Charles Stanley –A Living Hope

1 Peter 1:3-5

Believers are born into a living hope, whereas people without Christ have no foundation for their expectations and desires. Many non-Christians live with a false sense of security. They assume that what is important in this life is the physical and material. But there is no safety in things (1 Tim. 6:9). Those who pursue wealth and health rather than God find that their dreams either go unfulfilled or fail to satisfy.

Christians anchor their hope in the solid rock of Jesus Christ. His words are always true and His promises are never broken. I’ll sometimes hear a person project his or her unfulfilled desires on God and then argue that He came up short. But believers who make a request and submit to God’s will always get an answer: yes, no, or wait.

The Lord does not disappoint those who seek His will. Don’t misunderstand that statement. We might feel temporarily let down when something we hope for is not in God’s plan. But He doesn’t go back on the biblical promise to give His children what’s best (Isa. 48:17; Isa. 64:4). When one door closes, there is another about to open with something better behind it. And remember, the Lord cannot be outdone. We can’t even wish ourselves as much good as God has in store.

The best choice a Christian can make is to fix his or her hope on the Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome whatever fits His will for your life, and turn away from all that does not. Circumstances may shift and change, but Jesus never does. He is a living hope who never disappoints.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 5-7

 

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Our Daily Bread — The Talking Tree

Read: Colossians 1:15–20

Bible in a Year: Exodus 25–26; Matthew 20:17–34

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross.—1 Peter 2:24

One of the earliest Christian poems in English literature is “The Dream of the Rood.” The word rood comes from the Old English word rod or pole and refers to the cross on which Christ was crucified. In this ancient poem the crucifixion story is retold from the perspective of the cross. When the tree learns that it is to be used to kill the Son of God, it rejects the idea of being used in this way. But Christ enlists the help of the tree to provide redemption for all who will believe.

In the garden of Eden, a tree was the source of the forbidden fruit that our spiritual parents tasted, causing sin to enter the human race. And when the Son of God shed His blood as the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity’s sin, He was nailed to a tree on our behalf. Christ “bore our sins in his body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24).

The cross is the turning point for all who trust Christ for salvation. And ever since the crucifixion, it has become a remarkable symbol that represents the sacrificial death of the Son of God for our deliverance from sin and death. The cross is the inexpressibly wonderful evidence of God’s love for us. —Dennis Fisher

Lord, may my heart give You praise whenever I see a cross, for You gave Yourself for me in love.

Christ gave His life on the tree for our salvation.

INSIGHT: Some experts in New Testament studies suspect that the poetic structure and inspiring thoughts of Colossians 1:15-20 reflect the lyrics of a first-century song of worship. Paul must have often sung about Jesus, the Peacemaker who changed his life by returning good for evil when He bore the sins of the world. Do you have anyone you would consider an enemy? If so, you probably know why Jesus’s example stands in such contrast to our normal human inclinations. The God who created and sustains the cosmos is the same God who chose to reconcile Himself to His enemies. Rather than turning on those who had done such evil to Him, our resurrected Creator reached out to say, I still love you. Come to me. Trust me, and I will forgive you and adopt you into my eternal family. Mart DeHaan

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Space to Fall

Amusement parks had always been destinations of choice for my family while I was growing up. It didn’t matter the vacation spot, we would, if there was an amusement park nearby, make it a priority visit. The reason for this priority was that we loved roller-coasters. The Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disney Land, Space Mountain at Disney World, and all the various roller-coasters at Six Flags theme parks called to us to ride them over and over again to our sheer delight.

There was one exception: The free fall ride. I do not know if it is still in existence, but when I knew it at my local Six Flags it was a ride like an elevator without a door. Only a seatbelt harness held us in. Up six stories it climbed while our stomachs fell. Climbing higher and higher, the expanse of the park and the surrounding communities became like miniature-versions of themselves. It seemed the ride would climb as high as the heights of heaven. Then suddenly, the ascent ended. The car would tilt forward ever so slightly, so that all you could see below was the drop back to earth. For maximum thrill or terror, the car wouldn’t plunge down immediately. Riders sat for what seemed to be an eternity of waiting; suddenly, the mechanical support drew back and the elevator-like car would make its free fall back down to the ground at speeds as high as 90 mph. I only ever went on the free fall once. I hated that ride.

“Sometimes suffering feels like a free fall,” writes J. Todd Billings in his book Rejoicing in Lament.(1) It is a free fall away from all that was normal and routine in one’s life down into what seems to be a spiraling abyss of chaos and despair. After receiving the phone call in the early morning hours that my husband had suffered sudden cardiac arrest, I fell into my own free fall. While sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home, I remember saying to my mother “My life will never be the same again.” I would free fall into another world never to return to the world I had inhabited for seventeen years with my husband. There would be no return to what was ‘normal.’ There would only be a steadying of my legs, like I had to do after the free fall ride at the amusement park, landing in the strange new world of grief and loss that was mine.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Space to Fall

Joyce Meyer – Take Your Thoughts Captive

 

[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). . . . —2 Corinthians 10:5

Take captive every thought coming into your mind that does not agree with the Word of God. Lead those thoughts away, and let them be replaced with ones that are obedient to Jesus Christ. In other words, change your mind!

This is something we have to be persistent in doing; and if you feel weary in the beginning of this new endeavor, I understand because I felt the same way. Instead of fighting with negative thoughts, simply replace them with positive ones. If you choose to think something good, then the bad thing cannot occupy that space in your mind anymore. We always overcome evil with good (see Romans 12:21).

Power Thought: My thoughts are obedient to Christ.

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

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God’s Secret Plan for You

“God has told us His secret reason for sending Christ, a plan He decided on in mercy long ago; and this was His purpose: that when the time is ripe He will gather us together from wherever we are – in heaven or on earth – to be with Him in Christ, forever” (Ephesians 1:9,10).

One day a distinguished scientist questioned Michael Faraday, chemist, electrician and philosopher.

“Have you conceived to yourself what will be your occupation in the next world?” he asked.

Hesitating a moment or two, Faraday replied, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him.” And then he added, in his own words, “I shall be with Christ, and that is enough.”

Although nearly two thousand years have passed since He walked this earth, Jesus still stands as the ultimate expression of ethics and morality. Whatever one might think about Christians or the church, he will find no blemishes in the character of Jesus.

Perhaps the greatest testimony that can be given regarding the character of Jesus’ teachings is that they are still changing men and nations throughout the world today. Now, as before, those who listen to Him inevitably say “No man ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:46, RSV).

God’s Word tells us that Jesus had the same temptations we do, though He never once gave way to them and sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Our Lord thus stands out as the supreme example of one who practiced the things that He taught to others and that He expects of His followers.

We still stand today in the shadow of God’s sure promise: “For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposes in His sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Him. And here is the staggering thing that in all which will belong to Christ we have been promised a share” (Ephesians 1:9-11, Phillips).

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:11-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will meditate upon the fact that I am a child of God, and heir of God and joint-heir with Christ; and upon the startling, incredible fact that I am related to Him and share with Him in all of this indescribable privilege and blessing. As a result I will claim His supernatural love and power and will speak more freely to others of my relationship with Him.

 

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Max Lucado – He Entered Your World

I once waded into the Jordan River. On a trip to Israel, my family and I stopped to see the traditional spot of Jesus’ baptism. It’s a charming place. Sycamores cast their shadows. Birds chirp. The water invites. So I accepted the invitation and waded in to be baptized.

No one wanted to join me so I immersed myself. I declared my belief in Christ and sank so low in the water I could touch the river bottom. When I did, I felt a stick and pulled it out. Well, what do you know–a baptism memento! Some people get certificates or Bibles; I like my stick. It’s about as thick as your wrist, long as your forearm, and smooth as a baby’s behind. I keep it on my office credenza so I can show it to fear-filled people.

When they chronicle their anxieties about the economy or concern about their kids, I hand them the stick. I tell them how God muddied his feet in our world of diapers, death, digestion, and disease. How John told him to stay on the riverbank, but Jesus wouldn’t listen. How he came to earth for this very purpose, to become one of us. “Why, he might have touched this very stick,” I like to say.

As they smile, I ask, “Since he came this far to reach us, can’t we take our fears to him?”

“For our high priest [Jesus] is able to understand our weaknesses. When he lived on earth he was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NCV).

Does this miracle matter? It does if you are bedridden. It does if you battle disease. It does if chronic pain is a part of your life. The One who hears your prayers understands your pain. He never shrugs or scoffs or dismisses physical struggle. He had a human body.

Does this miracle matter? If you ever wonder if God understands you, it does. If you ever wonder if God listens, it does. If you ever wonder if the Uncreated Creator can, in a million years, comprehend the life of a truck driver, housewife, or immigrant, then ponder long and hard the promise of the incarnation. God say: I understand you and I always will.

Continue reading Max Lucado – He Entered Your World

Denison Forum – Trump travel ban: 3 biblical priorities

Last night, President Trump removed his acting attorney general after she refused to defend his executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. Sally Q. Yates was deputy attorney general under President Obama and was serving until the Senate confirms Trump’s nominee for the post, Sen. Jeff Sessions.

This is just the latest news in the ongoing controversy over the travel ban. Immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia are directly affected by the president’s decision.

The administration notes that these nations were listed on the Obama-era Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. President Trump blames the airport chaos that followed his executive order on computer outages at Delta Air Lines and political protests. He noted in a tweet that only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. An additional 173 were denied entry on flights to the US from the seven countries listed in the order.

Arguments in favor of the ban:

  •  A four-month restriction on travel from these countries is needed to keep Americans safe.
    •    The chaos that resulted was a temporary consequence of preventing terrorists from traveling into the US.
    •    If advance warning or a grace period had been announced, terrorists could have traveled before the ban took effect.
    •    The order is not against Muslims in general—it does not affect more than forty other Muslim-majority countries.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer saw the controversy very differently, calling the executive order “mean-spirited and un-American.” The New York Times called the ban “illegal.” Critics note that none of the 9/11 terrorists came from the seven banned countries. Protesters in many other countries are registering their opposition as well.

My purpose this morning is not to argue for one side or the other. Rather, it is to think biblically with you about three issues central to the debate.

One: Scripture encourages security. Continue reading Denison Forum – Trump travel ban: 3 biblical priorities

Charles Stanley –Hope: The Anchor of the Soul

 

Hebrews 6:13-20

An anchor was a popular image in the ancient Mediterranean world. Because that economy depended on shipping, the anchor came to symbolize safety and steadiness. The writer of Hebrews used the word to remind believers that God has given a hope that holds firm in any storm.

Hope is a healthy attitude. Anticipating good brings comfort to the mind and heart. In contrast, a state of hopelessness is a terrible condition in which to find oneself. It’s overwhelming and depressing to think that what you’re facing cannot be changed or resolved. For the person who has lost all hope, life looks like a long, dark tunnel going nowhere.

Included in Proverbs is a verse that describes the result of this oppressive feeling: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12). Emotional, physical, and even mental illness haunt a person who feels trapped in a bleak situation. But as long as there is a God, no situation is hopeless. In Him, we have the promise of the second half of that proverb: “Desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Believers have a hope that anchors their soul. Our relationship with Jesus Christ brings us close to the throne of heaven, where we can cast all our burdens before an omnipotent God. Moreover, we can cling to Him through any trial that comes our way. Because of the Lord’s great love, He provides strength for weary bodies, peace for anxious minds, and comfort for grieving hearts. In short, He lights that darkened tunnel and tenderly guides us through trying situations.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 1-4

 

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Our Daily Bread — Rebuilding

Read: Nehemiah 2:11–18

Bible in a Year: Exodus 23–24; Matthew 20:1–16

Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.—Nehemiah 2:17

When Edward Klee returned to Berlin after being away for many years, the city he remembered and loved was no longer there. It had changed dramatically, and so had he. Writing in Hemispheres magazine, Klee said, “Returning to a city you once loved tends to be a hit-or-miss proposition . . . . It can be a letdown.” Going back to the places of our past may produce a feeling of sorrow and loss. We are not the same person we were then, nor is the place that was so significant in our lives exactly as it was.

Nehemiah had been in exile from the land of Israel for many years when he learned of the desperate plight of his people and the devastation in the city of Jerusalem. He received permission from Artaxerxes, the Persian king, to return and rebuild the walls. After a night reconnaissance to examine the situation (Neh. 2:13-15), Nehemiah told the inhabitants of the city, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (v. 17).

Nehemiah did not return to reminisce but to rebuild. It’s a powerful lesson for us as we consider the damaged parts of our past that need repair. It is our faith in Christ and His power that enables us to look ahead, move forward, and rebuild. —David McCasland

Thank You, Lord, for the work You are doing in us and through us.

We cannot change the past, but God is changing us for the future.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – People With a Past

I confess that I have never been a student especially enticed by the subject of history. Whether studying the history of the Peloponnesian War or the history of Jell-O, I associate the work with tedious memorization and an endless anthology of static dates and detail. But this stance toward history, coupled with our cultural obsession with the present moment, is a force to be reckoned with and an outlook I have come to recognize as dangerous. It is a thought to let go, lest it produce a sense of forgetfulness about who I am and from whence I have come.

Richard Weaver is one among many who have warned about the dangers of presentism, the cultural fixation with the current moment and snobbery toward the past. More than fifty years ago, Weaver warned of the discombobulating effects of living with an appetite for the present alone:

“A frank facing of the past is unpleasant to the tender-minded, teaching as it does sharp lessons of limitation and retribution. Yet, the painful lessons we would like to forget are precisely the ones which should be kept for reference. Santayana has reminded us that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, and not without reason did Plato declare that a philosopher must have a good memory.”(1)

Weaver contends that carelessness about history is in fact a type of amnesia, producing a mindset that is both aimless and confused. For how can we understand the current cultural moment without at least some understanding of the moments that have preceded it? History is not a static bundle of dates and details anymore than our own lives are static bundles of the same. On the contrary, history is the vital form in which we both take account of our past and fathom the present before us.

This point was driven home for me in a church history class full of future pastors. We were studying the fourth century, which was privy to a great influx of believers who left their communities behind and fled to the desert in search of solitude. To a group of people called and passionate about the church as a community, the great lengths some of these pilgrims went to live solitary lives was hard for some to understand. Words like “abandonment” and “responsibility” readily crept into our conversations.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – People With a Past

Joyce Meyer – Living Large

Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. —Isaiah 43:18-19

I truly believe this moment can be life-changing for you—that it will help you step out onto the path of your true life. The life that has been waiting for you since the beginning of time—and the one you may have been missing due to fear and intimidation. Satan is the master of intimidation, but once you realize that he is the one behind all your hesitation, you can take authority over him by simply placing confidence in Jesus Christ and stepping out boldly to be all you can be. God told Joshua, “Fear not, for I am with you.” He is sending you that same message today: FEAR NOT! God is with you, and He will never leave you or forsake you.

Abraham was told, “God is with you in everything you do” (see Genesis 21:22). That sounds like large living to me. Are you ready for a larger life, one that leaves you feeling satisfied and fulfilled? I believe you are, and I want to do everything I can to help you on your journey.

Lord, I make my bold confession that I am thrilled to have You with me today and forever. Today is another step in my journey. Help me to live large. Amen.

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

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Knew His Future

“Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up'” (John 2:19, KJV).

A missionary in Turkey sought to teach the truth of the resurrection of Christ to a group of people.

“I am traveling, and I have reached a place where the road branches off in two ways,” he said. “I look for a guide, and find two men – one dead, and the other alive. Which of the two must I ask for direction – the dead or the living?”

“Oh, the living!” cried the people.

“Then,” said the missionary, “why send me to Mohammed, who is dead, instead of to Christ, who is alive?”

Jesus is the only person who has ever accurately predicted his own resurrection. He said He would be raised from the dead on the third day after dying on the cross for our sins, and He was!

Further, He was seen on many different occasions after His resurrection – once by as many as 500 people. He still lives today in the hearts of all who have placed their faith in Him, demonstrating His life of love and forgiveness through them.

Whenever men meet the living Christ, they are changed. The whole course of history has been changed because of Him.

“The gospel not only converts the individual, but it also changes society,” historian Philip Schaff wrote. “Everywhere the gospel has been preached, dramatic change has resulted. It has established standards of hygiene and purity, promoted industry, elevated womanhood, restrained antisocial customs, abolished human sacrifices, organized famine relief, checked tribal wars and changed the social structure of society.

“Born in a manger and crucified as a malefactor, He now controls the destinies of the civilized world and rules a spiritual empire which embraces one-third of the inhabitants of the globe.”

Bible Reading: John 2:20-25

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will reflect often today on the fact that the risen Christ of history is the same loving Savior who now lives within me, offering me His love, His peace, His comfort, His wisdom, His strength. I will claim by faith His resurrection life to enable me to live supernaturally each moment of every day.

 

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Max Lucado – Keep the Power Supply Open

 

The Holy Spirit is not enthusiasm, compassion, or bravado. He might stimulate such emotions, but he himself is a person. He determines itineraries (Acts 16:6), distributes spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), and comforts (John 16:7 KJV).  Jesus promised, “He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). Occasional guest? No sir. The Holy Spirit is a year-round resident in the hearts of his children.

As God’s story becomes our story, his power becomes our power. Then why do we suffer from power failures? We turn to him to get us started, and then continue in our own strength. The same hand that pushed back the rock from the tomb can shove away your doubt. The same power that stirred the still heart of Christ can stir your flagging faith. The same strength that put Satan on his heels can, and will, defeat Satan in your life. Just keep the power supply open.

From God is With You Every Day

 

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Denison Forum – God’s powerful solution for ‘the burden of fear’

Last night, Denzel Washington and Emma Stone won Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding actor and actress in a leading film role. John Lithgow and Claire Foy won for their leading television roles in “The Crown,” one of my favorite series of the year.

Over the weekend, Roger Federer won his eighteenth Grand Slam by defeating his friend Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open. Serena Williams won her twenty-third Grand Slam title at the same event. And the AFC defeated the NFC in last night’s Pro Bowl as Lorenzo Alexander and Travis Kelce were named Most Valuable Players.

Most Monday mornings, such news would be the focus of our attention. But not this Monday morning. Today’s headlines are dominated by President Trump’s immigration order, a technology glitch that halted Delta Air Lines flights yesterday, and a Sunday evening attack on a Quebec City mosque that left six people dead and eight injured.

Former Soviet Union head Mikhail Gorbachev is making headlines with an op-ed in Time magazine titled, “It All Looks as if the World Is Preparing for War.” He is deeply concerned about the militarization of politics and a new arms race and believes that “the burden of fear is felt by millions of people.”

Such psychological distress is not good for us. In fact, researchers now say it may increase our chances of dying from cancer, news that makes our distress even worse.

Continue reading Denison Forum – God’s powerful solution for ‘the burden of fear’

Charles Stanley –The Moments That Sustain Us

Psalm 145:1-5

Does peace come naturally for you, or does it feel like a constant struggle? Sometimes it seems as if so many things are actively working against our peace that our spirit may never know a moment’s rest. How can we quiet distractions long enough to hear God’s voice?

The key is found within a word that may make you uncomfortable: meditation. Perhaps you’re thinking, All that meditation stuff is what other religions call “finding yourself.” I’m not going to waste my time with that. What a horrible misconception. My friend, meditation is not about listening to yourself; on the contrary, it is about quieting your own mind and listening for the gentle whispers of the Lord.

Think about your prayer life. Whose voice is more prominent—yours or the Father’s? For most people, the vast majority of prayer time is spent talking to God, thanking Him for what He’s done, and asking for help. There is certainly nothing wrong with this, but if you never give Him time to answer, how will you know what He wants to communicate to you?

The time we spend listening is a good indication of how much we respect and enjoy the relationship. If we dominate the conversation, then we may be showing God by our actions that His opinions are not as important as our own—we’d never say those words so plainly, but our actions may be proclaiming that very message.

Are you listening to God? Commit to listen quietly for what He wants to share with you.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 39-40

 

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Our Daily Bread — Timeless Savior

Read: John 8:48–59

Bible in a Year: Exodus 21–22; Matthew 19

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”—John 8:58

Jeralean Talley died in June 2015 as the world’s oldest living person—116 years of age. In 1995, the city of Jerusalem celebrated its 3,000th birthday. One hundred sixteen is old for a person, and 3,000 is old for a city, but there are trees that grow even older. A bristlecone pine in California’s White Mountains has been determined to be older than 4,800 years. That precedes the patriarch Abraham by 800 years!

Jesus, when challenged by the Jewish religious leaders about His identity, also claimed to pre-date Abraham. “Very truly I tell you,” He said, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). His bold assertion shocked those who were confronting Him, and they sought to stone Him. They knew He wasn’t referring to a chronological age but was actually claiming to be eternal by taking the ancient name of God, “I am” (see Ex. 3:14). But as a member of the Trinity, He could make that claim legitimately.

In John 17:3, Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” The timeless One entered into time so we could live forever. He accomplished that mission by dying in our place and rising again. Because of His sacrifice, we anticipate a future not bound by time, where we will spend eternity with Him. He is the timeless one. —Bill Crowder

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine; but God, who called me here below, will be forever mine.  John Newton

Christ holds all things together. Colossians 1:17

INSIGHT: When the Lord Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was born, I am,” in John 8:58, He was merely borrowing the unique title used of God in Exodus 3:14 (I am). What is meant by the title “I Am”? God is the self-existent and only supreme Being. If God is perpetually and permanently present, He can definitively declare, “I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12). God is not a deist—a do-nothing deity who is retired from all activity. He did not “wind up” the world like a huge watch only to let it run on its own. God is sovereign over all creation and lovingly cares for all He has made. Jim Townsend

 

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Joyce Meyer – God Is in the Details

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever. —John 14:16

The Lord cares about every tiny detail of your life. People who don’t believe this truth have a difficult time experiencing real intimacy with Him. You can and should talk to Him about everything. Nothing is too big and nothing is too small. He will help you put in your contact lens or drive in snow. He said, “I am with you always” (see Matthew 28:20 NIV), and He is always ready to help, strengthen, encourage, or comfort you.

The Holy Spirit is called “The Helper.” He is also referred to as “The Standby.” I love that He is standing by me at all times, waiting to assist me with whatever I need. But He is a gentleman and won’t push His way into our lives. We open the door for Him to work simply by asking, which is prayer.

God is love, and when we dwell in His love, enjoying and being aware of it, we dwell in God. To dwell means, “to live and remain in.” “Dwelling” is not an occasional visit, but a permanent, fixed situation. I don’t say, “I visit my house.” I say, “I live in my house.” God wants us to say the same about Him and His love for us. His love is where we live. God is with us at all times, watching over us, keeping us safe, overseeing every detail of our lives. And the Holy Spirit is standing by to help you!

Love God Today: Whatever you need today—a parking place, help navigating a tough situation at work—know that God cares about the little things and the details of your life, and He wants you to depend on Him.

From the book Love Out Loud by Joyce Meyer

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Power to Become Rich

“Always remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you power to become rich, and He does it to fulfill His promise to your ancestors” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

A Christian woman whom I knew, worth many millions of dollars, panicked when the stock market dropped and she lost almost one million dollars. Even though she had tens of millions in reserve, she was filled with apprehension and fear that she would die a pauper. She had never discovered the adventure and freedom of “giving and receiving” in a trust relationship with God.

Conversely, a businessman called me long distance a short time later to tell me how excited he was over the way God was blessing his new business venture. He had decided to give all the profits – potentially millions – toward helping to reach the world for Christ.

“I am sending $50,000 for Here’s Life in Asia,” he said. “And there will be much more later. I don’t want to invest in buildings. I want to invest this money where it will be used immediately to win and disciple people for Christ.”

The principle is the same, whether you have $100 or $1 million. Ask God to tell you what to do toward helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Second, look for a worthy, proven project that you can support monthly, if only modestly, in addition to your commitment to your local church.

As your faith in God’s love and trustworthiness grows, prayerfully make a faith promise pledge that is greater than you are capable of fulfilling with your present income.

Bible Reading: Malachi 3:7-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will ask God today to help me trust Him to give – by faith – more than I can possibly afford to give toward his work, with the certainty that He will supply all my needs and enable me to meet my faith promise pledge supernaturally

 

http://www.cru.org

Kids 4 Truth International – God Is Just To Forgive Us

“…that He [God] might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26b)

Let’s pretend that your brother has done something to hurt you very badly. What if when your parents found out what happened, they said, “Oh, we’ll just let that go – it’s all right. Just forget about it.”

No, you say! You have been hurt. You have been sinned against. Your parents would not be just unless they punished your brother for that sin. Right?

But let’s pretend you stepped in and said, “Punish me for what my brother did. I’ll take the punishment, and he won’t have to.” Then your parents would be just to forgive your brother, right? Someone else would be taking the punishment in his place.

This is very much like what God has done for us. We have hurt Him by our sin. Each one of us has gone against His perfect, holy law so many times, in so many ways, that we could never be punished enough to pay for it all. And yet He forgives us. How can He be just to forgive us?

The only way He can be just is to punish someone else in our place. And Jesus, His perfect, holy Son, took God’s punishment when He died on the cross. He was our substitute. He took the punishment that we deserved. If we turn to Jesus, trusting Him to free us from sin, God will forgive us for the sake of His Son.

God is just to forgive the sin of those who have believed on His perfect Son, Jesus Christ.

My Response:

» Have I accepted Jesus’ death on the cross as the payment for my sin?

 

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Wisdom Hunters – Come to Me 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.   Matthew 11:28-30

Sometimes, your soul needs to catch up with your body. There is a disconnection created by distractions and busyness. You are weary of life and work. This soul fatigue will follow you until it finds rest. It is relentless in reminding you of what is important and necessary. The warning lights of weariness flash in the face of your faith. You are tired and troubled with nowhere to turn. This is when you can turn your eyes upon Jesus. He offers a constant invitation to come to Him. Burdens bear down on your back of responsibility like a ton of bricks, but Jesus is there to ease the pressure.

Health issues assault your body like unceasing fire from the enemy, but Jesus is there to soothe the pain through prayer. Marriage confusion has the best of you and you are ready to give up, but Jesus has the answers as the supreme counselor. Work expectations have overwhelmed your ability to execute the right results, but Jesus is there to impart His wisdom and discernment. Do not let failure talk you into giving up. You can carry on with Christ. Submit to His restful invitation. Take Him at His word and yoke up with His humility and gentleness. His invitation to rest is received by faith. The yoke of Jesus gives hope and encouragement to the soul.

Start by aligning your calendar with Jesus’ time. A partnership with Christ requires time and attention. You cannot maintain a relationship with Him without investing in Him. Jesus went to the mountain to commune with His heavenly Father, and when He came down, large crowds followed Him. Why? People follow leaders they know they can trust. When you spend time with Jesus, you build trustworthiness. You go to the mountains alone to pray, and you come back surrounded by followers. They know you have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

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