Charles Stanley – Expressions of Praise

Psalm 34:1-3

Glorifying the Lord is not limited to worshipping in church. In fact, praise should permeate the believer’s life.

One obvious way that we praise the Lord is with our voice. We can either speak or sing our worship. The psalmists put adoration into words and set their love to music. True worship also flows from the mouths of believers who are focused upon God’s attributes. They desire to honor Him because of who He is, what He has done, and what He has promised for the future.

Genuine worship allows the Lord to fill our hearts and minds with His presence. But praising the Lord with wrong motives is an empty act. For example, if we’re lifting our hands and singing loud only because doing so feels good, then what we’re after is an emotional high. That kind of selfish “praise” falls short of heaven.

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Our Daily Bread — Abigail’s Reminder

Read: 1 Samuel 25:14-33

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 17-19; Mark 13:1-20

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. —Proverbs 16:7

David and 400 of his warriors thundered through the countryside in search of Nabal, a prosperous brute who had harshly refused to lend them help. David would have murdered him if he hadn’t first encountered Abigail, Nabal’s wife. She had packed up enough food to feed an army and traveled out to meet the troops, hoping to head off disaster. She respectfully reminded David that guilt would haunt him if he followed through with his vengeful plan (1 Sam. 25:31). David realized she was right and blessed her for her good judgment.

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John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Understanding Who Christ Is

“Walk . . . with all humility” (Ephesians 4:1-2).

We are to walk as Christ walked. Our lack of conformity to His standard ought to make us humble.

What was your most humiliating experience? Life is full of embarrassing moments, but the most truly humbling experience I ever had was preaching through the Gospel of John. For two years—eighty-eight sermons, about one hundred hours of preaching, between two and three thousand hours of study—I was constantly faced with the deity of Jesus Christ. Living with the deity of Christ day after day and comparing yourself continually to Him is one of the healthiest—and most humbling—things you can ever do.

That brings us to another step toward humility: Christ-awareness. When we compare ourselves with ourselves, we get proud. But “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). When you can say, “I’m happy to announce that I now walk as Jesus walked,” then you’ll have a right to be proud. But no one will believe you.

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Wisdom Hunters – Hopeful Waiting 

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

Hope allows you to wait patiently on the Lord. It is hope in Him that is heaven’s guarantee of grace. Because of the things that are out of your control, it is wise to practice hopeful waiting. Otherwise, you will live in frustration and fear over matters you cannot mandate or manipulate. This is where hopeful waiting pays great dividends. You choose to hope in Christ rather than place your trust in ever-changing circumstances. This is a wise bet. If, however, your hope is in an organization or institution, all bets are off. Both can and will fail to meet your expectations, but hopeful waiting trumps the company’s broken promises. It gets you to place your trust and hope in God’s provision rather than in the corporation’s ever-changing commitments.

The same can be said of what we should expect from people. They can be fickle and undependable. Indeed, some people hurry away when things get tough. They make excuses or excuse themselves from responsibilities. Difficult times raise up heroes and bring down imposters. Therefore, patient people learn hopeful waiting in their dealings with others. They wait on people, not in a naïve or irresponsible way, but in a way that honors them and Christ.

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Important Church Celebrations: Baptism

“I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

Acts 8:37-38

Recommended Reading

Acts 8:26-40

Just before Jesus returned to heaven, He told His disciples to preach His message to all the nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). A few weeks later, thousands of people heard Peter’s sermon about Jesus on the Day of Pentecost, and “those who gladly received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). When Philip took the Gospel to Samaria, those who responded, “both men and women were baptized” (Acts 8:12). When he explained the Gospel to the Ethiopian eunuch, the man said, “What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). When Saul of Tarsus was saved, he was baptized as a public demonstration of his private decision (Acts 9:18). Throughout the book of Acts, the new Christians gave public testimony of their faith through the act of baptism.

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Joyce Meyer – The Spirit vs the Flesh

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). —Galatians 5:16

Like a horse that has been trained to keep his ear always tuned to the voice of its master, we must be willing to follow the Lord in all His leadings, not just those we feel good about or happen to agree with. We won’t always like what we hear Him tell us to do.

We must realize that in order to follow God, the flesh must be told no at times, and when that happens, the flesh suffers. There are times when we are galloping full speed ahead in one direction when suddenly the Master tells us to stop and instructs us to go in another direction. It is painful to us when we don’t get our way, but ultimately we understand that God’s ways are always best.

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Truly Rich

“Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die” (1 Timothy 6:6,7).

If you had the choice of choosing between great wealth and good health and a happy, joyful relationship with our Lord, which would you choose? Though many would choose wealth, I am sure that if you are a Christian, you would gladly choose to live modestly the rest of your life if necessary in order to experience daily the joy of your salvation.

During all of my career, I, an agnostic, had worked hard to successfully develop my business interests. Then, in the providence of God, I was brought face to face with Christ and His Word. “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

It was as though God touched my mind to enable me to understand that I could eat only one meal at a time, wear one suit of clothes at a time and take nothing with me when I die. I understood for the first time that being truly rich does not involve the accumulation of vast wealth, but it involves knowing and doing the will of God – in walking in intimate, vital, personal fellowship with Him daily as a way of life.

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Ray Stedman – God at Work

Read: Philippians 2:12-13

…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Phil 2:12b-13

Work out your own salvation does not mean by your own effort, as some have interpreted it. The apostle is saying, now that I am no longer present with you, you don’t need to rely on my insights and counsel. Begin to walk without my assistance, for you have God in you, and that is all you need. In other words, stop leaning on me. Start applying these things yourselves. This is a necessary stage in Christian growth.

I recall teaching my oldest daughter how to drive. She had a learner’s permit that required that I be with her in the front seat of the car. As we were driving she would sometimes give me a questioning look as a driver pulled out in the road or something developed ahead of us. Then I’d say do this or that. She was relying on me, but the time would come when I moved out of the front seat and in faith committed her to what she had learned. From then on she had to work out her own salvation with fear and trembling, even with me right there with her in the back seat!

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Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Raising Of Lazarus

Read: John 11:38-46

He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” (v. 43)

The raising of Lazarus is the masterpiece of Jesus’ miracles, and by far the most expensive—it cost him his life. At the outset of his ministry Jesus made wine flow from water, and now he makes blood run warm again in a man dead in a tomb. Death had met its match, and that was the last straw for some of the mourners as they left to tattle to the authorities. “So from that day on they made plans to put him to death” (John 11:53).

Many New Testament miracles show people cooperating with Jesus, so to speak. That is, they have faith, they trust, they take up their mat and walk, they go show themselves to the priests, they fish from the other side of the boat. But Lazarus does nothing to cooperate. He is inert, a corpse. So much for God needing our cooperation. On that day in Bethany God acts alone, intervening in human affairs, doing what only God can do—raise the dead.

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Presidential Prayer Team; G.C. – Endings

Eschatology – it is the exploration of “end things” taken from two Greek words meaning “last” and “study,” whether the end of a life or the end of an age or the end of the world. Christian eschatology is the study of the end of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Maybe you’ve noticed many people today are almost obsessed with figuring out what happens at the end.

Yet I will leave some of you alive…when you are scattered through the countries.

Ezekiel 6:8

Scripture is clear that however long God’s people are alive on Earth, whether they are together or scattered about, they will encounter trials, persecutions and trouble of every kind. Through those difficulties, God somehow refines His followers and accomplishes His purposes in the watching world. Instead of ease and deliverance, God offers His presence as the sustaining power for enduring suffering during hard times.

Don’t get caught up in nit picking about God’s plan for ending time. Dedicate yourself to bearing the testimony of Jesus Christ today, in the circumstances of your present life. Pray for courageous leaders to rise up across America with a resolve to uphold the name of Jesus regardless of the cost, remaining alive and faithful to the end…whenever that may be.

Recommended Reading: Matthew 24:3-13

Greg Laurie – Is God Trying to Get Your Attention?

“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”—Psalm 34:19

God will sometimes allow suffering and sickness to get our attention!

reluctant prophet Jonah. Psalm 119:67 says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (NIV). So the Lord may allow a hard situation to wake us up to our real need—even something as tragic as the death of a child.

One person wrote me whose child died, saying,

“A person expects to lose a parent, maybe even a brother, sister, aunt, or uncle; but never a child. My son would have been 16 years old this year. It has been 15 years since his death. He was the person who brought me to the Lord. Because of his death, I received my salvation. The comfort I found when I fell into God’s hands . . . God knows my pain; He lost a son too!

“Fifteen years later . . . I still cry at Christmas; that’s when I remember his life and my loss. I still cry at Easter; that’s when I am assured I will see him again. I know I will never get over it because I don’t want to get over it. The intensity is less; but, like the joy of life takes the pain of birth away, I have found salvation through God’s Son because of the loss of mine!”

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Kids 4 Truth International – Jesus Made Room for Us

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

Before Jesus went to the cross, He spent an evening talking with His eleven closest followers, preparing them for what was about to happen. John 14 records part of what Jesus said that evening. A well-known part of that conversation is John 14:2: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).

There are two things that we need to understand about what Jesus said that night. First, the word “mansion” doesn’t mean “big house,” which is the way we use the word today. “Mansion” in John 14:2 means “room” or “place to live.” The point that Jesus was making is this: Don’t worry; there’s plenty of room for all my followers to live with the Father. I’m not going back to live there alone.

To understand the second important part, we have to remember what Jesus was about to do: He was about to go to the Father. His path to the Father was difficult: He had to die, be buried, and be raised from the dead. Then He would go up in the clouds. So when Jesus said, “I’m going to prepare a place for you,” He didn’t mean, I’m going to heaven to start a building project. He actually meant, I’m about to die. You’ll be upset, but you shouldn’t be. The reason I’m dying is to make a place for you where my Father lives.

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The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – The Promises of God

Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:20

“Through him . . . we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

The Bible is full of God’s promises—to provide for us spiritually and materially, to never forsake us, to give us peace in times of difficult circumstances, to cause all circumstances to work together for our good, and to bring us safely home to glory. Not one of those promises is dependent upon our performance. They’re all dependent on the grace of God given to us through Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote, “For all the promises of God find their yes in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20). What did Paul mean by this?

First of all, Christ in his messianic mission is the personal fulfillment of all the promises in the Old Testament regarding a savior and coming king. As Philip Hughes wrote, “In Christ is the yes, the grand consummating affirmative, to all God’s promises. In him all things ‘which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms’ achieve their fulfillment (Luke 24:44).”

Beyond the actual fulfillment of all the promises made about him, Christ is also the meritorious basis upon which all of God’s other promises depend. John Calvin wrote in his comments on 2 Corinthians 1:20, “all God’s promises depend upon Christ alone. This is a notable assertion and one of the main articles of our faith. It depends in turn upon another principle—that it is only in Christ that God the Father is graciously inclined towards us. His promises are the testimonies of his fatherly goodwill towards us. Thus it follows that they are fulfilled only in Christ. secondly, we are incapable of possessing God’s promises till we have received the remission of our sins and that comes to us through Christ.” (Excerpt taken from Transforming Grace)

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Prayer

Today’s Scripture: Job 23

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew 26:39

The woman was scared out of her wits. Here she was, on a lonely road, in the middle of nowhere, with a car that wouldn’t run, and night coming on. She began to pray that God would send an angel to help her. She scanned the road in both directions, but there was no sign of anyone.

She closed her eyes and prayed some more. “Lord, please send an angel who can help me.” Again she scanned both ways and saw a speck way down the road, coming toward her. She took heart and began to pray even more fervently. As the speck grew larger, she saw the biggest, burliest, long-haired, bearded man she had ever seen–a rough, tough, mean-looking guy on a motorcycle, wearing the leather jacket of the Hell’s Angels.

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Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – JESUS, OUR BROTHER

Read Luke 8

At a tennis tournament in Cincinnati in the summer of 2015, top-ranked tennis star Andy Murray donned a disguise and served ice cream to the crowds. “Are you Andy Murray?” a number of people asked. “Do I look like him?” Murray responded coyly, agreeing to pose for pictures.

“Who is this?” the disciples asked one another when they saw Jesus’ astonishing display of authority over the winds and waves (v. 25). Despite having witnessed Jesus heal the sick, deliver the demon-possessed, and forgive sins, the disciples struggled to grasp the nature of Jesus’ identity. The mystery was unfolding before them, and they didn’t immediately understand the cosmic implications of Jesus’ claim to power. As we will later learn, it’s not until days after Jesus’ crucifixion that they make sense of the embodied good news of God’s kingdom. Initially, they were among those about whom Isaiah prophesied—people who see but don’t perceive, who hear but don’t understand (v. 10; Isa. 6:9).

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