VIDEO Look and Ask

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2

A boss assigns a young worker a task in the warehouse. Later the boss stops by unexpectedly to find his employee scrolling through his phone. The worker hops up and points to his completed task. But the boss says, “You could have looked for other things to do or at least asked for your next assignment. Don’t be satisfied with doing the bare minimum; there are always things to be done.”

The Bible says that Jesus’ return for His Church—the beginning of the Day of the Lord—will come like “a thief in the night.” That is, it will come unexpectedly, which raises the apostle Peter’s question: “What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” in light of Christ’s unexpected return (2 Peter 3:11-12)? As we wait for the return of Christ and the end of the age, are we content to do “the bare minimum” as believers? Or are we looking and asking for ways in which to serve Him as faithful disciples until He returns (Luke 12:35-38)?

Look and ask today for ways to serve Jesus as you watch for His appearing.

The highest honor in the church is not government but service. John Calvin

Verse by Verse Bible Study | 1 Thessalonians 5 | Gary Hamrick

All for Jesus

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Colossians 3:17

When Jeff was fourteen, his mom took him to see a famous singer. Like many musicians of his era, B. J. Thomas had gotten caught up in a self-destructive lifestyle while on music tours. But that was before he and his wife were introduced to Jesus. Their lives were radically changed when they became believers in Christ.

On the night of the concert, the singer began to entertain the enthusiastic crowd. But after performing a few of his well-known songs, one guy yelled out from the audience, “Hey, sing one for Jesus!” Without any hesitation, B. J. responded, “I just sang four songs for Jesus.”

It’s been a few decades since then, but Jeff still remembers that moment when he realized that everything we do should be for Jesus—even things that some might consider to be “nonreligious.”

We’re sometimes tempted to divvy up the things we do in life. Read the Bible. Share our story of coming to faith. Sing a hymn. Sacred stuff. Mow the lawn. Go for a run. Sing a country song. Secular stuff.

Colossians 3:16 reminds us that the message of Christ indwells us in activities like teaching, singing, and being thankful, but verse 17 goes even further. It emphasizes that as God’s children, “whatever [we] do, whether in word or deed, [we] do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

We do it all for Him.

By:  Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

How can you do all things in the name of Jesus? How might you allow God to use your actions and words for His glory?

Loving God, help me to surrender every one of my activities and words to You.

For further study, read God’s Expectations.

Choosing Love

God may at times ask you to lay down your rights in order to show someone His love Matthew 5:38-48

There’s a lot about the kingdom of heaven that doesn’t make sense to our earthly way of thinking. For example, today’s passage says, “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also” (v. 39). Who wants to do that? And while we learned yesterday that God loves us, we also saw there’s nothing we can do to earn or deserve His love. In fact, we’re now going to see how to extend that love to others. 

There’s a lot of talk about rights these days, but instead of focusing on ourselves, we should do what Jesus did—lay down our rights so we can take up the cause of a holy kingdom. In short, instead of focusing on ourselves, we should be more concerned about showing God’s love to those around us—even to those who are doing wrong. Keep in mind that Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you … For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same?” (vv. 44-46). 

Before assuming that Jesus’ capacity for forgiveness and love is out of reach for mere human beings, remember: His Holy Spirit dwells in believers. As a result, God’s love works through us. You can’t lose when you show others the boundless care and compassion of the Lord. 

Memory and the Holy Spirit

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

John wrote his detailed discourses of Jesus (almost half of the verses in John’s gospel consist of His words) approximately 50 years after Christ spoke them, yet John was able to report them verbatim because of the supernatural memory of them brought back by the Holy Spirit. The same must have been true for the other biblical writers as they recalled words and events of years before.

In a real, though different, sense, the Holy Spirit also can “bring to our remembrance” the words of Scriptures just when they are especially needed in witnessing or for personal guidance or some other need. This will only be operational, of course, if they have first been stored in our memory, either by direct memorization or by such frequent reading and studying of the Bible as to make it a part of our subconscious memory.

Recall how the unlearned fisherman Peter was able to quote long passages of Scripture when he needed them (see, for example, Acts 2:16-21, 25-28, 34-35). He had apparently spent much time in studying and even memorizing key portions of the Old Testament. Jesus, of course, frequently quoted Scripture in His conversations, and Paul quoted Scripture abundantly in his epistles. Should we not do the same?

Scripture memorization has been a great blessing to many Christians over the years but seems to have become almost a lost art in this day and age. Nevertheless, Christ has promised answered prayer “if ye abide in me, and my words abide in you” (John 15:7). So, as Paul urged, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). HMM

Two Kingdoms



One represents the spiritual, the other the material.


Between the eternal, and the temporal

One choice offers a life of peace and purpose.

The other choice leads to a life of self-centeredness and emptiness.

God’s Word makes the choice clear:

  • I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live.“(Deuteronomy 30:19)
  • No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.“(Matthew 6:24)

Indecision is not an option:

The person who vacillates [between faith and unbelief] is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for let not that individual be supposing that he will receive anything from theLord, [being] a dubious, undecided man, vacillating in all his ways. (James 1:6b-9 – Wuest Translation)

Actually, you and I have already made our choice — either by:

Design, or



Eternal life leading to heaven, or eternal death leading to hell.

In making decisions of a spiritual nature, the battlefield is not the intellect, but the will.

“Go, and sin no more.”

John 8:2-11

John 8:1

By a night of prayer he had prepared himself for a day of labour and opposition. It is wise, whenever we expect double work or conflict, to gird up our loins by special devotion. He who has overcome heaven by prayer has no cause to dread the face of his enemies. Calmly did our Lord begin his teaching, though he knew that his enemies were planning his destruction.

John 8:3-5

See the cunning of these foxes. If the Lord condemned the woman to die, they would then tax him with going beyond his province, and setting up for a ruler; and if he let her go, they would charge him with being the friend of vice.

John 8:6

These last words are added by the translators, and are not needed. He wrote on the ground to show his unwillingness to meddle with the matter, and to give time for their consciences to work. He did not at once unmask them, but gave them time to retreat if they were wise, or to invite a crushing defeat by their persevering folly.

John 8:8

He stooped this second time to allow the accusers time to slink away unobserved by him, and they quietly availed themselves of the opportunity.

John 8:9

beginning at the eldest, or at the elders, or chief elders

John 8:9

The trap had failed to secure the victim, but it caught those who had prepared it. Stunned by the blow which Jesus laid home upon them, the vile hypocrites took to their heels, feeling themselves to have been grossly foolish to have provoked such a disclosure.

John 8:11

Dr. Brown well observes: “What inimitable tenderness and grace! Conscious of her own guilt, and till now in the hands of men who had talked of stoning her, wondering at the skill with which her accusers had been dispersed, and the grace of the few words addressed to herself, she would be disposed to listen, with a reverence and teachableness before unknown, to our Lord’s admonition.

John 8:11

He pronounces no pardon upon the woman, like ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee; Go in peace.’ Much less does he say that she had done nothing condemnable: he simply leaves the matter where it was. He meddles not with the magistrate’s office, nor acts the judge in any sense: but in saying, ‘Go, and sin no more,’ which had been before said to one who undoubtedly believed (ch. 5:14), more is probably implied than expressed. If brought suddenly to conviction of sin, to admiration of her Deliverer, and to a willingness to be admonished and guided by him, this call to begin a new life may have carried with it what would ensure and naturally bring about a permanent change.”)

Thine advocate in Jesus see!

‘Tis he that speaks the word; ’tis he

That takes the prisoner’s part:

Not to condemn the world he came;

Believing now in Jesus’ name,

E’en now absolved thou art.

Who shall accuse th’ elect of God,

Protected by th’ atoning blood?

‘Tis God that justifies,

That bids thee go and sin no more—

Go in thy Saviour’s peace and power,

And trace him to the skies.

Unholy, Unrighteous, Unhappy

And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)

All of history and the daily newspaper testify that the human race lies in ruin—spiritually, morally and physically.

The long parade of gods, both virtuous and obscene, and a thousand varieties of vain and meaningless religious practices declare our spiritual degeneration, while disease, old age and death testify sadly to the completeness of our physical decay.

By nature, men and women are unholy; and by practice we are unrighteous. That we are also unhappy is of small consequence.

But it is of overwhelming importance to us that we should seek the favor of God while it is possible to find it, and that we should bring ourselves under the plenary authority of Jesus Christ in complete and voluntary obedience.

To do this is to invite trouble from a hostile world and to incur such unhappiness as may naturally follow. Add the temptation of the devil and a life-long struggle with the flesh and it will be obvious that we will need to defer most of our enjoyments to more appropriate time!