Charles Stanley – Waiting for Answers to Prayer

Psalms 33:20-22

Scripture makes it clear that our heavenly Father hears and answers prayer. Yet, though we pray for the Lord to act right away, we’ve all known times when we’ve had to wait. What are some reasons for the delay?

The Father sees when our attention is misdirected. Our relationship with Him should have priority over any earthly matter (Mark 12:30), yet minds and prayers can become so fixed upon a need that our gaze shifts away from God. Then He may delay answering until we refocus on Him. In other situations, He waits because the timing isn’t right for granting our request. Perhaps certain events must happen first, or people’s thinking needs to be changed.

There are also seasons when the Lord wants to stretch and grow our faith. One of the ways He accomplishes that is by having us watch for His response. In these times of waiting, the Holy Spirit will work to mature us and bring forth righteous fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Other reasons are a wrong motive for our request (James 4:3) and the practice of habitual sin. We all fall short when it comes to God’s standard of holiness, but some of us persist in a lifestyle of disobedience. The Lord may delay His answer so He can prompt us to confess our sin and turn back to Him.

Waiting on the Lord isn’t easy—faith and trust are needed (Heb. 11:1). If His answer is delayed, check that your focus is on Him, your motive for asking is God-honoring, and you aren’t practicing habitual sin. Then believe that His response will be for your good and His glory.

Bible in a Year: Psalms 60-66

 

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Our Daily Bread — A Remote Location

Read: Mark 8:1–13 | Bible in a Year: Esther 6–8; Acts 6

My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Tristan da Cunha Island is famous for its isolation. It is the most remote inhabited island in the world, thanks to the 288 people who call it home. The island is located in the South Atlantic Ocean, 1,750 miles from South Africa—the nearest mainland. Anyone who might want to drop by for a visit has to travel by boat for seven days because the island has no airstrip.

Jesus and His followers were in a somewhat remote area when He produced a miraculous meal for thousands of hungry people. Before His miracle, Jesus said to His disciples, “[These people] have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way” (Mark 8:2-3). Because they were in the countryside where food was not readily available, they had to depend fully on Jesus. They had nowhere else to turn.

God can certainly meet our needs, whatever our circumstances.

Sometimes God allows us to end up in desolate places where He is our only source of help. His ability to provide for us is not necessarily linked with our circumstances. If He created the entire world out of nothing, God can certainly meet our needs—whatever our circumstances—out of the riches of His glory, in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Dear God, thank You for all that You have provided through Your Son, Jesus Christ. You know what my needs are. Please reassure me of Your care and power.

We can trust God to do what we cannot do.

INSIGHT:

The exact location where Jesus fed 4,000 people with only seven loaves of bread is unknown, but the fact that it was a remote site is an important detail because it indicates a lack of access to food. In this passage, as in so many others (Matt. 9:36; 14:14; 20:34), Jesus acts compassionately toward those in need. The setting of this event allowed Jesus to show His great love and affection to hungry and weary people.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – After Failing

In the Garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was arrested, the disciples fell asleep when Jesus had asked them to stay awake; they turned their heads away in weariness when he had asked them to pray and keep watch. They felt the heaviness of their eyes instead of the heaviness of the moment, though Jesus repeatedly tried to stir them to be alert. It was a day of failings. After Jesus’s arrest, everyone deserted him and fled. Peter, who had emphatically declared he would never deny Christ, heard the rooster crow and knew exactly what he had done. In the aftermath of three denials, Peter wept bitterly. One wonders how the other scattered disciples received the morning.

What do you do with despair? What do you do when you know that you have messed up, when you know that you have missed an opportunity, when it seems that all of your shortcomings are written in large print across your life and there is no going back with an eraser?

Most of us walk away from a ruined moment thoroughly defeated. But where do you go? And how long do you remain in your defeat? Do you throw up your hands and stop trying? Do you mentally beat yourself up? Do you carry your guilt as if paying penitence? Do you, in the words of George MacDonald, house a conscience that does its duty so well it makes the whole house uncomfortable?

Christian author Joni Eareckson Tada knows intimately what the face of despair looks like. Injured in a diving accident that left her paralyzed, she was once convinced she had missed the best version of her life. Her misstep loomed before her, and because of it, she believed that God was somehow forcing her to go with God’s divine Plan B.

Do we, in our assailings and failings, hold a similar perspective? In the regret of a missed opportunity, the guilt of a failed moment, the despair of an irreversible situation, it is understandable that we sometimes sink into the hopeless thought that it is all over. It is easy to beat ourselves up, to despairingly ponder what it means to have missed out, and to believe that somehow, with disappointment, God must now come in and adjust the plan for our lives.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – After Failing

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Integrity Is Consistent

“It seemed good to Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, that they should be in charge of the whole kingdom, and over them three commissioners (of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, and that the king might not suffer loss. Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom” (Daniel 6:1-3).

Nations come and go, but God’s plans continue through people of biblical integrity.

As we come to Daniel 6, King Nebuchadnezzar is gone; Belshazzar, his son and successor to the throne, has been slain; the great Babylonian Empire has fallen to the Medo-Persians; and a king identified only as “Darius” (probably another name for Cyrus) is ruling the Medo-Persian Empire. But amidst all those changes, two things remain constant: Daniel distinguishes himself among his peers, and God exalts him.

Daniel served in Babylon for seventy years under three kings, each of whom recognized him as a man of unique wisdom and integrity. King Nebuchadnezzar “made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon” (Dan. 2:48). King Belshazzar “clothed [him] with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom” (Dan. 5:29).

Now King Darius is about to appoint Daniel as prime minister over the entire kingdom, and within a year the king will issue a decree for the Jews to return to Judah, thereby ending the seventy-year Babylonian captivity (Ezra 1:1-3). I believe Cyrus made that decree because of Daniel’s wisdom and influence.

Continue reading John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Integrity Is Consistent

Wisdom Hunters – Exercised Faith Produces Spiritual Health

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 1 Timothy 1:5

Just as God created the body with the need for exercise and rest to stay healthy— He created the soul with the need for a faith that exercises and rests to grow healthier. There is a striking difference between the body and soul: the physical grows weaker as the body ages, but the spiritual grows stronger as the soul grows older in grace and love. Outwardly there is decay, but inwardly there is daily renewal. Genuine faith does not get saved and stop growing—it trusts Christ’s work on the cross to work out our faith as we bear our cross through trials and tests.

Paul describes the end goal of every disciple of Jesus: the fullness of love for God and people. The Holy Spirit’s fruit of love grows out of a clear conscience—forgiven of sin and a pure heart—cleansed of impure affections. Both forgiveness and cleansing are rooted in genuine faith. Authentic faith is the blending of belief and trust—belief that Jesus is God’s son, who died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead to validate His deity. Trust in Christ alone for eternal life in heaven and for abundant life on earth. Faith facilitates the Spirit’s life giving work.

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:11).

Do you feel a headwind of resistance in your life? Is your faith being tested, perhaps stretched beyond what’s comfortable? Seasons of uncertainty and times of spiritual fatigue are windows to watch the Spirit at work in ways that stimulate your faith by God’s faithfulness in your life. There is a deeper place the Holy Spirit wants to take you—a place where your soul is at peace, your spirit is comforted, your mind is renewed and your body is rested. Like an athlete who discovers another depth of desire to compete, so the Spirit draws your faith into deeper intimacy.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Exercised Faith Produces Spiritual Health

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Many Infallible Proofs

He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs…. Acts 1:3

Recommended Reading

Acts 1:1-3

  1. Campbell Morgan grew up in a Christian home, never questioning that the Bible was the Word of God. But in college he encountered skeptics who shook his faith. “The whole intellectual world was under the mastery of the physical scientists,” he recalled. “There came a moment when I was sure of nothing.” Morgan read every book he could find for and against biblical Christianity. Finally he closed the competing books and marched down to the bookstore and bought a new Bible. Opening it at his desk, he said, “I am no longer sure that this is what my father claims it to be—the Word of God. But of this I am sure. If it be the Word of God, and if I come to it with an unprejudiced and open mind, it will bring assurance to my soul of itself.”

As he studied God’s Word honestly, he grew convinced of its truthfulness, of the existence of God and the resurrection of Christ, and of the transforming power of the Gospel.

If you have questions, the Bible has answers. Doubt can bring us back to Christ as we discover for ourselves His infallible proofs.

That Bible found me. I began to read and study it then, in 1883. I have been a student ever since.

  1. Campbell Morgan

Read-Thru-the-Bible

Psalms 95 – 103

 

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/

Joyce Meyer – No Excuses

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage. —Judges 6:12

In the book of Judges, God decided to work through a man named Gideon to deliver the Israelites from captivity. But when the angel came to call Gideon, Gideon began rehearsing a list of his inabilities, including reasons why he thought he could not do what God was calling him to do.

In Judges 6:14 God says, Have I not sent you? In other words, “Would I ask you to do something I haven’t equipped you to do?” And again, in the next verse, Gideon responds with excuses—I’m too poor, too small, too weak. Because words have power, Gideon believed what he said about himself more than the encouraging words of the Lord.

Stop thinking of excuses or things to complain about—It’s too hard; I’ve never done this before; this isn’t what I had planned; I don’t know how; I’m too old/young; I don’t feel like it; I’m afraid—and start doing what God is telling you to do.

Power Thought: I can do whatever God asks me to do— no excuses—because He is with me.

From the book the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Girlfriends in God – Whose Voice Will You Listen To Today?

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26

Friend to Friend

My son played on his high school’s basketball team. At one of the games, I noticed a man on the home side of the court video recording of the game. I also noticed a man on the opposing side doing the same.

“Steve, who are those men with the video cameras and why are they recording the game?” I asked my husband.

“The guy in the opposing stand is from the team that we’ll be playing next week,” he explained. “He is recording the game to study our weaknesses, so our opponents will know where to attack and defeat us. The man on our side is recording the game also looking for weakness, but for a different reason. He will show our team their weaknesses so they can learn from them and improve . . . to make them better. Same video. Different purposes.”

Ah, a sudden glory moment. I don’t know much about sports, but I do know a bit about how the enemy works. He records the video of our lives and looks for our weakness to bring us down—to plan his attack, to defeat us.

The Bible has many names for that enemy: Satan, the great serpent, the deceiver, and the devil. But the most telling name is found in Revelation 12:10: the accuser who accuses believers before God day and night.

Some say that the devil’s main role is tempting mankind to sin. But I believe what trumps even temptation is his role as the accuser who shackles us with shame and condemnation once we succumb to the temptation. He paces before God saying, “She did this and she did that.” He plays and replays the video in the theater of your mind, pointing out all your faults and weaknesses to bring you down. He is AGAINST you.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Whose Voice Will You Listen To Today?

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Cleansing From Sin

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, KJV).

Henry was experiencing difficulty in communicating with God. “It seems as though He is far away from me,” he said, “and no matter what I do I am not able to make contact with Him.”

Henry was weighted down with problems and concerns that robbed him of his joy, his radiance and even his physical strength. He was a Christian and wanted to be a man of God but had become careless in his walk with Christ, and in the process had lost his first love.

If that condition describes you as well, it is quite likely that you have allowed sin to short-circuit your relationship with God. The mighty overflow of His power has been cut off, and you are no longer walking in the light as God is in the light. This is expressed in this great epistle of 1 John.

King David knew that experience because he had disobeyed God and, as recorded in Psalm 32, would not admit that he had sinned. As a result, his dishonesty made him miserable and filled his days with frustration.

If the light has gone out in your life and you are conscious of the same kind of experience to which King David refers, may I encourage you to take a sheet of paper, make a list of everything you know is wrong in your life, as the Holy Spirit directs you, and confess your sins to God.

As you make your list, claim the promise of 1 John 1:9. The word confess means “to agree with,” “to say along with.” You are saying to God, “I acknowledge that what I am doing is wrong. I know Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for these sins. I repent.” To repent means genuinely to change your mind, which results in a change of action.

As a result of this change, you no longer do those things that grieve or quench the Spirit, and you desire to honor Him every moment of every day of your life through faith and obedience. Then, whenever sin enters your life, you engage in spiritual breathing.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 28:10-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will make a list of everything the Holy Spirit calls to my mind that is short-circuiting His power in my life, and I will genuinely confess them before God.

 

http://www.cru.org

Ray Stedman – Prayer and Peace

Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head. 1 Sam. 1:10-11

At first glance it would appear that this is a kind of bargaining prayer of Hannah’s — that she is offering to give the boy back to the Lord only if the Lord will give him to her first so she can enjoy him. It is possible to read this account that way, but, if we look closely at it, we can see what is really happening here, for I am sure this is not the first time that Hannah has prayed at Shiloh for a son. All along she dreamed of having a son of her own, a little boy to love and cuddle, to teach him to walk, to read stories to, to watch him grow to manhood to become a strong, clean, fine young man, the pride of her life. She wanted him for herself, and she prayed often for that, but her prayer was not answered.

On this occasion, however, her prayer was different. Having worked through years of barrenness and having thought deeply about the problems, she realized for the first time something she had never known before. She realized that children are not just for parents — they are for the Lord. They are given to parents, loaned for a while, but the reason they are given is for the Lord to use. Certainly this account indicates that this little boy who was ultimately born (Samuel) was God’s man to meet the need of a nation. Undoubtedly God had taught Hannah deeply through these hours of struggle over her barrenness, so in great distress and with intense earnestness she prays that God would have what he wanted, a man for his glory and his purposes, and that he would let her be the instrument of that blessing.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Prayer and Peace

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Check Your “Review” Mirror

Read: Psalm 42

My soul thirsts for God. (v. 2)

Can you go back to a place you’ve never been? Of course not. Can you miss someone you’ve never known or loved? No, not really. When you’re feeling discouraged your heart cries out, “My soul pants for you, O God.” When such a cry is real, be assured. Such a cry is sure evidence you know and are known by your heavenly Father and are loved by your Savior.

In the analogy of a journey, check your “review” mirror. Remember where you’ve been. Follow the example of the psalm writer, who was encouraged when he recalled the high places of his journey with God in the land of Jordan, the heights of Hermon (v. 6). You too can recall those past moments in worship with God’s people, rich moments of joy and thanksgiving as you heard God’s Word and sang hymns of praise with the congregation. Remember times when your heart felt filled with God. Such memories have the power of bringing you encouragement when you need it now.

Again, as the psalm writer did, question yourself, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (v. 4). Be sure to also make the psalmist’s affirmation, “I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (v. 5).

Prayer:

God of comfort and joy, be near to all shut-ins whose great loss is no longer being able to attend worship. Give to each one the confidence of saying, “I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Author: Chic Broersma

 

https://woh.org/

Greg Laurie – The Choice Every Christian Must Make

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. —1 John 5:21

A story from the pages of church history tells of a courageous Christian who lived in the days of the Roman Empire. Arrested for being a follower of Christ and a preacher of the gospel, the man was brought before the emperor of Rome, who told him to either give up Christ or be banished.

The Christian replied, “You cannot banish me from Christ, for God says, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ ”

The ruler said, “I will confiscate your property.”

“My treasures are laid up in heaven,” the Christian answered. “You can’t touch them.”

“Then I will kill you.”

“I’ve been dead to the world in Christ for forty years,” the Christian said. “My life is hid with Christ in God. You can’t touch it.”

Turning to other members of his court, the emperor said in disgust, “What can you do with such a fanatic?”

There will come a time in every Christian’s life when he or she is faced with the choice to bow before someone or something. The Bible says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). An idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of God in your life. An idol can be a person. It can be a relationship. It can be your car or your house. It can be your career. It can be your physique. An idol is something that is more important to you than God Himself. It is something that you effectively bow before and it causes you to compromise in your faith.

We need Christians today who will make a stand. So often we compromise. We will bend. We will cave in because it isn’t politically correct or popular. But let’s remember that a little with God is better than a lot without Him.

 

https://www.harvest.org/

Kids 4 Truth International – The Pure in Heart Will See God

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

When I was in fourth grade, my family took a trip to Washington, D.C. Before we left, some of my friends at school said, “Maybe you’ll get to see the President!” I wasn’t too sure we would see President Reagan, but I was very excited about the possibility.

One day while we were sightseeing near the White House, we noticed a crowd gathering by the White House fence. Some people had cameras. “What’s going on?” we asked someone in the crowd.

“The President’s helicopter will be landing here soon. We’re all hoping to see him!”

My family joined the waiting crowd. My dad was able to get me right up by the fence where I could see. Sure enough, we soon heard the helicopter coming. It landed right on the White House lawn, and President Reagan got out—on the opposite side from where we were standing. A groan went up from the crowd. We could not see very much of him at all. In fact, from our side of the helicopter, we could see only his feet. Although I was a little disappointed, it was fun to go home and tell my friends that we had seen the President’s feet in Washington, D.C.!

It’s exciting to see a famous person. People will form lines and wait for hours just to get one glimpse of a person they admire. But have you ever thought that someday, all those who have had their hearts cleansed by Jesus Christ will see God? What could possibly compare with the wonder of that? What would it be like to see Him? 1 Timothy 6:16 tells us that God dwells in light so bright that no one can even come near it. People who saw Jesus on this earth saw God in human form, but not in all of the glorious splendor that surrounds Him in heaven. Moses saw a brief glimpse of God’s glory, and even that was enough to make his face shine for days and days.

Jesus gave one condition for seeing God: being pure in heart. Only those who are pure in heart will see Him. And there is only one way to have a pure heart. Jesus Himself must purify it for you with His blood that cleanses from all sin (I John 1:7).

The pure in heart will one day see God in all of His glory.

My Response:

» Has my heart been purified by Jesus Christ?

» Is He daily keeping my heart pure as I confess my sins to Him?

 

http://kids4truth.com/home.aspx

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – God’s Sovereignty

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 115:3

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”

Confidence in God’s sovereignty in all that affects us is crucial to our trusting him. If there’s a single event in all the universe that can occur outside of God’s control, then we cannot trust him. His love may be infinite, but if his power is limited and his purpose can be thwarted, we cannot trust him. You may entrust to me your most valuable possessions; I may love you and my aim to honor your trust may be sincere. But if I don’t have the power or ability to guard your valuables, you cannot truly entrust them to me.

Paul, however, said we can entrust our most valuable possession to the Lord: “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:12, NIV). “But,” someone says, “Paul is speaking there of eternal life. It’s our problems in this life that make me wonder about God’s sovereignty.”

It should be evident, however, that God’s sovereignty does not begin at death. His sovereign direction in our lives even precedes our births. God rules as surely on earth as he does in heaven. He permits, for reasons known only to himself, people to act contrary to and in defiance of his revealed will. But he never permits them to act contrary to his sovereign will.

Our plans can succeed only when they are consistent with God’s purpose, and no plan can succeed against him (Proverbs 16:9; 19:21; 21:30). No one can straighten what he makes crooked or make crooked what he has made straight (Ecclesiastes 7:13). No one can say, “I’ll do this or that,” and have it happen if it is not part of God’s sovereign will (James 4:15). (Excerpt taken from Trusting God)

 

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The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – The Lord’s Return

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 24-25

[God’s grace] teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. – Titus 2:12-13

I remember the day I walked into a college class to take a final exam, only to discover I had studied for the wrong subject. I broke out in a clammy sweat, and I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Needless to say, I did poorly on the exam. I wasn’t prepared, and it was my own fault.

Jesus told a parable recorded in Matthew 25:13 that ended with these words: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Whenever Jesus mentioned His return, He usually ended His remarks with the admonition to be prepared.

The Bible teaches that one way we can prepare for the Lord’s return is by living a life of purity. First John 3:3 says, “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” We also are to be doing the work Jesus left us to do. A big part of that is telling others about Him.

I knew someone who was passing out tracts on the streets of Chicago when, much to his surprise, a man asked how he could be saved. My buddy experienced a feeling similar to mine when I sat unprepared for my exam. He didn’t know how to lead a person to Christ. He apologized to the man and left him standing there on the street with his need unmet.

What are you doing to prepare for Christ’s return? Are you living a pure life? Can you present the gospel to the lost? Are you praying for friends, that God might open the door for you to witness to them? As we pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” let us be ready.

Prayer

Lord, keep me mindful of Your imminent return, and help me to put my energies in the things that count for eternity. Amen.

To Ponder

If Jesus should return today, would He find you doing the work He’s given you to do?

 

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BreakPoint –  Show, Don’t Tell: The Importance of Father-Child Relationships

John Stonestreet and I talk quite often on BreakPoint about the importance of fathers. And when we do, we usually point to statistics (like I did on the air last week) that reveal that in terms of education, delinquency, drug abuse, and sex and pregnancy, young people who have no father fare worse than those who do.

And that’s all true. But there are a few problems with relying solely on statistics. The person you’re debating can come up with stats to counter yours. And many statistics need interpretation. Just listen to the debate over the unemployment rate and you’ll find yourself agreeing with Mark Twain, who famously quipped, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, darned lies, and statistics.”

But most importantly, simply telling someone something rarely convinces them of anything. Facts, statistics, moral assertions: They speak to the head, not to the heart.

There’s a rule that good writers and debaters try to observe, and you may have heard it before: Show, don’t tell. In other words, don’t lecture your readers to make a point. Show them what you’re talking about. Tell a story. Provide illustrations. Aim at the heart.

And that’s exactly what one major company, Gillette (you know, the guys who maker razors), did this Fathers’ Day with a commercial called “Go Ask Dad.” It presents in such a heart-warming, simple, and convincing way just how important it is for—in this case—young men to turn to dad for advice and help.

Here’s the gist: Procter and Gamble, Gillette’s parent company, says that “in a world where screen time tends to outweigh actual face time, the internet often replaces dad as the go-to source for ‘how to’ information.”  Some 94 percent of teenagers, they claim “ask the internet for advice before their dads.”

So Gillette devises a contest between the Web and fathers. They bring in teenage boys from different countries and put them in a room with a computer. Then they tell the boys they need to figure out how to do a few simple tasks. Learn how to tie a tie. Learn how to ask a girl out on a date. Fry an egg. And of course, learn how to shave.

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Show, Don’t Tell: The Importance of Father-Child Relationships

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – RIGHTEOUS DISOBEDIENCE

Read 1 Samuel 19:1–17

In Poland in 1941, giving any kind of assistance to Jews was punishable by death—and not just for the individual but also for the entire family of anyone caught helping. Despite this, Irena Sendler led a group who created more than 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families escape and smuggled some 2,500 children out of Poland. Sendler herself smuggled 400 children from the infamous Warsaw ghetto, hiding them in ambulances, suitcases, and packages.

When is such flagrant disobedience of the law deemed acceptable? Our passage today provides some context. By this time King Saul had been warned that his family would lose the throne because of his failure to obey God’s command (see 1 Sam. 15:26). David’s success in battle made Saul both envious and fearful. But instead of accepting God’s judgment, Saul ordered his son, Jonathan, to kill David. Jonathan refused, putting his own life in peril (see 1 Sam. 20:33). David escaped with the help of Saul’s daughter, Michal (vv. 11–12). Jonathan would later help David escape into the wilderness with his promise of friendship and loyalty.

To Saul, it appeared that his children had betrayed him and their own future, but these were actually acts of righteous disobedience. Unlike Saul, Michal and Jonathan discerned rightly God’s command to bless David, and they knew that it was better to obey God than obey the king and participate in an unjust murder.

The church learned this lesson early in its experience when the same religious leaders who arrested Jesus commanded the Apostles to be silent about the gospel. Peter and John boldly replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19–20).

APPLY THE WORD

Refusing to obey those who tell us to disobey God is not a betrayal, even if they are members of our own family. The allegiance we owe God is greater than any human bond or civil authority. Better to please God and disappoint everyone else; as the gospel chorus says, “I have decided to follow Jesus . . . / Though none go with me, still I will follow.”

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Denison Forum – EVANGELICAL LEADERS MEET WITH TRUMP: MY THOUGHTS

Donald Trump met yesterday in Manhattan with nearly a thousand evangelical leaders. Nick Pitts, our Director of Cultural Engagement, attended the meeting as an observer. Trump was asked questions about religious liberty, national security, leadership, immigration, marriage, racial tensions, and America’s policy toward Israel. According to Nick, the meeting was civil, with no endorsement of the Trump campaign. Though some were clearly supportive of him, others were obviously skeptical.

However, a large group of pastors have made clear their personal endorsement of the presumptive Republican nominee. Pastors supporting Hillary Clinton have done the same. One group of ministers made news when they gathered around “President-to-be Clinton” to “decree and declare the favor of the Lord upon her.”

Pastors supporting politicians is a phenomenon with a long history. Leading up to the 1800 election, some ministers warned that Thomas Jefferson was an atheist who could not be trusted as president. Prior to the 1960 election, Norman Vincent Peale led a consortium of ministers who were opposed to John Kennedy because he was a Catholic.

I am not writing today to encourage or discourage ministers from supporting political candidates. There is no law against such personal endorsements, so long as ministers do not use their churches for political purposes. Some of my pastoral mentors make their political commitments public, while others (like me) choose not to do so.

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