Charles Stanley – The Consequences of Compromise


Titus 2:11-14

Stuck again. Is that an apt description of your life? It is for many Christians. Even when they know exactly why they are stalled, some are unable to move past the sin that trips them up. Others feel blind to the source of their troubles but perceive that all they do is run in place. It can be a very discouraging situation.

Israel, the Lord’s chosen nation, had a history of defeat from yielding to temptation instead of obeying God’s commands. Compromise defeats us, too. God calls His children to live obedient lives, but instead, we are usually occupied with our own self-centered needs. At the same time, we are influenced by both the world and the devil. The truth is that our selfish side prefers reinterpreting God’s commands to suit ourselves. The world clamors for us to join its way of thinking but shows little or no inclination to follow God’s way. Satan seeks to gain a foothold in our lives through our disobedience and compromise of God’s laws.

The Lord commands us to rid our lives of ungodliness (Titus 2:11-12), and He provides the Holy Spirit’s power, which enables us. When we compromise, the effectiveness of His power is diminished. But God wants us not to yield.

To fight compromise, begin with your thinking. Have you agreed with God that your attitude or action is displeasing to Him? Have you set your mind on obedience, whatever the cost? Only foolish people think they can compromise and still live a victorious Christ-centered life.

Bible in One Year: Psalms 132-138

Our Daily Bread — Come to Me


Read: John 6:30-40

Bible in a Year: Job 30-31; Acts 13:26-52

I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger. —John 6:35

When Jesus lived on this earth, He invited people to come to Him, and He still does today (John 6:35). But what do He and His Father in heaven have that we need?

Salvation. Jesus is the only way to have forgiveness of sin and the promise of heaven. “Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:15).

Purpose. We are to give all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength to following Jesus. “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34).

Comfort. In trial or sorrow, the “God of all comfort . . . comforts us in all our tribulation” (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

Wisdom. We need wisdom beyond our own for making decisions. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, . . . and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

Strength. When we’re weary, “the Lord will give strength to His people” (Ps. 29:11).

Abundant life. The fullest life is found in a relationship with Jesus. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Jesus said, “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). Come! —Anne Cetas

How can I grow closer to God today?

Jesus invites us to come to Him for life.

INSIGHT: The day after Jesus performed the miracle of feeding thousands of people with just five loaves of bread and two fish, the crowd asked Him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat’ ” (John 6:30-31 niv). This question is significant because it was the same group of people (or at least part of that group) that Jesus fed the day before who were now asking for a sign. They claimed their ancestors believed because they ate the bread from heaven. They had just seen Jesus miraculously provide bread for them, but they lacked faith to believe Jesus was who He said He was.

Alistair Begg – Called to be Saints


Called to be saints. Romans 1:7

We are very apt to regard the apostolic saints as if they were “saints” in a more special manner than the other children of God. All are “saints” whom God has called by His grace and sanctified by His Spirit; but we are apt to look upon the apostles as extraordinary beings, scarcely subject to the same weaknesses and temptations as ourselves.

Yet in doing so we forget this truth, that the nearer a man lives to God, the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart; and the more his Master honors him in His service, the more the evil of the flesh vexes and teases him day by day. The fact is, if we had seen the apostle Paul, we would have thought him remarkably like the rest of the chosen family: And if we had talked with him, we would have said, “We find that his experience and ours are much the same. He is more faithful, more holy, and more deeply taught than we are, but he has the selfsame trials to endure. Actually, in some respects he is more sorely tried than ourselves.”

Do not, then, look upon the ancient saints as being exempt either from infirmities or sins; and do not regard them with that mystic reverence that will almost make us idolaters. Their holiness is attainable even by us. We are “called to be saints” by that same voice that constrained them to their high vocation. It is a Christian’s duty to force his way into the inner circle of saintship; and if these saints were superior to us in their attainments, as they certainly were, let us follow them; let us emulate their passion and holiness. We have the same light that they had, the same grace is accessible to us, and why should we rest satisfied until we have equaled them in heavenly character? They lived with Jesus, they lived for Jesus, therefore they grew like Jesus. Let us live by the same Spirit as they did, “looking to Jesus,”1 and our saintship will soon be apparent.

1) Hebrews 12:2

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

Charles Spurgeon – Christ lifted up


“And I, if I be lifted upfrom the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Christ preached his own truth, and the common people heard him gladly, and the multitude flocked to listen to him. My good ministering brother, have you got an empty church? Do you want to fill it? I will give you a good recipe, and if you will follow it, you will, in all probability, have your chapel full to the doors. Burn all your manuscripts, that is number one. Give up your notes, that is number two. Read your Bible and preach it as you find it in the simplicity of its language. And give up all your latinized English. Begin to tell the people what you have felt in your own heart, and beseech the Holy Spirit to make your heart as hot as a furnace for zeal. Then go out and talk to the people. Speak to them like their brother. Be a man amongst men. Tell them what you have felt and what you know, and tell them heartily with a good, bold face; and, my dear friend, I do not care who you are, you will get a congregation. But if you say, “Now, to get a congregation, I must buy an organ.” That will not serve you a bit. “But we must have a good choir.” I would not care to have a congregation that comes through a good choir. “No,” says another, “but really I must alter my style of preaching a little.” My dear friend, it is not the style of preaching, it is the style of feeling. People sometimes begin to mimic other preachers, because they are successful. Why, the worst preachers are those who mimic others, whom they look upon as standards. Preach naturally. Preach out of your hearts just what you feel to be true, and the old soul-stirring words of the gospel will soon draw a congregation.

For meditation: Are we brave enough to do it? We ought not to expect the world to be attracted to Christ when we obscure him by our reliance on gimmicks and by being second-rate mimics of things they can find done better elsewhere. But the unbeliever cannot find the true Gospel and a crucified Christ anywhere else!

Sermon no. 139
5 July (1857)

John MacArthur – Union with Christ


“You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Pet. 2:5).

Christ is your life, and you are an integral part of what He is accomplishing in the world.

The Jewish culture of Peter’s time centered on the Temple in Jerusalem. Apparently drawing from that picture, Peter used vivid language to teach that God no longer dwells in an earthly, material, temporal house, but in a spiritual house. Christ is the cornerstone, and the spiritual house He is building is comprised of individual believers.

That analogy introduces us to the first spiritual privilege Christians enjoy: union with Christ Himself. That makes Christianity utterly unique among religions. Buddhists are not said to be in Buddha. Muslims are not in Muhammad. A Confucianist is not in Confucius. Only Christians are united with and receive their spiritual life from the object of their worship.

When you came to Christ, the living stone, you also became a living stone yourself. You possess His resurrection life and draw from His spiritual resources. That’s what Peter meant when he said that God “has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).

Ephesians 2:19-22 adds, “You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Christ is the cornerstone of the church, built on the foundation of biblical truth, which is the divine revelation given through the apostles and prophets. Rejoice in the privilege of being united with Christ and learning from His Word!

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for selecting you as one of His spiritual stones. Seek His wisdom and grace in living each day to His glory.

For Further Study

Read Acts 17:24, 1 Timothy 3:15, and Hebrews 3:6, noting what they teach about God’s spiritual house.



Joyce Meyer – Confidence Leads to Reward


Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.- Hebrews 10:35

Anytime I talk about fear, I think back to my first really sizable speaking engagement. I actually got to stand in front of what would now be a small group of people, but then looked like a million people to me. One of the workshop leaders for this event canceled and because somebody knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew me—I was asked to speak at the event. I was not their first choice, but God opened a door of opportunity and I gladly took it.

On opening night all of the speakers were sitting together. It was Dr. So-and-So, and Bishop So-and-So, and Reverend So-and-So, and Joyce. The devil was screaming in my ears, “What are you doing here? Why don’t you go back to Fenton where you came from? You are going to make a fool out of yourself!” I listened so much to what the devil was telling me that when it was my time to go up front and introduce myself and tell everybody what my workshop was going to be about, all I got out was a squeak. I was so scared; I was a mess. And I’m not even a really fearful person! But I let the fearful thoughts in.

Think about how much calmer you can be by just stopping your thinking about some of the things you’re thinking about. If you believe you’re doing what God wants you to do, then just do it. Now I just show up and trust God. Recently I spoke to nearly half a million people in India and I wasn’t nervous at all. It gets easier when you have more experience trusting God; there is no doubt about that.

I remember having to make a decision the night of that first speaking engagement, to either open my mouth and try again or to run. Obviously, I tried again because here we are. What makes me sad is wondering how many people never try again.

Trust in Him Conquer your fear by trusting God and doing what He tells you to do, even if you have to do it again and again and again before you succeed.


Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Rescue from Temptation


“So also the Lord can rescue you and me from the temptations that surround us, and continue to punish the ungodly until the day of final judgement comes” (2 Peter 2:9).

Charles G. Finney was one of America’s most outstanding evangelists. One day while he was still a young lawyer, he sat in his village law office in the state of New York. It was early in the day, and the Lord began to deal with him.

“Finney,” an inner voice asked, “what are you going to do when you finish your course?”
“Put out a shingle and practice law.”
“Then what?” the voice persisted.
“Get rich.”
“Then what?”
“Then what?”
“Then what?”
This time the words came tremblingly, “The judgement.”

Young Finney ran for the woods half a mile away. As he prayed, he vowed that he would not leave until he had made his peace with God. After a long struggle, he discovered that he could not resist God’s call, and he came out of the woods that evening with the high purpose of living the remainder of his life to the glory of God, enjoying Him forever.

Like that great preacher and evangelist you and I can be rescued from the temptations of the world so that we will not resist any clear call from God.

Bible Reading: II Peter 2:10-17

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: When the world tries to squeeze me into its mold, I’ll not resist the clear call from our Lord Jesus Christ to follow Him.

Presidential Prayer Team; J.R. – Modified Memory


There is a movement afoot to completely secularize the United States, led by revisionists who would argue that the Founding Fathers were hostile to Christianity. Thomas Jefferson’s description of a “separation of church and state,” for example, has been twisted to ban prayer in public schools and force the removal of crosses from public property.

O God…our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old.

Psalm 44:1

Though their beliefs varied and not all were Christians, the Founding Fathers were firmly committed to biblical morality, to public prayer and praise, and to the conviction that God is the Creator of liberty. When the Revolutionary War was won, for example, George Washington ordered the military’s chaplains to “render thanks to almighty God for all his mercies, particularly for his overruling the wrath of man to his own glory, and causing the rage of war to cease amongst the nations.”

As you celebrate your freedom in God as a praying American this weekend, do not allow others to rewrite for you the true history of the deeds performed in the “days of old.” It is God who wins the battles and accomplishes His purposes. The Founders acknowledged this. May we never forget it!

Recommended Reading: I Samuel 17:41-51

C.S. Lewis Daily – Today’s Reading


TO MARY VAN DEUSEN: On the resolution to her question about joining a religious order; on the impermanence of feelings, good and bad; and on the need for the natural love in marriage to die into divine love.

23 July 1953

I think your decision ‘a rule of life, without membership’ is a good one. It is a great joy to be able to ‘feel’ God’s love as a reality, and one must give thanks for it and use it. But you must be prepared for the feeling dying away again, for feelings are by nature impermanent. The great thing is to continue to believe when the feeling is absent: and these periods do quite as much for one as those when the feeling is present.

It sounds to me as if Genia had a pretty good husband on the whole. So much matrimonial misery comes to me in my mail that I feel those whose partner has no worse fault than being stupider than themselves may be said to have drawn a prize! It hardly amounts to a Problem. I take it that in every marriage natural love sooner or later, in a high or a low degree, comes up against difficulties (if only the difficulty that the original state of ‘being in love’ dies a natural death) which force it either to turn into dislike or else to turn into Christian charity. For all our natural feelings are, not resting places, but points d’appui, springboards. One has to go on from there, or fall back from there. The merely human pleasure in being loved must either go bad or become the divine joy of loving. But no doubt Genia knows all this. It’s all quite in the ordinary run of Christian life. See I Peter iv, 12 ‘Think it not strange et cetera.’

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

Compiled in Yours, Jack

The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis