Posts Tagged ‘Verse of the Day’

July 4, 2021: Learning to live in a state of dependence

July 4, 2021

On July 4, 2021, the Verse of the Day examines Psalm 33:12, but to understand more fully the position of the Lord God Almighty toward the nations of the world, take a look at Psalm 33:10-12 in the Amplified Bible:

The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He makes the thoughts and plans of the people ineffective.
11
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The thoughts and plans of His heart through all generations.
12
Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance.

On this Fourth of July, when so much that plagues our nation appears beyond our control, we not only celebrate our independence as a nation, but we also recognize more than ever our dependence upon God as well. This original psalm reinforces that same message:

Learning to Live in a State of Dependence

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed,

do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon]

His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17 (Amplified Bible)

God’s promises never fail; we know the Word of God is true.                          

We learn to watch, fight, and pray, to be patient as we labor                               

We have no fear but faith for what God says about me and you.        

We taste the fullness of joy that He desires us to savor,            

As He lavishly displays His love with abundant favor.             

God, the righteous judge, avenges those who place their trust in Him          

And assures those who lean on Him He shall in nowise condemn.    

As we seek to keep His command to love God and our neighbor,      

The Word of God goes ahead as a plow to prepare fallow ground,                 

Fertile soil found in hearts that have been made pure with no pretense,

Where the Father’s precious seeds of faith will flourish and abound.

With God, we are learning to live in a state of dependence,

Where we are free to choose to serve, knowing we shall prevail.

Transient trials swiftly pass, but God’s promises never fail.                

During these presently turbulent times, never has there been a greater need for divine guidance and direction for the nation though prayer. The words of the spiritual continue to ring true, declaring, “There is trouble all over this world.” During such times of desperation and deepest need, our nation cries out to God.

O God our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come.
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home.

In “History Reflection for 4th of July: How Prayer Underpinned American Independence” Fr. Stephen Lynch, states, “Prayer played an important role in the American struggle for independence.” He goes on to relate a request that the meetings of the Continental Congress be opened with prayer. After considerable disagreement, the Congress agreed to have the Rev. Mr. Duche read a prayer. John Adams describes what transpired:

Accordingly, next morning the Rev. Duche appeared with his Episcopal vestments and read the 85th Psalm. I never saw a greater effect produced upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on that morning.

George Washington was kneeling there, alongside him Patrick Henry, James Madison, and John Hancock. By their side there stood, bowed in reverence, the Puritan patriots of New England, who at that moment had reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting their humble households. They prayed fervently for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston [whose port had been closed and in which British troops were being quartered.

Lynch concludes by saying, “The First Continental Congress proved to be an inspiring example of the fraternal unity that can come through devout prayer.” Without question, the need to pray for our nation continues, being mindful of the words of Jesus Christ, who told his disciples “. . . it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.”

Our reflections on the 4th of July conclude, as Michael Card offers this song as a heartfelt prayer for the nation: “Heal our Land”:

Habakkuk 3:17-19: I will sing

June 8, 2016

Habakkuk 3--17-19

The Verse of the Day for June 8, 2016 is taken from Habakkuk 3:19, the last verse of Habakkuk, which actually ends with a prayer that paints a portrait of the destruction of Israel. In the midst of impending destruction, the prophet expresses confidence that the Lord will prevail over the enemy. The third chapter is a sublime song dedicated “to the chief musician,” and, therefore, intended apparently to be used in the worship of God.

This magnificent song of triumph crescendos with the last three verses of the final chapter of the prophetic word offered by Habakkuk, as rendered in the Amplified Bible:

17 Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,

18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!

19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

Complete Jewish Bible renders verse 19 in this way:

ELOHIM Adonai is my strength! He makes me swift and sure-footed as a deer and enables me to stride over my high places.

Barbara Lardinais describes this “sure-footed deer” in more detail in “The Secret of the Hind’s Feet”:

The hind is a female red deer whose home is the mountains. The rear feet of the hind step in precisely the same spot where the front feet have just been. Every motion of the hind is followed through with single-focused consistency, making it the most sure-footed of all mountain animals.

The opening phrase of Habakkuk 3:19 also brings to mind Psalm 73:25-26 The New Living Testament renders the passage in this way:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.

26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Along with the Psalmist, I also declare that “God is the strength of my heart,” in that Psalm 73: 26 became the inspiration for the following scripture memory song which also makes reference to “hinds’ feet”:

God Is the Strength of My Heart

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart,

And my portion, my portion, and my portion for evermore.

 

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places.

He’s the lifter, the lifter; He’s the lifter up of my head.

Don Moen offers this song of praise “I Will Sing” based on Habakkuk 3:17-19:

Showing gratitude with our worship

November 26, 2015

Hebrews 12--28The Verse of the Day for November 26, 2015, Thanksgiving Day, makes reference to expressing thanks or showing gratitude:

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

In reflecting on this verse, I thought of an incident that occurred a week or so ago. Sitting in the waiting room, I observed a young child who was given a coloring book and some crayons. The child smiled and said, “Thank you.” He showed items to his mother, and she asked her son, “Did you say thank you?” The person who gave the gifts responded, “Yes, ma’am. He sure did.”

From the earliest days of childhood we are taught that when someone gives you a gift, our response should be some expression of gratitude, namely to say “Thank you.”

Jesus Christ speaks this comforting reminder to his followers:

Luke 12:32 (AMP)

Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The Verse of the Day tells us how we should respond to having received such a precious, yet powerful gift from God, our Father. We are to show ourselves grateful and “offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe.”

Romans 12:1 (AMP) has a similar exhortation:

Therefore I of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

In response to all that God has given us, as believers we must do more than merely offer “lip service” by only saying “Thank you,” but we must demonstrate our gratitude to God with more than words. We offer our lives as a living sacrifice, which is an expression of our “reasonable service,” our rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. The closing lines from the poem “Thanksliving” reiterate this truth:

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Our words seem empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

Alexander Delgado offers a song that relates this desire to express our gratitude to God: “Thankful.”

2 Timothy 1:9: Reflecting on The Call

March 9, 2015

                                          2_Timothy_1-9

From 2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV) comes the Verse of the Day for March 9, 2015:

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

This verse brings to mind a most memorable event that occurred 41 years ago when I was ordained to the Christian ministry. In reflecting upon my ordination ceremony which also involved a prayer of consecration, the laying on of hands, and a word of prophecy, all of which have been sources of inspiration and direction over the years, I continue to respond to God whereby I first heard His voice and answered:

The Call             

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you to walk worthy of the calling

with which you were called,

Ephesians 4:1

The call resounds like a repeated name

From the lips of a dear friend who knows you.

I clearly hear my name and see the flame

That lights the path of those whom God foreknew

Would hear and heed a higher destiny.

This calling only God can verify.

My ear cannot hear; my eye cannot see;

Yet within my heart I cannot deny

That I have heard and seen what few will know.

I must arise and strive to reach the place

Where the rivers of understanding flow

And never doubt God’s purpose and His grace.

I stand in the unbroken line of all

Those who, having heard, rise to heed the call.

I make reference to my ordination and celebrate this milestone in this poem:

 

Forty-one Years ago

Forty has long been universally recognized as an important number,                                      

both on account of the frequency of its occurrence, and the uniformity                                        

of its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement. . . .                                  

It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5),                                                    

leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8). (The number eight                                          

also signifies “a new beginning”)

There can be no doubt as to the significance of this primary number [one].

In all languages it is the symbol of unity.

E.W. Bullinger

 

Forty-one years ago, the passion to fulfill the call

Inflamed deep within my soul a desire to give my all.

In this golden moment, past, present, and future all converge

Where the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God emerge,

As words that God spoke over my life I vividly recall.

“The Teacher” laid hands upon me to bless and to install

Me to lead God’s people and to give my all in all.

I my mind I stand in another place where two roads diverged

Forty-one years ago.

Renewed in strength to run through a troop and leap over a wall,

To fulfill God’s divine calling nothing can ever forestall.

The rivers of understanding God’s purpose and grace still merge.

Today I stand triumphant in Christ Jesus while on the verge

Of a renewed commitment to give all or nothing at all:

Forty-one years ago.

 

The accompanying video also invites us to “Answer God’s call”

For a more in-depth discussion of ordination and its personal significance, take a look at this Examiner.com article:

Walking in the Spirit

January 16, 2015

IM000314.JPG

The Verse of the Day for January 16, 2015 is found in Galatians 5:16 in the New Living Testament.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves

To understand more fully this section of Scripture which is labeled Living by the Spirit’s Power we need to examine verses 16-18 which reveal the conflict that rages within each believer: the ongoing battle between good and evil, the constant struggle between fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and walking by the spirit.

Galatians 5: 16-18 remind us of the struggle. This dilemma is sharply delineated in the Amplified Bible:

16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.

18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

Paul goes on to draw a sharp contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit.

This never-ending internal conflict is also depicted in Romans 7:18-25, where Paul speaks of his desire to do good , to do the right thing, but he winds up doing the very thing that he doesn’t want to do, and regrettably he does not do what he so longs to do.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

This raging internal conflict is depicted as a fight where each individual can determine the outcome:

 Two Ravenous Wolves

An elder Cherokee chief took his grandchildren

into the forest and sat them down and said to them,

‘A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight

and it is a fight between two wolves.

One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance and greed.

The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness,

humility and love. . . .This same fight between the

two wolves that is going on inside of me

is going on inside of you, and inside every person.”

Rabbi Marc Gellman

Two ravenous wolves wage constant warfare within.

Each stalks the other, striving to survive, to reign.

One embodies fear, anger, arrogance, and greed,

The other courage, kindness, humility and love:

One a sinister serpent, one a gentle dove.

Each tries to gain the upper hand and to restrain

Its foe, but only one will rise to seize the lead.

Each is seeking to dominate, driven to gain.

One will be defeated–only one will remain.

Since each beast demands the opposite kind of food,

We select the diet, whether evil or good.

In each conflict, the soul determines who will win,

For wolves are ravaged by an all-consuming need,

And we decide the wolf we starve, the wolf we feed.

David W. Morris offers “Walking in the Spirit Medley” ( Hosannah! Music), a musical reminder of where we should be walking.

Lord, make us instruments of your peace

December 30, 2014

John_16-33

Modified and re-posted below is the blog entry of a year ago:

The Verse of the Day for December 30, 2014 comes from John 16:33 (NLT):

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Most appropriately, the reference to the peace that comes from the Prince of Peace occurs on the day before the Universal Hour of Peace Day which takes place on December 31.

In addition, every year we celebrate International Peace Day on the first of January. In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly declared this day as an International Peace Day. Despite that declaration, we live in the midst of war-torn times, where there is a notable absence of peace.

The events of September 11, 2001 catapulted the world into a state of anxiety and fearfulness, as the world has been engulfed in wars and rumors of wars. Though we seek “Peace in our times” and cry out for “Peace, peace, but there is no peace.” In the midst these turbulent times of seemingly endless turmoil and strife, the world is ever seeking some semblance of lasting peace. The words of Sara Teasdale certainly ring true:

One white shining hour of peace

Count many a year of strife well lost.

The peace that Jesus speaks of goes beyond the usual definition which refers to “the normal non-warring condition of a nation, a group of nations or the world. . . a state of harmony among people or groups; cessation or freedom from strife or dissension.”

In contrast, the Biblical definition encompasses a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being, expressed in the Hebrew expression shalom. According to Strong’s Concordance, shalom means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” It is an inner reality, for the peace of God indicates being free from anxiety and care; it is not dependent upon outside conditions.

The peace of God comes from the God of peace, and it is only possible to obtain it through the Prince of Peace. John 14:27 declares this truth:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

As my thoughts turned toward the peace that the Lord gives, I recall having composed this poem:

Peace

In His will is our peace.

Dante

                            

O, Lord, make us instruments of your peace, we pray.

From our lives may there stream heavenly melodies.

As consummate virtuoso compose and play

Upon our soul, inspire glorious harmonies.

In such measured moments of sweetest quietude

Arrange serenades of praise. Let grace notes resound,

As our lives crescendo in songs of gratitude,

From heart to heart, where your grace and mercy abound.

Orchestrate aubades, nocturnes, songs at eventide;

Complete cantatas of peace within us, align

Our desires and your pleasure. Here we abide,

Saxophone and soloist, communing by design.

Knowing our purpose, we remain quiet and still,

Composed in perfect peace, the center of Your will.

The essence of the intent of the poem is also expressed in the song “Instruments of Peace” recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Verse of the Day reminds us that the peace that Jesus Christ gives is a priceless commodity in our times.

Mystery of His will

November 6, 2014

Ephesians 1-9

The Verse of the Day for November 6, 2014 relates to the “will of God,” a place where, as believers, we all desire to abide:

Ephesians 1:9-10 (KJV):

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind another related verse that speaks of the “knowledge of His will.” In order to do or accomplish the will of God, we must know what it is. Colossians 1:9 expresses God’s desire for His people in the opening section of a prayer:

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

As I began to consider deeply these verses that emphasize “The Will of God,” I thought of a particular poem inspired in part by Ephesians 1:9:

The Mystery of His Will        

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and

knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments,

and his ways past finding out!

Romans 11:33

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,  

according to his good pleasure

which he hath purposed in himself:

Ephesians 1:9

Though we seek to plummet the depths of Your wisdom,

We barely touch the surface, for there is always more

To explore as you unfold the mysteries of the Kingdom:

A measure of our inheritance laid in store.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing,

But the honor of kings is to search out a matter,

To see what jewels of knowledge their searching may bring.

Beyond former days is the glory of the latter,

Where You freely pour out Your spirit upon all flesh.

As Your will unfolds, we too see just how vast You are.

We draw even closer that You might bless and refresh,

As we know You intimately, not from afar.

In such treasured moments we are quiet and still,

As we explore afresh the mystery of His will.

As we endeavor to find and to do the will of God, we may encounter situations that we do not fully understand, but God is not trying to conceal His will. Deuteronomy 29:29 reminds us this truth:

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Indeed, it is God’s good pleasure to make known His will to those who diligently seek to find it.

Renewing the mind: Ongoing process

October 14, 2014

Romans 12-2

The Verse of the Day for October 14, 2014 is found in Romans 12:2 (KJV):

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Verse 2 follows verse one which makes the following request:

Romans 12:1 (KJV):

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

The Amplified Bible offers this expanded rendering of these two verses:

1I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

This passage brings to mind the process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo, reminding us of a similar spiritual process called “renewing the mind.” Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1). The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are also “changed” into the same image

Green Malachite Butterfly

Butterflies as they undergo metamorphosis are transformed from egg to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) to butterfly (adult). Christian believers also continually undergo a similar spiritual transformation as they mature in Christ. The essence of this amazing process is expressed in this poem:

Death to the Caterpillar

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat

falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;

but if it dies, it produces much grain.

John 12:24

 

What is death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly.

— Anonymous

 

From the dark of earth new life stems from seeds once sown.

Despite the pain of loss and our questioning why,

From the source of life this eternal truth is shown:

“Death to the caterpillar we call a butterfly.”

Creation travails until the sons of God appear;

No longer conformed, we have at last been set free,

As every Kingdom mystery is now made clear,

Totally transformed into glorious liberty.

Triumphant in the race we desired to win:

From victory to victory and glory to glory,

We see that power to change comes from within,

As we write another chapter of our life’s story.

The final stage of glory unfolds this result:

Transformed from egg to larva to pupa to adult.

 

The accompanying video shows a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

The Verse of the Day reminds us that as we renew our minds, we prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Listen to the Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics).

Love one another

September 13, 2014

1 Peter 3_8

The Verse of the Day for September 13, 2014 is found in 1 Peter 3:8 (KJV):

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Since the expression “be pitiful” generally has negative connotations in contemporary times, perhaps the verse is better understood in another version, such as the Amplified Bible:

Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).

The Verse of the Day brings to mind one of the seven principles that can be universally applied to “launch, challenge, and grow relationships.” These key concepts were shared in a life-changing conference conducted last year at Equip U Ministries in Reynoldsburg, OH : “It’s All about Relationships Conference—2013.” Apostle Carolyn Warren discussed seven principles expressed as verbs which involve action when specifically applied in terms of what should be done to “one another.” The first principle was “love one another.”

Love, indeed, is the first principle of all relationships, the foundation stone expressed in the first and great commandment: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. On these two hang all the law and the prophets,” said Jesus Christ.

Each day we must

Decide to demonstrate, freely give and practice love:

The first thread whereby we must launch all relationships

And follow Christ’s command that we love one another.

“Love one another.”

I also recall that after attending the conference last year, as I went over my notes and endeavored to process all that I was learning, I was inspired and wrote this poem which captured the essence of the theme of the conference:

“It’s All about Relationships”

Inspired by the teaching of Apostle Eric Warren

It’s All about Relationships Conference 2013

 

God floods the eyes of our hearts with light that we might know,

As we discover new depths of our relationships

While we mature, applying the Word that we might grow.

We recognize that “It’s all about relationships.”

Enlightened, we now no longer walk in ignorance,

Being much more aware of vital spiritual matters,

We experience victory, healing and deliverance.

The anointed Word of God breaks all yokes and shatters

Barriers that hinder fellowship with God and others.

When the enemy raises his head, we fight to maintain

Relationships with God and with sisters and brothers,

Returning to “His image” the source that will sustain.

Whether with God, family, friends, co-workers, husband or wife,

“It’s all about relationships,” the foundation of life.

 

Michael W. Smith offers comments and a spirited rendition of a “Love One Another.”

Be sober, be vigilant

September 9, 2014

Titus_2-2

We begin this day, September 9, 2014, with the Verse of the Day, which is found in Titus 2:2

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

The expression “be sober” is used three times in Titus in relation to four categories of individuals: “older men, older women, young women, and young men:

Verse 3 is directed toward the older women who are instructed to teach the young women to be sober. Clearly, one cannot teach what one does not practice oneself.

Titus 2:4

That they (the aged women) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

Titus 2:6

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

To be sober is a strong reminder to everyone, both old and young alike.

The expression is also used elsewhere in the New Testament:

1 Peter 1:13 (KJV):

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Amplified Bible (AMP) also offers a powerful rendering of the verse:

So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.

In addition to 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8 offers another reason for sobriety:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The expression “be sober” is generally thought of in terms of “do not be drunk” or “don’t get intoxicated.” His graceoasis.com points out that “the word does not mean to abstain from the use of alcohol but rather to refrain from the abuse of it which leads to intoxication.”

Translated from the Greek word nepso, the verb means “to be sober-minded, watchful, and circumspect.” Variations of the verb include ananephō, translated to become sober; eknephō, meaning “to return to one’s sense from drunkenness, become sober” and nēphálios: sober.

One translation of the Greek word renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.”

Altogether, “Be sober” is used eight times in the New Testament:

2 Corinthians 5:13

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

This verse mentions that it doesn’t matter if we are “beside ourselves” or “mad” or “plum out of our minds” or if we are “sober” or “clothed in our right minds” or “of a sound mind”—it is all for the sake of the believers.

We notice that 1 Peter 1:13 connects the idea of being sober with the hope of the Lord’s return which is also the context for two uses of the verb in 1 Thessalonians, whose focal point is the parousia or gathering together at the return of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

The Verse of the Day is but one of eight strong exhortations to “be sober.”

Listen to this upbeat contemporary cut of “1 Peter 5:8” from Allen Swoope’s The Zoo.