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Thoughts on Today's Verse...

What is the most accurate measure of our character? It is not merely how we act "at church" or among other like-minded people. The real test of our character, our true godliness, is found in our partnership with our Father in heaven and his work to redeem the lost, forgotten, downtrodden, and broken — or quite literally in this verse, the "foreigner"* and "fatherless" and "widows" among us. When we live only for ourselves and leave the "have-nots" far behind in our practice of love, justice, and mercy, our culture collapses upon itself because it lacks the heart of God for the outcast and alone; in addition, culture breaks down because the people who are the "have-nots" can become jealous and resentful of those who have and the “haves” can feel superior to those who do not have! The real test of our character is how we love people around us who are in need.

* The NIV 11, rather than our usual NIV 1984, is used for this passage because of the translation of the literal term "resident alien" as "foreigner" by the NIV 11 is deemed closer to our modern usage of these terms.

Video Commentary...

We've included Phil's ToGather video from four years ago as an added blessing to our verse today:

My Prayer...

Loving God, the Almighty and Sovereign Lord, please forgive us and use your children who live by your righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful love and justice to heal our land. Father, I especially pray that you will use me to be a blessing to someone in need with no one to turn to in their times of crisis. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to [email protected].

Today's Verse Illustrated

Inspirational illustration of Jeremiah 7:5-7