For Strength in the Battle Against Evil

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10–11) Almighty God, You are our all-powerful and invincible Lord. None can overcome You. None can stand against You. How we need You, especially when the battle against evil rages!

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For Unity among God’s People

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4–6) Our Father, what a great privilege we have been provided by Your amazing grace, that You are making us one together with such a wide and diverse group of people!

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For Righteous Living

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

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Principles

I think we need to sign a mental declaration of independence. Let’s put our names on the line, pledging ourselves with firm resolve, much like those brave men did on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia when they signed the Declaration of Independence. Did you know that of the fifty-six courageous men who signed that original document in Philadelphia, many did not survive the war that followed?

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For Becoming Better Parents

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4) Thank You, Father, for being the perfect Parent. Thank You for those times that You’ve taken us to task, though the reproof sometimes seemed more than we could bear. Encourage us with the truth that whoever the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

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For Strong Marriages

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her . . . . So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself . . . and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33) Lord, today we are living in a culture that has forgotten Your pattern for marriage.

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Striking a Chord of Harmony

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1–3)

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Roots

There’s this tree in my front yard that gives me fits several times a year. It leans. No, it never breaks or stops growing . . . it just leans. It’s attractive, deep green, nicely shaped, and annually bears fragrant blossoms. But let a good, healthy gust give it a shove—and over it goes. Like, fast. It happened today. Right now the thing is tilted on about a forty-five degree angle towards the north.

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A Parable: Saving Lives

On a dangerous seacoast notorious for shipwrecks, there was a crude little lifesaving station. Actually, the station was merely a hut with only one boat . . . but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the turbulent sea. With little thought for themselves, they would go out day and night tirelessly searching for those in danger as well as the lost.

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The Power of Honesty

Enclosed you will find a check for $150. I cheated on my income tax return last year and have not been able to sleep ever since. If I still have trouble sleeping, I’ll send you the rest. Sincerely, ______________ This note is said to have been received by the Internal Revenue Service some time ago. We chuckle because the sender was willing to be honest up to a point . . .

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