Charles Stanley – Living Under Jesus’ Lordship

Philippians 2:6-11

The Lord Jesus Christ—God’s only begotten Son—has been given the name above all other names. Jesus has complete authority over heaven and earth, and He exercises that authority according to His Father’s good purposes. Christ’s position as Lord over all of mankind will never end.

Most of the people in our world have not acknowledged Jesus’ right to rule. They reject His lordship and do whatever they think is best. As a result, sin abounds, wreaking havoc in the lives of many. The good news is that the Father has a plan, which cannot be stopped. One day every person will acknowledge the authority of Jesus. Just as God promised, all created beings in heaven, on earth, and under the earth will kneel before Him (Phil. 2:10)—including those who have rejected the Son of God. What a triumphant and glorious time that will be!

Even before that day, we who follow the Savior are to live with our wills bent in submission to His. If Jesus is Lord over us, then we will acknowledge that life revolves around Him and we exist for His purposes, not the other way around. We’ll also make His priorities our own, giving the Lord’s plans precedence over all others. We will furthermore confess His Lordship over us (Gal. 2:20), proclaim that He is our Savior, and testify to what He has done for us. Our choices will reflect the desire to be a living testimony to His lordship in our lives.

Surrendering control to Jesus Christ is the wisest decision we can make. Is He truly Lord of your life?

Bible in a Year: Judges 18-19

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Our Daily Bread — Ignore No More

Read: Philippians 1:27-30

Bible in a Year: Joshua 1-3; Mark 16

The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. —Psalm 19:8

I don’t know how these people find me, but I keep getting more and more flyers in the mail from folks asking me to show up at their events so they can teach me about retirement benefits. It started several years ago when I began getting invitations to join an organization that works on behalf of retirees. These reminders all serve to say: “You’re getting older. Get ready!”

I have ignored them all along, but soon enough I’m going to have to break down and go to one of their meetings. I really should be taking action on their suggestions.

Continue reading Our Daily Bread — Ignore No More

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Looking Out for Others’ Interests First

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

The Lord wants us to have a general but sincere concern for the ministry interests of fellow Christians.

We live in a world that is preoccupied with special interests. On the national and international levels, interest groups push for public acceptance of their particular agendas. Likewise, on the local level most people care only about their own personal interests. They’re concerned about their jobs, their families, their hobbies, and perhaps their favorite sports team. In addition to those, if you’re a Christian, you will be concerned about your local church. But even there you can become focused only on your area of ministry.

In today’s verse, the apostle Paul cautions us, “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests.” He is warning first of all that we shouldn’t see our personal activities and ministries as our only goals in life. When we become narrowly preoccupied with our own things, it can cause conflicts and other problems with people we know. Instead, God wants us to have a serious, caring involvement in some of the goals others are concerned about. And one way that will happen is if we take our eyes off ourselves and our often excessive concern for self-esteem in everything we do.

Continue reading John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Looking Out for Others’ Interests First

Wisdom Hunters – Gentle and Humble 

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  Zechariah 9:9

Jesus is gentle and humble, and He is aggressive and brave. Gentleness does not eliminate aggression, nor does humility cross out courage. Jesus is King of creation and ruler over the world, but He rules and leads with gentleness and humility. He describes Himself this way: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

Power is not a rod of rejection for the gentle and humble leader. A gentle and humble leader uses his position of influence to serve others and help them be their best. He brings to bear resources and relationships that facilitate the unity of the team. His gentle and humble approach to people increases their probability of success. There is no need to inflict fear as your mode of operation. Why cause people to cower in contempt because they are afraid?

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Gentle and Humble 

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

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.

Ephesians 5:25

Recommended Reading

Ephesians 5:22-33

When Jesus returned to heaven, He left behind one institution to continue His Gospel work—His church. He didn’t establish a university, a hospital, or an orphanage. He just left His church. Other wonderful ministries have sprung out of His church—like universities, missions organizations, and hospitals. But at the core of it all is His special group of people, the local church. This is where life happens. This is where babies are dedicated, where baptisms are witnessed, and where marriages are established.

Continue reading Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Important Church Celebrations: Marriage

Joyce Meyer – Getting What We Want

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.—Proverbs 3:5-6

I usually know what I want, and I like to get it. I’m exactly like most people. When we don’t get what we want, our negative feelings flare up. (And remember those feelings began with thoughts.)

“I drove across town to buy that dress, and you’re out of my size?”

“What do you mean there are no HD TVs left? You advertised it in the paper.”

Most of us are like that—and when we don’t get what we want, we make people around us miserable. It’s not something we learn in school—it may be inborn.

Continue reading Joyce Meyer – Getting What We Want

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Not Hard at All

“Loving God means doing what He tells us to do, and really that isn’t hard at all; for every child of God can obey Him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him” (1 John 5:3,4).

I believe that we are on the threshold of witnessing the greatest spiritual revival in the history of the church. I believe that the Great Commission will indeed be fulfilled before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19,20).

Today, however, because of the subtle ways of the world system, there are more carnal Christians than at any other time in history. But the Bible tells us that the tide will turn and that the church will soon enter its finest hour.

We are beginning to see that turning of the tide. More and more Christians are discovering how to live supernaturally in the power and control of the Holy Spirit. The gospel is being spread throughout the world by many committed Christians who are determined, by faith, to help fulfill the Great Commission in this generation, whatever the cost.

Continue reading Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Not Hard at All

Ray Stedman –  True Spirituality

Read: Philippians 3:3

…who put no confidence in the flesh. Phil 3:3b

The measure of true spirituality is in contrast to those who put confidence in some self-effort. Paul says, we put no confidence in the flesh. We are living in an age that continually strives to get us to put confidence in the flesh. We are taught from childhood that the way to become proficient and competent and accomplish our aims and desires is to develop our self-confidence. This is what destroys human life. Self-confidence is not intended to be our strength, but rather it’s to be our confidence in God. We were intended to face life recognizing we are weak, ineffectual, and unable, that it might drive us back upon the one who is totally adequate, and can be our total strength. This is the way God intended us to live. Therefore, the spirit of self-confidence is the most deadly lie that has ever been perpetrated upon the human race.

Now there is self-confidence that is based on God in us, but when it comes from something in ourselves, something we have learned or achieved, it is deadly. Paul says we have learned at last to put no confidence in the flesh. Even in religion there is strong emphasis on putting confidence in the flesh, or perhaps I should say, it is especially in religious areas we encounter this pressure.

Continue reading Ray Stedman –  True Spirituality

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – What Does It All Mean?

Read: Luke 19:35-40

Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech. 9:9)

The disciples threw their coats and robes on top of a young donkey, and for two miles they continued, travelling from Bethany toward Jerusalem, throwing down their coats, making a show out of the procession. This was the triumphal entry’s “pre-party.” Joining in the jubilation were many of those who had travelled with Jesus the whole way. They were the ones who “began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen” (v. 37). They thought they were headed into their victory lap.

The Pharisees worked to rein them in. But Jesus cherished and craved his disciples’ praise because he knew, as he had always known, that before the victory would come a crushing defeat. As they crested the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem and its temple stood before them. Instead of rebuking his disciples as the religious leaders insisted, Jesus rallied the crowd: “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (v. 40). As the very human Jesus entered the most difficult week of his life and, ultimately, faced his own death, I wonder what solace he found from friends and followers who praised, even when they couldn’t possibly know what it all meant.

Prayer:

We praise you, Lord Jesus Christ. We may not grasp what it all means, but “blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” Amen.

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Presidential Prayer Team; G.C.- Request Response

Have you ever been given an impossible request? In ancient times, the King of Syria sent a letter to the King of Israel asking him to heal his greatest warrior Naaman of leprosy. It was an outlandish appeal – but Naaman’s wife had heard their Hebrew slave proclaiming that the God of Israel could do miracles. Surprisingly when Israel’s king received the request, he didn’t call upon God seeking guidance or wisdom; instead, he put on a dramatic show, tearing his clothes and bemoaning his hopelessness.

And when the king of Israel read the letter, he…said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive?”

II Kings 5:7

Likewise, some today have given up on America ever again standing for faith and justice at the highest levels. And like Israel’s’ unwise king, they are also looking only to their own abilities. When Israel’s prophet Elisha heard of Naaman’s request, he knew where take the issue. Asking God for help, he received it…and ultimately both nations witnessed the true and powerful God do a miraculous healing.

Continue reading Presidential Prayer Team; G.C.- Request Response

Greg Laurie – Why God Allows Suffering

“For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation!”—2 Corinthians 1:5–6

This is not an exhaustive treatment of a very weighty subject, but merely some thoughts for your consideration.

Suffering helps us grow spiritually and makes us stronger in the faith. It takes our faith from the realm of theory to reality, so we can start living out our faith in the real world.

A.B. Simpson said, “Temptation exercises our faith and teaches us to pray. It is like military drill and a taste of battle to the young soldier. It puts us under fire and compels us to exercise our weapons and prove their potency. It shows us the recourse of Christ and the preciousness of the promises of God. Every victory gives us new confidence in our victorious leader and new courage for the next onslaught of the foe.”

Continue reading Greg Laurie – Why God Allows Suffering

Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Honest with Us about Sin

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

Have you ever been told: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!”? If you have, it was probably your parents stopping you from saying something mean to your brother or sister!

Sometimes the things God says to us in His Word do not seem very nice. In fact, sometimes God says very honest and serious words that can be hard to hear. Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems like God says mean things about people in His Word? Here are some of God’s words to us about ourselves:

“The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

“There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:3)

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Honest with Us about Sin

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – How Honest?

Today’s Scripture: Proverbs 12:22

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.”

On Christmas Eve, our doorbell rang. Answering it, I found a little four-year-old neighbor girl holding out a plate of cookies. “My mommy sent you some cookies,” she said with a big smile. I thanked her and put them down someplace —and promptly forgot about them for we were just leaving for a church service. A few days later as I was walking out to my car, the little girl came down the sidewalk on her tricycle and asked how I liked the cookies. “Oh, they were fine,” I said, though I hadn’t even tasted them.

As I drove away, I began thinking about this. I had lied. Why? Because it was expedient; it saved me embarrassment and the little girl’s disappointment (though mostly I was concerned about myself). Sure, it was of little or no consequence. But God says without qualification that he detests lying.

Thinking further, I realized this wasn’t an isolated instance. The Holy Spirit reminded me of other occasions of exaggeration or manipulating a story’s facts just a bit. I had to face the fact that I wasn’t quite as honest as I’d considered myself to be. God taught me a valuable, though humbling, lesson.

As I’ve told the story of the cookies to some audiences, I’ve gotten a troubled reaction from a few people. Some sincere Christians think I may be nit-picking. But consider Daniel. The record states that his enemies could find no corruption in him (Daniel 6:4). It seems clear they would have seized upon any inconsistency, regardless of how small or insignificant, to bring Daniel into disrepute. But they could find none. Daniel had evidently mastered this matter of absolute integrity. We should have the same goal.

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – From Darkness to Light

Today’s Scripture: Mark 5:1-20

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36

Every night for three nights we had listened to the slow beat of the African jungle drum and the piercing screams of the people as they shattered the night with the terrifying sound of the African death wail. A woman had died giving birth to a child, and those nearest her gathered night after night to scream for hours. In their screams, we could detect the horror that held them–the hopelessness, the agony of spirit, the fears that Satan whispered to their lost souls. And we were made very much aware in a new and powerful way of the hate, the cruelty, and the delight Satan displays in tormenting those who belong to Jesus. His foul, ugly personality came through loud and clear in the din of the death wail that kept us from sleeping.

Scripture records a visit of the Lord Jesus to the country of the Gadarenes. Mark 5:2,5 tells us, “When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him… Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” What did Jesus do? Jesus took one look at the man and knew that those who said he must be bound in chains were wrong. In fact, what he needed was to be set free. And that’s what Jesus did.

Continue reading The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – From Darkness to Light

BreakPoint –  Evangelicals and Politics: So What is an Evangelical, Anyway?

Forty years ago, Time magazine declared 1976 to be “The Year of the Evangelical.” The occasion was the candidacy of then-former governor Jimmy Carter who introduced many Americans to a phrase they had never heard before: “born-again Christian.”

This year, Evangelicals are in the news again, and again, for mostly political reasons. It’s difficult to avoid the plethora of stories about how “Evangelicals” are voting and what it all means.

This broadcast is about none of this. Instead I want to talk about the word “Evangelical” in the context where it makes the most sense: what people believe. In the process we may learn things we probably didn’t know but should.

Writing for Christianity Today, “BreakPoint This Week” co-host Ed Stetzer and Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals sought to define what the term “Evangelical” means, especially in this election year.

Most surveys, especially political ones, depend on self-identification. If a person calls herself an Evangelical, then she is counted as one. Others use denominational affiliation as a proxy. Neither of these gives us an accurate estimate: They either include people who probably shouldn’t be included or miss people who should be included.

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Evangelicals and Politics: So What is an Evangelical, Anyway?

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – JESUS, THE LAMB OF GOD

Read Luke 14

Two father-son duos have served as U.S. president: the Adamses (John and John Quincy) and the Bushes (George H. W. and George W.) The Canadians have their own notable political family; last October, Justin Trudeau followed the steps of his father, Pierre, and was elected prime minister. Observers of political dynasties love to see whether the governing style will be “like father, like son.”

The Godhead is definitely “like Father, like Son”: Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being and character. What angers God, angers Jesus; what delights God, delights Jesus. In His ministry and teaching, we see an outworking of God’s preoccupations for broken people and this broken world.

Jesus reminded the Pharisees that God isn’t nitpicky about the rules simply for the sake of keeping a moral checklist. All God’s rules are for human flourishing, which is why Jesus healed on the Sabbath though rabbinic law forbade medical treatment (vv. 2–4). If an ox or child can be pulled from a pit on the Sabbath, a sick man can be made well!

Jesus also reminded the Pharisees that God’s priorities are not like those of aspirational, ambitious men and women who vainly pursue the honor of their own name (vv. 7–14). These people want the best seat in the house; they grant favors in order to gain recognition. They are nothing like the heavenly Father who desires humility from His children. God cares for the lowly and humble, and the eternal banquet He is preparing will include an unlikely guest list of the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind (v. 21).

This chapter ends with the call to carry a cross, sacrificing personal ambition for godly devotion (v. 27). God hasn’t promised any of us our best life now.

APPLY THE WORD

The Lamb of God will preside over a great feast (see Rev. 19:7–9). From today’s reading, it’s clear that God extends a gracious invitation to all of humanity, through Jesus, to join Him at that table: “My house will be full!” (v. 23). How can we mirror God’s generosity by telling others about Jesus and the great banquet to come?

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