Charles Stanley – A Healthy Body

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 6:12, 19-20

We all know there is an undeniable relationship between our health and our ability to reach our full potential. We may labor to have a clean heart, a clear mind, and a balanced schedule, but without a healthy body, we simply cannot do our best. And good health will be

enhanced when we begin to think about our bodies the way God does. In the sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul teaches that our bodies belong to the living God (vv. 19-20). As a result, we all have to make a decision: Am I going to take care of my body, or will I ignore or abuse it?

None of us would walk into church and deliberately make a big mess, smearing red or black paint all over the place. We wouldn’t do that, because we respect the church building as a place where God’s people worship. With that in mind, consider this: The human body, because it is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is far more important than any house of worship that ever existed.

Nevertheless, people often assume that neglecting or mistreating the body is their own prerogative. Whether the issue is substance abuse, abortion, or unhealthy habits, many people will say, “This is my body. I can do with it whatever I want.” But as we read in Scripture, your body is not your possession. Although you can do as you please, you will pay the price for poor decisions. Sin has its consequences, and sin against the body can inflict a penalty that lasts even beyond the present generation. Ask God to help you regard the body as He does so that you will care for it appropriately.

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Situation Excellent

Our Daily Bread

Philippians 1:3-14

The things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. —Philippians 1:12

At the First Battle of the Marne during World War I, French lieutenant general Ferdinand Foch sent out this communiqué: “My center is giving way, my right is retreating. Situation excellent. I am attacking.” His willingness to see hope in a tough situation eventually led to victory for his troops.

Sometimes in life’s battles we can feel as if we are losing on every front. Family discord, business setbacks, financial woes, or a decline in health can put a pessimistic spin on the way we look at life. But the believer in Christ can always find a way to conclude: “Situation excellent.”

Look at Paul. When he was thrown in prison for preaching the gospel, he had an unusually upbeat attitude. To the church at Philippi he wrote, “I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Phil. 1:12).

Paul saw his prison situation as a new platform from which to evangelize the Roman palace guard. In addition, other Christians became emboldened by his situation to preach the gospel more fearlessly (vv.13-14).

God can use our trials to work good in spite of the pain they bring (Rom. 8:28). That’s just one more way He can be honored. —Dennis Fisher

Comfort us, Lord, when life’s trials assail—

we fail and stumble so often. Renew us, and

help us to grow so that others may also

know Your goodness and comfort.

Trials can be God’s road to triumph.

Bible in a year: Genesis 10-12; Matthew 4

 

Alistair Begg – God’s Foreknowledge of Us

Alistair Begg

And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

Genesis 42:8

This morning our desires went forth for growth in our acquaintance with the Lord Jesus; it may be well tonight to consider a kindred topic, namely, our heavenly Jesus’s knowledge of us. This was most blessedly perfect long before we had the slightest knowledge of Him. “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”1

Before we had a being in the world we had a being in His heart. When we were enemies to Him, He knew us, our misery, our madness, and our wickedness. When we wept bitterly in despairing repentance, and viewed Him only as a judge and a ruler, He viewed us as His brethren well beloved, and His heart yearned toward us. He never mistook His chosen but always beheld them as objects of His infinite affection.

“The Lord knows those who are his”2 is as true of the prodigals who are feeding pigs as of the children who sit at the table.

But, sadly we did not know our royal Brother, and out of this ignorance grew a host of sins. We withheld our hearts from Him and allowed Him no entrance to our love. We mistrusted Him and gave no credit to His words. We rebelled against Him and paid Him no loving homage.

The Sun of Righteousness shone forth, and we could not see Him. Heaven came down to earth, and earth perceived it not. Let God be praised, those days are over with us; yet even now what we know of Jesus is small compared with what He knows of us. We have only begun to study Him, but He knows us altogether.

It is a blessed circumstance that the ignorance is not on His side, for then it would be a hopeless case for us. He will not say to us, “I never knew you,” but He will confess our names in the day of His appearing, and meanwhile will show Himself to us as He does not to the world.

1Psalm 139:16

22 Timothy 2:19

Charles Spurgeon – A mighty Saviour

CharlesSpurgeon

“Mighty to save.” Isaiah 63:1

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 7:23-28

Remember the case of John Newton, the great and mighty preacher of St. Mary, Woolnoth,—an instance of the power of God to change the heart, as well as to give peace when the heart is changed. Ah! dear hearers, I often think within myself, “This is the greatest proof of the Saviour’s power.” Let another doctrine be preached: will it do the same? If it will, why not let every man gather a crowd round him and preach it? Will it really do it? If it will, then the blood of men’s souls must rest upon the man who does not boldly proclaim it. If he believes his gospel does save souls, how does he account for it that he stands in his pulpit from the first of January till the last of December, and never hears of a harlot made honest, nor of a drunkard reclaimed? Why? For this reason, that it is a poor dilution of Christianity. It is something like it, but it is not the bold, broad Christianity of the Bible; it is not the full gospel of the blessed God, for that has power to save. But if they do believe that theirs is the gospel, let them come out to preach it, and let them strive with all their might to win souls from sin, which is rife enough, God knows. We say again, that we have proof positive in cases even here before us, that Christ is mighty to save even the worst of men—to turn them from follies in which they have too long indulged, and we believe that the same gospel preached elsewhere would produce the same results. The best proof you can ever have of God’s being mighty to save, dear hearers, is that he saved you.

For meditation: Does the church today lack the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:29) because the church is ashamed of the fullness of the gospel, which is God’s power to save all who believe (Romans 1:16)?

Sermon no. 111

4 January (1857)

 

John MacArthur – Understand Your Spiritual Resources

John MacArthur

“God…has blessed us with every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3, emphasis added).

The story is told of a wealthy London businessman who searched many years for his runaway son. One afternoon he was preparing to board a train to London when he spotted a man in ragged, dirty clothing begging money from passengers along the station platform. His first impulse was to avoid the beggar but there was something strangely familiar about him.

When the beggar approached and asked if he could spare a few shillings, the businessman realized he had found his long-lost son. With tears in his eyes and joy in his voice he embraced his son, crying, “A few shillings? You are my son–everything I have is yours!”

That pictures many Christians who are ignorant or negligent of their spiritual resources. They are children of the King, yet live like spiritual paupers.

Paul repeatedly emphasized our sufficiency as believers. In Colossians 2:10 he declares that in Christ “you have been made complete.” In Philippians 4:13 and 19 he says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” and “my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Peter added that God’s “divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

The word translated “spiritual” in Ephesians 1:3 speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit. Every blessing you receive, whether material or immaterial, has God as its source.

As a Christian, you possess every spiritual resource you need to fulfill God’s will for your life. You needn’t pray for more love, for example, because His love is already poured out in your heart through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). The same is true of joy (John 15:11), peace (John 14:27), strength (Phil. 4:13)–and every other resource you need. The key to spiritual progress and victory is learning to apply what you already have, not seeking more.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for His abundant spiritual resources.

Ask Him to help you apply them with wisdom and consistency.

For Further Study:

Read Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:6-8

What specific promises does God make in those passages?

What does He require of you?

 

 

Joyce Meyer – Watch Your Words

Joyce meyer

There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

—Proverbs 12:18

Your life is greatly impacted by the words that have been spoken to you. Likewise, your words impact the lives of those around you— for better or for worse. That’s a sobering thought. Many people have been crippled with insecurity because their parents spoke words of judgment, criticism, and failure to them. These wounded people can be healed by receiving God’s unconditional love, but it takes time to overcome the wrong image they have of themselves.

That’s why it is important to use your words for blessing, healing, and building up instead of for cursing, wounding, and tearing down.

If you’ve been wounded by words, be quick to receive God’s unconditional love. Let Him heal any unhealthy images you may have of yourself. If you have been fortunate enough to escape such damage, determine that your words will bring blessing and healing to others.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Anything at All

dr_bright

“Yes, ask anything, using my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:14).

“What is the most important thought your mind has ever entertained?” someone once asked Daniel Webster, one of the greatest intellects in American history.

“My accountability to God,” he replied.

In John 14:14 we find a marvelous promise, one that surely gives ample reason for our accountability to God!

Yet, in the face of those overwhelming words, most Christians do not live joyful and fruitful lives. Why? Because they have a limited view of God. Most of us sit at God’s banquet table of blessing and come away with crumbs – simply because of our lack of knowledge of God and faith to trust and obey Him.

Nothing is so important in the Christian life as understanding the attributes of God. No one can ever begin to live supernaturally and have the faith to believe God for “great and mighty” things if he does not know what God is like, or if he harbors misunderstandings about God and His character.

Would you like to live a joyful, abundant and fruitful life – every day filled with adventure? You can!

What is God like to you? Is He a divine Santa Claus, a cosmic policeman, a dictator or a big bully? Many people have distorted views of God and as a result are afraid of Him because they do not know what He is really like.

Our heavenly Father yearns for us to respond to His love. It is only as we respond to a scriptural view of God that we are able to come joyfully into His presence and experience the love and adventure and abundant life for which He created us and which He promised us.

Bible Reading: Mark 11:22-26

Today’s Action Point: I will meditate upon John 14:14 throughout the day, and I will claim His provision for a need I have or know that someone else has.

 

 

 

 

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Hang in There

ppt_seal01

A famous poster features a cat hanging in a precarious position with the caption, “Hang in there, Friday’s coming!” That poster has been redone in many forms since its debut 40 years ago, using other cute animals from birds to orangutans. Believers in Christ need encouragement at one time or another, too. They need a poster that says, “Hang in there. Jesus is coming!”

Through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4

The first part of Romans 15 is a “hang in there” Scripture. Paul says God’s Word and perseverance combine to give you hope. He orders believers to help each other and be more concerned for others than themselves. He advises the church at Rome to accept each other and live in harmony.

The determination with which Christians study the Bible and treat each other with kindness will have a lot to do with how well they can “hang in there.” At this time of the year, you may be thinking of goals. Aim to be more considerate of the people the Lord has put in your life, praying for them – and for the leaders and citizens of this nation as well – to find their hope in God!

Recommended Reading: I John 4:7-19

 

Greg Laurie – God’s Dynamite

greglaurie

Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News — and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power. —1 Corinthians 1:17

There is explosive power in the message of the gospel because Paul says, “It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes . . .” (Romans 1:16, NLT). The word power that Paul used in this verse originates from the Greek word dunamis. It is the same word Jesus used in Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power [dunamis] when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere” (NLT). The English words dynamic, dynamo, and dynamite also have been translated from this word dunamis. Paul was saying the very message of the gospel is the dynamite and dynamic of God.

We often underestimate the raw power of the gospel in reaching even the most hardened heart. We think we need to add to it, dress it up, make it ultracontemporary, gloss it over, or even complicate it. But there is distinct power in the simple message of the life, words, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Never underestimate its appeal. Never be ashamed of its simplicity. Never add to it or take away from it. Just proclaim it, and then stand back and watch what God will do. As Paul said, “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, NLT).