Charles Stanley – Free to Enjoy God

 

Psalm 34:8-10

What an amazing truth: Our God, who created the world and is Lord of all, wants us to find pleasure in our union with Him. Although He “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17), our greatest enjoyment of all should be God Himself. The satisfaction we’ll find in our relationship with Him is far superior to all else.

One of the joys we find in the Lord is acceptance. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, God accepts those of us who believe in Christ and adopts us as His children. We who were once His enemies are now embraced as His family. Permanently accepted by God, we never have to fear condemnation and are free to enjoy rich intimacy with Him.

The Lord has done all that is necessary for us to have a relationship with Him, but there are certain actions we can take that will increase our enjoyment of Him.

  • Praising God for who He is and what He’s done will make our hearts rejoice.
    • Spending time listening and getting to know Him through His Word will increase our closeness and deepen our enjoyment of Him.
    • Refusing to believe lies—for example, that we should be afraid of our Father or that our sin is too great to be forgiven—frees us to receive His love and know the joy of forgiveness.

If you’ve lost your joy in the Lord, ask Him to reignite it. Then take the steps necessary to rekindle your relationship with Him. The more you learn to love Him, the greater will be your joy.

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 9-11

 

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Our Daily Bread — Blooming in the Right Spot

 

Read: 1 Samuel 20:30–34
Bible in a Year: Numbers 9–11; Mark 5:1–20

So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David.— 1 Samuel 20:16

“A weed is any plant that grows where you don’t want it,” my father said, handing me the hoe. I wanted to leave the corn plant that had “volunteered” among the peas. But Dad, who had grown up on a farm, instructed me to pull it out. That lone cornstalk would do nothing but choke the peas and rob them of nutrients.

Human beings aren’t plants—we have minds of our own and God-given free will. But sometimes we try to bloom where God doesn’t intend us to be.

King Saul’s son, the warrior-prince Jonathan, could have done that. He had every reason to expect to be king. But he saw God’s blessing on David, and he recognized the envy and pride of his own father (1 Samuel 18:12-15). So rather than grasping for a throne that would never be his, Jonathan became David’s closest friend, even saving his life (19:1-6; 20:1-4).

Some would say that Jonathan gave up too much. But how would we prefer to be remembered? Like the ambitious Saul, who clung to his kingdom and lost it? Or like Jonathan, who protected the life of a man who would become an honored ancestor of Jesus?

God’s plan is always better than our own. We can fight against it and resemble a misplaced weed. Or we can accept His direction and become flourishing, fruitful plants in His garden. He leaves the choice with us. —Tim Gustafson

Lord, please forgive us for those times when we act as if You have planted us in the wrong place. Help us see what You have for us to do today.

God invites us to participate with Him in taking the gospel to our world.

INSIGHT: Do you ever wonder whether you are in the place God wants you to be? David and Jonathan help us ask a different question. When combined with the story of Jonathan’s father, Saul, they give us reason to ask not about our place in life but about the condition of our hearts.

When Israel rejected the God who delivered them, they asked for the kind of king they saw ruling other nations. So God gave them Saul, a handsome man, head and shoulders above any other man in the land (1 Samuel 9:2). He seemed to be the ideal match for a nation that wanted to be led by men rather than God (8:1-5).

Saul’s successor, David, was also a good-looking man (17:42). But when the personal and family lives of Saul, Jonathan, and David are considered together, they show us that while man looks on the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. By trusting his eyes rather than the Lord, Saul became a bitter, violent man. David, though far from perfect, knew what it meant to trust the Lord. As a result, Jonathan learned that being loyal to David and trusting David’s God was far better than being next in line for the place of his father’s ruined life and throne. Mart DeHaan

 

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Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – JESUS WILL BE SATISFIED

 

Isaiah 53:1–12

The ubiquitous to-do lists on our desks and kitchen counters give us concrete goals for the day’s work. In fact, making a detailed to-do list may actually cause us to be more productive. According to a study from Wake Forest University, “When participants were allowed to make and note down concrete plans . . . [their] performance on the next task substantially improved.”

Of course, we are seldom able to finish everything on our list for the day, but Jesus Christ always accomplishes exactly what He intends to do, as today’s passage shows us. Isaiah begins this “servant song” with an acknowledgment that the gospel does not always appear to have much success in people’s hearts. “Who has believed our message?” (v. 1) is the poignant cry of a prophet-evangelist who longs to see evidence of faith in many hearts but sees only indifference.

To Isaiah’s hearers, and also to many who hear our message, Christ Himself appears unworthy of attention. He was not outwardly beautiful or powerful. He came from an unknown woman and an out-of-the-way town (see John 1:46). During His life on earth, He received few accolades and plenty of criticism. He died the death of a criminal.

This is one perspective. But, reorienting our view for a moment, Isaiah shows us what the death of the Nazarene carpenter looks like from the throne of God. Jesus, who looks so unremarkable, is seen from heaven as the substitutionary Lamb, the One whose death gives life to many. And His death accomplishes exactly what He intended. Christ died by the will of the triune Lord (v. 10), and His death and resurrection bring many to salvation. As He looks at His finished work on the cross, Jesus is satisfied (v. 11).

APPLY THE WORD

Even when you feel like your efforts in evangelism are incomplete, even when you know there is so much more that you could do to share God’s love, remember that Christ always accomplishes His task! Thank the Lord today that the to-do list is ultimately His, and He will be faithful to complete His good work.

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Joyce Meyer – The Greatest Gift You Can Give

Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful. — Luke 6:36

It’s the most outrageous thing. The more I think about it, the more amazed I am. It gives blessings that are undeserved and withholds punishment when it is deserved. It’s absolutely the greatest gift you can give someone.

This gift is called mercy. See, Jesus came to earth and gave us mercy, so we need to learn to give mercy to others.

By Christ’s example, we’re taught to love and pray for our enemies. We’re taught to be friendly to those who do not treat us as we would like to be treated. We are told to give to and care for the poor and helpless who will never be able to pay us back.

We can give to people who will give us gifts in return. But we’re more blessed when we choose to give to those who cannot pay us back—that’s giving mercy.

The greatest gift you can give God is to become more like Jesus. You can do that by treating others the way He has treated you. Give those around you the greatest gift they could ever receive from you: mercy.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Don’t Worry

 

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matthew 6:34).

The taxi driver who drove me from the airport to the hotel in Virginia Beach stated several times that he was having difficulty making ends meet for his wife and 2-year-old son.

He had two jobs and worked seven days a week. Even so, he could hardly get by. The rent was high; the utility bills were extravagant, and he was trying to save enough money so that he could move to another city where the hourly wages were considerably higher. There, he would be able to achieve a better way of life.

I asked him if he went to church.

“No,” he said, “I don’t have time. I’m too busy.”

During the next 30 minutes we talked about the love of God, and God’s purpose and plan for men which was revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

“I once went to church as a young man,” he said,” and my mother is very religious. In fact, she used to preach to me all the time. But somehow I have gotten away from God and from the church.”

I shared with him the Four Spiritual Laws, and the prayer: “Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

By the time we reached the hotel, he was ready to pray that prayer in all earnestness, from the depths of his heart. So he offered the prayer, and I prayed with him. And it seemed as though, before my very eyes, the load he had been carrying for so long was lifted and that God, who had made the promise, had already begun to fulfill that promise.

Bible Reading:Matthew 6:28-33

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will ask God to help me forget the conflicts and unfortunate memories of the past: to take no anxious thought for tomorrow, and to joyfully live in the reality of His supernatural presence and provision.

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids – Tools of the Shepherd

 

Psalm 23:4

The rod and staff are tools of the shepherd. The rod is a club that the shepherd has carved from the root of a tree and fitted to his hand. The shepherd keeps the rod with him at all times and uses it as a weapon. When wild animals or snakes threaten the sheep, the shepherd takes aim and uses the rod to kill or drive off the intruder.

The staff is a useful and essential tool for the shepherd. Many staffs had hooks at the end for catching sheep that were wandering off, for lifting a lamb and putting it back beside its mother, and for pulling away thorny bushes the sheep might wander into and get caught in. Sheep fall over cliffs and have to be rescued. They get into weeds that will make them sick if they eat them. They must have a shepherd with them at all times to care for them and guide them. The shepherd uses his staff to assist the sheep. Sometimes he uses it to pull a sheep close to himself so he can inspect it for cuts and bruises.

So how are God’s rod and staff a comfort to us? They comfort us because God is our shepherd, guiding us day by day. Some days we may feel the hook of the staff around our necks guiding us back to the right way. Sometimes we hear the rod as it flies past our head to chase away something that would have hurt us. And sometimes we feel the staff of God’s love pulling us close to him.

Dear Lord, You are my Good Shepherd. Thank you for watching over me even when I am stubborn and foolish. Thank you for pulling me back in line and closer to you. Amen.

Wisdom Hunters – Refreshers Are Refreshed 

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed”. Proverbs 11:25

What does it mean to be refreshed? It is to be made fresh, to revive, to enliven, to invigorate, to rejuvenate, to energize, to restore, to recharge, or to revitalize. A meager cup of lukewarm coffee comes alive with a satisfying taste when mixed with freshly brewed beans. A lukewarm life is warmed and encouraged when refreshed with words of encouragement and acts of kindness. Everyone we meet becomes a candidate for refreshment.

Our faith cools down when Christ seems silent and circumstances continue to crumble, but a sincere prayer from a righteous friend warmly restores our confidence. Our hope feels deferred in the face of disappointment and rejection, but we are energized by the acceptance and love of a community of believers in Jesus. Hope loves company. Seek refreshment from your Savior and His followers. Be refreshed so you can refresh others.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25).

When your parched soul has been watered by dew from heaven, you can lead others to the Lord’s watering hole. People are frantically feeling robbed by insensitive institutions and greedy governments, but we can reconnect them to their generous God. Jesus gives us an abundant life to be shared with others who are absent of abundance. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV).

Lastly, your refreshment reciprocates refreshment. When you refresh another financially, you are refreshed by faith and fulfillment. When you refresh another emotionally, you are refreshed by peace and contentment. When you refresh another spiritually, you are refreshed by the grace and love of God. Are you in need of refreshment? If so, receive Christ’s full cup of joy. Drink often with the Lord so you can generously refresh friends.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).

Prayer: Dear Lord, I receive Your refreshing love so by Your grace I can refresh others, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Application: How can I stay in a routine of refreshment so that I in turn can refresh others?

Related Readings: Ruth 2:14; Psalm 41:1; Matthew 25:34–35; 2 Corinthians 9:6–7

http://www.wisdomhunters.com/

Charles Stanley – Enjoying God

 

Psalm 5:11-12

The Scriptures are full of verses that speak of the enjoyment God’s people find in Him, and this sometimes leaves us wondering why our experience doesn’t match theirs. If we aren’t delighting in the Lord on a consistent basis, there may be some hindrances in our life.

We may not know God. No one can have a personal relationship with the Father except through His Son Jesus. But when we believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, we become children of God. Then through His Word, we learn He’s not a Father who is quick to punish us for breaking His rules, but He’s one who tenderly watches over us and restores us when we fall.

We may be afraid of God. When the Scriptures tell us to fear the Lord, it means to honor, revere, and obey Him as a child does a parent. But if we see Him as a tyrannical Father, we’ll be afraid of Him, and this kind of fear keeps us from experiencing joy in our relationship with Him. We must remember that our heavenly Father loved us so much that He sent His Son to rescue us and has placed us securely in His loving family.

Sometimes the problem is sin. When we disobey the Lord, our fellowship with Him—but not our relationship with Him­—is broken. If we confess our sins, then He is faithful to forgive us and restore our intimacy with Him. (See 1 John 1:9.)

When we really enjoy the Lord, we find ourselves slow to leave His presence and desiring to linger. Does this describe your relationship with your heavenly Father?

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 6-8

 

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Our Daily Bread — Mercy over Judgment

 

Read: James 2:1–13

Bible in a Year: Numbers 7–8; Mark 4:21–41

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.—James 2:12

When my children were squabbling and came to me to tattle on one another, I took each child aside separately to hear their account of the problem. Since both were guilty, at the end of our chat I asked them each what they felt would be an appropriate, fair consequence for their sibling’s actions. Both suggested swift punishment for the other. To their surprise, I instead gave them each the consequence they had intended for their sibling. Suddenly, each child lamented how “unfair” the sentence seemed now that it was visited upon them—despite having deemed it appropriate when it was intended for the other.

My kids had shown the kind of “judgment without mercy” that God warns against (James 2:13). James reminds us that instead of showing favoritism to the wealthy, or even to one’s self, God desires that we love others as we love ourselves (v. 8). Instead of using others for selfish gain, or disregarding anyone whose position doesn’t benefit us, James instructs us to act as people who know how much we’ve been given and forgiven—and to extend that mercy to others.

God has given generously of His mercy. In all our dealings with others, let’s remember the mercy He’s shown us and extend it to others. —Kirsten Holmberg

Lord, I’m grateful for the great mercy You’ve shown me. Help me to offer similar mercy to others as a measure of my gratitude to You.

God’s mercy prompts us to be merciful.

INSIGHT: Growing up under Roman oppression and the religious legalism of Israel’s rulers, James valued mercy and forgiveness, which was the fruit of his relationship with Christ.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – When Forgiveness Is Suffering

When Forgiveness Is Suffering

In four horrific months in 1994, at the urging of the Rwandan government, the poorer Hutu majority took up bayonets and machetes and committed genocide against the wealthier Tutsi minority. In the wake of this unspeakable tragedy, nearly a million people had been murdered.

In August of 2003, driven by overcrowded prisons and backlogged court systems, 50,000 genocide criminals, people who had already confessed to killing their neighbors, were released again into society. Murderers were sent back to their homes, back to neighborhoods literally destroyed at their own hands, to live beside the few surviving relatives of the very men, women, and children they killed.

Now more than twenty years later, with eyes still bloodshot at visions of a genocide it failed to see, the world continues to watch Rwanda with a sense of foreboding, wondering what happens when a killer comes home; what happens when victims, widows, orphans, and murderers look each other in the eyes again; what happens when the neighbor who killed your family asks to be forgiven. For the people of Rwanda, the description of the Hebrew prophet is a reality with which they live: “And if anyone asks them, ‘What are these wounds on your chest?’ the answer will be, ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’”(1)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – When Forgiveness Is Suffering

Joyce Meyer – Think About What You’re Thinking About

 

And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you–and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.— Mark 4:24 (AMPC)

If you’re a believer, you probably think some Scripture-based thoughts throughout each day, but think about this: Are you mixing them with negative thoughts or just any random thoughts that come into your mind?

For most of my life, I simply thought about whatever fell into my head. Much of what was in my head was either lies Satan was telling me or just plain nonsense.

Read Mark 4:24. It tells us the more time we spend thinking about the Word, the more power and ability we will have to walk in it. It also says the more we read and listen to the Word, the more revelation we will receive to understand it.

In the flesh we are lazy and want to receive from God without any effort on our own part, but that’s not the way it works. You will only get out of the Word what you are willing to put into it.

I encourage you to make a decision to meditate on God’s Word every day, because every moment you spend absorbing it, the more virtue and knowledge you will receive from God.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Kingdom of Heaven

 

“Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:10).

Have you ever been persecuted because of your faith in Christ? If so, how did you respond?

While Francis Xavier was preaching one day in one of the cities of Japan, a man walked up to him as if he had something to say to him privately. As the missionary leaned closer to hear what he had to say, the man spat on his face.

Without a word or the least sign of annoyance, Xavier pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his face. Then he went on with his important message as if nothing had happened. The scorn of the audience was turned to admiration.

The most learned doctor of the city happened to be present.

“A law which teaches men such virtue, inspires them with such courage, and gives them such complete mastery over themselves,” he said, “could not but be from God.”

Supernatural power and enablement by God’s Holy Spirit make that kind of behavior possible for every believer. Furthermore, that kind of behavior probably will do more to attract and influence an unbelieving world than words ever can.

With Christ as our example, love as our motive, and humility as our covering, let us depend on God’s Holy Spirit for the wisdom and strength required to respond to mistreatment in a Christ-like way. Then, and only then, are we in a position to reflect honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bible Reading:Matthew 5:7-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Mindful that millions of Christians have died as martyrs getting the message of God’s good news through to men, and remembering that “all who live godly lives in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, “I will not shrink from whatever the Lord may have in store for me today as His witness. Drawing upon the supernatural resources of God, I will demonstrate by my words and witness that I belong to Christ.

 

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Max Lucado – God is Uncontained

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Most people have small thoughts about God. In an effort to see God as our friend, we have lost his immensity. In our desire to understand him, we have sought to contain him. The God of the Bible cannot be contained. With a word he called Adam out of dust and Eve out of a bone. He consulted no committee. He sought no counsel. He has authority over the world and…He has authority over your world. He is never surprised. He has never, ever uttered the phrase, “How did that happen?”

God’s goodness is a major headline in the Bible. If He were only mighty, we would salute Him. But since He is merciful and mighty, we can approach Him. If God is at once Father and Creator, holy—unlike us—and high above us, then we at any point are only a prayer away from help!

Read more Before Amen

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

 

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Denison Forum – Billy Graham’s nephew is not grieving his death

The headline shocked me: “Billy Graham’s nephew isn’t mourning his passing.” I was afraid that journalists had found a disgruntled family member who would disparage Dr. Graham’s legacy.

It turns out, the opposite is true.

Deryl Graham is the son of Billy Graham’s brother. Deryl told reporters that the man he called “Uncle Billy” was the same person in private as he was in public:

“People who saw him on TV or during one of his crusades might think there’s no way he could be that good and straightforward in real life. But he was. He was meek, and he was honest, and he was pure.”

He said his family wasn’t mourning and was actually glad to see his uncle released from a body that had begun to fail him. “He’s been ready to go for quite some time,” Graham said. “He told us not long ago that he didn’t believe the Lord wanted him to see his 100th birthday on this earth.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – Billy Graham’s nephew is not grieving his death

Charles Stanley – Sowing to the Spirit

 

James 3:9-18

In all our daily choices, we either “sow to the flesh” or “sow to the Spirit” (Gal. 6:8). With our actions and thoughts, we plant seeds that affect what kind of person we’re growing into and the level of impact our life will have for God.

The “flesh” is the part of us that wants to live and act independently of the Lord. As humans, all of us have to deal with the pull of this attitude; we don’t lose it automatically when we’re saved. However, the Holy Spirit frees us from slavery to the flesh. He begins to change us so we can turn from the deceptive lure of living for self and instead start to live according to the truth. The choices we make contribute to the process of transformation, and when they’re in alignment with the Spirit’s work, they plant good seeds that result in even more new growth.

When you’re sowing to the Spirit, you are accepting God’s truth into your mind and heart. Then you will begin to experience eternal life, which comes from truly knowing the Lord (John 17:3). The fruit of the Spirit grows naturally from these seeds of godly truth and influences every aspect of your life. When you feed your spirit with the things of God, you’re going to become stronger, more Christlike, and more full of His life in your thoughts and actions.

Are you feeding your spirit and the wellspring of your life, or are you feeding the part of you that wants to act independently of God? Do your choices sow seeds that are building you up, making you different, and letting streams of living water flow from you to nourish others? (See John 7:37-39.)

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 3-5

 

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Our Daily Bread — Buckling Up!

 

Read: Hebrews 4:11–16
Bible in a Year: Numbers 4–6; Mark 4:1–20

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.— Hebrews 4:16

“The captain has turned on the seat belt sign, indicating that we are entering an area of turbulence. Please return to your seats immediately and securely fasten your seat belt.” Flight attendants give that warning when necessary because in rough air, unbuckled passengers can be injured. Secured in their seats, they can safely ride out the turbulence.

Most of the time, life doesn’t warn us of the unsettling experiences coming our way. But our loving Father knows and cares about our struggles, and He invites us to bring our cares, hurts, and fears to Him. The Scriptures tell us, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT).

In seasons of turbulence, going to our Father in prayer is the best thing we can do. The phrase “grace to help us when we need it”—means that in His presence we can be “buckled” in peace during threatening times, because we bring our concerns to the One who is greater than all! When life feels overwhelming, we can pray. He can help us through the turbulence. —Bill Crowder

Father, sometimes life is overwhelming. Help me to trust You with all the turbulent moments, knowing how deeply You care for my life.

Although we cannot anticipate the trials of life, we can pray to our Father who fully understands what we face.

INSIGHT: Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded that God cares about our struggles. When David was pursued by the murderous Saul, he sought refuge in a cave (1 Samuel 22:1; 24:3-4). It is likely this is where he penned Psalm 142 as his prayer to God. The despondent David lamented that “no one is concerned for me” and he had no one to turn to for help (v. 4). But David did turn his troubles over to his God: “I cry aloud to the LORD . . . . I tell [him] my trouble” (vv. 1-2).

Like David, we may be “caved in” by our troubles, finding ourselves “in desperate need” (v. 6). We may lament that “no one cares” (v. 4). But we too can turn our troubles over to God. We can make God our refuge, echoing in faith and trust, “You are my refuge” (v. 5), and we can cast our “anxiety on him because he cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7).

How does knowing God cares for you help you overcome worry and helplessness? K. T. Sim

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Forgettable Power of Empathy

Perched above the altar in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice hang the ciborium columns.(1) The artist is unknown. Constructed in the early 1300s from alabaster, the columns hold numerous carvings depicting various stories, among them, the life of Jesus. There are so many stories—108 in fact—that one can easily lose track of all that is displayed.

On one particular panel, apparently, Jesus talks to Zacchaeus, who reaches out of some tree branches to participate in what must have been a truly entertaining conversation. After all, it was a conversation that resulted in a divine home-visit, a meal, and a turnaround in Zacchaeus’s life profound enough to warrant its recording and retelling.(2) Over the last twenty-five years, I’ve seen the ciborium columns and, presumably, this panel a few times. But I remember nothing about it.

Some of us remember the story of Zacchaeus for various reasons described to us as young children. He was a “wee” little man. He climbed up in a sycamore tree. He was a despised tax collector. But like this work of art, is there also a piece of this story that is forgettable?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Forgettable Power of Empathy

Joyce Meyer – Stop Keeping Score

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. — 1 Corinthians 13:5 (AMPC)

We all get hurt sometimes, and it’s vitally important to learn how to forgive quickly so we can be spiritually strong and healthy. For example, if someone has hurt you, don’t spend the next 10 years of your life hurting yourself by hanging on to that offense. Most likely, the other person isn’t even thinking about you, while you dwell on the incident for years. That only hurts one person—you.

When we walk in unforgiveness, we try to “keep score,” viewing ourselves as better than the other person.

Back in the early days of our marriage, when Dave and I were fussing and fuming at each other, I would bring up stuff from the past that he couldn’t possibly remember and Dave would say, “Where do you keep all that stuff?” Well, I had a place, and it was all in there eating at me. And every new thing Dave did wrong was added to this list until it became a bitter giant in my heart.

Thank God I’ve learned a better way to live! When we walk in God’s love, we find freedom by keeping “no account” of wrongs done to us. If you’re hurting from the pain of unforgiveness today, ask God to help you stop keeping score. You can let go of your bitterness today.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Inherit My Holy Mountain

“Let’s see if the whole collection of your idols can help you when you cry to them to save you! They are so weak that the wind can carry them off! A breath can puff them away. But he who trusts in Me shall possess the land and inherit My Holy Mountain” (Isaiah 57:13).

It was the very last week prior to our deadline for raising two million dollars to purchase the property at Arrowhead Springs for our international Campus Crusade for Christ headquarters. A dear friend had offered a $300,000 matching fund as a gift if we could raise the balance of the $2 million by a certain date.

Because of a very heavy speaking schedule at both the student and faculty conferences held at Arrowhead, I was unable to make any significant contribution to the raising of funds. And yet somehow in my heart of hearts I knew that God was going to supply our need in a miraculous way.

The late Dr. V. Raymond Edman, then president of Wheaton College, was one of the featured speakers at the conferences. At breakfast, one day Dr. Edman shared with my wife, Vonette, and me this very meaningful verse in Isaiah – a verse that God had impressed upon him that morning to share with us as he prayed about our urgent financial needs.

Now we were all the more encouraged to believe God in an even greater way than before. We truly expected to see Him provide the remaining funds – miraculously. In the evening of the day of the deadline, I was informed that we still needed $33,000 and that every possible source of revenue had been exhausted. There was nothing more, humanly speaking, we could do. Yet, through a series of circumstances between 11:00 and midnight, those funds were pledged, and we met the deadline. Exactly at midnight, the last of God’s miracles had been wrought and the goal had been reached. God had promised, “He who trusts in Me shall possess the land and inherit My Holy Mountain” – Arrowhead Springs.

Bible Reading:Isaiah 57:10-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Whether the need be for funds, for health, for wisdom, or whatever, I will believe God to supply my every need as He has so wonderfully promised in His Word to those who trust in Him.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Oh, Daddy!

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

When my eldest daughter was 13, she flubbed her piano piece at a recital. The silence in the auditorium was broken only by the pounding of her parents’ hearts. She hurried off the stage, threw her arms around me and buried her face in my shirt. “Oh, Daddy.”   That was enough for me. At that moment I’d have given her the moon and all she said was, “Oh Daddy!”

Prayer starts here. Prayer begins with an honest, heartfelt, Oh, Daddy! Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy. So my challenge for you is this:   Every day for four weeks, pray four minutes. Then, get ready to connect with God like never before.

Read more Before Amen

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