Charles Stanley –Abraham’s Lesson on Obedience

 

Genesis 16:1-16

The Old Testament gives us the account of Abraham’s life. While the patriarch had a special relationship with God, his faith was not perfect. Over the years, he came to understand the importance of obedience—and how costly it can be to rebel.

Abraham learned the hard way that manipulating circumstances to gain a desired result can bring heartache. God had promised him and Sarah a child, but they were still waiting for that blessing when they were elderly. Already in her 70s, Sarah suggested that Abraham get an heir by having a child with her servant Hagar. The result was jealousy, family strife, and a bloody conflict that still rages today between the descendants of Hagar’s son Ishmael and Sarah’s son Isaac.

Obedience will bring the Lord’s best, but it requires waiting on Him. Abraham was already an old man when God promised him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (Gen. 15:5). This would not be fulfilled until he was 100 and Sarah was well past her child-bearing years, which meant that all the glory for Isaac’s miraculous conception and birth went to the Lord (Gen. 21:1-7). Jumping ahead of God had harsh, long-term consequences. But the good news is that the couple’s mistakes could not prevent Him from carrying out His plan.

The Lord has given us His Word so we might learn from the saints of old. The story of Abraham’s life teaches us that obedience is essential. When we place our trust in a sovereign God and wait upon His timing, He will always prove faithful.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 8-10

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Always in His Care

Read: Psalm 32:1–11

Bible in a Year: Exodus 27–28; Matthew 21:1–22

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.—Psalm 32:8

On the day our youngest daughter was flying from Munich to Barcelona, I visited my favorite flight tracking website to follow her progress. After I entered her flight number, my computer screen showed that her flight had crossed Austria and was skirting the northern part of Italy. From there the plane would fly over the Mediterranean, south of the French Riviera toward Spain, and was scheduled to arrive on time. It seemed that the only thing I didn’t know was what the flight attendants were serving for lunch!

Why did I care about my daughter’s location and circumstances? Because I love her. I care about who she is, what she’s doing, and where she’s going in life.

In Psalm 32, David celebrated the marvel of God’s forgiveness, guidance, and concern for us. Unlike a human father, God knows every detail of our lives and the deepest needs of our hearts. The Lord’s promise to us is, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (v. 8).

Whatever our circumstances today, we can rely on God’s presence and care because “the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him” (v. 10). —David McCasland

Dear Father in heaven, thank You for watching over me in love and guiding me along Your path today.

We are never out of God’s sight and His loving care.

INSIGHT: Psalm 32 is an interesting look into the covenant relationship the believer has with the living God. King David, the writer of this psalm, is aware of his own personal sins and the need for confession and forgiveness. This spiritual connection with the living God is not simply a positive experience but includes God’s chastisement that leads to confession and restoration (vv. 4-5). Yet even within the ups and downs of our walk of faith, we have the assurance of God’s watchful care and provision. For further study on the subject of forgiveness, check out the Discovery Series booklet The Forgiveness of God at discoveryseries.org/q0602. Dennis Fisher

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – One Good Choice After Another

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.—Proverbs 4:25 NIV

Are you enjoying the life and blessings of God in your everyday life? Or have you made a series of choices resulting in disappointment, pain, or feeling that everything you do requires great effort and produces little reward? Don’t spend your time and energy mourning all the bad decisions you have made; just start making good ones. There is hope for you!

The way to overcome the results of a series of bad choices is through a series of right choices. The only way to walk out of trouble is to do the opposite of whatever you did to get into trouble—one choice at a time.

Maybe the circumstances of your life right now are the direct result of a series of bad choices you have made. You may be in debt because you have made a lot of bad choices with money. You may be lonely because of a series of bad choices in relationships or in the way you treat people. You may be sick because of a series of unhealthy choices: eating junk food, not getting enough rest, or abusing your body through working too much and not having enough balance in your life.

You cannot make a series of bad choices that result in significant problems and then make one good choice and expect all the results of all those bad choices to go away. You did not get into deep trouble through one bad choice; you got into trouble through a series of bad choices. If you really want your life to change for the better, you will need to make one good choice after another, over a period of time, just as consistently as you made the negative choices that produced negative results.

No matter what kind of trouble or difficulty you find yourself in, you can still have a blessed life. You cannot do anything about what is behind you, but you can do a great deal about what lies ahead of you. God is a redeemer, and He will always give you another chance.

Trust in Him: If you have a situation that is too big for you to solve, then you are material for a miracle. Invite God to get involved, trust in and follow His directions, make one good choice after another, and you will see amazing results.

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

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – How to Assure Success

“Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way, Jehoshaphat stopped and called them to attention. ‘Listen to me, O people of Judah and Jerusalem,’he said. ‘Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall have success! Believe His prophets, and everything will be all right!”‘ (2 Chronicles 20:20).

God does the same things for us in our time that He did so often in the Old and New Testament accounts of His power and grace.

I remember an eventful week at the University of California in Berkeley in 1966 when the president of the university was fired by the board of regents during the turbulent days of student revolution. Campuses throughout California erupted in anger and violence.

On the Berkeley campus, however, about 600 Campus Crusade staff members and students had gathered from across America to present the claims of Jesus Christ to more than 27,000 students. During the week, through some 80 meetings in dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, international groups, at athletic banquets and faculty breakfasts and luncheons, in personal appointments and finally at a great meeting of some 8,000 gathered in the Greek theater, almost every student had an opportunity to hear the good news of God’s love through Christ. Literally thousands responded.

When the camera crews from the local television stations rushed out to film the predicted violence, they were amazed to find that the Berkeley campus, fountainhead of the radical student revolution, was remarkably quiet. Music, singing and sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ prevailed. Many point to that week as a turning point in the direction of a world-famous university.

Light is more powerful than darkness. Believing God and obeying His commands assure eternal dividends.

Bible Reading: Joshua 1:5-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I resolve to believe God and do those things He directs me to do, regardless of the consequences. Then I am assured of success as, by faith, I live the supernatural life in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Invoke His Name

 

We are never without hope because we are never without prayer. Prayer confesses: God can handle it. And since he can, I have hope! When we pray in the name of Jesus, we come to God on the basis of Jesus’ accomplishment. Scripture says, “Since we have a great high priest [Jesus] over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:21-22 HCSB).

Some say, “Prayer changes things because it changes us.” I agree but only in part. Prayer changes things because prayer appeals to the top power in the universe. It is the yes to God’s invitation to invoke his name. Prayer moves the world because prayer moves the heart of God.

From God is With You Every Day

 

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – My response to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch

Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated last night by President Trump to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Antonin Scalia’s untimely death last February. At forty-nine years of age, he is the youngest nominee in twenty-five years. The New York Times notes that Judge Gorsuch’s “conservative bent and originalist philosophy fit the mold of the man he would succeed.”

Ed Whelan, a former law clerk for Justice Scalia, calls Judge Gorsuch “an eminently worthy successor to the great justice.” According to Whelan, “Gorsuch is a brilliant jurist and dedicated originalist and textualist. He thinks through issues deeply. He writes with clarity, force, and verve. And his many talents promise to give him an outsized influence on future generations of lawyers.”

The judge’s story is quite interesting. He grew up in Denver, where one of his grandfathers worked his way through law school as a streetcar conductor. Both his parents were lawyers; his mother became President Reagan’s first head of the EPA. In his youth, Gorsuch worked shoveling snow, moving furniture, and staffing the front desk at a Howard Johnson’s hotel.

He attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School, graduating from both with honors. He then achieved a PhD in legal philosophy from Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to the Tenth Circuit in 2006 and was affirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate.

What do we know about his theological convictions?

Judge Gorsuch has written several books opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide. He wrote a concurrence in the Tenth Circuit Hobby Lobby case that supported the company in its fight not to pay for abortion-causing drugs for employees. The Supreme Court later came to the same decision.

Continue reading Denison Forum – My response to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch