Charles Stanley – The Moments That Sustain Us

Charles Stanley

Joshua 1:8

Meditation is a vital part of a healthy, growing relationship with God. It is, however, left out of many believers’ lives. So let’s start with basics and ask the key question, How do we meditate?

First, we must devote ourselves to the reading of God’s Word. If we want to hear His message, then we must dig deep into Scripture. This is no mere book; rather, it is the very message of God to His people. We have Scripture in order to know the Lord better. As faithful stewards of this wonderful gift, we must make it an integral part of our lives.

Second, we must learn to pray God’s Word back to Him. When we read a Bible passage, we should lift that Word back up to heaven as a prayer. We affirm the message of Scripture by showing our heavenly Father we are in agreement with what He has said.

Third, we must apply the Word. The Bible is not here for simple information; instead, it was given for obedience. If we do not allow the Word of God to change our life, then are we really placing much value on it?

Fourth, we must submit to God’s will. As we spend time actively listening to the Lord, He will share His plans for our life. As we apply what we have heard, meditation will become more and more instinctive for us. Then, we will find that we hear His voice regularly.

God has a special message for you. It’s imperative that you take the time to hear what your heavenly Father is saying. And when you do, you’ll enjoy the richness of your relationship with Him.

 

Our Daily Bread — An Ordinary Day

Our Daily Bread

Matthew 24:36-44

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. —Matthew 24:42

While exploring a museum exhibit titled “A Day in Pompeii,” I was struck by the repeated theme that August 24, AD 79 began as an ordinary day. People were going about their daily business in homes, markets, and at the port of this prosperous Roman town of 20,000 people. At 8 a.m., a series of small emissions were seen coming from nearby Mount Vesuvius, followed by a violent eruption in the afternoon. In less than 24 hours, Pompeii and many of its people lay buried under a thick layer of volcanic ash. Unexpected.

Jesus told His followers that He would return on a day when people were going about their business, sharing meals, and having weddings, with no idea of what was about to happen. “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37).

The Lord’s purpose was to urge the disciples to be watchful and prepared: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (v.44).

What surprising joy it would be to welcome our Savior on this ordinary day! —David McCasland

Faithful and true would He find us here,

If He should come today?

Watching in gladness and not in fear,

If He should come today?

Watch for the time is drawing nigh,

What if it were today? —Morris

Perhaps today!

Bible in a year: Exodus 12-13; Matthew 16

 

Alistair Begg – Obey Your Heavenly Father

Alistair Begg

Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 3:31

When the believer is adopted into the Lord’s family, his relationship to old Adam and the law ceases at once; but then he is under a new rule and a new covenant. Believer, you are God’s child; it is your first duty to obey your heavenly Father.

A servile spirit you have nothing to do with: You are not a slave but a child. And now, inasmuch as you are a beloved child, you are bound to obey your Father’s faintest wish, the least intimation of His will. Does He bid you fulfill a sacred ordinance? It is at your peril that you neglect it, for you will be disobeying your Father.

Does He command you to seek the image of Jesus? Is it not your joy to do so? Does Jesus tell you, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”? 1 Then not because the law commands, but because your Savior enjoins, you will labor to be perfect in holiness. Does He bid his saints to love one another? Do it, not because the law says, “Love your neighbor,” but because Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” 3

And this is the commandment that He has given unto you, “that you love one another.” Are you told to distribute to the poor? Do it, not because charity is a burden that you dare not shirk, but because Jesus teaches, “Give to him that asks of you.” Does the Word say, “Love God with all your heart”? Look at the commandment and reply, “Ah, commandment, Christ has fulfilled you already. I have no need, therefore, to fulfill you for my salvation, but I rejoice to yield obedience to you because God is my Father now, and He has a claim upon me, which I would not dispute.”

May the Holy Ghost make your heart obedient to the constraining power of Christ’s love, that your prayer may be, “I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!” 3 Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.

1 Matthew 5:48

2 John 14:15

3 Psalm 119:32

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – Preaching for the poor

CharlesSpurgeon

“The poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:5

Suggested Further Reading: Amos 7:10-17

There was a tinker once, who never so much as brushed his back against the walls of a college, who wrote a Pilgrim’s Progress. Did ever a doctor in divinity write such a book? There was a pot-boy once—a boy who carried on his back the pewter pots for his mother, who kept the Old Bell. That man drove men mad, as the world had it, but led them to Christ, as we have it, all his life long, until, loaded with honours, he sank into his grave, with the good will of a multitude round about him, with an imperishable name written in the world’s records, as well as in the records of the church. Did you ever hear of any mighty man, whose name stood in more esteem among God’s people than the name of George Whitefield? And yet these were poor men, who, as Wycliffe said, were taking to the preaching of the gospel. If you will read the life of Wycliffe, you will find him saying there, that he believed that the Reformation in England was more promoted by the labours of the poor men whom he sent out from Lutterworth than by his own. He gathered around him a number of the poor people whom he instructed in the faith, and then he sent them two and two into every village, as Jesus did. They went into the market-place, and they gathered the people around; they opened the book and read a chapter, and then they left them a manuscript of it, which for months and years after the people would assemble to read, and would remember the gospellers that had come to tell them the gospel of Christ. These men went from market-place to market-place, from town to town, and from village to village, and though their names are unknown to fame, they were the real reformers.

For meditation: Wycliffe’s translation of the text was “Poor men are taking to the preaching of the gospel.” A small percentage of Christians would be regarded as great in worldly terms (1 Corinthians 1:27)—only a tiny fraction of preachers would be so described. Are your preachers suitably honoured and supported by your church (1 Corinthians 9:11; Galatians 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:17,18)?

Sermon no. 114

25 January (1857)

John MacArthur – Understanding Your Calling

John MacArthur

“I pray that . . . you may know what is the hope of [God’s] calling” (Eph. 1:18).

In Ephesians 1:3-14 Paul proclaims the blessings of our salvation. In verse 18 he prays that we will comprehend those great truths, which he summarizes in the phrase “the hope of His calling.”

“Calling” here refers to God’s effectual calling–the calling that redeems the soul. Scripture speaks of two kinds of calling: the gospel or general call and the effectual or specific call. The gospel call is given by men and is a universal call to repent and trust Christ for salvation (e.g., Matt. 28:19; Acts 17:30-31). It goes out to all sinners but not all who hear it respond in faith.

The effectual call is given by God only to the elect. By it He speaks to the soul, grants saving faith, and ushers elect sinners into salvation (John 6:37-44, 65; Acts 2:39). All who receive it respond in faith.

The hope that your effectual calling instills is grounded in God’s promises and Christ’s accomplishments (1 Pet. 1:3), and is characterized by confidently expecting yet patiently waiting for those promises to be fulfilled. It is your hope of final glorification and of sharing God’s glory when Christ returns (Col. 3:4). It is a source of strength and stability amid the trials of life (1 Pet. 3:14-15). Consequently it should fill you with joy (Rom. 5:2) and motivate you to godly living (1 John 3:3).

As you face this new day, do so with the confidence that you are one of God’s elect. He called you to Himself and will hold you there no matter what circumstances you face. Nothing can separate you from His love (Rom. 8:38- 39)!

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank God for the security of your salvation.

Ask Him to impress on your heart the blessings and responsibilities of your calling.

Live today in anticipation of Christ’s imminent return.

For Further Study:

Joshua’s call to lead Israel was not a call to salvation, but it illustrates some important principles for spiritual leadership. You might not see yourself as a spiritual leader, but you are important to those who look to you as an example of Christian character.

Read Joshua 1:1-9 then answer these questions:

What were the circumstances of Joshua’s call (vv. 1-2)?

What promises did God make to him (vv. 3-6)?

What did God require of him (vv. 7-9)?

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – No More Fears

dr_bright

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18, KJV).

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room,” declared Robert Murray McCheyne, “I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me: ‘He ever liveth to make intercession.'”

Is there some fear in your life over which you do not have victory? Whether it is great or small, you can gain victory over that fear through claiming, by faith, God’s supernatural love for yourself and for others, for “perfect love casts out fear.”

That promise makes it imperative that you and I claim God’s agape, the supernatural love described in 1 Corinthians 13, love for God, for our neighbors, for ourselves and for our enemies – for all men. As we do this, we can begin to practice that perfect love, showing it to our families and to friends and neighbors.

No fear is too small for Christ to handle, and certainly none is too large. Remember, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV). If fear does not come from God, then we must reject that spirit of fear as coming from the enemy of men’s souls.

Fear of the future is a large fear for many people, but sometimes the seemingly small fears – of crowds, of heights, whatever – can cause more distress than greater fears. It is in these instances that God demonstrates His faithfulness to fill our hearts with His love and to cast out fear.

Faith is the most effective foe of fear, and “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 1:6-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will recognize any kind of fear in my life for what it is: an attempt of the enemy to sabotage my effectiveness as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. By faith I will claim God’s supernatural love for myself and others, and thereby gain victory over fear. As I pray for myself, I shall pray for others also who experience the same devastating results of fear.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – A Personal Display

ppt_seal01

A continual battle is taking place in America concerning freedom of speech and religion; in particular, placing the Ten Commandments at governmental locations. In 2009, Oklahoma approved a monument of the Ten Commandments at the State Capitol. Now Satanists insist their edicts should be displayed as well.

Observe all that I have commanded you.

Matthew 28:20

That’s all good and well – but when Jesus was here on Earth, He also gave commands. What did He say? “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) The apostle John reiterates, “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” (I John 3:21) More important than posting God’s commands in public places is to display them in your life.

As you consider your annual goals, make it your aim to study and practice what Jesus preached. Pray this year for believers in the United States to progress in becoming living examples of Christ’s teachings. Also pray the Lord will grant the nation’s leaders wisdom as they handle issues of freedom of speech and religion.

Recommended Reading: John 15:1-12

Greg Laurie – The Prescription for Happy Living

greglaurie

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  —Matthew 22:37–39

Conventional wisdom says that if you want to be happy, then you have to look out for number one. You have to do whatever it takes to succeed and whatever it takes to fulfill your own desires and needs. It doesn’t matter whom you step on. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process. You have to think about yourself. That is what the world says.

The question is, does it work? No. Because all of us know from the experience of having probably tried it that it is a complete failure to some degree. We know that our happiness ebbs and flows, and it isn’t lasting.

Here is God’s formula for a life that is meaningful and full. Here is how God tells us to live:

There’s still time to sign up for the spring trip to Israel with Pastor Greg happening April 28–May 10. »

If there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:1-3)

Everyone says, “Look out for yourself. Think of yourself.” But the Bible says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

The Bible teaches that we already look out for number one. That comes with human nature. It is not something we need to learn how to do.