Charles Stanley – Praying the Promises of God

Isaiah 40:8

Jesus made it clear that we would endure many hardships in this life. But God provided amazing tools to keep trials from overwhelming us. For instance, He placed His Spirit inside each believer to guide and empower. In addition, He gave us prayer so we could not only communicate and stay connected with our Father but also bring Him our requests.

Today I want to focus on yet another one of His marvelous gifts: the Bible. Scripture is the actual Word of God Almighty. It is truth. It never changes. It enables us in all circumstances, so we have a sure foundation on which to base our lives and decisions.

There are thousands of promises in the Bible—countless assurances that we can rely on with perfect confidence. God wants us to learn them so we won’t miss out on blessings He wants to give. And wise believers will turn His promises into prayers, which they express as the cry of their heart.

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Our Daily Bread — Relief for the Troubled

Read: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23

[God will] give relief to you who are troubled. —2 Thessalonians 1:7

One of my favorite scenes in literature occurs when a feisty aunt confronts an evil stepfather over the abuse of her nephew, David Copperfield. This scene takes place in Charles Dickens’ novel named after the main character.

When David Copperfield shows up at his aunt’s house, his stepfather is not far behind. Aunt Betsy Trotwood is not pleased to see the malicious Mr. Murdstone. She recounts a list of offenses and does not let him slither out of his responsibility for each act of cruelty. Her charges are so forceful and truthful that Mr. Murdstone—a normally aggressive person—finally leaves without a word. Through the strength and goodness of Aunt Betsy’s character, David finally receives justice.

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John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Resurrection: A Belief That Matters

“How do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12).

Without the truth of bodily resurrection, the Christian faith would not make sense.

Even though Paul and the other apostles made the resurrection of Christ and His followers from the dead a central part of the gospel message, some new Gentile converts (the Corinthians especially) had difficulty accepting the idea of bodily resurrection. That struggle resulted mainly from the effects of Greek dualism, which viewed the spiritual as inherently good and the physical as inherently bad. Under that belief, a physical resurrection was considered quite repulsive.

The only way for the doubting Gentiles to accommodate their dualism was to say that Jesus was divine but not truly human. Therefore, He only appeared to die, and His appearances between the crucifixion and ascension were manifestations that merely seemed to be bodily. But Paul knew that was bad doctrine. He wrote to the Romans, “Concerning His Son . . . born of the seed of David according to the flesh . . . declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:3-4).

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Wisdom Hunters – Spiritually Mixed Marriage 

They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.   Ezra 9:2

Marriage is between a man and a woman, and Christian marriage is between two Christians. This is God’s plan, and attempts to circumvent His plan can lead to watered down faith and a lifestyle lived contrary to Christian principles. This is the risk you take if you marry someone who is not a committed follower of Jesus Christ. Christian marriage already has plenty of challenges without the added confusion brought on by mixed belief systems and values. Two contrasting faiths are like blending oil and water. It doesn’t work, and it creates a mess.

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Spiritually Mixed Marriage 

They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.   Ezra 9:2

Marriage is between a man and a woman, and Christian marriage is between two Christians. This is God’s plan, and attempts to circumvent His plan can lead to watered down faith and a lifestyle lived contrary to Christian principles. This is the risk you take if you marry someone who is not a committed follower of Jesus Christ. Christian marriage already has plenty of challenges without the added confusion brought on by mixed belief systems and values. Two contrasting faiths are like blending oil and water. It doesn’t work, and it creates a mess.

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Ray Stedman – Enjoying our Priesthood

Read: Leviticus 22

Keep my commands and follow them. I am the Lord. Do not profane my holy name, for I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the Lord, who made you holy and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord. Lev 22:31-33

What tenderness and compassion there is in those verses! I am the LORD, he says, who brought you out of bondage, out of slavery. I set you free. And I want to heal your life and bring you into a land of abundance and promise, of excitement and blessing and fruitfulness, with a sense of worth and power, and to be your God, to be available to you to teach you how to live as men were ordained to live in the beginning — in dominion over all the earth, over all the powers and principalities that exist in the universe, and to walk as free people, healed and whole. That is why I speak to you this way, the LORD says. That is why at times I will not allow you to exercise ministry even though you want to, until you deal with the blemishes of your life. When they are healed, then your ministry can begin.

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Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Careless Words (Part 1)

Read: James 3:1-8

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (v. 8)

Our words have power. We don’t realize how much power our words have. James did. He warns his readers continuously to guard their tongues; to be mindful of what they say. And in today’s passage, he says that our tongue is “a small member, yet it boasts” (v. 5); it “is a fire, a world of unrighteousness . . . set on fire by hell” (v. 6), and “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (v. 8). Whoa. That’s serious!

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Presidential Prayer Team; J.R. – Sow Sorry

Depending on what you believe, he was shot by a hired killer at a house in Detroit and his remains cremated – or he was dispatched with a hunting knife and then buried in a 55-gallon drum…which was then placed in an old car, crushed in a compactor and sent to Japan as scrap metal. Or he was buried under a residential driveway. Or he was interred in a shallow grave in a field near a restaurant. Or he was entombed in concrete beneath the end zone at the stadium in Meadowlands, New Jersey.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Galatians 6:7

Whatever you believe, no one has been able to prove what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, the infamous Teamsters boss and mafia figure who disappeared in 1975. What is almost certain is that somebody did to him what he had very likely ordered done to others.

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Kids 4 Truth International – God Won’t Let Sin Make Us Happy

“The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” (Proverbs 10:28)

Jamie and Uncle Mike climbed into the big red Ford F150. The tackleboxes were between them on the seat. As Uncle Mike drove them to the lot on the lake where their favorite fishing alcove was, Jamie opened up one of the tackleboxes to take a look at the lures. There were all kinds, some of them knobby or slimy, some feathery, some glossy. And all of them were colorful! Jamie especially liked the brand new jitterbugs Uncle Mike had bought down in Florida last month. As the truck rumbled to a stop in the gravel by the boat ramp, Jamie had a bright idea. While Uncle Mike got busy cranking down the fishing boat, Jamie got busy picking out the fanciest, smoothest, reddest (because red was his favorite color) jitterbug for himself. Without a sound, Jamie shoved the lure in his jeans pocket and went out to help Uncle Mike put the gear in the boat.

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The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Grounded in Mercy

Today’s Scripture: Titus 3:5

“He saved us . . . according to his own mercy.”

It was in view of God’s mercy that Paul urged us to commit our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1). Undoubtedly Paul had in mind the mercy of God as he had displayed it in the preceding chapters of Romans. He could have been thinking of the righteousness of God that comes to us by faith, of justification freely by his grace through the redemption that’s in Christ Jesus, or of God presenting Jesus as a propitiation for our sins that turns aside God’s just and holy wrath from us.

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – We’re in This Together

Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1-5

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. – Ephesians 4:11-12

I know some people who feel that Christian ministry is the job of the pastor and the paid church staff. The rest of us are like spectators in the bleachers. We cheer on the team, but we don’t play the game.

How do you think the apostle Paul viewed the Christian ministry? Here are his words from 2 Corinthians 4:1: “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” Then in verse 7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

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Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – SPIRIT LIVING WITHIN

Read Romans 8:14

The character Superman can fly faster than a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings in a single bound. But Superman uses the alter ego of mild- mannered reporter Clark Kent to veil his true identity. Clark Kent is unobtrusive, wearing inconspicuous clothes—until Superman needs to save the day. Then he hurriedly pulls off his dress shirt to reveal the large “S” emblazoned on Superman’s uniform.

For the rest of our study this month we’ll focus on the ways that we are blessed in Christ. An essential part of our identity is the blessing of the Holy Spirit, who indwells our hearts. Though we might look like everyone else around us, in reality we have the power of God’s Spirit in our lives, shaping our true identity to look more like Jesus. Unlike Superman and Clark Kent, however, we don’t have to keep our true identity a secret.

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