Charles Stanley – Jesus Is Lord

Philippians 2:5-11

What does it mean when we say that Jesus is Lord? We hear the word used so frequently that we are in danger of losing the significance of its sheer power and magnitude.

Lord is far more than a mere title that Scripture bestows on Jesus. The second chapter of Philippians emphasizes this fact by repeatedly mentioning the word name. We see that God gave Jesus the “name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus,” all of heaven and earth will bow down and “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv. 9-11).

In that passage, the name given to Jesus is none other than “Lord.” You see, that word is not used to describe what Jesus does; it’s simply who Jesus is. He is, and will always be, the sovereign ruler of everything in heaven and on the earth.

Therefore, if we echo the confession, “Jesus is Lord,” then our lives must reflect that confidence. Is there anything in your life that you attempt to hide from Christ? Have you refused to do something that He has called you to do? These are acts of rebellion, and they simply demonstrate our lack of faith in Jesus as Lord of our lives.

One day everyone will recognize that Christ is Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15). We who are His children should show our faith by inviting Him into any dark areas of our life and allowing Him to conform us to His image. We can begin with the simple yet profound confession: “Jesus is Lord.” And when we confess those words, we should be mindful of their meaning.

Our Daily Bread — A Happy Ending

 

 

Read: Ephesians 4:20-32
Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19

 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32

A friend told me about the time he was watching football on TV as his young daughter played nearby. Angered by his team’s bad play, he grabbed the closest thing and threw it down. His little girl’s favorite toy was shattered, along with her heart. My friend immediately embraced his daughter and apologized. He replaced the toy and thought all was well. But he didn’t know how much his fury had frightened his 4-year-old, and she didn’t know the depth of her pain. In time, however, forgiveness came.

Years later he sent an identical toy to his daughter when she was expecting a baby. She posted a photo of the toy on Facebook with the words, “This gift has a very long story going back to my childhood. It wasn’t a happy story then, but it has a happy ending now! Redemption is a beautiful thing. Thanks, Grandpa!”

The Bible urges us to avoid angry outbursts by putting on the new self, “which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). And if we are the victim of anger, God asks us to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (v.32).

Restored relationships are not easy, but they are possible by the grace of God. —David McCasland

Lord, my temper can sometimes run hot. Grant me the grace to stop and think before I act or speak and the grace to apologize when I’ve hurt someone. Thank You for the gift of forgiveness.

Repentance and forgiveness are the glue that can repair a broken relationship.

INSIGHT: In today’s passage the apostle Paul brackets his words of challenge with the phrases “putting away” (v. 25) and “put away” (v. 31). Though they are translated as similar expressions in English, they are two different words in Greek and speak of an increasing intensity of action. The word in verse 25 tells us to put off lying, as if taking off a garment and replacing it with a new one (integrity and truthfulness). In verse 31, however, it is the challenge to “put away” or to get rid of certain things once and for all.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry –   The Labor of Sight

 

Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev was a nineteenth-century rabbi known for his mastery of an unwieldy Mishnaic teaching. To carry one’s self with the ayin tovah, or the “good eye,” is to see in a certain light the world and everyone in it. One scholar describes it as the choice “to intentionally focus on what is most pure in each person—to see their highest and holiest potential.”(1) Rabbi Yitzchok was beloved for his good eye, utilized even in cases where virtue seemed entirely wanting and holiness altogether deficient. As one author describes, “He’d roust the local drunk from his stupor on High Holy Days, seat him at the head of the table, and respectfully ask for his wisdom… He extended his caring to all, whether powerful or impoverished, scholarly or simple, righteous or reprobate.”(2) In minds often besieged by warring sides, opinions ad nauseam, and defensive or disparaging thoughts, the good eye is indeed a shift of perception.

I appreciate stories that remind me to keep my eyes opened for all that can be seen but can just as easily be missed. How we learn to see the world, how we labor to see and know the world, is profoundly important. Despite the perseverance of goodness, beauty, and truth around us, the collective wisdom of sociologists, philosophers, historians, and artists all indicates that contemporary culture is structurally estranged from the transcendent.

Learning to see with the good eye may well be a difficult feat without mindful effort and practice. But could it not be an entirely transformative art for both the seer and the world being seen?

Without such effort, consider all that is lost. An article from the Washington Post chronicles a jarring exhibition of our propensity for estrangement—seeing with eyes that are not really seeing, hearing but not hearing. The report describes an experiment they called “Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation’s great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour?”(3) Violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical musicians in the world, was hired to perform several classical masterpieces at a Metro station during the morning rush hour. Three days prior to his debut at the Metro, Bell had filled Boston’s prestigious Symphony Hall, where only average seats sold for over $100. As he preformed with the same fervor on his handcrafted 1713 Stadivari for nearly an hour at the Metro, however, he took in a total of $32 and change from the 27 people who noticed him. The other thousand people hurried by, altogether unaware, though only three feet away from brilliance. “There was never a crowd, not even for a second.”(4)

Christian scripture is replete with stories that hint that it is always possible to pass over the gifts and grace in front of us, whether a glimpse of beauty or a lifetime of knowing the present glory of the human Son of God. In the words of poet Francis Thompson:

The angels keep their ancient places:-

Turn but a stone, and start a wing!

Tis ye, ’tis your estranged faces,

That miss the many-splendour’d thing.

“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful,” wrote Flannery O’Connor to a friend lamentably, including herself in that resistance. There are indeed times when God woos us slowly with beauty, grace, and grandeur, moving among us in a manner that busy or critical lives readily miss while focusing elsewhere. Other times it is we who find ourselves moved nearly to blindness, as we labor to take in the glory of God in a startling moment like Moses or Isaiah. Sometimes, like commuters in the Metro station oblivious of the work of art before us, our estranged faces miss the signs of a many-splendored God entirely. But still other times, we labor intentionally to see with good eyes, and find the world around us transformed with the splendor of the one who first called the world good.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Marc Ian Barasch, The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009), 87.

(2) Ibid.

(3) Gene Weingarten, “Pearls Before Breakfast” The Washington Post, Sunday April 8, 2007.

(4) Ibid.

Alistair Begg – Exalted with Him

 

God exalted him. Acts 5:31

Jesus, our Lord, who once was crucified, dead, and buried, now sits upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords is His by undisputed right. It is vital and helpful to remember that the exaltation of Christ in heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father’s right hand, and though as Jehovah He had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share, yet as the Mediator, the honors that Jesus wears in heaven are the heritage of all the saints.

It is delightful to think of how close Christ’s union is with His people. We are actually one with Him; we are members of His body; and His exaltation is our exaltation. He will allow us to sit upon His throne, even as He has overcome and is seated with His Father on His throne. He has a crown, and He gives us crowns too. He has a throne, but He is not content with having a throne to Himself; on His right hand there must be His queen, dressed in fine gold. He cannot be glorified without His bride.

Look up, believer, to Jesus now. Let the eye of your faith see Him with many crowns upon His head; and remember that one day you will be like Him, when you will see Him as He is. You shall not be as great as He is, you will not be as divine; but you will, in some measure, share the same honors and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity that He possesses. Be content to live unknown for a little while and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty or up the hills of affliction; for soon enough you will reign with Christ, for He has “made [us] a kingdom and priests to our God,” and we shall reign forever and ever.1

What a wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven’s courts right now, and soon He will come and receive us to Himself, to be with Him there, to see His glory and to share His joy.

  1. Revelation 5:10

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Charles Spurgeon – Full redemption

“There shall not an hoof be left behind.” Exodus 10:26

Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 20:1-10

A man once wrote a book to prove the devil a fool. Certainly, when all matters shall come to their destined consummation, Satan will prove to have been a magnificent fool. Folly, magnified to the highest degree by subtlety, shall be developed in Satan. Ah! Thou trailing serpent, what hast thou now after all? I saw thee but a few thousand years ago, twining around the tree of life, and hissing out thy deceptive words. Ah! how glorious was the serpent then—a winged creature, with his azure scales. Yes, and thou didst triumph over God. I heard thee as thou didst go hissing down to thy den. I heard thee say to thy brood,—vipers in the nest as they are,—“My children, I have stained the Almighty’s works: I have turned aside his loyal subjects; I have injected my poison into the heart of Eve, and Adam hath fallen too; my children let us hold a jubilee, for I have defeated God.” Oh, my enemy; I think I see thee now, with thy head all broken, and thy jaw-teeth smashed, and thy venom-bags all emptied, and thou thyself a weary length of agony, rolling miles afloat along a sea of fire, tortured, destroyed, overcome, tormented, ashamed, hacked, hewed, dashed in pieces, and made a hissing, and a scorn for children to laugh at, and made a scoff throughout eternity. Ah! well, brethren, the great Goliath hath gained nothing by his boasting: Christ and his people have really lost nothing by Satan. All they lost once, has been re-taken. The victory has not simply been a capture of that which was lost, but a gaining of something more. We are in Christ more than we were before we fell. “Not a hoof shall be left behind.”

For meditation: Victory over Satan will be celebrated with joy (Revelation 12:10-12; Romans 16:20) but for the moment we must remain on our guard against him (1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 4:27; 6:11; 1 Timothy 3:6,7; 1 Peter 5:8,9).

Sermon no. 309
22 April (1860)

Joyce Meyer – Praying God’s Prayers

 

For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4

The Holy Spirit will lead us into amazing exploits in prayer if we will simply ask Him what to pray, wait for Him to answer, and then obey. We are unwise if we say we don’t have time to wait on God and allow Him to speak to us and lead us as we pray. We will wait forty-five minutes for a table at a restaurant, but say we do not have time to wait on God. When we wait on God, turning our hearts toward Him for direction, we honor Him. By our willingness to wait He knows that we want His will and that we are dependent upon Him for guidance. We save a lot of time by turning our hearts toward God and waiting on Him. As the verse for today says, God shows Himself active on behalf of those who wait on Him. Start your prayers by simply saying, “I love you Lord and I wait on you for direction in my prayers today.” Then begin to pray what is in your heart rather than what is in your own mind or will. I was recently praying for someone to do a certain thing that I knew they needed to do, but God showed me that I needed to pray for them to develop discipline because the lack of it was affecting many areas of their life. I would have prayed for the one area I saw, but God saw much more deeply than I did.

Another time I was praying for someone concerning some problem behavior that I saw, but God showed me that the root of their problem was self-rejection and that I needed to pray for them to know how much God loved them. You can see that we often pray for what we see, but God will lead us deeper if we will wait on Him.

Presidential Prayer Team; G.C. – Outcomes

 

Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, have been accused of being lazy – but what generation hasn’t? By nature and through readily accessible technology, Millennials expect “efficiency of effort for maximum impact”…in other words, the best outcome with the least work.

No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 12:3

Robert A. Heinlein’s story, “The Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail,” tells of an enterprising hero charged with milking cows. He didn’t enjoy being up at dawn, but he’d been told it was the time of day cows required milking. This Millennial-thinking guy soon discovered cows didn’t actually care about the time of day; they cared only about frequency and results. Ultimately, he had the cows’ schedule and a successful business on his terms.

Coming generations will have to overcome a cultivated tendency to do things in their own way to understand God’s plan for their salvation – because there is no other way to know God than through His risen Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, pray that Holy Spirit will move upon America’s future leaders so they will be open to welcoming God’s way to know Him, submitting their lives and the nation they will lead to the power of the risen Lord…the very best outcome of all.

Recommended Reading: Isaiah 60:1-5

Greg Laurie – Great Commission or Great Omission?

 

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.—James 4:17

If someone on his deathbed was giving his final words, would you pay attention? I hope so. If someone wrote down her last wishes in a will, would you take the time to read it? I think you would.

In Matthew 28 we have Jesus’ final will and testament, so to speak, which is known as the Great Commission. Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20).

This is the message of Christ to each of us. But how many of us are actually doing it? Some might find the following statement a bit controversial, but I think it is true: if you are not seeking to fulfill the Great Commission, it actually can be a sin.

There are different kinds of sin identified in the Bible: the sins of commission and the sins of omission. A sin of commission is doing what you should not do. A sin of omission is not doing what you should do.

The Bible tells us in James 4:17, “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Yet for many, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission. Research has shown that 95 percent of Christians have never led another person to Christ.

The full concept of going into the world and making disciples is to share your faith, lead people to Christ, and then, to the best of your ability, help them mature spiritually.

Max Lucado – A Big View of God

 

Exactly what is worship? I like King David’s definition in Psalm 34:3, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Worship is the act of magnifying God, enlarging our vision of him, and observing how he works.

Of course his size doesn’t change, but our perception of him does. As we draw nearer, he seems larger. Isn’t that what we need? A big view of God? Don’t we have big problems, big worries, and big questions? Of course we do. Hence, we need a big view of God. Worship offers that. How can we sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and not have our vision expanded? How can we sing these words and not have our countenance illuminated? A vibrant, shining face is the mark of one who has stood in God’s presence. God is in the business of changing the face of the world!  Let him begin with yours!

From Just Like Jesus