Charles Stanley – Removing Worry From Our Life


Philippians 4:8-9

People fret over all kinds of issues, from safety and job security to election results. For many folks—and maybe you are one—anxiety is woven so tightly into the fabric of their day that they’ve learned to live with it.

We treat worry like a benign emotion when in fact it can be harmful. Anxiety clouds our thinking, divides our focus, and robs us of concentration. To complicate matters, the body can react to prolonged pressure on the psyche. Stress can manifest physically through tension headaches, elevated blood pressure, and even heart attacks.

Drifting through an exhausting life is not the Lord’s plan for us. Our challenge is to take anxious thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and replace them with God-pleasing ones by dwelling on that which is pure, good, and right.

The best way to remove stray threads of worry is to crowd them out with something positive. We do this by weaving Scripture into our mental grid instead. God has something to say about everything that concerns us. If we’re feeling weak or underqualified, Philippians 4:13 assures us we “can do all things through Him who strengthens [us].” If we fear the paycheck won’t cover this month’s expenses, Matthew 6:31-32 reminds us not to be anxious, “for [our] heavenly Father knows that [we] need all these things.”

Jesus said worry adds nothing to our life (Matt. 6:27). In fact, we actually waste time and energy dwelling on concerns instead of affirming our trust in the Lord. We must choose to set our minds upon Him before anxiety leaves us feeling frayed.

Bible in One Year: Acts 1-2

Our Daily Bread — Signs and Feelings

Read: Matthew 16:1–4

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 46–47; Hebrews 6

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.—Psalm 119:105

A young man I know has a habit of asking God for signs. That’s not necessarily bad, but his prayers tend to seek confirmation of his feelings. For instance, he’ll pray, “God, if You want me to do X, then You please do Y, and I’ll know it’s okay.”

This has created a dilemma. Because of the way he prays and the way he thinks God is answering, he feels that he should get back with his ex-girlfriend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she feels strongly that God doesn’t want that.

The religious leaders of Jesus’s day demanded a sign from Him to prove the validity of His claims (Matt. 16:1). They weren’t seeking God’s guidance; they were challenging His divine authority. Jesus replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign” (v. 4). The Lord’s strong response wasn’t a blanket statement to prevent anyone from seeking God’s guidance. Rather, Jesus was accusing them of ignoring the clear prophecies in Scripture that indicated He was the Messiah.

God wants us to seek His guidance in prayer (James 1:5). He also gives us the guidance of the Spirit (John 14:26) and His Word (Ps. 119:105). He provides us with mentors and wise leaders. And He’s given us the example of Jesus Himself.

It’s wise to ask God for clear direction, but He may not always give it in ways that we expect or want. Perhaps the larger point of prayer is that we learn more about God’s nature and develop a relationship with our Father. —Tim Gustafson

Lord, it is impossible for us to comprehend Your nature, and yet You welcome us to approach You in prayer. And so we seek Your guidance today and ask to know You in ways we haven’t seen before.

The best way to know God’s will is to say, “I will” to God.

INSIGHT: After the religious leaders’ ironic demand for a sign of Jesus’s identity (Matt. 16:1-4), Jesus takes His men north to Caesarea Philippi where He asks two questions. The first, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (v. 13) was a survey of the prevailing opinions held by the common people about His identity. The answers were complimentary, but all fell short of the truth. The second question, “Who do you say I am?” received Peter’s ringing response, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (vv. 15-16). With God’s help, Peter rightly assessed all the miraculous signs Jesus had done in their first eighteen months together and affirmed that Jesus was God in human flesh. Bill Crowder

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Embodied Truths

On October 30, 1938 a national radio program playing dance music was interrupted with a special news bulletin. The announcer heralded news of a massive meteor, which had crashed near Princeton, New Jersey. The reporter urged evacuation of the city as he anxiously described the unfolding scene: Strange creatures were emerging from the meteor armed with deadly rays and poisonous gases.

The infamous broadcast, which caused panic throughout the country and mayhem all over New York and New Jersey, was made by Orson Welles, a 23-year old actor giving a dramatic presentation of the H.G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. His compelling performance created traffic jams and tied up phone lines, interrupted religious services and altered bus routes. Several times in the program a statement was made regarding the broadcast’s fictional nature. Still, many Americans were convinced that Martians had really landed. One man insisted he had heard the President Roosevelt’s voice over the radio advising all citizens to leave their cities. Another, on the phone with a patrolman, cried in alarm, “I heard it on the radio. Then I went to the roof and I could see the smoke from the bombs, drifting over toward New York. What shall I do?”(1)

The War of the Worlds broadcast will perhaps forever remain one of the most telling examples of the power of context, and in more ways than one. Whether listeners tuned in after the introduction or happened to miss the declaimers, the convincing portrayal was enough to send waves of fear across the entire country. In the context of breaking news, fiction appeared alarmingly factual.

But also, I think it is fair to ask whether such a reaction could have even taken place outside of the context in which this “breaking news” was heard. In 1938, the global situation was such that an unfolding crisis, and subsequent radio interruption, was not altogether implausible. Furthermore, radio was at that time the primary source for news and information. Nowadays, if we heard troubling news on the radio, the first thing we would do is check it out further on the Internet or television. We are much too cynical to be taken in by such a tale today.

But herein lies an interesting attitude. When thinking about such an incredible example of hoax and gullibility, I suspect many of us have a similar outlook: We are much less vulnerable to fallacy masquerading itself as truth in today’s day and age. But could this not also be a false and dangerous assumption? The War of the Worlds broadcast might no longer fool us, but are we really so much closer to recognizing fact from fallacy?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Embodied Truths

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Knowing the Right Answers

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20).

Knowing Christ makes the believer wiser than the world.

Lawrence Toombs, in his 1955 article “O.T. Theology and the Wisdom Literature,” said, “Wisdom is to be found with God and nowhere else. And unless the quest for wisdom brings a man to his knees in awe and reverence, knowing his own helplessness to make himself wise, wisdom remains for him a closed book” (The Journal of Bible and Religion, 23:3 [July 1955], 195). It’s wonderful to have the book of God’s wisdom opened to us as believers.

Through God’s book of wisdom it’s easy for any believer to analyze the world. People who have no biblical background find it difficult to resolve controversial issues like capital punishment, abortion, or homosexuality. But the Bible has clear answers for those seemingly complex issues: If you take a life, you should die (Gen. 9:6); the life within the womb is a person made by God (Ps. 139:13); and homosexuality is not an alternate lifestyle but a damning sexual sin like adultery or fornication (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Rom. 1:26-27).

As a Bible-believing Christian you may not be considered “noble” or “mighty” by the world’s standards (1 Cor. 1:26) and may be seen as the refuse of the world (1 Cor. 4:13); but you have the answers to the important questions. Because of God’s sovereign, gracious work, you’ve been ushered into the wisdom of God through fear of the Lord. The apostle Paul said, “You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God” (1 Cor. 1:30). Once you fear God, His wisdom continually flows to you. Paul told the Colossians that in Christ dwells “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:3). Since Christ dwells in you, you possess the very wisdom of God!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Praise the Lord for the privilege of knowing Him and His will through His Word and His Spirit.
  • Pray that you might manifest the wisdom of the living God so that the world sees Christ in you.

For Further Study

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. How does the apostle Paul contrast God’s wisdom with the world’s?

Wisdom Hunters – Shameless Proclamation of the Gospel

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.  Revelation 14:6

Satan sometimes shames seekers when they begin to take God and His word seriously. The enemy plants seeds of doubt related to intellectual honesty and the fear of being labeled a religious fanatic. The devil wants Jesus believers to be apologetic and embarrassed to live for the Lord, not declaring His teachings as the gospel truth. But, there is no shame in standing up for Christ and His commands. Faith reveals His fame.

Instead, we are to be ashamed of sin and its deplorable outcome, while embracing wise living. Shame enslaves us in our self-focused behavior, but we are emancipated by our selfless service to others. Our Savior Jesus does not seek to motivate us out of disgrace; rather He infuses His grace into our inner being for bold initiatives. The good news of salvation in Christ gives us the confidence to love all people. God’s power is shameless.

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).

Your prayer is for Jesus to be unashamed of you. Offer Him your daily attitude and actions that He can anoint with His favor. Can your conduct pass the scrutiny of your Savior’s examination? Is there anything in your life that could bring reproach to His name? Holy reverence for God runs from any potential embarrassment to His name. Because you deeply respect your heavenly Father you honor Him with a life that brings Him glory.

His power rests on you when the gospel governs your worldview. The Lord’s power exerts itself with quiet influence over individuals and loud declarations over crowds. God entrusts you with the power of His ideas to do good for Him. Harness the Holy Spirit’s energy for eternal purposes. Look for ways to get the gospel to those who are sick, in prison, neglected in nursing homes, and hungry in housing projects. Seek to share the good news with every tribe, nation, language and people. There is no shame in representing your Savior Jesus, so be stunningly shameless.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).

Prayer: Lord, how can I be shameless in declaring and living out your good news?

Application: Who in my circle of influence needs for me to boldly share Jesus with them?

Related Readings: Genesis 2:25; Psalm 25:3; Isaiah 54:4; Romans 6:21; Philippians 1:20

Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Strength in Unity

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:3

Recommended Reading

Acts 1:12-26

Trouble threatens unity. It happens in families and in churches. When the first church in Jerusalem was under intense pressure, immediately after Christ’s ascension to heaven, they let the pressure drive them closer together instead of breaking them apart.

Their first task after Christ’s ascension was to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot. Peter led the group of 120 in an orderly process of nominating two candidates (Acts 1:15). They prayed that God would guide the casting of lots and Matthias was chosen. (Casting lots was the Old Testament means of finding God’s leading [Proverbs 16:33]. Lots are not mentioned again in the New Testament once the Holy Spirit came as the Church’s Guide and Helper.) What could have been a contentious process, with factions uniting around the two candidates, appears to have been simple, unified, submissive, and united.

From that example of unity has sprung two millennia of debate and division within the Church. In this day of criticism and antagonism against Christians, we need each other more than ever. Be a source of unity and mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21) wherever you worship.

In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.

Richard Baxter


John 18 – 19

Joyce Meyer – Off the Treadmill

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works. —Romans 4:5-6 NKJV

If we spend years on the performance/acceptance treadmill, it is hard to get off it. It becomes a way of living. It affects our thoughts, perceptions, and decisions. We can become so addicted to feeling good about ourselves only when we perform well that we willingly endure a life of misery. It is a cycle of trying and failing, trying harder and failing again, feeling guilty and rejected, trying again and failing again, and on and on.

God does not want us on the performance/acceptance treadmill. He wants us to feel good about ourselves whether we perform perfectly or not. He doesn’t want us to be filled with pride, but He certainly did not create us to reject ourselves. This is where a revelation concerning our “who” and our “do” is so valuable. We should be able to separate the two and take an honest look at both. If we perform poorly, we can be sorry and hope to do better the next time. We can try to improve our performance (our “do”), but our worth and value (our “who”) cannot be determined by our performance.

Lord, thank You for providing me with a way off the treadmill of trying to gain Your acceptance. By faith through grace, I stand in Your complete acceptance and righteousness. Amen.

From the book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer.

Girlfriends in God – Someone Else’s Story

Today’s Truth

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Proverbs 4:25–27

Friend to Friend

Girl, please believe me when I tell you that I really didn’t mean to do it. Even saying it out loud feels a combination of mortifying and wholly embarrassing. It was just one quick glance sideways that ended up monopolizing my entire flight with something fruitless.

From the moment I sat down in 18C, my eyelids felt heavy. I’m pretty sure I was asleep before the plane even lifted into the air. The lady beside me had seemed friendly enough; she smiled and obliged easily when she had to move so that I could access the window seat. She didn’t say anything, and I was so tired from a week of travel that I didn’t have much to offer by way of conversation right then either. I just needed a quick nap so that I could make it through the rest of the day.

I think I slept for maybe 30 minutes of the two and a half hour flight, and when I woke up, the woman beside me was holding two hearing aids in one hand and an iPad propped straight upwards in the other. It was silent on the plane and I could only hear the constant hum of the engines on either side.

I don’t know why it matters, but I am always a little curious about what the person next to me is reading. Usually with a hard copy of a book it’s easy to get an idea if it’s a John Grisham, Nicolas Sparks, or James Dobson type book. Covers and titles are helpful little tools to get a quick snapshot of another person. It’s a window into their interest and sometimes even to their soul. I like people, and the books we read often speak to pieces of the people that we are.

Continue reading Girlfriends in God – Someone Else’s Story

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Chosen to be Glorified

“And having chosen us, He called us to come to Him; and when we came, He declared us ‘not guilty,’ filled us with Christ’s goodness, gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His glory” (Romans 8:30).

A famous Christian leader insisted to me that anyone could lose his salvation. I asked him if he felt that he would ever lose his. Quickly, he replied, “Absolutely not. I am sure I will not lose my salvation.”

Can we lose our salvation? Personally, I believe there is too much controversy over this issue. Some fear that the individual who has assurance of salvation and knows that he will spend eternity with God might have a tendency to compromise his conduct, which would result in disobedience to God and would be an insult to Christ and His church. Others think that the individual who does not live like a Christian – although he professes faith in Christ – has never experienced the new birth, does not have eternal life and will be forever separated from God.

It is quite likely that the person who insists on “doing his own thing” – going his own way while professing to be a Christian – is deceived and should be encouraged to look into the mirror of God’s Word. For if his salvation is real, the evidence should proclaim it.

The caterpillar which goes through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly, lives like a butterfly, not a caterpillar. In the same way, the man or woman who has experienced new life in Christ will witness to it in his life.

Our beginning Scripture deals with seven marvelous truths:

  1. He chose us.
  2. He called us.
  3. We came.
  4. He declared us not guilty.
  5. He filled us with Christ’s goodness.
  6. He gave us a right standing with Himself.
  7. He promised us His glory.

For centuries, man has been mystified by predestination and eternal security. One famous theologian put it this way: “How would it be a source of consolation to say…that whom God foreknew, He predestinated, and whom he predestinated, He called, and whom He called, He justified, and whom He justified might fall away and be lost forever?”

We should praise and worship God because of His promises to all who receive Him that He will never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will meditate upon the truths in this marvelous Word from God. And as an expression of my gratitude for the privilege of living a supernatural life, I will praise and thank God constantly for His goodness and will encourage other believers to do the same

Ray Stedman – Offer Your Body

Read: Romans 12:1-3

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

That is what we sing in that great hymn, When I Survey The Wondrous Cross: It closes, Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

That is what Paul is urging us to do here. He says God is interested in you bringing your body and making it available to him. When he says to present your bodies, he uses what the Greeks call the aorist tense. That means it is something you do once for all; it is not something you do over and over again. You do it once, and then you set the rest of your life on that basis. So there comes a time when God wants you to bring your bodies to him.

It amazes me that God would ever want our bodies. Why does he want my body? I can hardly stand it myself, at times! But God says, Bring your body. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that Paul has been talking about the body all the way through this section of Romans. He tells us the body is the seat of what he calls the flesh, that antagonistic inclination within us that does not like what God likes and does not want to do what God wants. We all have it, and somehow it is located in or connected with the body. Our body is the source of temptation. It is what grows weak and wobbly. That God would want this is amazing! And yet he does.

Some of us, I know, feel like saying, Lord, surely you don’t want this body! Let me tell you something about it! It smells and snores. It has a bad heart, Lord. It has a dirty mind. You don’t want this body. I have trouble with this body. It is always tripping me up. My spirit is great, and I worship you with my soul — but the body, Lord, that’s what gets me down! But the Lord says, Bring your body. I know all about it. I know more about it than you do. I know all the things you tell me about it plus some things you haven’t learned yet. Let me tell you something. By means of the blood of Jesus, and by the work of the Holy Spirit, I have made it holy and pleasing to God.

That is the beautiful appeal of this verse. It is not telling us we have to get all cleaned up and get our lives straightened out in every way and become perfect before we can offer ourselves to God. Paul’s word is, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer yourselves as living sacrifices. Bring your bodies (that is what it says in the Greek word — your bodies, not yourselves) as a living sacrifice unto God. Bring it, with all its problems, with all the difficulty you have with it, with all the temptations and all — bring it just the way it is! I don’t know how that affects you, but that encourages me greatly. All the other religions that I know of in the world tell us that somehow we have to straighten out our lives first, and then offer them to God. God never talks that way. He says, You come to me just the way you are. I am the answer to your problems; therefore, you must start with me. You can’t handle those problems yourself. Don’t start with thinking you have to get them straightened out. Come to me, because I have the answers for your problems.

Thank you, Father, that you invite me to come to you just as I am, with my whole self, including my body.

Life Application

How essential is the surrender of our bodies to the whole and integrated person? How does the sacrifice of our bodies affect our spiritual worship? How does it fulfill God’s good, acceptable and perfect will?

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Eager to Preach

Read: Romans 1:1-15

I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. (v. 15)

Paul’s excitement for God’s mission crackles like lightning across the page, even after 19 ½ centuries. It is all the more impressive considering he wrote these words after some 20 years of hard missionary labor. All those miles travelled, the toil, dangers, physical suffering, personal attacks, conflicts, and controversies–could you have blamed Paul if he had said he’d had enough? But no. “I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome!”

Paul’s eagerness has several sources. His gospel ministry was part of his worship, his spiritual service to God (v. 9). He looked for pleasure and mutual benefit from fellowship with the Christians in Rome (vv. 11-12). His enthusiasm is also explained by his sense of obligation (v. 14). The Lord had transformed his life, turning him from an enemy of the gospel into a lover of Christ and his church. Paul felt a debt of gratitude, and he wanted to “pay it forward” so others could experience the gospel’s saving power (cf. vv. 16-17).

But there’s one more reason why Paul was eager to preach to the Christians in Rome. He looked for their help to aid him in his ultimate goal of reaching as far as Spain on his missionary journeys (cf. 15:23-24). The book of Romans isn’t just a theological treatise. It’s a missionary support letter, and any church that takes it seriously will commit to supporting missionaries like Paul.

—David Bast


Lord, make me eager to share your good news.


Greg Laurie – Little Messes

Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'” —Luke 19:45–46

My wife Cathe and I are polar opposites when it comes to cleaning. My approach could be summed up by the procrastinator’s motto: Never do today what you could put off until tomorrow. Cathe’s approach is to constantly clean and organize so that over time, little messes don’t become big ones. Obviously, her approach is the better one.

In Luke 19, we find the story of Jesus’ cleaning the house of God as He went into the temple and drove out the moneychangers. These temple merchants were taking advantage of people and keeping them from God, and this angered Jesus.

This is the second time in Scripture when Jesus cleansed the temple. In the gospel of John, we read that He used a whip to drive out the moneychangers. Little messes turned into big messes, so Jesus arrived to clean house again.

I believe there is a parallel to our own lives. When we come to Christ initially, we ask for His forgiveness and He pardons us of all our iniquities. In fact, we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” What a wonderful thing it is to realize that God has forgiven us of all our sin. But as a little time passes, sometimes some of those old sins can find their way back into our lives. And that so-called “little” sin begins to grow and becomes a problem.

Does your temple need cleansing? Are there some things in your life that shouldn’t be there right now? Are there some vices, some bad habits that have found their way back into your life? If so, deal with them now. Don’t let little messes turn into big ones.

Kids 4 Truth International – In Jesus Are Treasures

“[Christ,] in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)

Grace was looking for a special place to keep her treasures. She had laid them all on the floor of her room in a little pile. There was a pure white clam shell she had found at the beach. There were three quarters from the state of Georgia, where she lived. There was a little ceramic dog she had begged Mom to buy for her at a yard sale. There was a ticket stub from the zoo with a picture of a tiger on it. And there was a glittery, gold silk ribbon that had come on a birthday present last year.

Grace spotted an old shoebox at the back of her closet. She found some pretty flowered wrapping paper, and she carefully covered the box and the lid separately as if she were wrapping a present. She put all her treasures inside and wrote with a gold glitter pen on the lid, My Treasure Box. Then she hid the box in a dresser drawer beneath a pile of sweatshirts. No one would ever find it there!

Many people have a special place where they keep their treasures. But God’s Word tells us in Colossians 2:3 that we can find treasure in a Person. That Person is Jesus Christ. Hidden in Jesus are “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Have you ever wished that you knew exactly what to do in a certain situation? Maybe there has been some trouble with your friends at school and you’re not sure how to respond. Maybe you’re not sure how to tell your neighbor about Jesus. Or maybe you’re not sure what you ought to be when you grow up. There are many problems in our lives for which we need wisdom. When you really, really need wisdom, it is like a treasure to you. And Jesus Himself is the special place where all the treasures of wisdom are stored up. As you seek Him by reading His Word and praying, He will give you guidance for any decision or problem – great or small. To know Him is to find a treasure store of wisdom.

In Jesus we can find all the treasures of wisdom.

My Response:

» Do I try to figure out how to deal with problems on my own?

» Or do I go to Jesus for wisdom when I have a problem?

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Going Our Own Way

Today’s Scripture: 1 Peter 2:25

“You were straying like sheep.”

One of the most damning indictments of mankind is found in Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (NIV). Going our own way is the very essence, the very core, of sin. Your way may be to give money to charity; another person’s way may be to rob a bank. But neither is done with reference to God; both of you have gone your own way. And in a world governed by a sovereign Creator, that is rebellion.

When a particular territory rebels against a nation’s central government, the citizens of that territory may be generally decent individuals. But all their goodness is irrelevant to the central government, to whom there’s only one issue: the state of rebellion. Sometimes governments are so corrupt, we may applaud a rebellious territory. But God’s government is perfect and just. His moral law is “holy, righteous and good” (Romans 7:12, NIV). No one has a valid reason to rebel against his government. We rebel for only one reason: We were born rebellious, with a perverse inclination to go our own way, to set up our own internal government rather than submit to God.

It’s not that some become sinful because of an unfortunate childhood environment while others are blessed with a highly moral upbringing. Rather we’re all born sinners with a corrupt nature, a natural inclination to go our own way. As David wrote, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). David acknowledges he was sinful while still in his mother’s womb, even during the period of pregnancy when as yet he had performed no actions, either good or bad. (Excerpt taken from Transforming Grace)

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – Called-Out Ones

Today’s Scripture: Exodus 19:1-6

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. – Acts 2:42

Shortly after I became a Christian, I heard a famous preacher speak on “churchianity.” He said, “Don’t confuse churchianity with Christianity. They are not the same. Churchianity will not save you, because the church can’t save. Only Christ can save. And Christianity is Christ.”

Of course, I knew what he was saying. All the same, I grew a bit suspicious of the value of the church and the place of the church in daily life. After that night the church intrigued me, and I wanted to find its proper place in my Christian life.

If the church can’t save, what can it do? Is it just a place to go once a week and see our friends and enjoy fellowship with them? Oh sure, we learn more of the Bible each week through the Sunday school class and from the pulpit, but we could do that at home in personal Bible study.

In the Old Testament the people of God were called out from among the nations to be a holy people. In the New Testament you have the same idea. Christians are said to be “called-out ones.” God calls us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We no longer belong to ourselves; Christ has bought us to be His own special people, to live under His authority and enjoy His unmerited love. And we are more effective for Him when we are united.

The Bible teaches that the church is made up of every believer in Jesus Christ–anywhere in the world and throughout time. That means the congregations you and I meet with each week are members of God’s unique family. Although we may not look like it, Christ calls us His beloved bride. Friend, that’s identity!


Lord, thank You for the privilege of being a member of Your family. Amen.

To Ponder

God said, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” (Hebrews 10:25, KJV).

BreakPoint – The Day after Election Day: Prayer, Anyone?

Whoever you voted for yesterday, Chuck Colson has a few words of wisdom for you, words he spoke after the presidential election in 2008. Please listen closely:

Whether you’re recovering from your all-night celebration or drying the tears from your pillow, today’s a good day to remember the words of the apostle Paul: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Chuck went on to point out that the next president would face enormous challenges. First among them back in 2008 was what is now called the great recession.

Now dare I say that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump (and as I record this I don’t know who won the election) face even greater challenges? Ninety-four million Americans are not in the workforce—more than ever before. The nation is in the grip of a heroin and painkiller epidemic that’s destroying lives across the country. To say racial tensions are high is an understatement. Domestic terrorism and cyber attacks threaten us daily.

And there’s a real effort to push religious and moral conviction out of the public square, and enshrine in law a dehumanizing vision of sexuality and identity.

Overseas, ISIS fights on. Vladimir Putin and Communist China thumb their noses at the U. S. in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea. Iran continues to violate the ill-conceived nuclear deal and openly provokes and threatens our military forces in the Persian Gulf. Waves of Muslim refugees continue to swamp Europe.

And yes, the new president and the country need our prayers.

But how have we gotten to this point? Well, once again, here’s Chuck Colson:

I can only think of what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said about the catastrophic consequences of the Russian revolution. ‘I recall,’ he said, ‘hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’

Solzhenitsyn was right. Indeed, I can’t find any better explanation for why we Americans find ourselves in the state we’re in. We have forgotten God.

Continue reading BreakPoint – The Day after Election Day: Prayer, Anyone?

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – OUR HOPE IS IN GOD, NOT WEALTH

Read 1 TIMOTHY 6:17–19

A rich young man once asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” In the conversation that followed, it became obvious that the man valued his great wealth more than he valued God or eternal life. Jesus observed: “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! . . . It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:17–25).

Worry, anxiety, and contentment are closely related to our attitude toward money. It must not become an idol in our hearts. Our hope should be in God alone (v. 17). We are to value Him above all else! This is true whether we are rich or poor, yet being rich presents a particularly strong temptation.

Money is a means to power and comfort. Because it can seem to get us what we want, wealth tempts us to put our faith and hope in it. But that would be foolish, not least because money is temporal and uncertain. We should instead trust in God, who “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (v. 17; see Acts 14:17).

The rich can resist temptation by doing good deeds, especially ones involving generosity and sharing (v. 18). If money is seen as a resource to be used for the kingdom of heaven, such actions will follow naturally for those who love God. In fact, they’ve been prepared in advance by God (Eph. 2:10). Instead of laying up treasure on earth, they will lay up treasure in heaven and show that their hearts are truly set on the things of God (v. 19; Matt. 6:19–21). Then, instead of dying and leaving behind all they’ve acquired, they will be well prepared for heaven and ready and eager to enjoy eternal life with Christ.


Review your budget and spending: what are your priorities? How do you “lay up treasure in heaven” in the way that you use your finances? Review your attitudes toward money: where are your anxieties? Do you place too much trust in your income or savings and refuse to share? Do you constantly pine for more rather than practice contentment?

Denison Forum – Donald Trump shocks the world

“The most stunning political upset in American history.” That’s how ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos described Donald Trump’s victory in last night’s election. Mr. Trump shocked the world by winning the White House as Republicans maintained control of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Early this morning I watched history being made as the president-elect accepted his decisive victory with a speech that was gracious and positive. In coming days, we will explore the meaning of his election for our culture. For now, let’s remember that Christians are called to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–2) and to support them (Romans 13:1). Such intercession for our incoming leadership begins today.

Many Christians are asking what else we should do. To address this question, I’ve written an in-depth essay: Where do we go from here? The 2016 election and our future. The paper explores issues affected by Mr. Trump’s election, including religious liberty, the Supreme Court, and abortion. It also outlines biblical ways Christians can trust the sovereignty of God and act as salt and light in our nation. I hope you’ll download the paper here.

This is a day for renewed commitment to our Lord and our country. To that end, I’d like to share with you a declaration I hope you’ll make.

Dr. Claude Alexander is senior pastor of The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has been my privilege to work with him as part of the global Movement Day family. Yesterday he composed a statement that fifty-nine ministry leaders across the nation have affirmed, myself included. Among our group are the president and CEO of Christianity Today, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and leaders of some of America’s largest churches and ministries.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Donald Trump shocks the world