Charles Stanley – Walking by Faith

2 Corinthians 5:6-8

In the Christian community, we often hear the term faith. However, when such a word is used frequently, it can become so familiar that we grow immune to its great depth of meaning. Today let’s consider what faith actually entails.

All people have faith. For example, it takes a measure of confidence to sit down in a kitchen chair without first testing its strength. Yet belief in the fact that furniture will hold our weight is quite different from entrusting our life to almighty God. A wrong judgment concerning the first may result in a physical bruise, whereas the latter determines not only our success in this life but also our eternal destination.

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Our Daily Bread — What Will Be

Read: Revelation 22:1-5

Bible in a Year: Exodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39

No longer will there be any curse. —Revelation 22:3

You and I have something in common. We live in a mixed-up, tarnished world and we have never known anything different. Adam and Eve, however, could remember what life was like before the curse. They could recall the world as God intended it to be—free of death, hardship, and pain (Gen. 3:16-19). In pre-fall Eden, hunger, unemployment, and illness did not exist. No one questioned God’s creative power or His plan for human relationships.

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John MacArthur – Strength for Today – God Is Holy

“‘There is no one holy like the Lord’” (1 Samuel 2:2).

God’s holiness means He transcends everything else and is completely righteous and separated from evil.

Holiness is arguably God’s most significant attribute. The angels don’t sing, “Eternal, eternal, eternal” or “Faithful, faithful, faithful” or “Mighty, mighty, mighty.” Rather, they sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty” (Rev. 4:8; compare Isa. 6:3). His holiness sums up all He is. The psalmist says, “Holy and awesome is His name” (Ps. 111:9). Moses sings, “Who is like Thee among the gods, O Lord? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). And Hannah prays, “There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides Thee, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:2).

What does it mean that God is holy? The words translated “holy” in the Bible have the root meaning of “separation.” God’s being and character transcend everything else. He is not subject to the frailties and limitations of His creation. God is completely without sin. He does not just conform to a holy standard; He is the standard.

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Wisdom Hunters – How Long? 

My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?     Psalm 6:3

“How long?” is a fair question to ask of the Lord. He does not expect us to suffer in silence. In fact, it’s okay and desirable to pour out our petitions to Him. We need heaven’s healing. When we verbalize our confusion to our loving heavenly Father, we feel relief. Just to know that the Lord listens to our heartfelt cries, no matter how petty or profound, is reassuring. Sometimes we can’t sleep well at night. We wake up in anguish, our mind racing. Our heart needs a touch of grace and peace from Jesus. A troubled heart has a hard time with sweet dreams because there is a dread or disappointment that destroys its quality of rest. However, deep sleep accompanies those who are able rest in Him. Rest is a result of resting in the Lord’s presence (Exodus 33:14).

The pain will linger until you see Jesus face to face, because it is a touch from the Lord that will get you through this difficulty. Therefore, do not let this momentary affliction keep you from experiencing God. Adversity is meant to engage us with eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17). If everything were easy, we would be prone to forget our heavenly Father. So while on earth, it is okay to ask, “How long?”  Questions keep us from being clueless with Christ by driving us to our knees in dependency on Him. How long before you can be married? How long before your parents will be more understanding? How long before your teenager will mature? How long before the doctors can diagnose your ailment? How long before you can change careers or get a promotion? How long before finances are not such big issues?

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Love Languages: Demonstrate Your Love

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:34

Recommended Reading

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Think about what the following words have in common with “love”: address, report, dream, risk, force, joke, license, tour, plan, whisper, stand, peel, hammer, fly, delay, comb, loan, permit, yawn, shape, and judge. All those words are both nouns and verbs, things and actions. And the digital revolution has given us even more: tweet, google, e-mail, text, and others.

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Joyce Meyer – Waiting on God

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.—Psalm 27:14

When we “wait” on God, we are not being lazy or passive, but we are actually being very active spiritually. We may not be “doing” anything, but we are trusting God to do what needs to be done. In effect, we are saying, “Lord, I will not try to do this in my own strength. I will wait on You to deliver me. And I’m going to enjoy my life while I wait for You.”

Satan wants us to be frustrated from trying to solve our own problems. He hates our joy. He wants to see anything but joy, because the joy of the Lord is our strength (see Nehemiah 8:10). Worry robs us of strength, but joy energizes us.

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Girlfriends in God – Heart Wide Open

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Luke 10:2

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our “Friday Friends.” So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our “Friday Friend,” Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Friend To Friend

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Children of God

“But to all who received Him, He gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust Him to save them” (John 1:12).

My wife, Vonette, had been active in the church since she was a little girl, and I assumed that she was a Christian. However, after my proposal and during our engagement, I realized she had never received Christ, though she was a very moral, religious person.

Because of the emotional involvement, I hesitated to press her to receive Christ because I was afraid she would go through the motions of receiving Him to please me, which certainly would not be pleasing to our Lord. So I asked the Lord to send someone who could introduce her to Christ. He clearly led me to call upon a dear friend, the late Dr. Henrietta Mears, who had played such a vital role in my own spiritual growth.

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Ray Stedman – The Great Light

Read: Isaiah 9:1-7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

What a remarkable picture! It hardly needs any exposition. Suddenly, after a great time of trouble, the nation will realize that this glorious King, their Messiah, once came as a little child: to us a child is born. He who was for eternity the Son of God was given to them as a little Baby in Bethlehem. They recognize at last, after centuries of rejection, that this One rightly deserves divine titles. This is Immanuel, God with us.

The four titles Isaiah lists represent that: Wonderful Counselor. Did anyone ever fulfill that more fully than Jesus? He unveils to us secrets about ourselves, counsels us how to avoid the heartaches and problems that otherwise would beset us, showing the way of deliverance from the taint and pollution of sin.

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Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Making All Things New

Read: John 14:15-19; 16:5-16

A new spirit I will put within you. (Ezek. 36:26)

If you were ever a candidate for cataract surgery, your doctor probably promised that your dull and drab world would be bright and colorful after your surgery. Of course, you couldn’t know that your world was dull and drab until you had the surgery. You had to take that step in order to find a new world. The same is true in our spiritual lives. The Holy Spirit is the one helps us grow spiritually, but we have to open our hearts to him to obtain his help.

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Presidential Prayer Team; A.W. – A Winning Cry

Visit any playground and you might find a group of kids playing “Mercy.” This popular children’s game of strength and endurance also goes by other names such as “Peanuts” and “Uncle.” In the game, each player attempts to bend back the fingers of the other player until they can no longer stand the pain or reverse the situation, at which time the “losing” player cries out for mercy. Then the “winning” person releases the fingers to stop the pain.

Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

Psalm 28:6

In the scriptures leading to today’s verse, David expresses his suffering. He anxiously prays to God asking for mercy…and the Lord immediately answers his prayer. The pain stops and he experiences peace that leads him to bless the Lord.

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Greg Laurie – What is an “Almost Christian”?

“Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.'” —Acts 26:28

I think America is filled with almost Christians—far more than outright nonbelievers.

What is an almost Christian?

It’s like a husband waiting for his wife to come out of the bedroom to leave. He asks, “Are you ready yet?” She replies, “Almost.” That is a woman’s way of saying, “Another hour, minimum!”

You cannot be an almost Christian, really. You either are or you are not. It’s like being almost pregnant! You either are or are not pregnant.

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Kids 4 Truth International – God Answers Prayer

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.” (James 5:17)

Do you remember the story about Elijah and King Ahab in 1 Kings 17? Elijah told King Ahab that it would not rain. How did Elijah know that God would answer his prayer for it not to rain? Maybe because he knew Deuteronomy 11:13-17.

Deuteronomy 11:13-17 contains some of God’s promises and instructions for Israel before they enter the Promised Land. God says to them: if you listen to God’s commandments to love and serve him with all your heart and soul, He will give you rain “in his due season,” so you can gather in the crops you have planted. He will also send grass to your fields for your cattle, so you can eat and be full. He warns, however, that you need to pay attention so that you are not deceived into serving and worshipping other gods. If you serve and worship other gods, the Lord will be angry and He will “shut up the heaven, that there be no rain,” Then your crops will not grow, and you will die “quickly” in “the good land which the Lord giveth you.”

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The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Growing in Love

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 118:6

“The Lord is on my side.”

How can we develop our love for God so that our obedience is prompted by love instead of some lesser motive? The Scripture gives us our first clue, or beginning point, when it says, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our love to God can only be a response to his love for us. If I don’t believe God loves me, I cannot love him. To love God, I must believe that he is for me, not against me (Romans 8:31) and that he accepts me as a son or a daughter, not a slave (Galatians 4:7).

What would keep us from believing God loves us? The answer is a sense of guilt and condemnation because of our sin. The same tender conscience that enables us to become aware of sins that lie deep beneath the level of external actions can also load us down with guilt. When we’re under that burden and sense of condemnation, it is difficult to love God or believe that he loves us.

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Life Examples

Today’s Scripture: 2 Kings 9-12

For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. – 1 Corinthians 4:17

When we talk about spiritual leaders who train their successors, you might be saying, “I can barely get my own work done every week. How can I train someone else?”

Let me offer a couple of suggestions. First, involve someone in your ministry, whatever it is. If you teach Sunday school, ask someone to assist in what you’re doing. That gives him or her a chance to observe you in action–and to help.

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Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – HOW JESUS KEPT THE SABBATH

Read John 5:1-17

“Blue laws” prohibit certain activities on Sunday, usually things like shopping or the sale of liquor. Some of the strictest blue laws outlawed working, traveling, or engaging in recreation. Blue laws were originally instituted for religious purposes and have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

As we saw in yesterday’s study, the Jews of Jesus’ day also had many blue laws focused on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. The religious leaders used these rules to find fault with Jesus when He performed a miracle of healing on the Sabbath.

The healing in today’s passage took place at a pool in Jerusalem located near the sheep gate. This pool had five porticoes or covered colonnades. It was believed to have healing properties and was probably associated with worship of Asclepius, the Roman god of healing. Jesus healed a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years; he was so weak that he could not step down into the water without assistance. The healed man was later charged with violating the Sabbath—for carrying the mat on which he had suffered for so many decades!

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