Charles Stanley –How We Respond to a Storm

2 Chronicles 20:12

If you’ve ever experienced a storm when around other people, you know not everyone responds the same way.

Picture a backyard party where all the guests are having fun, but then the wind picks up. The temperature drops, the sky darkens, and the scent of rain is in the air. Everyone scrambles to grab something and head indoors. Just as the last person rushes in with the potato salad, the skies let go. Inside, people gather into clusters. One group stands at the window, oohing and aahing at the thunder and lightning outside. On the couch, others hug each other or cover their ears; a few jump and shudder with every boom. Another group, chatting away, seems completely oblivious to the weather. Isn’t this a picture of how people react differently to the storms of life?

When it comes to the upheavals we face, our varied responses can have a significant impact down the road. Some people respond in a healthy way and emerge stronger, while others are broken by the challenge.

What accounts for the difference in our response is our view of God. If we see Him as our loving heavenly Father, we’ll understand He has the best possible plan for our life, even if the path is, for a time, through troubled waters. But if we consider Him an obstruction to the goals we’ve set for ourselves, we could miss out on the blessings He has in mind for us.

Storms are unavoidable in life. When one comes your way, the wisest thing you can do is to cry out to Jesus. Won’t you choose to respond with an attitude of trust in the Lord and submission to His way?

Bible in One Year: Numbers 20-22

 

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Our Daily Bread — Little Lies and Kittens

Read: Romans 5:12–21

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 17–18; Matthew 27:27–50

Just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead.—Romans 5:21 NLT

Mom noticed four-year-old Elias as he scurried away from the newborn kittens. She had told him not to touch them. “Did you touch the kitties, Elias?” she asked.

“No!” he said earnestly. So Mom had another question: “Were they soft?”

“Yes,” he volunteered, “and the black one mewed.”

With a toddler, we smile at such duplicity. But Elias’s disobedience underscores our human condition. No one has to teach a four-year-old to lie. “For I was born a sinner,” wrote David in his classic confession, “yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5 nlt). The apostle Paul said: “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Rom. 5:12 nlt). That depressing news applies equally to kings, four-year-olds, and you and me.

But there’s plenty of hope! “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were,” wrote Paul. “But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant” (Rom. 5:20 nlt).

God is not waiting for us to blow it so He can pounce on us. He is in the business of grace, forgiveness, and restoration. We need only recognize that our sin is neither cute nor excusable and come to Him in faith and repentance. —Tim Gustafson

Father, be merciful to me, a sinner.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Truth on Its Head

G.K. Chesterton took the word “prolific” to a level that, as a writer, simply makes me feel tired. In his lifetime, Chesterton authored over one hundred books and contributed to two hundred others. He penned hundreds of poems, five plays, five novels, and some two hundred short stories, including the popular Father Brown detective series. He wrote over four thousand newspaper essays, including thirty years worth of weekly columns for The Illustrated London News, and thirteen years of weekly columns for The Daily News. He also edited his own newspaper, G.K.’s Weekly.

As one can easily imagine after such an inventory, G.K. Chesterton was always writing—wherever he found himself, and with whatever he could find to write on. So, in the tearoom he scribbled on napkins. On the train, in front of a bank teller, or in the middle of a lecture, he was known to jot hurriedly in a notebook, or even on the cuff of his sleeve.

Chesterton’s eccentric approach to writing, in fact, matched his eccentric approach to life in general. His public image was one out of a Shakespearean comedy. If he were not recognized in the streets of London by the flowing black cape and the wide brimmed top hat he always wore, he was given away instantly by the clamoring of the swordstick he always carried—for nothing more than the romantic notion that he might one day find himself caught up in some adventure where defending himself might become necessary.

He rarely knew, from hour to hour, where he was or where he was supposed to be, what appointment he was to be keeping, or lecture he was to be giving. The story is often told of the time he telegraphed his wife with the note, “Am at Market Harborough. Where ought I to be?” His faithful wife, Frances, wired back, “Home,” knowing it would be most promising for all involved if she could physically point him in the right direction. Chesterton seemed to live out one of his own clever paradoxes: “One can sometimes do good by being the right person in the wrong place.”

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Joyce Meyer – Wilderness Mentality

The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain. Tum and take up your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites…. Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them.—Deuteronomy 1:6-8

Those of us who are parents know these words so well: “In a minute. Just a little longer.” We call our children to leave their playing and come inside, but they want just a little more time to stay out with their friends. For now, at least, they’re content playing and don’t want to think about getting cleaned up or eating dinner. It’s always, “Just a little longer”—if we let them. And at times, we adults act a little like those children who cry out, “Just a little longer.”

I’ve met miserable people—those who disliked their lives, hated their jobs, or were in intolerable relationships with the wrong kind of people. They knew they were miserable, but they did nothing about it. “Just a little longer.” A little longer for what? More pain? More discouragement? More unhappiness?

Those are the people who have what I call the wilderness mentality. I want to explain that. Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt. If they had obeyed God, stopped their grumbling, and moved straight ahead as God originally told them, they could have made the trip in eleven days. But it took them forty years.

Why did they finally leave? Only because God said, “You have dwelt long enough on this mountain.” If God hadn’t pushed them into the Promised Land, I wonder how long they would have stayed and longed to cross the Jordan.

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Reap in Joy

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5,6 KJV).

How long has it been since you have shed tears of compassion over those who do not know our Savior as you pray for their salvation? Is God using you to introduce others to Christ? Is your church a center of spiritual harvest? If not, it is likely that you and other members of your church are shedding few tears over the lost.

It is a promise of God that when we go forth with a burdened heart sharing the precious seed of the Word of God, proclaiming that most joyful news ever announced, we can be absolutely assured – beyond a shadow of doubt – that we shall reap the harvests and, in the process, experience the supernatural joy that comes to those who are obedient to God.

It is a divine formula. But where does that burden and compassion for the souls of men originate? In the heart of God. And it is only as men are controlled and impowered by the Holy Spirit of God that there can be that compassion. It is not something that we can work up, not something that we can create in the energy of the flesh, but it is a result of walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit, with minds and hearts saturated with the Word of God.

The Old Testament references to sowing are often accompanied by sorrow and anxiety, evidenced by the tears to which the psalmist refers. As a result, the time of reaping is one of inexpressible joy.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 11:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will ask the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within me to give me a greater burden of the souls of those around me, so that I may indeed weep genuine tears of compassion as I go forth sowing precious seed. I know that I shall reap abundantly and, in the process, experience the joy which comes to those who obey God by weeping, sowing and reaping.

 

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Max Lucado – Your Advocate

 

Not all guilt is bad. God uses appropriate doses of guilt to awaken us to sin! We know guilt is God-given when it causes “indignation…alarm…longing…concern…readiness to see justice done” (2 Corinthians 7:11 NIV). God’s guilt brings enough regret to change us. Satan’s guilt, on the other hand, brings enough regret to enslave us. Don’t let him get his shackles on you!

Remember “your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). When he looks at you, he sees Jesus first. In the Chinese language the word for righteousness is a combination of two characters, the figure of a lamb and a person. The lamb is on top, covering the person. Whenever God looks down at you, this is what he sees– the perfect Lamb of God covering you. Do you trust your Advocate or your Accuser?

From God is With You Every Day

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – 5 reasons US will not fall like Rome?

From the one-day-late news department: scientists have used 3-D mapping to reveal the actual face of St. Valentine. They took photos of his skull, which is kept in Rome’s Basilica of Santa Maria of Cosmedin, then reconstructed his facial features.

From one facial extreme to the other: a twenty-five-year-old Hitler lookalike has been arrested in Austria. The man, who calls himself Harald Hitler, is charged with glorifying the Nazi era, which is a crime in his country.

I wish this were the only troubling news in today’s news. But it’s not.

The New York Times is reporting today that a science panel has approved editing human embryos to prevent disease or disability. Is this the start of eugenics? Since 2011, the number of violent incidents at churches has doubled. Louisville, Kentucky recently dealt with 151 calls about drug overdoses in a four-day period.

You could be forgiven for wondering if our country is following the fate of so many fallen empires before us. However, writer and filmmaker Paul Ratner disagrees. He has given us “5 Reasons Why America Will Not Collapse Like the Roman Empire.” Here’s his list:

1.    Political instability is here but the US is still a republic.
2.    The economy needs work but is in no danger of a collapse.
3.    The military situation is vastly different.
4.    The US is not in a cultural and social decline.
5.    Technology, not politics will transform the US (and the world).

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