Charles Stanley – Lamb of God

Revelation 7:17

Editor’s Note: The devotions for March 21st, 22nd, and 23rd focus on elements of Passover, which Jesus celebrated with His disciples the night before His crucifixion.

Bumblebees and badgers, lions and skunks, black bears and beagles all have one thing in common: If threatened, they will sting, bite, spray, or maul you. But there’s this predictable trait about lambs: They never attack; instead, throughout history wolves and other predators have attacked them. When lambs are mentioned in the Bible, it’s usually in the context of a sacrificial offering. For example, in the Passover—the central event of the Old Testament—God rescues His people through the blood of a lamb.

So you can imagine the disciples’ shock when John the Baptist introduced Jesus, their Lord and Messiah, as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The God of all creation, the one “through [whom] all things were made” (John 1:3 NIV), comes to the earth as … a lamb?

Someone had to find us and rescue us—even if that meant dying in our place. Continue reading Charles Stanley – Lamb of God

Our Daily Bread — Full Sun

Read: Ephesians 5:1-16

Bible in a Year: Joshua 7-9; Luke 1:21-38

Live as children of light. —Ephesians 5:8

I know better, but I still keep trying. The instructions on the label are clear: “Needs full sun.” Our yard has mostly shade. It is not suitable for plants that need full sun. But I like the plant. I like its color, the shape of the leaves, the size, the scent. So I buy it, bring it home, plant it, and take really good care of it. But the plant is not happy at my house. My care and attention are not enough. It needs sunlight, which I cannot provide. I thought I could make up for lack of light by giving the plant some other kind of attention. But it doesn’t work that way. Plants need what they need.

And so do people. Although we can survive for a while in less-than-ideal conditions, we can’t thrive. In addition to our basic physical needs, we also have spiritual needs that can’t be met by any substitute.

Continue reading Our Daily Bread — Full Sun

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Ashes of Triumph

In churches all over the world yesterday, children marched among the aisles with palm branches, a commemoration of the first jubilant Palm Sunday. The palm branch is a symbol of triumph, waved in ancient times to welcome royalty and extol royalty or the victorious. Palms were used to cover the paths of those worthy of honor and distinction. All four of the gospel writers report that Jesus was given such a tribute. Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a colt, and he was greeted as King. The crowds laid branches and garments on the streets in front of him. An audience of applauders led him into the city and followed after him with chants of blessing and shouts of kingship:

Hosanna!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!

The King of Israel!

Hosanna in the highest!

The triumph of Palm Sunday is not lost on the young. Long before I could see its strange place in the passion narrative, I loved celebrating this story as a child. It was a day in church set apart from others. In a place where we were commonly asked to sit still, inconspicuous, on this day we suddenly had permission to cheer and march and draw attention.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Ashes of Triumph

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Humility of Jesus’ Self-Emptying

“But emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7).

As part of His humble descent from Heaven to earth, Jesus set aside the exercise of His divine privileges.

The next step in Jesus’ pattern of humility as He came to earth and lived among mankind was His emptying of Himself. But Scripture is clear that while on earth our Lord claimed to be God: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). At no time did He stop being God.

The Greek word for “emptied” gives us the theological term kenosis, the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying. The kenosis basically reminds us of what we saw in yesterday’s lesson: Jesus’ humble refusal to cling to His advantages and privileges in Heaven. The Son of God, who has a right to everything and is fully satisfied within Himself, voluntarily emptied Himself.

Continue reading John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Humility of Jesus’ Self-Emptying

Wisdom Hunters – Fight The Good Fight

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:21

Soldiers are my heroes—those who fight for freedom and assure domestic tranquility. Some are newly enlisted on their way to book camp, a few are enrolled in officer’s school, others provide technical support or manage administrative details—and then there are the fighters on the frontline—daily putting their life on the line. Some live, some die—but all sacrifice. War is ugly, messy and hellish in its fierce engagements. The best battles are fought to better the world and to rid civilization of evil forces. Wars can be won by unified forces and by the favor of God.

John describes a scene in heaven where the final battle has been fought, weapons cease to exist, weary bodies are in repose, minds are not churning with activity and emotions are at ease. Because Jesus fought the good fight while He lived on earth, He now reigns with His Father in heaven. Christ overcame the devil’s temptations so we might overcome the devil’s temptations. He conquered evil with good, so we can conquer evil with good. He endured suffering that we might endure suffering. Jesus lived, died and came to life—so we can live, die and come to life!

“Fight the good fight of the faith [in the conflict with evil]; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and [for which] you made the good confession [of faith] in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12, AMP).

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Fight The Good Fight

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Knocking at the Door

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Revelation 3:20

Recommended Reading

Luke 12:35-40

In 1851, British artist William Hunt created a painting he titled “The Light of the World.” It has become one of the most recognizable religious paintings in modern history. He shows Christ standing at the tightly-closed door of a seemingly neglected cottage. Christ holds a lantern in one hand; His other hand is raised to knock on the door as if to gain entrance. The most unique feature of the painting is that there is no handle on the outside of the door. For Christ to gain entrance to the cottage, the door would have to be opened from within.

Continue reading Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Knocking at the Door

Joyce Meyer – Grateful and Aware of God’s Love

Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! – Psalm 106:1

God is always good to us, always faithful to us, always working so diligently in our lives. He is always doing something for us and acting in our best interest, so we need to respond by letting Him know we appreciate His abundant goodness.

For example, “Lord, thank You for a good night’s sleep,” or “God, I thank You that my visit to the dentist didn’t hurt as much as I thought it might,” or “Father, thank You for helping me make good decisions today,” or “Lord, thank You for keeping me encouraged.”

We can thank God silently in our hearts, and we can also voice our thankfulness aloud because that helps us stay conscious and aware of God’s love, which He demonstrates through His goodness to us.

Prayer of Thanks I thank You, Father, that You are always faithful to me. Even when I can’t see it, You are working on my behalf because You love me and You have a great plan for my life. Thank You for all the ways You demonstrate that love on a daily basis.

From the book The Power of Being Thankful by Joyce Meyer.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Girlfriends in God – The Power of the Pit Part 1

You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 18:28

Friend to Friend

Have you ever received a gift that you wanted to return … but couldn’t? I certainly felt that way about the pit of depression the first time I experienced it. First of all, I did not see depression as a gift. Second, I wanted to take that nasty black hole to the nearest “Pit Store” and exchange it for a tall mountain of victory.

But I have finally come to the place where I thank God for what He has done in my life through my struggle with depression. I now realize that anything that makes me cry out to God can be counted as a blessing.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – The Power of the Pit Part 1

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God Answers While We Are Praying

“So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, and He will give them to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to” (Matthew 6:31-33).

Whenever God impresses you with a need, you can always be assured that He will supply that need, often through others.

I remember the first time I asked God for a specific amount of money. We needed $485 for a particular ministry. While I was still on my knees in prayer, there came a knock at the door and the mailman handed me a registered letter containing a check for $500. Earlier, a young man from Zurich, Switzerland, had written his parents that he had received Christ through our ministry at UCLA, and he mentioned my name as one who had helped him. His parents and their daughter had then flown all the way from Zurich to California to learn how they also could become Christians. God honored their desire and after prayer and counsel they had gone home rejoicing in the assurance of their salvation. Now they were writing and sending this generous check to express their gratitude.

Continue reading Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God Answers While We Are Praying

Ray Stedman – Adequate Living

Read: Philippians 3:8

Consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord… Phil 3:8a

Have you ever made this evaluation in your own life? Have you ever really tried this? Just sit down, and list your assets, the things that are important to you, things you think you could not do without. The factors to which you look for respect, for advancement and acceptance in the eyes of the world. What are your assets, your background, your name, your family standing, your money, your fame, your physical assets, your personality, your education, your training. Have you ever learned Paul’s secret concerning them?

Write them down and see what it is you are counting on. Then remind yourself that as long as you depend on these you cannot lay hold of the riches of God in Christ Jesus. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot cling to both. You cannot drink from this empty cistern and at the same time from the inexhaustible rivers of water that flow from Christ. There must be a flinging away of dependence upon these things, counting them as loss, trash, refuse. Glad to see them go, indifferent whether they stay or not. Then you are set free to lay hold of all that Paul experienced in Christ, which he calls the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Adequate Living

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Our Father in Heaven

Read: Luke 21:1-4

Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. (vv. 3-4)

It doesn’t make sense. Jesus commended the widow in the story for doing the right thing. But the “right thing” sure looked pretty impractical. She stepped out in some kind of fearlessness or maybe in faith. We know at least this much, although her steps were small by earthly measure, she was reckoned as one who had “put in more than all of them.”

Because God is in heaven, he doesn’t measure according to earthly standards. God doesn’t grade according to our perceptions of reality. And, because God is Father, his primary relationship to us is that of love—the overwhelming, confounding love that does not require perfection but bestows perfection upon what it loves.

That is why the Heidelberg Catechism says that the very beginning of our prayer is this basic attitude: “a childlike reverence and trust,” the very sort of thing that allows us “to expect everything needed for body and soul from God’s almighty power” (A. 120-21).

Just as a well-loved child comes to expect generosity and care from her parents, so too a well-loved child grows capable of the simplest acts of generosity and care toward others.

Prayer:

Help us, God, to know the comfort and constancy of your hand so that we may dare to provide comfort and constancy to a world in flux and in need. Amen.

https://woh.org/

Presidential Prayer Team; A.W.- Love in Judgment

Today’s worldwide statistics on orphans are staggering. An estimated 153 million children have lost one or both parents. This number doesn’t include another 150 million street children, trafficked children and child soldiers. Many ask why so many children suffer. “Because of sin in the world” may not be an answer that satisfies. Some think those children didn’t do anything wrong, but the consequences of sin reach far beyond the person who commits the sin.

Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in me.

Jeremiah 49:11

In today’s verse, the Edomites, Israel’s enemy, were about to be destroyed in divine judgment, but God still promised to care for their widows and orphans. He gave hope that even when there is a price to pay for wrongdoing, He still cares for and loves you and your family even while bringing His purposes to fruition.

Sin and its vast consequences are tragic, but pray today for the Lord to make His presence known as a father to the fatherless. Ask also that God will lovingly bring national leaders who fall into scandal or wrongdoing through His judgment – and that they will repent and choose to trust in Him.

Recommended Reading: Hosea 14:1-9

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

Greg Laurie – Easter Brings Hope

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”—John 11:25

Easter is not about brightly colored eggs, wearing pastels, or enjoying a big meal, although it could include these. Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For some, Easter will be a great day, spent surrounded by family and friends. But for others, it will be a sad day, because Easter is a reminder of a loved one who has died and is now desperately missed.

Death seems so cruel, so harsh, and so final. That is what the disciples were feeling when they saw their Lord, whom they had left everything to follow, hanging on the cross. They were devastated. Death had crushed them. But if they would have gone back in their memories, they would have recalled an important event and statement Jesus had made.

Continue reading Greg Laurie – Easter Brings Hope

Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Honest with Us about Our Need for Him

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

God tells us in His Word exactly what we need to know about our sin. He tells us what we ought to hear about the hardness of living the Christian life. And God tells us what we should know about our need for Him.

God is there to help us. We should try to please and obey Him, but we do not have to rely on our own strength and wisdom to do it. In fact, He wants us to depend on Him for grace and help, rather than trying to do things on our own!

Have you ever seen a toddler try to carry around a gallon of milk? A two-year-old can hardly even lift a gallon of milk, let alone walk around with it! What would probably happen if that toddler was allowed to keep staggering and slogging around with that gallon of milk? Well, the milk would probably get dropped sooner or later, all over the floor. If that little child would like some milk, then an adult will probably have to come and help carry it to the table and pour it into a cup, or else there will probably be a huge mess.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Honest with Us about Our Need for Him

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – A Prayer on a Basement Floor

Today’s Scripture: Romans 12:1

“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.”

Most of my understanding of scriptural truths has come gradually through personal study and the teaching of pastors and other capable teachers. On a few rare occasions the Lord has been pleased to enlighten my understanding of some aspect of his truth in a rather sudden fashion. This was the case in my understanding of the sovereign grace of God. I’d been a confirmed legalist, and I dutifully sought to live the Christian life that way. But suddenly one day, I understood God’s grace in an entirely new way.

I was spending a half day with God, seated in a basement room with a cold, hard tile floor. As my understanding of God’s grace was enlightened, Romans 12:1 came to mind: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (NIV). I fell on my knees on that cold, hard floor and said something like this to God: “Lord, I have presented my body to you as a living sacrifice before, but I’ve never understood as I do now your mercy and your grace. And in view of my deeper understanding of your grace, I now present myself to you in a new and deeper way. I give myself wholly to you without any reservation.”

Now, more than thirty years later, I still build on the commitment I made in the basement room that morning. But more than that, I still seek to grow in my understanding of God’s grace because I know that only my growing understanding of his grace will make the commitment stick through thick and thin.

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Our Helper

Today’s Scripture: Romans 8:22-27

I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:1-2

All during my growing-up years, I was picked on by kids at school. I was small. I was weak. I was skinny. And I was always getting pushed around.

After graduation from high school in 1943, I joined the Marines. I was hoping they could toughen me up and help me learn how to hold my own. I always had a secret desire to be a rough-and-tumble guy. In fact, I even had a nickname picked out for myself–Nails. I always wanted to be known as “Nails” Eims, as in “There’s a guy tough as nails.” But my nickname in the Marines was Chick.

To hold my own in the tough outfit I was in, I made friends with the biggest, strongest, roughest guy in the battalion. Nobody picked on me because they knew they would have to answer to my unofficial bodyguard, the one who was always ready to come alongside and help. And nobody wanted to tangle with him.

Continue reading The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Our Helper

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – JESUS, THE DEFENDER OF THE POOR

Read Luke 16

The love of money—and all the comfort, status, and stuff it can bring—thrives in our culture. It can trick us into believing that our value is equated with a healthy 401K or the job title on our office door. As John Piper writes, “The issue is not how much a person makes. . . . The evil is in being deceived into thinking a six- digit salary must be accompanied by a six-digit lifestyle.”

The Pharisees loved money (v. 14). And while the first parable of today’s reading is difficult to interpret, it’s clear that the dishonest manager has been fired from his job because he wasted the rich man’s possessions. “Give an account of your management,” his boss demands (v. 2), signaling the accountability each of us will have before God for the stewardship of every earthly resource given to us—time, talents, money, energy, or education. Did we use them for our fame or selfish pleasure, or for God’s glory and His holy purposes?

Jesus talked so often about money because it’s indisputable evidence of our heart’s allegiance. What we love, we buy. What we delight in, we spend on. And the Pharisees were like the rich man described at the end of the chapter. They lived in luxury and disregard for the poor, forgetting the essential nature of godly stewardship.

Continue reading Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – JESUS, THE DEFENDER OF THE POOR

Denison Forum – COMPANY MAKING ROBOTS TO CLONE HUMANS

Terasem Movement is a research foundation that seeks to “transfer human consciousness to computers and robots.” The firm has created thousands of highly detailed “mind clones” to record the memories, values, and attitudes of specific people.

Using this data, scientists created a replica of the wife of the company’s founder. The robot is named Bina48. Made of skin-like rubber, it makes facial expressions, greets people, and has conversations—all made possible through facial and voice recognition software, motion tracking, and internet connectivity.

At least 56,000 people have given information to create “mindfiles” that can one day be uploaded to a robot or holograph. According to the company, everything down to a person’s mannerisms and quirks can be recreated.

The desire for immortality is basic to human nature. There is something in us that wants to outlive us. Even thirty-two percent of atheists and agnostics believe in an afterlife. We have this desire to live forever because God gave it to us. It is part of his plan for us. He created us to live forever with him in paradise. This world is just the first step toward that world, a means to that end.

Continue reading Denison Forum – COMPANY MAKING ROBOTS TO CLONE HUMANS