Charles Stanley – Meditation: A Key to Hearing God


Psalm 19:7-14

Meditation means different things to different people. For some, it is a time of introspection and self-empowerment. To Christians, however, meditation has an altogether different meaning. And despite the various ways the word is used, it is something we believers must take seriously in our walk of faith.

Simply put, meditation is the practice of thinking about God in all of His fullness, and asking questions such as:

  • Who is God?
    • How does He work in my life?
    • What does Scripture say about Him?
    • How has He shown faithfulness to me?
    • How has He made Himself known?

When we meditate on the Word of God, His Spirit directs our thinking as we seek earnestly to know Him better. Often, the discipline will include wrestling with spiritual principles, which the Lord uses to build a firm foundation in our life. It may even involve a time of repentance, as He reveals truth and moves us to yearn for a Christ-centered mindset. Or, meditation could lead to healing if God shows us areas of our heart that need His touch. When we take time to set our mind on Him, the Lord will direct our thoughts.

This week, reserve a half-hour to sit quietly or take a walk. Dedicate that time to focusing your attention on God and letting Him speak to you. You will find this pause in your routine rewarding and exciting as you give yourself over to His presence.

Bible in One Year: Acts 10-11









Our Daily Bread — Pay Close Attention

Read: Nehemiah 8:2–6; Acts 8:4–8

Bible in a Year: Lamentations 1–2; Hebrews 10:1–18

All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. —Nehemiah 8:3

As I sat in the auditorium, I faced the pastor with my eyes fixed on him. My posture suggested I was absorbing everything he was saying. Suddenly I heard everybody laughing and clapping. Surprised, I looked about. The preacher had apparently said something humorous, but I had no clue what it might have been. From all appearances I had been listening carefully, but in reality my mind was far away.

It’s possible to hear what is being said but not listen, to watch but not see, to be present and yet absent. In such a condition, we may miss important messages meant for us.

As Ezra read God’s instructions to the people of Judah, “All the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law” (Neh. 8:3). Their attention to the explanation produced understanding (v. 8), which resulted in their repentance and revival. In another situation in Samaria, Philip, after persecution of the believers broke out in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1), reached out to the Samaritan people. The crowd not only observed the miraculous signs he did, but they also “paid close attention to what he said” (v. 6). “So there was great joy in that city” (v. 8).

The mind can be like a wandering adventurer that misses a lot of excitement close by. Nothing deserves more attention than words that help us discover the joy and wonder of our Father in heaven. —Lawrence Darmani

Lord, our minds are so prone to distraction. Help us to be present in the moment, especially when listening to those who instruct us in Your ways.

The receiving of the Word consists in two parts: attention of the mind and intention of the will. William Ames

INSIGHT: On one occasion, many of Jesus’s followers rejected His teaching because they found it “hard” and “no longer followed him” (John 6:60, 66). Jesus then challenged the Twelve and asked if they too would reject His teaching. Responding, Peter affirmed they still would follow, for “You have the words of eternal life” (v. 68). Sim Kay Tee

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – The Results of False Wisdom

“Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:16).

False wisdom ruins lives.

Renowned eighteenth-century theologian Jonathan Edwards said the following about the effect of the Fall on man:

Sin, like some powerful astringent, contracted his soul to the very small dimensions of selfishness; and God was forsaken, and fellow-creatures forsaken, and man retired within himself, and became totally governed by narrow and selfish principles and feelings. Self-love became absolute master of his soul, and the more noble and spiritual principles of his being took wings and flew away.

Edwards’s analysis certainly agrees with what James is saying: man is self-centered (cf. James 3:14, 16). Where self-centeredness exists, there will be negative results. One such result is “disorder” (v. 16). The term refers to disorder that comes out of instability and chaos. Earthly wisdom will never produce harmony or love because it’s proud and self-indulgent. It destroys intimacy, love, unity, and fellowship, and in its place brings discord and chaos. You can see the result of earthly wisdom all over our world today. Anger, bitterness, lawsuits, and divorces are just part of the legacy.

“Every evil thing” also results from earthly wisdom (v. 16). The phrase speaks of something worthless or vile. Greek scholar R.C. Trench said it contemplates evil, “not so much that either of active or passive malignity, but rather of its good-for-nothingness, the impossibility of any true gain ever coming forth from it.” The Greek word translated “thing” implies that false wisdom produces nothing of any practical value. At its best it produces worthless things; at its worst it produces vile things.

Which kind of life do you prefer? One that is characterized by love and unity, or by instability and chaos? A life with fulfillment and meaning, or with emptiness? If you want a life that satisfies and has eternal value, choose divine wisdom!

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for giving you His Word so you can know how to live wisely and avoid the negative results of man’s wisdom.

For Further Study

Following human wisdom leads only to evil. Memorize Proverbs 4:27 to help you stay on the path of true wisdom.

Wisdom Hunters – Leadership Maturity Takes Time 

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.   1 Timothy 3:6

Leadership in the world does not automatically guarantee leadership in the church or ministry. In fact, if you are a new believer, you need not sign up for highly visible leadership in a spiritual environment. Your character more than likely needs sanitizing from the stains of sin. You do not want to bring into a leadership role any baggage that may burden you. Take your time and get to know the current leadership. Serve them and allow them to get to know you. It is tempting to jump right in soon after becoming a Christian. After all, you are so grateful and energized to do good works. Your business experience seems fitting for service on the board of a church or ministry, but this may the worst thing for you. There is the very real chance that your premature elevation to spiritual leadership will lead to pride and conceit. Why put yourself in a position to fail?

Be patient, and let leadership opportunities come to you. Serve in the nursery and love on little babies and children. Park cars, write a check, volunteer in the kitchen, greet people, or help stuff envelopes. The point is to crawl before you walk. Develop a reservoir of humility that can douse any flames of conceit. A new believer is not fit for significant leadership in the Christian community. It is neither fair to the person, nor to the people he is attempting to lead. Leadership in the church and ministry requires much more than passion and availability. It requires a seasoned walk with Christ that leads with grace, truth, and wise judgment that only comes through experience and maturation in the application of knowledge.

So there is a warning to those who are responsible for recruiting and placing leaders in roles of responsibility. Do not do a disservice to someone by assigning responsibilities to them when they are not ready. There is always room for growth and learning, but in situations requiring mature faith and character, be very prayerful and patient. It is better to have an empty leadership position than to have the wrong person filling a slot. Pray for God-called leaders to lead. Pray for leaders who understand the grace of God and the judgment of God. Pray for leaders who lead by example. Pray for leaders who lead by serving. Pray for leaders who point people to Jesus, not to themselves. Pray for leaders who will not superimpose slick sales techniques, but instead challenge people to look to the Holy Spirit for their direction and confirmation.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Leadership Maturity Takes Time 

Joyce Meyer – Don’t Lose Focus

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.—2 Corinthians 10:4

Sometimes we lose our focus. We can be walking in love all day, going along fine, until someone comes along and offends us. As soon as we forget our focus of love, we stop making progress and come to a standstill—aggravated, upset, and offended.

Understand that the mind is a battlefield. If you don’t stop Satan when he gets into your thoughts, you are not going to stop him from getting into your life. Stay focused. Ask God to help you remain full of love, no matter what comes your way today.

From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Wonderful Friendship

“God will surely do this for you, for He always does just what He says, and He is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with His Son, even Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

You and I do not always prove faithful, but the apostle Paul wants us to know, by way of his letter to the believers in Corinth, that our God will surely do what He has promised; in this case, make us “blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 8).

The apostle wants the Corinthians to know that they can depend upon the faithfulness of God, who had begun a good work among them, and certainly would see them through to the end. He did the inviting; He would do the keeping.

Christians are able to participate with Christ in several ways. First in His trials and sufferings, for we are subjected to temptations and trials similar to His: “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 4:13, KJV).

Second, in His feelings and views (Romans 8:9).

Third, in His heirship to the inheritance and glory which awaits Him: “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17, KJV).

Fourth, in His triumph in the resurrection and future glory: “Ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28, KJV).

Are you not glad for that kind of friendship?

Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: When I look for a faithful friend, my first thought will be of Christ Himself, who truly qualifies as my very best friend

Ray Stedman – God and Government

Read: Romans 13:1-5

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Romans 13:1

When Paul refers to governing authorities, he uses a phrase that can best be translated the powers that be. He is not just talking about heads of state; he is talking about all levels of authority, all the way down to the local police. He tells us that the thing we must think about these governmental offices is that they are, in some way, brought into being by God himself.

I often hear people ask, Which form of government is the best? Which is the one God wants us to have? We Americans would love to think that democracy obviously is the most God-honored form of government. But I don’t think you can establish that from the Scriptures. In fact, the Scriptures reflect various forms of government. So when you ask, Which government is the best kind? Is it a monarchy? An oligarchy? Is it a republic? A democracy? The answer of Scripture is not necessarily any of these. It is whatever God has brought into being. That is best for that particular place and time in history. God has brought it into being, considering the makeup of the people, the degree of truth and light which is disseminated among them, and the moral conditions that are prevailing. For that condition, for that time and place, God has brought into being a particular government.

Now, that government can change. God doesn’t ordain any one form of government to be continued forever. If the people grow toward understanding of truth, and morality prevails in a community, the form of government may well take on a democratic pattern. Where truth disappears, government seems to become more autocratic. But, in any case, the point the apostle makes is that whatever form of government you find, God is behind it. Don’t ever think of any state or any government as something that in itself is opposed to God, because it isn’t.

Continue reading Ray Stedman – God and Government

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Marks of Jesus

Read: Philippians 3:1-11

I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. (Gal. 6:17)

A colleague in the Middle East sent me a picture of a young man who had been doing listener follow-up and evangelism. He had been arrested and interrogated by the secret police. The picture, taken several weeks after his release, showed his back crisscrossed with stripes from the beatings. As I looked at it I thought of Paul’s phrase, “the marks of Jesus.”

“From now on let no one cause me trouble,” he wrote the Galatians, “for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (6:17). That is to say, “I’ve paid the price for faithfulness in mission.”

One of the things I find difficult to fathom is the hostility and rage expressed toward believers simply for witnessing to Christ, or even just for publicly following him. But Jesus told us to expect it. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before . . . If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18, 20).

In our supposedly open and tolerant culture today the threat of being “marked” for your allegiance to Christ is intimidating. The fact that we might have to pay a price if we are open about our faith tempts us to stay private with it, which is exactly what the Adversary would like us to do. My friend in the picture later told me it was actually quite easy to be a Christian believer in his country.

“All you have to do is keep your mouth shut,” he said.

—David Bast


Help me not to keep my mouth shut.


Kids 4 Truth International – Who Really Counts?

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

God cares about big things. After all, He made the universe and the sun and the planets! He cares about the important things; not little things like haircuts and ballgames and birthday parties. Right?

But wait – the Bible says God sees little birds falling to the ground. How many birds do you think have been hatched since time began? God had His eye on every single one of them. Not just the eagles and the owls and the pelicans, but the sparrows – plain little birds of no great importance.

If you have a close friend, you might think you know your friend pretty well. Maybe you know what he wants for Christmas, or his favorite food. But no matter how well you know your friend, you know more about yourself. So, how many hairs do you have? You don’t know, do you? Besides, it changes from day to day! You wash your hair, brush it, fix it – and maybe you even twist it or pull it when you’re thinking hard about something. It really is impossible for you to know the exact number of hairs you have on your own head.

God knows. If He wanted to, He could tell you the exact count of your hairs. And if God knows that tiny little detail about you, you can be sure He knows the rest of the “little” things that are of big importance to you – your family problems, your best friend’s moving away, your pet dying, your team’s losing, your bad grades at school. Not only does He know – He cares. The Creator of the universe cares about you.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – Who Really Counts?

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Making Up Our Deficiencies?

Today’s Scripture: Luke 18:13

“God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

Sin is more than actions; it’s an attitude that ignores God’s law. It’s more than a rebellious attitude; sin is a state of corruption in our inmost being, of vileness, even of filthiness in God’s sight. For this reason the Bible never speaks of God’s grace as simply making up our deficiencies—as if salvation consists in so much good works plus so much of God’s grace. Rather the Bible speaks of a God “who justifies the ungodly” (Romans 4:5), who is found by those who do not seek him, who reveals himself to those who do not ask for him (Romans 10:20).

In Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:9-14, the tax collector did not ask God to simply make up his deficiencies. Rather, he beat his breast—a sign of his deep anguish—and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (verse 13). He declared total spiritual bankruptcy, and on that basis, he experienced the grace of God. Jesus said the man went home justified—declared righteous by God.

Like the tax collector, we don’t just need God’s grace to make up for our deficiencies; we need his grace to provide a remedy for our guilt, a cleansing for our pollution. We need his grace to provide a satisfaction of his justice, to cancel a debt we cannot pay.

It may seem that I’m belaboring the point of our guilt and vileness before God. But we can never rightly understand God’s grace until we understand our plight as those who need his grace.

As Dr. C. Samuel Storms said, “The first and possibly most fundamental characteristic of divine grace is that it presupposes sin and guilt. Grace has meaning only when men are seen as fallen, unworthy of salvation, and liable to eternal wrath.” (Excerpt taken from Transforming Grace)

The Navigators – Leroy Eims – Daily Discipleship Devotional – God’s Deliverers

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 34

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. – Acts 12:7

Do you remember the television series “Hogan’s Heroes”–the wild episodes of American soldiers supposedly locked in a Nazi prison? They were always breaking out of jail, but they usually did it quietly. No noise allowed.

The apostle Peter’s jailbreak was quite different. Acts 12 says that King Herod threw Peter into prison with four squads of soldiers guarding him. Imagine that! Four squads of soldiers to guard one man!

A few nights later, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers and bound with two chains. The cell was guarded as well. And then the Bible tells us: “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell… Then the angel said to him, ‘Put on your clothes and sandals.’ And Peter did so. ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.’”

This angel broke all the rules of conventional jailbreak wisdom! First, you wouldn’t shine a bright light into the cell for fear of waking the guards! Second, you wouldn’t put on your sandals and clomp out of the place. You would carry your sandals and tippy-toe by the sleeping guards in your bare feet. Third, you wouldn’t release the chains and let them clatter to the ground.

God can rescue you just as easily as He rescued Peter. But there are times when God’s deliverance doesn’t fit the mold of human wisdom. God’s ways are not our ways. We must accept the fact that God knows what He’s doing and fall in step with Him by faith, like Peter did.

Maybe you’re facing a situation right now that needs God’s touch. Ask the Lord to send deliverance, but don’t be surprised if it comes in an unexpected way.


Lord, help me to recognize Your hand of deliverance in my life and I will give You all the praise and glory. Amen.

To Ponder

Is there a time when God supernaturally delivered you from a dangerous situation?

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – GOD PROVIDES IN THE FACE OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

Read PSALM 23

A national study recently found that one of every 25 American teenagers has attempted suicide. One of every eight has thought about it. Suicide is in fact the third-leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 24 years.

Sometimes life can seem over- whelming, and it may seem that the only way out is death. But this is an evil lie. The truth is that while God never promised life would be easy, He can and does provide in the face of the impossible. This is communicated in today’s familiar psalm, especially in verse 5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

This is an image of provision as well as protection. Picture King David as an honored guest at a banquet given by the Lord. They are not allies, for that would imply equality. God is the King of Kings, and David is a vassal king who has been taken under His protection. God Himself will protect and defend David and the nation of Israel against their enemies. They have absolutely nothing to fear!

“Shepherd” was a common ancient Near Eastern metaphor for king (v. 1). Ideally, a king was to care for, provide for, and protect his “sheep” (people)—though in practice, of course, human kings did not and could not live up to this ideal. Even David couldn’t live up to it perfectly. Only God can do that! He provides food, rest, guidance, comfort, and protection for His people (vv. 2–4). The key is His presence—“You are with me.”

David’s confidence extended beyond a specific set of circumstances to all of life. He believed God’s “goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (v. 6).


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, seek professional help and Christian counseling. Worry and anxiety can be expressions of mental disorders needing trained psychological assistance, and we should be thankful for the resources God provides for our mental health.