Charles Stanley –How to Avoid an Empty Life

 

Psalm 16:11

In public, most people appear happy and confident. But beneath the surface, many feel empty. In fact, it is possible to be in a large crowd and yet still feel alone.

A lot of men and women see no meaning or purpose in life. Attempting to overcome the emptiness, some become busy, others turn to drugs or alcohol, and still others strive for more money, power, or love. Though pleasure exists for them, it is usually short-lived.

There’s a reason why life can feel empty: Man was created with a yearning that God alone is able to satisfy. Individuals cannot be fulfilled until they experience His transforming and unconditional love. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). In other words, the Lord wants us to feel complete, which can happen only through a relationship with Him.

However, even a person who is saved can feel empty. This could result from disobedience: A slight detour in one’s walk with the Lord can become a way of life, depriving a believer of deep satisfaction. It’s also possible for Christians to live according to God’s Word without fully surrendering their desires to Him. For example, many believers still try to fill up their own void with achievements, wealth, or relationships. When aspirations like these are given higher priority than the Lord, they are a form of idolatry.

We can live a full life only when we seek God above all else. Pray for His guidance as you search your heart. Confess any sin, and ask God to fill your life as only He can do.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 23-25

 

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Our Daily Bread — The Junkyard Genius

Read: John 9:1–11

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 19–20; Matthew 27:51–66

One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!—John 9:25

Noah Purifoy began his work as an “assemblage” artist with three tons of rubble salvaged from the 1965 riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles. From broken bicycle wheels and bowling balls to discarded tires and damaged TV sets—things no longer usable—he and a colleague created sculptures that conveyed a powerful message about people being treated as “throw-aways” in modern society. One journalist referred to Mr. Purifoy as “the junkyard genius.”

In Jesus’s time, many people considered those with diseases and physical problems as sinners being punished by God. They were shunned and ignored. But when Jesus and His disciples encountered a man born blind, the Lord said his condition was not the result of sin, but an occasion to see the power of God. “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). When the blind man followed Jesus’s instructions, he was able to see.

When the religious authorities questioned the man, he replied simply, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (v. 25).

Jesus is still the greatest “junkyard genius” in our world. We are all damaged by sin, but He takes our broken lives and shapes us into His new creations. —David McCasland

Lord, I thank You today for Your amazing grace!

Jesus is the restorer of life.

INSIGHT: Have you ever felt as though you saw no purpose to your life, couldn’t see your way forward, and were not even sure there is a God willing or able to give you light at the end of the tunnel? John wrote his gospel to proclaim the life and light that troubled people like us long for (John 1:1-5). John found many reasons to believe that Jesus really is the light of the world: “These [miraculous signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Mart DeHaan

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Science vs. Religion

If you ask many people today what they think about science’s relationship to religion, you are likely to be told that the two have been in conflict for a very long time.(1) There was the trial of Galileo by the Inquisition, for example, the debate between Wilberforce and Huxley, and there is still an on-going dispute over the teaching of evolution in American schools. These usual suspects may be trotted out whenever this topic is mentioned, but are events such as these really typical of the history of science as a whole?

Contrary to the impression given by some commentators, the conflict thesis between science and religion is one that has been discredited in academic circles for some time. The rise of science in the West was, of course, a very complicated affair in which many different factors played a part. There were certainly inevitable points of tension, but this does not detract from the fact that Europe was a largely Christian continent in which religious individuals and institutions inevitably played a central role in the changes that occurred.

A number of the popular misconceptions about history are addressed in Ronald Numbers’ book, Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion.(2) One of the most famous examples is the “debate” between Bishop Samuel Wilberforce and T. H. Huxley (1860), which was actually an after-lecture discussion on the merits of Darwin’s work. The alleged clash was largely forgotten about until the 1890s, when it resurrected by those seeking to attack the power of the Anglican orthodoxy. By this point the scientific community had become more professionalized and some of its members realized the debate could be used to promote their already growing autonomy. The event was therefore portrayed as if it had been a portentous victory for science over religion, even though, at the time, neither side was said to have won and the discussion was held on purely scientific grounds.(3)

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Joyce Meyer – It’s Okay to Be Different

 

The sun is glorious in one way, the moon is glorious in another way, and the stars are glorious in their own [distinctive] way; for one star differs from and surpasses another in its beauty and brilliance. —1 Corinthians 15:41

We are all different. Like the sun, the moon, and the stars, God has created us to be different from one another, and He has done it on purpose. Each of us meets a need, and we are all part of God’s overall plan.

Thankfully, we can be secure people, knowing God loves us and has a plan for our lives. We don’t have to be threatened by the abilities of others. We can be free to love and accept ourselves and one another without feeling pressure to compare or compete.

When we struggle to be like others, not only do we lose ourselves, but we also grieve the Holy Spirit. God wants us to fit into His plan; He doesn’t want us feeling pressured to fit into everyone else’s plans. Different is okay; it is all right to be different.

Prayer of Thanks: Father, You have created me to be distinct and unique, andI thank You for that. With Your help I’m going to avoid the temptation to compare myself to others. I’m going to be secure in who You’ve created me to be today.

From the book The Power of Being Thankful by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Saved From Our Troubles

“This poor man cried to the Lord — and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles” (Psalm 34:6).

It was a high-security penitentiary — filled with murderers, drug pushers, bank robbers and others who had committed major crimes and many who would never see the light of day again outside those bleak, gray prison walls. At an evangelistic service, however, one inmate after another stood to share how Christ had forgiven him of his sins and how, even though he had committed murder or some other serious crime, he knew with assurance that he was now a child of God.

Many of these men expressed in different words, as I sat there listening with tears streaming down my cheeks, “I am so glad I’m in prison, for it was here I found Jesus Christ, and I would rather be in prison with Christ in my heart than to be living in a palatial mansion without any knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness through His Son.”

Often I talk with people – on planes, on campuses, at public meetings – who are poor, not only materially but also physically and spiritually. What a joy to be able to share with them the good news that God cares.

A “poor man’s” first cry must be one of repentance and confession, so that a divine relationship is established: Father and son. Conversion must come by the Spirit of God, before deliverance can come in the less important areas of one’s life.

But after the Father-son relationship has been established, how wonderful to be able to assure such a one that God truly cares – enough to “save him out of his troubles.” Oftentimes that entails enduring such troubles for a time, but never more than we are able to bear. The supernatural life promises victory – in the midst of adversity.

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will assure people whom I encounter today who are in trouble that God cares and promises deliverance. There is nothing more important that I could do for another person than to help him know Christ, so I will seek out those who are in need of a Savior so that they, too, can experience the liberating power of God’s love through Jesus Christ.

 

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Max Lucado – To Outwit the Devil

 

God will help us stand against the Devil. He will disclose the craftiness of Satan. But we must regularly consult him in everything. The Scriptures say that God’s word is a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105)…but it doesn’t say it is a spotlight into our future. Our best days come when we learn to hear God’s voice telling us to turn this way or that way. “Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’whether to the right or to the left’” (Isaiah 30:21 NLT).

Like David, we can ask God to “bend low and hear my whispered plea” (Psalm 31:2 TLB). Wait until God speaks before you act. The promise says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8). If you feel a check in your heart, heed it and ask God again. It’s the only way to outwit the Devil’s deceit!

From God is With You Every Day

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Why the Mike Flynn story is so important

President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in the White House yesterday. Then Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration for Labor Secretary. Most days, such events would dominate today’s news.

However, the media continues to focus on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who resigned from his position last Monday. Even the conservative Weekly Standard believes that “there will be plenty of questions and revelations about and around Flynn’s resignation over the next days, weeks, months, and likely years.”

Why? What makes his resignation such an important event?

Let’s begin with his personal story. Michael Thomas Flynn served in the United States Army from 1981 to 2014. He was highly decorated, rising to the rank of Lieutenant (three-star) General. On November 18, 2016, Gen. Flynn accepted Donald Trump’s offer to become National Security Advisor, reporting directly to the president on threats to our nation. Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice are among the twenty-four previous occupants of this position.

On January 22, 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that Flynn was being investigated by US counterintelligence agents over his recent communications with Russian officials. The Washington Post then reported that the Justice Department informed the Trump administration that Flynn misled senior administration officials regarding his communications with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US. According to the Post, Justice also warned that Flynn was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. On February 13, Flynn resigned from his position after admitting that he failed to adequately inform the administration about his phone calls with Russian officials.

Democrats are calling for an investigation into connections between the Russians and the Trump administration. Republicans are focusing on press leaks that revealed wiretaps reportedly exposing Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak to the FBI. In addition, there are reports that former Obama administration officials worked for months to discredit Flynn and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran.

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