Are you living thoughtfully and intentionally—or are you living automatically? It’s so easy to get up each morning, do our work, enjoy some relaxation or entertainment, and fall into bed each night without giving any thought to God’s involvement in our everyday life. But to be ignorant of how He has blessed, guided, protected, and warned us is a foolish way to live. Just consider the benefits of keeping our spiritual eyes and ears open throughout the day.
We who are aware of God’s presence during daily activities enjoy the peace of knowing He’s always in control and working to achieve His good purposes. Day-to-day experiences with Him teach us to know and love Him more.
When we learn to see God’s footprints throughout each week, we will become aware of the scope of His involvement in His children’s lives. Maybe He strengthened us for a task or opened a door of opportunity. Perhaps He guided our decisions or helped us respond in a godly way to a difficult person or a challenging situation.
Continue reading Charles Stanley – Thoughtful Living
Read: Psalm 42
Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 6-8; Luke 15:1-10
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. —Psalm 42:2
Nezahualcoyotl (1402-1472) may have had a difficult name to pronounce, but his name is full of significance. It means “Hungry Coyote,” and this man’s writings show a spiritual hunger. As a poet and ruler in Mexico before the arrival of the Europeans, he wrote, “Truly the gods, which I worship, are idols of stone that do not speak nor feel. . . . Some very powerful, hidden and unknown god is the creator of the entire universe. He is the only one that can console me in my affliction and help me in such anguish as my heart feels; I want him to be my helper and protection.”
Continue reading Our Daily Bread — The God Who Paints
In 1943, two hundred and thirty women were arrested as members of the French Resistance and sent to Birkenau. Only 49 survived, but this in itself is remarkable. These women were as diverse a group as could be imagined. They were Jews and Christians, aristocrats and working class, young and old. Yet they were united by their commitment to the French Resistance and to one another.(1) In her book A Train in Winter, Caroline Moorhead reconstructs the story of these women through the journals and memoirs of survivors. Noting the mutual dependence that made the difference between living and dying, Moorhead highlights how the solidarity of these women to one another and to their mutual survival sustained them through unspeakable horror and torture.
In many accounts of Holocaust survivors, the hellish conditions of extreme deprivation and torture drove many to hoard whatever meager resources they could save for themselves. And how could they be blamed? Survival became the only goal—no matter what the cost, even to others. Yet, in most of the cases with these French women in Birkenau, their solidarity toward each other trumped the selfishness that engulfed so many others. As Moorhead writes, “Knowing that the fate of each depended on the others… egotism seemed to vanish and that, stripped back to the bare edge of survival, each rose to behavior few would have believed themselves capable of.”(2) Moorhead recounts that when unrelieved thirst threatened to engulf one of their members in utter madness, the women pooled together their own meager rations to get her a whole bucket of water.
Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Solidarity
“Now the centurion, and those who were with him . . . became very frightened and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54).
The testimony of the soldiers after Jesus’ crucifixion demonstrates the sufficiency of His death for all sinners.
Most of the time our daily activities are dictated by the routine responsibilities of our jobs. That’s how it was for the Roman soldiers who stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus gave up His life. They were there simply out of duty, to make sure the crucifixion was carried out properly and without interference.
The soldiers probably had little knowledge of Judaism and had not heard of Jesus before, unless it was by hearsay. Therefore, they really had no idea why the Jewish leaders and most of the crowd were so intent on killing Him. To these anonymous soldiers, Christ’s claims to be the Son of God and a king seemed equally ludicrous and harmless.
Continue reading John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Soldiers’ Saving Response
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
I don’t know about you but I am rejoicing that spring is finally here. It’s the time of year when creation renews in the flowers, fields, and trees. It’s also the time of year when people get out their brooms, mops and sponges to clean the nooks, crannies and hard-to-get-to spots in their homes that have accumulated dirt and grime during the winter.
I once considered that spring is not only a good time to clean the dust bunnies from the top of my curtain rods, but to do a “spring cleaning of the heart” by confessing my sins to God and others. Sure, this can be uncomfortable. But if I follow God’s command in I John 1:9 (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.), that can bless me in ways I never imagined. It can bless you, too.
Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Spring Cleaning for Our Messy Hearts
Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another. —Galatians 5:26
According to the world’s system, the best place to be is ahead of everyone else. Popular thinking would say that we should try to get to the top no matter who we have to hurt on the way up. But the Bible teaches us that there is no such thing as real peace until we are delivered from the need to compete with others.
Even in what is supposed to be considered “fun games,” we often see competition get so out of balance that people end up arguing and hating one another rather than simply relaxing and having a good time together. Naturally, human beings don’t play games to lose; everyone is going to do his best. But when a person cannot enjoy a game unless he is winning, he definitely has a problem—possibly a deep-rooted one that is causing other problems in many areas of his life.
Continue reading Joyce Meyer – Avoid Worldly Competition
Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friend to Friend
When we lived in South Florida, the grass in our yard grew year round. So did the weeds. We soon learned that the best way to deal with weeds was simply to take really good care of the grass. When the grass was healthy, it was thick and lush – leaving little room for weeds to grow.
When our hearts and lives are filled with praise, worry is a weed that will die from lack of attention. When we choose to continually give God thanks, there will be little room in our hearts for fear.
Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Winning Over Worry
“Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26, KJV).
Prayer is our mighty force for supernatural living and the most personal, intimate approach to and relationship with God. Through the instrumentality of God’s Holy Spirit, we have access to the Almighty, leading the way to supernatural living.
In some theological circles there is much skepticism and hesitancy about the Holy Spirit. We must not forget, however, that Jesus Himself had much to say about the Holy Spirit.
In John’s gospel, for instance, Jesus explained to the disciples that it was necessary for Him to leave them in order that the Holy Spirit should come to them. “He shall guide you into all truth…He shall praise Me and bring Me great honor by showing you My glory” (John 16:13,14 LB).
Continue reading Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Prays for You
Read: Leviticus 17
This is so the Israelites will bring to the Lord the sacrifices they are now making in the open fields. They must bring them to the priest, that is, to the Lord, at the entrance to the tent of meeting and sacrifice them as fellowship offerings…. They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come. Lev 17:5, 7
The object of this whole requirement is to teach that all life belongs to God and that he alone is capable of handling it rightly. Only God understands life. That is the basis for all proper behavior. If you don’t understand this fact you are not going to behave properly. You can’t. You must understand that your life belongs to God, and that all other life around you, even animal life, must be brought before God and related to him, with the understanding that life is a mystery which we cannot handle ourselves, in which man is incapable of properly directing his own affairs.
Continue reading Ray Stedman – Handling Life
Read: James 1:22-27
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (v. 22)
Early in the 20th century, evangelist Billy Sunday said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you an automobile.” In other words, saying so doesn’t make it so. James says the same. People can listen to sermons or Christian music all day long, and memorize the entire Bible; but until the Word of God gets into their hearts and changes them, they are kidding themselves. Just hearing God’s Word isn’t enough—we must act on it!
James spells out specific ways to act on the Word of God. He insists that believers must watch what they say! Talking just to hear your own voice is foolishness. Our words should have substance and truth in them. We must choose our words carefully and use them wisely, remembering that words spoken in a fit of anger can do a lot of damage, and even render our faith “worthless.”
Continue reading Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Just Do It!
An American walking one evening in Warsaw passed a Polish man walking the other direction. Struck by the Christian hymn he was whistling, the English-speaking gentleman turned and whistled the same tune. The Polish man abruptly faced him and the two embraced. Unable to speak the other’s language, they were unified in their common belief in the Lord.
Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
In Jesus’ high priestly prayer found in John 17, He prayed for the disciples who knew and believed in Him that God would guard and keep them in the truth they had learned. Then He prayed for you and all future believers, “that they may all be one…in us.” (John 17:21) It is fellowship with the Lord – likened to the unity of the Father and Son – that gives you deep joy. It is also relational link between other believers…a bond of peace giving singleness of mind and judgment.
God desires that you be a witness to those around you. Live your faith – one that is genuine, lasting and unifying. Intercede for this nation and its leaders that they may be convinced of His truth and seek to know Him and do His will.
Recommended Reading: John 17:6-8, 17-23
“Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” —Daniel 10:12–14
Our culture gravitates toward behind-the-scenes events. We become excited when we’re driving down the street and see movie cameras set up for a big scene. We love that inside look to which no one else has access.
Fascinating events also transpire behind the scenes of the supernatural realm: the world in which angels and demons dwell.
Continue reading Greg Laurie – A Behind-the-Scenes Look
“And thou shalt bind [God’s words] for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:8).
When I was in Jerusalem a few months ago, I saw Jews who had little black boxes bound to their foreheads. These boxes had pages of Scripture inside. The Jews had similar boxes fastened to their hands by straps that circled around their arms. God’s Word was literally bound on their hands and between their eyes!
In Deuteronomy 6, is God really commanding that pages of the Bible be strapped to our hands and foreheads? Is that what God wants us to do?
Actually, in that passage God was reminding the Israelites of how important it was that they constantly keep His words in their minds. God wanted His people to think about His words all the time so that they would remember to obey Him. He asked the Israelites to talk about His words while at home and while in the streets. He wanted His people to remember His words when going to bed at night and when getting up in the morning. He commanded His people to remind themselves and others about what He had done and about what He expected them to do.
Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God’s Word Should Be Part of Us
Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 2:1
“You were dead.”
In the story of redemption, deliverance from the penal curse of the law is the major part of the story, but not the whole story. Peter told us, “you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers” (1 Peter 1:18). Without Christ we lived in futility and emptiness. Regardless of whether it was a decent life or a wicked life judged on a human scale of morality, it was a vain, futile, empty life.
We find a good description of this emptiness in Ephesians 2:1-3, where Paul described us as having followed the ways of the world and of Satan, and of having continually gratified the cravings of our sinful natures. Christ’s ransom, then, secured for us redemption not only from the law’s curse but also from bondage to sin. These two aspects of redemption always go together: redemption from the curse infallibly secures redemption from the bondage.
Continue reading The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Fulfilled in the Family
Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 49-51
May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! – -Deuteronomy 1:11
Did you know that the Great Commission appears in the Old Testament? Notice the words of Isaiah 49:6: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
This passage speaks of Jesus Christ. His objective is to bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth. And Christ made that possible by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. It was the risen, triumphant Christ who commanded His disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Continue reading The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – To the Ends of the Earth
A hearing that was held last week of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works consisted of Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Alex Epstein, the President for the Center for Industrial Progress, and Father Robert Sirico, a priest and president of the Acton Institute, among others.
The topic was how the president’s climate policies had impacted economic opportunity, national security, and related issues. As Mr. Epstein finished his testimony by telling a story from his book A Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Senator Boxer demanded: “Mr. Epstein, Are you a scientist?”
“No,” he replied. “I’m a philosopher.” When Boxer sarcastically implied that he didn’t belong in the hearing because he wasn’t a scientist, Epstein pointed out that philosophy helps folks think more clearly. Boxer snapped back, “I don’t need help thinking more clearly.”
Continue reading BreakPoint – Why are Philosophy and Science so Often Pitted against Each Other?
Read Romans 12:1-8
The process of whakapapa is fundamental to the identity of Maori people in New Zealand. More detailed than a typical Western genealogy, whakapapa includes not only generations of ancestors but also references to the land and geography, as well as both historical and mythological stories. Whakapapa also refers to the oral recitation of these genealogies, which can stretch back fifty generations or more.
Western notions of the individual tend to inform the way that we view ourselves. We like the myth of the self- made man, the Lone Ranger, the soloist. We rarely think like the Maori, as part of an interconnected family that extends further than any of our memories. For the next few days we’ll examine what Scripture has to say about this part of our identity. Are we spiritual Lone Rangers? Or are we an integral part of a spiritual family?
Continue reading Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – DIFFERENT GIFTS, ONE BODY
God is doing amazing things today. Genuine spiritual awakening is sweeping many nations in the world. More people are coming to Christ than ever before. Our Father is the King of the universe, and he is still on his throne.
Please remember these facts as you read what follows.
Quartz is generating attention with this headline: “For many of us, monogamy is not an emotionally healthy pursuit.” The writer calls for us to leave behind the “fairy tale” that monogamy is vital to an “emotionally fulfilled life.”
The article assumes that there are no objective moral reasons for marital fidelity apart from concern for the children. So a “suitable alternative” is for couples to remain faithful until children leave the home, then embrace an “open relationship.”
Quartz has also published a fascinating article protesting the “commodification” of women’s bodies on social media as girls use selfies and other pictures to get attention. The author complains that this trend is “at odds with the goals of feminism.” She’s right, but she doesn’t go nearly far enough.
Continue reading Denison Forum – THREE SHOCKING STORIES AND THE HOPE OF SCRIPTURE