Charles Stanley –Godly Wisdom

 

Ephesians 5:6-17

Life is really just a series of decisions. Most of them are small and seem inconsequential, while others could change the course of our life. Whether choices are major or minor, we need to know how to make wise ones that align with God’s will.

Our thinking is limited to what our finite minds can perceive and understand. Relying on our own assessment of the situation and possible options could easily veer us away from the Lord’s will. Even the smartest among us are foolish compared to an infinitely wise, omniscient God.

Godly wisdom requires the right perspective as well as the appropriate action—that is, it seeks to gain the Lord’s viewpoint and respond according to scriptural principles. Such wisdom asks, How would God interpret these events? What would He want me to do? Then it answers these questions, based on the truth of God’s Word. That’s why becoming very familiar with Scripture is so important. The time to prepare for future decisions is now. If we consistently read and study the Bible each day, we’ll acquire a sound base for making wise choices whenever they arise, because we’ll understand what pleases and displeases God.

The Lord has also given us His Holy Spirit as our guide and enabler. He gives us understanding of Scripture and wise direction, convicts us when we drift into sin, and empowers us to obey God’s commands.

All that we need to live wisely has been provided by the Lord, but it’s up to us to access it. Self-reliance will always lead us away from God’s will, but obedience to Him will make us wise.

Bible in One Year: Song of Solomon 5-8

 

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Our Daily Bread — Shelter from the Storm

 

Read: James 1:12–18 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 29–30; Acts 23:1–15

But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter. Psalm 73:28 nlt

When I lived in Oklahoma I had a friend who “chased” tornados. John tracked the storms carefully through radio contact with other chasers and local radar, trying to keep a safe distance while observing their destructive paths so he could report sudden changes to people in harm’s way.
One day a funnel cloud changed course so abruptly John found himself in grave danger. Fortunately, he found shelter and was spared.

John’s experience that afternoon makes me think of another destructive path: sin in our lives. The Bible tells us, “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14–15).

There’s a progression here. What may at first seem harmless can soon spin out of control and wreak havoc. But when temptation threatens, God offers us shelter from the gathering storm.

God’s Word tells us He would never tempt us, and we can blame our choices only on ourselves. But when we “are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that [we] can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). As we turn to Him and call on Him for help in the moment of temptation, Jesus gives us the strength we need to overcome.

Jesus is our shelter forever.

Lord Jesus, You conquered sin and death forever through Your cross and empty tomb! Help me to live and thrive in the forgiveness only You can give.

Our Savior calms temptation’s storm.

By James Banks

INSIGHT

As this passage in James 1:12–18 clearly teaches, God does not tempt us. Yet in this life temptations are sure to come. In fact, God may permit temptation in order to strengthen our faith as well as our dependence on Him. It’s an immeasurable comfort to know that our heavenly Father will “provide a way out” of temptation, as promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13. But what do we do in those times when we’ve made a mess of things?

It’s always best to run to our Father the moment we’re faced with temptation. But we can turn to Him at any point, even—especially—if we are trying to run from Him. Our God is such a loving and gracious Father. We can always come to Him.

To keep from getting to a point of desperation, it might be wise to ask ourselves these questions: Where do my temptations typically come from? What things might I need to get rid of that cause me to be tempted? Do I have trusted accountability partners to help me in my faith journey?

Tim Gustafson

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Water in a Pile

 

Joshua 3:13

The Jordan River was at flood stage. So did his people worry when God said, “Have the priests pick up the Ark of the Covenant and walk into the water”? Did the priests wonder if they could hold onto the Ark in the swirling water? Did they think they would be swept away and lose their lives? No matter, God told them what would happen when they did what he said. They had to have enough faith to put their feet in the water. And that’s when the miracle happened. Somewhere way up stream the waters were cut off and piled up. Even more miraculous, the ground in the river bed was dry. The priests walked to the middle of the river and stood there until all the people crossed over into the Promised Land.

When God is the architect, we are the workers, using our hands, our feet, our faith to help our heavenly Father. God directed the priests. Because they had bold faith, they followed directions. And God’s people passed safely, understanding his faithfulness and power.

As you carry your load, remember you have the living God with you. You are working for him. So be bold in your faith. Who knows what he will accomplish with it!

Dear Lord, I’m not sure what you can accomplish with me. But you are the master planner. Help me have enough faith to work for you through troubles. Amen

Joyce Meyer – Pray and Obey

 

…You have opened my ears and given me the capacity to hear [and obey Your word]…. — Psalm 40:6 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Hearing from God Each Morning Devotional

For many years, I wanted God to speak to me, but I wanted to pick and choose what things to obey. I wanted to do what He said if it was easy and I thought it was a good idea, but if I didn’t like what I heard, I acted like it wasn’t from God!

Some of what God says to you will be very exciting. Other things He says may not be so thrilling, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work out for your good if you will simply obey. For example, if God tells you that you need to apologize because you were rude to someone, it won’t work for you to respond, “Well, that person was rude to me too!” If you talk back to Him with excuses, you may have prayed and even heard God’s voice, but you didn’t obey.

Looking back at more than four decades of walking with God and being in ministry, I have to say that the simplest explanation for the success we have enjoyed is that we have learned to pray, hear from God, and then do what He tells us to do. Over the years, as I have sought God and pressed forward in what I feel He has told me to do, I can say that what I have done more than anything else is simply to pray and obey. Doing so has not always been popular, but it has worked.

If you want God’s plan for your life, I can give you the recipe in its most basic form: pray and obey. God has given you the capacity to do both, and if you do it continually, you will be moving right along in His will for your life.

Prayer Starter: Thank You, Lord, that You always have my best in mind. Please help me to be even more sensitive to hearing Your voice, and help me to trust and obey You in things big and small. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Spirit Tells Us

 

“That is what is meant by the Scriptures which say that no mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord. But we know about these things because God has sent His Spirit to tell us, and His Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets” (1 Corinthians 2:9,10).

For many years, on every populated continent, I have asked millions of Christians this question: “What is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you since you became a Christian?”

The answer invariably has been: “To experience the reality, power, control and fruit of the Holy Spirit.” There is no other truth that so transforms the life of the Christian and enables him to be fruitful for the glory of God.

Two strangers were viewing the Niagara whirlpool rapids one day and one said to the other, “Come and I’ll show you the greatest unused power in the world.”

Taking him to the foot of Niagara Falls, he said, “There is the greatest unused power in the world!”

“Oh, no my friend,” came the reply, “not so. The greatest unused power in the world is the Holy Spirit of the living God.”

Christ’s strength is given to us through the Holy Spirit to meet our every need. How do we receive that strength, that supernatural power?

As Christians, we have the potential within us, in the person of God’s Holy Spirit, but sin hinders the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

By confessing all our known sin and appropriating that supernatural power of the Holy Spirit within us, we can, by faith, be filled and continue to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Then, according to God’s Word, the Holy Spirit ministers to our every need.

When we by faith are filled with the Holy Spirit, He guides us, empowers us, makes us holy, bears witness in our lives, comforts us, gives us joy, gives discernment, bears fruit in and through our lives and gives us spiritual gifts for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Bible Reading:I Corinthians 2:11-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will by faith appropriate the greatest unused power in the world today, the supernatural power of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit who enables me to live a supernatural life. I will share with someone today how he, too, can live a supernatural life

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Charles Stanley – God’s Promise to Provide

 

Philippians 4:10-19

Today’s passage contains a marvelous promise—that “God will supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:19). Although these words bring great encouragement, we can’t afford to ignore the rest of the verse or the surrounding context.

“According to His riches in glory” (v. 19). This phrase emphasizes the sufficiency of God’s supply, but it also reveals that many of His provisions are spiritual. We usually want Him to provide physically—and He often does. However, He is more concerned with the condition of our spirit. Since He knows that trials assist in conforming us to the image of Christ, some difficulties may remain until they have accomplished His good purpose in us.

“In Christ Jesus” (v. 19). These may be the most important words of the verse, as they give the basis for the Lord’s abundant supply. It has nothing to do with our hard work or worthiness but is based only on our relationship with God through His Son. As our Father, He assumes the responsibility for meeting the needs of His children.

“You have done well to share with me” (Phil. 4:14). The Philippians were generous people who sent Paul gifts when they could. Their generosity enabled him to assure them of the Lord’s provision: “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38).

Pulling verses out of context can distort our understanding of God’s promises. Resulting misconceptions may lead to disappointment and doubt, leaving us to wonder why God isn’t doing what He said. Knowledge of the context motivates obedience and helps us recognize God’s less obvious provisions.

Bible in One Year: Song of Solomon 1-4

 

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Our Daily Bread — Home Sweet Home

 

Read: John 14:1–14 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 26–28; Acts 22

I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

“Why do we have to leave our home and move?” my son asked. It’s difficult to explain what a home is, especially to a five-year-old. We were leaving a house, but not our home, in the sense that home is where our loved ones are. It’s the place where we long to return after a long trip or after a full day’s work.

When Jesus was in the upper room just hours before He died, He told His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). The disciples were uncertain of their future because Jesus had predicted His death. But Jesus reassured them of His presence and reminded them they would see Him again. He told them, “My Father’s house has many rooms . . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (v. 2). He could have used other words to describe heaven. However, He chose words that describe not an uncomfortable or unfamiliar place but a place where Jesus, our loved One, would be.

  1. S. Lewis wrote, “Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” We can thank God for the “pleasant inns” in life, but let’s remember that our real home is in heaven where we “will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Dear Lord, I thank You for heaven, my eternal home.

Read more about the life to come at discoveryseries.org/q1205.

We look forward to being with the Lord forever.

By Keila Ochoa

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Paradigms of Beauty

Dale Henderson gives cello concerts in New York City subway stations because he fears the day when classical music will be no more. He plays for free, focusing primarily on Bach Solo Cello Suites because their “power and beauty unfailingly inspire great appreciation, joy and deep emotion in those who hear them.”(1) Some commuters stop and stare, curious or captivated, many having never heard a cello or Bach concerto before. For Henderson, the music is an offering of something meaningful, seeds for future generations of classical music admirers who would not otherwise know it, beauty well worth lugging his heavy cello down into the subways to protect.

It is not always easy to talk about beauty without a minefield of objections or at best complicating list of qualifiers. Its modern place in the “eye of the beholder” gives it a tenuous feel at best. Its ancient place as a perfect and ancient ideal is equally held with abstraction. While Henderson describes a world without classical music as soul-less, others may not miss it so much. And the contrast of beauty in a broken and breaking world makes its distinctive encounters increasingly stand out.

One author describes the common, but individual, effect of our varied encounters of the beautiful this way: “‘Beauty’ seems suited to those experiences that stop us in our tracks. Whether it’s a painting called Broadway Boogie-Woogie or a scherzo by Paganini, the beautiful is conducive to stillness. It doesn’t excite us, or necessarily instill in us the desire to replicate it; it simply makes us exist as though we’re existing for that very experience.”(2) His words are rife with the power of beauty to create longing, a desire to somehow participate. Beauty indeed leaves us with the ache of longing for another taste, another glimpse. And for each of us, this longing can come at unique or unsuspecting times—at the spectacular sight of the giant sequoias or a tiny praying mantis, at a concert or watching a First Nation powwow and taking in the colors, the drums, the survival of a betrayed people.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Paradigms of Beauty

Joyce Meyer – From the Pit to the Palace

 

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. — Genesis 37:23-24

Adapted from the resource Ending Your Day Right Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

When Joseph’s brothers threw him in the pit to die, God had other plans. Scripture says that even though Joseph was sold as a slave, he did not have a slave mentality. He still believed he could do great things. Ultimately, he ended up second in command to Pharaoh, the ruler over all Egypt.

How did Joseph get from the pit to the palace? It was by remaining positive, refusing to be bitter, being confident, and trusting God.

Make up your mind right now to do something great for God. No matter where you started, you can have a great finish. If people have mistreated you, don’t waste your time trying to get revenge—leave them in God’s hands and trust Him to bring justice in your life.

Prayer Starter: Lord, only You can take the bad things that have happened and work them out for my good. Help me to stay positive, trust in You, and refuse to give up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – In the Book of Life

 

“Everyone who conquers will be clothed in white, and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and His angels that he is Mine” (Revelation 3:5).

Perhaps you have rejoiced – as I have – at the reminder that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, God’s heavenly record of the redeemed.

Here are two more promises to the conqueror, the overcomer, the victorious Christian – one having to do with future reign, the other with our security in Him.

Not only to the believers in Sardis who should be victorious, but also to those in every age and every land, lies the hope – indeed the promise – of appearing with Christ in white robes expressing holiness and joy in that future day when He shall rule and reign on this earth.

If you are a believer in Christ, your name is in the that book which contains the names of those who are to live with Him throughout eternity. Not to have our names erased, of course, means that the names will be found there on the great day of final account, and forever and ever.

What better way could we use our time today – and tomorrow – and the next day – than to add names to the Book of Life, by faithfully witnessing to others about the good news of the gospel? Our privilege and responsibility is to share; God’s Holy Spirit does the work of convicting and saving.

Bible Reading:Revelation 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, help me to add names to Your Book of Life by sharing my faith in You at every possible opportunity.”

 

 

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Max Lucado – Press the Pause Button

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Jesus repeatedly escaped the noise of the crowd in order to hear the voice of God! Which presupposes a decision on his part.  I need to get away…to think…to calibrate my course. With resolve, he pressed the pause button on his life.

Richard Foster hit the mark when he wrote,  “If our Adversary can keep us engaged in ‘muchness’ and ‘manyness,’ he will rest satisfied.” The devil implants taxi meters in our brains.  We hear the relentless tick, tick, tick telling us to hurry, hurry, hurry, time is money—resulting in this roaring blur called the human race.

Follow Jesus into the desert.  Accept your Master’s invitation to  “Come aside by yourself to a desert place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Free cheeseburgers and the secret to positive living

Cody is a ten-year-old boxer-lab mix who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His owner, Alex Karcher, discovered that Cody would take his medicines more easily if he eats them with Burger King cheeseburgers.

When Alex told a restaurant employee his story, the manager told him that their location would provide free cheeseburgers for Cody for the rest of his life. After Alex wrote a letter to express his gratitude, the official Burger King Twitter account responded: “The world needs more kindness and empathy. Thank you for giving us the chance to do this for Cody.”

“The power of positive people”

The New York Times recently carried a fascinating article titled, “The Power of Positive People.” The writer focuses on research indicating that our well-being is significantly influenced by the company we keep.

For instance, positive friendships are especially common in regions of the world where people live far longer than the average. Experts are now encouraging us to create intentional networks of friends who will help us build long-term supportive relationships.

We can certainly use more positivity in our lives today. Consider this story in the news: Young adults are drinking themselves to death.

According to a new report, deaths from cirrhosis—the late stages of liver damage—rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2016. Deaths from liver cancer doubled. From 2009 to 2016, the greatest increase in death rate from cirrhosis was among people between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-four, and the major cause was alcohol.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Free cheeseburgers and the secret to positive living

Charles Stanley – Jesus: A Servant

 

Matthew 20:20-28

Believers like to talk about Jesus as Lord, Master, and especially Savior, but rarely is He mentioned as Servant. Yet describing His own mission, Christ said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). He entered the world to offer Himself for the Father’s purpose and mankind’s need.

Because every human being is born enslaved to sin, Jesus came to set us free. He voluntarily exchanged His glory for flesh because only as a human could He die in our place to pay the penalty for our sin. The greatest service He offered was His sacrifice on the cross. He allowed His purity to be violated by our transgressions. In fact, God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf” so that we could gain His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Our sinless Savior suddenly and painfully felt the burden of guilt, the vileness of sin, the weight of a tarnished soul, and a wretched separation from His Father. He suffered the injustice of dying for our sins in order that God’s holiness and our imperfection could be reconciled, and we could be shown mercy.

Jesus was the Father’s servant, agreeing to an atonement plan that made Him a sacrifice. And He is your servant as well—He humbly endured the punishment you deserved. To receive the benefit of His sacrifice, you need only believe and call on Him for the forgiveness of your sins. When you receive Him into your life, then you too will know the Servant, Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord.

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 9-12

 

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Our Daily Bread — Through the Cross

 

Read: 2 Corinthians 4:8–18 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 23–25; Acts 21:18–40

[Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

My coworker Tom keeps an 8″ by 12″ glass cross on his desk. His friend Phil, who like Tom is a cancer survivor, gave it to him to help him look at everything “through the cross.” The glass cross is a constant reminder of God’s love and good purposes for him.

That’s a challenging idea for all believers in Jesus, especially during difficult times. It’s much easier to focus on our problems than on God’s love.

The apostle Paul’s life was certainly an example of having a cross-shaped perspective. He described himself in times of suffering as being “persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9). He believed that in the hard times, God is at work, “achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (vv. 17–18).

To “fix our eyes . . . on what is unseen” doesn’t mean we minimize the problems. Paul Barnett, in his commentary on this passage, explains, “There is to be confidence, based on the certainty of God’s purposes for [us] . . . . On the other hand, there is the sober recognition that we groan with hope mingled with pain.”

Jesus gave His life for us. His love is deep and sacrificial. As we look at life “through the cross,” we see His love and faithfulness. And our trust in Him grows.

Father, teach us who You are. Increase our trust in You. Fill our minds with Your perspective.

Look at everything through the cross.

By Anne Cetas

INSIGHT

Through the cross we see God’s loving payment for our sin. But it teaches us more. Jesus’s suffering also exposed the nature and cruelty of our sin against Him and against humanity. He endured the worst we could do to Him to expose Satan’s lie that our Creator isn’t as good as He says He is. He even suffered unimaginable wrongs to show us how to love those who hurt us.

What else does God want to teach us about cross-shaped love and what it can do in us and for others?

Mart DeHaan

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – God in the Pews

Why isn’t God more obvious? This question is often asked in many ways and in many contexts, by people of all levels of faith. When prayers go unanswered, why is God silent? When suffering or tragedy strikes, why would God allow this to happen? Why wouldn’t God want more people to know God’s good news? When all the “evidence” seems to counter the biblical narrative, why doesn’t God just give the world a sign? If God was revealed through many wondrous signs and miracles throughout the Bible, why doesn’t God act that way today? All of these examples get at the same issue: the seeming “hiddenness” of God.

Atheist Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say if after death he met God. Russell replied that he would say: “God, you gave us insufficient evidence.”(1) While many who have found God quite evident would balk at Russell’s audacity, a similar struggle ensued between the psalmist and his hidden God. “Why do you stand afar off, O Lord? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Indeed, the psalmist accuses God of being asleep in these plaintive cries: “Arouse, yourself, why do you sleep, O Lord? Awake, and do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?”(2)

In fact, belief in a God who can be easily found, a God who has acted in time and space, makes the hiddenness of God all the more poignant and perplexing. Theologians have offered many explanations for God’s hiddenness: because God seeks to grow our faith, because our sins and disobedience hide us from God and keep us from seeing God properly, or because God loves us and knows how much and how often we need to “find” God. If we are honest, we are just as likely to hide ourselves from God just as the first humans did in the Garden when God sought after them. Even so we cry out just like Job did and wonder why God stays hidden away in unanswered prayers and difficult circumstances: “Why do you hide your face, and consider me the enemy?”

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – God in the Pews

Joyce Meyer – What Is Grace?

 

. . . The [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God). — Hebrews 10:29 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Closer to God Each Day Devotional

Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit available to you to do with ease what you cannot do by striving in your own strength. Grace is God’s power coming into our lives, freely enabling us to do whatever we need to do. God’s grace is always available, but we do need to receive it by faith and refuse to try to do things in our own strength without God.

The Holy Spirit ministers grace to us from God the Father. Grace is actually the Holy Spirit’s power flowing out from the throne of God toward people to save them and enable them to live holy lives and accomplish the will of God.

We can rejoice and be full of peace, joy, and contentment each day because of God’s grace in our lives. It is His grace that allows us to live in close fellowship with Him. With the grace of God, life can be enjoyed with an ease that produces rest and contentment.

Prayer Starter: Lord, help me to rely on Your grace to do everything. In my own strength, I can only do so much, but with You, all things are possible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – All Things for Our Good

“And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans” (Romans 8:28).

I waited and prayed in the chapel at the Loma Linda Hospital. My beloved wife, Vonette, had been in major surgery for four hours. Three weeks before, while I was in Brazil, she had gone to our doctor for a physical examination and he had informed her that she had a large growth that could be malignant.

Though he wanted to operate at once, the doctor agreed at Vonette’s insistence to wait until I returned from a tour of several Latin American countries. Vonette called to give me the doctor’s report while I was in Rio de Janerio. Naturally I wanted to return home at once. However, she assured me that she would be all right and encouraged me not to interrupt the meetings since they had the potential of ultimately helping to train hundreds of thousands of Christians to help reach millions for our Lord throughout all of Latin America (which they have subsequently done through a great Here’s Life movement in each of these countries).

We prayed together over the telephone, praising God for His faithfulness to us in the past. As an expression of our faith and an act of obedience to His holy, inspired Word, we thanked Him for this opportunity to trust Him, even though at the moment it seemed very difficult. Then as we praised and gave thanks to the Lord, His supernatural peace flooded our hearts. God always honors faith and obedience.

During the following weeks we continued to praise and thank God as we both continued to speak and witness for Him personally and at many meetings, recognizing that we are His servants, and that the Master is responsible for the welfare of His servants.

After the surgery the doctors assured us that the operation was a success and that there was no malignancy. We continue to thank and praise the Lord for His goodness to us. We know that, if we love God, all things really do work out together for our good regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the outcome. Why did God allow us to go through this experience? In order that we would be reminded of His faithfulness and learn to love, trust and obey Him.

Bible Reading:Romans 8:29-34

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Since I love God and am fitting into His plans, I will, by faith, count all things as working together for my good today and will thank God and praise Him in obedience to His command. I will encourage others to do the same, to trust and obey God as an expression of the supernatural life

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – A Purposeful Pause

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

It took a purposeful pause to pull me out of a spiritual desert! Standing in our new church building before a beaming congregation, I was thinking, I should be thrilled.  Instead I was hollow and mechanical.  A friend noticed and convinced me to do what I’m urging you to do—that is, clarify my sweet spot. Renewal began when I paused on purpose.

Do you sense a disconnect between your design and daily duties?  God may want you to leave but you’re staying.  How can you know unless you mute the crowd and meet with Jesus in a deserted place?  He says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Jesus “often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Why don’t you press the ‘pause button’ so you can contemplate the work of God.

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – UK ethics council decides altering human embryos is “morally permissible”

An ethics council in the United Kingdom has concluded that changing the DNA of a human embryo could be “morally permissible” if such changes are in the child’s best interests and do not create further inequalities in society.

This is a monumental and troubling announcement.

Embryonic genetic editing: the positives

Let’s begin with some background. In addition to my work at Denison Forum, I serve as the resident scholar for ethics with Baylor Scott & White Health. In this capacity, I am especially interested in the ethics of genetic medicine.

I have been following advances in genome-editing techniques that have made it possible to correct genetic defects in human embryos. Since inherited disorders affect millions of people around the world, such advances offer great potential.

According to the New York Times, one recently developed technique could conceivably apply to more than ten thousand conditions caused by specific inherited genetic mutations. This technique is relevant to certain breast and ovarian cancers and to diseases such as Huntington’s, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and some cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Continue reading Denison Forum – UK ethics council decides altering human embryos is “morally permissible”

Charles Stanley – An Unforgiving Spirit

 

Matthew 18:21-35

Because of man’s propensity to sin, we’re surrounded by opportunities to forgive others. Perhaps we’ve been unfairly criticized, disappointed by a broken promise, or harmed financially or physically. In this broken world, the list of wrongdoings is endless. The question is: How are we to deal with the offenses of others?

Peter was wondering the same thing, so He asked Jesus how often he should forgive a brother who sins against him. He probably thought he was being very generous by suggesting, “Up to seven times?” But Jesus replied, “Up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21-22). In other words, forgive every single time you’re wronged. Forgiveness doesn’t mean finding reasons to justify or excuse someone’s behavior, nor is it about forgetting what happened or pretending it never occurred.

Genuine forgiveness requires deliberate action on our part. While acknowledging that a wrong has been committed, we choose to release the offender from any obligation toward us and surrender our perceived right to hurt him or her back. In essence, we’re no longer holding the unfair, hurtful behavior against the person but are extending mercy, just as God has done toward us.

The only alternative is to hold onto anger and bitterness. Though we may think we are punishing the wrongdoer, we’re actually hurting ourselves. Resentment is like sludge that contaminates the mind, clogs the heart, and poisons the soul. Untreated anger turns into bitterness, which hinders our relationship with God and others and leaves us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks (Eph. 4:26-27). The only remedy is forgiveness.

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 5-8

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