertainty.

When we ask for wisdom, we need to do so boldly and humbly, trusting God will bless us with the wisdom we need.

What do you need to seek His wisdom for?

Cease your doubt and receive the sweet wisdom that only God can provide. He gives it generously to all those who will receive it without doubt.

Discuss at:

Matthew 11:28 - Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened

NIV Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
KJV Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jesus invites all those who need rest to come to Him. The yoke was a double harness in which two animals pulled together. Often, one harness was larger and meant for the stronger, more experienced animal while the other harness was meant for the less experienced animal. Our strength can never measure up to our mighty Savior. Thankfully, Jesus invites all those who are weary to walk next to Him, allowing His strength to lift the heavy burden off our shoulders.

Whatever is weighing you down this day, go to God and hand over the reins, rest in His peace, and lighten your load. No matter how heavy your burden, His mighty strength is waiting to lighten your load, your mind and your heart. Come to Him and He will give you rest.

Discuss at:

Ephesians 5:28-29 - Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies

NIV In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-
KJV So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

A husband who understands and fully believes that his wife is truly his own flesh (Gen 2:24) will treat her with the same love and care as he treats himself.

Sunday Video:

"I Love My Wife" - by The Skit Guys

Eddie tells Tommy about how much he loves his wife... but how often does he actually tell her those three little words?

Discuss at:

Psalm 139:17-18 - How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

NIV How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
KJV How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

The author, David, expresses his praise to God for His infinite mind compared to the limited mind of man.

Today, marvel at the thoughts of God, how deep, how wide, and be filled with awe.

Discuss at:

Psalm 103:11-12 - as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us

NIV For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
KJV For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

We cannot measure the height of the heavens (space) and likewise, we cannot measure His love for us. His love is immeasurable! In the same way, that is how far He has removed our sins from us -- as far as the east is from the west.

It's a gift to know that once we are forgiven of our sin, God swiftly removes it from us, taking it to immeasurable distances.

What sin in your life are you not letting go of? Let the Almighty take your sin and separate it from you by infinity, so that you may be ever growing closer to Him.

Discuss at:

Ephesians 5:8 - Live as children of light

NIV For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
KJV For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Paul, The author of Ephesians, calls for Christians to live as children of the light, always sharing the light that has been given to us. Live as that light! Reflect the blessed righteousness of God.

Are you living in darkness and sin that separates you from the Lord, or are you soaking in and reflecting the precious light of the Almighty?

Discuss at:

James 4:3 - When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives

NIV When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
KJV Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

In James 4 the author, James, is specifically speaking about prayers seeking our own worldly gain and not God's glory.

Prayer is a blessing to each of us -- the constant ability to commune with the Almighty. When we go to God in prayer, it's important to understand that God knows what's best for us. We may not understand now or in this lifetime, but He does.

Our ultimate goal and privilege is to bring glory to God in our lives. James is asking us to look into our hearts and submit ourselves and our prayers to Christ and not our own selfish desires.

Look into your own life and examine the heart of your prayers. To God be the glory.

Lamentations 3:22-23 - His compassions never fail -- They are new every morning

NIV Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
KJV It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The author (possibly the prophet Jeremiah) spent chapter 3 exposing the grief he felt not only for himself but for the suffering community that he was a part of. He felt his life was in ruins.

After his lament he says, "yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope (v. 21)" that God's love and compassion is never failing and new every morning. Great is His faithfulness to us.

No matter the struggles, challenges and obstacles you have in your life, wake up every morning and know that each day is a new opportunity to bask in His love and compassion, like the sun. No matter your circumstances, His love is there, never failing, new every morning.