Charles Stanley –An Ordinary Person


Matthew 4:18-20

The apostle Peter was an ordinary person who lived in an extraordinary time. His was the generation during which Jesus Christ lived on the earth, died for the salvation of mankind, and rose again.

It was through his brother Andrew that Peter (who was originally called Simon) met the Lord (John 1:40-42). When Jesus invited him to become a disciple, he immediately left his fishing trade and placed himself under Christ’s authority (Matt. 4:20). He became a passionate follower who consistently demonstrated an eagerness to be near the Savior and in the middle of whatever was going on. Whether meeting Jesus on the water during a storm (Matt. 14:27-29) or speaking to Him during His transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-5), Peter was devoted to his Master’s service.

In the beginning, the former fisherman was quick to speak and to act, and this impulsiveness created many problems for him. For example, when Jesus was talking about His imminent suffering and death, Peter objected, as if he knew better than the Lord. Christ’s rebuke was swift and direct (Matt. 16:21-23). The apostle, however, learned from his mistakes. He’s a good example of how we should let go of personal desires, wholeheartedly embrace Jesus’ way, and walk closely with Him (Mark 8:34).

The Lord chooses unexceptional people like Peter, you, and me to build His kingdom. He asks His followers to love Him above all else and fully commit to obeying Him. When we do, He will accomplish more through us than we could ever imagine.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 36-39

Our Daily Bread — A “New Man”

Read: Colossians 1:3–14

Bible in a Year: Psalms 54–56; Romans 3

Continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.—Colossians 1:23

As a group of teenagers visited a home for the elderly in Montego Bay, Jamaica, one young woman noticed a lonely looking man at the end of the room. He appeared to have little left in this world but a bed to sleep on—a bed from which he could not move because of his disability.

The teen began right away to share the story of God’s love for us and read some Bible passages to him. “As I shared with him,” she would say later, “I started to feel his eagerness to hear more.” Responding to his interest, she explained the wonder of Jesus’s sacrificial death for us. “It was hard for this man, who had no hope and no family,” she recalled, “to understand that Someone he’s never met would love him enough to die on the cross for his sins.”

She told him more about Jesus—and then about the promise of heaven (including a new body) for all who believe. He asked her, “Will you dance with me up there?” She saw him begin to imagine himself free of his worn-out body and crippling limitations.

When he said he wanted to trust Jesus as his Savior, she helped him pray a prayer of forgiveness and faith. When she asked him if she could get a picture with him, he replied, “If you help me sit up. I’m a new man.”

Praise God for the life-changing, hope-giving, available-to-all gospel of Jesus Christ! It offers new life for all who trust Him (Col. 1:5, 23). —Dave Branon

Lord, thank You for the new life we have in Jesus Christ. Help us to share the hope of that new life with others so they can be made new as well.

Jesus offers new life.

INSIGHT: Colossae, the destination of the letter to the Colossian church, was a city in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). It was a city of some significance commercially in the first century because of its location on a main trade route east from Ephesus. We are not told in the New Testament how this church was founded, but in this letter Paul writes to encourage and instruct the believers there as if it were one of the churches he himself had founded.  Bill Crowder

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Undeceptions

The well-read collection of essays written by C.S. Lewis and compiled posthumously in the book God in the Dock was originally published in England under a different title. The book was titled Undeceptions.

“Undeception” was the word Lewis used to describe a startling experience of awareness—moments when deception is uncovered and the cause is seen clearly from within, moments when blind spots are replaced with reality. He was taken with these awakenings or undeceptions in many of the characters of Jane Austen. In much of Austen’s work, he observes, “[T]he undeception…is the very pivot or watershed of the story.”(1)

Lewis would unquestionably state the same of our own stories. “Undeception” was no doubt a word that fittingly described his startling experience of being brought into the kingdom of God kicking and screaming, making him “the most reluctant convert in all England.” It was this experience through which he saw himself, the world, and its creator for the rest of his life.

Encountering God, many have noted the recognizing of blind spots. “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it” woke Jacob to his own deception. He didn’t wake up declaring that the God who was once absent had now appeared. He said, “God was here all along and I was the one who didn’t see it.” Some have referred to pivotal encounters like Jacob’s dream as “thin spots”—moments in life where the nearness of God is nearly palpable. Other theologians describe such encounters as openings or baptisms, windows or transcendence. Still others give testimonies similar to the man born blind in ancient Jerusalem. Forced to explain to the Pharisees the unexplainable moment he had with Jesus, he mustered the only words he could think to describe it: “Only one thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.”(2)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Undeceptions

Joyce Meyer – Kingdom Living

[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. —Romans 14:17

God’s kingdom is made up of things far greater and more beneficial than worldly possessions. God does bless us with material possessions, but the kingdom is much more than that: It is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Righteousness is not the result of what we do, but rather what Jesus has done for us (see 1 Corinthians 1:30). He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). When we accept this truth by faith and receive it personally, we are free to live and enjoy the life Jesus died to give us.

Peace is so wonderful—it is definitely kingdom living. This is why we pursue peace, crave it, and go after it (see Psalm 34:14; 1 Peter 3:11). The closer we get to God, the more we understand that Jesus is our peace (see Ephesians 2:14). God’s will for you and me is to enjoy His peace that goes beyond understanding (see Philippians 4:7).

Joy can be anything from calm delight to extreme hilarity. Joy improves our countenance, our health, and the quality of our lives. It strengthens our witness to others and gives us a godly perspective on life (see Nehemiah 8:10).

It is clear in the Word of God: Seek God and His kingdom, and He will take care of everything else (see Matthew 6:33).

There is no better life than life in the kingdom of God.

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

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – It All Belongs to Him

“For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10, KJV).

Gently chiding a Christian worker for praying that God might give him a second-hand car to use in his service for the Lord, Dr. A.W. Tozer reminded the man:

“God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and the Cadillacs, too. Why not ask Him for the best?”

That same principle might apply to many areas of our lives today. If we truly believe that “according to your faith be it unto you,” then it is imperative that we trust God for greater things than normally we might.

Motive, of course, is supremely important in our asking from God. If the thing asked is clearly for God’s glory, to be used in His service, the motivation is good. If pride or any other motive plays a part in the decision, then we do well to think twice before asking great things from God.

What man owns, we do well to remember, we own under God. And God has never given to man the absolute proprietorship in any thing. Nor does He invade our rights when He comes and claims what we possess, or when He in any way removes what is most valuable to us.

God owns all things – let’s leave to Him the right to do whatever He wishes with the things He owns.

Bible Reading: Psalm 50:7-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Since my receiving is “according to my faith,” I will with proper motive for His glory believe God in a large manner this day – for whatever needs may arise.

Max Lucado – A Solution for Tough Times

How do you handle your tough times? When you are tired of trying, tired of forgiving, tired of hard weeks or hard-headed people—how do you manage your dark days? With a bottle of pills? Alcohol? A day at the spa? Many opt for such treatments. So many, in fact, we assume they reenergize the sad life. But do they? They may numb the pain, but do they remove it?  We like sheep follow each other off the ledge, falling headlong into bars, binges and beds.

Is there a better solution? Indeed there is. Be quick to pray. Talk to Christ who invites. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to Me! Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life” (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus says, “I will show you how to take a real rest.” God who is never downcast, never tires of your down days! Just go to Him!

From Facing Your Giants

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Denison Forum – Turns out money can buy happiness

Janet and I are on vacation, so I’ve asked our oldest son Ryan to write the Daily Article in my absence. Ryan has been writing for our website for several years. He has earned BA and Master of Divinity degrees and is completing a PhD in church history. I believe you will profit from his insights as he engages cultural issues with biblical truth.

It’s long been said that money can’t buy happiness, but a recent study put that cliché to the test and found that it’s not always true. As The Washington Post’s Jenna Gallegos writes, those who use their money to buy more free time through outsourcing tasks like cleaning the house and mowing the yard, or by taking the tollway to and from work, were less stressed and generally happier than those who spent their money on material goods. And while that may seem like something only the well-off can afford, the study’s results were consistent across most income levels.

Unfortunately, few of us live like that. Only two percent of people reported that, if given forty dollars to spend, buying more free time would be among their initial purchases. As the study’s lead author, Ashley Whillans, put it, “People are notoriously bad at making decisions that will make them happier.” The primary reason is that it’s far more difficult to measure the value of our time than it is movie tickets, a new dress, or a few more hours at the office.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Turns out money can buy happiness

Charles Stanley –Breaking Down the Faith Barrier

Exodus 4:1-13

A faith barrier is made up of attitudes that short-circuit our trust and prevent us from obeying the Lord’s will. A negative self-image can hinder us in this way, as can ignorance of God’s character and promises. As we see in Moses’ life, three other attitudes can also trip us up: doubt, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure.

Moses doubted the Israelites would believe the Lord had chosen him to lead them. But God graciously reassured him by providing demonstrations of divine power (Ex. 4:1-5). When doubt invades our minds, it can be overcome with diligent study of Scripture and persistent prayer, which will replace uncertainty with biblical truth.

Moses wasn’t eloquent, and a perceived lack of skill left him feeling inadequate for the job—he was afraid trying to speak would make him look foolish. God patiently reassured him of divine help in that task (vv. 10-12). The Lord often chooses unlikely people to carry out His plan because He looks at the heart, not human qualifications (1 Samuel 16:7). He can overcome all our inadequacies.

Thankfully, Moses eventually obeyed. But at first, he didn’t embrace God’s instructions and instead asked to be relieved of the assignment (Ex. 4:13). A fear of failure can prevent us from saying yes to the Lord.

Carrying out God’s will requires a heart that trusts Him, a soul that steps out in obedience, and a mind that leaves success or failure to Him. As we break down the faith barrier, we will be able to see the evidence of God’s presence and power—and experience the joy of obedience.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 31-35

Our Daily Bread — All Generations

Read: Psalm 145:1–13

Bible in a Year: Psalms 51–53; Romans 2

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.—Psalm 145:13

My parents married in 1933 during the Great Depression. My wife and I are Baby Boomers, part of the dramatic increase in births following World War II. Our four daughters, born in the seventies and eighties, belong to Generations X and Y. Growing up in such different times, it’s not surprising that we have different opinions about many things!

Generations differ widely in their life experiences and values. And this is true among followers of Jesus. But no matter what we wear or the kind of music we enjoy, our spiritual connection is stronger than those differences.

Psalm 145, a mighty song of praise to God, proclaims our bond of faith. “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. . . . They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness” (vv. 4, 7). Within a great diversity of age and experience, we come together by honoring the Lord. “They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might” (v. 11).

While differences and preferences could divide us, shared faith in Jesus Christ the Lord brings us together in mutual trust, encouragement, and praise. Whatever our age and outlook, we need each other! No matter which generation we belong to, we can learn from each other and together honor the Lord—“So that all people may know of [His] mighty acts and the glorious splendor of [His] kingdom” (v. 12). —David C. McCasland

Lord, unite Your people from all generations to honor and praise You as we bear witness of Your love.

God’s kingdom is alive and active in all generations.

INSIGHT: Generational differences are unavoidable, but exalting the God who created and redeemed us is always the starting point for building unity among believers. Our Creator-Redeemer God is celebrated in both the Old and New Testaments. Psalm 145 is a marvelous springboard for expressing such unifying praise. Especially meaningful is verse 9, which proclaims: “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” It goes on to reflect on the trustworthy character of the God of compassion in verse 13: “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”

How might this psalm inspire you to praise God and build unity with other believers?  Dennis Fisher

Kids 4 Truth International – God Is a Spirit

“God is a Spirit.” (John 4:24a)

Have you ever seen the wind? Probably not! If someone asked you to describe the wind, you would not be able to tell its shape or color. You would only be able to tell what the wind does – it makes tree limbs sway, causes waves to swell, howls in the night, and cools you down on a hot sunny days. In the same way, you could not describe what God looks like, because God is a spirit.

A spirit is invisible. That means a spirit does not have a body or a form that you can see with your eyes. In the world, there are spiritual things and material things. Material things are things you can see and touch. You see material things every day: cars, your computer screen, your clothes, your nose, the sun, and your schoolbooks are all material things. You know they are real because your five senses show them to you. You can see a cell phone. You can hear it ring. You can touch your book. You can taste your mom’s homemade cooking. You can smell your dad’s dirty feet.

But just because you cannot sense something does not mean it is not real. Spiritual things are the supernatural things that you cannot sense with your five natural senses. It takes faith to believe that spiritual things are there. You might be are tempted to think that just because you can’t see something it cannot be real. But the Bible says very clearly that even though you cannot see God, He is real.

By faith, you can believe that God is real even though you cannot see Him. By faith, you can know for sure that the God who is a Spirit is the same God who does everything. By faith, you can sense spiritual things – not with your five senses, but with spiritual understanding. You can know in your heart that God is who He says He is, even if you cannot see Him for yourself. You can genuinely love Him and live your life before Him, knowing that He is always near and that He is worthy of your trust and your obedience. God expects you to rely by faith on the truth of the Bible. God’s desire is for you to be even more sure about Him than you are about the material things you can see or feel.

God expects you to believe what He says about who He is, no matter what your five material senses tells you.

My Response:

» When is it hard for me to remember that God is real?

» How can I remember that God is real?

Joyce Meyer – The Gift of Repentance

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.—2 Chronicles 7:14

When I am headed in the wrong direction, I thank God for the ability to turn around and go in the right direction. That is actually what true repentance is. It is not just a feeling of being sorry, but also a decision to turn and go in the right direction from now on.

We get into trouble through making a series of wrong decisions, and with God’s help, we will get our lives straightened out by a series of right decisions. It took more than a day to get into trouble, and it will take more than a day to get out.

Anyone who is ready and willing to make a real investment of time and right choices can see his or her life turn around for the better. God’s mercy is new every day. He is waiting to give you mercy, grace, favor, and help; all you have to do is be thankful for that mercy and say “yes” to whatever God is asking of you.

Prayer of Thanks: Thank You, Father, for the new starts You provide in my life. Help me realize when I do wrong, then help me repent and begin again. I am so grateful for Your mercies that are new every morning in my life.

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

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Help for Hard Times

“He cares for them when times are hard; even in famine, they will have enough” (Psalm 37:19).

I recall that, in the early 1930’s during the time of the great depression in America, many people experienced hard times. It was not always easy to fully appreciate the fact I know now to be true: God always cares for His children.

“When times are hard” can refer not only to the material, but also to the physical and the spiritual. And during any of these times – whether in poverty, poor health or spiritual doldrums – our great God always cares for us.

In Bible times, God often proved the truth of the assertion that He cares for His people in periods of famine. And no doubt multitudes of sufferers around the world today would attest to that fact, in spite of their suffering.

When physical suffering is involved, it is not always easy to see the hand of God. But one sure way to increase faith is to exercise the sacrifice of praise – praise to our wonderful God for the positive fact that “all things do work together for our good if we love God and are called according to His purpose.”

When spiritual poverty is concerned, we need only retreat to that time and place in our lives where we wandered away from God, whatever degree of wandering that involves, whether large or small. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

Bible Reading: Psalm 37:16-22

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: At all times of difficulty in my life – spiritual, material, physical – I will look for God’s hand of blessing in the joyful assurance that He cares for me.

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – WHEN GOD CHANGES YOUR PLANS


Dietrich Bonhoeffer observed, “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans.” This was the lesson that David learned when he initially had it in mind to build a temple for God.

If you have been paying attention, you probably noticed that this is the third time this story has been told. The first was in 1 Chronicles 17, which described David’s experience. The second occurrence is 1 Chronicles 22, where David recounts these events to his son Solomon. In today’s passage, David tells the story to “all the officials of Israel . . . the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men” (v. 1).

Since this is a story about how David misread God’s intent, you might think that the author would want to keep it under wraps. Why let everyone know that David was wrong? But there is much more to this story than David’s mistaken idea. Ultimately it is a story about God’s faithfulness. The Lord set aside David’s plan because He had a better plan of His own.

The reason David’s story is repeated in 1 Chronicles is not to highlight the king’s mistake but to underscore God’s promise and Solomon’s responsibility. The Chronicler does this to remind the returned exiles of their obligation to God. The covenant made with David included a condition that Solomon did not meet (vv. 7–9). The return of God’s people to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple were evidence of God’s grace.


This account of David’s charge to his son Solomon was more than a glance back at a greater time. It was a reminder of God’s enabling power. Does your church look back to a golden age when things seemed to be better? Instead of seeing it as a record of what you have lost, try to view it as measure of what God can do today.

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Christ Alone

Read: Hebrews 13:8-9

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (v. 8)

When I was a baby, my doctor told my mother that it was best to lay me on my stomach to sleep. He said that babies were happier on their stomachs and were less likely to choke if they spit up. When I had babies of my own, the doctor told me to lay them on their backs to sleep. New research shows that babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to experience a host of dangers. Even though doctors give different advice now than they did 40 years ago, we can still trust that the goal of these doctors has always been to keep babies healthy and safe.

We constantly have new and different circumstances to navigate as the world around us develops and changes. But Jesus never changes. Our world doesn’t look the same today as it did when Jesus walked the earth, so we need to keep seeking God’s path in new ways. We ought to ask ourselves what Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection have to teach us about how to interact with the world around us today. But we can be sure that no matter how circumstances change, Jesus’ message of love is always the same. When the world changes, we don’t look for a new teaching; we look for new ways to follow Jesus’ command to love. And if we cling to the message of Jesus, we’ll find our way in any circumstance life throws at us. —Jen Petersen

Prayer: Jesus, help me hold fast to your truth.

Charles Stanley –Overcoming the Faith Barrier


Exodus 3:10-17

God called Moses to do a great work for Him that would also bless the Israelites. Moses’ response to this awesome invitation was to offer excuses for why he couldn’t obey. This kind of attitude—which I call a “faith barrier”—can thwart us spiritually.

In Moses’ life, we see areas of weakness that can create such a faith barrier:

Poor self-image. When God gave the command to go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses’ immediate response was to say, “Who am I?” (Ex. 3:11). Perhaps he was thinking of his occupation as a lowly shepherd living in Midian. Maybe he was referring to his upbringing and separation from his birth family (Ex. 2:1-4). Or he might have been recalling his past, when he killed an Egyptian and had to flee (Ex. 2:12). Whatever Moses’ objection was, the Lord answered with a wonderful promise: “I will be with you” (3:12).

Ignorance of God’s greatness. In order to carry out God’s plan, we need to believe fully in the One who has called us. When Moses questioned his assignment again, the Lord answered by revealing Himself as the great I AM and the One who had promised to rescue the Israelites (vv. 14-17). By trusting in the character and promises of almighty God, Moses would be able to carry out this seemingly impossible assignment.

Faith barriers hinder the flow of divine power in our life, slow spiritual growth, and prevent us from fully carrying out the Father’s will. We must remember who He is and where power comes from. We know that our heavenly Father is sovereign over all, and His Spirit empowers us to follow through in obedience.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 28-30

Our Daily Bread — Privileged Access

Read: Hebrews 12:18–24

Bible in a Year: Psalms 49–50; Romans 1

You have come . . . to the church of the firstborn.—Hebrews 12:22–23

Even though it was just a replica, the tabernacle set up in southern Israel was awe-inspiring. Built life-size and as close as possible to the specifications laid out in Exodus 25-27 (without actual gold and acacia wood, of course), it stood tall in the Negev desert.

When our tour group was taken through the “Holy Place” and into the “Most Holy Place” to see the “ark,” some of us actually hesitated. Wasn’t this the holiest place, where only the high priest was allowed to enter? How could we enter it so casually?

I can imagine how fearful the Israelites must have felt as they approached the tent of meeting with their sacrifices each time, knowing that they were coming into the presence of the Almighty God. And the wonder they must have felt, whenever God had a message for them, delivered through Moses.

Today, you and I can come straight to God with confidence, knowing that Jesus’s sacrifice has torn down the barrier between us and God (Heb. 12:22-23). Each of us can talk to God any time we want, and hear from Him directly when we read His Word. We enjoy a direct access that the Israelites could only dream of. May we never take it for granted and cherish this awesome privilege of coming to the Father as His beloved children every day. —Leslie Koh

Thank You, Father, for this wonderful privilege that Jesus has given us, to be able to come before You knowing we have been forgiven and cleansed by Christ’s blood. May we never forget how big a sacrifice it took.

Through prayer, we have instant access to our Father.

INSIGHT: In the Jewish temple, a curtain sixty feet high and thirty feet wide separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Anyone who entered the Most Holy Place was entering into God’s holy presence. Only the High Priest—and only once a year on the Day of Atonement and after he had meticulously cleansed himself—could enter the Most Holy Place; anyone else would die (see Ex. 26:31-33; Lev. 16).

At the moment Jesus died as payment for our sin, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51), signifying that God had taken down the wall that separated us from Him. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” (Heb. 10:19-20). Through Christ, we now “have access to the Father” (Eph. 2:18). What a privilege! Reflect on what direct access to the Father means to you. How does this affect your view of prayer? Sim Kay Tee

Kids 4 Truth International – God Owns You

“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3)

When you build a tree house, it is your own workmanship. Because you made it, you own it! Your friends have to ask your permission if they want to come into the tree house. And they call it your tree house because you made it. In the same way, if you bake cookies or make caramel apples, you have to offer them to others before they can eat them because those goodies belong to you.

The Bible says that you are God’s workmanship. God created you for His own glory and He desires you to honor Him in all things! Because He made you, your body and everything about you really belong to Him. You have to answer to God for everything you think, say, and do. Your life is not your own. Do you pretend sometimes that it is?

Psalm 100:3 says that it is important for you to remember that the LORD is God. You should keep in mind that it was God Who made you, not you yourself. Because He made you, you belong to Him. The rest of Psalm 100 is about praising God and honoring Him with your life. A right response to knowing that you belong to God is to “serve the LORD with gladness.”

Are you serving God with gladness? Or do you instead serve yourself with gladness? Do you come before His presence with singing? Or do you come to Him with complaining? Whom do you obey – God or yourself? You are not your own; you belong to God. When people watch you, can they see that God owns you and that you are His?

Because God made you, you belong to Him and your actions need to honor Him.

My Response:

» Does my life honor my Creator and King, or does it bring dishonor to Him?

» How can I make it obvious to others that I know the LORD is God and that I belong to Him?

Joyce Meyer – The Disobedience of Unbelief

And Elisha said to him, Take bow and arrows. And he took bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, Put your hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it, and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. And he said, Open the window to the east. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria. For you shall smite the Syrians in Aphek till you have destroyed them. Then he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, Strike on the ground. And he struck three times and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him and said, You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had destroyed it. But now you shall strike Syria down only three times. —2 Kings 13:15-19

It’s easy to say, “I believe,” but the true test comes when we have to act on what we believe. In this story, the king came to Elisha the prophet to seek his help in obtaining deliverance from the Syrians. The prophet told him to strike arrows on the ground as a symbol of Israel’s attacks against their enemy, but the king stopped after shooting only three arrows onto the ground.

Unbelief is disobedience. Period. Had the king believed, he would have struck arrows on the ground many times. Because of his unbelief, he stopped before he’d even gotten a good start. It is not surprising that Elisha became frustrated and angry with him.

Incidents of unbelief are recorded throughout the Old and New Testaments. Unbelief seems to be at work in nearly every direction we turn. Matthew 17:14-20 records the story of a man who brought his epileptic son to Jesus for healing. He said, And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to cure him (v. 16).

Continue reading Joyce Meyer – The Disobedience of Unbelief

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Everything I Need

“Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!” (Psalm 23:1).

A minister telephoned his sermon topic to his local newspaper one day.

“The Lord is My Shepherd,” he said.

“Is that all?” he was asked.

“That’s enough,” the pastor replied.

The weekend church page carried his sermon topic as: “The Lord is My Shepherd – That’s Enough.”

Thoroughly satisfied with the meaning of the expanded title, he used it as his subject on Sunday morning – to the delight and great benefit of the congregation.

Surely the truth of this familiar verse, when properly assessed, should delight and benefit each one of us. Who but our wonderful Lord could serve as such a faithful shepherd? And what better description is there of His loving care for us than that which is implied in the word shepherd?

With Him as our Shepherd, what else could we possibly need? He has promised to be our daily provision, our healer, our all in all. Truly nothing happens to the genuine believer without the knowledge and permissive will of our heavenly Father.

Bible Reading: Psalm 23:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, help me to see You today as my Shepherd – gracious caretaker and friend, provider of everything I could ever possibly need.”

Streams in the Desert for Kids – In the Storms


Matthew 14:24

This wasn’t the first storm the disciples had been in. Jesus had stopped the wind and the waves before with just his word. But this time Jesus wasn’t with them. The disciples were struggling alone.

And then Jesus came. Walking on water he said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

He says the same thing to us today when we are struggling during emotional storms of life. Jesus isn’t our security against the storms, commanding every cloud to go away. He is our security in them. It is when we are struggling that his comfort is the sweetest.

When Jesus climbed in the boat, the wind died down. He came alongside his disciples and they worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Dear Lord, Thank you for your sweet comfort in hard times. Thank you for the security of Jesus. Come close. Amen.