Charles Stanley – Changing People by Prayer

1 John 5:14-15

Sometimes our prayers are filled more with doubt than with confidence. We know that for God to answer our requests, our prayers must be in line with His will. However, wondering if we are praying according to His will can trip us up, and faced with the uncertainty, we will occasionally fall silent.

God’s will is for each of us to have a healthy relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. That means knowing the Father with increasing intimacy and progressively becoming more and more like Jesus. By focusing our prayers on having this type of relationship with the Lord, it becomes easier to know what to pray. Simply find a scripture that tells you something about God’s character, and pray that for others and for yourself. The results are:

  • You can pray with confidence because God wants His children to be like Jesus Christ.
  • You can pray expectantly because you know He will work out His will in our lives.
  • You can cooperate with the Holy Spirit while He works to develop the same quality in you.

Prayer is not a game of “I Spy,” where we have to guess when to talk to the Lord or about what. Scripture is full of God’s attributes and His desires for our lives. Pick one and start praying. Then watch what God does in response. Prayer gains access to the proud spirit, to the hardened heart, to the unbelieving mind; there are no walls too high or thick for Him to breach. So pray God’s will and watch lives change—especially your own.

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 3-5

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — This Is the Day

Read: Psalm 118:19-29

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 25-26; Luke 12:32-59

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —nkjv —Psalm 118:24

In 1940, Dr. Virginia Connally, age 27, braved opposition and criticism to become the first female physician in Abilene, Texas. A few months before her 100th birthday in 2012, the Texas Medical Association presented her with its Distinguished Service Award, Texas’ highest physician honor. Between those two landmark events, Dr. Connally has enthusiastically embraced a passion for spreading the gospel around the world through her many medical mission trips while living a life of service to God and to others—one day at a time.

Dr. Connally’s pastor, Phil Christopher, said, “Every day for her is a gift.” He recalled a letter in which she wrote, “Every tour, trip, effort, I wonder if this will be my last and ultimate? Only God knows. And this is enough.”

The psalmist wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24 nkjv). So often we focus on the disappointments of yesterday or the uncertainties of tomorrow and miss God’s matchless gift to us: Today!

Continue reading Our Daily Bread — This Is the Day

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Easter in Academia

Lock atheist philosophers who do not specialize in religion in a room with theist philosophers who do specialize in religion (well, don’t really, but if you did), and if you listened to the ensuing debates, you “would have to conclude that the theists definitely had the upper hand in every single argument or debate.”(1)

Those are not my words but the words of an atheist. And not just any atheist, an atheist who is a respected professional philosopher with 12 books and over 140 articles to his name.

Despite his atheism, Quentin Smith draws the theism-friendly conclusion that “God is not ‘dead’ in academia; he returned to life in the late 1960s and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments.”(2)

God is alive. And not only in philosophy, but in sociology as well. Fifty years ago sociology was convinced that God was on the way out. The scholars had bought into secularization theory; you know the idea: The more modern and technological the world becomes, the more secular it becomes.

Peter Berger was one of the leading proponents of this theory. Today he has completely abandoned it. At an academic conference in Miami in 2011, Berger said that he and almost everyone in the field changed their minds simply because that is what the evidence demanded. He said that if you look at the contemporary world, “The real situation is that most of the world is as religious as it ever was. You have enormous explosions of religion in the world… In fact, you can say every major religious tradition has been going through a period of resurgence in the last 30, 40 years or so… anything but secularization.”(3)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Easter in Academia

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Forgiving Others

“‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34).

As Jesus forgave others (including us), we should extend forgiveness to those who wrong us.

Jesus had a forgiving heart right up to the end, even after He had experienced a lifetime of mankind’s worst treatment. He came down to a world He had created, but that world rebuffed Him. Its inhabitants’ eyes were blinded by sin, and they could not see any beauty in Jesus. Almost immediately after His humble birth in a stable, King Herod sought to have Him killed (Matt. 2:13, 16-18). And the Jewish leaders on various occasions contested Christ’s teachings and looked for opportunities to seize Him and kill Him. The cross was just the culmination of a lifetime of persecution against Jesus.

Jesus’ death by crucifixion was one of the most humiliating, painful forms of execution the world has ever known. From a human perspective, we would have expected Him to plead with God the Father for mercy or to be enraged at God and denounce Him for allowing Him to be crucified. If we had written the original script for Jesus’ crucifixion scene, we probably would have had Him screaming threats of retaliation at His killers. But our Savior did none of those things. Instead, He asked His Father to forgive His enemies.

Continue reading John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Forgiving Others

Wisdom Hunters – Rich in Generosity 

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11

Of all the Biblical books, when I read Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, I feel as though he is writing to a culture that I recognize, a world that I know. It’s truly not claiming too much to say that 1 and 2 Corinthians are Paul’s most relevant letters to our contemporary culture. Corinth was a major center of commerce and trade. It was multiethnic, pluralistic, and technologically advanced. And it was very, very rich.

In our modern culture, we talk a lot about money. We spend our days earning it and our evenings dreaming about how to spend it. It is often the driving force behind our career paths and major life decisions. And we believe without questioning that the accumulation of wealth is directly linked to our happiness and joy.

Yet, what if this is an American value and not a Biblical value? Is it possible that we’ve too quickly accepted a cultural perspective on wealth and money without first stopping to see if it aligns with God’s will for our lives? As I read Paul’s words to the Corinthians, I sense that we, like the church in Corinth, might need to have our perspective reframed in light of the generous love of God shown in Jesus Christ.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Rich in Generosity 

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – God’s Super Bunker

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

Recommended Reading

Psalm 46

Robert Vicino is preparing for the end of the world. His California-based company is constructing hardened underground bunkers all over the globe designed to withstand disasters that have the potential of extinguishing humanity. His most exclusive bunkers are inside a German hillside, where you’ll find swimming pools, restaurants, multiple gyms, a hospital, a bakery, and even a zoo, which is designed to preserve some of earth’s animal species. These five-star super bunkers are priced for the very rich.

No bunker or bomb shelter on earth can truly protect us from the distresses of life or the realities of death. But Jesus can. The Bible says our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Continue reading Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – God’s Super Bunker

Joyce Meyer – Our Best Help

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.—Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV

We should be maturing in our faith to the point that we don’t run to someone else every time we need to know what to do. I am not implying that asking for a word of counsel from people we feel are wiser than we are is wrong, but I do believe asking for people’s opinions excessively and relying on them too heavily is wrong and insulting to God.

As you can tell from today’s verse, David sought God first and knew God was his only help. The same is true for us, so we must be like David and always look to God first. We need to develop a habit of seeing God as our “first choice” for advice, not as our last resort.

God may use a person of His choice to clarify things, offer additional insight, or confirm what He has already told us, so seek Him first and if He leads you to a person, follow His leading.

In Numbers 22:20-28, God even used a donkey to speak to someone. He wants to speak to us so much that He will use whatever means is necessary. You can be assured that if you are trusting God to speak that He will find a way to get His message through to you.

From the book Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Girlfriends in God – Tired? Don’t Quit!

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9

Friend to Friend

The story is told of a great pianist who was scheduled to perform for a small country town. Everyone was excited since they rarely had the opportunity to hear a famous musician. A young mother was especially excited. Her son had been taking piano lessons and showed great promise … but he hated to practice. His mother was hoping that if her son saw the great pianist perform, he would be motivated to take his music more seriously.

The night of the concert finally arrived, and it seemed as if everyone in town had come. As the young mother settled her son in his seat, her attention turned to the crowd pouring in. Everyone was dressed in their finest, and a buzz of excitement filled the concert hall. No one noticed the little boy as he slipped out of his seat and made his way down the aisle toward the stage. No one noticed the little boy as he walked onto the stage, climbed up on the piano stool and began to play “Chopsticks.”

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Tired? Don’t Quit!

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Destroying the Devil’s Works

“But if you keep on sinning, it shows that you belong to Satan, who since he first began to sin has kept steadily at it. But the Son of God came to destroy these works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

A young Christian came to inquire of me one day, “How do you account for the fact that so many Christian leaders, many of them famous personalities, pastors and heads of Christian organizations are involved in moral and financial scandals?”

He named several well-known pastors and Christian leaders to illustrate his point.

Sadly I acknowledged his statement to be true. It seems there is an all-out attack of Satan to destroy the credibility of the Christian message. My explanation to him was that our Lord and the apostle Paul dealt with the same problem because, even though the disciples had been with the Lord Jesus three years or more, Judas betrayed Him and the others deserted Him.

Continue reading Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Destroying the Devil’s Works

Ray Stedman – Nature or Nurture?

Read: Leviticus 12

The Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. Lev 12:1-3

That text certainly reminds us of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. In fact, that Baby came into the world to deal with the very problem which made this chapter necessary. God is not against childbirth, nor against babies. Nor is human birth essentially an inherently unclean event. There is nothing wrong with birth, nor with sex. But these requirements were given to the people of God in order that we might remember a most basic and fundamental fact: that since the fall of Adam every human being born into this world is born into a fallen race.

There is no way by which man in his natural condition is ever going to be able to solve the basic, fundamental problems of human relationships. We are born into a condition that is tainted and twisted. Someone has thrown a monkey wrench into the human machinery, right at the very beginning, and it simply doesn’t operate as God intended. God impresses this upon his people by this restriction, this reminder that something connected with birth is unclean. The fact that a mother was unclean for a week after the birth of a male child (two weeks for a female child), and that she had to go through another thirty-three days of purifying after that, provided an opportunity for her and her whole family to be reminded forcefully that the baby was born with a tainted nature. The circumcision of the male baby was an additional reminder that something needs to be removed from the life inherited from Adam.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Nature or Nurture?

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Betrayed

Read: Mark 14:1-11

And he sought an opportunity to betray him. (v. 11)

“Why did Jesus choose Judas as a disciple if he knew Judas would betray him?” That was the question a man asked me one evening as I sat by a campfire while on vacation. So I broke out of vacation mode long enough to engage some theology, to suggest that it’s possible Jesus did not necessarily know right away that Judas would turn on him. The man who asked the question didn’t care for that answer—he wanted an omniscient Jesus, not a human Jesus who learned as he went on in life like normal human beings do.

In any event, what was up with Judas? What made Judas turn? Was it just being unhappy that Jesus commended the extravagant “waste” of money when this woman poured perfume onto Jesus’ head? Did even Judas know why he did it? Was his kiss of betrayal itself a mark of how confused Judas was? Even when betraying Jesus, Judas still gave him a sign of love.

Mark does not tell us this but the other Gospels indicate Judas killed himself in regret over what he had done. Was that merely remorse, or was there some repentance mixed in? And if Judas repented, could Jesus have forgiven him, the way he did Peter? We don’t know, but I would like to think so. That’s just the kind of thing you’d expect Jesus to do.

Prayer:

Forgive us when we too, Lord, betray and deny you.

Author: Scott Hoezee

https://woh.org/

Presidential Prayer Team; – Immigrant Love

A look back into history reveals America has always been a land of immigration. From those crossing over the ice bridge connecting Asia to North America, to Europeans crossing oceans in fifteenth-century sailing vessels, to the French and Spanish settlements eventually being bumped for the English and Dutch. Just prior to the American Revolution, this great land was already a medley of those willing to risk it all to stake a claim of freedom.

That our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good.

II Thessalonians 1:11

Today, the United States remains a land filled with people from different cultures and varied backgrounds – but all have the same need. Jesus is the only One who can bring them freedom from their sin and place them on course to fulfill God’s purposes for their lives…and His will for you is to give them every opportunity to know Him.

Ask the Lord to use you, as an ambassador compelled by the exhortation of today’s verse, to share His truth with individuals and families around you of every race and creed. Pray for the nation’s leaders to know Him as well…and for the country’s future immigrants to encounter God’s people and know His love.

Recommended Reading: Matthew 25:34-40

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

Greg Laurie – Why the Cross?

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”—1 Corinthians 1:18

A true story was reported about a couple that was visiting a jewelry store. As the jeweler showed them various crosses, the woman commented, “I like these, but do you have any without this little man on them?”

That is what so many people want today: a cross without Jesus. They want a cross without any offense, one that will look cool with their outfits. But if we could travel back in time and see the cross in its original context, we would realize that it was a bloody and vile symbol. It would have been the worst picture imaginable to see someone hanging on a cross.

The Romans chose crucifixion because it was meant to be a slow, torturous way to die. It was designed to humiliate a person. The crucifixions outside Roman cities served as warnings to anyone who would dare oppose the rule of Rome.

Continue reading Greg Laurie – Why the Cross?

 Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Magnified When We Use Our Mouths for Him

 

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

What does it mean to speak “as the oracles of God”? Some Bible translations use the word “utterances.” Basically this verse is talking about what ought to be true of our speech whenever something comes out of our mouths. You may not be a preacher standing in a pulpit. You may not be a teacher standing at a chalkboard. But did you know that every believer has, in a sense, a duty to be a “mouthpiece” of God?

These days, God does not give us new revelation outside of the Bible. He has already spoken to us through His written Word, and through His Son, the Living Word. So, if we are true believers, our words ought to be affected by His already-given Word. Our words should reflect the impact that God’s Word has had on our lives. Our words should be in keeping with what God would want us to say. And our words should not go against His Word.

Continue reading  Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Magnified When We Use Our Mouths for Him

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Motivating Reverence

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 19:9

“The fear of the Lord is clean.”

I find myself motivated to obedience by a deep sense of reverence for God. When Joseph was tempted to immorality by Potiphar’s wife, his response was, “how then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9, NIV). He didn’t calculate the possible wrath of Potiphar or the forfeiture of God’s blessing, but was motivated by reverence for God. He obeyed a sovereign, holy God, even though God had allowed him to be sold into slavery by his own brothers.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (NIV). These promises he mentioned were God’s promises to be our Father and to make us his sons and daughters (6:18). Philip Hughes commented on this passage, “The logical consequence of possessing such promises is that Christ’s followers should make a complete break with every form of unhealthy compromise.” Here again, promises come before duty, and duty flows out of a heartfelt response to the promises of God.

Continue reading The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Motivating Reverence

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Fruit of the Vine

Today’s Scripture: Hosea 9-11

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” – John 15:8

There is a description of God’s people in Hosea 10:1 that is truly tragic. The Lord said, “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself” (KJV). The word empty in the original Hebrew means “luxuriant, spread out, full of leaves,” but void of fruit to the glory of God. Instead it is filled with that which glorifies and pleases self. What a picture! Here are a people who claim a relationship with God, but the entire focus of their lives is on themselves.

The tragedy revealed in today’s passage is that God expected His people to bear fruit to His glory. Instead, they lived completely for themselves. In Romans 14:7-8, Paul presents the attitude we should have: “For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

Continue reading The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Fruit of the Vine

BreakPoint –  Rethinking Smart: Intelligence is Not a Number

If you’re a parent like I am, chances are that during at least one late-night homework assignment you heard those frustrating words: “I’m just not smart enough to do this!”

It’s not hard to see how students, not to mention parents and even teachers, get this fatalistic notion about what it means to be intelligent. So much of what we call education—from classes centered on memorization, regurgitation of facts and passing tests, to forcing kids to sit still at desks for hours—favors a certain kind of student while leaving others floundering.

For example, IQ, or “intelligence quotient,” is a single number used to express how well individuals perform on a series of questions and puzzles. If you score higher than 140, you’re allegedly an Einsteinian genius. If you score lower than 75—well.

But a 2012 study of more than 100,000 people—the largest to date—suggested that IQ alone is a poor indicator of overall intelligence. Instead, abilities like short-term memory, reasoning, and verbal agility—all governed by separate brain “circuits”—together comprise that illusive quality we call “being smart.”

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Rethinking Smart: Intelligence is Not a Number

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – CALLED TO A HOLY LIFE

Read 2 Timothy 1:3-14

For the past week we’ve been examining what it means to know that we are alive in Christ. Our passage today brings together many of the themes we’ve seen in our study so far: first, being moved from death to life is a work that only God can do—we cannot do it for ourselves. Second, life in Christ transforms us completely, from our internal perspectives to our external actions. Third, our life in Christ is accompanied by purpose—being alive in Christ allows us to serve others and glorify God.

Paul wrote this letter that we’re reading today to his spiritual son Timothy while imprisoned in Rome. This is the last letter from Paul that we have recorded in Scripture and likely one of the last he wrote before his execution. Though the Bible does not tell us about Paul’s death, historians and church tradition have concluded that shortly after he wrote this letter, Paul was killed by the emperor Nero as part of his wide- ranging persecution of Christians.

Continue reading Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – CALLED TO A HOLY LIFE

Denison Forum – ARE ‘BATHROOM BILL’ BOYCOTTS HYPOCRITICAL?

As the world knows, Bruce Springsteen recently cancelled his concert in Greensboro, North Carolina to protest the state’s so-called “bathroom bill.” He stated that he wants to join the “fight against prejudice and bigotry” and claims that cancelling his concert is “the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” (For more, see Janet Denison’s Springsteen and Van Zandt’s Ideas About Morality.)

However, Springsteen is planning to perform in Italy this July, where same-sex marriage is illegal. He operates under the Sony label, which does business in Russia, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—all of which prohibit same-sex marriage. In fact, the UAE prohibits all homosexual activity as illegal.

Bryan Adams cancelled tonight’s concert in Mississippi because of its LGBTQ laws. However, he played in Egypt last month, where gay people routinely face persecution. He has played in Syria, Qatar, and the UAE, where same-sex relations are illegal.

Starbucks has asked the North Carolina governor to repeal its “bathroom bill.” However, the company does significant business in China and the Asia-Pacific region, with fourth-quarter revenue of $652.2 million. China’s marriage law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman; the government forbids same-sex couples from adopting children.

Continue reading Denison Forum – ARE ‘BATHROOM BILL’ BOYCOTTS HYPOCRITICAL?