Charles Stanley – Your Perspective in Prayer

Psalms 95:6-8

Why is it that two believers can pray about an issue and come away with completely different responses and attitudes? This has to do with their perspective.

We each come to God with our own life experiences and expectations. If we want to hear His voice clearly, we must first address those things that affect how well we listen.

Our relationship with God. The Father speaks differently to the unsaved than He does to Christians. And while neither God nor the fundamentals of faith ever change, He does tailor His message to individual believers on the basis of their spiritual maturity and unique situations. So two people may hear dissimilar things because they are at different points on the journey.

Our understanding of who God is. How we view the Lord changes the way we hear Him. For example, if you see God as a loving Father, you will hear His encouraging voice and accept His loving discipline. But if you see Him as harsh and demanding, then you may feel as though you can never live up to His expectations.

Our attitude toward God. If we come to the Lord with a proud nature, we will naturally not be inclined to hear His voice. However, if we come with a submissive nature, we will hear—and joyfully receive—His Word.

God is still speaking in the world today. Stop and think about what there is in your own life that could get in the way of His message. What affects your ability or willingness to listen? Lay it out before the Lord today, and ask Him to break through the barriers.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 40-42

Our Daily Bread — What Matters Most

Read: 1 John 4:7-19

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 6-7; 2 Corinthians 2

He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.—1 John 4:9

As Jesus’s beloved disciple John grew older, his teaching became increasingly narrowed, focusing entirely on the love of God in his three letters. In the book Knowing the Truth of God’s Love, Peter Kreeft cites an old legend which says that one of John’s young disciples once came to him complaining, “Why don’t you talk about anything else?” John replied, “Because there isn’t anything else.”

God’s love is certainly at the heart of the mission and message of Jesus. In his earlier gospel account, John recorded the words, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The apostle Paul tells us that God’s love is at the core of how we live, and he reminds us that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).

God’s love is so strong, available, and stabilizing that we can confidently step into each day knowing that the good things are gifts from His hand and the challenges can be faced in His strength. For all of life, His love is what matters most. —Bill Crowder

Thank You, O Lord, that Your love is rich and pure, measureless and strong!

God’s love stands when all else has fallen.

INSIGHT: In 1 John we see what characterizes a life that exhibits God’s supernatural love. The Greek word for this kind of love is agape, a self-sacrificial giving of one’s self in time, money, or energy. At the root of this divine care is the idea of esteem. God values human beings because we reflect His image.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Come to Me

Grief is a strange thing in that its memory is more characterized by what the relationship was or was not than by what characterized the death.(1) You look forward and ache over what has now been lost for the future. You look backward and grieve what never truly was and can now never be.

The award-winning author Paulo Coelho is a beautiful writer, and his lines of pure poetry are disguised as novels. His book The Witch of Portobello, a mystical story with many unusual turns, remains on my shelf, no matter where I live. I often pull it off, brush my hand across the cover, and flip it open to a page I have nearly memorized.

The story begins in Beirut, Lebanon, a country that boasts of warm hospitality, platefuls of hummus and tabouli, the Mediterranean coast, and beautiful cedars. Coelho describes his heroine, Athena, as an unusual girl who possessed a sense of spirituality from the time of her youth. She married when she was nineteen and wanted to have a baby right away. Her husband left her when the baby was still young, and Athena had to raise him alone.

During one Sunday Mass, the priest watched as Athena walked toward him to receive Communion, and his heart was filled with dread. Athena stood in front of the priest, drew her eyes closed, and opened her mouth to receive. I picture her standing there in vulnerability, asking to receive Christ’s body, given for her. She was hungry for the grace that it offered.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Come to Me

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – We Need One Another

To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).

The Holy Spirit uses believers to minister to other believers.

Right in line with modern culture’s emphasis on personal independence, it’s often easy for one to say, “If I have the all-sufficient Holy Spirit living within me, that’s all I need to live my Christian life.” That is true, but because you are not completely sanctified, you do not always allow the Spirit to fully do His work. Therefore, God needs to use other believers to minister the Spirit’s correction, exhortation, or encouragement.

The Bible is very clear about this. The Epistle to the Hebrews says God wants followers who do not waver in their profession of faith. And a primary way Christians will fulfill that is by regularly meeting together and seriously stimulating one another to love and good works (Heb. 10:23-25).

We don’t have to look far for the proper setting in which to meet regularly and encourage one another. It’s any Bible-believing local church that is exercising its spiritual gifts. These special gifts are simply the loving channels through which the Holy Spirit ministers to those within the fellowship of believers. Today’s verse suggests that each of us has a gift, and this truth is explained a little more in verse 11: “One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” Here the apostle Paul reveals yet one more way in which the Holy Spirit sovereignly helps us and others to become more mature.

What’s remarkable about the Spirit’s working through us is that we become extensions of His voice. Perhaps you’ve thought of that comparison at times when you’ve shared the gospel with the lost. But the analogy fits equally well when you reach out and minister to someone within your church. The idea of being an extension of the Holy Spirit’s ministry ought to encourage you toward greater faithfulness in using your spiritual gifts to help other believers. Likewise, it should make you more sensitive to the Spirit’s correcting and edifying work in your life as others come alongside and minister to you (Col. 3:12-13).

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask the Lord to keep you always faithful to the commands of Hebrews 10:23-25.

For Further Study

Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.

What kind of example did the Macedonians set regarding aid to other believers?

How should that motivate us (v. 7)?

Wisdom Hunters – Judgment of Christ

Hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come.  Revelation 6:16-17

There are posers who profess to know God, but He will one day say to them, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). It is scary to think an individual can believe they are ok with the Lord when they are not. Maybe they heard the truth of the Cross, but they did not receive the truth by faith into their heart. There has never been an exchange of trust in themselves to a total dependence on Christ. Faithless fools may have good religious feelings, but they have not surrendered to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

John describes the coming judgment of Christ—no one is excluded: kings, princes, generals, the rich, and the mighty. Everyone must give an account of their life on earth. So, fearful of God’s wrath, they call to the mountains and rocks to fall and cover them from the coming peril. In the end as in the beginning, sin causes mankind to try to hide from the Lord—a frivolous and naive response—juxtaposed to owning and repenting of sin. Christ’s judgment exposes unsaved souls.

“This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous” (Matthew 13:49-50).

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Judgment of Christ

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – The Serpent’s Bites

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

Recommended Reading

Romans 8:31-39

Earlier this year, Molly DeLuca, 7, of Tampa, was playing outside her family’s home with their German Shepherd, Haus. Suddenly the dog reared up in alarm, ready to attack. A rattlesnake had slithered into the backyard, and Haus stood between the snake and Molly. The dog protected the child but was bitten three times and nearly died from the venom. As the story hit the airwaves, money poured in for Haus’ treatment. He’s expected to survive, though at this writing he’s still in considerable pain.

Life in this fallen world has painful moments for every living creature. But pain can be redemptive. It can help others. It can show others the love and grace of God. It can develop perseverance within us as we battle the old serpent, the devil, the source of suffering.

The problem of pain in life is alleviated when we don’t allow it to frustrate us or separate us from God’s love. Our Lord knows every wound, every attack, every tear; and His love is the antidote for the toxins of suffering. Don’t let your pain drive you from the Lord. Let it be redemptive.

We must learn to pray far more for spiritual victory than for protection from battle wounds.

Amy Carmichael


Ezekiel 47 – 48

Girlfriends in God – Going Around the Same Old Mountain

Today’s Truth

So do not be foolish with your lives. But learn what the Lord wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:17

Friend to Friend

There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience – and that is not learning from experience. Life is a journey, not a destination. It is through that journey that we are born, broken, changed and shaped.

Life is God’s chosen classroom in which He teaches His children how to love and live out His truth. One of the first and most vital truths we need to learn in our walk with God is obedience.

Truth does not change. We must change in response to the truth. A learned truth is an applied truth, and when we apply truth, we are practicing obedience. When we don’t learn from our wrong choices, we are doomed to make the same mistakes again, falling back into disobedience. It is like going around the same old mountain again and again.

My husband Dan served as Youth Pastor for many years in South Florida. Each summer we took the youth on a mission trip to the mountains of North Carolina where they conducted youth rallies in parks, taught back yard Bible Clubs, and held worship services in local churches. Everyone worked hard, but each afternoon was free time.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Going Around the Same Old Mountain

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Covered With His Love

“Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own, through what Christ would do for us; He decided then to make us holy in His eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before Him covered with His love” (Ephesians 1:4).

On every continent and in scores of countries, I have asked thousands of people, including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, communists and atheists: “Who is the greatest person who ever lived? Who has done more good for mankind than anyone else?”

Among knowledgeable people, the answer is always the same, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Born nearly 2,000 years ago, His coming had been foretold for centuries by the great prophets of Israel. The Old Testament, written by many individuals over a period of 1,500 years, contains more than 300 references concerning the promised Messiah. All of these prophecies have been fulfilled in the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. They could not have referred to anyone else.

That in itself is conclusive evidence of God’s personal and supernatural intervention in history. Jesus’ coming into this world was no accident, and we who trust Him are covered by His love.

What a beautiful picture – covered with His love!

“All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as has that one solitary life,” declared an anonymous observer in reflecting upon the life of Jesus Christ.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:5-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Throughout this day I will picture myself embraced by the arms of the Almighty, His love covering and comforting me. I will share His love and faithfulness with others.

Ray Stedman – No Boasting

Read: Romans 3:27-31

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Romans 3:27-30

Paul raises and answers three simple questions to show us the natural results of this tremendous acceptance that God gives us in Jesus Christ. First, Who can boast? No one, absolutely no one. How can you boast when everyone receives the gift of grace without any merit on his part? This means that any ground for self-righteousness is done away with, and this is why the ugliest sin among Christians is self-righteousness. When we begin to look down on people who are involved in homosexuality, or greed, or gambling, or whatever — when we begin to think that we are better than they are — then we have denied what God has done for us. All boasting must be excluded. There are no grounds for anybody to say, Well, at least I’ve never done that. The only ground of acceptance is the gift of grace.

Next is Paul’s second question: Is anyone excluded from grace, Jew or Gentile? The answer is NO!, God has no most-favored-nation; they are all alike before him. Paul argues, Is God the God of Jews only? Then there must be two Gods — one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. But that cannot be; there is only one God; God is one. Therefore he is equally the God of the Gentiles and the God of the Jews, because both must come on exactly the same ground. This is the wonderful thing about the gospel. All mankind is leveled; no one can stand on any other basis than the work of Jesus Christ.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – No Boasting

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Christian Plummet

Read: Ephesians 3:14-21

The breadth and length and height and depth. (v. 18)

The next metaphor for prayer is “The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth.” Not all that long ago, a plummet—a tool consisting of a string with a lead weight attached to one end of it, otherwise known as a plumb line—had two regular uses. It was what the sailor used to take soundings—to judge the depth of water under his boat—and what the builder used when he needed to test the verticality of the wall he was building. It’s the sailor that Herbert here has in mind, except that his plummet “falls” in every direction, not just down into the depths of earth and sea, but up into what C. S. Lewis called “Deep Heaven,” and out—north, south, east, and west—through the length and breadth of the world around us.

Whichever way you look and however far you can see, there is nothing that you cannot turn into matter for prayer. Intercessory prayer where we see need, prayers of thanksgiving where God is plainly at work, praise prayers where something admirable comes to our notice, prayers of adoration when we are caught up with the wonder of who and what he is.

The more that praying Christians find their imagination stretched in all these directions, says Paul, the more they will find their hearts and minds, as well as the situations for which they pray, “filled with all the fullness of God” (v. 19).

Continue reading Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Christian Plummet

Greg Laurie – Cries in the Storm

The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble.”—Psalm 91:14–15

An old sea captain who was quite vocal about his atheism was washed overboard one night during a storm. His men heard him crying out to God for help. After his rescue, someone said, “I thought you didn’t believe in God.”

He replied, “Well, if there isn’t a God, there ought to be for times like this.”

Some people have to hit rock bottom before they will cry out to God. C. S. Lewis wrote, “The atheist too has his moments of shuddering misgiving, of an all but irresistible suspicion that old tales may after all be true.” Sometimes the hardships of life are the very things that bring us to God.

I remember a letter from someone who made a commitment to Christ at a Harvest Crusade. Her husband had a stroke, and she also was having problems with her mother. This woman became upset with God as all these things hit at once. Then her eight-year-old daughter heard about the Harvest Crusade and wanted to go. She wrote, “When the invitation was given, my daughter wanted to go forward, so I went with her. But little did I know that God was sending me down, too.” She went on to say, “After a few minutes, I fell on my knees, and I felt His love. I knew that He loves me and has forgiven me. You have saved my life, not only my soul.” That is a beautiful letter from someone who had hit rock bottom.

In Psalm 91 God says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble” (verses 14–15).

In the midst of our storms, we need to cry out to Jesus.

Kids 4 Truth International – God’s Way Is Perfect

“For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:29-32)

“Nobody’s perfect.”

Have you ever heard that phrase? Usually, it is what people say after someone makes a very small mistake. It is true. No human being can be perfect. We are human. We have limits. We get sleepy. We miss things. We lose things. We sin against one another. We sin against God. Whether imperfections are “small” or very, very large, humans will always have imperfections.

“He’s such a perfectionist.”

Have you ever heard that phrase? Many people try to never make mistakes. They try to be good all the time. They do good deeds. They do regular things with their best skill and the highest quality. A perfectionist might wash the same dish three times, and dry it with a clean towel until that dish just sparkles. And a perfectionist gets very upset with himself and with other people when things turn out less than perfect, after all. Have you ever known someone like that? Are you like that?

“As for God, his way is perfect…. It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God’s Way Is Perfect

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Do Not Let Sin Reign

Today’s Scripture: Romans 8:13

“If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

We have died not only to sin’s guilt but also to its reigning power in our lives. Although sin as an active principle is still with us, it can no longer reign supreme in our lives. We’re united to Christ, and his Spirit has come to reside in us. We’ve been delivered from Satan’s power and given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26; Acts 26:18). However, as believers we experience a tension that’s like a tug-of-war. Paul described it in Galatians 5:17: “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the spirit, and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

We must acknowledge this tension if we’re to make progress in the Christian life. Indwelling sin is like a disease that we can’t begin to deal with until we acknowledge its presence. But in the case of sin, we must also count on the fact that, though it still resides in us, it no longer has dominion over us. As Paul said, “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

Because we have the assurance that sin shall not be our master, we are not to let it reign in our mortal bodies so that we obey its evil desires (Romans 6:12). Rather we are, by the enabling power of the Spirit, to put to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13) and to abstain from sinful desires, which war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11). We’re called to an active, vigorous warfare against the principle of sin that remains in us.

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Warning Signs

Today’s Scripture: 2 Timothy 3

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. – 1 Corinthians 7:23

If you heed a warning sign, you can usually save yourself a lot of trouble. For instance, when the little red light flickers on the dashboard of your car, indicating that the engine is low on oil, you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you add some oil.

What are the danger signs that tell you you’re not living a holy life and that you’re slipping off the straight and narrow path onto the broad road that leads to destruction?

One of these danger signs is set forth by the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3, where he speaks of people who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Now let me state right up front that God does not frown on His people enjoying a little pleasure. Of course not. But here are people who love pleasure more than they love God. You’ve probably seen them. They’re more interested in talking about sports or some motion picture they’ve seen recently than they are about spiritual things. They may even show signs of boredom when the Word is taught.

The apostle Paul, in that same chapter, gives another sign of moving away from a life of holiness. He speaks of people who are “lovers of self.” The burning issue of their lives becomes what is best for them rather than what is best for the work of Christ and His Great Commission. Paul described them as people whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame.

Do you recognize any of these warning signs in your own life? If so, you can save yourself some trouble if you face up to it, repent, and get back on track.


Lord, when my thoughts and attitudes would lead me off the track of holy living, lead me back to Your Word and renew my mind. Amen.

To Ponder

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

BreakPoint – California Proposes Bill to Protect Planned Parenthood

Those who saw the videos recorded by the Center for Medical Progress that exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby-parts-for-cash racket will never forget them. Not knowing they were being filmed, Planned Parenthood officials matter-of-factly discussed making profit from the salvaged organs and tissue of aborted babies.

Though Planned Parenthood escaped any meaningful sanction for what the videos revealed, the efforts of the Center for Medical Progress left a mark. So in response, Planned Parenthood and its sympathizers have harassed and have tried to even punish those responsible for its embarrassment.

The latest example is Assembly Bill 1671, currently under consideration in the California legislature. This bill would, if it becomes law, “make it a crime for a person who unlawfully eavesdrops upon or records a confidential communication. . . with a health care provider . . . to intentionally disclose or distribute the contents of the confidential communication without the consent of all parties. . .  unless specified conditions are met.”

The key words here are “unlawfully,” “health care provider,” and “disclose or distribute.” It is already unlawful in California to eavesdrop on or record a confidential communication without the other parties’ consent. Thus, if the Center for Medical Progress videos had been made in California, they could have been charged with a crime.

Continue reading BreakPoint – California Proposes Bill to Protect Planned Parenthood

Moody Global Ministries – HONORING MORDECAI

Read ESTHER 2:19–23

There have been more than twenty attempts to assassinate sitting and former United States presidents. Four presidents have been killed in office: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. In today’s passage, King Xerxes is the target of an assassination plot, and the hero of the story is Mordecai.

Esther and Mordecai continued to have a close relationship even after she became queen. She obeyed his instructions to keep her nationality and family background a secret; knowing what his own family had suffered in the past, Mordecai had good reason to be concerned for Esther. He knew that she could easily become a target of jealous rivals in the court, and the popularity she now enjoyed could quickly turn into persecution.

Esther respected Mordecai. Even though she was married to a king, she honored him as a father and turned to him for advice. As a Jewish girl, Esther was no doubt familiar with the commandment in Exodus 20:12. The Hebrew word

for honor suggests a significant, lifelong responsibility. It means to give high regard, respect, and esteem to someone. Certainly Esther gave that honor and respect to Mordecai and valued his wisdom and perspective.

As he sat at the gates of the palace, Mordecai made a surprising discovery (v. 21). He overheard a discussion between two of the king’s officers who were plotting to execute the king. Mordecai confided in Esther, who immediately warned the king. And she went further: she made sure to give the credit to Mordecai, so that his wisdom would be captured in the official record. Her decision to honor Mordecai in this way meant that he was noted for posterity as a hero—the man who saved the king.


We should pay honor to the men and women who have shaped our lives, whether they are our biological parents, teachers, pastors, neighbors, or friends. Take a moment to thank God for those who have played a part in your life. Share their story with your children and grandchildren as a way to honor them and preserve a record of their lives in the next generations.


Remember the three firefighters who raised the American flag over the rubble of Ground Zero on September 11, 2001? The flag had been taken from a yacht moored in lower Manhattan. Shortly after its iconic photograph was taken, however, it disappeared.

Somehow it made its way to Washington State. In 2014, a man gave it to a local fire station; police determined its authenticity and returned it to its original owners. They later donated it to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, where it was unveiled yesterday.

The flag symbolizes the resolve of the American people in responding to the worst terrorist attack in our history. This Sunday will mark fifteen years since 2,996 people were killed and more than 6,000 were injured. Like me, you will never forget where you were on that horrific day. You may have wondered across the years what you can do to honor those who died and to prevent future attacks on our nation.

Let’s consider the second question first. Since 9/11, we have seen the rise of ISIS and multiple other radical Islamist groups across the world. They threaten our lives and our way of life. We must respond with our best military, economic, political, and cultural resources.

At the same time, this is ultimately a spiritual conflict with enemies who are motivated by an apocalyptic spiritual vision. That’s why it is imperative that God’s people pray for God’s Spirit to reveal God’s Son to Muslims the world over. In response to such visions and dreams, more Muslims than ever before are coming to faith in Jesus. We must increase our intercession as we fight this battle on our knees.

Now to the first question: How can we honor those who serve and those who have died? A dear friend of mine has made me aware of one specific answer to this vital question: the 9/11 Heroes Run.

This is a national race series that will be held in more than fifty locations across the US and abroad. Its purpose is to honor and remember the heroes of 9/11, those who fought in the wars since, and local heroes in each community where a race will be held: police, fire, military, veterans, and their families.

The 9/11 Heroes Run was inspired by Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who lost his life in service to our country in 2007 as he selflessly protected his battalion in Iraq. Before his final deployment, Travis visited Rescue One in New York City—the station which lost nearly all its firefighters on 9/11—and developed a deeper passion for his service in Iraq.

His brother, Ryan, is president of the Travis Manion Foundation and explains: “Knowing that so many people gave their lives during the 9/11 attacks touched my brother Travis in a way that would forever change him.” The 9/11 Heroes Run is a tribute to Travis’s personal commitment to the heroes of that day.

Across its history, the 9/11 Heroes Run has raised over $3 million to facilitate programs for more than 60,000 veterans and family members of the fallen. It has invested more than $500,000 in local race communities to support police, fire, military, veterans, and their families. To donate or find other ways to support this effort, visit

This weekend, let’s make time to pray. Let’s find a way to honor those who died and those who serve our nation and people. And let’s find practical ways to honor God’s call: “Through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). As the song says, “They will know that we are Christians by our love.”