We spend a lot of time worrying about physical needs—such as our house, car, food, finances, and health. All these are important in our life, but one form of assurance supersedes all the others. God desires for us to be confident in Him and in His saving grace. He gives us several reasons to be sure of our eternal security.
- Jesus makes a personal promise to all believers: “No one will snatch [you] out of My hand” (John 10:28)—and He does not make promises unless He intends to keep them. To assume that we can take an action that would separate us from the Lord once we have been saved would essentially be calling Him a liar.
- The hand of God is used throughout Scripture as a symbol of His strength. Once we have received Christ, we are safely in His palm, and no force or action can remove us. If Satan could snatch us away, either by tempting us into sin or through his own power, it would mean he is stronger than God. We know that isn’t true because God is omnipotent (2 Chron. 20:6).
- Jesus is our advocate with a holy God who cannot look upon sin. In fact, Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Christ “save[s] forever” because He is available to intercede with God on our behalf. In human terms, Jesus is at the right hand of God as a tangible reminder that our sin debt is paid in full.
Through His Son Jesus, God has offered us not only salvation, but salvation eternally, with no loopholes, caveats, or maybes. You can be sure!
Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 18-19
Read: Numbers 7:1-9
Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32
They were to carry on their shoulders the holy things, for which they were responsible. —Numbers 7:9
We really needed to hear from God. Having been asked to foster two young children as an emergency measure just for 3 months, a decision had to be made about their future. With three older children of our own, becoming foster parents to preschoolers didn’t seem to fit with our life plan and having our family almost double in size had been hard work. Our book of daily readings by the veteran missionary Amy Carmichael directed us to some unfamiliar verses in Numbers 7.
Continue reading Our Daily Bread — God’s Way
Public radio program This American Life ran a special report on a certain sub-culture of people whose prize possessions are their car stereos. They are called “decibel drag racers” and people flock across international borders to join them in competition. Like actual drag racing, cars line up across the track, except in this competition they will not be going anywhere. The winner is the owner of the car stereo that can play at the loudest possible decibel. Oddly enough (that is, more odd than the fact that these systems are too powerful to play music), most of the cars that win this competition are not even drivable. The world record holder at the time of this interview had 900 pounds of concrete poured into the floor of his van. Wind shields usually only make it through three competitions before cracking (and these are not normal windshields). Yet one competitor still seems to entirely miss the irony that there is no longer any room for himself in his car. “We need more batteries,” he laments. “But that’s all the room we have.”(1)
To anyone outside of this extreme audio sport world, “irony” is perhaps a generous word to describe the phenomenon. The TAL reporter was far more articulate: “Everybody wants to be the king of a hill,” he concluded. “But the number of aspiring kings always dwarfs the number of available hills, so in this country we build more hills.”(2) I’m not sure there is a better way to describe it.
Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – King of the Hill
“And many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him” (Matthew 27:55).
The women who supported Jesus’ ministry all the way to the cross are fine examples of compassionate loyalty.
Caring, consistent loyalty is a wonderful characteristic of godly women. This trait is probably more evident in them than it is in godly men. The women by the cross were the main group of believing eyewitnesses to Jesus’ crucifixion. They also showed incredible loyalty in the face of ridicule and danger. This courage contrasted with the disciples who, except for John, had fled in fear the night before Jesus was crucified.
Continue reading John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Compassionate Loyalty
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
By default, I think many of us spend our days focused on our own needs, wants, and desires. From basic health and nutrition to our ambitions and dreams, we are wired to care chiefly about ourselves! As Augustine said, because of sin and brokenness we as human beings are “curved in upon ourselves.” Yet the beauty of the gospel is that when we encounter the love of Christ, not only are we made new but we also learn to turn our focus away from ourselves and onto the needs of others and the worship of almighty God.
One of my favorite quotes comes from 20th century pastor and theologian Michael Ramsey, who once said, “Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.” How true that is! If you struggle, as we all do, with an inflated sense of self-worth or self-interest, rush to plant yourself in the soil of thanksgiving. As Paul reminds us, lift up your heart and soul in thanksgiving and praise to God. Let the love of Christ dwell within you and heal you from the empty love of self.
Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Thankful Soil Grows Humility
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
2 Timothy 4:6
Think about the timing necessary to keep our solar system stable. Every 24 hours the earth spins on its axis. Every 365.26 days the earth orbits the sun. The moon orbits the earth every 27.3 days. In premodern days, the certainty of those numbers formed the basis of calendars, agriculture, navigation, and more. While calculations today may be easier with computers, those calculations still depend on the timing of the solar system.
Continue reading Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Timing Is Everything
But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.—Psalm 37:11
We can learn to get along with people. It is especially important to learn to get along with our immediate family members and coworkers. There are many informative books about personality differences to help us understand why people feel and act the way they do. Understanding helps to smooth over strained relationships.
People make decisions differently. Some give an immediate answer, while others want time to think about things first. Try to understand the people you will see today. Ask God to show you ways to get along with them. He will give you favor as you trust in Him.
From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer.
For the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.
Friend to Friend
Just try to keep my daughter from singing. Go ahead and try. You will fail. She must sing. It’s just her thing. Some days when I’m writing, or simply trying to piece together a coherent thought, I dream that she could travel to a land far, far away from me and hang out in a sound proof room.
Shhhhhhh! Embrace “quiet” already, girl.
I know. When it comes to 24/7 musical expressions, mother-of-the-year I am not.
And I’m okay with that.
Continue reading Girlfriends in God – The Power of a Song
“For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be” (Romans 5:2).
Interesting, is it not, that because of our faith, which is really His faith imparted to us, He has brought us, you and me, to a place of highest privilege.
What are some of the benefits that constitute this highest privilege?
First, we are justified – considered righteous in God’s sight.
Second, we are admitted into His favor and we abide there.
Continue reading Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Place of Privilege
Read: Leviticus 18
No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord. Lev 18:8
Next to the preservation of life the most powerful human drive is sex. Sex, as we are beginning to understand these days, is like a great river which, when it flows quietly between its banks, is a boon and a blessing to us. But when it is raging in full flood, inundating the landscape in permissiveness and promiscuity, it is terribly destructive and hurtful. God’s Word is careful to regulate us and help us in this area. It is amazing that God takes the risk of letting us have this fantastic power in our lives. He doesn’t take sex away from us if we misuse it. He takes that risk with us, with a plea to us that we learn to keep it within its banks.
You can see how God underscores the purpose of these instructions. They are to make you live, not die — not be restricted, not narrowed and hemmed in and prohibited from expressing yourself. No, quite the contrary! They are there so that you might live, might enjoy life to the fullest degree, might find it whole and rich.
Continue reading Ray Stedman – The Truth about Sex
Read: James 2:1-7
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. (v. 1)
Mahatma Gandhi was a wise man, who led India in the independence movement against British rule and developed nonviolent civil disobedience. He was extremely well-educated, and a voracious reader. He was curious about Jesus, and read the Gospels in order to learn more about him. Gandhi often quoted from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. However, he later told how he once tried to enter a Christian church to worship, and the ushers refused to let him through the door, rudely suggesting that Gandhi should “leave or be thrown down the steps.” Gandhi famously said, “Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
James makes it very clear in this passage that we often judge or discriminate without even thinking about it! You may not think that you favor the rich, but ask yourself: did you look down on that woman at the store when you noticed she was using food stamps? You passed a homeless man on your way to work recently; did you invite him to church, or offer him a meal? Did you know that some 1.2 billion people worldwide live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank Web site)?
Jesus said that we will always have the poor among us (John 12:8), and he also said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. James is just reminding us what that should look like.
Holy Spirit, help me to love others without favoritism.
Author: Susan Hetrick
Have you ever been so focused on the road that you forget where you are going? Sometimes that happens when following God. Bible teacher and pastor Charles Swindoll once said, “You and I can become so dedicated to the will of God, we can be so driven by a false sense of purpose, that we might inadvertently take matters into our own hands and leave God completely out of the loop.”
They attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
In today’s verse, Paul, Silas and Timothy were following God and not a predetermined path. They had a thriving ministry and wanted to take it to Bithynia, but God prevented them from going. Thankfully, the disciples listened and moved on when they could’ve just as easily had said, “We’re doing a good thing and these people need to hear the Good News.” They could have left God out of the loop.
But they did not – and nor should you. Don’t get so focused on a good thing that you forget to ask if it’s a God thing. Ask your Heavenly Father to lead you and the leaders of this great nation in His will, and to seek His enlightening Word to illuminate the road ahead.
Recommended Reading: Psalm 119:105-112 Click to Read or Listen
“Then the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ ” —Genesis 3:9
God wants to meet with you and me on a regular basis. Think of it, like having and keeping an appointment with God!
I wonder just how many times each day that God wants to speak to us and He can’t get a word in edgewise? The Lord might say, “I have wanted to talk to you for a long time, but you are too busy. This morning I wanted to talk to you, but you didn’t have any time for me. You read the newspapers and watched TV and talked on the phone. You never opened the Word. You never prayed. At lunch I tried to say something, but your prayer was so fast. Later I tried to talk with you. You have been so busy. You have an appointment with Me. Why don’t you keep it?”
Remember how Adam had an appointment with God every day in the Garden of Eden? He would hear the voice of the Lord in the garden in the cool of the evening. One day Adam missed that appointment because of sin. God said to Adam, “Where are you?”
I wonder if the Lord would say that to some of us each day: “Where are you? Where were you? I have been looking for you. I wanted to speak to you. I want you to walk with Me, and I want to walk with you.”
Just imagine, the Creator of the Universe wants to spend time with you. Is there any appointment that is worth keeping more than this one?
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” (Psalm 73:25)
Imagine that your grandmother has asked you to clean out her attic. You walk up to the top of the stairs and begin wading through old boxes and dusty furniture. You wonder what you should clean first.
Looking to your left, you see an antique trunk sitting in the corner. You walk over, lift the top, and peer inside. There, sitting on the bottom of the trunk, is an old brass oil lamp. You pick it up and gently rub the dust away.
All of a sudden, a genie pops out of the lamp! With a deep, booming voice, he says, “Tell me your one wish and I shall make it come true!” What would you wish for? What one thing do you desire most? If you could have anything in the world, what would you ask for?
Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God Wants to Be Your One Desire
Today’s Scripture: Romans 12:1
“By the mercies of God . . . present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.”
Some may ask, “Who can possibly keep a commitment to pursue holiness without exception for even some ‘small’ sins? If there are no exceptions, is there any place for grace? Is God really this strict?”
Yes, God really is this strict because he cannot compromise his holiness the least bit. His goal is to conform us to the likeness of his Son, and Jesus was completely without sin, though tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:15). No, we cannot, or perhaps will not, keep our commitments to God perfectly, but that should at least be our aim. In a battle, some soldiers will always be hit, but each one makes it his aim not to be hit. A lesser aim would be the height of folly for the soldier, and it’s just as dangerous for us in our battle with sin.
Continue reading The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Any Room for Grace?
Today’s Scripture: Isaiah 58-66
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
I heard a speaker at a national convention say that the church is losing ground today because we’re adding people to the kingdom of God while the population of the world is multiplying.
For example, if you were to lead one person to Christ every day for the next thirty-two years, by the end of that period there would be 11,680 people in the kingdom of God as a result of your witness. But, let’s say you led one person to Christ and then spent an entire year helping that person grow to maturity. You showed the person how to walk with Christ each day and to lead others to Him. By the end of year one, there would be two of you.
Continue reading The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Spiritual Multiplication
Could I be dreaming? For decades the media has been a staunch defender of pornography—freedom of speech, freedom to choose, sexual liberation and all that, don’t ’ya know.
But now, wonder of wonders, America’s leading news sources seem to have awakened from their long slumber. They’re finally recognizing pornography for what it is: an unprecedented public health crisis.
TIME magazine, for example, just ran a cover story about the grassroots backlash against internet erotica. Belinda Luscombe documents a movement of former porn addicts helping their peers find ways to break the grip of online voyeurism. Guys like Gabe Deem, the 28-year-old founder of Reboot Nation, offer “advice and support for [fellow] young people who believe they are addicted to pornography…”
The reason some are swearing off smut, Luscombe explains, is simple: These mostly non-religious twenty-somethings who’ve been guzzling porn since puberty are realizing that porn has rewired their sexuality, leaving them crippled in real-life relationships.
Continue reading BreakPoint – Pornography: Media Finally Waking up to What Christians Have Warned about for Years
Read Romans 16
Recent research has found that relationships with coworkers are the most significant predictor of job satisfaction. A study from Tel Aviv University found the level of support from coworkers affected employees’ health more than any other factor in the workplace.
When we are in Christ, part of our identity is “coworker.” We don’t have to be in full-time vocational ministry to be coworkers in Christ; we are spiritual colleagues with other believers based on our shared commitment to Jesus and His gospel. Our passage today provides a snapshot on the importance of being spiritual coworkers.
Paul asked the Christians in Rome to extend his greetings to dozens of his fellow laborers. Some names are familiar: many of us know Priscilla and Aquila, who worked with Paul and tutored Apollos (v. 3; see Acts 18), and Timothy was one of Paul’s most faithful companions (v. 21). But most of the rest of these names appear only here. Why would Scripture devote so many verses to naming obscure people?
Continue reading Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – COWORKERS IN CHRIST
Now is the time when many of us are deciding where to go on summer vacation. Ads are playing on television and the Internet espousing attractions around the world. Here’s one destination you may not have considered: St. Joseph, Missouri.
Famous as the starting point of the Pony Express and the dying place of Jesse James, the town now has a new claim to fame: a McDonalds restaurant will open there this summer. Why is that news? Because it will offer all-you-can-eat fries.
They’re not the only culinary option in today’s news. The co-founders of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream were arrested this week at the U.S. Capitol. Not for making a product with too many calories, but for taking part in a protest intended to make sure “power in this country is returned to the people.”
There’s even more gastronomic news: Time magazine has notified us that “Hillary Clinton carries Ninja Squirrel hot sauce everywhere.” The presidential candidate says she has been eating chilies regularly since 1992. They do have significant health benefits: the Time article tells us that chilies “are absolutely crammed with nutrients,” including folic acid and vitamins A, E, and C. A 2015 study showed that adults in China who ate spicy food regularly had a fourteen percent decrease in mortality.
Continue reading Denison Forum – THE VACATION SPOT FOR FRENCH FRIES LOVERS