Charles Stanley –Doing God’s Work God’s Way

 

Zechariah 4:5-6

Satan tries to trick us into thinking that life can be divided into two separate parts: the secular, which is separate from the Lord, and the spiritual. That’s a lie. As God’s children, we are spiritual beings, and every area of our life is to be an expression of that divine relationship. Whether employment, family role, ministry, or leisure pursuits, our every involvement connects into God’s purpose for our life and must please Him.

Our culture wants us to believe another lie—that we can accomplish much without God. People will point out our human strengths, like education, skills, and gifts, and assure us that we have all we require to succeed. The implication is that we don’t need God. Satan always wants to turn us away from reliance upon the Lord; our enemy wants us to think that prior success means we can handle the task on our own. The Bible tells us otherwise. To do God’s work God’s way requires that we rely on His Spirit instead of depending on ourselves or others.

When we are leaning on the Spirit’s strength and wisdom, we will:

  • Be fully persuaded that without God’s active presence, we’ll fail.
  • Seek to please God alone and not to compromise.
  • Look expectantly for the Holy Spirit to be at work.
  • Spend more time thanking and praising Him.
  • Exhibit joy, a fruit of the Spirit, instead of worry.

The lives of God’s children are to be characterized by steady reliance upon the Holy Spirit. Is that true of you?

Bible in One Year: Numbers 11-13

 

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Our Daily Bread — Look What Jesus Has Done

Read: Luke 8:1–8

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26–50

See that you . . . excel in this grace of giving.—2 Corinthians 8:7

The little boy was only eight when he announced to his parents’ friend Wally, “I love Jesus and want to serve God overseas someday.” During the next ten years or so, Wally prayed for him as he watched him grow up. When this young man later applied with a mission agency to go to Mali, Wally told him, “It’s about time! When I heard what you wanted to do, I invested some money and have been saving it for you, waiting for this exciting news.” Wally has a heart for others and for getting God’s good news to people.

Jesus and His disciples needed financial support as they traveled from one town and village to another, telling the good news of His kingdom (Luke 8:1-3). A group of women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases helped to support them “out of their own means” (v. 3). One was Mary Magdalene, who had been freed from the presence of seven demons. Another was Joanna, the wife of an official in Herod’s court. Nothing is known about Susanna and “many others” (v. 3), but we know that Jesus had met their spiritual needs. Now they were helping Him and His disciples through giving their financial resources.

When we consider what Jesus has done for us, His heart for others becomes our own. Let’s ask God how He wants to use us. —Anne Cetas

How might you be a part of getting the good news of salvation to people in your neighborhood and around the world? Tell someone the story of what Jesus has done for you. Write a note of encouragement to someone. Share a gift with a missionary. Pray.

Jesus gave His all; He deserves our all.

INSIGHT: Jesus honored a sinful woman who washed His feet with her tears, wiped them dry with her hair, and then poured out an expensive flask of perfume on His feet (Luke 7:36-50). Assuring the woman that her sins were forgiven, Jesus tells disgusted religious leaders that she is an example of one who having been forgiven much loves all the more (v. 47). It is in this context that we read that some women who had been cured of evil spirits and various diseases traveled with Jesus to support Him and His disciples out of their own means. Maybe we can ask ourselves: What grace and mercy have we received that gives us reason to give attention, respect, comfort, and encouragement to others? Mart DeHaan

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Stop Getting and Start Receiving

And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him. —1 John 3:22

We often ask people if they “got” something, particularly when we speak of spiritual matters. “Did you ‘get’ a breakthrough?” we want to know, or “Did you ‘get’ your blessing?” Is the idea of “getting” from God biblical? The Bible teaches us about receiving, not about getting. The difference between getting and receiving is significant. To “get” means “to obtain by struggle and effort.”

When everything in your life requires effort, life becomes frustrating and exhausting—and that’s not the kind of abundant life Jesus came to give us. No, God wants us to live with a holy ease, a grace that keeps us from striving and struggling through life. That doesn’t mean everything will be easy, but it means even difficult things can be done with a sense of God’s presence and help.

“Getting” puts the burden on us to have to figure out things, to manipulate circumstances, and to try to force situations to work out a certain way. Receiving, on the other hand, means we simply take in what is being offered freely. We don’t strive; we simply relax and enjoy what comes to us.

God wants to give us so much more than we can imagine. He is waiting to pour out blessings in our lives, and we need to know how to receive—both from Him and from others. Sometimes God works miraculously to meet our needs, but He frequently works through other people. If we pray for help, then we must let God choose how and through whom He will send it. We should not be embarrassed to be needy, because we are all needy in some way or another. God did not intend for us to be so independent we would never need help.

Trust in Him: Are you struggling and striving to “get” something from God? Stop “getting” and start receiving. He wants to bless you! Trust God and receive by faith what you have asked for.

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

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Set Upon a Rock

“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5, KJV).

Doug and Judy stood at the graveside of their little Timothy – their only child – who had been run over by a drunken driver while riding his tricycle on the sidewalk. It was a senseless, one-in-a-million, freak kind of accident, but their little lad was gone forever from their loving embraces.

As they wept, I consoled them with the promises of God’s Word: “In the time of trouble, He shall hide us in His pavilion, in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide us. He shall set us upon a rock.”

In the words of Jesus, I shared with them His promise, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, KJV). “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, KJV).

Man’s words are never adequate in a time like this. Only the holy, inspired Word of God, revealed through the indwelling Holy Spirit, can help us to comprehend and experience the reality of His promises.

What a joy to be able to tell people – burdened people, grieving people – that we serve God, who not only saves to the uttermost, but who also is the God of all comfort. As His Holy Spirit empowers us, let us share the good news of an all-loving, ever-wise Savior.

Bible Reading: Psalm 27:1-4

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will ask God to help me to be sensitive to the hurts and heartaches of others, so that I can comfort them with the Word of God through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. And when I face grievous troubles, I too will look to the rock, Christ Jesus, and claim His wonderful promises for comfort and strength.

 

http://www.cru.org

Kids 4 Truth International – God Has Not Given You a Spirit of Fear

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

One day when Kelly was in second grade, she flipped a few pages ahead in her math book and saw little clocks all over the pages. She was going to have to learn how to tell time—on non-digital clocks! She was terrified. She was sure that she would never be able to learn that. From that moment on, she worried and worried and worried about the clock lesson.

When the day came to learn about telling time, Kelly was so worried and fearful that she could not even concentrate on the lesson. Just as she had feared, when she got her clock paper back, there were checkmarks next to almost every problem and a sad face at the top of the page! Her fear about that math lesson had taken over her mind and kept her from understanding.

Kelly eventually learned how to tell time on regular clocks. But she still sometimes allows herself to be controlled by sinful fear about other things. Any time that we are being controlled by fear, we are not being controlled by God. His Word says that fear does not come from Him. Instead, He gives us a spirit of power, love, and control. With God in control, we can be calm and clear-thinking, and we can obey everything that God tells us to do.

God does not give us a fearful spirit.

My Response:

» Is there sinful fear in my life that I need to confess to God?

 

http://kids4truth.com/home.aspx

Wisdom Hunters – Love Is Not Proud 

It is not proud   1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is not proud. Indeed, there is no room for pride in a heart of love. Pride is an anchor to love that restrains its rich offering. It prolongs the inability to love by short-circuiting the effect of agape love. Pride is a precursor to loveless living; it struggles with love because it requires a focus off self and on others. Pride is deceptive, as it always negotiates for its own benefit. There is a driving force behind pride that is unhealthy and unnecessary. Moreover, it is indiscriminate in its seduction of either gender. Men may be the most susceptible to pride’s illusion, but women can be deceived just as well. Eve fell into this trap in her encounter with the devil (1 Timothy 2:14).

Pride’s feeling of superiority slices into the soul like a surgeon’s scalpel. It inserts its influence deep and wide. You can be wired and controlled by pride and not even know it. Love longs to have the same status as power-hungry pride. Love seeks to defuse pride’s time bomb of terror and intimidation. Love outlasts pride if applied humbly and heavily. Love drives pride from a controlling heart and frees it to become trusting. Instead of demanding its own way, love seeks to make those around it successful.

Love listens; pride talks. Love forgives; pride resents. Love gives; pride takes. Love apologizes; pride blames. Love understands; pride assumes. Love accepts; pride rejects. Love trusts; pride doubts. Love asks; pride tells. Love leads; pride drives. Love frees up; pride binds up. Love builds up; pride tears down. Love encourages; pride discourages. Love confronts; pride is passive-aggressive. Love is peaceful; pride is fearful. Love clarifies with truth; pride confuses with lies. Love and pride are mutually exclusive. Love dies with pride but comes alive with humility.

Most important, humility is a hotbed of love. It has the opposite effect on love than does pride. Humility invites love to take up permanent residence in the human heart. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), and humility understands that love is reserved for everyone. Love forgives even the worst of sinners, as pride struggles in a life of bitterness and resentment, thinking somehow it is paying back the offender. This state of unresolved anger only eats up the one unable to love and forgive.

Furthermore, humility positions you to love and be loved. Humility knows it needs help in the arena of receiving agape love. Your humble heart yearns for love from your Lord Jesus Christ. Once you receive the love of your heavenly Father, you can’t help but dispense it to others hungry for a hug. As you receive love, you are capable of giving love. Therefore, let the Lord love you and allow others to love you, so you can, in turn, love. Proud hearts melt under the influence of intense and unconditional love. The calling of Christians is perpetual love; so be guilty of love. Your love is healing and inviting. Pride exits when humility enters, and then you are in a position to love.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, humble me by Your great love, so I am able to love others well.

Application: Who do I need to humble myself before and seek to love them unconditionally?

 

http://www.wisdomhunters.com/

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Son Makes All the Difference

Read: 1 John 5:1-13

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (v. 12 NIV)

Traveling in the car on a chilly Iowa day, my parents and I soon found ourselves nice and warm. There was no need for the heater, because the sun was streaming through the windows and quickly warmed up the air. As Mom was taking off her coat she commented, “Wow, the sun really makes all the difference!”

Her remark made me think of another kind of son. Not the sun in the sky, but Jesus, God’s own Son. The apostle John writes that if we accept Jesus as Lord, we will have eternal life. Thanks to his death and resurrection, we do not have to fear death. Instead, we can have the confidence that God will welcome us into his heaven because Jesus’ righteousness becomes our salvation. John also writes that if we have faith in Jesus, we have overcome the world, or defeated its power. The Devil likes to claim this world and the people in it, but if we belong to Jesus, the Devil has no claim on us. Jesus has already defeated him on the cross.

Mom’s words were true as she talked about the sunshine, and similarly Jesus the Son of God really makes all the difference for all who believe. He changes the atmosphere around us. How has Jesus made a difference in everything in your life? —Steve Laman

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the difference you make in our lives.

 

https://woh.org/