Charles Stanley – Walking in the Spirit

Read | Galatians 5:16-25

The Holy Spirit is one of God’s most precious gifts to His beloved children. The Spirit takes up residence within the believer at the moment of salvation and empowers the individual to overcome sin and live for God’s glory and purposes. However, the Holy Spirit’s power can be “turned off” or ignored. Only those who choose to walk with Him have unhindered access to His strength and guidance.

Walking by the Spirit denotes reliance upon Him. He leads the way, and we follow Him. As He speaks, we listen, heed His warnings, and obey His directions. The Spirit’s way is a path of surrender which, although difficult, leads to fullness of life.
God’s Spirit not only guides but also empowers us. The challenge of obeying Him is impossible in our own strength. The Holy Spirit supplies everything we need for living a godly life, and He produces His amazing fruit in us.

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Our Daily Bread — Lurking Lions

Read: Numbers 14:1-9

Bible in a Year: Numbers 26-27; Mark 8:1-21

The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them. —Numbers 14:9

When I was young, my dad would “scare” us by hiding in the bush and growling like a lion. Even though we lived in rural Ghana in the 1960s, it was almost impossible that a lion lurked nearby. My brother and I would laugh and seek out the source of the noise, thrilled that playtime with Dad had arrived.

One day a young friend came for a visit. As we played, we heard the familiar growl. Our friend screamed and ran. My brother and I knew the sound of my father’s voice—any “danger” was merely a phantom lion—but a funny thing happened. We ran with her. My dad felt terrible that our friend had been frightened, and my brother and I learned not to be influenced by the panicked reaction of others.

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Music Therapy as Treatment

“I had been given a cassette of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor–this was the only music I had, and I had been playing it for two weeks almost nonstop. Now suddenly, as I was standing, the concerto started to play itself with intense vividness in my mind. In this moment, the natural rhythm and melody of walking came back to me, and along with this, the feeling of my leg as alive, as part of me once again. I suddenly ‘remembered’ how to walk.”(1) So writes renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks in his book Musicophilia, describing his personal recovery following a serious injury to his leg in a climbing accident.

Sacks perhaps became more popularly known as the real life individual who inspired the character portrayed by Robin Williams in the 1990 film, Awakenings, a film later nominated for an Oscar. But the description The New York Times bestowed upon him as “the poet laureate of medicine” well sums up an impressive biography that includes the story of a physician, scientist, writer, and artist. A fascinating man, a lengthy article could be written in attempt to do yet small justice to a remarkable life story and his pursuit of treatment for those suffering from illnesses like autism, parkinsonism, epilepsy, phantom limb syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, schizophrenia, and the great pandemic of sleepy sickness following World War I. For today, I want to bring a magnifying glass to his research of music therapy as treatment for the above mentioned conditions, and more.

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John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Coming Under God’s Authority

“Submit therefore to God” (James 4:7a).

The truly humble will submit to God’s authority.

Most people understand the basic requirements of military service. The first thing anyone experiences when he enlists is his rank within the chain of command under the commanding officer. Implicit in such lining up under the leadership of a superior is that the soldier, sailor, airman, or marine will obediently carry out all he is commanded to do.

However, the military is not the only context in which the concept of submission applies. James 4:7 uses the term “submit” in the far more important arena of our relationship to God. We are to submit to Him and come under the sovereign authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the basic requirement for anyone who would be humble before God. Since Scripture often uses military terms to describe our service to God (Phil. 2:25; 2 Tim. 2:3), it is appropriate to see ourselves as enlisting in God’s army, willingly obeying His commands, and following His leadership.

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Wisdom Hunters – Stability and Security 

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. Revelation 3:12

Uncertainty is a certainty of life. Economic uncertainty. Political uncertainty. Financial uncertainty. Relational uncertainty. Physical uncertainty. Those who focus on life’s uncertainties are certain to be preoccupied, even disillusioned by fear and anxiety. Being consumed by uncertainty is like traveling on extremely winding roads while sitting in the back seat of a car, you begin to feel the nausea of emotional motion sickness. Has uncertainty caused fear to overcome your faith?

The Lord describes an eternal environment of stability and security. A place with no fear of what a person might or might not do, because all of the citizens of God’s city are redeemed by the Lamb—Jesus. The city of God is governed by King Jesus—who keeps all His promises. His promises of no more sin, sorrow or suffering are secure. His guarantee of our resurrection and reigning with Him, stabilizes our soul. We are rock solid pillars of faith who worship the Lord in His temple. Emotional stability and spiritual security accompany those who travel with Jesus.

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Who Loves Their Enemies?

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Recommended Reading

Romans 5:8-10

On September 2, 1945, representatives of the government of Japan came aboard the American battleship USS Missouri to sign the documents that officially ended World War II. Allied and Japanese forces were no longer at war. Peace was conditional upon Japan’s agreement to end all hostility toward America and Allied nations. Because Japan stopped “sinning” against Allied forces, peace was declared. If the nations were still active enemies, there would have been no treaty.

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Joyce Meyer – Start a Blessing Box

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.—Deuteronomy 15:10 NIV

Here’s an idea: Get yourself a big box and start going through your possessions, asking God to show you what you have that you can use to bless others. Fill it up with things that are nice but that you no longer need.

Look in cabinets, drawers, closets, the basement, and the garage. You will fill up your box quickly. Don’t keep something for years in case you ever need it—if you’re anything like me, by the time you need it, you will have forgotten that you have it and go buy another one anyway.

Take the clutter that is frustrating you and turn it into blessings. Keep the box in a handy place and start asking God to show you who needs to be blessed.

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Girlfriends in God – Standing Up to the Bullies in Your Life

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

Isaiah 7:9

Friend to Friend

Being from North Carolina, I love the old black-and-white Andy Griffith television programs. In one episode, the neighborhood bully is picking on Opie. This blond-headed newcomer taunts and makes fun of Opie until he feels as if he’s a total loser among the buddies he once enjoyed.

After Andy, the wise father, figures out what is disturbing his moping son, he gives him a little lesson in standing up to bullies. The next day, when the bully threatens Opie, the little freckle-faced boy looks his opponent in the eye and refuses to crumble under his threats.

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Only Way

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the Way – yes, and the Truth and the life. No one can get to the Father except by means of Me'” (John 14:6).

Dr. Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision, was conducting a great city-wide campaign in Tokyo and asked me to be in charge of the student phase of the crusade. So day after day, for more than a month, I spoke to thousands of students on many campuses, presenting the claims of Christ and challenging the students to receive Him as their Savior and Lord.

Many thousands responded, but occasionally a student would object and say that Jesus had no relevance for the Japanese – that Christianity is for the Westerner, not for the Asian. They were surprised when I reminded them that Jesus was born and reared in and carried out His ministry in the Middle East and that He was in many ways closer to them culturally and geographically that He was to me.

I reminded them, and I want to remind you, that though the Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth, in what is now Israel, He came to this world to die for all people in all lands.

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Ray Stedman – Where is Your Confidence?

Read: Philippians 1:3-6

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6

Perhaps Paul’s joy in these people at Philippi was that he was seeing them by faith. Not as they were, but as they would be when God’s work was done. He was looking at them with the eye of faith. He was sure that He who began a good work in them was going to finish it, so Paul could say that, even though you rub me the wrong way once in a while, I know what you are going to be. This is the key to getting along with other Christians. Sometimes it’s difficult, but when we realize what they will be we can do it. I heard of an artist who called a friend in and asked him to comment on a picture he was painting. He said, this is my masterpiece. It is beautiful. The man said I guess I don’t see what you see. It just looks like dabs of different colors to me, without form or anything. The artist said, Oh I forgot. I’m seeing it as it will be when finished. You are seeing it as it is now.

This is what Paul was doing. He was seeing these Christians as they would be and he thanks God it’s going to happen. What a comforting verse. Many times, when I am discouraged with myself, I utterly despair of being what I ought to be. I am so aware of the deceitfulness and subtlety of the flesh. Even when I want to be what I ought to be, I end up deceiving myself. I see the utter futility of depending on me to get this job done. In those times, I try to remember this verse, being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

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Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – What Happened In Church

Read: Mark 1:21-28

And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. (v. 26)

Ever think about why people come to church? Believe me, your pastor thinks about it all the time. Some people come to worship. Some come out of habit. Some come to keep peace in the family. Some probably don’t know why they come—they just come. There are a lot of reasons, but surely one reason is that life is confusing and chaotic, and we are all groping for something, someone with authority, to set us straight, and help us find our peace, our poise, our purpose.

Look around on Sunday at the people sitting with you in church. Can you even begin to appreciate the turmoil in their lives—the upsetting phone calls in the previous week, the hurtful words heard and spoken, the strife in relationships, concerns about health and finances, bad memories of things that happened long ago. Can other people appreciate the turmoil in your life? Life can be painful and chaotic. Like the poor, tormented soul in the synagogue, we’re all yearning for someone with authority who can calm the chaos and set us straight.

Out in the world it may appear that money reigns supreme, or political power, or cancer. But when we come to church we are reminded of the truth that sets things straight, and calms the chaos, and makes the demons quake—Jesus is Lord. Ask for his help. You will not be disappointed.

Prayer:

Lord, let me find in you my peace, my poise, and my purpose.

https://woh.org/

Presidential Prayer Team; G.C. – Pair Prayer

In life, many good things come in pairs. The Earth and sky. Arms and legs. Ice cream and cake. You can likely name many more.

The animals according to their kinds…two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.

Genesis 6:20

In Genesis, God asked Noah to help Him preserve the world by keeping pairs of animals fed, nourished, and alive during a global catastrophe. You might be inclined to believe you are not called personally to do something big like Noah, but think again. Today you probably know several “pairs” struggling to keep their relationships alive. The divorce rate in America is close to 50 percent.

aving an impact on marriage in America doesn’t require a degree in counseling, but a commitment to prayer. Start at the top with President Obama, then pray for members of Congress from each state, and don’t forget local officials and church leaders. Ask God to lead couples across the land in discovering His purpose and presence in their marriage commitments. As you can see, it’s a large job, and like Noah you will probably need a little help. Invite a friend to pair up with you this week in praying for life and health to infuse marriages in America.

Recommended Reading: Mark 10:5-9

http://www.presidentialprayerteam.com/index.php

Greg Laurie – Your Sphere of Influence

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.—Proverbs 11:25

I believe the hardest part of evangelism is getting started. But once you get started, and once God starts speaking through you, it can be one of the most joyful things you have ever done. To think that God Almighty would speak through someone like you or me is indeed a great privilege. It is an honor to go and tell others about Jesus.

The gospel was not designed to be hoarded; it was designed to be shared. You were blessed to be a blessing. Therefore as you take in, you need to give out that message again so others can come into a relationship with God. One of the greatest joys you will ever experience, next to knowing the Lord himself, is when you have the privilege of praying with someone to accept Christ. You start seeing the radical, even visible, changes that will take place in your life. We are told in Proverbs 11:25, “Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” It is refreshing as you give back and help other people.

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Kids 4 Truth International – God Does Not Fail

“I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Joshua 1:5b)

In life we make a lot of friends, but most of us have only a few friends who are very close. Statistics and surveys have shown that the average number of close friends per person is only eight. Can you think of eight close friends you have? Your close friends may change as you grow older, too. Have any of your friends ever been mean to you or let you down? We have probably all had friends who have let us down before. It is also probably true that we ourselves have let our friends down! Even our moms and our dads, who love us very much, are not perfect. Even they have let us down before.

What does it mean to fail or to forsake someone? To “fail” means to let someone down, or to respond lazily to someone’s need. To “forsake” means to leave someone, to leave them all alone in time of need.

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The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Behind God’s Back

Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 43:25

“I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake.”

God uses several metaphors and colorful expressions to assure us that our sins have been literally carried away by our Lord Jesus Christ. One of them is in Psalm 103:12: “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (NIV). Here was an infinite distance, as great as human vocabulary could express.

Jesus not only bore our sins on the cross, he carried them away an infinite distance. He removed them from the presence of God and from us forever. They can no longer bar our access to God’s holy presence. Now “we have confidence”—or “boldness” as the King James Version more strikingly puts it—to enter God’s presence (Hebrews 10:19).

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Only Trust Him

Today’s Scripture: Ezra 1-6

I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. – Psalm 119:104

Who do you think will be president two hundred years from now? Impossible to answer, you say. The person hasn’t even been born yet. It would be like the signers of the Declaration of Independence predicting the election of our president two centuries in advance.

But this is exactly what we have in Ezra, chapter one. Some two hundred years before it happened, the prophet Isaiah wrote that Cyrus, king of Persia, would issue a proclamation throughout his kingdom–and put it in writing–that the captive Jews were to be released to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the house of the Lord. When Isaiah wrote that, there was no Cyrus, king of Persia. He hadn’t been born yet.

Continue reading The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Only Trust Him

BreakPoint – Why We Haven’t Endorsed a Candidate: Political Wisdom from Chuck Colson

As I record this, it’s still hours before the results from Super Tuesday are in, and that’s intentional. I’m more convinced than ever that as we think about this election season, there are some pre-political Christian convictions that we need to remember.

Many evangelical leaders have publicly endorsed candidates, even earlier than usual, but the Colson Center will maintain Chuck’s practice of not doing so, as tempting as it is. But that ought not be confused with disinterest. Trust me—I’m very interested in this election, even more about what it’s revealing about the character of our nation than who will actually reach office.

But I’m also interested because, like each and every area of culture, Christ cries “Mine!” over politics and government, too. The question, as Chuck once said, is not whether Christians should be involved in politics, but how.

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Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word –JESUS, SON OF ABRAHAM   

Read Luke 1:46-80

In the United States, perjury is considered a felony and is punishable by prison. In the State of California, perjury can even be a capital offense if the false testimony contributes to a wrongful conviction and execution. These penalties for perjury affirm our conviction as Americans, that justice depends on determining the truth of a case.

Scripture portrays God as a God who always tells the truth. When He swears an oath or binds Himself to a promise, He can be trusted to follow through. Consider, for example, the promises God made to Abraham in Genesis 12. I will bless you. I will make you great. You will inherit this land and become the father of many multitudes. All people on earth will be blessed through you. As Luke begins his “orderly account” of the historical events concerning Jesus, a promised Son of Abraham, he wants us to remember that God is a promise-keeper. God always makes good on His word.

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Denison Forum – SUPER TUESDAY AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA

Super Tuesday results are in. What have we learned?

Hillary Clinton now has a commanding lead in the Democratic race. Marco Rubio won Minnesota; Ted Cruz won Oklahoma, Alaska, and his home state of Texas; and Donald Trump won the rest of the states. Both Rubio and John Kasich can win their home states in two weeks. If that happens, as one pundit said, “it’s going to go on and on and on.”

Here’s something else we learned: Whether you like the results or not, the system works.

America is a nation where anyone who is a natural born citizen, fourteen years a resident, and thirty-five years of age can be president (U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1). As a result, Clinton is likely to become the first female major party presidential candidate. Trump, a businessman in his first political campaign, is the clear frontrunner for his party’s nomination. And there is increasing interest in a third party candidacy as well.

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