Charles Stanley –Releasing the Holy Spirit’s Power


Romans 8:26-27

God’s Spirit indwells believers at salvation, which means His power is available from that moment (Eph. 1:13). God created a simple way for us to access that strength every single day.

First, we must accept the truth that in and of ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will. No matter how capable we may be, our own strength and wisdom are insufficient. Sometimes Christians become prideful about the good they have done or the number of years they’ve been saved. Imagine how much more we could serve the Lord if we would humbly get out of God’s way and let Him work through us.

Second, we surrender our entire life to the guidance and governing of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we choose to conduct our spiritual walk—as well as our vocation, finances, family, and relationships—as God desires. His Spirit is not going to release supernatural power into a life that is continuing in rebellion.

Third, we exercise faith, which means demonstrating belief and trust in the Lord. Faith is the “switch” that releases the Spirit’s power. It’s like saying, “I believe You’ve got a plan, God, so I’m going to trust You to give me what I need in order to do Your will.” Then He will move heaven and earth to provide for your need, whatever it may be.

Merely memorizing and reviewing the steps isn’t enough. Instead, commit to these principles as a way of life. Get used to thinking, I can’t but God can— I’ll submit to His will because His plans are for my good and His glory. That’s the kind of life that overflows with the Holy Spirit’s power.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 103-106

Our Daily Bread — Time to Flourish

Read: Luke 13:1–9

Bible in a Year: Job 17–19; Acts 10:1–23

“Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.”—Luke 13:8

Last spring I decided to cut down the rose bush by our back door. In the three years we’d lived in our home, it hadn’t produced many flowers, and its ugly, fruitless branches were now creeping in all directions.

But life got busy, and my gardening plan got delayed. It was just as well—only a few weeks later that rose bush burst into bloom like I’d never seen before. Hundreds of big white flowers, rich in perfume, hung over the back door, flowed into our yard, and showered the ground with beautiful petals.

My rose bush’s revival reminded me of Jesus’s parable of the fig tree in Luke 13:6-9. In Israel, it was customary to give fig trees three years to produce fruit. If they didn’t, they were cut down so the soil could be better used. In Jesus’s story, a gardener asks his boss to give one particular tree a fourth year to produce. In context (vv. 1-5), the parable implies this: The Israelites hadn’t lived as they should, and God could justly judge them. But God is patient and had given extra time for them to turn to Him, be forgiven, and bloom.

God wants all people to flourish and has given extra time so that they can. Whether we are still journeying toward faith or are praying for unbelieving family and friends, His patience is good news for all of us. —Sheridan Voysey

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5.

God has given the world extra time to respond to His offer of forgiveness.

INSIGHT: Right before the words of today’s passage, Jesus described how His coming causes division between those who accept Jesus and the new reality He brings and those who reject Him (Luke 12:49-56). Words like these could have led some to interpret tragedies like lives lost in a collapsed tower (13:4) as God’s judgment. But Jesus rejected this way of thinking (v. 5), teaching that we should not condemn others, but instead look at ourselves. The parable of the barren fig tree (vv. 6-9) illustrates that although God is merciful and has given the world extra time to turn to Him (v. 9), a choice to live in Him must be made. That’s the only way to live fruitfully. How can you, instead of condemning others, focus more deeply on your response to Christ? Monica Brands

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Shadow and Influence

Ask an American about the most historically significant event of 1776 and you will most certainly hear about the signing of the declaration, independence from Great Britain, and the birthday of our nation. But 1776 also significantly marks the publication of Adam Smith’s influential Wealth of Nations, widely considered the first modern work in the field of economics and a work that remains widely influential today. Both Wealth of Nations and The Declaration of Independence are publications that have inarguably shaped the world in ways beyond even what the original authors imagined.

All the same, historian Mark Noll suggests there is a third publication of 1776 that may have been even more historically influential than both of these momentous options. In a lecture at Harvard University, he argued: “I say with calculated awareness of what else was going on in Philadelphia [the signing of the Declaration of Independence], and in Scotland, where Adam Smith published his Wealth of Nations, that of all world-historical occurrences in that year, the publication of August Montagu Toplady’s hymn [Rock of Ages] may have been the most consequential.”(1)

This may seem a surprising choice—particularly for those who want to relegate the role of religion to far more primitive histories. Noll’s suggestion asks that we look not only beyond national histories, but beyond the version of history that wants to claim that there has always been a split between the sacred and the secular. Toplady’s hymn is one of the two most reprinted hymns in Christian history, but its words remind us of a history far beyond even this:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;

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Joyce Meyer – God’s Righteous Friend

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by his goodness].—2 Corinthians 5:21

I cannot think of anything more awesome than being a friend of God. There is nothing I would rather hear God say than, “Joyce Meyer is My friend.” I do not want Him to say, “Joyce Meyer—knows all the prayer principles; she can quote dozens of Bible verses; she sounds very eloquent when she prays; but she really doesn’t know Me at all and we are not really friends.” I want to know that God thinks of me as His friend, and I believe you long for Him to think of you that way, too. Through Jesus Christ, we have a right to be comfortable with God, to hear His voice, and to go boldly to the throne of grace to get the help we need in plenty of time to meet our needs and the needs of others (see Hebrews 4:16).

One of the best things you can ever do is to develop your friendship with God. Jesus has made you righteous through the blood He shed at the cross, so there is no reason you cannot approach God as boldly and as naturally as you would your best friend on Earth. Remember, friendship with God takes an investment of time and energy to develop. But also remember that as your friendship deepens, your ability to hear God’s voice increases. A growing, vibrant, increasingly intimate friendship with God will naturally lead to increasingly effective communication with Him.

From the book Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Anything Is Possible

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23, KJV).

“My doing all depends on thy believing” is what Jesus really said to the desperate father of the demoniac boy. And it is what He says to you and me today.

The Lord sought to bring forth faith in that struggling soul, and – through pain and travail – it came to birth. Realizing that the solution rested not upon God’s power but upon his own faith, the man became conscious of conflicting principles and delivered himself of a noble utterance:

“Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.”

Mystery of mysteries: even the very faith that we must exercise to bring down the power of God is a gift from God Himself. But some conditions are laid down before we receive that gift of faith.

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

When I spend time in God’s Word – whether reading, studying, memorizing or meditating – that faith is being built up in me. Not faith in myself, not faith in a routine, but faith in the almighty ruler of heaven and earth.

That physical illness; that unsaved loved one; that financial need; that faltering relationship; that broken home – whatever the need might be – the solution is as close as the Word of God, for our dependence upon it, and upon the God of the Word, brings the faith that unlocks the solution to every need.

Bible Reading: Mark 9:24-29

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I shall believe God today for every need I face, at the same time building up my faith in Him by feasting on His Word.

Max Lucado – “Thank You!”

Paul says in Ephesians 5:20, “Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You don’t have to name a child after God, but then again, you could. Or you could draft a letter listing all His blessings or write a song in His honor. You could sponsor an orphan, adopt a child just because God adopted you. The surest path out of a slump is marked by the road sign, “Thank you.”

But what of the disastrous days? Can we be grateful then? Jesus was. “On the night He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it.” Not often are the words “betrayed” and “thanks” in the same sentence, much less in the same heart. Anyone can thank God for the light, but Jesus teaches us to thank God for the night!

From You’ll Get Through This

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Denison Forum – Why was this video seen 5.2 million times?

Today is Asteroid Day. In case you want to join the celebration, you can watch a program on NASA TV describing how researchers find, track, and characterize Near-Earth Objects.

From the skies to the seas: a video showing tourists in shallow water at a Florida beach has been seen more than 5.2 million times. Not because of the tourists, but because of the seven sharks swimming around them.

From sharks to tragedy: an aspiring YouTube star convinced his girlfriend to shoot a gun into the thick book covering his chest. He was certain that the book would stop the bullet and the video would make them famous. The bullet killed him; his girlfriend has been charged with manslaughter.

From tragedy to celebration: a baby was born on a Spirit Airlines plane traveling from Ft. Lauderdale for Dallas/Ft. Worth. The airline has awarded him free air travel for life.

You’re probably wondering what these stories have to do with you today. Here’s the answer: very little. Your odds of dying from a meteor, asteroid, or comet impact are one in 1,600,000. You are 17,777 times more likely to die in a car crash.

Sharks are not likely to kill you, either—falling coconuts kill fifteen times more people than sharks each year. I would guess that you’re not willing to fire a gun into a book on your chest. And I could find no statistics for the number of babies born on airplanes since this happens so rarely.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Why was this video seen 5.2 million times?

Charles Stanley –The Power Within


Ephesians 3:14-21

Bertha Smith, a missionary to China, once pronounced some of the most discouraging words I’d ever heard: “Charles, I want to tell you that you’re as good as you’ll ever be. You’re as good as you’ve ever been, and you won’t ever be any better than you are.”

I had grown up believing a falsehood—that believers were to pour effort into turning their flesh around and doing right all the time. Thankfully, Bertha wasn’t finished. “God never intended for you to get better, because you can’t improve flesh,” she said. “But the Holy Spirit, who is living inside you, will enable and live through you.”

She was right. My flesh hasn’t changed one bit. But as the Holy Spirit releases His supernatural power in my life, I find myself going beyond what is inherent to the nature of man. And the indwelling Spirit intends to do the same with every follower of God.

Although the works of the Holy Spirit are many, four are basic to the life of faith: The Spirit illumines the mind, enabling believers to understand the things of God; He energizes physical bodies to serve the Lord; He enables the will to follow through on doing what is right; and He quickens emotions to feel and express the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Bertha Smith passed on an important truth to me: Flesh is insufficient. Only the Holy Spirit living inside us has the strength and wisdom to live out the Christian life victoriously. That’s why God gave us His Spirit, through whom we reap all the benefits of a righteous and godly life.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 95-102

Our Daily Bread — Faith in Action

Read: James 2:14–26

Bible in a Year: Job 14–16; Acts 9:22–43

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.—James 2:18

As a friend drove to the grocery store, she noticed a woman walking along the side of the road and felt she should turn the car around and offer her a ride. When she did, she was saddened to hear that the woman didn’t have money for the bus so was walking home many miles in the hot and humid weather. Not only was she making the long journey home, but she had also walked several hours that morning to arrive at work by 4 a.m.

By offering a ride, my friend put into practice in a modern setting James’s instruction for Christians to live out their faith with their deeds: “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (v. 17). He was concerned that the church take care of the widows and the orphans (James 1:27), and he also wanted them to rely not on empty words but to act on their faith with deeds of love.

We are saved by faith, not works, but we live out our faith by loving others and caring for their needs. May we, like my friend who offered the ride, keep our eyes open for those who might need our help as we walk together in this journey of life. —Amy Boucher Pye

Lord Jesus Christ, You did the ultimate deed by dying on the cross for me. May I never forget the sacrifice that gives me life.

We live out our faith through our good deeds.

INSIGHT: Good works are the byproduct of our faith. James deals with the evidence essential to show the world that our faith is genuine. He wrote, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds” (2:18). Authentic trust in God will always manifest itself in loving and caring for others.How can you demonstrate your faith in Christ to someone today? Dennis Fisher

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Challenge of Atticus Finch

Few challenges are as great for novelists as crafting a believably good character. Our native preoccupation with darkness often casts virtue in a light that is less than plausible. Perhaps most damning of all, however, is the deep-seated assumption that goodness itself is boring while the allure of badness remains magnetic. Poets and critics have long pointed to the character of Satan as the runaway hero of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Though this certainly wasn’t Milton’s intent, it is difficult to dispute that Satan stands out in the roster of characters as arguably the most dynamic, compelling, and relatable. A contemporary example would be the late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. It’s not just that we find darkness more interesting than light, it’s that we find it more believable.

Many have received the details from Harper Lee’s novel Go Set a Watchman as disheartening news once it became clear that the book was going to cast a shadow over the beloved character of Atticus Finch. This man who has stood for many as a champion of truth, justice, and human decency may turn out to be more of a fiction than his readers ever realized. Dramatic as it sounds, America may be losing one of her icons. In the words of Sam Sacks in his Wall Street Journal review, “Go Set a Watchman is a distressing book, one that delivers a startling rebuttal to the shining idealism of To Kill a Mockingbird. This story is of the toppling of idols; its major theme is disillusion.”

Though Harper Lee may force us to reconsider the character of Atticus Finch, I find it deeply encouraging that our sorrow regarding his possible moral compromises shows a clear hunger for genuine goodness. True, disillusion may be an all-too-common theme in our imaginative landscape these days, but if we feel betrayed by Atticus Finch (or his author), that sense of betrayal is surely motivated by a conviction that true men and women of integrity exist, and that their example, strength, and leadership are much-needed. Moreover, that goodness is not only plausible, but foundational to reality. In other word, not only is goodness real, but there is a goodness that sets the clear standard against which we measure all else, including Atticus Finch and his shortcomings.

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Joyce Meyer – Power from Heaven


But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. —Acts 1:8

It is possible to fill a glass with water without filling it to full capacity. Likewise, when you are born again you have the Holy Spirit in you, but you may not yet be totally filled with the Spirit. Many Christians are very busy doing things for God but don’t have enough power in their lives to be what God wants us to be.

Going through the motions and following religious formulas is a waste of time. You must have the revelation that Jesus is alive within you and allow Him to change you and make you a new creature in Christ. Don’t tuck God away for emergencies and Sunday mornings. Allow Him to work freely in every area of your life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

From the book Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Inspiration of God

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV).

Recently, it was my privilege to be chairman of a national congress on the Bible, which was held in San Diego, California. Thousands of Christian leaders came from across the nation and from other countries. More than fifty leading scholars addressed the various plenary and seminar sessions.

We were there to affirm our confidence that the Word of God is holy, inspired and without error. God’s Word is unlike any other book ever written. It is full of power and transforms the lives of all who read and obey its commandments. Many scholars read it without understanding, while others with little or no formal education comprehend its truths and are transformed in the process because they walk with God in humility and in the fullness and control of the Holy Spirit.

The story is told of a famous actor who attended a party one evening. A minister, who was also present, asked him if he would be kind enough to recite the 23rd Psalm. The actor, a famous and eloquent star of stage and screen, agreed on one condition – that the minister, a man in his eighties who had served God faithfully and humbly for half a century, would also recite the psalm.

The minister agreed, and the actor began. The words came like beautiful music, and everyone was enthralled at his beautiful presentation of the 23rd Psalm. A standing ovation greeted him at the finish.

Then the minister stood. He was not polished or eloquent. But as he began to recite the 23rd Psalm, a holy hush fell over his listeners and tears began to fill their eyes. When he finished, there was no applause – only silence. The actor stood to his feet. “I have reached your eyes and your ears and your emotions,” he said. “But this man of God has reached the very depths of your being.”

Bible Reading: II Peter 1:19-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to become familiar with God’s Word, and obedient to its precepts, that my life will reflect its teachings. I will encourage others to join me in this great adventure of getting to know God and His holy, inspired Word.

Max Lucado – Give Thanks

Some things just weren’t made to coexist.  Long-tailed cats and rocking chairs? Bulls in a china shop? Not a good idea. Blessings and bitterness? That mixture doesn’t go over well with God. Combine heavenly kindness with earthly ingratitude and expect a sour concoction. Perhaps you’ve sampled it. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally. Self-pity does. Bellyaches do. Grumbles and mumbles—no one has to remind us to offer them. Yet they don’t mix well with the kindness we’ve been given.

Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse His accomplishments is to discover His heart. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. So practice gratitude!  As Ephesians 5:20 puts it, “Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

From You’ll Get Through This

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Denison Forum – Man smashes new Ten Commandments monument

A man yelling “Freedom!” crashed his vehicle into Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument yesterday morning. The privately funded monument had been in place outside the State Capitol in Little Rock for less than twenty-four hours before it was smashed into pieces.

Michael Tate Reed was charged with defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass, and first-degree criminal mischief. He was likewise arrested nearly three years ago in the destruction of Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments monument at its State Capitol. The group that raised money for the Arkansas monument has already ordered a replacement.

Since the serpent rejected God’s word in the Garden of Eden, God’s enemies have been trying to abolish his truth (Genesis 3:1–4). But, as Charles Spurgeon noted, “The word of God is the anvil upon which the opinions of men are smashed.”

Consider one such opinion gaining great popularity these days.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the best-known astrophysicists in the world. He recently claimed that there is no evidence in our dangerous universe for a benevolent God. However, in his best-selling Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, he makes an admission that struck me. When asked “what happened before the beginning” of the cosmos, he answers: “Astrophysicists have no idea. Or, rather, our most creative ideas have little or no grounding in experimental science.”

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Charles Stanley –The Privilege Corrupted


Romans 1:21-32

God has revealed Himself to mankind and provided all that is necessary for a relationship with Him. Yet many people foolishly refuse His offer.

By choosing to live without God, a person will spiral downward into sin and a skewed view of the truth. As ignorance overpowers the capacity for intelligent understanding, an ever-darkening heart develops. The individual hungers for something to fill his emptiness but fails to recognize that only the Lord can satisfy his longing.

Desiring to fill his spiritual void, the person will look for an idol to worship. It won’t be a statue of wood or gold, but rather something on which to focus his affections. “Idols” occupy a person’s passion, time, and energy; in today’s world, they often take the form of money, prominence, and relationships. The “worshipper” begins to indulge in earthly pleasures and desires, yet nothing can satisfy the emptiness. Eventually, as Romans 1:28 makes clear, the Lord will turn such a person over to a depraved mind—one that can no longer make right judgments.

Remember, the heavenly Father desires a relationship with us. He even gave His own Son to make this possible. It is man who rejects Him and begins the journey toward godlessness and emptiness.

Look around. Notice the manifold evidence that points to a holy, loving God who desires an intimate friendship with you. Don’t put off accepting His offer of relationship—the consequences of rejection are far too dangerous, and the benefits of saying yes are beyond what you can imagine (Eph. 3:20).

Bible in One Year: Psalm 90-94

Our Daily Bread — Unfinished Works

Read: Romans 7:14–25

Bible in a Year: Job 11–13; Acts 9:1–21

Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!—Romans 7:24-25

At his death, the great artist Michelangelo left many unfinished projects. But four of his sculptures were never meant to be completed. The Bearded Slave, the Atlas Slave, the Awakening Slave, and the Young Slave, though they appear unfinished, are just as Michelangelo intended them to be. The artist wanted to show what it might feel like to be forever enslaved.

Rather than sculpting figures in chains, Michelangelo made figures stuck in the very marble out of which they are carved. Bodies emerge from the stone, but not completely. Muscles flex, but the figures are never able to free themselves.

My empathy with the slave sculptures is immediate. Their plight is not unlike my struggle with sin. I am unable to free myself: like the sculptures I am stuck, “a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me” (Rom 7:23). No matter how hard I try, I cannot change myself. But thanks be to God, you and I will not remain unfinished works. We won’t be complete until heaven, but in the meantime as we welcome the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, He changes us. God promises to finish the good work He has begun in us (Phil. 1:6). —Amy Peterson

God, thank You that You make us new creatures through the work of Your Son Jesus Christ, freeing us from our slavery to sin.

He is the potter; we are the clay.

INSIGHT: The war between the good we want to do and the bad we end up doing is a struggle for all Christ-followers. Paul places this tension as being between his “inner man” (his renewed heart and Holy Spirit-guided conscience) and the “flesh” (the fallen nature that still is drawn to sin). The good news is that someday we will be renewed in mind and body—free from the temptation to sin and the impact of our sinful choices. J.R. Hudberg

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Windows of Something Other

A single plastic lawn chair sits small and unbefitting in the jungle of massive concrete pillars Atlantans know as Spaghetti Junction. A tangled intersection of two major interstates and its deluge of exits, onramps, over- and underpasses, Spaghetti Junction is a colossal picture of ordered chaos, the arteries and veins of a massive, active organism. To say the least, the small chair positioned to sit and watch from the side of the road, its matching side table suggesting space for a cup of tea, is incongruous of the congested, noxious web of concrete and frustrated motorists. Spaghetti Junction is far from relaxing, and people who sit still on Atlanta highways sit with enormous risk.

As I drove, I was immediately struck by the ridiculousness of the chair from the perspective of a driver. Who would sit in the middle of a knotted mess of highways? But as I sat in my car, barely inching forward, with a scowl on my face as I watched the car in front of me trying to cut off the merging motorist in front of him, it occurred to me how ridiculous I must have looked from the perspective of the chair. Taking in the soaring overpasses and congested ramps of an anxious world always on the move is perhaps to see some of the absurdity in our distracted lives.

One could say that King Solomon spoke as if a man sitting in a chair under Spaghetti Junction: “What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity”(1) It was from such a perspective that Solomon concluded wisely, “I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. God has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end”(2)

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Joyce Meyer – What is Grace?


. . . The [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God).—Hebrews 10:29

Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit available to you to do with ease what you cannot do by striving in your own strength. Grace is God’s power coming into our lives, freely enabling us to do whatever we need to do. God’s grace is always available, but we do need to receive it by faith and refuse to try to do things in our own strength without God.

The Holy Spirit ministers grace to us from God the Father. Grace is actually the Holy Spirit’s power flowing out from the throne of God toward people to save them and enable them to live holy lives and accomplish the will of God.

We can rejoice and be full of peace, joy, and contentment each day because of God’s grace in our lives. It is His grace that allows us to live in close fellowship with Him. With the grace of God, life can be enjoyed with an ease that produces rest and contentment.

We are saved by grace through faith, and we should learn to live the same way!

From the book Closer to God Each Day by Joyce Meyer.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Strength to the Humble

“But He gives us more and more strength to stand against all such evil longings. As the Scripture says, God gives strength to the humble, but sets Himself against the proud and haughty” (James 4:6).

Dr. A. B. Simpson, leader of the Christian and Missionary Alliance at its inception, wisely said years ago.” Humility is not thinking meanly of yourself; it is not thinking of yourself at all.”

Under that rigid definition, not many of us would qualify as being truly humble – nevertheless, the statement contains a great deal of truth, for it is a goal toward which we should all strive.

No real progress is made toward God in any person’s life – believer or unbeliever – without this special characteristic of humility. One proof of that is found in the familiar verse:

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV).

Even before we pray, before we seek His face, before we turn from our wicked ways, we must humble ourselves. Why? Because we are in no position to meet any of these other three criteria without first humbling ourselves.

Every Christian who seeks to advance in a holy life must remember well that humility is the most important lesson a believer has to learn. There may be intense consecration, fervent zeal and heavenly experience, yet there also may be an unconscious self-exaltation. True humility must come from God.

Bible Reading: James 4:7-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Remembering that pride is the root sin from which all others grow, I will humble myself and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit I will stay so busy helping, praying for and encouraging others that pride cannot take root in my life.

Max Lucado – Let God Define Good


Nothing in the Bible would cause us to call a famine good or a heart attack good or a terrorist attack good. These are terrible calamities, born out of a fallen earth. Yet every message in the Bible compels us to believe that God will mix them with other ingredients, and bring good out of them. But we must let God define good. Our definition includes health, comfort, and recognition. His definition? In the case of His Son, Jesus Christ, the good life consisted of struggles, storms, and death. But God worked it all together for the greatest of good: His glory and our salvation.

At some point we all stand at this intersection. Is God good when the outcome is not? Do you want to know heaven’s clearest answer to the question of suffering? Take a look at Jesus!

From You’ll Get Through This

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.