Charles Stanley – Helping Those in Need

Luke 10:25-37

In Matthew 22:39, Jesus tells us the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. The best way to demonstrate care for relatives, friends, neighbors, and church family is to follow the Lord’s example and bear their burdens. Not only did the Savior take our sin debt upon Himself at Calvary; He also shared in the hurts of those who sought His comfort: blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-11), and those who were demon-oppressed (Matt. 4:24). Jesus doesn’t discriminate with regard to whose burdens He will carry.

We are often tempted to be selective in choosing which acquaintances to help. According to Jesus’ example, we cannot bear someone else’s burdens based upon whether that person has lived up to some standard we have set. There are people who will never dress like us, hold opinions similar to ours, or share our interests. But those same people might be hurting and in need of somebody to help carry their difficulties. A genuine expression of godly love can transform the life of a person weighed down by struggles.

Even when we understand that lifting the weight of someone else’s load fulfills the law of Christ, Christians are frequently tempted to pass such responsibility to a pastor or Sunday school teacher. But the Lord intends something different for the lives of His children. Our unique experiences equip us to help in ways that the pastor or teacher—who have different experiences—cannot. Ask God how you can begin to help bear the burden of neighbors who are hurting.

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 26-28

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Unexpected

Read: Matthew 10:35–42 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 13–15; Acts 19:21–41

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

In the midday heat of summer, while traveling in the American South, my wife and I stopped for ice cream. On the wall behind the counter we saw a sign reading, “Absolutely No Snowmobiling.” The humor worked because it was so unexpected.

Sometimes saying the unexpected has the most effect. Think of this in regard to a statement by Jesus: “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). In a kingdom where the King is a servant (Mark 10:45), losing your life becomes the only way to find it. This is a startling message to a world focused on self-promotion and self-protection.

Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice. -Henry Liddon

In practical terms, how can we “lose our life”? The answer is summed up in the word sacrifice. When we sacrifice, we put into practice Jesus’s way of living. Instead of grasping for our own wants and needs, we esteem the needs and well-being of others.

Jesus not only taught about sacrifice but He also lived it by giving Himself for us. His death on the cross became the ultimate expression of the heart of the King who lived up to His own words: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Loving Father, teach me the heart of Christ, that I might more fully appreciate the sacrifice He has made for me and be willing to sacrifice myself for others.

Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice.  Henry Liddon

INSIGHT:

After appointing twelve men as His disciples (Matt. 10:1–4), Jesus gave them their first assignment to go and preach the good news that “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (v. 7). Jesus warned that people in the world would not want to hear about Him: “You will be hated by everyone because of me” (v. 22). We, too, may be ignored, opposed, rejected, persecuted, and even killed (vv. 16–22). It may cost us to share the gospel with others, and we may experience hostility even from our own family (vv. 35–36). To overcome these challenges, Jesus calls for a commitment to Him that is greater than any other (vv. 37–39).

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Leave of Absence

The deep-seated impression of a parent in the life of a child is a subject well traversed. From pop psychology to history to anthropology, the giant place parents occupy from birth to death is as plain as the life they initiated. Of course, the massive giant which occupies this place may well be the absence of that person, inasmuch as the person him or herself. “It doesn’t matter who my father was,” Anne Sexton once wrote, “it matters who I remember he was.”(1) The looming memory of an absent parent is every bit as big as a present one, maybe bigger. For me, it was something of a revelation: Absence itself can become something of a presence.

It is little wonder that the deepest struggle many of us have with faith is in the absence of God. We learn early that absence is a characteristic connected to despair, wrought from disconnectedness, or born of devastation. We do not see our experience of God’s absence as a subject for lament—like the psalmist’s “Rise up, O Lord; O God, lit up your hand; do not forget the oppressed”—but as a sign of doubt. And so, we often do not know how to reconcile the God who appears in burning bushes and dirty stables, who descends ladders and rends the heavens, but whose crushing silence feels every bit as profound. We don’t know what to do with the ruinous sensation of neglect when God comes so close to some but remains far off from others. We hold in mind the one who came near to the rejected Samaritan woman, but we uncomfortably suspect that we might have been given something else, or worse, that God has for some reason simply withdrawn. The sting of abandonment is overwhelming; with Gerard Manley Hopkins, our prayers seem “lost in desert ways/ Our hymn in the vast silence dies.”

Though it does not always come as a consolation, the Bible recounts similar difficulties and suspicions from some of God’s closest followers. “There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you,” says Isaiah, “for you have hidden your face from us” (Isaiah 64:7). “Why should you be like a stranger in the land,” demands Jeremiah, “like a traveler turning aside for the night?” (Jeremiah 14:8). There is something consoling in knowing that any relationship—even that of a prophet of God—goes through the ebbs and flows of intimacy with the divine. Even the Son of the God cried out at the sensation of God’s withdrawal: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Nonetheless, knowing that we are not alone in our pain is not the consolation we seek. Misery’s company does not, any more than reason or rationale itself, have much to say to the child who wants to know why her father left; this is not what she is looking for.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Leave of Absence

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – A Decreasing Frequency of Sin

“No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).

A decreasing pattern of sin in a believer’s life means his faith is genuine.

A sinful life pattern is incompatible with salvation. If you could continue in the same sinful pattern after being saved from sin, that would mean salvation is ineffective. Therefore, 1 John 3 deals with the saving work of Christ and reveals just how effective it is.

Verse 5 says Christ “appeared in order to take away sins.” If you say someone who has had the work of Christ applied to him is continuing in sin just as before, you are denying the purpose for which Christ came. He died to take away the pattern of sin as well as the penalty.

Therefore, if you are truly a believer you will relate to God in a totally new way, because the Christian “abides in Him” (v. 6). You are no longer a perpetual slave to sin, but you now have the option and ability to do good (see Rom. 6:14, 17-18). You will always be acutely sensitive to sin (Rom. 7; 1 John 1:8-9); yet, because of Christ’s abiding in you, your struggle will decrease over the years, and sin will be less and less a pattern in your life.

That brings us to 1 John 3:9, which is a reminder that believers have been born anew by the Holy Spirit. Your new nature or new disposition of life is the “seed” verse 9 speaks of. Just as the seed of a plant, when placed in the soil, produces a distinct kind of life, the divine seed produces a righteous life in you that ends sin’s dominance. And that seed will never die—1 Peter 1:23 says it is “imperishable.”

What does all this mean to you if you’re a genuine believer? It means you will see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life because you now have holy affections. It doesn’t mean sin will be eliminated, because your unredeemed flesh is still present. It means the more you practice righteousness—with its right motives, right desires, right words, and right actions—the less you sin, and the more you can be assured you’re a child of God.

Suggestions for Prayer

If there is a frequent sin you struggle with, ask God to help you defeat it.

For Further Study

Record at least five truths contained in Romans 6:1-11. How do they help give victory over sin?

 

http://www.gty.org

Wisdom Hunters – Pivoting: An Opportunity to Grow and Improve 

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen    2 Peter 3:18

Pivoting is a sudden shift in strategy to assure successful execution. Healthy organizations model the necessity of pivoting to maintain growth and a competitive advantage in their industry. This proactive approach to doing business led one healthcare vendor to help doctors replace their clip boards with tablets for a much more effective way to record, manage and retrieve patient data. Pivoting embraces new ways to leverage old concepts in a way that improves and enhances the process, service, product or end user experience. Faith is not afraid to pivot, but is afraid not to.

In a similar fashion, a growing faith is ever pivoting toward total trust in God. Peter reminds us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Faith is a formative process that is not static, but dynamic and fluid—as the Holy Spirit leads us experientially to discern God’s best and educationally to know and obey our Lord’s application of truth. Grace engages our heart with God’s heart and knowledge engages our mind with the mind of Christ. With the goal of God’s glory as the outcome—we pivot in prayer as we hear His heart.

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4).

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Pivoting: An Opportunity to Grow and Improve 

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – How to Be Secure

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.

Proverbs 1:33

Recommended Reading

Proverbs 1:20-33

Is there a better word than “insecurity” to describe how many people feel today? The economy, world events, the breakdown of cultural norms and traditions—none of those contribute to feelings of security. Is it possible to feel secure in the modern world? According to Solomon, yes.

The first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs are words of advice from a father to his immature son. The teachings, principles, and exhortations are designed to turn a naïve youth into a wise man (or woman). “Wisdom” is personified in Proverbs 1:20-33—she is given her own voice as she speaks to the simple and foolish young men of the day. She warns them against ignoring her wise words, saying she will ignore them in their day of trouble if they don’t heed her advice. But if they do listen and obey, they will “dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” In other words, it is possible to live in security regardless of what happens around us. Security comes from listening to, and obeying, what God says about walking in His ways.

There is no better way to live in peace and security than to live according to the precepts of God’s wisdom and teachings.

Salvation is a happy security and a secure happiness.

William Jenkyn

Read-Thru-the-Bible

Isaiah 1 – 3

 

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/

Joyce Meyer – Look to the Future for Your Reward

For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].—Hebrews 12:11

We should look to the future, determine what we want to see happen, and then discipline ourselves in order that we may have it. We must not buy into the lie that we should only live for the moment or that the present is all we have. We also have a future to consider, and we need to begin to live with an eye toward “afterward,” toward the “later on” times. We have to begin to care just as much or more about later on than we care about right now.

If you want to be thinner when the time comes to wear your swimsuit in June, you need to start eating healthily and exercising before summer arrives. If you want to be able to afford a new car next year, you need to work toward getting out of debt right now. If you dream of living in a nice, clean, orderly home, you have to clear out the clutter and clean it up!

Discipline may not be pleasant for your flesh while you’re doing it, but it will give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction in your soul—the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are making good choices. If you will pay the price to be disciplined now, you will enjoy rewards later. If you don’t pay the price now to do what is right, then you’ll suffer the consequences of an undisciplined life later.

You can pay now or you can pay later, but at some point, we all reap the harvest of the choices we’ve made. We can’t simply wish our lives were different; we have to press through laziness, fleshly desires, and bad attitudes and refuse to give up on the discipline that will yield good fruit later on. If there is something you want to see happen in your future, start disciplining yourself toward it now, and later on you will enjoy the fruit of it.

Trust in Him: God’s Word in Hebrews 12:11 says “no discipline brings joy…but afterwards….” If you discipline yourself now, you can trust that He’ll bring you great reward afterward.

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Girlfriends in God – A Time of Refreshing

Today’s Truth

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our Friday Friends. So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our Friday Friend, Lisa Morrone.

Friend to Friend

Sometimes in life you walk alongside someone who teaches you how to live more fully. Other times, if you are so blessed, you will find someone who teaches you how to grow old with grace. For me, this woman is 93 and her name is Helen.

Each week I look forward to visiting with this dear friend in the nursing home where she now lives. Many days when I arrive I find her sitting out in the courtyard soaking in the warm sunshine, or if the weather isn’t cooperating, I’ll find Helen in her room gazing out the window, past the flowering plants on her windowsill, into the world I know she still longs to be a part of.

I often show up for my visits toting a fresh bouquet of flowers in a mason jar tied with a checkered ribbon—which always puts a big smile on her face, and mine, too! Then Helen and I spend the next hour or so chatting about our lives while I give her a manicure, or we just sit together in the sun sharing a picnic lunch I’ve prepared. On occasion we’ve even been known to tackle a craft project together. Each time my visit with Helen comes to end, I leave her nursing home with a deep sense of satisfied joy. Now I’ve discovered the scientific “why” for this emotion that predictably washes over me—and it’s deeper than sentiment; in fact, it’s chemical!

I once attended a continuing education seminar on the subject of depression. During that course of study I was pleasantly surprised to learn that two extremely important brain-and mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, found to be at insufficient levels in people suffering with depression, are produced during particular types of social interactions.

The quoted research study showed that when one person demonstrates an act of kindness towards another, the bodies of both the helper and the one who is being helped were measured to have significantly increased levels of the two mood-elevating neurotransmitters, serotonin and endorphins. Even more surprising was that if a third person—an uninvolved bystander—witnessed this act of kindness, her levels of serotonin and endorphins were measured to have increased as well!

While this information was news to those researchers, the Lord, who created our brains and the chemicals that flow around inside of them, knew this to be true all along. He even had King Solomon give testimony to it in today’s verse: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Let’s Pray

Father in Heaven, you’ve knit us together as individuals to function best when we are knit together with one another. Draw us out of our own, oftentimes, inward-focused worlds and spur us on to love and GOOD DEEDS, that we may be refreshed as we refresh others.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Make room in your schedule for a time of refreshment this week by deciding on one tangible act of kindness that you can “administer” to someone—friend, foe, or stranger…and then follow through with it! The benefits of your good deed will positively impact you, the one you directly blessed— and anyone else who happens to be present!

 

http://girlfriendsingod.com/

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Lord Will Pay

“Remember, the Lord will pay you for each good thing you do, whether you are slave or free” (Ephesians 6:8).

When I proposed to Vonette I told her that I loved her dearly, and I wanted her to be my wife. I promised to do everything I could to make her happy and that she would always be the most important person in my life. But I further explained that my first allegiance was to the Lord, for I had already made that commitment to Him and could not and would not violate that promise to follow Him whatever the cost. She agreed, and we were married on those conditions.

My love for Vonette is far greater today because Jesus Christ is first in my life, and her love for me is far greater because He is first in her life. Our relationship is infinitely richer and more meaningful than it would have been had she been master of her life, and I the lord of my life, or if we had made each other first in our lives and the Lord Jesus Christ second.

The apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is affirming the promise of our Lord recorded in Matthew 6:32-33, “Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well what you need and He will give it to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to.”

In the context of this verse in Ephesians, Paul is dealing with family relationships – authority within the family. If we can grasp the concept of God as our paymaster, it will make a vast difference in the way we respond to the authority of men.

Christ knows everything you endure. He gives you your full portion of all that He owns. He is really the one for whom you are working. Wherever you are working, you may have assignments and responsibilities which you do not enjoy. But if Christ is truly the one for whom you work, then you will undertake His assignments cheerfully.

If we choose to be rebellious, we face the danger of a reward from our paymaster that might not be at all to our liking. Let us be about our Father’s business – willingly, joyfully, enthusiastically.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 6:1-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Though I may have a boss or leader who tells me what to do, and when to do it, I will always remember that my first allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ, and by putting Him first, even above my loved ones who surround me, I can serve others with greater joy, confidence and enthusiasm.

 

http://www.cru.org

Ray Stedman – Christianity is Dangerous

Read: Acts 19:21-20:1

After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. Acts 20:1

Paul is eager to explain to the Christians this whole uproarious riot that had just taken place in Ephesus. There is something about it he does not want them to miss, so he calls them together and exhorts them before he leaves. Luke does not tell us what that exhortation consisted of, but I believe that Paul does. There is a passage in his second letter to the Corinthians which refers to this very occasion. In 2 Corinthians 1:8 Paul says, For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself (2 Cor. 1:8 RSV).

Put yourself back with the apostle into the midst of this tremendous uproar. It had appeared for a while that the gospel had so triumphed in Ephesus that Paul could think of leaving and going on to other places. Then this riot suddenly occurred, seeming to threaten the entire cause of Christ, and putting the Christians in great danger. Paul is crushed and distressed. His life is in danger. This crowd is so wild, so uncontrollable that for a few hours it looks as though they might just sweep through the city and wipe out every Christian in Ephesus. Paul says, …we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death… (2 Cor. 1:8b-9a RSV) He could not see any way out. It looked as if he had reached the end of the road. But God had a purpose: …but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (2 Cor. 1:9b RSV)

That is the very heart of the Christian message, as Paul will go on to explain in this letter. Our sufficiency is not of ourselves, he says (2 Cor. 3:5). His explanation to these young converts in Ephesus was unquestionably along this line. He was saying to them, God has sent this event, has allowed it to happen to teach us that he is able to handle things when they get far beyond any human control. When our circumstances get way out of order, far beyond our own resources, God is able. He has taught us this so that we will not rely on ourselves but upon him who raises the dead, who works in us to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – Christianity is Dangerous

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Closing in Prayer

Read: 1 John 5:13-21

This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (v. 14)

While in seminary I remember hearing about a prominent theologian who wrote his comprehensive understanding of the Christian faith in a systematic theology. But readers noted that something was missing. He failed to include a chapter on prayer! When asked about that he simply replied that he had forgotten to do so.

Unfortunately, that is what sometimes happens to us. We may love Bible study, worship, fellowship, and service to others, but prayer often is neglected. We forget to pray, or maybe we say a short prayer, but it feels like a perfunctory kind of thing that we do because we are supposed to.

Nothing could be further from John’s view of prayer. For the apostle, prayer is vital to the life of the believer. It is something Christians do with confidence! John wants us to know that we can count on God for help. If there is a genuine need and we ask according to God’s will, God will indeed hear us.

It’s interesting that some of the translations of verse 14, both older and newer versions, use the word “boldness” rather than “confidence.” Indeed, because God is our loving, gracious Father who desires to help us, we should be bold and feel free to ask for his help. How grateful we should be!

Prayer:

Thank you, Father, for hearing our prayers. Help us to never forget to pray, and to pray with confidence. Amen.

Author: John Koedyker

 

https://woh.org/

Greg Laurie – Hide It in Your Heart

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.—Ephesians 6:17

What is the primary weapon we should use to resist temptation? Answer: the Word of God. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He responded again and again, “It is written . . .” He was showing us how to use God’s Word when attacks come.

Writing about the armor of God, the apostle Paul said, “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Among the things he listed in Ephesians 6, there is only one offensive weapon: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

God has given us His Word as the primary weapon to defend ourselves. There is power in His Word. Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” Interestingly, this is addressed to a young man. If you are young, how do you live a pure life? By listening to what the Word of God says.

A few verses later the psalmist says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (verse 11). This means memorizing the Bible.

You might be thinking, I can’t. I’m not good at memorizing things.

Just think about all the things you have memorized without even knowing it. You have song lyrics memorized. You remember trivia about sports figures. You have all kinds of things in the memory banks of your mind because they interest you and you fill your mind with them.

Open up some space for the Word of God. I have verses today floating around in my brain that I memorized at the age of seventeen, verses that have stayed with me all these years.

We need to know the Word of God.

 

https://www.harvest.org/

Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Strong in our Weakness

“And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Several years ago, Eunice went on a mission team to the island of Antigua. The missionary whom Eunice and her friends were helping had a radio ministry. One afternoon the missionary took the team out to a field where there were some parts of a radio tower lying on the ground. He asked them to help him lift the pieces of tower off the ground and slide cement blocks under them so that the parts would not rust on the damp ground.

For a while, Eunice and the other girls stood around and watched the guys grunting and sweating as they hefted the heavy tower parts up onto the blocks. Then someone had the idea that maybe the girls could help too, if four or five of them were to lift a tower piece together. Eunice and a few other girls found a tower piece and decided to give it a try. With all of them lifting together, they still couldn’t even budge it! The girls were willing, but they were just too weak. There was no way they could lift that heavy tower part without the help of someone stronger than they were.

Sometimes God allows circumstances in our lives to show us just how weak we really are. He may allow us to have an illness or a disability. He may give us a job to do that we do not have the skills, time, or strength to accomplish on our own. He may even allow us to struggle with a certain sin. He always allows these things for a purpose. He wants us to turn to Him and seek His help. And that is when we become strong – because His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Has God shown you your weakness in a certain area? Thank Him for humbling you. Seek His strength. He will not fail to give you the power that you need to be His obedient child.

God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

My Response:

» Am I seeking God’s strength to help me in my areas of weakness?

» Have I thanked Him for allowing me to be humbled?

 

http://kids4truth.com/home.aspx

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Why Sin Is Wrong

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 78:40

“How often they rebelled against him . . . and grieved him!”

The verb mortify, or put to death, is used eleven times in the New Testament. In nine of those instances it refers to a literal putting to death of a person; each of those is in the context of an underlying hostility toward what that person stood for. For example, in Matthew 10:21: “Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death” (NIV). The hostility is not only toward the parents but also toward their authority. Likewise Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was put to death because of his bold, uncompromising witness for Jesus Christ (Acts 7).

Now apply that sense of hostility toward the sin you wish to mortify. See your sin for what it is and what it stands for—a rebellion against God, a breaking of his law, a despising of his authority, a grieving of his heart. This is where mortification actually begins, with a right attitude toward sin. It begins with the realization that sin is wrong, not because of what it does to me or my spouse or child or neighbor, but because it is an act of rebellion against the infinitely holy and majestic God who sent his Son to be the propitiation for my sins.

Think of an unusually persistent sin in your life—perhaps some secret lust that lies in your heart that only you know about. You say you cannot overcome it. Why not? Is it because you exalt your secret desire above the will of God? If we are to succeed in putting sin to death, we must realize that the sin we are dealing with is none other than a continual exalting of our desire over God’s known will.

 

https://www.navigators.org/Home

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Supporting a New Leader

Today’s Scripture: 2 Chronicles 1-5

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

A change in leadership can be disastrous or, with balance and wisdom, it can be a growing experience for everyone involved.

In 2 Chronicles 1, Solomon assumes the throne after the death of David. Solomon was a man of peace; David was a man of war. Solomon engaged in building; David engaged in battle. David was concerned primarily with the ark of God; Solomon with the temple. David and Solomon were different in approach and style, but shared the same heart and purpose before the Lord.

Second Chronicles 1:8 records that Solomon prayed: “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place.” He was saying there would be a new emphasis now, but with a clear endorsement of what had gone before.

In 1956, Dawson Trotman drowned in a boating accident at Schroon Lake, New York. The Navigators was a young, growing organization, and suddenly we had a new leader in the person of Lorne Sanny. Now that could have thrown us, but for two things. First, we knew that Lorne was Dawson’s clear choice as a successor. Although they were different in temperament and style, their heart and vision were the same. Second, Lorne, in wisdom, brought about change slowly. While building on the past, he planted seeds of new ideas and methods, and let them mature in the minds of his coworkers.

When God calls a leader, he also is calling followers. Both have the responsibility to trust God for the strength, wisdom, and grace to fulfill their calling. When that happens, the Lord is honored and the work goes on.

Prayer

Lord, help me to be a good follower behind the leaders You’ve placed over me. Amen.

To Ponder

In what ways can you support the leaders God has placed in authority over you?

 

https://www.navigators.org/Home

BreakPoint –  Good News: Some in the Media Recognizing Anti-Christian Bias

When liberal journalists come out and confess their bias, it’s tempting to say, “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.” But don’t. This is good news.

Writing at the New York Times recently, columnist Nicholas Kristof took that hard first step. The title of his piece says it all: “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.”

“We progressives,” he writes, “believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table, so long as they aren’t conservatives.” (Or, one might reasonably add, evangelical Christians).

Kristof and fellow liberals profess a love for tolerance and diversity. But when it comes to the most important kind—diversity of thought—he admits that the gatekeepers in academia and the media actively stigmatize those who hold views different from their own.

“We’re fine with people who don’t look like us,” he writes, “as long as they think like us.”

Universities, once recognized as bastions of tolerance and diversity, bear perhaps the greatest blame. Kristof cites studies showing that just 6 to 11 percent of humanities professors are conservatives. Fewer than one in ten social-studies professors call themselves conservative. For perspective, consider that twice that number identify as Marxists!

And lest anyone blame this on conservative self-selection, a third of academics openly admit that they would be less likely to hire a qualified candidate who voted Republican. Black, evangelical sociologist George Yancey says he faces more discrimination on campus for his Christian beliefs than he does off-campus for the color of his skin. This aggressive bias turns classrooms into hard-left “echo-chambers” where only one side of any debate is ever heard.

Kristof took his concerns to Facebook, where he asked his mostly liberal followers why those who pride themselves on tolerance can be so intolerant. The replies he got were stunning.

“Much of the ‘conservative’ worldview consists of ideas that are known empirically to be false,” commented one fellow liberal.

Why stop with conservatives? asked another. “How about we make faculties more diverse by hiring idiots?”

Continue reading BreakPoint –  Good News: Some in the Media Recognizing Anti-Christian Bias

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – GOD’S FAITHFUL PROVIDENCE

Read GENESIS 24

Transitions can be difficult, whether it’s a move to a new home, life after the death of a loved one, or the transfer of the family business. Today’s Scripture presents a challenging transition for Abraham and Isaac.

In the previous chapter Abraham’s wife, Sarah, had died, and now the challenge was clear. Isaac needed a wife from his own people who would be willing to come to Canaan. Without a wife, the promise of descendants would fail. But if Isaac left Canaan to find a wife elsewhere, God’s promise of the land would be in jeopardy. Abraham understood the situation well, and commissioned his servant to travel back to Haran to find a wife for Isaac.

Details in the unfolding narrative highlight the faithfulness of those involved. Abraham held firm to the promise of both descendants and land. The servant demonstrated faithfulness to Abraham in carrying out his mission, and trust in God through prayer. The text also shows us the virtue of Rebekah through her service and hospitality to Abraham’s servant and her unhesitating obedience to God’s call upon her life.

But underlying the whole story is the faithfulness and providence of God. No amount of human ingenuity could orchestrate the outcome so perfectly. The servant ended up at just the right well, at just the right time. Rebekah appeared out of nowhere in answer to a prayer. Then we discover that she was actually related to the family of Abraham and Isaac! The providential experience of the servant was so remarkable that Scripture relays it twice in one chapter. The servant’s own words capture well the theological point of the chapter: “Praise be to the LORD . . . who has not abandoned His kindness and faithfulness to my master” (24:27).

APPLY THE WORD

What transitions do you or your church face? Is your focus on the coming problems or the faithful providence of the God who provides? In prayer today, hand over to God the fear and uncertainty of change. Ask for a stronger faith in God’s hand, using the words of Abraham’s servant: God does not withhold His love and faithfulness.

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Denison Forum – 11-YEAR-OLD BOY FROM TEXAS AMONG DEAD IN NICE      

Brodie Copeland was an eleven-year-old Little League baseball player in Austin, Texas. He recently starred in a local production of Peter Pan. His family was in Nice, France, where they joined the Bastille Day celebration. They were waiting for fireworks to begin when a large truck rammed into the crowd. Brodie and his father were killed.

At least eighty-four died in the attack, including ten children.

This was clearly a terrorist assault. Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups have promoted such tactics, which have been used in Israel and elsewhere. ISIS recently boasted that its operatives killed or wounded 5,200 people during the most recent Ramadan. Clearly, jihadist attacks are part of our present and our future.

These are such difficult days. Bombings in Baghdad, Dhaka, and Istanbul were followed by shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Dallas. And now this tragedy. In the face of such challenges, it is vital that God’s people gather to pray.

That’s just what Christians will do tomorrow in Washington, DC. “Together 2016” will meet at the National Mall from 9 AM to 9 PM and will feature more than forty Christian leaders. Pope Francis, Hillsong United, Tony Evans, Luis Palau, Josh McDowell, Francis Chan, Lecrae, and Kari Jobe are just some of those participating. More than a thousand churches nationwide have pledged to attend. There are 8,000 service opportunities within a 100-mile radius of Washington, DC during the week before and after the event.

Continue reading Denison Forum – 11-YEAR-OLD BOY FROM TEXAS AMONG DEAD IN NICE