Daily Devotions, News and Information

Charles Stanley –Patience: Our Gift of Service

 

Colossians 3:12-13

When we are troubled or in pain, we turn to people who will listen patiently to our cries of distress. But I wonder how often we seek to be the person who steps up to share a hurting friend’s burden.

In today’s reading, the apostle Paul encouraged believers to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, and patience. In other words, we don’t come from the womb pre-equipped with these traits. Rather, we receive on-the-job training in imitating Jesus Christ as we bear with and forgive one another. The Holy Spirit is more than willing to instruct us in the proper ways to grow spiritual fruit. The heavenly Father then provides opportunities for us to try out our newly developed skills.

We tend to classify patience rather narrowly as “waiting.” That’s certainly part of the definition, but so are concepts like endurance, perseverance, and persistence. When we’re relating to others as Paul challenged us to do, we are not simply waiting for them to become better versions of themselves. We are enduring their hardship alongside them or persisting in our attempts to offer aid. We’re caring, listening, and serving however we can. In a world that insists on doing everything quickly, patience is an amazing gift to give another person.

By placing patience on the list of spiritual fruit (Gal. 5:22-23), God indicated that every believer could develop this trait. Whatever additional gifts and talents you possess, patience is an attribute that you can put on. Practice it for the glory of God and as a way to serve your fellow man.

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 28-30

 

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Our Daily Bread — Promise of a Peaceful Home

Read: Micah 4:1–5

Bible in a Year: Psalms 97–99; Romans 16

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid.—Micah 4:4

Sixty-five million. That’s the number of refugees in our world today—people who have had to leave their homes due to conflict and persecution—and it’s higher than it’s ever been. The UN has petitioned leaders to work together in receiving refugees so that every child will get an education, every adult will find meaningful work, and every family will have a home.

The dream of making homes for refugees in crisis reminds me of a promise God made to the nation of Judah when ruthless Assyrian armies threatened their homes. The Lord commissioned the prophet Micah to warn the people that they would lose their temple and their beloved city of Jerusalem. But God also promised a beautiful future beyond the loss.

A day will come, said Micah, when God will call the peoples of the world to Himself. Violence will end. Weapons of war will become farming tools, and every person who answers God’s call will find a peaceful home and a productive life in His kingdom (4:3–4).

For many in the world today, and maybe for you, a safe home remains more a dream than a reality. But we can rely on God’s ancient promise of a home for people of all nations, even as we wait and work and pray for those peaceful homes to become a reality. —Amy Peterson

God, thank You for the beautiful promise of a home. Please bring peace to our world, and provide for the needs of all of Your children.

God promises His children a peaceful home in His kingdom.

INSIGHT: Micah (whose name means “Who is like Jehovah?”) was a prophet for the Southern Kingdom of Judah. His ministry overlapped with that of the prophet Isaiah. Micah calls His people to reflect God’s heart when he says: “Act justly . . . love mercy and . . . walk humbly” with Him (6:8). Micah tells us that God’s heart delights “to show mercy” (7:18). And Micah prophesied, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, . . . out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (5:2).

This promise was realized in the person of Jesus. The timeless God has sent His Son to our rescue—and Micah helped prepare people for His arrival. Bill Crowder

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Claiming Fame

In a very perceptive book called Life: The Movie, author Neal Gabler argues that entertainment has conquered reality. All of life has become a stage, and the way to success is through the pathway of becoming a celebrity. Gabler suggests that we spend our lives buying and shopping according to images and ideals that we hold as we seek to shape ourselves for our own performance. The constant use of significant celebrities to model lines of clothing, sporting goods, and cosmetics tell us subtly that if we own these items, we too can be like our heroes. We are strategically convinced that we don’t simply have to watch the rich and famous; we can become them. The democratization of credit and the availability of easily-accessed goods guarantee our ability to play the part or parts we choose.

The practical aids are many. Credit and finance options bluntly inquire, “Why wait?” In earlier times people had to consider whether they could afford such things, and they might have had to delay while they saved. The time between viewing and having was often considerable, but not anymore. The messages are clear that we can have it if we want it, and we can have it now. It comes, of course, with a huge price tag in terms of increasing debt and anxiety. But even as the social crisis ticks like a time bomb in many homes, the waiting has been taken out of wanting.

It has become the job of the advertising industry to keep us in a state of permanent dissatisfaction and restlessness with who we are or what we have. The answer is always bigger, better, faster, or more like someone else. Words like “enough,” “sufficient,” and “wait” are derided in favor of having what you want now and immediately becoming who you really want to be. We are informed of our lack of something and then told it is ruining the quality of our lives. But the voices of the media then tell us salvation is at hand! The new product or service will liberate you. It will initiate you into a better world, a new life, an alternative salvation.

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Joyce Meyer – Be Ready to Be Interrupted

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.- John 10:11

The more I study the men and women in the Bible whom we consider to be “great,” the more I see that they all made huge sacrifices and there was nothing convenient about what God asked them to do.

Abraham had to leave his country, his relatives, and his home and go to a place God would not even tell him about until he went there. Joseph saved a nation from starvation, but not before he was violently removed from his comfortable home and put in an inconvenient place for many years. Esther saved the Jews from destruction, but God certainly interrupted her plan in order for her to do so.

The list of individuals who entered into sacrificial obedience could go on and on. The Bible calls them people “of whom the world was not worthy” (see Hebrews 11:38). These people we read about were inconvenienced so that someone else’s life could be easier. Jesus died so we could have life and have it abundantly. Soldiers die so that civilians can remain safe at home. Fathers go to work so their families can have nice lives, and mothers go through the pain of childbirth to bring another life into the world. It seems quite obvious that someone usually has to experience pain or inconvenience for anyone to gain anything.

If you make the decision that you don’t mind inconvenience or interruption, then God can use you. You can make a difference in the world. But if you remain addicted to your own comfort, God will have to pass you by for someone who is more willing to endure the hard things in life in order to do God’s will.

Trust in Him: Think about a situation in which God is asking you to do some things you would rather not do—stay in a situation, leave a situation, spend time with someone you don’t get along with . . . Are you willing to trust the “interruption” from God in order to do His will?

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Joy and Gladness 

“And the Lord will bless Israel again, and make her deserts blossom; her barren wilderness will become as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Joy and gladness will be found there, thanksgiving and lovely songs” (Isaiah 51:3).

When the editors of a Christian publication came to Arrowhead Springs sometime ago to interview me, the discussion turned to the subject of problems in the Christian life. They were skeptical when I explained my way of handling difficult circumstances, potential sources of anxiety and frustration.

As you will note from this verse in Isaiah, thanksgiving is a spiritual way of singing to the Lord. As we sing with a thankful heart, we receive the joy of the Lord in return.

So it was that I explained to the editors: “Many years ago I learned to obey God’s command to be thankful in all things as an act of faith. And since I am assured from God’s Word that He rules in the affairs of men and nations, that He is all wise, all-powerful and compassionate and that He loves me dearly, I would be very foolish indeed to worry about my problems, cares and tribulations even for a few moments. I cast them upon the Lord as soon as they are brought to my attention.

“For example, I can list at least 25 major problems that I have given to the Lord today – some of which would crush me and destroy my effectiveness if I tried to carry them myself.”

Then I recalled an earlier week beset with illness, surgery and bereavement for loved ones and friends. “But,” I told them, “I chose to obey the Lord’s command to give them all to Him, and to retain a thankful spirit.”

Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:18-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will trust God’s Holy Spirit to establish a thankful spirit in my heart and life today and every day as a way of life.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – His Hands Open For You

Faith is trusting what the eye cannot see!  Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah’s rainbow. Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior. Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees His cleansing blood. Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure.  But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger, and the kiss of your Father on your face.

But wait a minute, someone asks. How do I know this is true?  “God’s power is very great for those who believe,” Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:19-20. “That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead.” So, the next time you wonder if God can forgive you, read that verse again.  The power that raised Christ from the grave is the power that resurrects hope in our hearts.

Read more When God Whispers Your Name

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Iceland is eradicating Down syndrome babies

Karen Gaffney has participated in a relay swim of the English Channel. She has swum across Lake Tahoe, Boston Harbor, and San Francisco Bay (sixteen times). She has a college degree and an honorary doctorate.

She also has Down syndrome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in every seven hundred babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome. About six thousand Down syndrome babies are born in the US each year.

Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels. No one knows what causes the chromosomal condition that produces it, though the chances increase with the mother’s age. Since many couples are having children later in life, the incidence of Down syndrome conceptions is expected to rise.

With recent advancements in clinical treatment such as corrective heart surgery, as many as 80 percent of adults with Down syndrome reach the age of sixty. Many live even longer. Studies show that 99 percent of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives; 97 percent like who they are; and 96 percent like how they look.

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Charles Stanley –The Rewards of Patience

Psalm 40:1-17

The Scriptures contain many stories of people who waited years or even decades before the Lord’s promises came to pass. What modern believers can learn from the patience of biblical saints like Abraham, Joseph, David, and Paul is that waiting upon the Lord has eternal benefits.

Today let’s look at Israel’s most memorable monarch. David was the chosen heir to Israel’s throne, but he spent years dodging King Saul’s wrathful pursuit. Despite having two different opportunities for vengeance, David resisted the temptation and spared Saul’s life. He chose to adhere to God’s timetable for his coronation instead of dishonoring the Lord by killing the divinely anointed king. David’s psalms reveal his intimate awareness of Yahweh’s work in his life. The shepherd king not only achieved his objective through patience; he also observed that God’s way is always the best.

David left behind an incredible testimony of God’s faithfulness for each of us to read and ponder. He was committed to waiting upon the Lord, and as a result, he had the Father’s approval and blessing. We cannot underestimate the reward of living in divine favor. That isn’t a special state reserved for the “giants of the faith” like David. All who obediently endure until the Lord acts on their behalf abide in His favor (Isa. 40:31).

David didn’t receive his blessings because he was special; he was honored among men because he honored the Lord above all. And since he trusted in God’s faithfulness, he endured hardship with patience. We, too, can expect to be blessed when we wait upon the Lord.

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 25-27

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Not Fear but Faith

Read: Numbers 13:25–14:9

Bible in a Year: Psalms 94–96; Romans 15:14–33

The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.—Numbers 14:9

“My husband was offered a promotion in another country, but I feared leaving our home, so he reluctantly declined the offer,” my friend shared with me. She explained how apprehension over such a big change kept her from embracing a new adventure, and that she sometimes wondered what they missed in not moving.

The Israelites let their anxieties paralyze them when they were called to inhabit a rich and fertile land that flowed “with milk and honey” (Ex. 33:3). When they heard the reports of the powerful people in large cities (Num. 13:28), they started to fear. The majority of the Israelites rejected the call to enter the land.

But Joshua and Caleb urged them to trust in the Lord, saying, “Do not be afraid of the people in the land” for the “Lord is with us” (14:9). Although the people there appeared large, they could trust the Lord to be with them.

My friend wasn’t commanded to move to another country like the Israelites were, yet she regretted letting fear close off the opportunity. What about you—do you face a fearful situation? If so, know that the Lord is with you and will guide you. With His never-failing love, we can move forward in faith. —Amy Boucher Pye

Loving Father, may I not let my fear stop me from following You, for I know that You will always love me and will never leave me.

Fear can paralyze but faith propels us to follow God.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – In Pursuit of Justice

A story is told of Diogenes, the Greek philosopher, who was famous for two things.(1) First, it is rumored that he lived in a bathtub and took it with him wherever he went. And second, he possessed a lamp. It was said that with his lamp he went throughout Athens, looking for a man who was honest. Legends say that before he could attain success, his lamp went out. His search ended in futility.

Diogenes’ search reflects modern humanity’s search for true justice. As C.S. Lewis says, “Justice means much more than the sort of thing that goes on in Law courts. It is the old name for everything we should now call ‘fairness;’ it includes honesty, give and take, truthfulness, keeping promises, and all that side of life.”(2) Even children at a very early age learn to speak this language of ‘fairness’ whenever they are not treated equally, be it among their peers or between their siblings. We seem to be wired with that strong desire for this world to be in order. Or, in other words, our desire for justice seems to be intrinsic to who we are. Yet with the prevailing injustices that we see all around us, the longing for justice seems to be a far-away reality, if not an exercise in futility.

What kind of world are we in? Is this an evil world? Well, one may object and say ‘no’ because not everything that we see is evil. There are also things in this world that we see that are manifestations of goodness. Is this an all-good world? Again, some may object and say, ‘No, not everything that we see is good.’ Good seems to co-exist alongside evil. So is this then an all-bad world that is becoming good? A naturalist may agree to this by means of science and technology, while a theist may strongly disagree with this. Conversely, we may ask ourselves if this is an all-good world that has gone from bad to worse.

Attempting to answer these questions, one must deal with the ultimate questions of life—such as the origin, meaning, and the purpose of life. Furthermore, critically analyzing these questions, one would inevitably face the question of whether this world is designed by a creator, as the Bible describes it, or whether it is a world that is a result of an accident, as the naturalist would put it. If it is designed, then God is the reference point for all true justice. On the contrary, if it is merely an accident, then humanity becomes the ultimate reference point for all judgments. True justice in any society is one that is anchored on objective moral values, which do not change either on the basis of time or culture.(3)

It is only after basing on such a foundation of an objective moral frame work that one can meaningfully judge between a right and a wrong action, or for that matter between justice and injustice. Ultimately, the objective moral frame work goes only to point to the existence of a moral law-giver, who is holy and righteous in his character. In fact, Fyodor Dostoevsky, a renowned thinker and writer, commented on this point rather bluntly when he said, “If there is no God then all things are permissible.” The Bible declares that the entire human race is guilty of having broken God’s law and hence none is righteous. Even if there were many Diogenes equipped with an equal number of lamps and commissioned to search the entire world, none would be successful in finding a just, impartial, or perfectly righteous person. Our only hope is to point our lamps toward heaven, the only place where the just one dwells.

Balajied Nongrum is a member of the speaking team with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Shillong, India.

(1) R.C. Sproul, One Holy Passion, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1987), 105.

(2) C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (New York: Macmillan, 1960), 76.

(3) Charles W. Colson, Justice that Restores, (Secunderabad: OM Books, 2001), 23.

 

http://www.rzim.org/

Joyce Meyer – Living Ordinary Days with an Extraordinary Attitude

This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it.- Psalm 118:24

I believe the psalmist discovered the secret to living ordinary days with extraordinary enthusiasm. He simply decided and declared that since the Lord had made each day, and that it was a gift to him, he would enjoy it and be glad. He made a decision that produced the feelings he wanted rather than waiting to see how he felt.

God’s presence makes life exciting if we have a proper understanding of life as a whole. Everything we do is sacred and amazing if we do it unto the Lord and believe He is with us. Ask yourself right now if you truly believe God is with you even in the midst of very ordinary tasks. If your answer is yes, then you can have an extraordinary day!

Power Thought: I will rejoice in “ordinary” days because God is with me every day.

From the book the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Perfect Healing 

“Jesus’ name has healed this man – and you know how lame he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name – faith given us from God – has caused this perfect healing” (Acts 3:16).

This is another of the great “3:16” verses of the Bible – with a truth and a promise that you and I need probably every day of our lives. Jesus claimed “all authority in heaven and earth” (Matthew 28:18). “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9, KJV; see also 1:15-19).

There is a great power in the name of Jesus. Throughout Scripture that fact is emphasized. And I have seen it illustrated in miraculous ways through the Jesus film, which has been used of God to introduce tens of millions of men, women, young people, and children to Christ in most countries of the world.

The promise, equally clear, is that if we exercise faith in that wonderful name of Jesus – faith that is a gift from God – we can see healing, both physical and spiritual.

I sit in astonishment often as I try to comprehend such great love that would give us the very gifts He requires of us – faith, in this instance. We need not conjure up such faith; it is made available on simple terms: Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

And we may appropriate this truth and this promise today.

Bible Reading: Acts 3:12-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, I dare to believe that You are still the same yesterday, today and forever, so I can trust you to heal, and to enable me to live a supernatural life.”

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – God Will Do What is Right

If you are rehashing the same hurt every chance you get with anyone who will listen, I have a question. Why are you doing God’s work for him? “Vengeance is mine,” God declared, “I will repay” (Hebrews 10:30 NKJV). To assume otherwise is to assume God can’t do it. When we strike back we are saying, I know vengeance is yours, God, but I just didn’t think you would punish enough. I thought I’d better take this situation into my own hands.

May I restate the obvious? If vengeance is God’s, then it is not ours. God has not asked us to settle the score or get even. Ever. Forgiveness is not saying the one who hurt you was right. Forgiveness is stating that God is fair and he will do what is right. After all, don’t we have enough things to do without trying to do God’s work too?

Read more When God Whispers Your Name

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Why ‘Game of Thrones’ is popular—and dangerous

The recent premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones drew a record-setting 10.1 million viewers. Coupled with digital viewers, the show averaged 25.1 million viewers last year. It was by far the most watched show on television, nearly double the viewers of the second-place show.

Why is Game of Thrones so astoundingly popular? What does its popularity say about us?

I must begin with a disclaimer: I have never seen Game of Thrones, for reasons I’ll explain in today’s article. But Internet reviews are so abundant that it’s not hard to identify reasons for the show’s enormous popularity. Each of them says something frightening about our culture today.

One: The plots are unpredictably complex. As Forbes notes, “Central characters are killed, psychopaths claim power, weddings become bloodbaths, and bad guys develop consciences as time passes.” The show is built on the premise that there is no logic to life, that we live in a chaotic world with no central purpose or direction.

Two: The show embraces amorality. “Good” characters make horrific mistakes, while “bad” characters act redemptively. One psychologist lauds the “progressive tolerance” the show legitimizes. In a postmodern culture that views all truth as personal and subjective, the characters legitimize our rejection of right and wrong.

Three: All sexuality is endorsed. Rape, lesbianism, sex between siblings, prostitution, and other acts so despicable I won’t mention them here—all are regular fare. As millions of people watch such perversion, they are desensitized and far more likely to embrace the “sexual liberation” the show articulates.

Four: Violence is normalized. Heads are crushed, people are stabbed through the eye, victims are burned alive, mass murder is depicted graphically. Why is this a problem? Exposure to media violence is clearly linked to violent acts as watching violence changes brain patterns and alters behavior.

What would God say to Christians tempted to watch such ungodliness?

One: Guard your heart. Scripture teaches us to “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). We are commanded to “think on” whatever is “pure” (Philippians 4:8). Our thoughts determine our actions, which determine our lives (Proverbs 23:7 KJV).

Two: Guard your witness. Our skeptical culture looks for reasons to reject our faith. If we are ungodly, how can we call others to be godly? “A truthful witness saves lives” (Proverbs 14:25).

Three: Guard your relationship with God. Would you want your parents to watch you as you watch the nudity and violence depicted on Game of Thrones? Your heavenly Father sees all that you see. His Spirit lives in you and is subjected to whatever your experience. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30).

Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Thus, we can see Game of Thrones, or we can see God, but we cannot see both.

 

NOTE: In response to the continuing controversy over neo-Nazis and white supremacists, I have written an article for our website titled Hitler’s Lies: Responding to Nazism Today. The article explores Hitler’s ideology, the continuing popularity of Nazism, and three biblical responses. I invite you to read it here.

 

 

http://www.denisonforum.org/

Charles Stanley –Obstacles as Opportunities

Psalm 27:14

Learning to see obstacles as opportunities takes time. Recalling certain truths can help our perspective:

God is at work. As barriers remain in place and our situation seems unchanged, God is orchestrating people and events to move His plan forward. He works silently, invisibly, and effectively.

God prepares the way. He has already decided in His mind which hindrances to remove and which to leave unaltered. For the obstacles that remain, the Lord will arrange a way around them or fit them into His plan. What He has determined will be accomplished.

God requires our cooperation. He wants us to be ready to face difficult situations. Through His Word, He communicates what we need to know and also equips us (Heb. 13:20-21).

God is personally involved. He wants to develop in us a greater sensitivity to His presence. Through Scripture, prayer, and other believers, we can receive the assurance that the Lord is near.

God gives clear instruction. He does not bring confusion. Whether we receive His direction in stages or all at once, He asks us to trust in Him rather than our own thinking (Prov. 3:5-6).

Facing challenges involves courage, patience, and faith. It takes courage to accept the presence of barriers, to move in step with God, and to do what He asks. Patience is required as we wait for Him to equip us and reveal His plan. Faith is necessary for us to trust God with the outcome and to focus on obeying Him.

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 22-24

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Under His Wings

Read: Psalm 91

Bible in a Year: Psalms 91–93; Romans 15:1–13

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.—Psalm 91:4

When I think of protection, I don’t automatically think of a bird’s feathers. Though a bird’s feathers might seem like a flimsy form of protection, there is more to them than meets the eye.

Bird feathers are an amazing example of God’s design. Feathers have a smooth part and a fluffy part. The smooth part of the feather has stiff barbs with tiny hooks that lock together like the prongs of a zipper. The fluffy part keeps a bird warm. Together both parts of the feather protect the bird from wind and rain. But many baby birds are covered in a fluffy down and their feathers haven’t fully developed. So a mother bird has to cover them in the nest with her own feathers to protect them from wind and rain.

The image of God “[covering] us with his feathers” in Psalm 91:4 and in other Bible passages (see Ps. 17:8) is one of comfort and protection. The image that comes to mind is a mother bird covering her little ones with her feathers. Like a parent whose arms are a safe place to retreat from a scary storm or a hurt, God’s comforting presence provides safety and protection from life’s emotional storms.

Though we go through trouble and heartache, we can face them without fear as long as our faces are turned toward God. He is our “refuge” (91:2, 4, 9). —Linda Washington

Father God, help me trust that You are bigger than any fear I have.

When fear causes hope to fade, flee to God, the refuge you can reach on your knees.

INSIGHT: Psalm 91 is a beautiful expression of confidence in the Lord’s presence and protection. The writer speaks of both physical protection (from arrows, disease, pestilence, plague) and emotional protection from the evils and disasters happening all around (vv. 5-6). But this psalm is also a conversation. The Lord responds to the faith of those who trust Him by saying, “I will rescue him” (v. 14). J.R. Hudberg

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Building Culture or Making Ruins

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Greece and Turkey. While there, I marveled at the ancient ruins of the Greek temples and wondered at the beautiful mosaics of Christ covering the ceilings of every church—from a tiny chapel in the countryside to the great cathedral of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. During the tour, we often saw the ruins of the temples standing side by side with ancient Christian churches. Other times, our guide informed us that the Christian church was built upon the now decimated ruins of an ancient temple.

I remember feeling a bit disturbed over the loss of these ancient ruins, which would never be seen again, now built over by largely abandoned Christian chapels. And yet I understood the sweeping movement of Christianity—overturning the pagan environment of Greece and Rome and building churches and chapels as signposts of that victory.

This scene replicated across the landscapes of Greece and Turkey served metaphorically as a picture of the uneasy tension between Christianity and its surrounding culture. On the one hand, church and pagan temple stood side by side, a living picture of the parable Jesus once told about allowing wheat and tares to grow up together until the judgment. On the other hand, churches built on the ruins of pagan temples presented the image of Christianity conquering the pagan religions of the day, standing in triumph and uprooting the tares in victory.

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Joyce Meyer – Knowledge and Confidence

To you it was shown, that you might realize and have personal knowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him. Out of heaven He made you hear His voice, that He might correct, discipline, and admonish you; and on earth He made you see His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. – Deuteronomy 4:35-36

One night I was lying in bed and heard a noise upstairs. The longer I listened to it the more frightened I became. Finally, shaking from fear, I went upstairs to see what it was. I had to laugh when I discovered it was ice cubes falling in the ice tray from the ice maker. It just happened that the way they were falling was making a noise they did not normally make.

Lack of knowledge causes fear, and knowledge removes it. Knowledge will help you have confidence.

If you are going for a job interview, make sure you are prepared and have all the knowledge you will need with you to answer questions the interviewer may ask you. We live in a world today where knowledge is as close as your computer. Not only can you do online research about the company you’re applying to, but you can find tips on how to have a successful interview.

Lord, equip me with the knowledge I need to be confident and that leads to success. Point me to what I need to know to be effective for You. Amen.

From the book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Shine Like the Sun 

“And those who are wise – the people of God – shall shine as brightly as the sun’s brilliance, and those who turn many to righteousness will glitter like stars forever” (Daniel 12:3).

Did it ever occur to you that as a child of God you are to radiate in your countenance the beauty and glory of God? Have you ever considered the inconsistency of having a glum expression while professing that the Son of God, the light of the world, dwells within you?

Proverbs 15:13 reminds us that a happy face means a glad heart; a sad face means a breaking heart.

When missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough many years ago, he passed through the city of Stonington, Connecticut. A young boy, playing about the wharves at the time of Judson’s arrival, was struck by the missionary’s appearance. He had never before seen such a light on a man’s face.

Curious, he ran up the street to a ministers’s home to ask if he knew who the stranger was. Following the boy back, the minister became so engaged in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the lad standing nearby.

Many years later that boy – unable to get away from the influence of what he had seen on the man’s face – became the famous preacher, Henry Clay Trumbull. One chapter in his book of memoirs is entitled, “What a Boy Saw in the Face of Adoniram Judson.”

A shining face – radiant with the love and joy of Jesus Christ – had changed a life. Just as flowers thrive when they bend toward the light of the sun, so shining, radiant faces are the result of those who concentrate their gaze upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

May we never underestimate the power of a glowing face that stems from time spent with God. Even as Moses’ countenance shone, may your face and mine reveal time spent alone with God and in His Word.

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:13-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will spend sufficient time with the Lord each day to insure a radiant countenance for the glory of God and as a witness to those with whom I have contact each day.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – The Master Musician

In his later years Beethoven spent hours playing a broken harpsichord. The instrument was worthless. Keys were missing. Strings stretched. It was out of tune, harsh on the ears. Nonetheless the great pianist would play till tears came down his cheeks. You’d think he was hearing the sublime. He was. He was deaf. Beethoven was hearing the sound the instrument should make, not the one it did make.

Maybe you feel like Beethoven’s harpsichord? Out of tune…inadequate…your service ill-timed or insignificant? Ever wonder what God does when the instrument is broken? How does the Master respond when the keys don’t work? Does he demand a replacement? Or does he patiently tune until he hears the song he longs to hear? If you’ve asked those questions (and who hasn’t), I want you to know that the Master Musician fixes what we can’t and hears music when we don’t! And He loves to hear the music that comes from your life.

Read more When God Whispers Your Name

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

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Our Site has Scriptures, Lessons, News and Links that will help you survive in here in this world we live in --- Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. KJV

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