Charles Stanley – Blessed Assurance

 

Hebrews 10:22-23

How do you know whether your salvation is genuine? Is there any way to be absolutely certain, or do you have to live in uncertainty, fearing that you may do or say something that could nullify your acceptance by God?

Although Scripture assures us that we can be absolutely certain we are saved, many Christians are continually plagued by doubts. Sometimes sin triggers the thought that we’ve gone too far this time. Another problem is reliance on shifting emotions as verification of our standing with God. Perhaps we’ve been comparing ourselves with other believers who seem more righteous and then conclude we must not be saved. Or maybe we’ve listened to false teaching that claims eternal life can be lost.

Basically our lack of assurance boils down to two issues: We don’t believe what God’s Word says, and we think we are the ones who must hold onto our salvation. Jesus said that no one can snatch His sheep out of His hand (John 10:27-29). He’s the one who holds us, and He’s promised that He will lose none of those whom the Father has given Him (John 6:39). If we begin to doubt for any reason, we must go back to Scripture and let the Lord assure us of His love and provision.

Those who are saved are guaranteed eternal life, but how can you be certain that your salvation is genuine? One test is perseverance. God uses trials to test your faith (1 Peter 1:6-7). When trials come and you do not fall away, your faith has been proven genuine. What’s more, Romans 8:16 tells us, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 1-3

 

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Our Daily Bread — Nobody Likes Me

 

Read: Psalm 142 | Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 28–29; John 9:24–41

No one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. Psalm 142:4

As a child, when I felt lonely, rejected, or sorry for myself, my mother would sometimes attempt to cheer me up by singing a popular ditty: “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me. I think I’ll go eat worms.” After a smile came from my downcast face, she’d help me see the many special relationships and reasons for gratitude I truly did have.

When I read that David felt no one cared for him, that ditty rings in my ears. Yet David’s pain wasn’t at all exaggerated. Where I had feelings of loneliness typical for my age, David actually had good reason to feel abandoned. He wrote these words in the dark depths of a cave where he hid from Saul, who pursued him with murderous plans (1 Samuel 22:1; 24:3–10). David had been anointed as Israel’s future king (16:13), had spent years in Saul’s service, but now he lived “on the move,” always fearing for his life. In the midst of the loneliness David felt, he cried out to God as his “refuge” and “portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:5).

God is our friend in seasons of loneliness.

Like David, we can cry out to God when we feel alone, giving voice to our feelings in the safety of His love. God never minimizes our loneliness. He wants to be our companion in the dark caves of our lives. Even when we think no one cares for our life, God cares!

Lord, You are my friend when I feel alone. Thank You for being with me in the dark caves of life.

God is our friend in seasons of loneliness.

By Kirsten Holmberg

INSIGHT

The heading to Psalm 142 says, “A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.” But we might also call this song “David’s cry.” The poetic imagery woven into the lyric rings with authenticity because it flows out of David’s actual experiences. Twice he fled to a cave in fear for his life. Few of us can identify with that situation literally, but nearly all of us can relate to David’s metaphorical cave of loneliness and despair. When he uses words like “cry” (v. 1) and “complaint” (v. 2), we know how he feels. His “spirit grows faint” (v. 3), a “snare” has been set for him (v. 3), and “no one is concerned” (v. 4). David even sees his dilemma as “my prison” (v. 7). Yet he knows the trustworthiness of the One he cries out to, and he anticipates a day when “the righteous will gather about [him]” (v. 7). He will not always be desperately lonely.

Does an emotional cave imprison you today? Consider writing out your thoughts in raw honesty and giving them to God. How might that kind of honesty change your prayers?

Tim Gustafson

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – God Is for Us and with Us

Read: Romans 8:28-39

If God is for us, who can be against us? (v. 31)

Once when one of our children was very young, he disappeared. We searched frantically around the house and outdoors. We called his name loudly. We finally found him in the back of a closet. The louder we called, the more scared he was, so he remained hidden.

In stark contrast are other times when I have lost something of far less value, such as a golf ball from an errant shot, and decided it wasn’t worth searching for. Thankfully, God doesn’t give up on us like that but pursues us like a parent searching for a lost child because we have great value in his eyes. He made us and he loves us enough to search and find us when we are lost in sin. God is for you! You are of great worth to him. Romans 8 declares a double truth that God is for us and that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God.

Others may hold your past failures against you. You may be tempted to live with shame and guilt. At times it may feel like no one is on your side. Yet just as God was with Joseph in prison (Gen. 39:21-23) and surrounded Elisha with a heavenly army (2 Kings 6:17), the Lord is with you and he has a great plan for your life if you trust in him. —Steve Petroelje

Prayer: Faithful Father, who never gives up on me, thank you for the value and worth that I have as your child. Amen.

 

 

https://woh.org/

Joyce Meyer – Healthy Roots Develop Fruit

 

May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love. — Ephesians 3:17 AMPC

When you become a student of God’s Word, you begin to desire a change in your behavior. But so often, as soon as you deal with one bad behavior, another immediately pops up to replace it. Why? Because bad fruit comes from a bad root.

For example, as long as we feel bad about ourselves, we will produce bad fruit of some kind. It might be anger, insecurity, fear, or indecision. But it will show up in our behavior. We must deal with the root of the problem. No matter how good things look outwardly, if they are not right on the inside, sooner or later it will be revealed on the outside.

Your worth and value are not based on outward things; they are based on God’s love for you. Receive His love, learn to love and value yourself, and you will begin to produce better fruit in your life.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me to have a greater understanding of Your love. Help me to see myself the way You see me and receive my worth and value from You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Wisdom Brings Peace

 

“Wisdom gives a good, long life, riches, honor, pleasure, peace” (Proverbs 3:16,17).

High up in the Andes Mountains stands a bronze statue of Christ – the base of granite, the figure fashioned from old cannons – marking the boundary between Argentina and Chile.

“Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust,” reads the Spanish engraving, “than Argentines and Chileans break the peace sworn at the feet of Christ the Redeemer.”

Peoples of these two countries had been quarreling about their boundaries for many years, and suffering from the resultant mistrust.

In 1900, with the conflict at its highest, citizens begged King Edward VII of Great Britain to mediate the dispute. On May 28, 1903, the two governments signed a treaty ending the conflict.

During the celebration that followed, Senora de Costa, a noble lady of Argentina who had done much to bring about the peace, conceived the idea of a monument. She had the statue of Christ shaped from the cannons that had been used to strike terror into Chilean hearts.

At the dedication ceremony, the statue was presented to the world as a sign of the victory of good will. “Protect, Oh Lord, our native land,” prayed Senora de Costa. “Ever give us faith and hope. May fruitful peace be our first patrimony and good example its greatest glory.”

The monument stands today as a reminder that only Christ – the Prince of Peace – can bring real peace to the world. And that refers as much to individual peace as it does to national and international peace.

Bible Reading:Proverbs 3:18-23

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Like Solomon of old, I shall seek the wisdom that brings a good, long life, riches, honor, pleasure and the lasting peace that comes from God’s indwelling Holy Spirit.

http://www.cru.org

Wisdom Hunters – Embrace Excellence 

 

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:48

We admire excellence in others. Professional athletes, attorneys, speakers, teachers, coaches, custodians, mothers, fathers, leaders, elected officials, and business men and women who excel motivate others to excel. Their commitment to thousands of hours in focused training and competition makes their flawless performance look easy. It is their obsession with perfection that leads them to excellence.

In Christ perfection is our position. Outside of Christ no one is perfect, but inside of Christ everyone is perfect. We are perfect because He is perfect. “So that we may present everyone perfect in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). The challenge lies in our living in a sinful world with sinful people; therefore, perfection is diluted. Nonetheless, Jesus commanded His children to be perfect on the same level as their heavenly Father. So as we seek perfection in this life, we see glimpses of glory, and we do capture excellence in the process.

What does excellence look like from the eyes of the eternal? Paul, a protagonist of perfection, describes our dilemma:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12–14).

People with an eternal perspective promote perfection. Therefore, embrace excellence as a core value in your life and work. Because you represent the Lord Jesus, be an excellent example of a Christian. Be it ministry or business, your vocation is a vicarious look at our Lord. Talk about Jesus from a platform of perfection, and people will stop to listen. Excellence is your entrée into promoting a loving relationship with God.

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever” (Psalm 45:2).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me represent you with excellence in all aspects of my life just as Jesus did. Amen.

Application: Do I settle for mediocrity, or do I aspire to excellence? Are others attracted to the quality of my character, competence, and family?

Related Readings: Psalm 18:32; Isaiah 26:3; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 10:14

Post/Tweet this today:  Because you represent the Lord Jesus, by God’s grace be an excellent example of a Christian. #excellence #wisdomhunters

Worship Resource: 3-minute music video- Mercy Me: Grace Got You

Taken from Seeking Daily the Heart of God v.2

 

http://www.wisdomhunters.com/

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Lazy Is as Lazy Does

 

Hebrews 6:12

Sometimes it’s interesting to look up a word in the dictionary and see what it really means. “Lazy” means “not easily aroused to activity.” A lazy person just doesn’t want to try very hard. For example, lazy students don’t make much effort in school; they don’t study very hard or do their homework well. They might even try to get someone else to do it for them!

There is something inside all of us that wants to be lazy. But the Bible teaches that we must not be lazy when it comes to our faith. Instead, we need to be willing to make an effort. We are to follow the examples of people in the Bible who demonstrated faith and patience, even when they had problems. That’s how they grew strong spiritually. It’s good advice because being lazy—especially being lazy about prayer and reading our Bibles—in the long run doesn’t feel good. There’s nothing like jumping in, doing a task well, and then feeling the satisfaction of a job well done.

Dear Lord, Help me to be faithful to my work, both at home and in school and help me to remember to pray and read the Bible so that I can be everything you want me to be. Amen.

Charles Stanley – Righteous Anger on Display

 

Numbers 25:1-18

Think about the times you have felt angry—what were the usual causes? In all honesty, most of us would have to admit that our irritation is often for selfish reasons. The book of James tells us that “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). However, there is such a thing as righteous indignation, and it can be exercised to promote the work of God.

In today’s passage, we find an excellent example of this in Phinehas, who rose up to execute Zimri and Cozbi for their evil deeds. For this act, he was commended by God with the following words: “Phinehas … has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them” (Num. 25:11). God looked into the heart of Phinehas, saw his passion, and called it “My jealousy.” Of course, we cannot take the law into our own hands and begin executing people, but we can have the same attitude of heart that Phinehas had. This was a man who loved God so ardently that he couldn’t help but hate evil. He displayed the same wrath that drove Jesus to go through the temple with a whip of cords. (See John 2:13-17.) In both of these instances, zeal for God’s interests was demonstrated with anger.

How can we do this? It’s a matter of having God’s perspective and standing up for what is right. We can station ourselves at the door of our heart and put a spear through any unholy thought that tries to enter. Likewise, we can drive out the rivers of filth and immorality all around us, which try to enter our homes. As our love for God grows, so will our hatred of evil.

Bible in One Year: Ezra 8-10

 

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Our Daily Bread — Accidental Wisdom

 

Read: Philippians 4:4–9 | Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 25–27; John 9:1–23

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable . . . think about such things. Philippians 4:8

A few years ago, a woman shared with me a story about finding her preteen son watching news coverage of a violent event. Instinctively, she reached for the remote and changed the channel. “You don’t need to be watching that stuff,” she told him rather abruptly. An argument followed, and eventually she shared that he needed to fill his mind with “whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely . . .” (Philippians 4:8). After dinner, she and her husband were watching the news when suddenly their five-year-old daughter burst in and turned off the television. “You don’t need to be watching that stuff,” she declared in her best “mom” voice. “Now, think about those Bible things!”

As adults, we can better absorb and process the news than our children. Still, the couple’s daughter was both amusing and wise when she echoed her mother’s earlier instructions. Even well-adjusted adults can be affected by a steady diet of the darker side of life. Meditating on the kind of things Paul lists in Philippians 4:8 is a powerful antidote to the gloom that sometimes settles on us as we see the condition of our world.

What we let into our minds shapes the state of our souls.

Making careful decisions about what fills our minds is an excellent way to honor God and guard our hearts as well.

Father, open our eyes today to what’s beautiful. Teach us to meditate on You.

What we let into our minds shapes the state of our souls.

By Randy Kilgore

INSIGHT

The virtuous life described in Philippians 4:8 is to be the believer’s focus. What is “true” refers to basing one’s life on reality according to God’s Word. “Noble” means honest or worthy of respect. “Right” corresponds to a moral sense of what is fair. “Pure” indicates a character that is not polluted by sin. “Lovely” means expressing love toward others in relationships. Finally, “admirable” carries with it the idea of a positive reputation and reliable Christian character.

What are some specific ways you can display these virtues this week?

For further reading, see Kingdom Living: Embracing the Virtues of the King at discoveryseries.org/hp091.

Dennis Fisher

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Telling Stories

 

A British journalist by the name of Christopher Booker argues that all of literature can be classified into seven basic narratives. Though many would deem the idea itself deficient, Booker exhaustively identifies each category in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. One such category he describes is the “Voyage and Return” plot. Here, Booker catalogs, among other works, Alice and Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, and Gone with the Wind, each of these stories chronicling a hero who travels away from the familiar and into the unfamiliar, only to return again with new perspective.

Among his list of “Voyage and Return” plots, Booker also identifies Jesus’s parable of the Prodigal Son. He describes the parable as many of us understand it. The younger son demands his inheritance, travels to another country, squanders his money until he has nothing left, and finally decides to come home again pleading for mercy. When told or heard like this, it is a story that indeed fits neatly into Booker’s category, and perhaps neatly into visions of the spiritual journey. Journeys to faith and to God are often stories of coming and going and returning again.

But is this an accurate understanding of the parable of Jesus? Is the story of the prodigal son really about the son? Is the spiritual journey about our coming and going or God’s?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Telling Stories

Joyce Meyer – Never Go to Bed Angry

 

When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. — Ephesians 4:26 AMPC

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m glad this verse is in the Bible because it helps us to build character by giving us a guideline to follow in handling our anger: Let go of anger before bedtime.

There is only one problem. What happens when we become good and mad just before bedtime? If we become mad in the morning, at least we have all day to get over it. But when we become mad close to bedtime, we have to make a quick decision.

Why is it so bad for us to go to bed angry? I think it is because while we sleep, what we are angry about has time to get a hold on us and take root in us. But the Word says, Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him] (see Ephesians 4:27 AMPC).

This verse tells us what happens if we refuse to get over our anger by bedtime: It opens a door for the enemy and gives Satan a foothold. Once Satan gets a foothold in our lives, then he tries to establish a stronghold.

You may wonder, Well, if I am mad, what should I do about it? Get over it! You may think, That’s easy for you to say, but you’re not in my situation. I may not be in your situation, but you are not in my situation either. We all have different situations. If you are going to live a joyful, victorious life, you have to do so by choice and not by feelings.

In Deuteronomy 30:19 (AMPC) the Lord tells us, …I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life…. Choose life by refusing to give in to anger. Take responsibility for your anger and learn to deal with it—process it and bring closure to it, and that will relieve the pressure.

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You that know me inside and out. Please help me to get to the root of my anger and not allow the enemy to gain a foothold in my life. Help me not to react out of my emotions, but please strengthen me to make decisions that lead to peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Give Him the First Part

 

“Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income, and He will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (Proverbs 3:9,10).

“Yes, I tithe,” said John D. Rockefeller, Sr., “and I would like to tell you how it all came about.

“I had to begin work as a small boy to help support my mother. My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week. The first week after I went to work I took the $1.50 home to my mother and she held the money in her lap and explained to me that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord.

“I did,” Rockefeller said, “and from that week until this day I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me. And I want to say if I had not tithed the first dollar I made I would not have tithed the first million dollars I made.

“Tell your readers to train the children to tithe, and they will grow up to be faithful stewards of the Lord.”

As R. G. Le Tourneau observed years ago, “We do not give to God because it pays, but it does pay to give to God and to serve Him faithful.” Without any question, God honors faithful stewardship – of time, energy, money, all that we have and are.

The importance of tithing is one of the first lessons I learned as a new Christian. Now I realize that that is only the beginning, because everything that I enjoy has been entrusted to me by a gracious, loving Father, who expects me to maximize all that he has put into my hands; therefore, tithing must be followed by offerings, based on clear Word of God that as we sow we reap. The more we give back to God, the more He will entrust to us, but we are to give with a cheerful heart out of a deep sense of gratitude for all that God has given to us.

Bible Reading:Malachi 3:8-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: God will have the first fruits of my life, the first part of my money, my time, my talent, my energy.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – DNA Test for Love

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Have you ever made decisions about your relationships based on your feelings instead of the facts? When it comes to love, feelings rule the day. Emotions guide the ship.

Ever wish you had a DNA test for love?  Paul offers us one, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). In this verse lies a test for love.  Love doesn’t ask someone to do what is wrong. If you find yourself prompting evil in others, heed the alarm.  And if others prompt evil in you, be alert. That siren you hear?  It’s the phony-love detector.

Love doesn’t tear down the convictions of others. Quite the contrary. “Love builds up!” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Ask yourself this: Do I encourage this person to do what is right?  For true love “takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth.”

Read more Love Worth Giving

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – President Trump cancels North Korea summit

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

With these words, President Trump notified Kim Jong Un yesterday that he was canceling their June 12 summit in Singapore.

This decision followed a series of ominously worded statements from North Korea. Their senior envoy for US affairs had threatened to call off the summit and warned that their regime could “make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined.” The envoy also described Vice President Pence as a “political dummy.”

The White House says back channels for discussions with North Korea are still open but states that the regime must first change its rhetoric.

A “challenging threat environment”

The threat of North Korea is just one of the challenges we face as a nation.

Continue reading Denison Forum – President Trump cancels North Korea summit

Charles Stanley – The Danger of Anger

 

Ephesians 4:26-27

Anger is a powerful emotion that often causes damage, but it can also be righteous. In Isaiah 64:9, the prophet prays, “Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord.” This verse implies God measures His anger in a way that fits each occasion. Today’s passage teaches that the Lord also expects us to learn to control our anger so it’s appropriate and doesn’t cause us to sin.

There is a line that must not be crossed if we want to guard against sinful anger. It’s obvious that verbal abuse and physical violence should be ruled out, but anger can lead to other sins that are just as deadly. When we see the following characteristics in our life, we’ve crossed the line:

Strife. Proverbs 29:22 says, “An angry man stirs up strife.” Although strife can take many forms, it always pits one person against another.

Bitterness. Psalm 30:5 says that the Lord’s anger is for a moment, and Ephesians 4:26 warns against staying angry overnight. Extended anger festers and eventually leads to bitterness.

Isolation. Whenever anger is nursed, people become separated from each other. Proverbs 16:28 warns against this by pointing out that “a slanderer separates intimate friends.”

Retaliation. Romans 12:19 addresses this directly: “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God.”

What should you do if you recognize any of these in yourself? The first step is to confess it as sin and make a determined effort to turn from it. Every time a bitter thought pops up, repent and release it to the Lord.

Bible in One Year: Ezra 5-7

 

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Our Daily Bread — Tossing and Turning

 

Read: Psalm 4 | Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 22–24; John 8:28–59

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

What keeps you awake at night? Lately I’ve been losing sleep, tossing and turning on my bed, trying to work out a solution to an issue. Eventually I begin fretting about not getting enough rest to handle the challenges of the next day!

Sound familiar? Troubled relationships, an uncertain future, whatever it is—we all give in to worry at one point or another.

We can entrust our cares to a wholly trustworthy God.

King David was clearly in distress when he penned Psalm 4. People were ruining his reputation with groundless accusations (v. 2). And some were questioning his competency to rule (v. 6). David probably felt angry for being treated so unfairly. Surely he could have spent nights stewing about it. Yet we read these remarkable words: “In peace I will lie down and sleep” (v. 8).

Charles Spurgeon explains verse 8 beautifully: “In thus lying down, . . . [David] resigned himself into the hands of another; he did so completely, for in the absence of all care, he slept; there was here a perfect trust.” What inspired this trust? From the start, David was confident that God would answer his prayers (v. 3). And he was sure that since God had chosen to love him, He would lovingly meet his needs.

May God help us to rest in His power and presence when worries threaten. In His sovereign and loving arms, we can “lie down and sleep.”

Dear Father, thank You for hearing me when I call. I surrender my worries to You and rest in Your power and presence.

We can entrust our cares to a wholly trustworthy God. 

By Poh Fang Chia

INSIGHT

David’s confident assurance of God’s care was the source of his ability to rest, and this theme of rest winds its way throughout the psalms. In Psalm 46:10 the psalmist says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The phrase be still can be translated “relax.” It’s as if God is counseling the psalmist, “I’ve got this. Take it easy.” In the shepherd’s psalm, David reminds us, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2). What a wonderful picture of rest—and the source of that rest is the God in whom we confidently trust. This enabled one psalmist to share: “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you” (Psalm 116:7). Our ability to rest is directly related to our confidence in the Father’s love, care, and concern for us. So in times of anxiety and stress the child of God can look to the Father and know He’s got this. We can be at rest!

What can you entrust to God’s care?

Bill Crowder

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Forgotten Stories

In one of the early scenes of The Matrix, the character Trinity meets Neo in a club and she tells him, “It’s the question that drives us.” Later Neo meets Morpheus, who describes this inherent curiosity as a “splinter in the mind.”

We are born into a world that is populated with stories, pregnant with multiple meanings. From our very entrance into the cosmos until death, the reality and presence of story envelops our lives. Like the deep-seated quest of Socrates to discover what, in fact, was the good life, we find ourselves asking questions and wanting answers. These questions are not mere curiosity, or intellectual pursuits; they carry enormous existential significance and importance. These questions haunt us.

Consider the following words from Lee Iacocca in Straight Talk: “Here I am in the twilight years of my life, still wondering what it’s all about… I can tell you this, fame and fortune is for the birds.” Our minds are splintered—or made numb—with pressing inquiry: What is the point of it all? What gives our lives meaning? Novelist William H. Gass expresses a similar nagging reality. “Life is itself exile,” he writes, “and its inevitability does not lessen our grief or alter the fact.” Journalist Malcolm Muggeridge notes further, “The first thing I remember about the world—and I pray it may be the last—is that I was a stranger in it. This feeling which everyone has in some degree, and which is at once the glory and desolation of homosapiens, provides the only thread of consistency that I can detect in my life.” Why are we here? Where are we going? Why do we at times find ourselves as strangers in our own home? Is there a greater story we are a part of, but ignoring?

In the Western world, we are progressively abandoning the metanarratives that for centuries served to define and give shape to our society and individual lives. Indeed, the very idea of a “defining story” is now considered offensive, imperialistic, sexist, or worse. The individual is left alone before a mind-boggling array of options and both the responsibility and the authority to reach a conclusion are totally rooted in the self. Yet, despite brave predictions of the demise of God or the eventual waning of belief under Modern conditions, the questions have not gone away. If anything, they are more at the forefront than we would have expected, given the nature and shape of progress.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Forgotten Stories

Joyce Meyer – Pray Often

 

Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving. — Colossians 4:2

Don’t put off praying until a more convenient time. Pray at all times, in every season, with all kinds of prayer (see Ephesians 6:18).

Prayer need not be long to be effective. It is the greatest privilege we have, and it releases the greatest power on earth.

We all need God’s help, and we get it by asking for it. Pray your way through the day.

Prayer Starter: I thank You, Father, that You are always listening. Help me to form a habit of talking to You throughout my day—asking, praising, and even listening for Your words of comfort. I love you so much. In Jesus Name, Amen.

14 Days of Less Stress – Get Started

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Long, Satisfying Life

 

“If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions” (Proverbs 3:2).

A famous children’s specialist declared, “When it comes to a serious illness, the child who has been taught to obey has four times the chance of recovery that the spoiled and undisciplined child has.”

Every parent should consider well the implications of that statement. We have all been taught that one of the Ten Commandments was for children to obey their parents.

But it is doubtful that many of us have ever considered that obedience might mean the difference between the saving or losing of a child’s life.

The hymnwriter who said that we should “trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus” well knew what he was saying. A “long and satisfying life” certainly would be synonymous with a “happy life.”

Many Christians have every intention of following God’s instructions – without ever really knowing what those instructions are. That is why it is supremely important for every believer to spend time in God’s Word, the book of instructions for Christians.

Are you one of those who truly want a long satisfying life? Then, are you willing to follow God’s instructions for your life? Are you willing to familiarize yourself thoroughly with His instructions so that you will have no difficulty knowing and following them?

Bible Reading:Proverbs 3:1-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will follow closely God’s instructions in order that I may live a long and satisfying life.

 

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Max Lucado – Filling Our Minds with God’s Love

Listen to Today’s Devotion

What happens when we fill our minds with thoughts of God’s love? Will standing beneath the downpour of his grace change the way we feel about others?

It’s not enough to keep the bad stuff out. We’ve got to let the good stuff in. It’s not enough to keep no list of wrongs. We need to cultivate a list of blessings. Paul says in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Thinking conveys the idea of pondering, studying, and focusing…allowing what is viewed to have an impact on us. You want to make a list? Then list his mercies. List the times God has forgiven you. Rather than store up the sour, store up the sweet!

Read more A Love Worth Giving

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